Saturday, November 27, 2010

Halloween 2010

I was going to title this better late than never but then I decided to not be so hard on myself and go with Halloween 2010. I hope you will still enjoy seeing these photos of our Halloween nearly a full month after the fact. What can I say? November has been very busy and I am doing the best I can with keeping this site current but it seems to be easier said than done. I promise I will get there one of these days. Until then you will have to enjoy the old with the new and the past with the present.

I brought my little pumpkin to a pumpkin patch this season and let her pick out a pumpkin of her very own!

She had to find the biggest one in the patch... and lick it!

Then she thought she would try to pick up two at once... I love her facial expression!

Here's Ava-Pie carrying her perfect pumpkin!

Rob brought Ava home some BIG pumpkins from the farm and she was tickled pink.

I had big visions for this Halloween season to carve pumpkins as a family. We had a tight schedule with Rob leaving for his hunting trip, my busy work schedule, and the warm weather was working against us on top of it all. We decided that the Monday before Halloween was going to be "the night" for carving but it didn't go to plan. Ava went to daycare that Monday and had an early nap due to sleeping poorly the night before. Go figure! So by the time we made it through our dinner it was obvious she was in need of an early bedtime way more than pumpkin carving. So be it... She went to bed and Rob and I carved pumpkins.

Rob found an owl pattern online for Ava to make her the perfect "Hoots" Pumpkin.

For those of you who know Rob well... You know he kindly posed for this photo to humor me. Thanks honey!!!

One Hoots and One Angel Pumpkin... Perfect for our girls!

I had the Friday off before Halloween and I could hardly wait to take Ava to her party at Lighthouse Learning Academy. I hate to admit it but I was super excited to be the "room mother" and lend a helping hand to the girls who work in Ava's classroom. I hope Ava doesn't mind in time that I am that Mom who has to be involved in helping at holiday parties whenever it's possible. I just can't help myself!

Rob happened to schedule Ava for her classroom pictures that day so we stopped there in the morning and Ava did her usual cheese routine. We opted not to purchase any of the pictures because Ava is no stranger to having her picture taken. But we still wanted her to have a photo in her classroom picture. After we were done we stopped by her classroom and played with the kids. Kelly, the director, was dressed as Dorthy from The Wizard of Oz and she was painting the cutest little bugs on all the kids hands. Ava didn't care for her hand being painted so she ended up with a red circle. It was going to be a very cute ladybug but she made it clear she was all done and wanted no part in it. Pay attention to the little red circle on her hand... it's still cute. We left and went home for lunch and a nap. When she woke up we headed back for the big parade and party! "Whoot-Whoot"... or should I say, "Hoot-Hoot"!  

Miss Kristen, Tessa, Ava, Abby, Ronan, and Noah...

Group Shot...

The Trio & me!

Ava and Abby... Best Girlfriends!

We celebrated Halloween on October 30th this year which was the Saturday before the holiday. It was a very busy day for Ava and I. In fact, so busy I will NEVER make it that busy again. I decided to try and swing a birthday party and two rounds of Trick-Or-Treating in one evening. What was I thinking? It's my Sister-in-Law, Christina's Birthday on Halloween. So we went to her sister's house to celebrate her birthday. Happy Birthday Aunt Nina! I wish I had a photo of Ava and her Auntie but I missed the moment. But don't worry, I did get a few cute ones of Ava at her party...

Grandma, Ava, and Emma...

My Pumpkin Pie!

There is nothing better than dressing your baby up as her favorite Lovie!

Ready to Trick-Or-Treat...

I love this costume... Thanks Pottery Barn Kids!

This was my favorite Hoots photo of the season!

After the birthday party and Trick-Or-Treating round one we were off to our neighborhood to do it all over again with our friends.

Poor Ava was loosing her patients with this rigorus Halloween routine.

Trick-O-Treating with the big kids...

Ava's on a mission for more candy!

My little night owl...

A church near our home hosts a pumpkin walk every year. We decided to take all the kids there together this year after Trick-Or-Treating. There are hundreds of really cool carved pumpkins. They all boarder a trail through some woods on the church's property. At the end of the walk they give out hot cider and baked goodies. It was really fun and I will definitely take Ava to it again in the future.

