Friday, March 30, 2012

Vivi at the playground

Found this picture from March 19th and wanted to post it. This girl just adores climbing through tunnels on the playground.

Sometimes they remind me of the tunnels in a hamster cage.

{Is that weird?}

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fire station field trip

Owen's class talked about fire safety this week, and to finish up the week, we took a field trip to a nearby fire station. Owen was so excited and Vivi even got to participate too.

It was neat that they had a fireman put on all his gear (including oxygen mask) and asked the kids to go up and give him a high-five. {I wasn't able to get a picture of it because I was explaining what was going on to Owen & Vivi} But, I learned that they do this to show kids what a fireman looks like when he's helping to save you during a fire - so they don't get scared and not want to go to him in an emergency. One little girl was so scared, she was screaming and her mom had to take her out of the room. Vivi cried for a minute, but then thought it was fun to give him a high-five. That's my girl!

They got to climb into the fire truck, take a tour of the fire house, and were sent home with their very own fireman helmet. Such a fun morning!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bunny cupcakes

Grandma Marshall brought the kids these adorable bunny cupcake toppers and they couldn't wait to make and decorate some. So since we didn't have any cake mix in the house, but we did have the basics for vanilla cake from scratch, I found an easy recipe online and we got to work. We just made a small batch, to test them, and then we'll make another batch this week for a sweet ending to our Easter meal.

It's fuzzy, but you can sortof tell in the background that Vivian had already devoured her cupcake. She's got a mean sweet tooth, just like her mama. :)


Sometimes, as hard as you try, you just can't ignore it. So you pick it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Consignment sale heaven

This morning was my favorite consignment sale of the season. I volunteered last night from 5-8pm in order to get an early shopping pass. I like the shift I picked (and have done for the past two years) because it's the drop-off quality control shift and I get to see the merchandise as it comes in. I make mental notes as to what I want to look for in the morning. Someone dropped off a Skuut balance bike and had it priced at $5!!

Here's a shot from when I was sorting through the clothes I picked out before paying. It's early yet (7:35am, when I got in at 6:30am), so there aren't many shoppers yet.

I ended up getting Owen's entire summer wardrobe, 3 pairs of shoes for each of the kids (that actually fit them, believe it or not!) 3 swim suits for him, a few toys, an armful of books, a kiddie beach chair, a sunhat for each of them, and probably a few other things I am forgetting, but it all was only $130!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A few of my recent favorites

Owen comes home from preschool each week with the cutest little projects. I don't keep them all (because that would be just too many pieces of paper with scribbles for me to handle), but I put my favorites up on our fridge to admire until I get tired of it, at which time I replace it with the next awesome piece that comes home from my little artist. :)

Here are a few of my recent favs:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Raspberries are fun to play with

We had fresh raspberries with lunch today and when I looked over, Owen had put two on his fingertips.

"Here Vivi, let me put on your lipstick!" I almost fell over laughing.

Where does he get this stuff?

Cookie decorating playdate for Vivi

One of Owen's friends from preschool has a wonderful mommy who is super organized and she loves planning playdates. She found out that Panera would host a cookie decorating playdate and scheduled it for today. But since Owen attends the Mom's morning out at his preschool on Wednesdays, just Vivi and I were able to go. I thought it would be a fun thing for her since she's usually always at playdates with Owen. This was one of her own. With his friends from preschool (and their siblings) who do not attend the MMO. He wasn't jealous. :)

They gave each child a shortbread cookie, bag of icing, and small cup of mini M&M's. Vivi actually got into it and put some M&M's on all by herself!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ryan's early Birthday celebration

We had Kel & Matt and Molly & Tim over for a cookout to celebrate Ryan's birthday together a week early. The kids loved sitting together at the little picnic table. And the cake was a hit. Especially with Vivi - she must have sat for fifteen minutes eating her piece, and of course she signed "more" when she was done. That's my girl! :)

Vivi's baby signs

Vivi has been using baby sign language since December, but recently she's added a bunch of new signs to her "vocabulary". It's fun to see her use it to communicate. I'm eager for her to get to the point of saying the sign at the same time she's doing the sign. With Owen, he started doing that around 20 months (if I remember correctly) and then a few months later he had dropped most of the signs and would just talk.

