Friday, December 12, 2014


Ava is ready for school. It becomes more and more evident every day. 

The other day, I asked Jaina who her favorite princess is. Without hesitation she said, "Ava!"

Potty training is going wonderfully. She only wears a diaper at night and the solid end is coming along but I don't trust her 100% on that yet. 

Jaina calls oatmeal "opio"

Ava helped me carry the groceries in and as I passed her on the sidewalk lugging a gallon of milk she said, "Mom, you know I have slightly intense muscles for this sort of thing." 

Thursday, December 11, 2014


  • Growing like a weed
  • Size 5 diapers
  • 18-24 month clothes
Oscar is crawling all over the place and even pulls himself up to stand once in a while.
He loves to get into the dog food and chew on phone chargers.
He falls asleep like a champ but he doesn't stay that way. He still wakes up a handful of times every night. It's starting to take it's toll on my mama brain. Just yesterday I put the milk in the pantry and microwaved my oats without water. I feel like we've tried everything....
Oscar loves Tap....and taking baths.
He cut three teeth all at once for a total of six now. Four on top and two on the bottom. 
It seems like he's losing interest in baby food. He still loves to nurse and now prefers that over solids. Maybe it's time to start him on some black beans and soft chunks. He does like his finger foods....
Sits like a big boy in the bath tub.
He's a little bit of a cuddle bug. :)
He's not a fan of getting his picture's like pulling teeth to get him to smile. :) Takes after his Dad maybe. 


I've been trying to write this post for a month but up until now, there have been too many unknowns. 
We had planned on moving this summer when our lease was up but life never goes as you plan it and our time line got moved the end of January. 
How do you decide where you're going to settle down? When the world is open to you, how do you choose? When your families are almost 2,000 miles do you choose? 
We did the only thing that made sense to us. We started applying for jobs in both Oregon and Minnesota. When it came right down to it, we wanted our choice to be very clear. No doubts. 
There were two interviews with companies in Oregon, one in Austin, TX for a possible remote position and then one in Duluth, MN. Donald had two phone interviews with the company in Duluth and then they flew him up to spend the day with them. He spent a long weekend with my parents and when he got back to TX, they offered him a job and gave him everything he asked for. 
Could it have been more clear? I don't think so. 
Because of this, I'm surprisingly chill. 
But, just because our decision was practically made for us doesn't mean it's without it's complications. Like our's not up until July. 
Also, it's bittersweet in a lot of ways. Our hearts are in Oregon too. We have some very special friends here in Texas and it'll be hard to leave them. The girls love our friends here. Ava has told me more than once that she doesn't want to make new friends when we move because she already has friends.  
One thing that amazes me is that I think that Donald is more excited than I am. We've come a long way folks. :)
I don't think it's really sunk in for me yet. I never thought I'd live in MN again. When I think about all of the things I want to do with my kids I get that funny feeling in my it's going to burst. When I think about finally living close to my parents...I tear up. 
This will be our eighth move in eight years together. I'm ready to settle. 
Mild winters have made me soft....will we survive? 
According to my Grandma, "It's cold, windy, snowy and wonderful."
Spoken like a true Swede Minnesotan. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014


"You know the best way to interact with your dog? Without your hands because dogs don't have hands.... Ow! My face!!!"

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Oscar has finally started to crawl! Just a couple of days after turning 7 months. 
He also cut his first top tooth. (on the right)
My favorite place to take his picture is in his chair. He moves less that way. :)

Friday, November 14, 2014


Ava had her first sleepover with this sweet girl a couple of weeks ago. She spent the weekend with us and they had so much fun together. 


Ava is not very tolerant to the cold. She refuses to wear a coat. She refuses to wear leggings because they're too tight. She won't wear a shirt if the sleeves touch her hands. If you fold them up, they have to be the exact same length. She will not wear socks because they're thumpy. Yes, thumpy is a word in this house. 
On a recent trip to the store to buy some warmer clothes, she picked out some things and told me that she loved them and that she would wear them. We got home, tried her new clothes on and then threw a fit because there was something wrong with everything. I headed back to the store and returned almost all of it. 
So. Here's my problem. We can't avoid the outdoors. If she goes outside, she freezes and I look like a horrible mother for not dressing my child in weather appropriate clothing. Do I let her freeze? Do I force her to wear things she's going to throw a fit over every time she puts them on? Do I search high and low for things that she will wear? 
On the bright side, she will wear a hat. She likes hats. 


