Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brain Freeze

Today we celebrated the last day of summer vacation. It wasn't a planned or well thought out celebration but instead a combining of errands and simple fun. Yesterday I woke up early jumped in the shower, dressed in a matching outfit and curled my hair. Although these are simple tasks they were things low on my summer priority list. As I drove to a teaching job interview I felt a little nervous, scattered and discombobulated. I reflected on our summer and easy it was for me to leave the work world into the stay at home mom one.

Of course being a mama is work and at times much harder than any other work but it is different. My kids love me whether I have flat dirty hair or volumized strands, sweats or a skirt, they just want to play. It's been a fabulous summer filled with fun, laughs and relaxation. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity but also excited to try something new.

We dropped some more paperwork off to a few schools this morning, played at a wonderful park, shopped at a country store and ate ice cream for lunch. As we pulled into the gravel parking lot where a tiny yet brightly painted building with the name "Brain Freeze" plastered on the front stood Trexen said, "mom this is fun". He was right, it was fun, spending the day with my boys, enjoying the weather and delicious ice cream.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Weekend

One of the side effects to being a stay-at-home mom I've learned is never knowing what day it is. Although in my mind each day very much has a feel. I mean Monday definitely has a feel, Wednesday has that hump day, half-way through thing going on where as Thursday night has the let's stay up late because it's almost the weekend mood. Despite all that I tend to loose track of days especially when it is go-go-go, one event to the next.

This weekend proved just that, I lost track of the day only focused on my list of priorities, next event and plan to make it all coordinate. Thursday and Friday were devoted to one of my best friends from high school. She married her now best friend, handsome hunk, love of her life outside in the gardens at Olbrich. I admit at times I'm discouraged and feel disconnected with my high school group, I am the only one with kids and married (until Friday) and it's difficult to relate. I can't drop everything to meet for a late night visit or mid-day coffee, am not still in school and not traveling the world but we are all still friends. My heart was happy Friday night being reunited with our group, clicking like old times and supporting each other on a memory making day.

Saturday was filled with an abundance of fresh air, laundry and chicken coop construction. My hubby doesn't get much time to build this chicken mansion but good progress is being made. Pacey loves playing in the coop and in my mind I changed it into a life-size girly dollhouse, hopefully someday.

The great outdoors and I generally don't mesh, I prefer an indoor controlled climate but today the weather for perfect making the first ever Craft-apple-Ar wonderful. I met new people, sold some Poplin goodies and purchased my first gallon of apple cider this season. A end to the a busy yet happy weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Weekend Fun

No PB & J this week makes me sad but there still plenty of ways for you to have fun. Check out some of these events and enjoy time with your kiddos.

~Sassy Cow Ice Cream Social

~Craft-Apple-Ar! (I will be there all day selling my Poplin products so stop by and say hi)

~Good Neighbor Festival

~Orton Park Festival

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Falling Apart

I'm 26 years old, in pretty good shape and no major health issues yet I feel as though I'm falling apart. My body has gone haywire, obviously angry about something. Three months ago I went off the "pill" and I think my body has decided that is a big dislike.

Most of you know I have a deep desire for a baby girl, this goes way beyond my obsession with the color pink and girly dresses. I have an amazing relationship with my mom and want the same thing with a daughter, I want to be a ballet mama, the fun mom who always says yes to sleepovers and paints nails. I want to show a little girl how to have confidence, be strong and not afraid to stand up for herself. I want to shop for prom dresses, answer uncomfortable questions and prepare her for life as a woman. I want to be the mother of the bride and the close grandma willing to drop everything for her daughter's kids.

With all that said back to my point, I went off the pill in hopes of a baby girl soon. (Yes I know it is a 50/50 chance) Since then my legs are covered in a red rash, the skin on my face has big itchy painful bumps, I went to the dentist and have a "weak" tooth way in the back and have a monthly cycle that is extremely unpredictable not helping the baby situation. Bodies are a lot of work to take care of and I am thankful beyond words to be healthy but some days it seems like I'm falling apart.

In other news our trip to Eagle River was restful and relaxing. Jeff and Trexen caught a bunch of large fish while Pacey and I played in the sand. We sat around the campfire, went for afternoon swims and stayed up late playing dominoes. My sister-in-law let me use her nice camera and we even had a photo shoot with the boys which reminded me why we don't have professional pictures taken.

