Monday, April 3, 2017


Oscar will be three next week. He showed absolutely no signs of being ready to potty train. In fact, he was afraid to sit on the toilet. 
I just kept telling myself that boys take longer to train and they usually train late. 
A couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I told Oscar that in the morning his diapers would be too small and so we would have to pack them up and give them to Baby Finn. He was actually excited about the idea and told his sisters at supper that we were going to pack up his diapers. 
The next morning, I got a bag and started loading them up. He ran over and hugged his diapers, not wanting to let them go. 
Well, we packed them all up and I prepared for the worst. I got a stack of underwear and pants, hauled all of his toys into the kitchen, filled a jar with jelly beans and waited. I didn't let him leave the kitchen. We got comfy and just laid around playing Legos.
The first time he went in the toilet was earth shattering. I was so happy!!!! 
We haven't looked back.
He's had maybe 3 accidents and he wakes up every morning with a dry Pull-up. I'm not quite ready to trust him in undies all night but he's doing so well!!
I'm actually shocked by the fact that he potty trained almost instantly. 
I feel like it was our last big hurdle to escape life with babies. :)


Last winter, we were sick all. winter. long. It seemed to never end. Ava had started Kindergarten and brought home every bug possible. 

This year has been much better. (I hope I'm not jinxing all of us right now). While it's impossible to avoid all sickness, there have been a few things that we've done this winter that I think have made all the difference. 

-Everyone has their own cup in the bathroom and each one holds their own toothbrush and toothpaste. No more sharing. 

-Bedtimes are s.t.r.i.c.t. Call me crazy but the kids go to bed at 6:30 almost every night of the week (during the school year) so they get a full 12 hours of sleep. Believe me, they need it. :) 

-Clorox wipes are amazing. 

- Humidifiers are filled and running 24/7. Every bedroom has one and there's one in the living room too. We just learned the other day that the reason people get sick more often in the winter is because the air is dry so their mucus is more dry and unable to catch viruses before they get into your body. So, humidifiers it is. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Winter. It's -8 degrees and the wind is howling. The weather app says it feels like -32 degrees. The windows are beautifully laced with frosty fingers and the heat is cranked. I'm wishing I didn't have to leave the house today. I need to go take a double dose of Vitamin D. 

I feel weird this New Year. You know that feeling of renewed "I'm going to make my life awesome" feeling that people seem to miraculously feel on January 1st? I'm not feeling it. So what am I feeling? (I know, there's a lot of feeling going on here) There's been a trend the past couple of years of choosing a word to define your year. Words like joy, quality, pursuit, present, purpose, contentment, intentional and peace. What I'm wondering is why we just pick one? Wouldn't it be great if we could live out all of these words? That's how I'm feeling this year. 

That being said, I do have some goals for 2017. The first two are to get to my goal weight and run a half marathon. When I reach those two, I want to take guitar lessons. Something I've been wanting to do since I was 18. If there's one thing I've learned about myself is that I suffer from goal paralysis if there is such a thing. Set too many goals and I don't know where to begin and nothing gets done. Another thing that is very clear is that I'm the only one that can achieve my goals. No one else can lose the weight for me. No one else can run that half marathon for me. No one else can learn the guitar for me. Here's to 2017!

Just a little kid update. 
Oscar has had a growth spurt and is barreling his way into 4T clothes. 
He finds the letter "O" wherever he can and says, "Mom! There's mine O!!"
He's getting pretty good at singing the alphabet. 

Jaina is growing too. She's the same height as Ava was when she turned 6! 
It's hard to believe that she'll be going to kindergarten this year.

In the blink of an eye, Ava has gone from dressing up like a princess to friend drama at school. How does this happen?!

I'm going to combat the winter blues today by cleaning the house and I don't mean just pick up here and there. I mean really get in and get rid of stuff kind of clean. 

Or maybe I'll take a nap.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Look at those kids. Aren't they just a bundle of cuteness? Yes, they are and I love them to death. But......

Today, mama lost it. 

Jaina has pushed every button and tested every limit lately. It's a constant stream of, "But I don't like that! Who do I play with? What should I do? I want to do something FUN!!!!" She's been crabby, whiny, negative and obstinate and all the while she wants to do something FUN! 

Believe me....I like fun just as much as the next guy but....

All of a sudden, I had a revelation and my kids heard the speech of a lifetime. 

