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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back to Work

Well the time has come, I'm back at work tomorrow. I'm trying to be realistic. Of course I have to go back to work. I knew my maternity leave would come to an end. I knew I couldn't stay home forever, my family relies on me for an income. I feel so blessed that I was able to take three months off after Cora was born. And even more grateful that because Mike is a SAHD, the four of us had three amazing months to bond and be together as a family without the demands of a job. Not many families get that experience and I am truly thankful. But it's still sad to think that's it's come to an end so quickly. The past few days have been hard and some days there were tears. But I have to go back to work.

I'm trying to be strong for Mike too, I know he's nervous to be home alone with two kids and how he will juggle the needs of both E and Cora. Cora's not sleeping through the night yet either, I was hoping she would be by the time I went back. Three nights a week he'll be up with her by himself. I'm sad I won't be there to support him. To take turns like we do now. To help with the changing or rocking her back to sleep if she needs it. Some may say, "It's only three nights." But to me it's three nights. Three whole nights not being with my babies, not being able to comfort them if they need me in the middle of the night. I know Mike can handle it. He's got this parenting thing down, I just want to be there too. But I have to go back to work.

I'm nervous how E will react when I'm all of a sudden gone for a while and he only sees me for an hour here and there. He and I have really bonded during these three months. He no longer pushes me away and only wants Daddy. I'm hoping that was just a phase but I'm fearful it will start up again with me being back at work. The thought of him not wanting me to tuck him in or cry when I reach for him breaks my heart. But I have to go back to work.

I'm sure once I get through the first work week, things will seem brighter. I'll get my sleep schedule adjusted again and the four of us will find our new "normal." We'll still have four days to be together as a family and be out and about doing all the things we loved doing while I was on maternity leave. I may just be a little bit more tired (hello caffeine!) The house will probably be a little bit dirtier and the laundry piles a bit deeper. Yes, things will be brighter in a few weeks, but not today. Today, I'm sad and will probably shed more tears because tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow I have to go back to work.

Time goes so fast. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Friday Five

Here's what I'm loving this week:

1. Baby Dresses
I just love putting Cora in a little dress. She looks so precious and my heart melts. Let's be honest, I think she's adorable in anything, but there's something about a little dress. Especially ones that my mom makes. Cora got this new dress in the mail this week including a matching hair bow. I just love it. Thanks Mom! And seriously, open an Etsy shop!

Cora's new dress. 

Another dress from Grandma Sharon. 

2. Evan's Car
Well our motor head of a son is now obsessed with driving our car.  No, excuse me, "Evan's car," as he lets us know. E likes to spend his day sitting in the car pretending to drive. When you turn the car on, you never know what blinker will turn on or how loud the radio will be.

3. Minnesota History Center
Who knew the wonder of the Minnesota History Center? Sadly, I didn't know this place existed until I read about it in another blog. There's lots of interactive exhibits for kids; a grain bin to climb through, a coal mine to explore, a tepee to visit, and a railroad car to sit in. There's also a lot of interesting information about the great state of Minnesota. The best part about our visit was that it was FREE! Every Tuesday evening from 5-7, the History Center is open to the public for free. What a great deal to take advantage of.

Checking out the tepee. 

Driving the bus.

Climbing the grain bin.

4. Picnic at the Wading Pool
I've mentioned Minnehaha Falls before and it's become one of my favorite places to go. It's gorgeous, has a nice playground with a second one almost complete, and an awesome wading pool. E seems to enjoy a wading pool now more than a splash pad. He likes to be in water, not just have fountains so this place works out well since the water only gets 2ft deep. We picked a perfect weather day this week to pack a picnic lunch and just camp out at the pool for several hours.

5. Housewives
Ok, I can't help it, I love The Real Housewives of New York. I am particularly enjoying this season, there's so much drama and adventure. I especially loved this week's episode. My favorite scene was Sonja getting her patio all zen to deliver Aviva the news that, "All the women were talking about you in Montana." Then Aviva, bless her heart, thought they were talking about her because they were concerned about her health until Sonja so bluntly said, "No, not at all. They think your nebulizer is an acessecory."

I'm still cracking up over that scene as I write this. If you're not watching RHNY, you probably won't see the humor in this so you better start watching now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just the Three of Us

Well it took me two and a half months to do it, but I did it. I took both kids to run errands by myself. It's not that I've been avoiding doing this, I just haven't had to do it. With both Mike and I at home, it's convenient to run errands by myself or just take one kid which makes running errands so much easier. But with me going back to work soon, I thought I better get used to being out and about with two kids so I can give Mike a break on my off days. I suggested to Mike he do the same because he hasn't been out solo with both kids yet either. E and Cora are pretty easy going, but a toddler AND a baby adds a different dynamic to outings no matter how good the kids are.

