Sunday, July 31, 2011

Roller Coaster

Highs and lows, happy and sad, hurt and healing, hot and well more hot pretty much sums up our weekend. My two-year-old Trexen runs a roller coaster, we all know and expect it but this weekend he was in high gear. The last few weeks I've found myself less patient, more frustrated and at times letting the pour pour me attitude take over. Nothing is easy with him, everything is an exhausting struggle and it sucks, down right sucks. But we get over it and still have force fun.

Friday's PB & J was a struggle with him, it may not appear that way to others (or maybe it does and you all are too polite to let me know) but from the time we left the house to the time we returned it was a battle. Saturday morning rolled around and everyone woke up happy, ready to enjoy the day. Jeff started a play area project, framing in our swing set and putting mulch down. The boys couldn't wait to help; by 7am they were dressed (rain boots included), shovels in hand and smiles ear to ear.

After a few hours of work we headed to Sassy Cow Creamery for the farm carnival. I've been looking forward to this event for a while anticipating the boys to love it. Well we sped down a huge hill on the roller coaster and it was terrible. Trexen must have thought there would be lots of real cows so was disappointed to find one baby cow, didn't want to play any games and went into statue mode when anyone talked to him.

We tried hard to force the fun but quickly left completely frustrated, hot and annoyed. Back up though as we left the kids with my mama and visited our friend's brand new baby girl (I was soaking in as much girl as possible).

Sunday the boys helped Jeff again and loved it. In the backyard getting dirty being a helper is exactly where Trexen wants to be. He watches Jeff closely copying his every move striving for his approval. I went back to church for the first time since my departure. It was hurtful yet healing all at the same time; felt good to see I've moved on yet still impacted by the turn of events. Uncle Andy turned another year older this week so a celebration was a must. Trexen and Paceler both adore their uncle and made him a fishing story book, narrated by Trexen and illustrated by Trex and Pace.

Boys are now in bed, I'm enjoying some reality tv and the coaster is quiet...for the moment.

Side table has been painted lime green!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sand and Sunscreen

Finally we were able to go to the beach! Status said open, forecast was correct and schedules aligned. Tenney Beach did not disappoint today, the water was warm and pretty clear, ducks casually swimming by and sand toys being passed around. Lots of sunscreened little bodies sculpted castles and splish splashed. Three new mamas even joined us making it that much better.


My latest project of adding color back into our main level with a small budget continues. The fireplace mantel has been transformed, still trying to decide on just the right layout but it's a start. Bright pillows added to the couch and a few fun accessories for the shelf. A painted end table and spruced up tv stand still to come.

Before and After


Did you know...
-the early bird catches the worm.
-a spot filled with fish is called the honey hole.
-5 years old is the magic age in the Moll house for a Canada fishing trip with daddy.

This can only mean one thing, a fishing birthday is in the works. Lots more to come.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

a SMALL project

It all started last Friday when I walked into my friend's master bedroom. Painted walls, crisp lines, a cozy reading nook, and a beautiful bed set made me feel like I had just stepped into a magazine. She's been working really hard putting it all together adding things here and there but it was amazing. Light bulb goes off...

Our master bedroom is pretty big, all white walls, the same bed I had in college, 3 lonely daisy canvases hung above, a tiny falling apart from Ikea night stand holding up our anciently huge yet tiny tv and a giant window begging for a seat. Sigh... No magazine award winning feeling in there. My husband and I have been talking about buying a bedroom set for a looong time now but we always cheap out. I mean it's only us that sees it, he couldn't care less and I always get distracted with decorating other, more noticed rooms.

That's just what happened, distracted and inspired to take on a few small projects. Monday as I am reading my favorite blog and watching HGTV it slapped me in the face. The blog featured a super cute, kid-friendly house and the show said, "let your space represent you." Our main living space just doesn't represent me or our family. It used to be filled with color, all the walls but then I had Paceler my 2nd colicky baby and I freaked out one day. I insisted on all the walls being white or very light, removed almost all color and went with black accents. Maybe I thought the calm walls and space would trickle into my little's body or maybe I just wanted a blank slate, I don't know.

