Thursday, March 27, 2014

Miss A's Tea Party

This year Miss A's birthday party was a little more low key than past years, and A LOT more girly.  After some negotiation, we decided on a butterfly tea party theme.  Miss A had a lot of opinions about her party this year.  Thankfully nothing was too crazy.  We ended up with 5 friends coming over to celebrate, for a total of 7 little girls 5 and under. There was lots of laughing, squealing and so much fun!

For the party, I only decorated the dining room, where we would do most of the activities, including the tea party.  I got some butterfly fabric from JoAnn to use as a tablecloth, a chalkboard paper banner from Target (I wrote Happy 4th Birthday), some paper lanterns from Michael's, flowers, balloons and lots of pictures of Miss A.

I found butterfly wings at the dollar store last month, and bought enough for all of Miss A's friends.  I also got plain white tea cups with plates for all of the girls.  One of the activities was for the girls to decorate their tea cups (I completely forgot to take pictures of the girls working on this because I was busy helping with the decorating).  I've seen the idea pop up on Pinterest a few times, and after looking at many, many pins, we used Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers to decorate the tea cups.  We rinsed them out after using the cups for our tea party, and sent instructions home with the girls for how to bake the cups (I thought this post was helpful. Miss A and I did a trial run in advance, and all went well).

The tea party itself was lots of fun.  We had apple juice for tea, and the girls were so cute drinking out of their fancy cups!  (I'm sure the cups will be used many more times around our house.) Miss A planned the lunch menu of hot dogs, chips, berries, grapes and string cheese.

Another activity the girls did was decorate butterflies.  Making "crafts" is one of Miss A's current favorite activities, so it seemed fitting for her birthday party.  I put out crayons, markers, puff balls, glitter glue, stickers and washi tape, and let the girls go.  The glitter glue was a HUGE hit, but it wasn't dry before the girls left, so we have some deliveries to make later.
Of course, we couldn't forget cake and ice cream!  Miss A really just likes the frosting.

Our annual picture with Mommy, Daddy and the birthday girl.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Twosday: Miss A is 4!

I both can't believe we are celebrating Miss A's 4th birthday today, and can't believe she's only been here for 4 years.  She is a sweet little thing, though she also test my patience daily.  I asked her some questions yesterday, on her last day as a 3 year old.  Below are her answers, and some of my favorite pictures of her from the past year. I should add, as I asked her these questions Miss A was wearing her new Princess Sofia shirt, black leggings, a Twins helmet, a yellow Apple Bottom dress (from her dress up collection... perfect for Belle, but still makes me laugh. Every. Time.) and dress up Belle heels, doing a ribbon dance with her new wand.
Miss A at her 3rd birthday party.
Celebrating her 3rd birthday with a special date to the Children's Museum.
Favorite Movie
  1. Frozen. I don't' see this changing any time soon. She is obsessed.  Like most other little girls I know.  
  2. Curious George Movie. This is the most recent movie we've watched, which is probably why it made the list. 

Favorite Princesses
  1. Belle
  2. Tangled
Favorite Shows
  1. My Little Pony. As soon as we got Netflix, Miss A fell in love with My Little Pony.  Every morning this is her choice to watch while we get ready for the day.  
  2. Doc McStuffins. Still a favorite since her 3.5 year interview. She has her own Doc McStuffins doctor kit to give checkups, a stuffed lamb she sometimes dresses up in a pink tutu and now her own Stuffy to give checkups.  

Favorite Ponies
  1. Princess Celestia
  2. Pinky Pie
  3. Rarity
Favorite Foods
  1. Strawberries
  2. Peanut Butter and Jelly on bread (not toast)
  3. Mac & Cheese
Favorite Colors
  1. Pink
  2. Red
  3. Blue
  4. Purple
Favorite Toys
  1. Dollhouse
  2. Dress up clothes
Favorite Books
  1. A is for Annabelle
  2. Poem Book (Where the Sidewalk Ends).  Side note: yesterday after her rest time, she brought us the book with a poem she really wanted to read... Sister for Sale.  

