Monday, November 21, 2011

New Blog

Hey All!!!
The new blog is finished, check it out and become a follower over there for all the PB & J updates, activities and more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

November is always filled with celebrations, plans and moments of stress but this year is slightly more intense. We welcomed the month with my 27th birthday including some delicious Mexican food, plenty of laughs and an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for my amazing family and friends. Then we went straight into a "Little Guys in Ties" baby celebration that couldn't have gone any better. Each baby is such a miracle and I felt honored to celebrate my friend's little bundles.

This past weekend Jeff enjoyed some guy time at the Badger basketball game while I tried out a new coffee cozy display at N's Whims Holiday Open House.

Both of us had a great day that ended with late night game playing to celebrate a bestie's birthday, laughing until we cried, spilled drinks and lasting memories. Yesterday Jeff took on the challenge of finding us a different vehicle, we sold our little car (corolla) two weekends ago and have been borrowing my wonderful mama's car since then. So he ventured out yesterday with my dad and found us a fabulous new van, used but almost like new that I am pretty excited about.

After a rough night of whining, wetting through jammies and being squished in a queen bed with four people we are all about birthday preparations today. Jeff has the day off, is on his way to Milwaukee to pick up the soccer mom mobile while the kids and I work on race car decor. Since Pacey's birthday falls towards the end of this month we have to celebrate inside, meaning only family and a few of Pacey's friends can join. It won't be the big bash that Trexen has each year but I like that, more intimate and focused. Today is my only day at home this week as I will be teaching the other days so it is full speed, pedal to the metal, get it all done NOW time. Here is a sneak peak to the party. I have some Taylor Swift radio blasting, in my sweats and the house is a disaster, yep another party is almost here.

Supply Table

Current Mess

Friday, November 11, 2011

You've Been Warned

I have two thoughts about winter, 1. "it's so beautiful, a real life winter wonderland" 2. "oh crap my knuckles are white, my heart is racing and I would rather be anywhere than on the road".
I am terrified of winter driving, not exaggerating my blood pressure rises and I start to sweat at the sight of a flurry. I always feel like the vehicle I am driving is sliding off the road and we will be stuck in the ditch for hours. Maybe I've watched too many of those darn Dateline's about families traveling for the holidays, taking a wrong turn and freezing to death or maybe my subconscious remembers my junior year of high school when my realistic boyfriend (now husband) told me not to drive home the roads were too bad for my skills and I instead attempted it, got rear ended flung into a deep ravine and left with a smashed car and concussion. Who knows maybe I just don't know how to drive in the winter.

Despite the reason I hate driving in the snow and will avoid it at all cost. A few years ago my husband kindly obliged when I pleaded for a 4W drive SUV stating it would help calm my fears and is more practical. The fears were diminished slightly but that is about it. So after reading this I want you to realized you've been warned. When you see a large silver SUV creeping along at like 17 mph don't start using choice words, don't swerve all over trying to pass, don't flash your lights or give me one of those waves as you fly by, it is me all white knuckled, praying and ignoring your need to get by. All my co-workers at my previous job would joke about this, they knew if it started to snow during the day I was packing up and racing out of there to get home. They expected me to be late and didn't even ask if I wanted to drive for weekly out of town meetings.

This year I am hoping it can be different. Thankfully my current job does have snow days, if school is cancelled because of weather well then I don't have to go to work. I'm excited for this, staying up late watching the news hoping to see my schools cancelled, staying in jammies all day sipping hot cocoa with way too many marshmallows and taking the 20 minutes to get everyone bundled up and out the door for maybe 5 minutes of fun. I do love the change in seasons we get to experience here I just don't like driving in it.

Winter 2009

Just wanted to share a project I have been working on and will continue for the next 26 weeks. A friend shared this link to an adorable maternity book a while back and I kept it in my memory. I never did anything like this for Trexen and Paceler, I didn't even take weekly belly pictures with them. Not sure why, with Pacey I had a four month old to take care of while being sick so that explains his pregnancy. This time around though I feel differently, probably because my husband is pretty set on this being our last. Despite my pleads and begs to not make a decision for a while he is good with three, well he probably would have been good with one, two was pushing it so anymore than three and he very well may lose it. Not that I love the pregnancy part but I am not ready to say three and that is final, how sad to think about no more new family members.

