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!