Category Archives: Auntie Alice

S is for Stuff

In an effort to get myself caught up, here are a few recent happenings.

The James Taylor/Carole King concert was incredible.  My mom, sister and I had such a great time.  It was a pretty emotional experience for all of us, but the best part for me was when my mom leaned over, grabbed my arm and said, “I can’t believe this is actually happening.  I never thought I’d see them together.  And with the two of you.”  I don’t know if I’ll share that kind of a musical connection with my kids, but I sure hope I do. 

Lukas had surgery to have tubes put in his ears at the beginning of June.  Yes, I realize I wrote an entire post chewing out an urgent care doctor when he suggested tubes, but it really wasn’t about the tubes.  It was about his terribly arrogant behavior.  We knew tubes were a definite posibility and when Lou hit seven ear infections in about nine months our pediatrician decided it was time.  I wasn’t nearly as worried about the surgery as I was about not being able to feed or water my child for six hours beforehand.  Lukas is an eater.  The only sign he’s ever used is the one for milk – and he does that while he’s still laying in his crib in the morning.  How in the heck were we going to avoid major meltdowns?  Fortunately he was so distracted by everything going on around him that he didn’t even notice the three hour delay caused by an emergency c-section in our operating room.  He handled the surgery wonderfully and spent the rest of the day eating like a frat boy.  It was actually kind of hilarious to see everything he packed away.  Poor kid probably though we were going to starve him again.

The thing that’s been occupying most of my brainpower for the last several weeks (months) is the fact that we were preparing to buy Bjorn’s great aunt’s farm.  We officially closed on Monday.  This is very, very exciting for Bjorn and I’m excited for him.  Unfortunately I’m not quite as enthusiastic about it.  I think the farm part will be okay.  I’m definitely a city girl, but I’ve known all along that it will be much easier for me to live in the country than it would be for Bjorn to live in the city.  I’ll learn my way around.  My problem lies in the moving back to our hometown aspect.  I never say never because it always seems to come back to bite you but I honestly never wanted to move back home (a fact I wasn’t 100% upfront about because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings).  I love my family and my inlaws and am really looking forward to being so near to them, however it adds a new set of challenges to creating our own life.  In  a small town six degrees of separation drops to about 3.  I’ve had people come up to me and tell me they know my parents, shake my hand and never tell me their own name.  I often get “Oh, you’re that Hoffman girl” or “You married that Olson boy” and while they’re both true and I know these people don’t mean any harm it’s still very frustrating to me.  I feel like I’ll always be someone’s daughter or daughter-in-law or wife or mom or sister or cousin, never just Anna.

One of the things I’ve liked best about living where we do now is the anonymity.  In a small town with so much family nearby it’s going to be next to impossible to do anything without everyone finding out.  The other part of this is that I’ fear running into people that still expect me to be the person I was in high school.  While I’ve always been me, I made decisions back then that I’m not proud of.  I’d hate for people to base their opinion of me or my extended family on a past mistake.  I was a very shy and insecure person and while I’m still insecure I’ve come a long way in breaking out of my shell.  It seems that shy people are viewed in two ways – sweet or stuck up.  Sadly, I think I fell on the stuck up side and it really impacted my relationships. 

Bjorn made a very insightful comment the other night (and I have to tell you he has been incredibly supportive of my feelings throughout all of this, if our roles were reversed I can’t say that I would have the same level of patience) that most people aren’t able to be their true selves during high school.  We’re too focused on fitting in that we change aspects of our personalities to better suit the people around us.  I think this is especially true in small towns where there are fewer activities and fewer people to engage.  I couldn’t wait to go to college and meet a whole new set of people that were maybe a little more like me. 

Don’t get me wrong, we have friends there.  People we love that love us back.  People that will accept us no matter what.   I’m looking forward to growing those friendships.  While people that live in small towns might like to gossip and they can be catty, they are also the very first to show up when you need help and they never expect anything (except maybe a few beers) in return. 

This went off in a much different direction than I intended but it feels good to have gotten it out.  You can expect to see pictures of the renovations happening at Green Acres (“good-bye city life” and yes, that’s what we’re calling the farm).  We have a lot of work to do.


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Filed under Auntie Alice, Bjorn, Grandma Kiki, Green Acres, Life, Lukas

T is for Troubadours

James Taylor and Carole King.  Tomorrow night.  With my mom and sister. 

