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June 27, 2008


It's another strange time for us. I've gone ahead to Iowa City for my orientation, while Aimee and Adelaide stay with her parents and wait for the current occupants of our house -which is undamaged by flooding (I know that news should have appeared in this a couple of weeks ago, sorry.)- to move out.

Despite the fact that I've only been gone for four days, and despite the fact that it is nice to take a break from parenting, it's hard to be absent from my family. Adelaide is just starting to really converse on the phone, and during my frequent calls she'll tell me about her life and we'll sing songs together, and I'll have difficulty deciding between laughing and crying.

But this time is a nice reminder of how lucky we are not to be separated regularly or for long periods of time. And in celebration of our long period of togetherness, here are some previously unseen pictures of our adventures.

Here's one from our Bemidji trip that I really like. The statue of Paul Bunyan is about three times my height, and Adelaide is a little more than 1/3 my height.

And here we are at Animal Land, the largest private family zoo in the nation (using, I'm pretty sure, a very specific and narrow definition of "private family zoo").

Sartell had its summer festival a few weeks ago, complete with parade. Adelaide quickly caught on to the idea of scurrying out into traffic in chase of thrown candy, and collected quite a bag of barely edible sugary delights. We're now trying to divert her frequent requests for her bag of candy into discussions of potty training and the kinds of sugary delights that are given to girls who use the potty. It's slow going.

My solitude ends tomorrow, as Aimee tells me the moving truck has been expertly packed up, the poopship has been loaded onto a tow dolly, and they are all set to haul our earthly possessions down I-35 and across I-80 for six-to-seven hours and then unload 'em all again. On my end, all the papers are signed, I'm in possession of a key, and no one seems to have thought better about lending us hundreds of thousands of dollars, so very soon we'll all be together again in our new home.

June 10, 2008

Summer Comes to Minnesota

Wading Pool

Since our departure from Vermillion, we've been kickin' it in Minnesota with our families.

Early on, after the U-Haul was returned and our possessions safely stowed in a 10x15 square foot storage cube, we ventured north and visited Molly and Doug in Bemidji. We introduced Adelaide to the Mighty Mississip at Itasca's headwaters; we took a glorious 12-mile bike ride up hill and down at Itasca; we shook hands with Paul and Babe on Lake Bemidji; we met the tigers, lemurs, camels, and deer of Animal Land; we took a strolling tour of the farm, picked countless woodticks off of one another, happened upon an Indigo Bunting and a Grosbeek at Molly's feeders, and patted Numa and Breezy (the horses) often. We enjoyed a relaxing, memorable time at Molly and Doug's, and left the camera at home ... Growl.

Upon our return to St. Cloud, all of our Ready-to-Move energy has been put to good use in the form of Household Projects ... Joel and Dad have tackled landscaping projects. We've painted walls at nearly everyone's house, all the while scheming about our own color schemes and plans. But, we're managing to relax and see the sights, too!

Golf Cart

Beginning with Golf ... We have been golfing a lot. And by we, I mean Joel. Joel can be found out on The Links every other day, shaving points off his score and trying to improve his drives. Adelaide and I are mostly along for the ride.

Chicken a la Zoo

One beautiful Saturday, we took in the sounds and smells of the animals of the Minnesota Zoo ... Adelaide had a blast at the petting zoo and successfully rattles off the names of the animals she chanced to see: "Goat, Chicken, Bunny, Cow ... Shark." It was a good day.

Tasting Party at MCM

Today we took advantage of the family children's museum membership we purchased in Iowa City and played for nearly three hours at the St. Paul Children's Museum; our membership in Iowa allows us free access to other cool museums in the US. Adelaide and I pretended to munch plastic corn cobs, oranges, tarts, and chicken legs at a mock feast.

Turt-laide at MCM

We have encountered many turtles in our short Minnesota stay, including a timid painted turtle at a park/wetland behind my parents' home, so when Adelaide had a chance today to "try on" a turtle's vestments she dove right in!

Conversations with Puppets

All day long Adelaide played and pretended, but to Joel and I said only the necessary words, like "Me need 'nack" (translation: I would like a little something to eat, please) and "Me go 'dere" (translation: I would like to explore that exhibit, please). The exception was an animated conversation she had with Joel via a beaver puppet.