Thursday, May 31, 2012

Champagne Tears

Today, my heart feels a little broken. Truth be told...a lot broken.

You see, last Tuesday evening, Jeremy came home from work early - he cuddled Miss L as he always does and told me he had a present for me on the countertop. I look...and it's a bottle of champagne.

Champagne? This means one of two things in our home...either this momma is having mimosas...or daddy got a job offer. This time, it was the latter. Everytime we have moved {3 times thus far}, Jeremy has brought home a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the promotion, the move and the excitement! We jumped for joy with lots of excitement, last Tuesday.

Then, the tough part came...negotiations. We didn't open want to open the champagne, until it was all set. Jeremy had a job offer at a larger location in a city within driving distance to dear friends and family. Unfortunately, the pay wasn't what he/we were expecting...based on this said city's demands, increased stress levels and overall work load. So...we walked away.

We agreed going in that we were willing to walk away; that we do enjoy life here and that this particular city wasn't worth it at X price.

Fast forward to this Tuesday morning...Jeremy called me with the news that the position was given to someone else {a dear friend of his...whom,we are very happy for}. A wealth of emotions just flooded our hearts.

My heart breaks for my husband, and for all of us. Tears come and go as I think about what we passed up.
Doubt about whether we made the right decision. Disappointment that the company couldn't work with him. Frustration, that I turned down a really great job opportunity because we thought we were moving. Fear about his future career path. Overall sadness. ETC.

This process has taught us that we have a strong desire to reside closer than 12 hours to family...and yet, has opened our eyes to how enjoyable it is to call the Twin Cities home. {Contradicting statements, I know!} This truly is a beautiful, very family-friendly, place to live. Especially, now that it is summer...and it feels like we are living "up north" Michigan...but with the modern conveniences of a big city. God has certainly blessed us with a home we love and with new friends that are very special to us.

At the end of the day, I am proud of us for standing our ground, and I am proud of my husband being offered this position at his age. Every experience in life is a learning lesson. I am firm believer in "everything happens for a reason." We may not know what is in store for us next...with his company or even a different comapny, here in MN or somewhere else. For now, I know it is best to put the bottle of bubbly in the spare fridge in the garage...until it is time to celebrate, once again. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Monkey See - Monkey Do!
Miss L inspiring Miss C to stand up next to the window
Finally...Two peas in a pod!

At the playground with Aunt Jen
Our little fish!

Playing in our yard with her new water table

Monday, May 21, 2012

Best $10 Purchase

A couple of months back, we started to increase the number of miles logged during our family walk/jogs. The need for a "jogging stroller" quickly became inevitable.

I scoured Craigslist, as any thrifty stay at home mom would, and found one {of course, without a photo} for $10!!

I sent daddy to the unknown location one day after work. I told him, "who cares what it looks like, it's $10!!!" {If I could BOLD numeric numbers, I would BOLD the $10 now}. and he came home with this...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Vacation {Mother's} Day!

The bar was set high...REALLY high...but it is his own fault. That's what Jeremy does best.

My first Mother's Day was a grandslam. It was not without numerous diaper changes, feedings and lots of baby spit-up...but it sure did feel like a day on vacation.

After some family time in bed on Sunday morning, Jeremy popped his "pre-made" Baked Caramel Banana French Toast {casserole} in the oven. A recipe that I not-so-subtly cut out of a magazine and left out for him, as a hint.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Home is Wherever I am with You!

Having moved from MI to Indianapolis to Downtown Chicago to the Twin Cities and {quite possibly} another move in the near future, I've learned one thing, er, well, two!

1) Adaptability is a VERY great trait to exhibit
2) Home is wherever I'm with Jeremy
Jeremy and I left Michigan in 2006 as young newlyweds, bursting with excitement and willing to see where the wind took us on this adventure, we call life. Never in a million years, did I foresee us living in the "North Pole," aka Twin Cities...nor renting a high-rise on the Chicago River.

We've learned to adapt well, get along with others, lean on each other {after all, we cannot just call a brother to help move a large object} and grow together as friends, partners and now, a family!

Just as I was pinning decor ideas for some wall art, based on the theme, "Home is Wherever I am with You," we were blindsighted with a potential move. A decision to be unknown for the following 3, 4 or even 6 weeks to come!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

9 Months {of Fun}

Happy 9-month birth day lil' girl!

We had our 9-month check up yesterday. I must admit, I was super excited for this appointment. Not only was it free of shots, but it was with our favorite pediatrician. Dr. Koch examined her, directly while she was playing on my lap, making her extremely comfortable and relaxed. Happy baby...happy mama!

