Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Big Rut & The Big E

I'm in a bit of a rut. A winter rut. I'm pretty sure all of MN (or the Midwest) is in this rut, but can it be OVER already?!?!

Today is the first day of more winter Spring. There is even an annoying Bubble Guppies episode on right now about the first day of spring. "Its such a beautiful day-ay-ay-ay!" Shut it little mermaids, and your odd under-the-ocean sunny day. Last year it was like 70 already, stunning weather. Which is probably making this long winter even worse, because last year's was so mild. I mean, I have pictures of going to the park in fall jackets in January. Blah. But I'm very ready to be done playing in the snow. Truth be told, I have been avoiding it for almost a solid month. I haven't brought the kids out while nannying for weeks, simply because I resent that it is still so freaking cold. And fellow mommies you know what I'm talking about here - how long can this routine of spending 30 mins getting snowsuits on for 20 mins of snow play, if that, last?!

Last year end of  March UP NORTH

Okay, enough of my ranting. I had to get it out, because my husband annoyingly adorably loves winter. Its creepy. We have been finding things to do though! We have been playing more inside: board games, indoor playgrounds, went to MOA last week (hooray toddler Tuesdays), "crafting", dance parties, movies, and lots of playing dress-up/with toys. Googling "games to play with preschoolers" has also been quite helpful. Seriously, google is my bff when it comes to finding junk to do with the kids. "Stuff to make out of pipe cleaners" has become a recent favorite when it is just me & the kids at home. So far the glasses have been a favorite. Next week we're making bunnies and flowers at work though! And hopefully this time Aaron & Jake don't end up stabbing each other with them.

Okay, no more winter blues. I was informed I needed to do an update on the Fam. I've gone to the OBGYN 3 times in the last 2 months. Can I first of all say having a male OB is awkward as heck?! But anyhow, I have been going because of pain in my uterus that my doctor thinks is Endometriosis. He thinks we caught it early on because I have only been feeling it for a few months. But also thinks it is the reason that John & I have managed not to get pregnant the last 3 years even though we haven't been using birth control (yes TMI, blah blah). So ,I have now been on the pill for 2 months (the hormones can help apparently), and the pain is mostly gone. It doesn't debilitate me for entire days anymore anyways. But he said if it continues to help and the pain gets even less, I just need to stay on BC. Forever basically. Which has thrown some odd emotions at me lately. We both felt we had been done having kids, but it makes me a bit sad that my body & a doctor have decided it 100% before I have. Like what if John somehow agrees to have another baby in the future once the kids are in school or something? And if the BC doesn't continue to help, or basically makes it at a stalemate, they first do a minor surgery to get rid of it, and if that doesn't work to stop it the end game is a full hysterectomy. I don't know, its just an odd feeling. And there is no way to know 100% what it is without doing the first minor surgery. So, I just sit here for a few months, and go in for another check in 3 months. Woohoo. But, I'm switching to a female doctor. Dr. Nielson is too much of a creepo.

Anywho! John is still working at Wells Fargo (BOOOOO evil bank). Seems to like it. We get sweet banking perks since he works there, which is nice! Its a different schedule to get used to, but we're making it work.

Brooke & Jake are doing great. Jake has been completely OFF his asthma medicine for 2 months. Such a blessing to have him healthy! I'm watching him like a hawk, but he seems to be doing well. Didn't even wheeze with his last cold! Both kids are in gymnastics through the city. It is so fun & adorable watching them do their classes :) Brooke started an evening preschool class, which she absolutely loves. She looks forward to it all week. Especially because her God-Mommy is her teacher! The only thing she is upset about is that they don't teach you how to write letters yet, so we work on that throughout the week; while we work with Jake on knowing all his letters. He is such a quick learner! He has all of his uppercase letters down, now just working on the lowercase.

I think I need to keep this up better. It really is a good release! We do have our internet back, so it should be much easier now :) Happy first day of "Spring", and I hope it is much warmer where you are!

Monday, February 4, 2013

And The Award Goes To....

