personal

yellowstone family trip

I haven't been doing the best at consistently posting and I apologize because I have so many great things to share.  Before I left for Sweden our family went on a short trip to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. yellowstone-family-trip

My Husband is a wildlife and western landscape painter, so we naturally love coming to Jackson and Yellowstone.  He particularly loves clouds, and I don't blame him.  It's just scary sometimes driving with him while he's looking at them.

A few weeks ago we came out to Jackson for one of Nick's shows and luckily we had enough time to spend a day in Yellowstone.

yellowstone-family-trip2

I love coming to Yellowstone, it's always aw inspiring.   I particularly loved seeing the wonder and excitement in my children's eyes.  It was like I got to experience it for all for the first time.  Henrik was particularly excited to see all the geysers.

yellowstone-family-trip3

Traveling with children means plenty of pee pee stops.

yellowstone-family-trip4

Luckily when we got to Old Faithful we only had to wait five minutes to see it erupt.  We also stopped in to look at the beautiful architecture of the Old Faithful Inn.

yellowstone-family-trip5

As you can tell it was a perfectly windy, sunny day.  Every single one of us had crazy hair in the wind (Henrik calls it scary hair) and it does look pretty scary.

yellowstone-family-trip6

Next week I'll have pictures of my trip to Stockholm and a giveaway...hooray!!!

claymation figures

My son Henrik loves to sculpt and make figures and creatures out of clay.  In the morning when he wakes up he is thinking of new guys to make and when he comes home from school all he wants to do is build new figures.  I have to tell him to stop sculpting to eat his meals.  You might say he is borderline obsessed with it.  One of his favorite things to do is watch instructional videos on how to work with clay, or interviews of his role models:  Ray Harryhausen and Tim Burton (he calls him Tim Burgan).  I find clay EVERYWHERE in my house!  But I enjoy watching this little boy create and be so passionate about his claymation figures. claymation-figures

Because Henrik makes so many different claymation figures, we buy A LOT of clay.  He has long since grown out of play dough or other clay that dries.  He needs to work with clay that is long lasting and has a lot of oil in it, called plasticine.  Several people have asked me where we buy our clay, so I thought I'd share with you where we get ours.  We have discovered the best place to get a wide range of colors and larger amounts of clay is at fxsupply.com.  Henrik also uses armature wire for the skeletal structure of his creations.  You can buy the wire here.

claymation-figures2

It's so entertaining everyday to see the new creations he comes up with.  These are just a small sample of some of his figures.

Also, the winner of the So Pretty! Felt book is Nancy!  Congratulations!  I'll email you with further information.

our journey with infertility

infertility1 Did you know that this week was National Infertility Awareness week?  I didn't until Melanie mentioned it.  Infertility is something that you never think you'll have to go through until you do and it can leave you feeling frustrated, heartbroken and so isolated.  I have decided to share my infertility journey with you in the hope that if this is something you are facing you can know you're not alone and perhaps my story can give you some hope.  I'm sharing this journey in the first person but my husband was with me hurting and hoping every step of the way.  Our relationship has grown so close and strong because of these experiences we have endured together.

I apologize for the lengthiness of this post, it's not my typical style, but this infertility journey has been a long one for us.

I first thought that I might have a difficult time getting pregnant after we had been trying for eight months and it hadn't happened yet.  I decided to go to a nurse/midwife for a check up to make sure everything was okay.  As standard procedure the first thing they do is take a pregnancy test.  Much to my surprise the test came back positive!  I was so excited, I couldn't believe that I was pregnant!  Several of my friends were pregnant too and I thought it was so perfect that we could be pregnant together.  A week went by and I didn't feel any different, I didn't feel pregnant.  I was starting to feel a little uneasy and unsure, so I took another pregnancy test.  I was devastated, It came back negative.  I took another one, negative as well.  I couldn't believe it, the test at the doctors office was a false positive.  This was the first of many disappointments.  It was so hard to watch my friends (with real pregnancies) talk about their ailments, grow bigger, and have their babies.  I couldn't understand why it couldn't happen to me.  I saw everyone around me with children, in some cases, more than they could handle and it felt so unfair.  I also got comments from unaware people wondering "when are you going to start your family?"  or "you shouldn't focus on your career and house so much when family is so much more important".  Comments like these were very painful to hear and hard to forget.  This taught me to never judge anyone!  You never know what they are going through.

