babywearing

babywearing avery

wearing baby Avery all over town

It’s International Babywearing Week! So I will use this as an excuse to share with you all about how much I love wearing my babies.

After Avery was born we bought a Moby Wrap and an ErgoBaby carrier. The Moby Wrap defiantly has a learning curve. I never really got comfortable wearing the wrap with her. So I was glad that we had the Ergo too. As you can see from the pictures, we took her everywhere in that. The corn maze, apple orchard, to cheer Jeremy on in a 5k race. Not pictured: we took her to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the Holidazzle parade (RIP). My favorite thing about the Ergo is Jeremy was willing to wear it too! It was nice to be able to trade-off wearing her.

babywearing callieSince Callie was a summer baby I wanted something to wear her in that wouldn’t make me sweat to death. Enter the Solly Baby Wrap. It’s very similar to the Moby Wrap but it is literally about a third of the thickness. And is so soft. So I really made it a priority to learn how to wrap it properly. I am so glad I did. I love wearing this wrap. And the Ergo still gets used all the time around here.

Callie has also gone to the apple orchard (twice!) in the Ergo. And the Children’s Museum. We even take her around Target in a carrier. We are hoping to find some time to get to the corn maze still this year.

wpid-20140913_121402_1_wm.jpgIn list form, here are the reasons I love babywearing:

  • It leaves my hands free. I can push a shopping cart, or hold Avery’s hand, or help carry the groceries. I can’t stress how important having both hands available is when you have 2 littles.
  • Babies in carriers are at the perfect height to kiss. Kisses on demand. The best.
  • Sometimes it is easier to wear the baby than push a stroller around. Like on rough terrain (at the apple orchard) or in crowded areas (like the Holidazzle parade) or just not enough space for strollers (the Children’s Museum).
  • When it is colder outside, you can use your baby for warmth. You are wearing your own personal heating pad.
  • My babies stay much calmer when they are in a carrier vs. being in a stroller or car seat.
  • It’s just nice to snuggle.

wpid-img_20140921_184427_wm.jpgDo you have a wrap or carrier you love to use?
Where is the best place you have worn your baby?

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wonderfully weekend :: farmer’s market & apple orchard (take two)

We had another busy weekend around here. It was cloudy, cold, and windy all weekend. But we have a limited amount of free weekends before winter comes and we stay indoors for days at a time. So we bundled up and headed out!

I woke up Saturday  and wanted to visit the farmer’s market. There is one within walking distance from my house. But it was about 40 degrees out, so we drove.

wpid-img_20141004_121251_wm.jpgAvery had a great time looking at all the produce and naming everything. We bought some carrots and the lady gave Avery an extra one to munch on while we were shopping. Avery loved that. She also kept demanding that we buy peppers. Loudly. Too bad, Jeremy and I don’t like peppers. Avery left without any. Maybe someday…

That night Jeremy went to a bachelor party. So I had a friend come over. We ordered Chinese food and had a nice little girls night.

We got off to a late start on Sunday. It happens when everyone in the house is up well past 11 pm the night before. We went back and forth on what to do for the day. We decided to try visiting a different apple orchard than the one a couple of weeks ago. I’m still disappointed at the experience. Going to the orchard is one of my favorite fall activities, so I needed a redo so I could go into the winter satisfied.

wpid-img_20141006_110552_wm.jpg We went to Minnesota Harvest in Jordan. We hadn’t been there since they remodeled and changed a bunch of things around. So it was kinda like going somewhere new.

Jeremy went to buy our Pick Your Own bag and Avery and I went wandering around the main barn building.

wpid-2014-10-05-08.05.00-1_wm.jpg.jpegAvery liked looking at the assorted gourds. Telling me which ones were bumpy and orange and yellow. Then when I wasn’t looking she grabbed a small pumpkin and tried to bite into it like an apple! She’s so weird sometimes.

wpid-2014-10-06-10.59.34-1_wm.jpg.jpegI distracted her by going over to the bakery area. We shared a Caramel Apple Pastry Square. Oh my yum! It was so good!

Next we headed out to get in line for the tractor ride into the orchard. It was taking a while since it was so busy.

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This is what “forced family fun” looks like. :)

They had some kiddie tractor rides going on while we waited. Avery basically ran to it saying, “My turn!” and tried to climb on. She might have been a little excited.

wpid-img_20141005_162220_wm.jpgShe loved it! I had to pull her off so we could get a spot on the big tractor.

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We ended up with an entire bag full of apples. I have big plans. At least one batch of apple butter, apple crisp, and maybe if I’m daring enough, apple pie!

