Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

favorite things....

The girls pick out their own clothes every day and pretty much refuse to wear anything that I set out for them. I've had to do some major thinning of their wardrobe so at least what they do pick has already been pre-approved by me (Mom = 1) of course the combinations they choose leave something to be desired but whatever....express yourself in whatever means you have, right.

Adia is predictable. She always picks pink. If the entire outfit isn't pink it's mostly pink. She puts her clothes on and almost every day after she's dressed declares her love of pink, "I looooooove PINK!"

I hate pink. Go figure (Mom = 1 Girls = 1)

Rasa has this (*!&^$@&) puppy shirt that she has a deep love for. She cries when I have to wash it and will ask repeatedly while it's in the wash if it's dry yet. I usually wash and dry it at night and leave it out for her on the couch because when she wakes up if it's not ready for her she will wake us up by crying, screaming and or whining "WHERE IS MY PUPPY SHIRT?!!!" She must wear her puppy shirt every single day at least once, or twice a day. When we persuade her to try a different shirt she will, but minutes or hours later will resort back to that ugly puppy. It doesn't match anything that she has. It's got a huge poodle on it (I also hate poodles). I don't get it. I hope it gets lost in the move.....too bad I fear for our lives if it does. She will never let it go!
Here it is worn with pride....ugh



Royce and I have developed a deep hatred of the puppy shirt as it has robbed us of many peaceful mornings. I'm not blaming anyone, even though technically my Mom bought her the shirt.....and Rasa knows that.....so every time I tell her no she can't wear the puppy shirt she cries, "but Nanna bought this for me!!" Clearly that overrides anything I have (Mom = 1 Girls = 2). I lose.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

my love of color


I can't stop making these little wooden people. I love the bright colors, the shiny shellac and how natural they feel to hold in your hands. They are totally non-toxic all the way down to the glue that holds the heads on and I love that too. Last night I was painting them while Royce I were talking after the girls were asleep. He was probably slightly annoyed (although hid it well) because every time I'd do a new little head I've make him look at how adorable it was. The girls have twenty or so of these little folks and they love them. I need to start gifting them again before my house is taken over by wooden dolls! The little boy and the Dad I've promise to a friend. I just need to whip up a super funky Momma to complete their family :)

We had a great time at the little's book club this morning with the cousins. We're going to put off the zoo for another day (tomorrow maybe?) and the girls are heading over to Nana's when they wake from naps so I can get some shopping done. Being sick the later part of the weekend put a crimp in my grocery shopping/meal planning.

The sun is shining bright today and ice is melting into puddles. What a beautiful day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Random ramblings you should only read if you are seriously bored out of your mind......

Above are my little wooden toy making supplies that I refuse to pack up until the day we move out of here. I can't put it away because I'm too afraid I'll need it....and I probably would.

Creating art with 3 year olds is a little easier than creating art with 2 year olds but it's still a disaster mess. I hate that I feel that way but truth be told every time the girls pull out the art bins they want to either glue or paint and both end up in a sticky disaster! Sure we have markers, crayons, color pencils, and a whole bin of non-disaster making materials but they want to paint, almost every day.

Today, like most days, I let it go, let them pour their own paints (3 year olds must do EVERYTHING themselves!) and let them have at it. It took me an hour to clean up but it was a good reminder watching them create what a magic process art is. Kids need to get their hands in it, feel it, smell it, squeeze it and experiment. They do it with such joy and energy!

I should understand this more than most. I NEED to create nearly everyday and usually every night after the girls are in bed I'm in my own art bin (or camera bag and editing software). It's relaxing for me, exciting and therapeutic. I need art like I need food. I always have. I find it in many ways; baking, painting, photography, sewing, toy making.

I need a shift in my priorities to make a space and time for the girls to have the opportunity to do this more. Maybe for them a few times a week isn't enough. They need a place where the mess doesn't matter (a tarp on the floor?), their supplies are accessible and they are free to do what they need to do......

