Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday :: My Sister's Baby Shower

I am a little embarrassed that I don't have more photos from the baby shower!  I should have handed my camera off to someone else, because you really can't take photos during the shower when you're throwing it.

I know this is wordless Wednesday, but I'm going to break the rules since I have so many people to thank for helping make this shower for my sister such an awesome experience.  Words cannot thank you enough, but I have to try!  Thank you to my awesome mom who coordinated all the cooking, my cousin Jenny who helped with every last detail, my niece Dakota for helping set up, my mother in law for watching my girls so I could be helpful and my aunts, cousins and mother in law who so willingly jumped in to clean up!!  I have truly been blessed with an awesome family!!

The Candy Buffet (w/favor boxes)- Andria LOVES candy

Cakes that match the crib bedding, custom made by Lisa Suttorp

Claire enjoyed the candy before brunch :)

The loot :)

The beautiful mom to be opening gifts
The awesome book for Baby Boots that Jenny made (thanks Pinterest)

I am so excited for Baby Boots (not his/her real name!!  They don't know if they're having a boy or a girl, so Claire named the baby Boots) to arrive!  Only a couple weeks to go!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Top 5 Saturday {Sunday} Laughs

I figure I may as well keep with the day late posts this week, since I did My Favorite Things Friday on Saturday,  my Top Five Saturday Laughs get the Sunday spot.  I am amazed how quickly the past five days have gone.  I am not looking forward to a full week of work either!  Having so much time home with my girls really makes it hard to go back to work.  We had lots of laughs this week, but I neglected to write them all down so here are the ones I recall:

5. On Wednesday, the girls and I went out to lunch with my Mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew.  We went to Claire's favorite local Chinese restaurant.  Somehow we ended up with all the extra fortune cookies at our house.  Claire ate a couple and wanted to save one for daddy.  When she gave it to him, she told him he had to be careful not to eat the tag, so he had to break it and take the tag out.

4.  While Ryan and I were cleaning up from dinner one evening the girls were playing in the living room on the floor.  Ryan looks over to see Claire picking Natalie up off the ground.  It was a good thing he saw it first and calmly asked Claire to put Natalie down gently, I don't think I would have been as in control!

3.  Claire has been obsessed with playing catch lately. During one of the many games, she looks at me and exclaims, "This is a hard job!"  When I started laughing, she began to fake laughing with me.  This eventually turned into real laughing. She is such a crack-up!

2.  I threw a baby shower for my little sister this weekend.  In the middle of the shower, Claire decided to tell me that we still hadn't given Aunt Andi a shower yet.  Having a toddler makes you realize what a crazy language we have.

1.  One night at dinner, Claire was singing to Natalie.  Natalie then proceeded to make all kinds of noise, mimicking Claire's tone and volume level.  She was totally copying her sister and it was all sorts of funny!  Claire's reaction was that she wanted to sing all by herself, which made it even funnier.

I hope everyone has a great week!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Favorite Things {Black} Friday :: Shopping Finkbeiner Family Style

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving!  We had a very nice day and will continue to celebrate the rest of the weekend with family :-)

This week I'm linking up with Jenny from The Sippy Cup Chronicles for the Favorite Thing Friday Blog Hop.


Like many brave souls out there, I went shopping today.  Thankfully, I didn't have to go alone (I hate being alone) and was accompanied by my mom, aunt and three cousins.  In years past, we had a very strategic plan detailed with items at each store and the time that the stores actually opened.  This year was different, since the majority of the stores we wanted to visit opened at Midnight.  So we made a plan, unsure of how long each stop would take since the lines would be unpredictable because we wouldn't be getting in line right away.  I went to bed at 9:15 last night with the alarm set for 11:00.  I woke up to the alarm began the process of getting dressed when Ryan came in to tell me that it was actually 11:35!  Shear panic set in, I had to pick up my two cousins before going to my mom's house to get her - this will all take 20 minutes under normal conditions.  That doesn't leave us much time to get in line at Target!  My cousins agree to meet me at my mom's to save a few minutes and we all pile into my mom's running vehicle and begin our journey to Target.  We get in line about a 1/8 mile away from the doors.  Midnight hits and we make the trek into the store. We got everything on our list and make it out in just under an hour!