Dun, dun dun... Me! Joking, joking. It is the "Liebster Award" passed around to people with blogs. It was passed on to me from my friend Sarah at Representin'. She is lovely, funny, and understands my hatred of the monthly drill weekend ;-) So check her out!
As you can see I haven't blogged in quite a while! We have been without internet since the end of October(due to John's time without work for 6ish weeks, that money has been needed to catch up on necessary bills), but I figured I should take some time out of my watching NCIS on my break at work to do this because it looks fun. And internet will be coming back to our apartment in a few weeks, so I can actually keep up; yay!
So this Liebster thing is basically you do 11 random facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked, create 11 new questions, and nominate up to 11 new people (with less than 200 followers)! Sooooo here goes.

Facts About Nicole
1. I'm obsessive about getting my hair trimmed every 8-10 weeks. I hate split ends. This last trim I got had happened about 12-14 weeks (yes, I was freaking out) after my prior one, and the stylist left some split ends. I went to my normal stylist the next day and she got all of my ends for me and evened out the growing out-ness of my bangs. I shall never leave her again.
2. I love holiday crafts. Me & the kids + the nannied kids are all heading to Michael's for V-day craft supplies this afternoon!
3. Superhero/action movies are my favorite. Girly movies are lovely too, but I would happily watch The Avengers over 27 Dresses any day.
4. I also can't read girly books. I have tried to read 4 different Nicholas Sparks novels... oh my word. I suffered through about 3 chapters in each and had to be done. The movie versions are much better to me!
5. I just found out I have Endometriosis. It kinda sucks and is painful, but me & my OBGYN are going to be BFFs for the next few months while we figure something out to "fix" it.
6. I genuinely enjoy school. I'm super excited to start back at it this summer!
7. I have a strong sense of smell. If something smells weird in the apartment, I smell it out until I find out what the culprit is. It drives John nuts :)
8. I have huge feet. Size 10 (sometimes 10.5 ever since having Jake). And I'm not exactly "tall" at 5'5, so I'm always buying shoes based on if they make my feet look smaller!
9. I love being outside. I cannot wait to bring the kids camping and hiking this summer, I hope to instill a love of the outdoors in them!
10. I dislike having to dress up for things. Besides holidays/weddings; those are fun. I think that is a big part about why I love my job so much... I can go to work in sweats and a hoodie and its perfectly acceptable. Nanny win!
11. Playing "active" games with the kids is my favorite part of my day. Hide & go seek, red light green light, dance parties, treasure hunts.

The Answers
1. What are your last 5 Google searches?
What channel is HLN Network on Direct TV
2001 Chevy Trailblazer
How many pages in Game of Thrones
Sushi Tango, Minneapolis
2. What is your first memory?
Pushing my brother off my grandparent's fireplace and him hitting his head before my first day of preschool. We are awesome siblings.
3. What is one decision you have made that you will never regret?
Having both of my kids. I have ALWAYS been very pro-life, but when it came down to that time of unplanned pregnancies I was terrified. I looked into my options, prayed a lot, and finally came to the decision that they both had a plan, so who was I to decide to to change God's plans? They are both such immense blessings to our lives, I'm so glad I made the right "choice" in keeping our beautiful children.
4. What's one thing you would try if you knew for sure you would be great at it?
Opening a foster home for kids of all ages. Its my dream to foster kids and treat them right. If I knew for sure I would have the funding and could help so many kids, I would do it in a heartbeat.
5. "The Notebook". Yes or No?
Most days, no. But if I'm already in a crummy/sad mood, it is a great movie to continue being sad through.
6. What would you do if you had $1 million, and only an hour to spend it?
Buy a plane, and as much fuel as the remaining money could find it. Then I could still use that money for a long time, to do my favorite thing; traveling!
7. What is your dream job?
Interior Designer. Designing layouts of houses every day... I know, I'm weird. But I LOVE it. I can't wait to help design our own home some day.
8. Do you believe in "love at first sight"?
Not at all. Lust, obsession, "holy crap hes hot" - yes. Well, except when it comes to having kids. there is definitely that feeling when you first see their adorable yet nasty covered with junk selves that you're like "Wow, I am going to love this little person for the rest of my life"; and it is amazing.
9.  What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A vet. Until I discovered I would have to care for EVERY animal, not just dogs and horses.
10. If you could change one thing about your wedding day, what would it be?
Getting pooped on by a bird. Walked outside onto the terrace, and immediately had bird poo on my shoulder/chest. Everything else was amazing though! Oh, and being pregnant, wouldn't recommend it haha ;-) The day becomes much more exhausting!
11. What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
Beaches, sleeping in, time to finish a book or two, my husband, an interesting history to the place, and a LOT of exploring of where ever it is we happen to be.