Rasa has been begging me to let her sew. I seriously think sewing is above her ability level so I'm trying to think of a project she can "help" me with. She wants to do another set of ABC's but I'm thinking maybe a set of RASA pillows or something she can stuff filling into and help me that way.

Adia has no interest in watching me sew. She likes to play with the pins because the colored balls on the tops enamor her. She also loves my vintage buttons but she throws them around along with the pins when she gets bored. I remember when I was little my Mom would sew a lot and I would sit in her sewing room and while Chrissy always wanted to sew I was happy playing with the pins and tomato shaped pin cushion :)

I'm struggling with staying fresh on the home based mom job thing. Spring, summer and fall are so easy. We spend most of the day outside in the water or exploring and the girls are happy and worn out at the end of the day. Winter is brutal. I'm tired, burnt out and don't like the cold and while I make myself take them out when it's not bitter cold, I'm not happy out there!

Tomorrow is a new day! We have book club with the cousins and the zoo. It will be a nice refresher to an otherwise rhymic week.

the things they say...

When we picked up the girls from my parents after an evening out Royce asked Rasa if she had fun to which she replied, "I had fun because my papa came and picked me up" I said, well I came too and she said, "yes but my Papa came back for me!"
Clearly a daddy's girl!

Royce asked Adia if she missed him and she replied, "NO! I missed Momma!"
YES! One point for the momma ;)

Yesterday Rasa was hanging over the loft railing with a thermometer in her hand yelling, "Momma! Momma! Can we stick this in Adia's butt right now?!"

Rasa was dancing naked in front of the mirror. She turns around and shakes her booty at me while saying, "I have a big butt!". I said, "no you sure don't have a big butt!" and she turns around points to her front side and says, "Yes I do! This is my little butt and (while turning back around pointing to her back side) this is my big butt!"
Gotcha!

Monday, January 23, 2012

weekend wrap....

I just realized I still have a live Christmas tree up in my living room. How bad is that? I took off the decorations the day after Christmas and it just sort of blends in. Hmmm can't believe I forgot about it. Should probably remove it from the house, or burn it in a bonfire or something!

Anyway, Momma and Pappa got to go out on the town last night! It was actually a belated birthday celebration, I'm not at all picky about when it happens.....it just needs to happen! We don't get out, the two of us, more than a couple times a year so it's always SO much fun and SO special. I love that guy! He's fun and sweet and it's great to be the two of us, separate from the four of us. We had dinner at Bulldog in Northeast Minneapolis and then stopped off at Keegan's for a beer. We picked up cupcakes for Nana and Poppa and the girls and even had enough time to swing into the grocery store and pick up a few things for the week (yes we're
old....we grocery shop on date night).


Thanks to my parents for babysitting!

We had a fun Saturday morning. Our neighbors came over for a photo session and I really enjoyed it. I LOVE taking pictures of people I know and love and they are a super cute, super sweet little family. Rasa was my "helper" except instead of helping me out she was trying to snuggle with me while I was taking pics.

We spend a good portion of the rest of our day in Richfield, at the new house and out to lunch. The girls are pretty excited! They loved checking the place out and exploring. Their bedroom has two windows that face the backyard. There's a big tree right out the window that doesn't have any leaves on it now but I imagine in the summer it will be full and green. I used to have a tree outside my window when I was little and I loved looking out and dreaming about climbing way up to the top of it. Royce and I are really excited. We can see ourselves and our things in this house. We can imagine our routine and our little girls running up and down the hallway with the old wood floors creaking underneath them. It's a super sweet little place that's about to be filled up with magic that small children bring into every room.

Happy Monday! Time to get to work!

Friday, January 20, 2012

letting it go....watching it happen

I'm a natural born worrier. I've had issues with anxiety since I was a small child. I think part of it was that I was very sensitive and in tune with my families expressions and worries (spoken or unspoken). I see all of these traits in Rasa and our pediatrician told me last week he believes Rasa has some anxiety issues. That didn't trouble me at all because years ago I found this amazing meditation expert with a Ph. D in Psychology and she taught me the keys to a worry free life. It changed my life completely. I still resort back to worry and still work through panic attacks and anxiety but I know how and I know how to teach Rasa to embrase her intuitive nature for good, wonderful, compassionate and passionate things rather than letting it manifest into anxiety.