Favorite Things To Do
  1. Read books
  2. Snuggle

Favorite Songs
  1. Let It Go
  2. For the First Time in Forever
  3. Love is an Open Door
How We've Celebrated Her Birthday So Far
  1. Cake and presents from Nana and Papa when they visited early.
  2. Butterfly Tea Party with friends.
  3. Daddy Daughter Date to the Mall of America.  Rides, lunch and a trip to Build A Bear to make a giant Pinky Pie.
Plans to Celebrate Her Birthday Today
  1. Visit to the library.  It is still too cold (for me) to do any outdoor activities.
  2. Dinner out, Miss A's choice.  She's very excited to be in charge. 
Mommy's Favorite Things To Do With Miss A

  1. Read books.  She loves to read, and she'll snuggle nicely when we read to her.  I'm happy to read to her, or watch her read with Daddy.  
  2. Make projects.  I've really had a lot of fun recently playing with Miss A while Little J starts her nap.  I especially like the days she wants to do projects.  It's fun to see her create.  And I love that her pictures are starting to look like real things now.
Daddy's Favorite Things to Do with Miss A
  1. Show her new things.  Any new things.  Daddy showed her the stars this winter.  One night this winter, Daddy showed her the stars.  I caught them both laying the snow, looking up at the stars, talking about them.  
  2. Snuggle and watch cartoons.  (I think they're pretty cute together.)

Things She Needs to Sleep at Night
  1. Lamby
  2. Fuzzy (a blanket our neighbor made for her when she was first born)
Miss A was SO excited that Lamby got to be included in a picture.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fit Pregnancy

Back when I was pregnant with Miss A, I was really committed to working out throughout my pregnancy.  For me, working out has always been partially about managing my weight and partially about relieving stress.  I started a new job that fall, in a new school, new grade levels, teaching new subjects, so keeping my stress in check was important.  Plus, working out had been a part of my weekly routine for years, and everything I read about working out while pregnant was positive, so I stuck pretty much to my regular routine.  I continued going to the gym until around 38 weeks when I was more tired and getting a lot of funny looks from other gym members.  Plus it was nice enough outside for E and I to walk around the lake most nights.

After Miss A was born, I had a hard time getting to the gym.  The one E and I belonged to didn't have child care, and I hated leaving as soon as E walked in the door to go work out.  Miss A was born in late March, and we had a beautiful spring, so we walked miles every day.  By my 6 week postpartum visit I was a few pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight and fit in my old clothes okay, so I didn't really worry about it.

I gained a few pounds back as I was weaning Miss A (she was about a year old) but it was still winter here, so I didn't worry much about it.  Then I found out I was pregnant with Little J, so I really wasn't worrying about it.  During my first trimester with Little J (as will all three pregnancies it turns out) I was really sick and tired, so I wasn't able to do much.  Summer came, and I walked a lot with Miss A and E, and pretty much called that my exercise throughout the rest of my pregnancy.  In fact, we made it out for a nice, somewhat chilly walk around the lake the day before Little J was born.

When Little J was born, my postpartum experience was much different.  For one thing, Little J was born in late November, meaning there were limited options for outdoor activities.  I could have gone to a mall to walk, but the idea of getting two kids under two bundled up to go walk around a mall was not appealing.  I also had to go back to work a lot earlier with Little J (8 weeks versus the 5 months... big difference!).  I picked up a Jillian Michael's DVD and some hand weights at Target, and tried to do those a few times a week.  Those helped me get started on my weight loss and back into a workout routine.

That spring was probably the nicest spring I can remember.  We had Miss A's birthday party and Little J's baptism over St. Patrick's Day weekend and it was 80 degrees.  We were about to have people out on the deck and playing in the yard.  It was wonderful.  The nice spring also helped me start running.  Running had never been my go to exercise, but it was something I could do fairly quickly in the evenings, and I knew it would be effective in helping boost my weight loss.  A friend suggested we run a 5k later that spring, and once I signed up I was committed to not embarrass myself at the race.  I ran a lot that spring, making it below my goal time for the race, and below my goal weight for a Biggest Loser contest we were having at work.  I continued running throughout the summer and fall, and the next year when it warmed up again I started running again.

When I found out I was pregnant this time around, in early December, 2013, I was in a pretty good workout routine.  The weather had gotten colder, so I was mixing in time on the elliptical (we got one for the house) on days I couldn't run outside.  So far I've been able to keep up with cardio 3 to 4 times per week, which I'm pretty happy with.  I joined a rec center near our house with a running track so I have somewhere to run in this crazy winter we're having.  I'm not running fast or far, but it's helping me to stay active.  I'm not sure how long I'll continue, but at 18 weeks it's still feeling okay.  The elliptical is a nice alternative.  The movement is much more smooth, but I don't always feel like I'm getting the best workout.  As the weather gets nicer, I'll probably add in a lot of walking too.  I haven't done much for weights during this pregnancy, but now that I'm starting to feel like myself again, I'll probably try to work more light weights in too.