"It is not my responsibility to give you fun. It IS my responsibility to love, nurture, feed, clothe, teach, shelter, comfort, heal and listen to you, but it is NOT my responsibility to give you fun. You have plenty of toys. Go use your imagination. I am not here on this earth to make sure that you have fun!"

Does this shock you? Maybe.
Does this make me a bad mom? Maybe.
Did this speech given at 6 decibels too loud change behaviors and attitudes almost immediately? Yes.

There's a saying that moms get paid in hugs and kisses. It's true. 
But being a mom is also a thankless job. 

I'm sure my mom is reading this and just laughing out loud because of these lessons that I'm learning ever so slowly. 

So, this is just a little drop in the bucket THANK YOU! to my Mom (and Dad) for loving, nurturing, feeding, clothing, teaching, sheltering, comforting, healing and listening to me. Thank you for putting up with all of my nonsense and for even making sure I had a little bit of fun. :)
I hope you have the consolation of knowing that I appreciate everything you've done for me even more now that I have my own rugrats to take care of. :)

Is it bedtime yet? 

Friday, October 28, 2016


This is just kind of a hodge-podge of life right now...a roller coaster of and downs...the stresses of life and raising kids.

I ordered a pack of yoga cards on Amazon and the kids have had a lot of fun going through them! 
Ah, Weight Watchers. I hardly know what to say about this journey but I do know that looking at these pictures side by side is motivated, encouraging and uplifting. It's so easy to get dragged down by everyday failures when it comes to diet and exercise but I've proved that I can do I just need to keep going!
Anyone tired of making supper? Me!! I'm excited about this new cookbook....maybe it will inspire me. I hope. 
I never imagined the things we would encounter as parents. Sometimes it seems like the emotional burden is heavy...when kids are sick, when things go wrong, even when things are good and right....there is always something in the back of our minds. We are trying a new trick to keep little hands busy instead of biting fingernails and other nervous habits. We are hoping that early intervention will lead to a healthier, happier, less anxious life. More than ever I'm so thankful for family and friends who support us in our efforts. 
"You have to be able to love yourself before you can love anyone else...yet marriage will not tolerate selfishness." 
I'll be the first to admit that marriage takes work. Even the best matched people probably run into glitches once in awhile. 
I love this book. It explains things like communication so clearly that it's hard not to apply its advice. I highly recommend it. Oh, and P.S. Don't worry. We're fine :) 
My friend Jen sent my this awesome shirt. Seriously, it fits me to a T!! How do I explain my relationship with Target? I would say it's thriving. How many packs of diapers, gallons of milk and bottles of dish soap have I purchased? How many times have I hauled all of the kids from the back of the store to the front, just so one of them could go potty? How many times have I walked through the aisles, pushing the cart with a screaming toddler while nursing the baby? How many times have I left the store feeling like it was the best workout I had all week because of the kid juggling and running around? And what is it about Target that makes you so hot!? How many times have I had free time and found myself just wandering the aisles and enjoying the peace and quiet? How many times have I gone to Target just for the simple reason of wanting to go simply because I. Love. Target? More than I can count.
I never thought I would be a Lego mom. I swore I would never buy Legos. Seriously, I love Duplo Legos!! They are awesome! Lesson learned. Never say never. 
I'm a big fan of baby teeth. Ava's front tooth is so loose so I snapped a picture just so I could have one of her baby teeth. :)
If anyone is wondering, we still paint in our undies at our house. :)

Ever heard of Bill Staines? He's my new favorite musician. 

And now it's the weekend! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016


I thought it might be time for a little Oscar update since every time he says something cute I'm like, "Man, I need to remember that! Maybe I should write it down!" :)

He loves his "ABC's" but to him it's "ERD" When he sees letters and wants to tell me what they are he says, "Wow, Mom! E R D!!"

"Peeew!! Deena (Jaina) stinks"

He counts to 11 on a good day but some of his numbers get mixed up.

"I love meetings, Mama."

"Tell me a story, Oscar."
"Ummm...Ruuf (Ruth) and Jesus."

"Can I help you, Mama?"

"You makin me sad, Mama."

He really, really, really wants to go to school.

"I cared (scared) mama."
He gets scared at night of anything that makes a shadow.

"Do it mineself!"

He loves to sing song with his sisters but he's always a few words behind. :)

"Oscar can you pick up your toy's please?"

Friday, October 14, 2016


Congratulations Eric and Amber!!! Wishing you many, many years of love and laughter!!!! 


