Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Take a look

as seen on instagram and facebook, my favorite picture of the night. 11/2013
Let me begin by telling you all we had a fantastic weekend. It really was! Our colds are all finally just little annoying coughs here and there and despite Carl studying hard early in the morning and late into the night, we managed to have a huge birthday party on Saturday. I really wanted to throw a party for Carl as we both enjoy the company of good friends. There was a moment during the party that I was feeling doubtful of my decision to invite every young family I knew as 12 kids raced around our small quarters, weaving in between all the adults, but that moment faded as quickly as it came because this kind of chaos was good. Parties are supposed to be fun, loud, crazy. Everyone was fed and we all pigged out on a variety of cheeses, Spanish meats, cream puffs, Costco cake and vanilla ice cream. Good company, good food, what more could make a great party? It was a happy 31st birthday.

Thanksgiving is literally just a few days away. In all honesty, I am excited to have a low key holiday and staying at home. Carl only has a week or two left of class and they are of course filled with final exams and research papers. He's a stud. I don't think I could ever be a grad student. I'm not even sure I ever want to go back to school. HA. Between school and our busy month of December visiting family, a low-key Thanksgiving is just what we need. We are even considering starting a new tradition of seeing a movie in the theater the morning after Thanksgiving- Frost or Free Birds look like they could be really fun for the children.

- I'm considering using Prinstagram to print my instagram pics. Anyone use their service or similar?

- I am obsessed with old homes. I definitely have home-envy for Oh Happy Day's new home in San Francisco!

- This is kind of sweet, but also slightly creepy.. Not sure how I'd react to a grown man falling asleep on my shoulder.

- wow. an all-in-1 card! Very cool!

- tips for conversation starters or activities during Thanksgiving dinner if conversation is not your forte.

- Movember is coming to an end soon, here is the proper way to say goodbye to your mustache

- Ok, Rett&Link from youtube are hilarious. I am not a Breaking Bad fan (gasp!)- I watched the first 3 episodes and then read about the remaining seasons' plots on wikipedia- but this middle school musical version of the show cracked me up. Check out their other middle school musicals too!

As always, video overloads. Love them. Have a good week everyone and especially a wonderful Thanksgiving! We will be drinking lots of hot chocolate and watching movies together under fuzzy blankets here. We got a few inches of snow yesterday!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bucket List Series: #5

1. I want to have short, hot pink hair

2. I want to have a real deal white girl's african weave/braids

3. I want to speak Spanish fluently as a family

4. I want to live in an Airstream trailer

5. I want my family to live abroad.

By now, you've probably guessed that I have been bitten by quite the adventure bug (believe me, I have more goals for my hair...). Traveling is something that I have always wanted to do more of. It took a few years for me to realize after getting married and having a family that I would not be doing any major traveling for several years. It's just not the right time for us any more between school and gaining career experience. Some of you may scoff at me and say are you serious?? How many states have you lived in the past 5 years?? I know, I know, many. BUT in the past year or two, I have come across many families in the blogging world who have done exactly what I dream of: living in another country.

Ideally, I would love to live in Europe, such as Spain, for at least year. In that time, I would love for my family to gain experiences in different cultures and to tour surrounding countries. I love Joanna Goddard's Motherhood Around the World series from her blog A Cup of Jo. Here are my favorites:

11 surprising things about parenting in Northern Ireland

12 surprising things about parenting in Abu Dhabi

And some other inspirations:

Jordan from Oh Happy Day lived in Paris with her husband and two young children for a year

Gabrielle (one of my fave bloggers) from Design Mom lived in the countryside of France with her husband and family of SIX for 2+ years! Bonus: she's sisters with Jordan from the link above.

I think I could settle for yearly trips somewhere for several months at a time if that were an option- we really like the idea of doing medical service missions (providing primary care/immunizations to 3rd world countries), but at least once in this lifetime, I want to live somewhere with Carl and my children that is not part of North America for at least a year. What are some options we've considered to make this happen? Here are our top few:

- be amazing and come up with an sustainable online business that would provide the monthly income we need while not having to work in an office or in that country (unlikely at this time since i have no idea what this business would be. darn.)