So I decided to recreate the Mama Mia's Maternity Book, every week taking a picture of something that represents those 7 days and giving it a meaningful caption. It has been nice to take time each week to reflect and enjoy these moments because it is flying by already. I am 14 weeks and know the holidays will keep things moving right along. Here is a sneak peak so far.

Baby #3 Book

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Holistic or Hazardous

Not sure why but when people start talking about holistic, organic, all natural I secretly roll my eyes and think "here we go". Maybe it's because many people are very passionate about this topic which can cause friction amongst groups or maybe it's because I feel a little guilty because I usually don't take the time to think about it. Of course I don't want to fill my body with chemicals and toxins but I also don't want to be so on edge about every little thing.

My husband is very much a live off the land, all natural, no dye kind of guy. When I get home with groceries I know they will be inspected, my choices will be judged and graded. He is strongly against corn syrup, extra colorings and anything else that seems hazardous. I'm not a toxin lover or anything but come on, $6 for organic jelly and $5 for a half bag of all natural chips that will be gone after one dinner and a lunch, I just can't do it.

I have gotten on board and made my own laundry soap, strawberry jam, we have all natural household cleaners and our chest freezer is full of whole organic free range chickens. Since being pregnant my skin is out of control, I mean it is scary. I've never had good skin but at the beginning of summer I occasionally enter the Piggly Wiggly without make-up and ventured to the post office fresh faced so when I got an itchy rash all over my legs and big painful bumps on my face (don't pretend you haven't noticed, you have) I freaked. I didn't experience this with my first two pregnancies so it is uncharted waters.

After several emails and chats with a good friend who lives far away but it always there to talk about anything I started researching skin products. Guess what I found... my approach has been all wrong and my current soap was filled with toxins. She recommended Dr. Hauschka's holistic skin care- extremely pricey but worth it at this point. Since the birth of her fourth boy she was left with scars on her olive skin and wished she has found this earlier so I wasn't taking any chances.

A hundred dollars later and my face still isn't good but at least I know there are no chemicals being applied and absorbed into my skin. I also found this awesome website that rates skincare products from 0-10 for hazardous ingredients, it explains them and the effects they could have. Let's just say I've become a little obsessed; I discovered my on sale what a bargain purchase for my husband's face wash may be slowly killing him with all the chemicals.

I have no plans to ditch everything, spend a fortune and only have holistic natural products but when we are almost out of something I will do the research, spend a little more and say no to all the chemicals.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Little Guys in Ties

Today my house was transformed, a sea of light blue with pops of orange for a fantastic baby shower. The color scheme turned out better than I imagined and all the details were appreciated. Jenna created a super cute tie banner and the candy bar was sweet. My mom made the most amazing diaper cakes ever and I went a little crazy with spray paint. Seriously I have decided to choose two main colors for each party, buy spray paint and create. Everyone enjoyed the party and I loved putting it all together.

Invites: Paper & Pigtails
Diaper Cakes: Nise's Niche
Tie Cookies: Sugarbomb Dessert Company
Cupcake liners & candy cups: Hey Yo Yo
Tie Onsies: Emma Jeans Boutique
Tie Banner: Jenna
Other Decor: Me- Nicole

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Guys in Ties

This weekend we will celebrate life, the miracle of two little baby boys. As I sprawled out my crafty gear on the kitchen counter hot gluing, cutting and painting last night my husband said it, the terrible question that just burns my ears and hurts my heart, "why are you throwing a shower for them, don't you only do that for your first baby?" Ugh, still after five years of marriage and many years of dating I have yet to fully influence him in this department.

No we don't just celebrate and party for baby number 1. We wonder why middle children or third borns grow up feeling slighted and pulling the poor poor me card. You may think I am a middle child because of my passion for baby parties but no, I am the first born. I did hear my sister's though whining and crying numerous times growing up, "she gets everything, no one cares about us". Oh pa-lease! They were not poor babies and we all received fair treatment and an abundance of love. BUT I do believe every single baby should be celebrated and what a better way than a fabulous party.

