Switching roles

Monday, April 20, 2015

Once upon a time, I knew how to play chess. That was many, many moons ago, and to say my knowledge of the game now is rusty would be very generous. I wasn’t a chess whiz, by any means, but I do have fond memories of teaching myself how how play (via a computer game we had on floppy disk) and then challenging my dad to games. That phase didn’t last long, but I remember being so proud of myself for learning it on my own.

Recently The Big Sis started taking an interest in chess. She’d gotten a set for her birthday, but she actually ended up learning at her after-school program. She kept talking about it so much that I asked her over the weekend if she’d teach me how to play. We have “No Stress Chess,” which is a great system for teaching beginners, so she took on the role of teacher to educate me about the game. It quickly became clear just how much of a novice I am when I tried to move one of my pieces to attack another, and she looked at me for a few seconds and then said, “You’re trying to attack your own piece.” Hahaha! We got a big laugh out of that one!

But on a more serious note, it was interesting to be in a position where she had this wealth of knowledge that she was trying to pass on to me. She did very well explaining moves and rules to me, and maintained quite a bit of patience as I asked question after question about possible moves and strategy. She was even sneaky with me a few times during our practice game and would say, “I don’t care of you capture my [piece],” and so that’s the move I’d make, but then that would just set HER up for a better move. Chess is all about strategy and thinking many moves ahead, but I didn’t think she’d caught on to that part of the game that proficiently. That’ll show me, I guess!


Their first chess game

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Snow day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Totally tubular

Sunday, January 25, 2015

When The Big Sis had just turned 3, we took her snow tubing for the first time, and she fell in love with it. We’ve taken her several times since then, and we’ve had so much fun each time. We didn’t feel like The Little Sis was quite old enough to go last year since she was just 2 1/2, but we took her for the first time over the weekend, and to no one’s surprise, our thrill-seeker LOVED it! To see the smile on her face as we’d go down the hill each time — oh, it was just the best! We went with some friends we’ve known since our oldest kids were in the same baby class at daycare; we don’t get to see them very much anymore, so it was great to spend some good quality time with them.

We did have one small incident during the evening, though. We decided to go to the super lane, where all eight of us were able to link up and go down the hill together. We lined up and got situation, with me and The Little Sis bringing up the rear. Well, the worker pushed our train of snow tubes down the hill, and he lost his footing on the slick snow and bumped into The Little Sis and her tube, and it was enough of a jolt that it made me lose my grip on her tube handle.

The entire trip down the hill felt like it took forever, with time advancing in slow motion as I watched behind us at her tube nearly skipping over to the other lane, with her crying the entire time. I felt so powerless. Our group tubes finally reached the bottom and I jumped out and ran back toward The Little Sis, who had also reached the bottom and was with a worker who was making sure we were both okay. She was fine physically, but she was scared and crying and it took a little bit of time to get her calmed down. She told me that she was scared because she was afraid we were going to go home without her. Some reassurances and some hot chocolate later, we got her back on the big hills and she had a fine time during the rest of our visit…though she was always quite to remind me to not to decide to let go. I assured her it was an accident and I would take extra measures to make sure I didn’t let go again. She kept talking about how much fun she had, and I can’t wait to take the girls back again hopefully next year!

First time down the hill:

Family tubing:

The four kids:

Wordless Wednesday: The Little Sis’s first game of Candyland

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Fall family fotos

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

First film!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A few weeks ago, we were looking for something to do as a family, and after much discussion, we decided to take a risk and take The Little Sis to her first theater movie. The Big Sis went to her first theater movie when she was between 2 1/2 and 3, so this would have us doing it a little earlier for The Little Sis, but overall we thought it would go well. And overall, we were indeed right. We went to the dollar theater so if we had to bail, we weren’t out a lot of money. We loaded up on snacks, snagged seats in the back row on the side, and hoped for the best.

Really, the only “problem” we had was that The Little Sis is currently going through a phase where she narrates EVERYTHING. So she’d say — just slightly too loud — “Look, it’s a monkey! He’s silly,” for example. So while not awful, I’m sure it was distracting to those who were closest to us (though we really didn’t have anyone super close to us, part of the reason we chose to sit in the back). Toward the end, The Little Sis started to get a little wiggly, but for the most part, she did really well sitting in her seat between the wall and The Big Sis.

Oh, and for the record, her first movie was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.

The Big Sis’ first movie? The original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. πŸ™‚

Wordless Wednesday: Kentucky snow angel

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Capital idea!

