Sunday Intentions

It’s another busy week ahead! Probably one of the busiest because birthday parties are a lot of work! That’s the main thing on the agenda all week. Getting ready for Caden’s friend party on Friday afternoon and his family party on Sunday. Plus my mother-in-law’s actual birthday on Tuesday, which I’m guessing we will be spending with her. She’s on her way home from Ireland at the moment and we haven’t seen her in two weeks, so they’re sure to be at least one get together this week!

Top Priority – Make the birthday parties happen and happen well!ย 

The friend party is in five days and I still don’t have a clue what we’re serving. His party was supposed to be on Saturday during the afternoon and non-meal time. But nobody could come, so we had to change it to Friday and now need to serve a meal. I’ve never served a meal at a kid party before! I think most people just serve pizza. But Caden doesn’t eat pizza, and I’d like to put out something he will enjoy too. Bonus points if it’s Harry Potter themed. Except I don’t really want to spend much more money on this party because even though it’s fun to go all out, I don’t think the kids really care. So…we’ll see what happens!! I wanted to do a little more research and come up with a concrete plan today, but I still don’t feel that great and we’re still working on putting up shelves and reorganizing everything in the house. So, first thing tomorrow morning. A plan will be made. Grocery lists written. And then I’ll feel a whole lot better.

Second Priority – Clean and get back on track

With the room rearranging and new shelves being put up, there’s a lot of chaos going on. Some rooms look better than usual. But some rooms definitely need some work. It would be so nice for ALL rooms to look pretty and done by the family party next Sunday.

Third Priority – Work lists

I’m at such a loss on what to sew next. I’m not feeling very inspired or motivated. Granted, it’s been a really busy couple of weeks. And the next two are super busy as well. But I’m just not feeling it. I asked my customers for suggestions on what they’d like me to make next and I didn’t really like anything they had to say! Mostly because it was all things I’ve never made before, required extra clothing or style components, and basically just more work for the same – or less- money. I’ve been on a roll sticking with what I know the last few months and it serves me well. Everything I try something new it never goes over as well as I expect. So. I don’t know. I probably won’t get much actual sewing done this week, but I would like to make a solid plan for what to do next.

Fourth Priority – Blog Posts

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been trying to write a lot more often! I started writing longer book reviews for each individual book I read. I’m also splitting my super long weekend posts into two segments – Saturday Reflections and Sunday Intentions. I’ve decided to split up my huge end of the month post into three separate categories as well. And it’s the last week of the month, so I have a lot to write! One on tv/movies, one on podcasts, one on books. Plus posts about Caden’s parties. I’m realizing lately how much I really love writing. It energizes me in a way that nothing else can. And I want it to be a bigger part of my life. Even if nobody ever reads it, I still want to write it.

Meal Plans –ย Tentatively

I’m going to try and eat from the food we have for the next week or two. I go to such extremes in my meal planning and cooking. Either I want nothing to do with it, or I want it to be amazing. And amazing almost always requires trips to the store for unique ingredients. With the expensive party foods I need to buy, I want to be more frugal about daily meals. So…what we have is what we’re eating!

Monday – Pork Roast

Tuesday – Birthday with Cindy, food unknown!

Wednesday – Chicken shakers

Thursday – Pizza, maybe

Friday – Party…I think the main food will be a sub sandwich shaped into a snake form

Saturday – Chicken nuggets, sandwiches, something easy while we prep for Sunday’s party

Sunday – Taco Feast!

Have a good week!

Sunday Intentions

I’ve decided it’s about time I revert back to what this weekly post is supposed to be – my intentions for the week. Maybe I’ll have to introduce a new segment called Saturday Reflections or something, where I go over what I did the week before. Because I like writing about that a lot, but it really has nothing to do with the week ahead. I want to go back to Sunday posts being about looking forward instead of behind.

So! It’s a pretty busy week ahead. We are officially entering birthday season with Caden’s birthday on Saturday, my mother-in-law’s the following Tuesday, my brother-in-law’s that Friday, and then mine the next week. This is also the week of Cranberry Fest. It’s my favorite day of the entire year, but it’s such terrible timing! Most years his birthday happens right before or after, but last year and this year his birthday is on the actual day, so I can only go once. ๐Ÿ™ Normally I like to go both Friday and Saturday. Oh well. Birthdays are important too! It just makes things a bit more tricky when I need to have a birthday treat for school ready on the day I’ll be gone, and have all his birthday stuff figured out and baked, knowing I won’t be home until very late and crazy exhausted the night before. Lots of planning and organizing involved to make it all run smoothly.

Top Priority – Birthday Week

That being said, this needs to be my top priority! I’m really not very on top of things this year. He wants a Harry Potter themed birthday. His parties are next weekend, but I still should really plan them out this week so I’m not running around wild in the final few days. This week – preferably today, though he’s not really on speaking terms with me at the moment – I need to nail down what he wants for a birthday breakfast, dinner, and dessert. We’ve only settled on going to Taco Bell for lunch so far. I also need to figure out his school snack. He requested dirt cake cups, but I’m not sure that’s logistically possible since they’ll need to be refrigerated. And I’m not so sure I trust him carrying those to school without a massive disaster. I could suggest he have it at his friend party instead, but that really has nothing to do with the Harry Potter theme… Anyway, I need to figure it all out! Asap. I also need to wrap his presents and make sure we’re squared away with everything.

