Week in the Life: Friday

TGIF! My only plans for my Friday were to buy dog food and get some time to relax! Serena ended up waking earlier today than usual (6 AM instead of 7:30) and didn’t nap as well. I think she is teething. Poor baby! We still had a pretty good day anyway. On this day I am thankful for the past couple days of seeing friends, clean laundry,  the weekend ahead full of plans with dear friends, a mostly happy and very friendly baby, and a God I find rest and hope in.

I got up with Serena at 6 AM, nursed her, played with her and gave her breakfast. She was not interested in her oatmeal this morning. She refused to eat it after two bites. She ate some banana and yogurt but not much. Poor Sere Lu must be teething! Not long after this she was down for her morning nap.

The bag I’m using now for my meter and insulin pens. It’s from the Target “One Spot” just like my last one was. I like it.

In the kitchen. Mom, Dad, and I collected these this summer!

Cash. Poor buddy needs some more attention, and a haircut.

Bathroom selfie!

I love this stuff!

While Serena napped, after I got ready I brought up the laundry to fold, but only folded hers (and put it away once she was up). Hers is way more fun to fold. 🙂 I had my second cup of coffee, washed dishes and cleaned in the kitchen.

I might just have to give up on Candy Crush. Level 275 is ridiculous. I hate the 3 move bombs!

When Serena woke up I cut her fingernails. I’ve discovered that right after she wakes up is the easiest least squirmy time to accomplish this.

Then we headed out to run errands. We left North Minneapolis via the Lowry Avenue Bridge. I can’t even tell you how much I love this bridge after living without it for three years.

We stopped at a thrift store we were driving by. When we got there two elderly women were getting out of the car next to us. One of them pointed at the furniture in the window and said “That’s grandma furniture. We don’t want that!” The irony. Also while we were there we happened to run into Jesse, who Trevor and I went to college with and Trevor also went to Bible school with. He actually manages the store! I had no idea. I took this photo to text to Trevor. Jesse and Serena hadn’t met yet and she was so happy to meet him! While we were shopping in the store an old man smiled at Serena and then told us a story about his sons when they were young and about how one of them excelled with computer skills but then didn’t do very well once he and his wife (the boy’s mother) divorced. Random and sad. (Sidenote, I have learned when you walk a dog around the neighborhood you should expect random people to talk to you and tell you random and sometimes sad things, and when you have a baby and go shopping in thrift stores to expect the same!)

Then Serena and I went to Chuck & Don’s to pick up Cash’s dog food (Fromm Duck & Sweet Potato). This was the last bag we needed to get a free one. After the free one we will make the full switch over to a similar food we can get for much less at Costco. The other photo above I snapped on 35W crossing over the new part of the bridge (I honestly rarely drive here without thinking of September 1, 2007). I caught part of downtown as well as the Stone Arch Bridge. This is a lucky shot I caught when I snapped a bunch lomo-style.

Back to North.

Home. Happy mail! This is my stack of free prints from Shutterfly.

This has been on my mind a lot lately.

Hanging out in Serena’s room with her. She’s dancing to the music her “Jesus Loves Me” book (from her great aunt Judy and great uncle Bill) is playing. So great!

She took a short afternoon nap at some point but woke up twice screaming. I think it’s the teething. I gave her teething gel and Tylenol and a frozen mini waffle to gum.

We left and went and picked Trevor up from happy hour by his work downtown. I encountered a lot of frustrating North Mpls driving including a woman running across the street in the middle of the street in traffic, no turn-signal slow and turn into a business drive, and a motorcycle passing a few cars stopped at a red light by using the bike lane, then speeding up in the bike lane on the other side of the intersection and moving back to the traffic lane….That was a first.

