Motherhood Musings

Delayed Posted started February 6, 2014…see disclaimer

The daily routines of being a mom are not typically something I would write home about.  Our life is filled with amusement, yet nothing I would assume out of the ordinary from any proud-mom who balances a professional and personal life amidst crazy family schedules, and finding sanity between the wee hours of sleep.  This isn’t extraordinary, its just our new normal.  Although these little ones have a way of throwing you for a loop and capturing the moments that shape our life story.

Its been a few months since I’ve paid tribute to the life of a vivacious little woman.  The development of my now 21-month-old daughter over the past few months has me in giggles and tears on a regular basis.  She has the tenacity of a lion, and her sweet tender face pops up whenever I hear Katy Perry’s “Roar” and then turns around and melts your heart with her sweetness.  Her consistently furrowed brow might confuse you that she’s concerned or angry (trust me you KNOW when she is angry), most frequently it is evidence that she is thinking or studying (IE: people watching).  The gawking gift must be a hereditary trait that skips a generation.  Between her temper, stubbornness, and determination I often wonder how a girl of such stature can run the house the way she does.  Appears I have either a role model or a nightmare amidst my presence! :)

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_3409

While her facial expression might catch you off guard, her vocabulary and statements will put you in stitches.  The beauty of the second child is that the first feels a responsibility for teaching them lots of things (both good and bad).  Through Little Man’s learning he has passed on the ABC song to his sister, as she sings a long with considerable accuracy to the ABC’s when sung.  Observation is her key source of learning words, skills, or gathering ideas for 10 second activities.  She frequently is seen admiring the works and speech of her older brother and attempts her version.  Not uncommon for me to hear “mom, mom, mom…(pause) HEIDI” when she’s frustrated by whatever is distracting my attention away from her.  She answers questions like an adult often with “I good”, or “I (d)on(‘t) know; ” unresponsive requests result in her running to you to grabbing your hand with a nudging “come;” she giggles and announces when she farts and when instructed to say “excuse me,” she response by saying “burp.”   She has even taken to imitating the dog by attempting to pick a variety of toys with her mouth, and I mean all of her toys.  She’ll sometimes carry dolls the size of her by her teeth, balls, and even some of Little Man’s stray cars or other various toys end up between the teeth of my little “puppy.”

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_0577     Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_1039

It’s hard to believe almost a year ago she was sporting some incredible rolls.  Her inside name was “Princess Round Face” and the definition of her bones and muscles were very lovable and undefined.  Since walking at 9-months there is little of the round face remaining.  I chuckled as her horse-riding legs would run sprints in excitement.  Her legs are straightening and she is just now growing out of the 18 months clothing that she wore last winter.  Her steady growth chart has leveled and the percentile between height and weight have swapped spots.  We’ve never had to worry about her eating habits as broccoli remains a top favorite.  From splashing in pools to our current swimming lessons she seeks adventure ON HER TERMS, as she doesn’t rest for long.  I love coming home and surprising them, finding them entranced in some obscure yet riveting task OR the sneaking surprise that I’m home and an instantaneous party occurs!

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_9958  Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_1502

 

Life certainly is not a walk in the park, but it is one hell of a fun ride.  The best words I can use to describe her are:  Full of Spunk! When I reflect on our nearly 2 years, I think how boring our life must have been before, and what education I’ll gain from being her mom.  Who knows where we will be 20 years from now.  I don’t think I’ll  win any notorious awards, or add any credentials behind my name simply by being her mom.  It will however, provide some eclectic experiences and bring a sense of joy that no PhD, Nobel Peace Prize or Gold Medal could bring.  It comes with a gentle hug each night and sing-song voice that says “la do” to which I can respond…Love you more!

Dream Big Little One :)
mom, aka HEIDI (yes, I’m yelling).

