Friday, February 26, 2016

Fantastic Friday

Typically I spend Fridays doing laundry and getting the house clean so I don't have to spend the weekend with a duster in hand.  Today I wanted to mix things up and do something different.   After breakfast I asked the kids what they wanted to do and both said "Barnes & Noble."  Last year we discovered that Barnes & Noble has a story/craft time on Friday mornings.  We hadn't been since last year and the kids had asked to go a couple weeks ago.  Our first activity was planned!

P & L's penguin craft
The store was packed and the book was"Penguin in Love" by Salina Yoon.  It was about a cute penguin that knitted his friends sweaters, scarves, and snout warmers.  The craft was an adorable construction penguin with googly eyes....those always make any craft more fun.  On our way out we passed the Easter book table.  Both kids agreed we needed to add one to our library.

Cute story and graphics!!
After leaving the bookstore with our new purchase, our next stop was the children's museum.  It was surprisingly more crowded then expected.  We spent about an hour and a half playing on and in the exhibits.  There was a new feature that contained a two-story tornado slide, a new favorite for my 2.


Paisley and Lila were running on fumes and I was getting hungry for lunch. We stepped into the sunny day and headed home.


Yesterday I saw an incredible looking cookie recipe at http://haleylogann.blogspot.com/2016/02/m-chocolate-chip-cookies.html  that was calling my name.  I forgot to stop by the grocery on the way home so I had to substitute the vanilla pudding for chocolate pudding.  They turned out delicious and this won't be the last time I use this recipe!
Heading into the weekend!!
At this point in the day the kids are completely exhausted, loaded up on sugar, and eager for their dad to get home from work.  I'm about to fix myself a second cup of coffee, grab me a 3rd cookie, and settle down in front of the news awaiting Scott to appear in the drive with pizza.  I hope you have a good weekend and mix it up a little.  Sometimes the best days are the ones that aren't planned at all.    



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mammograms and saying Boobies

Last November while getting dressed I noticed a strange lump above my left breast.  I use the word "lump" loosely because it actually felt more like a jellyfish.  I knew it hadn't been there long and  I figured it would go away on its own.  

Fast forward a month and it was still very present.  I decided to mention it to Scott and get his input.  He said the mobile mammography unit would be at his place of work the next month and I should make an appointment.  I called the next day and my appointment was scheduled.  

January rolled around and the day of my appointment Mother Nature decided to cover our beautiful part of the world in a blanket of snow.  The appointment scheduler called and said they needed to cancel due to weather, but would re-schedule the following month.  This is when a slight panic crept into my body and took over my thoughts. 

I knew the "area" appeared in November and here it was going to be February before I could hear someone in the medical field tell me "it's nothing to worry about."  I couldn't help but think of all the stories from women I knew that had found a lump and didn't get the luxury of hearing "it's nothing to worry about."  They all spoke about time being critical when they were diagnosed.  So what if, what if this was something to worry about.  Could I wait another month?  The answer was no.  

I called the breast center the next day and told them my predicament.  I apologized for calling them because I was sure it was nothing, but what if it was something.  The lady on the other end of the phone explained that the mobile unit technology was not as thorough as the technology in the office, and since there was an area of concern they recommended I come into the office.  They scheduled me the following day.  

I want to add that even though I felt silly for calling, because I knew there was nothing to worry about, the employee on the other end of the phone assured me I wasn't being silly and said she would much rather I come in and find the area was "nothing to worry about" instead of not coming in and finding out much later that the area was in fact the dreaded C-word.  

I didn't tell anyone besides Scott about my appointment because I didn't want anyone to worry.  I felt I was worried enough for everyone.  I explained to the kids that mommy had a doctor appointment and they were going to come with me.  In an attempt to ward off awkward questions while we were at the doctor, I explained that the doctor was going to make sure mommy's boobies were ok.  The kids had a few questions and I attempted to answer in child friendly terms.  

When we arrived at the office I was given instructions to remove my top and bra and wait in a small waiting room in a robe.  The kids thought it was interesting that I was wearing a robe with my jeans and found it even more interesting when we joined 5-10 other women sitting in matching robes.  The room was quiet as we each waited for our name to be called.  As small children are known to do, the questions slowly started coming out of my kids mouth.  "Why is everyone wearing robes?" Paisley asked.  As if wanting to answer her brother, Lila said, "Is everyone getting their boobies checked?"  This caused a wave of laughter to go through the room.  

