May Family Activity: Movie Night

We do a lot of family activities outside the home in the summer, so I thought I’d start a post of our favorite monthly family activities. Our favorite family activity for May was a special viewing of Big Hero 6. We don’t see a lot of movies, so we rented it the weekend before. The boys were mostly into it so it was a bit of a gamble for the actual event.

Getting out of town!

Getting out of town!

We went out for a family dinner and Maximus fell asleep 20 minutes before we got there. Bryan and I kept telling Quinten to talk quiet because Maximus was asleep.

No not. Max-mus no sweeping. Oh! Max-mus sweeping?

A child falling asleep in the car is kind of like throwing knifes in the dark. You never know what you’ll see when the lights come on. Other than carrying a 4-year-old for a block, he wasn’t a mess. As parents, we felt like we got lucky! It could have been an awful wakeup and transition. We ate at a new location of the place that was our go-to date night spot in college. It used to be a cozy sports bar and now it’s a classy sports bar with partitioned dining areas. WE WENT IN THE CHILDREN SECTION! How smart! There were three other babies in there and our kids weren’t the loud ones! That’s how family date nights should always go.

The movie viewing was supposed to be at the Iowa State University football stadium, but we had rain that day so they moved it to the basketball arena. We were all surprised to see our favorite mascot, Cy, standing outside the doors to the arena. We jumped in line while Maximus tried to wave at Cy. As the line started moving, he got a little concerned about what we were actually doing. 🙂 At this point, Quinten was buried in Bryan’s shoulder. I convinced Maximus that he and I could both take a picture with him.

Our first picture with Cy | MAY 16, 2015

Our first picture with Cy | MAY 16, 2015

I love that Maximus is holding up his finger. I didn’t know he was doing it until I looked at the very windblown pictures. The boys haven’t been to a basketball game yet, so they were pretty excited and Maximus kept saying we were going to watch a basketball game.

Family movie night at Hilton!

Family movie night at Hilton!



We got front row seats in the upper deck and didn’t have to worry about the boys kicking people in front of us. Another win in the family outing! Kids and seats don’t work when other people are in them. Especially when they constantly put their feet up and trade seats.



The family next to Bryan offered us some popcorn from the giant garbage bag. There’s one thing Leger Boys like and it’s popcorn. I got a couple of pieces from little hands, but wasn’t ever close enough to the container to grab much. I wasn’t sure if it was bought or handed out {they were handing it out when we left the building}, but Maximus walked right past Bryan and asked the guy for seconds. Kids. Maximus says that Quinten and I ate the second tub, but that’s only because we ate the last of it. Those two definitely ate a lot of popcorn that night! And I thought I’d have water to drink from, but after their first drink I wasn’t putting my mouth back on that backwash infected bottle. Kids can be so gross sometimes.

Car ride home

Car ride home

We made it through the whole movie, no one got scared, they played musical chairs, and we didn’t regret the family movie night. My kids can add a lot of excitement to public outings. Every successful outing helps us forget about one bad outing. {But every bad one makes us stay home twice as long before we venture out again.} It doesn’t hurt that at the end of the night they can sleep the entire way home. And, not throw fits when we change them into pajamas and put them to bed.

We’ll definitely do another movie night in Ames!

Maternity Monday: Peace

The rules of babies are to not get too cocky. Don’t flaunt sleeping through the night or an easy potty training. If the universe thinks you’re overly confident, it’ll throw a major curveball and undo the awesomeness. Without trying to do that, I want to say that I’m enjoying the phase we’re in. I absolutely love this two-year old who lives in my house. With each day I wonder how I can possibly love that little munchkin any more. Then he does something absolutely hilarious or compassionate and I die a million deaths. I find myself just watching him. Watching him take life in. Watching him think. Watching him do something. I love it. He’s amazing and this age rocks! I thought I was a baby stage lover and then two hit and I know I’m just a Maximus lover. 🙂

Needless to say, toddlerhood is working out well for us. Maximus picks things up quickly and has become a well-mannered little boy. He’s pretty consistent in his attitudes and routines. At this point, we feel like he’s pretty predictable. When he acts out, it’s easy to pinpoint what the problem is. When he’s fussy and unhappy, we know right away that he’s teething. When he sleeps too much we know he’s not feeling well. He doesn’t throw anything at us that we haven’t seen before so we know how to handle him. We’re in a comfortable spot. If we weren’t expecting, I might suggest that we’d be too comfortable to change the dynamic. I can see how it would be easy to keep doing this and not try to “screw it up.”

Because we are expecting, this toddler thing just makes me feel better. I have a huge sense of peace about our family dynamic changing in December. It hasn’t always been that way. In the beginning I often wondered how he’d react and how much our life would change. I wondered how the chaos was going to feel normal. That’s changed. I can’t put my finger on what exactly changed, I don’t think it’s all the toddler but maybe it is. I’m really excited about the next phase. I feel good about a baby and a toddler. It’s a feeling of life going in the right direction. As hectic as my days and weeks have been, I have a good feeling about the new family dynamic we’re about to embrace.