This is Vivi's sign for "more". The real sign is putting your finger tips together, but she takes her right pointer and puts it into her palm.

The other signs she uses on a daily (or almost daily) basis are: milk, bath, eat, daddy, please, all done, sleep, airplane, dog, and pear.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Our week in ipad & cell phone photos

I've discovered Instagram on the ipad and LOVE it. This week I've been terrible at picking up my camera, but have tried to snap a few pics a day using the ipad or my cell, and decided to compile them all in a collage since we didn't do anything exciting this week other than enjoy this amazing warm weather.

(from top left: fresh baked chocolate chip banana bread, Vivian checking out the fish tank before her first pediatric dentist visit, Vivi wishing we owned a dog *dream on child*, waiting on the front step for Kayla & Ryan to arrive for a playdate, me and Owen playing Lincoln Logs before bed, water table fun, reading some books at the library, Vivi and I on a walk to the playground while Owen was in school, and Vivi enjoying a sugar-free loli from her dentist appt with Owen's swim lesson in the background)

Now I'm off to bed to get some rest before waking up early for the first consignment sale of Spring in our area!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

15-month check-up

Vivian had her 15-mo well visit today. She was so brave for her 3 shots and only cried for a minute. The doc said she scored lowest on the verbal skills part of the assessment (they have this new online survey you take before the appointment so the doctor can review it with you during the visit and you can email them any questions or concerns ahead of time.) but that she's not concerned about it given her ability to communicate with signs so far.

Here are her stats:

Weight - 23 pounds, 2 oz (upper 50%)
Length - 31" (50-75%)
Head - 19' (95%)

She lost a little weight since her last visit, but the doc said it was fine. We're due back in 3 months for the happy 18-mo visit where there are no shots involved. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Heavenly weekend

Despite losing an hour to daylight savings time, our weekend was awesome. We hung out at home all weekend long. Got a few things crossed off our to-do list. Baked some chocolate-chip banana bread and sewed a few ribbon burp cloths for our new neighbor who just had a baby girl last week. Went to church this morning. Cut some fresh daffodils from the backyard. Snuggled in bed {all four of us yesterday morning}. And basically just enjoyed being home together as a family.

The weather was beautiful too - sunny and warm for March. Vivi even wore a sleeveless top to the playground today. I just wanted to bite her chubby little arms. Don't you?

But I'll settle for a kiss on those juicy red lips.

Why do the weekends always go so gosh darn fast?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The view from my counter at snacktime

They're lovin' Miss Spider's Tea Party - Bedtime Story book app - on the ipad these days.

What are your kids' favorite apps?

A morning at the playground with Vivian

The weather was amazing today - we hit 70 degrees in early March! So while Owen was at preschool, Vivi and I took a long walk to the playground to enjoy the fresh air. I used to do this all the time with Owen before she was born, but I couldn't think of a time when I took her by herself. It was the perfect way for us to spend the morning together, just she and I. I'm so lucky that both my kiddos enjoy the stroller and will sit still for long walks in it. Owen still will ride in the double stroller for me, which I am sure won't last too much longer. (Plus, he's getting heavy!)

Here are the pictures I was able to capture of the little Miss as she danced around the playground with a big smile on her face. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

11 Questions

I've recently found some cool mommy blogs which I've been reading, and a bunch of them had this fun little game that I thought was neat, so I figured I'd give it a whirl with my group of mommy blogging friends. :)

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules.

2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.

3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.

4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.

5. Go to their blog/twitter/FB and tell them that you’ve tagged them.

Fun, right??

Here goes....Eleven random things about me:

1. I am absolutely petrified of spiders and still have flashbacks from when my uncle took my brother and I to see Arachnophobia when it was out in the theaters (geesh, I must have been 11 or 12 at the time?). I've gotten braver over the years and can manage to kill the small ones I come across, but I still always scream and jump away whenever I see one.

