Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Reality of Sharing

Cora is crawling now. Well it's more of a scoot than a true crawl. Needless to say, she is mobile. And that has turned E's world upside down. I would even venture to say that this new development has been a harder transition for E than when we first brought Cora home from the hospital. She wasn't touching his stuff then. Now it's "Oh no! Cora has my (insert whatever toy here)." Then E will take it away and Cora will cry. On the positive side, E will replace whatever he has taken away from Cora with one her "baby toys" as E likes to call them. But of course those aren't near as fun for Cora as what her big brother has. So there's been a lot of talk about sharing and modeling what taking turns looks like which can be exhausting. And honestly, it's kind of comical watching the two struggle over toys as long as I can step in before a complete meltdown from either one happens.

Mike and I agree that we don't think our kids need to share everything. That's just not a reasonable expectation to set for our kids. As adults, we don't share everything and me being an only child, I really don't share everything. Some things are mine and only mine and that's ok.

A while ago I read a story about a mother criticizing another mother at a park for not teaching her child to share. I can't remember what publication this story was in but the gist of it was that a child brought a truck to the park to play with and another child wanted to play with the truck too and the child was not sharing. The mother of the child with the truck did not intervene and make her child share. That's when the mother of the child without the truck made the criticizing comment about how that little boy must not have been taught to share. The mother defended her choice not to intervene because she felt her child had made a conscience choice to bring his truck to the park to play with and that's what the child was doing. Why should he have to give that up just because another child was upset he didn't have a truck to play with?

I find myself agreeing with this mom's logic. As adults we aren't required to share just to make someone happy. Why should we teach our children this when it's not reality? For instance, if I'm reading a book and someone sits down next to me and wants to read a book too but doesn't have one, I'm not going to automatically share my book just because sharing is the nice thing to do. There will be disappointments in life and not always getting what you want will be part of that. And yes, as an only child, I have on the rare occasion experienced the disappointment of not getting what I wanted.

Mike and I are trying to teach our children that some things we do share but it's ok to have special things that we don't always have to share. For example, E's blanket that he sleeps with every night, he doesn't need to share that with Cora. That's something that is very important to him. But when it comes to blocks, those we share. Mike and I use the phrase "that's a sharing toy" a lot. As we navigate through this lesson of sharing, I'm sure it will create some confusion for our kids on what to share and what doesn't have to be shared. It certainly is easier to teach them to share everything. But I'm hoping our approach in the long run will teach E and Cora to stand up for what is important to them but also know the importance of sharing what we have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Basement Space

Our basement is done, well almost done if we're being completely honest. Done enough that we have been practically living down there. All we have left is a few trim boards to put up and finish up the closet that is behind the couch. We love it! It may have taken us Mike along with his dad and my dad a while, but it was well worth the wait. The amount of extra space it provides our family is priceless. Instead of having all the toys crammed into our tiny livingroom, we are able to spread out downstairs. I don't think my family could survive another long Minnesota winter without this additional space. We now have a place to play basketball and race cars. I also love that I don't have to constantly pick up toys. I can simply shut the door to the basement on those days when there just isn't enough time to get organized.

Not only do we have an amazing play space, but we've created a cozy area to watch movies and relax. During this season, we've been watching more TV than normal with all the Christmas specials. It's so fun to be cuddled up in our new basement watching Christmas shows and eating popcorn. Mike and I find ourselves spending time down here as well after the kids have gone to bed.

We've also created an office area in one corner which helped Mike and I get somewhat organized with all the paperwork one seems to accumulate. And now we finally have a space where we both can comfortably write, Mike with his books and me with my blog.

After growing up in a big four bedroom farm house with lots of space inside and out, I never dreamed that I would be able to raise my family of four in a small two bedroom house, but I'm doing it. We love our location. There's quick and easy access to the city and all it has to offer and I'm reasonably close to my work. Our experience with the school district has been great and we've found a church that feels like home. We know eventually we will outgrow our home but having this basement space will help us stay in our house longer until we are truly bursting at the seams and need to make a move.

