Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Here is another year later and I am in awe that time has flown by in the blink of an eye. A good friend told me one day that "The days are long, but the years are short" and I couldn't agree more! This past year has been filled with so many ups and downs and full of great heartache as well as joys, and lots of changes!

Madelynn is 13, almost 14months, months old as I sit here and she is amazing! She is so smart and she is an AMAZING little mama! She nurses her babies, dresses/undresses her babies, reads to her babies and totes them everywhere she goes! She has a new love of dresses and 'girly' things and she loves to carry clothes around the house. She has a tendency to grab baby wipes, washcloths, or towels and then she'll proceed around my house dusting and cleaning everything! Madelynn is such a daddy's girl and as soon as Dan walks into the door she runs to him with the biggest smile and she throws her arms around his neck. Whenever there is an opportunity to look outside, she is constantly yelling 'dad' as she searches out the window for him! It is so sweet! She's a great eater, will eat almost anything, and is still nursing strong! My personal goal is to nurse until 2 or until she self-weans. Madelynn is so sweet, and if you haven't had the chance to meet her, let's set something up, because she will surely melt your heart!!

Joshua is 2.5, almost 3 (March). He is all boy! Joshua loves his trains, his cars, and his play kitchen! He is a mean cook and loves to show everyone what he can do with plastic food!! In October Joshua decided that he was done with diapers. He woke up one day and refused a diaper and that was nearly the end of it. It took a little longer to be night trained, but from the get go he was day and nap trained-I'm so proud!! Joshua is a cuddle bug and a bookworm and he is s-l-o-w-l-y getting better with meeting new people. He is still very noise-sensitive and doesn't do well in large crowds, but he's learning that being close to mommy and daddy, and saying a little prayer, makes it all better! Speaking of prayer-Joshua is AMAZING! He prays anytime someone gets a boo-boo and he lays his sweet little hands on the owie and prays to Jesus asking Him to take the boo-boo's away. It is the sweetest thing! He tends to pray a sermon at dinner, but gets cold feet when we have company over. Joshua loves his sissy to death and he is also a GREAT big brother!

Dan is still working at Minnesota Teen Challenge in the IT Department and recently was promoted to Network Administrator. He loves his job but is starting to find it difficult to be at work as Joshua does not like for daddy to leave and often calls crying that he misses daddy. Dan is doing an amazing job at TC and we have been blessed that he loves his boss! 'The Boss' is great and his wife and I have become very close this past year and I have been truly blessed by their presences in our life!

I am still working from home doing daycare. Currently I am caring for 2 families, one part time and one full time. The kids both love that they have playmates and I love that the kids aren't easily bored with others around. The littlest daycare kid is just starting to get mobile and I have enjoyed her 'babyness' so much, as Madelynn was on the move from such an early age (crawling at 4months, walking at 8mo). We recently moved into another apartment in Maple Grove and we love it! (If you don't have our new address and want it let me know!)

So there you have it, a brief look at 2010! As we wrap this year up I pray that you will remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season and that He is why we celebrate each Christmas. It's not the presents, the food or the guy in the big red suit, but because of Jesus, God's own son!!

Merry Christmas!
Dan, Autumn, Joshua and Madelynn

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blessed By Signing Black Friday Deal!

Hey everyone, I know you all love a great deal and even better if it benefits your children! This holiday weekend we are offering some great Black Friday deals on Signing Time products. If you are needing some great gifts for your little ones or little ones in your life click on the link and place and order through my online store. Listed below is the dates and the deals Signing Time has going on :) Again click the link to make your purchases! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!!
  • Friday, Nov. 26: 50% off purchases over $50
  • Saturday, Nov. 27: $15 off purchases over $50
  • Sunday, Nov. 28: FREE SHIPPING with purchases over $50
  • Monday, Nov. 29: 20% off all collections, bundles, and sets

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthday Bashes

Miss Madelynn Rene' has turned a year old! Her golden birthday and she loved every min of it! She loved the gifts, she loved the songs sung to her, she loved the cake, and most of all she LOVED her tutu! She tried to twill it-and she totally rocked it! Let me share with you some of her party excitement...

Madelynn's birthday theme was ladybugs and one of my Cafemom friends made white chocolate ladybug lollipops to share with our guests!!
Madelynn opening her birthday card.
Playing with her new baby, and her first baby with a paci!
Savannah decorated Madelynn's present in the BEST picture...the perfect FARM for Miss Maddie Moo
Madelynn loving her Leap Frog Counting Candles Cake
Speaking of cake...Happy Birthday Madelynn!!!
Madelynn likes to you want some cake??
What a mess!! But she loved it!

