Saturday, December 26, 2015

Don't just take my word for it (Miss C, December 2015)

12/3/15: Learning about snakes was so much fun today. Charlotte slithered around the floor with her classmates like snakes do. It was also a lot of fun painting with one. 

12/4/15: What a great day! Charlotte had so much fun coloring with markers on the Art Easel. 

12/11/15: We had so much fun practicing our Christmas songs for the holiday program and working on our top secret Christmas gift for our mommies and daddies.

12/23/15: Our Christmas party was so much fun today. Charlotte loved making a snowman ornament.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Word(less) Wednesday

Yes, Charlotte is in a doll stroller with two stuffed animals. The usual ...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sous chef

Thanksgiving took a turn for the infirmary this year as my Mom came down with a yucky cold / sinus infection / upper respiratory funk. Of course she wouldn't let on that she was sick until I realized she wasn't huffing and puffing because she was nearing her retirement years. Once we realized she was under the weather I took over cooking duties and we had a great meal; and luckily her sous chef was able to help her make the pumpkin pie before she felt too horrible.

Leftovers are the best!

Unrelated ... cooking at my Mom's made me realize that she has some of the oldest and most inefficient cooking tools known to man; her Christmas list was created as I peeled potatoes and used the worst knives (aka death traps) ever to attempt to chop.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Don't just take my word for it (Miss C, November 2015)

11/2/15: What a fun day we had! While playing outside we all went on a Bear Hunt! We grabbed our binoculars and set forth on an adventure!

11/4/15: What a fun time we had in Creative Art. We practiced working on our fine motor skills to grasp a paintbrush to explore in various colors of paint.

11/17/15: Today in Creative Art we used a boat shaped cookie cutter to paint with. 

11/19/15: What an awesome day we had. Playing outside in this beautiful weather was so nice. Came inside and practiced working on our eye/hand coordination skills. Awesome job, Charlotte!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shakin' my booty

'nuff said

Friday, October 30, 2015

Don't just take my word for it (Miss C, October 2015)

10/2/15: Charlotte dug and dug through the animal bucket until she found all of the blue whales. She found three of them.

10/5/15: I asked Charlotte what she was building with the Legos and she told me it was a castle. She did an awesome job!

10/8/15: Charlotte loved being outside today with her classmates. She also had fun using a car to paint with in Creative Art. 

10/9/15: I asked Charlotte about her picture, and she said it was a spaceship! Great job, Charlotte!

10/13/15: Charlotte was a wiz with the hula hoop today. She absolutely did a wonderful job with it.

10/15/15: Charlotte came up to Ms. Heather in the gym and said, "look I have a baby in my belly." So I look and she has a ball in her shirt. What a riot. :)

10/21/15: Charlotte did an awesome job matching the popsicles by color. She was very proud of herself.

10/23/15: Charlotte was very sweet this morning, when a friend came in and was upset when her mommy left Charlotte was trying to talk to her and make her feel better.

10/27/15: Charlotte was excited to tell me that she went to the zoo with her mommy, daddy, Anna and Lucas, and she saw big brown bears and a hippopotamus. :)  (there is no hippo at the zoo, but same difference, ha)

10/28/15: Charlotte was excited to see new books in the book center. Right after Webby dance she grabbed the monster book to look at.

10/30/15: Another child was dressed up today like a dinosaur, and Charlotte went up to this child and started petting their tail. Too cute.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday funny

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Don't just take my word for it (Miss C, September 2015)

9/1/15: Charlotte had a great time on the playground today! She was making music on the outdoor piano! Bravo!

9/2/15: Charlotte had such a great time with the ladybug theme today! She really liked snack where we made ladybugs out of strawberries, chocolate chips, and pretzels! Yum!

9/3/15: Charlotte had a great time building Mr. Potato Heads with her friends! She kept using the hands to hold things, brush her hair back, and move things around! So funny!

9/14/15: We heard Charlotte singing today so we asked her to sing a song for us so she sang the firetruck tune. Cute!

9/15/15: Charlotte had so much fun with the alphabet popsicles and ring stackers! She built a really cool tower! Wow!