I hear a lot of first time moms talk about mommy guilt when they are about to have their second child. There’s still plenty of time for that, but right now I don’t feel it. I am grateful for 2 1/2 years of undivided devotion to Maximus. I’m glad we’ve been able to make him the center of our life. {I do have a little guilt / hope that LBL 2.0 will get the same attention.} I feel like we did this right, even if we didn’t plan it out. 🙂 He’s at the age where he is going to flourish with a little brother. By the time LBL 2.0 will be active, Maximus will be ready to play with him! Before that, I know Maximus is going to be a big help. I know he’ll be loving and gentle. I’m not naive, I expect some jealousy and won’t be surprised if he acts out. But, I think in the end he’s going to be just fine. Feeling like he’s going to adjust well really makes this pregnancy more enjoyable. There’s less unknown than when we were pregnant for the first time. There’s a lot of calm and excitement for what we know is to come.

Maybe it’s the second trimester energy and emotion speaking. {Heh, for all of one more week.} Either way, I like this feeling. I like feeling a sense of peace in the chaos of this time. It’s ironic that this calming feeling comes after a week of feeling overwhelmed. I may still have a lot on my to do list and even more on my wish list, but I’m enjoying this sense of right.

Maternity Monday: Week 24

Maternity Monday, week 24 {6 months}

Thursday, September 6 – I didn’t take a picture of my outfit, but I will eventually. I wore a maternity maxi dress from SweetPea Maternity.

Friday, September 7 – I made the mistake of dressing like the opposing team that the Cyclones were playing that weekend. Thankfully, I only got one comment and we beat that team, which happens to be our in-state rivals. 🙂

Black skirt (Motherhood), black shirt (Maurices), yellow top (Gap outlet)

Excuse the unedited picture. Lightroom isn’t work with me right now.










Monday, September 11 – no outfit pictures. I wore a simple black dress from Gap with a black and white scarf.

Tuesday, September 12 – This might become one of my staples for this pregnancy. The shirt is really long and I haven’t put it into my main work wardrobe because it’s fitted and fits weird over my pants. Basically it only works with a skirt. With a growing belly, I could definitely wear it with any of my pants too.

skirt {Motherhood}, shirt {Express}


Wednesday, September 13 – this was a lame outfit. I found clothes that fit and went to work. I did attempt to spruce it up a bit by adding a scarf and necklace, but it was by no means a great outfit.

pants {Gap Maternity}, shirt {Gap}



My favorite two outfits of this week were the maxi dress that I didn’t take a picture of and the skirt / top outfit on Monday.

Adding to the family

Baby makes four. Whew! I don’t get worked up about the pregnancy or having a newborn by Christmas. It’s changing the number of people in our household that feels very real to me. Doubling the number of children in the house. Man-to-man defense. Yikes!

We’re pretty laid-back at our house. Naturally, we haven’t spent a lot of time worrying about the new family addition. We’ve got a basic game plan that goes like this: you take the toddler and I’ll take the baby {for obvious feeding reasons I’m the one with the baby}.

Each day that passes, Maximus blows my mind and makes my heart stop. In the baby stages I was the mom who didn’t want it to go by too quickly. I found each stage to be awesome, but dragged my feet to get to them. With a two-year old, I’m looking back on those baby days and laughing at my old self. Because you guys, this toddler gig rocks. I fall asleep laughing about him and wake up to his cute little antics. This weekend he woke me up by running into my room. “Mommy! Mommy! Up! Cancakes!” {Kid, mommy will always get out of bed if food is on the table!} You can’t ever predict what he’ll do or say, but you can assume it will make you laugh.

Bryan and I feel a little anxiety about the baby thing again. It wasn’t all that long ago that we experienced the baby stage, but the toddler stage is what feels natural to us now. We made so many conscious decisions with the first year of Maximus’ life. We had so many reasons for those decisions and we’re both afraid we won’t remember when and why the second time around. I’m sure that’s what people mean when they say each child gets away with more than the first. But, I really hope that we find out those decisions are our instincts and natural for us!

Maternity Monday

Week 23

Thursday, August 30 work outfit:
Skirt (Motherhood), T-shirt (Not In Our Town), cardigan (Gap)

It was a bit of a casual day for me. I participated in a community anti-bullying campaign called Not In Our Town. We were allowed to wear the shirts all day, but couldn’t wear jeans. Being that it was still in the 90s, I opted for my black skirt. I felt a little too casual, so I dressed it up with a gray cardigan and a Lia Sophia necklace.










