Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Looking Forward To

It's the 2nd day of my work's summer hours! It's soooo nice to leave at 4:00 instead of 5:00. It's one of the many perks of my job :)

Anyways, I'm really excited for summer and the nice weather. I think that having kids has really changed my perspective on what to do with my leisure time. No longer am I content sitting in front of the TV all day, I want to get outside and play! Having kids renewed my joy for things I did when I was little, like going swimming or bike riding, and I get excited for the time when they can do those things with the same excitement as myself!

So here's a short list of my reasons I'm excited:

  • We have a pool membership for the summer. 
  • I bought a bike rack for the back of my car! (Hello finding new trails)
  • Our backyard is mostly thistle free so we can run around barefoot!
  • I'm leaving work at 4:00 (I can't stress this enough)
  • Brian and I are planning our first road trip/family vacation to the Ozarks!!!! (more to discuss on that later)
  • Nolan is turning 4 this summer and I'm taking his birthday off for a Mama/Nolan play day (probably going swimming if we're being honest)
  • We bought a membership to the science museum in Des Moines as well as the Blank Park Zoo - the hidden benefit of these memberships is RE-CI-PRO-CI-TY. That means many other zoos and museums will allow FREE entry! (There's a zoo by the ozarks that does reciprocity)
Ok, the above things that I'm excited for all have the possibility of going down a rabbit hole and talking about the minute reasons that I'm excited for each of the above but I think I want to zone in on the Ozarks vacation. 

I have been SO wishy washy with vacation planning lately. Like I've had dreams of going to Germany/Harry Potter World and did everything except for buying tickets as far as planning but things fell through. To back up, when Brian and I got married in 2011 we went on a honeymoon to Mexico at an all inclusive. I was kind of pushing for a european vacation but he really wanted to do Mexico and I, being a little more traveled than he, figured that he could decide. We made a decision to have a "big vacation" (ie one that's a little more expensive, maybe a week or more, to a destination that you definitely can't drive to) every 5 years. That means we were due for one in 2016 but GUESS WHAT? Wehadababy Itsaboy. So instead of doing the big trips when the kids are so little and, let's face it, still sleep terrorists it makes more sense that they come with us rather than having them stay with family. 

So Brian and I were discussing something to do this summer - and we hemmed and hawwed about Colorado. I mostly wanted to go because I wanted a mountain vacation that was relaxing with some hiking. Something that didn't take a lot of structure because the kids are so little it seems like they (especially Maxwell) won't remember it anyways. But I still wanted to go and do something because we really only have 14 years until Nolan moves away for college... That sounds like a long time but that's, in my eyes, 14 potential vacations as a family if we only do one a year. So what better time than today?

That's my background anyways. So I've started a very pathetic pinterest board and come up with the below ideas for activities during the day:
  • Hiking
  • Zoo visit (fo FREE)
  • Cave tour
  • Water Park
That oughta do 'er. And I'm guessing the kids will be tired when the day is over. 

Anyways I think that the next few weeks/months of planning is going to be really fun and going there will be a fun way to end the summer. More to come? 

Before I click "Publish" I have to share this:

MRW I'm the designated driver
"Hold still... please smile!"
When you turn 1 and grandma gives you the best present of all time. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Big Gulps Huh


Christian should be getting a package in the mail today.

I'm going to visit my bro in June!!!! I decided to be cheeky and make M&Ms for him as a way to make him second guess allowing me to visit.

This is what happens when you have groupon credits and a bro you love to tease.

Monday, April 17, 2017

From the mouth of babes

Daddy tooted. Nolan heard it and had some notes.

Nolan toots and it sounds like "pbpbpb"
Daddy toots and it sounds like "pbpbpbpbpbpbpbp"
Mommy toots and it sounds like "kaboom"

So there you have it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In other news

You know when you buy food in bulk from the grocery store?

I decided to buy some farro - my new favorite grain - and saw it in the bulk food section. Hurray I said to myself.

Poured my farro into the bag, did the scale, printed the bar code and off to the register I went.

