2016 Pope Farms

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We made sure to see the sunflowers at Pope Farms while they were at it’s peak this summer. It’s a great local adventure to take in the Madison and since it’s a little ways to get to the fields it’s also a great place to let the kiddos run around and use up some of their energy.

Here’s some photos if you care to see:

dsc_0239 dsc_0243 dsc_0224 dsc_0252 dsc_0312 dsc_0335 dsc_0349 img_0637  love my little squad!

Jonas at 20 Months

I need to just start out by saying Jonas has been my dream baby boy. For not thinking I even wanted a boy, goodness he is so much joy and proves that foolish thought was absolutely ridiculous everyday. Sure glad God knows what we need more than we do ourselves!

So here’s some things Jonas has been doing lately that I don’t want to forget:

– He LOVES trucks. It’s silly we didn’t push this on him, but yet he is all boy! He will make his food, rocks, anything he finds become a truck, he can be very resourceful.

– He takes one nap during the day, but having a new house being built right behind us is kind of messing with that lately.

– Jonas still thinks Nola is the bees knees, which she is. He wants to do everything she does, has, he loves her and really looks up to her!

– Following his daddy and sister he is becoming quite the sweet tooth lover. For instance he can pound one of those mini cupcakes in a minute. We monitor this of course, but this family if they could would eat sweets all day.

– Because of me being away from him in the evenings recently we decided to wean him and he’s doing really well so far, it’s only been day 3, but during the day he has become super clingy and not the happy Jonas I know. It makes me sad, but I think it’s just been a hard adjustment. I wasn’t too happy to be forced to wean not on my own terms, but I think this is best for now. Will this be the last time I ever breastfeed a baby!!! Crying over here!!!

– When he needs me or can’t find me he yells, “mom, mom, mom, mom” in his cute little voice and I kind of die. Only I do have discussions with him that since he’s only 20 months he can still call me ‘mommy’.

– We do netflix and the show that Jonas loves is Barney. Jonas calls it ‘Barbee’ it’s kind of the cutest and then I call it that and I’m pretty sure he will never know how to say it right. I know Barney got a bad rap, but I LOVE barney. They sing and dance and teach. Whatever dude, we are proud Barney fans over here.

– Now all the halloween stuff is out at the stores and Jonas is terrified of all of that (which you kind of don’t mind b/c then he snuggles you) but it’s gotten to the point where yesterday he was even scared to go by the nice bears in walgreens. Bless that sweet boys heart.

– I kind of love my alone time with Jonas while Nola is in school. Being a second kid and all he definitely deserves the undivided attention and I love giving it to him.

– Jonas is starting to be able to communicate so much more and that’s so much fun when we know he gets it. He loves reading books just as much as he likes knocking them off the book shelves these days.

– Guys 20 months is kind of the best and we are so in love with our little dude. Jonas I can’t imagine not knowing you and so thankful for you little guy!!

img_1260 got this while he was napping holding one of nola’s baby’s bottles. normally he’s holding a truck :)

France_5 Eiffel Tower

One of the coolest things about traveling with your kids is exposing them to new things. Nola can point out the Eiffel Tower whenever we see photos or statues of the monument and recall the day we saw it in real life! The day we went up the Eiffel Tower we were lucky and didn’t have to wait very long in the line (I’ve read horror stories, so my advice is get there early). But after that the whole experience went downhill from there. Granted we were with a 3 and 1 year old at the time and with this being by far the hardest experience the entire trip I also look at it as a victory! But man, if we are being real here sometimes traveling with kids is no joke and it’s freak’n hard! What happened was we had our double stroller because being out and about all day that is our lifeline with having our little ones…so yes we needed it and couldn’t go without. They allow you to take the stroller up the Eiffel Tower, but the caveat is they don’t want you to park it anywhere and it was too wide to fit in the aisles. So here we are trying to carry a folded double stroller, while the other is juggling both kids. And should I mention we didn’t bring a carrier that day!?! Jonas was also so crabby and come to find out he had pooped and clearly was just uncomfortable. I think there was a moment where CJ and I looked at each other and telepathically were saying to each other ‘wtf are we doing?’. But we prevailed guys and by the time we took the elevator down we were all calmed down and possibly having shifty eyes, hoping no one pinned as the smelly poopy culprits. We were the only one with the baby…
it was pretty obvious.

