Saturday, October 31, 2009


I don't really like Halloween. It is really one holiday that I could do without. I don't like ghosts and goblins, I don't like like spiders and cobwebs, and I don't like witches or scary things in general. And we have a holiday to celebrate them. Sort of. I know what Halloween is actually about, whatever. That's not what it is about today. That's not why, while we were trick or treating tonight, Tryn was scared to walk up to one of the houses because the walk way was covered in cobwebs, spiders, and a headless man sitting on a bench. But, because I don't want to be "that" parent, the one who doesn't let their kids do anything fun for a candy holiday, we got dressed up and got some candy.

First we colored some pumpkins that my mom gave us from her garden. The girls thought this was a really spectacular thing to be able to do to pumpkins. I think Berlin actually got more marker on her hands, face, and shirt than she did on her pumpkin. Special thanks to the people who invented washable markers.

Then, since I honestly really don't care about Halloween, therefore I don't want to spend money on it, I used Tryn's costume for last year for Berlin. Regardless of how I feel about this holiday, I do have to say that Berlin was about the cutest little ladybug I have ever seen. For Tryn I let her put on her "wedding" dress and call herself a princess. She loved being able to wear the dress again as she has not been able to wear it much with the change of seasons. It's amazing how much she loves that dress. We went to the Jackson's (some friends from church who have two girls and lots of dolls at their house:) to get our supply of candy to last...well, really, since we don't normally have candy in the house I guess we don't really need a supply to last for any certain amount of time. I guess that just means that we have WAY too much candy in our house right now. And chewy granola bars. Apparently, if you don't hand out candy you hand out chew granola bars. It seems to be the in thing to do right now. Seriously. (Also, doesn't my friend Stacy just have the coolest coat ever? I might have a little coat lust.)

All in all, it was a good day for a holiday that I don't like.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We don't have our TV out much. Never really. I mentioned to a friend this last weekend that I watched TV and he said, "You have a TV? Where is it?" Good question. It normally sits in messy piles of wires and semi attached gadgets on the floor of one of two closets in our house. Did I ever mention that our place only has two closets? This is a problem in many, many ways and I have been very frustrated about it recently. Anyway, it's important enough to Steve and I that we are not always watching TV and actually interacting with the girls when they are awake that we sacrifice what little closet space we have to keep our TV out of view and temptation.

But, it was that kind of a weekend. So, for the first time in 10 months I sat down and watched TV without purpose. I didn't have a show that I wanted to catch up on. There wasn't a football game that I wanted to see. I just sat down and started flipping through channels. I wasted 2 1/2 hours doing this, and it was nice. I even let Tryn sit down and watch an entire movie, something I never do on the weekends. If I ever turn on something for the kids it is in 1/2 hour increments. Then, unfortunately, when the game was actually showing on Sunday afternoon I was in a serious cleaning frenzy. Let me tell you, it was a bizarre weekend.

While I was cleaning I still had the Vikings game on in the background, so I could stay updated - of course, they had to pick this weekend to lose. However, what was the most bizarre thing of the whole weekend? Walking by and seeing Tryn with her face smooshed up against the TV screen, kissing one of the Vikings players. Not just a peck either. A full on head tilting back and forth make out session.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

She Talks!

Berlin woke up from her nap this afternoon and, suddenly, she could talk. Here was dinner:

Me: Do you guys want a hot dog?

Tryn: Ummmm, no.

Berlin: Eggs!

Me: You want eggs?

Tryn and Berlin: Yes!


*While I am making toast*

Berlin: Mom. Nakin. Peas (Please).

Me: You want a napkin, babe?

Berlin: Yup.


Berlin: Hop me, hop me!!

Me: Do you want some help?

Nods her head.

Berlin: No! (As I come to stand next to her chair to help her) Sit! (she points to a chair with her fork).

Me: You want me to sit next to you?

Berlin: Yup.


Berlin: More bread, peas.

She has said all of these words before, but never so much and in such a conversational way. Her general speaking is one word at a time. So this was just really fun.