We weren't born to have a rotten life filled with hardships and heartache. We were born to be free, to be happy, to love and be loved, to reap rewards of our work and millions of other reasons.

My mantra is "things will happen exactly as they should" I can't tell you how true this is. Always.

When we tried to get pregnant, I knew it was meant to be. There was a plan and it happened exactly as it should have. A month before I had the girls I found out my company was sold and my department was going to be eliminated. My first reaction was to FREAK out! The plan was for me to take a 12 week maternity leave and come back to work full time. The timing of the acquisition was supposed to fall right before the girls were due and I was in a panic (hugely pregnant) wondering how I would get a new job in my state and how I would get the great maternity leave I had all set up! I'm not going to lie and say I let it go to the process. I flipped my lid for about two weeks before letting it go. The timing of everything ended up so perfect I could not have planned it better had I customized the entire thing myself. I had the girls, took 12 weeks off, went back to work to pack up my desk and say goodbye and got a fat severance that ended up paying me for a year at my full time salary. Seriously!

Well as you can see after we had the girls our plans changed and we decided to keep them at home but had this entire process not happened I'm not sure where we would be right now. It was a window that opened us up to a much better place! The cumulative effects of losing my job were that the girls are at home with me and I found a new career that I would have never imaged before!

Royce and I have hardships like everyone else. We choose not to focus on them. When we do we get in this nasty place of feeling sorry for ourselves and are unable to remember or see the amazing things that happen in our lives on a regular basis.

When I worry about getting work it only helps to give me anxiety! When I let it go I get bookings....every single time!
When I worry about money, I end up with a panic attack. When I let it go it just comes in. Surprise extra bonus at work for Royce! Surprise work for me!
When we started worrying about the house, where we were going to live and what to look for it almost ruined our Holiday's. We made a decision before Thanksgiving to LET IT GO and enjoy the holiday's. Guess what, a place fell in our lap that's more perfect than we could have dreamed up ourselves.

I could write a list of all the horrible things that have happened and not worked out but you know what, I don't really remember any of them because the things that count, the things that matter have all unraveled beautifully....not without blood, sweat and tears...but they have.

Things are meant to be. GREAT things are meant to be for all of us. Let it go.

workin weekend - hurrah!

I've got a family session Saturday and a two year old birthday party I'm shooting on Sunday. We're planning a movie night with the girls tonight and Royce is taking me out for my (belated) birthday dinner. We're making a visit to our new place tomorrow after I'm done with my session. Should be a fun weekend for us! We should probably work in some packing this weekend too.....time is a tickin!

I'm shooting a family session at my house so I was playing with the light and post processing finishes getting things ready this morning. I bribed Adia to help me out with a handful of M&M's.

She's such a doll baby. I love having live in test subjects!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Everyday Things

‎"the most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst beautiful things" plato

I love the idea of refrigerator magnets keeping the girls busy while I cook dinner but well....they're usually really ugly and the plastic set I had in the past didn't stay on the fridge well and pieces always ended up getting chewed up by Lucy!

These are SO cute and were made using mostly what I had in my textile bin. They are two layers of fabric with quilt batting and a magnet sewn into each letter. I wrote my letters freehand backwards on the back of each so the pen lines wouldn't be displayed. No they are not perfect by any means but the more I messed them up the cuter I thought they were! The entire set took me about 3 hours to make from start to finish. Most of the time was in cutting.

Sew cute right? ;)

















The tutorial on how to make these little gems can be found HERE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Everyday Things







simple pleasures....


because each of you is SO special! Nothing makes my heart smile more than when you get overjoyed with simple pleasures!

I love you Rasa!
I love you Adia!