"Mommy, I want medicine."
"What do you need medicine for? Are you sick?"
"Well, when you had me and Jaina you didn't have any medicine right?"
"That's right, I didn't have any medicine when you were born."
"Ok, well I want to get married but..."
"Ava, you don't have to have a baby when you get married."
"But how, Mama?"
"Well sweetie, just because you get married doesn't mean you have to have a baby. You can just choose not to have one."
"But Mama, how can I not have a baby when I'm married?"
(I promptly changed the subject. I think she's been scarred for life since Oscar was born. She's decided she doesn't ever want to have a baby.)

When Jaina asks you a question, you had better answer right away because she'll say, "Why you not talkin' at me, Mama?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


  • 18 months clothes
  • moving into size 5 diapers
Oscar is SO close to crawling. He's a pro at going from all fours to sitting and back again. It looks like he's doing yoga all day. Downward dog is his favorite. :) 
He's really loving his mama. It's very dramatic when I leave the room....he loves to be held.
Eating 2-3 solid meals a day.
He's pretty good at putting himself to sleep. As long as he's fed and dry there's hardly a fuss. Makes my life easier. :) It seems like the whole sleeping routine gets easier with each baby. 
Two good naps a day.
Nights are still a bit rough but it could be worse. Goes to bed about 9 or ten. He's up 2-3 times every night between 1 and 5 am. 
Scares easily. Vacuum cleaners, running bath water, blenders....
Still giggly and happy almost all of the time.
Latest chatter: "dadadadadada"
Two little teeth on the bottom.
Bounces to music. :)
Difficult to photograph because he's constantly moving :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014


We've been potty training Jaina for a couple of weeks. It's amazing what waiting can do. The first time we tried, things did not go well. It was three days of pure torture. She's doing awesome this time around. We've only have a couple of accidents. It's still diapers or Pull-Ups for sleeping and outings (except for a couple of meetings when she's kept her undies on). The only problem is the #2. She hasn't quite got the hang of that yet. :( She's also very, very stubborn. Sometimes she flat out refuses to put underwear on.
Funny things she's said while potty training:
"Mom! It's not coming out!"
"It's empty. It's not coming out"
Ask her if she has to go and she says, "No, I'm good!"
One cool thing this time around is that she already takes herself potty and does everything herself. Sometimes Ava helps her which is sweet.

"Don't hug me! You have icky, gross fingers!"

"I won't never do dat never never never again!"

Sleeping Beauty is "Feeping Gooey"

"What er doing?"

"Why you so bossy, Ava? I mean, princess."

"Jaina, don't pull of of the toys out. That's naughty."
"Of course it's naughty. Don't bank (spank) me."

"She's feeping in she's bed."

"She's putting she's clothes on."

"I wanna giant watte!" (latte)

This girl is something else. When you tell her not to do something she laughs and thinks it's super funny. Drives us crazy. If you discipline further, she melts down and cries and cries. No happy medium. 

She loves loves loves to go on walks with Daddy.
Ava kissed a boy - on the lips. 
"Ava, why did you kiss Kaleb?" 
"Well, I tried to stop but I couldn't because he was just so handsome! And then he ran away because I was so beautiful."

"Thanks for running with me tonight."
"You're welcome. It was actually kind of fun!"
"I just wish you would wear tennis shoes..."
"Umm yeah. That's not gonna happen. Kids are just full of life, aren't they Mom?"

"So Mom, is Victoria going to be your pretend sister?"

"Mom, can you turn on some classical music? Like violin music? And turn it up real loud." 
(For some reason this makes me very, very happy)

Both girls are in bed by at 8 pm (or earlier depending how I'm feeling) and up at 7 am. Jaina takes one nap in the afternoon.
Oscar is so very close to crawling. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


We went with the Frozen theme for Halloween this year. Oscar's first Halloween as Olaf. :) A little bit of felt, glue and 20 minutes = cuteness. :)
Little Jaina was Anna :) It was her first year to actually go Trick or Treating and she loved it. She said "Happy Halloween!" and "Trick or Treat!" at every house. (Elsa and Anna pics taken a few days pre-Halloween)
Ava went as Elsa. Both of them brought home loads of candy. We had a few days of gorging on candy and then I sent it to work with Donald. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


He cut his first tooth on October 18th. (bottom right - in the middle)
I love how he just wants to be close to me. When I sit by him on the floor he grins, grabs on to whatever he can and gives big, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses. 
His hair is getting longer and he rubs his head when I nurse him.
He's getting pretty good at sitting. 
I've started to sleep train him (if you can call it that). Instead of rocking/feeding him to sleep, I lay him down before he's totally sleeping and tell him it's time to go night night. Cover him with a blanket, walk out the door and he fusses for a minute, sometimes less. It seems to be working. 
He loves peek-a-boo and "This Little Piggy". Sometimes he even "sings along" when you sing to him. 

