Winn Weekend 8-23-14

So it's Monday and time to talk about the past weekend (and dream about the next one! always!). It was a pretty eventful kind of weekend, and I did make myself a promise to take note of all the little things, especially those that do your heart so good.
Friday night we went out! Hello! We are parents. It is a big deal! Huge! The grandparents were out of town, so we got our most favorite babysitter, Miss Lexi, to come stay with the kids, while we went to drink some great wine and celebrate a friend's birthday.
Saturday was a lazy late morning for us, where Miss Annika and Mr. Leo slept till almost 9. Thank you, children.
That morning something absolutely incredible happened. Are you ready for this?
Here ya go... After about 5 weeks after the move we finally rid our garage of boxes. I think we can actually start parking in there. The secret to our success is dedication and hard work.
But no, it really was our wonderful Oma and Opa who came over to entertain the littles, so we could knock things out. That and the imaginary "looks" we got from neighbors for parking in our driveway for weeks and weeks. Imaginary, because our neighbors are much too nice to give us  those looks. Instead, they bring us gifts for the babies, low-sugar blueberry pies and fresh vegetables from their gardens.
Yes, there are a couple of houses for sale on our street. Yes, you should move.
Saturday night we made healthy turkey burghers for dinner. They were... mm-mm good! Gotta trust the judgement of a 2-year-old who takes a bite, says "too spicy", and keeps eating like it's chocolate.
Sunday was even more glorious. I woke up at 7 and spent the morning on our deck, drinking coffee, reading and just enjoying the quiet. After a wonderful church service (held in a park) and a stupendous lunch, provided by the church, we all went over to our friends' house for brunch. Yes, brunch after lunch is a thing. It is a very delicious bacon/crepe/Nutella thing, totally worthy of a very late nap for a certain toddler.
And Sunday evening was spent on the lake. And I don't think I even need to continue.
The weekend was rejuvenating. This morning I didn't even get upset about getting up at 7 am to drive 40 minutes for an interpreting job, just to get there and find out one of the parties couldn't make it. (I rewarded myself with a trip to TJ Maxx, since childcare was set up already. Woot.)
Anywho... have a wonderful, fast week!

baking with a toddler...

... is a lesson in patience, I'll tell ya. Have you ever baked with a 2-year-old? How did that go for ya? Did you have any batter left for those muffins? Were you able to find your kitchen under all the flour?
I love involving Annika when I cook. I always know it's going to be a lot of work, but it's either that or she will nag me senseless. So I choose the lesser of two evils:)
The other morning, we decided daddy needed to sleep in a bit (while snuggling with Leo) and thought it would be a great idea to make pancakes for breakfast. This mama isn't known for her cooking, but everyone can handle a pancake mix. Not Annika though... 
I put her on a chair and showed her what I was doing and let her help pour the ingredients into a mixing bowl. It all went south in a matter of seconds. The moment I turned away to grab a tablespoon, she had both hands in the bowl playing with the flour and clapping her hands in delight. (To be fair, it does look like sand:))  I went to the fridge to grab some butter and next thing I know, she has some egg shells in her mouth. I went to grab a spatula and at that same moment the girl decided to drink some pancake batter straight out of the mixing bowl. 
Oh for the love...
There was no way back though and eventually we baked some delicious whole grain pancakes with fresh blueberries, cleaned the kitchen, and scrubbed Annika squeaky clean. Our breakfast was amazing. Annika was proud of herself for helping mommy and mommy was proud of herself for not loosing her cool. 

did this really just happen?

This happened yesterday. Technically, it's not preschool. They call it play-group, which is kind of like pre-preschool, but i wouldn't be myself if I didn't make a reason to psych myself up:)
Little lady is very social, so I wasn't worried about her being clingy or sad or scared. Yet, I was nervous all morning. Got up at 7:30 with an alarm clock (whoa!?) and got myself ready before waking up my big girl for her big day. Greg had to be at work at 8, so I was anxious about being on time. 
Annika was excited and in preschool spirit the moment I walked into her room. "I'm going to preksool, mama?" "I wear my backpack, mama?" I even let her eat breakfast at her little craft table.
It was a big deal and Annika made sure all the walls in our house heard that. Mr. Leo sure did and woke up ready to eat his breakfast. The moment I realized there was no way we were going to make it out the door on time, our daddy made it back home. We all got ready and even had time for pictures. We made the whole thing into a bigger deal than necessary, but it's the beginning of her (pre)school career, people! 
The 2 hours went by much too fast to get anything accomplished. I just sat there at home twiddling my thumbs until it was time to get back in the car and go pick her up. I'm sure I'll get some sort of a productive routine going, but I was just so excited for her to tell me how her day went. 
She ate cheewios and cwackers and just wore her backpack and no hit anybody and play with pretend cheese and see new fwiends, that's how:)
And a couple of pictures from my iPhone

weekend love

Weekends on the lake in the summer are absolutely glorious. Forget the boxes that are still occupying your garage a month after you moved, there is lake fun to be had. And that's exactly what we've been trying to do every weekend. Boxes can wait, but the summer days are dwindling. 
It takes us an eternity to pack everything for the day at the lake (an eternity and a full trunk... my goodness!), but the effort is worth it. We drive to our lake house, spread our numerous belongings on the lawn and just... chill. We pack lots of snacks and drinks, invite friends and spread out on the towels all ready to eat and drink and talk and sleep and occasionally stand up to jump in the water to cool down. Annika usually skips lots of these things and just eats and jumps in the water. Leo mostly sleeps. Greg spends most of his time in the water. And me... I like to sit on a towel in the shade... marveling at the goodness of life. 

