Sunday, May 27, 2012

15 Months

This month, our girl is 15 months old....seems we were just having her birthday last week, and now a whole three months has gone by!  We are enjoying her personality so much these days, I wish I could slow time down a little so we could have her at this age a little longer.

Her spunky side is really apparent these days.  She can be bossy and whiny and sassy and such a stinker!  But equally sweet and flirty and agreeable.

I am always telling Mark (and everyone else, for that matter) how smart she is!  New words this month include: "all done"(while signing), "dog", "baby", "up", "out", "hot", and "Daddy" (instead of da-da).  She will repeat some names if she's in the mood - this month she said "Jack" while pointing to his cute!

When asked, she can point to her nose, eyes, ears, tummy, toes, and we're working on belly button.  She also likes to stick her fingers in my eye and screech Eeeyyyyyeeesssss!!!  She gives hugs and kisses, and when I ask if she wants to go to bed, she will find paci and blankie and high-tail it to her bedroom.  She still likes playing with her baby - and now likes when I wrap baby up in a blanket for her to rock.  Anytime she has a sippy cup to drink from, she tried to "share" it with baby.
She will "sing" and do the actions to Twinke, Twinkle and Itsy Bitsy Spider.  If you ask if she wants to sing a song, she will put her hands up and start doing actions before you even start singing.  She continues to love being read to, but now insists on sitting on your lap.  She will stand in front of you and back her way into your lap.  Love.  She also likes doing Ring Around the Rosy, and still loves peek-a-boo.  Such a playful little lady.  She adores playing outside, and loves the water.  She is also enjoying "helping" Mommy by putting things in the trash, picking up her toys to put in her toybox, watering the flowers, or carrying things.  I hope she always wants to be a little helper!
 Her 15-month appointment is this week, so I don't know how much she weighs.  I do know she has definitely gotten taller, and has moved completely into her 18 month clothes.  She still wears that darn size three shoe!  Her feet are tiny!
She sleeps great, about 12 hours usually....but has gotten into a habit of getting up around 6:30.  I don't blame her, that's the time I would wake her for daycare everyday.  She doesn't understand sleeping in...but I'm hoping with some "training" we can adjust her schedule for the summer.  Trying to work our way down to one nap, but not quite there yet.
People always ask me Is she always this happy?  Yes, she IS a happy little thing - but she can definitely let you know when she doesn't like something.  We're talking screaming, hitting, shaking her head back and forth and arching her back.  Mommy gets the point, Natalie.  But most of the time she is just wanting to be independent and do what she wants.  Part of being one, I suppose. 

Every single day she makes us laugh.  Her personality is so charming.  She makes funny faces and does silly things.  This week, she enjoyed putting her Easter bucket on her head and wearing it like a hat.  She also likes to hide behind or under things and then jump out.  She has learned to stick out her tongue, blow on her food when I tell her it is hot, and she likes to put on her daddy's shoes and try to walk around in them.  Also, anything can be a phone...she will hold it up to her ear and say "Hi-yo."  She just makes us smile all the time!
Here's some evidence of her stubbornness... I wanted a picture with her, but she didn't appreciate being interrupted from her playing - so she burst into tears and screaming.  But this got her smiling again....

We adore our girl!


Nothin' says summer like a little sprinkler fun. :) 

NO fear of the water - wanted to put her hands, face, and feet in it.  She just laughed and laughed!  And that water was cold.  Didn't seem to bother her, though.  Do you LOVE her little swimsuit and hat?  $5 at a consignment sale for the whole set!

I love this chunky little soft and white, like a perfect little marshmallow!
(Despite the overcast day and the shade of the backyard, I slathered her with sunscreen....two coats....until she screamed.)
Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Almost Summer!

On this Sunday eve, I am dreaming of next Sunday, when I will not be thinking about the week ahead at school, what needs to get done...packing lunches, packing diaper bags, getting organized.  Sweet summer is so close...I can almost taste it.  The freedom of nowhere to be and no plans to make.  Plenty of time for playing and relaxing and the joy of a slow pace (for once).  Long, sunny days and evening breezes and plenty of time with my sweet baby girl.

Here are a few things that I'm really going to try to accomplish this summer (along with pics from my phone - been too busy for the big camera lately!).

1.  Time out with Natalie!  Pool, Deanna Rose Farmstead, Wonderscope, the library, and playdates with cousins.  Natalie loves to be on the go and see new places, so I can't wait to get out with her and do some exploring this summer.
(Little lady loves to be outside!)