Second Priority – Fall Decorations

It may not technically and officially be fall yet, but…it’s fall, people. Despite the 90+ degree day we had yesterday. Today the chill is back in the air. The tree in front of my house is completely orange and covering our driveway with leaves. It’s fall. And time to get out my decorations! I have more fall decor than any other season because it’s my favorite. It’s a little sad I haven’t gotten it out before now!

Third Priority – Keep Working!

I didn’t get a whole lot of work done last week with the whole Door County vacation and all. This week I need to finish the batch I’m currently working on and make a few more. It’d be nice to have all of those done by Wednesday. Improbable, but I’ll do my best.

I really do have the best of intentions for getting back to meal planning in these weekly posts. But my brain just can’t wrap around it right now. It’s been a rough weekend around here. Perhaps I’ll feel more optimistic later tonight and edit in some plans!

Happy fall!

Sunday Intentions

We’ve made it through the first (almost) full week of school! It was surprisingly easy to jump back into the routine this year. I never have a problem waking up early, but it’s nice to have more purpose to my mornings. When things like packing lunches and signing off on homework absolutely need to be done, procrastination cannot enter my mind. I love starting my day with a lot more focus and drive. Lazy summer or weekend mornings have their place, but I really like getting up and moving first thing in the day. It helps the rest of the day go so much more smoothly.

I think I was right in assuming this might be the best school year yet. Caden hasn’t had a single complaint! After school on Friday he told multiple people that the day was “AWESOME!” That kind of enthusiasm from him is extremely rare. Shepard seems to have eased right back into how he left off school last year. Very comfortable and a little bit naughty! He’s wracked up quite a few “take a breaks” during class this week. Not that I’m proud of that fact, but I am really happy he’s not the shy and terrified kid he was at the beginning of last year. He’s even gone to the bathroom in school (albeit after school) four of the first five days. First day with Greg inside with him. Second day with Caden. Third day with Caden in the hallway. Fourth day with Greg in the hallway. I think there’s maybe actually a really good chance that within a few weeks he’ll be going on his own. During the day. Okay, weeks might be pushing it. But THIS YEAR. Which will be so awesome.


To recap the week – on Monday, Memorial Day, we closed out the pool, which has been our yearly tradition since getting regular passes. It was pretty chilly, but the boys and Leverett still swam quite a bit and had two popsicle breaks.



Besides that, I spent most of the day finishing up all these teeny dolls. It was also the last day of Etsy’s first huge site wide sale and I celebrated having a record breaking number of dolls sold in such a short time frame. It was pretty awesome.

On Tuesday I got my haircut. I went back to Trends in Beaver Dam with a new girl and I really like how it turned out! I pretty much never like how my hair looks, but this was a nice cut. Afterward I ran a few errands and then rested in the afternoon. Before I knew it, it was time to get the boys. That’s the one major downfall of the school year. I feel time so differently. During summer, 2:00 still feels like early afternoon. During the school year, it’s basically like the day is over. Those seven hours without kids speed by WAY too quickly.


On Wednesday I had big plans to work all day and make myself a big pot of labor intensive, but oh so yummy, mango chicken curry. And then I realized I didn’t have any curry paste. And there isn’t a single store in Columbus that sells it. So I had to go all the way to Sun Prairie, and since I was already there, I ran more errands. Couldn’t waste the drive just on curry paste. But in the end, I was too tired and hungry to make the curry that day anyway.


We had an at home date night on Wednesday and I made monstrously sized calzones. I think one of the best parts of fall is that I suddenly care about cooking again.


Thursday must have been uneventful, I remember nothing. And Friday was an exciting day. Caden’s class had their first trip to the community garden! It sounds like they go once a week during harvest and planting times. This time he was assigned to picking tomatoes. Then in the afternoon we went to Noe’s because both of my sisters-in-law were visiting. We all spent a long time out in their garden picking raspberries and more tomatoes. It was a fun little family get together around a big taco fiesta. Despite being the end of the week, everyone was in very good spirits.


Caden opened some early birthday presents from Aunt Sarah.


And birthday cupcakes for Cindy and Caden. Shepard was very jealous of Caden’s new light up Harry Potter wand.


Saturday was a big day! Caden and Greg and the rest of his family went to the Badger game (Caden’s first). So Shepard and I had an all day date. We started by getting to the farmer’s market right at 7. He was in a great mood and we had a ton of fun looking at all the booths. He gets so into finding the samples, though he doesn’t understand yet what a “sample” of something actually means. He couldn’t make up his mind on what to get for breakfast, so on our second time around he finally settled on a giant apple fritter. At first he liked it, and then decided it was too appley. So I ate the other half.


