9.12.2014

Lunch Box Art!



So i've been quietly posting lunch box pictures to Instagram this week, yesterday I put one on Facebook and I got a little playful slack for it. 

Come on Moms! There isn't anything wrong with a little Lunch-Time Creativity! And lets be honest … I am awake a good portion of the night tending to a newborn that doesn't sleep … I need something to keep my mind occupied. So I research and invent fun lunch ideas. Emmett loves it and it gives me a creative outlet … it's a win, win! 

(Disclaimer: I never have claimed not to be crazy). 

I have to say, my creations have improved as the week went on. 


See above … 
Cheese Sticks, Yogurt-covered Raisins, a Clementine Orange and my favorite … a piece of Cinnamon-swirl bread, topped with cream cheese (with a hint of blue food coloring) with Goldfish Crackers swimming on top!


After seeing that lunch, Brad got a little jealous that he wasn't getting fancy lunches too. (Apparently he forgot that I made an entire Lasagna on Monday and packed it in to-go containers for his lunch). So I have been making him a special breakfasts too. (Clearly, I need to get back to work soon.) 



This lunch was super easy … a make-at-home Lunchable with crackers, cheese, salami. We added fruit and a yogurt. 


This lunch had a Halloween theme … Spider Sandwich, Vanilla Yogurt with Graveside Sprinkles and Vampire Fangs! Just a little lemon juice on the apple (or buy the pre-cut ones full of preservatives) and hold together with carmel and marshmallows. A Halloween Oreo topped it off, I was so excited to see these for sale at Target this week!



Today's lunch is a Cinnamon and Cream Cheese Sushi Roll. Emmett nibbled on this as I packed his lunch this morning and loved it … so easy. It is best to prep it the day before - take a piece of bread and remove the crust. Then flatten it with a rolling pin and add your toppings. Emmett doesn't like Peanut Butter but PB+J would be good too! Then roll it up and put it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, cut it up. (It cuts better cold.) We added Kiwi + Raspberries and some peas (topped with Annie's Bunnies and a few sprinkles to give it some color). 

Part of the fun is the containers. I have been on a container binge this week, I have found fun containers at Target and HomeGoods. 

See … making lunch is easy. And super fun. :)
Send me ideas to try! I am gathering ideas here, check out  my board: 
http://www.pinterest.com/ericajulkowski/mommy-erica-makes-lunch/



9.11.2014

The Sun Will Come Out, Tomorrow


We finally have a routine at our house. And it feels really good. 

The last two weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster. 

Flashback three weeks … our sweet little Lincoln arrives. We come home from the hospital and begin to settle in. Brad takes two weeks off of work and we have some great family time without school or work. Kindergarten is just around the corner and we have a great arrangement worked out with Nanny for her take Fletcher while I am on leave. 

Lots of big events had passed and we were enjoying a lazy Saturday morning … with the ring of the doorbell, that Saturday turned a bit more interesting … 

As Brad likes to do, he struck up conversation with the mailman. I figured he was complaining to him about one of my many online purchases (why do they always seem to arrive when Brad is home?). 

But it wasn't a delivery for me … it was an envelope and Brad had a sad and irritated look on his face. I probably hadn't had enough coffee yet because I had no idea what it was. 

Long story short … our Nanny had sent us certified mail that contained her resignation letter (effective immediately) and our house key. 

I burst in to tears. I stood in the dining room, holding Lincoln and sobbed. I didn't want Emmett and Fletcher to see me. I was overwhelmed by emotions, baby hormones didn't help the situation. 

Her letter explained that she wasn't happy about her pay while I was on maternity leave. We negotiated this with her months ago and we asked her what it would take to make her happy, we met her at the amount she wanted but obviously it still wasn't enough (or she just had enough with my Pregnancy Attitude!). 

The hardest part of all of this … She wasn't just a "Nanny" to us … she was part of our family. She spent countless hours with Emmett and Fletcher over the last two years, we have come to love her kids and she had become a friend to me. How was I suppose to explain to the  boys that they couldn't even tell her goodbye? {Sidenote, I should have seen this coming when she unfriended me on Facebook a week before. But she made up a really good story to explain how that had happened. Damn social media!} Our ability to trust has been rattled a bit. 

