Monday, January 21, 2013

Hello, Monday

Hello, COLD. The high for the next two days is a single digit and the low is a double digit number with a minus in front of it. And that's before you factor in the wind chill. The southern girl in me is not happy. This is the part of winter I just don't enjoy. Maybe I'd feel differently if I didn't have to go anywhere, but today is a two school day for AJ which means hauling the boys in and out of the car multiple times. Bundle up, we will.

Hello, smoothie love. The addition of a new gadget in my life has revolutionized my breakfast. Last week I picked up the Oster Personal Blender and it is amazing. It's a tiny little thing with plenty of power and it's easy to clean. I've been happily throwing frozen fruits and veggies and greek yogurt into my new little friend daily.

Hello, packing. We're less than a week from our Florida adventure. That means we have entered the time where I just want to get there and I am completely overwhelmed with the idea of packing for our family of four. I'm obsessively watching the 10 day forecast and stressing more than a little about how I'm going to make sure we have clothes for the days where it's going to be 60 as well as the days when it's going to be 80.

Hello, mobile Sam. The small one is army crawling like it's his job, and in the process doing a fantastic job of illustrating the spots the vacuum misses. Why must every.single.thing. go in your mouth young man? I'm getting very good at the hook motion to remove all sorts of unsavory things from his mouth. Good for the immune system, right? Shudder.

Hello, social AJ. For the first time ever this weekend, a despondent little dude walked over to me and said, "Mama, I lonely. I want a friend to come to my house and play with me." And so it begins. "Mama and Daddy days" are no longer good enough. And so, we had our first AJ requested play date on Sunday (as opposed to all of the play dates previously organized by mamas) with our neighbor Jackson. The boys ran around like crazy shrieking and giggling and intentionally smacking their heads. I was mildly terrified and Sam was more than a little thrilled to watch the madness from his post in the jumper.

Hello, Seafoam. My 2013 project life kit is here. And I'm 3 weeks behind. Oh well, I'll get there. And now that I know that I enjoy the monthly format just as much as the weekly, I'm not finding myself quite so overwhelmed about the idea of "catching up." Life will get documented, one way or another.

Hello, Monday is a post inspired by Katrina, who was inspired by Lisa.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Right Now

  • has discovered the joy of the photo bomb. Doesn't want to pose for real pictures, but will throw himself in front of the camera whenever he wants to be goofy
  • is sleeping most mornings until 6am thanks to his new alarm clock, at which point he bounds into our room with "The boy is awake! The boy is awake! It's time for breakfixt" 
  • makes my morning every day when he walks over to Sammy's crib and says "Good morning Baby Sammy! How's your nap going?" 
  • has made so much speech progress that he's about to get booted from his early childhood program. So proud of him. 
  • is having a tough time missing his mama lately. It's resulted in some pretty heartbreaking goodbyes when Mama has to go to work. 

  • is army crawling like it's his job.
  • is babbling up a storm. Lots of ba ba ba and my personal favorite: a high pitched squeal that sounds just like he's saying "AJ" Appropriate since big brother is pretty much his favorite person in the world
  • is turning into a little foodie. His mama is working on getting out of "allergy mama" mode and allowing him a little freedom to snack on the things we're eating. So far he really enjoys penne, and green beans. 
  • has one tooth that's breaking through the skin, and one more that shouldn't be far behind. 
  • is not the best sleeper in the world. On the good nights he'll give us a 6 hour stretch. On the bad nights, a 6 hour stretch sounds like heaven.

  • is returning to an old hobby. 
  • is working from home 2 days a week again after several months in the office every day.
  • is very excited that the NHL lockout is over.
  • hasn't traveled for work since before Thanksgiving. That's a really long stretch for us!
  • is looking forward to all the food Disney World has to offer.

