Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Bucket List Catch-up! √

According to the calendar, summer officially ends on September 22nd and while I would love to write separate posts detailing all of our summer adventures, that’s just not going to happen in 3 weeks time. Hands down, this has been the busiest summer of our lives! We’ve taken the camper out three times with another trip planned for next month. We’ve traveled to California, to Denver and to three other cities here in New Mexico and our remaining month of summer looks to be just as busy as the ones before. Most of our days have been filled with Gracie’s activities, often keeping us busy five to six days a week and she has loved every minute of it. She’s learned a ton, grown out of lots of clothes and met some new friends.

I’ve been a SAHM for the past 2 months and while I thought that would free up some time, I feel like we’ve been even busier than usual with me being home. As I’ve written in past blog posts, the only reason I returned to my previous employer nearly 2 years ago, was to take advantage of the IVF benefits they offered and try to get pregnant. When that didn’t work out, it was time for me to go. 10 years with the organization was plenty and I just no longer enjoyed being there and most definitely did not feel valued. When the option to take a nice severance package presented itself, I couldn’t say no. How could I pass up the opportunity to get paid to be home with Gracie for the entire summer? I took full advantage and I’m so glad I did!

I remember days at work dragging and weeks that felt endless, so you can imagine my surprise when, as a SAHM, the days fly by! My MIL has had Grace two afternoons a week all summer, which has given me time to get lots done around the house and plan my next career move. Thanks Gaga, you’re the best!! I’m in no rush to re-enter the workforce but hope to be in a new position (that I truly enjoy) by December. I may actually end up using my graduate degree in human resource management in my next career venture. Imagine that… working in a field related to my education. ;)

Anyway, back to our SBL catch-up! Because I only have an hour before Grace is up from her nap/quite time, here’s a brief breakdown of some of the fun stuff that’s kept us so busy these past couple of months. I still want to share pictures and posts of our camping trip, swim school and Gracie’s first experience playing t-ball and with 3 weeks left of summer, that’s totally doable (I think).

Go Swimming: √

We have spent the majority of our sunny days in the water! Lake water, river water, swim school, play dates at the local pool… There’s been lots of splashing around.


Could these two be any cuter? I don’t think so!


Visit the Library: √

Our neighborhood library is awesome and it’s shameful how little we visit but I’m just glad that we were able to scratch it off our summer bucket list this year! I think I put it off for so long because our last visit around 8 month ago was a bit stressful for me. Grace basically ran all over the library squealing rather loudly as she pulled every book she could off the shelves. Going again at almost 3 ½ was a much more enjoyable experience! Best of all, we got to meet uncle A for lunch after our visit. He let the Bean pick any dessert she wanted off the menu. Spoiled! 


Theater Summer School: √

I don’t have too many pictures that I can share of the absolute blast Grace had in her theater summer school program, for several reasons. First, the kiddos often wear shirts with the school name on them, so I obviously can’t share those and my absolute favorite pictures taken of Grace in the program, had her friend in them who’s parents have asked that his picture not be posted online. It’s a bummer because the pics are aaaaa-dorable, especially the ones from the play the kids put on for the parents at the end of the year. Still, I totally understand and respect the wishes of fellow co-op parents. If you ever see me share pictures of G’s little friends, it’s always with expressed consent, as it should be.

She had such a great experience and has since put on several small performances for us in the living room. ;)


Visit the Nature Center: √

The Nature Center is a place that we will most definitely be visiting again in the fall when the leaves begin to change. The park offers children’s wildlife exhibits and amazing bird and wildlife watching views that Grace loved. There are indoor and outdoor wildlife learning stations and trails leading to the Rio Grande River. We live in such a beautiful place!


Dance Class: √

It’s safe to say that t-ball took a backseat once the Bean started dance class. Sparkling leotards, pink dance shoes and bright colored ribbons to dance with… It’s like a dream come true for her, haha. The “creative movement” class is small, usually 5 kids or less which seems perfect at this age. The group stretches, practices tumbling and learns creative movements from their teacher. So it’s basically the cutest thing ever.


Visit the Water Park:

I know I’ve said this before but my fellow co-op preschool parents rule! In the kids first year of pre-k, a group of us moms became friends. Over the summer we arranged play dates because our little ones were missing each other so very much. We visited some local water/splash parks, had a few picnics and the kiddos had so much fun together. Another perk of being home for the summer is that I actually got to be a part of these fun days. When you’ve been the working mom who misses all the daytime fun for 3 years, I can’t tell you how great it feels to be a part of this kind of stuff. I’m definitely going to miss it when I return to work.


