Sunday Intentions

IMG_20170731_160400_544

Well, it’s been another fairly busy and emotional rollercoaster of a week. But I went into that in my last post, so I’ll try to keep this one a little more upbeat and succinct!

Monday was our busiest day. I got it into my head that I really wanted to go to this thrift store that I love in Horicon. I haven’t been there since late last fall. It’s just a very well organized store that never disappoints me in the craft department. As you can see above, I went a little crazy picking out buttons! It probably would have been cheaper to just buy more vintage bulk packs on etsy, but the thrill of the hunt – in person – is always so exciting. 🙂 After that we needed to get some stuff at Walmart and finished our errands with a late lunch at Taco Bell – Caden’s favorite. Though Shepard who supposedly hates tacos, really scarfed a couple down that day. Even made me go back up to order him another one.

IMG_20170731_161229_707

As I mentioned in last Sunday’s post, I was eager to have some sort of day trip or excitement this week. I was mulling over it all night and decided that camping was probably what would make the boys happiest. So in between our running around, I also learned how to use the lawn mower and mowed most of the backyard. Then dug out the tent that’s been buried in the basement since Caden got it from Santa last Christmas.

IMG_20170731_165711_364

Actually putting the tent up was a challenge!! We couldn’t figure it out. And it was SO HOT out. Greg got home and sat down to laugh at us for a few minutes and then helped out. In retrospect, it was very easy to put up, we just needed two tall people. And we didn’t attempt to get the top cover on.

IMG_20170731_180025_767

To try and get the full experience, we decided to cook dinner over the fire. Which seriously, is just so much more trouble than it’s worth! This is only the second time we’ve used this fire pit and definitely don’t have a stash of wood hiding around like so many people do. So we were pulling apart AAA books and throwing in dead leaves, trying to get it started. I was trying to gather everything up for a meal, balancing it all on plastic chairs, while we tried to cook hot dogs and brats on sticks. I successfully made mine, but everybody else had to go in for the microwave. We didn’t manage to eat anything other than the meat. So much work! So exhausting! So HOT!

IMG_20170731_182124_484

S’mores for dessert, of course. The boys were having a great time, so that’s all that matters. I think this will definitely be a once a summer activity, though. I’d love to be the kind of people that sit out at their fire every weekend with friends, but I just don’t think we ever will be.

IMG_20170731_183946_138

While I was really hoping to just hang out in the tent and outside all evening, pretending we were actually camping, we were all just so hot and tired. Everyone was pretty cranky. I was feeling pretty discouraged. I wanted to make this special night awesome, but it was so draining! I had such high hopes of going on all these campouts every summer with the boys, but I just don’t think I can handle it on my own. Plus we’d have to bring Annie because Greg is not her caretaker. That would bring a whole other level of exhaustion. If I can’t even handle it in our own backyard, I don’t think I could survive a campground. 🙁

IMG_20170731_200734_385

Going to bed outside when it’s still light out was a little too much fun!

819894656649149829_account_id=0

Shepard fell asleep pretty quickly. Caden and I were reading late into the night. They seemed to sleep well. I slept terribly! Our yard is so bumpy and uneven. My back still hurts! I will never, ever camp again unless I have an air mattress. OUCH.

IMG_20170802_092056_096

Tuesday we recovered! And went to the dog park. This is Annie’s best friend Lupin. He’s there at least half the times we go and they always have so much fun playing together.

I had obedience class again that night. I was so tired and soooo sore and it was the last place in the world I wanted to be. It’s an hour class, but everyone gets there at least ten minutes early and this week we were still in class twenty minutes late, so it makes for a pretty long night. Annie continues to do pretty well at the exercises, but is antsy and anxious when we’re just sitting around. My only comfort is that we all seem to be in the same boat. Nobody is really having fun. It’s pretty stressful and a lot of work.

On Wednesday, my mom took the boys for the day, which was awesome. I got some work done, but also just relaxed a little bit. I desperately needed that break. Summer mothering is wearing on me.

Wednesday night, we went to a “dog parade.” I’m not sure why it’s called that because really it was just a silly competition for dogs to enter. I met my mom, boys, Steve and Cindy, at the park with Annie. I entered in the competitions for fastest tail wagging and best smile. She didn’t win, but it was a really fun night just to hang out with other dog lovers. You learn so much when you start talking to other people with dogs. Plus it’s just fun for Annie!

IMG_20170803_180533_334

Thursday I was determined to make more of an effort for our at home date night. So I made my all time favorite recipe of Korean Fried Chicken Tacos. I love the sauce on these babies soooooooo much.

Friday I worked. And Greg worked out of the house! Amazing! It was easier on all of us, I think.

IMG_20170805_081724_681

Saturday morning, Shepard and I got up early to go to the Farmer’s Market in Madison. It was his first time. Last year Caden came a couple of times because he liked playing Pokemon Go in a new location. This year I keep asking him and he keeps saying no, so I gave the chance to Shepard, even though I don’t feel the lack of bonding with him the way I do Caden. He seemed to have a good time! He’s always open to new opportunities and loves learning about the things I enjoy. And just like me, he was most interested in looking at all the breads, pastries, and cheeses! We each had morning buns for our breakfast. Yummy.

20170805_082003

We went to Trader Joe’s afterward, on a whim. I love searching around there. Shepard was just happy to have a kid cart! I wish all stores had kid carts. I would make my summer shopping experiences SO much easier.

IMG_20170805_093022_186

Shepard picked out the corn, garlic, and garlic cheese spread. I love that smoked cheese spread. Carrots for everyone. Five spicy and jalapeno beef sticks for Caden. Those things are so dang expensive, but he LOVES them. I didn’t really need much this week, I just love the chance to get out of the house and do something fun like that.

And the rest of the weekend has been pretty uneventful! Lots of sewing for me. Lots of video games and playing outside and boy things for everyone else.

This Week

Summer is wearing down! Less than four weeks to go. And our schedule really picks up these next two weeks. Starting with the State Fair tomorrow! Always my favorite day of summer! The weather is looking a little iffy in terms of potential rain and storms. But if the rain doesn’t hit, it’s going to be a much cooler day! I always hate those miserably hot days in the packed crowds, so it’s a relief to have better weather this year. All four of us are going this year with my parents, brother (s?) and sister-in-law, and baby Hudson’s first trip! It should be a lot of fun! Eating delicious and super indulgent foods is always my favorite part of the trip. I can’t wait!

We’ll probably take it easy on Tuesday. We always need recovery days or the boys lose it.

I’d like to squeeze another day trip into Wednesday. Not sure what we’ll do yet. Maybe Eugster’s Farm or the zoo. We’ll see what we’re feeling.

Thursday I have a friend dinner. Friday Greg has to work in Chicago, so we’re on our own day and night. And the weekend is thus far open. So I guess it’s not the busiest of weeks, but I want to make sure we take full advantage of it.

Top Priority

Kids first, work second. I’m still really feeling the pressure to sew as much as possible. But if an opportunity comes up to do something with my children, I want to take it. I want to put them first in these last few weeks together. It’s hard because August is one of the quietest months of the year, and I really feel the need to sew when I can. But…they’re more important. So that is my goal and what I hope to live by, at least these next few weeks.

Hope everybody has an awesome week!

 

 

 

Sunday Intentions

Well, it’s been a fairly uneventful week. Typical summer week – finally!

We went school shopping on Monday. How is it already time for that?! The boys still need backpacks, but I think they’re otherwise set. Running all our errands together was a huge exercise in patience and not totally losing my mind. Definitely need to stick to night and weekend grocery trips the rest of summer. What a headache!

I have no recollection of what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday! Other than obedience class. Which was pretty stressful again. Annie was so hyped up, despite my attempts to wear her out earlier in the day. Her need for exercise – usually as soon as absolutely possible in the mornings – is becoming more apparent than ever. Which I guess is good motivation for me. But also really annoying on days when I just don’t feel like it, have kids that don’t feel like it, or I’m too busy with something else. But…life of a dog owner. Gotta deal.

(Edit – We had friends over on Wednesday morning! So we did do something noteworthy. It was great to catch up with Michelle, even though the four kids (and Annie!) were making our get together very chaotic and loud!)

IMG_20170727_132504_093

Thursday afternoon we had a late lunch at Mullin’s. It was our first time there this summer. I keep meaning to walk there some afternoon as a treat, but it’s always too hot or I know it’ll mess with the evening’s dinner or plans. We finally had to just go. It was fun!