Thank you to everyone who blessed Madelynn with your time and with presents. Madelynn got some AWESOME outfits, some girly toys (babies and a purse), a Christmas dress and an adorable purple bunny with big floppy ears!!! Thank you all again!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hearty Bacon Potato Soup

It's cool out, the leaves are nearly all gone here, yet we still have green-ish grass...welcome to MN! Though I am not complaining. Madelynn's 1st birthday party, well 2 of them actually thanks to large families, is this weekend and it is going to be to GORGEOUS out 50-60's! I cannot wait (we've been in the 30-40's here lately). But with this fall weather comes some of my favorite recipes...Hearty Bacon Potato Soup being one of them. And I wanted to share with you how to make this yummy meal. We usually serve ours with homemade bread or french bread for dunking :) Enjoy!

Hearty Bacon Potato Soup


  • 8slices bacon, cut into in 1 inch pieces
  • 2cups cubed new red potatoes, cut into 1/2inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 1 1/2cup milk
  • 1/4cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 can (10-3/4oz) cream of chicken soup, condensed
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp thyme

In a 3qt saucepan cook bacon over medium heat for 10mins.

Add potatoes and onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (15-25mins).

Add remaining ingredients.

Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (10-15mins).

Monday, November 1, 2010

My baby girl is 1 today

I can't believe it! A whole year has past and my little Maddie Moo is a year old. Wow! Moments like these (birthdays) are so bittersweet. When Joshua turned a year old I had just (the day before) found out I was pregnant with Madelynn...I am happy (yet sad) to report that this 1st birthday I am NOT pregnant!!
Madelynn was born 11.01.2009 at 12:13 in the morning!
Today she woke up at the EXACT time to nurse and it was so lovely! I sang to her "Happy Birthday" and she hummed along as she ate-it was the best! She was up a lot last night, like the night she was born, nursing like crazy but for some reason it didn't bother me as much last night. I was with my baby girl, giving her the best I could a year later!!
Madelynn is the sweetest little 'mama' I have ever met and she is also the happiest little thing! Since she was about 4months old she has always worn a smile. It takes a lot to get her to cry (physically-blood draws, for example, don't phase her) but she is very sensitive emotionally (tell her no in a stern tone and she's crushed!)
She loves her "mama's milk", pasta, bread, eating 'big food', and baths!
She has been walking for 4 months, but only steadily and constantly the last 2. She has 5 teeth and knows 8 signs (milk, more, all-done, dad, bath, cry, sleep and hi/bye) and adores her brother-though the feeling is mutual!
Miss Maddie Moo still sleeps in a crib (this is huge as she is a MAJOR climber) yet ends up in bed with mommy and daddy come morning. Madelynn loves her carseat-usually falls asleep in it- and she will remain rear facing as long as possible (35lbs limit I believe).
But that is all I have time to say right now, my baby is one...and it is bittersweet!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall is here...

So fall, it should read 'Autumn', is here and now comes all the 'fun stuff' of family traditions. I say 'fun stuff' because though Dan and I have been married for 5.5 years, have had kids for 2.5years we are still working the 'kinks' out of the traditions we came from and how they will work, or not work, within our family.

Take Halloween for example...Dan grew up trick or treating, I did not. Now when I say that we don't celebrate Halloween most people assume that it is because of all the 'evil' that is associated with it. Though that may have played a small part in my mom not allowing us to celebrate Halloween the bigger reason was strangers. A stranger was described as someone who hadn’t come over to dinner, or who wouldn’t come over for dinner. Made sense to me and it has carried with me through the years. Growing up we didn’t have any neighbors on our block our age, so we weren’t friends with any one, therefore we didn’t know any of them. So we didn’t go trick or treating. It made sense to me and because it made sense I have a hard time moving past this thought when it comes to my children. How can you allow your children to take candy from a stranger ONE day a year and not expect them to do it another time?? Confusing if you ask me.

Then comes Dan’s prospective…wouldn’t it be a great way to MEET the neighbors? Is taking candy from a ‘stranger’ at Halloween any different than taking candy during a parade? That too makes sense…ugh! What do I do now?? I’m not good at this ‘make up new traditions’ thing…I like the way they were when I grew up, it made sense. Oh the joys of having your own family. J

Well, this year Dan has won and I will be taking my children trick or treating, along with my sister and her 4 children. Madelynn will be a MOO cow-fitting don’t you think?? And Joshua will be a brown bear. Though I will admit I am anxious about it, even though it’s still a week away, I know that it will be fun for them…I hope!

But I will leave you with this little poem-which is also a book!

