Adieu, Fair Kermit

Well, it’s inevitable. You look at your 4-door sedan, in this case a 2010 Toyota Corolla, and say, “Hmmm … it doesn’t seem like three car seats will fit in this thing.” With BG3 soon to arrive, such was the situation for yours truly. So just the other weekend, Adam braved the hellish process that is car shopping to bring us a Toyota Sienna minivan.

Ta da! Meet the as-yet-to-be-named newest member of the family. The light tan color is called crème brûlée, so we may end up calling him Krenn brûlée. haha! (Credit for corny pun goes to Grandpa K.)
new car!

Since we have a two-car garage and two drivers, we knew early on that it wouldn’t make sense to keep our friend Kermit, much as we love him. (As you may recall, we also purchased Kermit’s younger brother, Herr Wägen, back in 2011.)

Kermit’s humble origins trace back to a Boston dealership, where we found and purchased him in August of 2010. Energetic and shiny green (Capri Sea Metallic, if we’re being completely accurate), Kermit was our first new car purchase following several years sans vehicle. His first big trip was to Acadia National Park in Maine …
Kermit MA

and afterward, he capably took us around the city, receiving the inevitable ‘love taps’ that come with frequent parallel parking. But if Kermit was annoyed, he didn’t complain – such is his stalwart character. :) In April 2011, Kermit left the big city and made the 1400+ mile trek (via a comfortable car transport carrier) to Kansas. And the rest, as they say, is history.
buddy kermit

Yes, I made Adam take this picture before he took Kermit to the dealership to trade in. Um, sentimental much?? haha … I’m reminded of this scene from Toy Story 3. (Don’t worry, unlike that movie-going experience, I wasn’t letting loose with loud, embarrassing sobs when we sold Kermit. But I will admit to a wistful sigh … )

Thank you for your service, dear Kermit. I will remember you fondly as we embark on this new minivan phase of life. And welcome, Sienna. You may be the size of a tank, but you have big shoes to fill (especially when it comes to transporting these crazies!).
gold shoe gang

April Shenanigans

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmas, expecting moms and honorary moms out there! Speaking of holidays, since it’s technically the Easter season for a few more weeks, here’s an Easter greeting from our driveway.
easter chalk

Chalk all over my pants? Sure sign of a good time! :)
chalk pants

In the week following Easter, we were thrilled to welcome Uncle Dan, Aunt Mimi, Granny Sue and Grandpa Bill to KC for cousin Coleen’s wedding. (Oh, and Granny Sue had to get her regular check-up from Dr. Claire.)
doc claire

reading with GWB

posing with mimi

We got to see lots of our extended family, both those who live in the area and out-of-state visitors. Mom’s cousin Katie is our new favorite buddy. Seriously … we wish we could hire this girl to be our regular babysitter!
new fav buddy

Our Great Grandma and Grandpa were there too … yay!
loungin' with GG

Let’s get this party started!
hmm ... interesting!

heavy lifting

haha … just kidding. I wasn’t drinking Great Uncle Mike’s beer. Just showing off the ol’ heavy lifting skills. :) I was, however, super excited to sample the tasty pizza from our talented chefs.
pizza makers

Mom and Dad had a great time at the wedding on Saturday. A wonderful day with a beautiful couple!
happy couple

Claire and I weren’t at the evening festivities, but we hear that it was a crazy fun party. Here’s Aunt Mimi, cousin Graham, cousin Theresa (sorry for the scary eyes), Uncle Dan and Aunt Lore the friendly photobomber.
wedding good times

Hooray for local weddings! (Don’t get us wrong, we like the out-of-town ones too, but you can’t beat the 15-minute drive to this one!) Who wants to get married in KC next? I’ll be swinging while you think on that. :)
swingin' lady

Countdown = One Month

Yep – just about a month (give or take) until we meet BG3! Better make room on that couch, ladies …
couch crazies

But if that doesn’t work, there’s always the larger version. :)
easter photo attempt

In case you were wondering, we don’t actually intend to put a tiny baby on any couches for a while … haha. Gotta master the whole head control thing, not to mention navigating one’s way alongside these crazies …

I’m pleased to report that things are going well — just chugging (waddling) along.

