Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Favorites

Finally, another Friday is here. Having Monday off made this a short week, and it really did fly by, but it always seems that Friday just can't come soon enough. I am linking up for Friday Favorites today and sharing some of my favorite happenings lately.

1. This cardigan. I love the asymmetrical design, that it is loose, and such a pretty color. I checked it out in the store and it is also super lightweight. You can get it now for 30% off!

2. Getting my mornings back. I had gotten in the habit of working at 6am. The mornings were rough, but being out of the office at 2:30 was incredible. Starting a new job had me a little stressed about needing to 'work late', aka until 4:30 or normal people time. However, because of baby's internal clock, we have still been waking up early, allowing me to enjoy the quiet of the morning, take my time, and play with my little man. I have forgotten how much I love the peace of early mornings. I am adjusting to needing to be at work lately, but it might not be too terrible!

3. Home showings. We have put our house on the market and have multiple showings this week. This has meant a house that needs to be spotless every day when I leave for work. It is a bit of a pain, but is also sooo nice to come home to a perfectly clean house!

4. Summer weather. We had a decent spring, but never really hit those warm temps everyone looks forward to. These last few days have been in the 80s for the first time all year, and I conveniently had to work an outdoor event all day yesterday. Darn. It was just terrible I swear.

5. Being famous. This week, I was out at a local elementary school to do helmet fittings and education for the kids. While adjusting the helmet of one little girl, she pointed to my name badge and asked me who the person in the picture was. I explained that it was a picture of me, and it was just a badge I wore when I was working. Very matter of factly, she looked at me and said 'I've seen her in a movie'. Of course I tried my best not to laugh and just replied, 'oh, no. It's just me!' To which she shrugged her shoulders, repeated 'I saw her in a movie', and walked away. I still don't know which movie I starred in, but apparently I made an impression. Sometimes kids can brighten your entire day with one adorable and out of left field comment!

After a busy week, I cannot wait to spend this weekend relaxing, spending time with family, and enjoying my first weekend of no homework since December! Linking up with the fabulous ladies below today!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Mama Diaries

It is no secret that being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is. While there are so many wonderful moments, there are also many, many challenging moments. As I watch my little guy grow, every week seems to bring new milestones, as well as new challenges. This past week MORNING has been especially trying, for a variety of reasons. I am not sure if we have some new teeth coming through, a growth spurt, or just a master manipulator who enjoys seeing his parents sleep deprived. Either way, Friday is on my radar and cannot come soon enough.
1. Crawling

I can honestly say I hope none of my children are early walkers. Jackson was super late to the crawling game, not really taking off until he was 9 months. We have had a legitimate 'crawler' in our midst for about 3 weeks now, and I have approximately 800 gray hairs because of this, I'm pretty sure. Nothing is off limits, a baby gate needs to be put up at all times, and bathroom time now includes a small guest sitting on the floor, enjoying this quality time with me. Sigh.

2. Standing

We had about one week of crawling before little dude decided it was time to pull himself to standing. And now he stands all of the time. Against the couch. Against the coffee table. Against the toilet. In his crib. I was just adjusting to a mobile baby, and now I have a baby who thinks he is cool and stands all the time, and also falls over at a moments notice. Case in point, as I type this someone is desperately trying to attack my computer and crawl up the couch, and toppled over. And I am once again thankful that I remember to push away the coffee table that is really soft and great for breaking a baby fall. 

3. Last night around 11pm, we woke to a crying baby, who I tried to rock back to sleep, yet the second I laid his sleeping body back in his crib his little eyes popped open and he was having none of it. I finally decided it was time to just let him cry it out, so I came back to bed and turned off the monitor volume in hopes that he would just soothe himself to sleep. Mike woke up to go to the bathroom, and came in with reports that Jax was standing in his crib crying and having a meltdown. This was the first time we found him standing in there, so now we get the added joy of worrying he will become overcome with rage that we won't play with him at 2am and he will accidentally topple over.

4. We gave in and he ended up in our bed. Usually this does the trick and he sleeps like a baby, but the entire night was met with baby whimpers and cries for no apparent reason. This resulting in zero sleep for everyone else in the house.

