Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ahhhh... 4.5 years old


Let's start with Miss A's thoughts on life at 4 1/2.

Favorite Show: Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony

Favorite Food: Peanut Butter & Jelly

Favorite Color: Lots of colors; all the colors except white

Favorite Game: Hide & seek, tag, monster, alligator, and the one Lilly has

Favorite Book: The Night Before Preschool

Favorite Toy: Froggy (new to her toy from our neighbor's garage sale)

Favorite Thing To Do: Watch cartoons, snuggle with Daddy, play with Mommy

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up: An artist


Having a four year old has been challenging for me so far. Granted, I was pregnant or had a newborn for these past six months, so my patience has been limited. Miss A and I are a lot alike, which also probably contributes to the challenges. Miss A is full of energy and opinions. She can be rather stubborn. She is still often the sweetest kid. She is a great big sister to Little J and now Baby C. Little J is her best friend (though she might not always admit it). They play together so well, at least most of the time. Baby C gets lots of hugs and kisses when we pick Miss A up from preschool. There's a bit of a sassy side that comes out sometimes too, that is not so nice to Little J. Or Mommy and Daddy.

I probably say this at every age she reaches, but 4 has seemed so much more grown up. While Miss A is still Daddy's girl, she is starting to get to the point where she chooses her friends over us. We're lucky to live on a block with lots of little girls to play with, and Miss A loves to run around with her friends. Watching her run around with the big kids makes her seem so much older. She also considers herself to be such a big kid now that she's in preschool. She is still pretty shy about going in to the room, but she seems to really enjoy going. Today she got to stay for Lunch Bunch, and she was so excited to eat lunch with her friends. Miss A also recently started her second season of soccer, and the difference a year has made (with very little practice at home) is amazing. She is much more focused, aggressive and skilled. So cool to see the development!


Oh, Miss A, we love you... all of your sweet, sassy self!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Me at 7 Weeks Postpartum

So, I mentioned in my post about the first two weeks with Baby C that I hurt my neck at some point during labor and delivery.  It was difficult for me to stand up, sit up, and sometimes even hold Baby C for the first 8 days. Holding my camera to take pictures was really hard, which made me really sad. But, after 8 days, my neck pain went away completely. It was pretty much overnight that it got better. Because of the neck pain, I felt like my recovery was a lot slower than after Miss A and Little J were born, and that was really hard for me. Thankfully it was only 8 days. Everything else has seemed to heal pretty well, and besides getting a little less sleep than normal, I'm back to feeling pretty much like myself.

Around the 4 week mark I started getting really anxious to be active again. I tried a couple of workouts on our elliptical to see how I would feel, and then at 5 weeks postpartum I went on my first run.  It was really tough. I ended up running a super slow 2 miles.  When I got home I told E that my lungs hurt the most, but the next day wow were my legs sore. I went out again a couple days later and managed to do the same 2 mile route a little bit faster. Yay!


Now that I'm a little past the 7 week mark, I thought I would set some goals for myself, and share them here to hold myself accountable. With 3 little ones running around it's easy for me to find reasons to skip out on workouts, but also really important for my mental health to stay active.

I'm currently about 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 6 weeks with Miss A and 6 months with Little J, and I'd like to get back there again. I'm trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself to be at a certain weight right now, but I would like to get things more toned up, and have my clothes fit better. For now I'm not planning to restrict what I'm eating (besides maybe cutting back on the sugary treats), so my focus is really on activity.
So, my goals are to do 3-4 cardio workouts each week, and 1-2 weight workouts. I'd like to run as much as possible this fall, because I know that winter is on the way and I'll be stuck on the elliptical for many months. I look at our schedule for the week, and try to plan which days will be the best to run. I have met my cardio goal the past two weeks, with 3 runs each week, but I haven't done any weight workouts yet. I'll check back again in a few weeks to share my progress. I'm planning to treat myself to Stitch Fix if I consistently meet my goals.