Adia was sick yesterday. She just had a high temp and was worn out and wanted to be next to me at all times. My little baby girl. She wanted Beauty and the Beast SO badly. They saw some of the movie at the clinic last week while in the waiting room. Royce volunteered to run and pick it up last night and when he came home Adia just lit up. She calls it "the princess movie". We watched it for about a half an hour until Adia couldn't keep her eyes open. I picked her up and rocked her in the rocking chair in her and Rasa's bedroom until her fever broke and she went from pipping hot to a puddle of cold sweat. I laid her in her bed and she stirred a little so I pulled up the foot rest next to her bed and sat on it until she was sleeping.

This morning we went on an art supply run and stopped at the grocery store so I could pick up a few things to make cupcakes to surprise them when they woke up from their nap :)











Monday, January 16, 2012

It's what's for dinner

I get in grooves where I cook a lot, nearly ever meal and then I get busy and the grocery store with two little ones seems overwhelming and we end up eating out or ordering in. Yesterday I created a menu for the week and went grocery shopping to pick up all of my ingredients. My only rules are it needs to be as "whole" as possible, lots of veggies, as little cans as possible (yuck BPA!) and easy to prepare or toss in the crock pot.

As a former vegetarian and vegan family (for years and years) we started realizing that when we weren't on our game we ended up consuming a lot of processed soy and simple carbs neither of which is remotely healthy. I went on an allergy diet when Rasa was about 4 months old because she tested positive for a milk allergy and was breastfeeding. I had to eliminate all dairy and soy from my diet because the cows milk protein is passed on in breast milk and soy protein simulates milk protein and lots of babies/kids are allergic to both. I did the no allergen diet by Dr. Sears and started off by eating literally only chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper only, potatos with olive oil, sweet potatoes and then was later able to introduce squash, other root vegetables and fruits. I had never felt better in my life! My stomach felt great, I lost 10lbs in two weeks and had unlimited energy. With that in mind Royce and I moved to a similar diet but we do eat cheese and pasta in limited amounts (Rasa has since outgrown her milk allergy).

Last nights dinner was excellent. Super easy to make and Royce took the left overs for lunch today and said it was just as good day 2!

Don't worry, this will never be a recipe blog! But for my own purposes I'm going to post up the hits!

Chuck Wagon Pot Roast
2 - 2.5lbs of beef chuck roast (we used 2lbs of grass fed beef steak)
Salt and Pepper
1 24 oz jar of pasta sauce
1 cup of water
2 cups mini wagon wheel pasta
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans (we used frozen long green beans)

I cut up the steak into 1 inch cubes and boiled them in the spaghetti sauce for about 15 minutes to speed up the process (the beef seems really tough at first but after the time in the crock pot it was very tender). Then I transferred the beef and sauce into a crock pot on the high setting, added the carrots and frozen green beans. I let this cook for about two hours. 45 minutes before I wanted dinner to be ready I added the 2 cups of uncooked pasta noodles. The noodles cook in the sauce making them delicious!

Everyone loved it! It was tasty! The girls and I ate it with a dusting of parmesan cheese on top. I should add this cost about $12 to make if you don't have anything on hand. The bulk of it is the grass fed beef but you could do it for much less if you aren't as picky about your meat choices. I shop at Aldi for some food items which makes a difference. Their spaghetti sauce is $1.69 and has less than five ingredients in it. Carrots grown in the us were $.69 for a bag and their frozen vegetables are very good and inexpensive.

The slower method is to spray your crock pot with non-stick spray, add the raw beef cubes salted and peppered, add sauce and water, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Increase to low setting and add veggies and uncooked pasta for 45 minutes.

*tonights dinner is cheddar chicken casserole...sounds super yummy and if it's a hit I'll post the recipe!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cuz that's how we roll...

I hope I'm not boring everyone TO DEATH by my constant mention of packing and moving but since it's filling up all of our time I can't help it! It certainly wont be our last move by far so maybe I'll even find myself reading about it later on and learning from this move.

Royce and I devised a plan this week on what needed to get done today and we decided today was going to be the weekend we got rid of every single thing we won't be moving with us. Some is going in a landfill, some again to Good Will, some on Craigslist. I'm happy we now have every drawer and cabinet in the house emptied and we have half of the closets finished! Only three more to go!

