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Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Welcome to our little corner of the interwebz! So glad you stopped by today

I’m a 30 year old mother to an adorable little man, Mason, who just turned three! Typical three year old, Mason loves tractors, trains, trucks, mud, and Mickey Mouse. 90% of my blog posts are about him as this blog was originally started as a replacement for the standard boring baby book. The other 10% are what’s going on in my head and my life, and while I say this every year, I hope to balance this out more as Mason gets older.

Mason with ValentinesI share my life with my wonderful husband (known around these parts as SuperDad), an awesome retired racing greyhound, and an elderly kitty. I’m very passionate about greyhounds, pet adoption, and animals in general. I work full time in a vet clinic and also have a hobby job working a few hours a month at a local bookstore!

Joe the GreyhoundPrior to having a kid, I spent all of my free time reading and volunteering at my local animal shelter. Since having a kid, I spend all of my (sadly limited) free time trying to find fun things to do with a toddler in Middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin, reading blogs on my Kindle Fire, and have vowed to get in shape this year for the first time in my life. I’m hoping to run a few 5ks this summer using the Couch to 5k plan and I just broke off my relationship with Jillian Michaels last week, but I’m afraid we’ll have to kiss and make up soon.

Easter MasonI’ve been blogging at this site since April 2010. I’ve had two other blogs before this and have been reading blogs since the ’90s when they were known as “online journals.” These days, I read blogs to establish relationships with other moms, which seems hard to do in real life because I work during the very few “mommy and me” activities offered in my area. As far as blogging goes, I don’t care about the numbers, I just like to make new friends and treasure the friends I’ve already made! I love blogs by people with kids close to Mason’s age and/or blogs with photos that make me smile. I’m not into fashion and can’t craft to save my life, so you won’t see much of either of those things around here LOL

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When I’m not blogging or visiting my friend’s blogs, you can usually find me on Twitter or updating my book lists GoodReads. I’m hoping to make it to BlogHer this year so please give me a shout if you’re going too! I’m so glad you stopped by today and I look forward to making some new bloggy friends while we party like it’s 2013!

Currently 3/8/13

Mason is currently:

eating way too many crackers. This boy is OBSESSED. Whether it be Ritz, goldfish, Annies, Teddy Grahams, saltines, all natural or all junk, he wants to eat nothing else. We’ve really gotten him out of his awesome fruit snacking habit and are trying to get him back in the swing of eating something that is actually more than 4% nutritious at snack time LOL

drinking out of his cool new water bottle.

We knew he was going to be interested in the cool new water bottles we bought, so we bought him a water bottle too, which combines several of his favorite things – bikes, robots, green, and being like mommy and daddy. He likes to demo how he can hold it upside down and shake it without any spilling. Maybe we should test future products without him being present? LOL

listening to music and enjoying it. For a while there, I was starting to worry that he wasn’t going to like music since he was always asking us to turn it down or turn it off every time we turned a radio on at home. Fortunately, lately he’s been requesting music and dancing his little heiney off. Love it!

reading lots of different books. His favorite books this very SECOND are Maisy Learns to Swim and Happy Birthday, Biscuit!

thinking that he should be able to watch the Kindle and drink juice every morning. What started out as a special Sunday morning activity (you know, when he wakes up at 7:15 instead of the 8:30 he usually sleeps until and I REEAALLY want another hour of sleep) but suddenly I have a boy waking up an hour early during the week demanding “his” kindle and some juice. Oy vey.

Mason’s Mom is

eating proper portion sizes and making sure she has enough calories to still have a few girl scout cookies

drinking lots of water. She’s only drinking pop 2-3 days a week and that’s been a HUGE change from her 20 ounces a day. Pretty much stalling out on 5-6 cups of water a day though, those last two cups just never happen, despite valiant efforts.

listening to Jillian Michaels say “Don’t phone it in, this is just a 20 minute workout, you need to be moving every second for 20 minutes!” and the Couch to 5k ap say “You have completed your run.”

readingA Walk in the Park” by Jill Mansell and “Lost and Found” by Geneen Roth. She’s also 1400 blog posts behind on her kindle. Yikes.

thinking about warm weather. After 6 inches of snow last week, northern Wisconsin is suppose to get rain and then more snow this weekend. Spring, where are you?!

What are you currently up to?! Link up here with all the cool kids!

HK

Reading Time Tuesday

Mason is back to using reading as a bedtime stalling technique, which is 20% annoying (because he’s STALLING bedtime, ya’ll!) and 80% awesome because it means we can easily make it through 5-6 books, or, less awesomely, the same book 2-3 times LOL

Frequently requested books recently include:
Tiny Goes to the Library (which, after being renewed twice at the library is now overdue. Crud!)
Penguin Says Please
Two Little Trains
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin (I keep meaning to put this book away until fall! Spookley has worn out his welcome!)