If you know me at all I am far from calm and relaxed, I love color and always doing projects so why is my house complete opposite. This leads me to a SMALL project I attempted today...

~Magnetic wall paint, followed by chalkboard paint, finished with handmade magnets and artwork. Sounds pretty simple, kiddos went to my mom's for 2 hours and to work I went.

First coat goes on, this is going to be good...

2nd and 3rd coat, getting a little more intense, go into wash up faze and all heck breaks loose. The magnetic paint was stuck, I mean really stuck, to my hands. The more I scrubbed the worse it became. After trying soap, nail polish remover, soft scrub and goo be gone I started to panic. This substance even ate the magic eraser. My arms were tingly and felt weak and the water just slide off not even phasing the thick black tar. Oh my chemicals seeping in attacking my body (ok probably not but my mind went there).

Six hours later the small project is over. My hands at least look like hands again, still sporting specks of black but I am happy with the outcome. A step in the right direction. I am also adding some color and pizazz to our living room, stay tuned.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just for Me

About a year and a half ago with a colicky, tiny 2 week old I decided to find a hobby.

(a rare moment)

I've never really had a hobby other than working out/running which is what I filled my spare time with in college. However with it being December, freezing and snowy and our treadmill tucked in a dark basement corner running didn't appeal to me at the time. Paper has never been my thing so scrapbooking was out but I do like pretty, trendy fabrics. Yes, a sewing business, I could make baby items because we all know everyone always needs a unique baby gift, and I will call it Poplin because well it's a type of fabric and sounded cute.

Yesterday I was part of the Seventh Annual Summer Craftacular, it was my third craftacular and once again a success. I don't only mark success by sales but instead the experience. Crafting is a hobby I would love to grow and turn into an even more consistent source of income but it takes time. My booth yesterday was on the main level surrounded by serious crafters, they are hardcore with their own little shops and cool credit card machines that plug right into their cell phones. I definitely have improved since last year moving from downstairs to the main floor, sprucing up my display a LOT and ready with eco friendly white paper shopping bags. As I watched and listened to the other crafters I soaked it all in like a sponge, the learning continues.

At times I do feel selfish and guilty, last week the majority of time was spent on Poplin. My kids watched a bit too much tv, spent lots of time with Nama and our house a complete disaster with little Poplin piles and projects scattered. But it felt good yesterday and this week will be better, I am a wife and mom but also need this just for me. I want my kids to see me work hard, be committed and persistent while at the same time hopefully I can inspire other mamas to find something just for them. We all need time for ourselves and something to be proud of, whether it be a craft, cooking, reading, blogging, volunteering, whatever just something.

What is your "just for me"? If you don't have one try something, be confident and find the little successes.

***One commenter on this post will win a Poplin ring or flower pin (your choice). Tell us what your "just for me" is...

Winner will be chosen randomly Thursday evening.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You're Mean

"You're mean", that is what my husband said to me last Saturday morning. The few seconds prior to this statement I was frustrated, tired and simply said, "I need a break from these kids!" In my mind that is not mean just real, after an entire week with my darling little ones and I longed for a few minutes to myself.

A year and half or so ago I was part of a "Mom to Mom" group; we met once a week after our kids were sleeping soundly and shared highs and lows. Many of the moms stayed home during the day teaching and loving on their kiddos but I at the time was working 40+ hours each week out of the house. Over and over these mamas shared stories of weekends being difficult, their husbands messing up the routine and Monday bringing them back to normalcy.

Interesting...supposedly fun, family filled weekends being stressful. At the time I couldn't relate as I enjoyed the occasional Saturday lounging in pj's watching cartoons or skipping naps to be on the go. I listened intently to these mamas, tried to sympathize and stored that interesting thought in my mind.

Well this past weekend it went from an interesting thought to the truth...weekends are a bit challenging. My husbands been away all week and wants to spend time at home while I plea to go somewhere, anywhere. He wants to lay on the floor and play tractors when that is what I did hour after hour for the past 5 days. My significant other attempts to put the boys in their beds at 10am for a morning nap just because they "look tired" and I am arguing that nap time is at 1pm, don't mess with our schedule!