Many more months went by and at first I wasn't too stressed out about it but when the months turned into more than a year I began to worry.  After reading every fertility awareness book and trying everything, we decided it was time to see a specialist.  We tried several IUIs (Intrauterine Insemination) and they all failed.  It is so hard when are you paying a lot of money out of pocket and there is so much hope wrapped up into this very unnatural procedure (think turkey baster).  We decided it was time to just go for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).  I don't want to go into too much detail, but everything about this procedure is so hard physically and emotionally.  I had to take daily progesterone shots, with a thick needle that left lumps and bruises all over my back side.  There are so many procedures and check ups that have all melted into one very uncomfortable, humiliating experience for me.  But I would do it all over again without any hesitation to have my son.  After extracting several eggs from me and fertilizing them in the lab I only had one viable egg.  It was so amazing to see this human life as four tiny cells in a petri dish.  After the procedure I had to be on bed rest for five days.  I remember this was during Christmas and I wasn't able to celebrate with my family.  Two agonizing weeks later the blood test came back.  I was pregnant!  I was over the moon with excitement.

I had a wonderful, fairly easy pregnancy enjoying every minute of it.  My labor was a different story.  I decided to have a natural labor and prepared for it with classes, yoga, two doulas, a midwife and a birthing center.  I had a very long labor(53 hours to be exact) with little or no progress and no pain relief.  Finally in my very exhausted state the midwife decided it was time to go to the hospital.  This was very difficult for me to do both emotionally and physically.  Within minutes of being in the hospital the doctor determined that I needed a c-section, the baby was stressed and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice.  If I didn't get him out soon he would die.  They Wheeled me into the OR, gave me a spinal and finally...relief from the pain.  I remember being violently jostelled around and all I could hear were a baby's cries.  They briefly showed him to me and then had to tend to him and to me as well.  After 3o long minutes of stitching and stapling everything back together I finally got to hold my 5 pound 12 ounce baby boy.  The minute I held him I knew him and loved him so much I thought my heart was going to burst.  I started sobbing.  After several years of waiting and not knowing, I finally got to be a mother.

infertility2

When Henrik was almost a year old I was shocked to find out I was pregnant again.  It felt like such a blessing that we didn't have to go through all the difficult procedures and pay all the money to have another child.  I looked forward to a new challenge of having children less than two years apart.  At my first doctors visit They did an ultrasound to check on the baby.  I knew something was wrong the minute I saw the little broad bean come up on the screen.  Nothing was moving.  The ultrasound technician went to get the Doctor to tell me the news I already knew, there was no heartbeat.  The fetus had died.  I was nine weeks pregnant.  The next day we took family photos (I had already rescheduled and couldn't a second time).  When I look at those pictures I see myself pregnant hiding my secret.  I hated the feeling of walking around with a dead baby inside of me.  I wanted it out, I wanted to move forward.  I wanted to move on with my life like it never happened.  Unfortunately it's not that easy and you can't walk away from your emotions.  The months following the D and C were very hard and I didn't want to try for a while.  I needed a break.

After my first miscarriage and over a year of trying for a second child we decided to go back to our fertility doctor and do IVF.  In my mind I thought that it had worked to get Henrik, it should work again.  I thought that this was the only way we could get pregnant.  So there I was going through all the painful, humiliating, expensive procedures again.  I hated doing it all and resented the fact that I had to get pregnant this way.  Everything felt extra hard and unnatural.  This time around I had two viable eggs and I was excited with the idea of possibly having twins.  Two weeks later, I was pregnant but my numbers were very low.  Nick had to race an hour and a half to a pharmacy to get some expensive hormone (I don't remember which one anymore) to hopefully save my pregnancy.  But it was not to be, a week later I miscarried.  I was devastated and grief stricken.  I had lost my last hope of having another child.  I had no more faith in modern medicine and faith in general.  It was very hard for me to be around people who got to have children so easily and got to choose when they have them and how many they have.  It felt so unfair when I wanted it so much but couldn't have it.  I didn't want to try IVF again, I was done.

