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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Favorite Family Activity - 14 Months

Bike Riding

So I've totally gotten use out of our BOB stroller. From running to trekking through the snow to taking it in the terrain to even traveling by plane with it, I ADORE OUR BOB. I try to find all kind of fun ways to be active with it.
Bike riding fun!! Yes, we do have helmets.

Last winter Karl bought a bike trailer off of Craigslist. AND, right around that time one of my awesome co-workers gave me a SWEET Trek bike because he wanted to get rid of all memories of his ex-girlfriend. The only bad part was his roommate took the bike out and hit a car.... Oops. It needed fixin.

Karl took it in to his mom's cousin's bike shop and it was good as new. Never before have I had such a nice bike!

As the weather keeps getting nicer (YAY!), Karl and I are getting out more and more. Even though he was on-call last week, he actually got home early one night and we hopped on our bikes, found a new trail right in our front yard and off we went.

JACKSON LOVED IT!!!!!!!! I think I loved it more!

The best part is the cart turns into a running stroller for two!! (Slow your thinking down! No two kids just yet!).

How do you stay active with your young ones?

Done Done Done with Breastfeeding - 14 Months

Done Nursing - Bittersweet

I am done with nursing. I quit at 14 months. Why am I so bummed?

I mean, nursing is a LOT of work.

A lot.

I won't sugarcoat it.

I will also tell you it's the most amazing bonding experience.
I'm still happy:) P.S. One of my daddy's patients made this train for me.

The first time I experienced nursing I spent several LONG minutes, sometimes HOURS trying to figure it out each and EVERY time...and there were a lot of times (try 11+ times a day).

You will sweat and your neck begins to hurt, your back aches. Your nips go raw, they bleed....they scream at you in pain. Then you finish a session (success!) ONLY to do it all over again an hour or two later. Your life REVOLVES around nursing that first month (OK...Truth? Try more like the first 6 months), or until you get the hang of it. It's nuts. Then you start pumping. And you are so doggone tired that the last thing you want to do is wake up in the middle of the night to PUMP after a nurse session. But you do. And you don't know how you're doing it. You don't even know who you are anymore. A feeding machine? A milk maker?

Then you have pump parts to clean. And bottles to wash out and bags to fill with milk and label and to stack just perfectly in the freezer. Then you move those into a gallon bag and mark it up and put it in the deep freezer...and wash more pump parts and bottles. And not to mention the HUGE pump bag you have to carry to and from work every day, along with lunch and your coffee or tea... Heaven forbid the wires pop off in the parking lot. And the times you have to leave a meeting or go pump throughout the day at work. The comments people will make...You learn a different approach to working.

So yes, nursing is a lot of work.

But it's also amazing. It's between mom and baby. You learn to SLOW down. To APPRECIATE your body. Appreciate LIFE. To LOVE your body. It helps you transition into a motherly role more... Or at least it did for me. I was forced to sit down. I was forced to stop and focus on Jackson and Jackson alone. I studied him at all hours of the night. We bonded in a way nobody else will get to. There are other ways besides nursing to feel that connection, but it truly has been a special time. And in the bigger realm of things, it's only a year. I look back and I feel like that went fast. But I also look back and get nervous about having to do that ALL OVER AGAIN in the coming years... So yes, it does feel like a year, but no it doesn't. Did I clear that up? Ha.

After Jackson's first birthday, he was only nursing in the morning and night. I took away the morning nurse and kept that nighttime feeding for as long as I could. Then last Wednesday came and Jackson decided to use me as a chew toy. And the next night. And then the next. I couldn't take it anymore so I stopped. He went down just fine. We instead read books and snuggled. Then did our nightly prayers and he was out. Just like that. Since he's been born, I've let him take the lead and it's worked out great. But he is also a very strong-willed little man.

Now for me... OUCH. My right side is fine, the's a bag full of marbles and huge. I just hope the pain goes away...

All I can say is I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yiiippppppeeeee!!! Now, to enjoy this summer and have a few cocktails without too many worries. Don't worry, I'll behave:)

Father's Day Fun! - 14 months

Celebrating Father's Day

OK, getting back on track here with the blog. Father's Day. A GREAT weekend. The weather was ridiculous. As in AWESOME.
Daddy and Jackson. Buddies for life.

Dad is my hero...

My parents came up Friday. I know, you're probably wondering what are they doing up again!?!? Karl's dad has been going through a few surgeries on his knee and is unable to watch Jackson, so my parents have been coming up lots to help. Five hours up and five hours back. PHEW. We owe them a LOT! Karl's sis has been helping us out a lot too. We owe her too!!! We'd be kind of screwed without family up here.

If this doesn't just melt your heart... Pa-Pa and Jackson

We are keeping my parents BUSY! My mom even fell asleep when I was talking to her! That's how exhausted they are by the end of day... It's rough getting old!

Ahhh. Just copying daddy.

On Friday Jackson and I walked over to the liquor store where I had him pick out six craft beers for his dad. I knew Karl would LOVE this gift, and especially because the beers were hand picked by his son. We also strolled over to Wal-mart where Jackson hand picked his daddy's card. It was either between the one with pancakes on it or fishies. We got home and I hid the goods in our closet. But I made sure Jackson signed the card...and then my leg.

ANYWAY, I baked a rhubarb cake, which turned out delicious to kick off Father's Day early. My parents brought up our favorite pizza from Roscoe - Pietro's. YUM!!!

