Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

Another Friday is here! I love when Friday comes because that means we get John home for two days starting after work. I'm blessed with an incredible husband and I miss him during the week. I think. Kai does too. He's not old enough to understand where daddy is going but on the weekends he knows he hasn't left. If daddy is still in bed on Saturday or Sunday morning Kai will not stay in the living room. He continually crawls to our bedroom until John gets out of bed to play. He loves his daddy! Anyway, again I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife. Check them out :)

{My Five}

{One} Yesterday Kai and I went to the Minnesota Zoo with a friend. We purchased a dual adult membership ($100) in which one adult is named on the card, me.  It allows me to bring any other person with me and Kai is free, so we've gone a handful of times with John and a handful of times I've brought friends.  It's been a very worthwhile investment for us.  Recently the zoo built a carousel and yesterday was Kai's first time riding it.  He did get to ride one in Florida last March but he was sleeping while riding in the Ergo, so that doesn't count.  Man did he LOVE it!  My heart was a mess of happiness just watching him right.  He was smiling ear to ear the whole time.  The only thing I wish was that John was there to see it.  It was the highlight of my week and probably Kai's as well!

{Two} A new development for Kai is tantrums.  Thankfully they're not quite the loud, screaming ones yet, but I have to try not to giggle when they happen.  He starts to throw toys and hit his hands on the floor.  Most of the time it's adorable and this week I've tried hard to communicate with him that I want to understand what is making him upset and I think he's starting to understand that and then he tries to help me understand.  I'm so intrigued about how his little mind is working.  I love that he's becoming a little boy and we're starting to communicate even if it's not verbal quite yet.

{Three}  I've been perusing Craigslist for quite some time for a Little Tikes Climber with a slide.  (I like to search for items on Craigslist often, but this has been my recent en devour.)  They are pretty expensive brand new and some people still want quite a bit for their used ones, so I'd been picky about what I want.  I didn't mind at all that it would be used because Little Tikes products can take a beating, but I knew I didn't want it to look ruined and I didn't want to spend more than $100.  Last Sunday one popped up for $60 and the picture made it look great, but it was taken apart already, so it was a little hard to picture what it would look like set up.  I emailed the poster right away.  We emailed back and forth a few times, agreed on $50 and John and I went right over to pick it up.  Kai loves it although he's still figuring it out.  I had to put a stool behind it to help him get up, but I know next year he will love it!  I am so happy that we found one!

{Four}  Tomorrow is the Open House at my in-laws garden center.  I always enjoy spending the day there and seeing all the people.  John grills hot dogs and we just do what we can to help.  (Feel free to stop by for free lunch!  Here's the address:  Midwest Garden Company 21392 CSAH 18 Dassel, MN  55325.  It's easy to spot from Highway 15.)  I hope Kai decides he's going to have a happy day and encourage all the customers to buy lots :)  Thankfully my parents live less than a mile away so Kai and I can sneak away for a nap or two if we need to.  It should be a fun time full of lots of sales on plants and anything garden related!  I'll try to post a photo on Instagram (emhammar) of all of us wearing our Midwest Garden Company shirts :)

{Five}  Chicken Corn Chowder.  This recipe from Freetime Frolics was delicious!  It was a bit time consuming and hard with a toddler clinging to my leg, but it was worth it.  It could have been a bit easier if my chicken was already cooked or if I used canned/frozen corn instead of off the ear sweet corn.  I felt like a true wonderful wife serving it because I worked hard and it was delicious. 

Do you have a worthwhile memberships to have with toddlers? What are your best Craigslist finds? Random question becuas I've been contemplating a very personal post... Where do you draw the line on what you share on your blog or on social media?  

Thanks for stopping! Check back Monday for Hopes and Plans!