This was unintentional… Splash pad photo fail. ;)


I still can’t figure out how the summer has gone so fast! While we’ve had such busy and fun filled days with our gal, I have thoroughly enjoyed doing nothing on some of the days Grace has been with her grandparents. I’ve tried to take advantage of the “me time” to catch up on reading, writing, sleeping and a little quality time with my television and couch on those days when it’s 95+ out. The wife and I discovered a love for the show, Downton Abbey! Seriously, how did we just discover this treasure in its 6th and final year? We’ve finished the first 5 seasons and can’t wait until January when the final season begins! When we finished that we started Game of Thrones, which looks to be equally amazing. It’s been pretty sweet to be able to stay up a bit later and not have to wake up at 5:30am for work. If you can’t tell, I’m reaaaaally enjoying the extra time with Grace (and the extra mama time)!

2015 Summer Bucket List
Summer School, Go Swimming, Visit the Library, Visit the Nature Center, Dance Class, Visit the Water Park √


1.     Swim school – CHECK
2.     T-ball – CHECK
3.     Dance class – CHECK
4.     Make a fairy garden – CHECK
5.     Go camping
6.     Feed ducks – CHECK
7.     Run through the sprinklers
8.     Visit the library – CHECK
9.     Make popsicles
10.  Go to Ranch Camp – CHECK
11.  Theatre Themed Summer School – CHECK
12.  Visit local water park – CHECK
13.  Lake trip – CHECK
14.  Go swimming – CHECK
15.  Movies on the lawn
16.  Plant a Salsa Garden – CHECK
17.  Have a picnic – CHECK
18.  Visit the Nature Center – CHECK
19.  Make homemade playdough
20.  Go to a Zoo Music Concert
21.  Light fireworks – CHECK
22.  Roast marshmallows – CHECK
23.  Make root beer floats


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Plant a Salsa Garden √

3 months ago, Gracie and I planted a Salsa Garden. We watered it every other day, tended to the weeds and guess what? It grew; we harvested what grew and then we ate it! Everything so far has been delicious!


I’ve wanted to plant a “Salsa Garden” for many summers but couldn’t until now because we didn’t have a hospitable environment to grow anything in the backyard until last summer and at 2 years old, Grace was still a bit too small to help me. I really wanted our first gardening experience to me a Mama + Grace project, so this summer was perfect. Three years old seems to have been the perfect gardening age too because our gal has LOVED every part of being a little farmer!


We decided to start with seeds and didn’t want to plant anything too difficult to maintain because neither Georgia nor myself knew a single thing about gardening, hence the reason we stuck with basic salsa ingredients (and besides that, who doesn’t love salsa?!) We planted cilantro, several types of chile peppers, two types of tomato, oregano, onion, jalapeno and mint. Everything was planted in a small flowerbed, which was perfect because we are in no way qualified to farm anything larger. With the help of Dr. Google and this Companion Planting Chart, we planted our seeds and were so flippin’ excited about the whole process, haha!


I love that our little farmer helped every step of the way. She helped pick out our seed packets. She insisted on being the one to place the seeds in the ground and she filled her blue watering can almost every evening to go out and water. She would check the progress of her plants and come running in on days that she thought they looked bigger, just as excited as can be!


Princess farmer Gracie! She insisted on wearing her Sofia the First dress while we planted. ;)  

Here is 3 months of salsa garden progress…


G and I decided that this is something we’re going to do every summer from now on! I’ve loved being able to go out back and collect fresh ingredients for our evening meals. It’s been so much fun to watch our gal get excited over helping things grow and my heart melts anytime she goes on and on telling friends, family and teachers about her garden.


A few favorite meals made with yummy food WE grew!


Now if only the damn tomatoes and peppers would come in!


2015 Summer Bucket List – Plant a Salsa Garden √


1.     Swim school – CHECK
2.     T-ball – CHECK
3.     Dance class – CHECK
4.     Make a fairy garden – CHECK
5.     Go camping
6.     Feed ducks – CHECK
7.     Run through the sprinklers
8.     Visit the library – CHECK
9.     Make popsicles
10.  Go to Ranch Camp – CHECK
11.  Theatre Themed Summer School – CHECK
12.  Visit local water park
13.  Lake trip – CHECK
14.  Go swimming – CHECK
15.  Movies on the lawn
16.  Plant a Salsa Garden – CHECK
17.  Have a picnic
18.  Visit the Nature Center
19.  Make homemade playdough
20.  Go to a Zoo Music Concert
21.  Light fireworks – CHECK
22.  Roast marshmallows – CHECK
23. Make root beer floats 


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