Kristin stretching before we get to the doors

Then we went to Kohls where we again got everything on our list (and then some) and waited in line for 1.5 hours.  After Kohls we had some very strategic packing to do to make everything fit into my mom's vehicle.

In line about 45 minutes away from the checkout

Lindsay had to hold the stuff while we were moving the car so it didn't fall out until we could re-pack!

Love these girls!! Jenny (cousin), Lindsay (cousin), Sue (mom), Kristin (cousin),  Jane (aunt)

And the door shuts - success!

At this point it was about 3:30, and we were quickly losing spunk. Since none of the other stores that we were going to opened until 4:00 so we decided a pit stop for breakfast was in order.  We went to Ihop since our options were very limited.  We had  horrible service in general (it took almost 15 minutes to just get our waters), but the food was good.  It also gave us the opportunity to further plan our next stops.  We had a plan in hand as we ventured out.  However at this point, we were very tired and our enthusiasm for shopping had severely dwindled.  We made very quick stops for the gift essentials at Meijer and Sears before heading back to my mom's house to divide up our purchases.  Our Black Friday was a very successful day of shopping, hanging with some awesome ladies and lots of making friends in line!  I would expect nothing less from these gals :)

The backseat <3

We already can't wait for next year!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday :: My Hubby The Mighty Hunter

Ryan got a one sided 5 point buck on opening day that put lots of venison in our freezer.  Claire gets very excited when Daddy brings home deer (she doesn't understand they are dead).  However, since this one had lost an an antler, she told Ryan that he had to get a different deer that wasn't broken.  

Here are a few photos (consider yourself warned, don't scroll down if you'd rather not see them):

Friday, November 18, 2011

Top 5 Saturday Laughs

Normally I am much more excited for the weekend than I am today.  Don't get me wrong, I am very glad that tomorrow is Saturday, however it just isn't the same excitement when you have to work in the morning.  Okay enough complaining, I will instead choose to be thankful that I have a job that I get to go to on Saturday morning instead.

I am once again linking up with Melissa from The Mommyhood Chronicles for the laughs of the week.  So without further delay, here our the laughs from our house this week.

5.  Claire is very into 'reading' books to me.  She has memorized a bunch of the favorites that we read nightly.  We have an early reader Tangled book that she can recite word for word.  In the book, it talks about Rapunzel painting the tower in many colors.  After she 'read' to me one night, she said, "Mama, I wish that I could paint the walls."  I used this as a teaching moment and explained to her that we must never paint on walls, only paper.  She said, "Ok, Mama, but if I get a tower, then I could paint the walls."  I had to agree to that one, she was so serious, I couldn't laugh at her.  Get your tower little girl, just don't forget the castle that accompanies it!

4.  Natalie is crawling all over the place and gets around the house very well.  However, when she hears a loud noise that startles her, she quickly books it in the opposite direction with a frightened look on her face.  She can really move!

3.  Claire is really thinking that bodily noises are hysterical these days.  For a little girl, she can belch like no other!  She does typically follow it up with a giggly, "Excuse me, I burped."  I figure she has the rest of her life to be proper right?!  After dinner the other night, she realized that she can make herself belch on command.  So Ryan and Claire starting burping in chorus.  While rather gross, the whole interaction had us all cracking up - even Natalie.

2.  Everything goes in Natalie's mouth, as you would expect from a 7 month old.  Whenever Natalie puts one of Claire's toys in her mouth, Claire freaks out about germs on her toy.  She asks me to 'wipe off the germs' - which translates into wiping off the drool from the toy, then all is good in the world.

1.  Claire has a very active imagination.  The other day, Claire noticed an oil spot in our driveway.  She immediately told me about the giant lion footprint in our driveway.  I reassured her that there weren't any lions here, we live in the woods and lions live in the desert.  To this, Claire responded that "lions live in Africa."  I couldn't argue that point.  That girl keeps me on my toes!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!  I am so looking forward to next week!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy 7 Months Miss Natalie!

It's hard for me to keep up with this girl!  She is so busy and is trying so hard to keep up with her big sister.  The last month passed so quickly and it's hard for me to believe that it's time to write yet another update!!