As I made sure my children didn't untie the other ladies robes or eat all the hard candy sitting out in dishes, I felt someone approach me and say my name.  As I looked up I felt I had stepped backward 20 years.  It was the mother of my high school boyfriend, you know the boyfriend you think you are going to marry and spend forever with.  Before my mind could come back to present I was standing up to greet her and she was leaning in for a hug.  As I hugged her I could feel the eyes of my children wondering who the robed lady was that I was hugging.  As I found my voice I introduced her to my suddenly quiet babies and she instantly began talking to them.  

I hadn't seen her in over 20 years but she talked to the babies and I as if we were old friends.  It was so nice to see a familiar face in this situation, although it would have been nicer if I would have had a shirt on while catching up with her.  With the kids crawling over me I was continually worried one of my breasts would become uncovered while we caught up on life.  She loved on my babies and talked about her own grandchildren.  Before I knew it my name had been called and I stood up with my tiny support group.  The nurse asked if I had someone to watch the kids while I got the mammogram.  Crap.  I hadn't thought about the kids not being able to be in there while I had the x-ray.  My ex's mom quickly offered to watch the kids while I went back which was an incredibly kind offer.  If I could have told my 15 year old self that one day my then boyfriends mom would be watching my children with my future husband, I would have thought the world had gone mad.  

Another nurse overheard the question and quickly said she would be happy to take the kids to another room that contained a tv with cartoons and she would entertain them.  Before I could say a word off they went.  I thanked my "mother-in-law that never was" for the offer and said it was so good to see her before I disappeared behind the door.  

First I had the mammogram which was painful yet fine.  She spent a lot of time focusing on the area of concern and made me feel like I had made the right decision by getting this checked out.  After numerous pictures, we moved on to do an ultra sound of the area.  I hadn't had one since I was pregnant with Lila and I have to say getting an ultrasound of a baby is much more enjoyable then getting an ultrasound of a lumpy boob.  

I was taken back to the waiting room where I was reunited with my kids and told to wait as the doctor looked over my images.  While we sat there Paisley handed a lady a Country Living magazine and told her there was some "good looking recipes in there she needed to look at."  If nothing else, I am confident my children provided comic relief for all the ladies there that day.  

The nurse came out and handed me a piece of paper.  With a smile in her eyes she explained that I have "nothing to worry about."  I felt the air escape my lungs with great force as she went on to explain that I have extremely dense breast tissue.  While this doesn't make me a greater candidate for breast cancer, it does make breast cancer harder to detect.  She reassured me that I did the right thing by getting them checked and I need to continue to watch for changes as I age.  I scooped up my babies and happily returned my robe for the comfort of my own top.  

My kids talk about boobies a little more now then they did before and sometimes they bring up "that time you were in your robe with all those women."  I am so glad that the employees at the breast center made me feel comfortable in my decision to schedule an appointment and get checked out.  They were all so kind, and caring, even when they realized I brought along my question filled 2 and 4 year old and needed to be watched.  

I'm glad I listened to myself and to my body.  I'm glad the results came back favorable.  Listen to your body.  If you feel something isn't right, get it checked out.  This is the only body you're ever going to have, make sure you're taking care of it.    

Linking up with Polka-Dotty Place for Tuesday Talk!  Visit her blog at 
http://polka-dottyplace.blogspot.com


Friday, February 19, 2016

Right Here, Right Now

Current temperature on the farm is a windy 40 degrees and on the rise. By tomorrow we're forecasted to be in the 60's with sun.  I'm sure winter will wrap us in her icy grip at least one more time, but for now I'm leaving the coat in my closet and trading boots for slip-ons without socks.

Easter reads
One of the great things about holidays is the variety of children's books that come along with them.  Today I pulled out all our Easter books and put away the Valentine books.  After a year of being in the closet the kids are excited to look at and read their "new" books.  It's also nice for Scott and I to have some new reading material to read to them.  Do you have any children's Easter stories your child loves?  I'm always looking to grow their library!!

