Friday, December 12, 2014

good for the soul.

yesterday was my monthly cooking club's annual christmas celebration. i look forward to cooking club each month, but especially at the holidays. this year's holiday theme was "just like grandma made." when i think of my grandma holmes' cooking i think of 3 things: baked macaroni and cheese, pies (peach and pumpkin) and, most importantly, california raisin bread.

my grandparents, cecil and kathleen holmes, live in hudson, iowa. growing up, we would travel a couple times a year to stay with them and i always looked forward to grandma's raisin bread. we would arrive and i'd immediately feel comforted by their house's warm, bread-y smell. sure enough, loaves of bread were found rising on the kitchen counter, almost ready to be baked. that fresh from the oven raisin bread just smelled and tasted like love.

making homemade bread has always intimidated me. actually, anything requiring yeast has always intimidated me. but my grandma taught me how to make her raisin bread several months ago and i decided i would be brave and attempt to make it by myself for cooking club. i pulled out the recipe my grandma had just written down for me over thanksgiving and read through it. lots of steps. but the last thing she wrote on the card was "enjoy making the bread- it's good for the soul. love, gr."

thankfully my children cooperated and napped long enough for me to go through the whole process: mixing, cooling, kneading, rising, deflating, rising, kneading, rising, baking, cooling. while i *almost* forgot to mix in the raisins, i'd say my bread was a success. maybe not quite as good as grandma's, but still delicious, and definitely good for the soul.

Monday, December 8, 2014

the latest.

considering it's been a month and a half since my last post, it's safe to say that consistency isn't my strong suit (bennett would likely agree...) for the most part things have been about the same around here. the boys are doing great and i'm truly loving being home with them. some days are tough for sure, but i love it a majority of the time.

i feel like bennett is suddenly so big and grown up. like, he's practically applying to colleges (ivy league pre-med, of course). it's so sad, but fun at the same time.  he is constantly singing jingle bells, baby beluga (or baby ah-wooga, as he says), abc's, old mcdonald, and of course happy birthday to himself. he's obsessed with fire trucks/firefighters, christmas lights, daddy's snowblower, and bubble guppies (yes, still).

he would live on pancakes and popcorn alone.

he loves BSF and MOPS and i love hearing him talk about jesus. hunter is still his best friend and he is just so sweet to him.

he is just so funny and i can't get enough of the funny stuff he says.

we have unfortunately entered the "why?" stage and "because!" is typically my end response (followed by ignoring the whys that inevitably keep coming). also, bennett recently started stripping off his clothes and diaper when protesting nap or bedtime. luckily it's not a super regular occurrence, but it does happen enough to be frustrating! speaking of diapers, potty training is great. he still needs reminders and does have an occasional accident (1-2 times a week, maybe) but for the most part he's good to go (although poop is definitely a challenge- he's gone in the potty many times but would rather not. gross).

we would love for him to tell us more regularly when he needs to go potty rather than us telling him it's time to go try, but we will get there. we knew it would be a longer process since we started at such a young age and we're ok with that.

hunter is such a big boy, too. we switched to formula a few weeks ago and while it's always bittersweet, i'm happy to be done nursing. hunter didn't miss a beat and has been completely content with bottles/formula. he's sleeping really well, typically sleeping 7:30-7:30, waking up sometime around 5AM to eat. he LOVES purées and will pretty much eat anything.

still no teeth (bennett didn't get his first tooth until he was 11 months old) but loves little finger foods like diced mangoes and bananas and, of course, little puffs and yogurt melts. hunter is super smiley and easy-going. no crawling just yet, but lots of backwards scooting and spinning in circles is happening.

both boys love their time with my parents, mimi and papa! we spent thanksgiving at their house in chetek with them, my brother ryan and his wife jeanie, my grandparents, and my aunt carol. despite most of us getting the stomach flu, we had a good time together.