Does anyone have good tips for staying motivated?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Twosday Fourteen

September Dates (with Baby C)
  1. Red Cow St. Paul. E and I took advantage of having family in town to sneak out for dinner. It was so nice to have a little quiet time to talk and enjoy a slow meal (and glass of wine). Baby C did her part by sleeping through dinner.
  2. Twins Game. E's boss gave him tickets to Sunday's game.  The seats were awesome, right behind home plate, and the weather was perfect. Baby C again did her part by sleeping through most of the game.  Also, there's a nursing room in the Guest Services area which happened to be right in our section. It was so nice to have a comfortable place to feed Baby C. 

Tasty Items I Ate at Red Cow

  1. 60/40 Burger.  This burger is 60 percent beef, 40 percent bacon, with bacon on top and so very good!  I was a little worried the bacon taste could be overwhelming, but it was just right.
  2. Mini Donuts with Ice Cream.  We didn't get mini donuts when we visited the state fair, so this more than made up for it.  Warm donuts with ice cream is an excellent combination!
Tasty Things I've Made at Home


  1. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Katie at Running for Cupcakes. So good. The girls and I made these one afternoon and they were so tasty. After we started mixing I realized we didn't have any chocolate chips so we used mini M&Ms instead, and they worked great.  The only bad part is that I have no control when it comes to sugar, so I ate way too many.
  2. Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bars. Basically an oatmeal cookie, topped with a layer of fudge and more oatmeal.  
Goals for This Week
  1. Stop eating so many sweets (see above). With so many tasty treats around lately, I've found myself sneaking a bite or two of dessert way too many times during the day. I'm finding that the more tired I am, the more I crave sugar. This week I'm going to try to get that sugar from healthier choices, like fruit.
  2. Run 3 times. We have a couple of busy weekends ahead, so this may be a challenge, but I know I will feel a lot better if I make exercise a priority this week.

How I'm Keeping Things Organized Right Now
  1. My new Poppin planner. I saw Heather post about her white Poppin planner a couple of months ago, and decided to order a pink planner for myself. I love the layout of this planner (and it's pink).  There is a 2 page calendar for each month followed by 1 page with the week divided into days and 1 lined page for notes. I love that I can keep events, meal plan and my to do list all in the same place. It's awesome! And I just saw that it's on sale, only $8!
  2. Washi tape.  Lots and lots of washi tape :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Miss A's First Day!


Miss A started preschool this week! She's been really excited to start school, telling everyone we see about her new school. The report I managed to get out of her about the first day was that they played outside, read a story that we have at home, and she made two new friends (but she didn't ask them their names). Her teacher sends out a much more detailed report of what they did each day, which has already been very helpful for talking to Miss A about her day.

Miss A is normally very outgoing, and will talk to anyone. When we went in for her open house last week she was SO shy. As in, she wouldn't make eye contact with her teacher or say hi. So weird for my chatty girl. I'm thinking it may have been overwhelming to be in a new place, with so many new people (teachers, classmates, parents, siblings). The first day seemed to go a lot better, though she was still pretty shy going in to class.  I'm guessing it will get better as she gets more and more comfortable at school.

We decided keep preschool pretty low key this year. Miss A is going two days a week for two and a half hours each time. I think it will be nice for her to have some time at school with other kids. It was nice to give Little J a little more individual attention this morning while Miss A was gone.  We ran to Home Depot for a few things, got donuts, and played at the park.  Note to self, I'm a little too old/big for the tire swing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Late Summer Adventures (& a Giveaway!!)

We've been lucky that (so far) Baby C is a pretty chill little lady.  She's made it easy for us to continue some little adventures with her along for the ride.  Below are a few of our recent adventures, along with a Minnesota Children's Museum giveaway at the bottom!

1. Minnesota State Fair
Family of Five checking out the U of M Building
Future Gophers!
If you're not from Minnesota you may not know that our state fair is a big deal. As I learned after moving here, people are very serious about the state fair. This year the weather for the fair was amazing, so E took an afternoon off work so we could all go on a less busy day (if there is such a thing... this year the fair had record setting attendance).  We ate tasty fair food (the pretzel curds were my favorite!), checked out the animals, went on a few rides and generally explored the craziness of the fair. The girls, especially Little J, loved seeing the animals, especially all of the babies in the Miracle of Birth building. I appreciated the Lactation Station, set up with comfy chairs for moms to use when feeding their babies, and stocked with baby essentials (diapers, wipes, sunscreen, toys, etc).