Friday, June 21, 2013

It’s probably no secret among those who know me that I don’t do “nothing” very well. It’s not that I get bored exactly when we have no plans. But I just prefer DOING stuff, and I do think it keeps the girls in line better when *they* don’t get bored.

So we had some plans canceled for this past Saturday, leaving us free for the day, and I tried my hardest not to plan anything — I really did. But my mind started turning basically from the moment I woke up in the morning, trying to think of something fun and different for us to do. It was a very nice day out, so something outside was definitely in order. The Big Sis had mentioned recently that she’d like to go to the state capital sometime, so I thought that might be a good plan. We’d go to the Capitol Building there, browse The Husband’s favorite bookstore downtown (“downtown” should most definitely be in quotes), grab lunch at our favorite bakery/deli there, and take a picnic lunch to a nearby wildlife center. Within 45 minutes, we were all ready and hit the road for the 25-minute drive to the neighboring town to the west.

First stop: The Capitol Building. The grounds here are very pretty, and we basically had it to ourselves on a Saturday morning, which was very nice. We went inside and did a self-tour of the building (I’ve been here before, as recently as a few years ago, so why did I not realize the state Supreme Court chambers are located in the Capitol?), and each of the girls scored a coloring book (on the legislative process) on our way out the door. We headed over to the floral clock before making our way to the downtown area to visit the bookstore and adjoining coffee shop, where we did our part to support a local business by buying a few chocolate chip cookies to take to our picnic. We continued our support of local business by grabbing lunch at “our” bakery, then drove over to the wildlife center and found a picnic table. Lunch was tasty, and the plan had been to do some light hiking at the wildlife center, but by this point we were starting to bump against The Little Sis’ nap time (and we generally prefer to do naps at home, so she’s not particularly great at napping on the go) and figured we should call it an afternoon. We drove home, but was that the end of our afternoon?

Not for me and The Big Sis; we suited up and headed to the swimming pool for the rest of the afternoon. We’ve had some hot days here and there, but no real sustained heat wave, so the water wasn’t particularly warm, but we still managed to have a good time together, just the two of us. (And bonus: No sunburn for me! Not even around my bathing suit shoulder straps, where I am usually destined to burn.)

For a day where we had no predetermined plans, we sure found a way to fill the day with fun and memories. Just the way I like it.

Wordless Wednesday: Color me happy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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(**Yes, my pants are too big. I have lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year, BUT I went to Goodwill and got some cheap pants for this race since I knew they’d likely be ruined. I had to buy them big since I knew I’d be layering other stuff underneath with it being so cold (and truthfully, that’s the only thing I could find in a light color that fit me). So while they are big, it’s not because of lost weight. They would have been big even without that as a factor. But hey, $3 to not ruin my other pants? I’ll take it.**)

Mother-daughter time

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ever since The Little Sis came along, I’ve tried to make a specific effort to spend plenty of alone time with The Big Sis — and that’s especially true now that The Little Sis has decided that we’re Siamese twins and never wants to be more than an arm’s reach away from me, as much of my attention naturally has to go to her. Honestly, I prefer to do the grocery shopping and errands by myself, but I almost always take The Big Sis with me when it’s my week (The Husband and I alternate weeks — he takes her as well), as this gives us a nice afternoon together. Most of the time we just do the grocery shopping and errands, but occasionally we’ll take the opportunity to grab some lunch or frozen yogurt together, which she always seems to enjoy.

We manage to have fun during errands and all, but I know there’s so much more she likes to do than grocery shopping, and we’ve had two great outings together in the past month or so. The first is that she and I went to a ski resort a couple hours away for some snow tubing on Presidents’ Day since we were both off school and work (and The Little Sis’ daycare was open). We had taken her snow tubing for the first time just after she turned 3, then The Husband took her again at the beginning of January, but I stayed home with The Little Sis since she’s still too young to go snow tubing. (But look out in a couple of years when she can join us! We will totally rock those hills.) The Big Sis loved it that first time, but she loved it even MORE when she went in January, so needless to say, she was super excited to find out I was taking her again when I told her the night before. We ended up having a pretty warm day (mid-60s), which sounds great in theory but it made the hills run slower, but we still had fun. (We just had to go in to cool off with apple juice instead of warm up with hot chocolate!) My little thrill-seeker was in adrenaline heaven on the hill that day.