Monday, September 8, 2014

To My 27th Year

I've been participating in the Oh Hey, Friday link-up from September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for about a month.  I assume that the purpose of a link-up is to find other blogs to read and relate to, so every week I make an effort to read and comment on a few of the submitted posts.  One I stumbled across last week was Amanda's blog Marry Mint.  She's adorable, has an adorable little lady and hosts a Monday link-up called Hopes and Plans.  I'm not sure if I'll participate every week, but anyone who knows me well knows I love lists.  A few possible blog posts came to mind right away and they are easy ones to be held accountable and updated on, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Check her out and check in here on Monday's for Hopes and Plans :)
Hopes and Plans

I'm dedicating my first Hopes and Plans blog to my 27th year. I turned 27 last Wednesday, so I've got a full 52 weeks and 12 months to fill with love, laughter and happiness.  Bring it on 27!

1. Use Less Technology - Oddly enough I've been thinking about this for a while and our sermon on Saturday night touched on it.  After Kai is down for the night I've been known to be sitting in front of the TV, playing a game on my iPad and having a texting conversation.  Thinking about that makes me a little sick to my stomach.  I was on the front of the cell phone era, so I didn't even have one until I was off to college.  I'm honestly embarrassed to even write about some of the tangible ways I'm going to limit use because they show how much I really use it :( 
     I will not be using or bringing my cell phone into the bedroom at night.  I keep using the excuse that I only use it to tell the time, but I play games/read/check email and Instagram before I go to sleep.  I know it's not good for my sleep to do that and since Kai still refuses to sleep through the night I need all the help I can get.  I will make a charging station on our kitchen island and it will always be put there when I go to bed.  I will move my watch that has a light to my nightstand or walk to the kitchen so I can see what time it is when Kai wakes up.
     Since I should be savoring John and Kai when we're all home I will also put my phone in it's resting spot from 6pm on.  If I get a text I will allow myself to answer it, but I can't move it from there after 6pm.
     I don't plan to be quite as strict about this one because sometimes a girl just needs some mindless iPad games after Kai has gone to bed, but I will consciously decide that playing games is better than (or all I can handle) my other options like crafting, reading or just enjoying whatever TV show we're watching. 
     I'll see how these play out and possible add more as the year goes on...

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - I've baked a few times in the past few months and I've found that I enjoy it!  The main reason I don't bake is because I love sweets and they're not John's favorite so I end up eating them all, like them all.  I could eat cookies/ice cream/muffins until I'm sick.  One of the Instagram accounts I follow talked about baking and gifting her goods to neighbors, friends, her husband's coworkers and I got to thinking... hey I can do that!  I don't have a "how many times" I have to bake in the next year, but I do want to do it more.  Since last year there wasn't much baking going on over here, baking a couple times in the next year will be great! 
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - I love getting snail mail and I've never met anyone who doesn't, so I'm going to make sure I write one or two handwritten notes each month.  I have a list of people I know would like to get a letter, so I'll work from that.  Let me know if you need some snail mail :)
4. No Picking -I've had this goal about fifteen trillion million billion times and it has never stuck.  I've been a picker ever since high school.  I pick my face to the point that I have scabs and I know it's not healthy.  I pick "zits" that don't even exist.  I pick with I'm anxious, sad, upset and plain bored.  I don't want Kai to grow up thinking that it's ok to see flaws in him that don't exist.  I don't want him to think it's good to pick at existing acne or zits.  It's plain not good for my skin or his.  I have no idea how I'm going to battle this and honestly I've already broken it a bunch of times since last Wednesday, but maybe having it on my blog will hold me accountable.  I just want the habit to stick the other way - no picking.

5. Church - I love going to worship at church and during Kai's first year of life we didn't make it there often.  I was anxious about leaving him in the nursery and then when we did he cried the whole time.  My goal this year is to get there more often.  I feel so full after going and I'm so thankful for the blessings God has given me.  

