*Names in this story have been changed to protect the not-so innocent*

A few weeks ago, a few friends and I were chatting at a restaurant while waiting for our food.  The kids were all being goofy, nothing unusual there.  The girl was teasing the two boys by poking and tickling them.  Her hands must have got to close to private areas, and the mom said, “Ellie, careful!  No poking people’s privates!”.

Ellie looks right at her mom and says, “Why?  You do it to daddy!”

Ellie’s mom stood silent, with a “oh crap” expression on her face.  The other mom and I just laughed and laughed and laughed.


Saturday morning, HJ and I hopped in the car to spend the day in Dubuque.  We had won tickets to the National Mississippi River Museum, and thought it would be the perfect day to go check it out.

The museum was split up in 2 different buildings, and had a few outdoor spots to enjoy as well.  We saw lots of fish…and solidified the fact that I will not swim in the Mississippi.  Even HJ couldn’t believe the size and gross-ness of some of the fish.  And, there was a snake.  Well, lots of them.  I had the heeby-jeebies the whole time we were in that portion.  Especially when a worker told us that snakes can sneak out of most containers and cages.


Heeby-Jeebies aside, the museum was fun to spend a few hours at.  HJ loved the kids area, and I loved the outdoor stuff (perfect weather helped this).  We even saw a old log cabin, at which HJ proclaimed, “Did they even have internet?!”.


After the museum and a quick bite to eat, we went to Eagle Point Park to explore.  Eagle Point Park is where we have had different family events, and I always loved walking around and seeing all the cool rocks, river views and fun buildings.  HJ and I even found a Koi pond with some GIGANTIC fish.


I then asked HJ if he would want to try the Fenelon Place Elevator.  I had been there since I was young, but remembered thinking it was cool.  However, HJ is scared of heights, so I wasn’t sure he would like it.  He decided to go check it out and decide there.  And, he brave-d up, and tried it!


We rode from the top to the bottom, and stopped at a cute ice cream shop.  On the way back up, HJ even got to ring the bell to let the attendants know our cart was all ready to go back up!


Then it was time to head home.  HJ took a nice nap, while I got to sing along to the radio.  It was a fun, and busy day…and we loved it!

At dinner the other night, HJ was deep in thought.  He was staring up at the ceiling with a concerned expression.  Then, he looked at me and said, “How do babies get in the mom’s bellies”.

I quickly took a bite to give myself a few extra moments to think of how to answer this.

“Do they have to pay to get them?”, he followed up with.

Ah, an easy out.

“Yup, some parents DO have to pay to have babies.”

End of conversation.

So it may be a bit of a fib, but I know plenty of people who have paid lots and lots of money to get a baby in their belly.

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It’s officially a new school year!

HJ is at the same school he had preschool last year, so that part of the transition has not been difficult.

The past 2 years, HJ has been so excited for school.  Bouncing all around.  This year was a bit different.  I could see that he was a bit nervous, but couldn’t figure out why.  Finally one day, he said he was worried kids would be mean to me.

I let him know that the other kids were probably nervous too.  And that he is going to make so many new friends.  And that if someone is mean, to talk to them about it.  If someone is being mean to another kid, to let a teacher know.  And to always tell me what is going on.

Then, we talked about all the fun stuff he could do…like play on the big kid playground and eat in the cafeteria.  And how his class has 14 boys, and 7 girls to become friends with.  And at recess, his friends from the other classes could play with him.

He seemed a bit more upbeat the next morning.  We walked to school together, with a big smile on his face.  When we walked in the classroom, he became quiet.  All the other kids were quiet.  And I snuck out leaving my boy looking scared as could be, and at that moment I almost cried.  But I didn’t.  Because I knew he would love it.  I knew he would make friends.  And I know he is ready for Kindergarten.


Two weeks ago, HJ and I loaded up the car and headed to Chicago.  Well, actually a suburb of Chicago.  My friend from college, Danielle, just had her 2nd sweet boy…and I wanted to snuggle him.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon, and spent the evening grilling out while the boys ran.  And ran.  Monday, HJ and I headed into the city and spent the morning at Shedd’s Aquarium.  HJ and I got to see a show, enjoy 2 minutes of a 4-D movie called SEA MONSTERS (HJ freaked out and we had to leave…4-D was a bit too intense for him), pet sting rays, and see all sorts of fish from pretty to freaky.  HJ declared his favorite part was the dog.

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In the show, there was a dog that came out and did a few tricks.  Forget the jumping whales, they have a dog that can shake!

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We then took a water taxi to the Navy Pier and walked around a bit, before heading back to the ‘burbs.

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The next day, I was put in charge of 3 kids for about an hour and a half…and only one injury to report (this picture was seconds before Oliver crashed head first out of his chair).

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We then went to the Brookfield Zoo.  We actually went there 2 years before with Danielle and Oliver, so it was fun to see it again.  They had lots of baby animals to see, like a dolphin, gorilla and a not so tiny baby bison.

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It was hot…like hot enough that I understood why this tiger was not getting out of the water.  But we still had fun, and HJ and Oliver had a blast running around and see all the animals.

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Hard to believe there is only 1 short week of summer left, and then it’s back to school!

Wow, my summer blogging slump is crazy this year.  HJ and I have been enjoying our summer, and can’t believe in a few short weeks he will be a kindergartener.  We found out his teacher…and don’t know anyone in the class.  Luckily, HJ isn’t too shy and should make new friends quickly.

