Friday, December 17, 2010

All I want for Christmas is my immune system back...

So I realize I haven't posted in awhile. Obviously, we have been busy with the usual holiday business. I'm assuming all of you have been busy as well or someone (and by someone, I mean one of my sisters) would have called to ask why I haven't updated lately. In addition to all of the Christmas razzle dazzle, I have been fortunate enough to contract a cold/flu simultaneously to what can only be described as a very aggressive stomach flu. Who wants to come over? On the upside, nobody else in the family seems to be this lucky. Thank goodness. My idea of mother/son bonding does not include teaching him how to best aim his vomit into the least not until college.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I like pie

I had to work the day after Thanksgiving. I was slightly disappointed to find that instead of the lunch I had meticulously prepared the night before, I had instead somehow packed 4 pieces of pie. I thought Tyson's outfit reflected my day...a little crazy and discombobulating.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

School Pictures

There are many reason's why we love Tyson's daycare.
1. We are able to share a slot with another family so we only have to pay for the part time that we use it.
2. Tyson loves it there.
3. We love the teachers.
4. They take the time to do all kinds of activities that I don't have the resources or know how to execute.
5. They take "school pictures" that totally bring back the bad hair/braces/13+ years of awkward phases from my childhood.

Luckily, my child is much more photogenic than I was growing up (Parents, sisters and orthodontists, you know what I'm talking about).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween is for grown ups too...

I know Halloween is typically all about small children and their endless quest for sugar but our neighborhood decided to have a little fun of our own, No Kids Allowed. We had quite a lot of interesting characters show up for the party.
Like Richard Simmons and a die hard fan.
Or who can forget the 34th Chilean Miner (and you thought there was only 33) and his Raggedy Ann wife.
Cruella DeVille made an appearance.
As well as Mike and Carol Brady! (what this picture does not allow you to appreciate is my fantastic red polyester bell bottom pants and wooden clogs)
It was an absolute blast. (There were even more interesting costumes that were not entirely appropriate to post but trust that they were good) It was a party where everyone had a fantastic time and I may or may not have busted out my running man moves without shoes...on concrete. Injuries aside, this is destined to become an annual event.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scary da Dragon

I was really wondering what this halloween would bring since Tyson is a little older and perhaps would understand things a little better. The evening started out with the usual wrestling match to get him into his costume. I thought it was going to be a rough night since my sweet boy spent a fair amount of time facing away from the camera pouting (or contemplating the long term effects of more embarrassing photos would have on his future love life) and declaring (loudly) that he would NOT wear his dragon head.
But alas, he met up with a neighborly Thing 2 and was able to vent to someone about the perils of having a mother so totally uncool.
Teaching the little boys how to trick or treat started out tricky. It took a few houses before they realized that simply standing at a door yelling "knock knock" wasn't as effective as physically knocking. By the end of the night he had named his character and was running around telling everyone he was "Scary the Dragon."
I think the candy helped coerce him into loving this holiday as much as I do.

Monday, October 11, 2010


On the rare occasions that both Jason and I have the weekend off, the lazy mornings usually include eating breakfast and reading the paper. Apparently Tyson did not want to miss out on any fun. The debate over which one of us gave him the Toys R Us flyer (JASON) ensues.

Our once semi quiet ritual suddenly became filled with two year old squeals and a lot of "what's that mama?"
I have a feeling my days of christmas shopping for Tyson while he sits in the cart oblivious are long gone.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

the world is your chalkboard

Drawing has become a favorite activity in the Haak household. Tyson enjoys it because it helps develop his ability to express himself (I totally paid attention in developmental psych). I enjoy it because I enjoy seeing him happy...and sitting still.

Any good artist knows that you have to develop many techniques in order to produce good work. In Tyson's case, this involves drawing from many different perspectives.
Like the backwards twist (above picture)
or the 'on all fours' position (below picture).
And sometimes the project calls for the standard laying on the ground position.
Unfortunately, Tyson's unique style keeps him completely covered in chalk from head to toe. Fortunately, it also keeps him very happy. Choosing between clean and happy is a pretty typical struggle for the mother of a boy. I gave up on clean a long time ago...
I choose happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation...

Years ago when my requirements for furniture included cheap and "functional" (meaning able to support the weight of my homework and a bowl of ramen noodles), I purchased this end table for a measly $2.50 at a garage sale. It was ugly and brown with a fantastic formica top that held up to beer bottles (sorry mom) quite well. Awhile ago, I got a great idea to give this table new life with a few coats of fun purple paint.
But then Barney the dinosaur called and wanted his signature color back. I decided to go with a neutral cream color instead.
I jazzed up the top with this great penny round charcoal tile (the picture above was pre-grout).
With this being the end result. I LOVE it.
The pros, a cute table that will never need a coaster and holds up to all the matchbox cars this two year old can throw at it. Not bad for a 2 dollar table.
PS-the fun lamp? a $5 dollar steal from goodwill.
So then I realized I still have plenty of that cream pain leftover so I turned my attention to our bill payers desk. It started out with this very red stain and old, outdated hardware.
But with a few coats of pain and some new hardware it's as good as new. I was going to paint the insert at the top but I kind of like the two tone look (or I am too lazy to fix it, your call).
Jason finished it off by drilling holes in the back to turn those little cubbies on the top into a full charging station for our electronics.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bribery: not above it.

