Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Jackson is 15 Months Old

15 Months Brings Mr. Personality

I feel like 15 months is when Jackson's personality really started to show. I haven't been so great at updating like I used to. I think what I'm going to do in the future is update every three months after his doctor appointments, and maybe some of the fun stuff we do. Who knows! Going with the wind here. And speaking of appointments, we had his 15-month doctor appointment two weeks ago.

There's something about this sweet smile...

Weight: 22 lbs (little skinny, healthy peanut)
Height: 31 inches
Head: Somewhere in the 50 percentile

Jackson also got three shots. Boo. He handled these a lot better than that horrid 12 month appointment. That one was brutal.

Mr. Jackson Cool

Jackson's Favorite Eats:
  • Graham Crackers (oh, dear...)
  • Homemade guacamole (he helps me make and loves to taste test, as in will eat by the fistful)
  • Homemade smoothies (we do lots of kale, frozen berries, banana, plain Greek yogurt, etc.) He also helps mama make his smoothies. And when we're not making smoothies, he opens the drawers so he can take the Magic Bullet out to pretend he's making a smoothie - noise effects included. So cute!
  • He loves spaghetti. Loves. I can fill his plate and he pretty much licks it clean.
  • He loves yogurt. I've been trying plain, full fat Greek yogurt (yep, the 11 grams of fat) and mashing up fresh berries and adding a little agave.
  • Loves cottage cheese with fresh berries cut up in it.
  • Loves his morning pancakes. Karl is always mixing up different grain concoctions so that's fun and healthy! Like I caught Karl shredding up his cereal (oatmeal squares) and then quinoa into the pancake mix. My little pancake chemist.
  • Jackson likes cowboy beans
  • He likes potatoes (Karl and I aren't huge fans but we've been incorporating into our diet more.)

These are the foods I know I can give Jackson and he'll gobble up in a heartbeat. Otherwise, I will feed him what we're eating and he'll usually eat. That is, unless he's getting a tooth. Then he doesn't eat much at all. And we found that out this weekend.

Having fun with Uncle Smike

Speaking of teeth, Jackson's two upper molars came through around 14 months. It's almost like little white spikes are cutting through his gums when he opens his mouth. Crazy. And just yesterday I noticed the two white bulges on the bottom. We have two more molars coming through now. This explains why he's been SUPER clingy and FREAKS OUT whenever I leave the room. We've also noticed he is getting more birthmarks and moles. The human body always amazes me.

Who me? Crabby? Never. Innocent here.

Action Jackson Explores
  • Jackson is trying to jump. It's so cute. He jumps everywhere. And runs. He is crazy active. Non-stop.
  • Jackson loves the pool. He marches right in and will keep going, even if the water is up to his neck. As in the BIG pool at Life Time Fitness. He'll dive in too. He'll throw his head back under water. He's nuts. Fearless. Never can take my eyes off him for a second.
  • He loves crawling up on chairs and tables and hanging off the sink in the bathroom, tipping chairs over and playing in them. It's so great. Not really.
  • He had his first HARD spill. He was walking off cement steps but instead of trying the steps, he took the alternative route and fell from the very tip top to the bottom waaay below (onto cement), cracking the back of his head. I went psycho. That was NOT fun. He was fine.
  • Every week he has a new bump or bruise on his face or head. It's a given. Even at daycare they say he's not the same unless he has something bruised or is bleeding. Oh man...
  • He loves pointing out all the planes in the sky (just like his Uncle Smike)
  • He LOVES LOVES animals, especially dogs. He makes almost ALL the sounds animals make. That will melt your heart.
  • He has a separate laugh for certain things. It's quite hilarious.
  • He LOVES being outside. LOVES. I think we need to try camping.
  • He loves to flex for people. And has a six pack to boot.
  • He'll slap both hands to his face if you say "Obama!" Thanks Grandpa Jim!
  • He loves pushing his little mower around all day, every day, even on concrete or blacktop. He charges $100 an hour. Think about it.
  • He loves big equipment and vehicles. He also loves riding on tractors. When he's in the car with us and he sees trailers or semis or bigger trucks, he'll say, "wow!" or "Ooooo". Then he makes the truck noise. "Varoooom"
  • He says, "Mama", "Da-da", "Ball", "Bu" (for bus), "doggie", "teese" (for cheese), "Pa-Pa", "ganpa", "bubbles". He says "mama" a lot and can get stuck on repeat. I think there are more things he says but I can't totally remember. We pray every night and I swear he says, "Amen" back to me, but I can't be so sure. Sounds like it, but almost like he's singing it...

