the boys

A few pics of the boys I grabbed this morning...

Finally a good smile out of this boy!


Timberwolves Game

We took Connor to his first Timberwolves game tonight and we had a great time! The game was very exciting and we won, which obviously adds to the enjoyment. Connor got a little tired near the end but was a trooper. Bryan got the tickets through his accounting firm, they were about six rows up, center court, nice! I'm not a huge pro basketball fan, but having good seats definitely helps. Plus...Rubio is easy on the eyes.....

The Bode Boys: Grandpa Nate, Connor & Bryan.

Rubio. Isn't he a little cutie? Ha.
Oh and my boss* was there, too. He had a little better seats than we did.

*Hope you all know I'm kidding when I say he's my boss...he's just a few steps up the ladder from me :)


project 52 | week 2: variety

Week two of Project 52: variety.

Variety. Funny how a simple word made me think really hard on what to photograph this week and even my final selection was a little forced (I suspect this won't be the first week I struggle with the subject matter). I was going to try and take a picture of all of Connor's 'gym' shorts he has, it would have made for a very colorful photo, but couldn't figure out a unique way to prop them. Wanted to capture the variety of meals I make for my family...ha. Enough said on that one.

But finally, it came to me that I've been thinking about variety quite a bit lately when it comes to my workouts. Bryan and I have been incredibly diligent at our daily workout routines, Bryan probably more so than me (I've missed two days in January, I don't think he's missed one, and he thinks it's debatable whether volleyball counts, I absolutely think it does :)), but in order for me to continue to be motivated (other than I better start seeing the needle on the scale move) is to switch up my routine daily. Variety. So tonight I made up this little chart to tape onto my treadmill so that every morning or evening that I go down there (we moved the treadmill to the basement) I don't have to think for a few moments, should I run? Do the weight loss interval program mode? Just a brisk walk? I just decided for myself in advance so I can get right to it.

Challenge: Variety
Subject: Workout Routines
Skill: Low Light

Definitely struggled with this one. Horrible light in our basement (ie two lightbulbs in the entire space) and I took the photo at 9 pm. Was good to experiment with the settings and I'm sure had I tried long enough I may have been able to reduce some of the noise, but not sure I (with my skill level) could have reduced it by much more. But, that's what this project is all about, right? Practice (for me anyways)!

PS. I really should tape the schedule up in a better way, I was just in a hurry to tape it up and get the photo taken :) The ugly tape isn't doing my chevron design any justice.



My co-worker, Shelly, of Frosted, makes amazing cakes and cupcakes. She asked that I take a few photos of her Valentine's cupcakes she makes, and well, you know the drill, I need the practice :) Anne was over as well to help and we will admit we struggled with the lighting this afternoon but I think we managed some really nice shots for Shelly! Check out her Frosted facebook page to see more of her amazing work (and to place an order?) :)

this one was fun :)


kiddos of movie night photo shoot

This morning I had my movie night girls (Aleta, Angie and Sarah) bring their kids over to my house for a little Valentine's Day photo shoot. I love to send out Valentine's Day photo cards and obviously at the same time, want to practice, practice, practice my photography skills. You can say with 4 sets of kids it was a little crazy, but I'm really happy with how some of the shots turned out! Even in this one session, I learned so much. Mostly since it was my first semi-real 'session' so the pressure of getting children to cooperate, making sure to adjust with the lighting as time went by, trying not to feel rushed, etc. was a lot, but good to experience. Unfortunately, I didn't really get shots of my own kids, but that's okay, I can try them again tomorrow :) Overall, I so enjoyed doing it and it makes me eager to continue learning!

(oh and warning, picture overload, but was hard to narrow down from over 800, ha)

why does my child never cooperate?

miss kate

miss gemma

miss adelyn


mister miles

as much as I love chevron, it was a little too busy here

have no fear, my love for chevron comes right back in this photo :)

And yes, I realize there are no pictures of Grayson. I took a few of him before the girls all arrived but he was tired and then napped for most of the time everyone was over. Like I said, I'll get them tomorrow :) And, just looking at these photos makes me want to do it all over again but take more time and be more thoughtful! Thanks, ladies, for letting me practice on your children. I'm certain I'll be doing it again :)


We finally got snow! Now, I am not complaining about the weather we've had this winter. 50's? Unreal. There have been days I have been THIS close to busting about the flip flops, this close, but it just seems so wrong in so many ways in December and January in Minnesota. However, I wasn't too bummed to see some snow coverage. It's so ugly in winter and a coat of white just makes everything nice :)  Plus, gave our little helper something to do. Although I'm not sure we needed to shovel our yard or landscaping...