Starting next week he should have his next set of “themed” books from the library which will be all about BIRTHDAYS.

As for me, I just finished reading the new Jodi Picoult book The Storyteller. I was super excited about it due to all the “best of her books yet” reviews I’ve read and I found it… just okay. I don’t know if anything could have lived up to that hype though, as she’s one of my favorite authors. The cliffhanger at the end of Just One Day made it pretty painful to learn that the sequel doesn’t come out until AUGUST. That will teach me to read a book right after it comes out. LOL Saving June was a book I checked out from the library and it vanished off the face of the earth so I had to buy them a new copy – but of course I read it before giving it to them (after all that headache, how could I not?!) and enjoyed it. Other recently read books include Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan and Emily & Einstein, which took me forever to finish, thus the short list this month.

Next up on my reading list are Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel, The Underside of Joy by Seré Prince Halverson, The MoneySmart Family System, and Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. I’m also still working on the same non-fiction books as I was in my last update.

So, how about you guys? Read any good books lately? Your kids have anything on broken record repeat?? I’d love to hear about it! And as always, feel free to friend me on GoodReads!

35 Months

In one month, Mason will be three. That is CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZYYY!!!  Since I’ve been so bad at blogging lately, I figured I would throw up a “Month Day” post, just to look back at the last month since we all can see this blog definitely hasn’t been a good reflection!

In his 35th month, Mason….

  • saw Yo Gabba Gabba Live! in the Cities and had a great time!
  • got a big kid’s sled but hasn’t been able to play with it much due to lots of 0º temps
  • wears mainly 24 month clothing with some 18 month and 2T stuff thrown in
  • loves to wear his train and monster hoodies he got for Christmas, as well as his “John Deer Shirt and pants” (the pants are actually plain camo pants LOL)
  • went to his first birthday party for a non-relative and had a great time swimming and eating cake (Thanks A and Q!)
  • Started seriously transitioning into the “Big Kids Room” (aka 3 year old room with 4-12 close by) at school
  • loves to say “Mommy/Daddy, I like you” randomly. Like when he calls you into his room at 2 am.
  • worries about whether Joe is sad when we are not home.
  • loves to bring us our things – he’s constantly bringing me my Kindle and both of us our phones or bottles of pop. Even if we’re in the bathroom or somewhere where it’s obviously NOT needed.
  • didn’t see his Grandma J much as she was sick most of the month
  • ate his last meal in our favorite family cafe.
  • really enjoyed shoveling with SuperDad.
  • celebrated Valentine’s Day at school with a tea party and his favorite stuffed puppy was his special guest.
  • decided napping at home is for babies, but laying in his crib and watching “Bob the Builder” on the Kindle is fantastic.
  • favorite inside activities are watching TV (ugh), play with his tractors or monster trucks, playing with his trains, and playing hide and seek.
  • favorite TV shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Chuggington, Doc McStuffins, and Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • favorite outside activities right now are shoveling and stomping in the snow.
  • likes to play the “one parent against another” game by coming bawling to one of us going “Moommmmyyy, Daddy said I couldn’t have a cookie!!! *sob* *sob* *sob*” It’s very pathetic and hysterical all at once.
  • is spot on with most of his colors and can count actual objects up to 14 if he feels like it.
  • loves to talk about Auntie Sarah and Baby Liam.
  • missed two days of school with a fever and a bad cough
  • still refers to his grandmas by the colors they wore last. “My pink grandma” “my blue grandma” It keeps us guessing
  • cried for half an hour when he came home and Joe wasn’t there (Joe was at the vet) Telling him Joe was at the doctor made him cry harder. Poor guy.
  • roleplays with his cars and trucks and there is usually a mommy, daddy, and baby or kid
  • insists on wearing his “Monster shoes” even though they are getting too small and he has awesome Yo Gabba Gabba shoes in an appropriate size
  • would wear his winter boots everywhere if we let him
  • gets mad if we talk while he’s watching TV. “Shhhhhhhhh!! be quiet!!!” is a common phrase during his two TV shows per day.
  • rarely eats a decent amount of food at supper time. He eats all his food at breakfast and lunch at school, so I try not let this bother me.
  • favorite snacks are still little muffins and teddy grahams.

I can’t believe this dude is going to be THREE in less than a month! Man, time flies!!