Now I understand this is not some great parenting feat, moms and dads go out with two kids or more all the time by themselves. However, I have to admit I had some level of anxiety as E, Cora and I headed out to Target and Trader Joe's. You just never know what can happen.

Overall, the outing was a success. Target was a breeze except for Cora's poopy diaper. While browsing the baby aisles, I got a whiff. Yep, it was time to go. I did a quick once over her diaper area and it seemed everything was contained. We could make it through the checkout line and then change the diaper. Things were under control, until I got to the bathroom to change Cora. I neglected to restock the diaper bag after being on the road so much over the past three weeks. I only had two wipes. Two wipes to clean up a mess. I made it work and thankfully the paper towel dispenser was right next to the changing table. All was well again. Next stop, Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's on the weekdays is usually a great place to shop with kids. Not a lot of people and a smaller environment to contain a toddler. However, I just happened to pick the day when their delivery truck was late. So there were employees all over stocking the shelves. It made the store much more congested which meant keeping closer tabs on E. I had also opted to wear Cora in the baby carrier and let E walk because the carts at TJ's are smaller and I needed the space for my groceries. Normally it would have worked out perfectly, but again,  all the congestion made it more chaotic. Trying to grab my sugar snap peas over an employee wearing a baby is not ideal. I also forgot my list so I found myself wandering the aisles trying to remember what I all needed causing the trip to drag on. E was getting restless so it was time to go.

By the time I made it to the checkout, I was sweating and felt pretty beat. As I was walking out of the store I also felt a little more confident. It was like going through a right of passage on my parenting journey. I successfully took both my kids out in public and we all three survived.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Friday Five (On Saturday)

With all the festivities during the 4th, my Friday Five is a day late. Here's what I'm loving this week;

1. My Birthday
My birthday was June 30th and I turned 33. I celebrated by doing a little shopping by myself, which is always a treat, and getting a pedicure. Mike and I went to the Twins game that night with our friend O'Malley and his girlfriend. They had tickets to the Legends Club which is an exclusive area in the stadium, basically a restaurant overlooking the stadium. I wish I had taken some pictures in there but I was to enamored with all the food and drink options. There was your standard ballpark fare but also a selection of fancier food served cafeteria style. It was a really fun expetience. Too bad the Twins couldn't pull off a win

2. Baby Showers
This past weekend,  I got to help two very dear friends celebrate the upcoming arrival of their babies. They are both due in August and I couldn't be happier for them.

We did a couples shower BBQ, or BaByQ, for Carrie to celebrate Baby Boy D-L. Despite the heat and humidity, it was fun seeing not only my bestest of friends, but the families we now have. It's great that we all like each other's spouses and get along as one big group. Throw the kids in there and we have ourselves a party!

The next day, just us girls got together at Django for brunch and celebrated Heather and Baby Girl Watson. We had a private room and the group was intimate. It was so relaxing sipping on mimosas and having lots of girl talk.

I hope both my friends enjoyed their showers and I'm so excited for them to become Mommas!

3. "Need the Boppy."
The picture does not do this situation justice, but this moment was probably one of the cutest ever.  E often wants a to feed his doll a bottle, so that was no big deal. But the cute part was, E came into the  kitchen, pulled on my shirt and said, "Evan need the boppy." We found the boppy and he got himself situated and continued feeding his doll. Then he said he needed some coffee. So I gave him a coffee cup.  Now I wonder where he saw this scenario before??? Seriously, my heart was melting at the cuteness.  Ok, enough Mommy gushing.

4. Honey and Rye
Being the coffee lover that I am, I'm always looking for a good coffee shop.  I've been wanting to try Honey and Rye for a while now after I saw it featured on the local news and I must have driven past it 100 times. I finally made it there this week. It was one of those mornings where a certain two year old woke up on the wrong side of the bed and we needed to get out of the house.

I fell in love with this place when I walked in. It's adorable! The food and coffee were good too. It's just a few blocks from one of our favorite parks so I can't wait to stop in again.

E's oatmeal raisin cookie and my spinach and feta scone.

5. The 4th of July
We always spend the 4th out at Mike's mom and dad's  The neighboring town has a big celebration. We enjoy going to the parade and watching fireworks over the lake. This was E's first year seeing fireworks and he liked them. Every time he'd see one he'd say, "There's a firework." Cora stayed with G&G, maybe next year. Hope you all had a fun and happy 4th of July!