Yes, I tucked his pants into his socks. Left his boots as school but thank goodness for his work boots!
And yes, he's wearing his pjs (it was pj day at school).

I basically had to force him to come inside, he's been such a great helper lately. Always asking if there is a job he can do for me, etc. It's hard sometimes, because I know I'll be much faster or efficient if I just do whatever it is myself, but definitely can't turn him down when he's so eager and willing to help! (thanks to Golden Heart, I'm positive he gets this from them!)


my first garden

I admire those that have gardens. I will be the first to admit, I'm not great at eating my vegetables. Like, at all. But I always think if I had a garden, I would. Then when Bryan tells me I can't and that I'd never take care of it, I think of joining/purchasing (whatever you call it) one of those share things that you can pick up your package of produce from the farmers market each week. But, never have.

Enter Pinterest. And this pin, where I discovered I could grow my own never-ending supply of green onions. And I love me some green onions.

So, in case you're like me and had no idea this was possible, next time you buy green onions, instead of throwing the white part away just put it in a class of water. NO LIE, there was new growth within HOURS. So rewarding, ha.

Aren't they cute? This is about 4 days worth of growth.
And, this might be as big of a garden that I'll ever have :)



Grayson was sent home on Tuesday from school with a fever. 11 out of 14 kids, including Grayson, were sick that day. Normally with a fever I'd just take him home, give him some tylenol or ibuprofen, and wait for the fever to go away. With strep, RSV and ear infections (those aren't contagious are they?) in his room, I figured I should probably just take him in.

Now Care had an hour wait so they kindly found me a family doctor to see which ended up taking forever anyways, but after 2.5 hours or so, he was diagnosed with RSV. Which, essentially sounds like a 'super cold'. No antibiotics or medication to give him, just have to wait it out.

Yesterday Grandma Cheryl was kind enough to stay home with him during most of the day and he seemed okay, needed cuddle time, but only needed ibuprofen once. Thought for sure he could return to daycare today.

Last night. Not so good. Horribly congested, coughing like crazy, hot, cold, you name it. I hate seeing my baby sick. And then to top it off, Bryan caught something so he's not much help today and staying home sick himself.

So, here's to hoping this passes quickly and that Connor and I stay healthy! We want our chill, happy little baby back.

Being elevated helps and he seems to be really comfortable on recliners (don't worry, I have the foot stand out, and remember the child barely moves, very low risk of falling :))



We use bribery quite a bit around here, I'm sure it's not the best parenting technique (similar to parenting via ipad), but, obviously it works (for the most part). I wanted to get a nice picture of the boys in their DMI shirts for Bryan and knew this cool backhoe replica we have would work to get Connor's attention. Unfortunately Grayson was beyond tired, so my grand vision didn't turn out, but at least I got a few fun ones of Connor.

this is the best 'smile at the camera' shot I got, thankfully his nose was booger-less


grayson: ten months

Well, our little man is ten months old today. NEARLY A YEAR OLD! Geesh. He is seriously such a joy in our lives, always cracks a smile, sometimes a little bashful and just in the past few weeks has been laughing more and more. So different in comparison to Connor, that boy laughed ALL the time. (one of my favorite videos of Connor laughing, click here)

So, what's #2 up to?

-as I mentioned, smiles all the time
-still not crawling, but trying, very, very hard, can't imagine it's TOO much longer before he's mobile
-sleeping great, knock on wood, anywhere from 7:30-8:30pm to 5:30-7am or so. Just in case you didn't hear it, knocking on wood again to be sure.
-approximately 200 bags of breast milk left, should be able to make it a year
-eats about anything and would prefer to eat all table food if we'd let him, but please see next item.
-still only two teeth, and I don't see any that appear to be coming anytime soon
-still issues with constipation, appointment with GI specialist is the 25th
-rolling, spinning and scooting around
-will kind of pull himself up onto your leg or something low, but not really great at this
-loves watching his brother play
-gets a little cranky if everyone leaves the room and he's alone (okay a little more than cranky, but step back in the room and all is well again)
-on occasion has a little bit of mommy-separation anxiety, which most of the time, I adore
-seems to love daycare, only one morning has he been sad to see me go
-talking all the time, says 'ma-ma' a lot, but I'm sure it has zero reference to me
-likes his nuk, especially when he's tired, but really could be without it the rest of the time (another stark difference to his brother)

And I'll leave you with a picture, our little man at exactly 10 months. Have a great week!