  • is playing with make up after a few years hiatus with help and advice from a very patient friend.
  • working on being flexible. Both in body (thanks to a physical therapist) and in mind (thanks to a 3.5 year old who challenges my ideas on just about everything)
  • is hungry. Constantly. It's winter. I'm cold and bored and hungry. 
  • dreams of going to bed when tired and waking up rested. Not sure if this will ever happen again, but it's such a pleasant thought. 
  • looking forward to an upcoming vacation. Not so much looking forward to the packing and the travel.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

OLTW 2013: Plan

Plan: a detailed scheme, method, etc, for attaining an objective

I've always been a planner. It's part of my control freak nature. It served we well as a television news producer. On any given day breaking news could change my plan ten times, and I rarely went to air at 5pm with the show I had planned at 9am, but there was always a plan. 

Now, I'm a mom of two boys. And a wife. And an employee. And on any given day I feel like I am spinning my wheels and being pulled into fifty million different directions. The plan is even more important now. But it's so easy to just let the day to day engulf me and feel like making a plan is pointless. Sleep deprivation makes me just want to survive the day. But even that requires a plan.

This morning was a prime example of what happens when there isn't a plan. One late appointment snowballed into a chaotic morning. The little dude went to school in two different shoes. Both right feet. He looked like a hot mess. And I felt like a mess as I tried to explain our cluster of a morning to his teacher. I tried to tell myself she's heard it all before, but that doesn't make it any easier when it's happening to you.

So, it's time to get back to basics as Casa de Homburg. I don't want our objective to be survival. I want to enjoy 2013. And that, my friends, is going to take a plan.   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: All I Read are Bedtime Stories

Confession: I feel like a great big giant fraud writing this post. Maybe even worse than when I wrote that fashion post. Remember that? Ha! Though, I am wearing makeup today, jeans that fit, and cute shoes. So perhaps all was not lost.

But today I'm supposed to write about books I want to read. Books. Like, for myself. Books that don't have pictures. Books with pages made of real paper and not laminated cardboard. Books that don't rhyme. I used to read quite a bit. I remember going to the used book store once a month with two grocery bags full of paperbacks I had devoured. I'd trade those in for a credit and then spend an hour searching the shelves for stuff I hadn't read yet. I'm not sure where that part of me went, but she left sometime in high school or college I think, when required reading took up any spare time I might have had for recreational reading. Then, when I moved on to the real world, my recreational reading was done on the internet. Blogs and internet forums, and all the research a girl could want. I've read a few books for myself in the past few years, but mainly on vacation, when flights and layovers made me a captive audience. Now, my vacations involve little people and there's no reading then anymore either.

Anyway, all of that is to say I feel silly making this list of books I want to read and knowing full well that I probably won't get through them. I could find time to read, but it's just not that high on my priority list. Because if we're being honest, I'd rather sleep. But if I *were* to find/make time to read, here are the first five books I would want to crack open:

1.Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed: I have been reading Glennon's blog for over a year now and love her honest storytelling. The community that has grown out of her writings has done some pretty remarkable things. I'm so excited about this book that I might actually try to read it. For real.

2. Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected: Kelle is another blogger I have followed for a long time. Her photography is as beautiful as her writing,

3. Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption: Are you seeing the blogger turned author trend? I haven't followed Katie as closely as some other bloggers, but I am so very amazed by her story. Moving to a country alone and adopting a whole houseful of orphans? Pretty remarkable.

4. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are: Not a blogger! Or well, I don't think she is. But this book has been recommended by many MANY bloggers.

5. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess:  this one was recommended to me by Amazon. Amazon thinks I need to simplify? Or maybe Amazon thinks I only need to read books with colons and subtitles.

Be sure to check in with the other Ventage girls to see what they're wanting to read this year. I bet they're all planning to actually read those books too. Me? Well, I've got a date with Llama Llama and Moo Baa La La La.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hello, Monday

 (taken when a certain littler dude visited his mama in bed this weekend)

Hello, bedrest. Last week my body sent me a message. All week I kept saying I needed to make an appointment with the chiropractor. I was feeling off and wanted to, for once, make it to the chiropractor before all hell broke loose. Friday morning I was going to make that call. Right after I dropped AJ off at school and ran a couple of errands. Yeah. I never finished my errands. Right in the middle of trying on pants, I went from "feeling off" to "completely broken." A Friday afternoon chiropractor visit followed by 2 full days laying in bed and I'm back to "somewhat functional." And I'm thinking maybe I burned a hole in my stomach with a whole lot of ibuprofen.