As you can see from the pictures, we get lots of use from our basement, everything from farming, jumping, and folding clothes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Last week, we had a great day for sledding. The sun was shining and the temperature was warm enough you didn't need a hundred layers to stay warm. Mike and I wanted to take E sledding. He loves the snow and big slides so we thought sledding would be right up his ally, WRONG! We were gone for about 10 minutes and E only went down the hill once.

Let me back up. When we told E we were going outside to sled he kept saying, "I want to shovel." The kid loves to shovel snow. He talks a lot about shoveling snow and gets excited when it snows. "It's really coming down." he'll say. "We'll have a lot of snow to shovel." So when E told us he wanted to shovel instead of sled, we should have known that this sledding thing was going to fail.

However, Mike and I persisted and got both kids bundled up in snow suits. Anyone who has ever done this knows what an event this can be. By the time everyone is ready to go, I'm carrying my coat, hat, and gloves because I'm sweating.  Despite the crying from both kids, Cora was tired and E wanted his shovel, we were finally loaded in the car, ready to make the two minute drive to the soccer field where there were perfect sledding hills. I even packed some snacks because I envisioned us sitting on top of the hill taking a break from all the sledding we'd be doing.

When we got there, I plopped Cora in the baby sled and pulled her to the hill so she could camp out and watch. Mike was pulling E's sled and he was slowly following behind still talking about his shovel. Mike was talking to him about sledding, really pumping it up about how cool it was going to be. There were other kids sledding and we said, "Look at those kids, doesn't that look fun?" E wanted nothing to do with it. Mike decided to take a turn to show E how fun it would be. Still nothing. I took a turn and he still just wanted to shovel. Time to bribe, we thought if E just tried it, he'd like it. We told him to go down with Dad and then he could shovel. He quickly jumped on the sled with Mike and they went down the hill. When he walked back up he said, "Ok, now can I shovel?" How can we argue with that? We brought his shovel but decided it was pointless for the whole family to just stand at the top of the hill and watch him shovel. So we loaded everyone back in the car and made the two minute drive back home and E shoveled the yard, happy as can be.

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Social Media Cleanse

I went off of social media for the month of November. It really was only Facebook and Instagram since I don't Twitter or use Snap-Whatever. I did continue to read blogs because who has time to read a book these days so that's my "reading" time. I still was on Pinterest because I do actually make a lot of the recipes I pin. I don't do much with the other thousands of things I pin but I can dream.

What prompted my cleanse was a new low I hit, I was scrolling through my newsfeed while brushing my teeth. That's low. I also would check my newsfeed and nothing would have updated, Facebook wasn't broken, I was just on it that much. Not to mention the countless minutes I was wasting. Minutes I could use wisely by being productive or heaven forbid spend time with my children. Yes, it was time for a cleanse.

I also found myself getting annoyed and even competitive by some posts from people. People I barely knew anymore. My gosh, just typing that sounds pathetic. This should not be effecting me the way it was. Again, time for a cleanse.

So today is the day I jump back on Facebook and Instagram. Did I miss it? Not really. What I missed was the connection I felt with my close friends who live far away. I miss seeing pictures of their kids and random updates about their lives. Yes, there are other ways to stay connected to those we love; email, texts, or dare I say even a phone call. During my social media cleanse, I did try calling my best friend who lives out of state. I had no idea what she or her family was up to, I missed feeling connected to her. It took us two weeks and four phone calls before we actually spoke. Who has time for that?  Facebook is easy and quick. And when my closest people live far away, that's what I want.

After my cleanse, I will be using social media differently. I like Instagram for pictures, it's a great record of daily moments and I don't follow many people on there. Honestly, I mostly follow celebrities on Instagram, it's my celebrity gossip fix. I'm going to clean up my Facebook "friends" so I'm truly connected with people who are friends. I don't care what that girl I had one class with freshman year of college is up to. I don't need to be updated on that guy who graduated from high school two years after me. I care about my friends, the real ones. The ones that it doesn't matter how much time has passed since the last time we saw each other because we pick right back up where we left off. Besides, I don't want to risk pissing them off by defriending them...they know to much about me.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful at Thanksgiving (in pictures)

Here's what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving...and all year long.