Their music will forever remind me of my mom banging the vacuum into my bedroom door and singing at the top of her lungs on Saturday mornings.  Seeing them in concert together is something that has been on my life list since junior high.  I am so excited!

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Filed under Auntie Alice, Family, Grandma Kiki

Week in Review – 28

So a bit of Week 28 is here, but it’s not very positive.  Week 28 was rough for me, fortunately Lukas made it more bearable.

Sunday 7/26 – Saturday 8/1

Sunday – I love to paint rooms.  For a while it was a bit of an obsession, until Bjorn put a moratorium on all painting projects at the Olson house.  Fortunately our friends John and Erica needed some help with a few rooms at their house and I gladly offered up my services.  Surprisingly Bjorn offered to help me paint and I am really, really glad he did.  Those long arms make for short work with a roller and my forte really is the cutting in – we’re a great team.  Lukas spent the afternoon with Grandpa Jim while Bjorn and I knocked out the painting in no time.  We celebrated the completion of the project with pizza for dinner. 

Before we headed down to CF I was ironing clothes and put Lukas in a laundry basket to play while I worked.  After awhile he decided it would be great fun to PULL HIMSELF UP!  I couldn’t believe it.  I quietly got Bjorn’s attention and he grabbed the camera.  Of course the shots I got weren’t quite as good as seeing it in person but it’s definitely a milestone.

Monday – Stomach bug, sleep, picked up the house, more sleep.

Tuesday – Met with Lukas’ new daycare provider.  Cried a little.  Spent the evening with Lukas while Bjorn played softball.

Wednesday – Confrontation.  More crying.  Lukas started really getting the hang of crawling.

Thursday – I finally bought a little calendar this week so I can take notes each day.  I am completely blanking on what we did on Thursday. 

Friday – Lukas had his last day with Auntie Alice in Cannon Falls.  I went down to pick Lukas up and rather than head to Carna’s to watch the car parade we opted to go home instead.  My stomach still wasn’t right and I just wanted a quiet night.  Bjorn went to the Twins game and got home late due to extra innings and light rail.  We stayed up for a while talking.  We’d both had a busy week so it was nice to just catch up with each other.

Saturday – Lounged around the house and ran errands in the morning.  Bjorn went to Lanesboro to play in a softball tournament in the afternoon and my awesome parents came up to visit.  My mom watched Lukas while I threw a bunch of projects at my dad.  Something was out to get us – every single project we had on the list had some sort of weird problem associated with it.  Studs were in the wrong place for the curtain rods, the wiring in the electrical outlet was too short and on and on.  We managed to push through most of it but a few things are waiting to be finished.  The day was capped off with Chinese from Chan’s (If you’re local it’s on Cedar and Dodd by Cub.  Go.  You will not be disappointed.) 

I just realized that not much of the above is about Lukas.  He’s been such a champ lately.  I did not love the newborn baby stage, but I think I have a crush on 6.5 months.  He’s just so adorable and fun.  His personality is really starting to develop and he’s quite the charmer.  He’s getting more motivated to crawl.  He hates to eat anything that’s green (just like his dad) but loves bananas, carrots and applesauce.  He babbles and screeches and squeals.  He loves playing “SO BIG, so little”, “I Squeeeeeeeze You” and “Smoosh Your Face”.  For the past few weeks he’s been going to sleep around 7:30, waking up at 4 for about 15 minutes to eat and then back down until about 6.  Maybe he’s so much more fun because we’re actually getting some sleep?  Bjorn made a comment this week about how we’re starting to get a good glimpse of what Lukas will be like as he grows.  It is so, so true.  I love watching him accomplish new things and while I may get a little teary over the fact that it’s all happening so fast, I am so excited to watch his life unfold.

Lukas Smirk

More and more people are saying he looks like me, but this smirk?  Is 100% Bjorn.

Laundry Basket

Standing up!  And giving mama a heart attack!

Laundry Basket 2

Haha!  Did you see what I just did?  No?  Well, I’m not doing it again.  Pbbbbbbbt.

