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.

Friday, March 29, 2013

utility room shelves

Our house is only 1700 square feet. And we have a lot of stuff.
Plus, I hate clutter. And I love storage.
So what did I do with empty utility room walls? Had my husband build shelving, of course!

Finding studs and lining everything up.
Note in the above picture all the stuff piled on the dryer...

...and AFTER!

So nice not to have everything just piled on the dryer.

Yeah, it kind of doubles as a pantry...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easton: Two Months

Vital Stats

Easton weighed 12 lbs 15 oz and measured 24 inches long at his 2-month checkup yesterday. He was in the 87th percentile for height and 61st percentile for weight. Tuesday Mommy washed up all of his 6-month pajamas. He is getting too long for those 3-months!

Milestones This Month

Easton smiles frequently at everyone who smiles at him. He can see farther and will smile at Mommy or Daddy while they are talking to him from five or six feet away. He is starting to swipe at items with an open hand and will grab something occasionally and hold on.


Oh, sleep. Easton is not the nighttime sleeper his sister was. At this age, Natalie slept 10 hours. Easton's longest stretch was six hours, with one or two wakeups for a paci insert. Naps are not wonderful, but he will take a good solid nap any time he is in the swing, so Mommy resorts to that every once in a while when either (a) he needs a good nap, or (b) Mommy needs a break.


Easton still drinks formula. He has decided he likes it better when it's warm, much to Mommy's dismay. But at least he is a better eater. Typically he takes 4-6oz every three hours during the day. The last few days he has had a bit of a cold and has only take about 2-4oz every feeding. He eats once in the middle of the night still, where he will usually only take 1-3oz before falling back to sleep. A lot of times this makes him uninterested in his first bottle of the day. Mommy is hoping he is almost to the point of sleeping 8 hours at night.


Easton is still a good solid crier. He likes to smile, too.

Play Time

Easton is getting to the point where he will spend some time on his activity mats and look at the lights. He still hates tummy time, unless he can do it on Mommy's lap. Then he will lie there for a long time! He likes to sit in his bouncer and watch everyone go about their daily activities.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Week 12 of The 52 Project. Love my munchkins!

Monday, March 25, 2013

college savings

Shortly after Natalie was born eighteen - wait, NINETEEN - months ago we started a savings account for college.

Because college is expensive, man. Like, ridiculously. I can't wait to see how much it costs in seventeen years.

Please note the sarcasm.

I have an automatic transfer set up so that every Monday $25 gets transferred from our checking account into Natalie's college savings account. Last week I opened a similar account for Easton. It isn't much, and it takes a long time to grow, but in eighteen years we will have saved over $23,000.

And probably, in eighteen years, that will be enough to pay for one semester.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

baby weight: round 2

I gained a lot of weight with Easton. A lot. Like, really, a lot.

Are you ready for it?

Fifty pounds.


I was a little worried because it took me a long time to lose the 40 pounds I gained with Natalie. Not that I tried very hard, but still, I tried a little, and it took months to lose it. So imagine how long it was going to take me to lose 50 pounds?

I lost thirty pounds in the first week, which made me feel a little bit better about myself. I mean, obviously a lot of what I gained was baby weight and water weight.

And then the next week, nothing changed. I weighed the same I had the week before.

Same story the week after that. So I decided I had lost all the "baby weight" that was going to come off easily, and I was going to have to work for the rest of it. Sad day.

I went on my phone and downloaded a calorie counter app. Lifesaver. It was so easy to use and really helped me notice how much I was eating every day, and how little I actually needed to eat. I've lost 10 pounds in the last 5 weeks.

I still have 10 pounds to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and I still have only one pair of jeans that I can button, but it's progress. My goal is to be back to my normal weight by summer.

Speaking of summer...ugh, swimsuits.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Week 11 of 52 for the 52 Project.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Little Blue Truck

Horn went Beep!
Engine purred.
Friendliest sounds
You ever heard.

My mom bought this book for Easton for Christmas. Although yes, I realize he wasn't born yet. It is the cutest little book ever. Natalie loves it and wants to read it over and over.

The story is about Little Blue and all his farm friends who help out a dump truck that got stuck in the mud. Natalie likes to point out Little Blue on every page. Except for one page, where she consistently points to a tree. Not sure what that's about.