It’s interesting to be at this point (eighth month of pregnancy) and think back on the array of questions/comments I have received, particularly in the third trimester. Here are a few of my favorites from this time around:

Man to his two young children, me within earshot: “Ooo … look, girls – there’s a pregnant lady!” (To approximate his tone of voice, just replace ‘pregnant’ with ‘bearded’. That’s right, kids – The circus is comin’ to town!!)

Lady at the grocery store: “So, are you going to try for more after this?” Me: “Well, I sorta figured I’d ‘try’ for this one first … ” (Oh, but I’ll be sure to contact you, random stranger, to discuss my future plans … haha.)

Of course, remarks from kids are always entertaining, and Claire’s preschool classmates have more than delivered: “Claire, your mom’s belly is GIANT.” “Hey – Claire’s mom! Did you know that I have a baby in my tummy too?”

Happy Friday, all! Hope yours is just as amusing. :)

Florida Firsts

Aaaand we’re back! The busy times continue. We’d be remiss, though, if we didn’t post a recap of last month’s fabulous Florida vacation. We had a wonderful spring break with Granny Sue and Grandpa Bill in Orlando. As a special bonus, we were also able to meet up with Melissa (Mom’s friend from HS) and her family and Stacey (Mom’s friend from ND).

All in all, it was a relaxing week full of ‘firsts’, which we’ll share with you now.

First trip to Disney*
disney gang

*When you think of Orlando, we’re guessing that Disney is one of the first things that comes to mind. In our case, “Disney” refers to the Downtown Disney Area, which is FREE … haha. Yeeaaah … Mom entertained the theme park idea for about 2.5 seconds. Then she saw the ticket prices, and that was that. She says we’ll save it for a time when I’m tall enough for the rides and can remember more of the experience. It’s cool. I was quite content to stroll past the shops with Grandpa Bill and play in the Legoland store with Granny Sue.

downtown disney


Our condo facility had a number of fun pools that we frequented during our stay. Molly and I were excited to wear our new swim suits. :)
poolside bear

molly lounger

This pool’s major claim to fame? It gave us our first water slide adventure!
fun pool people

I lost track of how many times I went down the slide with Dad and Grandpa Bill. There were two options, and I preferred the slide “without a top” (as I called it). Who wants a cramped tunnel when you can have the thrill of the open air? Yep … gotta love those topless slides! (haha … sorry, Mom can’t resist a bad joke.)

After lots of swimming and sliding, our favorite activities were, of course, the lounging and snacking.
reflecting pool

molly pool burrito

Midway through our week, we enjoyed another neat activity  (and one not likely to be repeated for a while) – our first ride in a swan boat! I hired the finest boat drivers I could find to chauffeur me around in my white chariot.
swan boat buddies

As you’d guess, we spent most of each day outside. Back in the condo, I played games of Uno with Grandpa Bill and Dad. It may be difficult to tell, but this is a picture of me looking a little too excited to play my “Draw 4″ card and make Grandpa pick up extra cards. Muuuwaaahaahaha!
draw 4, grandpa!

Here’s me and Granny Sue reading one of my favorite books of late – Miss Nelson is Missing. I’d be happy to recite it for you, word for word, at your earliest convenience. :)
miss nelson

Oh, and if you’re looking for super sophisticated dining companions to accompany you on your travels, look no further!
love dinner!

this good!

clean plate club

Yep – classy ladies!

And last but not least, this trek included our first visit to the Atlantic Ocean. Woohoo! We’ve waded in the Pacific during trips to see family in California, but this was my first time (and Molly’s) on the opposite coast.

look! the ocean!

