Thursday, July 28, 2011

Babies and Brilliance -

Whoops, missed my morning post. We've been busy today. :) Ryan attended the funeral of a coworker's mother last night, which was 2 hours away, and we ended up going to bed pretty late. I turned off the alarm at 6:30 this morning, and accidentally slept till 6:57! I was exhausted.. finally got out of bed at 7:10, and Brooke was already awake, so my morning workout was out. I ended up working out after the kids went down for their nap this afternoon, which felt AWESOME, and I ended up burning 70 more calories than I did yesterday morning, so... can't really call it a failure.

I GOT A NEW PHONE TODAY! My new every 2 with Verizon finally came around, and I got to pick out a bright, shiny new phone. (not through Verizon, however.. was not impressed at all by their selection) It's pretty exciting, because I've been using a 4+ year-old back-up phone for the past year, after my last phone went haywire from water damage. My wish list included a touch screen, and pull out keyboard, without having to pay for a data package. (cannot and will not spend $80+ a month for cell service!) So, this Samsung phone below fit the bill, and I ordered the pink case off of eBay. I am a happy, happy girl.

While we were out and about, Pierson started calling out colors that he saw.. and he got them all right. Blue! Why yes, that's blue. Orange! Why yes, that's orange. Purple! Wow, that IS purple! It's crazy. I know I've said I'm amazed by this kid, but really.. I'm amazed by this kid. He's not even 22 months old yet!

Recently Freecycle has been a real blessing for our family. I was able to get a few new decor pieces, including a framed print, brand new thatched throw pillow, (looks perfect in Ryan's leather chair!) and a Pottery Barn wrought iron/cherry hanging picture frame. But the real excitement came yesterday, when two different, very nice Freecyclers chose to give us baby dolls and tons of baby doll accessories. Brooke has recently taken an interest in baby dolls (finally!!) so I had pulled out her two little babies out of storage. That's all we had, though. The Freecyclers gave us.. an American Girl Bitty Baby white wooden bed, two doll strollers, a wooden clothes trunk, a baby swing, a Moses basket, TONS of clothes and 4 baby dolls. Brooke was in absolute heaven! I was in heaven! Seeing my baby girl loving on her new baby dolls made me so happy. I've always known she's a kind, tenderhearted little girl, but I've never seen her as nurturing as she was with her babies.

The best part? I brought all of her new babies and things and set them up in her bedroom, and, before she got into bed, she rocked her babies and sang to them... the same song I sing to her every night. It took everything I had in me not to cry in front of her. She whispered "night night" to them, and got into bed. My sweet, sweet Brooke.

Rocking and singing to her baby ~
(Don't judge the jammies--I let her pick them out :))

Kisses for her baby ~

Making sure they stay nice and warm :)

Oh, it does my heart good. Our kids make life so much happier.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 3 -

Day 3 is done. I felt like I had been drugged when I woke up at 6:30, so I stayed in bed till 6:40, and was on the elliptical by 6:45. So, it was much harder to get out of bed this morning, but MUCH easier to work out. I burned the same amount of calories that I normally would during an afternoon work out. I was definitely much peppier, but I'm not sure if it's because my body is starting to get used to morning work outs or if it's just because I made a new playlist last night. :) Music gets me moving.

The kids and I had a fun, full day yesterday. We went to the mall, the pet store, and Walmart, all before nap time. They were EXHAUSTED. :) We don't usually go to the mall much, but with it being so hot, and their awesome play place, it's a good choice. We parked at the lower level of JCPenney, and had to walk through the men's department to get out to the mall. Pierson looked around at the mannequins dressed in nice dress shirts and ties, and said, "daddy's clothes!" :) Yep, that's how he sees daddy most of the time. Brooke was very gently touching each tie, and commenting on how nice they were until we nearly reached the mall, Brooke gasped, stroked the fabric of a nice top, and said, "oh, this is LOVELY!" It made me laugh so hard! Also made me contemplate how often I say "lovely"..

A cashier at one of the stores we went to took one look at Pierson, and said, "he looks just like you! Wow, he really is a mini you." Even though I see it all of the time, it makes me really happy when other people notice. :)

I think I enjoy the pet store nearly as much as the kids do. I had nearly every pet under the sun, at least once, during my childhood, so, even though we don't have a pet right now, it's fun for all of us to go enjoy them at the store. The one we went to yesterday, near the mall, was a lot bigger than the store we normally go to--more fish, in all acrylic tanks that are lower/well lit/easier for kids to see, (Brooke was happy!) more birds, and they even have cats and kittens in the cat adoption room. (Pierson was happy!)

