Sunday, September 17, 2017

Brought to you by the letter T

I'm having a hard time remembering what we did this week, other than go to work, school, and daycare. I guess every week can't be filled with super exciting activities!

Ava started her baton twirling class again this past Tuesday...there are only two kids in the class, including her, so she'll receive some solid attention and direction in the instruction. I'm glad she decided to keep taking the's good for her to have a non-school activity that she can participate in.

Since G moved classrooms recently, he gets to bring in toys from home to share with his class. This week, he brought in a Paw Patrol book, and also a toy that started with the letter T. We talked about bringing in a toy tiger, a trumpet, a train, and then G found a truck to bring in. I had no idea we had so many toys that started with the letter T!

Yesterday, Ava, my mom, and I went to a local craft show. It was very small, but amazingly, we still found stuff to buy...of course! We ran into Grandma Deb while we were there, so we had a chance to chat for a bit. I told Ava that she was surrounded by all of the most important women in her life. She didn't seem too impressed. Lol

We're heading out for a nice brunch shortly and then will go shopping so Scott can start to get prepped for hunting season. I can't believe it's already time for that again! Happy Sunday!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Love Routine!

We're back at it! The routine has been re-established and it's sooo good. Now that Ava's older, we made a few changes in her school routine...she is now responsible for packing her own lunches and snacks every day. After packing a lunch every single day for her this past summer, I am quite happy to pass the torch along for this task!

Our little G has now taken to getting up earlier, and likes to hang out while Ava and I are getting ready in the morning (previously, he would hang out in his room and sleep until I came to wake him up after Ava already had her breakfast.) That change has also altered the morning routine a bit...Ava is now getting most of her breakfast ready, while I'm tending to G and getting him ready for the day. I'm grateful that Ava can take care of that part on her own, but I do miss the one-on-one time that it gave to us each weekday. We just need to find another time slot for that to happen!

Ava had a great first week of 4th grade. She loves her new teacher (she told us that Ms. Z likes to tease!) and has enjoyed playing with some new friends in her class. No homework yet, which surprises me. I'm convinced that she had the most homework in Kindergarten! I keep telling her that as she gets older, she will have homework, so she should enjoy this time now!
A baker has been a consistent future occupation for a while now...

G also moved to a new classroom, and has a new teacher. I'm not sure if he actually changed the type of class he went to, or if this was just a physical room move (I'm aware THAT did happen!)  It's usually a little crazy when I drop him off each day, so I don't always get the chance to ask basic questions like that...

We had a fun Labor Day gathering last weekend...good food, fun friends, and the kids had a blast playing games and being really, REALLY loud. G finally got to bed around 10:30pm that night! It was nice to take a break and relax for a bit...and I'm convinced that we should always have three-day weekends. It's the perfect amount of time to get everything done, yet, still have a chance to relax and enjoy the time off.

Scott and I enjoyed some drinks on the front porch until the storm came in last Sunday evening. 
Side note: I'm going to try to keep this succulent alive in the garage this winter...I love the yellow and orange blooms that open and close each day!

I wanted a snack during the week, and this turned out to be perfect...goldfish and wine!

We have new construction happening in the southern part of our neighborhood, so we checked out the equipment during our walk last night. SO BIG!

In comparison, this weekend has been way too short. I'm already looking forward to next weekend...I just want to skip right over this work week!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Gettin' Ready

It's the last week of summer, what?! We had a very busy Wednesday night planned, and then I realized we also needed to squeeze in a trip to the elementary school to drop off Ava's school supplies. Ava was able to get everything settled into her desk, and then we zoomed off to the library, Target, and shoe shopping. Yesterday I added money to her online school lunch account, have the lunch menus ready to go, and even have our calendars filled in with all upcoming activities.

I need to buy a few clothes for her online, and we are set! Luckily, she has plenty of clothes to get her by until I'm able to finish that up. Lol.