YUM!
2. Canterbury Park

When E's brother came to visit with his kids on Labor Day we met up for a day at the races. I shared Canterbury Park as one of my favorite Twin Cities places to go with kids, and Labor Day was an especially good day to visit.  There were activities for the kids (pony rides, petting zoo, etc) and wiener dog races between the horse races. Miss A thought those were SO funny.  Little J was in heaven when she got to ride a pony.  She really is an animal lover.

Yes, I pretty much just wear this outfit right now ;)



3. Backyard Movie Night

You can't have a movie night without snacks!
This is the 3rd year we've hosted a backyard movie night.  It is one of my favorite summer activities.  Miss A started planning for this year's event in May because she had so much fun last year.  She told me we should watch Frozen and have juice boxes.  So she was really disappointed when it rained and rained on our original date.  Luckily we rescheduled and many of our friends and neighbors could still make it.  Our backyard was full of little girls (and a few boys) singing and dancing with Anna and Elsa.  So much fun!


4. Minnesota Children's Museum




I've expressed my love for the children's museum several times, and this is no different. Both Creativity Jam and Thomas the Train are leaving soon, so the girls and I headed over last week to check both out one more time. It was a fairly quiet morning, so the girls could really explore everything in Creativity Jam. Miss A found the paper airplane launcher which was so cool! It was great to see her figure out how to make the airplanes go higher and further with each attempt. Little J really enjoyed putting paper scraps in the wind tunnel and watching them wiggle around. Both girls enjoyed having a space to create some projects too. When we got home from the museum, I got an email from MCM about a special giveaway just for friends of Smart Play Ambassadors.  MCM is giving away a Deluxe Museum Membership and 4 Choo Choo Bob DVDs to one luck person.  This giveaway is for friends of Smart Play Ambassadors, so go here to enter!  The giveaway closes September 20, and the winner will be notified on September 22. Good luck!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baby C: 1 Month

Baby C's first month has flown by! It's crazy to think that just a month ago I was pregnant and waiting (not so patiently) for our new addition to join us. Now she's here, and what a great addition she's been!


Likes: Being swaddled.  Nothing calms Baby C down like a tight swaddle.  She'll sometimes fight to get out of it, but it's the first thing I do if she's crying.  Swaddle plus pacifier combination, even better. Daddy growling at her also seems to stop her crying. Her swing is another favorite.  I carry it all over the house over the course of a day.  Baby C also loves to be outside.  I think she likes the trees.

Dislikes: Sleeping in our bedroom. I have no idea how she knows the difference, but when I try to sleep upstairs in my bedroom, baby girl has a rough night.  If I sleep downstairs, she does great. Baby C doesn't like hiccups, and neither do I.  They shake her whole little body. She also dislikes not being fed immediately if she's hungry.


Sleeping: Overall, Baby C has been a great sleeper (thank you baby girl!). Most nights she wakes up once or twice to eat and goes right back to sleep. A few days she's wanted to be up for the day between 5:30 and 6, but most of the time I can coax her back to sleep for a couple of hours. Last night she went her longest stretch, 6.5 hours. Awesome! 

Eating: Baby C took to nursing right away.  She's been the easiest of my girls to nurse during the first month, probably in part because I have 2 years of experience. Baby C eats about every 3 hours during the day, but more frequently in the morning and at night.  E has also given her a handful of bottles so far, and she's taking them well.  I'm glad it's not a battle.  With Miss A and Little J we did a bottle before bed each night, and that's the plan with Baby C too.


Milestones: E swears Baby C really smiled yesterday, but I didn't see it.  

Stats: She came home from the hospital at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and was there at her first weight check too.  I know she is much bigger now.  We'll see what the official weight is at her appointment on Friday, but she's growing out of her newborn clothes quickly, so I have no doubt she's gaining weight well.

E continuing his tradition of getting each baby a 1 month birthday cake.
Ice cream cake from DQ... yum!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Baby C

Just a few pictures of my sweet Baby C while she's still little!  She is growing way too fast!