We are back home now and it feels good, getting ready for my friend's wedding this weekend and the Craft-Apple-Ar! Very excited for all our upcoming activities and praying my body can even out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not so Smooth

PB & J Day did not go very smoothly, rather quite the opposite. For starters the weather channel got it wrong again, I looked right before I walked out the door and it said 72 degrees at 10am. Ok, jean capris and a tank would work perfect. As I lugged our lunch box, blanket, water bottle and diaper bag sweat rolled off my sticky skin. All the mamas and real little ones huddled under the slides in the one piece of shade while the older ones enjoyed the park.

Fifteen minutes into a conversation (well probably not the same conversation) one of the mamas told me Trex was having an issue. Surprisingly I am not a freak out mommy, I stay pretty calm and don't panic. So I waited for the screaming to get closer before I moved but quickly realized there was blood. That darn teeter totter, why do parks have them, they are always hazards. Trexen flung forward, hit his face on the bar and now was bleeding.

In the end we had to leave the park, he has a chipped tooth and I had an extended conversation with the pediatric dentist. He will be fine but what a bummer of a play date, no pictures were even snapped.

On the up side I finally finished a new Poplin product and will have some available next weekend at the Craft-Apple-Ar! I've planned our next Mama's Night Out, a Poplin Party at my house and found out another PB & J mama is expecting, that makes 3 new babes this winter.

Have a fantastic weekend, I will be in the north woods at Eagle River until next week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The New Summer

A brisk breeze, warm apple cider, colorful leaves crunching underfoot, that is what I am dreaming about tonight. I used make summer fun lists, get all excited for the warmth and long for days at the beach but not anymore. Fall is where it's at, I've declared fall to be the new summer in this household. As most people pack their summer full of events and activites having every second accounted for that is how my fall will be this year. I want to enjoy every minute making the season last as long as possible.

Some of the things I'm dreaming about...

~Visits to Lapacek's Orchard where we run through the trees, devour cider donuts and feed the goats
~Hikes at Devil's Lake and Parfrey's Glen
~Football Parties where the guys yell at the tv while girls chat
~Drinking apple cider and making apple crisp
~Trienen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

~A fall trip to the zoo
~Resuming monthly game night
~Celebrating my boys' birthdays
~New fall tv shows

Just a few to get the fall fun list started. What things are you looking forward to this fall?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sick Day

Head pounding, scratchy throat, burning eyes and aches all over. That describes how I felt this morning at 4:30am when Trexen stood next to my bed pleading for me to find his Sophie kitty. Ugh up out of bed for the third time and now that cold the kids passed back and forth invaded my body.

A few hours later I am laying on our living room floor wrapped in a blanket, eyes closed and two wide awake boys driving tractors on me. I always rate my sickness by deciding if I would stay home from work or not, is it bad enough for a sick day? Well I found myself in a new situation this morning, there are no more sick days. Whether I'm full of energy or dragging myself out of bed there are two little ones needing me to be mama no matter what.

I close my eyes for a second and find this.

I tried to tell them, "mommy doesn't feel good, I need you to have good listening ears" but quickly they forgot and I was pushing swings and building sand castles trying to sit every chance I got wearing sunglasses in hopes of "resting my eyes" without being caught.

4:30am caught up with him

So I assume the position on the couch, enjoy quiet nap time and prepare my husband for a disaster house.

Since there are no sick days, we are just trying to make it through today, looking forward to restored energy and fun later in the week.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Know, I Know

"I know, I know Sophie girl" was one of Trexen's favorite lines this weekend. He found a small beanie cat in our random toy bin the other day, the bin I only get out when I really need them to be entertained. My mom got him this cat a year ago and he has loved it on and off since. Well apparently we are on right now because this weekend at the cottage was all about Sophie.

She got a tour of the cottages, came on the pontoon with us, took a paddle boat ride and even got some guitar lessons.

At first I discouraged this Sophie girl as he calls her, I can't stand stuffed animals and we already have one little boy dragging a monkey around everywhere. Once I stopped to watch Trexen with this stuffed cat though my mind changed, he is learning so much. Taking care of her, putting her needs first, being responsible, thoughtful and darn right cute with his little Sophie.

Who am I to squelch this relationship, for the time being I know he needs her. I know he is listening to me as he repeats my common phrases "I know you want to... but we can't right this minute, Sophie please use listening ears, mommy leave her alone she is crabby, Sophie two more minutes, etc".

By the end of the weekend there were ten adults worrying about Sophie, talking to her like a real cat and caught carrying her around all gingerly.