Then more recently, The Big Sis and I woke up early on a Saturday morning and did the Color Me Rad 5K together. She had completed a two-mile run/walk with me when she was 3, so I thought she might be ready for a 5K, especially one that’s not particularly competitive and is set up to put the focus on fun. It was super cold, and we really had to layer smartly under our white clothes, but we managed to put the cold temps aside and rock the 5K. The Big Sis did amazing — we’d run for a while, walk for a while, run for a while, etc. — and each time it was time to run, she was most focused on who we could pass, and she’d offer instructions to me on how to do it (“Right there! Go around them on this side! Right now!”). And to think that I was expecting to have to carry her some at the end of the race — nope, not a bit. There were four color stations on the course, and she was timid through the first two and didn’t get much color on her, but she twirled through the remaining two, as well as the one at the finish line, in order to get more color on her. We hung around at the end for two or three color throws, but with just standing around, The Big Sis started getting too cold (did I mention it was 29 and we didn’t have coats on?) and we left soon after. It was a great time together, and hopefully an event she’ll remember for years to come.

Wrestling match

Monday, November 26, 2012

You know what The Big Sis is really, really good at?

Thumb wrestling.

Like, for reals. And I don’t even let her win. She wins genuinely on her own.

And I used to be pretty good at thumb wrestling. I mean, I wasn’t winning tournaments or anything (the local thumb wrestling circuit is brutal…), but I could hold my own against, you know, the two or three other people I’ve ever matched up against.

But the girl takes no prisoners. And by that I mean: She beats me within seconds.

We sing the obligatory song:

***Down by the banks of the hanky panky,
Where the bullfrog jumps from bank to bank,
Saying “ees ice ose oos,”
Listen to the ding….

And then wriggles her tiny thumb to the side and then up, then she whaps my thumb down with an emphatic “…DONG!”

And she is declared the Thumb Wrestling Champion of Our Household.

***Note: Your version of the lyrics may differ. I looked online to see if there was a “most correct” version of the song, and I ran across dozens of song versions. This one is mine.

Sherpa dad

Friday, November 16, 2012

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Wordless Wednesday: Sassy sissy

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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Disney recap, part 7

Monday, July 16, 2012

Here’s just a random round-up of some final thoughts on our week at Disney:

*The Big Sis’ favorite ride, by far, was It’s a Small World. And it was The Little Sis’ favorite ride, as well, come to think of it. I think that most of all, The Big Sis enjoyed meeting the characters, which was actually a surprise to me, as I figured she would NOT get near the ones in full, head-covering costumes. I wouldn’t say she was talkative with the characters, but she answered their questions and didn’t hesitate to go up to them, even The Beast, whose costume was huge and sort of scary for a five-year-old. Every time she’d run back to us after her picture was taken, she’d proclaim excitedly, “And I wasn’t even shy!” I know, baby, you did a great job! πŸ™‚

*We made good use of the baby centers at nearly all the parks (not Hollywood Studios except for a quick diaper change), and I’m glad we did, as it gave me a good chance to nurse in semi-privacy and a chance to sort of decompress for a bit in my time away from the Disney magic/craziness. They also have a separate room for older siblings with a TV and books, and The Big Sis hung out there sometimes on our feeding breaks. (Other times I just went there alone while The Husband waited in line for a ride or character with The Big Sis.)

*We did just a few hours each at Animal Kingdom and Epcot, and I think next time I’d like to spend a little more time there so we can explore. But I’m glad we did just partial days on this trip since the other days were pretty packed and exhausting, but now we know better what to expect at those other parks. I can’t necessarily say I’d do Hollywood Studios again unless either girl feels like they need to see one of the shows there (The Big Sis really did enjoy those this time, so it wasn’t a waste of time or anything).

*I can definitely see the huge benefit of staying on-site, especially one of the monorail hotels, but we chose to stay off-site and really didn’t have any issues with it. Considering how little we were actually in the room, it was hard to stomach a much higher nightly cost, and our trip to the hotel each night really wasn’t that bad. The Magic Kingdom monorail had quite a line the two nights we were there, but the girls were content (or asleep) and so it was a non-issue to have to wait. Leaving the other three parks was a breeze and we were back at the hotel within probably 10 minutes. It would be a nice treat to stay on-site, but I have no problems with staying off-site again, as we were able to take the money we saved and put it toward other things.

*We rented a double stroller while down there, the CityMini double, and oh MY did I love that thing (well, as strollers go…I’m still not a fan of strollers in general). It wasn’t nearly as bulky as many double strollers I’ve seen, it turned on a dime, and I could steer it easily with one hand if needed. Storage space underneath wasn’t much, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I loved how far down the sunshade came, and I love that the seats reclined (easier for on-the-go diaper changes). We still won’t buy a double stroller, but if I did, that’s totally the one I would’ve gotten.

