Newest Addition

Good Morning!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Justin and I are looking forward to a morning date Saturday with brunch and some downtime. We’ve swapped our evening dates with Saturday morning dates because, let’s be honest, we’re both toast by the end of the day. And if we’re really being honest, I’m usually falling asleep on the couch around 8:30p.

I wake up super early to work out (alarm is set for 4:50a*), so my brain functioning much past 7:45p is a stretch. Actually, my brain doesn’t really function beyond 4p, but my body has to keep going a bit longer to get through dinner time and the kids bed time routine.

Because Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all things wonderful and lovely, I thought it would be the best time to share with you that the Wise family, and my belly, is expanding! Baby Wise #3 will be here by June and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome this little baby into our family. (My brother and sister-in-law will be having a baby a few weeks before ours, which makes this baby extra special to have such a close-in-age cousin!)


You’ve likely noticed my postings dwindle in the last few months. Well, this is the reason – secret’s out! It’s tough work growing kids and raising kids at the same time. Holy smokes!

I have to share my mindset of each pregnancy because it’s changed so much. I think many of you with more than 1 child will relate:

Baby #1: Pure joy and excitement. Everything is new and exciting and confusing and wonderful and filled with anxiety. There’s so much planning and researching and guessing. There’s a weekly picture documenting how your belly has grown and how you feel. It’s honestly bliss.

Baby #2: It’s still such excitement, but now it’s mixed with anxiety for how you are most assuredly ruining child #1′s life, wondering how they will ever possibly adapt and adjust. You rarely take weekly belly bump photos and often have to remind yourself how far along you are.

Baby #3: Wait, when am I due? How far along am I? Take a picture of me and die. Should I schedule an appointment? Oh my gosh, I’m huge. Are we sure we aren’t having twins? I should really make an appointment. This pregnancy thing is overrated… just give me the baby :)

Of course, every time I start to think about this, I think of my Grandma. She did this FIVE MORE TIMES, my dad is the oldest of eight. Now that woman is a saint! Saint Grandma… that’s what I’m going to call her from now on.

The kids have been so wonderful about this baby. They have named the baby “Baby Scoob-a-Doo,” “Baby Margaret,” “Baby Daniel,” and “Baby Henry.”  Both kids are actually rooting for a girl. Finn thinks baby boys just cry and baby girls are extra sweet. He swoons over his best friend’s little sister, Rowan. He eats her up whenever she’s around and keeps saying he wants a “Baby Rowan” at the house. I think he really is pulling for a girl because he’s a caretaker and already protective of Evie. He likes the thought of having another girl to protect.

We debated, but finally decided to have Finn and Evie join us last week at the gender revealing ultrasound. I didn’t know how they’d do, but they were amazing! They sat patiently and were in awe at what they were seeing. The heartbeat, the face, the feet, the hands.  This baby instantly wiggled into Finn and Evie’s hearts!


And of course… the gender revealing BOY PARTS! I’ll keep that picture in the family, though! :)

The kids warmed up to the idea quickly and are now over the moon about a baby brother joining our family.  My best friend has always said, “boys need brothers,” and she’s right. The world can only handle one Evie… she’ll fend for herself no matter who is around… but Finn and this baby will have a special brother bond. Finn just takes people in.

Since being pregnant, one of my favorite places has been reconnected with my vehicle…


Thank you all shopping locations who offer this, particularly when I have Finn and Evie with me, PARTICULARLY when it’s freezing out with insane snow amounts. Virtual high-five!

Blogging has been tough as I usually write during Evie’s nap and when the kids go to bed. However, I’m now KO’ed on the couch during those times now, so bare with me.  I’m working through what this will look like :)

I hope you all have the best Valentine’s Day weekend! After college I would always come home and take my Grandma out for lunch on Valentine’s Day. So, don’t sulk or hate on Valentine’s Day if you aren’t in a relationship… find someone to love for the day. There’s plenty of people out there!

Much love to all of you!  What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Are you celebrating anything extra lovely this weekend?

If you have 2 or more babies, how did you feel differently during your pregnancies?

* For those who continue to workout during pregnancy or those who recently had a baby and are getting back in the swing of things, please read this article. I’ve referred back to it every time I need to give myself some slack. I’ve had to quit doing a few things at CrossFit (hand stand push-ups, box jumps, and deep squats), but continue with every thing else… just slower. My coach is fantastic and regularly reminds me to keep my heart rate in check. I tend to push too hard. It’s tough to pull back, but I know it will reverse someday soon. All in good time. Your body is building and sustaining life… give yourself some grace! *


Welcome to 2015… Finally!

Okay, okay, okay. I suppose I fibbed a little. Who noticed?

My intent on getting back to blogging early January simply didn’t happen… clearly.  The craziness of the holiday, the fun of having 2 wild munchkins running around with their heads cut off, the transition back into “real life” just required a little more down time. But, I’m here! I’m finding my “new normal” for 2015 when it comes to blogging, too.

Welcome to 2015… finally! We are gearing up for a fun year in our house and are celebrating the chaos that was the holidays.


So what was the Wise Crew up to during our time off? Here’s the down and dirty:

  • watching Finn perform (stand still) during his school Christmas program
  • celebrating Christmas with both our families
  • holiday nails (the kids flipped!)
  • falling asleep on NYE at 9:15p (pretty sure Justin made it until 10p)
  • getting some house decorating goals accomplished (the mirror and print will not stay)
  • agreeing on plans and color schemes for other rooms (timeline is still debatable)
  • hosting my neighborhood Bunco group
  • Cedar Falls trip with good friends for a UNI basketball game and trip to The OP
  • celebrating my dad’s retirement with a company party
  • flashlight dance parties
  • regular morning stand-off with Evie about wearing pants (our max time was 90 minutes)
  • working on potty trainingimage1

I know I’m probably a day late, but I’d love to hear the highlight of your last month!

