Monday, November 4, 2013


Life seems to be going so fast that it's all a blur since my last entry. I think I'll just skip September and cover October. I was busy with the foundation fall fundraiser. I started a Facebook page for the group and did a couple of fun public relations photo shoots, including one where I held $10,000. The fundraiser was held the night after Simon's first birthday so that was an incredibly busy weekend.
Simon is such a snuggly guy. He grins when people hug him. He's gone from being somewhat of a challenge to a complete joy. I love this age.
We took a number of pictures from his birthday party, which I'll print and put into his time capsule. Here's a few. He wasn't all that excited about his cake, but he was a good sport.
 I think he got more cake into his eye than his mouth.
 The whole family, including my sister that lives in Des Moines were there to celebrate. Fun was had by all.
 Simon's favorite things to do right now include sitting in chairs, throwing things at people, and snuggling.
 We had an orange theme going one day.
 Halloween was really fun this year. Mina insisted on drawing her own jack o lantern design.
 Mina was Cat Woman. I was happy she didn't want to be anything scary.
 Charlotte made an adorable Wonder Woman. Don't tell, but this was my favorite of the costumes.
 Simon didn't care for his clown hat, but maybe Nana was able to get a decent picture. I sure didn't.
 He looked cute anyway (both boys).
Mina has been loving kindergarten. She strives to move up the behavior chart into pink or purple. So far she's gotten pink twice. She's working on reading and has wonderful handwriting. Mina has also lost five teeth and has a sixth wiggly one. When we pick her up from school, she says good-bye to everyone she sees and greets them by name. I love how social and kind she is. Mina is a people pleaser.

Charlotte is really growing in preschool. She loves playing with her friend Zoey. She's learning to zip her coat up all by herself and is pretty patient about it for the most part. She's convinced she has some wiggly teeth, but she doesn't. Charlotte plays so nicely with her brother when Mina is at school. She has a very strong personality, but she makes me laugh. She can be incredibly sweet.

Simon has six teeth and is learning to walk. He's taken a few steps, but he prefers to crawl. He lights up a whole room with his grins. I can't help but smooch on him whenever he's in my arms. It's kind of a challenge to kiss his neck while he's nursing. He's sleeping well and loves to play independently sometimes. He's really good about getting dropped off at the gym's kid care almost every weekday. I'm so thankful for that.

Jon has been busy dealing with the RV and working. He's also been going to CrossFit almost every weekday at 6am. He's improving all the time. He went kite boarding with the best man from our wedding in early October.

I've been a busy lady. The foundation has been taking up a decent chunk of time between the fundraiser and future planning. I'm still active in the local MOMs group and have meetings for that almost every week since I'm on the planning committee. I was asked to be on the associate pastor search committee and will start having weekly meetings for that important task soon. My house is a disaster, but I'm getting by. Jon is so helpful and so are my parents and Jon's parents. My sister, Emily, picks up Mina from school a few days a week so Simon and Charlotte can take uninterrupted naps. I am so incredibly blessed.

And once again, Simon is up. However, he just took a three hour nap. YAY! I bet he's ready for some smooches.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I found the perfect time to blog - 6am. It's hard to find a bit of peace and quiet around here in order to concentrate. When I find it, I tend to use it in order to relax. Candy Crush is pretty time consuming, don't you know?

We've had a fun and productive month and a half. Jon went on a couple of days of RAGBRAI with friends. We visited his grandmother in Oskaloosa while he was there. Simon and Charlotte warmed right up to her. Mina was busy on the iPad. She's like a teenager already. The funniest part of the visit was when the girls were literally climbing the walls. There were arm rails and they thought they were there for them to do tricks. That's when we knew it was definitely time to go.

 We had some beautiful weather before a heat wave hit, right as school was starting.

Two weeks ago I spent hours taking pictures of all of Mina's preschool artwork to put into a Shutterfly book. That
 Charlotte had her first haircut.
 Charlotte started three year old preschool.