These two!

E loves Grandpa Claude's Allis Chalmers.

He likes the green ones too.

My world!

Such a good helper.

"Home of the Wicked Witch and Her Little Monsters."

Minnie Mouse
(E would not wear his Mickey Mouse costume.
He told me he was going to be Evan for Halloween.)

Punch Pizza after E's first professional haircut.
It was time, Mom kept messing it up.

Playing camping.

This lady thinks she can walk.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Rut

It's the last night of my Thanksgiving vacation. I'm sitting at my computer, with my hot chocolate and a delicious chocolate chip shortbread cookie that I made. They're almost as good as the ones at Rustica. I'm sure I can make them just as good if I keep trying but that means I need to keep making them which means I will continue to eat them. Not good. Anyway, I'm here. I'm blogging for the first time in weeks. I felt like I was in a writing rut, but then I realized, I can't be in a rut. I'm just telling my stories, there's no rut when you're telling the stories of your life. Then I thought, maybe life was in a little bit of a rut. And it kind of was. 

I felt like things were moving so fast but nothing was getting done. Life was so busy, but busy doing what? There were a few weeks when I felt like I was just floating through life in a haze. Work was stressing me out and I took it home with me. I felt angry, I felt sad, I felt helpless, and I was anxious. And then there was a moment that lifted me out of my rut. I was vulnerable with my husband. I gathered the courage to let walls down that I didn't even realize I had up. After being together for nine years, I still had insecurities I hadn't shared with him mostly because I didn't realize I had them. 

I've always considered myself a strong confident woman, but somewhere, somehow, my confidence has been shaken. I have all these insecurities of being good enough. A good enough Mom, wife, friend. Being good enough at my job so I can be promoted and make more money for my family. I shared this all with Mike and it felt good. I no longer needed to pretend that I was strong and confident and had it all together when I did not feel that way at all. That conversation helped me end my rut. 

You would think I would have no problem being vulnerable with Mike, especially after the condition I was in after E's birth. Mike was fortunate enough to have the experience of helping me put on those wonderful mesh underwear you get after having a baby. The ones that are as big as a tent so they can hold that giant pad. I really have no dignity left with him. But this was different. I didn't want to let him down. I liked having him think of me as strong confident woman. But the stress of pretending to have it all together made manageable things in life less manageable. I was overwhelmed and couldn't deal with it. That's the great thing about my marriage, Mike is a true partner, we're a team in life. When one is down, the other steps up. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cora at 6 Months

Today Cora turned 6 months old. That's half a year which means I'm that much closer to not having a baby but a 1 year old. A 1 year old!  I felt my pregnancy with Cora took forever and now I'm packing up totes of baby girl clothes that no longer fit, swings that her feet hang off of, and looking at buying a bigger car seat.

This girl never ceases to amaze me. She has a huge curiosity for her world. Grabbing, touching, looking, and tasting everything she can. It's like each day she wakes up hungry to learn more. Cora makes her presence known in our family, she wants to be involved in everything we do. If we're eating, she watches with her big blue eyes and wants to eat too. For that reason, I started her on baby food shortly after she turned 4 months and there's no turning back. She gobbles up everything, except for carrots, those mostly get spit back at Mom.

I love that she has already developed a love of books. If anyone has a book or magazine, she wants it too. And when we read E stories, she listens just as intently. If we're watching TV, she watches too (so much for no screen time). She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse just like her brother.

Cora seems to be growing up faster than E. Maybe it's because she has an older brother and we're doing more kid things and not all baby things. With E, it was all age relevant activities where Cora is experiencing so much more at her age than E ever did. This is good, but I want to her to still be my baby so I make sure I get plenty of cuddles in the rocking chair.