Grocery Shopping Staples: Trader Joe’s

Hands in the air if you’ve heard Garth Brooks new song, “Mom.” If you haven’t, the song starts around 2:25 in the video below.

I think in the addition to the lyrics, the reactions of the women watching is just the best! Just sheer weeping! :)

Garth Brooks holds a dear place in my heart for so many reasons. One reason is one of my favorite memories from high school.  A group of my 6 best girl friends and 4 best guy friends all road tripped to Lincoln our senior year to see Garth Brooks on his farewell tour. We had nose bleed seats until (long story short), some old, strange man came up behind us, started chit-chatting and offered the girls FRONT ROW SEATS. (Sorry, dudes!)

Can I just say this was the concert of concerts?!?!  We were all hoarse by the time we drove back to Omaha and on cloud 9 for months after. Heck, I’m still on cloud 9! (Sweet corduroy overalls, right? I’ll just say it for you!)


Anyway, I was reminded of that story as I heard 2 gals talking at Trader Joe’s the other day about going to one of Garth’s shows up in Minnesota recently. One of my favorite 17-year-old memories!

I used to shop more regularly at Trader Joe’s, but now probably only go once every 6-8 weeks. It seemed when I was going on a regular basis, they were ALWAYS out of something I needed and I ended up having to make a trip to another store… the whole issue I’d been trying to avoid.

So, I have my TJ’s staples and usually buy 3-5 of each when I go there so we are well stocked until I return.

Ezekiel Bread: While I normally buy this at Hy-Vee, this is $1 cheaper at Trader Joe’s, so I always buy a loaf or 2 while I’m there for the freezer.


Buns: There is a whole wheat hamburger and hot dog bun at Trader Joe’s that have far better ingredients than those at Hy-Vee (and that the kids will eat). I usually buy a few bags and throw them in the freezer, especially in the summer.


Shrimp: Wild caught shrimp is insanely expensive, but I refuse to buy the farm raised Thailand crap that seems to be everywhere. (This is basically fish from the sewer.) This shrimp has gone up $3 in the last year. Trader Joe’s used to carry wild caught scallops that we loved, but they have been out for at least 9 months. Augh. (Beware of that seafood blend in the image. I think those are farm raised. Much of the cooked shrimp is also farm raised.)


Animal Crackers: Finn loves these animal crackers like it’s no one’s business! Again, certainly not the most healthy option, but not filled with high fructose corn syrup and strange additives.


Organic Pops: The kids LOVE suckers, but I always cringe when I see the long list of crazy colors added to them. This version doesn’t have that, so the kids don’t bounce off the walls and lose their mind after a sucker. It’s a treat I actually enjoy giving them. (By the way, the kids equate the bank with suckers, so I keep a stash of these in the car for when we hit the drive-thru.)


Crackers: I don’t really understand why these are “reduced guilt.” Usually anything like that (low-fat/no-fat), I’m suspicious of  because they’ve normally replaced the real flavor (real fat) with fake flavor (fake fat). Maybe I’m missing something on these? They also say 50% less fat than their original woven crackers, which I’ve never seen. Do you have the original in your store?


Crackers: The kids aren’t fans of these crackers, but I love them!


Chips: Totally calling my husband out, he DEVOURED these recently with avocado and salsa and then declared, “these are the best chips ever.” Maybe he was just super hungry?


Banana Chips: Every once in awhile Evie and I love to snack on banana chips in the morning while Finn is at school. Sweet and crunch all rolled into one.


Olives: My obsession with black olives continues…


Spaghetti Sauce: I always have a few jars on hand of this clean sauce for an “oh crap, what’s for dinner” night. It’s great with noodles or a sauce for chicken. The mushrooms are tiny, so if you’re anti (like my kids), you won’t even know they are there. Win win!


Black Beans: Awhile back I started soaking beans overnight for dinners. Of course there are plenty of times I’ve forgot to soak them, so I always have a few cans on hand for last minute additions to dinners.


Soup: While this soup is not dairy-free and OK for the kids, it’s a staple for me in the winter months especially when Justin is away or for quick weekend meals for the adults. It’s not chunky, just incredibly smooth and rich in flavor.


Mustard: Lots of mustards have weird ingredients and colors. This is a better option.


Ketchup: Like mustard, so many ketchups are filled with lots of sugars and high fructose corn syrup. This is a better option. (Note: beware of “sugar-free” ketchups as most store bought sugar-free ketchups are replaced with another corn product that is likely GMO and what I would consider the cousin of HFCS.)


Pickles: Like olives, I love me some pickles! So do the kids. Most pickles are filled with crazy colors to give that bright, neon green color. These are not.


Almond Butter: While we’ve started making our own almond butter (“super butter”), there are times we are in a pinch and need to have a pre-made jar on hand. I always have a few for those moments. The Trader Joe’s brand is far less expensive than any almond butter at Hy-Vee.


KerryGold: I love KerryGold! Not only does it come from my motherland (fun fact: I was named after County Kerry, Ireland), the cows are grass-fed and the cheese is delicious. We love the Dubliner. (If you belong to Costco, this is also available cheap.) Although I try and limit my dairy intake, I do like some cheese every now and again. This cheese with the woven crackers and some apples slices – heaven!


Oatmeal: The kids are on an oatmeal kick. Nearly every morning when I ask what they’d like, the answer is “OATMEAL!” This is my go-to oatmeal (it’s also gluten-free for those who need a GF option). The kids favorite additions are chia seeds, coconut flakes, almond butter and local honey. Every so often I make an extra serving for myself!


Whole Foods staples to come.

What are your Trader Joe’s staples?