We picked Trevor up downtown and then got McDonald’s (by the time we decided, our only option) to bring home for dinner. Serena and Cash shared a happy meal! Haha! She had 2 chicken nuggets (minus the breading) and apple slices. He had 2 chicken nuggets and the fries. What can I say? I feel bad for the ole pup so I spoiled him tonight…

Serena was so ready for bed she only made it through 3 pages of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Trev headed out to socialize with other dudes. I am home with my sleeping baby, my laptop, my dog next to me, and a glass of wine. I don’t think I will stay up very late. Serena will be up early in the morning and we have a fun day ahead of us!

If you made it through to the end of this post I applaud you. I’m much talkier today.



Week in the Life: Thursday

This week is flying by. For a while I was thinking that it was Wednesday, but realized it’s Thursday and tomorrow is Friday. Friday is my one other day this week with no plans! Today Serena and I had so much fun and she chattered away. We met up with Becca and Cora for lunch and some shopping.

As I was doing laundry tonight I realized that this week really is so different from what my norm used to be even just a couple of weeks ago. I feel like I need to note somewhere for others, and for myself, that it was just last week that Serena started taking 1 1/2 to 2 hour naps once or twice a day. Life has been so different with these naps! Before last week, she fought naps a lot, and when she did nap, it usually was a half hour nap! Now that she is taking longer naps, I am able to do a lot more stuff around the house, and work on all these photos.

I took all my photos with the iPhone today.

Serena grabbed my phone this morning and next thing I knew Siri was talking. So funny.

Apple cookies I bought at IKEA yesterday.

Lunch at Pizza Luce with Becca and Cora. Becca and I ordered the exact same lunch special and Cora shared some of her food with Serena. 🙂

Serena and Cora looking around the table at each other.


After lunch we hit up the Goodwill nearby. I bought some 50% off clothes for Serena and a couple baskets.

When we got home Serena took a nap and I got some things done around the house. When she woke up Cash was asking to go out, so we went outside with him. The weather was just so perfect and Serena was so happy. It was the best moment of my day.

We played for a while until Trevor got home. Then I made spaghetti for dinner, gave Serena a bath, nursed her and put her to bed (and Trevor read her a book).


DVR’d TV and laptop time with my sweetie.


Week in the Life: Wednesday

Wednesday was a good day. Serena and I laughed a lot today. We also got to spend a few hours with Betsy and her boys Ben and Sam. Serena is definitely a social people person and the happiest when we leave the house and she gets to see people. I’m guessing I’ve got an extrovert on my hands! Today she waved goodbye for the first time (to Ben) and also held a blanket in front of her face and moved it away over and over playing peek-a-boo with me. It was so cute!

I took most of my pictures today with my iPhone, and just a few with the Rebel.

Serena’s awake!

Good Morning kisses from Cash.

Cash waiting while I nurse Serena in her room. He usually lays by my chair but I think he really had to go outside!

The date on the milk is today’s date…

My breakfast. Serena ate a lot of these blueberries though.

We played for a while after breakfast and then Serena took a nap. I took a shower, got ready, read blogs. Then she woke up and we headed to IKEA.


We ate lunch with Betsy, Ben, and Sam.

Ben took this shot of us. “Say pickles!” We walked around the showcase floor and then around the marketplace as well. I picked up a few things to take home with me, of course!

Saying goodbye!

IKEA was tiring…

But we spent the rest of her waking hours playing since she had been stuck in her stroller and car seat the last few hours. She laughed and laughed. Trevor got home and she played and laughed some more.

Decided to make today’s supper for tomorrow instead and Trevor made frozen pizza while I worked on my Shutterfly book of our Door County trips and we watched Netflix.

Another day is done!


Week in the Life: Tuesday

I survived another day of documentation! Tuesday was an exhausting day. It was full of mom and homemaking stuff. I was super tired by supper time.

I took photos with both my iPhone and my Canon Rebel, and also used my gorilla pod lots! Love that thing!

Tuesday was awesome because Serena “danced” a lot. She waves her hands around and bounces to music. She also started waving “hello” unprompted for the first time when Trevor got home from work! She was so much fun. 🙂 Documenting my day makes me realize how full my days are now and how rewarding and tiring they are as well. Looking forward to seeing some friends as the week continues!