Cora has her 6 month check up next week and I'm curious to know her stats. Here's what else Cora is up to at 6 months:

  • Wears size 2 diapers, size 3 at nights.
  • Wears mostly 9 month clothes. A few 6 month still fit and buying pretty much 12 month stuff now.
  • Has the best giggle I've ever heard and her brother makes her laugh the most. 
  • Goes to bed 8/8:30, dream feed 10/10:30 and sleeps until 6/7 in the morning.
  • Can sit up almost on her own.
  • Rolls from back to tummy but that's about it.
  • When she's on her tummy, can spin and scoot some.
  • Eats solids for lunch and dinner. Has tried, peas, green beans, chicken, squash, sweet potato, pears, bananas, and carrots. 
  • Started playing around with a sippy cup, doesn't quite know what it's for yet.
  • Weighs 16.8lbs and 26 inches long.
Happy 6 Months Cora Girl! I love you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Life Lately

I feel like I haven't been in this space forever.  I only blogged once in September, only ONCE. My heart and mind have felt it, they are in need of this space. This is where I get my thoughts out and declutter my brain. This is where I reflect on life. And let me tell you, life lately has been all sorts of things. It's been hard, messy and chaotic yet so joyful and beautiful at the same time. Life lately has been full speed ahead. I blinked and September was gone.

On the family front, things are busier than normal. Both E and Cora are in ECFE class one day a week for a few hours. This year E is doing a separating class. Mom and E together for the first hour and then Mom goes to parent discussion while E stays with the teachers and kids for more play. He's cried all three times. He's the only kid that cries when the parents leave. I'm the only mom that walks out with a pit in my stomach hoping he's ok. I know he's ok but I also know he's sad and no Momma wants their kid to be sad. The teachers are great. They hold him the entire time and read him stories while he sniffles back his tears. They tell me he tries to be brave. He watches the other kids play, too shy to join in. He eats his snack with the group but then prefers to go back and cuddle with the teacher. He'll answer their questions and engage in quiet conversation but will often ask when Mommy is coming back. When we're reunited after the hour, he cries hard again. This time tears of relief that Mom is back. I question whether I'm pushing him too much. Maybe he's not ready for this, he is the youngest one in the class by two months and two months is a big difference when you're two years old. But then when we drive home he tells me he played puzzle with Teacher Marjean at school and his snack was good. And he has to learn that he's ok without Mom or Dad. He has to learn to be with other kids and adult not in our family. And each week the teachers say he handles it better and better. Thank goodness for good teachers.

Cora seems to be enjoying her school just fine. I'm convinced she will be the social butterfly of the family. She babbles all during class and plays with all the toys within reach. She watches with curiosity as the more mobile babies move about. Last week, a nine month old crawled over and tried to grab a ball she was playing with and my little peanut hung on tight with both hands and pulled right back not letting go. The little boy gave up and Cora went back to playing with the ball. All the moms got a kick out of this interaction and I admit I was a pretty proud Momma.

Life lately has had our family apart for a bit. Mike has been helping his parents sell his grandma's farm in northern Minnesota. He was gone for a week helping clean out the house having a garage sale. I think that has been the longest we've been apart as a family but I know his parents appreciated his help. The closing on the farm is next week and it will be bitter sweet. It will be sad for his family to no longer have this home that has been in the family for years but also a relief to no longer have that responsibility. His parents were essentially maintaining two homes and it got to be too much.

My job has also caused us to be apart more than normal. I'm working on a high profile project at work which is taking up a lot of my time. I'm also looking for a new role at my company, hopefully a promotion, so I've been taking lots of meetings and networking at the corporate offices. Working the hours I do means this usually happens on my days off. Networking is not something I enjoy and I've felt this extra level of stress. I'm hoping this will all pay off shortly after the first of the year and I'll have a new job with better hours and making more money. I'm keeping my eye on the prize!