Ava is ready and excited for school to start...and I'm excited to get back into a normal routine. And for my morning commute to go back to normal...I was driving her 20 minutes away every morning for childcare, and now she'll be back at her school, which is only a few miles away. Scott's pretty happy about that, too, since he does the pickup every day!

Even Ava was looking for ways to get the morning to run more smoothly...when I came upstairs from time on my treadmill earlier this week, I found these three notes on the basement door. I love this girl!

It's slow going on the potty training front. G is still struggling with the #2 situation, even though he's fully aware when he's having an accident. We keep trying different things to get him to go to the bathroom,'s not going so well. Oh well...he'll get there!
To help celebrate the end of summer, we are having some neighbors and friends over for a feast this afternoon/evening. We have a ton of meat that Scott is prepping to smoke today, and some simple sides. Hoping the weather is sunny and nice so we can enjoy the last days of this season. We need to soak in the warmth while we have it!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Napa 2017

The big last vacation of the summer is in the books! My mom and I enjoyed 5 great days on the west coast, exploring Napa Valley. This trip helped cement the fact that I am much more of a west coast kind of gal...the easy going, laid back atmosphere meshes really well with my personality. Can't wait for the day when the rest of the fam gets to experience the joys of the California sun!

On our way! The flight was fantastic, and not full, so we were able to travel very comfortably...

Great art piece at SFO...all saxophones

We decided to view the Golden Gate Bridge, and explore the Presidio before we headed north to Napa.

We enjoyed a fantastic dinner in downtown Napa at Carpe Diem...I'm going to try to recreate the meal at home. Yum!

Friday, 8/18: We hit up Sterling Vineyards (Calistoga, CA,) and took the tram up to the top. What an amazing view, fun self-guided tour, and good wines!

Before leaving Sterling, we relaxed for a bit with wine and cheese, while drinking in the glorious view of Napa Valley.

We then went across the valley and had a completely different experience at Castello di Amorosa. It's a castle built with bricks from European buildings, and included a chapel, Great Hall, dungeon, and a very fun tasting experience.

 Luis, our tasting guru, made the event super fun!

We wrapped up the day with a good ol' meal from In-n-Out. SO GOOD.

Saturday, 8/19: On a whim, we headed to Sequoia Grove in Rutherford. It paid off, as it was a friendly and fun experience, where we accidentally partnered with some wine club members...but we ended up getting way more pours than we planned for!

But before we went there, we stopped at Target...because, why not?! I love that there is wine on display there...

A well-manicured palm tree at Sequoia Grove

Tom, the man who made the Sequoia Grove experience a hoot!

Our last stop was a bit of a disappointment, but at least we had a 75% success rate, overall. At HALL Winery, we tried some very expensive wine...but the atmosphere wasn't exactly what we were looking for...

Sunday, 8/20: We decided to spend the last day exploring downtown Napa...what a quaint town. Lots of shopping and food!

The Napa River...we saw it when it was a tiny little creek north in the valley, and later as big, flowing river in the town.

This is a neat 9/11 Memorial placed in downtown Napa

A mural on a building in Napa

The art piece is titled "The Immigrants"...all family members are facing forward, except for the mom, who is looking back to ensure ties between the old life and the new one. 

I needed a break from all of the wine!

Ava and G had fun hanging out with Daddy while I was gone...but it was really good to see them all when I got home. It was a whirlwind week since I came back...getting caught up at work, a birthday party for one of G's buddies/Ava's 4th grade assessment (out of 300 words, the only one she mispronounced was "decimal"!!) on Wednesday, an all-company/all-day event for me on Thursday, and a 10 hour adventure to the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday. All fun stuff, but busy times!

The brand new Ferris wheel at the State Fair - so big!

Hanging out with Mom, Dad, and Scott...trying to escape the rain at the fair

So this is how they dry off the Giant Slide!

We were able to enjoy the fireworks as we walked to the bus to head home

The Goers men have matching hats - cute!

Time to get back into the schedule of life...Scott's canning salsa, I'm doing laundry, and the kids will be enjoying the afternoon before heading back to busy plans tomorrow at daycare/child care!