10,000 HOURS

A theory by Malcolm Gladwell claims that it takes 10,000 hours at a task to become an expert. Donald has been busy putting in 10,000 hours of coding. :) I've been been pondering motherhood. A quick calculation figures that I've had about 44,000 hours at this task. Figure in all of the hours for each child and it's about 70,000. That's not very many compared to most mamas, but according to the theory, I should be an expert x's 7....or 4 depending on how you look at it. I'm not an expert. Not even close. I don't think I ever will be. 

Just yesterday, we were in town running some errands and I had told the girls before we left that we could go to the park if they behaved themselves. We hadn't even left the house and they were already acting like class A brats. It didn't look too good. The whole trip was pretty much the same and I gave them several warnings about not going to the park if they continued their horribly embarrassing behavior. We grabbed some lunch and then it was time to make a decision. I had told them that they needed to behave in order to get a trip to the park. They didn't behave. They really needed the fresh air and exercise but if I took them to the park, I wouldn't be standing true to what I told them before we left. My mistake was that I put stipulations on going to the park. I really wanted to take them to the park. I was torn.

In the end, we went straight home. 
Win for realizing my mistake. 
Win for being consistent. 
Win for the long naps both girls took.
Lose for not going to the park.
Sometimes the hardest choice is the best one. 

I'll never be an expert mama but I'll do my best to be a good one. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014


I finally made her an Elsa dress. Her life is complete :)


We've been trying to work on Ava's obedience, respect and overall attitude. Let me tell you...sometimes it's an uphill battle. The latest was when I was trying to explain to her why not to do something and she said, "blah blah blah." I imagine there was steam coming out of my ears. Lucky for her, we were in the car and there wasn't really much I could do. There is one thing that will straighten her up almost immediately....soap. The squirt kind. I don't remember what she said but something flipped the switch and on a whim, I hauled her into the bathroom and gave her mouth a little washing. It was barely a drop, mind you, but it did the trick. She wrote this note to Donald after she hid the soap and told him not to tell. 



  • 22 lbs (95%)
  • 27 3/4  inches (90%)
  • head 17 3/4 inches (90%)
  • 12-18 month clothes
  • size 4 diapers but they're getting small
Oscar is starting to get up on all fours! He'll be crawling soon!
He can pretty much sit on his own but still topples over. :)
So much for sleeping through the night....
We moved him into his own bedroom. Maybe that will help.
He becoming attached to me. He cries with I leave the room or if I walk by him. 
Nursing is hilarious. If he's distracted his little head pops up and he looks all round. 
Loving his solids but having a hard time getting rid of them if you know what I mean. :)
He's close to cutting his first tooth on the bottom! Could be why he's fussy!
Went to his first convention: Texarkana, TX
He loves people. Loves to smile and giggle at anyone who will talk to him. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


LaRae came to see us! She brought the girls HUGE unicorns in her suitcase. She sure knew how to win them over! 
We decided to change things up a bit this year and go to Texarkana Convention. It was wonderful. We thought we would stay in a tent so that Donald could help me with the kids. We got there and started setting up and couldn't find the rain fly! Donald took the tent down and I was helping him pack it up....I looked in the car and there was the rain fly. Donald said that it was a sign and that he was done with tents. We packed it up and returned it. I ended up staying with LaRae and the kids in the nursery. It was a good thing. We had air conditioning and a roof over our heads when it poured on Friday night! It was Oscar's first convention. 
A thought from convention: "Little things don't stay little."
Oscar turned 6 months.
Ava made fast friends.
Jaina loved the swings.
We drove out of our way to Arkansas just to say we'd been there. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Ava teaches Jaina little things all day long and Jaina helps her to be brave. 
Who would have guessed that Jaina would help Ava to overcome her fear of water on her face by dumping water on head in the bathtub? 
Jaina wants to be like Ava and so she ordered a cheeseburger too... Now she eats meat. For the first time in her life she ate chicken and liked it. 
It's proof...they need each other. 
I hope they help each other all throughout their lives. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Grandma Lund was rubbing Ava's back...
"Don't rub....massage!"

"Oh I just love the smell of my boots! They smell cowboyish!"

"Ava, don't touch Jaina."
"But I can't help myself! She's just so cute!"

Jaina has a mind all her own.... "Jaina, don't touch my camera"
"I will."
"No, don't touch it...that's naughty"
"Don't talk at me."