Life lately has also brought us some fun. Surlyfest! The annual Oktoberfest at Surly Brewery. Mike has gone the past few years with the guys but this year the wives and girlfriends joined in on the fun. We had beautiful weather, great music, fantastic company, and of course delicious beer. Mike and I partied pre-kid style finishing the evening off where our relationship first began, Park Tavern. It wasn't quite pre-kid style partying because we were home by 9pm but it sure felt like it the next day. Bless Grandma Sharon for being here to help take care of E and Cora.

This is our life lately. Throw in piles of clean laundry scattered throughout the house, pieces of dried play-doh on the floor, a broken water heater that leaked all over, and lots of laughter and that pretty much sums it up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

So Long Summer

I have a love hate relationship with fall. I love the crisp weather and the beauty of leaves changing color. Football games, crock pot meals, Honeycrisps, and all things pumpkin, especially a PSL. What I hate is what comes after fall. The cold, snow, and ice. Living in Minnesota, the time after fall gets long. I'm definitely a summer time girl so this time of year is bitter sweet.

I'm going to miss the long days of sunlight where we stayed outside until dusk. Baths were needed every night to wash away a days worth of sunscreen and sandbox fun. Dinners were simple, throw whatever on the grill and bedtimes were later and later. Yes, I will miss my summer days.

Looking back on our summer, I can't help but smile. I feel it truly was one of the best summers of my life. It kicked off with the birth of our beautiful baby girl in late April. I had 13 wonderful weeks off from work where we learned to become a family of four. I'm glad I wrote my Friday Five posts during the summer to capture life at this special time. Reading through them again allows me to relive all the fun things we did. I was hoping to keep up with the Friday Five but with going back to work, severe lack of sleep and the craziness of life right now, consistent blogging took a back seat.

We said "so long" to summer with a family vacation at Gull Lake. Our morning routine was coffee on the patio overlooking the lake while E redid the landscaping with his trucks and diggers. Being in northern Minnesota, the weather was cool so we needed sweatshirts. By afternoon it warmed up and we headed to the beach. Mike and E got some fishing in and Mike and I spent an afternoon canoeing. We lived off ham and cheese sandwiches, watermelon, and grilled hotdogs. The sweatshirts came back on in the evening and fires by the lake kept us warm. I'm grateful we had this time together as a family.

So long summer time, it's been fun. I'll see you again next year.

 Vacation Pics

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Pretend Stay at Home Mom

You'll find me at the park on a sunny weekday morning chasing my toddler around while my baby snoozes in the carrier. Or you'll find me walking the mall on a rainy afternoon, the kids and I feeling cooped up needing to get out of the house. I definitely look the part; no make-up, yoga pants, v-neck and flip flops, holding my coffee in one hand pushing a stoller in the other. I can talk about picky eaters, lack of sleep and potty training with the rest of them. But the one conversation I don't join in is when the rest of them talk about waiting for their husbands to get home. Then they'll finally get a break from the kids, maybe even get a shower in. I can't relate to that.

You see, I'm a pretend stay at home mom. I'm the one giving my husband a break, giving him some down time away from the kids. Because once Saturday comes around, it's PowerPoint presentations, meetings and communication plans. It's when I become a working mom again. I say I'm a pretend stay at home mom because my family is in a unique situation. I work Saturday-Monday nights and my husband is the one that stays at home. I get the opportunity to do most things stay at home moms do during the week but still have a full-time job. 

My schedule means my family also has a four day weekend all the time. That's four days we are together going on adventures or just getting caught up at home. In theory, it sounds great. And 99% of the time it is great. I'm grateful to have this time at home with my kids while they are so young. I'm home with them the majority of the time which is amazing. 

When I found out I was pregnant with E, Mike and I never talked about one of us staying home. We just planned on sending the baby to daycare. That's what our parents did so naturally so would we. Mike became a stay at home dad by default, the program he worked for was cut and so was Mike's job. E was just two months old when Mike became a stay at home dad. I don't think either of us thought it would be a permanent gig. But over the past two years that I've been a parent, I realized it's important to me that my children are being raised by an at home parent. I know that situation doesn't work for every family nor does every family feel the same way. So as long as we can financially handle living on one income, one of us will stay home with our kids.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side and that's how I feel when it comes to Mike and my parenting roles. I don't want to be the pretend stay at home mom, I want to be THE stay at home mom. Never in a million years did I ever think I would feel that way. I've been so focused on my career for years, working long hours and stressing myself out to get ahead. But now what I want is to stay home with my two little ones and run our household. I dream of switching places with Mike and I admit, I'm jealous that he gets to do what I want to do.