Saturday Karl and my dad went to Crate and Barrel where Karl bought a bunch of fancy drink glasses - you know what I'm talking about - the fancy square ones and special beer ones and all kinds of cool glasses. He was in heaven. Then he bought a bunch of containers from the Container Store for all the flours he buys to make his specialty pancakes on the weekends. He even made my mom gluten-free pancakes!

My mom and I went SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know...Happy Father's Day to US!!! It's been a LONG LONG LONG time since my mom and I went shopping. So long that my favorite store had moved out of Southdale over a year and a half ago!!!!!!! OMG. So embarrassed. BUT, that meant we HAD to hit up the Mall of America:) YAY! I finally own a pair of those red hot pants!
Looking for Morel Mushrooms with dad!

Sunday - the REAL Father's Day. We went on a walk, hit up the park, played with a bucket of water on the deck....took a trike ride. I went running. My brother had us over for steak spinach salads. Then we met Karl's family for dinner at Woolley's - our favorite place!! They had a deal - 50% off all steaks and FREE craft beer if you're a dad!! SCORE!
The Three Stooges

What did you do for Father's Day?

My Birthday and the Horsetrack - 13.5 Months

Horsetrack Fun

Ask Jackson what a horse says, and he’ll tell you. He makes me laugh. He’s way too cute. He’s been to Canterbury twice in his young life and loves watching the horses and the tractors spray down and till the dirt after each race, and he loves watching and playing with all the kids. And of course, his favorite thing in the world – he gets to be outside.
At the horsetrack for mommy's bday!
I figured out a system by my second trip to the track so I was actually able to enjoy a beer or two. It helps meeting a good friend (Hoover!) and having a helpful brother! And thanks to our brewery tour last weekend, I enjoyed a Summit. Ahhh. Minnesota beer. My older brother spoiled me for my birthday and bought my ticket in and my beer. Win-Win for all. Karl was on call and had a slew of patients to attend to. Boo. At least he was able to experience Jackson’s love for horses the first time we went to the track.

First time we went to the horsetrack! Jackson LOVED the horsies
Petting the sweet horse!
I turned 34! How am I in my 30s? I can’t even comprehend this. I had a great birthday. The sun was SHINING. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y. I swear I feel like we live in London. It was sunnier in Seattle when Karl and I visited. This spring has been so depressing. But my bday came and the sun was out. I saw the darker clouds coming so maybe it was a good thing we were up at 5:00 a.m. So we had a delicious breakfast and went on a walk. Then headed to the park where Karl got paged. Boo. We headed back so Jackson could go down for his morning nap and Karl could get ready. I quickly escaped and ran 2.5 miles. It felt SO good. Sun on my face, music in my ears, fresh air filling my lungs. It’s been awhile since I ran by myself and it was just what I needed. I quickly hopped in the shower and Jackson was up!
Playing with water on the deck. Loves drinking the water.
Karl and Jackson made me a special birthday cake bread. Get this: banana, zucchini, carrot, coconut, almond, oats and oat flour birthday bread. Can I say it was excellent? It really was. They sang to me and Karl was off working the rest of the day.
The masterpiece birthday bread daddy and Jackson made for mommy!
Jackson and I played. We mowed the grass. Ha. We walked more. And then we went to the horsetrack. I was WIPED by the end of the day, but overall…GREAT birthday!
Jackson and his g-friend, Hoover

Mother's Day - 13.5 Months

Mother's Day Weekend
(a month after the fact...)

Super fun weekend!!! Anything beats last year when Karl had to leave for his orthotics exam on Mother’s Day - leaving me with a three week old - like I knew what I was doing… I have a better grasp on things this year, that's for sure.
Mom thinks I'm awesome.

I was excited we were able to spend time together as a family this year. Sure, it was a little cool and cloudy but for the most part we spent the day outside. Karl didn’t have to work (Yay!). Everyone was feeling great. Jackson was sleeping through the night. (Hence the emphasis on the word WAS.)
I love my trike!!! I could ride this all day long.
We headed to the park. My mom and dad came up later in the day and we headed to the park with them. Jackson LOVES the park . LOVES.
Had fun at the park with GLAMA!
I gave Pa-Pa a workout!

Poor Karl nailed his head on one of the metal bars chasing after Jackson and swore he gave himself a concussion. Hey, it happens. This kid is FAST. He keeps us on his toes.
Just had to take care of some lawn mowing quick.
Jackson was picked as Baby of the Month at his daycare!!! He's kind of a big deal....

Going to the Park in Minnesota - 13.5 Months

We’ve been busy over here at The Koester household. All good fun though. See below:)

Park Fun!
So as Jackson’s mom, my goal is to introduce Jackson to lots of parks for as long as I can. Karl says Jackson will be burned out on them by the time he is five. Hey, they are free. And FUN. They are fun for me too :). I do push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges...all kind of fun things.

There are tons of parks all over. Another reason I love Minnesota. Below are pictures from all our park adventures this past month.
Here comes Jackson
That was FUN!

Hello, up there!
I LOVE Pink cars!!! Varrrooooom!
Mastering the slide!
Another one to fly down! Yipppeeee!
Look, mom! Big boy climbing up all by myself!
This park has a piano!!! Sweet! My favorite thing to do. Play music!
I kind of like this cute little house. Just for me!
Ohhh! Something else to climb over other than the coffee table!
Come get me, mom!!!