I know it is extremely challenging being a mom but it's so worth it.

I know it would have been easier to just stay home but unforgettable memories wouldn't have been made.

I know my kids are loved unconditionally.

I know the mud, buzzing bugs, flapping fish and fresh air are all good for my boys.
I know my hair is greasy, feet black from dirt and the smell of campfire buried into my pores but fun was had.

I know I am incredibly thankful and blessed.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Happy Friday!
My whole family (minus Kelsey/Jordan and my grandma) are going to the cottage for the weekend. Our car is packed full, boys bouncing off the walls and me excited to have 10 adults and only 2 little kids which means lots of help and relaxing for mommy. Don't have time for a long, in depth post but here's some randomness...

~I love the Internet, feel like I always have more to do online and could sit for hours sipping cocoa holding my laptop.

~I love when Trexen wakes up happy, he kissed my cheek this morning and said, "can I do on the pontoon boat?".

~I love when Trexen asks me to pray, makes my heart happy and brings tears to my eyes. He wanted to pray for his cousins Ethan and Grace yesterday because he loves them so much. Often though we pray for Lightning McQueen, Chic and Sally from the movie "Cars".

~My closet looks like a combo of all season, shoes laying everywhere and small piles of clothes strategically placed, only I know the unorganized organized system in there.

~One of my "big prayers" (will post more on those later) is for our PB & J group, that the right people would come on the right days making the most impact. For 3 new moms to start coming consistently and for me to give back as much to everyone as you have to me.

~I tried to be on top of it yesterday making zucchini bread for some friends, packaging it up all cute, however ran out of time and had to deliver the last box to my one of my bestie's mailboxes at close.

~A new blog is in the works, I am super excited and finally have some direction with it.

~My throat is raspy but I am trying to ignore the fact that I may be getting a cold.

~I had the best time last night at the Poplin Party. Tween girls are amazingly funny.

~Trexen has on a red shirt, orange long sleeve and blue shorts, I've lost all control.

Have a fantastic Friday, live it up and enjoy this day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crafting, Chatting and Chickens

Our 2nd Mama's Night Out was just as I had hoped, chatting, crafting and laughing. Ten hard working mamas shared stories and savored the time away from our little ones. Gigi's Cupcakes was our first stop and a lesson was learned...either call ahead and place an order or go earlier in the day.

As we approached the super cute shop the pink tables and chairs had me at first sight, I want the hot pink bench placed at their front door so bad. You open the door to find more pink and smells of sweet sugar, our mouths were watering. Quickly the excited turned to disappointment as we discovered they were almost sold out, only a measly 7 cupcakes remained, big bummer. A few of the mamas scooped them up and raved over the delicious flavors.

Glitter Workshop had us digging through piles of vintage buttons, concentrating hard and creating button flower stems. Some went for colorful buttons others more muted, in the end the great conversation while crafting was really most important.

Back to our starting point, Hilldale, for dinner at the Great Dane, yum. I rarely frequent this restaurant, kind of forget about it I guess, but am pleased every time. After serious deliberation over the menu I went for a picnic basket, half soup and half chicken wrap, maybe a few cheese fries too!

Chatting continued as one big convo fluently turned into four little ones and back to one again. We even hashed out one of my biggest life dilemmas have real or fake fish at our upcoming 3 year old birthday. It is a fishing party and of course we are going all out but then there are those stickler parents who despise fish and run far away from all goldfish games at the carnival (my husband included). I took everyone's honest opinion into consideration weighing the pros and cons but in the end, it's me and everyone probably expects real fish so let's just go with it! (If you receive a cute vintage fishing party invite this week in your mailbox consider yourself warned, mentally prepare and don't be a stickler:).


In other news, our chicken coop is coming along. Did I tell you I finally gave in and agreed to my husband getting some chickens?

He is now one step closer to becoming self-sustaining (one of his life long goals) and the boys are squealing with joy. Trexen can't wait to hold them and take them for rides in his John Deere gator. I dislike most animals especially chickens but Jeff found a way to convince me...say hello to our chicken coop inspiration.

Honestly I am super excited to decorate the coop, chickens not so much, but making it look adorable oh ya. I will continue to keep you posted on the coop chaos.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Chamomile for calmness and ylang- ylang for relaxation, a spa like experience in a bottle. Unwind aromaessential lotion from Arbonne promises all that in a small yet expensive bottle of body lotion. I went to an Arbonne spa party at a friend's house and it was the perfect girls night. The Arbonne consultant was friendly, had very warm foot baths for us and the wonderful host had delicious snacks. Generally I dislike these kind of parties, hearing the spiel of how "you can do this too", feeling pressured to buy and all the products out of my price range. However if someone wants to give me a night of relaxing spa like treatment I'm in.

