Friday, August 30, 2013

The Goose is 2!!

Two years ago, I spent the night timing contractions and trying to get some rest. When morning came, we knew it would soon be time to head into the hospital. And before noon we were holding our dear second daughter in our arms. And she was holding our hearts.
Two years later and she still holds our hearts. Asks to be held and for hugs and amazes us on a daily basis. While I have been calling her Cream on the blog, in real life we usually give her the nickname, Goose. And that is just what she is. She can get herself into trouble in 0.2 seconds. She can be loud and crazy. She can be ornery and irritable. she can be sweet and endearing. She can be gentle and loving. She is just a goose. A goose who has my heart.
Everyday we see her trying so hard to keep up with her big sister. And she does a pretty good job at it too! She has a huge vocabulary and uses those skills all the time in her chitter and chatter. She is athletic and loves kicking balls and running and anything that involves movement. I love to listen in to her imaginary play. The little voices that she uses as she holds dolls and makes them have conversations.
I don't love how stubborn the girl can be! Man, when she makes up her mind, it is made up! I know that we can help her mold this determination into a great asset, but boy is it frustrating for her mommy right now!
I can't wait to see what this year brings for our Goose! She will move more from a toddler to a preschooler. She will get to see what being a big sister is all about! And I have no doubt that she will continue to amaze us everyday! Happy birthday, Goose!
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January 2013

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April 2013

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August 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tasty Thursday (aka Foodie Friday a day early): Asian Noodle Salad

What is not to love about this bright and colorful salad? It looks beautiful, tastes great, and is packed full of healthy ingredients! I have to admit that I couldn't stop eating it. And neither could the rest of my family. (Well, with the exception of Cream. The girl has decided that she is a choosy eater. Not quite picky, but if it doesn't look like something she would like, she just won't eat it!) I have one small container left over in the fridge that I have every intention of keeping all to myself.
Hop on over to The Alchemist Blog to get the recipe. You will not regret it!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Play Area

 And here is the grand reveal of the play area! (Sorry for the dark pictures, it is in the lower level and there are no windows.) This has always been a bit of a catch-all area. It helped when we got the EXPEDIT shelf from IKEA, but I still just needed to organize and purge to make it work. (You can see some of my inspiration here.)

 Now, it is a happy area, that the girls enjoy playing in and I enjoy looking at. This is saying a lot. Check out this awful before picture! (Now you know that I am perfectly honest with you in my blogging. I am airing our dirty laundry house with you all. Consider yourself loved!)
Ahh, that's better! I think it is partly due to organization, but also due to the fact that I finally cleaned it and you better believe I am keeping on the girls to keep it that way!!
(Do you see the photo bombers up above??) I mostly used items that we had already. I did buy the MAMMUT stools at IKEA. The rug under the table is from Walmart. I purchased the easel at a second hand store earlier this summer. And we have had the table downstairs since Peachy was little. It is actually an end table similar to the one in this bundle also from Walmart.

The cork boards are made from spray painted frames to which I added cork panels. (I have had good luck finding frames on clearance at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. You just have to imagine how good they will look with some spray paint.) The chalk board frame is made with chalk board paint. You can read about it here.
As long as I was doing work in the lower level, I added a collage above where I do my ironing. The print is from this great Etsy seller whom I had the privilege of meeting a sale we did together. Again the frame is a spray painted one that I added some extra color to. The other frames I picked up at Kohls at the beginning of the summer. (It looks like the exact frames I got are no longer available, but there are some other ones here.)
I also finally got some pictures of Cream up in their bedroom and her name on the wall. I guess you have to be a member of the family for two years before you get those honors.
Hope you like what I have done. What plans do you have to beautify an area in your home?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Exciting News at Bowl of Cherrys