9/16/15: Charlotte had a lot of fun in kitchen center today! She and her friends prepared a biiiiig picnic! Yum!

9/21/15: We listened to the wheels on the bus today with Ms.Paige and everyone had a great time singing along! Charlotte loved rolling her hands like the bus wheels! 

9/22/15: Charlotte had a grand time in kitchen center today! She washed some vegetables so she could prepare them for a big meal she was sharing with her friends! Yum!

9/24/15: We were trying to find the letter C for Charlotte. First she pointed to the G which was close but with a little help she found it. Go Charlotte!!

9/29/15: Charlotte had fun making tunnels with her legs for her friends to crawl through. Some of our friends were too big so it almost turned into a horsey ride. :)

Let's roll

One of our favorite after-bath games involves a towel and literally rolling the girls onto our bed. Don't worry, our parents of the year trophy will be arriving any day : ) Either that or CPS.... The pictures are a little blurry, but the video explains the game very well : ) My favorite part is Charlotte giggle-talking "do that again!"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mommy moment

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Funny

Thursday, September 24, 2015

On my love affair with carbs

If you keep scrolling, you'll see that I'm back-posting most often ... man, is it hard to keep up with blogging when you have a full-time job, two girls that keep you busy, and a life to lead! But I don't want to forget these moments and feelings, so it's better late than never. As I was scrolling through pictures, I came across this one and I realized that I also wanted to document and remember a personal journey that's happened over the past few months.

So, what do lettuce wrapped tacos have to do with anything, you ask? Well, weight and fitness are yo-yo's for me and always will be. I like to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but I'm also an emotional eater, a bored eater, a stress eater, and it's pretty easy for me to mentally talk myself out of any workout.

But, I'm also a rule follower and  love running endurance races because it gives me a set program, accountability and a big goal. I got back into running and regular exercise last spring and felt like a million bucks when I crossed the finish line at the Queen Bee half marathon in October. And then the after-race effect hit. I took a few weeks off running, got out of my morning exercise routine habit, had some aches and pains to deal with, and by spring I found that I'd gained a few pounds. A sorority sister of mine is a BeachBody coach and posts on Facebook often about the accountability groups she runs. She was starting a 21 Day Fix program and I'd inquired, but hadn't acted a week after she passed me the information. I was on my computer typing an e-mail with all the reasons why it wasn't the right time to try the program when something came over me, I deleted everything and simply said "I'm in, tell me how to order."

I've done Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Adkins, My Fitness Pal, starving myself; you name it, I've tried it. There's nothing magical about the 21 Day Fix, but it's what I needed and when I needed it. The program includes a nutrition plan that's high in protein, low in carbs, focuses on clean eating, and includes 30 minutes of exercise daily.

I started my first "fix" on a Friday so that I'd be done in time for our anniversary trip and cannot even begin to tell you how sore I was the next day. The workouts go by quickly, but can be intense for someone new to the program. But I stuck with it and I started to see results; but more importantly, I FELT stronger. The accountability group was great in giving me ideas and cheerleading me through the program. I lost six pounds and six inches the first round (21 days) and four pounds and six more inches the second round - that's 10 pounds and 12 inches in 42 days! I learned that while I might be staying well within a 1,200 calorie per day diet, I needed to drop some carbs and add more protein. I also got back into thinking through my week and days and planning splurges and sticking to that plan.

Although I'm not following the program to a T these days, I still think in terms of the number of servings from each food group I want to aim for on a daily basis and am still exercising 5-6 days a week. I still use the 21 Day Fix DVDs to supplement my running, spin classes, and yoga and have bought the PIYO system and hope to use that more exclusively after I cross the Queen Bee finish line again in a couple of weeks. I've kept the weight off, have purchased smaller shorts and pants throughout hte summer, but more importantly, I feel more comfortable and happy in my own skin!