These party consultants are good, really good. They know the products, of course love them and somehow make you believe you need them. I am probably their worst nightmare as I am always skeptical and don't fall into pressure of buying. Although I have a vicious battle going on in my mind to buy or not to buy I usually take the catalog, say thanks and head back into reality, back to my $3 Up & Up brand of lotion. It is not that I doubt any of the products or brands at these parties, it's quite the opposite, of course they work and are fantastic, it is $30+ for a tiny bottle, it had better work, I just can't afford it.

Well the woman said, "and our unwinding lotion is so calming, even for fussy kids, rub some lotion on to calm them down". Gosh you would think after 2.5 years of uptight, fussy, sleep hating kids I wouldn't fall for anything but I got sucked in. $30 later I had a bottle of Unwind lotion on its way to my house. To your surprise I'm sure, the lotion has not calmed me or my littles yet. It is silky smooth and smells wonderful but no calming aroma has rubbed off.

(trying to relax)

Not sure why I try to change myself all the time. I can be calm and relaxed at times, its just not my personality. Many wonder how I get so much done, well I don't ever just sit, I do multiple things at one time and am always busy. I admire those that can just be, that can spend an entire day chilling, in my mind I want to but haven't mastered that skill yet, maybe I need more unwinding lotion.

Friday, August 5, 2011

In Reality

In theory a PBS Kids Open House sounded like a fun-filled morning with cool songs, hands-on activities and pictures with Martha Speaks and Cat in the Hat. This event was our PB & J Day for the week, lots of mamas were excited and expectations high. reality it was overcrowded, unorganized and too small of a space for that many strollers. We made it to our meeting spot right at 9am after learning the car was on E, following the slowest driver ever, running into road construction, being stalled by a train and then stuck behind a street cleaner. Despite all that I maneuvered through the parking ramp, lifted our mammoth double stroller out of our tiny Corolla trunk and had quiet yet excited little boys for passengers.

No need for directions we just followed the stream of strollers, pregnant mamas, screaming kiddos and fishy crackers to the Open House. Wow, hundreds of other people had the same vision I did. The line for registration was a mile long but who needs to register, we bye-passed that and went straight for Martha Speaks. All the craft stations looked so fun with dog ears, tall hats, tattoos and more but who could really tell we couldn't get close enough, too many people.

(can you spot Steve Songs?)

Steve Songs was just an energetic in person but way more tan. The crowd was dancing and singing, some of the parents more than kids, and he sounded great. My boys did enjoy the bubble area and water tubs but we just couldn't move with all the people.

We briefly saw our friends and I could tell by the mamas faces we all felt the same way...get us out of here. After about an hour we left, took a nice walk down by the union, fed some ducks and camped out on the sidewalk for 20 minutes watching construction equipment at work (my kids highlight for sure). Lunch was approaching and I needed an excuse for a McDonald's mocha frappe sooo "Daddy can we stop at your work and bring lunch?", "well of course!".

Trex has been begging to go to work with daddy so this was perfect. We entered the quiet workplace a bit sweaty, arms full of frappes and bagel sandwiches and two little ones squealing for their hero, daddy. Trexen kept saying, "this is so cool", he saw daddy's desk, met the co-workers and we had lunch outside. As a mama I have learned to roll with the punches. Sometimes plans need to be adjusted, sometimes they need tweaking and sometimes they need to be scrapped all together. We turned reality into some great memories this morning, now it is nap time, ahhh.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cold Play

Create some cool artwork with homemade, frozen watercolors. I found this idea in a magazine a few weeks ago, dug it out of my heaping project pile and gave it a try today with 5 little ones. Definitely fun, pretty and cool however a bit messy. Once the ice cubes started melting I had red, purple and blue drops all throughout my kitchen. Maybe its a good outside project especially on a hot day like this.

1. Place 1 tsp. of tempera paint (I used washable crayola paint) in each section of an ice-cube tray.
2. Fill with water and stir with toothpicks. Let stand for 10 minutes and stir again.
3. Place in freezer until frozen. Pop out and start painting! Using think paper, card stock or butcher paper is best.

Have fun!