little things with little people


Last night I took a beer out of the fridge looking to my chance at drinking a beer on my back patio and possilby enjoying some fine chocolates (potty training m&m’s) while my kids were in bed. Instead Willem came to the top of the stairs with the over tired cry of “mommmmaa.” Asking me to put him to sleep.

I was annoyed, I didn’t want to lay down with him, I wanted to enjoy our warm weather and my cold beer but I had no choice and I scooped him up and took him to bed.

As we laid down he took my face into his hands whispering into my cheek, his eyes giving me butterfly kisses and in that moment I knew there was nothing I would rather be doing.

In 20 years this is how I want to remember his toddlerhood.


Easter in Spearfish










We had a wonderful easter filled with sugar and family. Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos because I spent most of the day holding my little Willem and if you can’t tell I’m not in a writing mood either, just want to post these before it takes me weeks. I’m exhausted, holidays for moms are amazingly fun, just not relaxing. Also I can’t brush my teeth after all of that sugar because Willem stole my brush outside to try brushing his teeth with dirt, lucky for him he’s as cute as he is curious so I can’t be too mad. 

Oh What a World We Live In: Summer Goals







How gorgeous is this canyon? If we didn’t have small kiddos we would have hiked to the bottom.

For Chad’s birthday I bought him the northern plains map for his GPS because he had been talking about geocaching a lot lately. So on a whim this afternoon we went to find a few. Unfortunately the one we really wanted to find was on the bottom of this beautiful canyon and we could not figure out how to get down there. We still had a nice time getting out but now we have the goal of getting down to the water, finding the geocache and most importantly playing in those beautiful water pools!

We found other geocaches, hiked small mountains (while Willem slept in the car), took our Subaru on it’s first off road adventures and most importantly we all were out together.

Weaning Willem


Nothing makes you feel like a new parent like new stages in development or having a different kid. All children are different, we are constantly dealing with new situations as parents. While we may have been here (weaning in this case) we have never weaned this exact child so we have no clue what we are doing. This tells me that we do.not.have.all.the.answers. We have experiences and we share those however our experience will not work for every parent nor child.

Anyway, off the pedestal.

I started weaning Willem last Friday. It hasn’t even been a week. I have no clue how to approach this and what I did with Harper. That’s not entirely true, I remember holding and singing and rocking Harper when he would want to nurse at night. Willem doesn’t respond to that, if I hold him it makes him more angry and he just gets out of bed and sleep walks screaming and crying into the hallway.

I’m at square one yet there is something strong natural instinct. Yes our kids are different and this is a new experience but for some reason it is going smoothly. It could be because I’m not really pushing any one thing, it could be he was sick last night so I was too scared to nurse him for fear of more puke, or maybe he’s just easier. I don’t know, but he’s asleep in his own bed (first time ever) without nursing and it wasn’t sad and he wasn’t scared. As of right now he basically gets fed when I get full, it’s working well and isn’t cutting ties too fast. I resist sleep nursing him, as of now he wakes up 2-4 times but each night has fought less and less with me. I was amazed that when I laid down with him the other night to put him to sleep he just required me to cuddle him without a single attempt at nursing. I’m sad that he’s growing up but of course, like every mother who has nursed past a few months- I am ready to have my body back (although that doesn’t really happen until well after the weaning process is over, boob holds are a trademark of a nursed baby after all, and I’ll pretty much hold and carry him until he goes to college).

After asking for advise and searching for answers on how to approach weaning a somewhat demanding 19 month old it turns out we just needed to be ready, I need to be patient, gentle and willing to listen to my own instinct and it is working out just fine for us.

Now off to teach those preschoolers some deep-sea yoga.

Mondays Are My Favorite Days


I’m slightly excited about the day, not because of something special planned but because I have nothing planned. An empty canvas waiting for its paint. The best thing about days with no plans is that nothing can go wrong you can’t be late when there is nowhere to be.

The greenhouse has been on my mind. My subconscious’ way of telling me to hold out hope, spring is near. It’s my first time in this greenhouse since I was a small child. I used to hate coming here because my mother keep us trailing her for hours going up and down the aisles and losing ourselves in the labyrinth of greenhouses. Today it is warm and the air was a mixture of fertilizer and nectar. There is a koi  pond, one fish as big as my thigh. Harper was taken with the them, Willem snug against me was awed with the red circus trailer and of course, the popcorn. We wander, whispering past seedlings, being sure to not scare them, stunting their growth. We looked at lemon trees (I must go back and get one) and name every garden animal we see “a frog! a pig! a bunny!” We smell, touch and eventually pick out a few to take home. Willem keeps ahold of a small, round petaled succulent in his chubby toddler hands, breaking off only 3 petals before we leave.


