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September 2006
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November 2006

the goblins are snug in their beds ...


all in all, it was a pretty good day, with a few exceptions. harper was the cutest thing ever, wandering around holding a balloon in one hand and working the tutu. henry and i had a moderate-to-horrendous meltdown over face painting, but that's par for the course with us. just as i was taking the kids' pix, the doorbell rang and it was henry's friends blake & caleb and their dad, out for some begging trick-or-treating. they invited my boys to come along, so harper and i waved them off then happily gave candy to the goblins who came to our door. course, all harp wanted to do was grab the candy and put it in her own basket. so i gave her some gerber fruit snacks and she was good to go until her bathtime, when i put a "please take one" note on the door and left the candy bowl in the care of the honor system. i should have known ... some jackhole took off with the whole bowl. i hope they get massive cavities and need expensive, painful root canal for their efforts at thievery.

and tomorrow - november. how?! wedding pix are coming right along, marc heads to denver tomorrow afternoon, and the house is a mess. great.

pre-planned mia-ness

gonna go missing for a few more days.
have more of these
to proof and send to the bride.
and articles to edit and write for designerzine.
and layouts to do for various deadlines.
and kids to mother.
and a house to keep clean between now and thanksgiving when seven of my husband's family members descend upon us for a long weekend.
and do this all while hubby hits three states in three weeks.
i may go crazy.
but at least you've been warned.


regret descends over the skinner household

we've been back for almost four days now, and i'm starting to wish we'd never gone. harper is so completely off schedule and it's killing me. she no longer naps, and i just can't have that.

before we left, she was going down daily at 11:30 and sleeping until 1:30 or 2. for a girl whose first 18 months of life were devoid of good sleeping routines and crappy naps, she was finally on a great schedule. i'd worked hard to get her there, because i knew she needed the sleep and i needed the break, especially with all the new things in my life that demand time; naptime became critical work time for me.

but now ... now i put her down at 11:30 and she screams and cries until 12:30 or 1, at which point i go up, make sure she is still dressed and hasn't pooped, then lay her back down and try again. she then finally falls asleep about 15 minutes later, only to wake up in less than 40 minutes.

can i say how badly this just sucks?!

why wasn't i more clear about her schedule? why wasn't i more adamant it was adhered to? why did so many factors come into play the day before our trip and going over harper's schedule was completely forgotten?

ugh. this sucks. big time.

henry gave up naps the day he turned two. i can't have that with harper. i just can't. i need this time during the day more than i did five years ago. and on top of my schedule, marc is now traveling for his new job - chicago this week, denver next week, north carolina the week after that. and then his whole family will arrive for thanksgiving. just when am i supposed to get my work done, have the house cleaned, have food at least planned, have my sanity reinforced, if harper doesn't nap?? this just sucks.

are there any good drugs for kids? any good methods of getting them BACK on routine? how could five days screw her up so badly??


have i mentioned this sucks?

update: today - down at 11:30. screams till 12:15. i go up to check and she's somehow spilled half her sippy cup of water all over her bed. i change her bedding and put her back down. cries 10 more minutes. by 12:30, there is quiet. it is now 12:59 and she's up again. suck.

vacation ... for real!

Marc and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on October 19th. Ten years married to this guy ... wow. Back in the day, before we really even knew each other, my mom had a class with Marc and came home to tell me that there was this boy in her group who was really cute, and he didn't talk much but he was from somewhere in South America and we would make really cute babies.

Guess Mom knew what she was talking about.

Rszmm_1 It's been a ten years full of ups and downs and everything in between, but I can't imagine my life and my future with anyone but him. He gets me (mostly) and he puts up with me (mostly), and those are pretty important things.

So happy 10 years, sweetie!

And to celebrate this rather important occasion, we took off for a vacation for the first time since October of 1999, when I was five months pregnant with Henry. Marc's parents drove up from Indiana to hold down the fort while we drove up to the North Shore of Minnesota for four days. Marc surprised me with lunch at our favorite Greek place on the way out of town, and then it was on to four days of peace, quiet, and no kids! And then on Saturday we were back in the metro for a wedding in Stillwater that I was shooting.

Rszmarconbeach The North Shore is an amazing place. It's just gorgeous - if you like dark, slick rocky shorelines and tall pine trees and straight white aspens, amazing rivers and waterfalls flowing out of the hills and under the road and into Lake Superior, the smell of campfires and clean, cold air. Since we are in love with Maine, and the North Shore is at the same latitude at Acadia and therefore seriously resembles it, and we can get our Maine fix without a plane ride, the North Shore is a little piece of paradise.

