Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Meow-olloween!

Halloween is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays after having a kid. 
There are so many fun Halloween activities planned, hosted and sponsored that are very family friendly.
We checked out our neighborhood Halloween festival this year, and Tillie pretty much just ponied up to the play-dough table the entire time and was pretty happy just playing there.

She also got her first balloon animal, was pet numerous times by little girls (apparently they couldn't resist the fuzziness of her costume) and WE found a neighborhood girl passing out babysitting business cards (SCORE!).

Tillie was tuckered out by the end of it.

Halloween night came, and Tillie donned the ridiculously cute costume that my Mom made again and showed off her slender thighs.

She is still struggling with her teeth so she teethed on a package of Twizzlers most of the night.

She did so well carrying her little bucket. My favorite part of watching her trick or treat was that the two houses we made it to in 30 minutes (you think I am kidding, but I am not), she just walked right inside and made herself at home like she was going to stay awhile.

And both of those houses had big bowls of candy that they set down so Matilda could pick one.
Little did they know her favorite game in the world right now is "transfer something (anything really...) from one container to the next, so she went to town"

Meanwhile, I was promising them we wouldn't actually keep that much candy.

Good thing she is cute, because I don't think they cared.
And when we got home, she crouched down and inspected each of the four pieces she had acquired.

I smell a future candy-sorter, just like her mama.

And at the end of the night, overtired and overexcited, she let me know that she really did NOT want to say goodbye to any of the trick or treaters that came to the door.

And she would rather be outside with the pumpkins and fun than inside with me.

Happy Halloween All!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Get to Work!

We capitalized on the great weather Saturday and got out side to rake up the millions of leaves that were in our backyard. Matilda is quite fond of being outside, and we are happy to spend any time we can out there before the weather turns ugly.

I was sad to learn that the rake was maybe just a little too heavy for her this year. 
Maybe next year....

As we go through parenthood, I feel like so many fellow parents talk about being able to see through the long days to really enjoy short weeks. And I am trying so hard to capture this past week in my memory, to bolster myself for rough days or nights that may be ahead, because this week might be the single best week of parenthood so far.

Smiles, snuggles, hugs, independent playing, more words, giggles that last for longer than you think is safe.

Tillie is really working on lots more words, and sounds. 
Duck, Ball, Block, Pumpkin (which sounds nothing like pumpkin when she says it).
On Tuesday she put two words together for the first time:
"Bye bye, Dada"

This weekend she was busy cutting a molar--to the point that there was blood all over one of the little containers she was biting on. She woke up early from her nap, snuggled in with me and slept for another hour in my lap.

Typically a major 'doesn't happen' in our house.
But such an amazing moment for me.

Nate gets the most giggles out of Matilda. He created a leaf train which included Matilda as he was schlepping leaves from the year to the garden. I am pretty sure she could have done that all day long.

Other big things in the past few weeks that I want to make sure I capture so when I look back on this some day I will remember that she was indeed once this little, innocent, and precious:

- Starting to have to watch the garbage as Tillie is turning into quite the helper. Picking up anything she perceives as trash and walking it to the garbage.

- Open and closing the doors. Incessantly.

-Saying "Up. Down" and raising her arms up and bringing them down.

- Taking to walking like she has sitting and crawling. A late 'starter' but full on walking with very little 'toddling', falling, etc. Matilda is an observer, cautious in her approach, but sure of herself before she starts. Not a bad thing at all. I hope she is this cautious when it comes to picking guys to date too... :)

- When she is hungry, one item just will not do. She wants BOTH hands to have a piece of cheese, have a cracker, or otherwise.

--Finally, I was in Madison for Recruiting with work. And, when I came home, Matilda gave me the biggest, longest hug she has ever given me. It was one of the best moments of being a working mother to date.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Nate and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary this past weekend. It was a much different type of celebration that years prior as I had to be in Madison for a work event, and we headed out after for a low-key afternoon at the Badger game and then scooted back to Viroqua to scoop up Matilda after a week without her.

We have been so fortunate the past five years to travel with each other, and experience life outside of the walls of our home and Minneapolis.

We went to Maui for our Honeymoon.

San Diego for our 1 Year annivesary.

Terranea Resort in CA for the 2nd...

San Francisco and Lake Tahoe for our 3rd (Matilda was technically also on this trip)

Kauai for our 4th...

And a true sign of how life has change--Madison, WI for our 5th with no pictures to speak of. And while I think we are both itching to get away from work and the drone of daily life with a vacation the best part of Nate + Greta is that we love spending any time together. 

Whether it is a run to Costco (remember when we hated that place), watching TV in our pajamas, or driving in the car. Trips and vacations are fun and create great memories, but what creates a great Greta + Nate is the little stuff. The stuff that gives us what 'outsiders' would consider a secret language filled with inside jokes and quotes we have stolen from TV shows that most people probably don't watch.

And that is what makes me so excited for the next 5, 10, 15, 20 and beyond years.
Well that and completely mortifying our children with what dorks we most certainly are.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crabby Abby

It has been one of those days. Scratch that--one of those weeks. And I am CRABBY--yes all caps. Uff da.

Right now, I am enroute back to MSP after spending 2 days in less than ideal circumstances which involved a business trip in NYC, and a plane ride that was 2 hours delayed because some stupid dudes decided to steal some stuff from other people before they boarded, and the police came and hauled them off and basically screwed all of us over.

Whew. That felt good.