We decided to take a much needed one month break and in the meanwhile I started to see my naturopath (whom I've been seeing off and on since I was 16).  She took many, many blood tests, put me on a strict diet:  No meat, dairy, grains of any kind, sugar, chocolate.  I could only eat a limited variety of fruits and vegetables.  I was hungry a lot but felt so good.  She determined that I was iodine deficient and had Lyme Disease which was affecting my fertility.  She put me on a long course of antibiotics and some supplements.  The next month following our break I got pregnant.  It was a miracle!  It is interesting that at that time I had also come to terms with the fact that I might never have another child.  I was sad about it but I was okay with it.  I was just so grateful that I got the opportunity to know what it felt like to carry a baby and have a child.  If I only had Henrik I was okay because I was so lucky that I had him.  And I was going to enjoy every moment with him.  As soon as I let go of all my expectations and was happy in the present, that was when I got pregnant.

During my pregnancy with Maja I was very sick but so happy to be pregnant.  She came two weeks early and it was a difficult labor and I almost had a c-section again but luckily in the last minute I got to have a VBAC.  Having my little baby girl made me feel so complete.   Both my husband and I felt overwhelmed with happiness and joy.  We decided that were weren't going to try anymore or go to the lengths we had before to have any more children.  It had taken such an emotional, physical, and financial toll on us and we were happy with our little family just the way it was.

And then I got pregnant with my baby boy.  This was yet again another shock.  We hadn't planned it and were really surprised that it happened so easily...or so we thought.  I was very sick during this pregnancy but was really excited to welcome another little baby into our family, to meet him, see what he looked like, get to know his personality.  During this pregnancy I felt guilty, like I didn't deserve it because I hadn't fought as hard for it as I had for the others.  When I was about 20 weeks along we had our Ultrasound and got to see our little boy moving around.  He looked perfect and healthy in every way.  He was however measuring two weeks smaller then he was suppose to.  I also started to notice that my belly wasn't growing, and my baby wasn't getting heavier like he should.  I was starting to get worried.  My husband, who is an eternal optimist, told me I was fine and that I was just being overly worried as usual.  But deep down I knew I should worry.  I think I was being prepared for what was to come.

When I went into the Doctor's for my routine check up at 23 weeks, I was a little nervous but I thought all my fears would be washed away as soon as I heard the heartbeat and talked to my Doctor.  But this was not to be, I never got to hear his heartbeat again.  My Doctor dug around for what felt like an eternity to try and hear a heartbeat, but there was nothing only my racing heartbeat.  She then called in the Ultrasound tech.  The 20 minute wait for the Ultrasound Tech was the most painful time of my life.  My mind was racing, going places I never thought I would have to go, the whole time trying to keep it together and not cry.  When The Ultrasound Tech finally came and I looked at the screen all I could see was a skeleton baby.  There was no heart pumping blood or lit up organs.  My baby was dead.  I couldn't believe it.

infertility3

This loss of my baby boy has by far been the hardest in our infertility journey.  I know bad things can happen to good people because I have experienced it.  There have been a lot of lessons learned and I don't know why we learn so much more when our hearts are broken, but we just do.  Through these heartbreaking experiences I have learned so much about myself.  I've learned I'm strong, brave, tough, determined and stubborn.  This infertility journey has given me confidence in myself in ways I may never have gained otherwise.  I've learned that it's okay to be a little broken, it's what makes us who we are and gives us compassion for others.  We would be such boring people if we didn't have a good story to tell.  I've learned to not ask the question "Why?", but ask "What can I learn?",  "What can I do?"  Most importantly I've learned so much about love.  That when it comes down to it, "All you need is love"  (The Beatles were on to something here).  I am convinced that my capacity to love my children is deeper and greater than it would ever have been because of what I've been through.