***Fine Print Note: Although I would love to throw parties for all babies and everyone getting ready to welcome a new one that is not feasible. My bestest friends and family are the lucky ones for now.

Two of my bestest friends will be welcoming little boys just days apart right around New Years. Both of these mama's have little boys already and are excited to add more blue, trucks and rough play to their houses. When thinking of a theme my friend Jenna (co-host for this party) and I wanted something a bit unique, something that would work for a double shower and something we could make cute things for. We settled on this adorable Little Guy in a Tie theme and I can't wait to see it all come together.

This was just a sneak peek so check back early next week for all the party details and pictures.

Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO Hoo Hoo

I love holidays, the preparations, late nights scrambling to finish projects, making lists, checking them twice and the joy they bring. Halloween seems to be the start, marking the beginning of a highly anticipated holiday season. Halloween has never been a big one for me but I do love costumes and candy so each year I give it a good effort. I also love how much it means to so many others, how excited they get about decorations, awesome party treats and coordinating costumes.

This year though I can't say I gave it my all, more like a 75% effort. My early pregnancy sickness squelched my motivation for wonderful costumes and Trexen declaring he doesn't like to dress up didn't help restore it. The boys still don't really understand trick-or-treating and I'm swaying more towards the mom who just buys them a bag of candy at the store than traipsing around in the cold getting plowed over by big kids for some sweets . In good holiday spirit though I got a bit creative, turned Trex into a fisherman and Pacey into his fish.

Well despite my three quarters effort it was a Halloween filled with lots of boo hoo hoo. Trexen was awake most of last night, his first soccer class didn't go well this morning, one of them was crying the entire day, very short naps and we only made it to two houses trick-or-treating. The boys cried going to my cousins, cried because I wouldn't let them eat all the candy, cried on the way to auntie Jenna's and kicked it up a notch to screaming on the way home. At 4:45 I put them in the bath, scrubbed and declared Halloween to be over. Jeff brought home pizza and they went to bed early. As I was grabbing my camera card I stubbed my pinkie toe, spilled my water and still hear the boys crying in bed. Oh me oh my, boo hoo hoo.

We will move on, get ready for the next holiday and step it up. You do get what you put into it so I guess I shouldn't be surprised BUT look out Thanksgiving I've got a ton to be thankful for and Christmas get ready... you know I LOVE you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Party

There were pirates, a parrot, Mario, Cat in the Hat, a fisherman and fish, Rainbow Brite, an owl, a candy corn and more. One of my favorite parts of Halloween, other than the candy, is seeing all the little ones in super cute costumes. My three year old informed me this morning that he and his brother don't like to dress up and don't like costumes, a few other kiddos agreed with them while other never took theirs off.

Our fabulous host had everything decorated with ghosts, bats and webs with a delicious spread of food. The mamas enjoyed hot cider and chatted about weekend plans. Some of the older ones made foam pumpkins concentrating so hard.

We of course had to attempt a group picture which was hilarious. It was seriously like a "ready, set, go" snap the picture kind of deal. At one point though all the kids were silent just starring at us mamas with our cameras like we were crazy.

A few of my favs were the Rainbow Brite because it looked so soft and comfy, I wanted to wear it and the lumberjack because it was creative and homemade. All of the kids were pretty stinkin' cute though.

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Festivities

Here is a list of some Halloween events around the area for this weekend, have a wonderfully Happy Halloween!

Kids/Family Events-

~Downtown Madison Family Trick-or-Treat: Friday Oct. 28th 2-5pm
~West Towne/East Towne Malls Trick-or-Treat: Monday Oct 31st 4-5pm
~Halloween at the Farm: Saturday Oct. 29th 6-8:30pm
~Apple-Palooza: Sunday Oct. 30th 10-5:00pm
~Beakers & Broomsticks: Friday Oct. 28th 6-8:30pm
~Spooktacular Cupcake Decorating: Saturday Oct. 29th 11-4:00pm
~Middleton Business Trick-or-Treating: Friday Oct. 28th Noon-5pm

Have a fun weekend, hope to see you at our Halloween Party Friday!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Due Date

Finally today has arrived, we would figure out what is going on in this belly and when our baby will arrive. You would think it would have been easy this time around to determine due date since we were actually "trying", I was calculating and re-calculating fertile days multiple times each week and we did everything my $50 e-book told us for a girl. However when that positive pregnancy test appeared and I talked with the nurse her predictions, based on my period, just didn't mesh with how I was feeling. I mean how could I be throwing up just days after conception and then a positive test not even a week later and how in the world could my belly be pooching out already and really why would I need to unbutton my jeans at dinner last night if I was only 8 weeks.

