Today Thus Far

Today has went like this: 

-an early morning wakeup call (5:50am, and Finley has been on a cherry juice strike – coincidence?) 

-a trip to Woodmans for groceries for the week, including a huge vat of strawberries in the clearance section for 99 cents 

-a denied entrance to Play N Learn (a free play group funded by United Way) because we were five minutes late and they were already at capacity 

-an impromptu play date with Finley’s friend Noah and my friend Amber at their house 

-two phone conversations with nurses regarding sore throats and coughs (Finley and I are both under the weather) 

-a delicious lunch of salad with leftover crispy chicken and a small bowl of loaded baked potato soup from Costco 

-a short walk with the dogs while Finley napped

-the discovery on said walk that water was streaming out of a spigot on the side of our house


-a visit from the company who winterized our sprinkler system, who realized the valve wasn’t turned off (or was turned back on) 

-a sleeping toddler on my chest (she’s been sleeping another 30-60 minutes after she wakes up from her nap if we hold her…which we won’t be able to do for much longer so I’m enjoying the snuggles)


How’s your day going?

Christmas 2014

We bought the house we did because we wanted to be able to host our families and give as many people beds as possible. This Christmas was the first go at that, and I’d say it went splendidly!

I’ll avoid a detailed recap and just share pictures (which are mostly of Finley) with some captions/explanations.

We watched Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol on Wednesday.

Brody ordered matching pajamas. We modeled them for the rest of our family Christmas Eve after Finley had gone to sleep. Nothing says “the holidays” like footie Christmas jammies and booze (for Brody, not me obv).

Finley ate the rest of the cookies left behind by Santa Christmas morning. She had a lot of sugar that day.

We did manage to take a sleepy-eyed family shot.

Here’s a good view of our tree and Finley’s new kitchen, a gift from her grandpa.

The tea set from Grandma Lee was a hit.

Breaks from gift opening were needed Christmas morning, mainly to eat Sara Lee coffee cake and drink coffee.

We helped Finley get started on the unwrapping, but once a corner was torn, she did a pretty good job finishing up.

Finley had lots of gifts to open, including a ton of books.

We saved a few presents for Finley to open once Grandma Chris, Aunt Laura and future Uncle Ben arrived.

Grandma Lee reading a new book to Finley.

Uncle Dan was a trooper and put up with a lot of estrogen during their visit.

This is how we managed to prevent a meltdown during Christmas dinner. She loves the episode Mickey Mouse Saves Santa.

The holidays were exhausting for Moose as well.

Finley and her Aunt Erin made a delicious eggnog loaf the day after Christmas.

Thanks to my sister and SIL for taking some of the photos above (which I stole off of Facebook).

I hope everyone had a happy holiday! Now is it just me or is it time for all these decorations to come down? 😄

A Day in the Life [12-11-14]

What better way to fill you in on my life than a this-is-what-I-did-in-day-if-you-care-at-all post. Oh, and it never shows up in what we did today, but I’m pregnant and due June 4! Finley will have a little brother or sister who is almost two years younger than her.

5:50am: Finley is awake but it’s too early for everyone.

5:55am: I’ve successfully soothed her back to sleep.

6:20am: Now she’s awake for real.

6:25am: Diaper change

6:30am: Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s bed

7:00am: Breakfast with The Today Show playing in the background

7:30am: Bake pumpkin muffins


7:40am: Finley watches the rest of the Sesame Street episode.


8:00am: Diaper change

8:05am: Play time with breaks to sample the muffins

9:30am: Drop off at gym’s daycare

9:35am: Kickboxing class for Mama

10:25am: Shower…alone with no toddler trying to open my hairspray or use Qtips

10:35am: Pick up Finley from daycare

11:00am: Home and diaper change

11:10am: Lunch


11:35am: Play with Mom’s wallet and attempt to eat coins

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11:45am: Read books in Finley’s room

12:00pm: Diaper change

12:10am: Sing “Twinkle Twinkle” and put Finley in her crib

12:20pm: Finley is asleep.


12:25pm: Make Starbucks hot chocolate

12:45pm: Address Christmas cards in the basement


1:20pm: Work on this post

2:00pm: Odds and ends: make guac (avocados were on their last legs), fold laundry, brush teeth (whoops, hadn’t done that yet today), pick up a little, etc.

