Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot Air Balloon Party

I promise this is the last birthday party post, but I want to capture some of the festive touches that helped make this a real hot air balloon party!

My Mom outdid herself once again this year. Last year it was the cake pops that looked like watermelon. THIS year it was adorable hot air balloon and cloud sugar cookies. These cookies are also known as the magic that got about 10 children to sit still for a photo.

The big hot air balloon and clouds that we had on hand for photo ops for the kids were a hit with some of the kids--others not as much.

We had bubbles and balloons for party favors....

And I made mini hot air balloons to line the deck and driveway. This was a brainchild of mine at about 2AM one night, and I had no idea if it would actually work out or not. Not only did it work, but it was really easy!

We just bought a few washer weights at the hardware store, fishing line and mini brown paper bags. We tied the fishing line to the washer, and taped it to the bottom of the brown paper bag.
Then we taped two pieces of string to the inside of each side of the bag, and tied those ends to the balloon.

Easy! Homemade Hot Air Balloon!!

It was a really fun theme to work with! I think Matilda enjoyed it too, because lets be honest...all a two year old needs is a balloon to keep her happy (well until it flies up into the sky).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Up, Up and Away

The Birthday Girl had her official celebration this weekend, and it was festive!

Of course, every birthday girl deserves a party dress....

A hot air balloon party would not be complete without a hot air balloon replica. Matilda happily jumped into the basket and was ready for lift off. Thank goodness is quit raining about 2 hours before the party or I'm not sure how this would have worked in our tiny little house...

And while she enjoyed the hot air balloon, the real hit for her were the sweets. On her actual birthday I had made chocolate chip muffins and we sang to her and did the whole candle bit, and she LOVED it. We relit those candles about 4 times. But on her party, with the candles in an actual cake, once was enough and she was ready to dig in.

And after she got some good handfuls of cake and frosting she discovered the amazing sugar cookies my mom made and had FOUR of those (mostly because Nate and Pop Pop couldn't say no).

Tillie was so lucky to have so many friends come to help her celebrate. It's so fun to see her get so excited now, and she will say "friends comin'!" when we tell her we have friends coming to see her.  She also say "that's funny" when she mean to say something is fun. And this got a lot of 'that's funny.'

And no one gets quite as many smiles and excitement as Eila from Eila. When Matsilda saw her coming up the driveway she RAN to greet her (think Baywatch slow motion running), and then went in for a hug so excitedly that she knocked Eila over. 

On the Row Row. (I swear I put sunscreen on our child. I realize she looks like she has a pageant tan,)

Bea was not present for most of the party as she was napping, but we did manage to get one snap. I think this was post-Pop Pop forcing us to change Matilda out of her party dress because he was so worried she would slip and hurt herself.....(such a softie)

Oh, Matilda. I can't wait to celebrate with you for years and years to come. I am sure our balloon parties will turn into slumber parties which will turn into us meeting you at a bar for your 21st. No matter the age, party or theme, I'll be there to help you celebrate each passing year.

And while your favorite part was certainly the cookies, cake and friends, my favorite moment was when you turned to me while we were taking pictures to give me a big bear hug. I didn't ask for it, nor did anyone tell you to. You just turned to me and wrapped those little arms around me for a big squeeze.

And it melted my heart right then and there.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Last weekend was a joyous one, as Emily flew into town from Texas for a some good old fashioned Hanson Family fun.

We were so excited to have her, even though her stay was all too brief. Her time in Minneapolis was so much fun. When she left, it felt like a piece of our family was gone. So we were all very anxious to see her again.

Emily had shipped Tillie an early birthday present of a super cute jungle croquet set. Tillie bucked the traditional version of how to play and instead threw the balls up and down the sidewalk and then bossed us around on who she wanted to chase them.....(we are so screwed when she is a teenager)

I think Emily was a little worried that Matilda wouldn't remember her. Can you tell that wasn't really an issue?