I'd be lying if I said my jealousy didn't cause stress on our marriage, it does. Mike feels guilty because he knows how badly I want to stay home. He also gets frustrated with me because he thinks I see his role as fun and glamorous. Which I admit, I probably do look at staying home through rose tinted glasses. I'm sure the days are long and can get lonely. I hear the other stay at home moms at the park, counting the hours until evening when their husbands will be home to help out. But I don't care, I'll take the long lonely days over the endless emails and those PowerPoint presentations any day.

Maybe someday I'll get my chance to be the stay at home mom. However, if that opportunity never comes, I know my children are in the best hands possible. They are with their stay at home daddy and for the time being, I will be content being the pretend stay at home mom.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

More than a Jean Size

In my blog a few weeks ago, I mentioned another blog post that really touched me. This  Bridgette Tales blog post got me thinking. You see, I've been struggling lately with body image...again. I've always been on the chubby side and my love of all food and aversion to exercise and the gym contributed to my chubbiness. I was the typical yo-yo dieter, I'd go a few weeks eating perfectly and hitting the gym hard on a regular basis. I'd get frustrated I wasn't seeing results, then I'd give up. Or I would give up when I didn't eat perfectly or skipped the gym for a few days and then in my mind I would think I failed. I repeated this cycle for many years.

As I turned 30, I finally made peace with my body, I allowed myself to feel comfortable in my skin. I was ok with the fact that I was never going to wear a size in the single digits. I would exercise when I felt like it, eat what I wanted within reason (thankfully I enjoy healthy foods) and tried to live an active life. I felt good and thought I looked good.

When I got pregnant with E, I did lots of walking and Zumba during the first few weeks of my pregnancy. But then the tiredness hit and the belly grew and I stopped and never looked back. And I still haven't looked back. It has been a good two years since I've really been to the gym or exercised besides walking.

Now here I am, 33 years old, married and mother of two and I'm back to having insecurities about weight. I thought I was done with this crap. After having two kids in two years in addition to my love of food and aversion to exercise, I am at my heaviest ever. I didn't lose all my baby weight with E, but enough easily came off. I was able to wear my pre-baby jeans by the time I went back to work. When I went back to work after having Cora, I had to buy new jeans because none of mine fit. That's never a fun experience.

But this time it's more than about my jean size, it's about how I feel. I no longer can say I feel comfortable in my skin. I no longer look in the mirror and think I look like my best self. I'm considering my health this time too, I have two amazing kids that I want to be around for. I want to be healthy for them. Yes, this time it's so much more than about the jean size and even the number on the scale. It's about feeling good physically and mentally.

So how do I rid myself of these insecurities? I don't really know but I do know that it will take baby steps and the first step is getting back to a place of acceptance. Accepting the fact that it takes nine months to grow a baby and gain the baby weight so it should take at least that much to lose the weight. I also have to lose the "all or none" mentality. The reality is, I'm not going to go to the gym five days a week. I'm just not so I need to stop thinking I will. In fact, there might be some weeks I don't go at all. But that doesn't mean I throw in the towel and drop my gym membership. I'm lucky we found a really great gym that's through the community center. It's more Average Joe's vs. Globo Gym if you know what I mean. It's very family oriented as well which I love. For the past month I've been enjoying taking spin class and Barre Fusion class. I've only gone six times in the past month, but that's more than in the past two years. The key is, I don't dread going. I wouldn't call myself a lover of exercise but I wouldn't say I have an aversion anymore.