But now, the part about the sun coming out … 

We had to make some quick decisions … and I can luckily say that all has worked out for the best. 

When we hired our Nanny, we needed a change for Emmett. He wasn't thriving at his daycare. Hiring a nanny was a decision I will never regret. She was able to give Emmett the one-on-one attention he needed while still being able to help get him to his part-time preschool. Emmett has grown so much in the last two years and is thriving in Kindergarten (so far!). 

Each day after school, Emmett opens his backpack to read the papers inside from his teacher.
Please ignore the dog's butt. 

At this point, it is Fletcher weighing heavy on our mind. His big brother is now gone all day to Kindergarten and he is left at home with an infant. Fletcher adores his big brother and loves to learn, play with other kids and explore outside. Staying home with a Nanny and his infant brother may not be the best option for him any longer. 

So we started to search for full-time preschools. And landed on the Primrose School. We were able to enroll him immediately and also secured a spot for Lincoln to begin when I go back to work in November. 

Fletcher's First Day at Preschool!
It's been a week … and Fletcher loves going to school. It's really important to us to tell him that he is going to "school" just like brother is. At the dinner table the other night we asked Fletcher how preschool was going … under his breath, Emmett replies, "It's not a school, it's just daycare." Such a smartie pants. 

In other news … Emmett had his first soccer game this weekend! Emmett played Blaine Park + Rec soccer over the summer and did really well. Soccer seemed to be a sport that he has some talent in … so we enrolled him in the Blaine Soccer Club for the fall session. And now … he's playing with the Big Dogs. He still does fairly well, but wow - it is super competitive. He is five. Is this really how sports start these days? What happened to the world when you can pick-up a sport when you start high school? Soccer is apparently serious business.



And then … just a few pictures of Baby Lincoln. With his Big Brothers both off to school, we have some quality time together everyday … loving this little guy so much and I am cherishing our weeks together before I have to return to work!



With all of that hair, baths are important a few times a week!


9.07.2014

The Stomach Milk Machine




I knew that eventually the boys would ask about breastfeeding. As much as I would like to do it "in private" … with two curious, inquisitive boys (that never leave my side) it is inevitable that they would see it. 

And ask questions. 

So I didn't talk about it before the baby arrived. I just went with the flow. And now … the questions and comments have started. 

It's pretty easy to explain … Mommy has a machine in her stomach that makes milk. The baby needs to get the milk out. Makes sense, right?

Fletcher is oblivious. No questions, no strange looks. Just simply says "Mommy is making Milk for Baby."

Emmett on the other hand, has a few comments and questions. 

"Ewwwww. That looks gross!"

"Mom, what are you doing?"

"Did I eat like that when I was a baby?"

"Did I bite you?"

"How do you make milk anyway? Why do you have a machine in your stomach? Can I see it better?"

"What kind of milk are you making today? The yellow kind or the blue kind?" (Referencing 1% or 2%)

Don't look closely at this poor frog. His leg may be broken and a bone may be sticking out.
For some reason, our yard is  a Frog Factory.
In other news … Brad and I have started to settle in to a bit of a routine. Three kids is a handful … but we aren't too surprised by the chaos of three, we expected it. There are, however, a few things I didn't expect …

The laundry. We may need to look into a laundry service. (Do these exist?) I easily do a few loads a day just to stay "caught up."

I have gotten use to the taste of cold coffee. That is sad. 

I have a new fear of forgetting someone. I am constantly doing a headcount to make sure I didn't leave one of them at the park or at Target. I always feel like I am forgetting something … 

Fish Gazing
Always ask your kids of they have to poop before they get on the school bus. 

My Pilot is not working. I am not ready to fully admit this yet … but car logistics are complicated. My Pilot technically seats seven … but I wish the middle row had two buckets instead of a bench. We have Emmett in the third row, he crawls over the middle row to get there. Lincoln and Fletcher are in the middle seat. I vow, again, I will not get a minivan.

Please remind me why I thought I needed a house with five bathrooms and why the toilets always look dirty?

Loving our weekend family walks



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