And, oh my goodness, I just really can't stand how edible she is. I mean, feeding her teddy a bite of her cookie is just a cute and adorable thing to do anyway, but I can't stand how adorable she is to me. She make my heart ache.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good Morning

I had a good morning this morning, a great morning really. It started out with Berlin crying out in her sleep, mad or scared about something that even she doesn't understand, about 30 seconds after my alarm rang at 6:33. So I went in to calm her down. However, when I started to leave Tryn did not think that was a very good idea. At that point I knew she wouldn't go back to sleep so I brought her to lay in bed with Steve while I took a shower. After my shower Tryn helped me pick out my outfit. I asked her what I should wear and she pointed, told me what color to wear, and paired my shirt with some jeans that I normally wouldn't put together, but wore just for her anyway. Then she watched me do my hair and told me, "Mommy, you are beautiful." When I pulled out a necklace she gasped and said, "Mom, your beads are so beautiful!" She just stood there and watched me like I used to stand and watch my mom.

We had breakfast together, just the two of us. Tryn asked me to sit right next to her and I said, "Of course." I couldn't imagine sitting anywhere else. I think I was as excited to have breakfast with just her as she was excited to have breakfast with just me. We talked about our days and she asked me not to go to work. But I had to. It's hard to explain that even though there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be, than having breakfast and spending the day with my baby, that I still have to go to work. It doesn't make sense to her, and it doesn't always make sense to me. Nevertheless, it was a grand morning with my baby girl. The kind of morning that makes me wonder how my heart ever felt full before Tryn, because it was busting at the seams.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Test

Tryn passed The Test. There is this test that is supposed to tell whether or not kids have good self control and self discipline - which predicts that they ultimately do better in school and in life, Tryn passed.

It's called The Marshmallow Test and the idea is to set kids down and give them a choice. They can either have one marshmallow and eat it right away, or if they can wait 15 minutes to eat the first one then they will be given a second marshmallow.

Well, we don't actually have marshmallows in our house, so we used Tryn's favorite candy instead. We told her that she could either eat two Jelly Belly's right away, or, if she waited, she could also have a piece of chocolate. In the actual experiment they left four year old kids in a room by themselves with the marshmallow on the plate in front of them. We just set Tryn, who is only three, at the counter. After explaining it to her we just put the candy in front of her and walked away and did things around the house.

It was adorable. She sat there and just stared at the candy.

She didn't touch them, just looked. Steve set a timer on his phone for her and told her that if she wanted to wait to get the chocolate that she could have it when the timer beeped. About halfway through she turned and looked at Steve and said, "This is hard!" She did really, really great though. She was awesome!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Barely Baby Berlin

Berlin is barely a baby anymore and today this makes me immensely sad. Yesterday Steve made a comment like, "Well, Berlin's just a baby," and I told him, "Yeah, but she's almost two." He was more than a little shocked about that realization. Berlin has been just that, a baby, for almost two years, not to mention the fact that she is the youngest member of our family. We all think of her and treat her as our baby. But the fact that she now knows that she loves "rockin', rockin'" (being rocked) and she is capable of asking for it before her nap or bedtime means that she is actually not a baby anymore. Yes, she still wears diapers, but the fact that she tells me every time she wets or dirties her diaper means that she is not a baby anymore. Yes, she is still hard to understand, but the fact that she can speak in complete sentences now means that she is not a baby anymore. Two year olds are not babies. Heck, they are hardly considered toddlers anymore. I, unfortunately, am not ready for Berlin to be done being a baby yet. Oh, of course, she will always be my baby, just as I still am to my parents and they still are to their parents. But when Berlin can walk around the house with her little hands palm up at her sides saying, "Trym? Trym? There she is!" means that she really is not a baby anymore. Berlin's favorite sentence right now is, "I do it," which also means she is not a baby. Oh, baby Berlin.