Hello, catch up. You don't spent 2 days in bed without a whole lot of stuff that just doesn't get done. Karl was a great single parent, but there's only so much you can do. So now, instead of feeling like we're ready to face the first full week of 2013 head on, I'm scrambling. No meal plan, no grocery list, no food in the fridge. And we won't talk about the laundry.

Hello, routine. The bigger of the little dudes is one of the most routine driven kids I know. He likes to know the plan. Getting back into the swing of things after Christmas has been rough on him. 2 weeks off from school is a long time. He's so happy to see his teachers and friends though. This morning was a little rougher than normal because I had spent so much time away from him this weekend. "I missed loo today, Mama." Tears at drop off. It hurts my heart.

Hello, tales from the scale. 2.8lbs down on the first Monday of 2013. 2 lbs from 30 pounds lost. 12 pounds from a major milestone. It's going to be a good year!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: Friday Edition: Ode to Katrina

Oh we Ventage girls. We can be so sneaky. And we're always up for reasons to celebrate. So here we are (well almost all of us) on a Friday to celebrate the birthday of one of our own. In honor of Katrina's special day, I thought I'd share a little bit about what makes her awesome.
True Story: This is the only photo in existence of Katrina and I together. Can you see her? She's hiding behind my enormous baby belly (Anderson James Homburg, making his mother look like a hot mess since late 2008). We gathered together to celebrate Em and baby to be Spud (who arrived a couple of weeks after this picture was taken in the form of one little Mirielle Mabel). The shower was not a surprise, but Katrina's presence there was. She flew all the way from Vermont without the guest of honor knowing. That's one very cool thing about Katrina. She's always up for an adventure.

Other great things about Katrina:
  • she is knowledgeable about lots of things way outside of my comfort zone. Way outside of my comfort zone is my politically correct way of saying hippie stuff. Katrina is my go to girl for the hippie stuff.
  • she has been known on more than one occasion to send happy mail containing more lip gloss than one girl should legally possess at one time.
  • she is proof that one can raise two teenagers without going completely insane. Bonus points for the fact that her two teenagers are well adjusted, smart, polite, and have a great relationship with their mother. 
  • she has two fireplace mantels. I'm actually quite jealous of this because if there is one thing my house is lacking, it's a fireplace. In my mind, one of her mantels belongs to me and she's just keeping it warm/loving it/decorating it on my behalf. 
So my dear Katrina, happy birthday to you! I wish you a day full of Neon Trees, a dinner full of kale, a dessert free of any HFCS, and perhaps an encounter in the produce department of Trader Joes.

Love you!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How Pinteresting: What's cooking edition

Thought it would be fun to keep track of a few pins that caught my eye lately. Thinking one or two of these might make it to my menu this coming week

Chicken and Apple Saute: I like chicken. I like apples. Will I like them together?
Banana Oatmeal Smoothie: I've been hunting down smoothie recipes for months and have yet to make one. I need a signature smoothie to throw into my morning routine
Skinny Slow Cooker Pulled Pork: This one is happening this weekend. Maybe tomorrow. I'm excited to make my own barbeque sauce!
Chocolate Chunk Muffins: Needing something to help my chocolate cravings without blowing the weight watchers plan. Intrigued by the greek yogurt. These wouldn't be AJ friendly, but Mama doesn't have to share everything, right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ten Thoughts in Ten Minutes