And here are the nominees...
Strawberry Cutiepie
Walking on a dream.
Molly Crocker Cooking
The Rasmussen Family Blog
My Pulchritudinous Life
....and anyone else who has a blog that I'm not following! (P.S. Send me the link to your blog, I love reading them!)

11 Questions for my nominees
1. What is a used-to-be favorite outfit that you are now horridly embarrassed about?
2. Best breakfast cereal?
3. What is something you always had on your wish list as a kid and never received?
4. Favorite fairytale, and why?
5. Do you have a favorite quote, and what is it?
6. If you could switch lives with anyone (living in the present) for a day, who would it be?
7. What are 3 songs that make you feel good?
8. What is your favorite genre to read?
9. Villain you would most want to be (from any movie)?
10. Do you want to live as long as possible (even if you end up getting sick), or would you want to die before "old age" sets in and you can no longer do everything you love?
11. God gives you any superpower you want, what do you ask him for?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Escape 2012

Well, we are freshly sun-kissed and home from our vacation in Grand Cayman.  For those people who have zero clue where the Cayman Islands are, mainly because a lot of people have asked where it is, here is a map! It is the tiny group of islands SW of Cuba.
It is a tiny island, only 20-ish miles long and a few miles wide. We LOVED our time there! Everyone we met was super friendly, I never got propositioned to buy drugs, and always felt very safe. John & I went with my brother and his wife, Kathy. The 2 couples definitely have very different ideas of what "vacation" includes. For John & I it means waking up at 7 (our inner alarm clocks unfortunately) plenty of beach/pool time, but having that equaled out by plenty of exploring and excursions to stay busy. For David & Kathy it means sleeping in and oodles of beach/pool relaxing time, with other outings sprinkled in. We had a solid dose of both though for our vaca together! Many of our planned outings got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy making its way through the Caribbean to our east, which made the water super choppy and the weather very windy/sporadically rainy. But it was fun watching it rain sideways :) And the government there has the ability to close all on-the-water activities that include any tourists. BUT that made for those days to be spent reading on the beach and enjoying drinks by the pool bar!

So Sunday was our first full day there and we spent it 100% relaxing and figuring out what we would do with our week. David & John figured out they weren't going to be playing "good" volleyball all week, which was a tad hilarious to watch. Me & Kathy started our tans (well, my burn). We explored the ocean in front of our resort, which was very rocky but also cool because it was coral all over and we saw tons of fish just standing in knee-deep water!

Monday was our snorkel day! We all caught on fairly quickly and made our way from the pool to the dock right in front of the resort. We swam in schools of these big blue/silverish fish, saw tarpon, a starfish, and tons of other fish I couldn't even try to name. We then made our way to a place called Rum Point and snorkeled around their pier, which was my favorite spot. There were lots of rocks and coral and we saw tons of different colorful fish all over. Our final place was called Starfish Beach, which wasn't that great for snorkeling except for a couple spots, but we saw these tiny, clear jellyfish that freaked me out at first until one of the locals said they were harmless. We saw 4 starfish while there; John & David picked a couple up. They feel like a rock! We ate at a delicious beach-side restaurant for lunch and then made our way back to enjoy the pool for a few hours before the resort party. After the resort-party we made our own drinks in our room.... and photo-taking ensued.

Tuesday we went to the Botanical Gardens and saw tons of cool plants and 7 Blue Iguanas! Tried a failed attempt at 7 Mile Beach.... We ended up walking through tons of "private beach" area while on our search for the public beaches, ate at a tasty restaurant (but really... everywhere was tasty; I didn't eat a single thing that wasn't beyond delicious on this trip), and finally drove up to the public beach. By this point, however, it was pouring... So we just drove back to the resort where it wasn't raining and hung out on the beach.