Welcome to the family
Spring is right around the corner and stores are starting to run some great sales on their winter items.  Yesterday I realized it was time for a brown boot update!  Macy's was running a sale and I scored a pair of Carlos Santana boots, regularly $167 for $55.  Even though I'm officially over boots for this season I will be more then ready to wear them when October rolls around and the world is saturated with all things pumpkin flavored.  
I heart NARS lip pencil
Last September I went to Sephora and received my free birthday gift for being one of their Beauty Insider members.  It was a great set of pencil lipsticks called NARS.  I used the Rikugien, Satin Lip Pencil pretty quickly and while I loved the color and feel, I was disappointed by the little amount of lipstick the product contained.  Fast forward to this week when I learned you can actually sharpen the pencil.  Why didn't I attempt to sharpen it sooner??

All boy
So last night as I watched my boy play on the floor with his Megabloks, I overheard him say "I need to defuse this bomb."  As he noticed me watching him play he said, "Can you call me McGuyver?"  I guess as long as we aren't going to the airport or a federal building anytime in the near future his bomb talk is ok.
All girl

And then there's little gal.  She loves to watch the NetFit video when I work-out.  Not because she enjoys working out, but because she likes "Carl" the instructor.  Some days when I tell her she can watch a show, she asks to watch Carl.  Looks like Doc McStuffins has been replaced by a body builder.  I never saw that coming.

Have a great weekend!!




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Not so little Littles

My sweet littles
The month of February....cold air, snowy days, heart shaped decor and my babies are exactly 2.5 and 4.5 years old.    

Both kids have hit growth spurts, I'm pretty sure Lila Bean is getting close to 30lbs and Paisley is hovering just below the 40lb mark.  Both required closet overhauls, out with the old and in with the new.  I love getting new clothes for my little Valentines.

Such a good little customer
Last month Lila got her first haircut.  She had baby fuzz in the back of her hair that made brushing post shower a painful process for both of us.  I took her a little parlor here in town that I've had great luck with cutting Paisley's hair.  Well.....I think the fuzz made the cut a little more difficult than I imagined because the cut was a little shorter/layered more than I wanted.  Luckily it will grow back and she's not getting another haircut until 2025!

Grow hair grow
Paisley wants shorter hair like his daddy. His daddy keeps telling him that he needs a haircut and everyday I conveniently forget to schedule that appointment.  I want him to grow it a bit longer (think surfer boy).  I have a feeling I will lose that battle sooner then later, but until then grow hair grow!!

Good-bye crib
Lila had been asking to sleep in big girl panties at night but we couldn't take her out of night diapers until she was able to get out of bed on her own.  Two weeks ago we converted her crib to the toddler bed.  That night we realized it was the first night in 4.5 years we didn't have a kid in a crib.  That was a hard lump to swallow.  She's done a great job of staying in her bed all night and during naps.  Now to ditch diapers for good!
My little comedian
Paisley continues to love school and his music class.  He is signed up for t-ball this summer which should be entertaining.   He also requested to have his training wheels removed from his bike.  He hasn't quite mastered that skill of balance yet, but we're getting closer.  The other day after brushing and flossing his teeth, then combing his hair, he looked at me said, "I look almost 14 don't I mom?"  He kinda did.
The moment you realize you ate your entire double cheeseburger
Lila is excited about starting pre-k this fall, mostly so she can use her mermaid backpack.  She loves her music class and thinks she's older than 2.5.  She's fearless and sassy but also super sweet and cuddly.
Growing up with your bestie

Even though these milestones cause the corners of my eyes to burn and that obnoxious throat lump to form, there is nothing more magical than watching my babies grow and explore this life their father and I have given them.  In another 6 months we'll be celebrating them turning 3 and 5.  I'm sure a little bittersweet will be present as I sip my coffee the mornings of their birthday, but I'll also be thinking of the people they are now and the people they will grow up to be.        

       

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Funny Valentine

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together
-The Turtles



This man.

He's taught me the best adventures don't always require a passport.  He's taught me that life isn't about where you've been, but where you want to go.  I know I don't want to go anywhere without him.  Ever.

May you each have a Valentine that warms your soul and brushes the hair away from your eyes.  May you receive flowers or chocolates or whatever it is that makes you heart melt.  May you feel love and give love like it is your job.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

 


Friday, February 12, 2016

Montana Skies

When our group decided on Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana for our trip this year, I felt butterflies in my stomach.  I was going to be reunited with one of my true loves....the Rocky Mountains.
Breathe it in
Why is it that when I'm in the west I feel so "at home."  I only spent a few years living the high altitude life, yet it just feels right.  We left the kids with family and Scott and I hopped a plane with some friends westward bound.

