Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I was SO excited for Memorial Day weekend this year. Not only because there was a holiday to celebrate, but because Nick took FOUR days off! Well, technically two, but coupled with the weekend it made four, and we were all excited to have the Daddy around, with no work to do!

We spent Friday around the house, tidying up this, fixing that, working a bit in the garden, and just hanging out together.

Saturday we ventured just down the road a bit to a flea market. It was awesome. I could have spent the whole day there. Sadly, we only made it about a quarter of the way through when the rain came pouring down.

Much like everyone else, we sought refuge in one of the covered buildings. But it was so crowded and we could barely maneuver our stroller around, so we called it quits earlier than we expected. Nick did manage to snag this license plate through. He's been looking for just the right one to put on his '69 Dodge truck. We also picked up two vintage street signs, one to hang in each of the kids' rooms. Walnut Street for Doodey's room, and my fave, Main Street, for Nugget's play room.

Sunday we took a mini (two hour) road trip to go explore White Water State Park. Wouldn't you know that Dude feel asleep with less than five minutes to our destination? Seriously! I hung back at the car to let him get a little cat nap in, while Nugget and Daddy did some fishing.

They didn't catch anything, but she sure does make one cute lil' fisher girl.

Foggy lens, it was a hot one that day!

When Dude woke up, we set out on a little hike.

The trail was just over a mile, uphill for a good part of it, and our little Nugget girl hiked the whole thing by herself! She didn't even complain or ask to be carried once! What a trooper.

Once we hit some flat land, she was so proud to lead us with her map. "Go six eight, then right." Which, lets be honest, would have led me straight into the river, but we played along and she was none the wiser.

Nugget worked up quite an appetite on our hike, so we rested while we enjoyed a picnic lunch. Doodey also made a little caterpillar friend. Nugget and I were all squeamish about it (I know, but I just can't help it!) while Dude didn't hesitate for a second to touch it, and pick it right off his leg and place it back on the ground. He did however, shake his head 'no' when Daddy told him to eat it! Good choice Buddy, good choice.

Nick told me not to pack swimsuits earlier that morning, as we didn't think we'd actually have enough time to go for a swim. But it was a hot, hot day, and the suits I had stashed away in our summer emergency car kit came in quite handy. We still had to dry off with our picnic blanket, but at least the kids got to splash around and cool down a bit before we made the voyage back home.

It was a super fun day, and it has us really excited to explore more state parks this summer, and hopefully try some camping with both kids!

Monday was Memorial Day, and with Nick being a veteran and the Commander of the local VFW, our morning was spent participating in our small town's special events.

Nick spends all morning with the veterans, visiting all the local cemeteries and reading the names of the deceased veterans. We met him at the last one, right behind our house.

After the short memorial, we walked down to Main Street to watch the parade, then found a shady spot in Memorial Park to listen to the Mayor deliver a short speech on the day's importance.

Bumped into our friends, the Clarks, whom we watched the parade with.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, we also invited several friends and neighbors over for a bbq that afternoon! The kids had a ball running around and playing, and we always enjoy visiting with other adults, not to mention eating lots of delicious food!

 Avery and Nugget, Twins!

Palmer and Doodey.

On a random, unrelated note, we learned this weekend that when Brother gets a mosquito bite near his eye, he's going to wind up looking like this the next day:

A call in to the doctor and a follow up visit at his 15 month well-child check up this week left us with the simple answer of "leave it alone, it's just a minor reaction to the bug bite." It's still makes me sad to see, especially when it's on your own kid, but I'm happy to know its nothing to be alarmed over. They said we could put ice on it, but yeah, what fifteen month old is gonna let you hold an ice pack to his face? Not mine.

It was a busy, chock full weekend that passed entirely too quickly, but I am so grateful for the time with my family and the fun we shared. And of course, I'm forever grateful for all the service men and women who sacrifice to serve our country. We are blessed, and we don't take our freedom for granted. Thank you to you and you and you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Arboretum is a bit of a mouth full for a three year old, so we settled upon calling it the flower garden. That's where we went with some friends this week, and it was so much fun! Nugget did awesome considering this was more a play date for the moms and babies. The two other littles that were along were boys near Brother's age, that we were in ECFE class with this fall.