 Mina started kindergarten. Wow. How did that happen?

So we've been busy, busy, busy with school. We also bought an RV and have been to a football game. I do have more pictures. Maybe I'll load them onto the computer in a month or two. Thank goodness for Facebook and mobile downloads or I wouldn't be able to keep track of anything.

I brought Charlotte and Simon grocery shopping a couple of times lately. Two kids are so easy. I remember when it didn't seem that way. Perspective.

Simon has been sleeping really well. He has four teeth. He's on the cusp of learning to walk. It's difficult to stop kissing on him.

Charlotte is giving her teachers a run for their money. I sense some early retirements on the horizon.

Mina earned a gotcha card on her first day of school for good behavior.

Simon is crying so there's my cue to end.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Time seems to fly even faster now that we have three kids.  We've started getting rid of baby gear now that Simon is mobile. I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, the older he gets, the more freedom and sleep I'll have.  On the other hand, I won't ever have another baby to myself.

Mina used to sleep in this bouncer every night. We crammed it into a suitcase when we went on a trip to San Diego.  She only stopped using it when she rolled over in it and got stuck on her belly. Charlotte used this bouncer until she got her first earache. After that, she wanted to sleep in our arms or on her belly. Simon slept in this bouncer very little, but we used to use it on the family supper table so he could see all of our faces while we ate. He'd long outgrown it when I decided to throw it away. We had to take a picture of Mina in it to remember it by.
Simon has been working hard on growing teeth, crawling, and pulling up since I last posted. For a good while there, he had just one bottom tooth. It was soooo cute!
Leif turned five in June and my sister Claudia and her family moved away. The girls have really been enjoying playing with Leif. Anya has started babysitting here and there. Macy and Hailey used to babysit the girls pretty regularly. Jon and I went on many Sunday runs leaving Macy in charge. We miss them.
Here's that one hillbilly tooth. I was so happy that he didn't have more teeth than this when he had his professional pictures done.

The girls are just crazy about Simon. Mina takes care of him for brief periods of time while I work in the kitchen or throw some laundry in the wash. She watches out for him by taking things away before he can put them in his mouth. She also keeps him away from stairs and loves to walk around holding him. Charlotte can really get him to laugh. She likes to blow on his belly.
Jon and I have been lucky enough to have quite a few date nights recently. We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last month. 
We've been so busy that the kids fall asleep in weird places. Simon loves his exersaucer and jumpers. I left him jumping to fold laundry (probably, since that's my never ending task) and when I returned, he had jumped himself to sleep.
 Look at that sweet baby face.
Just in the last week, Simon has gotten very good at pulling himself up to standing. He goes down with a crash, but usually doesn't mind it. I don't rush in to catch him when he's on the carpet.
It's hard to believe that Mina will be starting kindergarten in a little bit more than a month. I can't wait to buy school supplies.  Yay! Charlotte will be starting preschool also. Her school will just be on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I'll probably spend that time getting groceries with only one kid and going to the gym.  It will definitely be a switch.
 There's a proud big sister for you.
Charlotte is always making weird faces or refusing to look at the camera so I was really happy to catch this beautiful picture of her. This is why she gets away with murder. She's got the best smile.
We put away the activity gym also so I had to take a picture of Simon "playing" with it. This one was used a ton by all three kids. We loved the music the star made.
Simon currently has three teeth - two on bottom and one on top. There's a fourth on top that should be out soon.  Thankfully his sleep has improved immensely. The other night he slept almost 11 hours before getting up. He had been getting up 1-3 times every single night of his life leading up to that. He hasn't done it since, but he's been getting up just once. That makes for a happier mommy.
Charlotte hates to fall sleep. She leaves her room and causes lots of grief during both nap time and bedtime. The kid can't seem to figure out that we don't care if she sleeps right away as long as she stays in her room.  The other day I came out of Simon's room and found Charlotte like this. She feel asleep with one leg hanging out of her door. Silly girl!
On July 17 I'll be doing my annual "A Day in the Life of Mina, Charlotte, and Simon". It will be Simon's debut. Mina is excited. Charlotte will probably refuse to look at the camera. Simon will probably steal the show.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


We've had a fantastic month. Simon is finally getting easier. He's a happy guy most of the time. Now if only he'd stop getting up so much in the night. I'm tired! 