Then we waited in a huge and crazy slow line at Gotham Bagels. I needed my fix. Afterward we went to Barnes and Noble because Shepard wanted to look at Lego Ninjago books. Instead he found a Hermione light up wand and we negotiated each of us paying for half. I knew it’d save a whole lot of fights in the coming weeks over Caden’s wand. Next, we went to Hobby Lobby to try and find some things for Caden’s birthday parties and Target for a couple things we needed. Then back home for about a twenty minute break before heading back out to the library’s Fall Festival. Our main goal was getting hot dogs at the brat fry for lunch. Except they didn’t have hot dogs. ๐Ÿ™ So after a walk through the vendors and crafts, checking out the book sale again, and getting a balloon sword, we headed back home for sandwiches. And soon headed out again with Annie for the dog park. Half hour there, back home for a short reprieve, and then back to Beaver Dam for another family night. It was a super busy day. But Shepard was so great during all of it! He’s such a joy to be around when he’s not overly tired and whiny.


Our haul from the market. Lots of produce this time! I feel like in the spring markets I just buy pastries and cheeses. I love the fall ones so much more. Lots of color and variety!


Everyone was pretty tired after our respective eventful days, so it was a lazy evening. But we managed to get one Badger family picture before the night was out.

Overall, it was a pretty fun week as a family. But personally? I definitely struggled getting back in my own swing of things. It’s so hard to focus and stay on task when I’m also joyously reveling in having the house to myself. I actually spent most of the week out and about running errands. I’m hoping in the weeks that come I can start streamlining that better into a once a week thing. Though the next few weeks are super busy, so it might be tough. I also still really struggle with hitting a wall around noon every day. If I’m not absolutely loving whatever task I’m doing, I need to break for a nap. Or at least some reading time. I hate that I need this so often, but I also can’t really seem to survive without it. Especially since every day this week I woke up around 4am. ๐Ÿ˜›


It’s an odd week ahead! But also very exciting!! ๐Ÿ™‚ On Wednesday, as early as I can get out the door, I’m heading to Door County for my solo vacation!!! I can’t wait. Though I’m also a little bit sad because I feel like I’ll miss out on something important happening at home. But seriously, I need this. After summer, I desperately need to get away from everything and regroup. I’m really just looking forward to nobody NEEDING anything from me for three whole days. No kids whining about being hungry and not knowing what to do with themselves, no family to cook for, no pets that never leave me alone anymore since they started getting fed soft food again, no Annie that needs to be taken outside ten times a day and thorough exercising every single day or she becomes a hyper maniac. It’s only three days away. Which might not be enough to really rejuvenate. But it’s a start! And it’ll be awesome.

I don’t have any major plans for that trip, other than to just enjoy myself! I’ve been saving up my sewing money from the last month so I can go to all the fun Door County shops. I think the last two or three times I was there was with kids. And kids (and husbands) don’t cooperate with going to all kinds of unique shopping destinations. So I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also bringing a stack of books that I’ve most been looking forward to reading, but never can find the time. I’m hoping to get a lot of hotel time to just relax and read. It’s a really nice hotel too, so I’ll get a great breakfast and free appetizers in the afternoons. I also have a couple of good restaurants scouted out for lunches and carry out dinners I can eat while I read. If the weather’s nice I’d like to visit a few of the more scenic parts of Door County too. I’m sure the time will just fly by, but it’ll be so great.

But before Wednesday comes along, I still need to get everything prepped and ready on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully finish up some dolls tonight and get them listed right away tomorrow morning. Pick up a few more groceries for easy meals Greg can make while I’m gone. Write a list of all the school related things that he’s not accustomed to doing. Do a little more research so I don’t miss out on the best shops and places to go. And pack! It’ll be a really busy two days.

So with all that in mind, my only priority for the week is to have fun! Relax! Enjoy myself! And DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. About anything. I need this, I deserve this. And it’ll be fantastic!


Sunday Intentions

This past week has been about all the feels. So many emotions, all over the spectrum. I’m glad to have it over with! It was a fun week, for the most part, but also the end of a season and a fresh beginning. Change always brings so much anxiety, and my kids especially, don’t deal with it very well.


On Sunday, we made somewhat spontaneous plans to go to Curd Fest in Madison. Seemed like a very Wisconsin thing to do with our last weekend of summer. Caden ate at home first (because he doesn’t eat cheese), but Shepard was “STARVING.” Never a good thing for him to be when we go somewhere and it happens way too often. Anyway, it was fun! Just a big football field filled with various kinds and styles of cheese curds! I bought some right when we walked in. Fried curds with spicy ranch, bacon bits, chives, and shoestring potatoes. They were okay. Then Caden got a lemon sno cone. We bought a bag of buffalo flavored fresh curds from my favorite Farmer’s Market vendor. Shepard got a hot dog. And then we finished up with some freshly made giant Cajun Munster curds that I kept seeing people walk around with. Those paired with their homemade ranch were incredible. If we ever go again I’m just walking straight to them! We were probably only there about thirty minutes, consumed way too much cheese, but it was memorable!


Since we were already in Madison, Greg suggested we go to Tenney Park. Despite going to Madison a million times in my life, plus going to college there, I somehow never stepped foot in this huge park. We walked through it, the boys played on the playground, and then we walked along the lake for awhile. Caden was being difficult, to say the least. Because we weren’t at home. And we should ALWAYS be at home, according to him. But the weather was gorgeous and it actually turned out to be a fun weekend family outing.