*Disney World with a baby was both easier and harder with a baby. The Little Sis is very portable and very agreeable to most things, and she’s so happy that she made friends everywhere she went. I did find a nook and plop down to nurse here and there, but for the most part I tried to use the Baby Care Centers, and sometimes that was a bit of a hike from where we were in the park. Also, The Little Sis had JUST learned to crawl right before leaving, so she didn’t have that much of a chance to practice since she was either held or in the Ergo most of the time. It was nice, though, because she could do nearly all of the rides and attractions with us (or we could take advantage of the baby swap when that wasn’t the case), and having to go at a pace that’s good for a baby forced us to slow down and not overdo it like we might have otherwise.

*I loved Disney’s PhotoPass — we have a ton of great pics of both The Big Sis with characters and of our family that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Love it!

*I am SO glad The Big Sis and I did the afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. It was a special time together that I’ll always remember. I wish I could’ve joined The Husband and The Big Sis for lunch at Cinderella’s castle, but I’m thrilled that the had their own bonding time during the trip, so I think it all worked out very well!

*In order to combat the inevitable “I wanna buy that! And that! And that!” syndrome at Disney World, we instituted the following system for spending money for The Big Sis. We gave her a spending limit for the entire week of $50. I went into her play money stash and got out 50 one-dollar bills so she could visually see how much money that was. If she was going to buy something, she would have to spend her money, giving me however much it took to cover the item. We would help her with the decision, but for the most part, it was up to her what she wanted to buy, as long as she had the money. (We did steer her away from the misting fans that we really didn’t want her to have for a variety of reasons.) She chose: some sour powder candy, a pink light-up princess wand, and a princess nightgown. The nightgown is funny because she’s a size 5 or 6 and she chose to buy a size 10 — so she can wear it for a LOOOOONG time, she says. It swallows her now (though she still wears it), but I have to admit that I like her forward thinking on the matter. She’ll certainly get her money’s worth out of that nightgown!

*I’m not sure how much The Big Sis bought into the whole “magic” of Disney. During one of the parades (those were probably my favorite thing!), Minnie Mouse was “talking” but it was just her voice on a loudspeaker. The Big Sis asked why Minnie’s mouth wasn’t actually moving if she was talking. But my favorite story involves the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. At the beginning, Tinkerbell “flies” on a zipline from a castle window to the ground to start the show — a really cool effect. The Big Sis said to me, “I know it looks like she’s flying, but she’s really on a wire. I can see it.” We tried to convince her that the wire was just telling Tinkerbell where to fly since you know how easily distracted she is. I don’t think she bought it, but we had to at least try.

Still, though it perhaps wasn’t a “magical” trip, I can say without a doubt that she had the time of her life and she would go back in a heartbeat. I can say without a doubt that we will not be going back anytime SOON (SO expensive!), but we had a great time and we’ll go again when The Little Sis is older and can enjoy it more fully.

Disney recap, part 6

Monday, July 9, 2012

So Friday was our final day at Disney World, and we chose to spend it at Magic Kingdom, as we figured it would be a great way to end the week. It was quite a bit hotter (low 90s) that day, so the sweat factor was definitely there, but we dealt with it just fine, mostly by trying to ignore it. (Thankfully no humidity, so it wasn’t miserable or anything, but it just reinforced my notion that I have no desire to go there in July when the temps are even higher and there is humidity added to the mix.)

The Big Sis rounded up a few more autographs that day, including Rapunzel and Tiana and Prince Naveen, then she and The Husband headed to the castle for their lunch date with princesses. I wasn’t there, so I can’t report on the actual event, but I can say that The Big Sis was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day after her special lunch. She got to meet Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White, even receiving a lipstick mark on the cheek from her kiss from her favorite, Belle. The Little Sis and I wandered around for a bit, took in the tiki show, and enjoyed a delicious pineapple whip.

We finally ventured out of Fantasyland and hit such rides as the Jungle Cruise, Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, the People Mover, and the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (we all liked that one a lot). We did a little souvenir shopping (she picked out a princess nightgown with her money), had dinner (burgers), then watched the fireworks one last time before heading back to the hotel to pack for the trip home the next day. What is incredible is to think that we were there for two full days and we still didn’t get to do and see everything. Of course, we were limited by how much The Baby could do, of course, and her eating every three hours or so kind of limited us on what we could do, so we couldn’t really push ourselves into doing more, but I don’t think I would have wanted to.