Five little pumpkins were sitting on the gate.

The first one said, my it's getting late.

The second one said, there are witches in the air.

The third one said, ah we don't care.

The fourth one said, let's run, run, run.

The fifth one said, isn't halloween fun?

Then OOOOOOO went the wind, out went the lights and those 5 little pumpkins ran out of sight.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's Happening?!?!

My house is a mess, my cupboards are bare and we move out on Sunday!! I'm so not liking this 'limbo' stage of moving...SO ready for next Wednesday when we will be in our new place and most of my stuff unpacked-I'm a little crazy! Our last move I had my ENTIRE house decorated and every box empty in 3days!!! Perhaps I am a little more crazy than just a little :)

I want to highlight some new, or not new, things that is going on with the kids before our move. We will be internet less for a few days so I want to do a final entry before then. Here's what's going on with the kiddos :D

*is walking more and more BUT only when SHE decides she wants to. If I put him her on the spot to 'perform' then she won't do any new tricks :) She's such a stinker!!
*has decided that it is more fun to boycott homemade baby food and much better to try and eat with her hands foods that she can pick up. Now this is usually the cleaner method, I would rather just feed her things that I have made myself and pureed for her. Thankfully she's a nursing champ and would rather nurse more often than not.
*still does NOT have any teeth. She's not really showing signs of teething other than chewing on things and she continues to be such a happy little girl.
*can sign 'milk', 'hi', and 'dad'! Whenever she gets tired she signs 'milk' as she is always nursed before being laid down. She's getting more forceful in her requests so we have started to work on breastfeeding etiquette...something a 9month, nearly 10month old, doesn't quiet get...yet!
*gives the sweetest kisses EVER!

*just transitioned from his crib to a toddler bed. It's been a rough road but everyday we are getting better. I didn't want to do it before the move, but we were unable to keep him in his crib and it became a safety issues so it had to be done. Tonight will be day 4 in this toddler bed...and I pray that he does what he did last night, or better (last night, 3 times out of bed and only 6mins of crying before he was asleep @8:15pm)
*is still addicted to his pacifiers, he calls them 'bees', and still sleeps with 1 in his mouth, 1 in his left hand and 1 in his right...3total.
*has kicked this 'attitude' into hyper-drive and now rolls his eyes, stomps his feet, crosses his arms and throws mini tantrums...thank you cousins! Oh how I do not like it when my kids pick up things from other children.
*is having a really hard time with his 4th-2year molar and it has been 'stuck' halfway in for a while now. Since it is giving him such a hard time he is back to being a biter :( Fortunately *I* am the only one he bites and has not bitten anyone else, never has, just me!
*is a lover of A-1 sauce, frozen peas, cooking, and baths!!
*loves to watch Signing Time!, The Wiggles, Barney, Yo Gabba Gabba, Toy Story and Jack's Big Music Show! The sad thing is that we'll be loosing some of these shows when we move as we will no longer have cable :( but are excited to get back to the 'basics'

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Well it isn't completely wordless, but still...sorry for the lack of posting, life is a little crazy here as we get closer to our move (1.5weeks!!)
I have to share this photo with sweet, sweet boy...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Toddler Time Tuesday

I am always on the look out for things to do with Joshua when the babies take their morning nap. Though we both love to be outside, it is hard to venture too far from the door with the babies sleeping so going to the park or pool is out of the question. Plus living in an apartment it isn't always the best environment for 'parental play' unless you want every single unsupervised child wanting you to play with them too-and trust me, there are a TON around here. So the search for indoor quiet time activities began about a month ago, when Joshua dropped down to 1 nap.

A friend of mine, she blogs here, did a post a while back about Do-A-Dot paints.
I loved her post and I have been on the search for them-if I remembered while I was out. Well this past week I found them at Micheal's! We are in LOVE! Joshua loves to do art, as long as he doesn't get too messy, and he is learning the concept of objects and staying in the line. I can tell Joshua to paint the cloud, and away he goes dotting up the cloud. "

Joshua can you paint the tires orange?" and he stares at the colors for a moment and correctly picks the orange do-a-dot bottle and dots in the tires...we are in love! Later covering over the orange with green :)
I highly recommend the Do-A-Dot paints and coloring book for all my toddler and preschool mom's!!
What do you do for quiet time activities in your house?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chef Joshua

Joshua and I needed something to do today. It's too humid to go outside, humidity allows mosquitoes to eat you alive in MN, so today we decided to bake cookies.

