Glamping

During the second weekend of September, we went on QUITE the glamping trip with friends. We packed up the kiddos and headed off on a 3-hour journey to a Jellystone Campground… but not for your average camping… because let’s be real, life is just a little easier with running water and a kitchen. And with 4 children under the age of 5, we were looking for easy & relaxing.

SO, we rented the grand Villa for the weekend and enjoyed all of the luxuries Yogi Bear & the Jellystone Park had to offer us, which was a bit less than normal, as we were a week or so past season.

The park-ground was a bit of a ghost town, but that made it all the better!

Our villa was a two-bedroom with a loft, full kitchen and a bathroom. See, glamping! AKA glamorous camping. To add to the hilarity, we actually had the kiddos stay in the bedrooms (our kids in one, our friends’ kids in the other) and the adults stayed upstairs in the loft, which featured 4 twin beds. This setup made our late-night camp fires easier.

The Jellystone theme for the weekend was “A weekend at the farm” and was filled with tons of activities from candy bar “horse races” to finding a needle in a haystack. We had such a great time!

The weekend itinerary:

I loved the early mornings strolling around the quiet campgrounds. It was one for the books!

Needle in a haystack:

Candy Bar Horse Races:

Swimming:

Craft Time with BooBoo:

ICE CREAM!

Playing with Friends Near the Villa:

Egg Toss & Playing on the “Foot Pool” Field:

Dinner, Smores & Spooky Stories Around the Campfire:

Bedtime Story with Ranger Smith:

Random Fun:

The Crew:

A little lunch & Yogi Bear upon arriving home:

Finter 2019

Somehow summer FLEW by and it’s suddenly what Wisconsin is calling, “Finter”… aka what should be fall, but is being overtaken by Winter. School has started and my sweet Char is deep into Kindergarten. Full-day school and the beginning of her true “childhood years.” I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Before too much time has flown by and I fall WAY too far behind, I figured I’d post everything from the first day of school until now. SO, prepare yourself for an overload of photos from my sweet crew…

First Day of School:

I don’t know how it’s possible, but despite the crazy, every moment that passes seems to get better and better. The kids are amazing. This summer we switched them into the same room, which has been wonderful and psychotic. They love the shit out of each other, which tends to get in the way of sleeping. Their routine is essentially to stay up late playing one night and then crash hard and early the next night… and repeat. We definitely have to figure out a way to get them more sleep, but I will say, I don’t hate hearing them giggle all night.

Halloween was a blast! Charlotte refused all of my ideas for family costumes with her BIG DREAMS of being a “beautiful princess who is beautiful and fancy with real magic circles on her dress”… I couldn’t seem to find real magic circles on Amazon, but we did the best we could! And, Mr. Henry went from requesting an “Owlette” costume (from PJ Mask) – because she’s so beautiful – to Blippy. In the end, he was transformed into even more of a cartoon character and should never wear anything besides that damn costume ever again.

As a side, it should be noted that we FINALLY let the kids pick some candy to eat from their trick or treat haul… this morning… first time. Let’s just say that Mark and I got busted for eating so much of it. Somehow C seemed to remember specific pieces of candy she had received… oops. Noted for next year.

After the most perfect day for trick or treating (and a weekend FULL of birthday parties for C), Finter kicked in and we had our first snowfall. Literally days later, on Halloween. It was bananas… and magical! The kids loved it!

For Halloween, we made a SPOOKY feast and had the best night!

Other Halloween Highlights (C’s classroom Halloween party & “Bring a Friend to Dance Class” – C picked Henry as her friend)…

& Here are some pics from more fun since the beginning of the school year!