Pumpkin Walk 2010...

Momma & Ava...

Hoots was popular this season...

Bert & Ernie...


My favorite... YOGI BEAR!

Hand in hand walking nicely to our car to end a perfect night...

Then my tired toddler decided she didn't want to walk anymore and had a meltdown. I wish this photo had volume because it hardly does her tantrum justice!

Happy Halloween!!! With a little luck I will post something on Thanksgiving before Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A hunting he will go...

"Shhhhhhhhhhhhh... I'm hunting wabbits!"

No Rob's not out hunting rabbits... But he IS out hunting. In fact, he's been hunting hard this season. For his sake (and mine) I hope he shoots something soon and settles his "buck fever!"

For those of you who are not familiar with the sport it begins statewide with bowhunting on October 1st and continues through November 14th. Then you can hunt with a firearm starting on November 15th. Following the firearm season, archery season begins again on December 1st and concludes January 1st. What it means for Rob at Home Sweet Kolkman... Starting in August he begins to talk about hunting. Then in mid to late September he gets his gear ready. He gets his hunting spot and cabin in order. He scouts out deer. He sets out tree stands. He builds a sturdy hunting blind. He gets his licenses bought. He books his out of state hunting trip. He gets EXCITED... because it's finally deer season! What it means for me at Home Sweet Kolkman... I gear up for the long haul. I gear up for lots of girl time with my number one gal pal Ava pie. And... Yes, it is and it has been a LONG season!

A while ago I mentioned in our current events that Rob was leaving Ava and I to go on a hunting trip. Well, he did and even though it's been a few weeks since he went I still wanted to give the man of this house a little press. He went to Minnesota in pursuit of the whitetail buck. Not just any bucks... BIG BUCKS.

Black Hammer, Minnesota

Watch out Big Minnesota Bucks... He's after you!

Rob's trip fell October 28th through November 4th this year. It's my routine to bring Ava to my Mom's house every Thursday for my work shift at the crack of dawn. So we were able to have a send off for Rob before he departed during the early hours that morning. Apparently, it's tough to get any Daddy love at 5:50am!

All of his gear...

I'm happy to report he made it there and back safe and sound. I am happy to report he had a great time with three of his hunting buddies. They all hunted hard. They all played hard. They all saw deer. But they all came home empty handed this year. However, I can report that they all had fun and laughed hard. I'm also pretty sure that they all enjoyed the shenanigans that resulted from putting four guys in a hotel together for a week. There was lots of hooting and hollering in the background when I got my nightly reports at deer camp. Next year boys... next year!

Here's a photo of the 12 point Rob did get on this trip three years ago... NICE!

Since this trip Rob's been hunting during the week in my Dad's old hunting spots at my Mom's house. He's been watching a few deer there consistently, one of which, is a nine point. He has also been to our cabin in Baldwin. There's lots of hunting weekends in his near future so I will keep you posted if he gets one and I'm sure he will. Good luck Rob... & "That's all Folks!"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Night and Day it's Cinderella

Lately, I feel a lot like Cinderella and I'm not paying myself a complement. Now, please don't take this the wrong way because I do feel like parts of my life are fairytale like. I'm just taking a brief moment to vent about the not so fairytale like parts here at Home Sweet Kolkman. I feel very fortunate that I have found the love of my life and together we have a little castle and a couple of kids. But with this good fortune comes a heck of a lot of work. I feel as though I am being pulled in several directions by my many roles in life. I am a mom, wife, nurse, daughter, sister, and friend just to name a few. There are responsibilities that fall under each of these roles and I have committed myself to give my all and do my very best. Some of these responsibilities are extremely pleasant, some are darn right tedious, and all of them steal my time.

These days my biggest complaint is having a lack of time. A lack to time to get it "all" done in one day. A lack of time to be every one's everything. I really hate to admit it out loud here but there have been a few split seconds over the past couple weeks when I missed that part in my life when it was just me. Then guilt sets in and I wish I hadn't felt that way or acknowledged it. I AM living my DREAM. The dream of being all of the things I am in life. Then I realized it's not so much the old me I miss it's time I miss. I daydream about having more time to give to others and to myself. It can't be wrong to daydream. Right?