Anyway, one night we had a couple of families over for dinner. The kids were too cute. They decided to picnic on the floor after fighting over who would sit in which chair. That wasn't as cute.

 Mina and Charlotte fight about half of the time and get along famously or ignore each other the rest of the time. I'm doing my best to let them figure things out without intervening, but it's difficult. Sometimes I have to separate them because of the screeching. They're so loud.
 Charlotte loves to wear anything ruffly and pink or purple. She always gets attention when she wears this outfit. It's covered in spaghetti sauce stains now. I've given up.  Poor Charlotte.
 Simon has decided to stop being a complete lump and actually rolls around the room some these days. I snapped this picture after he put together a few rolls in order to get to his sister's storytime nametag. He was pretty pleased with himself.
 Mina graduated from preschool so we took some obligatory photos. She insisted that everyone get dressed up fancy for the ceremony. Charlotte really took that seriously. Simon wore a tie, but we apparently didn't get any pictures of him.  Oops.
 Mina received two awards from her teacher. The first was for creativity. She's always putting her own spin on art projects and loves to make art for people. She's darn insistent that you take what she's giving you. If I kept everything she made, my closets would be full!  The second was for sunshine because she's such a happy girl.  Hmmm...and I thought she was starting to act like a teenager. At least she's good at school.

 I asked Mina to pose with her best friend, Brennen, and this is what she did.  My oh my. He wasn't complaining.
 Mina stopped taking naps a while ago and Charlotte is really trying to stop. I'm not having it. She's going to have rest time until she's five. The other day she finally crashed on her floor and I thought it was hilarious. There's a lamp on its side, barbies in all sorts of tableaus, and her clothes were completely different from when I saw her last.
 Check out the shoes! Sometimes I want to kiss her and never stop.
 Jon and I have been continuing on with our fitness endeavours. Jon did the Gladiator Assault Challenge last weekend.  He got all wet and muddy, but had a great time. That's him about halfway up the net on the right.
 This part of the course freaked me out.  Closed in dark spaces.
 Doesn't this look like fun?
 He ran to the finish and completed the course in a little over an hour. He earned fourth place in his wave (if I remember correctly) and first of the people he went with.  Oh yeah. I'm proud as heck of him.
 Muddy man!
Simon was with me in the bjorn, but once again, I forgot to take his picture. He's my little accessory.

Jon's muddy race looked like so much fun that I signed up for the dirty girl 5k mud run in July. I guess that means I'll have to keep running.  I can now run a 5k without stopping. My first official race is in a week. Jon will be running his first marathon and I'll be running my first 5k.

We went to a park last night even though we could see rain clouds on the horizon.  The girls wanted to visit Loomis Park for the first time of the park season.  Charlotte is so much better at climbing now. She wanted help, but we were able to stand back and let her gain confidence by climbing the ladder over and over again after spotting her one time. She was proud of herself. She had zero problems climbing the ladder and going down the huge slide without either of us within reach.  However, it was sprinkling so the flat part of the playground was slick. She fell. Of course.  Bloody nose!  That's how we knew it was time to go home.

Oh, and the other bit of new news is that Simon has teeth. He has one on the bottom that's almost all the way in and another that has just broken the skin.  We can't seem to get any pictures of it yet, but I can certainly feel that tooth when he eats. Ouch.  I've done a terrible job of keeping up with his baby book calendar so all dates for firsts are going to have to get figured out from Facebook or approximated from here.  These kids are keeping me busy!