5. After an entire night of no sleep, someone was up at 4am with daddy and ready for the day. Which meant a cup of coffee and watching Barney at 4:30am for me. I mean why not.

6. Upon being forced out of bed at 4:30am, I went to change a dirty diaper and noticed his pajama bottoms were wet. Yes, he soaked through a diaper, which in almost 10 months has never happened. We have had blowouts galore, but never a soaked diaper. Maybe that is why he was up all night. Hmm, I'll have to make note and add this to my extensive 'why my baby might be crying list'.

7. I returned to my bed hoping now that he was fresh and clean he might fall back asleep. He didn't. I did, however, notice that his diaper had soaked through to our sheets on our bed. So I now have sheets in the dryer.

8. We have two house showings tonight. So maybe that 4am wakeup call was a good idea, because I had to strip our bed and have time to get things made up for tonight.

9. After switching the sheets from the laundry to the dryer, I came upstairs for find baby with our nightlight/air freshener (which is only in the hallway for the sake of our showings tonight) in hand.
I was downstairs for approximately 78 seconds.

10. I just heard a rumble, and looked across the room and know exactly what my child is doing. With that, I think now is a good time to sign off, and happily drop my perfect angel off with grandma and head to work for the day. Eight hours away should be just enough time to forget the terror and stink and fall victim to the cute all over again :-)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Our First Trip!

This weekend we ventured up to the lake for our very first 'overnight' with the little guy. We hit up Big Pine Lake in Perham with my in-laws, for what is already my 6th year of camping (is time really going that fast!? it seems like just yesterday I was being forced to hold my prize slimy northern fish for the first time!) Reeling myself back from getting nostalgic, I'll come back to the here and now, which includes a husband and a baby. Needless to say, a family camping trip has become much different than back in the day when we threw a bag in the trunk and were off. For the first time, we had to plan, and not just plan, but plan around a little Mr's schedule.

On Friday, Mike had the day off of work, and unfortunately I just couldn't get out of work myself. So, he headed up to the lake bright and early Friday, and I dropped the little guy off with my mom and went to my last day of work. Because yes, I start my new job today. Back on subject again..once I got off work, I picked up my best little buddy and we headed up to pack up a few final things, and were picked up by my sister in law and nephew. We got the boys packed up, and after a necessary stop for an iced coffee, we were off!

How cute are these boys!? 

About halfway to the lake I already realized my first screw up of the weekend; I forgot the pack n' play! I got over this quickly enough, as the babe loves to cry and manipulate his way into our bed, anyway. 

Turned around to see a half asleep Logan holding my sleeping Jackson's hand. Heart melting.

By the time we got to the lake, everyone had already eaten, but they threw some dinner on the grill for us and we were thrilled. Our family friends that we camp with work for a food supply company, so they always have the BEST food. I am on a mission to get me some of the burgers they made, they were soo good.
After a few hours at the campsite, baby was getting restless so we decided it was time to head to the SUPER 8 for bed. Yes, we stayed at a Super 8. No, it wasn't that bad. Why, you ask? Well, between grandparents, an aunt, a nephew, an uncle, his girlfriend, and two dogs, a camper only has so much room. And with a baby who still likes to surprise us with his sleep schedule, we didn't mind running down the road to the motel. And you know what? It had cable, air conditioning, and we may have indulged in McChickens and shakes from Mcdonalds before bed. Living large on vacation, y'all!

After a night of cuddling my precious  babe in a suprisingly clean motel, we were back to the campsite by 7am, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of hashbrowns and eggs. Ok, I enjoyed hashbrowns, and Jax stole 90% of my eggs. He is growing, so I guess I can share. Lots of fishing was happening in the boat, so with little man's nap schedule we just didn't manage to get him out onto the lake. But hey, it's the beginning of summer, I'll make sure we get some use out of his new life jacket before it's over! We did, however, get in some gorgeous walks, swinging by the lake, and piggyback rides.
We ended up packing up to come home Saturday right as Jackson was acting like he needed a nap. People, we managed two 2-hour car trips in two days with a baby who slept the entire way both times. I was giving myself high fives over this accomplishment! We made it home in time on Saturday to enjoy pizza and a few episodes of the office, and two more days of a long weekend to run errands, do housework, and relax before kicking off my new job. 