Well, kids are awake. :) Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesdays and Turtles -

Day 2 is done. Ryan didn't have to leave until later this morning, so I took the opportunity to go running this morning rather than being inside on the elliptical. I took up running a little while ago, and I really enjoy it. I kept remembering how I used to run every day with my dog, Lexy, when I was a teenager, and how 1) I was very fit, and 2) it was just fun, and I looked forward to it. Even now, hearing a song that I used to run to years ago, I have very happy memories of it. Of course, memory and reality is a bit different. Getting back into it after so long was hard, and I didn't enjoy it at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the longer you can go.

All that being said, I always work out in the afternoon during the kids' nap time, and usually if it's a day that I'm running, I can't go until after dinner. (once Ryan is home, and it's not as hot outside) So, running in the morning is totally new to me.

I won't lie.. I felt like a brick. I was excited when I first stepped outside, because, hey, it's actually kind of cool outside at 6:30 AM. :) It was breezy and a mere 73 degrees.. though already humid. (can't escape that around here, though, even if you're running at 3 in the morning) As I started to run, I felt stiff and heavy.. like a brick. I didn't at all feel like my normal peppy self; I felt heavy, as though I had weights pulling my legs down. I thought if I pushed through it, I'd eventually loosen up, but no. I did stretch beforehand, too. So, it wasn't very fun, but it was easier and more distracting being outside. I kept going, and got back to the house at 7:20--just in time to find Brooke coming down the stairs. :)

I'll be curious to see if this gets any easier after a week. I will say, though.. I had a VERY productive day yesterday! I was practically bouncing off the walls yesterday morning, and was able to get so much done. And, not having to use half of the kids' nap time to work out, I was able to get more done during that free time.

Yesterday was a big day... Pierson said "love you" for the very first time. :) He was pushing his toy shopping cart, pretending to be leaving to go somewhere, and said, "buh-bye, love you." I pretty much melted into a puddle right there. Gosh, I love him. Another thing I love hearing him say is "tickles," which sounds like he's saying, "turtles." :) (I LOVE his mispronunciations and never want him to stop.) Both of the kids LOVE to be tickled, and will beg for more if I stop. They're both very ticklish, though. Just brushing Brooke's hair into a pony tail, and having the brush touch her neck, she starts giggling. And Pierson has super ticklish feet; just trying to clip his toe nails, he squirms and laughs, saying, "it turtles!" :) I love my kids.

Monday, July 25, 2011

6:30 Challenge -

It's only 8:11, but I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit already this morning. My Mom watches that Dr. Oz TV show, and she was telling us recently that "Dr. Oz says it's ideal to wake up at 6:30 every morning, and work out at 6:35." I laughed, and said that it may be "ideal" for some people, but not for me. There are morning people, and there's the rest of us. I'm just too sluggish to wake up and immediately go work out. Ryan countered that if you were to try it, and stick to it, it would become habit. Being the stubborn individual that I am, I told him that I will try it every day for a full week, and see if 1) it actually makes me feel better, 2) it gets easier with time/becomes enough of a habit (enough that I'd consider doing it permanently) and 3) it makes me lose any weight. (because we all know, with me, if it makes me lose weight, I WILL stick to it)

So, I finished Day 1. I'm usually up no later than 7 every morning to get Ryan out the door with his coffee and breakfast, but it's been a long, long time since I've worked out in the morning. I won't lie, I hated the first ten minutes. Getting to 20 minutes wasn't any easier, and by 30 minutes, I was just thankful that the torture was over. (I did run yesterday afternoon, so 30 minutes of cardio will suffice for day 1!) It was difficult for me to have to be THAT awake THAT early in the morning. I have to say, though, it was pretty cool to look at the clock, and realize that it was only 7:05 and I was already done with my workout for the day! (I will still do some weights and ab work later) Showered, made Ryan's coffee and breakfast and got him out the door, all well before 8:00. We'll see how Day 2 goes.