After one or both of them being pretty upset about all the fun things I had done for them in the last few weeks, I wanted to keep it all pretty low key for the last days of summer. I did a lot of sewing and they had Leverett over to play basically every waking minute.


Tuesday night was my last obedience class with Annie! I was so nervous about it all week. We did a trial run of the final Canine Good Citizen test the week before and Annie passed everything, to my amazement. But I figured it was a fluke and was so nervous. Then we got there and they said “Surprise! Everything you tested out of last week in the practice, is actually going to count toward the test.” Which was AWESOME, but also, why did they have to make me stress so much for no reason!? The only thing left for Annie to do was pass the anxiety test, where I leave her with the trainers for three minutes without me. She did fine and we got our award! It was a really tough eight weeks. I’m glad I did it and I’m proud of what we learned. But I’m so glad to be done. The boys were at Noe’s for the night, so after the test I picked them up and we went to McDonalds to get Annie her first ice cream cone. She loved it!

Wednesday was another quiet day at home and then we had school orientation in the afternoon. All went well, no surprises. I finished the night meeting a friend for drinks. It was good to catch up. Again, I really need to make more time for my friends this year. It’s so worth it.


Thursday – the last day of summer! – I decided we needed to keep busy so we weren’t all just sitting at home stressing about Friday. We went to Sun Prairie to pick up some groceries and some donuts for a final donut picnic. It was SO COLD.


They played at the park for about 45 minutes and were having so much fun! Afterward, we had a quick Costco run and then went to Ulta. Which had no purpose, except that I really wanted to try out some perfumes I’ve been reading about. Despite how much they HATE running errands, apparently they love going perfume shopping. They were having the greatest time smelling everything. I didn’t end up getting any (though I did pick up some seasonal apple cider donut body wash that smells amazing), but they each walked out with their own body mists (after I refused to buy them rollerballs of actual woman’s perfume).


I wanted to go out to lunch to celebrate the last day. But, (what a shock) Caden didn’t want to. He finally said that he’d only go to a restaurant if it was a sub restaurant. It just so happened we were across the parking lot from Potbelly – with Mod Pizza next door. So we picked up Caden a sub and then Shepard and I had some pizza. It was delish, as always!!


And it was finally Friday. September 1st. The first day of school. Everyone was up on time, had a good breakfast, and was ready for the annual photo shoot with plenty of time to spare. I’m sure at some point they’ll really resist these first day of school pictures, but so far every year it really seems to alleviate their worries when they can be distracted with making silly faces and poses for pictures.


IMG_2839 laughing steps

IMG_2841 sly smiles

IMG_2852 sweet arm hug

This is a sweet one!

IMG_2858 weirdest pose

“Ninja pose.”

IMG_2866 backward ninja

IMG_2874 ninja

IMG_2902 cuties

IMG_2921 with dad

IMG_2933 mom and boys

We walked them to school. Shepard held my hand most of the way. He was a little apprehensive and kept saying “scary!” but didn’t put up any resistance about going. On the first day everyone meets in the gym and they both walked straight to their class lines, without a backward glance! We followed to give out hugs and then left! Probably our easiest first day of school yet.

Back at home for the day, it felt so quiet!! Greg was working at home so I still haven’t been alone yet, but the house just felt so somber and silent. But it was kind of awesome. We went back to pick them up and it seemed like everything went well! Greg took Shepard back into the school to try and get him to use the bathroom. AND HE DID!! For the first time ever. Greg’s probably been with him to try and get him to go at least ten times in the last year. Never happened. So MAYBE he’s nearing the end of this phase. I’m hoping!! Obviously the real goal is for him to go by himself during the school day. But we’re one step closer!

Shepard started getting mopey soon after and said it was because he only got two chicken nuggets at lunch. This happened to Caden all the time last year and when we tried to talk to his teacher about it, she accused him of lying. I’m SO hoping we’re not in for another year of one of my kids not receiving enough food just because he’s one of the last classes in the lunch room. So Greg took him home to get a snack and I stayed at the playground because Caden was having fun catching up with his friends. We talked about his day on the way home and he seemed really happy about how it all went! I think he’s going to really have a great year.


At the book fair on Wednesday, Caden saw a lego book about making stop animation movies. Greg didn’t want to pay $25 for the book, but he did charge up my old phones and find an app they could use to make their own movies. It was fascinating for them! They spent all of Friday night and most of Saturday making movies. In between meltdowns. That’s definitely the absolute worst part about the beginning of the school year. Reigning in their emotions at home after needing to keep a tight lid on them at school. It was a ROUGH day.

This Week

New week ahead! I’m really excited about getting back in the swing of things. I’m a bit worried about Tuesday’s drop off when we’re back to just leaving the boys at the playground. Shepard doesn’t always do so well with that. I need to remember to tell Caden ahead of time to include him and maybe it’ll go smoothly. There’s sure to still be some anxiety in the first few weeks. But it’ll be good. Especially for me!!

I’m really looking forward to WORKING. All day. In a quiet house. I want the first few weeks of the month to solely because focused on that because the last few weeks get crazy with my trip to Door County, Cranberry Fest, and all of Caden’s birthday festivities. I also want to get up my fall decorations and do some cleaning around the house that I’ve been avoiding forever because it’s useless when so many people are home all day.