So Jeff and I drove all the way to the west side for a surprisingly short appointment. With my first two babies the ultrasound technicians were very annoyed and frustrated both times because I was actually only 6-7 weeks when they had thought I'd be further. They struggled forever to get the right pictures and measurements and were rolling their eyes at my flat tummy. This morning however quite the opposite. Now if you can't picture this scene it is very awkward, at least for me, my husband sitting in an odd location seeing things he probably doesn't want to with the tech using embarrassing terms and sticking a large instrument up me. So as I lay there freezing cold and uncomfortable the first words out of my husbands mouth, "um wow that baby looks really big already", oh thank you hunny, kind of like the other night when he grabbed my butt and said "oooh", yes I know that is code for "your butt is expanding".

Anyways the very friendly tech agreed with him, transferred measurements to the computer to discover I am actually 12 weeks due May 12th. Apparently you can be pregnant and still get a period, who knew it wasn't just a story you see on TLC. I am extremely excited to have a May baby but am struggling big time. As you know I've been praying for years for a baby girl and when I went off the pill in May started a prayer journal. I also started "Big Prayers", focusing on 3-5 things each month that are huge, things I feel so strongly about either for me, my family, friends, work, etc. As you can see below one of my big prayers has been to get pregnant with a healthy baby girl in August. That exact prayer has been in my big prayers every month so when I got my period end of August I was crushed. I cried, prayed and pulled it together, God is God, He is good and knows what's going on. Now I find out I did get pregnant in August!

Oh I am nervous for 8 weeks from now, who am I to doubt God, He can do anything even give me a girl BUT I also know we don't always get what we want. Praying for peace as I can't control this and will enjoy every moment.

"Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Monday, October 24, 2011

A for Effort

I have a good friend who really is more than just that, she is a friend that really gets me. I crave plans, family fun and making memories for my little ones. I tend to look past sensible, throw out realistic and force the fun when necessary. So when I text my friend asking if she too wanted to dress her kids up in costumes, venture to the zoo with hundreds maybe thousands of other crazy people and drag our husbands along all for some Halloween candy I already knew the response... of course! If there is a family fun event in a hundred mile radius she knows about it and either welcomes my proposed plans or has had it on the calendar way before me.

So after a rushed morning gathering my boys from their grandparents after a late night at the fall fest, we made it to church with costumes stashed in the trunk. Service ended, we made our plan and headed for the zoo. The boys didn't know what we were doing, my husband was holding back his grumbles and I was pushing all my sicky tummy feelings away because we were going to have fun. As I knelt in the grass in front of a small white house blocks and blocks away from the zoo entrance making last minute adjustments to Pacey's fish costume I ignored my husbands muffled complaints and got excited for the memories.

Well there are no positive, picture worthy moments to report. We quickly discovered the line for trick-or-treating was outrageously long, there was no way our kiddos would last and maybe just maybe our husbands were right. No it couldn't be true, ok ditch the idea of candy I mean Target is down the road filled with candy for a few dollars, let's just enjoy the animals. She led the way blazing a trail weaving through parents holding crying kids and leaving the husbands in the dust. After looking at the lion, witnessing an orangutan pounding on the glass clearly upset at all the monkey costumes and more and more raindrops hitting our face we gave it up. I threw the kids in the stroller, yelled "we are leaving talk to you later" and booked it to the car. As I agreed with my husband that was a once in a lifetime attempt and wondering why anyone in their right mind would even think that was a good idea we left in the pouring rain.

Now most would probably throw in the towel and conclude fun wasn't happening that day, oh no not this mama. We brought pumpkins to my mom's for Sunday dinner and made everyone join in the carving experience. Uncle Andy was the funniest, stating "I'm not a dad yet I don't need to do this", well sorry sir today we ARE having some fall fun. Pacey was not interested at all, Trexen loved it for about fifteen minutes and we ended with the adults carving pumpkins while the boys played. I saw smiles though, we did have fun and Trexen hasn't stopped talking about his scary pumpkin all day.