Speaking of being healthier, I weighed myself yesterday for the first time in (I believe) 3 weeks. In those 3 weeks, I ditched the South Beach diet (to some extent) and instead focused on eating tons of fruits, (which are limited in SB) veggies, mostly lean meat, and little bit of whole grains, and eating smaller amounts more often, rather than 3 full meals. I've felt better, and had more energy, but I couldn't really tell if I'd actually lost anything. Apparently, I've lost 4 lbs! Hurray! Which means I'm a mere 3 lbs away from the weight I was before I got pregnant with Pierson. (though, when Ryan asked, "so, how many lbs is that away from what you weighed with Brooke?" I answered, "umm.. no comment. Lets just say, I still want to lose a bit more.")

Now that I've rambled on way too much about working out and diet....

Today is exactly one month away from Brooke's 4th birthday! We don't talk with her about it very much, because one month is still an eternity to a 3 year-old, but I'm getting excited about it. She changed her mind on the butterfly party idea, (dang it!) and still wants her (original idea) Finding Nemo party, which I've got a lot of ideas for, but haven't actually purchased anything yet. The Nemo cake should be interesting! We did decide we're going to hold off on the "first pet" idea, though. Maybe next year.

Pierson is still continuing to amaze me. He's been learning his colors, which I figured was probably too early and would confuse him, but he always surprises me. He is pretty consistent with blue, yellow, and orange, but he also knows purple, green, red, pink, and gray. (which he calls "grape!" I LOVE that!) Sometimes if I ask him what color something is, he won't even look at it, but instead will run down his list of colors, laughing at every wrong answer until he gets it right. Silly. :)

Recently, he has borrowed a phrase that Brooke uses when she's proud of herself for doing something. She will very triumphantly, say, "Ta da! Thank you, thank you!" (complete with a bow, sometimes 2 :)) She has a slight flair for the dramatic. :) We call her our little actress. Now Pierson is saying it all the time, and it's adorable. I've got some very proud kids, apparently. He even taught his little friend, Nicky, to say, "ta da!"

His 2nd birthday is now just a little over two months away, and I've already got his birthday present! I saved up all of my Amazon gift cards that I got from Swagbucks, and used them to buy him something he's going to LOVE. I feel like such a kid when it comes to giving my kids gifts, because keeping it a surprise KILLS me! I can't wait for him to see it. :) I was leaning towards doing a Cars party for him, but I haven't made up my mind yet. He likes all kinds of things, and his favorite actually seems to be trucks right now. (Chuck & Friends as well as firetrucks) I'll just have to see what's out there. :) I really, really enjoy doing their parties... it's a sickness, really.

Hope you all have a great Monday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Words -

Love it; Pierson can say his name now! If I ask him, "what's your name?" he will point to his chest, and say, "Pierson!" He also really likes to distinguish between his things, and Brooke's things. Though he likes to call her, "Brookie." :) (Ex:"Brookie's cup, Pierson's cup.") Sitting at the dinner table the other night, he starts calling out, "Pieeeeerson! Brooookieee!" Gosh, I love this kid.

I'm babysitting a friend's son, Nikolas, this morning, and Pierson, out of blue, started calling him, "Nicky!"

Brooke is still having nightmares at night, which, since I discovered what's going on, I have a lot more patience and sympathy for. The other night, it was "scary bugs in my room" and she literally woke up thinking she had bug bites on her arm. :( When I told her that, no, her arm didn't have bites, and there were no bugs in her room, she asked, "were they pretend?" So, at night we now talk about things she likes, like dogs, fish, cars, and I tell her that if she thinks about them before she falls asleep, she just might dream about them. :) She really likes that idea, and it has made bedtime less scary for her. I ask her what she would like to dream about tonight, and she gives me a fun little scenario. :)

Speaking of scary bugs, I came home the other night from my run in the park, and discovered a tick on my stomach as I went to shower. It has literally been over 5 years since I've seen a tick, and it gave me the heebie jeebies! (thankfully it was a large, run of the mill tick, not a little deer tick) I guess I'll be dousing myself with bug spray prior to park runs from now on! Gross. But, I so enjoy running in the park.