Here’s Trev giving Serena a kiss goodbye before he leaves for work. He rode his bike to work today and showered there.

Play time. They’re like, “Mom, what are you doing?”

Coffee in my Starbucks Baltimore mug from Katie. It’s even more special to me now that I’ve actually been there to visit her! It makes me smile.

He hasn’t been hiding as much this week. Maybe he wants to stick around now that Serena has decided she must share everything she eats with him every time she eats!

We listened to this record of mine from my childhood.

Unfortunately, when I was putting the record on Serena was discovering the dog’s toy basket!

Then Serena took her morning nap and I got to take a shower.

Cash was taking a nap too. 🙂

Daily vitamins and just a bit of makeup.

mosaicdcceff552098aa53921dc4113411280b7180b737Got some laundry going, clipped coupons and made shopping lists on my phone, checked my e-mail.

Then Serena woke up from her nap and we ate lunch. Then we headed out to run errands.

mosaic792d67e47dc906022f757e7b86011f6eb2cfdb7cSerena is a great little buddy to run errands with. She plays and laughs in the car and loves shopping! She looks around at everything and smiles at anyone she makes eye contact with. Today she made several friends at the grocery store and played peek-a-boo with the person behind us in the check-out.

She won’t look at me for pictures when I have her in the shopping cart…ever!

What we bought + her stroller and beach blanket that are always stashed in the back.


When we got home I put everything away and then nursed Serena and she took her afternoon nap. While she napped I made dinner, did dishes and cleaned up. I continued on with the laundry as well.

Trev got home from work and we sat down for dinner right away. It was Serena’s first time having tator tot casserole/hotdish! It was also her first time having beef (grass-fed). She loved it!

Then Trevor left for pool leagues and Serena had some fun bath time. I don’t give her a bath every day. I give her a bath about every 3 days or so…whenever it works out, basically!

She did not feel that she had time to do any posing in her cute towel after her bath however! She was obviously tired. She gets really busy and hyper curious and grabby when she is ready to sleep.

Then I read her a book and nursed her and put her in her crib. It took her like 30 seconds and she was out! She loved the book by the way- she touched every page and turned some of the pages for me too.

After she fell asleep I changed the laundry loads, put away the leftover dinner, did dishes, and then worked (for hours!) on a Shutterfly book I need to get done before a free book code ends 9/11! A full and delightful day!

Are there any details of my life I am missing out on showing, as far as stuff around the house? Any suggestions?

Week in the Life: Monday

I’ve made it through day one and so far I am loving Week in the Life. I felt really productive and happy, and I really appreciated the life I am living, even though I didn’t leave the house! Since we were gone in Fergus Falls all weekend and Serena’s sleep schedule was thrown off, and since there was a heat advisory all afternoon, I thought it would be best for her if we didn’t try to run errands or see friends. She ended up sleeping in until almost 10 AM! She is usually up by 7:30, so that is definitely NOT the norm! We had a nice day of playing, organizing, cuddling, dancing, laughing, snacking…

Here are some of my favorite shots from Monday:

This is what I woke up to. Cash was sleeping in with me while we waited to hear Serena. After a while I got up and took a shower and got ready for the day, and then I heard her wake up.

Nursing Serena in her room right after she woke up. Sometimes I take her out of her sleep sack and change her diaper, but this was one of those right to the chair mornings.


Breakfast/Lunch with Serena. Oatmeal with mashed bananas. She ate cheerios while she waited for her cereal to be ready.

This is after the hour and a half nap she took. I love how happy she is to see me when I get her from her nap!

Always on the move!

Selfie of the two of us. :-0


low blood sugar, Serena’s shoes, peach, Serena eating pasta for dinner while reacting to seeing her daddy get home from work

Dinner: Veggie burgers and Caesar salad. Serena already ate dinner and is now munching on a few yogurt melts.

Story time and bed

Relaxing with my new book and some DVR’d TV.

Today I only took photos with my iPhone. Tomorrow I am planning to try and get more with my DSLR and also to take more selfies and self-timer photos. I’m hoping to get some use out of my gorilla pod this week.