So I guess the reason I am writing this insanely long post is to say:  I understand.  I know what you're going through.  It's okay to hurt.  I still hurt.  But when I look into my children's beautiful big brown eyes I know I've gained more than I've lost.

P.S.  The photographs were taking by the lovely Yan.  This was the last family photos we've taken.  I think it's time for some new family photos.

 

 

my trip to stockholm

Over a week ago I went on a short trip (5 days to be exact) with a friend of mine.  We've been friends since high school and college.  We are both turning 35 this year and decided we needed to celebrate with a trip.  Why not Stockholm, Sweden?  It was so lovely.  Two of the days were freeeeeezing cold, but it didn't stop us from having a wonderful time.  The last day was sunny and beautiful, a perfect day.  It was so good to catch up with my funny, talented, sweet friend.  She lives in New York and we hardly get to see each other.  I've been to Stockholm before and so it was so fun to show some of my favorite things and discover a few new favorites (chocolate ball in Gamla Stan, amazing!).  I totally cheated on my sugar free/vegan diet and it was worth every bite. stockholm

Here are some photos I shared on instagram.  You can follow me at onemoremushroom.  I did take some "real" photos on my camera and hopefully I'll get around to sharing them with you.  Here's a list of a few of my favorite things we did in Stockholm (we only had three days but packed A LOT in).

1.  Svenskt Tenn-An amazingly beautiful and large interior design shop founded in 1927.  They feature the textile designs of Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank, some of my all time favorite textiles.  This trip I bought a small piece of the green Celotocaulis to make some pillows for my house.

2.  Skansen-The world's oldest open-air Museum.  There are homes, shops, barns, etc. all transplanted from different eras and different parts of Sweden.  This is a must!  Walking through it is like walking back in time.  I bought some chocolates and candies for my kids, the beautiful packaging was designed in the 30's.

3.  Fotografiska Museet-This is a recently opened Photography Museum.  We saw a stunning and inspiring exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson's work.  We then had lunch in the cafe overlooking a beautiful view of the water.

4.  Södermalm-we had a fun time walking around SoFo looking at all the shops and cafes. Shops like Grandpa and Uni, were just a couple of my favorites.

5.  Moderna Museet-Stockholm's Modern Museum.  I was blown away with the exhibit of Le Corbusier.  I've always been a fan of his Architecture and furniture, but I had no idea he painted and sculpted, everything was so inspiring.

6.  Nordiska Museet-Sweden's largest museum of cultural history.  My favorite exhibits are:  Swedish Folk Art, Interiors, and the Textiles.

7.  Fem Små Hus-A cozy and traditional Swedish Restaurant where you can try Reindeer for the first time.

8.  Restaurang Bar-An excellent restaurant that serves fresh produce and (my favorite) fresh fish dishes.  I love the decor as well as the food.

9.  Saluhall-a beautiful, large food hall opened in 1888.  You can buy and take away or eat at the counter.  We had a lovely lunch of fish, potatoes and avocado at the little restaurant.

There are so many more shops and places that I could list, these are just some of the highlights.  I was so glad that I got the opportunity to leave for a few days to spend with a great friend in a fabulous city.  It was very inspiring and very healing for me.  I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Spring tent and easter egg hunt

My son Henrik loves to make tents and forts.  He builds one practically every day.  This year for an Easter surprise I decided to make my children a tent that they could leave up and play with all day every day.  I used the genius tutorial featured on a beautiful mess invented by Rubyellen.  I then made some of my own modifications.  I added an extra wooden piece of moulding at the bottom of both sides so that the tent won't slide down and will stay upright on hard wood floors. easter-tent-and-egg-hunt