Charlotte’s Fun Run to raise money for school:

Charlotte’s Farm Field Trip (& Mommy’s first time as a field trip chaperone… note: riding a bus at 34 is not amazing):

Henry’s Farm Field Trip:

Apple Picking with Grandma & Grandpa & Public Market Lunch:

Uncle Matt & Aunt Hannah Come to Visit:

Charlotte’s Dance Class:

Henry’s Robot Class:

Mommy & Henry Facetiming:

Fall Backyard Fun:

Family Date Night:

Taste of Mequon & the Color Run (Mommy’s first 5k):

Family Photos – Behind the Scenes:

Miscellaneous Fun with Friends:

Family Love:

Adult Fun:

Goodbye School, Hello Summer

While Charlotte is still in her 4K school program with the public school, the kids’ Montessori school recently had their last day. Can you believe how much they’ve changed???

It should be noted that both of my children want to be parents when they grow up. Little sweeties. Specifically, Henry would like to be a “dad like my other dad”… aka like Mark. haha And my sweetie Charlotte’s favorite thing is her whole family.

And here are some other cutie pie pics from the morning…

The Baby Hem is THREE

Henry is officially three years and three days old. How has this happened? My baby’s feet are slimming down and starting to smell, his hands have lost their pudge, he is pretty much a grown adult. The gist? Time is flying and my baby is getting old.

Despite my internal tears being shed for the manner in which time is just flying by, this birthday has been so exciting. For about a month before Henry’s birthday, he started really getting excited. Asking at bedtime, “when I wake up from this nap, will it be my birthday?” and waking every morning asking, “is today my birthday??” The anticipation was really building.

In pure Melissa/Mark fashion, the night before Henry’s birthday consisted of a ridiculous amount of toy building and house decorating. We ran around like crazy people making sure everything was perfectly placed to give Henry a great birthday surprise when he woke up.

I set my alarm for 615am in hopes of waking up before Henry so I could see his reaction. However, the bugger beat me. At around 6, I heard his tiny voice, “Charlotte, look!!!!!”

I popped up and ran to catch Henry discovering each Thomas the Train decoration, piece by piece. Then the balloons and his GIANT, tablecloth-covered gift.

He was overwhelmed with excitement!

The kiddos played for the next couple hours while I got everything ready for our birthday breakfast. Our favorite little friends (neighbors) were coming over to enjoy a celebratory breakfast and some playtime.

After breakfast, our friends went home and we hopped in the car to go downtown to ride the new streetcar (which we called the train for excitement purposes). We took the “train” to the public market and ate a yummy lunch and ice cream outside, then took the streetcar back to our car. It was a great little adventure!

Then, nap time and a movie night picnic back at the house. We set up the projector and watched about an hour of cars before the tiny tots got bored and we moved on to playing with Henry’s new toys.

All in all, the celebration was great! We had such a happy day. These are the days I want to bottle up and keep perfectly preserved forever.

And, in terms of a Henry update, here are the facts…

Height: 3′ 1″ (39th percentile)

Weight: 33 lbs (65th percentile)

Random tid bits:

  • Henry can count to 6 in Spanish (10 with assistance – he has a hard time remembering 7 and 10)
  • He can spell his name and knows his birthday
  • Henry is incredibly verbal. He speaks just as fluently as his sister, so I won’t bore you with the bazillion words and phrases he has.
  • Henry is VERY clumsy and falls often.
  • Henry continues to be the snuggliest little dude ever. He is always there for a hug and/or smooch. This morning he randomly told me that “huggies are like snuggles”… true.
  • Henry has very dry warm hands. Holding his hand fills my little heart.
  • When Henry melts down crying, he often times will say – through heavy sobs – “MAAAMMMMY, I NEED A HUGGY.” Shweetie snuggler.
  • Henry is a pretty big manipulator. When he does something naughty and I kneel down to tell him that he cannot do said thing, he cups my face with his warm paws and says, “I’m sorry, mommy. I won’t do it again.” Then, mommy buys Henry a pony.
  • Henry has been in a pinching/pretend biting phase with Charlotte. Never too hard, but enough to piss her off. Thankfully he’s still perfect.
  • Henry says Charlotte with a hard “CH” sound and refers to her as, “My CHarlotte”
  • Henry still naps every day
  • Henry LOVES music and sings a lot.
  • H has serious passion for baseball and sports in general.
  • Henry often times wears his pants, underwear and shirt backwards.
  • When Henry rides his tricycle, he reminds me of the intro to the show Bobby’s World.
  • Henry insists on sleeping with his door open. Typically with his arms above his head. He’s a light sleeper, so I tend to sneak in for smooches before I go to bed.
  • Henry LOVES hard boiled eggs (which he calls hard oiled eggs) and avocado (which he calls “adocado”). He eats like a TANK. It is not uncommon for him to eat multiple bowls of cereal/oatmeal, 1-2 hard boiled eggs, turkey and fruit… ALL of that at one breakfast.
  • Henry sometimes sneaks in Charlotte’s room at night because he doesn’t like to be alone.
  • Henry always falls asleep gripping some toy… a car, a train, a ring, etc.
  • Henry picks out his own clothes and gets dressed by himself every morning. He also puts his shoes on and packs up/unpacks his backpack daily.
  • Henry loves trucks and dinosaurs.
  • Henry’s little mouth reminds me of my Grandpa Henry.
  • Up until about 2 weeks ago, we had Henry on a strict no dairy/no soy/no sunflower oil/no coconut diet to try to help with his chronic loose poops. It stopped helping, so we’ve since lifted the food restrictions. H is now living his best life.
  • Henry has a very captivating quality about him. People tend to fall in love with him instantaneously upon meeting him. He has a loud, squeaky voice and speaks very well for his age, which tends to catch the attention of strangers.
  • Henry is a boy to love. He is very kind-hearted and the sweetest little guy I’ve ever met. He’s also incredibly bright and perceptive. As a completely unbiased source, you know these things are 100% true.
  • Henry is happy.
  • Henry smiles with every inch of his body.
  • I love my baby.
  • Henry looks up to his sister and loves going to the same school as her. Their teachers tell me that they often play together at school… mostly H with C’s friends. They frequently walk around the playground holding hands or with C’s arms around him. Despite his little pinchy/biting phase, they are the best of buds.
  • Henry wakes Charlotte up almost every morning. He goes into her room, wakes her and then they play together until their kiddie alarm clock turns green, signaling that they can come out of their rooms.
  • At dinner time, Henry rates my meals with a thumbs up, down or sideways.

Coffee with Char

Mark has been super busy at work lately, so instead of him driving Henry to school on Mondays and Fridays while I wait at the house for Nana with Charlotte, C & I have been taking Henry to school and meeting Nan at our favorite coffee shop.

Our little 3-way dates are adorable. Charlotte really shines in these moments. She’s talkative and expressive. Absurdly sweet and charismatic. She is just a total gem.

I love taking pictures of her in these moments. As she picks at her muffin or scone or whatever baked good she’s conned me into buying her… she’s like a squirrel nibbling at the most sugary parts first. As she speaks with full expression, hand motions and all. As she soaks in the undivided attention from Nan & I.

It’s such special time with my big girl.

Thanksgiving 2018

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It should be noted that Thanksgiving 2018 was a lovely affair. Obviously I’ve neglected this special little blogging place of mine over the past two years, but wanted to make sure this got in the record books.

We’ve always done Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, which is lovely. I legit love Thanksgiving. This year, everyone had something going on. Bro was going to his wife’s turkey day, sis was headed to Door County. SO… we decided to head to California to see my favorite people on this earth. AKA my other “sister.” AND of course, my aunt & uncle and my cousin’s lovely manfriend.

The trip was magical and Thanksgiving was AHHHMAZING. It’s ridiculous how easy Thanksgiving is when you show up as a total guest. Normally, at mom’s, I am planning menus leading up to Turkey Day, helping cook  and setting up the day prior, and there early that day to cook some more.

This Thanksgiving, all slaving was done by my incredible Aunt and my mom’s cousin, Melissa. And oh my did they go above and beyond. Not to mention the fact that Melissa lives in a little California dream of a house. It was FANTASTIC. We brought some wine and a centerpiece (made by the kiddos) and then boom. Done.

While poor Melissa and Aunt Helaine probably needed a week of sleep to recover, the whole thing felt wildly easy, relaxed and just perfect to me.