conversations with my two-year-old

The other afternoon, I decided that Leo had spit up on himself enough times to warrant a mid-day bath. Annika loves to be involved with everything concerning Leo (including asking to see his poop, when I change his diaper... sorry for that!). So I let her "help me".
We sit down by the bath tub and I start washing Mr. Leo, who loves baths very much and doesn't make a peep. So it's me and Annika having this lovely conversation.

- What are you doing, mama?
- I'm giving your baby brother a bath.
- Why?
- Because he isn't very clean, baby. You saw how much he spit up on himself.
- Why?
- Well, babies always spit up a little bit when they eat.
- Why?
- Because if they spit up too much, then there won't be anything left if their tummy.
- Why?

Then she got distracted by bubbles in the little tub and I had a minute of quiet. Enough time to think that, man, the girl's got the "5 whys" technique down...

And then...

- What are you doing, mama?
- I'm giving Leo a bath, baby.
- Why?


Mother of the Year award goes to...

Me!!! Yesterday was one of those days where I could have totally won that award (it exists, right?). Super productive from dusk till dawn, kids were little angels all day, homemade dinner was delicious, laundry done... And I looked fabulous through it all. 

Okay, that was a lie, beginning to end.

Instead, I took Annika to daycare having forgotten her diapers, sunglasses (which are a necessity for that little diva!), and her Show'n'Tell item. Later in the day it also occurred to me that I had forgotten her wipes and to dress her in all black (the daycare had some sort of a theme going... but don't ask me what it was, I wouldn't know).
Mr. Leo got his fair share too. I woke up in the morning wide-eyed announcing to Greg and later to my little Instagram world that my baby boy was 1 month old. The boy was in fact only 4 weeks old and who would have thought that you actually go by dates and not by days of the week when celebrating one's birthday? He will be 1 month old on the 17th and I hope it was the only time I forgot my child's birthday.  
Little buddy also got a boo boo (yes, it's boo boos and awees ands ouchees in this house!). I was making shrimp and grits for dinner and holding Leo as I was stirring the grits. Right as I though that it probably wasn't the smartest idea to have a child so close to a cooking pot, some very hot grits splattered on both of us. Poor guy has a little blister on his elbow and I have some serious wounds on my mommy soul. 
Total mama fail! My poor, poor children. 
* I was ready to drink wine at noon yesterday. But I held off, I swear! I think...  

Kitchen tales, Part I

When we were in search of our new home, we looked at a lot of houses. (You can read the whole house saga here.) This house, the one we ended up buying, had many beautiful features and where it was lacking, I saw lots of potential. I'm so happy that I was actually able to see that potential, because you won't believe the "gems" the house was full of.

Like the kitchen, for example. The moment I saw it, I seriously almost gagged. Those dark cherry cabinets, atrocious hardware, yuck... I immediately told Greg that the kitchen would be the biggest projects.  He just rolled his eyes, because ohmygosh, stop being so dramatic, this is livable, plus we haven't even bought it.
You can read about the project list for the whole house here. But below is the list of things that needed to be done in the kitchen and the progress as of today.
  • Paint cabinets white
  • Paint the walls
  • Paint trim white
  • Remove the door leading to the laundry room and drywall it.
  • Build a pantry
  • Replace Hardware
As you can see, building a pantry is still on the list, but thankfully it wasn't a priority. We are actually somewhat able to fit everything in the cabinets right now. But wait till baby Leo grows up... That boy eats every TWO stinking hours. Agh!
Before the remodel the kitchen looked like this: (can you say "gross"?)

And some  paintwork later, here is the result (or rather, progress!)

Everything was painted by professionals, because I heard how difficult it was to paint kitchen cabinets and I wasn't about to take that on, being hugely pregnant and all (3 rooms and 3 hallways was all I was capable of). The walls are painted with Whispering Spring by Benjamin Moore. (I love that color so much that I chose it for our Master suite too.) Note that back door. It used to lead to a laundry room, but we got rid of it and used that space for our master bathroom. 

I'm planning more updates in that kitchen. Like adding a chalkboard wall, setting up a kitchen island to separate the kitchen and the dining room, plus for more counter space. Also, still thinking about pantry options for more storage. 

Stay tuned for more.