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Girl loves her apples!

Did you make it to an apple orchard this year? Any recipes I must try with my 11+ pounds of apples??

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callie :: three

wpid-img_20140926_120555_wm.jpgNo doctors appointment at three months (thank goodness!) so we don’t have any “stats” this month. I’ll be curious to know how much you have grown by your 4 month checkup. I feel like you have doubled in size over the past week!

:: this month you ::

Took your first vacation to Wisconsin Dells.

Rolled over. From your back to your tummy. And then got angry. So I would roll you back. And you would roll over again. Repeat. All day.

Looked pretty cute.

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Watched your first fireworks show. You didn’t even cry.

Read books with your sister.

wpid-img_20140921_094902_wm.jpgWent to the Children’s Museum. You just hung out in the Ergo with me.

Went to the apple orchard. It was a bust that I’m still a little upset about. I hope we can try again another weekend. But we did get a nice family picture.

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Seriously, so cute. Sometimes I can’t handle it!

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Miss Callie. We adore you. None more than your sister. Everyday is filled with so much happiness and so much growing. Some days aren’t so great. You went through a really fussy week this month. We are past that now, so I’m hoping for some smooth sailing. Or at least some more sleep? Please?

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averycallie three month

:: previous months ::

one  // two

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frozen halloween :: a giveaway

I have this vision of Avery being Elsa for Halloween. And Callie being baby Anna (obviously!). I had a harder time convincing Jeremy he should be Olaf. How many years of adoration do you think that would earn him from his little girls? Any other family costume suggestions for us? Good thing we still have time to get it all figured out!

Halloween is nearly here, and I’m teaming up with Kandoo and some of my favorite bloggers on Instagram to co-host an epic Frozen Halloween costume giveaway.

Frozen IG Contest

Do your kids love Halloween? Are they obsessed with Frozen? We’re giving away three Frozen Halloween costumes and a $100 Amazon Gift card!

Frozen IG Contest Prizes

Enter Now!

Complete the form below to enter. Four winners will be chosen to receive one of the prizes. Must be 18 years of age to enter. Giveaway ends at Midnight on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

Be sure to Instagram your kids in their favorite Halloween costumes using #FrozenHalloween. We’ll see you there!

Whether you’re trying to potty train your toddler or you just want your older kids to wash their hands every time, be sure to visit Kandoo for great tips, tricks and products for naturally clean fun!

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callie :: two

Well, it’s a month late. But I really want to get this in the books. Callie girl, I might be late with your updates, but I still want to show the world how you grow.

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:: stats ::

You had your 2 month checkup early in September. A little late, but we were on vacation.

You weigh 12.5 lbs (75th percentile) and are exactly 24 inches long (90th percentile).

At your appointment you were showing off to the doctor. Giving her all your best smiles. You impressed her with your head control and how strong you are in general. You were doing things she expects at the 4 month visit. Which proves that you are growing too fast already.

You took your shots like a champ. Even though you turned a shade of purple I’ve never seen before (from the screaming) you stopped as soon as I gave you your bottle. You didn’t even seem to mind when Avery was poking at your bandages later that night.

wpid-img_20140822_154156_wm.jpg:: this month you ::

wpid-img_20140725_155849_wm.jpgWent to Aunt Angie’s wedding and slept in a hotel for the first time.

May or may not have gone on your first boat ride. Not so legally.

Played with your sister. And Sam.

wpid-img_20140810_170309_wm.jpgThey both love you so much. We all do.

averycallie two month:: previous months ::

one

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wonderfully weekend :: museum, library, and movie

Another busy weekend is in the books. I hope we get a nice, long fall season. I have so many things I want to do!!

Friday night was a bit on the chilly side. We got some Papa Murphy’s and Jeremy built our first fire of the year!

wpid-img_20140912_191812_wm.jpgI spent most of the evening adding more logs to keep it “blazin” hot. It was a nice way to start our weekend.

Saturday was a rare day where we didn’t have anything planned in advance. We debated between going to the MN Zoo or the Children’s Museum. We decided on the museum because they have a Thomas the Train exhibit that ends very soon. Avery loves trains, so it was a good decision.

We started off in the train room. She had a fun time running around, not posing for cute pictures for me. The one she did cheese for was so blurry. So Callie and I took some selfies.

wpid-20140913_121402_1_wm.jpgCallie did awesome in the Ergo. And I have a post rolling around in my head about how much I love baby wearing. It’s the best.

Next we went to the Rooftop ArtPark. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Perfect for play learning outside.

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water painting

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I hope and pray she is musical like her daddy.