On Saturday the 28th we hit the road and drove to Atlanta, where (as mentioned before) we stayed overnight with my college roommate (so much fun!), then got home in time on Sunday to pick up The Dog. I think we all had some tired moments in the car on that last leg, but overall I think we all did a great job traveling in the car, especially both girls — I was so proud of them! We really tried to make the journey a fun one, and I think we succeeded.

So that’s just a general recap of our week at Disney. There’s so much more detail that I could get into, but I think this will have to do. Next up I’ll write down some random thoughts, tips, and observations about our week at Disney. Stay tuned!

Disney recap, part 5

Friday, July 6, 2012

After such a full day, we decided to have another “rest day” on Thursday. In the morning, we let The Little Sis have another good morning nap in the hotel, then around lunchtime we headed to the Grand Floridian hotel so The Big Sis and I could have afternoon tea.

This was planned because we couldn’t get a table for four at Cinderella’s castle for any of the meals the week we were there (in Disney terms, we were planning the trip sorta last minute at only a couple months out), so she and I did tea together and The Husband took her to the castle the next day for lunch. I am SO glad we did it this way — we each got some special one-on-one time with her.


Our afternoon tea was wonderful — we dressed up for the occasion and she had a decaf strawberry vanilla tea, and I believe mine was mango. We had little sandwiches and little pastries and fun conversation. After tea, we met up with The Husband and The Little Sis and walked around the Grand Floridian property, which was just gorgeous! I’m glad we had a chance to walk around and look at things because something tells me we’re not going to be able to afford to stay there, oh, EVER. But, hey, looking around sure was free!

We then made our way to Epcot, where we arrived late afternoon. A bit warmer this day (mid-80s), I’m glad we got there when there weren’t as many people, because we were able to get a ton of autographs in a relatively short amount of time, including Aurora, Belle and Beast, Aladdin, Snow White, and Mulan.

We walked through all the countries, had dinner, then I went to ride Soarin’ by myself while The Husband took The Girls to ride Spaceship Earth, then we met up for fireworks after. (Actually, we couldn’t find each other until after the fireworks ended, but that’s okay.) We returned to the hotel and headed to bed soon after because we had to rest up for our finale: another full day at Magic Kingdom.

Disney recap, part 3

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just to make sure we didn’t overdo it during the week, we took Tuesday as a “rest day.” Which I put in quotes because even rest days are busy in our book, but we just didn’t want to push it all day at a park. We spent the morning at the hotel so The Little Sis could get in a good morning nap for herself while The Big Sis went to the hotel’s playground with The Husband.

It was another gorgeous day out (yay!) and we decided to go to Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. First we stopped at the big McDonald’s in Orlando, which was actually The Big Sis’ first time at McDonald’s ever. (I figure go big when you do go, especially since I doubt she’ll be going again anytime soon here at home!) We had our greasy food and then The Big Sis played in the play area, and we also had fun with the photo booth there as well. Oh, and some bowling! Plus we were there just past lunch time, so it wasn’t crowded at all. Bonus!

We left McD’s and got to Animal Kingdom just in time to see the afternoon parade, which I loved and was one of my favorite parades all week — the floats were African-inspired and just so great. We saw the Lion King show (loved it, though I should note that I’m a huge Lion King fan), and did the safari ride. Actually, since we did the safari ride near the park’s closing time, there was just enough time to hop on it again without a FastPass or a wait, so The Big Sis and The Husband did that while The Little Sis and I listened to a live band playing. (We would’ve gone again with the others, but it was pretty bumpy and I didn’t want to risk upsetting her, though in hindsight I don’t think that’s possible.)

We were among the last ones out of the park, then stopped at a Chinese buffet near our hotel for dinner (was going to be cheaper than park food!). We didn’t get to see a ton of Animal Kingdom since we were there for just over 3 hours, but I liked it and would love to return for more another time so we can see and do more. Oh, one thing we loved is that The Big Sis was able to score a bunch of autographs here without much of a line– Rafiki, Brer Bear, Miss Bunny, Goofy, Donald, and Minnie.

Disney recap, part 2

Friday, June 29, 2012

On Monday, April 23, we awoke to fantastic weather (clear and 70s) and made our way to Hollywood Studios first. When we arrived, we stopped at guest relations and picked up our first-time visitor badges (though SHHH! The Husband had been there when he was 10!), then headed inside the park. We walked around a bit, then decided to do one of the stunt shows first, but The Big Sis wasn’t overly impressed with that one (too many loud, startling noises, I think), so we continued on.

