Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our Summer Adventures for 2013

The kids and I spent some time last week finalizing our Summer Adventure List.  It is BIGGER than ever before and I have had to explain to them that we might have to push some of these things to the fall.  I want to make sure we have LOTS of lazy days this summer to read, sip lemonade (water kefir) and play in the backyard. The Summer Adventure list is posted in our kitchen and here is a picture of all we want to do.

We are also working on plans for a Camp Mama that will be held over 8 weeks this summer.  We have picked themes and are busy planning simple activities and field trips we can do each week around the theme.  I am also spending lots of time on our library's website picking out books that will relate to each theme.  It will be a fun way to keep learning fresh and fun over the summer and the kids are so excited about it. I will be sharing a lot more about Camp Mama on our other blog this summer, so feel free to check it our.  Our themes are going to be: All about Birds, Night Camp, Wacky World of Sports, Happy Birthday America!, The Ocean, Dinosaurs, Princesses and Star Wars and Inventors Unite (with a bit of Kitchen Chemistry).

We also started our Summer License Plate Game over the weekend and already have 10 plates.  We have a list in the car and one posted in the kitchen to keep track of the states we have seen.  The kids are super into this activity this year, I am glad that this tradition from my childhood is enjoyed so much.

What are your fun and exciting plans for the summer???

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not Your Typical Memorial Day....

Memorial Day for this family is the kick start of summer.  It usually involves 4 days at the lake with a huge picnic with our lake family, lots of outdoor playtime for the kids, maybe a dip or two in the water, boating, fishing, chores and family fun.  This year was shaping up to be an atypical Memorial Day with two papers due for my graduate class (seriously 2 on a holiday weekend?!?!) and a horrid weather forecast.  Thankfully there is new WiFi at the lake so I wouldn't have to spend my weekend at the local library and I packed the kids rain gear and winter hats to prepare for the WACKY WEATHER forecast (snow in May?!?!).

I packed the car on Friday while Z was at school and even picked him up a little early.  Scott was scheduled to come home early and we were all going to head up to the lake together.  Once I got all the cold food packed, I took a minute and rested on my bed.  I then came to realize in those moments of stillness just how sick I had been feeling all day and stumbled into the bathroom to see if I had a temperature.  Sure enough I did and these " allergies"that I had been suffering from all day turned out to be a virus after all.  I turned on the TV for the kids, unpacked the cold food and waited until Scott came home to break the news that we would not be headed to the lake tonight.  The kids were very upset by this news but understood that if the weather improved, they would go up for at least a day over the weekend.
The Flowers My Family Bought to Cheer me Up!
Well the weather did not improve that much (so very cold and wet) and so we stayed home Saturday and Sunday.  Many of Z's little friends did not make it up this weekend and that made being home a little easier.  Daddy spoiled them with a trip out to breakfast, ice cream and even some outdoor playtime on Sunday when the sun came out.  I focused my time on resting and getting my 2 papers done for my class (as well as all of next weeks work!!!).  Monday brought warmer weather and sun and so the kids and Scott hit the park for some tennis, we went car shopping (not fun but necessary) and then had a lobster dinner!!  It was a restful and happy weekend and though we were sad to not see our lake family, it was nice to have some much needed downtime at home!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Toys Are Rust!!"

We are headed to "Toys Are Rust" today because Lil'C has taken a big turn in her potty training adventure and has earned enough stickers for a trip to pick out something special.  It is funny how life works, when I had time to potty train her, she wanted nothing to do with it.  Now that I am super busy, she decides she is ready.  I would say she uses the potty about 60% of the time at this point and though she is still afraid of underwear, she is doing really well.  Sometimes she won't even tell me she is going and she will come out of the bathroom with her pants askew and a big smile...she is a bit independent.

So today we are headed to "Toys Are Rust" and then home to make a new incentive plan.  Auntie A gave her a gift card to Toys R Us for her baptism and she really enjoyed the experience of picking something out.  She also picked something out for her brother as well and bought it with her gift card, it was a proud mama moment.  So that trip to TRU has motivated my little shopping diva and so we are headed back to the store and shop again.  This will be our last trip for awhile, we are going to go into a saving mode and so she will earn experiences from here on out ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Little Boy

My little boy graduated from Kindergarten on Friday night and words can not describe the emotion I felt watching him up on that stage.  The evening started with a beautiful slideshow that a friend made of the Kindergarten class.  Her song selections were perfect and she had me crying from the first frame.  It was a beautiful capture of their time at Montessori.

