Category Archives: Random thoughts

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…


Week one of a productive task: Check.

You’re Welcome 🙂 

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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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Preview of my lovely

If you are on the list of people who get Christmas Cards, then don’t be surprised if you get this in the snail mail.  Otherwise, here is the official announcement 🙂

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

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Ponderings of a Pregnant woman!

Hello- is this thing on.  Phew, let me clean out the cobwebs and dust a bit quickly.  uh-um

As you may have noticed I’ve been living life and not documenting it so much.  Since my last post (was it seriously around Thanksgiving?!?!?) I’ve grown (not so much vertically), we had a few Christmas celebrations (I think one every weekend) and look at that, we are in a whole new year.  Thankfully I have a few months to get my head around the idea that we’ll be 3 + 1 family soon. On the little man front things are happening so fast- everyday is a new adventure.  New Words, New Explorations, New Stories, and new routines.  I’ll dedicate a separate post to the Caleb Times in a bit.

While it may appear that I’ve abandon this blog, or I’m not dedicating the time and energy to my 2nd pregnancy story (My mom reminds me weekly how the second child is going to feel when she- yes she- finds out I didn’t blog the experience for her like I did little man), that’s absolutely not true.  I almost feel as I have done less complaining and more reflecting with round 2.  You see with round 1 I was too distracted by my need to puke, and then the heartburn and insomnia, extremities the size of watermelon’s and my out-of-control weight gain.  Round 2 is a complete opposite, minus the basketball attached to my belly button, I feel great.  There are days I’d like to go to the gym and pretend I have a new years resolution.  I do have self-induced heartburn after a selection of foods, but really most cravings and pregnant tendencies have been under control. 

I also feel more prepared, more organized with this round.  (Here’s where I might need to point out how laid-back I am in comparison to many first-time moms).  You see round 1- we had 1 ultrasound, people were trying to prepare me for many different scenarios, giving me pointers on aids and remedies to progress things along. Well I don’t learn very well by listening or reading…I guess I need to experience it myself to make everything click. So this time around it just seems more organized and yet, even more laid back.

To begin we prepared a fun little announcement by having little man be the bearer of good news (either in person or via picture for those who lived far away) with a home-made shirt.

Then we opted to find out the gender of our little one- which for round one I appreciated the element of surprise.  Again we were a bit festive and decorated a cake (pink on the inside) announcing the news to family….only to come home and realize that the dog had eaten the entire cake.  The back up plan was a pretty entertaining story 😉

We did a family and mini maternity shoot a few weeks ago…literally my husband and I did the photography seeing how I own a photography business and all ;).  Little man decided to keep things true to form. When asked where the baby was, he showed us…

He even offer his little sister a kiss…

Staying true to tradition…here’s the bump at 24 weeks.

Now that the Holidays are over and we don’t have plans to host company for a little while we are giving little man’s room a big boy makeover, and turning the guest room (Also known as the red room) into the new girly nursery.  Fun thing about girls is I can take things I thought were cool during wedding planning and turn it into some inspiration for a girls bedroom….hopefully I’ll have a few pictures to post this weekend (although you might want to keep an eye on my creative blog- for all the details)

I also went Christmas shopping and happened to pick up a few things for the in utero child from her older siblings (Diesel is still our first born- I just didn’t have quite the labor pains with him).  A few bags of girls clothes from some generous friends and the closet is quickly filling….which means I better keep cleaning out my stuff

In just 3 more months-ish we’ll have a daughter to greet you.  Hopefully, I’ll get on the ball and post a few more updates between now and then!

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Filed under Bundle of Joy, Proud Parents, Random thoughts

Our summer wrapped up in the excitement of a 17-month-boy

I feel like we flipped the calendar to August and we realized we better quick enjoy summer before it’s over.  This summer has been SO much fun with little man.  When we learned our Day Care provider was retiring and finding a new one mid-summer would be tricky, we opted to allow for Daddy Daycare.  I’ve known my husband a long time and I didn’t think his patience would make it, boy was I a bit shocked when the one rolling out of bed early wasn’t him (he’s totally the early bird), but yours truly.  The summer list of things to do seemed saturated with projects that didn’t allow for a little man to help.  Needless to say, I begged and prodded enough to get my trellis and garden path in the raised bed.