Thankfully the Beauty and the Beast show (3rd row!) and the Little Mermaid show were much bigger hits for her (which is good since those were the main reasons we went there). We were able to meet Sorcerer Mickey and Winnie the Pooh and get autographs from them. The Little Sis also decided to eat Mickey’s and Pooh’s noses; I’m sure they must be magical and tasty!

Unfortunately, I convinced The Big Sis to ride Tower of Terror with me, which in hindsight was a huge mistake, but she’s always been a big thrill-seeker, so I thought she’d be fine for it. Next time I’m not sure, I’ll ride it myself first BEFORE taking her on it. I think if it’d just been the free-fall part, she would’ve loved it, but the fact that it was in the dark (and had a spooky story line) put it over the top for her and not in a good way. She survived, but she felt pretty off for the rest of the night, so we just did a few more things (like The Husband and I taking turns doing the Star Wars ride alone, and we all did the Muppets 3D show) and then headed out by 7 or 8 p.m. and got The Big Sis to bed as soon as we got back. I was afraid that the sickness was more than just the ride and feared that she’d be sick all week, but she woke up fine the next morning, thank goodness!

I would say overall I’ve glad we did Hollywood Studios because of the Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid shows that The Big Sis liked, plus we could visit Mickey without too much of a line, but I can’t say it’d necessarily be the first place I’d return next time. Perhaps just a half-day next time.

Wordless Wednesday: The birthday girl

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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Celebrate good times (come on!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have a five-year-old. That’s like, a real kid ‘n stuff. An amazing, wonderful, fun, smart, clever, be-dimpled little kid.

We had a wonderful time celebrating The Big Sis’ birthday over the weekend. We took her out to dinner on Friday night, her actual birthday, for crab legs. Yes, the girl is picky about so many things, including most typical kid foods, yet she inhales crab legs faster than I can crack them open — and I’m pretty good at it!

On Saturday morning we hung out around the house until it was time to go pick up her cake (Beauty and the Beast theme) and head to the party. It was held at a local indoor playground, one of her favorite places to go. We had a pretty good turnout of 15 kids who gobbled up pizza and cake, watched patiently as The Big Sis opened her presents, and then played like energetic four- and five-year-olds tend to do on play equipment. The party was exhausting for me trying to make sure everything ran smoothly, and it would have been difficult to pull off without some good help with The Little Sis (who I didn’t see much of for about two hours), but we managed just fine and The Big Sis had a blast.

That afternoon we came home and recharged a bit. Or rather: The Husband, The Little Sis, and I recharged a bit while The Big Sis played with some of her toys, including her sparkling new dollhouse. I took her out for dinner to Jimmy John’s (her favorite and mine too!) and then we met one of her preschool friends and his mom to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D. (Did I mention this is her favorite movie? And not really mine, but I was still nice and took her because I knew she’d love it. Which she did.) Five years old and her first date already? They grow up so fast these days. πŸ˜‰

On Sunday, she would normally have gone to the grocery store with me, but we had her stay home so she could have more time to play with her new stuff.

Sometimes when there’s too much going on, The Big Sis can become a bit overwhelmed and really act out — but she was great the whole weekend. She was a perfect delight the entire time, truly getting age 5 started on a good note. (It caught up with her a bit when she returned to school on Monday, but hey, at least the weekend was good.)

But where, oh, where has the time gone? We’ll register her for kindergarten next month, and she’ll start that in mid-August. Wasn’t she just my itty-bitty? Not that long ago she was the size of The Little Sis. And now she’s a little girl with opinions and a sense of humor and an incredible love of life. It doesn’t really make me sad — more just stunned that time can pass so quickly.

But as I tell her often, she might not be a baby, but she’ll always be my baby.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Argh, there are never enough hours in the day! I’m once again out of time and can’t write a quality post, but in a way that’s good, as it means that most of our day was spent doing fun stuff (gymnastics class, visit with Santa, lunch out, and putting up the Christmas tree and other decorations). Unfortunately, that meant the evening was spent getting caught up on some cleaning and chores around the house after The Girls went to bed, leaving very little time for a blog post, but so it goes some nights.

The good news is that all of the stuff I’ve gotten done tonight? It doesn’t have to be done tomorrow, so yay for that. Hopefully my last day of the long weekend can be spent relaxing. What a concept!

Coming soon: pics with Santa, as well as an update on our transition to the crib for The Little Sis. Stay tuned!

