Sunday, August 19, 2012

Surprise! (sort of)

Last year when I turned 30 my friends tried to throw me a surprise party, but they enlisted the help of my husband, who is awful at keeping secrets. Long story short, I pretty much helped plan my supposed surprise party. It was a great party, don't get me wrong. It's just that the element of surprise was ruined. This year my friend wanted to try it again, but on a smaller scale. She had to let me in on the fact that there was a surprise because she needed my help planning a day that worked with my schedule, but she was very tight-lipped on what the actual surprise was. She was a sealed tight vault that wouldn't divulge even the smallest of clues, and she didn't trust anyone (especially Dave) with the secret just in case it leaked out and ruined the surprise. The big surprise was Saturday. She told me to wear shorts, which completely stumped me. My first thought was thrown out the window because I didn't think there was a dress code at a spa. Then I thought maybe we were going to stomp grapes at a vineyard to make our own wine and she didn't want me to stain my pants. (I have a vivid imagination.) 

Turns out my initial thought was right, Ann took me to a spa! She tricked me into shaving my legs by telling me to wear shorts because she knows I tend to slack on my shaving duties. We spent a luxurious morning and afternoon being pampered. We got massages and facials first. Then Dave stopped by to bring us lunch and allow me the opportunity to nurse Ashton. We finished our spa day with manicures and pedicures. Saturday night Ann's family came to our house for Walking Tacos and a fire to end my birthday celebrations. 
I am so grateful to have such a wonderful friend in my life who not only took the time to make my birthday special, but also knew me well enough to know I would need to be tricked into shaving my legs and also considered the needs of my nursing baby and worked out a plan for me to feed him halfway through the day. I can't express how much this means to me. Thank you so much, Ann!! You made my 31st birthday a day I'll definitely remember forever!
Briella had a loooong day.
We also celebrated my birthday last weekend with Ann and her husband, Chris. We dropped off our kids to have an adults only night and went to Winona's version of the Dancing with the Stars show. It was a great night out!

Last weekend we also attempted our first Twins game since our fiasco when Spencer was barely a year old. That game ended after only a few innings since Spencer just couldn't take all the stimulation and heat of the outdoor stadium. Two years later we decided to try it again, only we added another baby. Our goal was to make it to the fifth inning, and I'm happy to report that we succeeded! Both Spencer and Ashton did a lot better than expected. Spencer was especially thrilled to ride the train to and from the stadium since we parked the van at a Metro Transit Park 'n Ride to avoid all the downtown traffic.
Waiting for the train.
Looking out the window on the train.
Holding on for dear life on the train.
Showing off our matching Mauer shirts. (I couldn't wear my Liriano jersey since he was traded!)

Burning energy before the game.

Eating a big pretzel.

Goooooo, Twinkies!

Train ride back to the Park 'n Ride.
This week I found it very liberating to do random projects as our moods struck instead of centering them around a specific letter. On Monday I made sand, which entertained the boys all day long. Since the sand is made from flour and vegetable oil, I didn't have to worry about Ashton shoveling it into his mouth. At the end of the day, I stored the sand in a tupperware and I can bring it back out again later for more fun.
They played with the sand in the water table in the morning.
Mmm, edible sand!

Then they played with it at the table in the afternoon.
Ewww, this sand isn't so tasty!

Tracking sand throughout my house.
Tuesday we splatter painted with rubberbands. This was an activity where Spencer kept asking for more, which is always great to hear.

We put paint on the rubberbands and then snapped them to make our splatter paint pictures.

Wednesday was Spencer's three year well check-up. I psyched him up during the week so he wouldn't be scared at the appointment. He said the doctor was looking for Thomas the Train in his ears and that she had to listen to his heart go thump, thump, thump. My little peanut only weighs 27 pounds (10 percentile) and is 37 inches tall (50 percentile).

This week also marked the end of swim lessons.
Waiting for lessons to start.

Drying off.
On Friday I loaded up my boys and all our junk early in the morning to head to my friend's house to watch her son, Jackson, for the day. I enlisted the help of older sister Julia when we went to a kiddie parade and kids concert. It was interesting seeing three car seats in the car; it was a bit of a foreshadow into my future.
Kiddie parade.
Hotdog lunch at the concert.
My little monkey man climbed up onto Jackson's train table when I looked away for a single second!

A glimpse into my minivan future.
Friday night the whole gang went to Suncrest Gardens, which is a family farm that makes wood fire pizzas for the public on Thursday and Friday nights. They often have live music, small animals, and a nice play area for the kids. The pizza was delicious and it was a neat experience we're all excited to repeat before the season ends.
Ash just wants to play with the big kids!
Time to eat.

This week I also decided to do another photoshoot with Ashton to mark his 9 month birthday. Here is the latest installment of Mommy Photography. (Today I took some maternity pictures for my photographer friend, Tara, who does all of our professional pictures. I'm excited to put into practice the techniques she taught me using the manual settings on my SLR camera.)

More random pictures from the week:
Reading together.
Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Smith. I bought this semi with the Target gift card you gave me for my birthday!
Going on a ride in a diaper box.
Trying out new helmet.
Then not wanting to take it off.

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