Friday, March 15, 2013

new carpet

In January we got carpet installed in the basement. When we bought the house, the two bedrooms had carpet, but the family room, hallway, and stairs going down didn't.

The "before" pictures are actually the pictures I took when we were looking at the house just after we bought it, so the furniture is the previous owner's.

The floor was painted concrete. It wasn't gross or anything, but I definitely wanted carpet. Especially with kids.

The "after" pictures:

Makes the area seem much warmer. Darren also installed some slate by our basement door (it's a walkout) which I forgot to include in the pictures. We thought it would be best to have slate by the door so we wouldn't stain carpet. Especially since that will be the door we use to head out to the hot tub!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

my husband the carpenter

About a year ago a friend of mine had her husband build a table for her. She included the link for the plans which led to the discovery of ana-white.com.

Darren loves this website. LOVES it. Ana White recently published a book of plans, which he got for Christmas. We have lots of ideas for furniture to build, and Darren is excited to get going on it.

This is his first project, the Farmhouse Table. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when he told me he was going to build us a table, but it is so awesome. Also, so cheap!

On Ana-White there are plans for a matching bench, which he has yet to build.

There are also plans for extenders to make the table longer, which I am going to have him do as well. I can't wait for the next projects!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I recently came across a fun idea called The 52 Project.

The idea is to take a picture of your children once a week. So often my days just fly by, and before I know it a week has passed and I have no pictures or video of my children. It's sad to me.

So I'm going to start taking a least one picture of the kids every week. And hopefully they will be better quality pictures than this one, but this is what I have to work with for this week. At least they are happy.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why I Love...

...the pacifier.

Both of my kids took/take the pacifier, and I gotta say, I love it.

It's so nice to have in the middle of the night when Easton is crying and I don't know why. Or in church when Natalie would start to get fussy. Just pop that bad boy in and be good to go. It was a lifesaver in the car.

Sometimes I would worry about Natalie becoming too attached and having a hard time taking it away from her, but that didn't happen. So now with Easton, I don't sweat it. Natalie didn't cry very much, and Easton cries a little more than she did, but not a lot like some babies do. And I really think it's the pacifier. It's awesome.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Easton: One Month

I meant to do this a while ago, and totally spaced it. So it's a little bit late...roll with it.

Vital Stats

Easton was 11lbs 10oz and 22.75" long at his 1-month checkup. He was in the 92nd percentile for height and 87th percentile for weight. He wears size 3-month clothes (and has since birth!).

Milestones This Month

Easton has been awake a lot more the past couple weeks. A lot more. He is pretty alert and likes to look around, especially at black/white contrast.


Easton is both a better and worse nighttime sleeper than his sister. He is better in that he is a more sound sleeper, so he doesn't wake Mommy up all night long with his little baby noises. He is worse in that he doesn't go for as long of stretches as Natalie did. He started out an excellent napper, but that has gotten worse in the last week or two. His naps will range from 30 minutes to two hours.


Easton is formula fed. He will take 2-6 ounces at any one mealtime. He eats every three hours during the day, and about every 4.5-5 hours at night. He has never gone longer than 5 hours at night.


Easton is a master at his main form of communication: crying. He will let Mommy and Daddy know when he is tired, mad, hungry, or bored. He started smiling more in the last week. Mommy loves to coax smiles out of him.

Play Time

At one month Easton's playtime consists mainly of being held, sitting in his swing or bouncer, or doing tummy time. He isn't a huge lover of the swing like Natalie was, and so far the activity mats haven't been a huge hit either. His favorite "play" activity is to lie in his pack-n-play and look at his bear mobile.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

warm and cozy

When we first bought our house I wasn't too sure about the wood stove in the living room. It seemed like a big accident waiting to happen with kids. And a big mess.

But I love it. When I wake up on cold winter mornings and Darren starts a fire, it's wonderful. The upstairs gets nice and toasty.

We have a kid gate around it, which Natalie for the most part ignores. So far we haven't had any problems, and the gate seems sturdy enough to prevent accidents. We keep our heat set at 68-69, so on nights where it gets below zero, it's chilly in the morning. Nothing like a fire to make everything warm and cozy.