I like routine, plans and schedules and yes throughout the week we have sort of a routine. As the one with my 2 and 1 year old the majority of the time I know their moods, what to expect and how we do things. My husband is a fantastic, out of this world daddy but does it differently, not bad or worse, just different. So in my mind I am not "mean" just need to learn how to embrace the weekends, the times of crabbiness because naps were messed up, lounging in pj's even if they are the same pair I wore for the past 2 ok maybe 3 days and truly enjoying time with my boys and husband together.

Mama Meanness, I don't think so, simply striving for sanity.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's All Relative

Morning came all too soon yet not soon enough this morning. Last night was spent at friend's house where pudgy pies sizzled over the fire, water splashed from the wading pool and laughs floated through the neighbor yards. As we pulled into the driveway the lightning bugs lit the way and meltdowns began. In to bed our little ones went and not too long after my husband and I followed. I was tired and looking forward to sleep...funny how kids seem to know that.

2am and I am abruptly woken by my incredibly loud 2 year old screaming, "mommy". Honestly I have the loudest children, they don't know how to cry only scream in a high pitch ear piercing way. Trexen hasn't been sleeping well so we've been leaving his gate (a baby gate we have in his door way) open so he can come into our room. The scream got closer and I knew it was time to peel my eyes open and once again work at calming him down. This time he was holding his finger screaming it hurts; well it was dark, my eyes barely open, I couldn't tell what happened.

Three hours later him and I still awake now downstairs rotating between the couch and rocking chair. I would start to doze and he would scream because the freezing cold ice pack he just had to have on his finger would slip. Oh I am not used to being awake so early when only infomercials line the tv guide. However just six months ago this was normal, I was always awake at 3am and knew which channels to surf and who I could find on Facebook.

(Finally sleeping at nap time)

Funny how we get used to new things so quickly. A short time ago a good nights sleep consisted of 3-4 hours sometimes not even in my bed, now a good nights sleep is in my bed only up once. It's all relative, what we get used to as moms, how we push ourselves to keep going and the attitude in which we do it all with. I was grumpy this morning, my back hurt from the couch and I had to dig deep to find motivation for the beach. Yet I am thankful, God knows I need those reminders. Many sleepless nights I prayed, pleading for sleep and in return I would never take it for granted again, never forget His strength getting me through.

A good night's sleep, our level of tiredness, motivation,'s all relative.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mugs & Muffins

Mugs & Muffins, Poplin Party, Pacey Pie, Pj's & Popcorn, Coffee you see a pattern here? I am a bit obsessed with Alliteration (just googled to find that out). Planning things, whether it be parties, play dates, family activities, anything is what I love. It excites me to have plans, little scribbles filling our calendar, and makes me anxious when there's free time.

One of the first things I do when planning is think of a name, even if I am the only one who knows it, everything has a name. Mugs & Muffins has been around for a while and I've used that term before but today was different. As you know much of my inspiration comes from the Enjoying the Small Things blog; she amazes me and challenges me to fulfil God's plan for my life right now. She has a group of friends and they get together for coffee and breakfast all the time. The way she describes it is magical, mamas sharing stories, little ones playing dress up, building blocks and loving life. Ahhh, now that seems wonderful to me.

(picture by Kelle Hampton)

In true Nicole style I said, "yes let's do it", gave it a name and planned it! This morning we had a Mugs & Muffins with five moms, ten kids, lots of coffee, homemade muffins (which I slightly regretted, they weren't very sweet), bubbles and a sandbox. It was just as I had read in the blog, mamas sharing stories, asking questions, laughing while the little ones played, chased and got dirty.

Mugs & successfully sweet!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Making Memories

I feel myself becoming more aware of memories, feeling the need to make unforgettable ones, soaking in every last drop of fun and trying to store each moment in my mind. My childhood is filled with the most happy memories; summers of camping, swimming, late nights by the fire and just enjoying friends and family. It's funny the bits and pieces of memories I remember, my mom says, "remember camping with friends, how crazy it was trying to entertain all you kids while setting up the tent, preparing food, keeping everyone caked with bug spray"... nope I remember the smell of campfires filling the air, the bright colored Christmas lights on all the campers, staying up past bedtime and loving the freedom to run a few sites down to dig in the dirt with friends.