We headed off to Tillie's first true parade, which was part of the St. Louis Park Parktacular festivities. Packed a picnic of BLT wraps, pasta salad and some other goodies. Tillie was a fan of the bacon...

....but absolutely NOT a fan of any mascot, or oversized animal costume. She would start shaking she was so scared and we would head to the chair or the parking lot (depending on the severity of the mascot) and distract her until it passed.

Bea wasn't phased by them...

Emily got lots of snuggles since she was the distractor.

And she knew Matilda's sweet spot (horsies) get her back into the parade.

Emily--come back soon. Stay longer. We love having you. You fold into the family so easy and Matilda adores you.  Who else can I talk trashy TV, Candy Crush, and country music with??

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


 Happy Birthday to you, Matilda Mae.


Til Til.

For the past two years, you have brought us more smiles, laughs, stories and sleepless nights than we ever could have dreamed of.  We love you!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Many Faces of Matilda Mae

We have been doing a lot of 'faces' recently to help Matilda learn how to express herself and how she is feeling.

And there is no one better to do this with than her current BFF, Daddy.

There are mad faces.

Silly faces (although Tillie looks a little frightened of Nate)

Happy Faces...

And Sad Faces.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In a Few Words...

First Braids

Hiding her keys....

Ready, Set, Go!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Translation Tuesday: Sponge Mode

One would think that sponge mode refers to actual cleaning. This would make sense given my last two mornings have started with either Matilda pooping on the floor, or finding her with poop all over her crib (thank you antibiotics).

But, no. That is not sponge mode in the Hanson house.

This is:

That moment where you are doing something new with Matilda (think amusement park rides, concert, really anything she hasn't seen or done before), and you really just aren't sure if she is enjoying it or not. She just sits and soaks up everything like a sponge. Taking in every little thing.

But you know at any second she could break out screaming with terror. Or squealing with delight.

In any new scenario it is like that (could make for an interesting walk down the aisle, huh Emily?).
Last weekend we saw it both ways. We went to a book and music festival. The first thing we went to was a children's variety show (below), and we ended up walking out after 5 minutes because she was literally SHAKING with fear.

But then we went to a concert in a big auditorium with WAY more kids, and she loved it. 

You never know what you are going to get after she soaks it all in and decides if she likes it or not.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Two Months

I am grossly overdue on this post. In face we are probably closer to the three month milestone than the 2 month milestone.

But I want to make sure we remember the greatness that was Bea's babydom. Beatrice was quick to grow in the first month and is slowing down a little.
11 pounds 11 ounces
24 inches 

Bea was an early smiler (or at least she smiled earlier than Miss Tillie who mastered her 'why should i smile at you face' before she mastered the smile.)

We were happy to usher out the 8th week as that is when the fussiness declined greatly (although Bea's fussiness was quite mild). We traded our Moby wrap and a walk routine for an earlier bedtime, and even on a few rare nights a family dinner together (with Bea in a lap).

She started to enjoy playing with her Taggies toward the end of the 2nd month!

She likes to feel/play with toys but continues to dislike that darn activity mat. We put her under it and she freaks out. The only way she will be content under it is if she is on her tummy, which then leads to her just resting on her stomach. 

Bea continued to be amenable to Tillies incessant ear rubbing, and head kisses (and the rare eye poke). She started to enjoy the paci a little bit more at go down, which Nate and I were both nervous about given our battle with paci wars with #1.

The laundry keeps multiplying, but so does the fun (well at least most days, ok some days)....

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Life Jinx

Since becoming a parent, I have become increasingly more superstitious about saying anything good, bad or otherwise about my children. Because the second I do, they prove me wrong.

So I only speak in facts.

As in, FACT: Matilda ate a good lunch.

I am quite hesitant to make any broad sweeping statements, like "Matilda is a good eater" because for SURE she will then turn into the worst eater in the entire world.

(*note to the karma gods, I was just using that as an example, and was not making any commentary on my child's broad eating habits).

Well, I think I may have just jinxed my whole parenting life. I didn' t think there was such a thing as a life jinx, but I am in the middle of being proven there is.

