Sunday, July 31, 2011


We had a fun, busy week. We went swimming at the local pool and out at Cedar Lake, had a family ice cream date, had a picnic lunch with Daddy at work, went to the bakery, played at the park and went back to Northfield for their Farmers Market. And this time Mama remembered the bread so we could feed the ducks! I forgot to bring my camera to a few of these outings, and a few times I intentionally left it behind, but I still managed to capture lots of memories during the week. Hope you enjoy!

I attempted a mini five month photo shoot with the little man....he wasn't having it. But I love 'em anyway.
 I actually set out on this mission because I wanted to capture how cute his vintage camera onesie is. But, you gotta go with the flow and take what you can get. Maybe another time....

This is what sister played with while I attempted the above photo shoot.
Sister likes to wear Mama's sandals.

Brother has been rolling for weeks now, and I knew it was just a matter of time before he began doing it in his bed too. I have to laugh because although he is perfectly capable of rolling both ways, he'll get on his belly and cry until we come rescue him. After a few nights of this, he finally gave in and fell asleep on his tummy. It must have been pretty cozy because he slept this way for about 3 hours!

Nugget tried out a new hairstyle, and it was pretty stinkin' cute. A 'loopty loop' (aka bun) on top of her head, adorned with a flower clip. Love it, and her. 

Brother is still lovin' his feet and enjoys sucking on his toes.

We redeemed one of Nugget's prizes she received from the library's summer reading program. A coupon for a free donut at the local bakery. It was actually for a cookie, but the sweet gal at the counter had no problem with us swapping it for a donut. Who wouldn't choose chocolate and sprinkles over a sugar cookie?

Washing dirty toes in the kitchen sink after playing hard outside with 'nakey feet'.

Nugget and her Mama.

Summer produce is in full swing and we're lovin' it. Most everything we pick doesn't even make it into the house, as a certain little almost 3 year old gobbles it right up!
What? Don't you eat your cucumbers this way too? You should try it sometime. It's fun.

And my favorite picture of the week... drum roll please...
A little sibling love. Aww, I love these two. I'm one lucky Mama.

What did you enjoy this week? I'd love to hear all about it.


Ever since she could talk, Nugget has called noodles "newies". And we've never corrected her because we just think it is so gosh darn adorable. We found this project in a recent issue of Family Fun magazine and were excited to try it.

It was super easy and lots of fun. Nugget was able to help with almost all of it, which is our kind of project! We had so much fun that I even emailed a letter and these pictures to Family Fun with high hopes that they'll publish our praises in their 'mailbox' section in a future issue. We shall see. Anyhow, here's the how-to, in case you want to try it too!

Taken from the August 2011 issue of Family Fun Magazine...

For each color, mix about 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 10 to 12 drops of food coloring in a ziplock bag.
Add 1/2 cup of dried pasta (we used rigatoni) to each bag and shake it to cover the pasta with dye.
Leave the pasta in the dye for about 5 minutes, shaking it occasionally.
Next, spoon the pasta out of the bag, placing it on paper towels.
After about 15 minutes, turn the pasta pieces over. Let them dry completely.

Tie one pasta piece to the end of a length of yarn to act as a stopper. For a simple needle, fold a twist tie around the other end of the yarn and twist its ends to secure.

There you have it! We doubled the batch, because I knew Nugget would want to make lots and lots of necklaces. And the twist tie needle idea is genius! Perfect for little hands and a great fine motor activity for little ones.

Happy newie necklace making!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


They say that introducing solid foods to your baby offers them no added nutritional value. It's more to teach them how to eat, how to chew and swallow, and how to process different flavors and textures of food. They recommend starting babies on solids anywhere between four to six months of age. Who they heck are they anyway? They would be the AAP, also known as the American Academy of Pediatrics. Now, I have never personally met anyone on this board, but figure they know a heck of a lot more about infant development than I do, and have the education to back it, so I tend to follow their guidelines the best I can.

They also say that 'breast is best'. No one needs to tell me twice that nursing my babies is good for them...that one is a no brainer to me. I've never had to weigh my options of formula feeding versus breast feeding. I've always known that 'breast is best' not only for them, but for me. It's a big commitment and doesn't always work out for everyone, but it has been a wonderful thing for my babies and I. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

That said, can you believe Brother is quickly approaching the six month mark?! Crazy, I know! I've always been one to err on the side of caution, so it's no surprise that I wanted to wait as long as I could to introduce solids. Why not? If it truly does not add to his nutritional value, I'd rather he get as much of Mama's milk as he can, for as long as possible. My goal was to not begin solids until six months with either of my babies. Nugget made it to five months, three weeks. Then she was ready, and truth be told, I was excited to try something new. Starting a week early didn't bother me. I had the same goal for brother, but boy, is he a hungry little hippo. He eats every three hours, sometimes stretching it to four or five at night. He was ready. He was showing all the signs that they say to look for...sitting up with support, showing an interest in our food (holy Hannah, did he sure swipe for our food!), has the right reflexes to swallow and not push the food back out, etc, etc. We made it to five months and two weeks, and knew it was silly to make him wait two more weeks just because. So, we took the leap, he LOVED it, and now there's no going back! It really hasn't made a difference yet in his sleeping or nursing patterns, but I wasn't expecting it to. They say it doesn't solve those problems. But we'll get there, and I'm fine with that too.