I really feel that working out during my first pregnancy helped my postpartum experience, so I'm trying to keep that in mind as I go through this pregnancy.  I'm being careful to listen to my body and not do too much, but I'm hoping to continue some kind of work out routine throughout this pregnancy.  Any advice or suggestions for things to try in the coming months?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baby #3: Weeks 16-20

Due date: Still August 2, 2014.  My due date with both girls was moved back over a week, so I keep expecting to hear the due date is actually later in August, but at the ultrasound Baby #3 was still measuring within a day of the August 2 due date, so we'll see.

What I'm loving:  Feeling baby's kicks.  Seeing Baby #3 during our ultrasound.  This week, Miss A and Little J both told me about their babies.  Miss A said, "I have a baby in my tummy.  I'm not sure if it's a girl or a boy."  (I think it's a little frustrating to her that she doesn't know if the baby is a brother or a sister.)  Little J likes to point to her belly button and say, "Baby!" while she sticks out her belly.  It's super cute.

What I'm looking forward to:  Real spring weather!  I haven't been very motivated to exercise lately, but I think being able to get outside would really help.  I'm also excited for E to be able to feel baby's kicks.  So far baby's kicks haven't been quite strong enough.

Cravings/Aversions:  I'm loving ice cream.  So much.  I've also gotten my sweet tooth back big time.  Give me sugary cereal, cookies, bars... yum, yum, yum!  I came home from one grocery store trip with a giant bag of Fruit Loops, 3 kinds of cookies and 2 kinds of ice cream.  The girls thought it was great (except I don't share very much).  For awhile drinking water was making me feel sick, but that is finally gone, so I'm back to drinking a lot of water, and I think that has helped out a lot.  The only things I've really been avoiding are leafy greens (keep salads far away, please) and red meat (similar to my other two pregnancies).

How I'm feeling: Still tired, but overall MUCH better than my previous update.  I have far fewer days where I feel sick now, though I still have occasional days where nothing sounds good to eat.  Except ice cream.  I'm always up for ice cream.

What I miss:  Having energy and eating normally.  I'm hoping for a little second trimester reprieve in the next few weeks.

Exercise:  Exercise has been really hit or miss lately.  I'll have a really good week followed by a week when I barely do anything.  I got a nasty head cold that knocked me out for almost a week, which really hurt my work outs.  Still trying to run at least once a week.  I'm limiting myself to indoor running until sidewalks are clear, and it can be tough to get the track's schedule worked out with our schedules.  Come on warm weather!

Diet:  Improving.  I'm not limiting myself on any junk food, but I'm trying to increase the number of freggies I eat during the day.  For breakfast I've been big on Fruit Loops, but I at least try to have an apple with the cereal to balance it out a bit.  I tried a salad with dinner recently, but it made me feel really sick, but I have been eating broccoli (a favorite of the girls), asparagus and (oh so many) carrots.

Differences between pregnancies:  I feel like my belly has taken longer to pop with this pregnancy than when I was pregnant with Little J, but I'm not seeing a big difference in the picture (20 weeks with Little J here).  With both girls I was still throwing up at this point in the pregnancy, but with Miss A, but that never really went away.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Big Girl Bed

Last weekend we moved Little J into her "big girl bed."  Really, we just took the side off of her crib so she can get in and out by herself.  She was very excited.  She told E, "I love it! I love it!" and climbed in to snuggle her guys when he showed her that he took the side off the crib.  

The plan in coming months is for Little J to share a room with Miss A... bunk beds are coming soon!  We decided that it would (hopefully) be easier to get Little J used to sleeping in a big girl bed in her own room first, where there are fewer distractions, and move her to Miss A's room later this spring.  

So far (fingers crossed!) things are going really well.  Little J stays in her bed, for the most part, and has still been napping and going to bed at night really well.  I was able to sneak in, open a window, take  a bunch of pictures, close the window and sneak back out without Little J minding a bit.  The one funny thing she has been doing is getting out of bed to switch her socks during nap time.  Every day I get her up from nap she's wearing different socks than when I put her in there.  Such a silly girl.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's a...


We had our big ultrasound on Tuesday, and baby looks healthy (and super cute if you ask me).  I had my regular OB visit following the ultrasound, and my doctor said everything looks good and baby is measuring right on time.  