There’s nothing major on the calendar except a haircut for me Tuesday morning! Greg and Caden are going to a Badger game on Saturday. Shepard and I will have a date of some sort. He wants to go to Barnes and Noble because he thinks they will have more lego Ninjago books that Caden and I didn’t see on our last trip. We might go to the farmer’s market too. Overall, a pretty quiet week! Which is exactly what we need.

Happy fall, everyone!

Sunday Intentions

With only a handful of days left of summer, I feel like I should be soaking up these hours with my kids, wanting to spend every possible moment with them because I know I’ll regret not having done enough of it once school starts. But honestly? I’m so ready to move into fall. SO, so ready. This past week I’ve found myself wanting to just hide away. Desperate for silence and nobodyย needing things from me. Every morning when Caden is either awake before me or follows me down the stairs, I just want to cry. It’s good he’s on schedule for school mornings already. But I just want time for myself!! The boys have also had their friend over basically every waking moment for the past two weeks. Which feels really overwhelming after having no friends over all summer long. And nothing against the friend at all – it really helps the boys get along to have a third playmate. But just the fact that there’s a non-family member running around my house all day long, every single day, is just really getting to me.

Anyway! Overall, I’d say it’s been a pretty good week. I’ve let go of my need to go out and do things to try and enjoy time together. We still did go out a bit, but I also spent a lot of the week working while they played. Which was fine too. We did enough this summer and I’m okay with these last few weeks beingย less eventful than originally intended.


On Sunday, we went to my brother Timmy’s 30th birthday party. There were lots of people to pass Hudson around to, but I definitely had a few turns! ๐Ÿ™‚


Caden made sure he had a few turns too! He sure loves babies.


The party was lots of fun! We had some delicious Ian’s Pizza and salads for lunch. Cake pops for pre-dessert. Timmy’s favorite ice cream cake for real dessert. We all walked down to a big park in the middle of desserts for the kids to play on the playground and for most of the group to play a soccer game.


Hudson needed some cooling off after being packed tightly in his black stroller.


Birthday boy.


Shepard actually cooperated for a cousin picture this time! Still refused to hold him, though.


Another cute family pic!


A few last snuggles before we left. This is his favorite way to snuggle with me. I’m very cushy lol.


On Monday, Greg worked from home so he could watch the solar eclipse with the boys. He was pretty cranky that the weather wasn’t cooperating and it was super cloudy. We watched the live Nasa coverage online, which was pretty cool. And when the time came, we actually saw the eclipse pretty well with our glasses.


Trying to get a selfie when you can’t see a single thing through the glasses to know where to look! It was a fun memory for everyone.


Afterward, I had to take the cats for their annual checkup. Rory went first and we found out he lost 1.2 pounds. The vet was so excited and wanted to know what we were doing to help them lose weight. I said um…got a dog? Then we found out Jack lost 3.3 pounds. Jack, who has gained weight every single year of his life. So the vet was pretty concerned about that. She did a full blood work panel to see if he had any diseases. I can’t believe how much hair they had to shave off of him to get the blood draw. And apparently it wasn’t working in his neck, so they also shaved one of his legs. Poor baby! Fortunately, we got the results right away Tuesday morning. While his kidney levels are pretty high (though technically still in normal range), he otherwise looks really good. I’ve just been instructed to start feeding them soft food to increase their fluids. Jack will be retested in six months to see if anything has drastically changed.


Tuesday must have been pretty uneventful, because I recall nothing. Same with Wednesday during the day. But Wednesday night, Caden and I had a date! A monthly date nightย is something I’ve been wanting to do for years with each of the boys, but Caden especially because I spend the least amount of time with him. The problem is that he never actually wants to go out with me – or go out AT ALL – so I’ve given up on making it a regular thing. I’d like to start trying again, though. Preferably on the 23rd of every month, so it’s easier to remember (his birth date).


We went to Five Guys for dinner. Caden loved the peanuts ahead of time. He’s a big burger eater, so this seemed like a good place for him. He didn’t think they were any better than other places, though. I had the cheese dog, which was good. We had way too many friends to even make a dent in. And some shakes. I don’t think I’d go back to that particular restaurant, but it was a fun experience!


Afterward, we went to the mall. Caden wanted to try the demo games at Gamestop. Unfortunately, the only game he was interested in had a man playing at it the entire half hour we were in the store. Caden was pretty disappointed, but he handled it well.


We finished the night at Barnes and Noble. Now that he’s done with all the Harry Potter books, he’s having a hard time getting super interested in anything else. I thought if we looked through the bookshelves he might find some new ideas. Of course then he wanted to look at the actual Harry Potter things. Overall, it was a really great date! He’s such a different person when you get him one on one. So much better behaved and much more interested in having actual conversations about things. I definitely need to make this happen more often.




Thursday was a work day. I thought I’d be able to finish up these dolls right away in the morning, but it took me until 4:15 in the afternoon. Which was pretty frustrating! Everything always takes so much longer than I want it to. But within two hours, I sold five of the nine dolls, which always makes my hard work worth it!


Friday was supposed to be our last big hoorah of the summer. A day at the Milwaukee Zoo with Grandma, Uncle Timmy, Aunt Brittany, and Hudson.