Rszlodge Marc planned the stay and got us a condo at the Lutsen Resort, complete with champagne upon arrival and a nice big whirlpool tub overlooking the beautiful shore. The resort was lovely, the food was amazing, but the grounds - wow. The Poplar River flowed through the property, and each mealtime we hiked down a nature trail from our condo on a bluff, across the river on a covered bridge, onto the beach in front of the lodge, and then up into the main building. The setting was just perfect, and we found lots of little areas to explore.

Rszgondola2 While up there we headed to Lutsen Mountain and rode the ski gondola up to Moose Mountain and hung out on the scenic overlook. As we started our ascent it was flurrying, and by the time we reached the top the sun was coming out and lighting all the hills and the lake. As we were leaving the mountain, we counted five or six deer just lollygagging on the side of the road, watching us drive by like we were no big deal.

Rszcascade2 The next day we drove into Grand Marais and had amazing chowder at a little fish shed. And on the way home we stopped at the Cascade River to see if it was anything worthwhile. Umm, yes. It was. We hiked a short way up the hill and found the falls, but then we kept hiking up and saw more falls. By the time we reached the top we'd seen four or five different levels of waterfalls, all just gorgeous. There was a footbridge that crossed the river, and then we started heading down the opposite side. At the bottom, we veered off the path and crawled under the road overpass, following the river to where it fed into Lake Superior. Just beautiful.

Rszcanconversion On Thursday, our anniversary, we decided that since we were only an hour from Canada we might as well drive up and have lunch. We headed to Thunder Bay and had fun crossing the border. Instantly the road signs were different ... whereas Thunder Bay had been about 30 miles away, the signs were suddenly saying 62. We said, "no way!" until we realized we were in metric-land. Ha ha.

Thunder Bay was very uninteresting. But we had a good lunch and then drove back home. And saw some fun signs along the way.

Friday we headed back to the Cities, and stayed in Afton, Minnesota, where we were treated to a room with a backed-up toilet, and horribly painful shower, and a slap-and-tickle performance in the room above us from midnight until 1:30 a.m., when the acrobats knocked each other off the bed and went stomping and yelling around their room for awhile. Yeegawds. Friday night sucked.

Saturday was the wedding ... I'll post pix from that later.

Rszcascademm So we did it - five days away from the kids. Amazing. The trip was beautiful (see more of the pix here) and fun and relaxing and SO long-overdue. The only bad thing is that I slept terribly each night ... so much for the idea of sleeping in and being lazy on vacation. But if that's the only bad thing, then I think we had a successful time! Can't wait until next year's First Anniversay of the Tenth Anniversary trip to Maine - for real, this time! Unless I can convince Marc we might need to step up the plan to head to Greece ...

trying to breathe

what a week it's been. my brain is officially MIA. but the wedding pix are finally done - our beautiful friends, dave and jessica, got married two weeks ago and i was fortunate enough to do their pictures. unfortunately, my camera decided to pick that weekend to come down with camera flu so there are a lot of strangely soft shots. so baby is off at the camera spa getting exfoliated right now, and luckily there were enough beautiful photos of our friends' big day to keep me from collapsing in a heap of tears. you can view the entire album here, if you like.


and since my dear camera is away for a few days, i'm using some pix from the past two weeks as my catch-up photo-of-the-day entries. deal with it. with any luck, my baby will be home in time for marc and i to head up to the north shore next week for our 10th anniversary. and then i have another wedding to shoot next saturday. so baby HAS to be home.

i'm thinking it's time to talk to marc about getting a 5D so i have a back-up camera ... ha ha.

so, i'm finally sorta back. sorta.

so. guess what *I* did today!!

Yup. Locked my daughter in the car outside of taekwondo. Had to call the police to come jimmy my door to get her out. Cuz Marc was still at work and would take an hour to get there.


One of these days I'd like to get my brain back. At this point, it doesn't even have to be my brain. Just any that's more functional than the one currently in my head would be nice.

Would have shared pix of the ordeal, but as luck would have it my camera was locked in the car as well.

Speaking of which, my photo site is up (see: little bird memories over to the left ... let me know what you think) and I have a new photo-of-the-day going for October. I know some people (ahem ... coughcoughbeccacough ...) bug me about when I'm doing another. So now you know.

Off to eat ice cream.