In the car we talk about the seeds we were going to plant, how with care, love and attention they will grow out of the dirt and sprout into flowers. While we talk of flowers blooming from tiny seeds and I contemplate which road to take.

We drive through into the forest, eyes open for big horn sheep, deer, turkeys. We turn corners over the winding river, past our old house, to the T where the road ends and we end up at the lake.

There is no other car in the parking lot. I didn’t expect there to be. I unload the boys and we take off to throw rocks into the lake. A simple thing that brings insurmountable joy to young boys, or rather all boys, I remember my first camping trip with their father, watching him throw rocks off of a cliff. Today the lake is mostly ice and instead of a splash we get only slides.


Harper leads us down paths and over bridges, we’ve come all this way but we still have no agenda. Willem clings to me, his warm little head bounces between my chin and chest as he struggles between his curiosity to see the world and his stubbornness to touch me, proving to us all that no matter where we are or what we are doing, my attention is always held captive with him.

Returning to the still empty parking lot we take our time eating crackers and bananas in the back of the car, our goodbye ritual to any trail.


Don’t Watch Munich at 2pm on a Sunday


Random but cute photo. Sorry, not sorry.

“Pew Pew Pew” Harper shoots at me. After which I do not pretend to die but instead turn off the movie I was watching, Munich. He shot me after soldiers where shooting at terrorist in a bloody but dark battle in the movie. Not the best choice for a mid-day movie with impressionable kids around but I’m not a mom that wants to sit and watch The Wiggles with them *though I do enjoy singing with The Wiggles*.

Motherhood is filled with fun mistakes that might scar mentally and/or physically those that we love so much.

Willem has learned that if he hits his brother he then has to apologize with a hug. Now he basically walks up to Harper and it goes like this: hit, hit, hug. Basically he has learned that as long as he hugs he can hurt. Oh boy. My disciplining needs to get more creative.

Being a mom is the most entertaining job in the world. You never really know what you are going to get. I’ve (unfortunately) read books on how to make your child a robot, blogs on what to do to keep your kids entertained during long term bad weather, forums on how to treat/deal with issues and my favorite buzzfeeds lists of hilarious mistakes and sayings that kids have subjected onto their parents. All of these things that I have taken in during the past 4 years and I have learned every single kid is so similar and so stinking different but as long as you love them and make time for them they tend to turn out just fine.

And I’ll stop watching movies with violent gun scenes during the day for a few more years. dangit.

Out and About, Spearfish Style

It has been an interesting summer. We’ve moved, fought illness, tried to settle into a new home and routine. In all of the stuff we’ve been stuck doing we haven’t had much time to get outside. Being outside is one of the things that makes Chad and I tick so when we get stuck doing things or even being outside separately we just don’t feel like we are living life how we truly want to. Therefor, even though Chad had been under the weather Friday, I was adamant about getting outside on Saturday. I’m pretty sure Harper hasn’t been for a hike since I was (very) pregnant with Willem and we were all missing out because Harper LOVED the “walk” so much that he actually never walked but instead ran the entire trail of Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon. The only time he stopped was to hide on the side of the trail in order to scare me.

Roughlock Falls is a little over an hour away from our house in Spearfish Canyon, a local attraction that is normally pretty popular this time of year for all the changing colors. The trail is fairly short and excellent for small children. Even around the falls and the water walk out there is railings that are 3 year old boy proof. The end is pretty to look at also.

After a quick lunch in the back of the Subi we headed over to my grandparents new place. Willem is getting better about not needing me, even went on a walk with Grandpa.

Then we went to the Spearfish pumpkin patch. The patch has some great activities for kids, a hay jump (stacks of hay piled high with old mattresses at the bottom for cushioning. This must be a midwest thing because I had never heard of it until we moved here), a corn sand box which is great for playing with tractors and dump trucks, and a little jungle gym made of old tires and ropes. Both boys had a blast. The pumpkins were not the best price or quality but they are actually grown right there and hay (haha), you pay for the experience of it all right?

When I asked Harper later what his favorite part of the day was, he said going for a walk. I guess that means we will be heading out somewhere new shortly, especially while we still have mild temps here.

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