IMG_20170727_133702_781

Thursday night was another at home date night. And another pretty lame one. I wish Columbus had more restaurant options so we could actually go out more. It’s so much more fun and has so fewer distractions from spending time together.

IMG_20170728_091637_847

Friday morning I finished up another batch of dolls. I love the pink doll in this set! One of my all time favorites. And still available! I don’t know what’s going on with sales this summer. My inventory is at an all time high right now. It feels good to finally feel stocked, but sucks because that means nobody is buying anything! I guess it’s time to start on fall and Halloween dolls. I think that’s what everyone is waiting for. I’m not ready!

Greg was working from home again on Friday. Why?? Fridays are just the worst. Two parents trying to work from home with kids who think they need to be entertained and catered to and conversed with every minute of every day. Yes, only one of us is working to provide the income for all of our living expenses. But…I have work to do too. So. Once I finally got my work done around lunch, I had to keep the boys busy. We went to the pool and had quiet time in our rooms.

IMG_20170729_180145_464

Caden and I were up early on Saturday morning so I once again asked him to go to the farmer’s market with me and he once again said no. He went with me once or twice last summer and loved it. This year he just says no to everything I EVER ask him to do with me. I didn’t end up going at all. Instead I rewarded myself with a day off from sewing. I took Annie for a really long walk, took a morning nap, and did a lot of reading. The afternoon was spent baking! It was really fun to do something that I used to love so much and put very little time into anymore. I made this pie, which was super delish. And I normally hate cherry pies.

IMG_20170729_182418_654

I also made this salted caramel chocolate tart. The nighttime lighting in my kitchen is definitely not ideal for pretty food pictures!

IMG_20170730_113653_673

Today we had another get together with one of Greg’s branches of family. The kids were having a great time playing on the slip ‘n slide and with water in the sandbox.

IMG_20170730_114631_073

Pie selfie. I had to keep stopping Greg from breaking off the crust to taste it – before anyone even saw it! I’ve never seen him so eager to eat one of my desserts before.

IMG_20170730_163325_308

We were partially celebrating Bob’s 75th birthday.

IMG_20170730_135239_119

It was another sun blasting hot day. There was one small bit of shade and the boys and Melody were having a great time playing in it. Greg sent me the picture where I was sitting inside, as I try to do as often as possible on sun blasting hot days!

IMG_20170730_145842_935

And one quick attempt to get all four of them together in one picture before they left. Not bad! It was a really fun get together. They always are!

The Week Ahead

I’m feeling a little fuzzy about how to spend this week. It’s just about August, you guys. School starts in one month and two days. I always try to fit in all these awesome day trips and we haven’t done anything yet. I also really wanted to go camping and that’s feeling less likely by the day. Even in the yard. I’m feeling so conflicted about doing too much after we just spent two months doing too much. But I don’t want to waste these final weeks of summer either. I still need to work a bit each day. We still need a lot of down time. But I want to have FUN too. I’m thinking tomorrow is probably the best overall day for a day trip, but I haven’t planned anything out yet. Zoo? Devil’s Lake? Eugster’s Farm? I don’t know.

Wednesday the boys are going to my mom’s for the day. I SHOULD spend the day getting as much work done as possible. But since this is also my first weekday without them all summer, I feel like I should celebrate or something. I’m getting itchy to do some thrift store shopping. Hit up all the Goodwills and such around the area. Though I suppose that’s also something I could technically do with the boys. They respond better to stores like that than grocery shopping. They (mostly Caden) HATE grocery shopping. Wednesday night there’s supposed to be a dog parade we’re going to participate in. As of now it’s supposed to storm that day, so who knows what will happen. But it sounds like fun!

And that’s all that’s on the calendar! The following two weeks of August are getting pretty booked up again, so this might be my best chance to do something fun and special. Must take advantage!

I think this is the second, third, or fourth Sunday Intentions I’m not writing out a meal plan. My brain just can’t handle it this summer. I’ve been taking it day by day. Which is not smart, but…it’s all I can manage. So whatever. It works! Most of the time. 🙂

Happy August!

Sunday Intentions

Another week of summer behind us! It hasn’t really been the greatest of weeks. Still too busy with a lot of crummy things thrown in. But we did have some fun too! I’ll try to recap the best and worst of the week.

Sunday

IMG_20170716_155016_008

IMG_20170716_173552_606

Sunday afternoon we went to the Mallard’s game with my parents. It was Greg’s annual work outing where we sit in the special section that gets all you can eat food from the booth that sells hamburgers, brats, hot dogs, etc. It’s always a fun time. Though this year even though the temperature wasn’t that high, the sun really felt brutal. We were also sitting way at the end of the section and to me it felt pretty removed from the game. Greg spent more than half the game standing in line with the boys to do some of the extra activities. The whole experience just felt a little too hot and boring this year.

Monday

IMG_20170717_081704_840

Work day! I finished up another small batch of dolls and got those listed right away in the morning. I don’t remember the rest of the day, so it must have been pretty lazy and uneventful.

Tuesday

IMG_20170718_094748_523

I really needed to get the boys and Annie out of the house for awhile, so we went to the big park in Fall River. The humidity was really low that day, so it ended up being the perfect day for a few hours of walking around. The three of them were having a blast playing in the river! We spent a lot of time at the playgrounds too. THAT is the kind of summertime activity I’ve been missing the last month and a half. We need more of those days.

IMG_20170718_095149_540

Annie and I survived our second obedience class on Tuesday night. There were 16 dogs this time. 16! That really feels like way too many to me for a proper class. There are two instructors, but still. Annie did a lot better this time around. Only two individual barks. She sat or laid down quietly when she was supposed to and did pretty good at our practice walking, sitting, and heeling. I just wish the class size wasn’t so big. It feels very chaotic and crazy when one dog sets off a huge barking chain of half the dogs in the class.

Wednesday

IMG_20170719_090803_684

Wednesday I desperately needed polyfil. So we went to Beaver Dam under the rouse of going on a donut picnic. We picked up some donuts at Recheck’s and had a picnic at Waterworks Park. We used to go on donut picnics all the time, but it’s been hard in recent years because the boys are always STARVING the second they wake up and don’t want to wait even an hour to go somewhere. We made it to the grocery store by 8:30, but they were so hungry they insisted on getting lunchables too. And ate all of it right away. They had fun at the park, though! I never know if Caden is going to enjoy playgrounds or think he’s too old for stuff these days. We ran a few quick errands (polyfil!) after and had a quiet afternoon. I also finished up another batch of dolls.

IMG_20170719_161434_377

Thursday

IMG_20170720_091318_881

Everything went downhill on Thursday. It started with Greg coming back to our room when I thought he had left for work to tell me, “You better get downstairs.” Annie managed to pull a cast iron skillet cookie off the counter during the night and ate every last crumb. There was vomit and diarrhea EVERYWHERE. There was a whole lot of chocolate in that cookie. So I was freaking out. It was too early to call the vet and I kept going back and forth on if I needed to call the emergency line. I was googling like crazy and it seemed most likely going to the vet would just mean making her vomit more. She seemed pretty good at doing that on her own! We had so many things on the agenda Thursday and I didn’t know what to do. She just kept throwing up all over the place. My friend Keli offered to check in on Annie during the afternoon if I wanted to still do what I needed to do, so I took her up on it. I don’t think she realized quite how much poop she was going to have to clean up in those few hours!!

IMG_20170720_112624_967

First stop was the peach truck. There was a big peach shortage this year, so I just assumed they’d be out like they have at so many stops this summer. We missed the first truck when we were in New Jersey, so I was really looking forward to just getting the blueberries. They’re so good! Anyway, we got there and peaches were available so we ended up getting a 25 lb box of peaches and three 5 lb boxes of blueberries. One for us, one for Keli, one to split between our families. It was a lot of fruit!