"Oh, that clock! Old killjoy. I hear you. "Come on, get up," you say, "Time to start another day." Even he orders me around. Well... There's one thing. They can't order me to stop dreaming."

The biggest things that take up my time are the day to day tasks. I work three days one week and four days the next. Recently, I have been picking up some extra hours at work to help pay for our Christmas wish list. Working four days a week every week feels like a lot to me. I know a lot of you work full time and manage to do it "all" with ease. I know I shouldn't be complaining but I just can't help myself. Work has been really hectic with the opening of Blodgett's new O.R.'s. The layout is very big and it's a long ways away from our old O.R.'s. Not only has our working space doubled, tripled, quadrupled in size so has patient holding and PACU. I am walking on average 20,000 steps during my eight hour shift. The average person walks 5,000 to 8,000 steps in a day.

So what's the big deal? My legs are tired by the end of the day and it's been wearing on me physically. We also still seem to have a lot of kinks to work out with the flow of many different process that contribute to life in the O.R. and patient care. The same ole' problems that existed in the old O.R's exist in the new one's and that has been a huge let down. I hate to be the Debbie Downer here but there you have it. All in all the new O.R.'s are really pleasing to the eyes but many of us working in them feel disappointed by parts of the layout, overwhelmed by the overload of technology, and we are completely over crabby stressed out managers. I hope in time it gets better and that it will not mentally and physically deplete all of my energy in just eight working hours.

Part of being a wife and mother is giving of yourself and putting your family's needs before your own. I do this without the bat of an eyelash most days. Aside from contributing to our household's income I take on a lot of mindless household tasks. No matter how hard I try the work just never seems to be done. I am slowly coming to terms with my work never being done but it's a frustrator to me. I do our grocery shopping, banking, bills, dishes, laundry, and I pick up and clean our house. It seems logical since I work out of our home less. However, with a toddler on the loose and in my care, who we now call Captain Crumb, it's no small challenge. Lately, all the tasks seem to be weighing me down leaving me very little or nothing for myself. The reason I have not been here to blog about all of this nonsense I call life.

Cinderella, Cinderella
All I hear is Cinderella, from the moment I get up
till shades of night are falling
There isn't any letup, I hear them calling, calling
"Go up and do the attic and go down and do the cellar, you can do them
both together

How lovely it would be
if I could live in my fantasy
But in the middle of my dreaming
they're screaming
at me

 All I am daydreaming about is having a little time for me. I know it's selfish but some days I want to run screaming out of this house for a few hours... ALONE! I want to sleep through the night without being sequestered to the nursery. I want to take a shower without someone banging on the door. I want to go to the bathroom and wipe without an audience. I want to eat a meal sitting down while it's still hot. I want to clean this house without interruptions or new messes being made. I want to come home from work to an empty sink. I want to read a book from cover to cover in just a few days instead of a few months. I want to watch a movie in the middle of the day of my choice. I want to have a date with my husband outside of this house. I want time to just be a friend instead of a friend who is also parenting during a visit. I want to blog and share our story before the news is old. I want to work on Ava's photo albums before she's eighteen. I want to keep up on her baby book before I forget all of her milestones. I want to learn how to sew by my mom before it's to late. I want to take a cooking class. I want to exercise more. I want to go to bed early and sleep in. I want to...........

Maybe I just need a Fairy Godmother to do a little, "Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Put 'em together and what have you got bibbidi-bobbidi-boo."  Then I could live happily ever after!

I'm afraid it's just not that easy here at Home Sweet Kolkman. I sincerly do love my family. I love Ava more than life itself. The beat of her heart has truly saved mine and each day I am amazed by the depths of our love. But the roles of motherhood and general adult life have been smoothering me to an inch of my being. I despirately needed a break. Thanks Rob for giving me a break today. I appreciate all of your help with Ava and for giving me some "me" time. I really needed it and now I am feeling much better. I know it's important to every mom to have a little time of her own. I promise that I will do what I can when I can to give myself a break. Now if I can just figure out a way to do it "all" without the help of a Fairy Godmother...