August 18, 2014

summer fun

With Ryann starting back to school today (last year of preschool!) it seemed fitting to recap a little bit of our summer that I hadn't gotten to.  Because I'm a blogging failure these days, not the point.  Truthfully this is the first time in a while that I've actually been sad summer was coming to a close.  We've had such a great time with our friends, and while I'm glad to gain a little bit of free time, I'm sad that our play date opportunities have become less and less.

But then again... free time...

Anyway!  So here is a quick photo recap of our summer before I move on to trying to accomplish all the things while Elsie naps.  Did I mention how much I missed nap time?  I pretty much sat here in silence for 20 minutes doing absolutely NOTHING just because I could.  But summer!

Before the mosquitos were out in full force we spent a lot of time outside, playing with chalk and running through the sprinkler.  But then there were mosquitoes and mosquito bites and being outside at our house wasn't really an option.  The girls and I attract them like it's our job.  We still had plenty of fun visiting parks and pools.

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And the instagram overview.  Pool trips, zoo trips and lunch outside.  A visit to the arboretum and an open gym.  Picnic play dates and splash park adventures.  An adorable baby-q, and even an attempt at bowling (which I don't plan on doing again any time in the near future, thank you very much Elsie).  We were busy busy busy, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

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Next summer, well, we will be moving.  It will be a lot different.  I'm very grateful for the fun we've had this summer, and I hope we can keep some of it rolling throughout the school year!

August 15, 2014

elsie - eighteen months

Because Elsie's besties (whether they know they're best friends or not is up in the air, but they are dangit! :o) are a few months older than her, I've felt like she has been 18 months for a while.  But we're here, closer to two than to one.  I still feel like Elsie is my baby, I'm sure the fact that she isn't speaking in sentences yet like her sissy was helps that out, but the baby is starting to really disappear.

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At the rate I'm going getting the post done, I could have waited until Elsie's well check to get her official stats, but in my attempt to weigh her at home I got 25 pounds.  I think that might be a tad high, but I'd also believe it.  She just doesn't look as petite as she used to.  But that is just fine, her round little belly is adorable.  I need to pack away a significant portion of the 12-18 month clothes, some of the shirts don't cover her belly and she is busting out of her jammies.  Dresses are still fine though.  I've been lazy about it because it has still been in the upper 80's and 90's (because it is August in Kansas, duh), but all the 18-24 month clothing I have from Ryann is cold weather stuff.  It is crazy that their birthdays are only seven weeks a part, but that makes such a difference in the clothing department.  I think we'll be fine though.  There are a couple pairs of boots in the size five box from Gap that I'm worried she'll grow out of before she gets to wear them.  We're still in that awkward 4's seem to small but 5's are too big phase.  Still rockin' a size four diaper.

I think Elsie's molars are almost all the way in, and she has nearly cut one of her canine teeth.  Either she has done better with teething than Ryann did, or I just forget that it can be a contributing factor to her grumpy moods.  Lately there are some days where she is just an emotional mess, or just plain being a pain in the butt, and I attribute it to her being tired or something.  But I'm sure there is a high likelihood that she is in pain.  Those gums don't look too comfortable.  I'm sure we'll both be happier once teething is behind us.  She drives me nuts grinding her teeth every time a new one starts coming in.  Eeeew.

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Despite her becoming more and more picky, Elsie still really is a good eater.  Chicken sausage, meatballs, fruit (but not kiwi, just the sight of kiwi is offensive for some reason), pancakes, waffles, guacamole and yogurt covered raisins rank among her top favorites these days.  Along with sweets of course.  Carrots have become the vegetable of choice over asparagus, though she'll eat both, as well as corn.  But green beans and broccoli are pretty much no longer acceptable.  She also isn't really in to crackers as much as I would expect her to be.  The girl can sniff out food and spot someone eating from across the room.  And as soon as she pinpoints someone with an edible substance, she just opens her mouth with an 'ah ah ah' noise, waiting for a bite.

Bedtime has sort of been pushed back to 8:00pm, partly because has been napping a little longer, and partly because the girl just hates having to go to sleep.  So some days it has been easier to have her and Ryann go to bed at the same time.  She pretty much runs at top speed until you force her to go to sleep.  She wakes up somewhere between 6:15-7:15am.  Depending on her mood and our schedule for the day, she is asleep for her nap between 12:30 and 1:15, and sleeps for 2-2.5 hours.  Whenever we go back to her room for bed or nap, Elsie likes to turn on the sound machine and put the monitor on her dresser for me.  I thought it was incredibly cute the first time she did it, a little less cute now that she'll randomly go to her room and do it, and has dropped the camera a few times.  We never mounted it anywhere, fail.