- taking a year sabbatical leave after working for 10 years. But what other costs and investments will accrue at that time? Many. Still a possibility.

- pray that PAs will have more of an international role in the next 10 years. Nurses do I suppose, but the jobs are in high demand and there are many international laws that I would have to navigate through to be approved. This is why I like medical missions- all I need is an active license anywhere!

- join the military. I am actually serious about this one and it is an option that Carl and I have pondered and considered very much over the years. I promise to expound on this another day, but I will add that travel is truly one of the last reasons why Carl would join the military (Air Force as a #1 choice). My man has a bucket list of his own and I might just share this one as one of my goals :)

The hardest part of this bucket list item is that it tugs on my heart strings quite often. I feel joy and excitement as much as I feel conflict and concern. For a majority of my marriage and life with children, we have been away from family. School, work, school, life. We are comfortable in our circumstances and okay with the distance, but in these stages, I have almost always felt a bit temporary- as if we are always trying to head back west to our homes eventually. I love my families very much and it pains me to consider living so far away, not creating a situation where my children would be able to foster close relationships with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Nonetheless, I always have this special feeling that we will be happy no matter what we choose.

I promise you can visit and stay with us for free when we live somewhere in the world :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Take a look

glorious, glorious persimmon
No, that is not an orange tomato. It is a sweet and delicious persimmon! When I saw them at my favorite store, I willingly averted my eyes from the price tag and bought a case. No regrets as I've eaten about 2/3 of them. They are quite possibly my favorite fruit. They can be eaten a little soft or crunchy, similar to the way a good pear can taste amazing when it is crunchy or softer. Their taste- indescribable. Persimmons. Yum. Each time I bite into a freshly peeled one, I am reminded of my childhood- my mother would frequently peel a persimmon for me after school or as a post-dinner dessert. I have never eaten them any other way but fresh, so I'm not sure how I feel about jams and baked goods... go find a persimmon! (note: buy fuyu persimmons, not the pointy/diamond-like one- you will sorely regret eating the latter if it is not mushy and ripe!)

Aside from my persimmon love, I regret to inform you all that this household is still stricken with illness. Well, the children have improved significantly and only have a slight lingering cough. Carl still has a bothersome cough, but seems to be improving day by day, and I, well, I have bronchitis. BOO. hisssssss. My symptoms were all beginning to improve last wednesday and then I started to have nagging cough, then I worked and had a coughing spell and injured some rib muscles, which led me to go to an urgent care on Saturday to get a chest xray and pain relief, resulting in fresh prescriptions of albuterol, cherrytussin, prednisone, and zithromax and I am (hopefully) on my road to recovery. Thankfully, Carl was home to help this weekend and I did get to rest quite a bit. I will add that my cough sounds like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. *gollum*gollum*

Due to sickness, I have not been on the Internet much, so links are weak. Here are a few that I did come across and enjoy:

- trapped in ikea! funny prank :)

- too sweet- a toddler and his puppy sharing naps. can't wait to have a dog again someday!!

- dinosaurs come to life! Parents: WIN!

- curious about vaccinations for your children? This is good list with reliable resources regarding myths that haunt the parenting world. Community Immunity!

- fascinating picture series on fading secluded cultures/tribes around the world!

and finally with Thanksgiving around the corner,

- how to set up the kids table via DesignMom. We have an ongoing joke (but truth) in my family that my sister and I have never graduated from the kids table. Even my children join me at the kids table now.

Hoping everyone is healthy this week!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bucket List Series: #4

1. I want to have short, hot pink hair

2. I want to have a real deal white girl's african weave/braids

3. I want to speak Spanish fluently as a family

4. I want to live in an Airstream trailer

love. courtesy of http://o.homedsgn.com/

Carl and I would love to buy a large piece of property some day. We're talking several acres and then some. My hope is that we get to live in this camper (with our 2, maybe 3 kids by then) for a few years while we save up to build up our home. If we can't buy property, then I just want to live in it for a few years while we hunt for a home we want. I love the idea of small/simple living. We try to incorporate it in our home as much as we can, but it's hard when we started out with the love of lots of storage and places to hoard our memorabilia and tokens of our past and present. An Airstream trailer would be ultimate small living for me. Not familiar with small spaces? Check out this great video of a studio apartment in NYC.