The rest of the week was spent mostly on the beach & by the pool as well because literally every outing was cancelled, but the weather was stunning! We made most of our breakfasts and 1 dinner to save some money. Read a ton. Ate more delectable food. Best dinner was for sure at this place called Tukka about 5 mins from the resort. I had the 2nd best steak I've ever had (nothing beats Ruth's Chris) and John had a tuna steak, which he said was equally amazing. We spent 1 morning/early afternoon shopping in Georgetown and finally at 7 Mile Beach. Also, found out that island time is a very real thing... everything was super laid back and fairly "slow". I loved it... John was going a tad crazy from it :)

John drove on the wrong side of the car & rode... That was terrifying! Especially when David was in charge of the map ;)

All in all it was an amazing trip! HUGE thanks to Meghan & Trevor for letting us rent out their timeshare! If the kids had been with, solid chance I may have stayed!

Book series suggestion from the week: The Circles Series by Ted Dekker. So good!

AND exciting news that happened the day before we left, John got a job! He is going to be a personal banker at Wells Fargo and starts next week! PTL. Now we're off to hopefully get some cute costume pics of the kids... and definitely using a friend's technique of bribing with candy for cuteness!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In A Nutshell

Well, it has been a while!

I haven't felt very "bloggy" for quite some time. Mainly, because I didn't want to come on here solely to whine/complain about junk. And John was gone a lot this summer, so odds are that is what would have happened. But I thought I would do a little update/rundown for those of you wondering what is going on in our lives! Its exciting, I promise ;-)

John was laid off 3 weeks ago. Currently in job-searching mode. And as much as this time in our life sucks because of it (losing his job 3 weeks before a vacation... not exactly great timing!), I can see a bit of where the "it all happens for a reason" and "God has it in His plans" talk can come from. His grandpa Gint passed away last Thursday. This time off work gave John time to visit Gint in his last weeks much more than he would have been able to, and to help his mother and father plan the funeral all week that is tomorrow evening. His uncles are spread across the country, and one was on a trip to Germany at the time, so a lot of the "burden" of this time has fallen on the shoulders of my in-laws. But from what I have seen of their work on the arrangements it is going to be beautiful, and fitting for a man who very much deserves to have his life celebrated, as he seemed to always be celebrating life when I saw him.

I am still working as a nanny, and the kids still come with every day. It has truly been amazing watching them all grow up around each other. Addison & Brooke growing from 2 year olds  to being almost 4 and being so incredibly bright it amazes me most days. And such great little playmates, there is nothing those two cannot create in their imaginations together. Aaron was 3 months old when I started, and now he is almost 2 1/2! He and Jake went from being two separate little boys who did their own thing throughout the day, to being mostly inseparable. If it has wheels, it is gold to those two.

Brooke is almost 4! She starts gymnastics in 2 weeks, and is so excited to start school so she can learn to write her name just like her cousins. Growing up wayyy too quickly for my liking! She definitely still has her little spit-fire personality, and I just love it :) It drives daddy a tad insane some days! She has decided naps are unnecessary, but we still have "quiet time" every day. At home it is with her princess cd and tons of books. At work it is with a movie and dolls. Although, I am looking for a longer cd to bring so we can cut the movies out of the equation. Brooklyn is all girl. If it is pink, sparkly, Barbie, or "cute" it has her name written allll over it. She loves shopping. And superheroes. A girl after my own heart <3

And Jake is almost 3! Only 2 months away! He has grown so much physically and developmentally in the last 6 months it baffles me. He went from barely talking, to 4-word sentences. He barely toddled around and tripped all over himself, and now he loves to show us how "super fast" he can run by literally running as fast as he can all over the apartment. Trucks, tractors, and trains are his favorites above every other toy or topic you could bring up to him. He excitedly watches out the window while we're driving to make sure he points out every semi-truck and dump trunk he can see. He can count to 10, can say his prayers, and loves to copy big sister. He is growing up so fast, but will never stop being my baby boy! It is a good thing he still loves to cuddle so much :)

Well, time to finish the last-minute packing and get some rest! A week on the beaches of Grand Cayman is calling our names.... only 1 more day to get through!