Time to return to work after all?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

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Nursing a baby who wants to nurse quite a bit gives me plenty of time to do things like this. (Photo editing, not actual makeup application!) If you’ll remember, I did the same thing with The Big Sis. Yeah, maybe it’s time to return to the Land of Adults. πŸ™‚

Sleep and showers and such

Sunday, September 25, 2011

*On Friday night, The Little Sis slept for almost 10 consecutive hours (about 8:15 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Last night was about 9 (9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.). I’m then usually up with her for about 45 minutes to an hour, then put her back down for another 2 or 3 hours of sleep. Perhaps it’s not a fluke and she’s really at the point of sleeping well. I’d like to think some of it is things we’re doing to help encourage her to sleep at night, but I’m not naive enough to think that it’s JUST us, and I realize there’s some element of that just being her nature (with a healthy dose of “we got really lucky” in there). Whatever the reason, we are very appreciative.

*I’ve figured out how to make sure I get a shower each day: take it at night. Ever since getting the clearance to exercise again, I’ve done so each night, and then I take a shower right after, covering my bases in case I don’t get a chance to shower during the next day.

*As I mentioned, I’ve finally made the return to real exercise, and it feels good to do so. It’s always been a good stress outlet for me and a way to dedicate some time specifically for myself, and I’m glad to have that back now. I’m trying to make sure I do a variety of activities (generally some running and a rotation of DVDs) to ensure I don’t get burned out on any one thing.

*I took The Big Sis to see “Charlotte’s Web” at our local children’s theater yesterday. We continue to make sure she has good, quality alone time with each of us. Next up: She and The Husband will go see the touring Broadway musical “Beauty and the Beast” next weekend. While not my favorite story (Stockholm syndrome, anyone?), I’m a little jealous that she’ll have a Broadway musical she’s seen that I haven’t, but I’m also excited for her to see it. This is one of her favorite Disney movies (and as princesses go, I guess a book-loving one isn’t that bad), so I’m hoping she’s going to enjoy it.

*My pumping output has indeed been much better since acquiring this latest pump. I still hate pumping with a passion, but I know it’s just a short-term annoyance and there’s good reason to do it.

*The Little Sis has been a lot more smiley in the past few days, and I even managed to capture a smile on camera for the first time. (Stay tuned to Wordless Wednesday this coming week for the pic.)

Wordless Wednesday: WHHEEEE!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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Why watermelon?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Could I eat a whole pie all by myself?

A whole watermelon?

An entire half-gallon of ice cream?

I’ve always had such thoughts through the years, but never took the steps to find out the answer. Recently I was eating some watermelon that tasted particularly yummy and refreshing, and I started wondering again about watermelon. Could I eat a whole watermelon all by myself? Hrmm… I tried putting the thought out of my head, but every time I’d pass the box of watermelons at the grocery store, I’d size them up and really ponder whether I could do it or not.

Seeing as I’ve got a good sense of humor and sense of fun, I decided to use pregnancy as an excuse to give it a try. Because seriously, how funny would that be, years from now, to be able to say that I was able to eat a whole watermelon all by myself. And not just a personal-sized one…a full watermelon.

I was off work on Tuesday, so I decided that was the day. I purchased a watermelon that ended up being 13.8 pounds and 12 inches long. I cut it into wedges, piled them up in a bowl, and sat down at my computer (so I could be entertained while taking on the challenge) to begin eating.

I will admit…it was not easy. About halfway through, I really began to wonder if I would be able to do it, and I did think about giving up a few times. But I pressed on. I had no real time limit other than just finishing it that afternoon, so I just went at my own pace so as not to make myself sick.

So…3.5 hours later I finished the entire watermelon. I weighed the rind, which was 6.4 pounds (with the plastic bowl included), so I consumed 7.4 pounds of watermelon. I felt full, but most of all, I was surprised by how TIRED I was of chewing by the time I finished. I’d weighed myself before and after, and was up 4.8 pounds. But the funny thing? When I weighed myself the next morning, I was 0.2 pounds LESS than my starting weight before eating the watermelon. I certainly don’t recommend it as a long-term weight-loss solution, though. πŸ™‚ I did have to pee quite often for the few hours after I finished, but by about 7 or 8 p.m. I was fine and in fact, I think I woke up only once to pee overnight — when I’m typically averaging about 4 or 5 times a night now (and average about 2-3 times a night when not pregnant).

Now I can say I did it. I ate a whole watermelon all by myself. Yes, I realize I’m completely ridiculous, but at least I had fun with it!!

