Archive for July, 2011

A Dramatic Retelling of Moo Baa La La La (…In One Act)

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Books have always been big in the Jensen household.  In the current rotation there are the following titles:

All the pigeon books.  All of them.

There’s an Alligator Under My Bed

The Pout Pout Fish

Three Billy Goats Gruff (with scary troll voice done by Daddy)

Under the Banner of Heaven

The Gruffalo

…and Moo Baa La La La which was one we were reading to him since he was a wee one.  We think its fun because of the rhyming. Bjorn has decided that reading time is now an interactive experience–which is a-okay by us.  Here is his dramatic interpretation of Moo Ba La La La

Revisionist History: Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Well, according to Lars’ photographs, the last time Lars and I went to Saugatuck Dunes State Park was July 21, 2007–almost exactly FOUR YEARS AGO.  I remember that day-trip as one of my favorites in Michigan and just loving Saugatuck Dunes Beach.  This could have been a result of the fact that I read a majority of the last Harry Potter installment on that beach while Lars hiked around and played in the water–but I’m glad to report that four years, one husband, one two year old, and at the conclusion of the Harry Potter movie franchise, the beach is still as enchanting as ever and undoubtedly remains my favorite in Michigan.

It is a two hour drive to Saugatuck from Ann Arbor made well worth it by the beautiful summer scenery.  Creeping rivers, expansive green trees, occasional billboards expounding the virtues of Jesus Christ (welcome to the West Side of the state of Michigan, friends).   Religious nonsense aside, its a nice drive that we were happy to make.  We arrived in Saugatuck about 1:30pm and started the half mile hike to the beach.  Armed with swim diapers, gold fish, an inflatable boat, and some good books–it had all the makings for a perfect day.  I had always thought that the half mile hike to the beach would deter some of the crowds that can be found at some of the other public beaches along the west side of the state.  In honesty, the beach wasn’t totally desolate–in fact, it was quite busy–but not so busy that we had to fight for a place to layout or have no room to maneuver in Lake Michigan.

On the hike in, Bjorn decided to channel his maternal Laver roots and threw a total temper tantrum unless he was being carried–he would not hike on said death march of one half mile.  He also was concerned about all the indigenous Michigan Monkeys to be found in the Saugatuck Dunes wildlife area.  He kept pointing to the tree tops asking about the elusive primates.  Genius. I can only attribute this to our recent obsession with the creepiest episode of “Little Einsteins” ever that involved a monkey that speaks in classical music.

Once at the beach, we set up camp and tested out the water–it was a little chilly but totally clear and very refreshing after lying in the 85+ degree heat.  Bjorn and Lars lounged in their inflatable boat and loaded up the water squirter, prepared to defend themselves….against an unknown threat.  Rogue frisbee?  Lake shark?  Damn dirty monkeys?

Bjorn also loves to play in the sand and rocks.  It is his mission in life to, slowly but surely, take all the sand of the beach and deposit it back in Lake Michigan.  One plastic shovel-load at a time.

We left around 6pm–a solid four hours at the beach with no meltdowns, lots of fun, and an entire canister of  Ranch Pringles that was eaten primarily by Bjorn.  Dinner in Saugatuck, a quick trip to the public beach in town, and a car ride home with a sleeping toddler.  It was perfect.

Photographic evidence of our perfect day can be found here.  Why we don’t go to Saugatuck every weekend is now a mystery to me.  We certainly shouldn’t let four years lapse between our sojourns to this fantastic region again.  They even have a public bathroom muralled  (not sure this is a word but for the purposes of my blog, it is now) in my favorite painting, La Grande Jatte. What more could I a girl want?

Celebrating Independence With Panache

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Happy Independence Day, America!  I started the morning with an explanation of the meaning of Independence Day to Bjorn.  He seemed to really be engrossed in my historic re-enactment of the colonies declaring their independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4th, 1776.  Just wait until I get to the part about how we modern Americans celebrate Independence Day–with fireworks, barbecues and beer/milk!

Despite the fact that this has been a long weekend for both Lars and I–it has also been jam packed and we can’t believe we’re already at the tail end of it.   Bjorn has partaken in the following activities to celebrate our independence.  I will enumerate why each one should make us proud to be an American.

  1. Dinner at the “new” Five Guys Burgers on state street.  By dinner I mean that Bjorn ate french fries.  Five Guys started in DC–our nation’s capital.   Therefore we were being patriotic?
  2. Attended the Bacon Street Fair in Kerrytown hosted by Zingerman’s and supporting Washtenaw County’s 4-H club.  While Bjorn and his buddy Lars (not his dad Lars–his buddy, Lars) ate free cookie samples;  Lars’ mom and I split a Zingerman’s baguette with spicy pimento cheese and bacon.  We tried to save room for the Bacon Apple Pie but the baguette did us in.   Soooo good.  I am not really sure what is patriotic about a Bacon Street Fair but it totally felt Americana-ish.
  3. Pool Party!  Bjorn & Lars played in Lars’ co-worker’s pool for two hours.  You can’t have the Fourth of July weekend without a pool party.  Bjorn had a blast until we had to stop him from gathering landscaping stones and trying to throw them in the pool.  Cue meltdown.
  4. Dinner Party with Joe & Al.  We had not seen our friend’s Joe & Al in a very long time and were excited to sit out on his beautiful porch, drink wine, and eat cheese and bacon bread (from aforementioned Street Fair).  Dinner was a curry chicken salad–perfect for a summer night.  Good friends are patriotic, right?  I am patriotic a lot if good friends are a part of celebrating America.

Today we are off to a backyard pool party with Bjorn’s friend Ian and his wonderful parents David & Deanna.  They are wonderful & awesome because Deanna and currently 37 weeks pregnant and they are still hosting riff-raff like Lars & I at their house for dinner get-togethers.  Ian & Bjorn are highlarious together, though–can’t wait to see what mischief they get into.

…at some point I’ll post photos.  Lars and I have been horrible photo-taking parents, lately.  I have been told the day comes when you stop taking a zillion pictures of your kid–and I don’t think we’re there.  We’re just too lazy to upload them!  Bad parents.  Bad!