Here it is, Wednesday night. I just had the most glorious day of maternity leave. And as Nate and I go to bed, I told him that this may have been the first day of EITHER maternity leave that I 100% truly enjoyed. Loved every minute of it. And that I felt really really happy with how things were going for us. Bea was compliant. Tillie was a doll. I was super productive AND got to relax. Ahhh. Amaze-balls.

Then I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.

Only to be awoken by Milk Goblin #2 way earlier than she normally feeds, who then proceeded to only be able to sleep ON me. Fast forward to the next morning when Gremlin #1 gets sent home from daycare due to a fever, and all of those warm fuzzy feelings from the prior day went flying, no LEAPING, out of the window.

I am pretty sure my declaration of happiness has plagued me with a life jinx of seeing how much craziness one can take on before that happiness disappears (please note that that threshold has been reached for me).

So please send me your suggestions on how to remove a life jinx. Because I want that Wednesday wonderful feeling back....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tillie and Bea

With each passing week, we feel like we get another sliver of a glimpse of what life is going to be like with two little girls so close in age, and able to play together.

Tillie, who continues to be completely obsessed with books, was very interested in reading to Bea.

Let me just get this out of my nose before I begin storytime

The first lesson of a good storytime is you always need to wear your sunglasses.

Here Bea, try them on.!

Bea was pretty bummed that those were sunglasses and not a nipple.
But I think she enjoyed the story....

Monday, June 3, 2013

Things You Learn On Date Night

Nate and I did what it took us about 18 MONTHS to do the first time around. We hired a babysitter, and got the heck out of dodge for a date night. No dinners to feed. No baths to give. No bedtimes to worry about---ok scratch that, I may have still worried. But not bedtimes to execute.

So what did we do? We went to dinner and the Lumineers concert. Nate had gotten me tickets for my birthday and so off we went. I feel like we learned a number of things on that night:

1) You may spend more on the babysitter than the date itself.  We decided to use a teacher from Tillie's school for the best odds of success (and because I couldn't imagine a 14 year old handling a 2 year old and 9 week old). $100 bucks for four and a half hours. WHAT?!?!?!? I rememer back in my day, I would babysit 2 Spaeth girls for a solid evening and be lucky to make a twenty spot, and then my dad would turn around and take 50% for college savings.  I about choked when she told me her rate. And we did have friends offer to watch them, and in hindsight I should have taken them up on the offer, but I figure we need to find a babysitter sooner than later and I have too much guilt having a friend give up their weekend night for me to have a fun one.

2) The hipster scene is alive and well in Minneapolis. Something about the Lumineers just brought them out of the woodwork.

3) Artists can sound EXACTLY like their album.In the day and age of computer 'enhanced' artistry it was really refreshing to hear a truly talented singer perform.

4) Thanks to the #3 learning above, I didn't feel guilty making a swift exit at 10:30 even though the concert wasn't over. Let's face it. I was cashed at 9PM but I perservered. But at 10:30 my eyelids were getting heavy, and I anticipated the wallet getting lighter so we we left.

5) Not all teens have rhythm. We sat behind 4 teenage girls. Must have been about 14 or 15. And there were normal teenagers. All looking alike, and dressing alike and texting/instagramming every other minute. Nate and I were having fun watching them and thinking about Matilda and Beatrice. Then the music started and were were equal parts apalled and enthralled with all four of their lack of rhythm. It was hard to not laugh, to not quit staring, and to look away. Kind of train-wreckish.

6) The iphone was not the prevalent phone. We had a healthy debate if it was because there was an overabundance of hipsters and they were being anti-norm, OR if it was because there were so many teenagers and their parents wouldn't spring for the iphone. Thoughts??

7) Nate and I learned that we can have fun outside of the house without two little ones, and without thinking about them too much (Nate is better at this than me).

I'm hoping there are many more date nights in our future. We may have to set up a separate savings account just for them, but my guess is it will be worth it.