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!



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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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. 🙂


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.


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


Some lawn mowing headphones.


Birthday desserts – lemon meringue pie and flourless chocolate cake.


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.


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.


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.


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


They had fun. And were adorable. 🙂



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.


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!



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.


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!


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


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!




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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


Working hard with my helper!


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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!

Sunday Intentions

Another week behind me, another week ahead. This past week has most definitely not been productive. Between Annie joining our family, still not feeling the greatest, and a lot more crummy weather, I’ve had basically zero motivation for working, cleaning, or doing pretty much anything besides reading and hanging out with my pets.

It’s actually been a pretty emotional week. I’m having a lot harder time adjusting to life with a dog than I thought I would. Which is hard to admit because Annie is probably one of the most low maintenance and easygoing dogs I’ve ever seen. I was so confident that I’d be able to take on any challenge a dog would bring to our lives. And now I’ve definitely been doubting myself. The hardest part has been the house training. She’s such a well behaved dog and knows a lot of obedience commands, so I figured it stood to reason that she’d also be potty trained. That doesn’t seem to be the case. It was easy to write off the first few accidents because she was in a new place, just had surgery, was scared and confused. But now she’s still going in the house, even immediately after I’ve just been outside with her for a considerable amount of time. Yesterday I was taking her outside every 45 minutes! I guess on the plus side, she hasn’t gone overnight at all the last two nights. So she CAN hold it. But why not during the day when I’m taking her out so often? She’s only been with us for five full days, so maybe I’m expecting too much. I’m doing everything I can and hopefully if I keep doing it she’ll officially be trained. It’s just really making me feel like a failure in the process.

Because of the potty training stuff, it’s also making me feel like I can never leave the house. I’m having flashbacks to the first year of Shepard’s life when he never EVER took a bottle, so if I wanted to leave the house without him I had about a max of two hours before he’d need to eat again. Now it’s the same thing with letting Annie outside. Granted I don’t have to leave the house all that often for great lengths of time, but there are a lot of days coming up when she’ll need to be alone. Spring break day trips I wanted to take with the boys, Easter, Great America the week after. Obviously all those things can still happen and I’ll just have to accept that she’s probably going to go in the house. But am I just going to worry about her the whole time I should be off having fun? Will she be a lot better in a week and a half? Who knows. But I hate worrying about it. I hate thinking that maybe it’ll never get any better.

And I guess the other part I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to is how Annie is affecting the cats. But I think it’s safe to say they’ve been making big strides in co-existing in the past day or two. Rory still spends a lot of time in the basement (Annie is scared to go down those steps), and both cats seem to sleep down there at night. But Jack has been in the same room with her pretty often now. He just walks very slowly, otherwise she gets excited and tries to play with him. Rory has been watching tv on the couch with us at night and today he’s even gone back to sleeping on our bed, his favorite spot. So I think things will work out with them. It’s just taking time. I hated to think I ruined their lives. Rory especially. He’s been so happy at this house. He’s usually my constant companion during the day. And then I replaced him. 🙁

Anyway, I say all that to explain my state of mind this past week. But today I’m feeling a lot better. I think it’s helped to have us all home and together for a day. We did a lot of work outside and Annie was with us for most of it. She had a long session of fetch with the boys inside, where she couldn’t get a grip on the floors and was sliding and flying all over the house with everyone laughing hysterically. The cats are starting to act more like their normal selves. Greg even took Annie outside last night so I could go to bed a little earlier. It’s all going to work out and she will become a valued member of our family. I just needed to work through all the emotions to get here.

The Week Ahead

It’s time to come back to reality. I really need to get back to work! I started one last batch of Easter dolls last night. Hopefully I can plow through those early this week and then get started on a wholesale order I’ve been putting off. I’m not sure what I’ll work on after that, but it’s time to start pushing dolls out before summer comes and life gets too chaotic for a consistent work schedule. May is such a busy life month too that I really need to make April count.

Tomorrow is Jack and Rory’s 12th birthday! I’m not sure they’ll cooperate with coming out to get a special birthday dinner, but I’m going to try. I’m hoping to make a pet store trip in the morning to pick up some special toys for all the animals.