Reading Time Tuesday

On Friday, I had to go to the library to pick up some books I had on hold because they’ll only hold them for a week. Much to my horror, that means I now have THIRTY library items at my house right now.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s break this down. Sorry, I’m way too lazy to link all of these up. If you are curious about any of them, let me know.

Currently checked out
Fiction Books
Gone Girl
Hector and the Search for Lost Time
– will probably return without reading it
Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society
The Perfect Hope – Nora Roberts
Sorority Sisters – Claudia Welch
Guilty Wives – James Patterson – I think I’m going to end up returning this one without reading it

Non-Fiction Books
Your Money or Your Life
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity – amusingly enough, I’m having a hard time finding time to get into this one
Playful Parenting
Because I Said So! : the Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to its Kids
The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life
Saving Dinner Basics
Toddler 411
Sh*tty Mom – The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
Cooking Light “Meals in Minutes”
The Burning House – Finished and going back tomorrow
Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim – have been trying to finish this for at least a month.

Mason’s Books
Let’s Play in the Snow – not a big fan of this and will be returning it tomorrow
A Cars Christmas – I’m more than ready to return this but Mason is not
Tiny Goes to the Library – very popular right now
Christmas Wombat – going back tomorrow
Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains – still in my car. Oops.
Little Bear’s Little Boat – one read was enough, going back tomorrow
Flynn Saves the Day – very popular right now
Finn Throws a Fit – popular right now
One Thankful Smurf – also still in the car
Three Snow Bears – still in the car

Movies
Jillian Michaels for Beginners
What To Expect When You’re Expecting

And before anyone asks, I read while Mason is watching TV, while SuperDad is cooking supper, and I try to read at least half an hour before bed every night. I usually end up renewing several of my books 2 or 3 times (if they’re not already on hold) before I get around to reading them when I have such a huge pile, BUT I normally don’t have more than 20 books out at once – this is a bit ridiculous. Think the hoarding book has a chapter in it about library books?!

Anyway, what are you guys reading these days? Anything on my list strike your fancy? I’d love to hear about it!

Brobee will be at the Mall of America tomorrow!

I’m super jealous of all of my friends who live just a quick jaunt from Mall of America (instead of two hours like me) because tomorrow, Brobee will be there!

That’s right, our favorite “Little Green One” will be at Toddler Time at the Mall of America on Tuesday the 8th from 10:00 – 10:30 and 11:00 – 11:30 to help Toddler Time jump, shake, and shimmy those sillies out.

And then, next week? The whole Gabba Crew will be at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis for two live performances – one at 3:00 and one at 7:00 on January 16th. It’s not too late to buy tickets to either show (or any of their other stops) right here.

So, enjoy Brobee at Mall of America tomorrow if you can, come have a great time at the live event with us next Wednesday, and stop back next Friday for our review of the awesome Yo Gabba Gabba Live Minneapolis event! Yooooooooooooooooooo gaaabbbaaaa gaaabbba!!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was pretty low key. We made a lasagna and spent the evening at Grandma B and Papa’s house.

Mason started out the night with adorable Christmas train overalls, but unfortunately every time he sat down, all the buttons on the legs popped open, making it look like it was a crazy skirt. Super weird since the pants were still 2 inches too long for him….

Then he drug Grandma B upstairs and drug down a large assortment of toys, including the ugly bear that he’s obsessed with that he found there a while ago and I try to keep there (and it so went home with us)

After eating, he spent the evening giving the bear rides on the train.

When we got home, he took a bath and his elf (originally named Yippie, renamed “ChipElf” after watching the Elf on the Shelf movie several times) left him a pair of pajamas as a going away gift. I apparently forgot to take a picture of his reaction.

Then we tried to put out cookies for Santa. Mason was super into this idea until he discovered that the cookies were really for Santa and he couldn’t eat them.

We managed to get a good picture moments before he launched into a stage four meltdown and screamed “My cookies!!!” for the next 20 minutes

SuperDad and I then stayed up until the middle of the night wrapping gifts, many of which had showed up via UPS that morning. Got to love procrastination and Amazon.com right?

Christmas Eve Last Year

Subpar Santa Take 1

Last weekend, we went and visited Santa at the mall. Santa’s room (he had a whole abandoned store to himself) was beautifully decorated and done up, but Santa himself was kind of blaaah. Between the way too fake beard and the creepy “staring too intently at your child” or “staring off to the side away from all cameras taking pictures,” I wasn’t super impressed. Thankfully for Mason, this was one of FOUR opportunities he has to meet Santa before Christmas, so we’ll try again next time.

So while waiting in line, I asked Mason what he was going to ask Santa for and he told me candy. LOL When he was on Santa’s lap, what did he ask for? A candy cane! A bunch of people laughed and told me “Well, you’ve got an easy Christmas!”