I did it, guys!
I made myself a delicious farro and stir fried veggies casserole thing with the recipe that I made up in my very own head. I ate it and it was delicious. A few days later I was like, "you know what? I still have some of that delicious farro. I'm going to make me up some more of that casserole that I had the other day because it was both delicious AND nutritious!"

LA DE DA - I'm going to the kitchen to make more food. Nothing bad will happen!
To prepare farro, you cook with 2 parts water or vegetable stock (vegetable stock/bouillon cubes is the way to go) and 1 part farro. Last time I poured 2 cups of farro into 4 pots boiling water and cooked that stuff right up.

How much farro do I have? I need to know this so I know how much water to boil?

I poured the remaining farro into a measuring cup and it was as if the lord blessed that bowl and said "you shall have exactly one cup for easy math to know how much water to boil"

And it was done. 
Well I have some time, I should start cutting my veggies.

What's this? Husband is calling? Well I should certainly answer.

"BLAH BLAH BLAH" says the husband
"Is that right?" says me, "hey's what's that?"

Oh gross, I saw a bug in the bowl. Must have flown from somewhere in the room to enjoy my nice bowl of farro. Understandable. I'll shoo it away.

What the mother fucking fuck is this?


My farro was INFESTED.

The insect is a granary weevil. My food was INFESTED. I could easily see 5 from looking at the bowl without much inspection. They were just crawling all around.


Check your bulk food before preparing it. ALWAYS.

Farro is still delicious, folks. I definitely recommend it. But just... make sure the bugs aren't with it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Adventure Weekend

This weekend I definitely wanted out of the house. After months of snow and cold I finally was greeted with some nice weather that happened to coincide with a weekend. We've had our blips here and there, but I feel like our spring weather might actually be here to stay.

When we first woke up Nolan was having his usual "let's stay home and watch videos" mentality. So I told him that we were going to go "on an adventure" and he perked right up. Now, admittedly, my idea before leaving was just to get this kid some new shoes because his old ones have seen better days. That's no way to start an adventure! So as we were driving I improvised that we would go to a new park that he'd never been to before. It's close by my house, but we just haven't swung by the place. It's a new playground for a nearby elementary school.

I parked in the teacher lot in front of the building and told Nolan we were going to explore, as if I hadn't known there's a park behind the building. It was really fun because as we were exploring he just lit up and said, "It's a PLAYGROUND" and he ran towards the equipment.

We played for about an hour, and according to my fitbit, I moved quite a bit too. I was playing on the stuff almost just as much as he was. The kids today have it AWESOME.

After literally swinging on every swing in the playground (one right after another) we went for lunch, just Nolan and myself, to The Cafe. For the first time ever I tried their famous mac and cheese and it was scrumtrulescent. Nolan and I shared the order as I figured it would be quite rich. The Cafe did a great job splitting our orders and giving him fresh fruit and yogurt too... which ended up being the only thing he really had.

photos never give the food credit for how tasty it is. 
 And because I'm a pushover, we also had cake for dessert.

We didn't finish the cake at the restaurant. Thank goodness!

We did finish off our adventure by going shoe shopping. He got some Nikes and I bought some sandals for Maxwell. With my "coups" the shoes were somewhat reasonably priced. For both pairs it was less than $50.

Side note: I'm a bit of a shoe snob for my kids. They're very often better dressed than I am.

After getting home and then taking a nap with Nolan. Literally snuggling with him while I napped too. I took Maxwell to the park (a different one).

I put him on the swing and that was a mistake. But then I tried him on the slide and I think I found a winner.

The next day as a family we went to the Des Moines Zoo and decided to become members. And because of their reciprocity program, we're now able to visit the Omaha Zoo for free as well as hundreds of other zoos around the country. The membership was a duel program with the local science museum so we can also go to science museums too INCLUDING the Field Museum in Chicago which is one of my favorite museums ever.

I ended the weekend with a 6 mile bike ride where I pulled a very sleepy Nolan in the very windy weather. Needless to say, I slept well Sunday night!