6. See a Friend - My head and my heart are full after spending time with friends and I hope my friends feel the same.  I know that it's an integral part of taking care of myself so I need to make time for it.  It's a double plus when those friends have kiddos for Kai to play with.  He gets some socialization and I feel good about that too.  I know I need to do this at least once a week, if it happens more great and if I go a week here and there without that's ok.  I just want to remember that it is extremely important for me. I may also join a Moms Group at our church but I haven't decided about that yet.  I'm torn between building new relationships and cultivating the ones I already have.

7. Go Walking/Exploring - Kai and I need exercise and we need adventure.  I'm going to try and brainstorm a list of places we've never visited and knock them off one by one in the coming year.  The list will be it's own post!

8. Savor - I want to take time to savor life, take time to drink in the moment, time to truly experience the beauty in life and in my little family.  I want to fully embrace all of Kai, all of John and all life has.  I know some days won't be great, but I want to continually be taking everything in, not running for my camera to capture the moment.  I want to build memories without having something to remind me.  I don't want to give John or Kai any leftovers of myself instead live the hours I'm awake to the fullest. 

Here's to 27!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

As always I'm linking up with September Farm and Farmer's Wife, click the icon at the bottom to check them out :)

{My Five}

{One} Tonight John and I get to go on a date!  We've been out together without Kai maybe three times since he was born (I know, not great for our relationship!) so I'm pumped for tonight.  We're celebrating my birthday so I got to pick the place and decided on Fujiya. I am oh so excited to stuff my face with delectable raw fish and maki rolls I can pack in.  I will definitely try not to late afternoon snack today!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it...  John said I can choose what we do for our weekend too.  Not sure yet what sounds fun. My birthday was actually on Wednesday and it was delightful.  I got to snuggle with my boy, meet my mom for coffee (Caribou offers a free medium drink for birthdays!), have Chipotle for supper and watch the season premiere of The League.  Here's to a great 27th year!

{Two} My sweet youngest sister got crowned Dassel Ambassador last Saturday night!  I couldn't be more proud of her. When I ran I lost, so she said I could borrow her crown sometime.  What are sister's for? :)

{Three} So The League premiered on my birthday which was a treat.  It is honestly one of my favorite shows.  It's about a group of high school friends (and one of their wives) who are in a fantasy football league together.  The humor isn't for everyone, but holy buckets does it get me rolling sometimes.  I remember nursing Kai as an itty bitty newborn and he was just vibrating because I was laughing so hard.  Seasons 1-5 are on Netflix and John and I have watched them over and over again.

{Four} To make The League and the NFL season a little bit more fun this year I joined John's friends Fantasy Football League.  Truthfully someone dropped out and they needed a tenth player.  I jokingly told John I'd love to join and on draft night he came home having drafted two teams instead of one.  He did a pretty good job, but I totally feel like I have something to prove since it's me and nine other guys competing.  Week One started last night, so we'll see how this goes.

{Five} I'm going to try and end on a funny note.  Kai hasn't been feeling the best this week, but we've also been trying to wean him off of nighttime nursing.  I'm so tired of getting up at all hours.  I'm fine if he eats after 4am because he'll go back to sleep.  If he eats earlier than that he wants to get up at 6am and this momma can't handle that.  It was midnight on Tuesday and he was screaming.  He's smart and he has us wrapped around his little finger.  We were trying to help him settle down, but nothing was really working and we figured it was his cough and stuffed nose bothering him.  He kept reaching for the nightstand so I was handing him everything one by one and he was pushing everything away.  Finally I handed him a breast pad (I have to put one in on the side he isn't feeding on still because I would be soaking wet if I didn't, sorry TMI) and he put it into my shirt.  I thought maybe it was an accident, so I put it back on the nightstand and we did the same little song and dance again.  Can this kid seriously be so smart?  I feel bad that sometimes I don't think I give him enough credit.  Good grief baby boy.  I love him to death.  After I was stunned by his intelligence he got what he wanted and slept until 6am.  I should have told him all I wanted for my birthday was a good night's sleep.
 Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

I missed a week.  Oops :)  Here's my next Oh Hey, Friday check in.