I am so excited to be able to share with you all our exciting news!! We are expecting baby number three!! The newest member of the Bowl of Cherrys gang is due on February 17th. We found out in the beginning of June, very early. It has been a long few months of secret keeping, but we have now been able to tell our families and close friends.
We drove to see my family in the beginning of the month and this is how we told them. As they all came out to see us, these stickers were on the van. They got the message right away and were very excited.
I have been feeling okay. Just really tired with a side of nausea. I can start to feel the restorative powers of the second trimester, however. It feels good to be back to doing more than what is necessary as a stay at home mom.
We told the girls and it was clear that they didn't really get it. Then, Peachy said to me one day, "Why do you keep talking about babies?" I told her, "There really is a baby in my tummy." She asked how I knew and I told her the doctor had told me. "How did you remember?" she wanted to know. I told her it is kind of important. And ever since she has just seemed to accept it.
I was also able to take both girls to my last prenatal appointment where they were both able to hear the heartbeat. Cream likes to say that the baby is "Mines!" She loves babies. She will often point them out while we are out and about and talks about them when she hears them cry. "Baby cryin', momma?"
So in just 6 months we will, God willing, be a family of 5. And we will get to know the newest member of this crazy bunch.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Foodie Friday: Power Muffins

It is no secret I love me some carbs, especially at breakfast. I blame the fact that I am a coffee drinker. Nothing goes better with coffee than a delicious baked good. However, I do try to be a little bit healthy with my choices. Some days it is whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Some days it is whole grain waffles and fruit. When I saw this recipe for Power Muffins at Domesticated Academic I figured it would also be a good healthy breakfast choice.
Yesterday morning I was planning on working out and then mixing these up before anyone in the house was up. Yeah, I got halfway through yoga and Peachy came up and was just finishing when I heard Cream. Not so much on getting the muffins done before everyone got up. After feeding the girls a yogurt, I got to work. It was hard for Cream to wait for me to make and bake the muffins.
If possible, she is more of a carb addict than her mother. We actually call her a carbavore. However, I do believe they were worth the wait. They have a light texture and are stuffed with yummy goodness. They also go well with coffee or milk!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Random and Miscellaneous

I have been working hard at finishing up all of the projects I wanted to get done in Organizing Palooza 2013. :) Three childless days were wonderful, but my to-do list overflowed into this week. However, I think after this weekend I will be ready to share a big play area reveal with you all.

Here are some pictures of the girlies with their new Playmobile characters and IKEA play furniture. My parents recently viisted my sister and her husband in Germany and brought back all of these Playmobile people and animals for them.
And when they gave those to the girls, my sister also gifted Cream with some IKEA play furniture. It was a match made in heaven. It is fun to watch them both play with the pieces, each in their own way.
Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Peachy's First Art Class

In the midst of our busy August, Peachy was able to go to a three day art class for 3-5 year olds through park and rec.
The artist with her 3 main projects. The fish is a piece of cardboard with spackling (or as Peachy told us, wall fixing stuff), painted, and then decorated with sequins. The picture on her left is water color with crayon resist. And the picture on the right is water color on artist board with salt and glue added.
It was for one hour each of the days. Both Peachy and I would have liked for it to have been a bit longer, but having worked with 3 year olds, I can see why they kept it at one hour. She really enjoyed going each day. They did talk about some simple art concepts and worked on projects each day. One project had three steps, so they completed a different part each day. I really enjoyed the two park programs that Peachy was able to participate in this summer. I only wish there were some more coming up in the fall and winter. I guess that is the price you pay when you live in a cold climate.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Greetings from the Fair

Mr. Goat. Ready for his close-up.
Two weekends ago we were at my parents' house. It happened to be the weekend that the county fair was being held in town. I was excited that we would be able to take the girls to a small fair. 
Uncle J with Mr. Goat. Aunt E is not so sure about the situation.
We don't normally go to the big fair in town because it is just too big and too expensive. We try to go to a smaller fair that is held about half of an hour away, but we missed it this year.
Uncle J makes a tasty treat.
We started off in the food, craft, and flower displays. The fish pond exhibit was the next stop. The girls liked looking at the fish and throwing their coins into the water. There was a dog sock jumping contest while we were there as well. I have watched these contests on t.v. and was excited to see one in person.
Ready to work the back 40.
I didn't know how much Cream could see, but she ended up telling me all about puppies jumping into the water later that day, so I guess she was able to see it all and take it in. The next stop was the deep-fried cheese curd tent.
One cute farmer.
You can't go to a fair in the midwest without getting the curds! We went to the FFA petting zoo booth next. Peachy really liked seeing all of the farm animals up close. We next headed to a petting zoo exhibit. While it was neat to see all of the different animals they had, I was a little sad to see them in the hot, hot tent in such small cages.
Driving with daddy.
I think the girls favorite part was the tractor exhibit. They each enjoyed climbing on the open cab tractors. Of course Cream went right for the biggest one and started climbing the ladder. We went and saw some of the 4-H animal barn next, but Cream is not a big animal fan and the horse barn really scared her.
Watch out Aunt E, Peachy is at the wheel.
Thankfully we could finish on a good note, an ice cream shake from the dairy booth. And the best part about a free fair?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

And They're Back . . .