Oh yes, I want this to be a project. I definitely don't want something moldy from the 70's:

Craigslist, you never fail at finding old and moldy.

Feeling inspired by these remodeled Airstream gems:

I'm not sure what draws me to an Airstream trailer specifically. Perhaps it reminds me of my love for vintage, perhaps the challenge of a good DIY project, I'm not sure, but I am fascinated by this little world of Airstream love and I want in! Plus, Carl's on board with my crazy ideas, so it'll be that much more fun :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Take a look

he ditched his gloves to touch the snow. 11/2013

We had our first snow of the season yesterday. The kids were pretty excited, we even had friends over visiting to share the excitement with! As soon as Vivienne laid down for her nap, Ezra and I snuck outside for a few minutes to play in the snow. Well, he mostly explored it and I watched guard over our apartment to make sure no crazies hacked their way into my home with a sleeping baby. Just kidding, it wasn't that intense. It was fun to see it snowing. The first snow of the season always feels like a visit from an old friend I haven't seen in ages- and then just like that, they over stay their welcome and I remember why they were an old friend after all. Here's to warm wishes all around and to enjoy the snow while we can!

- the BEST airlines safety video ever. Just makes me wanna dance!

- parents, car seat safety! Remove those puffy coats and place the chest buckle over the CHEST not the stomach! I am a little passionate about this subject...

- Eerie photographs of abandoned places that somehow turns out beautiful!

- portraits of mothers and their 1 day old babes. Makes me want another one!

- several artists realistically colorized photographs from pre-colored-photograph days and the results are breath-taking- as if the great depression or Hiroshima was just last week!

- The Invisible Helmet. I am proud of these WOMEN who created this and stood up for what they believed in!

- In honor of Veterans Day yesterday, check out this amazing transformation of a homeless veteran. Think of the possibilities and futures we can give to veterans!

- just in time for the holiday season, DIY gift paper!

I am still recovering from last week's illness that struck our home. It has been an awful cough that has lasted far longer than I anticipated. Yesterday was the first day I felt good finally. Not completely recovered, but I'm getting there. Hoping everyone has a good week!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bucket List Series: #3

I know you've been eager to see what other crazy things I want to do

1. I want to have short, hot pink hair

2. I want to have a real deal white girl's african weave/braids

3. I want to speak Spanish fluently as a family

Ok, this definitely isn't that crazy. I am so eager to learn more languages! I used to want to speak French fluently (and someday I will), but when I met Carl, the Spanish language was suddenly so much more romantic and meaningful to me. As many of you know, Carl lived in Spain for two years serving a mission for our church and speaks Spanish fluently (and the best sounding Spanish comes from Spain, might I add ;)

Fortunately, I've picked up enough Spanish to be about where I was at French. Huzzah! Unfortunately, it actually isn't very much. Bummer. BUT I am confident that we will all communicate in Spanish someday! One of the ways I'm hoping to encourage us all to practice more is to enroll Ezra into the Spanish-immersion school here when he starts K-4 in Fall 2014 (yikes, school already?? more on that in another post...). Side note: for those of you unfamiliar with K-4, as I was when I moved to Milwaukee, it is essentially pre-kindergarten/pre-school for four year olds. It is part of the public school systems, though many private schools have also included it in their schools as well.

Other ways I am practicing is using my Duolingo app on my iPhone. It is simple and frankly, quite awesome. If you don't have any Latin-based foreign language background, it may be a tad more challenging, but it is such a great review for me! I also try to talk to Carl using basic Spanish, such as que hora es? (what time is it) and Cómo se dice "[object]" en español? He tries to challenge me often and some days I respond well communicating as much as I can and other days I just say "I don't know what you're saying!! Yarg!!" Yes, yarg included.