2:30pm: Relax on the couch, meal plan, and make grocery list

2:55pm: Finley is awake – quite a nap!

3:00pm: She has a kids Chobani tube and we watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol. *Normally we only watch an hour or less of tv a day (typically Sesame Street), but I saw this recorded and wanted to see it too.


3:30pm: Finley eats peanut butter granola with milk, and I have crackers and cheese.

4:00pm: Walk the dogs – Finley cries for the last half of it while I try to keep her happy by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the ABCs.

4:30pm: Home and diaper change

4:40pm: Play and wait for Dad to come home (plus another diaper change at some point)

5:25pm: Brody is home, and I watch while he entertains Finley.

6:10pm: Dinner – we all fend for ourselves.

6:40pm: Finley gets a bath.

6:55pm: Brody and I read Finley holiday books.

7:10pm: Lights out for our little one

7:15pm: Couch, pineapple, tv (Blackhawks are playing), Facebook, blogs, Instagram, text with my sister, and this post

8:45pm: Get ready for bed

9:00pm: Lights out for the adults

A Dog Park Morning

Long time no chat!

All is well here. We’ve been busy with moving into our new house, unpacking, shopping for accessories, and hanging artwork. I’ll post pictures soon.

My hiatus from the interweb was due to a lack of Internet at our friends’ house. They didn’t have it at their house while we were living there, and I managed to use up 75% of my internet data in seven days. Truth be told, I kind of enjoyed the break from Facebook, Instagram, reading blogs and blogging myself.

This morning, Finley, the dogs and I made a trip to a dog park in Middleton close to our new house.

I bundled Finley up in her Patagonia fleece (it’s a little big still) and her new See Kai Run kicks. It was only 47 degrees when we got there, and I didn’t want her to be cold.


The dogs had lots of fun at this park. It was our second time here, and the loop around the park is about three minutes longer than the loop at the Token Creek dog park we used to frequent.


It wasn’t too long before I took off my scarf and unzipped my hoodie. The first part of the loop is downhill (if you walk counterclockwise), but then the other side is all uphill (duh).


Pushing a 26 pound toddler and the Bob up that will make even the fittest person sweat. I counted this as my workout for the day.

The views are quite pretty as well.


Now the dogs are tired, Finley is napping, and I got in a shower. It’s been a good morning.

Happy Friday!

Another Cottage Weekend

The weather this past weekend was SO much nicer than two weeks ago, and Finley was able to get into the lake and enjoy the water. Yah lake baby!

She kayaked…



and floated…




and played on the beach.


She also ate yummy food (pretty much all fruit) al fresco…


and enjoyed an adult beverage (she didn’t drink any).


Brody and I got our long run in while we were up there also. We ran from the cottage to and around Paya Lake and back, which was almost eight miles. I could tell within the first minute that I was going to have a good run, and I did. It was hilly, but it’s good training because our area here is so flat. This was the first run where we took fuel; we took turns holding the handheld water bottle filled with Blueberry Pomegranate GU Brew drink mix, and then at 4.5 miles, we ate our GUs.

The only negative parts of the weekend were Finley’s sleeping (fighting naps and night wakings) and Frankie puking (he must’ve eaten something funky Thursday night). Otherwise we had a fantastic time!

Pool Party

Finley’s grandma gave her a pool for her birthday. Since we’ve been home from the cottage, we’ve already used it twice.

On Sunday, after being in the car for three hours, I thought Fin would enjoy trying it out. And she did.



Yesterday, it was quite warm, so we filled it up and let it sit in the sun to warm up while we walked to Starbucks (I needed a caffeine fix).

Finley played by herself for a bit. She also figured out she can crawl out of the pool, so not all the time was spent in the water.





The dogs also took advantage of the pool by using it as a giant water bowl.



Around 4:30, Finley’s friend showed up for a little pool party on our back deck. Leo, who is seven months, and his mama, Liz, came over for some splashing and chatting for an hour or so.



Finley followed Moose and Frankie’s lead and drank a bunch of the water. Don’t judge – I’m building up her immunity.

Happy Weekend!

1. Yesterday Finley and I hosted our weekly play group! It was a great time, and about six mamas and their babies showed up. Finley slept through the first 1.5 hours of it, but woke up in a happy mood and played with her friends. Actually, the playing looked more like baby fight club as they’d steal toys from each other or play tug of war with them.