I also added a window with a roll flap that snaps open.  I lined the inside of it with a blue geometric fabric.  I trimmed the window and the outside of the tent in a solid aqua fabric bias tape that I made.  I ended up using a small black polka dot fabric for the tent.  I cut and sewed the green fabric on the bottom to look like grass and make it feel more like spring.  To make the tent more cozy I made a few floor cushions in corresponding colors (even a star pillow).

easter-tent-and-egg-hunt2

I think it's safe to say they love the tent.

easter-tent-and-egg-hunt3

Besides giving my children the tent for Easter, we also had an egg hunt.  To match the tent I made each of my kids black polka dot bags trimmed with grass.  Henrik loved looking for the eggs and other little prizes.

easter-tent-and-egg-hunt4

Maja, on the other hand, was not interested in looking for eggs.  She was content playing with the sponge pellets that expand in water.  She decided she needed to clean all the surfaces with the tiny sponges, it was a bit of a watery mess.

easter-tent-and-egg-hunt5

We may have also got our children two bunnies.  I couldn't help myself.  I had bunnies growing up as a child and had so much fun with them.  Henrik named the black one hoppy and Maja named the brown one honey.

Aren't the bow tie and bow so cute that Henrik and Maja are wearing?!  If you're interested in some for your little ones my sweet friend makes them and you can get them here.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Ours was lovely filled with lots and lots of love, and chocolate.

my broken heart

On January 18th my heart shattered into a million pieces, I found out my 23 week old baby boy whom I'd felt move inside me and already loved with all my heart was dead.  The next day I had to do the impossible, I had to deliver him. I remember hearing about one of my sister's friends losing her babies and thinking 'that can't happen to me I've already been through so much, I've already had to fight so hard for my children!'.  I don't think like that anymore.  I am forever changed.  I see differently.  I love differently.  In some ways I've learned more of what it means to be a mother and love unconditionally in the death of my son than in the lives of my two children.  Some of the most beautiful lessons in life are learned through the hardest experiences.

My heart is broken and may be forever, I'm okay with that.  I am in the process of rebuilding it.  I feel that there are two paths I can choose in this reconstruction.  I can choose to become a hardened, bitter, cynical person, or I can choose to be a more loving, giving, compassionate one. Each day I have to fight for the latter.  Some days I succeed and other days I fail miserably.

Stillborn baby boy

A week ago Friday the 18th I received some very heartbreaking news.  The baby boy I was carrying had died, I was 23 weeks along.  On Saturday, the next day, I had to deliver him.  As you can imagine this has been very devastating and heartbreaking to me and my family. I will be taking a break from blogging to grieve and try to heal.

 

Maja's second Birthday

The beginning of this month we celebrated my daughter Maja's second Birthday.  As is our tradition, I had her Birthday table ready for her when she woke up, decorated with party accessories,  her gifts and her cake.  It was so fun to see the joy and excitement on her face.

This year I kept her party really simple, inviting the Grandparents and serving root beer and chocolate cake.  Maja really enjoyed eating her own large slice.

It was so fun to watch her open her presents.  We gave her a lot of books (most were in German), each book she looked at carefully, turning the pages as if she were reading.  It's so fun to see how maternal she is with her dolls, giving them their bottles and holding them like a baby.  I was especially excited for her to see the sheep pull toy that I made for her and barely finished it in time for the party.  Tomorrow I will share the tutorial.

Check out Minted's blog Julep for more photos of her party and the party accessories I used.

Merry Christmas!

Part of my Christmas wish was fulfilled this year seeing my children in their Christmas outfits, especially Henrik in his father's lederhosen.  The older I get, the simpler my Christmas wishes become, I just hope to have a healthy and happy family.  I wish the same for you and your families.  We hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

-xo the Coleman's.

gingerbread cookies

During the month of December in Germany, there are Weihnachtsmarkts or Christmas markets in all the different towns with all sorts of little huts selling different items like toys, ornaments, food, and much much more.  Several of the huts sell these delicious gingerbread cookies that you can customize with your child's name or any phrase.  It's so fun to see the little children wearing their cookies, nibbling on them as they walk through the streets.