Wordless Wednesday: Beat the heat

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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Wordless Wednesday: Bowl me over

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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Wordless Wednesday: Time to let go

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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Wordless Wednesday: Princess for an evening

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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Scrambled brain

Monday, March 28, 2011

The move to a Monday press day is overall a good thing, especially for spending time with my family, but it means that Mondays are now insanely busy and hectic, made even more so when certain co-workers don’t do their jobs in a timely manner, creating more of a time crunch for my part of the work. I’m beat.


I’m curious to see if it’s confirmed on Thursday that I do indeed have an anterior placenta, as I feel very little movement at this point. Really just a few times a day I’ll feel something just barely long enough for me to think, “Hey, was that…?” and then it’s gone. Thank goodness for the doppler…and thank goodness for being able to borrow one this time instead of renting it; last time we had to return it earlier than I’d wanted because The Husband had been laid off and we had to cut out that unnecessary cost. I’m very thankful for that’s not the case this time around.


Not the best timing (but is it ever?), but our dryer went out over the weekend. Not the kind of expense we want to be dealing with at this point. The Husband looked at a price list of parts, and with him guessing what we’ll need and going by the age of the dryer, it’s going to make more sense to just buy a new one instead of get it repaired. Thankfully we may have a friend of The Husband’s who is going to give us their unused dryer, as they have to clean out their storage unit next month anyway. As long as we’re able to find someone with a truck to help us get it, we might as well give that a try. Maybe it can help us get by in the interim until we have two full incomes again.


We had originally pondered a trip to Disney World in May for our family, but for a variety of reasons did not follow through. (A major reason being the cost.) Since we weren’t doing that trip, I decided to surprise The Husband and Baby B with tickets to Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes over the weekend. (Yes, bought right before The Layoff.) I’m definitely glad I decided to do that, as both of them were very surprised by it, and we all had a great time. Sometimes, to a four-year-old, it doesn’t really matter that you can’t afford to do something as major as Disney World. Sometimes a two-hour show is just as good — maybe even better — in their eyes.


Baby B will start swimming lessons again on Saturday morning. (Once again, paid for prior to The Layoff.) She will be repeating the same class she took in May 2010 (for ages 3-5), and I’m curious to see how much stronger she is this year compared to last year.


I am still taking Zofran daily and Unisom and B6 at night. I threw up multiple times just over a week ago while on the meds, so I’m not too eager to try going off again. I may try again this weekend, though. Or bump down to 4 mg again to see how that goes.

Wordless Wednesday: Family resemblance

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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Wordless Wednesday: Shii loves bowling

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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Wordless Wednesday: The Santa pic

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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Action! Adventure!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I swear I don’t know how to have a weekend — specifically a long one — and do absolutely nothing. Our MO is to get out and do fun things, and this Thanksgiving weekend was no exception. The highlights include:

*The Husband and I were off work on Wednesday and Baby B was at school, so he and I took advantage by going out to look at dining room sets, which is what we’re going to get with Christmas money (partly out of necessity as we’re now down one chair after it broke; we bought our current set for cheap after we bought the house, so it’s time), and we enjoyed a nice, leisurely lunch together before going to pick her up.

*On Wednesday night we spent the time baking and cooking, and then we spent Thanksgiving afternoon and evening at my parents’ house.

*On Friday we had a lazy morning followed by some Christmas crafts (for gifts) in the afternoon before we went downtown that night for the Christmas parade and lighting of the city’s Christmas tree.

*On Saturday morning we got up and drove 3 hours to Indianapolis to go to their children’s museum, which is an amazing place. We went swimming in the (indoor heated) pool at the hotel that night, then on Sunday returned to the museum for day 2 (and still didn’t get to do everything…this place is HUGE!).

Time to return to work tomorrow to get some rest! (Ha! If only that were the case. We’ve got a ton more deadlines to deal with before Christmas.)

Cha-cha slide

Saturday, November 27, 2010

At the track

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I’m once again participating in NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month — wherein the goal is to make a post each day in the month of November. So far so good, but this is a super busy weekend/week at work, so I’m going to have to cheat and just let a photo count for a post today (and maybe a few other days this week).

In honor of my weekend immersed in horse racing, here is a photo that was taken last month, when we took Baby B to the racetrack for the first time (a big deal here in horse country).

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Halloween round-up

Monday, November 1, 2010

Silvermist from Tinkerbell:

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The red princess:

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Devil and angel (how perfect is this for a three-year-old?):
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Wordless Wednesday: THIS tall this fall!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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Wordless Wednesday: Sky high

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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