Santa then started asking him if he wanted any trucks and he told him “No, I have trucks at home. In my crib!”

I was impressed that Santa shook some nice bells in his lap and said they belonged to Rudolph and asked Mason if he knew who Rudulph was, Mason said “A reindeer!!” We haven’t talked about any of that stuff at home and this made me super glad that our daycare is so into the holidays.

Oh, and if anyone ever says “Ho Ho Ho!” Mason says “No! Santa say that! Not you!” This kid cracks me up!

This time last year – It’s Beginning to Look… / It’s a Boy!

Two years ago – Mason Loves His Toybox / The Booby Battle

Chopping Down Our Tree

On the 2nd, we took Mason to a Christmas Tree farm and he had the chance to help us cut down our Christmas tree. It was his first time out, despite it being a tradition in our house for the past 9 years. To say he got into it was an understatement.

First, he found a down branch and declared that to be his tree

He then proceeded to drag his “tree” all over the several acre farm.

After lots of debating, circling, and second guessing. SuperDad chopped down our chosen tree and I held it up while urging Mason to stay away so he didn’t get a 9 foot pine tree on his noggin. Due to the lack of free hands, no pictures were taken of this process.

Once the tree was cut down, Mason wanted us to put it back up so he could “knock down the tree” We obliged and he thought it was the greatest thing ever… until he asked to saw.

He was a WEEEE bit excited about this turn of events.

Proud of his accomplishment

Helping Daddy pull the tree back to the truck.

While the actual picking out and chopping down of said tree has always been my least favorite part of holiday decorating, seeing Mason’s enthusiasm really made it a fun afternoon.

How about you guys? Are you on Team Artificial, Team Tree Lot, or Team Chop One Down??

This time last year – First Haircut #Fail / Look At this Photograph

Two years ago – Cured by the Tubby / And So It Begins… / The Ped Who Cried Wolf

Stores Open on Holidays are NOT the Devil

I am really really sick of hearing how people who shop on Thanksgiving Day are the devil and how stores who are open during the day during major holidays should be boycotted. People need to realize that not everyone has the perfect “40 people gathered at Grandma’s house” scenario for every holiday.

Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. Not everyone celebrates Christmas.  There are many religions that don’t observe these holidays. And even beyond that, not everyone has someone to spend these holidays WITH.

Think of all the widowed people. The single people. The people who can’t afford to buy a plane ticket home. Those who don’t have any family left. The single mom who’s ex husband has custody that holiday, the parents whose kids are grown and not coming home for the holiday, the list who goes on and on. And let’s not forget the people who are alone because their loved ones work in a service job that shuts down for no holiday – your police officers, snow plow drivers, nurses, jailers, fire fighters, nursing home employees, etc etc etc. There are literally millions of people NOT celebrating Thanksgiving (or Christmas, Easter, etc etc) even though you are. To many, those open stores and the chance to shop (or work) are a godsend, or at least a welcome reprieve from a rather depressing or boring day at home.

Up until SuperDad and I were married, I had never celebrated Thanksgiving, it just wasn’t something my family did. I looked forward to spending an hour or two getting my Christmas shopping started at K-mart (not an advertisement, they were the only store open back then) – it wasn’t really crowded and it gave me something to do while the rest of the world seemed so silent.

I grew up spending Christmas Day in a hotel. We’d travel a long distance to spend Christmas Eve with extended family and then all that family would have stuff for the “other side of the family” on Christmas Day. We’d sit alone in the hotel and end up getting random snacks from the gas station (the only place that was open back then) and that would be Christmas Dinner. I would MUCH have preferred to be able to go to a restaurant or shopping like you can now.

Before you jump on the “Stores that are open on this day wreck the holiday for everyone” bandwagon, think about the fact that not everyone hates working on these days. Some people straight out don’t observe the holiday to start with and so many others have nowhere else to be due to whatever circumstance. As for those who say shopping at these times wrecks family time?  Some families think a shopping trip is just as important of a tradition as your football game. Who are you to say it’s not?

And before anyone says “You just don’t understand” – I do. I’ve worked in retail (both brick & mortar stores and also in retail distribution) for 11 years and I have a husband who’s a public service employee. I know alllllllll about working on holidays and being home alone on holidays. And I STILL am happy about the stores who continue to be open on them.

Helping people who would otherwise be alone is obviously not why these stores choose to be open and I’m not for a second going to pretend that it is, but it’s  perk of them making that choice. We need to stop judging judging judging and calling businesses “Un-American” and “anti-family” just because their ideas don’t our cookie cutter expectations of what a holiday should look like.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!