Hudson looking pretty sleepy.


We haven’t been to this zoo in a couple of years and the last time we went it was spring break and half the animals weren’t out yet. It was fun to see everything this time. And the weather was so perfect! Sunny and 70 degrees. We also waited long enough into the summer that I think many schools have started already. Crowds were definitely pretty low, which was awesome.



The baby gorilla beating his chest was the funniest thing!


They looked so sad! But I liked how he used his tail as a pillow.




Smiling here, but he was being pretty obnoxious all day long. He kept getting fixated on things he wanted to do ($15 super high rope obstacle course) or things he wanted to eat (Dippin’ Dots) and he WOULD NOT shut up about it. He couldn’t let himself (or us) enjoy anything because he was so obsessed about whatever he couldn’t have in that moment. Meanwhile, Shepard was pouting and kicking me because I made him stop eating all of my mom’s snacks. We brought plenty of snacks too, but of course it wasn’t what he wanted.


Spent lots of time staring at the giraffes. I love giraffes.



Hudson didn’t see many animals! ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ll have to try again next summer.






After we saw most of the animals (with the exception of the Australian exhibits, which possibly exist, yet we’ve never been able to find them-ย  they’re not on the map or signs, BUT you can see them from the train…), we went on a train ride and Tim, Brit, and Hudson went home. The boys had some Dippin’ Dots to finish it off. I loved the weather and lack of crowds and it was fun to hang with extra family for the day. But the boys were also very exasperating. I don’t feel like it was very much fun for any of us.


We had a late snack/lunch at a restaurant called World of Beer that I scoped out online. First the boys through fits because they wanted to sit on the soft chairs and I said we needed to be at a real table. Then Caden kept crying because he didn’t like their soup selection. When has he ever ordered soup at a restaurant?! It was just one thing after another. But, my chicken sliders and tots were good. The giant pretzel and beer cheese were delicious. I’m still glad we went, just because restaurant food is almost always worth it!


On the way home we stopped at a giant Marshall’s and that was our big day. I’m disappointed in how it all worked out. I was so frustrated with the boys. Then I wanted to go home and make something that was quick and easy for Saturday’s plans. I saw a recipe for churro popcorn, which ended up being way more trouble than it was worth. First I couldn’t find the regular popcorn kernels and ended up throwing pretty much everything out of our super messy pantry. Finally found some in the basement and then proceeded to spill them everywhere. Then the first batch didn’t pop enough. Then the recipe wasn’t coating the way it should. And then I assumed it would be too mushy to even bring, so I had to make something else after all. It was just a day that needed to end.


Shoveling churro popcorn in as fast as he can.


And finally Saturday. We had plans to go to Cedar Lake because we somehow haven’t gotten there all summer. The boys went Memorial weekend with Grandma and Grandpa, but we haven’t been since. Of course just our luck the weather turned out crappy! It wasn’t pouring at least, but it was definitely chilly and raining off and on. We spent most of the time by the fire! But it was still nice. The lake was pretty quiet!


Caden still swam and Shepard did a lot of paddle boating.


The boys were insistent that they get to put their own hot dogs over the fire.




After lunch we went out on the boat. It was definitely raining at that point, but seemed like it was only going to get worse. Caden really wanted to tube.


We went around the lake twice and he never fell off! I think he was probably freezing and the water kept spraying right in his face. But when it wasn’t, he had a huge grin. It was really great to see him having so much fun!


We went home soon after that. Despite the weather, it was a nice and relaxing end of summer day out at the lake. I spent the rest of the night hanging out with Annie for National Dog Day. And hiding from everyone else because I needed a break. That’s about it!


The big week is here! Our last few days of summer. I don’t have plans. I don’t think I’m going to make plans. I feel like everything I’ve tried to make special and fun lately just gets thrown back in my face by one or both of my children. So I give up! They can do whatever they want and if they don’t want to be with me, then I’ll work!

We were talking about going to Curd Fest as a family this afternoon, but it’s been raining all night and morning and supposed to continue throughout the day. So I’m thinking that’s not really in the plans anymore. Maybe we can have a movie afternoon or something.

Tomorrow night I was supposed to have dinner out with my friends, but I’m not sure that’s happening anymore either.

Tuesday is our last obedience class. Oh yeah – that’s what happened last Tuesday! It was the most stressful and long night of class because we did trial runs of what we’ll be officially tested on this week. Annie passed everything, but I feel like it was a bit of a fluke. I’m really worried about this week. Do dogs ever fail?? She usually does really great at all the exercises, but one of them requires her to sit and stay while I walk back and forth across the room twice before calling her. I couldn’t believe she did it last week. I’ll be amazed if she does it again. But either way, I will be SO HAPPY that it’s over.

Wednesday afternoon is school orientation. I’m anxious to get all the info and have a better idea of how this school year will play out. I think Caden is going to have a lot of really fun things to look forward to. And while I really like the teacher Shepard will have, I’m not sure she’ll be as understanding about his bathroom issues as his kindergarten teacher was. I can’t even believe we’re still dealing with this. SIGH.

Thursday – last day of summer!