The boys have their school concert on Thursday night. I’m really hoping they’re both healthy! Last year we missed it entirely because Caden had a flu. The year before he was also sick, but we sent him to the concert anyway and then worried he was going to throw up the whole time he was singing. I’d really like to be there and enjoy watching my children this year!

So no real goal centered priorities for the week. I just want to get back to work and still spend a lot of time acclimating to being a dog owner!

Meal Plans

I think I need to get a lot more serious about meal planning. All four of us seem to be so hungry lately ALL THE TIME. It’s crazy annoying!

Monday – Chile Relleno Flautas – It’s at home date night and I’m feeling like something new and different. I like chile rellenos, I like flautas. Hopefully it’ll work!

Tuesday – French fried chicken – I never got around to making it last week with all the Annie excitement. Possibly some sort of broccoli slaw salad as well.

Wednesday – One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

Thursday – Pre-concert, something fast and easy. Not quite sure what yet. Spaghetti? Hamburgers?

Friday – Pizza – possibly a loose variation on this flatbread recipe, but maybe with a bbq sauce base

Have a great week!

Sunday Intentions

It was not the productive and goal driven week I had hoped it would be. Though in my defense, I have not felt very well all week. I can’t pinpoint what was exactly wrong with me most days, I’ve just felt crummy. Shepard was also home sick on Monday and Friday. I managed to catch his nighttime cough and have had a lot of trouble sleeping. I also got highly distracted with a new family “project” that has taken up pretty much all of my concentration and time the last four days. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more on that soon.

The week wasn’t a total waste. I did get two of my four goals done. Raffle baskets were finished and turned in on Wednesday. I love the way they turned out! It’s really fun doing things like that. And it’s an easier way for me to contribute to the school fundraisers than actually having to deal with people, in person – LOL. Volunteering in groups of large, rowdy children is basically my worst nightmare.

We also booked an anniversary trip! This was a fluke and not because I actually slaved over research this week. I just happened to check facebook at the right time and see that A Secret Cottage, a little getaway cabin we stayed at for my 30th birthday, had a cancellation May 27th and 28th – our actual anniversary weekend! Greg told me to call immediately and we were able to claim it. It’s a beautiful little spot on a private pond with walking trails, a paddle boat, and surrounded by woods. The cottage has a full kitchen, fancy shower, and big skylight covered jacuzzi tub. It’ll be a pretty great place to spend our 11th anniversary. I’m excited! Greg is too – this is the only location I’ve ever heard him actually talk about wanting to go back to.

Walking didn’t happen this week. Well, we did try and walk to and from school every day. But it was still cold, rainy, gloomy, and like I said – I felt like crap most of the week. Hard to walk in those conditions.

And Easter decorations are not yet up. I know it’s probably like a thirty minute project. I just haven’t found the energy to do it yet.


I don’t have a lot of high expectations for myself this week. I’m still working on my “project” which will inevitably take up more time than I should probably give it. But I can’t stop. I still don’t feel great today and not really sure when it’ll get better. So I’m going to take it easy. I might not even sew this week. I haven’t sewed since Wednesday morning! I have plenty of things I should be working on, but I also just really want to give it a rest for a bit. Or…a bit longer. I’m sure my panic to get more done with kick in again any day now.


I can do it. I know I can. Tomorrow. Maybe even tonight! It will happen. If I get this done I will be happy for the week. Ha!

Meal Planning

Monday – French Fried Onion Baked Chicken. I still have that big bag of fried onions from Costco and I want to use it up. Plus, yum.

Tuesday – The boys have afternoon dentist appointments, so I’m thinking we might stop at Wendy’s or some place on the way home, rather than trying to rush and make a dinner later than we normally eat when everyone is starving.

Wednesday – Stir fry. Use up the inevitable pile of limp vegetables we always have in the fridge. Possibly a stir fry with steak to change things up.

Thursday – School carnival. I’m feeling pretty lazy these days, so I think we’ll just eat at the carnival. It’s for a good cause, right?

Friday – Pizza. Maybe BBQ. It’s been about a month since we’ve had BBQ.

That’s about it. Keep busy!

Sunday Intentions

Well, I’ll keep my weekly recap a lot shorter than last Sunday! Mostly because I’m feeling way too lazy to get the photos from my phone to try and make this a more visually appealing post. Can’t do it today, sorry.