After the movie, the kids came out in full BUG costume and started their play.  It was an absolute riot and I cried off and on during the whole thing.  Z was a Bee and did an incredible job.  He had been sooooo nervous about performing all day on Friday but after the rehearsal in the auditorium on Friday afternoon, all those fears seemed to melt away.  The boy owned the stage, nailed his line, was in character the whole time and as his Mimi said, "gave 120% of himself".  He was so darn cute and I found myself laughing and crying through the entire show.

A few weeks ago, Z told me that we weren't allowed to yell "Encore" because there wouldn't be time for one.  Little did I know that this was a set up for even more emotion for Mama :)  They surprised us all with an encore of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and I am crying just thinking about it.  They had tambourines, hand movements and sang their little hearts out.  As Z sang, his eyes were pointed to our section the whole time, it felt like he was singing to me.  And as he did the past 6 and 1/2 years flashed through my little boy is growing up.

I cannot recall a moment where I have been more proud of Z.  He overcame his fears of performing in front of an audience and discovered something he now loves.  He has told me that he wants to be in a play again soon and that he has plans to write his own play.  The acting bug is in his genes and it seems to have bit him :).  Friday night once again confirmed for me that his school is an amazing place.  I am sad to see this chapter of his life come to an end but so excited to see where the next chapter takes him.

Thanks Z for giving all of us in your cheering section an amazing gift on Friday night.  We so enjoyed your show and watching you shine up on that stage.  We love you very much!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mommy and Z Day

Tonight Z graduates from Kindergarten and is BEE Number 3 in the school production of "Bugz".  It is a very exciting day and to celebrate he and I spent the morning together.  I had told him that we could go anywhere he wanted, just he and I.

He decided that our destination should be Chuck E Cheese :)  Lil'C was off to a friends house and he and went to the arcade to spend some quality time together.  It was a wonderful day with my firstborn.  We laughed, played LOTS of games together and had great conversations about life and next year.   Tonight is going to be an emotional night, I hope that I am not too teary at graduation.  I am so proud of my little man and hope that he is able to overcome his nerves for tonight's performance.  No matter what I plan to be the loudest cheerleader in his section!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not on the To-Do List

Monday was the kind of day that was planned down to the minute.  With a long To-Do list, a bunch of Kitchen Work to do and my first major project for my class was important to have the day planned out carefully.  On the way back from dropping Z off from school, Lil'C took my plan and tossed it out the window.  The poor little bug started tossing her cookies when only 2 minutes from home :(  The poor thing must have had some post nasal drip, as there were no other symptoms, and decided to get rid of it the only way she knew how.

I went into Momma Survival Mode and took her soggy body out of the car, stripped her down in the very cold garage and left the doors and windows open in the car.  I bathed and dressed her, got her set with a movie and went to work on my car.  An hour and a half later I was finished but already so behind on the day.  I decided to put my list aside and snuggle up with my little bug for a few books.  Once this was done I sent her off to play and got started on the most important things on my list.

The To-Do list was not completed that day,  I was up very late working on my project and somehow I managed to get by with some food I had already prepped that was in the freezer.  Life (God?) was telling me to slow down and count my blessings.  This often happens when I am feeling overwhelmed and ragged and it is nice to have things put back into perspective, although I could have done without the puke in the car seat :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day this year was spent at one of my favorite places in this world....the lake.  It was nice to be back there after 7 long months.  Driving up the drive is always like coming home, it got me excited about the upcoming summer and all of the fun to be had.

I am so blessed to have spent a nice day with my two beautiful children, who greeted me with warm hugs, kisses and mother's day wishes, my own mom, dad, sister and her family and of course my amazing husband.  Scott made breakfast for everyone, played with the kids most of the day so we could get chores done and then mowed the entire lawn when we got home so I wouldn't have to this week.  It was a wonderful day and I am so very grateful for this special time with family in this very beautiful setting.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Finding Joy in Simple Moments

This month is a busy one.  I am trying so hard to simplify but more keeps getting put on my plate.  Last week was one of the busiest weeks of my life and this week is not allowing me to recover from it.

Let me give you a quick glimpse of last week.....I started an online graduate class on Tuesday night, we made May Day baskets and goodies, I hosted Book Club on Thursday, put everything together for Lil'C's baptism on Sunday, spent a TON of time in the kitchen making food for my GAPS diet (making EVERYTHING from scratch is time consuming), was away over the weekend, made 4 Bee Stingers for the Bees in Z's School Play and then add in the rest of our weekly was a bit NUTTY!

