Tuesday, September 25, 2012


What do you do to keep a one, two, three and four-year-old preoccupied until dinner is ready?  Take them on a "hike" through the neighborhood! Tracy and Jason recently hosted a family dinner and things are always interesting with four little kids.

A day in the life.....

So here are a few random shots / stories about what life is like in the Swanson house:

- Cullen and Simone love cardboard boxes.  Could there be a better toy?  One night, Dirk took out the garbage and they noticed that we were getting rid of a large cardboard box.  As a boycott, the two munchkins ran outside and sat in the box until we told them they could bring it into the house.  It is currently still sitting in my living room and I may try to sneak it out again on the next garbage pick up.
- Simone enjoys playing dress up and many times brings her "stuff" out to see how it looks on Dirk.
- Simone is also fond of sharing her food.  Often trying to feed us bites - "You try some?"
- The other night, Tracy gave us a package of glow sticks with the instructions to use at bath time.  Now this is a concept we had never thought of:  the bathtub rave.  Cheap thrills - highly recommended for all of you parents out there!
- Cullen has a new fascination with being a rock star.  We have promised him that someday (when he is older) he can take guitar lessons.  Until then, he just "jams".
- Cullen and Dirk recently went to Camp Randall to cheer on Bucky.  They took Tracy and Parks Tobin and the boys all had a blast.  The little ones lasted until half time and then proceeded to sleep the entire two hour drive home.
- Simone and Lisa had a girls day - a visit to the library, the park and the co-op for lunch.

We are busy and life moves fast, but all is well!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day Weekend!


Dirk competed in a second triathlon this summer in Maple Grove, MN.  And he placed 3rd in his age group and 30th overall (out of 700)!  We stayed the night before with my parents and my dad was convinced that he needed to set 5 alarm clocks and schedule a professional wake-up call just to ensure Dirk wouldn't be late for the race - something reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry was in charge of waking up marathoner Jean-Paul.  Rest assured, Dirk woke up early and made it to the race on time.  As Dirk passed by in the final stretch of the run, the kids shouted "go daddy go" and my dad shouted "go Jean-Paul!".

Later that day, we met up with George and Joanie at their cabin in Trempeleau.  It was a gorgeous day and we decided a picnic at the sand dunes would be the perfect activity.  Maybe he was inspired by his father, because Cullen raced (and I mean fast) up and down the mountains of sand at least 50 times.    He was covered in so much sand that I swear it took three baths before it was all out.  The climb up proved to be too much for little Simone so she opted for snacks and sandcastles on the beach.

Young Picassos

One morning, during a grocery shopping expedition,  I was inspired by some paint that I saw and decided to make a purchase to see what artistic skills Cullen and Simone possessed.  It turns out they are artistic geniuses (aren't all pre-schoolers?!).  Cullen was very careful to keep all of his colors separate on the paper.  Simone, on the other hand, mixed all of her paint and ended up with  beautiful brown blobs by the time she was finished.  Luckily, I stripped the kids down to their skivvies, because at the end of the painting experience there were equal amounts of paint on the paper and on their skin.

Cullen can officially cancel sleeping in a tent off his bucket list.  Dirk and Cullen decided to camp out in our backyard one night.  Don't assume that they were roughing it.  Dirk pitched the tent 10 feet from our backdoor and put a blow-up air mattress inside for maximum comfort.  Dirk also gave Cullen strict instructions to pee outside in the bushes during their camp-out.   When 9 pm struck and darkness fell, Cullen looked at Dirk and said "it's time to get sleeping" (he usually doesn't ask to go to bed - so this showed his level of excitement).  Within the first 1/2 hour in the tent, Cullen promptly got up to pee 5 times.  Apparently it's pretty fun to pee outside (must be a boy thing!).  I expected the two boys to crawl into bed sometime in the middle of the night, but as it turns out, they woke me up around 6 am refreshed and ready for the day.