i'm still working on my weight loss/fitness goals and am down about 30 lbs since june. i seem to be stuck at this point and am having a hard time getting past this little plateau. i'm working on eating more protein, which is definitely a challenge, and am incorporating more strength training into my exercise regimen. i still do some running on the treadmill, but not as much as i did this summer. consistency with healthy eating is tough all the time, but especially this time of year with so many celebrations, cookie exchanges, family gatherings, etc. sometimes it's frustrating to feel like i have to work so hard at this and even then don't always see the results i'd like. but that's the way it is so i'm trying to focus on making good choices and letting it go/moving on when things don't go as planned.

joe is busy with work, and just hit a huge milestone- $1,000,000 in sales for the year! it's a huge deal for reps to hit the million dollar mark and he worked really hard to get there. i'm super proud of him! he's playing pick-up basketball on wednesday nights and likes to get to the Y to play racquetball when he can as well.

so that's the latest! we are already really enjoying this christmas season together. it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, October 20, 2014


i guess blogging is low on my priority list these days... i can't seem to be consistent! oh well. you win some, you lose some.

there's been a lot going on at our house lately...

bennett is *mostly* potty trained! i don't remember the last time bennett had an accident (pee, that is). he has been such a champ and we are so proud of him. we even had our first successful #2 potty trip two days ago! sometimes i sit back and think, "wow. my son pooping on the potty was the highlight of my day. and i am completely fine with it." also, i need to remember how much better bennett does with these big transitions than i expect him to. i gear myself up for a disaster and always seem to be pleasantly surprised at how he manages to just roll with it.

we did a little cry it out at our house last weekend with hunter. i'm not aiming for sleeping through the night yet- he's only in the 10th percentile for weight (despite his nickname, chub chub) and can't go 12 hours without eating. but it was getting to the point where he was hardly going 4 hours without eating. at 7 months old he should be able to do a bit better than that. we had one rough night of crying (1.5 hours, on and off) but since then he has been doing much better. his typical nights have been something like this: bed at 7:30-8ish, up at 2am and 6am to eat, up for the day around 7. much more manageable.

i started my new work-from-home job last week and it's going pretty well so far. i try to do 2-3 hours of work each weekday, usually when the boys are napping from 1-3 or 4. it feels good to have something of my own to do and to earn some extra money without having to sacrifice time with the boys.

we got to see the wienke cousins last weekend and celebrate whitney, martin and charlie's birthdays. the boys LOVE their cousins and they all have such a great time together. we wish they lived closer. here are some pictures from the party...

and a few other recent pics...

i'll be doing posts on potty training tips, weight loss, and some parenting things i've learned lately, so check back soon for those!

Monday, September 29, 2014

potty training.

so potty training has been fairly successful. i mean, i've never done this before so i really don't know how our progress measures against where it "should" be 3 days in, but it seems like it's been successful so far. we have had about 5-6 accidents total since friday night, and none at home since naptime yesterday. this post probably won't be all that interesting but i wanted to document what we have done so far since [i guess] we will eventually have to do this again when hunter is old enough. i'm holding out hope hunter will potty train himself. he is gifted like that.

so first we scheduled "potty training weekend" on our calendar once we agreed we thought bennett was ready. as it got closer i kept hoping joe would bail us out by saying we should wait, but no such luck. potty training was on.

friday when the boys got up from nap we headed to target for our potty training supplies. $85 later (seriously) we were fully equipped. and we already had a little potty. we armed ourselves with: several packs of undies that bennett picked out (think: dusty crophopper and lightning mcqueen), pull-ups, a potty seat to go on the big potty, juice, peanut butter m&m's, and carpet cleaner.

we planned to start saturday morning but when we got home from target on friday night bennett was so excited about his undies we figured there was no time like the present. we said "let's try on our undies and try going on the potty!" he waltzed right up there and peed on the potty. i literally almost had a stroke. i had prepared myself for many unsuccessful attempts before he ever actually went. (typical of me to expect the worst. ughh, lay off, i'm working on it.) we celebrated with hugs, cheers, high fives, and of course a round of peanut butter m&m's (mom and dad deserve chocolate too, right?).

friday night bennett went probably 6 times on the potty and didn't have a single accident. we put a diaper on him at night (we will tackle nighttime/naptime after we get daytime down). saturday we had some accidents but bennett definitely was upset by them- he wanted us to clean them up right away and get new undies on. he pooped in his undies, too- poop training is harder because you have so many fewer times to practice!

