About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

well, that was painful

My most recent shopping trip to Target, that is. E-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. You know it's going to be a bummer when you have things on your list like diapers, formula, and printer ink. Ouch.

Speaking of printer ink, what a rip-off! I think I should just take a tip from the past and start writing everything on a piece of paper. With a pencil.

Monday, February 25, 2013

staying at home

I have loved staying home with my kid/kids these past two months. It's nice to have time to get things done during the day, and to spend time hanging out and playing with Natalie. But it's definitely a different life than going to work. Things are slower, more relaxed, and way less interesting to the average person. The other night I was thinking about just how different everything was...

I always have exciting stories for Darren about how I changed the battery in the smoke detector or spent ten minutes scrubbing soap scum out of the tub.

I consider it a major accomplishment to get a shower in before 8:30am. This has happened exactly one time since Easton was born. For reference, I get up at 6:45 or 7:00, but don't have time to shower until 8:30.

I plan out my day in reference to nap times and awake times. Or perhaps loads of laundry.

I can wash bottles with my eyes closed. And change diapers.

Speaking of diapers, one day I counted how many I changed. It was a lot.

The highlight of my day is naptime. Or maybe bedtime. Or maybe the Swiss Cake Roll I eat after lunch...

But, I love it. Now if only we were millionaires and I didn't have to go back to work eventually.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Are You a Cow?

This past summer I stumbled across a customizable Sandra Boynton book called "Are You a Cow?"

The book goes through several animals, asking the child if he/she is a cow, duck, frog, etc., before the last page where is has the child's name and picture. Sandra Boynton has been one of my favorite authors for a while, so I knew when I saw this book I just had to get it for Natalie's birthday.

She thinks it's pretty funny and will often shake her head when I ask her if she is a lamb or "a chicken upside down." Then at the end when I say, "You must be a Natalie!" she smiles and points to herself.

Another winner by Sandra Boynton.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

address changes

Normally I don't procrastinate so much, but there are still some credit cards and other places where I have not changed our address. Mostly because I can't do them online, since our address isn't recognized as an actual address by the ever-annoying USPS. Frustrating as all get out.

So yesterday I thought I would be on the ball and call USBank to change our address. It was an automated system.

Automated systems = major fails, in my opinion. I gave it my address, which actually went okay, considering when I tried to tell Target I lived on Violet Lane, it never understood and I got so frustrated I hung up. Well, USBank repeated my address back to me, and then asked if I needed to add an apartment number. If not, I was to say "I'm done" to proceed to the next step. Well, the stupid system couldn't understand me the five times I tried to say "I'm done" and thought I was actually trying to say "Apartment 999." Really?! Apartment 999?

Long story short, I ended up spending 15 minutes on the phone with USBank trying to change our address, and Darren still has to call since not all our accounts are joint.

I knew there was a reason I was avoiding this.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a trip back in time

When I was a kid we had a Wee Sing video. Wee Sing videos are silly stories that have lots of songs. Kind of like a musical for children.

For Natalie's birthday, my mom bought her a few Wee Sing DVDs.

She stinking loves them. They are a little creepy, and they drive me crazy. If I have to hear "The Big Rock Candy Mountains" one more time today, I think I will jump out the window.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

hospital bill

We got our hospital bill from Easton's birth yesterday.

I almost had a heart attack. I frantically scanned the bill, looking to see what insurance hadn't covered. I mean, I figured we would have to pay something, but I didn't think it would be that much. The whole time I'm thinking, "How are we going to afford that?!"

Then I realized our insurance hadn't been billed for Easton's portion yet. He was, apparently, uninsured at the time of his birth. Which makes sense, because you can't be insured until you have a social security number, and you can't have a social security number until you are born. So, in the end, it will just be a bunch of paperwork and a little waiting, and the hospital will submit his charges to our insurance. And in the meantime, I will just be grateful I don't have to shell out $3,000.

Friday, February 8, 2013

the confidence that comes with two

When Natalie was born I was a basket case. We had a hard time with breastfeeding, and she was losing weight and never wanted to sleep. On top of that I had a long and exhausting labor and developed mastitis twice in those first three weeks.

I didn't know which was was up, to say the least. I second- and triple-guessed every single decision I made. Am I doing the right thing here? Or am I screwing up my child and making life more difficult for me in the long run?

This time, most of that worry is gone. For one thing, Easton is an easier baby than Natalie was, which helps. But mostly it is the experience.

Easton had his pacifier almost all night last night? So what, sometimes you have to do what needs to be done to make it to morning. Easton spit up most of his bottle at 3am? Oh well, he will wake up again when he's hungry and I'll feed him a second time. Easton is crying and I don't know why? He can't cry forever, I guess.

"It's a phase" and "It will pass" are some of my favorite mottos in the early weeks with an infant. Life just seems so hard in the middle of the night when you are exhausted and just.want.to.sleep. But come morning and a good, strong, cup of coffee, things just aren't that bad after all. With your second child, you realize that this time will go by so quickly, and before you know it all those sleepless nights and and a fussing baby will be just memories. You learn which things matter in the long run and which things don't. You learn to just enjoy your baby instead of stressing about things you cannot change. You develop confidence in your parenting decisions because you have been here and done this before. And you cherish every moment because you know from experience they will fly by all too quickly.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

formula: the pros and cons

I love formula-feeding. I loved it with Natalie, and I love it now with Easton.

I don't have to worry about what I eat or when I eat or how much I eat. And yeah, you burn a lot of calories nursing, but you have to eat a lot of calories, too. The best part about formula-feeding (or really, bottle-feeding) is that someone else can feed the baby when I need a break. Or want to sleep all night long. Or get out of the house for a while.

Of course, there are downsides, too. Formula is E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. There are lots of coupons out there, but still, it's not free like breastfeeding. And also, the stains. Oh, the stains. Formula stains everything. EVERYTHING. No matter how much I treat the stains, how long I let clothes soak, or how clean they look before I put them in the dryer, when I take them out, BOOM. Formula stains. Stains are a personal pet peeve of mine. I work really hard to keep all of Natalie's cute clothes free from ketchup and dirt stains. But poor Easton...everything he has worn has formula stains around the neck. There's no getting over it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


 How much do my babies look alike?

 Easton, two days old.

Natalie, 11 days old.

Same nose, same eyes, same cheeks. Two little munchkins.

Monday, February 4, 2013

diaper changes

Before Easton was born Darren and I had a discussion about which child's diapers would be easier to change. I'm pretty sure we both tried to "call" Easton's diapers.

Turns out, infant diapers are way more difficult than Natalie diapers. At least with Natalie we don't have to worry about her peeing in our faces or exploding poop across the room.

Fun times, those infant diapers.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Easton Steven

Easton Steven was born on January 25, 2013, at 9:10 pm. He weighed 9 lbs and 10 oz, and was 22.5 inches long.

He had some trouble with his blood sugar and had to be on an IV to help regulate it for several days before we could come home. He is doing great now, sleeping a lot of the night and being a pretty calm baby most of the day.

Natalie seems to think he is pretty cool. She knows he is her "little brother" and calls him "Bee" (trying to say "baby"). Darren and I call him Squeaky since instead of full-blown cries, most of his louder fussing are these cute little squeaks.