 (and if those of you who know me and know my house are confused where I took this photo, I spent $25 at Menards and bought a carton of laminate flooring and a section of white trim, nice, eh? I need to spend some time getting the trim to sit nicer but with incredibly low effort, I'm pretty happy with it)

project 52 | week 1: necessity

The first challenge of Project 52: necessity.

Many things went through my mind, if it was a year ago, it would have been Connor's nuk and blankie, now he's really not into those things (for sure the nuk, blankie is here and there). Grayson isn't really attached to anything yet and then I was thinking of things we couldn't physically live without, but I couldn't think of any great photo to take involving those. So I went nearly opposite, taking a picture of something I very much could live without, but...they sure seem like necessities :)

Challenge: Necessity
Subject: Technology (ie cell phone, computer, internet)
Skill: Depth of Field

I often say, "I couldn't live without the internet", and although that's far from the truth, I sure spend a lot of time on it, not only personally but professionally as well. Working for an ecommerce company, internet is, well, I'd say pretty critical. I absolutely am guilty of checking my phone in the middle of the night if I wake up for whatever reason, or before even swinging my legs out of bed, checking my email. It's amazing how different a world our children are growing up in, Connor is a master of the iPad and we are often very thankful for our Netflix app and the others he enjoys. (ie he's driving us crazy and just need to distract him, you know, parenting via iPad, I'm sure there are books on it).

To the actual photo, I took this opportunity to work on my depth of field. I think I ended up with not enough, since technically the iMac and the phone were both subjects of my photo, but it was fun to play around and explore what I'm learning at class. I welcome any and all critique!



We've done some spur of the moment furniture shopping and rearranging in our house over the past few weeks and pretty sure both Bryan and I will tell you we are d.o.n.e. assembling furniture for at least the rest of 2012. Maybe even through 2013. However, we're really liking how everything has turned out. I don't have any pictures of the new office furniture set, I'll update this post when I get some, struggling with the lighting. Thanks to Rachel for helping assembling those pieces!

New dining room table from Sam's Club. I only have 6 of the chairs showing, but it came with 8. Love the counter height and square shape!
(table was easy to assemble, just had to add the legs...chairs were a bit of a pain)

This isn't new, just in a new location. The new office furniture went into the actual office downstairs and then part of the Ikea set came up to our master bedroom (treadmill moved to the basement). I actually LOVE having the computer in our room. Since the boys (Bryan included, ha) go to bed 8, 830ish, which is then the start of 'my' time, I didn't like being downstairs away from everyone, so now I at least feel I am 'with' my family while spending hours on Pinterest :) Win/win for all!
Need to figure out some other cute decor to go on/around the desk/shelves yet, it's a bit boring.


Project 52

Photography is something that has really started to interest me of late. I got a new fancy camera and have now taken two classes at National Camera Exchange with my friend, Anne, and am really eager to continue to learn. I know I have a long ways to go before I could walk into a situation and perfectly set my shutter speed, aperture and ISO to get the perfectly exposed shot but it's still really fun to learn :)

So, today when I saw my old high school classmate post a photography challenge on her blog, I thought, why not. (well at first I thought, fun, but I'm not creative enough, but then she talked me into it). The challenge is to take one photo a week for 52 weeks with the subject matter each week inspired by a random word generator. I clicked on the link and it returned 'stable'. My first thought? Table legs (more than likely because I just assembled a table). They're stable, right? Who wants to see a photo of table legs? BUT, this will also force me to get out and practice what I'm learning in my class. So again, why not? :)

The first week's challenge is 'necessity'. I have a few ideas that came to mind right away so now I just need to go get the shot.