While in Germany my husband and I bought some gingerbread cookies for our children.  We thought the kids would love it if we had their names written on them.  Henrik and Maja enjoyed eating their cookies and wore them all day long.

I think it would be so easy and fun to make your own gingerbread cookies for your children to wear and eat.  We're going to make some this week.

St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day or St. Nikolaus Tag was a tradition we celebrated in my family that I always looked forward to.  St.  Nicholas was the patron Saint of children and was known for secretly putting coins in the shoes of people who left them out for him.  In the Netherlands he is called Sinterklaas, and this is where the model for Santa Claus came. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated by placing your shoe by the fireplace or in front of your door on the evening of the 5th of December (I always made sure to find the largest shoe I owned).  If you were a good little girl or boy throughout the entire year, the morning of the 6th you received toys and treats.  If you were naughty you received twigs and maybe a chastising letter.

In my family with my small children I love to continue this tradition.

Here's what St. Nicholas is giving my children this year:

Maja was a good girl this year and she will receive a new pair of Christmas pajamas,  a St. Nicholas and an angel playmobile figure, and a chocolate St. Nicholas.

Henrik was also a good boy this year and he will receive a new pair of Christmas pajamas,  a St. Nicholas and a snowman playmobile figure, and a chocolate St. Nicholas.

This year I'm sad that I will miss St. Nicholas Day with my children (I'm celebrating it in Germany!).  I've made sure that the babysitter understands how to celebrate the tradition, so that my children can enjoy it in my absence.  This is particularly comforting for me since it was so hard to leave them.  It's nice to know they have fun things to look forward to while I'm gone.

I can just picture the look of excitement on their faces the morning of the 6th (Henrik did a pretty good job role playing this for me in the picture above).

It's not too late to try this tradition in your family as well.  Do you have any special Christmas traditions you celebrate in your family?  If so I'd love to hear them.

 

 

advent wreath

As a child celebrating Advent and participating in the Advent singing (with my dirndl dress) was so special to me.  I really enjoy continuing these traditions with my own little family.  Advent is a simple tradition that focuses on the advent, or coming birth of Christ.  We celebrate His coming birth with an evergreen wreath and four candles.  The first Sunday one candle is lit, the second Sunday two candles are lit, and so on until the fourth Sunday.  The first Sunday is also celebrated singing German Advent songs.  We usually invite friends, make some desserts, and spend the evening singing Christmas songs. I made a very simple advent wreath, using all found objects from my home and yard.  Here's what I used:  a wooden plate, snippets of evergreen, holly, bakers twine and candles.

Here's what I did to make the wreath:  I arranged the evergreen in a circle and added the holly on top.  I wrapped bakers twine several times around the candles.  I then hot glued the candles to the wooden plate.

I think this is such a wonderful tradition that helps us focus on the true spirit of Christmas and brings a feeling of peace and love in our home.

I'm headed for Germany next week, I'm so excited!  I already miss my children terribly, but this will be a fun trip with my husband.  I'll still have posts for you and when I get back I'll have some fun posts of my trip to Germany.

advent calendar

This week on Babyccino Kids:

Growing up with a German mother, celebrating advent was a big deal and magical to us children.  In our family I have so much fun putting together and collecting gifts for the advent calendar.  Henrik is now at such a wonderful age where he gets really excited to open each advent. This year I found some great paper advent bags at Ikea and couldn't pass them up.  I like to keep things simple and I just tied twine to the staircase.  I then attached the bags to the twine with wooden close  pins going up the stairs.

I rotate the gifts so that my two children get something every other day.  I usually give them small gifts that range from $1-$4.  I also like to pick gifts that they can get a lot of play out of.  Because I have a 22 month old that is into everything I only put one advent gift in at a time the night before.