Because there was a rally at our courthouse square, we walked the two blocks to the lunchtime rally. I left the cardigan at my desk, but had a hard time putting it back on that afternoon. That heat really stuck with me! So, when I was talking to my boss after lunch and our executive VP came into his office his greeting to me was, “that’s a really bright shirt.” And my response was, “I feel a little bit like a pumpkin.”











I’m trying really hard to have fun with getting dressed. It helps my spirits, but I’m afraid I’m starting to slip into the same mentality I had last time. Check this day off, I found clothes to wear. I’ve got way too many days and weeks and months left to seep into that mentality already! 🙂


My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Some days it feels like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. No matter where you live. Yesterday appeared to be another normal day. I had an early morning meeting so we switched our daycare routine. While being uber productive during my early morning hours, I scheduled a long overdue vet appointment for The Beagle. Surprisingly, they scheduled me for the same day! That worked perfectly since I was picking up Maximus. We’d just take Wrigley to the vet after we got home.

Amazingly, I made it to the appointment on time. And the dog didn’t poop in my car. {During one trip across town he got nervous and pooped in Bryan’s car. I was pregnant with Maximus at the time. Not cool.} He did however poop when we got inside the building. My dog appears to be a nervous popper. The good thing about pooping in there was that 1. I had a bag attached to my leash, 2. It was cement floor, and 3. I needed to give them a sample. The bad thing was that the room was PACKED and I was holding a 25-pound toddler who was very nervous about this strange place. {Thankfully, he isn’t a nervous popper.} I somehow managed to keep Maximus from stepping in the poop. Because why would Wrigley stay in one spot. He was literally trying to walk around and I’m not sure if he even knew he was pooping. {Being a mom is glorious!} By the time I got that picked up, my dog leash locked, was holding the kid, and found an empty spot to stand away from all other people and animals. Well, I remember thinking that I was literally sweating from head to toe. And really wishing I’d had time to change out of my work pants, but thankful I’d switched my shoes for flip flops. Most of all, I was wondering how long I’d have to wait and if I could physically hold this kid and contain this dog, while holding a bag of dog crap.

I had to stand there balancing a dog who didn’t want to be there and a toddler who had to be held. Thankfully someone weighed him rather quickly and I was able to hand over the bag of poop. I felt like a site to watch. Pregnant belly, purse, kid, dog on a leash, sun glasses on my head, and pants that felt like they were falling down and are definitely too long. It was awesome. As I was standing there holding my heavy child, I realized that I wouldn’t put him down even if he would stand. Too much commotion and dog uncertainty. I wasn’t letting my dog near anyone, but I obviously can’t control other dogs. Somehow I didn’t think about the room being packed full of dogs when I thought this would be easy enough.

I think I stood for at least 15 minutes before there was a spot to sit down. When we did, Wrigley calmed down a lot. There was also only one other dog in the room and the people had cleared as well. It was very calming on all of them. Maximus had stopped asking to go bye-bye, but wouldn’t sit next to me. He had to sit on my lap, only ensuring that I didn’t cool off. By the time we went into a room, we’d been there for more than 30 minutes. Thirty minutes of which I had originally thought I’d be walking out the door by then. Ooy.

The exam room was another story. Maximus was super clingy and worried. And Wrigley knew this was the reason he didn’t want to be there in the first place. Again, Maximus wouldn’t sit on the bench next to me and Wrigley wouldn’t sit still {who can blame him!} on the ground. They both wanted out the door and to be as close to me as possible. Someone came and took Wrigley to get his nails trimmed and Maximus got worried all over again. “A Giggy go? Go bye. Go home.” I tried convincing him that he was going to get his nails cut, just like mommy does to Maximus. It made no sense to Maximus. Thankfully, when Wrigley came back he’d already had his shots and been checked over. I was a little concerned about the logistics of holding a toddler and trying to control a dog on a table, so this was music to my ears. I’m sure Maximus would have gotten upset about Wrigley getting shots, too. So, thank you kind people at the vet for making things a little easier for me!

I was able to send Bryan a quick text while Maximus and I waiting for Wrigley. “It’s hot as balls in this place!” He offered to come help on his way home, but that was right when Wrigley came back in. I figured I was fine, I only had to pay. THEN, I walked out into the waiting room and it was super packed again! I did a little juggling and found my phone to send out an SOS. “Packed waiting area. Going to be a while.” I did the toddler-dog dance a little more. Moving to this spot to avoid people. Then to that spot to avoid dogs coming through. Finally, one of the ladies said, “Let’s get you out of here.” More music! As I approached the counter, another woman was trying to get helped as well. She was totally fine with me getting called up and offered to take the leash to give me some help. Bless her kind heart! She didn’t even wait to see how I’d manage to hold a toddler, leash, and fish out my wallet. Boy did that free hand help a lot! I was halfway through my transaction when Wrigley started getting really excited about something. I turned to the lady and said, your job is done. Wrigley was so excited to see Bryan. I’m pretty sure he knew he was going to go home! A few minutes later my hands were free of both dog and child! I glanced back at the clock and it was after 5. An hour of that juggling mess and I finally had some reprieve! Although it was still hot as balls in that room.