I’ll be uploading all my photos to a Flickr set this week so that’s where you can go to see all of ’em!

One last summer trip

Today I am keeping busy with Serena and taking lots of pictures for my “a week in the life” project! Serena slept in late this morning because she was tired from our weekend! This past weekend we went to Fergus Falls to just hang out and see family without any special event to have to fill our time with. It was a nice relaxing weekend of family, the lake, food, church. Serena had a great time!

It was great to take one last trip of the summer. Serena took some nice long naps, Cash had fun running down to the dock (his fave thing to do there), we had a nice lunch with Grandma, and we hung out one evening with our friends James and Michelle. Serena loved cruising around her grandparents house finding new things to get in to. 🙂

Preparing for Another Project!

Maybe I’m crazy for thinking now is the time to start a project, but I’ve wanted to do this one for years! It’s called A Week in the Life, and it’s from Ali Edwards. In Ali’s words “A seven-day documentary project, Week In The Life is an annual opportunity to capture the simple everyday details of your life with photos and words.”

I’ve watched others blog about this project over the years and always thought it would be fun to try, and I imagined it would be especially interesting to do once kids are in the picture. Well, Serena is here (and 10 months old today!), and I have a couple cameras that are working well as well as an iPhone, and am home and not out somewhere traveling, so I think now is the time. It starts on Monday, September 9th. So, starting next week you’re going to see a bunch of posts and pictures about my/our daily life, and after that I will spend time making a book. Now that Serena is taking naps that are longer than half an hour I should be able to find some time to make a scrapbook or photo book, so I’m excited to put something together! I think it will be really interesting to look at as time passes, similar to how I feel about my Project 365 book.

Things I Learned in August

I saw this idea shared on the nester’s blog. I recently discovered the nester after seeing an article in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine that featured her home. I don’t know how I hadn’t found her sooner! She linked to her sister’s blog here, and I love the idea! So I’m going to give it a try. We’ll see what I can remember now. I mean, I’m already 3 days in to September! Ha.

Things I Learned in August

1. I really like traveling and seeing new places and eating at new restaurants, even as a parent of a small child.

It really is a new experience and a lot of work, but I am not a homebody. I love to get out of the house and see people. I really enjoyed being away from home and spending lots of time with family and friends and seeing Serena interact with them! I loved introducing Serena to new things as well.

2. My baby can fall asleep in a pack n’ play set up pretty much anywhere.

In the month of August she slept in a cabin, an A-frame, a camper, in various rooms of multiple homes…The one place she freaked out was the house at the farm. I don’t know why. She screamed like she was being attacked by wild animals. Jessica said she had never heard a child scream like that in her life. I have a special one!

3. There is an animal in The Philippines called a dugong.

It’s similar to a manatee. There are only 5 dugongs in captivity in the entire world, and one of them (in Japan) is named Serena.

4. I always misspell Philippines.

It is not spelled Phillipines.

5. If I’m feeling lonely I can just head to the thrift store with Serena.

Any thrift store I go to Serena attracts all kinds of friendly people, both shoppers and employees! It starts lots of conversations and I see all kinds of smiles. People that have grandchildren are the most likely to befriend Serena, but also other kids, women, and men. I love when she catches someone smiling at her and giggles.

6. I really like peaches.

I haven’t really bought them before, but my mother-in-law had some really good ones at Lake Week and my parents had really good ones at their camper. I’ve been buying them and sharing them with Serena who has also become a fan. I don’t know why I didn’t eat them before, but I was missing out!

7. I will drive to multiple TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning locations to find a $5.99 scrap paper pad.

I made it worth my time by purchasing more than the one I was looking for of course, and some $1.49 Thickers….In case you are wondering, I was looking for the Dear Lizzy and Amy Tangerine papers (never did find the Amy Tangerine ones) and I found Dear Lizzy as well as some Crate Paper and Studio Calico. Because of this trip I also discovered next time I decorate my house (probably my next house someday) I am totally shopping at those stores, especially TJ Maxx/HomeGoods.