In the Haak house, mealtimes are almost always a battle.
Since the beginning of solid foods we have tried everything to get this stubborn (inherited from his daddy...obviously) little guy to eat anything. Our various tactics included everything from distraction to hiding pureed fruits and veggies in anything I could. After all of these things failed we've moved on to a new plan...
This is Tyson's new bribe, I mean reward chart (Forgive the poor photography). If he tries something new or eats really really well, he gets a sticker. You may be impressed by the amount of stickers on there...but you fail to remember I haven't told you how many many days/weeks this thing has been around.
Jason and I are the least picky eaters ever so we are completely baffled at our child who would rather have a glass of milk any day versus putting something in his mouth to chew it. Is this the right tactic? We have no idea. If anyone has any suggestions, we are open. Otherwise, just point me back to this post when Tyson is 16 and eating everything he sees...perhaps then I will be grateful for the inexpensive grocery bills.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day weekend

Labor day weekend started out with the plan to do a whole lotta' nothing with a little puttering around the house thrown in. Then we heard about the Thresheree (yep, I spelled that right) going on at a nearby town. While looking at old tractors and steam engines aren't really my favorite ways to spend free time, I knew my farm grown husband and little boy would be in heaven.
Surprisingly enough, it was pretty fun. Tyson was in his glory and even sat on one of the running tractors.

...but only after the neighbor boys tried it first:)
I think this is what heaven looks like from a two year old boys perspective.

This is what heaven looks like from a mama's perspective.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dance dance revolution

Although this post will be short as I am recovering from Strep Throat (seriously, who gets strep throat as an the summer???), I think you will still enjoy it. I caught Tyson dancing to some sesame street tunes and was able to capture a small bit of it on film. This kid has one heckuva booty dance....obviously learned from his father.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's a nice day in Stepford

And the worst blogger ever award goes to...

Sorry guys. I just haven't been able to get my act together enough to update frequently. I blame this on 2 reasons.
1. I am a suburban mom who drives a minivan and finds joy in organizing my pantry with all kinds of little bins. The ones that I used to see in magazines like Better Homes and Gardens and shake my head thanking the Gods that I had more interesting things going on my life than that poor lady. I have unintentionally morphed into that lady. Basically, my life, while enjoyable to me, probably doesn't inspire anyone to sit and read about my new recipe for sweet potato muffins (which, P.S., is phenomenal).
I recently stumbled upon this discovery when Jason and I were talking about how some people change drastically when they meet a significant other. We both agreed that he hadn't really changed at all (other than always putting the toilet seat down-can I getta woot woot?!). Then I thought about myself and the fact that I now love cooking and cleaning and organizing and sewing and scrapbooking and...basically everything I used to find painfully boring. My Banana Republic card has suddenly been replaced by Jo-Ann's fabric coupons. I have been trained ladies and gentleman....and didn't even realize it was happening.

2. The other reason why I have been unable to get to my computer is what I call a pre-nesting phenomenon. I am NOT pregnant. However, the second we started talking (just talking!) about having another child I broke into a cold sweat and began running around trying to get caught up with all my little projects before we even consider trying. Suddenly I have found myself simultaneously trying to refinish an ugly end table, sell our very un-kid friendly light yellow living room furniture, and get caught up with 5+ years of pictures to organize/put in albums. I know that someday (which is NOT today-got that grandma's?) when I do find myself knocked up, I will once again suffer from what Jason and I have collectively termed, "pregnancy induced narcolepsy," which means I cannot sit down without immediately slumping over into a deep sleep. I know that these projects will remain unfinished. And they'll bug me.

The moral of this story is to beg you to bear with me through this anxiety ridden frenzy. I promise to come out of it soon....just as soon as I finish those muffins.

Friday, July 30, 2010


There was a time when I was afraid of toddlers. Nay, terrified would be a better word. To me, they appeared full of endless energy (true), void of reason (sometimes true) and really great at finding trouble (usually true). Oh yeah, and they are kind of loud too.
Now I have a toddler. I won't sugar coat it. It can be exhausting chasing a naked (un-potty trained) kid through the house while trying to explain that his super hero jammies are dirty so the monkey pj's will have to do. It's also a complete riot watching them develop their own personalities complete with quirks and idiosyncrasies.