2. My mom is coming to visit for the weekend. She hasn’t seen Fin since the end of December, and I know she’ll be excited with how big and mobile (read: rolling, not crawling) she’s becoming. She also made her amazing sugar cookies – yummy!

3. Speaking of cookies, kind of, Brody and I are considering experimenting with a Paleo or Primal diet, which cookies would not be a part of. Initially he suggested vegan because our friends Bridget and JP are doing a vegan and juice cleanse, but I think Paleo or Primal makes more sense for us. I’ve been doing a little research online learning what each eating lifestyle allows. Really I think the most important part is that we cut out processed foods and gluten. I’ll keep you updated.

4. I made a Paleo friendly meal yesterday: PaleOMG’s spaghetti pizza pie. I really liked it, and ate it for lunch and dinner yesterday. It may be smart for me to find a handful of Paleo/Primal meals before we start. Brody hasn’t tried this one yet, but I think he’ll like it.
Note: I tried linking this recipe but that function in WordPress is not working. Grrrr…

5. My favorite cooking show is The Pioneer Woman. She’s so relaxed, her recipes always look delicious (and not Paleo/Primal – see how this is going to be so hard?), and her life on the ranch is pretty cool. I don’t follow her blog but I do visit to her website for recipes from time to time.

6. Brody got me a FitBit for Christmas, and I love seeing how active I am. On the days I exercise, I almost always get to at least 8,000, and many days (like yesterday,) 10,000 steps. Sometimes, though, I’m pretty lazy. Those days tend to be the ones I don’t leave the house.

7. Finley didn’t have the best night of sleep last night. She went down easily at 7pm, I dream fed her at 9:15pm, and she woke up at 12:45am. I fed her but could tell she was awake. After an hour of rolling around and talking to herself loudly in her crib, I changed her diaper (not poopy) and fed her again (she didn’t eat much before), and she fell asleep while nursing. This was around 2am. She woke up at 4am, and I was tired having been awake for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, so into our bed she came. She slept until 6:45am.

8. Moose and Frankie have had a rough winter. Pre-Finley, I took them to the dog park almost daily. Because of the cold and Finley, they now get a couple ten minute walks a day and maybe one trip to the dog park on the weekend. It’s so sad. We’ve gotten them into daycare every so often but not enough. Spring and summer, and the daily walks with Finley in a stroller, can’t come soon enough for them.

9. Tomorrow is Brody’s birthday. Finley and I are very excited to give him his gifts!

10. I pulled out my baby photo album and a couple of Brody’s baby pictures to see who Finley looks like. What do you think?

I’m six months old here, and Brody is five months.

This is Finley today right after she spit up all over herself.

Have an awesome day!

Thanksgiving Part I and II

Doesn’t it feel strange to have had Thanksgiving and December so close to each other? I didn’t have any time to mentally prepare for December, Christmas, and everything that comes with this time of year. Heck, my mental capabilities aren’t what they used to be, so I doubt I have the ability to mentally prepare for much at this point. However, in case you’re wondering, Finley – and subsequently me – has had a two really good nights of sleeping and that does wonders for my mental state.

I was lucky enough to once against celebrate Thanksgiving twice! I say “I” and not “we” because Brody doesn’t love Thanksgiving foods. But Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food (did I really just type that?!?!), and we both enjoy the opportunity to hang out with our friends and family.


Our group of Madison friends get together every year for Friendsgiving. It’s always fun to see everyone, enjoy good wine and food, and catch up.

At last year’s Friendsgiving, Brody and I announced I was pregnant. It was also a different crowd as there were three babies.

This year there were four (and later five)!


Brody, Finley and I got to Mel and Tim’s house a little later than planned due to Miss Finley’s two and a half hour nap (which hasn’t happened FOREVER!). No way were we going to wake her. At least we made it before dinner!

Check out the spread: turkey, casseroles galore, carrots, mashed potatoes, rolls, and more.


After dinner, Finley was pooped and took a thirty minute cat nap in Brody’s arms.


Brad and Jess’ little lady, Hadley, is such a doll. She just started crawling, but instead of using both legs, she keep one leg straight out to the side and drags it along, pirate style.


Unlike two years ago when I drank WAY too much wine in Mel and Tim’s basement, I only had a couple glasses throughout the night. Nursing and being the DD kept me in check. It was a great time! Thanks to Mel and Tim for hosting.