You're potentially still asking what lettuce wrapped tacos have to do with all of this? One of the easy changes I made so that I wasn't making two different meals for our family each evening or feeling like I was missing something, was to swap veggies for carbs. Lettuce instead of a bun or tortilla, zucchini noodles (zoodles) instead of pasta, or just skipping the carb all together and saving for a glass of wine after the girls were in bed. Nowadays you're likely to find me toasting you with a protein shake for breakfast and a glass of wine in the evening : )

Taken just two days after I finished my first "fix" : )

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pool rats

One thing Cincinnati is lacking that I loved growing up were local, public pools, where admission was cheap and the water was chlorinated within an inch of it's life. In our suburban area most folks join a private pool and with the girls old enough to enjoy it for more than 10 minutes, we followed suit and spent most our free time this past summer enjoying the water, water slides, and hanging out with friends. One or both weekend days, weather permitting, we'd pack up with lunch and snacks, extend naptime and make most of the day of it. I'm a pool rat myself and chose to spend my time enjoying the water and sun and didn't manage to snap many pictures unless it was on the way there or back. The shots below depict pretty much how the girls felt about the pool and we're all mourning the end of summer...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Handy helper

My wildest dream came true last week. Anna offered to help load the dishwasher as we cleaned up dinner. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Letter to Charlotte: month thirty

Dear Charlotte,

You’re a sassy riot is all I have to say. You keep us on our feet, make us laugh, give the best hugs, have the sweetest smile, can squeal louder than anyone I know, and add so much light to our lives. The last six months have been fun and challenging all at the same time and I can’t believe you’re only six months away from being a big three year old!

You’re definitely the baby of the family and are babied in ways that I never imagined possible at your age because Anna didn’t have nearly the same luxuries. You’re still in your crib and nowhere close to being released anytime soon. We’ve tried letting you sleep in the toddler bed at Gigi’s with horrible luck, and contemplated letting you sleep in the daybed with a rail in your vacation condo bedroom, but plain and simple, you are a wild woman and we don’t trust you. You sleep find in your crib, so we’re not fixing anything that’s not broken. You still get rocked nightly and prefer it to be done by me, you ask to have me sit next to you and would prefer to sit ON me during meals, you innately find a place in my lap anywhere I’m seated as a matter of fact, and are carried around the house and the world more than I’d care to admit, but which a chiropractor would definitely confirm. Oh well, you could be my last baby and I’ll take the Mama’s girl attitude over supreme independence any day.

That said, you’re sassy and finding your own way very quickly. You have no problem telling us how it is … usually very loudly, and are strong enough to wiggle and wriggle out of any situation that is not to your liking. We’re working hard on cause and effect when it comes to discipline, including using short time outs and expecting you to apologize, asking you to clean up your toys and taking away privileges if you don’t. But you’re two, and you’re stubborn, and you can wear us down, so it’s a work in progress.

You have a lot of opinions and an even larger vocabulary and we often find ourselves chuckling at what comes out of your mouth. You have about 3 outfits you like to wear and if we bring you something that is not to your liking you’re libel to tell us “it’s too small” (even when it’s not), “this is ouchin’ me” (even when it’s not) “I don’t like it,” or simply “that’s not working for me!”; and all of these are usually followed by a violent refusal to get dressed or you simply throwing the clothing back in your drawer and calling them “yucky!” When presented with the *horrible* options of listening to a song you don’t’ like or watching a TV show that’s not Paw Patrol, you’ve been known to state your case “I don’t like this … (demand follows)” and when we don’t act immediately (or at all), you follow with “what’s going on here?” or “what’s the big idea?” It’s funnier if you’re not the parent that has to deal with the outburst that follows, but it’s still pretty hilarious. “Yucky” is also a key word these days and used to describe an outfit you don’t approve of, a situation, an actual item, or even a person and it’s pretty funny too.

You’re very into music and love dancing and singing to songs with your sister. The current fave, by a landslide, is Roar by Katy Perry. You’re in and out of love with Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, and will usually agree to listen to the Frozen soundtrack after Roar has played five times straight. We decided to start you in dance classes with the same company as Anna and can’t wait to see what cool moves you learn since you are only excelling in white-girl dance moves under our instruction ; )

You’re a sweet little princess girl that loves to dress up and prefers pink to any color of the rainbow, but let me tell you that it’s not all glitter and rainbows. You can shovel food to your liking down that hatch in the most unrefined manner possible and can toot and burp just like any boy. You’re polite about it, though, loudly announcing “excccuuuuuuseee me” afterwards and agreed that you’re a literal stinker.

