Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Weekend

I spend so much time breaking up fights between these two that sometimes I forget that this sibling thing, it is good. When I stepped out of the room last night to switch a load of laundry I gave it 30 seconds before the screaming began. When I walked back in 5 minutes later to find this, my Mama's heart was overcome with joy. Yes, this sibling thing is good.

We'll be heading up to the cabin this evening for one last weekend on the lake before the doors are closed for the winter.  Keaton has packed his tractor shirt to show Mimi and his bear jammies to show Papa Grizz - he says it will make them happy.  When I reminded him this morning of our plans he stood up on the bed and did a little jig - "Tee be happy!  Tee dancing!"

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

He likes Reubens

Our little worker - with his chainsaw, tape measure and pencil.

Yesterday I had not one, but TWO dinner dates with friends.  In the afternoon I took the boys downtown to meet Tanya for lunch.  Our meal took awhile to come out and when we were finally done Tanya was running a little late so she got up to pay while Keaton was messing around with one of the video machines.  When he came back to the table and saw that she had left he said "Oh no!  Go bye bye? Tee yove her!"

Then last night I had a dinner date with Amanda, to celebrate her recent birthday.  It was all-around a great day, but I was feeling a little guilty that I was having so much fun and Collin was stuck at work and then at home, solo-parenting.  So, as a surprise I bought him a Dairy Queen cake.

I got home from dinner at 9 pm and found one little boy still up, waiting for Mama.  As we snuggled into the couch to catch the second episode of Revenge I told Collin he could have the rest of my Reuben if he wanted.  Shortly after, Keaton jumped down from the couch and ran to Collin, who was sitting on the floor, nose to nose he says "Tee want some Reuben, Daddy." And so Collin made a deal with him, at the next commercial break go get your pj's on and then we'll warm up the Reuben. 

After jammies Keaton ran back to the living room to made good on the deal and Collin gave him a spoonful out of his bowl.

"Mmmmm, good Reuben." Keaton says.

"What are you eating?" I asked him, since I knew the Reuben wouldn't be eaten with a spoon.

"Ice cream cake."

"More Reuben, Daddy.  More Reuben."

What can we say? The kid likes Reubens.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's raining, it's pouring.

I started this post yesterday.  Right now, it is not in fact raining.  But I believe we'll be getting more throughout the week.  I was going to title it Rain, Rain, Go Away, but that seems to imply that I haven't enjoyed being hunkered down the last few days, sitting in front of the fire, candles burning - their flames dancing in the darkened rooms - and our Halloween lights emitting a calming orange glow.

This is why I love this time of year.  For us, fall signifies a slow-down.  With so many family and friends living in distant places, summer brings with it lots of travel and time away from home.  And it also brings yard work and gardening and it never fails that we have a hard time balancing it all.  But once fall comes we start staying home more, and while I'm actually dying to get out in the yard and bring in my old, wilted summer flowers and replace them with the mums I bought this weekend, sometimes the weather just forces us to slow down.

We had planned on heading to the cabin this past weekend but at the last minute we changed our minds and will be heading up in a few days instead.  That left us with nothing really on the agenda last weekend, which made for the perfect kind of days.  We started working on the boys Halloween costumes, we got our mums, we spent a lot of time in front of the fire, we watched football, we got the house in order, and we started decorating for Halloween.  I've never decorated like this before, bit by bit, I only have a few things up in the rooms that I've scrubbed down, but it feels good and I'm anxious to haul the rest of the decorations out and get them up. For the outside we have plans for pumpkins and cornstalks, but for right now the weather is telling us to sit down and enjoy these leisurely days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This Guy

Mmmm, Busha's chicken dumpling soup.

On Tuesday night I took this guy to Kohl's with me after dinner.  I had a bill that needed to be paid and he was in need of a few new jammies.  He's at the age now that he likes to pick out his own stuff, choosing a pair with dump trucks and dozers, one with footballs, new choo choos, and a green flannel Christmas pair with penguins.  I convinced him to swap those out for some Halloween jams. 

I was a little...ummm..gassy after dinner and I tend to forget that he is just 3 feet tall, trailing behind me right in the line of fire. 

When the scent hit my nose I scrunched it up and thought...ooohh, I hope no one notices that.

That was about the time Keaton dramatically wrapped himself in the flannel Dora pajamas, twisting the arm around his nose and exclaimed "EWWWWW, POOP!"

Last night after dinner this guy was climbing on the chair and up onto the table to try to blow the candle out.  I heard Collin scold both boys for climbing and to "get down." 

Almost as soon as the words came out of his mouth, from the kitchen I heard a crash and instant wailing.  You know the kind, the cry that is uncontrollable, the cry that signifies pain.  

I ran into him and scooped him up, he held his head and asked for ice.  And then for the next hour we sat on the couch, snuggling, holding ice to his head.  There is nothing normal about Keaton sitting still for an hour.  There is nothing normal about him asking to go to bed.  And though both of the boys wake up in the middle of the night, it's not normal for him to wake up whimpering.  