We headed back inside to the Curiosity Center where they had some spin art using salad spinners. So fun!

wpid-20140913_124736_wm.jpgI’m a little embarrassed to admit that this was the first time Avery has painted! She’s almost 2.5! She loved it, of course! And her masterpiece is on the refrigerator.

I’m so glad we chose the Children’s Museum for the day. We all had a great time! Love getting use out of our membership!

Saturday night we went to church. It was their first week doing a Saturday band-led worship. It was nice and relaxed. And (fingers super crossed) I think Avery is officially over her separation anxiety stage. We’ve brought her to the Y and left her in the playroom for a week or so now with no problems. And she went to the play area at church just fine too! Life just got 10x easier for us!

Sunday I took Avery to the library. I had envisioned that we would snuggle on an over-sized chair and read a bunch of books. Because I’m delusional. I guess the library has toys in the kids area and that’s all she wanted to play with. And run around like a maniac. Total fail.

Later that afternoon I met up with some of my book club ladies and we saw “The Fault in Our Stars” at the cheap theater. It was one of the better book to movie adaptations I’ve seen. The movie was good, but I don’t think I will be putting myself through those tears again.

Just a quick bonus Monday item: Avery and Jeremy go to a Daddy & Me ECFE class every Monday night. We call it school and she has a great time going. This week they came home with this.

wpid-img_20140915_195522_wm.jpgCan I just tell you how excited I am for this!! I loved getting these at school. I would go through them like a Christmas catalog and circle each thing I wanted. I rarely got to buy anything, but I loved looking. I have about 10 things I want to order. Some things are so cheap! It’s the little things, people.

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wonderfully weekend :: fire muster & twins game

Playing weekend recap catchup! We have done a bunch of fun things that I really want to get down in the memory book.

September 6th.

Saturday we started the day with the Fire Muster’s Fire Truck/Community parade. The route was just a few blocks from our house and it was a bright sunny morning. So sunny that I started sweating like crazy and the candy they were tossing from the floats was melting almost instantly.

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pre-parade selfie

Avery had a great time running around and collecting candy.

wpid-img_20140906_131030_wm.jpgAfter the parade, we went home to relax a bit and have some lunch.

Jeremy and I dropped off the girls with my family and headed out for a date night. One of our friends book a suite at Target Field as an early birthday and wedding gift for her fiancé. And she was awesome enough to invite us along. It was fantastic. So much fun!

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Minneapolis is so pretty sometimes.

wpid-img_20140906_193942_1_wm.jpgWe left the game early to head back home and pick up the girls. All of us (mom, dad, sister, niece, and nephew included) went back to the Fire Muster to watch the fireworks. I was excited to see them. Especially since I missed out on seeing any on the 4th of July! I was also nervous about how the girls would behave being up so much past bedtime.

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But we all had a good time. Until time to leave. Avery needed to be carried, we lost Callie’s pacifier, and Jeremy and I were so tired. The walk back to the car felt like it took forever with all the crying and tantrums.

It was a long, fun day. Where we all passed out as soon as we got home. And everyone slept in the next morning. Thank God!

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Posted in family, minnesota, weekend | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

for the times when there are no photos

This morning Avery crawled into bed with me right after Jeremy left for work. Honestly, my first thought was, “Noooo. Please go back to sleep! It’s barely 5am. And if your sister wakes up too, I’m going to cry. Today is going to be baaaad.”

But then she scooted to the middle of the bed and laid down facing me. I put my head back on my pillow and moved closer to her. She grabbed my hand and fell back asleep. And my heart softened to goo.

I wished that there was someone there to take a picture of that moment. Because I never ever want to forget it. I want it tattooed into my brain. Instead, I’ll put the moment here. In my good little blog. My memory keeper.

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state fair 2014

Labor Day Jeremy and I ditched the girls and had a date day at the Minnesota State Fair. AKA My favorite thing about summer.

First Stop: The new West End Market Place which replaced my favorite area of The Fair, Heritage Square. So, right away I was skeptical, but hoping I would like it. Especially since that’s where public transit drops you off. So there is no option to avoid it.

It all worked out, because I absolutely love it there. It’s so clean and inviting. There are a ton of benches. And the shops are very easy to navigate. We stopped at The Blue Barn to try the blue cheese and corn fritters. They were delicious.

wpid-20140901_105054_wm.jpgAfter we polished those off we went in search of our favorite stop: Christmas ornaments.  We get them every year at The Fair. Here’s what we chose this year:

wpid-img_20140902_135102_wm.jpgIt’s still so weird to think of us as a family of four now. How long until that’s normal?

