Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008


So - I have completed my two days of work and am finally ready to sit down and develop my first contest. I am so excited and I hope that you are too. But first, you must read the funny but not so funny story that leads into the contest....

On Tuesday evening, we packed up our ridiculous little rental car and began our "journey" to Milwaukee where we would be flying out of on Wednesday afternoon. Dave looked exhausted and had been doing all of the driving during the trip, so I agreed to make the way back to Milwaukee. It was later in the day, I knew the children would be falling asleep and it was a beautiful night so I figured I could handle it. I should preface the story though with insider information. I HATE driving and being in a car. We have done a few road trips in our lives and I am a TERRIBLE traveler. I get bored, I get stiff, I get hungry, I have to go to the bathroom, I have children crying in the backseat. Literally, if I am in a car for more than 30 minutes, I get anxious. I think Dave was so tired at that point, he let me drive anyways.

All was going well. We buckled the kids in, made a run through Starbucks, set the cruise control, and hit the highway. Apparently, Dave felt that I was moving a little slow because we were barely out of Onalaska when he looked at me and said, "what do you have the cruise control set at?" I quickly responded "70." Speed limit sign stated 65 when I last glanced up at it and so I was being conservative and law abiding and set it for 70. He then says, "You better set it for more than 70 if we are going to get there before 10pm." I asked if he was sure and reminded him that I NEVER speed through that particular stretch of highway. I don't typically speed period(really - I don't) but feeling antsy to get to our destination, I decided to take his advice and kick it into gear.

It was no less than 20 min when I glanced up to find flashing lights and a state trooper in my rear view mirror. I held my composure but did find myself thinking rotten, mean, and crude thoughts toward my husband. I of course was caught speeding through Wisc, in a rental car, with my two children strapped securely in the backseat. It was not one of my finer moments. When the state trooper asked my why I was speeding, I wanted to say "Because my husband told me too" but instead I hung my head in shame. Seeing the distraught condition I was in or maybe it was the obnoxious songs and stories that my children were rehearsing in the backseat, he released me with a scolding and a written warning.

Pulling away, Dave and I had a great conversation - basically he laughed at me and told me how lucky I was. As if I didn't already know. When he asked me just how fast I was going, I told him what I had set the cruise control to. I think he was appalled and then said "oh I would have never driven that fast through here" Hmmm......

Anyways, getting to the contest...

I will send out a great gift certificate to the blog reader who can correctly identify how fast I was actually speeding in my little red Pontiac Vibe. If more than one of you are correct, I will draw a name at random - Good luck. The contest will be be open until Tuesday morning. Guess away!

Remember if you don't have an identity, you can always hit the comment button and sign in anonymous. Just don't' forget to identify yourself. I am hoping to at least have 15 participants - hopefully I can pull it off. If you are new to my blog - welcome - and good luck - you too can participate. And to all my family out there - I know your there - enter and have fun.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Over

And this would be how I am feeling today after arriving home last night at 2 AM due to numerous delays in Minneapolis as a result of "inclement weather." Ugh! The children are peacefully sleeping and I - well this is what I want to be doing. Instead I am running around grocery shopping, doing landry, unpacking, catching up on bills, doing dishes, unpacking, more laundry, gardening, and of course Blogging! This mama is putting an end to traveling for awhile because it is just too much work. Anybody else want to share a traveling story from this summer?

Adult Time

Dave and I enjoying some well deserved alone time!

Catching Up...

During my short stay in Wisconsin, I was fortunate enough to meet up with a couple of good friends whom I haven't seen for quite awhile. My friend Merranda and I have know each other FOREVER it seems. I met her back in high school when we worked at Dairy Queen together and then have been lucky enough to maintain our friendship through the years. Between the two of us we have 2 husbands, 5 children, 3 pets, 1 minivan, 100 headaches, 1000 smiles, and an endless number of stories that would keep you up laughing all night. After breakfast on this particular morning, I asked her son (who is such a sweet little boy) to take a picture of us. He was too quick for us as evidenced by the above picture, but did catch a good one of us below.

Merranda - thank you for taking the time out to visit and I am so happy that we were able to talk even if it was over smiley pancakes with interruptions of potties and itchies. Life is so good and so different these days huh?

Ohhhhh - this would be my long time friend Naomi. I met Naomi in 7th grade when I walked up to her on the way to Science class and asked why she wasn't wearing a bra? Who would have thought our friendship would survive? Pictured to the far right is her beautiful daughter Novelyn. We met up for breakfast - where else - Fayzees and enjoyed some great conversation. Oh Miss Naomi - an hour just wasn't enough - but one day my friend, we'll have a quiet moment to steal away for a latte and raspberry scone....


Wisconsin Trip - Part 2

After completing the first leg of our trip, we were headed off to Minnesota to meet up with my side of the family.

Paloma was instantly obsessed with her cousin Bennett. She took to him immediately. The last time we visited, Paloma was only a year old and Bennett was only a couple of weeks old. They did not have an opportunity to bond - but my baby sure made up for it this trip.