With both Miss A and Little J, we found out baby's gender at the ultrasound, but this time around we decided to wait to find out when baby is born.  You can see more on Little J's gender reveal here.  I'm not sure exactly what made us decide to wait this time.  I had been thinking about it myself, but before I said anything to E he brought it up.  Since that quick conversation, the decision pretty much stuck.

I have two friends at work who didn't find out baby's gender at the ultrasound with their last babies.  One who told me it was really fun, and very emotional when baby was born.  The other said it drove her crazy.  Hopefully I'm not going crazy this summer that I don't know if baby is a he or a she.

The only problem with not knowing baby's gender is that we now have to come up with a boy name and a girl name.  Picking names is not an easy task for us (it was a hospital decision with both girls).  Hopefully we can figure out names before baby is born this time around!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Twosday Nine

Things That Are Making Me Happy
  1. This week I started a new, shorter schedule at work.  This trimester I can leave an hour earlier than I have been able to the rest of the year.  That means I get less time to prepare at school, but I'm okay to trade doing some work at home during nap time for extra time with my girls.  I'm excited to go on some little adventures and (when it gets nicer) have lots of picnics!
  2. Monday was sunny and almost 50 degrees!  I'm so very, very ready for spring to be here.  The past few days of above freezing temps have made a huge dent in the ice and snow.  Our monster of a front yard snow man officially died due to the warm weather.  I was not even a tiny bit sorry to see him go.  
Things I'm Looking Forward To
  1. Our big ultrasound.  It's actually scheduled for today!  I'm hoping to get a good look at our sweet baby.  I love seeing baby wiggle and hearing the heartbeat.  Plus the girls are going to stay at day care all day, so I should get a little time to myself to get some things done without two little helpers.    
  2. Spring break!  Less than two weeks to go until spring break.  E is taking a few days off work that week so we can go on a quick Midwest getaway.  I'm hoping spring weather will be here for spring break!
Things I'm Doing for Lent

  1. Sharing kindness.  The past two years I have given up Diet Coke for Lent, which has been a huge challenge for me each year.  This year I wanted to do something different, and I with how weird I've been feeling throughout this pregnancy, I didn't want to give up any food that might help me feel better.  I've been so inspired by Diana and her Be Nice Box that I decided to make it a goal to be more kind throughout Lent.  So far I've made bars to share at lunch, left an extra donation, made treats for E and encouraged my coworkers on the start of our new trimester.  This one I am doing well on so far!
  2. Push ups.  E has committed to doing X number of push ups per week during Lent, so I thought I would try to do it with him (although a much smaller number).  I'm not doing very well so far, partially because I forgot about it while E was out of town this weekend.  I'll have to step it up for the rest of Lent. 

Weekend Adventures

  1. Noodles & Company.  We don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent (or at least try not to) so the girls and I used that as a reason to go to Noodles & Company for dinner on Friday night.  We had a girls weekend while E was ice fishing, and this was a perfect start!
  2. Minnesota Children's Museum.  We met up with some friends on Saturday evening for a couple of hours of play.  One of Miss A's favorite parts is face painting, so of course we had to paint faces before leaving.  While we were there we also got to check out the new dinosaur exhibit, which was really fun!  Little J loved carrying the eggs to the dinosaur, crawling in the caves, and digging for dinosaur bones.  

Weekend Productivity

  1. Cleaned out extra closet.  Miss A's room has two closets, which is awesome, especially for an older house.  One of the closets was kind of a catch all closet, which was full of so much random stuff (including a ton of wedding stuff... from our wedding 6 years ago).  Saturday during nap time I took everything out of the closet, sorted through what to keep, toss and donate, and put (almost) everything to a new home.  This was a big item on my to do list this spring, because it will be Little J's closet when she moves in to Miss A's room later this spring.  
  2. First trip of the year to Goodwill.  I suspect many more will follow as I continue to go through the house, but this was a good start!  