Disclaimer: Blogging happens at home, at night when I feel like it.  I am persistent that blogging is not allowed to get in the way of my life.  My theory is I sit behind a computer most of the day at work, when I’m home I have 3 hours of active family time before the kids go to bed.  The bedtime routine often includes me falling asleep as I lay with my children, convincing them it’s cool to fall asleep at 8 PM.  On the nights I’m actually awake after 10 PM, it’s power hour for me.  My most productive hours are between 10 PM and 12 AM.  My husband on the other hand turns into a pumpkin.  I started this post at 10:47 PM.  By the time I gathered some intellectual thoughts, found the pictures, a child started crying and blogging for the night ceased.  I came back one month later with another blog idea, and realized I never finished the first thought.  I had the best intentions of completing both posts.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 above and I now have 2 incomplete blog posts.  The likelihood of feeling creative and inspired to sit down at a computer is seldom. Hence another month passes, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 and I realize I need a support group for bloggers anonymous, have deemed creative pinterest moms with 7 kids smoke crack in their free time and secretly hire someone else to make their life look perfect and instill guilt into any mom that doesn’t hire a graphic designer for their children’s birthday invites! Alas- I’m here completing a post that I will appreciate some day, and will have no idea why the 21-month-old post was almost 2 months after her 2nd birthday?!  I know how I feel about the mom’s that track the months after their child turns a year anyway. Meh, I’m still enjoying life (na-na-na-na-boo-boo)!

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Filed under Musings with Mae, Random thoughts

On the 4th day she was productive

Most of 2013 I was invisible online. I was enjoying real life.  The start of 2014 has been similar…I returned from a parents only vacation and have since indulged in my children. Today I tried something different, I attempted to be productive.  

A long time ago I had this cool menu planning sheet that I stole from someone else online (this was way before pinterest).  I liked the idea that it had a grocery list on it. It never really met my needs, so I had good intentions to customize it.  Which in my world that meant it was indefinitely posted on the family command center and rarely used.  Today, I customized a menu planning tool to include a grocery list of regular household good for us.  I also organized the grocery list to align with the flow of most of our grocery stores and the way my mind works (You should have sympathy for me for even thinking this way). The best part is, I already used it to go grocery shopping and plan meals for the week. And because I also believe in random acts of kindness, here it is for you to use freely…

Image

Week one of a productive task: Check.

You’re Welcome :) 

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redefining our story

October 10, 2013

It’s 8:33 PM my husband walks into little man’s darkened room and snaps his fingers to get my attention.  Slowly I emerged from Caleb’s request to “lay with him” walk downstairs into a darkened dining room with the illumination of 2 candles, 2 wine glasses and the transformational bottle of Barbera wine (a symbol of our honeymoon) with an anniversary card propped delicately against the proper wine glasses on the counter.  The scene was far different 5 years ago.  Completing a rehearsal dinner with our favorite people and favorite meal (still is, although a rare delicacy in our eat-out options these days), scurrying to the reception hall to decorate and greet out-of-town hotel guests.  5 -years ago we were embracing the eve of our wedding and writing the first chapter of our life together as Mr & Mrs.  Tonight a few chapters are under our belt and our definition of a romantic evening is now redefined to an evening in the basement, drinking wine, watching baseball and hoping the kids sleep through the night!

a-kiss-for-the-crowd

 

5 years ago my focus was details for our wedding day, realizing if something didn’t go according to the 5-page itinerary, it was completely ok.  We had worked over the year to develop a day that would be the perfect start to our story with pieces of us interwoven throughout the day by making and creating all aspects of the wedding that would be future reminders of our life together.  I was focussed on the decorations, the weather, waking up on time and wondering what the next 24 hours would hold.  Today the focus is to not drop our children, remembering to feed the dog or to pick the kids up from daycare, and recognizing that 6 hours of sleep is A LOT, and there is no shame in google being is my new best friend. There is no itinerary fitting for this type of life, and no manual that will prepare you for the heart ache and joy that can happen in a 5 minute swing.

ceremony-wheelbarrow

Today our story is filled with the entertainment of a 5-year old dog, a 3-year-old son, and an 18-month old daughter who keeps our story alive and fulfilling everyday.  The days of serenity are depleted to a few hours of quiet each week and our relationship thrives between the blood lines of our children and moments passing by as we prepare for the daily monotonous lifestyles we live.  And yet with each “uneventful” day we add and fill our story with moments that are more meaningful than the anticipation of our wedding could ever fulfill.

IMG_3148

In five years we have added a few adventures of travel; a loyal dog-child who continues to greet us each day with varying levels of spunk and energy; a house which we have converted to our home filled with projects, pitter-patter of children’s feet, laughter and tears; Our son who prepared us for the un-predictable nature and complete fulfillment of children; and for our daughter who made us realize we really weren’t as ready as we thought we were.  Each day brings experiences, challenges, opportunities, and memorable stories.  I have added a photography business to the mix to help us and others capture these moments to tell the story of our life. To hectic work schedules challenging us to balance professional and personal goals while maintaining the presence in real life.  What I have learned is, I don’t know the half of what I thought I did, and I have loved learning each day with you!