Second stop was my eye exam at Stanton Optical in Madison. But the truck line was shorter than expected, so we got there 40 minutes early. I had packed us lunches, so we had another picnic at a little park. Then my eye exam. I haven’t had one since my allergies developed out of nowhere six years ago. Lately my eyes, particularly my right eye, has felt super strained and tired. I wanted to know if my vision had changed and actually do something about it. But after a confusing and annoying exam and visit, it turns out that my vision is still just fine. I have a very, very, very slight astigmatism in my right eye and the doctor said that that getting glasses would probably only help my nighttime driving. I told him that I feel it the worst when I’m reading or at my computer. He said, “Take more breaks.” So. Helpful. 😛 I’m guessing I’m just overly tired. Not getting enough sleep. Maybe reading too much? (Impossible!) At any rate, the exam was $30 or free with the price of glasses, so when I said I didn’t want any, the guy suggested I pick a pair of $30 sunglasses. So I’m getting prescription sunglasses. If I feel like they actually help I assume I can always go back and pick out some real glasses.

We had another time gap. I purposely scheduled the eye exam early because I wasn’t sure if they would dilate my eyes. I didn’t want to be sitting blind at our 3:00 therapy appointment for Caden. But, the dilating didn’t happen, so we had time to kill. We went to Half Priced Books. I was hoping to find some specific YA novels I want to add to my slowly growing collection. They didn’t have the ones I wanted. The boys each found a new Minecraft book, though. We also went to Penzey’s Spices, where they had to sniff every single spice in the store. Literally. I had a gift card, so we bought a bag of spices. Still had extra time, so got gas, found yet another park, then went back to a gas station because Shepard had to pee. It was so hot and humid that day and I had just had enough. So much running around.

Finally, Caden’s therapy appointment at 3. Greg met us there from work and suggested I go back home with Shepard. I’d been getting texts all afternoon from Keli about Annie’s continued pooping, and I was getting pretty worried. So it was nice to get back home an hour earlier than planned.

We had an at home date night on Thursday, but got into a big fight right at the start. So it was a rough night. I was upset about how badly my eyes hurt and yet there’s “nothing wrong.” I was upset about getting into another stupid fight. I was worried about Annie. It wasn’t a fun night.

Friday

Friday was busy too. All day Thursday I kept thinking that at least I wouldn’t have to worry about Annie on Friday because Greg would be working from home. Well, Greg failed to tell me he was going in that day! So Annie had to be in her kennel again. She only had one poop overnight from the time I got home the day before, so I figured she was probably going to be okay.

Anyway, I had my annual exam in Fitchburg. My mom always comes with so she can watch the boys while I’m there and then we do something fun after. I told the doctor that as ALWAYS, I’m a little concerned about how tired I am. Particularly in the afternoons when I pretty much drop dead and can’t survive without a nap. I tell this to every doctor I’ve gone to in the last six years. They basically all write it off as being a mom. And they do some standard blood tests that always come back fine. This time she was definitely more interested in what I had to say and decided to take blood to test a few things I’ve never had checked before. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but we shall see.

IMG_20170721_100941_565

I picked everyone up at the park and we went over to the splash pad. The boys played for an hour and a half! I didn’t have time to research any fun restaurant options ahead of time, so we ended up just having lunch at Taco John’s. My mom and I were both super tired. I had a really bad headache. I was antsy to just get home and sleep a bit. Got home and Annie was good with no accidents. She survived! I will never leave anything on the counters overnight again.

Saturday

Saturday morning was off to another bad start. One of my children (guess which one!) has been very cranky with a huge attitude lately. I just needed a break from everything. It’s hard going from the school year where I’m home alone 7 hours a day, five days a week, to suddenly being surrounded by my family 24/7. My introverted self desperately needed some space and a few hours where I didn’t have to listen to anyone whine or yell at me.

I ended up going to Madison and browsing around some of my favorite stores. I bought a couple things and just enjoyed looking around. I had a late lunch at Mod Pizza (again!) to end my time away. Went back home, took a short nap, and took Annie to the dog park. I spent the night boiling and peeling peaches to make peach crumble. Another busy day, but the kind of day I needed to regain my sanity.

Sunday

IMG_20170723_105611_843

And today! The only thing on the agenda was seeing my family at my parent’s house. I was super excited to see Hudson now that he’s almost 2.5 weeks old! It was a fun and relaxing few hours of just baby holding and watching. 🙂 He’s just the sweetest! Being an aunt is pretty awesome!

IMG_20170723_114724_636

IMG_20170723_115005_278

IMG_20170723_122939_530

IMG_20170723_133226_785

IMG_20170723_133507_342

IMG_20170723_133632_444

IMG_20170723_133855_838

IMG_20170723_151034_592

IMG_20170723_152150_037

IMG_20170723_152310_400

IMG_20170723_153301_774

The Week Ahead

This upcoming week looks a lot quieter. THANK GOODNESS. We don’t have a single thing scheduled during the days. Tuesday night I have obedience class. Wednesday night there’s a dog parade we might participate in. Other than that – clear week! Which is awesome. I’d definitely like to get a lot of work done. I’m feeling the pressure to start fall and Halloween dolls, but I really don’t want to yet! I think I’ll give myself one more week to make fun themed dolls. There are so few times during the year when I don’t NEED to make for a season or holiday. Must take advantage!

I also just want to have a “regular summer” week. Take the boys to the pool. Greg takes them a lot at night, but I think I’ve taken them during the day once. ONE TIME. The first week of summer. So I need to make up for lost time. The pool is probably one of my least favorite places to be, but I know it’s important to them and I want to make it a higher priority if we don’t have much else going on that day. I’m also in the middle of at least six books right now. I should finish some of them. 🙂 I’m always counting down the days for my favorite end of the month book/tv/movie/podcast post and the more I have to write about the better!

Have a happy week!

 

Sunday Intentions

Another week has flown by. I’m starting to feel a little weary about it all. It’s not like we haven’t been busy doing a lot of fun things. But we’ve been just plain too busy. Summer is officially half over. And in many ways it still feels like it’s barely begun. Summer around here is supposed to be a lot of boredom, long days, pool trips, and a few sprinklings of exciting day trips that I fully plan out in advance. We’ve had maybe two full days of that this entire summer so far. There’s always been something we need to do. And it’s kind of making me sad. The last few years at the beginning of summer the boys and I make a list of things we want to do over the next three months. We never made that list and I don’t want to do it now because I feel like it’ll be impossible to fit anything else in. The boys got a big tent for Christmas with the assumption we’d go on at least a couple of camping trips this summer. Now I think we’ll be lucky to even set it up in our yard once! We’ve had so many outings and commitments already, I don’t feel like planning anything else. It bums me out a little.

Anyway, recap time. I’m pretty sure Monday was a catch up day for everything I didn’t get to the week before. Tuesday I had my first obedience class with Annie. It was stressful. I don’t like being put on the spot in front of strangers, I don’t like being reprimanded for things I’m doing wrong with her, especially in front of other people, and I definitely don’t like standing in front of a big group of people doing dog exercises that Annie may or may not cooperate with. Yes, we’re all in the same boat and probably all feel mostly the same way. But I wasn’t really expecting the class format to be that way. I thought we’d all work with our own dogs simultaneously. That feels a lot more efficient. That first class felt very overwhelming. These next seven weeks of training are going to be a lot of work. But hopefully worth it in the end. I’d say it’s probably already worth it because the instructor at the free class (same lady for both) told me about “pinch collars.” While they look horrendous, they’re the only thing that has actually kept Annie from pulling when we go on walks. It’s pretty much the magic fix. She walks so well that I only need to loop the end of the leash around my wrist instead of my hand because she never, ever pulls when it’s on her. Incredible.

On Wednesday afternoon we met Greg at the theater and saw Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was good! I like that more often these days all four of us can go to movies together. While not entirely appropriate for their age, they’ve already seen all the other Marvel movies at home, so it seems okay to take them to the theater when new ones come out. I love going to the theater, so it’s really a treat now that can all go together without the hassle of burdening someone else with babysitting.

Thursday I had a night out with my friend Laura. It was friend time I most definitely needed! We went to Mod Pizza and sat and talked for a long time. I wish I could see my friends more often. You’d think in summer it would be easier, but we’re all so busy in our own worlds. Or maybe that’s just me and everyone else is still seeing each other!

Friday was a long and stressful day of Greg working at home, but being super frustrated that we were all around. I had a ton of stuff to do and couldn’t afford to take the boys out of the house for more than a long walk with Annie. I’m definitely not looking forward to the rest of summer’s Fridays being a repeat of this last Friday. At night the boys went to Grandma’s for a sleepover and we had a date night at Chili’s. It was nice to have an evening together.