Miss L truly is peanut status at a whopping 15# 7 oz...this would be the 5th percentile. She actually has dropped a little on the chart, but not a surprise with how overly mobile she is these days. Her height is in the 25th percentile and head is in the 50th percentile. So...Doc says she is "just skinny...and that is just fine."

We have hit some major milestones...just in the past 2 weeks!
  • 1st tooth on Sunday - had to use a spoon to ding it to check its existence!
  • Waves hi, bye - even without being prompted by us, she waved to a 3 yr old in the waiting room yesterday
  • Claps hands
  • Gives super slobbery kisses
  • Dances - immediately as we play our favorite song
  • Loves chasing/crawling after Mr. Cole {including eating his food}
We had our 9-month photo session at the Mill Ruins Park, situated along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. Back in the 1930's, there was 30 large mills lining the river. The park is filled with historic remains, architecture, and miles of walking paths along the falls. We LOVE our photographer, Danielle, and she patiently worked with us on this very impromptu photo session (it was originally cancelled, due to weather, then, on again!)...

Not too bad considering Daddy didn't shave and wore his bright orange tennis shoes...and Mommy {also not dressed in her favorite outfit} had to run to Baby Gap downtown really quick to purchase everything on the clearance rack to outfit the lil' doll. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happiest Baby on the Block

It's Friday night, and I'm blogging while watching the Tigers rally tonight! I have so much to write about, so much excitement going on in our world, and yet, I'm going to do the "5-minute Friday" and ramble-write for just 5 minutes. This way, I can still keep an eye on my Tigers!

J and I have been saying this for months, but we continue to repeat it daily as of late...we are sooo lucky! We both feel so blessed to have this adorable, beautiful, smart, little pumpkin in our world. Honestly, she is SUCH a good baby. I'd like to think it is our parenting style, because afterall...she is a Leo personality and wasn't always so "patient" or "happy." Only time will tell. :)

The best compliment we/she has received came from her great-grandfather, last month, while we visited family in Michigan. Grandpa said,"We've had a lot of babies come through here...and she's the happiest baby I've ever seen!" This is true...he has seen his share of babies in his day. And I agree 100%...we do have the Happiest Baby on the Block! Here is a special pic of Miss L & her great-grandpa...
I'm thankful that I didn't drive myself crazy with reading book, after book, during my pregnancy regarding child-rearing. At the end of the day...I am a firm believer that my instincts, family values, and natural skills have molded my daughter into who she is today...and who she will be tomorrow.

We try to incorporate impromptu fun into her world, daily. This evening, when a slow rain was trickling from the clouds...I suggested that J take her out to experience the rain, for the fun of it! And later tonight, we randomly played our favorite song {right now}, "Some Nights" by Fun; and we danced around the living room. Yep, it may sound dorky or cliche...but it made for the best baby giggles and some really deep belly laughs by J and me.

We will see if baby #2 is just as happy as Miss L...but rest assured, that won't happen for a we are too busy having fun with our lil' doll!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

{DIY} Burp Cloths

The Best {DIY} Burp Cloth

I must admit, I am not "crafty." I can be creative...but I usually have to direct someone else to execute my thoughts and ideas. {Usually this someone is Jeremy...but for this craft, I called my sis, Lynnae!}

I purchased a 12-pack of generic burp cloths...aka "cloth diapers" at BRU. Then, we went to JoAnn Fabrics and browsed the bolts of fabric before deciding to purchase "fabric squares" in 4 varied patterns. We anticipated each fabric square yielding 3 burp cloths. I told Lynnae, my goal was to include a loop of fabric or ribbon on the end, enabling me to connect burp cloths via a "link" to everything - car seat, stroller, diaper bag, etc. The way my Miss L spits up, I really need to link a burp cloth to my belt loop!

Hint: These would make an excellent baby shower gift!


Here are Lynnae's step-by-step instructions:

Step one: Iron everything to make the fabric and the burp cloth easier to work with.
Step two: Take measurement and decide what size you want the section of fabric to be. Add an inch to your desired length and width to include the half inch seam allowance. Folding the fabric under a half inch from the edge and ironing it down before you pin and sew it will leave you with a nice finished edge.
Step three: Cut enough ribbon or fabric to make a loop from which you can hang the burp cloth or attach it to a car seat, diaper bag, play set, etc. My ribbon was about 8" long but you can easily use something shorter.
Step four: Pin the fabric and the ribbon to one side of your burp cloth. You can eye ball it to place it in the middle or you can use your measurements to find the middle of the burp cloth and the fabric and then line them up.
Step five: Sew all the way around the edge of the fabric, removing your pins along the way and making sure your loop get sewn in too. I kept the edge of the fabric even with the edge of the presser foot which leaves a consistent seam. Go slowly if you're not comfortable sewing. It's better to take your time and have a nice seam than go too fast and have it look sloppy. There's a difference between the homemade look and something that's just a disaster.
Step six: Admire your new, stylish burp cloth that will surely make the other moms envious.