 

My husband, Brent, deserves an award!  He is a talented man who can create whatever I ask.  He can man the house and coordinate 2 children, a dog, dinner, 2-baths, and have kids into bed (on time) with smiles and snuggles, just in time for him to drywall the basement before bed!   I am a free-spirited explorer who has a chaotic approach to life.  Thankfully, my husband grounds me and makes our life a reality.  Each vision, and dream I draft he adds a touch of reality and perception to the story to make our life “for real.” He accepts my creative endeavors, welcomes my spunk, and sometimes encourages my outrageous ideas and spontaneous lifestyle :)

IMG_0868

 

Thank you Brent.  Thank you for being a friend, partner, father, confidant, and life-partner.  Above all thank you for being you and allowing me to be me.  It has been a splendid 5 years with events and stories that I hope we spend many more years expounding upon!

Photo taken by Matthew Murray Photography

Photo taken by Matthew Murray Photography

Happy 5 year Anniversary!  Should we celebrate and go to McDonald’s tomorrow?

Love you More,
Heidi Marie :)

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Filed under Deep thoughts, Let's talk about me!, Proud Parents, wedding, wedding jazz

Curveball: Inspirational Story of the Greater Good

Let me start by saying my 3-year-old son LOVES baseball.  He’s been swinging a bat and hitting pitches since he was 2 years old.  It’s ordinary for us to be outside playing “Baseball” by 7 AM no matter the temperature, season, or other planned activities for that day.  We DVR any baseball game just so he can watch baseball on rainy days.  Truth of the matter is he doesn’t care if he’s watching a t-ball game at the park down the street, or sitting front row at a Major League game…. he simply loves the game.  Earlier this year we had planned a family vacation to St. Louis and the thought occurred to us, maybe we should take the Major League Baseball Stadium tour….and a plan was born.  Our family goal is to hit all 30 stadiums before he graduates from high school.

Early Last week, the family situation was different.  We were called up to Northern Wisconsin by my in-laws after my father-in-law was nearing the end of his 10 month battle with cancer.  As fate would have it the kids and I would arrive just moments before his final breath.  The daily routine of our family life took hiatus to reconciling memories and planning the celebration of my father-in-law’s life.  My 3-year-old son and 17-month-old daughter took things in stride.  Somewhat isolated from other kids their age, we tried to find recreational activities to get them out so they weren’t stir crazy.  The temps were nearing high 90’s with high humidity, but my children were still anxious to play outside. Luckily I packed the wiffle bat, 2 baseball gloves, a few balls and my son’s baseball helmet.  Regardless of the forecast he pleaded to play baseball regularly.  As my week with the extended family was drawing to an end, it seemed fitting to find a way to squeeze in the nearest Major League Baseball Stadium to check one more off the tour.  So Wednesday, August 28th we decided to brave the heat and head to Minneapolis to catch the Twins vs. Royals game at Target Field.

In true Little Man fashion he dwelled in the experience of being at a baseball game.  He wore his Brewers outfit, cheered for the Cubs, and watched intently as the Twins played the Royals.  He observed others trying to get on the big screen by holding posters and dancing, so he grabbed his “First Game Certificate” and held it up with pride.  Of course there was a fair amount of the required baseball snacks.  A typical baseball game experience…until the 7th inning.  As the heat waned on us we decided we needed to get up and walk around.  Opting for the cheap seats in the 300 level, we were excluded from the occasional breeze I noticed on the lower levels.  We made our way down to the lower level, managed to get a picture with TC Twin Bear and were drawn to some open seats along the first base line near the right field.