It's so great to see their excited faces when they open their advent bag.  I think it makes counting down till Christmas so much fun and bearable for children.

love and thanksgiving

I thought I understood what love was growing up with a loving mother and brothers and sisters, or when I married my best friend.  I didn't completely understand until I held my baby boy in my arms for the first time.  Having children truly feels like I'm wearing my heart outside of my body and every day I can't believe how much I love those two little people. We had a very difficult time getting our first two children and in this struggle it has made me even more grateful for my children and the opportunity to be their mother.  I feel so blessed that I get to be a mother to one more child coming this May ( I'm fourteen weeks pregnant).  I'm looking forward to feeling the baby move and for the morning sickness to go away.

Before Henrik was born I spent years wondering if I would ever be a mother.  In this time of Thanksgiving I am most grateful for the privilege of being the mother to (in my opinion) the sweetest most loving children.

polarn outdoor challenge

Last week Polarn O. Pyret issued an outdoor challenge for all families living in the US.  This meant one full week where the family was outside playing and exploring everyday.  Their goal was to get 1,000 hours total of outdoor time.  I though this was a great idea and thought it would be fun to document our family outdoors. As some of you may already know my Mother is from Germany.  In Europe being outside it part of every day life.  Everywhere you go you see families and buggies out no matter the weather conditions.  My mother stressed to us the importance of being outside every day even in the cold.  It was an unwritten rule at our house that we had to be outside for at least an hour a day.  In my own family I still try to abide by my mother's teaching and we really do enjoy being outside.

On Monday:  Maja and I went on a nice long walk around our very hilly neighborhood.  Afterward we picked up Henrik from preschool.  In the afternoon after Maja's nap we all went with some friends to the school playground next to our house.  We spend about 4 hours outside.

On Tuesday:  We went on a bike ride that later turned into a walk with my mother, or Mormor and Resi her dachshund.  During the walk we stopped and made a new friend, visited with some of Mormor's friends and swung on the neighbors tree swing.  We spend about 1.5 hours outside.

On Wednesday:  We went on another walk with Mormor and Resi,  rolled around in the neighbors perfectly manicured lawn, and helped Mormor rake her enormous pile of leaves (we didn't really make a dent in the pile).  We spent about 2 hours outside.

On Thursday:  It was a perfect sunny day (the last sunny day), so we arranged a playdate with some other mothers and played in the neighboring playground.  The kids had so much fun running around in a herd.  I practically didn't see Henrik the entire time and Maja made a new little boyfriend too.  We spent about 2 hours outside.

On Friday:  We weren't outside much, due to the fact that it was my Birthday and it was raining/hailing cats and dogs outside.

On Saturday:  Henrik spent the entire afternoon playing and sledding in the snow with his friends.  Maja joined them after her nap.  The kids had a blast and I admire their stamina.  We spent about 4 hours outside.

On Sunday:  Henrik and his cousin Sarah played outside in the snow and built a snowman.  Henrik loves to play with his cousins, especially his 16 year old cute girl cousins.  We spent about 1.5 hours outside.

This was a fun week to document and we basically had all four seasons in one week.  You'll be happy to know that Polarn O. Pyret exceeded their goal and had 1, 104.5 hours of outdoor play.

Henrik's super hero party part 2

For Henrik's party we thought it would be fun if the kids did a couple of super hero crafts.  Susan was so nice and made the leather masks that the kids could decorate.  If you would like the tutorial on how to make a leather mask click here.  I loved watching the kids' personalities come through in their masks.  I had supplies ready for the kids to paint and decorate super hero clothes pin dolls as well, but the only two who stayed to decorate them were the girls.  Henrik did cover a few clothes pins in masking tape (his favorite thing to do).  The boys had more fun running around pretend fighting.  I guess you win some you lose some.

It was so funny watching the kids give spiderman his presents.  I loved seeing how excited and involved the kids got watching Henrik open his presents.  For the party favors we gave the kids super hero stickers, erasers, and coloring books, of course!  It sure is good to be a kid.

