Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Auntie G's Special Surprise

Picking up where we left off (seeing as I just got back from an amazing surprise vacation that the best husband and the world planned, of which will be blogged about soon)....

Vacation. Four kids and one cabin.
7 pictures. Remember this post?

Well, if you know me you know that I may as well have been a boyscout because 'be prepared' is a motto I hold dear to my heart.

So it wasn't with empty arms that I walked into this cabin situation.

It was with an armful of stuff I bought at Micheals on clearance.
21 things to be exact.
7 different items, for 3 kids.
One for each day.

I called it "Auntie G's Special Surprise"
(cmon, my job in the real world is to help brand products, I wasn't just going to call it crap from Michaels).

And. It. Worked.

Day One: Adorable tent. ($7.00)

I knew what I was doing. Start with a big one. Get them warmed up to the idea, and make sure it is one that they will play with every day (and they did).

Day Two: Grow A Toy. Sponge capsules that grow toys when put into water.
Perfect to pull out as all three kids were not so keen on bathtime this night. Cost: $1.00.
But let's be honest, three kids willingly taking a bath...priceless.

Then we got crafty....made crabs out of a little kit.

And then a few days later, made paper plate sea animals.

There was play dough stampers, and there were crayons and coloring books.

And...there were water guns.

It was a magical thing. Kids were being naughty or whiney...."not sure if we can do Auntie G's special surprise."

Need a diversion to get food ready? It's magically time for Auntie G's special surprise.

And this little one didn't get to partake this year...but next year she'll be running with the best of them.

And...a special bonus picture just for Uncle Todd. You mentioned kiddie cocktails.....

Of COURSE, Pop Pop didn't disappoint. And ordered a round of Kiddie Cocktails for the grandkids. As you can see, Matilda hated it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hayward Family Vacation

 Last week we headed up North to Deerfoot. I think we determined this was our 26th year of going up North. This vacation has morphed quite a bit over these years.

We went from begging our parents to stay up late, begging for quarters to play games in the Lodge, to being teenagers and getting as much sun as we could and heading to MOA for back to school shopping. From sleeping as late as possible, reading all day and fishing as college students, to playing/dancing/singing/running with kids and trying to get THEM to sleep so we can sleep.

Because no one wants to see all 350 pictures I took on vacation, I am attempting to pare this post down to 7 photos. 1 for each day. Seems fair.

Matilda got to go on a boat ride with Pop Pop...and after her first one she wasn't so sure she really needed to go on another one.  Leo and Finn, however, would have spent all day in the boat if we woul have let them.

There were moments that the adults needed a little liquid patience.....

I am not sure anyone loves Finn and Leo as much as Matilda. She just L-O-V-E-S them so much, and will not stop talking about them even now. I think by the end of the week both of them were sick of her and her 'neediness' and also her relentless requests for them to swing or run or play with their ears.

Finn was always much more willing to give her her way...

Leo, not as much. He wasn't about to be bossed around.

And not to be forgotten, Beatrice had her first boat ride. She did awesome. Loved it. 

Auntie Becca made Smores, and as you can tell all of the kids just hated them.

Every time Bea woke up from a nap, all of the kids wanted to be right there to kiss, hug and snuggle.

And there was sun and sand. So much sun and sand. Especially sand. In the booty. In the clothes. In the hair. 

Ok, so I know I am officially over my picture limit, but here is the deal. I couldn't NOT post this one.
Here she is ....the pretzel caper.

Don't mind if I do, don't mind if I DO!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Must Reads!

It's been awhile since I have had any book recommendations on the blog.
Let's be honest, it's been awhile since I have been doing much reading at all.

But with a baby that is relatively predicably napping during the day and a book club that has been on a roll of picking great books, I have actually enjoyed some of my recent reads immensely.

The first one is And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. There was debate about whether or not this book was her best work or not. We were split between this one and A Thousand Splendid Suns, but personally I think this one is my favorite of hers. It is a Must. Read. Period.