I need the same mentality for my eating. I'm not going to live life without ice cream, chocolate and all other things delicious. So again, accept the fact that I'm going to eat these things and enjoy them in moderation. I could go on and on about moderation blah blah blah. But I'm not a health professional/blogger/enthusiast so I won't. I'm a wife, mother, daughter, friend, working professional and the size of my jeans doesn't impact any of those roles, I'm accepted for who I am. So on those days I don't make it to the gym or I have that second scoop of ice cream, I will not beat myself up, I will accept it and continue to challenge myself to exercise and be healthy because I have a lot in life to live for.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cora at 4 Months

Cora is four months old today. We just had her check-up yesterday and I hate to brag but the Dr. did say she was quite advanced in terms of her physical ability. Of course Mike and I were beaming with pride. She is quite strong when it comes to holding up her head and she will be sitting up by herself in no time. She is just a wonderful baby and I couldn't be more in love with her.

Here's Cora at 4 Months Old:
  • Weighs 13lbs 12.8oz, 30th percentile
  • 24 inches long, 40th percentile
  • Her eating is sporadic. It seems in the day she eats 2oz here and there but will down 4oz bottles in the morning, middle of the night, and right before bed.
  • Still gets up once in the middle of the night. Sometimes she'll sleep until 5am but some nights she's up at 3am. Again, very sporadic.
  • Loves toys. She likes to grab and chew on anything she can.
  • Rolled over for the first time this week. Goes from back to tummy.
  • Still rockn' it when it comes to tummy time.
  • She is so smiley compared to E. I felt it was like pulling teeth to get E to smile. Cora is always smiling with her whole mouth. I love that big gummy smile!

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Friday Five

Here's what I'm loving this week:

1. Painting
We are one step closer to having a finished basement. My mom and I painted the walls this week. Twilight Blue is the color. The work went really fast with the two of us painting, we got it done in two days. Next step, laying the floor. I will let Mike and his dad tackle that one next week. I seriously can't wait until this project is done.

Basement Wall

2. Wine Tasting
Mike and I went to a wine tasting fundraiser benefiting the Jeremiah Program. My friend Katie volunteers here and we wanted to support her as well as all the wonderful work the charity does. Plus, I needed a night out. I've been in a little bit of a funk since going back to work, and a night out with friends is just what I needed. The wine helped too. There were three stations; a white, red, and a sparkling with two selections each. I tried them all! The restaurant, Tangier, provided delicious appetizers to pair with the wine. It truly was a wonderful event and I hope the Jeremiah Program was able to make some money.

Mike, me, and Katie at the wine tasting.

3. "Exposed by my children for what I look like"
I honestly could not love this blog post more. I saw this being passed around on Facebook and I immediately fell in love with the author and her blog. As a woman who's always been on the chubby side, I could relate. And as a mom who just had two kids in two years, I could relate. But like the author, I made peace with my body many years ago. However, being at my heaviest ever right now, some insecurities have been creeping back in. This post helped me push those insecurities aside. No matter what your size or what body insecurities you have, read this article because I assure you, you'll be able to relate.

4. Granola
My family is obsessed with the Archer Farms Granola lately. E wants some "nola" for breakfast every morning, he has it with fruit. Mike and I love it too. It's great on top of yogurt or just for a snack. We've been going through several bags a week...yikes! Thank goodness it's usually on Cartwheel for an extra 5% off.

5. The Zoo (kind of)
While Mom and I painted, Mike took the kids to Como Zoo with his parents. I'm only kind of loving the zoo this week because the kids had a great time and it was nice to be able to paint without E "helping". But, I missed out on the fun and was a little sad I missed Cora's first zoo trip. I know there will be many more zoo trips in our future so I'm not too bummed.

Lunch break at Como Zoo

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Friday Five

Here's what I'm loving this week:

1. Sleep
Mike took the kids to his mom and dad's house this past weekend while I worked. As much as I love my kids and husband, it was nice to get some sleep during my work week. I usually try to get up at a decent time in the afternoon on Sundays and Mondays so I can see my kids before work. If I sleep all day, I feel guilty because I'm missing out on spending time with them. It was nice to sleep guilt free and the house was so quiet. By Monday afternoon though I was ready to see my family.