Loved playing with Uncle Ben and Laney in Lake Sylvia. Even drank some lake water. More than once. Yum.

Fearless at the pool. Catch me if you can, mom.

If I could describe Jackson's personality, I'd say:
  • Fair-minded (he will share his food and some toys, but will get mad if you take something away from him.)
  • Warm-hearted (Has a soft spot for animals. Or if you fake cry, he'll run over and hug you immediately. Sometimes he'll start crying right with you.)
  • He's super silly (he'll run through the house and make the funniest noises while nodding his head all over the place.)
  • Strong willed (when he has his mind set, forget it. And he gets pissed if something gets in his way)
  • Mind of his own (see above)
  • VERY curious (he rarely ever stays too close to me if we go out somewhere new. He needs to explore and run wild. I mean, he'll never keep me out of sight though. He runs back for a hug every now and again. Sometimes it takes a little bit to warm up but then he runs free.)
  • Smart (I'm amazed at what this little guy knows. And how he remember things. Like, how does he know to grab his black shoes versus a different color??? Or how does he know to grab the watering can when I tell him I'm going to water the plants?)
  • Helpful (Wants to want to wipe up the floor, sweep, vacuum, help with dishes, water plants, etc. when mom is doing these things.)
  • Fearless (when it comes to certain things, but especially water. I swear he is testing me!)
  • Trusting (When he's not going through a clingy phase, he'll warm up to pretty much anyone.)
  • Energetic (Endless, endless, endless energy)
Mom built me this HUGE tower!!! WHOA!

Right now Jackson is in the phase of trying to get a reaction out of us. He'll throw his food, milk, spoon, fork or his cup onto the floor while he eats. Or like last night, he threw his food all over the place - all over my pants, in my face, my the hutch. He is also throwing his toys - big and small. Not OK with this, especially through the railings of our stairway. Enter our house with a hard hat please. Don't worry, we're working on training him. The doctor says not to make a huge deal out of it now because all he wants is a reaction and will keep doing it to get any reaction. It's hard not to yell, "No" though.

Pink is totally my color!

It took until a little over a year to get Jackson to sleep solid through the night. That was a ROUGH year for me. I prayed that if God would let Jackson sleep through the night and even if he were to get up at 5 a.m. every morning I'd be so grateful for that. Guess when Jackson would get up? For about three months he was getting up at 5 a.m. every morning. OMG. God was totally listening. But a 5 a.m. wake-up time makes for a VERY long day. VERY.

BUT, there IS light!!! For a few weeks now he's been sleeping in until 7:30/8:00. WHAT A WORLD OF A DIFFERENCE for mom. Now...if he slept like this all the time, you'd have seen baby #2 on the way awhile ago. SO SO SO SO much different. I'm only half kidding here. He'll take one longer afternoon nap (anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3). Life is great. I'm telling you. I need my sleep!

Found another new park! Take off!!!

Jackson Doesn't Like
  • Big loud vacuums
  • Getting dropped off at daycare
  • When I leave
  • Long car rides (Ufdah)
  • Sitting still for long
  • Watching any form of television
  • When the broom doesn't go the way he wants. Boy does he get pissed!
I promise I can behave...

Mom discovers another SWEET park! Fist bump!

Guys, I just want to help too!

So at the next appointment, Jackson will already be one and a half years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Say wha!?!?!? Time is FLYING!!! I want it to slow down.

Summer Beer I'm Craving

Guess what? It's a Minnesota Beer! Shocking.
Schell Shocked Grapefruit Goodness

Karl brought one bottle of Schell Shocked beer home. I loved it. It is refreshing and tastes like a grapefruit!

Go out and try one today. I bet you'll like (especially if you like grapefruit!).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Water Obsession

Adding fresh fruit to my water

I keep seeing these awesome water bottles out there that allow you to smash up your fruit and flavor your water. I want one, but they are expensive. Plus, we have enough water bottles at home. Not fancy, but we can still make the best of them. I kind of wondered why I wasn't doing this already since I love lemons and lime in my water.
Fancy water with orange slices and raspberries

I bought an orange and sliced it up and smashed up some raspberries. Added ice and water. AMAZING. I did this to Jackson's water cup too.

Jackson's response: "Mumumumum!!"