Pi Day was fun! The buffalo chicken pot pie was interesting. The filling was basically buffalo chicken dip. Which is delicious. But paired with traditional pie crust instead of salty chips…it was just really grossing me out. Greg ate a ton of it. Caden did eat his with chips. And Shepard refused to eat a bite, throwing a huge tantrum. No surprise, it happens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The s’mores pie also seemed a little bit funky. It was just pretty weird to bake a brownie mix into a graham cracker crust. I tried to cheat and use a premade crust, when the recipe wanted to fill a big springform pan. So it just didn’t work out that well. But I didn’t want the festivities to be a total failure, so I whipped up a quick apple crostata with a gouda pie crust. THAT was delicious!

My mom and I had a great time visiting that vintage store in Dodgeville and having a tasty dinner afterward. I’m not sure I’d want to make that far of a drive to see the store again during one of their monthly openings, but I’m glad my curiosity was satisfied.

We celebrated Guster Day by playing Guster music all night. Greg’s favorite band. I don’t listen to them on my own, but I’ve been to what feels like a million Guster concerts, so it was kind of fun to be festive. 🙂

And I already talked about St. Patrick’s Day in my last post! It was a busy week. Followed by a quieter weekend, which we all needed. Greg and I were able to see Beauty and the Beast yesterday, which was awesome. We had a family movie night watching Trolls. And today we had lunch and caught up with the in-law’s. I’m not feeling very well today, so I’ve basically spent the entire rest of the day reading. Which is partly nice and partly really frustrating because I have so much to do. 🙁 I just haven’t worked up the energy to actually do anything. Yet.

This Week

I think my intentions for the last few weeks have been pretty broad. This week I need to get more specific and maybe more will get done!

First Priority: Raffle Baskets and Work

I need to make one more thing to add to my raffle baskets for school. I’m really excited to put them all together! I wish I could have a business making themed gift baskets. I’d be awesome at it. But yes, I need to finish those up, hopefully in the next day or two if I’m feeling better. I also have some half finished things I’d like to get done and listed asap.

Second Priority: Decorate for Easter

I never got around to decorating for St. Patrick’s Day. I never painted these awesome wooden shamrocks I bought a few months ago. I never made more than like 4 St. Patrick’s Day dolls for the shop. Kind of a failed holiday. I need to do better for Easter! Greg dug out the boxes of decorations today, so I need to clean the house first and then hopefully get decorating!

Third Priority: Walking

I really, really, really want to start daily walks again this week. Not just to school in the mornings and afternoons, but longer exercise focused walks too. I was so motivated and I loved it last summer and fall. And then winter happened and everything fell apart. It’s MAYBE getting a bit warmer this week, so it’s time to walk.

Fourth Priority: Anniversary Plans

Usually we are very clear on what we’re doing for our anniversary by this time of the year. But this May’s extra busy schedule is just paralyzing me. It’s always a busy month, and always a fun month. But this year with the addition of joining the city wide garage sale Mother’s Day/Greg’s birthday weekend, is just really throwing me. And it’s still a month and a half away. I want to make our anniversary a priority (May 28th), but the timing just sucks. If you’re not married yet, I strongly advise you not to get married Memorial Day weekend. You’ll be busy with other things every year the rest of your life! Or so it seems. Anyway, I’ve been going back and forth between a one night nice hotel getaway for our actual anniversary, going on a slightly longer but still fairly local trip a few weeks later, or maybe just doing a low key family vacation instead. I can’t make up my mind and I’m having a hard time even thinking about it. But plans need to be made. Asap.

Fifth Priority: Caden’s Half Birthday

We like to make half birthdays special around here. Caden’s is this Thursday. He’s been having a rough time with life lately. Very emotional and angry. We decided lately that the best course of action to try and turn things around is making our best efforts praise him for the good choices he makes. So I’m hoping a day centered around him will cheer him up.

Meal Plans

I haven’t thought this out yet. My brain isn’t working too well today. I’ve been sitting here for five minutes trying to think out meals and it’s not working. Caden requested tacos for his half birthday. Pizza Friday. I’ve been thinking about a Jamaican Curry too. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Have a good week!