{My Five}

{One} The wedding went great.  Kai did awesome.  It was beautiful and another sister is married.
From Left to Right: Me, John, holding Kai, brother-in-law Ethan, sister Hannah, brother Caleb, my mom, my dad, sister Caitlin, sister Erin and brother-in-law Ryan.
{Two} One of our cousins decided to make their trip to the wedding their summer vacation with their young kids and we got to spend an evening with them and Erin and Ryan.  It was a lot of fun.  They came over and we shared pizza and lots of good conversation.  I wish they didn't leave six hours away.  Kai enjoyed playing with their kids Reese and Asher.  I need more mom friends.

{Three} My sweet baby turned one!  Holy buckets!  Where did the time go?  Here's a letter I wrote to our new one year old...  We learned he LOVES cake!
{Four} I made his cupcakes and frosting from scratch and they were wonderful!  I would highly recommend the recipe.  I found it on Pinterest, click here to check it out. I had to double the recipe to accommodate all t our guests but I ended up with 30 cupcakes even though it said it would make 24 and doubling the frosting was crazy, WAY TOO MUCH!  All things considered they were delicious!  I love to bake. 

{Five}  Today we had his one year appointment.  Three shots and a finger prick to take blood.  Big boy was a champ even though I was trying not to tear up.  It's awful to watch him endure pain.  Thankfully he still loves his milkies and he calmed down quickly.

Until next week!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

{One Year}

Dear sweet Kai,

Guess what?  You turned one!  Can you believe it?  I'm not really sure I can!  I can remember in detail the events of the Friday and Saturday of your birthday.  I remember when I went into labor, remember telling your daddy I thought I might be in labor, remember having contractions while we walked around the lake, remember my water breaking, driving to the hospital... and so much more :)  I thought maybe I'd lost some of the details, but nope.  Boy was it all worth it!  Baby Shoop Shoop you were so worth it, all of it!  I can't believe you've grown up so fast!

We had a wonderful time celebrating you on your birthday.  You got some of your favorite foods, you got cake (Friday and Saturday) and you were blessed by so many gifts.  You were hugged and held by lots of people who love you.  We took lots of pictures to commemorate your big day.  You are so loved!  We felt so blessed by all the people there who wanted to celebrate your special day and we hope their are many more wonderful birthdays to come.

Sweet boy I want you to know that I love you and lots of incredible events happened this past year, your first year.  I am so proud of you!  I could stare at your while you're learning.  You learned to breastfeed after a rough start, you've learned to crawl, sit up and roll over, you've learned to eat table foods, you've learned to say mama and dada and da (for your Comet).  You are taking steps and you laugh when others are laughing and yell at others when they're not paying attention to you.  Right now you do a funny thing where you crawl around in circles and make silly noises.  You wiggle and scream while getting your diaper changed and you would rather be naked than dressed.  You love playing outside in water or sand.  You love going for walks in your stroller.  You love dogs. I don't want to forget anything about you. Sometimes I snuggle you extra time if you fall asleep in my arms because I know I won't get this time back.  Please stop growing so quick!

You are a lucky boy because you have the greatest daddy around!  I don't want you to ever forget that no matter how old you get.  He has be growing and learning just as fast as you are.  He loves you with a fierce love.  He is excited to come home and see you and you two love to laugh together.  Daddy said he is excited for hockey season so you two can watch together.  I'm sure when you're able to walk you'll have your first pair of skates :) 

I'm sure this next year will be full of fun and laughter and love.  Never forget that daddy and I love you so much!  Comet loves you too!  Keep learning and growing and smiling.  Love you baby boy!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

Third Friday in a row and this one will be easy :)

I'm still linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife.  Check them out, they're fabulous!

My Five {Wedding Edition}

{One} My sister and her high school sweetheart are getting married tomorrow!  I'm so excited for them as it's been a long time coming. Yay to Auntie Hannah and Uncle Ethan!  We wish you both many years of happiness, laughter and love.