First Game Cert TC Twin Bear

After the Royals put up 5 runs in the 7th many fans cleared out, leaving clusters of empty seats throughout the stadium. We lingered along the 1st base line, and eventually took a seat a few rows back from the field to take in the final 1.5 innings. I felt slightly guilty sitting down so close to the field, although I knew we weren’t stealing anyone else seats.  The fans around us welcomed us and easily chatted with my husband, son and I.  I noticed a family to our right, just across the aisle. A young teenage boy was decked in Twins attire, sported a handmade sign, and pleaded every opportunity for the right fielder (Wilkens Ramirez that game) to throw a ball, sign his glove, whatever he could get. He seemed to be a true diehard baseball/Twins fan.  I smiled and thought to myself, “that will probably be my little man some day.”  As the Twins took the field in the bottom of the eighth after warming up, Wilkens threw the ball in our direction. My husband fumbled it and the young boy I explained above got the ball…rightfully so. We sat down, my son was disappointed.  As we explained to our 3-year-old that you can’t expect to get everything you want, and that the other boy was waiting the entire game … he showed up next to us and offered the ball to my son. I assured the young boy it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted.

Twins-high five

We were so moved by the gesture we encouraged our son to give him a high-five and say thank you. Which he did, and the crowd cheered. The mom snuck over to share the picture she had captured of my son giving  the high-five.  Together we dwelled on the moment and shared in the joy of the proud mom moment.  Generosity and sportsmanship at it’s finest.

The boys with THE BALL that changed our week

The boys with THE BALL that changed our summer

I learned that the 13-year-old boy had a similar love for the game and like my little man has played the game since he could walk.  Several other fans shared positive comments,  the usher even stated he wished he had a ball to honor the young man’s generosity. Without knowing our story, our struggles or the week had just endured, he found it in his heart to give the ball to my son and make this night the highlight of our summer. My son has been sleeping with the ball ever since. I shared the picture below with the family when we arrived home later that evening.  The crossing of our family’s path with the young boy’s family has been an enriching and fulfilling experience in and of itself.  I feel like I have been given a gift and I need to share this story.

Twin- Sleep with Ball

Now I’d like to ask your help.  Help me  honor this young boy for his generosity and selflessness.  Share this story!  I would like to highlight how little acts of kindness can really make a difference, to provide inspiration, to show how everyday people contribute to the greater good!

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Filed under Daily Grind, Deep thoughts, Proud Parents, The Caleb Times, Uncategorized

Mighty Mae: Reflection of 1-year

Dearest EllaMae (MaeMae),

12moCollage

A day as your mother is unpredictable, enlightening, adventurous, and sometime nerve-wracking.  You are a girl who is driven to do whatever she puts her mind to.  Your determination, sense of humor, and flexibility will serve you well, as you have already proven to have won the hearts of a few boys and one proud mom!  On the eve of your first birthday I reflect and capture the moments that have and will continue to shape our family story with EllaMae as the newest character.

The name EllaMae reminded me of a graceful, poignant, and sweet little girl.  Well, 1 for 3 ain’t bad I guess (Amazingly Sweet). Your personality and physique have drawn a different picture of you as a determined, head-strong, and less than delicate little princess.  Amazingly this “princess round-face” can light up a room and turns heads at locations throughout the city.  Your sincere eyes, vivacious smile and layers of love have friends, family (and even strangers) are drawn to your charismatic personality.  Your daycare friends have renamed you to “MaeMae” and the name has stuck.  Most recently, your curious and destructive nature have given you the title of “Mighty Mae.”

Having done the whole motherhood level 3 thing with your brother, I felt a bit more prepared this time.  As ignorance would have it, while you and your brother have some similarities, your differences will rival my plans.  You never took a Nuk, and no need for a mute button.  You were smart enough to know what was food, and what was just a hunk of plastic in your mouth.  As with eating there was really no reason to rely on others.  Taking things off people’s plates, spoons, or drinking from your brothers cup as needed are standard operating procedures in your manual.  Utensils are over-rated unless there is ice cream involved, in which case a few drips to the chin determine your plan of action.  Sitting (3 months), Crawling (6 months) walking (10 months), and now running, climbing all happened on a similar timeline.  However you have been able to stand from a sit without using your hands to brace or support you for quite some time.  A task many adults still struggle with.  You seem to have a considerable amount of coordination catching and balancing yourself despite obstacles that attempt to take you out at the knees.  Talented yes, although simply looking down on occasion might serve you well, or at least protect your shins from bruises!