  1. I am seriously in love with my new slippers. Who doesn't love sequins? And I just noticed they're called "Charo" Who remembers her? The Coochie coochie lady. 
  2. I forgot how cold Wisconsin winters are. We had a very mild one last year and so this BELOW ZERO nonsense is cramping my style. 
  3. Also cramping my style: this whole getting back into the morning routine. AJ has been off from his M-Th school for two weeks. Today, class resumed. AND Karl went back to work for the first time since December 13th. We barely eeked in on time today. It's going to take me some time to get back into the swing of things. 
  4. First day back to school must be exhausting. Not only did AJ *not* protest his nap this afternoon, he came out after an hour of sleeping, laid his head down on the couch and went right back out. We're approaching 2 hours of total sleep time. Unheard of.
  5. I love my 2012 Project Life album, even though it's not completed. (yet.) 
  6. I love it more because AJ has asked for the past 3 mornings "Mama, you read the scrapbook with me?"
  7. I'm still holding out hope that his love of the albums will continue as he ages so that some day they don't all get thrown in a dumpster. Or maybe I need to get back on the arranged marriage bandwagon and make sure my boys wind up with daughters of scrappers. I think Em and I would be lovely in laws. And Miri really is destined to live in Wisconsin some day.
  8. I'm watching the Pinterest new year feed with a smirk. The same thing happened last year. For a couple of weeks my feed will be full of new work outs, healthy recipes, and "inspiring" pictures of photoshopped skinny people. Until like January 21st. Then, it will go right back to rich desserts and recipes featuring 5 varieties of cheese, with a few cocktails to wash it all down and some pictures of cute baby animals for good measure. We're so predictable aren't we?
  9. A lady at the grocery store who was admiring Sam turned down my offer to come see how much fun babies are at 3 in the morning. And she reminded me that she'd rather be up with a fussy infant than be up at 3 am because her teenager isn't home and hasn't called. That combined with a harrowing tale from Katrina and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to sleep until my boys are 30.
  10. I discovered Portlandia today before AJ came out to continue his nap on the couch. The Dream of the 90s is alive in Portland. I peed my pants a little. Love it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: Year of Awesome To Do List

2012 was a big year for my girls, and not always in the best way. I guess you could say it was a year of challenges. A year where even our biggest blessings came by way of the tough road (I'm looking at you Charles Robert and Samuel Frederick!). In the hopes that I can will us to a happier and lighter 2013, I have declared it "the year of awesome." Now I've tried willing my kids to do things with zero success, so I'm not sure this is the best plan for ensuring a pleasant new year, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Here are a handful of things I am excited to accomplish in awesome fashion this year.

  1. weight watchers free lifetime member status: I am starting 2013 within a couple of pounds of the weight I was the day I moved to Wisconsin almost 7 years ago. I know that Weight Watchers is a plan that works for me. This year I plan to see it through to my goal weight. And because I know that it doesn't end there, I look forward to continuing on as a free lifetime member. I'm also excited to cheer Karl on as he reaches his goal. Having him on board this time has made things infinitely easier on me.
  2. target: I've decided to stay on as a team member now that the holidays are over. The experience of being back in the work force has been good for me. It's added a new level of chaos to our family life at times, but it is worth it. And now just because of the discount. This year I look forward to learning new things and figuring out how and where I am most useful in my new job.
  3. project life: living and documenting: I have loved completing Project Life this year. I still have more work to do on my 2012 album (hey, I had a kid! cut me some slack!) I've loved reflecting back through my photos and words and stuff. Bonus that AJ now likes to look at the album with me and provides his own little memories triggered by the pictures. This year I am looking forward to finding new things to incorporate into my project. I'm also looking forward to the memories I will make while working on the project itself. Rumor has it Angie and I will have a standing date to get our PL on!
  4. adventures: we leave for Florida in 25 days. There's talk of a Ventage girls getaway. And an IKEA trip.One of my favorite people in the world now lives in Madison instead of right around the corner. I envision my 2013 to be full of travel. Awesome travel. And traveling adventures. I'm hoping for a few local adventures too. Like planning a birthday party for my TWO BOYS! And maybe planning a party for own birthday, because I need an excuse to use those bloody mary bar ideas I found on pinterest.
  5. fox cities half marathon: Yup, I'm putting it out there. I intend to end September 22nd, 2012 with a finisher medal around my neck. I may crawl my way across the finish line. I may be the very last person to finish, but I'm going to do it.Why? Because I can. Because there are many who cannot. Because right now the idea of doing it seems so overwhelming to me and I want to be able to look back and say that I saw myself through it.
So there you have it. 5 things I expect will fill my year of awesome. Don't forget to check in with the other girls for some of their plans for 2013! And please, share with me what's on your list!