Apparently little man has a future as a foreman.  It amazes me how he will watch you do something and 30 seconds later he’s trying it to- with moderate success.  Brent climbed up a ladder, Caleb was right behind him.  Brent was moving stone around, Caleb came over to help, even holding the wood planks for the trellis- Caleb was reaching to help hold them up.  I’ll say that he does have a keen sense of observation and I need to be careful what he witnesses 😉

That was about the only project we checked off the list.  Beyond that summer was a whole lot of playing and swimming.  Caleb runs, dances and jumps quite well.  Oh and climbs up slides…

Doesn’t matter if it’s on land or in water.  I wasn’t lying when I said he was observant.  As if this small slide wasn’t bad enough we have added a swing-set to our yard with a big slide, and we’ve already caught him at the top after climbing UP the slide.  While he’s a thinker, once he’s got something figured out he’s not afraid to try it.  I’ve almost had a few heart attacks as he attempted to go down the stairs from the deck to patio like a big person.  Thankfully I caught him before he landed.  He thought it was funny, I needed to sit down!

Most of the time we are completely entertained.  He still carries about 20 different expressions in his back pocket and it’s always a surprise as to which one he’ll flash!

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Filed under Random thoughts, The Caleb Times

Our rendition of “National Lampoon’s vacation”

Do you ever have that strange sensation that you might be headed in the wrong direction, that something “not so good” is just lurking around the corner.  Remember National Lampoon’s Vacation? here’s a trailer to help jog your memory and set the stage for the rest of this post.

That was the feeling I had the entire week of our 4th of July vacation.  It has nothing to do with the company or the plans, it was just one of THOSE weeks.

To begin we got a phone call late Friday night  (July 1) that my in-laws were hit with a really bad storm.  There were trees and power lines down all over.  Ok, we’ve been there before- our house was hit last summer with straight line winds over 80 mph.  Over a 1,000 trees were uprooted and down all over town.  Our plan would remain the same.  After my photography shoot, we’d pack up and head out.  Our plan was to trailer the motorcyle up with family in-tow in the truck.  We’d arrive at his parent, settle in for a couple days.  On Tuesday, the husband and I would take the motorcyle Up to the shore of Lake Superior, ferry over to Madeline Island- do some exploring and just relax and enjoy life.  We get 10 miles from home and the first of many phone calls takes place.

Let me give you a little background.  My in-laws are retired and now live in a trailer in a campground year-round in Northwest sticks of Wisconsin.  Over 70% of the population are vacationers who camp or have cabins along the many lakes in the area.  Most of the housing is RV’s. At 11 AM (Little man just fell asleep and the dog settles in ready for the 5-hour trip) we learn that the entire area has no power, the one grocery store has been raided of ice and bottled water from frantic people trying to figure out how to make it through the weekend.  Rembmer it’s 4th of July weekend- the population quadrouples due to the number who come up to camp for the weekend.  By the sounds of it, the power company has it’s work cut out for them and are giving estimates of 3-7 days before the power returns.  So we make a few modifications to the plan- we make some phone calls to my family members and borrow a generator for the week.  We get it loaded and are back on our way (12:45 PM).

About 20 minutes later, Brent pulls over on the highway.  “I think I just blew a tire on the trailer.”  It’s confirmed.  Proceeds to change the tire- and I must say he was pretty speedy- everything said and done in 20 minutes.  He returns to the truck.  “We have a problem, the tire pressure on the trailer tires is REALLY low.  We need to find a place to fill them ASAP.  I don’t have another spare and we might blow the other tire any minute.”  {Great} We are 10 miles out of the nearest city.  The next exit is 2 miles up ahead, but from my knowledge they don’t have a gas station.  Regardless we pull off and we pull into a boat repair shop- we get lucky.  They are open and they have an air compressor.  Back on the road at 1:30 PM.