And finally Friday, first day of school. It seems a bit ridiculous to start school on a Friday before a three day holiday weekend. But maybe it eases kids’ anxiety over that long weekend? Who knows. Hopefully it’ll go well. I’ll write more on that another day!

Enjoy your last days of August!




Sunday Intentions

Well, it’s Sunday again. I know I’m in the vast minority here, but I kind of hate weekends. Especially super unstructured ones. On one hand, I definitely enjoy notย needing to go anywhere and do anything on the weekend. But when we don’t have plans, our weekends are filled with stress and negativity. The four of us just can’t seem to handle full days together without something going wrong. Usually, almost always, it’s because one particular child just can’t handle something and starts throwing fits which lead into more fits and everyone being upset for one reason or another.

I usually do a lot of work on weekends, not exactly because I want to, but it’s just the best time to put in the hours with fewer interruptions. But while I’m working I feel constant guilt since Greg is usually doing some weekly housecleaning and just dealing with all things parenting. Yes, I get those duties the five other days of the week, but it still doesn’t stop me from being flooded with guilt for not helping out. At any rate, the only weekends I really enjoy are the ones where I have plans to go off and do something on my own. Which still brings other forms of guilt. There’s no escaping.

Anyway, weekend vent over. It’s been a pretty full week. I think I’m happy with how I spent it. A good mix of fun activities, down time at home, and enough sewing hours to feel satisfied. I’m definitely still feeling the melancholy of summer coming to an end and not having done enough. But I’m also starting to really look forward to structure and schedules and TIME ALONE. The first few days are sure to be hard for all of us, but fall will be great. I’m really looking forward to it.


On Monday, we went to the State Fair. The weather was cloudy and cool, which was amazing! We were basically the first people in the park.


After biding our time and looking through the animal barns, we met up with the rest of the family and headed to the WI Products building to find some breakfast. We usually get a big bag of apple cider donuts to share, but this year everyone was hungry for a little more! Caden insisted on a giant hamburger, my dad had a ribeye sandwich, Timmy and I had grilled cheese, my mom had a baked potato, and we all had donuts.


My favorite part of the fair is having an excuse to eat all kinds of crazy and fun foods. Not that grilled cheese is crazy or fun, but it was a good start to the day!


The boys had a chance to try out these trampoline bungee thingys that they always admire. Caden was having a great time doing backwards flips!


Shepard was too hesitant to try a flip without the girl specifically telling him he could. But he had a great time bouncing around!


Hudson slept through most of his first fair visit!


Next, we watched the pig races and then hunted down our next food mission: The Pickle Barrel for a cone of pickles and bag of Vienna beef sticks. Why do they not sell Vienna beef sticks in the store?? They are so good! This building with all the little booths of things for sale used to be my favorite place as a kid. I’ve given up on looking through it with kids in tow. But I did do a quick run through to try and find some dip and salsa samples!


Greg and the boys got stuck in the kite and drone booth and ended up buying microdrones. I’m pretty sure they lasted maybe three days before they both broke completely… But I guess fun while it lasted!


The milk drinkers. Actually, Caden doesn’t normally drink milk at all, but he wanted to try it.


Next mission was a buffalo mac and cheese quesadilla for Timmy, a triple stack slider Sporkie winner for Brittany, and we got some basic chicken tenders for the boys to try and fill them up with “good” food before moving on to all the desserts they wanted.


I went in search of Ranch-o Tots for my lunch. It’s just tater tots with ranch, bacon, and chives. They were good, but also filled me up too much to try any of the other things I was hoping for!


Hudson woke up!


Wondering what’s going on.


Grandma time. Though I think I held him even longer. Little babies are the best! At least when they’re not crying and hungry. ๐Ÿ™‚


They told me they were reading breaking Packer news.


Cream puff time. I’m not really a huge fan, but my parents pre-order them for a cheaper price and I usually get one to split with Greg. Except Greg was putting up some sort of silent protest and not eating anything, so I shared with Shepard.


The happy little family! I’m glad we got to spend the day with them. And that we’ll probably get to spend the day with them every year at the fair! Timmy definitely shares my food enthusiasm for the day. He had a ton! It’s much more fun when everyone is so excited about it.


He loves these things.


There was a whole category of pigs made out of food. I couldn’t believe this one didn’t win, it was so cute!


This was Greg pretty much the whole day. I’m not really sure why he even came. He doesn’t get fair day. Or the excitement of doing pretty much anything outside of the house.

Anyway, it was overall a pretty good day. The weather was intermittently hot in the sun and then cooled off with a fresh breeze. Shepard was a little whiny and obnoxious, but he did better than he’s done in the past. We left around 3:30. Each year we last a little tiny bit longer.


Tuesday was a work day/recovery day. I’m pretty sure we went for a walk, or possibly the dog park. And that’s about all I remember of it!


Wednesday we had a lot of errands to run. I wish the boys understood how many errands I’ve been cutting out of my life this summer to make it easier on them. They still complain like it’s the end of the world when I say we have to go to a store. Especially a store allllll the way in Madison! So we had to keep the day filled with treats to keep them behaved and moving. We had to start with cake pops at Target.