It was short, sweet, and far from eventful, but a great first trip with our little guy. We managed to escape with zero meltdowns, lots of exploring and trying to eat grass, and only a few bug bites. I'll label this one a win :-)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Ahh, it is FINALLY Friday and Memorial weekend! I am trying my best to maintain my crabby side about having to come in to work for one hour of obligations this afternoon while my husband has already made his way up to the lake, but the day will go quickly, I'm sure. I am pretty excited for the weekend coming up, so let's hop to it!

New Hair

I took the plunge after years of long, long hair, and my hair is literally the shortest it has ever been. But I am loving it, save for the occasionally not recognizing myself in the mirror because what I am seeing can't possibly be my hair. I should also mention that a little boy who loves pulling and running his fingers through hair has been having a much harder time getting a hold of my new 'do, win-win. And short hair looks cuter in a ponytail. And when I run I don't need to try and master an impossible bun to keep said hair out of my face. Short hair isn't so bad.

First Trip

Tonight will be the first time we are staying away from home with Jackson (aside from the random blizzard that left me and baby stranded at my parents for a night last fall). We weren't exactly sure how to proceed with our annual Memorial weekend trip, as I made up my mind long ago that we would not try sleeping in the camper with grandparents, siblings, and cousins with our noisy 9 month old. Also, this was an excuse for me to escape the camper, because aside from now having a baby in tow, the sleeping accommodations in that thing are NOT made for a 6 foot tall lady, no sir.

So, we made the decision to get a cheap motel room in town, no more than 5 minutes from the campsite. This will save our relatives from being kept up all night and having to adjust their behavior to a baby, and it also gives me a real bed to sleep in, so I'm happy.

I seriously cannot wait to see how my little guy enjoys all of the new experiences this weekend. You know I will be letting him try a s'more (where is my mom of the year award?!), touch a fish, and marvel at the sparkly lake. There is nothing more incredible than experiencing the beautiful things in life through a child's eyes. Everything is new and exciting, and just so fun to watch them go through!

Liquid leggings

Ok, I just took the plunge and ordered a pair, and I realize I am out of season, but when you are 6 feet tall and find something you want in the length you need, you place the order. I love me some leggings, and am hoping these can be paired with sweaters and comfy tops come fall in a way that is flattering and a bit more stylish than your basic black leggings. I am pretty hesitant to take leaps in fashion (hello last person in the world who jumped on the skinny jean trend) so we will see how this goes!

Special K Bars

Every year I bring a pan of these babies camping. I made them Wednesday night and had to make some brownies to add to the mix last night because the Mr. can't keep his hands off of them. Ok ok neither can I. This is my ultimate favorite recipe for these, it is super easy and the perfect balance of everything. And low cal, too ;-)

Gloria Jeans K-Cups

I love my keurig. It makes me happy and brings sunshine to my cloudy days. I just love coffee, perhaps a little too much. I have tried flavor after flavor of the beloved k-cup, and truly nothing has beat the very first flavor I tried when they were a part of my Keurig Christmas present a few years back. Gloria Jeans Butter Toffee. No words. Just happy. Yum. Their k-cups are the smoothest, tastiest I have had. I also live for their Macadamia Cookie flavor, because cookie coffee? Yes please. Unfortunately Target stopped selling them in stores, but you can still find them online and at bed bath beyond!

Anyone else have exciting weekend plans ? I for one can't wait to enjoy a Monday off, is there really anything better than going to bed on a Sunday without needing to set an alarm?

Linking up with the ladies below today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spring Photos: 2015

Happy Wednesday, people! We are officially on the downhill to Memorial Weekend, and the completion of my last week in my current job! I say all of that makes for a pretty happy hump day.
I am pretty sure I have spoken before about my sweet friend Amanda and her amazing photography. I literally have watched this girl grow up, and distinctly remember offering up boy advice in the kitchen of my childhood home to a pre-teen Amanda. Over the years, she has blossomed into a truly gifted photographer, and in the past year I have truly come to look forward to having her capture sweet moments of my son. On this particular day, Jax was ready for a nap and not feeling the photoshoot, but Amanda still managed to capture some precious moments that so perfectly reflect my sweet boy and his personality. She has captured my wedding, and now my growing baby, and with every photo her work becomes more amazing and detailed. And now, on to showing off my cutest of all cuties little boy.