We drive about 40 miles and little man wakes up and is ready to get out.  He’s not happy!  We decide to pull off and quick do a bathroom break and grab a snack at the McDonald’s (I know it’s not healthy but I can always count on having a changing area in the bathroom and sometimes even a play area to burn some energy).  As we are unloading, Brent checks the trailer.  The other trailer tire (the one that wasn’t replaced) has no berrings (I’m not very automotive-parts-savvy), basically the wheel is about to fall off.  It’s now almost 2:30 PM on Saturday of a Holiday weekend.  Any automotive parts store that might have been open, is now closed or close to it.  We spend over an hour at McDonald’s while Brent tries to get the parts to fix it himself.  Thankfully this is one of the McDonald’s with a playground.  Little Man is content.  On a normal day we are a little over an hour from home.  The trailer will not make it very far, nor are we having any luck trying to fix it yet today.  We order some food, ponder life, I walk the dog, little man continues to play.  We decide to ditch the trailer.  Brent will ride the motorcycle the rest of the way and we’ll hope that the trailer will be in teh parking lot when we return.  This means I will have Little Man and Diesel in the truck by myself for the remainder of the trip (almost 4 hours).  Caleb already took a 2 hour nap, and usually that’s all he’s good for.  I also had surgery on my right shoulder almost 2 months ago and far from mobile when it comes to reaching out to the side or front.  So we turn the passenger airbag off, move little mans car seat to the front and we hit the road AGAIN (Time is now 3:45 PM).

The drive goes on with little excitement.  Little man seems pretty content looking out the windows, eating puff corn.  Sometimes as parents we make poor decisions with our children in order for our sanity to take priority.  I would let little man have anything he wanted on that ride, as long as I could reach it.  At one point I literally prayed that we wouldn’t run out of puff corn.  Not one of my proudest mommy moments, but I was desperate at this point just to get there.  I already worry about my husband on the motorcyle as it is, with the batting record we were pulling, nervous would have been an under-statement.  Within 45 minute of driving, Little Man falls asleep and life almost seems peaceful.  I guess I spoke too soon.  As he we hit the split to head north (opposed to the westward direction we had been traveling) I notice a state trooper flying up behind me weaving in an out of the lanes.  I slightly panic.  Occupying a dog, & Child while driving alone is task by itself.  Add the driving with one arm dimension and I fear that I may not have had the best driving skills.  I begin to slow down, figuring out how to keep the 100-lb dog in the backseat calm as a stranger approaches the car, which would then wake little man up in a screaming terror.  As I slow he goes around me and pulls directly in front of me- pulling my husband over.  I slow and pull over in front of them- thankfully I reminded my husband to grab the cell phone before ditching us in the truck so I could at least talk to him quick since the officer returned to his vehicle.  I should mention that anytime we slow or come to a stop, Diesel thinks it’s time to get out.  He’s beginning to pace and whine.  I decide to go up ahead to our typical Wal-mart stop as we need to start hoarding “no-power supplies” such as ice, gallons of water, matches, candles, I even pick up some solar lights for outside.  We are all awake and eager to get out.  I put Diesel on a leash and we walk over to the grassy walkway area at the back of the parking lot.  Brent meets up with us a few minutes later.  We head in to get all the goods.  One problem- no ice.  We are almost 100 miles away from out final destination, and with all the chaos up north they ran out of ice at 3 PM, it’s 6:30 PM. They provide a couple recommendations and we start this fabulous little scavenger hunt.  Luckily we were successful nearby and buy 40 lbs of ice.

The last leg of the trip is never my favorite- especially this time of night.  It’s north woods at dusk, which meant the wildlife head to the streets.  Amazingly little man falls asleep one more time and I feel pretty darn lucky.  We arrive at our destination at 8:45 PM (almost 10 hours later, what’s typically 5 hours) unscathed, just added a generator and lost a trailer.  Within minute we hook up the generator to the water pump and freezer, and his in-laws are pleased to flush the toilet for the first time in 24 hours.  Several had already attempted bathing in the river or reverted to baby wipes- so the thought of a shower seemed like a delicacy.

While our vacation was far from our expectations, my in-laws were grateful for the help as we cut up the 10 down trees- one that damaged the roof,  hauled and burned tons of brush, and baked in the 90 temps while working.  I will say the 1 1/2-day getaway was blissful.  My husband surprised me and rented a cottage on the lake with whirlpool tub. Kind of high class for my tent camping standards.  It was so delightful- Bayfield, Wisconsin is an absolutely gorgeous area.  Kind of Door County without the fluff is how I’d describe it if you are familiar.  I have a few posts coming to acquaint you 🙂

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Filed under Daily Grind, Exploring, Random thoughts