Saturday I went to the farmer’s market early in the morning, picked up some groceries, worked in the kitchen until it was time to take Shepard to a birthday party, stayed at the party, madly worked in the kitchen again until Steve, Cindy, and Melissa came over for a pizza party. I made spinach strawberry salad, two kinds of pizza, and three kinds of homemade ice cream. It was a fun night!

And finally today, we’re getting ready to head out to see Trolls for its replay in the theater for their summer kids series. And later today we’re going to the Mallard’s game with my parents. Busy busy! Lots of night stuff. We’re really not used to being so busy at night. But this has been week three of something going on basically every single night.

The Week Ahead

Once again, the week ahead is looking pretty busy. Not AS busy, but still busy. We have three not so fun appointments later in the week, but since we’ll already be out of town I’m hoping to add in a few fun stops for the boys. New parks or picnics or restaurants. We’ll see. The beginning of the week is a little quieter.

Top Goal: WORK

I am so, so behind with sewing. I haven’t had a sale in weeks. I mean, I’ve been busy! I’m also a full time stay at home mom in summer and realize I need to cut myself some slack. It’s definitely not like I’ve been sitting around doing nothing. There’s ALWAYS something to do. But work has once again fallen to the wayside. I’d like to at least make some strides in making up for lost time this week. It’s so hard reaching the balance I want with this. I need to do better.

Well, that’s about it. I’m feeling too lazy to add pictures to the post this week. Hope your week ahead is great!

Catching Up and Belated Father’s Day

Whew, it has been a busy couple of weeks! So much busier than I expected them to be. Life is definitely full. I’ve barely had time to even sit down at my computer, much less write out a blog post. But I miss it! So I thought I’d try and recap everything that’s happened since my last post.

Summer School

Summer school is in full swing. The boys go there from 8:30-1:00 every day. They took the same sports class and dance class. They both also have an engineering class, but different levels. And Caden is in coding – his favorite class and Shepard has art – his favorite. They find each other at lunch so they can always eat together. It’s kind of adorable. Even though they fight so much at home, they really do have such a close relationship. I hope it’s always that way. Overall, summer school has been going pretty well. We had one pretty tough day last week when Shepard claimed he was sick, so I let him come home and he clearly was fine. Trying to get him back to school was a nightmare. Deja vu of last summer when every single day of class was about the worst day of my life. Though worse this year because he knows better! I’m not sure what that was all about last Tuesday, but he’s been fine again ever since.

Walking

Every year since Caden first started speech therapy summer school when he was three, I’ve used that time to go on long walks. It’s one of my favorite parts of summer. This year has been no different, except that I have a dog accompanying me. Last week was really hot, so it was hard to walk for too long, but we still got a bit of time in. This week with the temperatures much cooler, Annie and I have been going for two, three, four mile walks every morning. It’s definitely more of a challenge with her in tow, but I love to have the companionship. It’s one of the reasons I really wanted a dog and I’m glad I’m sticking with it and making this happen. Plus it’s just really good exercise! For the last week and a half I re-devoted myself to reaching a step goal every day. I’ve also started counting calories. Which some days has really sucked. But overall I’ve been feeling better and have a lot more energy. So I’m going to try and stick with it.

Therapy

Last week Greg and I met with a child psychologist to talk about our struggles with Caden. Or…Caden’s struggles with us. It was more of an introductory session and we’re going back today with him. I liked this psychologist much better than the one we tried a few years ago. I hope it goes well. For all of our sakes. But I think Caden could really use the help and I’m hoping he’s old enough now to understand why he’s there.

IMG_20170616_154715_815

Wonder Woman

Last Friday we went to see Wonder Woman. We went as a whole family because Greg really wanted to see it and it’s just so much easier to not find a babysitter! It’s kind of exciting that the boys are getting older and we can do more things like this, though.

IMG_20170616_160020_082

The boys spent the whole moving basically crawling all over Greg trying to find the best cuddling positions. It was a little long and slow for Shepard’s attention span. And he kept asking questions at normal volume. But as Greg pointed out, he bought tickets first and the only other people there picked seats right next to us, so it was their own fault they had to listen to Shepard’s talking during the movie! 🙂

IMG_20170617_190549_782

Early Father’s Day

We had sort of an early Father’s Day celebration with Greg’s family on Saturday night. His sister Melissa and her boyfriend Andrew were in town, so we wanted to spend some time with them. We had a nice dinner, gave Grandpa his presents, and played Codenames. After another outrageously hard day with Caden, it was a nice way to end the night. Look at that smile above. There’s definitely a happy kid inside of him. I just wish it came out more often.

IMG_2226 father's day

Father’s Day

Sunday was Father’s Day. Greg decided to have a relatively low key day at home. We let him sleep in as late as he wanted, made him his favorite cherry coffee cake for breakfast, and gave him his presents.

IMG_2236 so many smiles

Such happy smiles. 🙂

IMG_2242 sweet shepard

Oh how I wish Shepard could stay so small and adorable forever. All his smiles and giggles make me so happy.

IMG_2248 giggles

They are always so highly amused by the cards that they make.

IMG_2251 giggles

Very funny. 🙂 We gave Greg a video game he’s been wanting, two pairs of shorts, a Guardians of the Galaxy Mad Libs, and a book about the 1700 best pizza restaurants in the world.

IMG_2267 dips

So the plan for most of Father’s Day was to have my family over for a party. But my mom got sick, so neither of my parents came. And since they didn’t come one of my brothers didn’t have a way to get here. So it ended up just being my other brother and sister-in-law. It did kind of feel like a lot of work for just having two extra people here for our “party.” But all that work was already put in on Saturday, so the party was on! I made Greg jalapeno popper dip and my dad a hot Maui onion and bacon dip.

IMG_2270 punch

Can’t have a party without punch!

IMG_2271 meats

Pulled pork and bbq chicken sandwiches.

IMG_2274 cake

And a “cake” with a brownie base and then peanut butter mousse, chocolate mousse, and chocolate whipped cream frosting. It was definitely a labor intensive dessert and I was just happy the mousse layers stabilized and didn’t fall apart!

It was a pretty relaxed little party. The weather was incredible. We had every single window in the house open because there was such a wonderful breeze. It felt like my perfect kind of early summer day. Everyone spent some time outside, the boys showed Uncle Timmy the video games they’ve been working on, we talked about the quickly approaching baby’s birth (!!!). It was a nice day! Kind of disappointing it didn’t go as planned, but what can you do? After Timmy and Brittany left I was pretty beat and still had cleanup to do. So Greg took the boys to drop some food off for my dad and then spend a little more time with his parents.

As a side note to this recap blog post, I just want to say that I am so, so thankful for Greg as a father to our boys. He’s the best dad I could have ever imagined he’d be. He’s so selfless and giving and always, always there for them. They will never doubt his love for them and he will probably always be their biggest supporter. I’m not good at saying it out loud, but I think it all the time. We are SO blessed to have him in our lives.

IMG_20170621_075320_974

Work

Ah, work. This has been a real struggle, you guys. Will working at home ever not be a struggle? I do have to say that this week I was determined to make sewing my main focus. And I’ve done well. It’s hard to make that my daily lifestyle, though. There’s always so much else going on. Especially in summer. But this week, the last three days, I finally buckled down and made these cute little mohair animals. They almost never sell because they’re too expensive, but I like making them. They’re entirely hand sewn and it just feels so awesome to start with so few supplies and just my hand and end up with an adorable little teddy bear or monkey! Yesterday I started on a big batch of dolls since that’s what my customers actually want. I’m hoping I can get them done by the weekend, but that’s probably very ambitious thinking.

IMG_20170621_215219_292

Obedience Class

I can’t believe we haven’t even had Annie for three months yet. She’s basically half of my life. So much of my day is centered around what she needs to be a happy and well cared for dog. For the most part, things are going really well. But we’re definitely still struggling with her over-excitement, jumping on every single person she sees, and pulling so hard on our walks. I heard about a free obedience class last night, so I signed us up to check it out. When we arrived, there wasn’t another dog in sight. I was frustrated to think that it must have been cancelled and nobody let me know, so we went on a little lakeside adventure. Annie kept diving in the water trying to go after ducks. She’d walk as far she could with just her head above water and then turn around, run back, and do it all over again. So even though dogs supposedly all know how to swim, Annie definitely doesn’t know she knows how to swim!