Sometimes ideas are actually better in our heads than in reality but I say we got an A for effort.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Fest

Yesterday was the 3rd annual fall festival at Oma and Papa's. All last week I felt pretty good, no throwing up not even feeling nauseous just a constant headache so I was excited to enjoy a nice fall weekend. Well Saturday morning came and I woke up feeling just terrible. Dizzy, weak and extremely nauseous, bummer. We took the day slow, enjoyed quiet naps and didn't get dressed til the last minute but then we put sickness beyond and headed to the fest.

Family and friends sipped cider, warmed up with chili and ventured back to the pumpkin patch for that perfect pumpkin. The boys were shy at first, of course, but quickly warmed up and had fun with their cousins. Trexen was quick to pick out his pumpkin while Pacey was more concerned with the hay wagon and ATV. I did my best to capture the moment and enjoy despite my very sick tummy.

A few minutes after eleven Trexen was still awake the life of the party but I could tell meltdown was not far away. He chose to stay with Oma and Papa while Pacey had left much earlier with my parents. I jumped at the opportunity for a peaceful nights sleep, double and triple checked he was sure and away we went. As soon as I hit the pillow I regretted not meeting my bed earlier but the fall fest was filled with fun and worth the long day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Special Day

Probably the only good thing about doctor's office visits is I usually only have one child with me. Thankfully my mom can take the boys any day of the week and my mother-in-law on Tuesdays so I rarely have to venture into the dreaded doctor's office with both kiddos. Last week Pacey was sick which meant a "special day" with him consisting of the doctor, Target, a new hot wheels car and Starbucks for mama. Trexen of course had fun at his nama's but was also anxious to have his own "special day".

Yesterday was Trexen's turn, we left Pacey at Oma's and off we went. Our adventure started at Target because don't all special days need a Target trip, the the fabric store- that one for me, next our friend's house for a little play and the the doctor's office for a three year check-up. My three year old is a nervous nelly worked up about everything so it's always an exhausting adventure going to appointments. Convincing him to get on the scale, stand tall like a giraffe for his height, opening his mouth so the feared wooden stick isn't needed and a new one yesterday...a paper thin child's blue gown to put on (still not sure why). Trexen was a shy little clam curled up on my lap the entire time but no tears, no shots, a success.

After we visited the most adorable shop across town in search of a birthday gift for my sis. Trexen loved all the vintage goodies and was pretty convinced he needed a stuffed rooster- thankfully we left without it. Then our bellies were rumbling, starving and in need of food. Hmm where to go?

The same place my mama used to take me after appointments...Pizza Hut buffet! Trex skipped to the door excited to eat with just me and I felt better just smelling food. We sat in a booth across from each other surrounded by cubicle clans away from work for lunch with big smiles on our faces. I remember sitting just like this with my mom, feeling so special to be out to eat during the day with just her.

We enjoyed salad with ranch dressing (my latest obsession- especially with french fries), cheese pizza, chocolate milk and cinnamon bread sticks. At one point in between eating, chatting and answering a million questions, Trex paused looked up and said, "mommy this is our special day right". I love special days with my boys individually and look forward to more pizza buffets after appointments.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Puffy Pumpkins

Last week I was a 4k teacher two different days and both classes did the same super fun art project. The kids are learning about fall, apples and pumpkins. At one of the centers we made puffy pumpkins, so fun! I've been feeling pretty bad lately about not doing projects with my boys so I decided to get out the shaving cream. They both really enjoyed it so I want to share it with you. I couldn't find a recipe or anything but just add a bit of shaving cream, glue and paint together, no special secret:)

-Pumpkin printed on cardstock
-Shaving Cream
-Elmer's Glue
-Orange Paint (I mixed yellow/red)
-Paper for eyes
-Candy Corn for nose
-Pipe cleaner for mouth

Coloring Eyes

Mix together

Have fun!

I know it's terrible but I helped Pacey so we had one that looked like a pumpkin.