Following their recommendations, we have started with rice cereal once a day. It's going very well, and the little man seems to be a pro. It amazes me that he just knows exactly what to do. So, here we go. Bon appetite, Brother!

 The deliciousness. It really was runnier than it looks.

First bites.

Hmm, that was good. I wonder what this tastes like?

Success. And hardly a mess!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Sometimes you don't realize you are depleted until you walk away from something really good, and you feel full- alive and renewed. You are energized, optimistic, inspired. You relearn that the little things that weigh you down are just that, little things. You shake them off and see the grander scheme of life. You refocus on what's important, like getting down on the ground to play Candy Land and Pretty Pretty Princess with your little, and tell yourself that the laundry calling your name can wait another day.

We had an awesome opportunity to reconnect with some friends this weekend, and I got to experience all of the above. I didn't realize how much I missed my friend Jill until I was driving away from her cabin and was just filled to the brim with happiness.

Jill and I met in college, some nine(ish) years ago. It is so fun to have friends from different stages of your life. To remember all the fun you had together in your wild and carefree days. Now, we are both wives, teachers, moms, and those wild days are more like wild moments, far and few between, and our carefree days are a thing of the past. Back in our college days, I used to tag along with Jill to her cabin on summer weekends, and oh, the memories we made. We truly were wild and carefree, running around soaking up the sun, enjoying a few (too many) beverages and getting tossed about in the lake as we would fly from tubes being pulled by speeding boats. Fast forward to present day, and we're busy chasing preschoolers around making sure they are wearing their life jackets, slathering sun screen on them, slipping inside to check on sleeping babies and making sure bellies are full with yummy food.

I only get to see Jill once a year, at this annual cabin getaway. I left questioning why I don't make the trek to see her more often. She is so much like me...sharing goals, values, hopes and dreams. I quietly soaked her in, admired what a great mom she is, and vowed to adopt her laid back personality. She's got a great balance of it all, and she is happy. You can see it in her face, her smile, her connections with her family. And she inspired me. And renewed me. Made me feel alive. And she probably has no idea she did so.

So to Jill, who I know is reading this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship. This poem
comes to mind and it is so fitting. (And no, I don't have this thing memorized, I looked it up!)

'The Love of a Friendship'
I love you not only for what you are, but for who I am when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.
I love you because you have done more than any prayer could have done to make me good,
and more than any fate can do to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, a word, or sign.
You have done it by being yourself.
Perhaps that is what being a friend is after all.

Ok, ok, enough of the sappiness, lets move on to the pictures, which lets be honest, is what you all came here for anyways!

My little Lake Lover.
And little Lake Lady.
We did lots of fishing, both on the dock and the pontoon.
Taking a snooze on the boat, ahh to be lulled to sleep like that!

 Worms! Otherwise known as bait...

Just precious. Eli and Nugget became fast friends.

 Love the curiosity!

Eli and Chad caught matching fish...sort of!

 Another precious moment. Daddy and Nugget fishing. I love capturing these times when they don't know i'm stalking them!

A little team work to bring in a big one.

We ate some yummy food...

Captured smiles and quiet moments...

Jill's little Adi. She looks just like her Mama.

Enjoyed the little things...

And laid back and relaxed...

Thanks so much for a wonderful weekend Tomala family, and we hope to see you again soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011


We had a fabulous weekend, and kept plenty busy. Friday afternoon we set out for the Como Zoo, but with all the rain ended up at the MN Zoo. We had a blast, and I think it was our longest trip to the zoo ever! We saw all the exhibits, minus the farm because another cloud of showers was rolling in and we didn't want to get stuck out there! Wish I had some pictures to share with you, but once in awhile it's just nice to leave the camera behind and be fully present with my family. Ya know what i'm saying? But, we're headed back on Thursday with a group of friends, so maybe i'll snap a few then!

Saturday we went to one of our favorite water parks. And even though the beloved caterpillar water slide was out of commission, we still had a good time. The water was warm, and sometimes that makes all the difference!

She adores her Daddy.

Brother was sleeping when we arrived, but after a little snooze he came in to join us!

This has been Brother's first reaction to anything water (other than a bath). He quickly got over it though and had some fun.

Saturday evening, Nick and I snuck away for a little date night. Say what?! You heard me right. Although far and few between, we got some time alone! We had our first non family babysitter ever, and it went very well! Miss Britt is actually Nugget's teacher at ECFE, so we left our kids in very capable hands. It was wonderful! Nick and I enjoyed a yummy dinner and got to use a gift card we've had since Christmas!

A little back story about the next part of our date...Don't be fooled, we are very happily married, but due to my husband's line of work he does not wear his wedding ring. He will occasionally on weekends and outings, but very rarely during the week. He's been wanting this for a long time. So, we went and did this:

He is very pleased with it, and now everyone will know that my very handsome man is indeed taken.

What a great weekend, leading us into a busy week ahead!