Anyway, I got a call back that the class was only moved back an hour and I wasn’t on their list, even though I did sign up. So we went back to the other park and tried out our first class. It was challenging. And stressful because Annie just wants to play with other dogs SO MUCH. But it was also very helpful. I learned a few tricks to try with our problem areas. And I also think I’m going to sign up for their next eight week session of classes. It feels like a worthy investment. I want to have better control over her. And I want people to stop giving me unsolicited advice on the streets about what I’m doing wrong. 😛

Moving Ahead

Well, I think that’s about it for the last week and a half! It’s been busy. As a bit of a Sunday Intention vibe to end this post… For the next few days I’m still focusing on work. But I’m also hoping for a little down time. I’ve had very little of that lately. I need to remember my goal of doing lots of reading this summer! It might be a good afternoon for a book!

Sunday Intentions

Well, one week of summer down, twelve to go. This week has had a lot of really fun days and one absolutely horrible, going down in the books as one of the worst days EVER, day. I wanted to try and fit in some adventures this week as summer school already starts tomorrow. There won’t be a lot of opportunity to get out of town between that and afternoon pool trips, which are basically a requirement in summer. (At least for my kids – I could happily live without ever needing to be at the pool!) So we tried to make the most of the week!

IMG_20170605_105506_371

Monday 

On Monday we went over to my mom’s – with Annie – to see how she did with all three of her dogs on their turf. Even though boarding at the vet seemed to go relatively well a few weeks ago, at least from what I can tell, it’d be really nice if occasionally Annie could stay with my mom too. So I actually know what she’s doing during the day. Anyway, Juno (the yellow lab/golden retriever mix) had zero problems with her. And Annie seemed to realize Juno was too old and fragile for playing, so they just sniffed each other and then Annie left her alone. Gracie (the dachshund) was meeting Annie for the second time and a lot more curious than scared, like our first meeting at the dog park. She was occasionally engaging in Annie’s “play” by yipping and running after her. And Pip (the Boston terrier) was just about as vicious as the last time they tried to meet. They were only outside together for a few minutes and Pip never really let up. Though Annie can definitely outrun her and I don’t think she could really do any harm. Anyway, it was a mostly successful trip. We’re trying again in a few days.

IMG_20170606_102914_131

Tuesday

I wanted Tuesday to be a work day for me, but it started bright and early with Caden yelling at me about something, so I knew we needed to get out of the house again. It was a lot cooler at the beginning of the week, so I wanted to spend more time outside while we still could. We decided to take Annie and walk to Fireman’s Park. The boys were having such a great time and decided that they want to walk everywhere this summer so we can take Annie with us. Then they realized Annie can’t go into restaurants, so they nixed that plan! At the playground Annie nicely sat while hordes of little kids pet her. Then she started noticing all the squirrels and couldn’t relax after that. We walked over by the stream and she jumped right in. The first thing she did was squat to pee in it, which the boys thought was hilarious. That excitement really hyped her up, so our walk back was a lot more arm destroying than the walk there. We stopped at another park before going on. All together, about 3.5 miles of walking.

IMG_20170606_135836_000

After lunch, we headed to the pool for quite awhile. It was too cold for me, so I sat and read. Shepard got out and took a little zoning out break. It’s hard for him when we go to the pool and no friends are there and I don’t feel like going in. Caden only wants to hang out in the deep end and Shepard isn’t there yet.

IMG_20170606_141139_448

They always want treats at the pool, but it gets so expensive. So I’m trying to devise a way this summer that they can do extra jobs to earn money to use for treats at the pool. At least they’re actually learning a little bit the value of money that way. And get jobs done. But…they haven’t done a whole lot yet! They were so cute at the front of the line counting out all their nickels and dimes to pay for these treats.

Tuesday was really a great day! I didn’t get a shred of sewing done, but I’m okay with that. I want to be more in the moment with my kids and make sure they’re always the priority these few months we have together. Even when it means I’m really not going to get much done.

20170607_095315

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning we went to the Madison Farmer’s Market. I haven’t been to the Saturday market in awhile and thought it’d be a fun excursion. Caden got one of his favorite, over-priced, spicy beef sticks. I also bought romaine lettuce, cilantro, jalapeno cheese curds, asparagus, and some garlic dip that the boys insisted on.

IMG_20170607_102707_732

We walked around Monona Terrace for a little bit after the market. My mom had never been on top before. We had fun watching a stand up paddle boater zoom across the lake.

After this we drove a few blocks to Gotham Bagels to pick up some of our favorite super egg everything bagels. The guy who waited on us was a super huge jerk about everything, though, and it’s going to be awhile before I go back again. Which sucks because I LOVE those bagels. And their jalapeno garlic cream cheese.

IMG_20170607_114221_413

We ended with a french fry lunch at DiscoFries on State Street. Our third parking place in like a one mile radius. 🙂 I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken Poutine. Everyone else just had fries and dips. I’m not really a huge french fry person, but it was fun to go somewhere unique. And actually, we ended our Madison trip with a stop at Sun Prairie Target. I did some speed shopping while Grandma filled the boys with Starbucks cake pops. 🙂

20170607_172944(0)

Wednesday was also Greg’s dad Steve’s birthday. So we met everyone at Pizza Hut in Beaver Dam for dinner. Greg and I split a four pepper pepperoni pizza with salted pretzel crust, which was actually really good. The boys split boneless wings. Steve and Cindy had a sausage pizza.

20170607_181141

Back at Grandma’s house for presents. We gave Grandpa tickets to the Star Wars themed Mallard’s game on Saturday.

20170607_182416

Some lawn mowing headphones.

IMG_20170607_184331_968

Birthday desserts – lemon meringue pie and flourless chocolate cake.

IMG_20170607_183157_042

Recreating a photo the four of them took on Steve’s birthday six years ago. Kids are much bigger!

Wednesday was also a really nice day! I was feeling pretty happy with how our first few days of summer were going.

Thursday

And then Thursday. Oh, Thursday. It began at 5:45am with Caden screaming at me because he wanted to play tablet. He had his tablet taken away for the week because of how he acted at the end of our time at Grandma’s house on Monday. I gave them back for our drives on Wednesday because he was so good on Tuesday. But we’re trying to establish some screen time rules this summer where they need to clean their rooms and read before they can play. And well, neither of those things happened by 5:45 in the morning, but he didn’t even give me a chance to try and explain that.

So. I don’t want to rehash everything that went wrong that day. But it was horrible. An absolute nightmare of a day. With Caden. And allergies. It’s gotten to the days of grass allergy season where I absolutely want to shred my eyes out of my face they are so itchy. And I’m constantly getting little irritants stuck in them that I can’t get out and make me want to scream. For most of Thursday I could barely even open my eyes. I was so itchy and in pain, I was SO fed up with the way Caden was acting and treating us, it was just a TERRIBLE day.

IMG_20170608_144245_761

On the bright side of Thursday, Willow spent much of the day here playing with Shepard. They seem to be getting along extra well these days. It really helped having someone to keep Shepard busy in the midst of the Caden chaos. Though it was very embarrassing to have another person around to witness him that day. He doesn’t normally act so fiercely when non-family members are around. So I guess he considers Willow part of his inner circle now.

IMG_20170608_182800_948

After Greg got home, I took Shepard and Willow to the pool as a reward for playing so nicely all day.

IMG_20170608_191437_585

They had fun. And were adorable. 🙂

20170608_160352

Friday

Friday was a work day for me. I really needed to get SOME work done. Photo is showing how lately Annie seems to think Jack is her play toy and spends half her day trying to chase him around. He most definitely fights back by smacking her in the head over and over again. But she’s starting to think it’s all good fun and enjoys the occasional chase through the house. I don’t think Jack is too bothered by it. Keeps him young. 🙂 Annie still steers clear of Rory, though the last two days I had both animals in bed with me for a nap. Annie at my feet, right in front of the air conditioner, and Rory pressed up against my face. Fun.

IMG_20170609_130604_862

Willow was over again and all three were playing together fine. No residual drama from the day before. I wish I knew what triggered these days with him. They suck.