We went to Chicago for a few days last week, which is what ultimately led to my “zero” posts.  I will be posting pictures of our trip soon!

Also, I was offered a new job!  To add to the craziness of last week, it was also my last few days at Target.  Yesterday, I started my new job!  As of now, I have a lot to learn, but I can not wait.  This position is a great fit for me :).

I hope you are all having a summer that is filled with craziness like us!

IMG_3531Two years ago, I found a bed on the side of the road.  I sanded and stained it, and set it up in HJ’s room.  It was cute, it was a work of labor.  And it was uncomfortable.  It creaked.  It didn’t have a box spring.

But I also didn’t do anything about it.

Then one day, 3 little monkeys were jumping on the bed.  And, BOOM!  It broke.  Split right down the middle.  It could maybe had been saved (probably looking crappy, but saved), but it was not worth it.  So for the past 6 months or so, HJ had no headboard.  In fact, for a few months his mattress was even on the floor.

His mattress was actually a hand me down from one of my friend’s childhood room, so it was around 30 years old.  Lucky me, for Mother’s Day my dad bought a mattress and bedspring for HJ ( I swear that wasn’t sarcasm, I really was happy about it).

I kept my eyes peeled for new headboards.  I knew HJ needed a bookshelf one, because his room is full of his treasures.  And his dresser was packed full of treasures.

Then I saw this one for sale:


Not great, but I saw potential.  I had to work the day of the garage sale, so I asked a friend to confirm it was real wood.  And to then throw it in her minivan and drop it off.  It was real wood, and in great shape.  However, they had to take the seats down, drop kids off, etc. just to deliver it for me (Thank goodness for friends like that).

I stared for a few days before deciding what to do with it.

I went with a navy chalk paint (Dutch boy brand), and the stripes are in a cream (non chalk paint).


I sanded and wiped down the bed and put about 3 coats of paint on.  I was going to do stripes down the top, but decided just on the shelf portion would be enough.  I then finished it off with a matte protector to help keep the paint form chipping (hopefully this helps!).  I also painted a sweet little note to HJ on the bottom on the shelf…I wonder how old he will be before he sees it!


HJ loved decorating the shelves with his treasures.  It is so fun to see what he thinks are his “prized possessions”.  The drawings are from our local art festival, the book on top is a pokeman card book.  The penguin is something he typically dislikes, so I am not sure why he got a prime spot.  He also was sure to put a picture of Ty, his light he falls asleep with and his fox mask.  You know, the important stuff.


Now I am ready for our next diy project.  On that note, if anyone knows where I can get my hands on a wash tub and/or bar cart let me know!


HJ and I love the Despicable Me movies.  When we heard about the new Minion movie coming out, I knew that would be a summertime movie that HJ would need to see.  After all, he did make the cutest little minion a few Halloween’s ago.


And the Minion fun isn’t just in the theaters this summer.  After seeing them on the big screen this summer, you can also check out the Minions on specially marked boxes of your favorite fruit flavored snacks at retailers near you, including Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot. From Gushers made with the Minions signature colors to themed comic strips on your Fruit by the Foot and even customizable pirate accessories for Fruit Roll-Ups Minion cut-outs, you can enjoy family fun that promotes imaginative and cognitive play—plus even more Minions fun on each box with games and clues to solve puzzles!

General Mills wants to help make sure you are enjoying summertime Minion style.  They are giving one of YOU a box of a participating General Mills cereal, a box of a participating Betty Crocker fruit flavored snack, an exclusive Minions Buddy and a $25 Fandango gift card to see the film in theatres next month.

How awesome is that?  To win, just leave a comment!  The winner will be randomly selected nest Tuesday, July 28th.  Good Luck!

Talk about summer just flying by!  Somehow, it is mid-July.

I didn’t even realize I didn’t post last week.

It’s like the week just didn’t exist.  There is no way school supplies should be showing up at the Target stores already.  But somehow, summer is halfway gone and I feel like we haven’t accomplished so many things I wanted to do.

Starting with losing ten pounds.

In June, I figured by my friends July 18th wedding, I wanted to be 10 pounds lighter.  And then this past week, I was thinking I should start working on that.

And now the wedding is in a week, and I am like, “well, forget that!”

Luckily my friend Courtney and I decided to get serious about our weight again.  We have tried other things on our own, but nothing worked as well as when we had our monthly contests and weigh-ins.  Now, I am hoping to be down 10 pounds in 6 weeks.  Wish me luck!


Starting now, when I lost 10 pounds, she is sending me a gift.  How’s that for motivation?  I love getting presents in the mail!


Our old pup has had a rough few weeks.  He had an ongoing ear infection that he just wasn’t able to kick.  This led to vet trips 3 weeks in a row.  Tyson hates the vet.  While we sat in the waiting room, he would try to jump into my lap (not an easy task for a 90 pound dog).  I would have to drag him down the hall into the exam room.  Once in the room, he refused all attempts of the staff to cheer him up.  He even turned up his nose at their treats.

HJ and I thought a special treat from Chewy would help cheer him up.  We received a Kong Squeezz Ball with Handle.  Kong has always been one of the few brands that can stand up to my dog.  Tyson has destroyed many nondestructive toys, but his Kong items have always lasted.

This toy is also perfect for HJ and Tyson to play fetch…which always ends in Tyson being exhausted and HJ in a fit of giggles.


Tyson is now feeling better, and loves to track us down while carrying his new toy!

I did receive a free product for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.