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Elsie's vocabulary keeps on growing, I truly have no idea how many words she knows.  She will try to repeat almost anything I ask her, and even though her pronunciation and articulation still aren't the best, her words are getting clearer.  At least to me.  I know other people have a hard time understanding her, but if you listen a few times and try to place the context, decoding her gibberish can happen :o).  One of the most used words this month has been 'move'.  If I ask her to get out of the way she says it (sometimes followed with a beep beep beep!).  When I need to set her plate on her tray and her cup is in the way, or any object is in her way it gets a "move move!"  And definitely if a person is her way they get a gentle shove with a "move move."  I've started fixing her hair in the morning (getting it wet so we can detangle the rats nest that happens when she sleeps) so spray and fluff have been added to her vocabulary.  She has finally started saying on instead of off when she actually wants something on.  And she calls ketchup 'bup bup' just like Ryann did.  That makes me smile.  Oh and I love the way it sounds when she says 'messy'.  Her voice is so cute.  When she says sit it sounds like shit, and I laugh every time.

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Currently she is obsessed with Jayhawks (Rock Chalk baby!), but it sounds more like 'hot-hawt' when she says it.  She has a Jayhawk t-shirt, and wore it at some point for three days in a row before I snuck it in to the laundry.  Someone at the gym has a Jayhawk tire cover, and she can spot it from way across the parking lot, and gets very sad if that gym goer doesn't happen to be there at the same time as us.  We might have to pick up some more KU gear for her so she can rock it all through basketball season.  I'd say football season, but while I support my alma mater, I don't exactly get amped up about KU football.  Sorry boys.

E has definitely been trying to count, and occasionally will make it to five with a little prompting, but for the most part I get a lot of "1 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 3!"  Often followed by gibberish.  The other day from the back of the car I heard "2 1 2 o y 3!"  So apparently letters and numbers are combining, or she has the code to something.  I don't know.  She gets very excited about letters, but for the most part everything is still 'y'.  She can clearly repeat most of the letters if I say them.  Except W.  That one isn't even close, which is kind of funny.  If I ask her what color something is she always says blue.

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Coloring continues to be a big hit.  She scribbles and exclaims she wrote a 'Y', makes me giggle all the time.  Her control has gotten a lot better though, she can make round scribbles and calls it an oval, or will carefully draw a straightish line while saying 'yiiine'.  If I draw shapes for her she demands I give it a face, well, she demands eyes but wants it to have a face.  She has discovered where we keep the crayons and pencils and such and constantly drags paper and utensils out of the cabinet.  That is fine and all, minus the part where I can't keep the markers in there for Ryann anymore.  Markers are WAY too messy for Miss E.

Elsie is definitely learning the ways of manipulation.  The other day Chris and I were eating Chinese take out after the girls had already eaten.  They were watching a movie, but naturally Elsie sniffed out our food and wedged herself right up next to me.  I had a side of vegetables with my dinner, and was only offering her those, despite her requests for the crab wontons.  After a bit she got bored with the vegetables, and took notice of Christopher eating.  She started walking towards him, and in the cutest voice said "Hi!" with a sweet little smile on her face.  She said it a couple more times.  Then climbed on the coffee table right in front of him, and with a million dollar smile let out another "Hiii!" before opening her mouth as wide as she could, requesting a bite.  I'm still kicking myself for not whipping out my phone to catch it on video.  It was stupid cute.

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E is also testing her limits and enjoys being naughty right now.  I definitely remember this phase at 18 months with Ryann too.  She'll stare at me as she opens cabinets and doors, just to see how I'll react.  One of our outlets is crap, and she can pull the covers out, and does so just because she knows she isn't supposed to.  A couple weeks ago, she waltzed into the kitchen, grabbed both my dish towels from the oven and the dishwasher handles, and ran out while saying "Byyyeeee!" just to be a turd.  She isn't a huge fan of riding in her stroller in stores anymore (even though she loves going on walks) but tries to take off if I let her out.  And she gets royally pissed off if I try and stop her from doing any of these things.  I know it is just her age and learning her boundaries and such, but man it is annoying!!  Well, sometimes kind of funny, but mostly annoying.

Elsie continues to warm up to people more quickly, but is still very much a mama's girl.  She loves buckles, Dinosaur Roar and doing everything that sissy does.  She also loves driving her sissy crazy, but that is beside the point :o).  She is constantly trying to kiss the cats and has become very attached to her owlie and blankie.  She thinks playing on my phone is awesome, but not so much when it is time to be done.  She constantly tries to drag my diaper bag all over the place.  She loves to jump, but never gets any air.  She also loves to 'pin' (spin), be it by herself or in your arms.  Going 'round 'round makes her happy.  She also finds it hilarious when I blow in her face.  Silly girl.