Meanwhile – our lego area?? Yeah, legos have taken over this entire room. I’m glad they’re having fun and using their imaginations, really. But I kind of miss my beautiful peaceful room I had all to myself!

cover

Saturday

Saturday morning was more work for me. I just get so much more done when Greg is home to take care of other things. I don’t like that that’s the way it is. But…it works. I finished up my last patriotic dolls for the year. And I sold four of the six right away, which was awesome. Sales have really dropped the last few months, after record breaking sales earlier in the year. I just need to keep making. Which is very hard in summer.

IMG_20170610_180423_988

Saturday evening we headed to the Mallard’s game! It was super hot out, but I was smart this time and bought tickets so we wouldn’t be facing the sun. It was also super windy, which helped keep things a little bit cooler. I didn’t really feel like it was TOO hot. Anyway, the game was fun!! Usually when we go the boys are so much more interested in walking around and checking out all the kid activities. But this time around we mostly just stayed in our seats and watched the game!

IMG_20170610_190203_174

We all had our unique ballgame dinners and then the boys had cotton candy.

IMG_20170610_204011_730

Grandpa bought them duck whistles. Which made the end of the game so fun. 😛 Actually, the game really heated up in the eighth and ninth inning. We ended up losing, but it was really enjoyable. The boys were even really into the game!

IMG_20170610_205004_315

Cuties.

Sunday

So that brings us to today! We had a birthday party to go to, which was fun. But also kind of miserable because my eyes are little sockets of itchy death again today. Then I got home from the party and randomly saw this article about introverts at social gatherings. It definitely hit home seeing as I just came from a party where I spent the majority of the time by myself, playing with their puppy. I’m getting worse in social situations these days. I don’t know how to be in the thick of friendships anymore. I need work.

This Week

So! The week ahead. Summer school starts in the morning and that’s every day from 8:30-1. It’ll be nice to reclaim a few hours to myself each day. I’m hoping to get a lot of sewing done in that time. I only have 2.5 weeks before REAL summer begins, so I need to make work a priority now.

Top Priority – Work!

Second Priority – Take Care of Myself

I’m not generally a fan of summer. I can’t stand being hot. I loathe being out in the sun. BUT one of my favorite parts of summer is going on adventures, exploring new areas of Wisconsin, and getting treats. Treats, treats, treats. Which is all awesome. But definitely not healthy. So starting this week I’m going to pay a lot more attention to the food I put in my body. Hopefully try harder to think about meals ahead of time so I’m not just snacking on whatever is easiest to find. I continue to gain weight and I know I only have myself to blame. I want to turn things around this summer. For good.

I also want to get back to my exercise goal. Starting with hitting 10,000 steps a day, no matter what. Even if that means I’m taking a walk at 10:00pm. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but if it means walking in much cooler temperatures, it’ll be worth it!! I’m hoping this week I’ll get most of my walking hours in after I drop the boys off at school. With Annie.

Third Priority – Have Fun!

I need to keep my overall summer goals always in mind. Even though I have more hours to work this week, I still want to have fun. This week that will probably just mean pool time with my kids. And hopefully lots of reading. It will be a good week!

Sunday Intentions

garden

Is anybody else having a lot of attitude problems with their kids lately? This last week has been rough around here. I don’t really know what to say about it, other than that it’s really discouraging. More and more often I feel like such a failure as a mom because I’ve lost basically all control over my children. They’re constantly ganging up on me with their backtalk and snotty attitudes, ALWAYS looking for a loophole in every single thing I say, just so they can argue with me about it. It’s worn me down to just about more than I can handle this week.

I want to be a gracious, fun, and loving mom. But day after day I feel like they box me into this corner and the only thing I can do is scold or disagree or get angry at them. I want to hide from them because it feels like they force me to be this ugly and terrible person that I really don’t want to be, but I don’t know how to not be her anymore. It’s been a hard week. For a lot of reasons, but this one especially.

Anyway, despite all the wallowing in negative emotions, it’s been a fairly productive week. As you might recall, I really wanted to spend most of this week taking care of myself and trying to recharge after the insanity the first half of the month brought to my life. I spent a lot of time reading every day and let myself take lengthy naps each afternoon. I had a reward lunch at Chili’s on Monday for surviving the garage sale. And I did some cleaning, but tried not to stress out or be too worried about any of it. As always, the days went by too quickly and they weren’t quite as fulfilling as I had hoped. But at least I felt a little break from the pressure I usually put on myself.

My biggest accomplishment of the week was getting my garden planted and fenced off. It was probably technically done in a timely manner for Wisconsin weather, but I felt like this has been hanging over me forever. So it was such a huge relief to finally get things planted! My father-in-law came over on Tuesday night to rototill the big vegetable garden and a little sunflower/wildflower garden I’m putting in next to the garage. Then I spent all of Wednesday morning putting up the fence that will hopefully keep the bunnies out, and planting our seedlings. I planted two kinds of carrots, two kinds of radishes, jalapenos, some variety of sweet pepper, two kinds of peapods, a gourd mix, mini pumpkins, and mini white pumpkins. We are feeling very ambitious this year! I left enough room in the garden to buy some bigger pepper plants and a single cucumber plant. We’re big pepper fans and like to plant every variety we can find. Caden also has some container herb gardens going by our backdoor, so we probably need to add some bigger plants to those too. We definitely have a lot going on with the gardens this year!

The downside of gardening is that I’m now very aware that grass allergy season has begun! I was pretty sore the second half of the week just from all the gardening work, and then add on mega allergies, some pms, and a whole lot of arm pain from longer walks with Annie – it’s been rough! I should probably start doing some kind of yoga to try and be more limber and a lot less tense. But I think this almost daily and never do anything about it.

big11

I also spent the last couple of days getting back to work. Finally! It’s really hard to find motivation when I’m feeling so crappy, both mentally and physically. But I pulled it together and really got to work this weekend. I finished a couple of patriotic Annies and I’m so happy with how they turned out! It’s always so thrilling to finish a new set of dolls.

This Week

Moving on to this week… First of all, there are only nine days of school left. Cue the hyperventilating. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to handle summer. After nine months of both boys being gone all day…it’ll be an adjustment, for sure. But yeah. Just nine days left on my own. Technically only seven because Greg works at home on Fridays. I want to be productive during these remaining days, but I also want to enjoy the quiet while I still have it! I need to find a good balance so I can go into summer with a great attitude.

My top priority in the next few days is continuing to work. I’d like to get another batch of patriotic dolls done as soon as possible. Sales have been few and far between this month and I need to remedy that asap. If I don’t keep pushing out new dolls, I don’t get the sales. So Monday and Wednesday and most of Thursday are devoted to sewing.

Wednesday night is Caden’s last night of soccer. I feel like we really got ripped off with this soccer program. Only three games were scheduled and two of them got rained out. One practice was rained out. Twice the coach didn’t show up so a parent had to step in. And the few remaining practices never had the same coach twice. I’m not sure if it was all just a lot of bad coincidences, or if they’re always this unorganized. I don’t want to be the parent that attacks the lady in charge for how messed up it all has been. But I’m still a little disappointed. Caden definitely had fun the days he did play, though.

I also need to get ready for next weekend! It’s our 11th anniversary and we’re going on a little getaway. The boys are going to grandma’s and Annie is having her first boarding experience. I’ll have a lot of packing to do on Friday. And some more research to try and find a few potential restaurants and places Greg and I can go in between relaxing at the cottage. I also just really want to be in a good headspace for the weekend. So the more I can get done earlier this week the better.

Meal Plan

Monday – Grilled cheese, maybe?

Tuesday – Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Waffles

Wednesday – Probably something crockpot-y…

Thursday – Steak? Maybe? I’m really not prepared to be making this meal plan lol

Friday – Pizza

Have a good week!

 

Sunday Intentions

Well, guys – I SURVIVED THE WEEK! I survived the last two weeks! It’s been a lot of hard work and very little fun. Stressful days, not enough sleep, and a lot of ridiculously simple meals. But I made it!

Unfortunately, I’m feeling like it wasn’t worth the time and energy and stress I put into it. The garage sale was kind of a bust. I assumed holding one during the city wide sale was the best time to do it. But maybe because Columbus is competing with all the other nearby cities that also do citywide sales this weekend, we ended up screwing ourselves over. Which is really disappointing. Timing, location, weather, everything seemed perfect. But hardly anybody came. 🙁 I was alone most of Thursday and Friday and it was SO boring. I was trying to read to the fill the time, but was also constantly wondering when people would start showing up. I didn’t feel like I could ever leave my spot just in case someone wandered in! It wasn’t fun. Not really at all.