2.  Spruce up the house.  My, oh my.  My house has kind of fallen apart this spring admist the busy-ness of life.  I've started on some organizing projects - but I'd like to catch up on those, do a BIG Goodwill donation, clear out the clutter, and hopefully some sweet little DIY projects and crafts (you know I love those)!
(We planted flowers, mulched, and cleaned up the front yard this weekend - looking SO much better!)

3.  Continue this weight loss journey.  14 pounds gone - I'd like to lose 10 to 15 more... but honestly, and more importantly, I'm trying to make a lifestyle change with the healthy eating and exercise.  It's something I can do for me...which, let's face it, I don't get to do that often anymore.  It's not about a size or a number or inches or pounds - I just want to be healthy and happy.  End of story!
(Ready for Field Day last week with my kiddos!)

4.  Take lots of pictures.  And keep up on Natalie's scrapbook - now that her first year is finally done, I want to keep caught up on her second year book.  Oh, and hoping to get some more blogging in, too.

5.  Plenty of Lovely Apple with my lovely business partner.  We are so excited to be expanding our business, and this summer we have lots of new ideas to explore and share!

Well - it's a start, anyway.  Hurry up and get here, Summer!  I can't wait to see you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weeks 8 & 9

Oops...behind again.  I tell ya - the end of this school year has me runnin' in circles.  But only a couple of days left and I'll be FREE for the summer!!
Here's the latest...

Weight Loss/Gain:  Just under 3 pounds in the past 2 weeks.  Total weight loss is about 14 pounds.

Best part of the past 2 weeks:  Hmm...struggling here a bit.  I feel like I'm losing steam.  That could be stress related, though.  I am just having to really force myself to continue eating well and getting in those 4 workouts a week.  I think I am just worn out and needing a break - and I hope I can pick up steam again once school is out.  I did start using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone, and it is helping me track my food better.  What I like about it is that it doesn't just track calories, but carbs, sugars, fat, and all that other good stuff.  And lo and behold - I've been going over on my sugars.  I hope to work on that in the coming weeks....I do have a bit of a sweet tooth. :)

Worst part of the past 2 weeks:  Just the fact that I've been unmotivated this week....hoping to feel a surge of energy soon! 

Goals for next week:  My water intake has been pitiful.  I need to drink LOTS more water, and eat much LESS sugary stuff.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I have had such a lovely Mother's Day today.  Nothing fact, spent the whole day in my lounge clothes and a ponytail...just finally got my shower for the day and am snuggled up in jammies on the couch.  But these lazy days as a family make the best days. :)

Little lady woke Mommy up with her card, that daddy swears she picked out herself.  Included a gift certificate for a mani/pedi....which made this momma very happy.  Since we've been on this budget, I haven't spent money on that kind of thing, which means I haven't had a pedicure since my birthday.  In November.  I can't wait to go get pampered a little!

We ran some errands this morning, including a trip to get new phones.  We've been saving up for our phone upgrade since December (when we were actually eligible for it) and are now both owners of brand spankin' new iPhones - and we are so excited!  That was another nice little Mother's Day gift - and another splurge after months of sacrifice.

We had lunch at home, then off to the nursery to get flowers.  I had really wanted to get some flowers planted in my big pot on the front porch and my hanging basket.  But, after getting home, Natalie was ready for a nap....I decided to lay down and relax for awhile and ended up sleeping for 2 hours.  Now that was a treat!  I never take naps anymore...

 Daddy made dinner, then we went outside.  An absolutely beautiful evening, and Natalie had a ball playing with chalk, eating dirt, and lord have mercy when that hose came out - I thought she was going to lose it!  Giggles, sticking her face in the water....happy, happy baby girl!
(P.S. Already loving Instagram)

Ok - picture dump from our day. :)

Once she was doing more eating of the chalk than playing with the chalk - I had to take it away.  Let me tell you, not a pretty picture.  But she was too cute, and had chalk everywhere.  Face, clothes, feet, hands, mommy.

Next up....planting and watering the flowers.

I was just thinking last week about summer coming up, and wondering if Natalie would like the water, sprinkler, pool.  I think I got my answer. :)

Look at this filthy little thing!  She had a blast exploring and gettin' into the dirt and water.

I'm so happy today, and so thankful.  I am one completely blessed Mommy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Week 7

Total Weight Loss/Gain:  Down another pound!  I am a mere pound and a half away from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I am excited to see that old friend of 165 show it's face on the scale sometime soon!