Busy Week Recap and Sunday Intentions

Amy and Caden

Ooh boy, it was a big week. I had plans to write about all that I did, right after it happened, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Busy, busy. I feel like these Sunday Intentions posts are becoming much more about evaluating the week past instead of talking about the week ahead. But I like the journaling aspect of these posts and remembering the details of big and small things that happened over the week. So here goes.


On Monday, Caden had his final IEP meeting. He passed! He is no longer in speech therapy and requiring any type of special education services. Which is awesome. It’s truly amazing how far he’s come in the last few years. When he was 18 months old and still not saying any words, the doctors were becoming concerned and wanted us to keep an eye on things. Around two years old, we moved back to Wisconsin and got him into Birth to 3. Right at three he started taking speech therapy twice a week and was diagnosed with an apraxia of speech, which means the words were not connecting properly from his brain to his mouth. In 4K we still couldn’t understand more than half of the words he said. And that was us, the people who knew him best. He was practically unintelligible to anyone else, and other kids were occasionally making fun of him for it.  In kindergarten, first grade, and now second grade, he’s been continuing therapy at school, but very unhappy about it because he missed so much in regular class. He was often taken out of class 2-3 times a week, and it was progressively becoming more a lot upsetting to him. And finally, in the last few months, we all decided that he was ready to graduate from it! He’s worked very hard the last six and a half years, and I’m incredibly proud of him. A few years ago, I honestly thought he’d still be taking speech into middle school. He’s done awesome!

Heart Model

On Tuesday morning, we had to take Shepard to the Children’s Hospital for an echocardiogram. He’s been sick a lot this winter and in January the doctor noticed a heart murmur. She thought it was probably because he was dehydrated, but wanted him to come back to get it checked out again later. She could still hear it that appointment, so we were sent to a pediatric cardiologist for a more official consultation.


It was a long morning. The doctor listened and said, “That’s not a murmur, that’s a click! A click is a lot worse!!” She was quite enthusiastic about it. She wanted to get us in for the echo, which apparently we weren’t actually scheduled for. So we had to wait to get fit into the schedule and then we had to wait for insurance to decide if they would cover it or not. All while thinking about what the words “that’s a lot worse!” could mean.


Long story short, he is totally fine. 🙂 🙂 🙂 He did a great job laying on the table during the echo. It lasted about an hour. A very long hour! The doctor came back when it was over and declared that he was totally and completely fine. We asked what the click was and she shouted, “I have no idea!” She thought perhaps he just has an acoustic chest… Then she stood there and repeatedly asked Shepard to promise he’d never smoke because that’s the worst thing he could do for his heart. He kept staring at her blankly and I suggested that he probably doesn’t even know what smoking is because I don’t think he’s ever seen a smoker. But she continued to say she was serious and she needs a promise from him. It was an interesting appointment. But we’re so grateful that everything turned out to be great.


On Tuesday night, Greg was called out to help my brother with a broken down car situation. So I was alone with the boys at night, which practically never happens. We decided to use the time to finally look through the Gurney’s catalog and plan out our gardens. We went out and took measurements, made an official gardening notebook, and drew a to scale plot for us to plan it all out. Caden re-wrote our list of seeds we bought, and a few extra plants we’ll want to buy when it’s time. We’re planning to start a few things in one of those early seed starters too. I’m pretty excited about it! The boys aren’t often interested in things they can do with me, and I’m not particularly interested in the things they love the most (i.e. video games), so it’s really exciting to have this big project the three of us can work on together throughout the next many months.


On Wednesday, I was working hard to finish up a big batch of dolls. I was looking forward to finally catching up and making some sales. And then because of construction and/or a truck hitting a line and/or a windstorm blowing down a tower, we were without internet and cell signal for the entire day! It was pretty crazy. Definitely makes you realize how much you rely on that technology to feel connected to the world. Being home alone with the insane winds, not having any way to contact anyone, was kind of freaky. And also extremely frustrating because I couldn’t get anything listed until very late that night. On a positive note, I did go with Laura to the Rio Drumfit class. It was fun to be there again. I think we’ll continue going on weeks that it works out for us. But I still wish the class would come back to Columbus. Much more convenient night and location.