By 11:30 he had woken up 3 times.  I called the nurse and she said to give him some Tylenol or ib profin.  This morning he seemed completely normal so I'm hoping the pain was just a headache and nothing more serious.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


On Saturday morning we met Papa and Bush downtown for the Polish Dozynki Harvest Fest.  I am not a lick of Polish, I'm mostly Swedish followed by German and English, but Collin is nearly 100% Polish (not quite all, but nearly), which makes the boys almost 50% Polish - I like to kid that this makes me, by default, also Polish.

It is important to me that our kids learn about the different customs and traditions from their heritage.  In this house we frequently call mushrooms "grzybys" (GZHIH-bih), potatoes are "bouvlas", and if you call an allspice anything put a "koo baba" (I may have spelled this wrong) we will not know what you are talking about.  One Polish item I have not tried is a pierogi - a dumpling stuffed with potatoes, kraut, meat, you name it.  I had never tired it, that is, until Saturday.  My favorite was the mushroom and kraut.  As I was searching for that link I saw a recipe for pierogis and guess what is now going on my to-do list?

Besides trying our fair share of Polish food there was pumpkin painting, a petting zoo and horse-drawn carriage rides.  The boys loved the carriage ride and Mama loved thinking about what it would be like as a settler, traveling cross country in this little buggy. 

After the festival we packed the kids up and headed east to the mall.  We had two little boys in desperate need of some new shoes and a few more items for their fall/winter wardrobe.  We found some good deals at Old Navy, Keaton picked out an orange fleece this year and Hutt had to have the exact. same. one.   I tried getting him green, he screamed.  So he got orange.  I had big plans for our mall trip but three stores in I realized I was not going to get much more out of either child or Daddy.  And so we got new running shoes for Keaton - he boxed his old ones up and said there are is "owie running shoes" and right then my heart broke, my poor child wearing "owie" shoes for the past few, okay, several, weeks.  And then hit the road.  Well, actually, we hit the restaurant for dinner.

Sunday we went to church, came home for the Packer game and then had a birthday party for a special little 2 year old in the afternoon.  It was a good weekend.  I hope you enjoyed yours as well!

PS My phone has stopped working (AGAIN!!) so I have no access to Twitter or FB from my phone right now.  It's also the reason my Enjoying Today page hasn't been updated recently.  However, I'm going to rectify that at some point today :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WeDay: Part 2 - Bay Beach

This is the second part of our WeDay from two weeks ago.  Today the boys and I are laying low and I'm trying to fight back the tears.  I have work to finish up for a meeting this week and I'm having a hard time juggling that and focusing on them.  Some days WeDays are hard. Some days, I have to admit, it doesn't feel worth it.  But most days this is our specal time together and so that's what I'm trying to remind myself today, next week will be better...

I first heard of Bay Beach a couple of years ago at a family birthday party and I thought it was a beach, you know, with water and sand. But then they started talking about rides and fun for the kids and that's when I perked up, Bay Beach? What is that? It wasn't until Kelly asked me if the boys and I wanted to meet her and her new Baby Girl there for the afternoon that I learned the full history of the, used to be beach, now amusement park (where the rides only cost $0.25 or $0.50!!.) Of course I told her yes right away, I was dying to see that little girl and also, since first hearing of it two years ago this has been a place I've wanted to take the kids when they were old enough.

Of course "old enough" is a tricky phrase. Hutton is our little daredevil. He climbs on everything trying to get as high as possible, he rides on his bouncy animals with wild abandon, he is what some would call, a little crazy. So when I stuck him in that first boat, right after we had all eaten lunch, I really thought he'd be fine. Oh Dear God was I wrong.

As soon as it started moving he started screaming and trying to get out. Of the boat. That was over WATER.  I ran back to him, the girl operating the machine shut it off as quickly as possible.  As I reached out for him he leapt into my arms.  As I carried him away and settled him down the ride started back up and that's when I heard more crying.

Upon seeing me walk away with his brother and being left there alone Keaton freaked out.  And so there I was, running back in to collect child #2 and thankfully Kelly got it all on film for me.  (Although when Collin saw those pictures he looked at me and said - you left Hutt in a boat by himself??  And that night he proceeded to have a nightmare of our baby being kidnapped. So, good?  Not good?  I don't know.)  After the boat escapade we decided to take a little breather from rides and head over to the playground for a bit where the boys went down slides, climbed through tunnels...

...played with the wood chips...

...and ate a little dirt.  Because really, what playground trip is complete without the sampling of the local mud.

After we spent some time at the playground and all calmed down a little we decided to head back for the rides.  We found this helicopter which was perfect because I could go on it with the boys.  I took Keaton first while Hutt entertained himself with a blue slushy.  But when Hutton saw us boarding the ride he started screaming, not because he was scared but because he wanted to be with us.  So for the second trip we all went together.  And they loved it.

We also hit up the train and the carousal.  These two were perfect because Kelly and Baby C could go too. And so could Hutton's blue lips.