Yesterday we were driving in the car and I heard, "Me! Me!" from the backseat. I turned around to see Berlin with a teddy perched on top of her head. I affirmed her extra special balancing talents and turned my focus back to driving. Soon I heard, "Trym! Trym!" and looked to see Berlin showing Tryn how she could balance the teddy. This was the first time of many, many more times where she turned to get affirmation and acknowledgement from her older sister.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trynica Kryslin

Yesterday afternoon I was making cookies with Tryn and she told me, "Mom, you are a cookie."

This morning we were in the car and she said, "Oh, MOM! I forgot my purse at home!" I told her, "It's okay babe, we will remember it next time." She said, "Oh dang it."

I do not know where she comes up with these things.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Little People Nuggets

I do not know everything about anything, especially parenting. Being a parent is a lot of work. It's rewarding work, it's fun work, is the best job I have ever had - but whatever else it might be, it is not easy work.


Although, for whatever I don't know about being a mother, there are a few things that I do know. There are just little things that can make the whole parenting thing easier. So, here is my little people nugget of information for the day:

Some of you may already know this, but you can get "kid's cookies" at all Super Targets. I don't know about you, but one thing that I use to (and sometimes still do) dread, is a trip to the store with two kids. It's just one of the hard things about being a parent. It is getting easier as the kids get older, but Berlin is still not beyond screaming tantrums (the kind where every person in the store is looking at you and wondering why you can't control your child) in public. Neither is Tryn for that matter, but at least hers are fewer and farther in between. Anyway, at any Super Target here in the Twin Cities - I am assuming this is probably the case everywhere, but I really don't know - you can go up to the counter in the bakery and ask them for a cookie (or two) and they will just give them to you. For free. So, for kids who don't get treats very often, a cookie at the maybe once a week trip to the grocery store can solve all kinds of potential tantrums. It's awesome.

I am going to probably post more nuggets in the future, if I can think of any :) So, if you have any great parenting ideas/thoughts/info that would be helpful for others, please tell me! I will put them in my posts (and give you credit of course!), but I would love to hear what types of things make parenting easier for you. 'Cause it's a lot of work.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Berlin has this really great way of making you feel like you are an insignificant piece of poo on her shoe. She doesn't do it on purpose (I don't think) and I have no idea what is going through her mind when she does this, but I managed to catch it, in it's weakest form. She can do it so much better than this when she is really wanting to get her point across.

See? Doesn't this look like disgust? I said, "Berlin, look at mommy!" and Berlin looked at me and with her eyes said, "Mom, this is SO annoying. Why are you always taking pictures of me? Leave me alone and let me play." She can hold this stare for a long time.


I have heard that she gets this from me. I am so sorry if I have ever looked at you that way, I didn't mean it. Probably. Except for my brothers, I probably meant it to them. Oh, and probably especially to one particular brother-in-law. Okay, okay, I have probably meant it. Shoot. Berlin and I will work on it. Ahem.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best Chili Ever

Last year, when I realized that I had never made chili in my lifetime, I decided one cold day that I wanted to make some. I didn't even have anyone to ask for their really great chili recipe, because when I was little I never liked it and so got into a habit of not eating it or caring if it was good. So, I went online and literally typed "healthy chili" into Google and found this recipe on my third or fourth click.

I made it last night and every time I make it I get worried. I think, "How can this random recipe that I pulled off the internet be any good? Maybe I was lucky and it was just good last time and it is totally going to suck this time." But, no, every single time I make this chili it is SO yummy! I have made it for friends and passed the recipe along and everyone seems to love it. I especially love it because it is healthy too! So, don't know what to make for dinner tonight? Try this. It's good and really easy and healthy! It is especially good if you use tortilla scoop chips to eat it instead of a spoon.