Look! Waves!

admiring waves

My sister’s activity of choice: digging in the sand (closely followed in popularity by the burying o’ the feet).
happy beach lady

ocean gang

Thanks to Granny Sue and Grandpa Bill for an excellent Florida vacation! It was just the break that we needed. :) More good times with family to come in our next post!
sweet sisters


Dear Blog,

You feel neglected lately, and I’m sorry about that. March has been quite the crazy month for the Munchkrennlanders. I know, I know; you’re not interested in excuses. Would you forgive us if I told you that we had a bad case of stomach flu early in the month?  (Trust me – you don’t want the gory details.) Or that we were out of town in mid-March? (Don’t worry – this was 1000% more fun than the aforementioned plague.)

Still harboring some resentment? Would a bunch of pictures make you feel better? See below for a recap of the past few weeks. Oh, and I promise we’ll continue to make amends by posting lovely vacation photos soon.

Affectionately yours,

The Munchkrennland gang

smiley snow people

March 1 brought snow and happy sledders

snow riders

no hands molly

Molly prefers the “no hands” approach to sledding

biking with mimi

Aunt Mimi spent her spring break with us (yay!) just before the onset of plague (not yay!)

big girl rider

classy ladies

Classy ladies! (Guess who had the blue lollipop …)

crazy deck diners

This seems to be the Bear’s go-to expression

happy swingin lady


Adios, March! April – here we come …

Points for Creativity

It’s no secret that cleaning up – and chores in general – can be a total drag. Claire is pretty cooperative when it comes to pitching in, and we try to make a game of it whenever possible (like Mary Poppins, minus the singing and finger snapping). That said, she’ll often claim that she needs to finish what she’s doing first, or that she’s unavailable for some random reason. Most of these excuses are just what you’d expect from a three-year-old, but lately she has thrown a few surprises my way.

Case in point – This conversation, which took place the other night:

Me (surveying toys scattered throughout family room): I’d like you to help me pick up these Legos tomorrow.

Claire: I can’t help with that because I’m going to be in Michigan tomorrow.

Me: Oh, really?

Claire (in her faux apology voice): I’m brushing my teeth, and then I’m going to Michigan. Sorry about that, Mama.

crazy ol' bear

Let’s hit the road.

So, this exchange was amusing on several levels:

a.) She has never been to Michigan (unless you count the Detroit airport), nor do we really know anyone in Michigan

b.) Traveling out-of-state falls into the “above and beyond” category when it comes to excuses for chore avoidance

c.) Maybe she figures that by offering the token ‘sorry’ and shifting my focus to good hygiene that she has covered her bases?

Well, joke is on you, lady. My friend Google Maps says that it will take us more than 8 days to walk 600+ miles to Michigan. If only we could carry more provisions in the bottom of the double stroller!
chilly strollin'

Or perhaps I should start borrowing Claire’s tactics and applying them in my day-to-day life? “Mom, can you get me a snack?” “Oooo … so sorry … I’m going to be in Michigan.” :)

Cabin Fever

While we’ve had quite the mild winter when compared with some of our friends, we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting indoor activities (lest the cabin fever set in!).

We had a few bouts of illness earlier this month, which called for the ever-popular “resting on the couch with Dad” remedy. (This one is a favorite whether sick or well, actually.) And it probably won’t surprise you that the sicky-sick grossness was accompanied by two other pastimes: the “watching of waaay too much Dora the Explorer” and the “eating of lots of bland foods.”


Fortunately, we’re back to feeling like ourselves again, which means that our list o’ indoor fun can include things like “riding super fast horses with jolly Molly” …
ridin' molly

and “hibernating in homemade caves with the fearsome C. Bear.”
bear tent

Off to a good start, I’d say! As it happens, cold weather is also conducive to Saturday strolls around Costco. Free samples as far as the eye can see! Claire scored a lovely (read: random) assortment of treats on her last visit – pizza, spinach ravioli, tuna on a cracker (her favorite), tilapia with mango salsa, and seaweed salad (only Dad was brave enough for this one).

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the sickness we referred to earlier was not caused by this umm … interesting … collection of culinary delights … haha.

Have other suggestions for taming the stir crazy winter blahs? It’s hard to imagine what could be better than Costco, but we’re all ears! :)

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