sunday we had a rough morning with some accidents and what can now be referred to as "the poop showdown" where we basically confined bennett to the bathroom because we knew he needed to go but wouldn't. eventually (over an hour later) the packer game was starting so we caved and let him out, but said he had to be naked from the waist down. i figured we had no chance of him going in the potty if he had the opportunity to go in his undies. we made it to naptime without an accident and i was pleasantly surprised when he didn't go in his pull-up during his nap.

we decided to stick with the naked thing when we are at home (i read a lot and many people say this is the best method to potty train) and we didn't have anymore accidents the rest of the day sunday. we caught him trying to poop and made it to the potty just in time! not quite pooping on the potty but i call it a win. also we took a family trip to target with bennett in undies. he sat on the potty there but didn't go- but no accidents and made it home still dry!

today he got up and peed right away on the potty and we had a good morning accident-free. bennett even told me he needed to go potty multiple times on his own without a reminder! hunter had his 6 month well visit this morning so we ventured out in undies again. we went to the potty at the doctor's office multiple times but he didn't want to sit on the big potty and inevitably had an accident. we put a pull-up on and he kept that dry until he went on the potty when we got home. 

so that's that. potty training success so far. hoping we continue making strides!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

remember me?

it's been a while! life is busy and time has just gotten away from me. a lot of things to update so here we go!

work is busy for joe- a good thing! he's got a lot of things in the works and has made some good progress with some "big fish" in his territory as of late. he's had a couple business trips so far this fall and has a couple more planned in october/november. assuming things continue to go as they have been, joe is on target to sell over a million dollars this year, which is a big accomplishment and will result in an award at wright's national sales meeting in february and a commission raise for next year. so proud of him!

joe and i spent labor day weekend in chicago to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. it was weird to be away from the boys for nearly 5 days but it was super relaxing and a lot of fun. the boys did great with my mom and dad at the lake in wisconsin. although i will say my parents were probably ready for more quiet and less bubble guppies by the end!

helping papa mow the lawn!

bath time with mimi

bennett started going to his old daycare with miss becky on mondays this fall and is loving it (and so is mama!). they walk to the library for story time, do lots of activities outside, and have sharing time. bennett is loving learning about moses in the BSF kids program on thursday mornings and being in the tiger room every other wednesday while i'm in MOPS.

also this weekend we started working on potty training with bennett.

he's doing great! he has only had a handful of accidents and we have been super proud of him. the funniest part of the weekend was when bennett called mimi to tell her he went on the potty. he ended up saying, "mimi! watch this!" and then proceeded to pee on the potty on facetime with my mom. silly goose.

hunter is 6 months old today!

i just can't get over it. he is such a joy- always happy and smiling. he puts himself to sleep and takes great naps. we are still waking up a couple times a night to eat, but i'm hoping that will resolve itself soon. if not, we will have to think about crying it out... not yet though. he had his first solid food today (besides rice cereal/oatmeal)- avocado! he LOVED it and ate 1/4 of a mashed avocado then cried for more!

bennett hated avocado but hunter couldn't get enough. he's still taking zantac for his reflux and doing great.

as for me, i'm involved in BSF and MOPS and really enjoying those activities. i am still working at this weight loss thing- down over 25 lbs to date :) i haven't been able to work out quite as frequently as i had been now that summer is over and we are busier during the week but i'm getting to the gym about 4x a week.

also, i was recently contacted by an old boss from family innovations who has since left to be the treatment director at minnesota teen challenge. he asked if i would be interested in doing some work for them from home in credentialing and contracting (essentially exactly what i did at family innovations). so i accepted a contracted position as credentialing lead and will be working 10-15 hours a week from home! it's a great opportunity for me to make some extra money but still be able to be with my boys full time. i'm excited and grateful for the opportunity!

that's the latest in the wienke world! i'll try to be better about posting more regularly!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

on a roll. or a run.