Brody’s mom arrived the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It was nice for all of us to have a few days of downtime with her. Finley, unfortunately, took some time to get used to Grandma.

By Friday, though, Brody’s mom could hold Finley and no pouty lip or tears would appear. Sadly, this was also the day she flew back to Ohio. We decided we need to FaceTime more often to get Finley used to the faces of family members she doesn’t see regularly.

My family (my mom, sister, and grandparents) came for the day on Thursday. Finley got lots of attention.



You know what that is? The bag of giblets.

See, I’ve never done the turkey myself. I knew there should be a bag of the icky stuff, but it wasn’t in the big cavity of the bird. What was in there was a part of its intestine still attached – gross! I put on my big girl pants, covered my hand with a paper towel and plastic bag, and squealed to my mom on the phone as I detached it from the turkey. But back to the bag. Apparently, there’s another cavity. Who knew? I bet the fine folks at Butterball predict geniuses like me (remember my introductory paragraph?) will make this mistake and design the bag to withstand the cooking.

We had a very traditional meal: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, roasted broccoli, buns, pumpkin pie, and pecan bars.


Finley was napping during the first part of our meal but woke up in time to join us at the table for a bit. She was a happy girl. I can’t wait until she can eat with us next year!


Don’t think the dogs were forgotten; they each got a plate with a little of everything. Surprisingly they both even ate the broccoli.


After our meal, we relaxed into food comas. I didn’t feel uncomfortably full until three hours after I was done eating. Does that happen to anyone else?

Finley spent a little time with her great-grandparents, my mom’s parents.

My grandpa is a hoot and has always been a jokester. My grandma, sadly, has dementia and short term memory problems. She never remembers who the dogs are and often makes the same comment multiple times. She did really well, though, and was in a good, social mood. It’s hard to see someone you love deteriorate mentally.

We can’t end this post on a downer, so here are ten happy things (in no particular order) I am so very thankful for:
1. Brody and Finley
2. Coffee
3. Family
4. Naps
5. Fuzzy blankets and socks
6. Target
7. Mother Baby Hour
8. My Crock Pot
9. Wine and Recipe (the event, the food, the wine, and the ladies)
10. The West Wing

Friday Facts [11-1-13]

1. We switched our dental insurance (we were on mine) and needed to find a new dentist office. I love our new place but do not love the new insurance. Two cavities = $240!!!! Apparently they only cover a certain kind of cavity fill that most dental offices do not even OFFER! What the heck? Ridiculous. I’ve never been a regular flosser, but that bill has become the kind of incentive I need to keep up this healthy habit.

2. Brody and I have a date night planned for Saturday night! My mom is coming to visit this weekend and suggested we go out while she babysits Finley. On the agenda: dinner at Umami or Alchemy (or some place in the Willy St. area) and the UW men’s hockey game.

3. Finley and I went to Brody’s office for a little trick or treating. She wasn’t into the head piece of her costume but otherwise held it together while being shown off.

This was after she took the penguin costume off.
All of the new faces were likely very stimulating, and with it being nap time when we left, she passed out in the car on the way home.

4. You know how I was all frustrated with Finley’s naps? Well as I type this, she’s been asleep for 52 minutes. She transitioned into a second sleep cycle! Edited to add: She slept for 90 minutes – wahoo!

5. I’ve got four almost too ripe bananas that I’m planning on baking with, and I’m thinking banana pumpkin bread. The zucchini pumpkin bread I made last week turned out so well, but I think the banana may be even better.

6. How is it already November? I was thinking yesterday what I’d likely be doing if I was teaching. The newness of the year would’ve worn off, Homecoming would be past, and we’d be looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. I would also have developed good relationships with my classes, be enjoying B lunch with my coworkers, and spent many hours brainstorming and problem solving with close friends/English teachers. I do miss these aspects of my former career, but as I’ve said, I love what I’m doing now too.

7. Yesterday I picked up a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (sorry Brody) on my way to Mother Baby Hour. I’m not sure if they’re offered anymore with October being done, but even if they are, I think it’ll have been my last one of the year. I did find one pumpkin-flavored food I do not like: these. I brought them to girls weekend, and everyone agreed they were super funky. They had a strange, sour after taste. So disappointing.