Have a lovely week all :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Strengths & Weaknesses

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

 - Food. This is easily my number 1. And sweet over salty ever since Jake was born, before him I didn't have much of a sweet tooth at all. And this new "diet" (I'm going with calling it a lifestyle change - aka lifestyle to look awesome in the swimsuit John bought me for our vaca) is testing that weakness, but so far, so good! Sweets & chips, I shall defeat you.

 - Underwear. I get gift cards for VS from the hubs (a lot) and easily spend every cent on underwear (I fully realize this isn't what John wants me to buy with them haha oops). You can never have too much! And there are so many cute & different styles & colors & designs! If there is anything I hoard, its underwear.

 - Clothes shopping for the kids, or really any form of shopping for any children. I love the amazingly well-kept hand-me-downs from my sister and a couple friends, but there is nothing like seeing brand new adorable outfits on the kiddos... Lets just say I'm officially not allowed to buy them another single item of clothing until fall. 

 - Insecurity. Its a huge roller coaster of emotions, and I know drives my husband insane. But my body is so completely different after having kids, I have to tackle dieting and working out so differently than I did before... the old tricks don't work and figuring out new ones that do is freaking hard! So, this one is still very much a work in progress.... Talk to me again in October. That's my end date.

 - Anger. Mainly taking out my anger on my husband. I mean, he is the only adult I see most days besides my bosses, and taking out anger on 2 & 3 yr old's is just not okay! So he is generally the poor soul who has to take the big load of my daily frustrations. And when he is gone, every few days I am far too short fused with the kids, because he isn't there to let it out on. It is something I'm really working on, and need to find another area to displace my anger to. An okay area.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

So I'm not so big into the soul searching thing and I found this much harder than the weaknesses, so I asked John for list off the top of his head.... here is the list he texts back:

1. "You're a jawsome mom" (yes he actually said jawsome)
2. "You're tactful for the most part"
3. "You're a great kisser, amazing actually"
4. "You make sweet spiced potatoes"
5. "You see the best in people; which is good, because I see the worst"

Well, there ya have it. So come on over for some spiced potatoes sometime, apparently they're good enough to make the top 5!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Typical Day

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

It is really hard to think of a "typical" day in my life.... most days are very different! I work part-time as a nanny, babysit for my nieces/nephew 1 day/week, have 1 day totally off which is our laundry day, and then there is the weekend, which is generally busy trying to keep the kids entertained! But there are some parts to the day that is typical...

6-6:30 a.m.> Jacob wakes up. Sometimes he wakes up Brooklyn too, but he generally leaves her be. And a couple times/month he sleeps until 7! I feel like an entirely new person those days.

7-8:30> Brooklyn wake up some time in here, every day is different. And if we're watching my sister's kids, we leave the house by 7 that day.

6:30-8:30> Breakfast, shower for me, gets kids dressed and ready, do the same for myself, pack diaper bag, check facebook/email, watch 5 minutes of the news before the kids yell for cartoons, search for sippy cups, keys, and shoes that have all been hidden somewhere within the apartment

8:40> Leave for either work (Mon, Tues, Fri) or the gym (Weds)

9-1ish> (Mon, Tues, Fri) Do the nanny thing, which generally includes snack time, cartoons, playing with oodles of toys, playing outside (this time is generally quite relaxing actually!), wrestling, a lot of breaking up fights & kissing boo-boos, diaper changes, playing princess or doctor, making lunch, cleaning up toys & dishes, laying Addison & Aaron down for their naps, and then Brooke, Jake, & I head home to lay them down for naps.

7-4ish> (Thurs) Watch my nieces and nephew. Day consists of a lot of the same as nanny days but the baby is much younger and my older nieces are much more helpful with Brooke & Jake! And it involves lots of baby snuggles and enjoying the good baby smells :)

1-3> Nap time. At home I mostly relax and catch up on Game of Thrones or read a book, and sometimes take a short nap myself (especially the days Brooke insists on cuddles in order to sleep). Very rarely this time is actually productive haha but sometimes!