It's not often that there is really no one for Nugs to play with at a play date, but she took the challenge well, and jumped right in as one of the girls. It warmed my heart to hear her talk to my friends, other mama's who she doesn't know well. That's not always an easy task for her, but my friends were so sweet, listening to her attentively and making her feel special. Thanks girls, for that. Also, I don't know whether to thank or curse Layne for giving my kids recorders she bought at the thrift store. My kids love em, but I quickly had to classify them as 'outside only' toys. I'm sure our neighbors are enjoying them too ;)

We enjoyed a picnic lunch upon our arrival, then set out on the three mile trail. We didn't make it much past this quaint little playhouse before I was cursing the rolling hills with my double stroller and my eight months preggo friend had to use the bathroom.

After reversing the rolling hills and making a pit stop, we wandered around on the much smoother, flat paths of the flower gardens.

We buckled and unbuckled kids in strollers, fed snacks, threw pennies in fountains, talked cameras, snapped photos, and weaved in and out of the narrow paths which all made up for a lovely afternoon.

Our time together seemed all too short when tired kids signaled it was time to go. It's always a treat to visit with friends, explore a new place, and of course take pictures. I was pleased to learn that we can use or admission ticket one more time within a month, so I'm hoping we can get back there again and bring Daddy with us this time.

Nugs, Brother, Henry, Hayden

Oh yes, and upon coming home and unraveling Nugget's little loopty-loops, her hair was ringleted into the most precious and perfect pig tails ever , and I just couldn't help myself!


Friday, May 25, 2012


"Let me play in the sunshine,

Let me sing for joy,

Let me grow in the light,

Let me splash in the rain,

and remember the days

of my childhood forever."


Thursday, May 24, 2012


Last week Nugget had her last ever ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) class. I cannot believe her first 'school' journey has come to an end. We attended our first Mommy and Me class together when she was just four weeks old, and we haven't missed a single session since. We anticipate our weekly classes, and Nugget is always excited to see Miss Britt and all her friends. Since I am home with my kids all the time, this is a time for Nugget to develop friendships on her own, and work on separating from me during the parent education time. It hasn't always been easy for her, but through it all she (and I) have learned and grown tremendously.

Circle time with Miss Britt.

It has been such a positive experience in both of our lives, and honestly, I wish we could continue going forever, like until she's 18. Seriously! There's still so much I need to know for down the road. I know the closing of this chapter is a stepping stone to bigger things, but I love our little net of ECFE, the one that feels like family. We are all working together for the common good of our children, and striving to be the best parents we can be.

The art table is one of her favorite areas.

I don't think Nugget fully understands that she has aged out of her beloved school, but she does get that she's going to preschool 'after summer' and she's pretty stoked about that. Her ECFE buddy, Mac, will be in her class, and I'm hoping a familiar face will make the transition just a teensy bit smoother.

Her other favorite, playing in the kitchen.

I must say that the promise of starting the cycle all over again with Brother softened the blow a wee bit for me last week, and because of that I was able to hold myself together on the last day. After all, Nugget didn't need me bringing her down on her beach party day!

'Peek Into Preschool' group, Winter 2012.
Back L to R: Miss Britt, Carolyn, Caroline, Walker, Hunter,Charlie, Sky
Front L to R: Aedan, Giovanni, Kate, Lilian, Nugget, Maddie, Mac

These are our awesome teachers, Parent Educator Miss Mary, and Early Childhood teacher Miss Britt. And Dora.

And while Nugget and I are enjoying our time together, Brother is just down the hall in the sibling care room with Miss Pam, whom he just adores. It's a pretty awesome feeling when your child is comfortable with his care giver and runs right in to her arms, all ready to play!

There are so many amazing people who work hard to make ECFE fantastic, so we always make sure to remember them with a special little gift and Christmas time and the end of the year. But because there are so many of them, we usually opt to gift something homemade (aka inexpensive), and they are always so appreciative. This year we made lemon hand scrub for everyone, and Nugget thoughtfully picked out a special nail polish to accompany each one. Who wouldn't love a little at home mani/pedi to get ready for summer?

Recipe here.

So yes, sadly, Nugget's time in ECFE has come to an end. We are so grateful and appreciative for all that we have learned and experienced during our time there. It will always hold a special place in our hearts. We are ready for the next journey, ready to learn, make more new friends, ready for the next stepping stone of life.