The home we rented was spacious enough that we weren't on top of one another and also granted us access to the private Moonlight Club (more on that later!).  The room Scott and I stayed in had a Sleep Number bed and I'm now convinced that we NEED one of those (I set my # on 100 for those of you that have one!).  I'm not sure I'll ever sleep the same after this!  
Kissing my husband for the first time in Montana
Weather-wise our timing was perfect.  Our drive thru the canyon to Big Sky was clear as can be.  The next morning as we dressed for skiing, we were greeted with fresh powder on the mountain.  We were shocked by the lack of people on the ski slopes.  It felt as though we had the entire resort to ourselves.     It was perfect.
Coffee by the fire? Yes please!
We skied until the lifts closed an ended our last run at the Moonlight Lodge.  There we were greeted by staff that took our skis and carried them to our car for us.  This pretty much sealed the deal for me to return here at some point in my life.  After our skis were stowed we headed into the Moonlight Tavern for live music, warm beverages and a roaring fire.  I could have sat on that couch all night and enjoyed the picture window framing the slopes, listening to the musician strum his guitar and sipping my warm cup of java...however my ride was leaving and I remembered we had a hot tub waiting for us at the house.  With that I pried myself away from the leather and ventured out into the cold night air.
Our crew
Friday morning we were greeted with a little more fresh snow and the group took the Lone Peak tram up to 11,166 feet.  Visibility was pretty bad and the wind was picking up.  Yet for some reason I decided to experience my first double black diamond ever.  As I made my way down the Gullies, I questioned my decision making ability.  Once I reached the bottom I was so proud of conquering the double black, but I don't think I will ever do it again!

Tips up
The rest of the day I stuck with the less demanding runs and enjoyed areas of deep powder, tree lined paths, and the quietness of ski slopes that I've never experienced anywhere else.  As the lifts were beginning to close, I was slightly sad that I wouldn't be skiing another day here.  The conditions and trails were a dream.
Warming up
We went to Montana Jacks for apps and a drink and to enjoy more live music.  The place was packed and the music was good.  After one round of drinks it was back to the house for dinner and hot tub time.
Nice
Saturday we decided to take advantage of being members of the Moonlight Club.  We had a small hike back to a yurt in the woods. Outside the yurt was a frozen lake, an ice rink, a tubing hill and a fire pit.  Inside the yurt were 2 workers and loads of winter activity equipment.  All of this for use by Moonlight Club members, and we were the only ones there....all day long.  We started out by using the snowshoes.  We took a loop that was a couple miles long and gave us great views of the mountains, frozen lake, and through the woods.  
Snowshoeing....a serious activity
We warmed ourselves up around the fire and enjoyed our packed lunch before gearing up for a game of broom ball.  The workers inside the yurt brought out coffee to help keep us warm.  Once again, I am so coming back to this place.  Broom ball ended abruptly when a few of the players realized they were a slip and fall away from a full blown concussion.  We grabbed the tubes and made our way up the hill.  Even though it's been nice to have a child-free vacation, I would have loved to have took our kids down in a tube.  They would have loved it.  Next time.  We took a couple spins around the rink on a fat tire bike before bidding farewell to the guys in the yurt.


We headed back to the Moonlight Basin to utilize the indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub.  There was a coffee bar and candy bar fully stocked for our usage as we entered and exited the hot tub area.  The water felt amazing and a light snow fell on our heads as we watched the skiers take their final runs of the day down the slopes.  Hot tubbing is always fun but there isn't anything better then a hot tub on the side of the ski slope.
From ski bunnies to warm bunnies
We finally headed back to the house for the night and to begin the unpopular process of packing our bags.  An early flight the next day meant an early night for all of us.  Six years ago when we started these ski trips we would go out about every night and survive on very little sleep.  This trip was the first trip that we didn't go out once, and that was more than alright by all of us.  We joked that we're getting old.  Or maybe we weren't joking.  Either way, it was a fantastic trip and this area is one of my favorites for visiting.
Take me home hotness!
We don't have any plans to head west any time soon, but I'm already daydreaming of our next trip.  There's no place like home...but there's also no place like the mountains.