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We also read Banished in book club, an it is about  a girl that gets kicked out of the Westboro Baptist Church. You know, that crazy church that literally pickets anything just to get attention (like the funerals of the little kids in Newtown, or soldiers funerals). It was very interesting and not like anything else I have ever read.

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And then there is The Light Between Oceans. Here is the deal. It's a slow start, but it is WORTH the persistence to get through the first 100 pages. You will not regret it. The only thing you will regret is finishing the book without a box of kleenex by your side because I promise you, you will be UGLY crying by the end of it.

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And last, but probably not the best, is the Divergent series. Here is the deal. This book series is not the best writing I have ever read. But let's all be real honest that neither is Twilight, The HUnger Games or 50 Shades of Gray, but all of those trilogies seem to hook lots of people. Consider this your next Hunger Games. And on another note, the main character's name is Beatrice. It was quite the surprise as this was the first book I picked up on maternity leave...
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Coincidence? I think not. :)

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Bea was baptized two weekends ago in Viroqua, and it was a great weekend and service.
She was fortunate enough to be the second one to wear the beautiful gown that my Mom had made from her wedding dress and my Grandma Sherry's wedding dress.

You could tell she is a second child because she got away with no tights and no shoes.
To be fair, I brought the shoes, but the morning was just.a.little.chaotic. and they didn't quite make it to her feet.

She was a good girl through the whole service. Sleeping right up until the water got poured onto her head.

Bea is very lucky to have two AMAZING godmothers. I view godparents as someone they know they can always go to with a conversation or problem they may not want to talk to us about. As people that will always be in my kids lives who help 'fill in the gaps' where Nate or I may need some help

Janet will keep Bea tied to her small-town roots. She will be able to watch her to learn how to work hard, be resilient, and be a caring, kind-hearted and independent woman.

Katie will show her how to be a loyal, honest friend. How to always look on the sunny side of life, and be a good listener.  How to cut loose and have a little fun every now and then. 

Bea has lots to learn, and we have lots to teach her. But seeing her welcomed into this new community of the church, and knowing she has two amazing godparents, I know we aren't alone.

**Also to be noted so as to not be forgotten: Right after the sermon, Matilda had to go potty. Left with Daddy, and when they came back proudly announced (in a very loud voice): I WENT POTTY!!! And then clapped for herself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Good Old Country Fun

Oi. I am so behind. So so behind.
Truth be told, I had this blog all typed up midway through last week, but I couldn't get the darn thing to post so I just left it. And I was trying to get this movie thing created and I couldn't figure it out. So I just left it again.

And then the blog started haunting me in my dreams (in between nursing sessions with #2 and random wake-up crying from #1).

But here is the deal. Two weekends ago we were in Viroqua for Bea's baptism (more on that later--because what's a few more days after being so grossly delayed already), but on this weekend we rolled up our sleeves and enjoyed all of the small town goodness that was going on.

We walked to the fairgrounds for a pancake breakfast fundraiser. Look at this motley crew.

I like to think of this as the modern day Reservoir Dogs shot...


Can't say the pancakes were the best I've ever had, but the company was good and the kids had a ton of fun (imagine a super cute video of the kids dancing right here because that is what I was trying to do).

Then, I happened across a flyer for a "REAL Country Fair" in La Farge (a town even smaller than Viroqua) and also home to the HQ of Organic Valley. So we took the crew up there. And while it rained and was all of 50 some degrees, the kids LOVED this place.

Baby goats? GOATS? Don't mind if they do.

And bunnies that they could hold.
Mind. blown.

Matilda saw Leo and really wanted to hold one too.
Nate and I were confident that this woud go how all of Matilda's animal requests go: loves them in theory, hates them in practice.

But we gave it a whirl.

It's my turn! I love bunnies.

Here I go!

Oh wait...this bunny is going in my lap?

No Mama! NO BUNNY!

In practice, not such a fan of holding the bunny.
But we got some popcorn, cheese, and shook our booties at a little music tent.

And in true REAL country fashion, there was an outdoor bathroom opportunity.