Dave and I were fortunate to have a couple days to ourselves since the girls were excited to spend some quality time with grandma and grandpa. The above picture is Mattea graciously pulling her sister in a wagon all the way to park - less work for the grandparents I guess.

Grandpa helped show Mattea "mechanics" at the park.

Grandma spend lots and lots of time reading and relaxing with Mattea. Well, maybe not relaxing since both days they had huge bags under their eyes when I went to visit. I asked my parents if the girls were "too" much for them to handle. They simple said, "You must really have your hands full at home?" That's an understatement.

During one of the nights when my two darling dumplings were wearing grandma and grandpa out, Dave and I enjoyed a peaceful, quiet dinner with my sister and her husband. Ryan turned 30 and so we decided to celebrate with dinner and good conversation. Wow - was that a different experience than our usual "5 min shove all the food in that you can before the kids throw a tantrum in public dinner."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We did take a quick break from family festivities to spend some time in the pool. As you can tell from Mattea's face, she was less than impressed.

Midwest Trip - Part 1

The first part of the trip was spent with Dave's family in Sun Prairie, Wisc. We drove over from Milwaukee on Friday and met with family all day Saturday. Paloma was able to meet her Aunt Michelle for the very first time and Mattea was able to revisit some of the relatives she met on our first trip home when she was only 4 months old.

The "girls" were able to chit chat as the "boys" caught up on all the latest Packer news.

Mattea and Paloma spent some much needed one on one time with Grandma and Aunt Michelle. They played on the swings, talked to some cows, picked some flowers - all the fun things in life.

We then closed out the first phase of our trip with breakfast on Sun. morning. Pictured above are Dave's sister Michelle and his brother Mike.

One last family photo before packing up and heading out for phase 2 of our midwest adventure.

Melting In The Midwest

Well - we made it. Our family made the trek back to the Midwest for a short but sweet trip to visit family and friends. We found a really good deal on tickets and therefore couldn't pass up the opportunity. The flight out went quite smoothly with not one delay. The MSP airport entertained both children during our 3 hour layover and once we touched down in good ole Milwaukee Wisconsin, both girls were off to dreamland. Thery were definitely tired - as were Dave and I. We knew we had landed back in our home state when we stepped off the airplane to the smell of brats, beer, and cheese curds and then had to cut our way threw the 80% humidity to find our rental car. Welcome home!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No Cavity Club

The kids had their dentist appointment today - all went well! Both children were complimented on their teeth and of course - were cavity free. As you may know, I am a stickler when it comes to oral hygiene and pretty teeth, so of course I expect the same for my kids. I was oh so pleased to have both of them check out so well. Paloma even let them do a full cleaning on her teeth. Mattea didn't blink an eye during her cleaning since the movie playing above was so captivating. Good job ladies!

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that each year over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and over 40,000 patients will die from the disease. Breast cancer is truly an epidemic among women and we don't know why.

If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 96%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

Are you doing your monthly self breast exams? Stunning statistics. Ladies - what are you waiting for. Speaking from an individual who has been told I have a 1 out of 3 chance of getting breast cancer in my lifetime, I urge you to be proactive!

Blast From The Past

We love and miss you guys - your in our thoughts and prayers.

Thanks for being a faithful reader!

Art Project - Take 1

This weekend, Mattea and I attempted a little craft project which I had originally seen on the Artful Parent blog (see side bar). The blog had said to use colored rice but I improvised and instead used colored beans. We started by using a protractor and made circles of various sizes. Not much creativity needed - but that would come later. I wanted Mattea to get used to 1) using a protractor and 2) staying inside the lines. After drawing circles, Mattea then used a paintbrush to paint the circles with glue. She did really well and was definitely trying hard to concentrate on keeping the glue inside the pencil lines.

After that task was completed, she was asked to fill in each circle with a specific kind of bean. But - only one variety of bean to each circle - and she had to place them one by one. Once the instruction phase of craft time was completed and she had followed the directions, she was allowed to freely design the bean picture of her choice. She could paint, arrange, place beans in whatever manner she saw fit. The final product was beautiful - no Picasso - but won awards in my book! There is no picture because her sister came along and began plucking the beans one by one from her masterpiece. She too was working on fine motor skills!

Swimming . . .Paloma Style

Today was the final day of Paloma's very first swimming lesson - a 'Mommy & Me' class at the YMCA. The "MOMMY" part is missing in the photos - but alas I was there - donning swimsuit and all. She did great. Loved the water, loved being dunked, and loved paddling after her ducky. We are so proud of you little pumpkin!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Day At The Beach

This weekend sparked a perfect opportunity to get the girls out to the beach. It wasn't blistering - sweat your bum off hot, but warm enough to make for some comfortable swimming water. It was awesome. The girls were able to entertain themselves and each other while Dave and I soaked up some rays. We commented on how nice it is to have the girls at a developmental point where they are not totally relying on us for entertainment. We are having a blast out here - anyone want to come out and visit?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Word Of Encouragment On Mothering...