I take the kids to the pet store fairly often as free entertainment. Brooke is a huge fan of the rodent section and the fish, and Pierson's favorite are the birds. We have a grand ole time, and get to leave all of the little pets at the store. :) This past time, though, Brooke started asking if she could have a hamster; specifically, she asked if she could have one for her birthday. She's even thought of a name! Remembering that I had my first pet, a bird, at her (about to turn) age, Ryan and I are considering it. Heck, a hamster sounded WAY better to Ryan than what his son would like to have! :) Ryan hates birds with a passion. Of course I'd still be taking care of the theoretical pet, but I think she's getting to the age where she can help care for one. (feeding it, giving it water, playing with it, etc. all with supervision) But, we haven't completely decided yet.

Well, we're off to the playground! Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweetness -

Yesterday was not a great day. Between the DVD player dying during Ratatouille, the garbage disposal conking out in the early afternoon, and Ryan coming home to tell me that his car was broken down in the driveway, (after getting a jump start at work just to make it home) the badness just seemed to keep escalating. I was set to take our friends' dog out for a run at the park last night after dinner, (which I enjoy tremendously) but instead I followed behind the tow truck with Ryan's car, with the kids in the back, (who thought it was an adventure, and just the coolest thing ever, to see Daddy's car on a tow truck) and I thought, this isn't sad anymore, it's just laughable, it was that ridiculous. (and I might have laughed, if it weren't such a failure of a day) Momma said there'd be days like this.

Today? Today has been good. We all slept in, even Brooke, (!) until 8:30. We played. We laughed. (I cleaned, vacuumed, and did laundry, which I consider good, but who wants to read about that?) The kids splashed around in their pool while I got some sun. They're both napping now, and I'll hopefully be able to get a do-over, and get that run in with my furry running partner tonight.

Pierson is saying some new phrases. Yesterday it was "hold me," (which is really cute, and it's not in a clingy way, just a randomly sweet way) and today it's "where's it going?" Aka- the school bus driving down the street, "where's it going?" And when I answer, he asks sweetly, "why?" (he learned that one from his sister!) I tell you, the kid will ask you why until you run out of answers. I don't really mind the why's. Both of our kids are just inquisitive and curious about the way everything works, and I want to encourage that. (I only mind if they ask "why" when I tell them to do something. :))

Have a great day. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 4th -

Well, we came, we saw, we conquered. We had a really wonderful holiday, and a fabulous long weekend in general. :) We were fairly busy and productive, and just generally enjoyed our family time together.

I've been amazed a lot this year with how "easy" the kids are getting as they get older. In so far as they are more easily adaptable to whatever we are doing, can even skip naps if it occasionally calls for it, and are generally fairly happy with whatever we're doing. I love that we've been able to ditch one of the baby gates now that Pierson has been able to navigate the stairs up and down for quite a while now. I love that they enjoy playing together, and now will sometimes go off together to play without me, sometimes on different levels of our home. I love their energy. I love their laughter together. I love their independence and togetherness. As they get older, they, of course, become more challenging to parent, discipline, and guide, (and I'm aware that it becomes increasingly so as they get older) but nevertheless I am LOVING this stage.

Recently, Brooke went through a home movie kick, and was asking to watch all sorts of home movies--from birthdays to Christmas to the Zoo to Mommy & Daddy's wedding--she was fascinated by it all. I have to say, watching home movies from when Brooke was a baby, and when Pierson was a baby, it made my heart ache. It's crazy to hear their little sounds and watch their little expressions and think simultaneously, "I can't believe you were that little," and, "Oh my gosh, that's so you!" Hearing their little baby noises made me squeeze them a little tighter, and count my blessings.

But... it in no way made me want another baby! How crazy is that? It makes me thankful for THEM, but in no way makes me want a new one. Yet. Maybe I will feel differently down the road? Maybe not. I guess we will see. For now, though, we are so very good.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from our 4th of July. :) We went to the town parade in the morning, hung out with our friends for lunch and a couple hours at the pool, nap times for the kids, grilled burgers and made s'mores, (of course!) and then braved the possibility of a downpour to go see the fireworks. Radar wasn't looking too promising, but we went anyway, and aside from a few sprinkles at the beginning, the rain went right around us. :)

Brooke at the parade!

Daddy & Pierson~

Sweetie pie~ Her favorite part of the parade was "candy!" which was passed out throughout the parade. Silly girl :)

My little man watching the parade :) He especially the loved the dogs, balloons, firetrucks, and vintage cars

Sparklers! This was their first experience with them :)

Brooke LOVED the sparklers!

Our kids :)

So cool.

Love this!

Hope you all had a happy and safe 4th!