Anyway, we made a little money, but not nearly as much as the last few years. We got rid of some stuff, but still have so much left. I wanted this to be the last sale ever, but we decided to pack up and try one last time later this summer. That way I’ll have more time to go through toys, board games, and a few remaining boxes in the basement to truly clear out everything we don’t need. I’m pretty bummed out it didn’t work the way I had hoped this time around. I’m also upset thinking about how many dolls I could have made in the last two weeks instead of all this garage sale work! So much wasted time. So much unnecessary stress.

I guess the upside is that I’m much more ready for a sale in a few months. And now it’s time for the fun half of May! Greg’s birthday tomorrow (I’m doing this post before Sunday, technically.)! Our anniversary weekend trip in two weeks. The last few weeks of school. Lots going on, but none of it should be very stressful.

THIS WEEK

My goal for this week is to just CHILL OUT. I’ve been so stressed out lately and really want to take a week, or at least a couple of days, to just focus on recharging. A lot of reading. Maybe a lot of tv watching. Whatever I feel like. I need it, desperately. Especially as summer is so quickly approaching and my alone time is suddenly going to completely disappear. I want to take full advantage of the three weeks I have left of being alone during the day. I have a feeling those first few weeks of summer might really mess up my mental state.

But before I can get to relaxing, I need to clean the house. For real. It has been sorely neglected lately! There is so much clutter to put away, super messy bedrooms, and things like floors that REALLY need to be mopped. I’m hoping for a power cleaning session on Monday morning and then maybe I can relax!

I also want to start taking long walks again. I figured I’d be walking miles and miles a day again once we got Annie. It hasn’t happened. I’ve been taking the easy way out for exercise on her end by just going to the dog park. But I want to start focusing on MY exercise too, and walking a lot more than we have been. I want to start working on a few training things with Annie too. She’s a great dog, but more often than not she just feels like a third child that I have so little control over. I need to figure out how to give her a chill pill so she’s not attacking every person she sees with excitement.

And eventually, maybe later in the week, I want to get back to work!! I miss sewing! I miss being creative. I should probably start on patriotic dolls asap, but I’d also really like to maybe try out my own patterns or do something really different with my dolls. We’ll see. I miss it. But I know if I jump right into it again on Monday, I’ll never get that recharge time I know I need the most.

I don’t have any meal plans figured out yet, but I am hoping to really start trying harder! I’ve really taken the easy route lately with leftovers, frozen meals, eating out. I’d like to challenge myself to try a little harder, especially with finding more unique ways to add in and prepare vegetables. I’m terrible with that.

Well, that’s it for the week! Now I need to get some sleep so I can fully be ready for Greg’s birthday tomorrow! Happy Mother’s Day to everyone else!

 

Sunday Intentions

IMG_20170424_164919_281

It’s been a busy week! And also a fairly productive one. For once! It’s been a little bit overwhelming and I’ve had a lot of late night anxiety about what I haven’t been able to get done yet. But taking it one day, one decision at a time, it’s going pretty well.

IMG_20170425_113508_556

My biggest priority was to finish as many dolls as possible by today. My cut off date before I need to start garage sale prep. I had a goal of 20 dolls and I just finished up my 26th one. I wanted to make a few extra things and have this huge Heartstring Annie four year week long anniversary celebration thing for all my facebook fans, but that’s the idea I really just needed to let go of. I would have loved to have done it, but there just wasn’t enough time. Not with everything else going on. But I’m really, really hoping I’ll be more prepared for it next year. Five years can be an even bigger celebration. I’m happy that I was able to go above my goal, get a giveaway set up to celebrate, and make teacher appreciation dolls. It’s all good.

IMG_20170424_170904_378

It’s still been a big pet focused week. I guess it pretty much always will be! I bought Annie a new bed for my sewing room since she spends the most time in there – if I’m in there too. Rory claimed it for the first few days, but I don’t think he’s gone in it once she started using it. I just ordered him his own bed, so hopefully that’ll make him happy! Jack is left on his own. (He prefers window seats.)

IMG_20170427_150852_974

Things with Annie continue to go pretty well. The only really negative these days is that we have to constantly be watching her in case she decides to chew on something she shouldn’t be. I don’t know if this is an attention thing, or she’s really just a lot younger than we thought? She chewed up one of Greg’s favorite amiibos and our tv remote this week. I think I’m up to six antlers, a couple tough chew toy bones, and like six stuffed animals, spread all over the house so she can have something appropriate to chew on the second the urge strikes.

IMG_20170426_192457_540

But other than that, things are good! She hasn’t had any accidents in the house for a few weeks. She still isn’t allowed upstairs unless I’m directly keeping an eye on her, but we’re hoping to phase her into that soon. Having two chairs blocking our stairs all the time is kind of annoying.

IMG_20170427_114802_261

One of my biggest accomplishments for the week was rearranging and reorganizing my sewing room. I was getting really sick of the cats’ food bowls on my work table. If we put them on the floor Annie would eat them. So I checked out Goodwill and found a really great tv stand for $15 to use as an eating station for them. But trying to fit it into my very limited space was a challenge! It took me a whole day, but I got it all rearranged perfectly. And even though that wasn’t even on my list of things to do this past week, it felt really good to get it done. Despite another large piece of furniture and a huge round dog bed, the room somehow feels bigger.

IMG_20170428_121858_917

Working hard with my helper!

20170426_183927

I spent another day this week working on the door/raffle prizes for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. I had to set everything out I’ve been collecting and create little bundled gifts. Then I wrapped everything, and all the shower gifts. It was fairly time consuming, but so awesome that I won’t have to worry about any of it this upcoming week!

IMG_20170428_190944_798

On Friday I had a much needed break from everything and went to a barn sale and dinner with my mom. I didn’t find much for the house (besides the $2 pot I’m going to use for plants!), but I had a lot of luck with little doll accessories. I love finding new things that give me inspiration to keep sewing week after week.

IMG_20170429_125025_367

And Saturday was soccer and the dog park. We haven’t gotten there as much as I would have liked this week. It’s been cold, rainy, COLD. I hate that it appears we’re going to have another year without a spring. Cold, cold, cold and suddenly it’ll be summer. Which is even worse. But dogs and kids still need time outside, so outside we will be!

THIS WEEK

It’s crunch time. Everything I do in the next two weeks is pretty critical. At least it feels that way! I’m still feeling a little bit crazed with how much I need to do, but as long as I don’t get sick or struck with super unmotivated laziness, I think I can get it all done!

The highest priority is GARAGE SALE PREP. I’ve done nothing so far. We still have all the boxes packed up from last summer’s sale, but I have quite a bit to go through in the house yet. I’m going to start with current closets and bookshelves earlier this week and move on to basement piles later in the week. My goal is to label everything by the end of the week so I can enjoy everything happening next weekend, and next week just work on setting up the garage sale.

I guess that’s really it. One major thing to get ready for. Well, I have the baby shower on Saturday too, so I will need to do some food prep, but it’s pretty minimal. More about errand running I’ll need to strategically fit into the week. Plus Caden has two nights of soccer. It’ll come together. I might just not get a lot of sleep!

Meal Plans

Monday – Costco Rotisserie Chicken, I think

Tuesday – Spaghetti and Ravioli (we always have to have both because I hate spaghetti, but ravioli is tolerable)

Wednesday – Tomatillo Enchiladas…maybe. I don’t think the boys will eat it, but it looks good.

Thursday – Pizza, because Friday…

Friday – TACOS! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Good luck with your week!

Sunday Intentions

Annie and the Boys 5x7

Well, the benefits and drawbacks of owning a dog continued to wage war in my mind this week. I spent half days thinking about how great she is for our family and how much the boys love her. Then I spent the second half of the days deeply regretting that we altered our lives in this way and wishing I could undo it. It’s been quite the rollercoaster of emotions. But I’ve come to accept that this is our life now and I like it. Annie has been more of a handful than I was expecting, but with every day it all becomes more and more routine. She feels more comfortable, and we become more accepting of her quirks. We all definitely love her, though! Even Greg!!

annie on our bed

Overall, it’s been a pretty crazy busy week. Not at all “productive” in the way I usually think of that word (work! to do lists!), but it was filled, intense, and so, so exhausting.