You’re trying your best to be independent and we hear “I do it myself” often, and you’re very determined, but we know to stay close because a failed attempt could lead to a meltdown at any minute. You are interested in the potty, have used it at school, like to sit on your potty chair at home, but you’re not ready to start officially potty training. You will tell us after you’ve soiled your diaper, but hardly ever use the correct vernacular (you say poop when it’s a pee and vice versa) and seem content to tell us to change you vs telling us you have to go. There’s no need to rush the situation, and although I’ll be thrilled when we’re a diaper-free home, I’m OK with where we are now.

You’re an OK eater, and I say OK vs horrible, because you today just asked for a second waffle for breakfast. You’ll eat most standard toddler proteins – hot dogs, chicken nuggets – a handful of veggies, lots of fruit, and have a love affair with peanut butter crackers. It’s not the ideal diet I imagined for my children, but it’s calories in your body and you’re growing, happy and healthy, so I’ll take what I can get.

You’re still a BIG Mama’s girl, but are clinging to your Dad more and more and there’s definitely a special bond there. You are terrified of bugs and only trust your Daddy to “get it, get it, Daddy!!” You love to rough and tumble with him and bath time is a special treat for you and Anna because Daddy let’s you have a lot more fun in the tub than Mommy. You’re the apple of his eye, that’s for sure.

Sassy is the theme of this letter and you are that to a T, but you’re also my sweet little, innocent baby girl. You remind me daily to stop and smell the roses, that agendas are overrated, and that I definitely can make dinner with a toddler on my hip. I love seeing your smile in the morning, hearing you talk to yourself or your stuffed animals before I walk in to get you up, seeing you admire your sister, and fawn over your Dad. You’re as sweet as you are sassy and I’ll take that combo any day of the week!


Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't just take my word for it! (Miss C, August 2015)

8/3/15: Charlotte put a sheep puppet onto her hand while sitting on the bean bag and made it dance around and singing "clean up clean up every one clean up. Baa baa baa." How cute.

8/7/15: Charlotte was playing hide and seek with her friends in the cubbies today. She would pop out and say, "I'm in here!”

8/7/15 (special note): Charlotte enjoyed an ice cream sandwich treat for snack. Yum!

8/12/15: Charlotte was so cute as she used a toy watering can as a microphone outside. Charlotte was singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" into the watering can.

8/13/15: When the big kids came out to ride their bikes, Charlotte ran over to the fence and started yelling, "Anna Kelly, Anna Kelly where are you?" How cute!

8/14/15: Charlotte enjoyed exploring wooden spoons today. She was happy with the music she created as she banged them on the floor.

8/18/15: Today Charlotte used a picture frame as a phone. Charlotte held it up to her ear and had a conversation with her mommy. :)

8/19/15: Charlotte loved using the sponge outside to splash her friends with water today. She would soak it in the bucket of water then take it and squeeze it on her friends. They all loved it, she was the fan favorite outside.

8/20/15: Charlotte was really getting into the African dancing we had in the gym. Anna was in he gym as well and they started dancing together. So cute!

8/21/15: Charlotte was singing her ABCs during snack this morning and was very proud of herself when she got to the end because she clapped and said, “yay"!

8/24/15: Welcome to the Manatee classroom. We are so excited to have Charlotte. Her friend Michael was so excited to see her that he threw his morning snack way just so he could play with her. :)  (This started your love affair with Ms Heather!)

8/25/15: We made school busses during art today so along with that we sang the wheels on the bus. Charlotte knows all the movements and the verses!

8/27/15: Charlotte loves books. Whenever we read a book she is right there in the front listening so attentively. Love it!

8/31/15: Charlotte sure does love the blue bean bag chair. During nap we moved it under the sensory table and low and behold we found Charlotte sitting in the bean bag chair under the sensory table. She is a hoot.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First days

After seeing so many cute picture of my friend's kiddos heading off to school, I couldn't help snap a picture on Anna's first day of pre-K. She looks so grown up! When did that happen??

"I want to be a farmer when I grow up!"

And Miss C couldn't resist getting in on the action too, and preferred a solo picture, thank you very much.