Ten years. It's seems like yesterday that we stood by the lake and said our vows. Life together has brought so many new experiences. How do you sum up 10 years in a few words? All I can say is that it just gets better. 
I'm so thankful that we were able to take a few days to celebrate our anniversary. Mom and Dad took the kids for the weekend (thanks a million times a million!) and we headed up the north shore. We managed to score one of the last rooms at Lutsen Resort and had the best. weekend. ever. 
We hiked Eagle Mountain (the highest point in MN), rode the gondola and the alpine slide at Lutsen Ski Resort, played mini golf and explored Grand Marais, sat on the beach, drank lots of coffee, toured Split Rock Lighthouse and enjoyed a few precious days of no diapers and car seats. We loved every second of our weekend away. 
How about a little time travel to when we were just babies? :)


I was surprised when Ava came home on her first day of 1st grade and told me that she had had a bad day. She came home on her second day and told me she had another bad day. She didn't like her teacher, she didn't like school and she didn't want to go. It broke my heart because this wasn't the Ava I know. The Ava I know loves school and loves to learn. Over the course of the week, I found out there are 31 kids in her class. That's a lot of kids. I also found out that she had been getting in "trouble." Trouble?! I had a minute to talk to her teacher one afternoon and I was assured that all of the kids were in the same boat....learning the rules and discipline of the classroom. 
It's been about a month now since school started and she's been having good days. Her teacher isn't quite two thumbs up but it's not because her teacher is horrible. She's actually quite good! I think it's just been an adjustment to stricter discipline which is good for Ava. I think overall, she's going to have a really good year. 
Little miss Jaina loves preschool. She has the best teacher and I love that she has this opportunity to go every morning. My hope is that this will be her last year of preschool. Kindergarten, here she comes!!! 

Monday, September 12, 2016


Oscar fell off the couch. Just hugging a pillow, he rolled and flipped. He landed on his head and shoulder. When he didn't stop crying, I knew something was wrong. I called the chiro right away and they were able to see him as soon as I could get there. Before his adjustment, he couldn't turn his head. After his adjustment, he was feeling much better. I thought we were in the clear. 
As the day went on and I could tell he was favoring his right arm (as in not using it at all) I knew in my gut that something more serious was going on. 
I brought him to the Dr. the next day and he had x-rays taken. Sure enough. He had a non displaced fracture on his right clavicle. 
A few days later, he got a brace for his shoulders (I'm still not sure what good it did or what it's purpose was). 
After two weeks he was back to normal. Now you can hardly tell it was fractured except for the bump on the bone and a little bit of wincing when you change his shirt. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Ack! Summer is over! It was a whirlwind three months....
Now that kids are back in school it seems like a good time to get caught up. I'm continuously torn between keeping up this space and deleting it altogether. I think that if I could find a good way to easily convert everything I've written into book form, I would do it and shut down the blog. My favorite form of documentation is photography but Google Photos has me all in a tizzy and full of frustration so I haven't been able to keep that up either. Another thing....I want to make photo books. Go back to old school and sit on the couch and look at a photo album. Sounds dreamy huh?

Oscar talks. Like really talks. I never thought the day would come.
It's funny though that his favorite way to communicate is to roar. It seems to be the language of boys because I've been witness to whole conversations between boys that consisted only of roaring. He love his legos and riding bike. The real struggle with him this summer has been sleeping. He slept with us for two weeks in Oregon. Shortly after returning home, we had a serious storm come through and scared him to his bones which led to him sleeping in our room again. Several other things throughout the summer and just being scared and a momma's boy in general has kept him from sleeping in his room all night long. It's frustrating but I just keep telling myself it's a faze and soon he'll no longer need me like he does now. I've been trying to record his voice now and again so that I can look back and remember his sweet little voice.

Jaina is feisty. She was going to make a sandwich and all that was left was the end of the loaf. "Mom! All that's left is the fat!!"
She put her hoodie on and said, "Mom, can you zip this and put the roof on?"
She went over to where Donald was changing Oscars dirty diaper and was feeling seriously left out when she asked him, "Dad, did he get to have chocolate?!"
Ava asked if there were sharks in a lake we were at. Jaina said, "No because it's not salt water, silly!!"
She's grown almost 2 inches since June which would explain her hearty appetite!!
Oh, and don't let her see you kill a fly. Flies are her friends.