Since it was still pretty early, I thought we might have a good shot of getting some cookies before the wait got to be 2 hours long. For those outside of MN: this is no joke. These cookies are insane and we wait an insane amount of time to get them!

wpid-2014-09-03-12.22.00-1_wm.jpg.jpegWe lucked out and the lines were the shortest I have ever seen them. And on our way out a few hours later, they were loooong. I’m glad we got them when we did.

With the necessities out of the way, my goal was beer. Specifically the Mini Donut beer and the S’mores beer. Now the Mini Donut beer eluded me last year. They had a very limited amount and I wasn’t willing to wait for hours to get a glass. Someone was using their brain thus year and they brewed more. No waiting!

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s’mores vs mini donut

I’m not sure if it was just my built up expectations or what. But I was not very impressed with this beer. It was missing some of the sweetness you expect from the name. Or it was just the wrong style of beer maybe.

Then we went in search for the S’mores beer. This was a darker beer with a richer flavor. And as you can see in the pic, a marshmallow. I liked this one much better than the Mini Donut beer. Still not one I would drink regularly, but a better flavor. I’m hoping that next year they have some more flavors to try!

We wandered around more. Ate some more. Bought some more things. Then, we were exhausted and went home. Where I had a beer in my new favorite glass.

wpid-img_20140901_182707_wm.jpgUntil next year, Fair.

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wisconsin dells 2014

Oh, hey. I forgot to blog for a while again. I keep fluctuating between being really busy and really lazy.

The last week in August we packed up the kids and drove to Wisconsin Dells. We went last year with Avery. We had a good time and we were all looking forward to a whole week this year. Things didn’t go to plan, but we tried to make the most of it!

I was worried about the drive out there and figured we’d have to make a bunch of unscheduled stops for Callie. I was pleasantly surprised when she slept right until our lunch stop. Avery did a great job in the car playing with her new Magna Doodle and reading some books. We didn’t need to stop the rest of the trip! We were all a little cranky after so long in the car. The girls did so much better than I was hoping for!

Monday we headed out to Mount Olympus. It was supposed to be a really warm day and I liked the idea of having an indoor option so Callie wouldn’t overheat.

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ready to swim.

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the girls ready to go! p.s. Avery’s feet look huge!

Right at the entry way you can see the giant wooden roller coaster. I thought Avery might be scared because it was so big and loud. Nope. She kept begging, “I want to ride the roller coaster!” Over and over. It was hard to explain to her she is too little to ride. She was even too small to ride the kiddie one. Maybe next year, kid.

About 5 minutes after we get there and set up shop, the power goes out. Throughout the whole park. We all get kicked out of the indoor areas and nobody can go in the water in the outdoor areas either. So we are basically just standing there. Doing nothing. We are debating back and forth whether or not to stay. Then the power comes back on. Thank god. Avery gets to go down some kiddie water slides and splash in the pool. So the day ended up being okay.

Tuesday we went to the Tommy Bartlett Show. This is something we didn’t do last time we were here.

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It starts out on the water with water skiers doing different tricks.

wpid-20140826_171854_wm.jpgIt was pretty cool to watch and Avery seemed to enjoy herself. After that was an intermission. We let Avery run around and hopefully burn off some energy. Obviously not enough. Because when the show started back up, I had to chase her around. It wasn’t so bad because it was behind all the seats and there were 2 or 3 other kids running around too. Mine wasn’t the only bored one.

Wednesday we went on a Duck Boat ride. We all had fun doing this last year, so we were excited to ride again.

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Callie’s first time on a Duck Boat!

Avery had a blast when we were on the trails. She kept yelling for the driver to go “faster!” She had a huge smile plastered on her face. Then the Duck goes in the water. She liked looking for other boats on the water.

And then this happened:

wpid-20140827_164045_wm.jpgOut. Cold. And we still had half the ride to go. Honestly, I was just happy she was taking a nap!

Thursday morning I was up bright and early for no reason. I got a little quiet time and read out on the deck.

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It was nice to get my book club reading finished well before our meeting!!

That afternoon we didn’t have anything planned, other than eating.

wpid-img_20140827_125303_wm.jpgAnd it was good.

Friday we did a pool day. We took turns hanging out with Callie in the cabana area. We had fun.

wpid-img_20140829_190941_wm.jpgSaturday I was more than ready to get home. As much fun as we had, Avery and Callie took turns challenging us. Tantrums, not napping when they should, going to bed way too late. I was excited to deal with them on familiar turf.

Overall, it was a good unofficial last week of summer!

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Posted in family, travels | 1 Comment