This particular day Tyson was developing an interest in trying to put on Jason's sandals.
When he finally got them on, he stood straight up, looked me in the eye and said proudly: "daddy's shoes. I cute!"

Some other little gems he has blessed us with are his frequent attempts at showing off some new skill while yelling "ta-ya!" (which, when translated means ta-da).
Or who can forget the day I was getting ready when Tyson said, "mama, you have cute shirt and pants on." I don't know if Jason had coached him in my absence but who cares. The sooner my little nugget learns how to compliment a woman, the easier his life will become:)
Luckily these moments happen daily and are always good for a laugh. Because no matter how challenging parenting is, the "love you mama's" make everything better. The universe knew this cuteness was crucial to the design of toddlers. Otherwise there might have been a whole lot of only children out there.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Because everyone needs a cape...

The cape has an interesting history in my family. My sisters and I have all owned/donned a cape at some point in our lives. I know you're probably thinking, 'big deal lady, what kid doesn't run around with a dish towel tucked into his/her shirt pretending to be a superhero?' (sidenote: I actually used the dish towels to create a nuns habit but that's a topic for another day). I mean our adult selves have all been wearing a cape for one reason or another. With the help of my mom (because who else could make red pleather boot covers?), I made a kickin' wonder woman costume my freshman year in college. I will not be including a picture for many (many) reasons but you'll have to take my word for it that I was indeed wearing my cape.
My sister Jo owns a cape. Currently. She's an art teacher. And she's Jo.
My sister Jen made a cape out of an old t-shirt to wear underneath her clothes on the day of her GRE exams. She wanted to feel it's super powers so she would rock the exams...and to take over for Clark Kent in the case of an emergency.
I guess I've never asked my sister Julie if the cape has made it into her adult life but with her love for halloween and anything to make life more fun, I would be more surprised to hear that she hasn't owned her own cape.
So when I saw these Captain Adorable pajamas in Tyson's size (on sale!) with cape included, I knew I had hit the jackpot. He immediately had to wear them at grandma's on our recent trip to South Dakota.

The moral of this story is that everyone needs a cape...
but pants are optional.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stuck in the middle with you...

Hey all-
Well we are smack dab in the middle of our "summer vacation." Our trip to Oklee, MN for the centennial was an absolute blast. It was wildly hot but full of fun. Now we are in South Dakota and get to do the whole big celebration thing all over again for Jason's all school reunion (because when you grow up in a tiny town like both Jason and I did, the whole school gets together instead of just the class).
I've already got some great pictures to post but they will have to wait until we are home. Right now I'd better tend to the cape wearing, piano playing, pantless toddler that is my child.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

ode to a father: part 2

I am girl number 4 in my family lineup so by the time I came along, my dad was a seasoned pro.

My dad has done a great many things in his life. He has spent many years as an educator, coach and administrator but has also done everything from farm work to cement work. Because of him, I learned that I am not too good for any job.
I learned all kinds of other things as well. For example, in his infinite wisdom my dad taught me that it is better to be pissed off than pissed on. A statement that my sister Jo learned firsthand during an unfortunate incident when we were in Italy.
I learned the importance of education.
I learned that girls can do anything.
I learned that there is no replacement for hard work.
I learned that you can in fact, get pulled over for speeding while driving a school bus.
I learned the value of reverse psychology through burnt potato chips. (ps-dad, we all still love the burnt chips).
I learned never to say "I wish..." in front of him so as to prompt the old "wish in one hand, sh#* in the other to see which one fills up" saying.
I learned that a father's love for his girls is unconditional...even when they all have poodle perms and braces.
I am lucky enough that my dad is still around to keep teaching me things. And to teach my son things.
Love you dad.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ode to a father: part 1

Two years ago, you became a father. I won't lie, it took me awhile to adjust to life as a parent. Not you. You were made for this.

You instantly became a teacher, cuddler, catch player, lego builder, loving disciplinarian.
Not surprisingly, he watches everything you do trying to be exactly the same.
Little does he know that he was born that way:) Lucky for me, now there are two people like you in this world.

*pictures from Heather Rae Photography*

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My post will be short today as I'd rather spend the day trying to absorb the fact that my son is two. TWO! We've had a very busy week so more to come later. I love you Tyson:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rubber ducky, you're the one...

Our bath time routine goes a little something like this...
Step 1. Line up all toys very precisely on the tub ledge so as to have an audience.
Step 2. Examine all body parts to make sure everything remains intact. Also, scrub belly button with toothbrush. Or face. Or toes. Basically, scrub everything but your teeth.
Step 3. Throw a fit when getting hair/body washed. (I refrained from taking pictures at this point so I could concentrate on the slippery toddler)
Step 4. Watch every last drop go down the drain because you are told you have to get out once the water was gone.
Step 5. Look really adorable.