Tuesday, December 9, 2014

16 and Pregnant! {Ok, 16 weeks}

Baby is starting to show. As of today I am officially 17 weeks, but I took the pictures at 16 weeks, and never posted. The crazy part is, a few days ago, I actually felt the baby kick. My first born was after 20 weeks, second born around 18/19 weeks, and now 16 weeks with baby #3. 16 is pretty darn early. It's not surprising, because at yesterday's appointment, we could actually hear the baby kick through the sonogram. So we have a happy little kicker already!

Morning sickness is gone and I have energy back. I love the second trimester!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Scenes from A Christmas Story

After yesterday's snowfall, my boys were itching to get outside and play in the snow. Much to their dismay, I got done dressing them for outside, and I found myself chuckling, as they looked like a scene out of the movie A Christmas Story. I had to share.

Poor Logan...he was even falling over and couldn't get himself back up without assistance.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Party of 5!

Ok so I missed fall entirely. The weather is quickly changing in Minnesota, as it does every fall. Weather can fluctuate from 80 degrees down to freezing in a matter of days. Fall brings beautiful leaves, fun fall outings, increased talk about the weather (a Minnesotan thing), and in our family this fall, the announcement of a new family member joining our family May 2015. That's right, we are expecting our third child! Party of 5 please!

A new addition to our pumpkin patch. 
I had given up any writing on my blog the last few weeks (or all of fall) in place of hanging my head in the porcelain throne! We are thrilled and let's be honest...a little nervous about having 3 kids under 3.5 years. But we planned it this way by choice, and it will be a crazy, but rewarding journey. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

So the last few weeks have been busy - growing a baby, taking care of 2 toddlers, working up the courage to get out of my yoga pants during the week and surviving the day while feeling nauseous, and lots of outings on the weekends. In the midst of it all, we still managed to have fun and enjoy as much fall as we could.

Leaves! We have 2 beautiful mature red maples in our front yard, and they made for a great leaf pile for jumping in for my boys (and my husband). The leaves in Minnesota are absolutely gorgeous and with so many lakes for the colors to bounce off of, it's a beautiful sight.

The Apple Orchard! We went, we loved it, and we forgot to take pictures! We love the apple orchard. I grew up going to the apple orchard and loved it as a kid, and I'm excited to start sharing this with my kids.

Local gardens/market. We went to one by us and it was tons of fun. We got our pumpkins, they had a petting zoo, corn pit, jumping pillow, etc.

The massive corn pit!

Carving pumpkins & Roasting Pumpkin seeds.  The boys had fun digging out the seeds in each of their pumpkins. We basically get and carve pumpkins for roasting pumpkins. My favorite part, especially since we discovered trying different flavors with our seeds. Our favorite is making buffalo seeds! Yum!

Como Zoo Zoo Boo. The local free zoo (Como Zoo) offers a great safe and non-scary trick or treating event called Zoo Boo. Kids get to dress up, staff/volunteers dress up in costumes, the local fire department & police attend, and they give away a variety of treats (ranging from candy to organic cereal). Roman dressed as Buzz Light Year and Logan dressed as Yoda.

Our little Yoda found his people!
Ok, now that I have caught up from this fall...the seasons have changed once again. The leaves are gone, and as of early this morning, we are basically in a blizzard. It's been too windy and snowy outside to take the kids out, so I brought snow into them instead. I even turned on Christmas music, boiled some apples/cinnamon/cloves on the stove to make the house smell great & provide some humidity, and we baked cookies. These are the days I truly enjoy my job as a full time Mom...no commute, PJ day, Christmas tunes, making cookies, and playing with my kids and listening to their giggles & squeals at the sight of snow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Easy Ham, Egg & Cheese Muffin Cup Breakfast

So I've been seeing lots of recipe posts on Pinterest for Ham & Egg cups. I'm all about finding different breakfast items that make my morning a little easier, that don't result in cold cereal. Don't get me wrong, we still enjoy breakfast cereal, but I like to mix it up - so we get some variety. Who wants to make a full on breakfast every morning. Not this lady! I'm not what you call a morning person. So I was excited to find these recipes for breakfast....easy, custom made to your liking, and you can make a bunch and store them in the fridge for the week. Yes, please!

End result: Delicious and easy!

Ham (I had a packaged thin sliced honey ham. I used 2 slices per cup, so pending the size of the slice you might only need 1/2 a slice - 2 slices. I'd use black forest ham or similar in the future - just because I'd prefer salt vs. honey)
Eggs (for 6 muffins I used 4 eggs)
Various veggies/cheese - veggies, cheese, etc. (I was out of veggies, so it was just cheese)
Various spices - what you normally season scrambled eggs with if any (I use pepper and Tastefully Simple's Onion Onion - basically a flavorful dehydrated onion seasoning)
Non-stick spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray
3. Line your muffin cups with ham slices
4. Scramble your eggs as you normally would and season if you'd like
5. Add a light layer of cheese & veggies on top of the ham
6. Add scrambled eggs on top and fill to just below top of muffin tin
7. Bake for about 15 minutes (give or take depending on your oven). Bake until eggs are firm
8. Store left overs in the fridge.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Day Out With Thomas!

Thomas the Train is in town at the Minnesota Children's Museum!

My husband had this week off from work, so we thought it would be the perfect time to all go together. My boys have a well-used train table at home, and love anything trains. So this was the perfect exhibit!

My little guys wore their Thomas shirts, and before we left the house they were yelling at each other with excitement, pointing at the other's shirt. Roman yelling "Thomas" and Logan just yelling gibberish, but with full gusto!

Logan (my almost 18 month old) actually shrieked with excitement when we first walked into the Thomas the Train Exhibit. The exhibit included trains you could climb aboard, the largest kid's train table my kids had ever seen, costumes to dress as Sir Topham Hatt, an area where you could fix Percy, etc.