Lego Batman

On Thursday I decided to catch up on cleaning the house. When I’m in the middle of a big batch of dolls, I tend to let a lot of the housework go. So I spent the majority of the day just putzing around.

On Friday, there was no school (no idea why), so Greg took the day off and we had a family day. We went to see the new Lego Batman movie. It’s the first time all four of us have ever seen a movie in the theater together! I thought it was pretty funny!

Friday night the boys went on a sleepover and Greg and I had a date night. We were feeling pretty lazy, so we just stayed in and basically watched six hours of tv. But it was kind of awesome! It’s pretty rare we spend such a solid block of time together. And a treat to actually binge watch a show (Superstore!) all in the same night. Reminds me of life before kids when we’d watch episode after episode of 24 every single night. 🙂 Anyway, it was fun.


And finally, my girls weekend in Galena! We’ve been planning this for over two months and it was great to finally have happen! Life has been crazy and I really needed the break from everything. It was also just really cool to connect with my friends longer than the two minute conversations we barely manage at the playground after school.

We spent most of Saturday going through some of the unique little shops in the downtown area. We all found some fun treasures! We also went to two wine tastings. I’ve never done wine tastings before, but it was really fun! I’m so unaccustomed to alcohol, so I liked trying out things I would never consider buying if I just looked at the bottle. We also went to a couple fun restaurants and pubs and then spent most of the night just chilling out at our two bedroom villa with pizza, cheese, and our favorite wines. We all caught up on sleep and reveled in a day and a half of not needing to be moms! I had a really great time and look forward to doing it again in the future! 🙂


So onto this week! Thankfully, the calendar is looking a lot more open. Except for that it’s Pi Day on Tuesday, the Ides of March on Wednesday, Guster Day on Thursday, and St. Patrick’s Day on Friday. I’m not really sure how to celebrate on Wednesday and Thursday, but Greg always likes to make special note of those days!

Focus: Work!

It’s a working week. I need to make up for getting very little done last week. I volunteered to make some raffle baskets for the school spring carnival coming up, which I’m very excited about, I just don’t have a single thing made for them yet. So that’s my first priority, and then I need to get going hard core on Easter dolls and bunnies. The clock is ticking!! I still feel so very behind. My new system of writing down my hours has really been interesting. I’m realizing that my goal of five hours a day is nearly impossible between errands, laundry, meals, and school pick ups and drop offs. And last week at least, almost all of those hours were put in after dinner. NOT the way I want it to be.

Second Focus: Me Time

This last week really left me drained. Getting away this weekend was a lot of fun, but I now kind of feel more tired than ever. As much as I want to get a lot of work done, I don’t want to do it at the expense of my health. So I’m planning to try and get to bed early, take naps if I need them, and try not to work so much at night. I’m also hopefully going to a fun vintage store with my mom on Wednesday night. Weather permitting. But it will hopefully work out and be a really fun mid-week treat!

Meal Planning – I actually did it this week!

Monday – Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas – I always have chicken and a lot of peppers – easy peasy.

Tuesday (PI DAY) – Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie, based off of this recipe. It might be gross, it might be good, I can’t make up my mind. I don’t really like regular chicken pot pie, but maybe if I make some sort of buffalo concoction it’ll be good. 🙂 Also, perhaps this Peanut Butter Brownie S’mores Pie. 

Wednesday – Guys are on their own, assuming I can get to that shop

Thursday – Costco’s St. Patrick’s Day ravioli. I would save it for Friday, but we haven’t had pizza a couple Fridays in a row, so I want to get back on track.

Friday – Pizza. Maybe green pizza. Or at least shamrock shaped pizza. I made some quick jalapeno popper naan pizzas for dinner tonight which were pretty great. So maybe I’ll do that again, with extra jalapenos on top, and call it Irish!