{Two} Our dresses are long and chiffon (similar to this dress or this is the dress I'm just not sure).  They are light, light pink with some pleating on the bodice. I feel like I look pregnant in it, but they're pretty so we should be a pretty rocking bridal party.  The guys are just wearing black pants and black vests and ties.  I think Ethan might be wearing a suit coat as well.  I'll be Instagramming all weekend.
Bridesmaids Caitie, Erin, Emmy, Sarah and Bride Hannah.
{Three} My mom is a florist at heart and is putting together all the flowers as I type.  She has done it before for our sister Erin's wedding and for mine and also for some friends.  She has had great luck ordering flowers in bulk from Sam's Club until this time.  Everything was supposed to come on Wednesday, but she only received about half.  After about 45 minutes of me calling around to FedEx and Sam's Club I found out there was basically nothing they could do to help us.  Surprise, surprise.  The carnations were delayed because of a shipping error in Tennessee and the hydrangeas were stuck in customs in Florida.  I know I was very polite on the phone, but after thinking about it I was a little upset they weren't more helpful.  It's one thing to get a shipment wrong when there's no time crunch.  Thankfully the delayed flowers came yesterday, albeit not all the correct ones, but enough for my momma to finish everything she needed to make.  (Sigh of relief...) My flowers were one of my favorites parts of our wedding, so they'll be gorgeous I'm sure.  Next week is going to have to turn into a picture follow-up :)

{Four} Kai is not walking on his own yet so it's been decided that he'll walk down the aisle with myself and the groomsman I'm paired with.  As long as he's not cranky it should go pretty smoothly I think.  The rehearsal tonight should be fun.  Kai has a mind of his own.

{Five} After tomorrow more than half of my siblings including myself will be married.  We're all growing up.  Crazy and awesome and bittersweet and hard and fabulous all at the same time.

Thanks for reading!  I post a lot more frequently on Instagram if you'd like to follow me there: emhammar :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

It's another Friday and I honestly almost forgot to post.  Here I am though, so here it goes :)

My Five

{One} Kai took his first steps two days ago and a few more yesterday and today!  I'm one proud momma!  He has one week to be prepared to walk down the aisle at Auntie Hannah and Uncle Ethan's wedding though.  Can't say I believe that's going to happen.  He's going to be darn cute in his little suit though!

{Two} Last weekend we went to Ikea and there was a tent/tunnel that Kai fell in love with!  He was crawling back and forth and even pushed an older kid out of his way so he could get though (we'll have to work on that!) After that I thought it would be a stellar birthday gift.  I remembered seeing one at TJMaxx, so off I went to purchase it.  It's this model.  Feels a little flimsy, but we don't plan on going camping with it, so it's great for us.  I also couldn't wait until his birthday so it's in our living room right now and Kai is loving it and the dog has been sleeping in it.  It's fabulous!

{Three} I've been working on being a better wife.  Sometimes I get wrapped up in being Kai's mom that I forget that being John's wife is equally if not more important.  My relationship with Jesus comes first, then John then Kai.  I just feel like I've been slacking in loving John well, so I'm working on a list of tangible things to do.  I am planning to keep that list in a place I see it so I can hold myself accountable.  Maybe I'll share some of them if I have some free time :)

{Four} I made these muffins and used this acorn squash recipe this week.  Of course I added chocolate chips into the muffins.  Both recipes were winners. Oh how I'm longing for fall.

{Five} I'm in the market for a wrap baby carrier and/or a ring sling type carrier.  I'm not sure if I should make one or if I should just support another momma on Etsy or go cheap and buy a used one on eBay.  I'm at a loss.  I've done a lot of research and still can't decide.  Any suggestions would be awesome!

Two weeks in a row, here's to hoping I post next week as well :)  Until then, have a wonderful week!