8. We bought FLOR carpets squares for the family room. I love the color and graphic pattern.

Brody’s also going to make a new coffee table (the crate one that’s all over the interweb). The one we have right now has a glass tabletop and isn’t very kid-friendly. Although Finley isn’t mobile yet, it’ll happen soon. Plus, the kid I’m watching part time is walking. Being able to wheel the coffee table (yup, he’s putting wheels on it – so smart!) over to the side will provide a good space to play.

9. Frankie has a vet appointment next week. He now has two wellness appointments a year because at eight years old, he’s considered a senior dog.

He’s such a sweet dog (notice his front paw over Brody’s leg), but he has the worst breath ever.

10. On Monday night, Brody and I went to see The Head and the Heart play at the Orpheum. They were incredible! The female vocalist blew the roof off the place during “Rivers and Roads.”

I made it to ten – success! Have a wonderful weekend!


Finley and Mama Update: Four and a Half Months

As a four and a half month old, Finley…

goes to Mother Baby Hour at the Meriter Business Center every week.

You can’t tell where we are, so you’ll have to take my word that we’re there.

puts EVERYTHING in her mouth still, including her thumb!

I actually wouldn’t mind if she was a thumb sucker because she could use it to comfort herself instead of a pacifier.

sometimes sports a headband.

This one came in a three pack – the others are green and pink.

has started to lift up her butt during tummy time (i.e. she’s prepping for crawling!!!).

She’s not doing it here – just a tummy time picture.

is happy unless hungry.

Almost every morning she hangs out in the Bumbo while I make breakfast.

doesn’t mind the cooler temperatures.

This was a trip to the dog park.

takes four naps a day (stupid 45-minutes intruder).

This nap was only 15 minutes because she woke up when she rolled onto her back.

sees her friend Braxton a few times a week.

Brody’s response to this picture: “Tell that kid to get his hands off my daughter.” Protective already…wait until she’s 16.

is a giant: 96% for height, 86% for weight, and 75% for head circumference.

This may give a little perspective (keeping in mind that I’m 5’2″).

loves her daddy.

Finley took most of her naps in Brody’s arms the weekend I was in Lake Geneva. Awww…

gets kisses from Moose.

Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans, right?

gets kisses from Owen.

I’m guessing the only reason Brody allowed this kissing to go on is because it was Owen’s first birthday party.

has started to like Sophie.

Moose likes Sophie too. Sophie may not be around for long…

met her grandpa and step-grandma.

That’s Brody (not his stepmom) and his dad.

As the mother of a four and a half month old, I…

love being at home full time. I knew I would, and I feel lucky to have this opportunity. To help out the family, though, I am starting to watch a friend’s daughter who is 17 months old for five hours, three to four days a week.

hate that I become obsessed with Finley’s sleeping, especially her naps. At her four month appointment yesterday, our pediatrician recommended she be taking two naps a day: one morning and one afternoon. Ummm…ok. That would mean that Finley is awake for more than two hours at a time unless she somehow miraculously starts sleeping for more than 45 minutes. The doctor said I should “push through” the signs of sleepiness. This goes against basically everything I have read about babies and sleep and goes against what I feel is “right.” See? I just blabbed for how many sentences about sleep. If I were to analyze this obsession, I might say it’s about control and schedules, and how as a teacher, I had those two things, but now as a SAHM, I don’t.

feel great physically. Each week, I try to workout at least three times. This week I did 30 Day Shred level one on Monday, went to kickboxing Tuesday, took a three mile walk with Finley and the dogs on Wednesday, and did 30 Day Shred level one again today. Brody and I have talked about how amazing it would be to have a treadmill in the basement but that big of a purchase isn’t a good idea right now. One day hopefully.

only get emotional when I haven’t slept well the night before. Yesterday I was a crying mess. Tuesday night: asleep at 10pm, awake to feed Fin at 12:30am, back to sleep at 1am, awake to soothe Fin at 4am, awake to feed (soothing wasn’t working) at 4:30am, back to bed at 5am, and awake for the day at 6am. While six hours of sleep isn’t horrible, broken up into three chunks is no bueno.

am concerned about becoming a hermit during the winter. Although I love being around people, I’m also a home-body. And I hate the cold. Hopefully weekly activities will force me to leave the house.

It’s just after 8pm, and we had a rough night getting Finley down for the night. After 45 minutes of fussing, crying, picking up and putting down, and holding, Finley is asleep. As a wise friend told me, this isn’t forever. Good night!