Eating is a sport, as is riding the dog.  Both bring great joy.  Adding to the list pulling the recyclables out of the bin, climbing stairs while mom and dad aren’t looking, and bouncing to music are gaining momentum.  Most of all  you are a sincerely sweet, and entertaining little girl.  You have won the hearts and taught me lessons I didn’t know I was lacking.  You inspire me everyday to a better person, and recognize that fashion and hair accessories are over-rated.

So on this April 11th eve of 2013, I wish you many sweet dreams.  As we would typically sing (to the tune of hot-cross buns)

“EllaMae, EllaMae,
How are you, How are you?
Mommy Loves you so much, Mommy Loves you so much
Yes I do, Yes I do!

Dream big little one.
Love you more,

Mom :)

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Filed under Musings with Mae, Proud Parents

3 years of Motherhood

I’m grateful for chaos, chubby cheeks, curiosity and independence.  Cleanliness and messes, infants and toddlers.  May I not lose sight of the amazingness taking shape before my eyes and enjoy the beauty that I have created despite it’s perceived imperfections. May I learn to recognize and appreciate the moments of silence when they do exist so I am prepared to embrace the chaos later! I am grateful for the opportunity to notice and capture the little details that will add to the chapters of our life story.  Motherhood has taught me how to be a better person, my husband and children inspire me everyday, and I am eager to continue to learn and grow together.

March 1st was little man’s 3rd birthday.  I am so proud of the respectful boy that he is becoming and yet so amazed that this time has warped before my eyes (as everyone told me it would).  I have been stretched (literally, my body has done some strange things in the name of motherhood) in ways that I never imagined. While your never quite prepared for their curious thoughts and inquisitive nature, or ready for the roller coaster of the emotions, or expressions they can make their faces convey, I’m also pleasantly surprised how mature and respectful a 2-year-old can be.

Over the past 3 years I have tried to capture the little details of Caleb; His personality, interests, expressions and even his sorrow.  The transition from “only child” to “big brother” has shown me how caring, compassionate, fun and adventurous he can really be (in some ways more than I prefer). I am truly blessed to be a mom and learn life lessons from my children everyday.

To reflect on the past year, here are a series of photo collages to see how he has grown!

Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; "Two"Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; Napping with "Jack" (his rabbit)Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_1527Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_1813Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_2199Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_2718Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_3196Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_3574Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_3839Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_3446Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_3776Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_3949Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4016Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4018Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4192Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4445Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4476Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4623Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5075Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; taking his job seriouslyLittle-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5175Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_4807Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; Is that CAKE?! Actually it's dunking cookies (oreos dunked in milk).  Not sure where he gets his big mouth from!?!Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; they seriously love eachother!Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5683Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5748Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5757Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5861Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_6051Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_5855Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_6125Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_7719Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_8023Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_8094Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_8592Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_8628Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; SPorting the Herb coat!Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_9441Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_9483Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; Sleeping in at Papa O'sLittle-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_8992Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; He's hunting bucksLittle-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; reacquainting with Cousin MichaelLittle-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_9188Little-d-Tales: Enjoying Life &emdash; IMG_9417

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Filed under Daily Grind, Proud Parents, The Caleb Times

The Honey-moon bucket list trip {5 year edition}

2013 will mark 5 years of marriage, which is quite entertaining since that is how this whole blog thing got started, in a big ball of wedding planning and life.  And here I am 5 years later with 2 kids an average of 2.7 blog posts per year, and the ambition of a 3-toed sloth.  To revitalize our life and jump start my once monthly tradition, I’ve decided the husband and I need a trip. A vacation of sorts where we can do things that we really want to do.  I’m calling it our bucket list trip / 5 year honeymoon.  Now before you get all hyped up and thinking we are so romantic, let me warn you Bora-Bora and Europe will need to wait for a raise.  Instead we’re hitting up Montana in winter. Given my husbands lack of travel experience and my moderate travel experience,  we decided this needed to be a trip where we could experience all kinds of new stuff together!

So what does a 5 year bucket list honeymoon include?  No kids, a amtrack excursion (first for both of us), a dinner in a yurt (first for both), skiing in the mountains of Montana (I’ve skiid in the Mountains, but not in Montana), and a dog sled ride (first for both).  And just to add something romantic to the mix, we are trying to find a place to stay with an outdoor hot tub and hope for snow while we are there!

We are headed to Whitefish, MT.  Any other ideas to add to the pre-existing mix?  Any suggestions on where to stay? Where should we eat?  Where’s the best place for a sunrise?  Best brew or local establishment to explore?  We’re game for anything.

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