"She's berry fitty!" (very pretty)

"Spit it out. What's your best day ever?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


He took a long afternoon nap and woke up burning hot. 102 degrees. He was fussy and fell asleep early. For the first time in over a month he slept through the night. A few times I woke with a start and jumped out of bed to check his feet. I can always feel the fever in his feet. Sometime in the early morning, his fever broke. Relief. He woke up happy and ate his fill. Fifteen minutes later he threw up all over the bed. He's happy but not quite himself. There are a lot of things I'll miss about having babies but I will not miss this. 
p.s. I love his knuckle dimples. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014


It was so good to have Uncle Lyle here for a week. The girls love their Uncle and they were sad to see him go. Jaina had a little bit of trouble figuring out exactly who he was. First he was "Rampa", then he was "Uncle Rampa" but eventually she figured it out. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


  • long :)
  • heavy :)
  • 12 month clothes
  • size 4 diapers
Oscar has found his voice. It's loud and I think he likes the sound of it. :)
The nights full of sleep seem to be over for now. The last month hasn't been so great. I think it's a combination of hunger, tummy aches and rolling onto his back and waking himself up. 
He pushes himself up with his arms and somehow makes his way around the floor. He doesn't go far but it's something. 
This kid is social. He has a ready smile for whoever will say hi. 
He eats solids like a champ but I've noticed that he has a bit of a tummy ache afterwards...especially at night. 
Doesn't put himself to sleep yet but he falls asleep quickly when nursed or rocked.
Had his first vacation up to MN. He actually did really well spending three straight days in the car both there and back.
Loves, loves, loves his sisters. He's especially taken by Ava's singing. 
Likes peek-a-boo and airplane rides.
For the most part, he's still a content, happy baby. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


It's hard to believe that eight years ago today, we were standing by the lake, starting our life together. It was a good day. The funny thing is, that through all the ups and downs in life, the sad times and the happy, the good times and the bad, it just keeps getting better. It's exciting to think of what life with bring us and where we'll be in another eight years. For example, our oldest daughter will be thirteen....a teenager....I never imagined. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Oscar had his first solid meal tonight - rice cereal and sweet potatoes. He scarfed down over 3 tablespoons and ate as though he had been eating all his life. :) 
For the past couple of weeks he's been up every couple of hours at night...I think he's been hungry. I hope some good food in his belly will help him sleep better! 


Donald and Lyle took the girls to visit friends for the weekend. Oscar and I have a few days alone. This morning, he slept for a couple of hours. I sat on the floor and worked on projects that I had been wanting to get done for a long time. I did the laundry. I cleaned the kitchen. It was so quiet. 
I had an instant flash of what I imagine my future days to be...
Days when the kids are in school, Donald's at work and it's just me and the dog - If the dog is still around. 
I love my days my days of noise, chaos and kids but I have to say....I'm kind of looking forward to the future.


After a few days on the road, we took the girls to the Mall of America. It was awesome to do something like that as a family. I loved watching the girls take it all in. 
We got to Mom and Dad's and it felt like we couldn't get outside fast enough. The air was cool and fresh. We hopped on the four wheeler and went back to the cabin. We pulled the paddle boat out onto the water. There wasn't a breeze and the water was calm. We felt the cares of life just slip away. We decided then and there that we need more of that in life. We've set goals to make that happen. A slow, simple, quiet life does wonders for the heart. 
 On Saturday, we went to the Zeleznikar family reunion up at Grandma's cabin. More fresh air. More family. More quiet. Oscar met Great Grandma Z. It was love at first sight. :)
 On Sunday we had lunch with Uncle Eric, Uncle John, Victoria and Grandma Lund at Mom and Dad's.
Monday was my 31st birthday. Mom and Dad took care of the girls for the evening while Donald, Oscar and I went out for supper in Duluth. We ate outside and indulged in ice cream while looking over the board walk and Lake Superior. It was perfect.

The girls loved spending time with Grandma and Grandpa. They caught a couple of fish and played with lily pad slime. :)
 On Tuesday we went with Mom to the Great Lakes Aquarium and Canal Park. The girls fed the sea gulls and we strolled down the pier. 
That night, we roasted hot dogs with Jordan and Jill. There's just something about a campfire....
This picture is more than just a gluten free muffin and chai tea latte. It's a few quiet minutes alone after a birthday massage. It's sitting in the coffee shop and getting to know the locals. It's a small town. It's home.
We met Dad for lunch on Thursday at the Lazy Bear. A trip is not complete without a visit to see Big Louie.
 Thursday night, we went to Wisconsin Point and roasted more hot dogs. It was good to see old friends and the kids played as though they had never been apart.

On Friday, we went to see Grandma Lund at her new place. It was special to see her hold Oscar...I think Grandpa would have liked to hold him too.
 It's always good to see family. Five little Waldos sitting on a couch...
 On Saturday morning we packed up and had a farewell breakfast at the Lazy Moose with Mom and Dad, John and Victoria and Victoria's brother.
Goodbyes are so hard. We had a wonderful week at home.