The girls are back home from grandma and grandpa's house. We met up halfway at a truck stop yesterday. (And let me tell you, this wasn't just any truck stop. It was huge, clean, and had a bakery in it!! The girls, grandma, and I all enjoyed a pastry treat before going our separate ways. And we also brought home this fritter bread for Mr. Cherry.)
I got lots accomplished while they were gone. Not everything on my list, but the important things. And I also had the time to finish the book "Gone Girl." (Awesome book, by the way. A bit of vulgarity, but otherwise great plot and characters.) And I also took advantage of the kid-free time to get a haircut and color. (Gorgeous, aren't I?)
Now it is back to the life of mommy. And while the break was awesome, I am really looking forward to time with my girls and as a family.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Play Area Inspiration

One of the main areas I am focusing on in my organizational binge is the downstairs play area. Last year we made some changes down there. The main one being adding  an IKEA Expedit shelving system. And while that definitely helped in getting all of the toys corralled and put away, it still needs some work to make it functional and welcoming.
I put together my own little inspiration board for the space. Included are these ideas: (Please click the link to get the ideas from their original sources.)
I am loving these Mammut stolls turned mushrooms.

These play pillows are graphic and just plain fun!

The simple addition of paper pennants to a table add such a great splash of color.

And adding to the pennant idea, these gorgeous photo pennants.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Footlose and Kid-free

What would you do with a few days away from your normal routine? If you would have asked me that five years ago, I can guarantee it would be a different answer from today. Back then I would have probably started my day by reading in bed. Then gone for a run. Followed by some shopping. And probably finished off with some baking in the kitchen. Ask me that today? I would tell you, I am going to clean and organize my house uninterrupted! And that is exactly what I plan on doing over the next few days. The girls are off at grandma and grandpa's house. And while the kids are away, this momma is going to play! (That is get her house clean and in order!) I have been scouring Pinterest for organization ideas along with some fun decorating ideas if I get the time. Wish me luck and productivity!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Visit with Nana

Since we were already in Wisconsin, I decided that the girls and I would take a little trip to see my mom's mom, Nana. We got to see the new apartment that she lives in and have lunch with her. Since she is a retired kindergarten teacher, she had a little reading session with the girls as well. It was great to be able to spend some time with my grandma and allow the girls to get to know their great grandma a bit more.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Family Vacation 2013

Last week Monday we loaded up the girls and the back of the van and headed off on the first leg of our family vacation 2013. We started off by spending the night at Mr. Cherry's parents' house. (While we could have made the entire trip in one day, it was much easier to break it up into two pieces.) We hung out there until the next afternoon and then headed off for our final destination, Oshkosh, WI.
Mr. Cherry's oldest brother and his family moved to Oshkosh 5 years ago and we still hadn't ever been there to visit them. If you don't know, Oshkosh is home to the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association). And every summer EAA hosts the biggest gathering in the country of all things planes called AirVenture. Mr. Cherry is an aircraft buff and has always wanted to attend. We decided this would be our year.
While Mr. Cherry was off AirVenturing, the girls and I got to hang out with the rest of the family. (Minus Uncle N who works for a company at the airport and was there working hard all week long.) Here is a glimpse of our week in pictures:

Lots of cousin snuggling and bonding time.

A morning at the zoo!

Lots of playground time. Including this great huge wooden playground called Little Oshkosh.

A stop at the Rippin' Good Cookie Outlet. Complete with samples and purchases to bring home!
The girls and I did attend one afternoon airshow. While Peachy liked the planes, Cream LOVED them.
A ride on the park and rec train.
Watching cousin H at baseball practice.

We were able to attend the world premiere of the Disney Movie Planes. They estimate that there were 15,000 people there! No wonder it was hard to see the screen.
After all of that fun we headed off for Mr. Cherry's parents' again. There we were able to see two more aunts and two more cousins! We all had a wonderful trip!! Thank you so much N, J, E, H, and L!!! We loved it!