Measure the fabric accordingly

Use a oil pastel crayon to mark your measurements

Each fabric square yielded 3 - 6" burp cloth centers

Note the 1/2 " seam allowance

It is fun to coordinate complementing ribbon and thread

The finished product...just perfect!!

Tips: Choose fabric that will be able to handle the various "liquids" that end up on a burp cloth. Don't choose something that will stain easily. Use a thread in your bobbin that matches your burp cloth if you don't want it to be seen on the back side of the burp cloth.

Of course, I must thank my sister, Lynnae, for executing this flawlessly and far exceeding my expectations. Thank you!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

30 Hours {of Fun!!}

Earlier this month, Miss L and I had the great fortune of flying to Indy for exactly 30 hours to visit dear friends.

I've really lost track of the exact # of flights this little girl has been on, but I'm pertty sure it was her 13th or 14th flight. Considering we had major malfunction which required us to deplane, wait in the airport for 2 more hours, and reboard a new plane...she was a trooper! She really is a jet setter.

Our last visit to Indy occured in October, when dear friends of ours threw us a fabulous baby shower-welcome Miss L party! Since then, we have welcomed the following babies to our "group" : Ethan P, Bryn, Ella, and AJ. This new "crop" of babies are mostly the siblings of some of her existing friends, Oliver, Madilyn, Zach, Josie, Ashley, Evan, Ethan W and Stevie.

The excitement began once we landed at IND. I remember attending the private grand opening dinner party there prior to the opening {with Jeremy's job} still as beautiful as I remember. Then, off to see some "Hertz family members" and dashed off in our rental car to the northern suburbs. I knew exactly when I entered Hamilton I was greeted with endless roundabouts, nice and new, asethically-pleasing brick-everything, lush and perfectly manicured medians and one beautiful neighborhood after another. Hello, again!

We were greeted with the most genuine "Hoosier Hospitality" as we checked in at "The W."

Meeting cutie pie Ethan P for the 1st time!
Then, we zipped off to fun-filled playdate at another "W" ...where my friend Allison whipped up delicious snacks for us as she is and has always been the Hostess with the Mostess. Here are some of our friends:

Having fun with Josie, who is going to be a big sister soon

Meeting handsome lil AJ for the 1st time!
Thanks again Allison for hosting truly are the best!

Following the playdate, we had dinner at local delicious-hot spot, Petite Chou by Patachou, with friends Cindy (mom and Madilyn, and baby #2 due in Aug) and Cori and her lil' Prince Ethan.

The next morning, we woke up early and had breakfast with my former coworker Chelsie at Paradise Bakery...and Miss L was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as if SHE was drinking coffee, herself!

We had more play time with Prince Ethan at his, I mean toy room! Thankfully at 8 and 10 months respectively, sharing is not an issue {yet!}

Then, off to more time with friends, back in our former neighborhood...where we were able to play with Ella, Oliver, Zach, Stevie and Bryn.

I think Miss L enjoyed her visit to Indy!
Fun was had by all! Albeit a little bittersweet, making me wish we still lived there...I am thankful we had the opportunity for this quick, impromptu, fun-filled adventure!!

Happy May Day

Happy May Day!

Does anyone else know what this means? If you are reading this outside of the great state of probably are wondering if I am referring to the distress call by sailors {afterall, we have a lot of lakes here!}...or perhaps if you are in Indy, you are trying to recall what "May" race-themed festivity you are missing today. Rest assured, it is all fun and is an ancient Northern hemisphere tradition, celebrating "Spring" and "Fertility" and often includes parties, bonfires, parades, food and hoopla.

Apparently, May 1st...aka May Day, is a known tradition in this neck of the woods. As tradition would have it, people celebrate by leaving a "May basket" filled with flowers and treats at the doorstep of a friend...or even a love interest, ring the doorbell and run away. If you really like the person you are "dinging," you might slowly run away in an effort to get caught by the basket recipient, and they would give you a kiss.

I learned this during my morning commute today, as the radio hosts debated just how global this spring tradition was - ask any Minnesotan and they will promptly tell you what a May basket is.

Ask my husband, who received a ding, dash, and a May basket this evening...and he was clueless. LOL! I came home to a beautifully decorated hand-made basket sitting on our countertop. I said, "Oh, did we get a May Basket?" And once I explained what the definition {per the radio personalities this morning}...he said, "that explains why when the kids were running away once we answered the door!"

Our lovely neighbor kids stuffed their hand-made basket with paper flowers and some candy treats with a "Happy May Day" sign. It was soo sweet and a fun little memory. I hope to carry on these unique and albeit, quirky traditions when Miss L is older.