I’ve learned that leaving Annie alone, even for 45 minutes, does not go over well with her. In the few days I had to run some errands I came home to total disasters over the house. She can get to any food on tables or counters if nobody is around to yell at her. One of the boys left the pantry open once, so she took every single dessert and snack out, one by one, and left little tooth holes in them. She apparently loves plastic packages because she shredded apart a package I had sitting out ready to go to the UPS drop box. She also took another package of swimsuits I was going to return and emptied it out and carried the swimsuits all over. She pulled a blanket off the futon. She bit holes in one of our cellular shades. She ate a brand new container of cinnamon butter. And she’s pulled out various fabric and yarn and chewed it up. It was mildly funny at first, but once she actually started destroying things I was pretty fed up. We borrowed our neighbor’s crate to try and use that when I leave the house, but we haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I just can’t deal with her destroying things every time I walk out the door without her, though.

On Monday, Shepard came home with a very red eye. I assumed it was pink eye because that seems to be running rampant through the school right now. And of course – they had a concert – so some sort of medical thing had to go wrong! I kept him home on Tuesday to take him to the doctor and she said that it definitely wasn’t pink eye. She suggested it was allergies. Either from the high pollen counts over the weekend, or from getting a new dog. Instead of suggesting we find out for sure, she just searched for the cheapest allergy medicine to put him on “in case it’s long term because of the dog.” I was pretty irritated about this resolution, so I made my own allergy appointment for later in the week. We were really fortunate there was a cancellation so we didn’t have to wait two months to get in. Why are allergists so hard to see?!

Anyway, the possibility that Shepard was allergic to Annie was the main reason for all the upset this week. If he really was allergic to dogs, I didn’t want to keep her. I DID, but I didn’t want Shepard to have to be on medicine for the rest of his childhood. It wasn’t worth it. So I was trying to keep in mind that she was still just a temporary part of our family. Which didn’t make the harder parts of owning a dog any easier. Besides the temper tantrums she had when left alone, she was also horrible on the walks I tried to take. My back has not hurt this bad in years. I have to have such a death grip on the leash and she never stops pulling. One of the main reasons I wanted a dog was to go on walks. I didn’t want those walks to be miserable because she’s so hard to control. So many emotions.

annie lounging

On Wednesday, I had a vet appointment to get Annie’s stitches out and get her final vaccinations. I thought that visit was really encouraging. The vet spent an hour with me going over everything a new dog owner should know. Also being very reassuring about the potty training struggle, letting me know it was totally normal. And on that front – Annie hasn’t had an accident in the house since Wednesday morning. She also hasn’t been allowed upstairs since then (where she was going the most), but I think we’ve finally made progress! The vet guesses that Annie is between one and two years old, rather than the originally assumed three. I’m hoping that explains why she’s still pretty naughty sometimes! She also guessed Australian Shepherd for the main breed. And everything else went well! Annie is healthy and they all thought she was such a sweet and good dog.

scarface

Wednesday night was pretty traumatic. The boys and I decided to take Annie on her first harness walk. We went to the school playground. It was sprinkling and nobody else was around, so I let Caden hold her leash and the three of them were just running in circles around the playground having the greatest time. And then Annie saw another dog and took off. Caden and I both started running as fast as we could to try and get her. She was around a corner, so we couldn’t see her at all. Shepard was instantly so upset he was sobbing. I thought he was right behind me when I ran past. Annie stopped when she got to the other dog (I don’t think that owner was very happy with us!), and we got ahold of her. I turned around to reassure Shepard and he wasn’t there. We went back to the playground and searched everywhere to no avail. Caden and I started running around the block in opposite directions screaming his name. There have been some recent attempted abductions in Beaver Dam this week, so of course that’s where my mind went. I mean, the likelihood of someone looking to kidnap a child at that most perfect opportune moment of a dog getting away from us, was pretty slim. But we couldn’t find Shepard. Finally, Caden spotted him hiding inside some hedges along the school fence. He was still so upset and it took forever for me to pry his hands away from the fence and get him to walk home with us. Once we finally headed home, Caden started crying because he was so upset he let her get away from him. So many complex feelings going on. Again.

So back at home, after everyone sitting in silence for an hour, the boys decided to get Annie riled up with her toys again. She jumped on the futon at the exact time Shepard ran into the back of it and her toenails scratched Shepard across the eyelid. He ran to me and was crying with his head on his lap. When he lifted his head – no exaggeration – his entire face was covered in blood. It was pretty scary! But we got it cleaned up and it wasn’t as serious as it looked before. But he did have a nice puffy eye for the rest of the week. TOUGH DAY.

allergy testing

Late Thursday morning I picked up Shepard from school to bring him to the allergist in Madison. We spend sooo much time going to doctors with him these days! The appointment went pretty well. They were very kind and listened to my concerns – not only about the dog possibility, but also about why he coughed all winter long. And then they did the official allergy test. He was awesome throughout the whole thing. And final result – Shepard isn’t allergic to dogs. Or allergic to anything! The eye was most likely red (it wasn’t red anymore at this point) because of something viral. So I’m thrilled he doesn’t have any allergies. And a little ticked off that the regular doctor was happy to just put him on allergy meds without thinking it was worth finding out for sure if he even had them. But all is good. No more reason to hold Annie at a distance either. She is ours.

IMG_1231 handsome in a bowtie

Thursday night was the boys’ spring concert. It was a rushed evening of barely getting home in time to pick up Caden and then trying to get dinner on the table, still get Annie outside and exercised after not being home half the day, etc. So much chaos!

IMG_1243 cool dude pose

Looking handsome and posing like boys!

IMG_1249 the strangle hug

IMG_1251 boys super cute hug

IMG_1263 so cute

IMG_1289 caden face

IMG_1337 shepard's class

IMG_1367 caden's class

IMG_1374 caden's class

The concert went really well. Caden was singing his heart out! We couldn’t see Shepard very well during the songs, but he didn’t look like he was nervous or anything. I’m glad we all made it to the concert in relatively good health this year!!

after the dog park

On Friday afternoon we took Annie to the dog park for the first time. Columbus has a really nice six acre dog park right along the river. Annie LOVED it. She gets so excited when she sees or hears other dogs outside and I’ve been too nervous to get close enough to see how she acts around them. But no aggression in sight, she really just wants some playmates! She was having the greatest time playing with all the other dogs. She seems to really like going after the ones that are bigger than her. She seems fascinated by smaller dogs and seems to want to sit on them. It was pretty hilarious! We took her again Saturday morning, after buying the annual pass. I think we’ll be spending lots and lots of time at the dog park from now on!

cover

And finally, finally, on Saturday I finished up some dolls I was trying to work on all week. It was not a good week for work. Is it ever anymore?! I love doing it, I love the finished product. But finding the time to just sit down and work feels nearly impossible these days. And it’s only going to get worse as our schedules get very crazy this next month and a half. Summer won’t be any easier with kids home and running around all day either. Almost a full school year behind me and I still don’t feel like I have the slightest grip on this work at home full time thing. It’s frustrating.

So! That was my week! It was a lot. It was exhausting. It was just about more than I could handle. I don’t want weeks that are that emotional.

This Week

Moving on! I don’t have any major intentions for the week, other than that I want to enjoy it. The boys have spring break Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday morning of the next week. I hate the timing, but we’ll try to make the most of it. I asked them each individually last week how they wanted to spend spring break. They both answered “Play with Annie.” So I think we’ll try and take her to some other parks, have picnics, doing simple things that we haven’t enjoyed since last fall. I’d like to try and take a trip to the zoo. Either Milwaukee or Madison, haven’t decided yet. They want to eat at Ponderosa, their favorite restaurant. And of course we have Easter. I’m sure it’ll fly by, but I hope we can enjoy it. I don’t plan on doing any work that week, so I can just be present with my kids. And pets!

Easter festivities start today with the annual egg hunt at the park and then our annual egg dyeing party right after. It looks like the weather is going to be perfect! It should be a really fun day. Then a couple of days of errands and catch up before the fun really begins!

Meal Plans

Monday – Leftovers of today’s roast beef sandwiches

Tuesday – Probably more leftovers of the hot dogs and sausages we’re having for lunch today

Wednesday – Steak Stir Fry

Thursday – Ravioli

Friday – Pizza, maybe something unique (PS – Last week’s California Pizza was delicious!!)

Well, time to get back to work! Have a great week! Happy spring break!