Ava is growing up. She loves to ride her bike and take pictures with her camera. She's also turned into a little bookworm and reads chapter books late into the night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


1. What's your favorite color? "Pink."
2. What's your favorite toy? "Ummm my thinking putty."
3. What do you like for breakfast? "I like oatmeal."
4. What do you like to do outside? "Play with friends."
5. What is your favorite animal? "Kitty."
6. What do you like to wear? "My jean jacket."
7. Who is your best friend? "Umm I think I have two or three.    Molly, Katie and Elsie
8. What do you like for a snack? "Yogurt covered raisins."
9. What is your favorite song? "Rollin in the Deep."
10. What do you sleep with? "Ummmm Furball my kitty."
11. What is your favorite book? "hmm Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones."
12. What is your favorite ice cream? "Mint Chocolate Chip."
13. What is your favorite vegetable? "Carrot."
14. What is your favorite fruit? "Grapes."
15. Where is your favorite place? "Mall of America."
16. What is your favorite thing to do? "Going to Oregon and going to John and Victoria's."
17. What do you want to be when you grow up? "Can I have two jobs? Well, one is not really a job...a scientist aaannnnddd a teacher."
18. What is your favorite thing to eat? "Spaghetti and pancakes. Not together."

21. What makes you happy? "When I can stay up all night."
22. What makes you sad? "When I have to go to bed early."
23. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy? "Because you give me treats and I love you."

24. What is different now that you're 7? "I've got bigger and I like more stuff."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Dear Jaina,
It's hard to believe that you're only 4. I feel like you should be turning 5. I don't know why this is....maybe it's because you're tall. Or maybe it's because you can keep up with your big sis who's almost 7! Either way, I'm excited to watch you grow this year!
We had a fun birthday party up at Grandma Z's cabin on Memorial Day! We celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa Lund, John and Victoria, Dane and Andrea, Bronson and Grandma Z! Grandma made you a beautiful rainbow cake just like you wanted! 
You started preschool this year and you love your teacher, Mrs. Yngsdal! Most days you love to go but lately you've been wanting to stay home with me. Your favorite day is gym day! 
You are full of sass and sparkle. You're tough. You're brave.You've got attitude. You're goofy and sensitive. You like to do things you're not supposed to do. :)
I think your least favorite thing is helping around the house. When we ask you to help, you're all of a sudden "too hot" or "too tired" or "your arms hurt."
You do everything in your power to keep up and be like Ava but at the same time you are one of a kind, original, Jaina. 
We love you so, so much! 
Happy Birthday sweetie pie!

  • lbs (coming soon)
  • inches (coming soon)
  • size 6-6x
  • size 10-11 shoe


1. What's your favorite color? "Pink and Purple."
2. What's your favorite toy? "My Barbie dolls and my mermaid."
3. What do you like for breakfast? "Ummm...noodles and cereal."
4. What do you like to do outside? "Play on Grandma's deck and have a race with Grandpa."
5. What is your favorite animal? "Kittens and dogs."
6. What do you like to wear? "My new skirts."
7. Who is your best friend? "Maven, Maren, Ashley and Ruth."
8. What do you like for a snack? "Sandwiches at the park and at the beach."
9. What is your favorite song? "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
10. What do you sleep with? "Yogi!"
11. What is your favorite book? "The one from my birthday."
12. What is your favorite ice cream? "Sprinkled donut cake chocolate."
13. What is your favorite vegetable? "Carrots in soup."
14. What is your favorite fruit? "Grapes."
15. Where is your favorite place? "The zoo."
16. What is your favorite thing to do? "Umm go to a teddy store."
17. What do you want to be when you grow up? "A vet for toy pets."
18. What is your favorite thing to eat? "Broccoli with salt and butter."
19. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy? " play with me at the park. Sometimes."
20. What do you want for your birthday? "More toys!"

21. What makes you happy? "When Mommy and Daddy kiss me goodnight."
22. What makes you sad? "When you don't come back and when Tap is dead."


Ava and I went out for breakfast last Saturday....I think she's been feeling kind of bad about having to go to school and being left out of fun things that we do during the day. Jaina is really good about filling Ava in on all the details when she gets off the bus. 
We went to the local coffee shop and had a nice quiet time together. I asked her if Kindergarten was what she had expected it to be or if it was easier or more difficult. She said, "Well, I thought we were going to read hard stories and do hard math problems." 
I asked, "So Kindergarten was easier than you expected?"
She said, "Yeah, I'm like, give me a hard one! What is this, preschool?!"