If you haven't checked her out yet, you really need to at Amanda Baloun Photography. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with her, and might already be plotting our one year photo session...stay tuned! ;-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


 Ok, let's get real. All moms do and say things they probably don't care to admit. There are those moments where anything to quiet your child is fair game and an option. I am hopping on board with momfessionals to share some of my proudest parenting moments.

I do my best to keep our little guy in his crib. We transitioned from bassinet to crib when he was one month old, and really didn't much cosleeping, if any. However, lately that game has changed and if little man wakes up and takes more than 2 minutes to coax back to sleep, 9 times out of 10 he has been ending up in our bed. After over 9 months of sleepless nights and waking up before 5am for work, I have caved to the battle. Now, half of my days I wake up to this two inches from my face.
adorable and terrifying to open your eyes to, all at once.

Cleaning the pump 
I remember so clearly how obsessively we cleaned my pump parts until every last droplet of water had dissolved, sterilized between every washing, and didn't let anything touch those precious parts. Now, the equipment gets a quick rinse in the hospital bathroom when I pump at work, and I call it good. I just legitimately sterilized the parts last weekend since I honestly don't know when. Baby is happy and healthy, so unless I see mold growing a little old dry milk never hurt anyone (ok probably not true but I'm rolling with it)...

Singing and talking like a fool
Anyone who knows me knows I am a serious person. I don't break into song and dance, I don't act goofy, and sometimes it takes a lot to get a good laugh out of me. However, I will dance, sing, and talk like an absolute crazy person for my baby. Lately, I belt out the Sesame Street theme song because it is the only thing that will get my child to look at me and not practice ninja moves during a diaper change.

Secondhand eating
Sometimes Jax drops food he is trying to feed himself and it lands on his bib, either from his hand or from falling out of his mouth. Sometimes, I am too lazy to try and throw these pieces away, so the obvious most logical option is to eat this partially chewed food. Laziness for the win.

Bathroom business
Sometimes I take my laptop into the bathroom and do internet searching, blogging, or homework in peace. Jackson can't get in and this is one of the few times where Mike respects that he can't call for me until I'm done. So I take a LONG time.
I also run the water for the shower, lock the door, and proceed to tweeze my eyebrows, examine my face, play with my hair, and do just about anything I can think of. This has become my quiet time, which is a little bit sad.

I hope a lot of moms relate to these and aren't calling the cops on me, but it is funny to hear what moms do to keep their sanity all the while keeping their kids happy! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Favorites!

I had started doing Friday Favorites awhile back, but full time school got the best of me and when I wasn't working, sustaining the life of my little human, or sleeping...I was glued to a computer doing homework. Life has been SUPER exciting lately! Now that we are into summer term, I am finally feeling like a person with time for hobbies again, so back onto the Friday Favorites!

1. Ok, I am going to start off with bragging. I don't typically do this (which I realize is what everyone says when they brag but I mean it I swear!!) Back in March I made the decision to go from a part time to full time grad school schedule, in part due to scheduling conflicts and in part because I just want to be DONE and enjoy my family and my life. So graduation was moved up from May of 2016 to December 2015. Awesome. However, I was taking finance, which I had been warned was THE hardest class in the entire MBA program, and information systems, which has a pretty heavy workload. I was prepared, but terrified. Every Sunday, Monday, and some Saturdays were sacrificed for homework these past few months. And...I pulled off A's in both classes! Can I get a hallelujah, amen. I did a total happy dance, because while I know you should always reach for the top, I was totally ok with walking away with B's this semester, so long as I passed the classes. Now, I have one more 'full time' stint the first 8 weeks of fall semester, and it is smooth sailing. I survived the 8 week schedule from hell, and now it's time to enjoy summer!

2. I am getting my first haircut in 7 months today! Debating going much shorter, but I tend to suffer separation anxiety whenever I hack off my hair. Of course, my definition of 'short' is actually pretty long for most people. My husband is convinced I should go all short 'like the lady from house of cards, because she is tall like you and has similar bone structure, and she looks great'. While I appreciate his faith that I would look great with any hairstyle, I think I am a few decades away from getting 'mom hair'. I might just be like old lady Rose in Titanic and have hair to the middle of my back when I'm 100. Hey, why not?