Dear fellow mom, these are the facts of life for any and every mother.

Being a mother is a commitment, a responsibility, and a calling from God...for a lifetime.
And being a mom is our highest joy and our greatest challenge.

So what can we do? Every time I ask myself this question, the answer is always the same - we can only try to do our best. It's one more way we love our children.

A Mom After God's Own Heart - 10 Ways to Love Your Children
Elizabeth George

They're Back

I'm bubbling with excitement as I update.. my husband and baby arrived back safely last night from their brief trip back to the Midwest. Can you believe it took over a minute for me to sneak a hug in from Polly Rae because from the moment the doors opened and she emerged in Dave's arms, Mattea attacked her - picking her up, hugging and kissing her. I finally said ENOUGH it's my turn. Surely it was the cutest thing in the world. We brought in the Dora couch and they slept together last night - not wanting to separate. I love the relationship they have created and only hope in strengthens through the years. I'm never letting her out of my sight again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Blog In Blog Land

Hey everyone,
Jump on over to Miss Kelly's Blog and welcome her to the land of blogging. She has become family by marriage and we are so glad to have her as a new blog friend. Welcome and encourage her - it'll only take a minute.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Single Parenting An Only Child

Today marked day 2 of single parenting an only child. I have shut Paloma's door because it is so sad to walk by her room and not see her in there. I miss her like crazy but know she will be back playing with us tomorrow.
Despite having a pretty bad cold and a fat lip, Mattea and I ventured out to Planet Kid today. It took her awhile to have fun since her sister was missing and I was not satisfying the role as playmate very well. She did come around and enjoyed the company of a new found friend. I hooked them up when I realized this little girl wandering around was the same size as Mattea - and found out she was the same age. After a very brief nap, Matty and I decided to hang out and take it easy for the rest of the night - fine by me since that little midget was up at 6am with a full bladder. Remind me again why pull ups were so bad? Who said night training was the way to go???

Tea For Two

Monday, August 4, 2008


Oh what I wouldn't do to hug my little baby right now.... Missing her like crazy! But this picture that I found brings smiles to my face and tears to my eyes. The interaction between these two is awesome and I only hope to continue fostering their relationship. Mattea's face is priceless as she stares down at her ridiculous looking sister who is running around in a diaper covered with Dora underpants, Cinderella shoes, an old birthday crown, and a smile so big her teeth are showing. Usually it is Mattea prancing around the house looking like a circus clown (which her outfit speaks for itself) but that day, Paloma took the cake. Truly priceless!

Quality Time

I will admit, today was a hard day. David flew back to Wisc. to attend his grandmother's funeral and he took little Polly Rae with him. I have never been away from my baby and it was hard saying good bye as Mattea and I stood in the airport watching both of them head through security. Mattea kept asking why I was sad as the tears continued to pour down. Originally, David was going to take both children thus allowing me a few days of peace and solitude - but I buckled at the last moment and kept Mattea home with me. We are having fun - no doubt - but oh how I miss my sweet baby girl.
But moving on to a breakdown of how I chose to spend the day with my eldest....After dropping daddy off early, Mattea and I headed out to breakfast, followed by a great workout and then some creative/learning time at home. Matty is battling a cold right now so she is not as fired up as she usually is. She did decide she wanted to head out for family night though (which brought me great joy as it meant I didn't have to cook dinner).

Family night occurs every Monday night at one of the local coffee houses. They offer an enormous plate of spaghetti and salad (the price is next to nothing) and follow it with various forms of entertainment. There is usually a movie playing on the large screen and kids everywhere. Of course those individuals who stop by for leisure and a relaxing cup of coffee on Monday nights are quite surprised to find a bunch of toddlers running around with spaghetti stained clothes and milk mustaches. Nonetheless, our family has taken a liking and so Mattea and I continued our new found tradition.

Following family night, Mattea insisted on stopping off at the local splash pad. Last week Dave and I were unprepared and did not bring bathing suits, towels etc... so this evening since I was much more prepared, I figured why not. I could sit and relax and Mattea could play. Well, not sure what I was thinking but Mattea became bored rather quickly without her sister around and in an effort to recruit me as her personal water target, she biffed it and landed face first on the concrete. I looked up to see a large amount of blood spurting from her upper lip. Remaining calm of course, I thought for sure her front teeth were missing or that she had separated her frenulum. I could see stitches in our future.

But once everything was cleaned and Mattea calmed down, we ended up with a scraped chin, scuffed knee, and a good size fat lip. That's all - teeth intact. Whew, missed it again. The night abruptly ended and we packed up and headed home. As we left the park, Mattea turned to me and said "Mommy, you gonna heal me?" Oh, if only I could.
is currently asleep and I am missing my husband and little girl like crazy. But, tomorrow is a new day!