as you know if you've been reading for a while, i've been actively working on losing weight for about two and a half months now. i gained a lot more weight with hunter than i intended (thank you, poptarts) and taking it off is proving to be far more difficult than putting it on. but, i'm having success and i'm excited to see my hard work paying off. since june 6th (10 weeks) i've lost 15 pounds! also, i took measurements on june 30th (kicking myself for not taking them when I started!) and then took them again today. in six and a half weeks i've lost 7 inches: 1" from my bust, 2" from my waist, 2.5" from my hips, and 1.5" from my arm. i will take it!

also, if you know me at all you know i don't run. like, ever.

well, apparently that's no longer the case. i mentioned before that joe decided to train for a 10k and that i reluctantly agreed to do some of the training runs with him.

we started with running one minute, walking two minutes, repeat.

since then we have gradually increased our running intervals and decreased our walking intervals. it's been fun to do together and joe has been extremely encouraging.

honestly, for me running has been a major source of anxiety for most of my life. i literally tried to fake sick every time i knew we had to do the mile run fitness test in gym class all through grade school (you can ask my mom). i have always been slow and absolutely hated being one of the last to finish the run, especially because at my school all the kids sat on the bleachers by the track when they were done with the mile and waited for everyone else to finish. so not only was i slow, but my lack of athleticism seemed to be on display for all my peers to see. it sounds dramatic but it was truly a traumatizing experience for me looking back and i remember thinking i'd never run again once i didn't have to for school.

but i think that sense of inadequacy or failure around running has been a roadblock throughout my journey toward fitness and a happy/healthy weight. it's one of those nagging voices in my mind saying "you don't have what it takes." but i'm really getting to a different place mentally. no longer are my motivations for eating less and working out merely skin-deep. i want to achieve the things that i have been telling myself i can't for as long as i can remember, and that includes being a "runner." don't get me wrong, i'm not setting out to run a marathon or anything. and not because i don't think i can, but because i don't have the desire or the time to commit to it. but i want to push myself to do things like 5 and 10k races, and maybe even someday a half marathon.

on monday i ran 3 miles without stopping a single time to walk. it's the first time in my life i've ever run that far without stopping. i mapped out a 3 mile loop around my neighborhood and set out with the goal of running the whole thing. it. was. hard. there were a few hills i thought would never end and i wanted to stop so badly a couple of times. but i didn't. i know my body can do more than my head says it can and proving that voice that says "you can't" is what was most rewarding.

joe wants us to sign up for the twin cities monster dash 10 mile race on october 25th. i'm not sure about it yet- 10 miles is a loooong way to run. but the fact that it sounds so scary is what makes me think i should take the plunge and do it. stay tuned...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

4 months.

this post is a little late, but that's basically the theme of my life so there ya have it.

my sweet hunter joseph is 4 months old. he is a smiley, happy, easy going little guy and such a joy in our lives. we hit a little snag about 3 weeks ago when hunter started having a felt rough time eating and seemed extremely distressed immediately after eating. he's always spit up a lot but he started arching his back and screaming mid-feeding and was nearly inconsolable sometimes after eating. i brought him to the doctor a week ago and she told me he has acid reflux. poor buddy. but he has honestly been a brand new man since starting zantac and nursing seems to be a pleasant experience again rather than a distressing one. so glad we got that resolved quickly!

hunter is still wanting to eat every 2-2.5 hours during the day. he's also eating rice cereal 1-2 times a day (supposedly helps with reflux) and LOVES it. he gobbles it up so fast and smiles a ton while eating.

the 3-4 month sleep regression hit us hard. but we seem to be back in the groove now. typically hunter goes to bed around 8:30pm and sleeps 6-7 hours, wakes to eat, and goes back down for 3-4 more hours. he's also taking several short naps and one long nap (usually 1:30-3:30 or 4) each day. he still gets swaddled (arms in) for his long nap and at night. his shorter naps are often in the car seat or the mamaroo if we are home.

hunter is super chatty like his big brother and is extremely ticklish! it's so fun to tickle him and hear his sweet laugh. he's loving reaching for things lately and chomping on his hands (or anything else he can find). he loves his nuk too. he also really likes rides in the stroller, sitting in his bumbo, and is starting to warm up to the jumperoo. being carried in the ergo is hit or miss on whether or not he likes it, but we keep trying :-)