The girls were literally driving me crazy this morning by getting into everything and then demanding one of us entertain them all morning (I NEED paper....I NEED paper....I NEED PAPER RIGHT NOW! I wanna color...I wanna color I wanna color I WANNA COLOR, I don't like these pants, I wanna wear these pants...I need my doggie shirt! WHERE IS MY DOGGIE SHIRT!! Momma what are u doing? What is this? What does this go to? I want it! I want that! I need this! I'm hungry...no I don't wanna eat that! I'm not hungry!.....catch my drift?).

I finally set up a stack of big boxes and said, "here ya go, this looks like a puppy house if ever there was one". They played with the boxes for an hour easily non stop and Royce and I were able plug away.

(PS Mom and Dad....please rest up in Mexico this week because I need to put you to work on babysitting duty when you get home :) :)

We needed to get out of the house and have lunch so we ended up at Chipotle. Highlight of my day for many reasons; first because Royce generally doesn't like their food so we hardly ever eat there, second because I LOVE IT and the girls eat it up and most importantly because my girls know how to have fun in public without being annoying, loud or rude.

We sat in the back and the music was blasting. Adia was quick to stand up and dance (that girl can dance!). Rasa and I joined in (semi descretely so as to not make a scene) and we all laughed and grooved. We have so much fun together doing the simplist things. Even on a day where we are knee deep in boxes, and dust and chaos it was fun to carve out a little bit of time to just be and have fun......cuz that's how we roll.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh Adia you are so you.....

"Adia let Momma take a picture of your curly afro! It rocks!"
"NO!"
"I'll give you a treat :)"
"Umm OK"

First pic:

Hmmm, adorable but that's not really Adia. She looks sweet and quiet and innocent.

Oh what was I thinking.....I have a one picture maximum before she goes back to being herself.

Yep that's my kid.

Here's some good middle ground. Love her sweet cherub face and chubby cheeks.

I should add that this is Adia's hair natural. Aside from washing it today (no shampoo, conditioner only) it's wild and crazy just like my girl!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Family playdate


Thank you Suzanne, Olivia, Josh and Owen for the Lalaloopsy dolls for the girls birthday!

*pardon the mess! We now decorate the house with recycled boxes **sigh* only for a month and a half at least. The girls prefer dancing on the dinning room table/craft table to their playroom which is why there has been an overwhelming amount of pictures in the same spot in the house lately!

Suzanne and the kids came over today to give the girls birthday presents (which of course they LOVE)! It was fun spending the morning with them. Owen is such a charming and busy little guy. I don't know how it's possible he's 18 months old. Olivia was delightful and the girls love watching her and look up to her. She's a helper which is very sweet.

We had a nice morning, a good visit and the kids expelled some energy. It's always fun getting the cousins together and next time I promise to take some pics!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

die hard outdoor girls!










Up until today we've been SO spoiled with an extremely warm winter. Yesterday was 50 degrees! The girls have gotten used to playing a lot outside and today when it was 20 degrees with a windchill of 5 they wouldn't take no for an answer! Their sandbox is semi closed in so it blocks some of the wind. I stood in the doorway most of the time (I'm always freezing!) and they played until I insisted they come in!

Everyday Things



Monday, January 9, 2012

oyi!

I'm slacking off having a beer and thinking about how I need to be upstairs, now that the girls are asleep, folding laundry and trying to take down that mountain. Six or so outfits a day that end up in a dirty bin thanks to the girls obsession with changing clothes multiple times a day makes for an overwhelming amount of laundry at the end of every week!

Royce and I are trying to come up with a plan for the big move and we've been looking around the house at all of the furniture we've accumulated over the past 11 years! When we bought this house it was just the two of us and we hardly furnished half of it. Add two bambino's and we're positively busting out at the seems! We've been doing a great deal of purging and no longer have any baby stuff left but even after a couple truck loads to Good Will it doesn't seem to have made a dent in our stash!

I'm overwhelmed at what needs to get done. My plan is to start tomorrow, one single box at a time. We have a month and a half (OMG A MONTH AND A HALF!!!) to get it done. It's challenging for me just to keep the house clean with the girls into EVERYTHING so I'm hoping by some greater force I can work at packing up while keeping my sanity about letting other things slide.