I told Joshua to go get his chef hat and apron and he hopped to it. He was so proud of himself in his outfit and thought that he was born to make cookies today.
I allowed him to do as much as possible, for a 2year old, and he was on Cloud 9! He added the sugar and brown sugar...
He added the butter and eggs...
and then we mixed it all together :)
Then we added baking powder, baking soda, and salt
whole wheat flour and oatmeal.
Then we added the good stuff-butterscotch chips!!
Gotta make sure they are all out of there...look at that focus!
Then Joshua got to mix it all together. He was lovin' it!
Then it was time to scoop out the dough into perfectly shaped cookies...again I let Joshua do it and he was so proud of himself!
The finished product:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 on Tuesday

Has it really been almost 2 weeks since I last updated this thing?? I'm sorry to all my has been overwhelming here as we prepare for our move-though it isn't until the end of August.
Shall we begin this 10 on Tuesday?

1.) I have lost my cell phone and I feel as though I have lost my right arm. I had it last night, and now it is gone. It rings so it is not dead...yet...and I pray that it holds up until it is found! If not, I am going to cry.

2.) Madelynn is 8months old now. She's the happiest thing I have ever seen! She just started babbling and makes the 'bababa', 'mamama' and 'dadada' sounds. It is so cute!!

3.) Joshua played with shaving cream on my kitchen table for the first time this week. It took FOREVER to convince him it was ok to touch and that it was ok for him to get it on his hands. After probably 30 or so mins, he was in love :)

4.) I love having a little girl! Madelynn's hair is 'barely' long enough to be able to put it into a pony tail, but I managed to do it last Wednesday for the first time! And yesterday was the first time I attempted pigtails! She looks SO cute!! Madelynn is a champ, no tears no fuss to put them in and she just sits in her highchair munching on peas all happy! Joshua calls them her 'pitties' and tells her that she's cute!

5.) Joshua is getting SO good at talking with words and ASL! He will babble in toddler language throwing in some English along the way but will sign every word in his story that he knows. It is the cutest thing and it makes my heart melt!

6.) We recently had a 'scare' with Madelynn and we are still awaiting some direction from the dr. They believe that Madelynn may have a peanut allergy, but this is not known for sure. After direct contact, and eating, with a wheat teething biscuit. She eats pastas and breads so we doubt it is the wheat, but it is processed in a plant that also uses peanuts so the dr thinks it could be a possibility. We are waiting direction from the dr to see what our next step should be, in the meantime we are trying our best to protect Moo's exposure to peanut products. It is amazing how hard it is when you think about all the places that we go into each week that could have peanuts. Luckily her issues have been when she eats or holds something, not really noticing change when she is in the same room as a peanut product (before this we had taken her into DQ for example) so we are hoping this is not the case. We would appreciate prayers for the doctors and for Moo.

7.) 4th of July we took a trip to great-grandma's house and spent the weekend at the lake. Joshua wanted nothing to do with the water, didn't care to play in the sand and get dirty. The only thing he wanted to do was run in the sprinkler! Now Miss Maddie Moo on the other hand didn't want to get out of the water...she is my little fish! We swam in the lake forever and she was in crazy is that??

8.) Summer here is the season of parades! Madelynn was very concerned at her first parade but now enjoys them! Joshua dances to the music, claps and cheers for the bands and our last parade that we went to, he even removed his hat-without being asked-when the flags walked by! I was such a proud mama! My kids bring me such joy!! I love every min of it!!

9.) Did I mention we are moving? I think I did briefly at the start of this. We will be moving the end of August/1st of September and I am super excited! We will be moving into a bigger place and it has an elevator!!! Joshua is going to be in heaven! My house is in a complete disaray as the packing, sorting and throwing of things has begun, but this is how I like it!

10.) Craigslist is my new friend! In 2 days I made nearly $100 in things that I sold and I have more to sell! I love being able to get rid of the old so I can bring some new in! The kids have enjoyed the change in toys and I love that I am clearing out the things they don't play with!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

10 on Tuesday divided by 2

It's been a crazy week and I had planned on blogging over the weekend, didn't happen...I planned on blogging yesterday, didn't happen. So here I am MAKING it happen during nap time, but my time is limited so we will be making this a 10 on Tuesday divided by 2!

1.) Dan and I have decided that a decision needs to be made by July 10th on where we will be moving. I am worried that August is going to come around and there won't be any openings in the places we want come September, so we are hoping to get our application(s) submitted in a timely manner

2.) Madelynn slept last night from 8pm-5am, ate, then went back to sleep until 8:30am!! Joshua also slept through the night 8:30-8am...a first in nearly 2 weeks.