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Miss Elsie I kind of wish you could stay my baby forever.  But since you can't, I guess I'll enjoy watching you grow, it is pretty amazing.  I love you so much it hurts sometimes.

August 4, 2014

this and that

:: I haven't run in nearly two weeks.  We'll, I've tried here and there, but something in my hip is a hot freaking mess and I don't make it even a tenth of a mile before I'm limping.  Chris isn't really sure what is going on, I can't accurately pinpoint where the pain is coming from, or what kind of pain it is.  All I know is that even a brisk walk leaves me feeling crippled for a couple hours.  I've been making do at the gym with the elliptical and the bike, but I loathe those machines.  And I haven't been able to make myself really do any weight training.  I love the barbell class, but as of right now I can only make it once a week.  Dear hip, stop sucking at life.  I miss running.

::  The other week I noticed that Target had some Elsa and Anna dresses in stock.  I had told Ryann we weren't taking any toys home that day, so I resisted the urge to grab her the Elsa one.  But I texted my mom and said it wouldn't be horrible if she picked it up.  Well wouldn't you know my mom had to go and one up Target by making Ryann a gorgeous Elsa dress.  My mom is pretty much awesome like that.

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The ridiculous part, so my mom shows Ryann the dress, and of course she is happy.  But then she asks where the crown and the shoes are that the little girl on the pattern package had.  We didn't have shoes or a crown, so of course Ryann was crushed.  She was whining, and said to my mom "this girl has the braid and the crown and the dress AND the shoes!" My mom replied "well your hair is in a braid." Ryann's response? "Fine, braid, check.  But I still need the crown and the shoes."  Oh child.  Get over yourself and just tell Grammy thank you!

::  This past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion.  I'm sad I missed out on the tour of the high school, it looks like it has changed a ridiculous amount since I've been there.  But getting together in the evening was fun.  I'm not sure how many from our class attended, maybe 50?  I'm terrible at estimating numbers.  We graduated with just over 300 I believe.  I may have drank WAY too much wine, but it was good to catch up with people I haven't seen since graduation.  I can't believe I've been out of high school for 10 years.

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::  Christopher turned 29 on Sunday!  He had a work function to attend, and I was still recovering from the absurd amount of wine, so it was a bit uneventful.  But we had a gift and a cake and I hope he knows we love him.  I'll make it up to you for your thirtieth Christopher, promise.

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Alrighty, back to crafting ridiculous dinosaurs with the kiddo.

July 24, 2014

creative {dance} camp

After taking Ryann to the creative camp at my childhood dance studio last year (ah! she looks so little!), she seriously talked about it on and off for the entire year.  "When do I get to go to camp at Grammy's dance again?  When can I do dance in Topeka again?  I like the dance where we eat snack and make crafts!"  Of course to that last one, she always said the snack and the craft were her favorite parts.  But hey, she was still dancing!

Anyway, I was happy to enroll her in a session of the camp this year.  The theme of the week was Broadway, with the days including Hairspray, High School Musical, Grease and The Wizard of Oz.  Ry absolutely had a blast.  The teachers do a great job with the kids and Ry just loved going.  And I loved dressing her up everyday.  And getting to watch her dance, of course.  But getting her all dolled up makes me happy :o).

Her outfits for the week:

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And the videos:


The Grease dance seriously killed me.  Her little face, and that wiggle intro?  Dead.  Just plain dead.  So much sass in her little body.  Keep on dancing pretty girl.  It is so much fun to watch!

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July 19, 2014

the fourth {of july}

The Fourth of July used to be one of my absolute favorite holidays.  Family would come up, we'd spend all day in the pool, eat lots of good food, enjoy the fireworks and blowing stuff up.  The usual.  These days?  Well, it isn't quite the same.  But we still had a pretty good time.  :o)

I started the day off with a 6 mile run around the lake.  My cousin's son also ran, but seeing as he can run a 5:30 mile, I can't exactly say we ran together.  Ha.  But as I mentioned in an earlier post, the run actually went really well, and I went faster than I anticipated.  Part of it was that I'm terrible at pacing, and I wasn't checking my tracker.  When I looked at it shortly after a mile I was under nine minutes.  Whoops!  I didn't think I'd maintain that pace for the whole thing, but I surprised myself and finished in 51:44.  Hayden rocked it and finished in something like 40 minutes?  I don't know, speedy fast in my eyes.

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After the run we sent my dad to Wal-Mart to buy a wagon for the lake parade.  We were going to bring the girls' bikes with but forgot.  Another option was to have Ryann drive the Barbie car, but, well, her driving skills could still use some work ;o).  So yes, Wal-Mart trip.  Thanks Dad!  Once it was back and put together my mom and my cousin decorated it.  Then we were off to the parade.