Books I Finished Last Week
  1. Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World by H. Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen
    • This was a really interesting book to read both as a parent and a teacher.  I think my girls are still a little young to apply much of what the authors talked about, but I do plan to read it again in a few years.  One of the things that has really stuck with me is the idea of giving kids choices, letting them make their choice but then letting them deal with the consequences, even though it can be tough.  We try to do that with Miss A, though her choices are still pretty small, but I think it's a good start.  For example, I give Miss A the choice to play quietly while Little J starts her nap and stay up, or play loud and she will choose to take a nap.  Framing it that way has helped to keep her quiet(er) during that time.  When she is loud, it's strait to bed, which was her choice.  
  2. Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan
    • I typically like memoirs, but I found this one to be especially good.  I'm not going to lie, there were quite a few tears along the way (probably increased by my preggo emotions).  In the book, Corrigan recalls her experience as a nanny for two children who recently lost their mom.  This experience causes her to reflect on her relationship with and views of her own mom.  I highly recommend this book, especially for moms.  
    • One of my favorite lines, "What happens to her happens- in some weird refracted way that seems slightly dangerous- to me, too.  And it occurs to me that maybe the reason my mother was so exhausted all the time wasn't because she was doing so much but because she was feeling so much." 
Online Purchases I'm Excited About
  1. Pint Glasses from Vital Industries.  Heather gifted a Minnesota glass to E for Christmas, and I think it's so fun (and steal it all the time) so I bought a couple of the Wisconsin glasses for my brother and SIL who just bought a new house.  
  2. Prints from Recipe for Crazy.  I happened to catch a flash 50% sale she was offering on Instagram, so I quickly ordered a few things, some for me, some for friends.  Can't wait to see them!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Let Her Go

In my DITL post earlier this week, I shared a "typical day" at our house.  The girls and I get home from work and day care around 12:30pm most days.  By that time, Little J is very much in need of a nap.  Most of the the time I would have Miss A take her rest time right away too.  

Last week one day I let Miss A stay up to work on her birthday party invitations (as you can see in the DITL post).  She loved having the privilege to stay up longer than Little J, and to be helping with her invitations.  When we were finished with the invitations, she had her rest time, and ended up falling asleep.

So when Miss A asked if she could stay up and work on a project again, I decided to let her do it.  I have pinned hundreds of super cute possible projects to do with the little ladies on Pinterest. We've tried some of the projects already, and I've gathered the supplies to do many more.  That was not what this time was for.

Instead, Miss A went to her room and found the craft supply box that I keep in her closet.  She brought it to the living room and took every last thing out of the box.  She arranged the materials all around her, and decided what she wanted to use for her project.  

She asked me for some paper, and got started with her project.  Along the way she asked me for some help.  Could I get her some white paper?  Could I open the glue?  Could I open the feathers?  Other than that, she was on her own, working on her projects.  She was making pictures of birds, she told me.  She used feathers, tissue paper and an assortment of foam stickers.  

There were many times I could have tried to step in, tried to help her do the project "right." (Maybe a time or two I really had to work to restrain myself from telling her what I thought she should do.)  She loved the time just working on her own, deciding exactly what she wanted to do.  It was fun to watch her making decisions and selecting exactly what materials to use and where they should go.  

There isn't anything fancy in the craft box.  Glitter, glue, tissue paper, construction paper, feathers, crayons, googly eyes, cut outs and a large variety of foam stickers.  Some things are left over from earlier projects, some found on clearance, some just called my name while I was at the craft store for something else.  Nothing I care too much about, but bring such joy to my sweet girl.    

Is this something we'll do every day?  Probably not (though she's at it again as I type).  I'm not sure how often it will really happen, but I like giving her this special time to work.  To talk to me about what she's working on.  Time without her little sister demanding her attention.  Time just to do what she wants to do.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DITL: February 27, 2014

I have been wanting/planning to do a Day In The Life post for months and months, but every day I plan to do a DITL post, I forget to start taking pictures until well afternoon.  This time I remembered my plan around 10:30, so I figured I would just pick up the pictures from there.  I snapped a couple quick photos of the girls on Friday morning to make up for the hours I missed on Thursday.  I really wanted to get this post done because in another week my schedule at work is going to change, making my days much different, and I wanted to document what the last year and half has been like on our "school days" before they change.  As it turned out, the day was not a "typical" day, but then again, I'm not sure what is around here lately.

5:15am: My alarm goes off.  Time to get up and get ready for the day.  I leave my phone with the alarm set across the room so I actually have to get up in the morning.  

5:30am:  Shower, hair and makeup for me.

6:00am:  Wake up the girls.  I get Miss A up first and start a cartoon.  Her current morning pick is My Little Pony.  After I start the cartoon, Little J is up and ready to go.  I leave both girls watching their cartoon while I eat breakfast and pack a lunch.

6:15am:  Get the girls dressed while they finish their cartoon.  Little J tends to be much more agreeable than Miss A, and today is no exception.  E wakes up and snuggles the girls for a bit before getting in the shower.