Here are some of the months milestones that haven't been previously blogged about (check out my Top 5 Saturday Laughs)
  • Natalie is a professional army crawler/swimmer.  She looks to be swimming as she stretches her arms out to get places.  She is up quite a bit on her hands and knees but is faster with the army crawl so prefers that method at this point.

  • There is absolutely no more sit and play with this girl.  She has figured how to get from a sit to her belly and back to a sitting position again.  I was really hoping for a long stay a the sit and be content to play with a toy stage.
  • She has a very strong opinion at what she wants to play with.  If you take something away, she lets you know that she wasn't done with it yet.  She also watches where you hide things that she shouldn't be playing with in hopes of taking them back.
  • Natalie loves to play with Claire.  If Claire leaves the room, Natalie goes after her.  When Claire comes back, Natalie squeals in delight.
Playing on the 'couch bed' together
  • Baby purees are out of the question for this girl.  She would eat at most 10 bites of peas or peaches.  Everything else was about 3 bites. Over the last week and a half we have been experimenting with soft solids.  She absolutely loves eating real food and especially loves feeding herself.  She has now had mandarin oranges, avocado, peas, carrots, green beans, bananas, strawberries, mac and cheese (noodles cut in thirds), yogurt and puffs.  She likes sitting down for dinner with us now.  I am so thrilled, baby food was a battle for a month or so!

  • She is becoming more vocal when Claire is around.  It is almost like she is trying to talk to her sister.  However, she jabbers much more when Claire isn't around (probably since it's hard to get a word in edgewise).
  • She has tried to pull herself to stand a couple times.  That freaks me out too much, she can't be old enough to do that already, right?

We are still waiting (not so patiently) for a couple milestones:

  • Sleeping through the night.  This is honestly getting worse.  The majority of the nights we are now up twice instead of once.  I pray nightly that she sleeps until 5:00 am.  I am at a loss on this one.  We have tried multiple theories, so if you have helpful and practical suggestions - let me hear them!
  • Those two bottom teeth!  Poor thing is a drool-ball and chews on everything in site.  They're not far off I would guess that by the next post she won't be toothless any longer.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top 5 Saturday Laughs


Welcome to the weekend!! This week was one where the days were long, but the week was short.  I can't believe it is time to write my laughs for the week already!

5.  We had our first snowfall of the season this past Thursday.  I love how excited kiddies get over the first snow.  When leaving daycare, I bundled Claire up so she could play in the snow on the way out.  She was prancing around in the front yard, yelling "This is SO much fun! I love walking in snow, I love eating snow, I love playing in snow."  It actually made me excited for the snow too.

4.  The favorite after dinner activity in our house has been a dance party on our bed.  Claire loves jumping, so jumping and dancing on our bed is right up her alley.  It also seems that Natalie likes to jump (with Ryan helping her), she giggles uncontrollably (until she gets brutal hiccups and then continues to laughs some more).  The squeals and laughs are enough to turn any day good!

3.  Claire and I were watching Toy Story 2 one morning before Natalie woke up.  I laughed at one of the adult jokes in the movie.  Claire looked me dead in the eyes, stating, "That's not funny Mommy." This made me laugh even harder.  She just kept looking at me like, why are you still laughing?

2. With Daylight Savings Time this week, our kids have had their schedule thrown out of whack. After both girls were down, Ryan and I were sitting down in the living room.  I asked him if he thought that both girls would sleep through the night (Natalie has yet to do this since I've returned to work).  Before he even had a chance to answer, Natalie let out a loud scream.  We both cracked up and knew that the answer was no.  Of course, both girls were up that night.

1.  When I get home, I love to put on my 'comfy' clothes.  Yoga pants and one of Ryan's shirts were the attire of choice for the day.  Claire asked me why I was wearing Daddy's shirt.  I said because it was comfortable.  She then said, that's nice that you and Daddy share shirts.  I agreed that it was good to share.  She then asked, "Does Daddy wear your shirts?"  I could hardly stop laughing long enough to tell her that Daddy wouldn't fit into my shirts.  

Make sure you visit Melissa's blog and link up your laughs of the week!!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Favorite Things Friday Blog Hop


I know it is late in the day, but I have a new favorite thing on my blog...a header!!!!!!!!!  I always just had the title written in the top of my blog.  Thank goodness for good people to help me out!  Jamie from For Love of Cupcakes and my hubby were instrumental in making the new 'look' happen.  Pretty soon I will even have a button!  I feel like I actually have a 'normal' blog now!