Lest you fear Bay Beach is only for kids and adults can not have fun there, be not thee fooled. Adults enjoy it too.

Keaton spent the rest of his tickets on these cars.  By the looks of the pictures you probably won't believe me that he ran off them asking to go again and that Kelly and I both scraped together our remaining tickets to let him ride one last time, but I assure you, he did. (Seriously, do not be thrown by that frown.)

When I got my two exhausted guys home that night I asked Keaton what his favorite part of the day was and he declared it to be the choo choo ride.  Which I was happy with, because I was really afraid he might have said the mud puddle.

Despite the boat mishap we had a great day, and I can't wait to go back.  Kelly and Baby C., thank you so much for meeting us there!! (PS Your Welcome Baby C gift is in the mail.  Kinda of.  Okay actually it is sitting here still waiting to be packaged up, but it will be in the mail soon.  Promise.  Okay, soonish.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

In honor of the season opener

These pictures were taken by Busha during the 2010 season.  What a flashback.  My babies, they are so YOUNG!

Internet on my phone has decided to quit working and I couldn't get a connection last night to post these before the game.  And what a game that was.  Way to kick off the season Green Bay.  This family is so pumped to have football back. 

Go Pack Go!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

WeDay: Part 1 - Diggers

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines.  Remember those deadlines I have been talking about for, oh?, the past 3 or so weeks?  Well, they're here.  Actually, they have come and gone and I am still not through all of my reports. So sadly we did not have a WeDay yesterday as Mama Bush graciously watched the kids for me so I could work. 

But last Wednesday the boys and I had a great day and because I was up at 5:30 am on Sunday to work and then realized I'd forgotten my internet connection (we were at the cabin) I finally made it though our WeDay pictures.

Collin and Papa have been working on the plans for a new house for the past several weeks.  We weren't exactly sure when "digging day" would be, but when it came Collin wanted Keaton to be there.  And then last Tuesday he came home and said "the digger is coming tomorrow."  So we got up early and picked up Busha and headed to the site.

Daddy and Papa came over as soon as they saw us and I think they might have been just as excited as Keaton was for this day.  Although, Keat was a little nervous at first, clinging to Collin's shoulder, soon enough he warmed up to it and even got to sit up inside the digger.

When the digger needed to get back to work Papa took Keaton into the hole to watch the masons lay the footings.

And of course, no digging adventure would be complete without a little digger of his own.

I think he could have sat right there, playing in the pile of dirt, watching the digger do it's work all day long if we would have let him.  But Daddy & Papa needed to get back to work and we needed to mosey on over to Green Bay for the rest of our day....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Soul in the Season: Fall 2011

I’ve been known to wish away summer, to long for cool autumn days where a blanket of crisp leaves covers the ground. This year I tried hard not to do that. Even though we’ve had our share of hot and miserable days we’ve made the most out of this summer and have really enjoyed it. As we moved through August, more than once I had to stop myself and remember to savor the last few weeks, to live in the moment and soak up the last bits of the season, to not jump ahead to fall. I was doing pretty good with this until we went to Papa & Busha’s one evening and she showed me her copy of Better Homes and Gardens, Country Gardens magazine. There were some great articles about seeds and a picture of a gardening shed Collin and I’d like to build in our backyard. But what Busha really wanted to show me were the fall decorating ideas. I flipped it open to see the display of porches adorned with pumpkins, gourds, and mums and the couches accented with burnt orange pillows and suddenly my heart started beating faster. My mind was running 100 miles and minute, the creative juices pumping. I can’t help it. I love fall. I love each season for different reasons and we’re lucky enough to live in an area that we can really participate in all four, but fall, autumn, it’s my favorite.

There’s so much I love about this season, the colors of the trees, the sound of crunching leaves, wearing jeans and sweatshirts, pulling out the crock pot for soups and roasts, ordering a pumpkin spice latte at any time during the day and not needing it iced. But I think what I love most is what this season represents to me, bounty, harvest, thanksgiving.  To me this is a season to reflect on all of our blessings, to slow down, be present, spend quality time together, and prepare for the winter season ahead. 

I have so many things on my Soul Season list for fall.  Some are centered around making memories with the boys, some around the produce of the season, some are purely for pleasure/enjoyment, all of them will help me to live more presently in the season.

  • Go to the apple orchard.  Can apple sauce and make an apple pie (my very first!)
  • Decorate our house, inside and out, for the season. 
  • Host an autumn harvest dinner.
  • Spend Sundays relaxing, watching football, and generally refraining from work.
  • Go letterboxing.
  • Have a pumpkin spice latte (or two.  Or three.)
  • Go to the pumpkin patch.  Carve pumpkins.
  • Take the boys through a corn maze.
  • Make the boys' Halloween costumes.
  • Make homemade apple cider.
  • Use the crock pot often.  Try a new, fall inspired, recipe.
What will you be doing this season?  If you care to write your own list, let me know, I'll link to it on my Soul Season page.