3. I am so excited to start my new job. I have one more week and a holiday weekend before I make the switch to a place I have been passionate about for, literally, years. More to come on my big switch next week :-)

4. Our little guy is officially crawling and pulling himself to standing!! *insert sobbing and a terrified face because now my baby is running into things and bumping his head and being a big boy*. We are having so much fun watching his little booty crawl across the room, but know that soon enough he will be walking, and all bets will be off. I am saying a prayer that I don't start popping some gray hairs in the coming months.

5. I am totally digging glitter dipped mugs and decor lately. They are so much fun, and a relatively easy DIY. I may already be planning Christmas gifts for next year, because...sparkles. I just love me some sparkles.
This weekend we get to celebrate our good friend's birthday, and baby will be having his first sleepover with grandma and grandpa! Not sure how it will go, however I am going to try my best and enjoy not having a Sunday morning baby wakeup call! I already know on our drive home Saturday night I will be fighting the urge to just 'go pick him up', but we need a night out to be a couple and I know he will be spoiled and loved up on at his first sleepover! Wish us luck!

Doing Friday link-ups today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Making the Switch

I would like to start this post by saying that I love where I work. Really, I do. I am proud of our mission, our community involvement, and our continued growth and success. It is a place I always dreamed of being a part of when I started thinking about what I wanted to be 'when I grow up.'
My current job came about almost as a fluke. I had accepted a position requiring a 90 minute commute, but I was using my degree and hey, it was a full time job, so I was content and happy to accept it. Not two days after starting down there, I saw the job at Centracare posted, and impulsively applied before I even realized I had hit send. No commute and a job in my field, how could I not? And, after months of applications and interviews and dead ends, I was offered this 'dream job'. I literally started crying when they called to offer me the job, I was so overwhelmed and happy. 
Fast forward nearly three years. I adore my coworkers. No really. There is NO drama. None. It's almost freaky how well we get along when I take the time to think about it. I have gained so much confidence in myself. I give public presentations, educate on a variety of topics, and get to be creative and innovative. I have established new programs, revamped old ones, and feel like I have left my mark. I have also become well aware of where my passions lie, what my career goals are, and where I see myself in ten years. And, as comfortable as I am and as much as I love where I work, this just isn't the long term for me. It is time for a change.
I am beyond thrilled and excited to be joining BLEND, a community initiative of Centracare. Finally, three years later, I will be working with a focus on wellness, which has been my goal from day one. I will be a part of changes that make living healthy every day a realistic and feasible option for people. I have landed the job that is the reason I went into my field in the first place. I am blessed, and thankful, and so, so happy. I realize I am young, and patience is a virtue, but there have been times where I questioned my decisions, wondered if I was heading down the correct path, and if I would ever get where I hoped. Good things come to those who wait, and I am grateful to my family, especially my husband, who never failed to remind me of my goals and that sometimes patience is key. I cannot wait to continue doing work that I am proud of and being a part of change in Central Minnesota.
Now, moving on from the sappiness of this post written by a particularly un-sappy person, I think some shopping for new job clothing is in order!? ;-) Another post to come on my work-wear shopping !..

Monday, May 4, 2015

Nine Months.

It is finally time to bust out the shorts and swimsuits for the season, and the timing really couldn't be more perfect. The littlest person in our house is getting busy and isn't content if he isn't moving, and sunshine, walks, and pool time are very welcome in our future!

Age: 9 months
Height: 30.5 inches. Officially hanging out at the 100th percentile. A tall kid, from me? No way!
Weight: 22.5 pounds. 85th percentile. He lost half a pound this month, I guess that's what all that movin and shakin does to a certainly isn't due to shortage of food.