2. "My Entire Life is a Lie"
This article has been floating around social media sites this week. A woman tells the story behind her Instagramm pictures and how social media doesn't necessarily present one's true self. Social media allows us to present the best part of ourselves, the "highlight reel" if you will. Our photos, tweets, and statuses present the facade that we have it all together and life is just peachy. I admit it, I'm just as guilty of only showing the best parts of my life on social media. But who wants their news feed filled up with complaints and negativity? Not me. So I guess I'd much rather see the "highlight reel" but this article was a good reminder that as great as life is, well, we've all got something and social media doesn't always show that side.

3. Farming
The kids and I went to Iowa this week and E did some farming. He loved spending time with Grandpa in the garden picking vegetables and loading them in his trailer.

4. Grandma Celebrates 97 
My Grandma celebrated her 97th birthday on Thursday. That's the main reason we went to Iowa. My Aunt Marj came to town as well and we celebrated at Grandma's nursing home with cake and ice cream. Of course I didn't get any pictures with Grandma and her great-grandchildren. It was a nice afternoon celebrating 97 years of Grandma!

5. Road Trip with Mom
My Mom came back to Minnesota with us and is going to spend a week at our house. It made the drive so much more fun and she drove the entire way. Thanks Mom!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cora at Three Months

Cora is three months old today. I can’t believe how much she’s grown. She is so beautiful and I tell her that every day. I also tell her how smart she is. I don’t want her to think she can get by on her looks alone. I’m so thankful she is an easy going baby, we take her everywhere and she is always so content. Cora has been such a joy for our family. Here’s what Cora has been up to:

·         Wears 3 and 6 month clothes

·         In size 2 diapers

·         Wakes up usually once during the night between 3am and 4am

·         Sporadic eater, sometimes she only drinks 2oz sometimes 4oz and there’s no schedule

·         Loves her baby doll from Grandma G

·         She’s a smiley baby and smiles with her mouth wide open

·         Loves sitting up and loves her car seat

·         She falls asleep as soon as she’s in the car

·         Pretty good at tummy time, doesn't fuss, just lays her head down when she gets tired

·         Coos a lot and sometimes gets pretty loud

Happy Three Months Baby Girl!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Friday Five

Here's what I'm loving this week:

1. We Survived!
The family survived my first week back at work. Granted it was only two days but we made it. Mike had one rough night with Cora, she was up three times, but other than just being more tired, Mike said it went pretty smoothly. This weekend it's the full three days. Each week will get easier.

2. Our First Harvest
Our garden is a little behind this year but we have one cucumber. Hopefully some zucchini and tomatoes will be coming soon. We planted two pepper plants but I don't think they're going to make it.

3. Picnic with Grandma and Grandpa
We met my mom and dad in Owatonna this week for a picnic. We've been doing this for years, it's about an hour drive for us and two hours for them. There's the nicest city park to picnic at and it has a playground which is a must now that we have kids.

4. Yo Yo Doughnuts
As much as I love sweets, I'm not a doughnut person but this place is legit. Yo Yo has some of the best doughnuts I've ever had. I took the kids there on Saturday and we leisurely at our doughnuts and Mom sipped her coffee (great coffee). This is one of my favorite spots!

Maple Bacon Long John is their specialty. 

5. The Beach
This was our first time at Shady Oak Beach and it has it all. Playground, lots of sand, grass area for a picnic, and docks to swim out to. E's a little young for the docks but in a few years he'll be jumping off. Shady Oak Beach reminds me of a good 'ole fashion summer day at the beach.

We packed a picnic lunch and E couldn't eat fast enough to get to the water. After hanging out at the beach we checked out the playground. Very cool! Much more than swings and slides. There's water misters, sand stations, and a fossil dig.

We're lucky such a great beach area is only a few miles from our house and it's conveniently across from Yo Yo Doughnuts.