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Filed under Auntie Alice, Bjorn, Family, Grandma Kiki, Grandpa Jim, Lukas, Weekly Recaps

Week in Review – 27

Sunday 7/19 – Saturday 7/25

Sunday – Church, home for lunch and a nap, then to Target for Lukas’ six month pictures.  I was really happy with the service and the quality of Lukas’ three month pictures so I was anticipating the same experience.  Unfortunately our photographer was very odd – she seemed older than my mom and had hot pink, manic panic-style highlights.  I’m all for self expression and if she would have been more fun to work with I probably would have given her kudos for rocking such a fun hairstyle, instead it just came across as weird.  Lukas had fallen asleep in the car on the way to Target and was not in an ideal photoshoot mood, however the way she handled him didn’t do any of us any favors.  She waited reaaaaaaaaaally long to take each shot and kept shooting us ‘help me’ looks when he’d put his feet in his mouth or get himself into his push-up stance.  Hey, put him on his back, toes go in the mouth.  Belly=pushups.  If there was something we could do about it we would.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the final shots.  We got some really good ones even if she didn’t quite capture his trademark smile. 

After the pictures it was back home for a few chores and some rest.  The we headed to UMore Park so I could cross something off my Thirty Before 30 list.  As we were walking out the door I asked Bjorn if I should bring the point and shoot in addition to my film SLR.  He said no so I left it behind – I’d soon discover that was a mistake.  We got to the park, got Lukas loaded in the new backpack and started to wander.  My camera batteries died ten shots in.  I was pretty disappointed, but I figured it still counts enough to cross it off.  I’ll just have to go back to get the rest of the pictures.  We had a fun time and the park is gorgeous.  It was a nice, peaceful cap to the week.

Monday – I left work early to accompany Auntie Alice to a technical interview at a salon in Burnsville.  Long story short, I got a great haircut and Alison got a new job, meaning the hunt for a new daycare for Lukas is on.  My parents watched Lukas while I was getting beautified so I made dinner for all of us.  Lukas had his first taste of green beans – not a fan, but he’s getting the hang of eating from a spoon.

Wednesday – Had Alison color my hair to go along with the new haircut.  Am now very, very blonde, but I really like it. 

Friday – Bjorn, Lukas and I visited a potential daycare.  It was a great place and had a lot to offer but we weren’t sure about the location.  We had a few more places lined up to visit and were glad that we started off the search on a positive note.  Friday night Bjorn and I headed to Billy’s to celebrate my friend Katie’s going away party.  Katie’s leaving in two weeks to teach in GREECE.  I’m not jealous.  Not at all.  Bjorn and I had a great time just hanging out, talking and enjoying a few drinks.  Lukas stayed at home with Uncle E.  While this wasn’t the first time we’ve left Lukas for an evening out, it was the first time we’d left him at our house with a babysitter.  He generally just spends the night with one of the grandparents if we have nighttime plans.  This was also Uncle E’s first babysitting experience.  While I did make Bjorn call once (or twice) it worked out wonderfully. 

Saturday – Got up to take care of some chores around the house and then went to meet Katie for pedicures and lunch.  We had the nail salon to ourselves and it was so nice to be able to sit and chat,  just the two of us.  I may have said it before, but Katie is one of THOSE friends.  The ones that just get you.  That like you for who you are and forgive your past mistakes.  I am going to miss her incredibly.  Fortunately we have Skype, email and quite a few frequent flier miles that will hopefully bridge the distance.  We went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch and shared our traditional Flying Gorilla. 

I stopped at a few places on the way home to look for mirrors to complete the downstairs bathroom remodel but didn’t find anything that fit the bill for under $200.  I came home, did a few more chores and then headed out to run errands with Lukas.  He was getting cranky and I’ve found that sometimes the best cure for it is to take him out where he can people watch.  So we headed to one of my least favorite stores – the Apple Valley Wal-Mart.  It was the ONLY place I hadn’t looked for a bathroom mirror and wouldn’t you know it?  I found a perfect option and for only $30!  I also picked up a few inexpensive plants and a few other odds and ends.  We also went to Target and Lukas managed to charm every person we came across.  It was so fun to watch. 

Tuesday and Thursday were skipped intentionally.  Nothing of note happened.


27 Weeks

These pajamas were one of the very first baby items I ever purchased.  I was at a garage sale with Maureen a few months after Bjorn and I started trying.  I didn’t buy anything else until I knew I was pregnant but I just had to have these pajamas. 

Lukas Sweet Potatoes

Mmm, sweet potatoes.  Much better than green beans.



While it might not look like it here, Lukas LOVES hanging out in the hammock.  You can also see my newly light blond hair.


Filed under Auntie Alice, Bjorn, Family, Lukas, Thirty Before 30, Uncle E, Weekly Recaps