2. I played water polo all four years of college, but only ever scored a goal or two. I was never very good at the sport, but enjoyed the exercise that came from 2 hours in a pool four days a week year-round, and met my best friends for life by being a part of the team.

3. Art has always been a passion of mine, but something I never have had much formal training to improve on what skills or natural talent I may have. My favorite subjects in school were always Art and Home Economics, and I kindof regret not studying graphic design or photography in college.

4. My favorite vacation we ever took was when Ben and I went to St Thomas to celebrate our 27th birthdays. We found an adorable little bed and breakfast with the sweetest owner who was an amazing breakfast chef. I've been wanting to go back ever since, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm sure we'll get back there someday though.

5. I have a habit of buying the same fruits and veggies at the grocery store every week: bananas, blueberries/raspberries/blackberries - whichever is on sale, grapes, pears, red peppers, broccoli, cucumber, carrots and zucchini. I need to branch out and try others, but whenever I look at the other produce items I get overwhelmed with trying to come up with ways to cook them. Stupid, I know. Need to work on this.

6. I am super cheap, but I love to shop. I hardly ever buy a clothing item that isn't on sale. If it's not on sale, I tell myself I must have a coupon for it, but usually it's more than I am willing to spend even after the coupon savings is factored in, so I won't buy it. My favorite times of year are spring and fall - 3 words: kids' consignment sales!

7. I don't watch much TV (we gave up cable about 6 months ago to save $$$ and now just use Netflix or hulu to watch shows, and basic cable for the news), but I do love reality shows like The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Dance Moms, and the new (non-reality) series SMASH about a Marilyn Monroe Broadway show in production.

8. I LOVE reading mommy blogs. I can spend hours engrossed in blog posts on what other moms go through on a daily basis and see their pictures of their little ones. I secretly wish all my friends would blog, but I know it's not everyone's thing. I guess I just like the attention. {no surprise there}

9. I often wonder how I got so lucky to have ended up with Ben. He is my best friend and the love of my life and there is no way I would be as happy as I am today if it weren't for us getting married and having kids. The 3 of them are my world.

10. I love baths. My favorite time of day is after the kids are in bed, the dishes are done, coffee maker is set for the morning, and my bubble bath {with a glass of wine and book} is waiting for me. Sometimes I almost fall asleep in the tub. It's totally relaxing, but I probably only do this once a week. Wish I had enough energy to do a bath every night.

11. I love Thai and Indian food, but always order the same things when we get it: Chicken Pad Thai or Tom Kha Gia soup, and Chicken Tiki Masala. I should probably branch out a bit. {see #5}

Here are the questions I pulled from the mommy blog where I found this fun game:

  1. Is it soda or pop? And what is your favorite? Soda. Coke Zero, but I'm trying to break the habit by not buying it anymore. It's helping.
  2. What is your go to outfit when you need one? I am so fashion-challenged, it's not even funny. If I had to attempt to answer this question, I'd probably say that my new favorite outfit is my skinny jeans, a grey tee layered over a long-sleeved black tee, my knee-high brown boots and a cute floral print scarf (see pics from yesterday's playdate, below). It's all from Old Navy; I swear, I think half of my wardrobe is from there lately.
  3. Tell me what you are reading and why? A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. It was recommended by a blogger I love (see #5 below) and I'm really enjoying it. It's about how to edit your own life basically.
  4. Name a reality TV show you would like to go on? My mom never misses an opportunity to tell me how I should submit photos of our home to be chosen for an HGTV makeover. I got tired of hearing her say this, so I did it. Needless to say, I'm still waiting for a call to go on the show.
  5. Tell me the best blog you read that you think I should start reading. Easy: MOMASTERY. GO AND READ IT NOW - from the beginning - and you will probably be a follower for life. She has a Facebook fanpage too. I'm in LOVE with Glennon's writing - so honest, raw, and inspirational. I will probably be one of the first fans in line with her book in hand to be signed. I'm a Monkee and I have the hoodie to prove it. :)
  6. If you had to move out of your current state where would you go? Probably Florida since my parents and my brother, sister-in-law and nephew are there. I dislike snow very much too, so sunny FL would be a nice change.
  7. Tell me one rule you had growing up that you will never impose on your own kids. Ha! This one is easy: clean your room before the cleaning lady comes to clean our house. No kidding. My mom had a cleaning lady that came once every 2 weeks and we always had to pick up our rooms before she came. I will never have this rule for my kids because we will never have a cleaning lady. We don't need one {READ: cannot squeeze one into the budget} because I am so talented at keeping my house perfectly clean. LOL.
  8. What is one thing you could not live without? (It can’t be a person) Easy - coffee. I actually go to bed at night thinking about how I'm going to enjoy my next cup of joe. Probably an unhealthy addiction, but then again, there are a bunch of studies saying drinking 2-3 cups of coffee is beneficial to your health, right?
  9. What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Drink coffee.
  10. What would your final meal consist of? Melting Pot's Great Night Out. All four courses: cheese, salad, steak/chicken/shrimp/pasta/veggies, and the best for last - chocolate!
  11. If you had to pick a song as the “soundtrack of your life what would it be?” Not that the verses are like my life, but I just love the lyrics - how they emphasize that we shouldn't be afraid of dying because we're going to go someplace much more beautiful and peaceful than earth - Carrie Underwood's Temporary Home.

Questions for my Tag-ees …

1. What is your most favorite place on Earth?
2. If you woke up with an extra $10,000 tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would buy? {and DON’T say ‘pay off debt’. Let's all assume we'd do that second.}
3. Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest?
4. What’s your favorite book?
5. If you could go back and do one thing differently THIS WEEK, what would it be?
6. What’s one thing you wish you knew how to do really well?
7. How well do you remember your first kiss? Details, please.
8. If you were stranded on a deserted island tomorrow, who would you want to be stranded with? {ONE person only!}
9. What are the baby names you used to LOVE but haven't/wouldn't ever use?
10. What do you love/hate about blogging?
11. What is the worst job you've ever had?

I am tagging these lovely gals {if they think I'm a complete dork and don't respond, I promise I won't be offended}:

Lindsey {Killi Baby}

Andrea {Hertel News}

Erin {Hawks Nest}

Katie {our little chickadee*}

Sarah {Baby Bradby}

Amanda {Johnson Bundle of Joy}

Hope {Baby In A One Bedroom}

Maureen {Liddy Cakes}

Aimee {Our Baby Bump}

Cara {in the moment}

Denise {Ava's Blog}

And now I think I'll try to chase away the Sunday Blues with some couch cuddling with my favorite guy and two kiddos. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Richmond playdate

Sarah and Mark hosted an awesome playdate today in Richmond. We intended to get on the road by 8am, but struggled to get out the door on time and ended up an hour late because of that (and an unplanned, yet not surprising, potty {peepee accident} pit stop at a Micky D's on the way.

Everyone greeted us at the door as soon as we arrived. We were so excited to catch up with the Colombells clan and to congratulate Sarah and Mark in person on the pregnancy announcement of Baby Bradby #2 arriving in June!

We took a tour of Sarah and Mark's new house {it is GORGEOUS by the way!} and the kids took turns driving around Timothy's Lightning McQueen racecar and Thomas trike.

There was breakfast pizza, fruit and cream cheese dip, homemade sticky monkey bread, Bloody Mary's and coffee ~ it was the perfect brunch menu. I brought along some zucchini bread that I made last night and we ate, drank, and caught up amid the chaos of two 1-yr olds, two almost 2-yr olds, a 3 yr-old and a 4-yr old. :) It was happy
commotion and we loved it. The kids played really well together and we all had fun visiting for a few hours before we called it a day so the kiddos could nap.

Looking forward to our next one already. Hopefully before the new baby makes his/her grand entrance!