Thursday, August 10, 2017

Goal: Posting Once A Month


OMG Branson was so much fun!

Hard to even really capture everything in the photos but we were so busy! The highlights were:

  • Ride the Ducks
  • The fish hatchery
  • Talking Rocks Cave
  • TITANIC MUSEUM
  • Branson Mountain Coaster
  • Dixie Stampede
  • Fritz's Restaurant (KC)
Basically it was a non-stop vacation. When we weren't out doing museums/touristy things we were taking naps at the air bnb or swimming at the pool at the air bnb.

Pretty much my take home though is that my kids can survive on just rolls apparently even though we bought them food every time we went out they would only eat the fries or whatever carb was in front of them despite their request for chicken strips *coughNOLANcough*.

It all worked out though and we had leftovers to enjoy at the air bnb which, in my opinion, is the only way to travel anymore. The place was really nice with a king sized bed in one room and two twin beds in the other room. Unfortunately Maxwell wasn't the best sleeper in his pack and play and Brian and I divided and conquered the sleep arrangements by one of us in each room. Maxwell pretty much woke up each night and I just cuddled with him in the king size bed while Brian was slumming it in the twin beds.

One thing that surprised me was on the mountain coaster - which is literally a 1-2 person car that you ride up a hill and then gravity pulls you down the twisty coaster through the mountain - was a thrill for Nolan. I knew I wanted to ride this with him but I had no idea he'd be screaming "faster" instead of just screaming. 


Now the only problem is that I've been bitten with the vacation bug and can't wait to plan our next trip somewhere. Which I guess will be OKC for a family wedding. I'm sure we can find something to do while we're there :) 

In other news, we got some family photos done...














Monday, July 3, 2017

Growing Up!

My kiddos are getting so big!

Of course Maxwell transitioning from infant to full-fledged toddler (ie kind of a stinker) probably has the most updates so here goes:

  • He's starting to talk!
    • Bye Bye
    • More
    • Ball (anything with the I-State logo he also calls "ball")
    • Hat
    • Dog (and he thinks they say "moo" which is so adorable I almost don't want to correct him)
  • He knows where his body parts are when you ask
  • He LOVES playing peekaboo
  • He loves bathtime
  • He has favorite books that he brings us to read and sits on our laps
  • He's starting to eat a lot more "grown up" foods that we don't have to cut into as tiny of bites anymore... yes there is usually a cleanup involved
  • He loves snuggling before bed and wants his butt patted. When you're not patting his butt he'll swing his arm behind and start patting his own butt (so cute)
  • He loves playing outside, especially blowing bubbles and playing basketball
I'm sure there's more that I'm missing but that's the major stuff.

Nolan is:
  • Talking a lot more - there was a time where he was really still hard to understand but now I feel like I can really have a conversation with him
  • Loving going swimming
  • He loves playing with his water shooters in the backyard
  • He picks a new favorite toy about every few days or so that's his toy he sleeps with and then wonders where it is immediately when he wakes up
  • Doesn't mind going on errands and can usually be happy with whatever we're doing without needing to be bribed to behave with a movie (we never did that... *cough*)
We've been keeping really busy playing pokemon go (yes, really... yes, still) and going to parks and the pool or library whenever we can. We've also really enjoyed the farmer's market lately and the Blank Park Zoo etc. 

I'm recovering from strep throat. I have pictures if you want to lose your lunch. 

Anyways here's the cute pictures!
Hello, I'm a ham

Nolan and Maxwell with their Very Scary Monster named "Frank Toot Monster" - Our neighbor is a children's book author/illustrator which features his "Very Scary Monsters" pretty cool to have an author in the neighborhood!

Nolan feeding the parakeets 

Animal Crossing Sign - I took a picture because Nolan was scared that the mouth was suuuuper open. If you look at the loose feather on his neck you understand why. Pretty funny stuff. 

Twisted my arm and he got to go on a carousel ride

Maxwell letting a push pop melt while slowly licking it. I couldn't help eat it because I'm recovering from strep throat. WAAAAT

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

#spoileralert

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?

CAN YOU SEE 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.

AND I FREAKING ATE THEM A FEW DAYS BEFORE.

Lesson:
Check your bulk food before preparing it. ALWAYS.

Lesson:
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!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Time Travel

Dang, it's been a while since my last blog. Probably the longest in between blogs that I've had since starting this whole blogger thing. And a brief glance at my most recent blog tells me that a lot has happened since then.

First of all, I'm sleeping WAY better.

KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD.

Maxwell was definitely having issues STTN until extremely recently. I don't know if he just grew out of it, or if it's because he had been in to his 1 year appt and they saw that he had an ear infection that I wasn't aware of. He was on cefdiner when he started to get a fever and we got a call to take him home from daycare. So I picked him up and got him into the doc that day and the pedi said that not only his ear infection wasn't going away after about 6 days on the antibiotics but he likely had RSV.

Side note: take your full course of antibiotics, people...

Anyways, they had to put him on a rocefin (sp?) injection regimen in order to really kick the ear infection's butt. But there's literally nothing they could do for the RSV. So I took a few days off of work AND THEN Nolan got sick. I would have thought it would be RSV but the pedi (a different one, our normal one is part time) thought it was the flu.

My poor babies!

So yeah, I was already on sleep deprivation but then added on two very sick kiddos made it really hard. Plus we took a ton of days off. Had my mom come up to help cover our butts to keep us from having to take an extra 2 days of sick leave to be with the kids.

Ultimately, when the rocefin ran it's course, I think it helped Maxwell sleep through the night which has been a real life saver.

But enough of the sick update (cuz I could go on and on) and here are some photos!

Friends reunited

Showing Maxwell around the butterfly wint

This is about as still of a photo as you'll get of him...

... unless he's sleeping with a balloon

Maxwell with Grandma!

Nolan with his famous positive demeanor and lunch of pb&j, cheese, and yogurt

Maxwell chill with his hair in a man bun

Maxwell digging into the cupboards

Siblings and cousins (meeting Logan the first time!)

These kids love each other!

Mr. Ham

Nolan having "so much fun"
I think Maxwell's officially a toddler and is now starting to express his dissatisfaction with whatever is just out of reach or when I don't give him food fast enough. He's also getting more verbal pointing at things asking "that?" [da?] requesting "baba" [baba] and "ball" [ba].

Nolan is really good friends with a few kids at daycare which is really fun to see. Just instant friends with one in particular. We had him and his family over to the house this weekend for pizza and play time. They got along until they didn't and then they were ticked. When they realized that it was almost time for them to leave then both kiddos started acting like besties again.

I'm also back on "project: me" wherein I put my health a priority. I suppose an update for that is in order but so far so good! I'm focusing more on how I feel and how I treat my body by the fuel (ie food) I put into it and making the 10,000 steps/day goal a reality.

But this is all I can literally write today. I can't seem to remember much or have any focus or direction other than the brief synopsis above :)