Milestones: Not crawling. Well, not in the traditional sense, at least. He army crawls like no-ones business. Note the picture above which happens every. single. time. I try to lay on the floor with my computer. He takes it as an open invitation to drag himself across the room to come and bang on my keyboard and destroy whatever task I was currently working on.
We also had an isolated incident of pulling himself to standing, so we know he CAN do it.
Another milestone is that he has started sleeping on his stomach at night. For nearly a month, we were up many times a night because the little guy would roll over, wake up, and freak out not knowing why he was in his crib or on his belly. He has finally started to roll over and stay asleep, which means the return of a normal sleep schedule for all.
He has also learned how to go from his belly, to his back, to sitting upright, to back to his belly, and do it all over again. It is pretty strange to lay your baby down and look back a minute later and have to question yourself asking..'did I set him down? I swear I laid him on his belly?..' Nothing beats the look on his face when he knew he did something like a 'big boy'.
Sleep: who took my sweet baby who sleeps through the night and replaced him with this monster!? Seriously, the past few weeks we have been up at least once a night almost every single night. And he wants to eat which is a whole other problem. The last few days we finally saw some improvement (see milestones above), and are hoping this trend of getting back on track continues. Otherwise, poor Mike is going to have to put up with waking up to Jackson punching him in the head (because what baby can sleep when he has mom and dad's bed to play in!?)

Best Moment: When he pulled himself to standing! We had the little guy sitting in a storage container (his 'punishment/containment' after trying to eat action figures repeatedly) and he was happy as can be in his little box. All of the sudden, he grabbed the front end, and with hulk-like power slowly rose to his feet. He then proceeded to stand there, looking both amazed and terrified, and we spent the next ten minutes trying to get him to repeat for a picture. Of course, he did not comply and we are waiting for him to show off his standing skills again. We operate on Jackson time, and the little stinker knows it!

Worst Moment: On an eventful Friday evening after a week of me having the flu and a crazy amount of homework, we decided to live on the edge and drive into town to get a buy one get one free dinner from Leeann Chin. I know, too much excitement to handle. Anyway, on the drive home Jackson woke up and was hungry and just not feeling the outing anymore, so he started to cry. We tried giving him toys, talking to him, and reassuring we were almost home, but he continued to get more and more mad. He was also dealing with a teeny little cold, and that combined with his meltdown led to a lot of gunk building up in his throat and none of it getting out with him gasping for air between each sob. We were about two minutes from home when Mike and I looked at each other and said 'he doesn't sound like he is breathing'. We pulled over and Mike hopped in back to find a purple faced baby, and upon pulling him out of his car seat he threw up everything ex had been choking on. Our baby literally was choking on his own tears and mucus. It was the saddest and scariest moment we have had to date, if we had let him 'just cry' the two more minutes the our house we really don't know what would have happened. And now we are terrified to let him cry..not a fun experience at all.
Health: All the same. A teeny little cold for a few days, but that's it.
Eating: We have made the move to almost all table foods. We are using up what is left of his baby food, and he still allows us to feed him, but much prefers feeding himself. We do lots and lots of fresh fruit, mac and cheese, potatoes, string cheese (kid goes wild for string cheese), and we just started doing canned/frozen vegetables, trying out peas and carrots last night which he devoured, which surprised me because pureed peas were NOT his thing.
Teeth: 3, he just got one of his top teeth! The other one hasn't broken through, but it looks like it is pretty close. We definitely knew more were coming, because our little guy had basically given up the drooling until the last week or so, and now he is slobbering on everything. We are actually kind of excited though, because teeth on the top and bottom means eating will be much easier and we can start trying more things out!

I have spent a lot of time lately reflecting to last year at this time, or more specifically last summer right after Jax was born. I put him in his romper for this month's picture and thought back to his little newborn size romper he wore to the baby shower last year and cannot believe he actually fit into it, when today we would barely be able to fit one of his chunky thighs into it. I was singing him his song this week and about lost it with tears in my eyes, reflecting back on the newborn I used to sing it to, and how this adorable 9 month old smiling back at me couldn't possibly be the same little boy. My heart is literally broken when those moments happen where you realize just how fast time goes, and yet I am so in love with who my baby is today that I don't know if I would want to make him 'little' again.

To watch him develop a personality, and catch the back of his little head as he babbles 'gaga go dada whoa *shriek/squeal/giggle* ohh baba' (this is a literal translation to his current vocabulary, by the way) while watching TV is one of my favorite things ever. I catch myself peeking at him around the corner to watch him play by himself, when he has no idea anyone is looking. He is becoming his own little person, but I am so, so blessed to be a part of his fun little world. We love you so much, Jax Attack!

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