 What else can you do at the Minnesota Children's Museum? (Pictures show the tip of the iceberg)


I highly recommend the Minnesota Children's Museum for any families with kids (crawling and above). There is so much to do to keep them entertained, and I recommend purchasing a family membership if you think you can make it there a few times a year. A basic family membership is $99 a year, but for our family of 4 to go 1 time it would cost us $40. So we've already cleared our membership for the year (now on our 3rd visit with the membership).

What the basic membership gets you: 
   * Unlimited admission for 12 months for 2 adults &  children in the same household
   * $2 off admission for up to 6 guests per visit
   * Member discounts - member events, museum store
   * Other local business discounts - ex: Free admission to the Science Museum on Tuesday

A few tips/things to know:
   * Best day to visit: Tuesday, no school groups allowed
   * Worst day to visit: Target Free 3rd Sunday's (while free, it is super packed)
   * There are a couple food options near by, but packing a lunch is a fun/cheap option, and there is an area with tables to sit.
   * Pack light and bring a bag that is cross-body, so you can park your stroller and not have to worry

Dustin (my husband) and I left the Children's museum with smiles on our faces. This has to be one of our favorite memories we've created as a family. We got to see everything we wanted, and the boys did great. Normally things like this can be stressful and can test your patience, but this was one of those moments in time where the stars aligned, and all was right in the world.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

School is now in session!

Does anyone else think of the Billy Madison's "Back to School" song when they start seeing school buses, backpacks, and lunchboxes? Maybe it's just me, but either way, it's fun to see all the Facebook pictures of kid's first day of school. There is so much excitement in the air for knowledge, or maybe it's to show off their cool new starter jacket, Doc Martins, and shirt they tried on in front of the mirror seventeen times. Oh wait...maybe, that was my childhood. I digress. 

The first day is always so thrilling in anything - you feel energized and excited. It could be a new job, a new class, a new diet, first day of school, etc. Well, school is in session, but nobody is in school at our house, but I can feel the energetic pulse regardless. So with that said, I used that energy to get the house in order, spend quality time with my kids, and fit in some education with them while I was at it.

Day 1: kitchen cleaned, living area cleaned, 2 loads of laundry done, brushed the dog, checked emails, went to the library, read a ton of books to my kids, the kids colored pictures for my husband for work, we did a letter B craft, made chili for dinner, and dehydrated apples.

So like I said...it was Day 1. Excitement, motivation, energy...insert other positive words. You get the idea.

As a full-time mom I struggle daily to find balance in keeping the sanity in my house (dishes, laundry, Legos and tiny itty-bitty toys off the floor, etc), educational/social opportunities for my kids, and time for myself. These are my struggles as a full-time mom, but as humans we ALL struggle to stay on track with our goals, and there is comfort in knowing that.

In an effort to find that "perfect" balance as a full-time mom. I found a routine that works for us (when the stars align)

A Full-Time Mom's Schedule (wishful thinking):
Breakfast - at the table, no TV, just talking and waking up
Morning Cartoons - on the couch or they can play in the livingroom, and I get a minute to enjoy some coffee
Let the day begin - Playing, outings, outside, craft, preschool type learning, reading, etc.
Playtime/Pickup toys before lunch
Naps/quiet time
I work on one or some of the following: dinner, clean, shower, blog, bills, etc.

Let's be honest, my days don't usually look like this, but I TRY, and if you are trying you at least have a goal. So if you are trying to get back into a routine, exercise more, eat less, be more financially responsible...whatever your new journey might be, good luck to you! School is now in session!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Family Fun at the 2014 Great Minnesota Get-Together (MN State Fair)

We headed over to the Minnesota State Fair, or the Great Minnesota Get-Together as many like to call it on Thursday with the boys. In total we were there for about 5 or 6 hours. What helped us survive the state fair with 2 little ones under 3 was:

     * Extra snacks packed with
     * Rain gear packed as their was light rain in the forecast
     * Easy to maneuver, lightweight strollers
     * Going early in the day
     * Making the first half of the day about them and doing all the things they'd enjoy
     * Making the last half for us. They were tired and content in their strollers  and we got to see the things
        we wanted.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed. Great way to start the fair!
My deep-fried favorite at the fair this year. Queen olives, stuffed with cream cheese and then deep fried, served with ranch dipping sauce.  This year we had a Chicken Gyro from the International Market, deep fried olives, bullseye (chocolate dipped peanut butter then battered and deep fried), corn dog, Sweet Martha Cookies, and french fries.

A view from the top. Roman and I went on the Ferris Wheel. On our way to the fair he said he wanted to ride this ride and when we asked what his favorite part of the fair was he said the Ferris Wheel.
Who can resist the Ferris Wheel....my husband. I guess it's not for everyone.

A view from the top!
More Rides....(monster trucks, Dumbo, and a train)

Kemps Little Farm Hands. Roman and Logan got to do farm work for the day. They were rewarded with fake money that they got to use to purchase a little prize in the end and free samples of ice cream. Not too bad!

A pit stop for Mommy & Daddy! Land of 10,000 brews! As a bonus, I got a free flight of beer...mistakenly. I got my flight of beer, brought it up to the counter to pay for it, and the confused cashier asked what I was doing. I told her I was paying for my flight of beer...apparently, I was suppose to buy a ticket, and then give it in exchange for a flight of beer. Her response "Oh honey...you just got yourself some free beer. They should have asked you for a ticket, so enjoy!" And we did!

While on Machinery Hill checking out the tractors, Roman and Logan had to test drive a John Deere of course! Ok...it was parked, but they made all the necessary sounds for real life mowing!

And our final stop was at the horse barn. One of my favorite stops. Such beautiful creatures.