Thanks again Jamie and Ryan!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday :: My 30th Birthday Party

I have been wanting to blog on this for a couple weeks now and haven't found the time, so I am going to take the lazy route and use a Wordless Wednesday to post my favorite photos from the party.  Thank you to all my family and friends who came over to celebrate!  I love you all very much!!

I feel so loved!

A special thanks to my husband for working so hard to get ready for the party!  I love you :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Top 5 Saturday Laughs

I am so excited to share these this week as it has been an exceptionally funny week at our house.  I think I could have written a Top Five for nearly every single day this week!  Here are my favorites for you.

5.  Ryan made homemade chicken noodle soup this week.  Having a toddler, we don't normally use too much seasoning since she is rather picky. While we were eating dinner, Claire took the salt shaker (which is a grinder) and shook it over her soup.  She then took a bite and said, "It's not so yucky anymore." I sure hope Ryan will still cook dinner ;)

4. Natalie has taken to undoing her diaper.  The second she can get her hands on it, she is successfully unfastening the tabs.  We are now keeping a onesie on her at all times!  She of course, thinks it's so funny and laughs when you she does it (or maybe at our reaction).

3.  During one of the morning visit to Natalie's crib.  Claire yells out to me, "Mom - come in here, hurry up, see what Natalie is doing."  I came in the room and Claire enthusiastically exclaims, "Mom, she said Claire!!!"  She was very excited and it was adorable!

2.  Ryan was carrying Natalie forward facing and must have moved her diaper to the side in the process.  She of course had a massive messy diaper.  I was getting Claire around for her bath and heard a 'splat', followed by Ryan, "I need a little help here."  I took Natalie from him to clean her up.  She didn't get a drop on her onesie, but left a present for Ryan on his hand and shirt.  He proceeded to clean the floor, but when he bent over 'the present' transferred from his shirt to his pants.  While I was changing Natalie's diaper and was literally crying over the situation.

1.  This goes with #2, but requires a little back story.  That same day, we running SO late in the morning.  We are typically somewhat late, but that morning we were REALLY late.  We rushed out the door and to the car.  Claire always climbs in her seat while I put Natalie in the other side.  I came around to Claire's side and turned on her DVD player and closed the door.  I neglected one thing, I forgot to buckle her in!!  We were about two miles down the road and Claire yells, "Mommy, you forgot to buckle me up!"  I quickly pulled over and buckled her up, apologizing profusely and thanking God that nothing happened.  So obviously, that's not funny.  The funny part happened while we were cleaning up the mess from #2, we overheard Claire in the living room playing with her baby, "I'm SO sorry that I forgot to buckle you up baby."  I don't think I will EVER forget that again!

Make sure you go over and visit Melissa's blog The Mommyhood Chronicles  she is hosting this great blog hop and had some really funny things that happened in her house this week.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Favorite Things Friday Blog Hop

Friday November 4th

I am joining another Blog Hop from The Sippy Cup Chronicles!  I am super excited to share my favorite thing from our week.  Our girls are starting to interact together more and more and actually play.  It is so fun to watch!!  Here are a couple photos from a bath this evening, I am so blessed!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday :: Our Halloween Fun

We crammed lots of Harvest and Halloween fun into the last couple weekends.  We visited two pumpkin patches (the first was AWFUL), two trunk or treatings and two grandparents houses to visit on Halloween.  Good thing we have two girls since two is our number this year ;)  Here is a photo recap of our fun!

:: Pumpkin Patch #1 - Since they wanted $14 for a medium sized pumpkin, we visited saw the animals, ate a donut and then went to Meijer for pumpkins.  Natalie was napping at Grandma & Grandpa's house

:: Painting pumpkins with Aunt Andria, Uncle Jason, Dakota and Baby Boots

Baby Boots

:: Pumpkin Patch #2 So much fun!  Natalie went with us too :)

:: Trunk or Treating #2 (see post about Trunk or Treating #1)

:: Trick or Treating at Grandma Maggie's House

:: Trick or Treating at Riley Grandma's House

Hope you all had a great Halloween!!