6:30am:  I start both cars because it is super cold, yet again (this is seriously getting really old).  

6:45am:  We're off to day care/work.  Both girls are pretty mellow on the drive, because it's so early.  Then we hear a parody of "Let It Go" on the radio, and Miss A spends the rest of the ride serenading Little J and I.  

7:10am: Drop off at day care.  Both girls are excited to be at J's with their friends.

7:15(ish)am:  I'm at school.  Today in my global studies classes we're talking about the European Union and the protests in Ukraine, so I do some quick research on overnight developments in Ukraine.  After awhile I head out into the hall to supervise.

7:40am:  My first class starts.  I teach 3 sections of 8th grade global studies.  Classes go pretty well today, and most students seem at least somewhat interested in what's happening in Ukraine.    

10:30am:  I'm done teaching and have about an hour and half before I have to pick up the girls from day care.  I use the time to grade some papers, get ready for Friday and eat a bunch of snacks.

11:30am:  Lunch in the teacher's lounge.  Leftover pizza and pineapple for me.  Lots of talk about the cold weather and Fitbits (I'm thinking of getting one now that I'm feeling better.  Anyone have any input?)

11:55am:  I leave school to pick up the girls.  I love that they're so close to work!

12:00pm:  Pick up the girls from J's house.  They've just finished lunch.  I collect their artwork and get them bundled up for the ride home (it's noon and still below zero... I'm bitter about it).  

12:15pm:  We're loaded up and headed home.  Normally our trip home takes about 25 minutes.  Today Little J is very unhappy about being in her car seat.  I have to make 2 stops on the way home to get her arms back in the straps (you can see her reaction in the picture above).  Miss A comes up with a new game.  She tells me, "how about whoever is quieter in the car gets to stay up for 2 minutes when we get home."  Sounds like an AMAZING idea to me!  

Little J starts to get sleepy so I do a loop around to get her to fall asleep.  While we're driving, I see another car go in to a snowbank.  I can see car seats in the back, so we turn around to go help.  Another person stopped too, and between the three of us we're able to get the car out.  Miss A asks why we stopped, and I told her we stopped to help, because hopefully someone would stop to help us if we got stuck.  She tells me our neighbor will help.  

1:00pm:  Finally home, I transfer Little J from her car seat to her bed.  I'm thankful all the time that she can be transferred so easily.  Miss A finds her craft box so we can get working on the invitations for her 4th birthday party (as I wonder how in the world she can possibly be turning 4!).

Miss A is ALL about pink right now.
2:45pm: We finish up with Miss A's invites.  I took all of my willpower to let her decorate the invitations without my help.  They do not look how I would have done them, but she was very proud that she did them on her own.  While the invites dry, Miss A goes to her room for rest time.  I decide to read for a few minutes on the couch.  At some point Miss A falls asleep (which very rarely happens) and I do too.

4:45pm:  I hear Little J crying in her room, and realize I have been sleeping for the past 2 hours while still sitting up on the couch.  I guess I was pretty tired!  I get Little J and bring her to the living room to snuggle and watch a cartoon.  Little J decides she needs some milk, so she goes to the kitchen and gathers her supplies to bring to me.  
Not the best picture, but this is an everyday activity for Little J.

5:15pm:  Daddy is home early!  E takes over playing with Little J while Miss A continues to sleep and I start making dinner.  

5:30pm:  Miss A wakes up.  E and I decide tonight would be a good movie night, so he and the girls start Cars 2 while I cook.

6:15pm:  Time for dinner.  Tonight we had chicken, asparagus, apples and rolls.  At dinner we talk about our days and what's happening in Cars 2.  E and I remind the girls about 10 times to sit down.

6:45pm:  Dinner is over and it's time to clean up.  Miss A and Little J are in charge of helping to clear the table and loading the dishwasher.

7:30pm:  Time to get ready for bed.  This is always a little chaotic, so I completely forgot to take pictures.  Our routine is bathroom, pajamas, teeth, stories, bed.  

7:50pm:  The girls are in bed, and we get a little time to relax.  E found Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on TV yesterday, and recorded it, so we finish up the movie.  I've seen it about a hundred times, so I surf the internet, fold some laundry and eat some ice cream before getting ready for bed.

9:00pm:  E and I head to bed.  We're both fighting a little bit of a cold, and I feel exhausted all the time, so we're trying to get to bed early these days.  I iron for E and get my clothes ready for Friday.  We watch a little bit of the news before going to sleep.  One more day until the weekend!!