We had to sit for a bit before it started, and the girls were getting hot, tired and antsy.  Add that to being too close together and they were fighting before it started.  Once we got moving and they had candy to throw it was better, and Ryann claims she had fun.  So there's that.  But by the time we were done and got Elsie home she was a hot mess and in need of a nap.  We ate lunch first and when I laid her down she was out in no time.
 
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The rest of the day was spent by the pool, eating and watching fireworks.  Not too shabby at all.
 
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This year Ryann actually braved going out on the boat with us to watch the lake fireworks show.  Last year she was too scared but this year she was determined.  Unfortunately she was so incredibly tired when they finally started that she kept begging to just go back.  She fell asleep on the boat while the fireworks were going off.  Good try sweet girl, maybe they'll be more fun next year?
 
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Our patriotic swimsuits were from Old Navy.  Elsie's red checked dress is from Wren & James.

July 18, 2014

patriotic playdate

The week of July 4th the girls and I hosted a little patriotic themed play date.  I threw up some sparkly red and blue banners (and a star garland from this etsy shop that I forgot to take a picture of!), used a star cookie cutter to make the food a little more festive, and gathered up star glasses and red and blue necklaces to round out the fun.  It was super easy (though cutting everything in to stars did take a bit of time), and I think everyone had fun.

Orginally the plan was to play outside and run through the sprinklers, but a storm went through that morning, leaving the yard and patio furniture a little soggy and the air a bit chilled.  So all the kiddos and their mamas filled my family room instead.  It was probably the most kids I've had in my house at one time, and I kind of loved it.  All these moms are great and I have a soft spot in my heart for each one of their children.  We've built up a good little group of friends here.

The girls getting decked out before everyone arrived:

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headband from bub + bug

Party snippets:

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And all the kiddos:

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With Christopher in his last year at his hospital, and a contract for a job waiting to be signed, the countdown is on until we move out of Kansas City.  And looking back at this pictures makes me so sad to be going.  We're moving back home, so both our parents will be close by, and that is great.  But I am going to miss all of our friends so much.  Yes, the drive is just over an hour, nothing terrible, and we can definitely come back and visit.  But it won't be the same.

All you girls, I'm seriously going to miss you and your kids.  Promise you'll come visit us too?  Lets make the most of this year, mmmmkay?

July 14, 2014

I thought I could fight it.

That evil beast sugar?  I totally thought I could fight it.  And yet, here I sit DYING to stuff my face with ice cream and chocolate and cookie butter and all sorts of terrible (but oh so good) things.

Sometimes I feel so embarrassed that food and eating is such a huge thing in my life.  Something that is constantly in the back of the mind.  It is ridiculous.  Why can't I be one of those crazy people who doesn't have a sweet tooth?  Who doesn't ever feel the need to snack?  This is that time where a Whole30 advocate would say something to the affect of just do another round, you can get a handle on your cravings and issues.  And maybe that is true.  But I am just so tired of thinking about food.

If I haven't set it up well enough for you yet, I didn't last more than five days eating strictly compliant foods.  Basically I went Monday through Friday last week eating compliant, except for a sip of Ryann's Juice Stop because she really wanted me to try it and what is one sip of a smoothie going to do to me?  Saturday we went out to breakfast and I did really good, I ordered an omelet with no cheese and didn't touch the delicious looking pancakes on the table.  There was some deli turkey in  my omelet that I can almost guarantee wasn't compliant, but I just didn't care.  And I added some honey to our chicken marinade because the recipe called for it, and I didn't feel like leaving it out.

Yesterday?  Well, yesterday Chris took Ryann on a little lunch date to Cheesecake Factory (she loves the bread and chocolate milk, she could care less about anything else), and brought home carrot cake and cheese cake.  I decided I wasn't going to pass it up and shared some with him after the girls went to bed.  Because I've only got one life to live and I might as well enjoy the cheesecake.  But now I'm back to GIVE ME FREAKING DESSERT NOW OR I'LL CUT YOU.  Seriously, one dessert and now I'm a lunatic.

Obviously looking back at all that my eating habits really aren't all that bad.  All of my actual meals have been compliant, that doesn't bother me one bit.  Sure some nights I just want to order a pizza, but because I'm lazy and don't feel like cooking.  Not because I actually want pizza.  Finding the right balance seems impossible.  I can't decide what would make me happier, losing a few more pounds or just eating the stupid ice cream.  Maybe I can have both.

My goodness I'm ridiculous.

Still going to try and keep my meals as compliant as possible.  The desserts, well...