Here’s some photos of the day if you care to see. The Eiffel Tower lives up to it’s hype guys and I’m pretty happy I got to see it with my favorite people, even with a crabby baby and a ‘huge in the way double stroller’.

IMG_9650 IMG_9635 doesn’t it seem appropriate nola’s eating a pain au chocolat during this photo (every glorious france morning we were there folks!)

IMG_0293 looking up! IMG_0288 IMG_9669 Jonas time while Nola napped
IMG_9790 i never do jumping photos but i decided why not in front of the eiffel tower holding my cute kid IMG_0299 this boy is so my joy!!

2016 Strawberry Picking

Hey guys, I go back and forth, I have so many posts I want to do…but I’m so behind I don’t know if I try to keep chipping away or just start fresh today and do things as they come. I’m not going to lie it’s hard doing posts from months ago and with life being so busy things keep getting pushed back even more. But it’s also fun because it brings you back to those fun moments…so we’ll see. But today I am doing an old post, because one of the best things about having a blog is looking back each year and seeing how the kids have grown doing something we do yearly.

Our family tradition of strawberry picking this year was awesome because I was able to meet my dad, aunts and some of my cousins. My love for strawberry picking did originate from my Grandma Stiemsma (my dad’s mom) so it only seemed appropriate that we all went picking together in her honor.

My cousin Katie who is an awesome photographer, incredible with kids and just a good egg was along and graciously had allowed me to post some of her photos here. Thank you so much Katie!

IMG_0764 i actually took this one (the only one, eeck!) aren’t they so sweet though!
83 love this photo!!
79 78 75 these two are good buds. 56 50 31 30 27 26 24 03 85 it was a really good day and loved picking with all these people!!

And just for fun here’s us picking 2014 & 2015

France_4 Paris Museums

I read a lot that traveling to France in the spring can be ideal. The weather is suppose to be quite nice and it’s less busy than in the summer. I was watching the weather like a crazy person, everyday, multiple times a day, leading up to our trip hoping and praying the weather was going to be good…needless to say it was sooo cold. Here’s the caveat, if you see the forecast for Paris and it’s in the upper 60’s as a Midwesterner you think ‘that’s not too bad’, however and trust me on this, it feels so much colder. As a result we visited more museums than I anticipated. I didn’t think we would go to so many just because our kids are so little and we didn’t think they would it enjoy it that much. But just like anything in life with a little or a lot of effort any place you go to can be fun for kids. And to be fair the weather was quite tolerable except for one day where I was downright miserable, what put me over the edge was the wet feet. I also may have been slightly annoyed because I couldn’t wear any of the cute outfits I brought. Oh well, all in all it worked out and frankly it being a cold, drizzly and grey Paris visit…kind of seemed fitting, don’t you think?

Here’s photos at some of the museums we frequented if you care to see:

IMG_9590 Even if you don’t have kids check out Paris’s Museum of Natural History. It is amazing!! I should mention there are branches to the Museum of Natural History. So we actually went to Museum of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology thinking we were at the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution. Both are cool, but hands down you need to see Grande Galerie de l’Évolution.
IMG_9572 Do you ever worry that if your kids would see a tiger, lion or bear they would just walk up to it because they are convinced they are nice and maybe will start talking to them, thank you cartoons & books. I worry about that sometimes, but then I snap out of it and realize they will never run into that situation.
IMG_0271 I mean how cool is this museum?!!!
IMG_0270 Processed with VSCO with t3 preset Probably is one of my most favorite family photos on our trip! It’s pretty obvious, but we are outside the Louvre.
IMG_9818 And sometimes we took photos pretending we didn’t have kids along…
IMG_9276 Tuileries Garden outside of the Louvre is also great. We went there multiple times to have the kiddos run around. IMG_9257 IMG_9259 IMG_9416 Checking out Sacre Coeur. We stayed not too far from here.
IMG_9396 Looking down from Sacre Coeur. The few times Nola was napping so Jonas got a taste of being an only child. IMG_9289 On the ferris wheel at the Tuileries Garden IMG_9434 My favorite museum was the art museum Musee D’Orsay. To be in the presence of art pieces from Van Gogh & Monet was unreal. 
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Outside of the Center Pompidou.

If you ever have a question about places to see or do with kids in Paris please hit me up in the comments with questions and I would be more than happy to suggest things!