Have a great week! Enjoy all the mini holidays! Though you probably don’t know who Guster is lol. 🙂


Sunday Intentions

Well, last week did not turn out to be as productive as I had hoped. It started with that Zumba class Monday night and kind of went downhill from there. I hated the class. I really, really wanted to like it. But it’s just not me. I’ve never been good at dancing and I’ve always been super self conscious about it in any sort of situation that requires dancing. And being in a room full of people dancing super fast and actually being really good at it? I felt like such a fool! And like I was going to die. I was going to try out the Zumba Toning class on Wednesday night just to see how it differed, but I couldn’t do it. My friend Laura and I were then going to go to the Drumfit class in a neighboring town, but it ended up being cancelled due to snow. Maybe this week… Otherwise the search for an awesomely fun exercise routine continues. I did find a cool website called Fitness Blender with loads of workout videos to do at home. I haven’t explored it too much yet, but I’m hoping to take advantage of it in the future. Soon.

I did make a change to my work routine that I’m hoping will help me be a lot more productive. It’s so simple, but – I’m going to start recording my hours. This has two advantages. First, it will help me think of sewing time as my actual work time. Sewing shouldn’t be something I’m trying to fit into the rest of my to do list. It NEEDS to be my top priority during the day. And because I love to see that I devoted a big chunk of time to it, once I “clock in” I’ll feel a lot more inclined to keep at it and not be distracted by other things. The other advantage of writing down my hours is that I can see when I’m putting in the most time and try to rearrange my schedule to a way that I’d rather do it. For example, most of my working hours this week have been at night. That’s not what I want. And yesterday I started at 6:30 am, ended at 8:30 pm, and only took minimal breaks to make and eat meals and run to the grocery store. That shouldn’t be what my average Saturday looks like. I don’t want to be the workaholic mother that is in the house, but not at all present. But I also feel deeply conflicted about this, because I’m genuinely behind at work and if nights and Saturdays are the only times I can sew, then I really need to do it! It’s so tough to find the balance. I did give myself the day off today to do what I wanted (mostly read!), but I still haven’t had any real connections or time spent with my family and I just feel yucky about the whole weekend. I don’t want weekends to be like this. But…I don’t want to feel behind either.

So my other priority last week was to take care of myself. It started with a bang and by the end of the week I was eating like crap and not even trying to exercise. But I did have some me time and really enjoyed the Vintage Shop Hop with my parents all day Friday. I didn’t find as many cool treasures as last year, but it was still really fun to check out some new stores and admire so many handmade gifts and creations. It was great just escaping responsibilities for a day too. Being driven around to loads of vintage stores is pretty much living the dream. 🙂

Top Priority: Be Present

It’s kind of a busy week ahead. There’s something important going on almost every day. And while I really want to get a lot done this week, I’d also like to be fully present for the people that need my attention. Life isn’t all about work!

Tomorrow is Caden’s last IEP meeting. We were told that he’s graduating from speech, but he just told us tonight he has to have his final testing tomorrow afternoon. So hopefully, presumably, he’ll be testing out! It’s been six and a half years of very hard work for him and we’re so proud of how far he’s come. We’re going out to dinner with the grandparents afterward to celebrate his huge achievement.

Tuesday morning we’re taking Shepard for an echocardiogram. When he was sick in January the doctor noticed a heart murmur. She thought it was probably because he’d been sick with various colds and strep for three months and the result of dehydration. But when he had his well child visit the other day she could still hear it. So it needs to be checked out at the children’s hospital. It’s hopefully nothing, but still scary thinking there might be something wrong with my baby’s heart.

Friday it looks like we might finally get a date night! I’m assuming we’re probably just going to stay in, but it’ll still be nice to be kid free for the night. It’s very hard to connect when the boys are demanding Greg’s attention every waking moment.

And then Saturday and Sunday I’m going on a girl’s getaway weekend with a few of my friends! It’ll be SO awesome to have some girl time. I feel like I’ve barely had an adult conversation with anyone in months and months. I need this trip. I’m also looking forward to some more fun shopping and restaurant food!

Second Priority: Work Hard

So in between everything, I really need to keep working. Keep writing down my hours and try to keep it to daytime only, as much as possible. I’m in the middle of a really big batch of dolls and I’m hoping to finish them up in the next day or two. Then I need to focus on Easter and start churning them out. Lots to do. Always lots to do!

Meal Planning

Well, I haven’t really thought about this much, but I’m not going to sweat over it either. We have a lot of food in the freezer that we need to start eating up. It’ll be another easy week. No use stressing over meals that take too much time or effort.

Anyway, busy days ahead. Have a good week!