Ava learned how to ride a bike without training wheels!!! Molly has been working with her and all of a sudden she just took off!! Our first ride as a family was 3 miles in the rain and she did awesome. (The last mile was a bit hard.) "My heart is pounding so hard it feels like it's beating against a rock!!"
Jaina was in the bathtub last week and she started crying....She said, "Mom, I don't want to have a baby!"
"Your not going to have a baby, Jaina."
"But my cousins told me to kiss Hunter and I did and I don't want to have a baby!!!" do you explain that one?
Jaina told me yesterday that she didn't want to die.
"Why don't you want to die, Jaina?"
"Because I want to be with you forever!"

Oscar vocabulary is growing with leaps and bounds. I just love to listen to him talk! It's mostly 2 word phrases. Today it has been, "Grandpa. Here. Grandpa. Tractor. Me. Tractor." 
He'll usually repeat something that you ask him to say. 
His favorite song is "Old MacDonald" and his favorite color is green. Everything is green. :)

Friday, April 22, 2016


Dear Oscar,
You're two. It's hard to believe my baby is two. We had a fun party with Grandma and Grandpa Lund, Great Grandma Z, John and Victoria, Eric and Amber and Bronson. Grandma made the cutest airplane cake and you got lots of fun toys. Your favorites are your legos, train set, bike and dump truck. 
You'v been talking a lot more lately. When you see letters you say, "E, E, E, E." If we catch you in the right mood you'll repeat letters when we say them. You like to count. "Doo, Eee, Doo, Eee." When you say words it's usually the end of the word like "oat" for coat. My favorite is when you yell, "Ate! Meeeee!" (Wait for me). 
Your response to most things is to growl or roar. :) It drives your sisters crazy. 
The funniest thing is when I put you to bed. You lay down on your pillow and then pop right back up on all fours and bark like a dog. Every time. 
You have a tender little heart and if you get in trouble you just melt. Tears come easily and you always asked to have your tears wiped away. You point and say, "eye."
I think the thing I love the most is that you're a mama's boy. You cry when I leave and you laugh and say, "Mama!!" when I come back. 
If you could choose to be anywhere it would be outside. 
You love anything that has an engine. 
We love watching you grow. Mommy and Daddy love you very, very much. 
Happy Birthday, Oscar

  • 32 pounds
  • 35 inches
  • 3T clothes
  • size 8 shoes
  • size 6 diaper

Monday, March 21, 2016


We have another round of crud at our house....will it ever end? The school nurse called and Ava was running a fever. I picked her up and now all of my kids are in bed (hopefully napping). Oscar started coming down with whatever this is last Sunday....running high fevers, coughing, Ava and Jaina both have it. In the meantime, I picked something up too.....
I'm hoping we don't miss too many swimming lessons.....
Donald has been working working working....
I've been failing at my running for the past week. Between snow storms and sickness and Donald working late, I can't seem to get it done. 

On a more happy note! I asked Oscar how old he is going to be on his birthday and he said, "two"!!!!!! I was so shocked!! 

Grandma and Grandpa W will be here in 10 days!!! 

Happy Monday! I'm off to take advantage of this silence! #naptime.

....or maybe I should work on that shelf project I started....or fold laundry....I wish the coffee shop had delivery service. 


A couple of weeks ago, I came to the end of myself and signed Jaina up for preschool. Best decision ever.  She's been bored at home and acting out in her typical Jaina way. I researched a couple of places and by that afternoon had taken a tour and signed her up at a school just down the road. She started bright and early the next day! She goes in the morning, 4 days a week. It fits perfectly into our schedule and she loves it. Oscar and I have our mornings together and I can get a run in and only have to push the single stroller. :) 
The neat thing is that she gets Spanish, music, gym, library, show and tell and reading buddy time!! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I finally found a running program that I love. I'm not a runner and I'm nowhere near being an athlete. 6 weeks in and I've only missed one day. That was yesterday. I'm using the "Couch to 5K" app by fitness22ltd. It's awesome. It starts you off slow and easy doing short run/walk intervals. It's actually "doable" for someone like me:) Today's workout was two 10 minute run intervals with a 5 minute walk in between. There is always a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down. There was a glitch in today's workout and I hit a bit of wall so I decided I needed something to motivate! 
I signed up for my first 5K since 2008. Yay.

"Do or do not. There is no try.  ~Yoda

I might finish last but I'm gonna finish. :)