Best Part of this Week:  I got to have a little shopping spree this week.  Well, kinda.  I ventured down to the basement storage room and dug out some "new" clothes - clothes that I haven't worn for two years!  It was like finding a whole new wardrobe!  I have lots of capris and shorts for the summer now that I am down to a smaller size, and I am feeling so much better about how I'm looking in my clothes.  Not where I want to be yet, but it felt really good this week to get those clothes out and know that all my hard work is paying off.

Worst Part of this Week:  I am still struggling with my diet a bit.  I have worked to keep my eating between 1400 and 1500 calories a day, which has proved successful.  But lately, my calories have been creeping up closer to 1600, and I don't want to get in a habit of that.  I honestly don't eat anything special - I've been incorporating lots more fruits, veggies, and protein - and cutting back on carbs and sugar.  The sugar one is hard - I get a candy craving at about 2:00 every afternoon, where I just want something chocolate or sweet.  I eat pretty light for breakfast and lunch and try to save around 600 calories for my dinner so that I can eat what my family is eating.  However, I know that it is better to eat more earlier in the day....this summer when I have more flexibility, I'd like to try for four smaller meals a day.  I do allow one cheat meal a week.  Last Sunday my mom invited us over for dinner and made fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and biscuits.  And I ate it.  All of it.  And I didn't make myself feel bad about it - just got back on the diet the next day.  I know that I can't live with a lifestyle where I don't get to indulge in things that I like every once and awhile!

I did want to share two good healthy recipes that we tried this week.  The first one I saw on a tv show - here's a link to the recipe:
The recipe calls for lean beef, but we used turkey because that's actually what she used when she made the recipe on the show.  These are seriously SO good, and we both liked them.  If my husband likes a healthy meal, that's a victory!  We are going to be working these into our regular meal rotation - you should try them!  Mark used baby portabellos instead of the mushrooms in the recipe, and they were so yummy.
The other meal that we changed up this week was breakfast for dinner.  We used to eat that once a week - pancakes, bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy....lots of things that are unhealthy for my diet.  This week, Mark made an egg scramble - no recipe to share, but it was really easy.  He scrambled up 6 eggs with about a half a box of thawed frozen spinach, mushrooms, and onions.  He sauteed the mushrooms and onions first to get them carmelized and yummy, then added the spinach, then added the eggs and scrambled it all up.  We topped it with just a little low-fat cheddar cheese.  It was really good, and actually really filling.  Natalie loved it too!  We ate a little fresh fruit with it and it was delicious.

Exercise:  This week was kind of a hodge-podge of exercise.  My goal is four workouts a week - that's what works for my schedule and our family.  Every once and awhile, I'll get five in - but I never let myself do less than 4.  I did some running outside, running on my treadmill inside (because it was so darn HOT this week!).  My sister came over on one muggy evening and rather than brave the heat, we decided to do some "circuit training" in my basement....if you can call it that. :)  We alternated turns on the treadmill running at a fast pace and high intensity for 5 minutes at a time.  While one of us was running, the other would be lifting weights, doing squats, lunges, etc.  We ended with some abs.  However, we aren't exactly fitness experts.  I'd lift the weights and say to Kate, "Is this a move?"  She laugh and shrug her shoulders.  Sounds safe, huh?  I guess you can't hurt yourself too badly with 5 pound weights. :)  The abs were particularly amusing - we were trying to remember some of the pilates moves we learned in a class we took WAY back (as in about 10 years ago), and our memories were failing us.  Needless to say, I think laughed off as many calories as we did exercising.  My hubby said he could hear us "cackling" all the way upstairs.  But I tell you what....I was SORE the next two days!  Really sore!  I haven't done much strength training so far, and I'd like to build in more of it.  We did have FUN and get a really good workout, so we are going to try some more workouts like that pretty soon.  I think we will try to do some research beforehand though, so we can pretend we know what we are doing next time.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

For Fun

Little lady makes me laugh.  She is our best form of entertainment these days!!
 She is so into holding her own food these days - a whole banana, a half a grilled-cheese sandwich, her own cob of corn....
 She will mess around and play and eat none of the food on her plate (that I have meticulously cut into little pieces)....until I hand her a whole piece of food off of my plate.  Then she'll go at it!
She gnawed on this ear of corn for a good 20 minutes.
 Every time she'd take a break from the chewing, she'd give us a huge grin and giggle.  She was so tickled with herself!
 And the reaction when Mommy took the corn away:
Hope that gave you a smile!  Such a little joy our girl is!