And tomorrow I have a 4.5 hour marathon meeting schedule right up until I leave for the 2nd business trip of the week.


Good think Tillie is with Grandma and Grandpa for the week and not getting carted around from daycare to babysitter to daycare to daddy and back to daycare. I am sure she is having MUCH more fun than I am this week.

Maybe next week, I can stay with Grandma and Grandpa?? Yes, that would be grand.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Toddler Troubles

We had our first true 'incident' in the Hanson household this weekend.

I learned two things:
1) Daughters are put on earth to prove their mother's wrong.
2) My superstitious beliefs are totally rooted in the fact that whatever I say is immediately proven wrong (see #1).

My mom is up visiting for a fun weekend, (before she whisks Tillie back to Vernon County for a Granny Nanny 911 call due to a super crazy week for Nate and I). She and I are sitting the living room, watching Matilda toddle around.

Matilda walks into her room.

I say: "We never worry when Tillie goes into her room because there is nothing in there that she can hurt herself on."

2 seconds later (and I am NOT exaggerating) we hear a huge crash, shattering glass and a SHRIEKING Matilda. Run to the bedroom, where she is standing in the middle of a glass lamp Armageddon.

Apparently, she found the cord to the lamp on top of her bookshelf, and decided to give it a good tug. Which sent it crashing down on her. Terrible.  I know we are entering in the stage where stuff like this happens. But seriously?? Did it have to happen a mere second after making this statement.

My Mom told me a very helpful quote: Mom's know never to brag because they moment they do things change. It keeps us humble.

Or in my case, it feeds my superstitions.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's Cooking?

The weather has changed, and last week it was time to fully break-out the fall favorites.

We busted out the slow-cooker and tried Slow Cooker Lasagna from Betty Crocker. It turned out much better than I expected. I think we would make it again but would liven up the sauce a little. It was pretty bland.

Soup Sunday brought a new recipe to try: Roast Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup. We splurged on a super delicious aged white cheddar from Costco and it was totally worth it. Our picture sucked of this because it just turned out like white on white, so here is the professional photo that I am borrowing..


1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
1 cup milk or cream
salt and pepper to taste

1.Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
2.Roast the cauliflower in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
3.Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
4.Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
5.Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
6.Add the broth and cauliflower, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
7.Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender.
8.Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper.
9.Mix in the milk and remove from heat.

Try the soup and tell me what you think!
Our Standby Staple this week was Taco Salads...such a great way to get rid of a ton of veg, and super quick so I can make it on a night that Nate has class!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Girl Who Puts Herself to Bed ***for right now***

I continue to be very superstitious about comments made surrounding anything with Matilda. Like: she is a good eater, she is a good sleeper, she has been sleeping so late, etc.

For whatever reason, I believe that the mere utterance of those words will immediately cause the opposite of whatever was said to happen. Don't believe me? A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a string of mornings in a row where Matilda woke up at 7AM--as opposed to her 6AM ish wake-up. Nate says: "I don't know, I kind of prefer the early wake-up because then it is a slower wake-up for us."

Fast forward to the next morning (and every morning following), Matilda wakes up at 6:15 again.

So, it is with that caveat that I tell you how cute it is that Matilda right now, as in at least for today, is essentially putting herself to bed. When we can tell she is tired, we say: do you want to go night night?

She will walk into her room with us, and point at the crib... (at this point in time)

In she goes..(for now)

And viola! She is asleep. (at least that is what happened today)

No, this series of photos doesn't truly represent this cycle. These were taken after a great nap. BUT that is mostly because we fear the child and do NOT go into that room unless needed. If the baby is sleeping, the baby sleeps. We don't need to stare longingly at her while she does it.

But picture a sleeping baby--because I can only assume she is sleeping in there and not just sitting quietly.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Million Dollar Question

Okay party planners, event schedulers, and amenities aiming to please parents:

Why, do you not open at 8AM on the weekends?

Don't you know our children are up, already sick of their toys and fed by this time? And we, the poor and huddled masses of parents wanting to get out of the house are looking for ANYTHING to do besides mall walk?

Sure, sure. We could run our Target run at 8AM, go to a park or get groceries at the 24 hour grocery store. But those things only last so long. and as your kid gets older, the thought of taking them to Target or grocery shopping gets less appealing. And if I am going to go to the park, I would rather go when it is 60 degrees than 41 degrees at 8AM.

There are so many fun family focused events going on in the Twin Cities, but I WEEP when I see their times: 1-4, 11-2, and so on. Don't these people know that is prime napping time for the kids they are targeting?? How about an 8-12 event?

I would be there when the doors open, and shut that thing down. Consider me your best supporter.
But a 1-4 get the harried Hanson's--whose child will have inevitably decided to sleep until 3 because you had something fun planned, and then we rush out of the house, get to the event in time to enjoy the last 20 minutes, only to realize we forgot to pack a snack/diaper/fill in the blank.

Don't even get me started on's even worse.

For now, you will find us playing at Highland Park in Bloomington, running around at the Farmers Market, and trolling the internet for those gem of spots that serve breakfast at actual breakfast time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Photo Fun

With the beautiful weather and gorgeous colors out, we couldn't resist taking our little cutie and camera out for a little spin this weekend...

And to round out the weekend, I discovered the Tillie cut one of her top molars. It was one of those I am the worst mom ever moments, as I was at my PEAK of frustration yesterday, only to find this tooth poking through this morning.....

I knew something had to be wrong when she didn't really want to play at the park... :)