I need some serious positive vibes, good thoughts and prayers (whatever you fancy) to get this done. Please keep us in your thoughts for a smooth transition. The girls are tentatively excited about it but change can be hard for anyone and we want them excited and cooperative when it comes to packing up and moving on.

Cheers to new walls, new soil and new memories!

3 year stats

The girls had their three year well check today. They are growing like weeds! Our clinic is all the way across the metro and it ends up being practically an all day thing. The love their pediatrician and that makes a huge difference! He's the same one they've seen since they were 9 months old and we adore him. After about an hour and a half Adia starts to shut down and go bonkers. Note to self she needs to be first next time. By the time her turn rolled around she was wild and wouldn't take direction or participate in her check up.......she wanted to crawl around on the floor, stick her tongue out and act "special".
Rasa was great, followed directions and acted like the intelligent little girl she is!

Rasa:
Height 38 inches 75% (2 inches taller than her two year visit)
Weight 32.5lbs 75% (5.5lbs heavier than her two year visit)


Adia:
Height 36.75 50% (2 3/4 inches taller than her two her visit)
Weight 31lbs 50% (6lbs heavier than her two year visit)

Rasa looks 3 inches taller than Adia, I swear! They've been about an inch apart since they were 18 months. Their weight is always within a pound or two even though Rasa feels so much heavier!

All in all a great visit. No issues, everything is great. The plan for their asthma is to try and get them off of the daily inhalers in the spring and summer and back on each fall and winter as cold season comes around. They've been great with their asthma for several months now but we won't know for sure until the first viral cold sneaks in.

Rasa was referred to a sleep specialist at Children's for her night time issues so I'll be scheduling soon and crossing our fingers we all may sleep at some point in the near future (YAY!). After three years of disrupted sleep I'm convinced I'm crazy and Royce is following behind me :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Yep we're moving......

Rasa couldn't be more excited!

She was jumping up and down saying,
"Lets go momma!!! Lets go!!"

She's excited to have grass and trees and a yard! Should make for a very fun summer!

Dare I say....Richfield is just about to get a whole lot cooler....the Steenerson Family is moving in!

More details to come but I gotta get started packing!

Everyday Things

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!


Three years ago I spent my birthday in the hospital after having the girls. I went up to the nicu to breastfeed them and went back down to my room to rest. When I got there I saw a balloon and a card on my bed. The card said, "Happy Birthday, we love you! Love, Royce, Rasa & Adia". It hit me after reading it that we had made a family and I was about to get three times the love.

I love my family. Happy Birthday to me!

My girls hanging with me on my bday :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

The sweet strawberry 3rd birthday!

I stayed up late after Royce and the girls went to bed last night and made pom-poms out of tissue paper and decorated. Even with the cake the cost was less than $50 and that included gift buckets filled with goodies (thanks to $1 bins at Target and after Christmas specials on party supplies! Benefit of having strawberry - green and red!).

This morning after the girls woke up we made them banana pancakes and shaped them into number 3's. Topped with whipped cream they were taaaaasty! The girls each opened a present from Royce and I that were a couple "cool" new outfits.

We piled in the car after breakfast and drove to Bylery's to pick up their special cake. It was the only bakery in town that offered a Strawberry Shortcake cake and since that was the only thing the girls asked for we went for it.
Adia pulled the cake off the counter about a half hour after we got home but luckily it landed flat, still in the box with minimal damage. Gotta watch that one every second!

We had lunch and the girls took naps. When they woke up Nana and Papa were here and we opened more presents, celebrated and ate cake.

Jill and Taylor came over after my parents left and brought the girls some sweet gifts and had some cake.

We had a really fun day. Most importantly the girls felt really special, as they should on their birthday!

We are so thankful for Nana, Papa, Skip, Jill, Karley, Patrick, Gabby & Isaac, Chris, Lee and the twins for the sweet cards and gifts. Thank you so much, they are treasured.