We managed Target, Costco, Stanton Optical, Chipotle, Hobby Lobby, and Woodman’s! It was exhausting, for sure!! But we made it. They’re still not quite sold on Chipotle because they like their particular meat sauces, neither of which a taco/burrito restaurant carries. But Caden discovered he loves Tabasco (I hate it, so never buy it) and Shepard loved their hot salsa and chips.


Thursday was another down day. I spent most of my day researching hotels in Door County. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and finally brought it up with Greg. I asked for two nights away,ย by myself, for my birthday this year. Summer just sucks the life out of me sometimes and I wanted something to look forward to. September is also just insane and really draining on me. So after hours of research, I finally booked a hotel for myself right in the middle of September. Still a few weeks before my birthday, but I think it’ll be perfect timing. I am SO EXCITED about this little getaway!!

Thursday night I had dinner out with two of my friends. It was short and sweet, but still nice to get out of the house with friends. I fear I’ve neglected most of my friendships to the point of losing them this summer. It’s so hard to keep in touch without solid reasons to see each other every day. At least a few of us have made the effort to get together every month.

Friday was our long day because Greg had a work event in Chicago. I wanted to fit in something extra special to try and break up the day and make it more enjoyable.


I asked the boys what they wanted to do before school started. They said go on a hike, go to Rockin’ Jump, and go to the Milwaukee Zoo with Hudson. So we looked at Groupon deals and decided to check out Sky Zone, which opened earlier this year. They looked like they had a few extra things that Rockin’ Jump didn’t have, including a warrior skills course. Looked like the perfect place to go.

While it was a pretty cool place, I think the boys had a lot more frustrations than fun. Everything was geared toward kids maybe middle and high school age. And there were a lot of those aged kids there. Shepard has amazing arm strength and body control and was able to complete a lot more of the challenges than Caden, which really upset him. Caden really wanted to play dodgeball, but older kids were pummelling him with balls every time he got on the court, before he even had a chance to position himself. Then they’d yell for him to get off, so he was understandably upset about that too. The one guy manning the warrior course let tons of kids just go whenever they felt like it, but EVERY TIME one of my kids started to cross he’d yell at them that they couldn’t go yet. Then he’d turn his attention elsewhere and a kid would butt in front of the boys and go. I never saw a single other kid get yelled at. After one particular kid butted in front of them for the third time, with his dad just happily watching on, I went over and got in his face and yelled at him. My Mama Bear side doesn’t often come out – not like that – but I was getting pretty frustrated and upset with the whole situation too. Shepard really wanted to do the stick fighting thing (top left picture), but every time he tried to climb up an older kid would shove him down before he could even get to the top. He never had a fair chance to even begin the challenge, and this other mom kept yelling at him to let her son have a turn, while the other boys on the stands had been there practically the entire time we were there! The boys were genuinely trying their hardest and behaving really well, but they kept getting taken advantage of, or just weren’t strong enough/skilled enough/old enough to complete most of the things there. It was hard to watch them try to deal with it all. ๐Ÿ™

Anyway, they did have some fun! After our first hour, a huge chunk of the kids left on a bus. Once it was a lot less crowded they were able to do more things. Or at least try more things without the pressure of 13 year old kids trying to shove past them. I’m not sure we’d go here again. But at least we tried it. Afterward we had lunch and came back home where they spent a few hours playing with Leverett. Who has gotten over his fear of Annie and has spent many, many hours over here in the last three days.


We went to the pool’s beach party Friday night. It was pretty chilly out! There weren’t a ton of people there, but the boys had fun swimming for an hour and a half. Then insisted on getting ice cream treats. I couldn’t bring myself to swim. Way too cold!


And finally, trying to get ready for bed. The boys and Annie were SO HYPER. But they were also cute, so I had to take some pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚


Caden read a book to Shepard to end the night. I was pretty dang exhausted after all of that! I planned on working that night, but just watched half of a movie instead. Single parenting is a lot of work! It was a fun day, though.

And Saturday I worked! Twelve hours. We went on a short walk to play at the new school playground. And that was my day!


This upcoming week is our busiest of August. Lots of things going on! My best friend Dianne and her husband Jack are going to be in WI visiting her dad. So we’re hoping to squeeze in 2-3 little meetups on Monday and Tuesday. I’m thinking on Monday we might also visit the Pope Farms Conservatory to see the sunflower fields. Tuesday night is obedience class. (Just three left!) Wednesday night we’re going to the Dodge County Fair with Steve and Cindy. Thursday we have Caden’s last therapy session and then I’m getting drinks with a friend. And Friday Greg is back in Chicago, so we’ll have to plan another fun day. It’s also Shepard’s half birthday, which we try to always make extra special. Saturday we’re going to a dog swimming event with Annie. And Sunday is my brother’s 30th birthday party. Busy busy!

I want to get some work done this week, but I want to put everything else first. The clock is ticking! Hopefully we can make a lot of good memories this week.

That’s it for my weekly recap!


Sunday Intentions


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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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. ๐Ÿ™


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!)


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


We were partially celebrating Bob’s 75th birthday.


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!


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 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.



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.



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.


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 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.




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!!


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. ๐Ÿ˜› 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 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.


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 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.



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. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s just the sweetest! Being an aunt is pretty awesome!












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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย 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!