Loved it! And it makes us both drink a whole lot of water throughout the day. The orange slices make me think of Tang!

Quinoa, Black Bean Salad

Your On-The-Go Meal

Jackson and I were invited to the Minnesota Arboretum for a playdate, but around his dinner time. I figured this would be perfect meal to travel with and eat as we picnicked and played! Sure was a hit and I'm still eating it a few days later for lunch!
healthy and full of flavor!
Recipe found in Women's Health

2 1/2 cups precooked quinoa
1 can (10 oz) black beans
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 avocado (chopped)
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
I added rotisserie chicken for even more protein

Enjoying our healthy meal at the Arboretum!


In a bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups precooked quinoa, 1 can (10 oz) black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved), and 1/2 avocado (chopped). In a food processor, pulse 1 cup cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss with quinoa blend and chill for 15 minutes.

Will be making this again!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Action Jackson on the Run - 14.5 Months

Our Runner

We decided Jackson doesn't walk. He runs. Everywhere. All day. From sun up. To sun down. Not kidding. Wanted to include a video so you can see for yourself. He's so fast it's hard to get pictures of him.
There goes Jackson again!

Video of Jackson running

Maybe this is normal. Not sure. All I know is anyone who watches him says... THIS kid is FAST! And then they are usually sweating!

He's fun. Love him.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Healthy Banana Rhubarb Muffins

Healthy Muffins

Rhubarb banana muffins

These were SUPER quick to make and totally delicious. Jackson (14 month old) could have easily eaten TWO in sitting. He devoured one all by himself in record time, followed by "mmmm" and a smile after every bite.

I found the recipe when I searched in Pinterest. I had extra rhubarb and I had old bananas sitting out and I wanted to make something with both, that was QUICK. Glad I did!

Blog I found the Rhubarb/Banana Muffins on.

Recipe (Yields about 16 muffins)
1 1/2 cups flour (use whole wheat for an even healthier muffin)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup greek yogurt
5 Tbs melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray or use liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In one bowl, beat the bananas, yogurt, butter and eggs with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat again. In another bowl, stir together the flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.

Stir briefly until moistened and then fold in the rhubarb pieces. Pour the batter into the muffin pans and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean) at 350 degrees.
I also sprinkled each muffin with brown sugar and cinnamon sugar in the pan before putting them in the oven for a crispier outside.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Fun (For Free) in Minnesota - 14 Months

Free Summer Fun

Hey there! We're just having a blast in Minnesota this summer. The sun is finally out and the weather is warm.
Stompin water and sand with my cool kicks

Our friends told us about two cool splash pad parks in Eden Prairie so we met them at Miller Park (with their adorable three girls) and played! Jackson is quite curious of water but wasn't so sure about the fountains of shooting water. I took his t-shirt off and let him run wild, but a stream of loud water hit him and that was the end of him.
Whitest kid out there

Jackson liked playing in the sand a lot (and walking in it). Must invest in a pair of sandals. And he loved playing with his new friends and chasing them around. They were GREAT with Jackson.
Jackson running around with his buddies Zoe and Kaia

The sun came out too so I think that was a big reason Jackson conked out on the way home. This happens never, so I knew he had the time of his life.
Having too much fun with mom again

We also have been taking the bike and bike cart out a lot and finding a ton of new parks. This three-level beast is one of our favorites! FREE.
Where were these parks when we were little?

I took Jackson to the Life Time Fitness pool in Savage. I didn't have to pay for him since I have a membership, so I'm not sure if this is considered FREE, but for me it is. I wasn't sure how he'd be since he freaked when the water hit him at the splash pad. The minute he set foot in the water he said, "WOW!" Followed by an "Ohhhhhhhhh!" and then a "WOW!" He splashed and ran over to the six fountains of water bubbling out of the pool and stood there forever. HE WAS SO HAPPY. I took him out for a swim and he loved that. WE BOTH had a blast. We will be doing that again for sure!!!! Can you believe that was MY first time using the pool since my membership in 2010? I guess when I workout, I mean business. Now I'm mad at myself for not utilizing such a sweet pool all these years. Time to start!! I wish I snapped a picture or two of Jackson swimming, but I needed to keep ALL EYES on Action Jackson.

We are in FULL action mode 99% of the day
Love garbage day because I can push all the recycling bins down the road and sit on them. All while looking cute.
I knew I liked my old car seat for a reason!