We had such a wonderful super hero party for Henrik's fifth Birthday.  I am so lucky to have so many amazing and talented friends and family who helped out.  Thanks to Susan, Stephanie, Merrilee and Ashley (who took all the photos).

I can't believe my little Henrik is already five.  He is such a sweet little boy.  I wish I could freeze time and make him stay five for a long time.  The other day he said "Mama, I wish I were little forever"  me too Henrik, me too.

 

Henrik's super hero party part 1

For Henrik's 5th Birthday Party with his friends we decided to have a super hero party.  Henrik loves to dress up in costumes and for the party he wore his Spiderman costume the entire time with the mask, taking the mask off only to eat and blow out the candles.The decorations were fairly simple and with the help of my very talented friend Stephanie we were able to make super hero themed decorations.  To make the city silhouette I bought 10 feet of black butcher paper, cut a city outline out of the paper and taped two silhouettes to the back of our house. Stephanie gave me the brilliant idea of making signs with funny comic book quotes like "splatt" and "ka-boom". I drew the quotes on foam core and taped them to wooden dowels.  We lined nine quotes all along the back of our rock wall.  Stephanie was kind enough to make the banners with the super hero phrases and drew the letters by hand attatching them to bakers twine with tape.  The phrases were:  "up up and away", "adventure awaits", and my favorite "here I come to save the day". I kept the food simple as well.  We had turkey croissant sandwiches, fruit, and chips.  For dessert we had chocolate cupcakes that my mother-in-law made and the most amazing German apple cake that a family friend Wiebeke made especially for Henrik.

The kids had a great time running around playing super heroes.  In the next few days I'll be sharing the super hero photo booth and crafts we did.

All the photos were taken by the amazingly talented Ashley Thalman.  She was so fun and easy to work with.  It was so nice for me to be able to sit back and enjoy the party and not worry about taking the pictures.

the alpine loop

Yesterday afternoon we took a trip up the canyon along the Alpine Loop.  This is a drive we take every year around this time.  Fall is my favorite season I love to see the changing colors in the trees and feel the cool shift in the weather.  We had such a wonderful time together as a family (hazel came with us too).  I hope to continue this tradition every year.  Henrik was so happy to explore the beautiful surroundings and said excitedly "Wow, what an amazing forrest."

Do you have a tradition that you like to do every fall?  If so I'd love to hear.

henrik's 5th birthday

As a child growing up my mother made our birthdays special.  The night before she would wrap the gifts, bake a birthday cake and display it all on the coffee table in the living room.  In the morning I would wake up early to see my "Geburtstagstisch" or "Birthday table".  My family would sing to me "Merete hat Geburtstag, tra la la la la" (a German Birthday song).

Yesterday we celebrated my son Henrik's fifth birthday (how did he grow up so fast?).  In our family we've continued the "Geburtstagstisch" tradition.  It is so fun to see the expression on Henrik's face when he sees the decorations and presents.  This year he was so happy to receive more lego guys and a book that his father made just for him.

I feel so privileged to be Henrik's mother.  He is such a loving and creative boy.  I look forward to celebrating many birthdays with him.

 

schultuete

This week on Babyccino Kids:

In Germany it is a huge tradition to get a 'Schultuete' for the first day of your first year in Elementary school.  The 'Schultuete' is a cone filled with candy, pencils, school supplies and other treats. Growing up in the US with a mother from Germany,  my mom felt it important to pass along her traditions with us. As a first grader I was so excited to receive my 'Schultuete'.  Usually you only receive one for entering school, but I thought it would be a fun tradition to do every year. This is a great way to get my children excited for school and a creative way to give them their school supplies.

Here's what I did to make one:  I cut a piece of wrapping paper and card stock in a quarter circle.  I then glued the two pieces to each other and glued it together in the cone shape.  I stuffed a couple of pieces of tissue paper in the cone and then filled it full of treats and school supplies.  I got some tips on how to make one here.

Henrik was so happy to receive his 'Schultuete' and couldn't wait to eat some of his chocolate.