4ish-6> Any of these activities: Play outside, do puzzles, color, play playdoh, go for a walk, go to park, kids attacking John when he gets home from work

6-7:30> Prepare and serve dinner, give kids baths, clean up toys from the living room

7:30-8:30> Pre-bedtime wrestle time, read books, cuddles, prayers, checking for monsters int heir room in all sorts of ridiculous places, including but not limited to - under the bed, in the princess castle & barbie house, int he closet, in all lights & pictures, in the fans, in eyes, nose, and mouth. Finally we are allowed to leave their room and they (usually) stay in bed.

8:30-bedtime> Sit down and let the body relax, turn on some show or movie, cuddle with the hubs on the couch when hes home and not playing Diablo (that game blows btw), clean up dinner dishes, lock doors & windows, go to sleep anywhere between 10 and midnight.

I know, my days are super exciting and thrilling haha. If you made it all the way through you should receive an award!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Back to the "30 Things" blogs. I'm going to answer several of the questions in this one, mainly because I don't see any reason for them to have long, drawn-out explanations! And don't want to for some of them.

7. What is your dream job, and why?
Interior designer. Hands down. No, not an interior decorator, an interior designer is the one who designs what the interior layout of a building is going to be. I took a couple classes on this in high school, and one in college (even though it has had nothing to do with my degree); but I don't want to pursue it because it is hard to get a good job in this field, and takes forever to do so. But I love it. Because you know how you walk into a building or house and just think "This is the stupidest layout of rooms/entries ever, this makes no sense!"..... or maybe that's just me? Probably. But its one of my pet peeves, and I'm good at fixing it. So that would be my ultimate dream job!

8. What are 5 passions you have?
1) Kids. Obviously. I'm a nanny, I'm restarting school this fall to become an elementary school teacher; I'm generally a big fan of kids. And they are our future after all! Why not try to help mold them into a solid adult?

2) Art. There is nothing better than spending an entire afternoon in an art museum delving into each piece.... I know. I'm a nerd.

3) Music. It can heal the soul.

4) Capturing memories. I love taking pictures (even though they generally aren't very good!), and then scrapbook them so they are forever beautifully kept.

5) Family. I have been surrounded by a pretty great family my entire life, and feel it is most important to keep those relationships strong.

I'm skipping #9. I don't want to write about something that personal right now.

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Its freshman year of high school. End of the school day. Grandpa is picking us up but I forgot something in one of my classes. So I go running into school, up to the 2nd level to my algebra class to get my papers and am on my way out. I run down the stairs on my way back out, and on my way down am interrupted by the hot upperclassman who was also in that class saying "Hey" (yes, since he was retaking algebra 1 as a junior I now realize he was a moron lol). So, I turn my head to say something, but then completely wipe out on the stairs, falling down the remaining ones. THANK GOD THIS WAS AFTER SCHOOL. But Mr Hot Stuff totally saw it and I was so embarrassed.... He also found it completely awesome to remind me about it constantly for the rest of the semester.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
1) Not using blinkers while driving. Seriously, did you all fail driver's ed?!

2) Wearing all other makeup BESIDES mascara. It looks stupid.

3) Awkwardly designed houses/buildings. I'm desperately hoping we can build our own house when we are able to buy, so I don't have to go through 800 houses hating all of their designs.

4) At the gym, when people take the machine right next to you, when there are 5 identical ones open..... I don't wanna smell your B.O.

5) Spelling the majority of everything you post on facebook/twitter/whatever incorrectly. There is a spell-check tool for a reason, use it. P.S. "Cray" (crazy), "da" (the), "dey" (they) and other such stupid things, also fall into this category!

6) Clothes/Towels folded & put away incorrectly

7) Christmas decorations up past the first week of January. Its super tacky, and time too embrace the blah-ness that is the rest of winter.

8) Stoners.

9) Flakes. If you say you're going to do something or be somewhere, do it or be there. I fully understand things come up, ESPECIALLY when you have kids. But flaking on things all the time is just annoying, and makes it so I don't even want to attempt anymore.

10) When the people at the nail spa just won't stop talking to you while you're getting a pedicure. That might be rude, but I brought a book for a reason. To get this 30 minutes to just completely relax away from the kids.