In order to get through this crazy time of life, I am trying to find joy in the simple moments.  I have been taking slow walks to get the mail to appreciate the budding leaves, the smell of the rain and the sounds of the birds.  I put on my music and danced around my quiet house while getting ready for Book Club because my parents took the kids to Z's game last week....Thank you Mom and Dad!!!  I so enjoyed being able to sit still and watch Z's game last night....3 big hits for the little man with the coach pitching!  I love my snuggle time with the kids when we read and have been trying to do this at least once a day. And the moment we had on the beach this past weekend, priceless!

It is these moments that keep me recharged, these moments I am so grateful for, these moments that are helping this mama stay sane.  I am looking forward to the summer where life will be a little slower but yet I don't want to wish away this time that we are in right now. So many good things are happening in May, I hope that I can stay focused and appreciate them as much as I can.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Beautiful Day for a Baptism

The sun was shining down on us yesterday as we baptized Lil'C at her grandparents farm.  It was a beautiful and personal small outdoor ceremony with family and friends.  The minister was incredible and worked with us to plan this very special time for our family.  During the ceremony the four godparents were asked to each represent a character trait that they possess and guide Lil'C throughout her life in this trait.  Amber represents Honesty, Joe Adventure, Andy Reliability and Kristen Thankgiving.  The four traits spelled out HART, a place where we know they hold Lil'C dear.  Each godparent was given a princess power ring with their letter on it and so when they come together it spells HART.

Lil'C did not wear the flower girl dress from her Auntie Kiki's wedding, like I had envisioned two years ago when it was given to her, but that was okay.  Instead she frolicked through the space in her regular clothes, spreading rose petals, picking grass and hiding under momma's skirt :)  The flower girl dress hung on a chair that we had reserved just for Auntie Kiki, a place for her to visit from Heaven and participate in the ceremony.

Each godparent, grandparent and Z brought a bit of water to contribute to the baptismal water.  The water came from many different places, places that were special to each of them.  We then gave each person in the circle a PINK gerber daisy (my wedding flower and Lil'C's favorite color).  The minister then dipped the flower into the bowl of water and I sprinkled it all over my beautiful baby girl.  The baptism ended with my dad singing one of Lil'C's favorite songs while Uncle Pete played the guitar.  This was cut short because she was not loving all the attention but we did make it through a verse :)

After the ceremony it was time for a Mexican Pink Fiesta in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  After the party we got some time in on the beach to celebrate Mimi's birthday.  The entire day was a gift.  It was a beautiful day in a beautiful space with so many people we love!  Thanks to everyone who helped to make it so special.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


These were the words that were screamed to me from across the playground last week.  These were the words that caused every mother around me to stop and look.  These loud words were met with a very unfavorable answer to my sweet Lil'C when I whispered to her that I had forgotten it at home.  This led to tears, more shouting, "I NEED SUNSCREAM!!!!" and more stares from the people around us.  I finally whispered to her that I would put it on her when we got home and she ran off to play.

Or so I this little girl was on a mission for "sunscream" and do you know where she went?!?!  She went over to a responsible mother on a bench, who had just applied sunscreen to her own children and said, "I need sunscream".  The shock mother looked at her and told her that she would have to ask her mother.  This was the point that I reached her, apologized to the woman and led Lil'C away explaining that we'd be leaving soon.

In my defense, this park playdate was last minute (we had been at Paint Your Own Pottery where the sun does not shine) and I was not prepared.  It was also 80 degrees at the park when the forecast had called for 70.  I did have water (go me) but no "sunscream"....I will not make that mistake again :)

So all you mom's out there, watch out!  If I forget my "sunscream" again, Lil'C might just be banging down your park bench to get herself in on the action.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!!

IMG_2256Today we will be busy delivering May Day Baskets that we made ourselves.  We have filled them with fresh flowers and homemade cookies.  It is an old tradition to hand out baskets of sweets and flowers to friends and neighbors to celebrate the coming of Spring on May Day.
IMG_2254For our far away friends, we made flowers out of coffee filters and made paper baskets for them.  We sent them so that the should arrive today.  We are so excited about Spring and wanted to share the excitement and some love with our friends.
IMG_2255Happy May Day!