[Heidi's] Healthy Chili

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 pound chicken (cut to bite size and cook thoroughly, before adding other ingredients)
• Chili seasoning to taste (McCormick is a good one)
• 1 jar salsa (any kind, I use Pace medium salsa because it's so chunky)
• 1 16 oz can tomatoes diced
• 1 16 oz can black beans
• 2 cups water
• 10 oz bag frozen corn
• Salt to taste
• Cheddar cheese (garnish)
• Minced onions (garnish)
• Sour cream (garnish)

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil and brown the meat.
2. Add salsa and chili seasoning.
3. Over medium-high heat, stir for a minute or two cooking the salsa (it should bubble).
4. Add can tomatoes, kidney beans, water, frozen corn and salt. Add more chili powder if desired. Heat on high until it comes to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Serve with topped with cheddar cheese, minced onion, or sour cream if you want.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I did it. I broke one of my own rules today. First, I have to say that the word 'hate' is used sparsely in our home. It's a strong word. It is reserved for things that really deserve to be "passionately disliked". For example, I hate McDonald's. I hate what it does to people's health, I hate that is has no nutritional value, I hate that a lot of families don't eat together unless it is at McDonald's, I hate that it is so kid friendly, and I hate that it is so convenient. About six months ago, after looking up the nutritional values online for McDonald's food (and freaking out about how much saturated fat was in everything) I decided not to eat at McDonald's anymore. I have also watched the movie Supersize Me. Well, that's not totally true, I had to stop watching halfway through because I got sick to my stomach.

I ate at McDonald's today. Even worse, I went through the drive thru. It wasn't this, "I want to hang out with the girls and have lunch somewhere fun with them," type of lunch. It was a, "I really need to drop off this Redbox movie (after 5 or 6 days of having it in my possession) and I don't want Berlin to freak out anymore because she is so hungry," type of lunch. Shoot. Boo McDonald's for being so convenient!

Dear Mr. McDonald,
I don't like you. In fact, I hate you. I hate that you give people health issues, obesity problems, and are so unhealthy. Please stop being so kid friendly and convenient.

Heidi Haines

Monday, October 12, 2009

While You Were Sleeping

It’s snowing, and, don’t hate me, I really don’t mind. I kind of mind missing out on fall, I love fall. But I also love the first snowfall of the year. It’s romantic and pretty and if winter could feel like today all season I really would not mind winter one bit. I mainly just really don’t like January through March when it is so cold that breathing hurts and even the snow stays away because the whole world of Minnesota is so miserable. That is the only time that Minnesota sucks. Otherwise, I am the person that gets mad if it doesn’t snow by Christmas, there just has to be snow for Christmas.

I am also a girl that loves traditions. I especially love that from November to even mid-January there are lots of traditions. I love baking the same cookies every Christmas season, I love carving pumpkins, I love making hot chocolate and warm cozy dinners, I love decorating Christmas trees, I love holiday music, I thoroughly enjoy the whole holiday season. I also have a tradition that is associated with the first snow. This is not a hard-core-has-to-be-done-exactly-right tradition, especially since the first snowfall is not always very real. Sometimes there are just flurries, sometimes it snows and none of it sticks, but sometime around the first snowfall of the year it is time to watch one of my all time favorite movies: While You Were Sleeping.

I don’t even know why I like this movie so much, but I can pretty much quote it line by line. I have seen it at least 100 times – this is not an exaggeration. It’s sort of a holiday movie, but it is also not a holiday movie. In fact, there have been times when I have told people that my favorite holiday movie is While You Were Sleeping and they say, “Really? I’ve never thought of that as a holiday movie,” even though the entire story takes place over Christmas and New Year’s. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it you have to watch it. It’s an oldy and a goody. And here, today, on the first full cover the whole world in white snowfall, and my first free afternoon that I get because I am no longer working 40 hours a week sounds like the perfect time for my yearly tradition. Do you have any first snowfall traditions? I would love to know, maybe I will start another one next year!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Okay, things might finally be slowing down a little now...maybe. Next week will be my first of many regular 32 hour work weeks, I am very excited about that.