Do you have any languages you are determined to learn? I must say, on top of Spanish, I want to learn Mandarin, French, and Sign. But baby steps and Spanish is priority :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Take a look

I love reading Wikipedia. I can sift through one page, click on another link on that page, and then another, and learn in about 30 minutes how Frida Kahlo became such a popular artist and had many affairs . True story. I did that Sunday night. Carl has had to drag me away from the computer or take my phone away from me before when I get too caught up reading. Especially the tragic stuff. Oh the tragic stuff. I can get caught up reading about little obscure wars I never heard of growing up for 1-2 hours. However, most of the time, I only spend 10 minutes or so "educating" myself. Yesterday, Google highlighted Shakuntala Devi, who was also known as the "human calculator." She was quite a phenomenal human and I cannot believe I never heard of her! I highly recommend this quick Wiki-read if you are interested in learning about a fascinating woman.

- One more Halloween recap: healthy candy. "I threw up" "You threw up, ok." SO FUNNY!

- I love this photo-illustration series

- Easy DIY polka-dot tights. Seriously, too easy- why have I never thought of this??

- a chart on winter. Ha! This is for Toronto, but for me, it applies to Milwaukee and Rexburg :)

- Heard of the facial growing frenzy this month, but don't know the difference between Movember and No-Shave November (there is a difference!)? Well this post clarifies fairly well! Carl is getting a little furry this month :)

- mystery flavored dum-dums REVEALED!!!

The awful cold seems to be finally leaving the Leder home. It just makes me want to stay indoors and ward off any visitors with garlic and crosses. Just kidding. We love company and the poor kids have been dying to interact with their friends. Here's to hoping for a healthy winter!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Belated Halloween Recap

I love how Vivienne is covered in chocolate. We weren't even at the party for more than 10 minutes yet.

That's right, we all had mullets. Awesome.

Thanks Robbins family for the great family picture!
Our family costume for our ward "carnival" came to me earlier in October as I was scouring Amazon for random things (I love amazon, ok?). Mullet wigs popped up on one of my "You may like these also:" links and I thought to myself, why yes, yes I do like that mullet. So I worked on getting mullets for all of us. Vivienne actually has a clip on hair piece in the back though you can't see it. So fun.

my little lion and bunny
As seen on Instagram, I did take the kids trick or treating. I didn't really want to explain mullets to strangers or perhaps they would assume my children just have crazy hair.. but either way, I threw together a quick simple costume with stuff we already had. Since it is so cold already (ok, 45 degrees is cold enough for kids at least), I only had to make sure they had something on their heads. We had to go to a neighboring city to trick or treat on the 31st, but it was fun and worth it to me. They loved saying trick or treat and ringing doorbells. I was impressed with the amount of candy they scored in just the 6-7 houses I took them to! We don't really keep candy in the house, so they basically inhaled as many suckers, kit kats, and crunch bars as they could. It was a holiday, right?! I personally scrubbed their teeth before bedtime :)

Is it ok that I'm too lazy to upload any more pictures off my camera? Ok thanks.

Halloween aside, Carl, Vivi, and I all have gross chest colds with accompanying hacking coughs. Yeah, gross. I am so ready to be done with this cold and it has only been a day! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy November!

Too bad we are all sick today! Except Ezra. I think he is enjoying the rest of us being miserable and letting him rule the home today. Toy time and movies. All day long.

Fortunately I was hardly sick this weekend. We went down to the 'burbs of Chicago to go to the temple and I also got a new tooth. Did I mention my aunt is a dentist? We also had to of course stop by Ikea to at least check out their "as-is" section. We scored some kiddy sheets for only $3 each! Sweet deal. We almost bought a display bunk bed for $99 but decided there would be too many dangerous situations at this time- Daredevil Vivienne climbs to the top, gets into position, and- oooohhhh...

It was a nice weekend, but now it's time to recover. It seems like Daylight Savings is every parents' worst nightmare. We seem to be the lucky ones because I think our kids have always slept in an "extra hour" waking up at their normal time. Last night, Carl and I even slept almost 12 hours! Unheard of! We were exhausted.

Anyway, here is a fun video:

And promise to update on halloween:

first, Ezra's face. second, this was not their costumes, but they look pretty cute with their sprecher bird hats!