3.) The OCD in me REALLY wants to start packing, yet I am so unsure of where to start. I have boxes of things already packed that we don't use (clothing for the kids) and a TON of labeled plastic bins that I am not even sure where to begin with the packing. I guess I am going to have to deal with the fact that our move is happening the end of August and I have yet to begin...AHHH!!

4.) This boy melts my heart in so many ways!
5.) This little beauty also makes my heart melt!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

My goal is going to post 10 things, probably random, on Tuesdays (hence the name) and call it a blog entry :D Makes perfect sense-right? Exactly! So without further ado...Ten on Tuesday!!

1.) I am NOT a morning person. I would be much happier if I could sleep all day and be up all night. Becoming a mom has not changed that, but made it impossible! I usually don't go to bed until close to midnight and with the middle of the night feedings (generally at 12, 3, 5, and 7am) I usually don't get much sleep, but I get up with my children and we get the day going. Normally I am awake in the morning by the most horrible is the sound of Joshua moaning/whining. He sounds like a dying cow, seriously I am not kidding. I can't stand it. I have been waiting for the day to hear 'mommy, I'm awake. I'm awake mom' but it looks like it will never arrive. But today gave me a little hope. I was awake to Madelynn laughing and playing in her crib. After getting her up and sitting in my chair watching the news as Madelynn nursed I heard one of the best sounds in the world...'mama' coming from Joshua's room. Could this be, I thought? Is this my sweet, normally grumpy morning, little guy calling me to tell me he was awake?? YEP! Joshua was awake and the day started our WONDERFULLY!

2.) I make my own baby food, did you know that? I love every min of it and I love that I am able to give healthy fresh food to my children. Madelynn loves food, but is content whether she is eating solids or not. Mama's milk is sufficient for her, anything added to her day is a bonus!
3.) Joshua is very content in his crib! He never tries to climb out and reminds you to bring the rail back up. Joshua loves to climb into his crib and play 'sleep' but as soon you as walk out of the room he cries for you to come back. The crib is not somewhere he is comfortable playing in really and as soon as Joshua wakes up for the day and from his nap he wants out of his crib asap.
Madelynn is a monkey child and she loves her crib. She walks around the crib in circles. She can be placed in her crib awake and she'll put herself to sleep on her own. She plays with her paci's and lovey when she wakes up. I have found her multiple times hanging (like a child from monkey bars) hands on the rail and feet off the mattress when I go in and get her...she'll be out of the crib before her brother at this rate!!
4.) I love to cook and have people over! I am not an entertainer at all, but I love to cook and I love to be surrounded by people (in my home!, I do not do large crowds of people well in public). I get in a rut, making the same meals over and over, so I am always open to new ideas! I love to try new things, but no seafood please!
5.) I have some OCD! I love to organize, clean and label! I do not like toys mixed into the same bin when they are not suppose to go together (legos and little people belong separate in my mind) and have to learn to control my urges to clean other people's homes unless asked. My label maker is by best friend, but when I am pregnant it is my worst enemy (I once placed a label on EVERY.SINGLE. CABINET with the contents of what was behind each door-I was pregnant!!)

6.) I do not like it hot and humid or very cold. Mr. Weatherman...please keep the temps to 70's during the day and 40's at night-thank you!

7.) We are about to move-well in a month. And with our move we are choosing not to connect cable. We will be getting a box so we can get local channels (for news and weather) and relying on movies/videos for the kid's 'screen time'. I need some good recommendations of G rated programs.

8.) Did you know that I cloth diaper my children? I love everything about it, well not everything, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It started out as a way to save money as Joshua was going through 8-12 diapers a day still at 9months old and he HATED being just the slightest bit wet. I started out with some WAHM (work at home mom) made ones and fell in love with the idea and then purchased some Bum Genius from there. I love them!! With Madelynn we had issues after birth with the cloth and we had to use disposable for her the first few months, but now she is in cloth most of the time (night being an exception or long outings far from home). I love cloth diapering and Dan hates it!
9.) Joshua loves water, normally. He is a fish in the bathtub and shower but does not like to go swimming. He loves sprinklers and zero entry pools. This morning we added a new dislike where water is concerned...he does not like cold water! I took the kids to the Oak Hill Splash Pad today with a friend and her daughter. It was a blast but Joshua complained a lot of the time that the water was cold. He would only go into it if I was holding him. I was able to catch this moment of him today as Shelley splashed Joshua-he loved it!
10.) Madelynn has discovered a new love of the ball pit!! She loves to crawl into it. She will chew on the balls, she will sit in them, lay in there and she's starting to hide and then peek up when I say 'peek a boo'. She's a delight!