Hopefully I'll spare you a bunch of shots of table legs each week, but I can't make any promises. Maybe they really inspire me :)

Here's to Project 52! Want to join in? Head on over to Marta's blog (Something Good in my blogroll) and get all the details.


Grayson: Official Nine Month Stats

I took Grayson in for his official 9 month appointment on Tuesday, although it was a few weeks late and he's closer to 10 months. Oh well. Shoot, reminds me I should schedule his one year appointment...

Onto the stats.

Height: 27 3/4 inches - 18th percentile (eek!)
Weight: 22 lbs, 4 oz - 65th percentile
Head Circumference: 18 1/4" - 70th percentile

Both height and weight numbers surprised me. I didn't think he was tall, but I didn't think he was THAT short. And, I was expecting him to be in the 90+ percentile for weight. For the most part, happy, healthy, baby boy. Two concerns.

1. Very dry skin, borderline eczema, borderline need for steroid prescriptions. We're going to try very hard to use very, very thick lotions and creams and she also prescribed a non-steroid oil to try as well. Doesn't seem to bother him? But can't feel good.

2. We are still having issues with his BMs. They occur once every 6-8 days and take about 15-20 minutes of me working with him (read: forcing his legs onto his chest, forcing him to push, he's screaming so bad he's red in the face) to get it out, and then it's solid, formed, hard, and huge. I have a picture but I'll certainly spare you all. (sorry there is SO much poop talk on this blog, maybe I should rename our blog...KIDDING) I asked to be referred to a GI specialist and we have an appointment on January 25th. I am praying every night that he doesn't have Hirschprungs (what Connor was diagnosed with at birth). The symptoms, or so I've read, include lethargic and not wanting to eat, neither of which we see, but obviously the other main symptoms are constipation and gas, both of which he has, and I would say severe constipation. We are going to start (well, started last night) trying to feed him a lot of foods that have natural fibers (we've been pumping juices, including prune juice, the last few months with no success or change) like raspberries, blueberries, sweet corn, etc. Hopefully this will start to make a difference, but at least we have the appointment lined up. I think part of me is just thinking, no way could he have it, no way, but, I'm also just trying to prepare myself that he very well could.

You might be asking if this is genetic and to be honest I'm not sure the doctors are entirely sure. When we were at Children's with Connor they said there was no official genetic link but I've since read that I had a 7-12% chance of having another child with the disease and the disease occurs more often in boys. They can't diagnose it without doing a rectal biopsy (requires being put under anesthesia) and so I doubt we'll know anything final on the 25th but hopefully will have a plan or an appointment for the biopsy.

Hopefully, I'm worrying for nothing :)

In much happier news, he is semi-mobile :) Consistently rolling both back to front and front to back, gets up essentially on his hands and knees, just has one leg that is still a little stuck under his body. Scooting a little backwards, spinning, etc., so I don't think it'll be THAT much longer before he's officially on the move, but it does take this little man quite awhile to do most things :)

Still only two teeth, really wish he would pop a few more through so he could chew the food better he so desperately wants to eat.

Knock on wood, sleeping really well for us. Most nights, entirely through the night but definitely more of an earlier riser than Connor ever was, so is up generally between 6-630. Connor tells me every night 'Mom, don't wake me up in the morning, I'll get up when I'm ready'. I have no idea where he gets this from... ... ...

Sorry no pictures, haven't really had the camera out lately! Soon, I'll have to have a little Valentine's Day Photo Card shoot, I'm sure :)


first sleepover

We had Ashlyn over the other night for Connor's first sleepover at our house. They've both spent the night at my parents' house together before, but never at our house. It wasn't probably the best night to pick, it was after Christmas at my parents so it was pretty late when we got home and Ashlyn was going to her other Grandma's in the morning, but, it was still fun :) We bought up a mattress from the basement to Connor's room so they could sleep together, had blueberry waffles for breakfast and had lots of fun with their new suitcases they got from G&G Loula. They traveled to Florida, Hawaii and many giant waterparks via planes, trains and even a few long walks. :)

In the car on our way home

Love his new spidey pjs

Taking a break in their travels to show off their new suitcases. 

Can't wait to do it again when we have more time!


Loula Christmas

A few shots from when we celebrated Christmas at my parent's house. So fun to see the kids playing together!

being silly

 attempt at all four kids