8. I want to change my e-mail address!

I’ve had this e-mail address for around ten years, but I’m getting annoyed with all the e-mails I get that are meant for other people. I get them in English, French, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. Some of the e-mails have been pretty juicy lately, so maybe I don’t want to change and miss out…I even started a tumblr called The Other Karins!

So there you have it.

The Stuff

I’ve seen a few blog posts out there from newish moms sharing what baby products they especially loved, so I figured I would add my two cents. When I was pregnant I was so overwhelmed with all the choices that are out there for everything! I did a ton of research before putting together my registry and buying items for Serena. I read blogs, parenting web sites, the Baby Bargains book one of Trevor’s co-workers gave us, Consumer Reports…

1. Snuggabunny Swing

We bought this swing on clearance at Target for a great price after hearing it recommended again and again. It’s great because you plug it in, so don’t need batteries, and you can choose to have it swing front to back or side to side. Some nights one or both of us slept on the couch and love seat in the living room while Serena slept in the swing. She slept longer in the swing, and sometimes it was the only thing that worked to get her to sleep! She loved this swing until she was about 5 or 6 months old.

2. Boon Grass Drying Rack and Accessory

This counter-top drying rack works super great for bottles and pump parts. The accessory is great as well for little parts and right now I have pacifiers and her toothbrush drying on it. One of my friends said she still uses hers for sippy cups. It works well and looks fun! We have the tree accessory but there is also a flower one available.

3. Baby Bjorn soft bibs

I tried a few different bibs but these are just the easiest to use and clean, and Serena doesn’t put it in her mouth between each bite like the others!

4. Graco Car Seat Stroller Frame

This was so great. It is lite and doesn’t take up much space and I used it a lot with Serena until she grew out of her infant seat.

5. Miracle Blankets

These worked great for swaddling as Serena would only sleep if she was swaddled! We were given several of these as a hand-me-down and they worked great!

6. IKEA Baby Stuff!

Most of Serena’s furniture is from IKEA. My wonderful parents purchased her crib for us from there, but we also bought her dresser and many other items from IKEA. They have great products for decoration and organization as well, and Serena has a few of their toys that she also loves!

*Pysslingar Underbead Storage

I have two of these under S’s crib that I store her extra bedding and blankets in. It works perfectly for us!

*Kusiner Wall Pockets

I have these pockets on the wall by her dresser/changing pad filled with her lotions, diaper cream, sunscreen, and also socks and hair accessories.

*Mula Stack and Nest Cups

This is her fave toy by far and she loses all the cups under our furniture! She loves to play with them!

IKEA also has some great lighting options. I got a lamp and shade for her room as well as a cute wall lamp that we leave on for her during the night. So many great options!

I could go on and on really, but these are probably my faves so far!


Operation Curb Appeal: Paint

During these past two weeks something happened that I’ve been waiting for for a long time….years, actually. It finally worked out to have our house trim painted! Parts of our house and the trim have been peeling for way too long. The most obvious was the paint on the garage and the dark green peeling paint on the windows and doors. Any time we were hoping to get our house painted in the past, Trevor was laid off from his job! Finally, this summer, Trevor is working and our friends with a painting business were available. Trevor will still have to power wash the house, but all the newly painted parts look so nice! Marque and Jose even surprised us and painted the board at the top the trim color to make it pop a little more, and also painted the front steps.

I went with a gray color for the trim. I wanted to pick something different than white, but something still neutral to not look too outdated.

Serena was fascinated by Jose painting the inside trim by the front door!

Now that the painting is done, we still have some other things to take care of- windows to clean, landscaping to fix, etc. But we are one step closer to a happy looking house!

P.S. See how dark this front room is, even in the middle of the day? I keep hoping to paint the walls white, but Trevor has been against it for a long time. Now he says I can do it if I want but he won’t help me. Should I try to get a friend or two to help and do it or should I leave it alone?