$160 later, that dog has super quiet feet but still hasn’t been groomed. 😦 The poor guy probably doesn’t feel that good after three shots. He came home and drank 3/4 of a bowl of water, walked across the kitchen and threw it up. Yah, for more bodily fluids! An hour later we fed him, and he immediately wanted outside. He walked around the yard eating a lot of grass and promptly threw up all of his food at the foot of the deck stairs. Then, Bryan made him come up on the deck and he threw up more food there.

It’s a new day and my only concern has been if he’s doing ok from the shots. He seems to be getting some energy back and hasn’t thrown up anything. No one seems too traumatized, other than me.

Some days are terrible, horrible, very bad days. When that happens, I sure as heck will learn from that experience. Never again will I take a toddler and dog to the vet. Never again will I go to the vet during the summer months wearing anything less than shorts and a tank top. Realistically, I’ll probably procrastinate even more the next time they send me a postcard for a visit.

Maybe I can get someone to offer in-home services.

Our season opener

Saturday was the season opener for Iowa State Football! It’s a game we all look forward to each year. The weather is usually beautiful / hot {y’all know that’s my favorite season}. A clean slate is in front of us with so much potential. The enthusiasm is contagious and moods are light and airy. During one play in the first half, I leaned into Bryan and mentioned just as much. “You know it’s the first game when we cheer for the quarterback to run six yards. At the end of the season we’ll be pissed at his lack of running.”

This season opener was a little extra special because Bryan’s whole family went. I’m not sure if I can say that’s happened before. Both of his sister’s significant others experienced their first Iowa State games this weekend. Hopefully we showed them a good time! Our hillside tickets were a little crowded and hot, but it was perfect for the boys. {Plus, Maximus was free!} The incline of the hill wasn’t the most comfortable for me, but it was doable.

Maximus did an amazing job of hanging in there. The game time got moved back due to better tv coverage so it started in the middle of nap time. Football season to us is just as much about the tailgating, so we arrived early ready to eat and run around.

You can’t take strollers into the game, but there was no way we were going to carry a toddler from our parking spot a few blocks away. I think we were both happy with our decision to bring this along and we wouldn’t be able to if we didn’t have a car in the lot right outside the stadium.

We were also fortunate enough that our cold items can go into my in-laws coolers before they leave town so they are upfront waiting for us. Carrying the diaper bag was enough for me. 🙂

I think this is the third or fourth game that Maximus has been too. I think we only took him to one game last year. He was a handful last year, but I’m not sure that he remembers it.

Our little trooper sat down for most of the first half. It was crowded and we were all hot, but he wasn’t too much to handle. He looks really hot in this picture, but he didn’t seem that bad in person. He basically went from Bryan’s lap to mine. We could tell he was restless and tired, but he did a good job. There was no whining or tears. Whew!




At halftime, the boys found the Twizzlers that I brought. {Ok, I’m the one who opened them!} They also found the peanuts. Maximus enjoyed eating them just as much as he enjoyed stomping on the empty shells.  These two stuck pretty close to the back of the van so they could get easy access to the goodies. Surprisingly, Maximus asked me each time he went to take another one.

We moved to a different spot for the second half and that’s when the sillies kicked in. Maximus couldn’t stay in one spot. He sat on my mother-in-law’s lap for a good portion of time. Then he rolled around in the grass next to the family in front of us. The woman was laying down and he was laying down next to her. For a while we thought he was going to take a nap next to her, but then he slide further down the hill. Eventually Bryan went down to the bottom with him so Maximus could play in the dirt with some older kids. It got us through the game and Bryan was able to watch from his spot.



After the game the whining started. It wasn’t too bad, but you can see it starting to show up here. He was looking for the Twizzlers and I kept telling him they weren’t in the van. They had already been pulled onto the table, but he wouldn’t listen to me. 🙂















As the parking lot cleared, there was a lot of running and getting rid of toddler energy. I have no idea where it came from, I was exhausted and sat in a chair. 🙂














Two minutes into the drive home, Maximus fell asleep with his eyes open. It was creepy! He was breathing super heavy and Bryan was a little concerned that something was wrong with him. That’s when I realized that he had fallen asleep so fast he hadn’t shut his eyes. Once we got them closed, it was a peaceful ride home. I snapped this picture after we got home, where he tolerated a pj change and fell right asleep.










The Iowa State football game was a perfect way to spend our Saturday during the long weekend. Even with the responsibilities that come with a small child, we all enjoyed ourselves and hope to make it to a few more games this year before the weather turns unreasonably cold.