I don't remember the stress of packing for a weekend away, the anxiety bedtime in a tent with 3 kids must have brought or my parents ever complaining about how much work it was to make a weekend of fun happen. I also don't remember every part of the memories, each detail that completes the event but the pictures stamped in my mind put a smile on my face. I'm sad those pictures are now just memories and life took old friends on different paths but incredibly thankful my parents loved us enough to make the memories.

Everyday as I pray for God to mold me into the best mom I can be, to keep me patient and calm, I pray for energy to always make memories. Don't ever let me pass up an opportunity to stamp some amazing pictures in my kid's minds. Yep my little ones are only two and one and won't remember all the details of this past weekend's cottaging trip but I know love was just stamped in their minds and hearts. They were loved not only by their mommy and daddy but three other families, they played in dirt, had the smell of campfire trapped in their clothes and in the end cried when saying good-bye.

I am the first to say, "It's a lot of work to make memories" but you have to do it. Fill your little one's minds with pictures they won't ever want to forget. Look past the stress, exhaustion, dirty laundry, what ifs and make happy memories.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sun and Shade

Summer seems to have finally arrived and I am trying to balance time between sun and shade. My mind loves the sun, warm temperatures and the thought of being golden brown. My body on the other hand likes the shade. From a very young age I've had super sensitive skin; my cheeks would break out from spaghetti sauce, arms itchy from the garden and swollen bug bites bigger than a dime. Now in my late 20's (really, do I have to consider 26 late 20's, I don't want to!) this skin hasn't changed much.

Hats are a staple for me in the summer (Pacey had a rough weekend).

I listen to my mind, lay out in the sun and instant headache, legs covered in red rash and the delicate skin on my face boiling with anger. My skin just doesn't like the sun, it desires shade so I am done fighting and am embracing my whiteness. Yes I have close to glowing white skin, will occasionally get red in the summer but won't be tan and would rather be inside sewing instead of soaking up the rays. I've learned...the summer shade is just as enjoyable as the summer sun.

Today's PB & J Day was perfect for the shade lovers. Town of Burke Park was peaceful, shaded and an amazing play date spot. I had the treat of being a mama to only one today as Trex stayed with his Nama. It was a shocking difference, I actually chatted with other mamas, held my littlest and didn't leave exhausted. Although I missed my eldest and felt sad as his friends one by one asked where he was, it was much needed bonding for Pacey Pie and I.

Hope you are enjoying the sun and shade, soaking up the season and enjoying this moment right now.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Featured Mama

Each week we will feature an amazing, marvelous mama. You will get a peek into the daily lives of other local mamas, see pics of their family and learn some fun facts. This week we feature...

Jamie Mateo

~Age- 26 yrs
~Birthday- February 1st
~#2 profession (mommy is #1)- Besides being a mom I work part time at the Sun Prairie Health Care Center as a CNA. I usually work 5pm-11 or 1 depending on the night. I started nursing school before I had Mia and haven't gone back to finish yet. Hopefully when Logan is in school I can finish:)

~Names/Ages of Kiddos-
~Favorite Nap time Pastime- During nap I usually get my cleaning done and just this year started theme birthday parties for the kids and I love to google different ideas, there is so much to see:)
~Guilty pleasure food item- I love pita chips and Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus!!

~Most Challenging Hour of the day- The longest hour of the day is usually between 4pm-5pm, on the days I work its hustle to get out of the house and the days I'm home its get supper made and the kids are just Crazy!!
~Favorite Baby/Child Product- Favorite child product right now would be the little pool in the back yard and bikes. They love the pool and they can all pedal some kind of bike making walks so much more fun now:)

~Blogs you like, follow or have- I love Blogs:)I follow:
Enjoying the Small Things (love her play list)
The Veldes
April Maureen
PB & J Day

~Favorite local place to take kids- Our favorite place to go is the Prairie Athletic Club. I can work out in peace and the kids can swim any day any time:) Also we love parks, anywhere:)
~Your mommy style in 3 words- Go With the Flow (well that's 4, sorry;)