First things first, I am currently sitting on my couch and from what I can see from my view out the window looks very nice. It looks like a nice bright summery day with trees full of green leaves. That does not stop the fact that on the way home from the grocery store Tryn shouted at me, as she has many times in the past few days, "MOM!! LOOK!! SEE THAT LEAF RIGHT THERE? [Sure, Tryn, um, no. I see lots of leaves everywhere, I have no idea which one you are talking about.] THAT ONE? THAT LEAF JUST FELL FROM THAT TREE!!!" As much as I still want to pretend that it is a nice 80 degree summery day when I look out the window, I am also typing this with already painfully chapped hands that will remain this way for the next 6 months, oh the joys of eczema. If that isn't already the kicker, I also cannot ignore the fact that the girls and I played outside in the first snowfall this morning - of course having a first taste of snow as well.

I don't honestly know how Tryn even remembers snow, she was only two last winter. But she was ready to fully lay down in the snow to make a snow angel. I kindly asked her to wait until we could get her some new snowpants, as we don't actually snowpants, mittens, or scarves for the girls right now. I thought I would have at least a couple more weeks before I had to think about stuff like that.

And, of course, the first snowfall has to be followed by the first taste of hot chocolate for the year (which is really just warm chocolate milk).

Ah, Minnesota. I am not surprised or even bummed that it snowed this early, I would rather just not then look outside and see lots of green leaves still on the trees. It is rather confusing. The biggest bummer is that I told Tryn that before it could be Christmas that it would snow. Well, it snowed. So the majority of my conversations today have been about what Tryn and/or I want for Christmas, as she is continuously asking me. I have no idea, she has lots of ideas. She wants to get me a new princess.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I am going to post a new "real" post soon, I promise! But for now, I just wanted to let you know that I added a new sidebar! This makes it so that if you don't have a Google account but you have a Facebook account you can subscribe to follow my blog through Facebook instead! All you have is an FB account and the ability to click on the "follow" button below, easy peasy!! All it does is tell you when I write something new, which is helpful if you check back just to see and then are mad when I take days and days to write something new (so sorry!!). I promise I will soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October Update

It has been way too long since my last blog, don’t you think? Life has been nothing short of bizarre, chaotic, and crazy the past two weeks. Working two jobs at the same time during this transition is doing strange things to my mind. I also haven’t taken any pictures of my kids for way too long – the engagement session, wedding, and event photography that I have done the past week has been just purely professional photography. I haven’t even really had time to do those things much less take pictures of my kids. So no new kiddo pics this time, sorry!

Yesterday on the way to Target the new Miley Cyrus song Party in the U.S.A. came on and Tryn excitedly announced, “Mom, mom!! This is one of my songs!” Shortly thereafter You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift came on and Tryn told me, “Mom! This one is Berli’s song! This is one of Berli’s songs!” I have no idea how these things get decided, but, sure enough, I looked back at Berlin and her head was bobbing back and forth and she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the tune. Also, apparently anything by Ingrid Michaelson is one of “mommy’s songs” and anything by Black Eyed Peas is one of “daddy’s songs” – except maybe Boom Boom Pow, I think that one might get assigned to me too.

Because Old Navy is right next to Target in the Quarry we decided to walk through there yesterday morning as well. While we were walking in Tryn asked me, “Mom, what store is this?”

“This is Old Navy.”

“Old gravy?”


I painted my fingernails a different color over the weekend and I just find it curious that Berlin was the only one who noticed. Not that I was even expecting anyone to notice, but it is just interesting that the one person who did notice is only 20 months old and can barely talk. Although, speaking of Berlin talking, the rate at which she is learning new words and using them is amazing right now! I can’t even tell you how many words she knows now because she knows so many. She has just been observing and listening for so long and it is all pouring out. She is using so many words and using them in the right context, it’s crazy. Last night, for the first time, she said one of my all time favorite little toddler phrases. We were getting out of the car after coming home from church and she turned to me and said, “Hold you! Hold you!”

I said “Berlin, did you just say ‘Hold you’?”

Very earnest head nodding yes.

“Do you want mommy to pick you up?”

Again, very earnest head nodding yes.

Just about the cutest thing ever.