Monday, January 21, 2013

Menu Plan Monday.

Whew.  It's been awhile since I did one of these!  I'm hoping to get back into posting a bit more regularly - having two kiddos is a lot more work than I bargained for!

Visit Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday for more menus
Monday: Meatloaf with green beans & mashed potatoes with gravy
Tuesday: Honey Orange Pork Tenderloin with
Wednesday: Honey, Lemon & Rosemary Grilled Chicken with baked beans & salad
Thursday: Tortellini Soup (I don't make mine quite like this.  I should post a recipe/picture of my version) with breadsticks & salad
Friday: Pizza night (I'm planning to get a Papa Murphy's delite pizza)
Saturday: Slow Cooked Chili Lime Chicken Tostadas
Sunday: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with salad

So, I don't make new years resolutions.  I never really have.  I figure I'm working on myself all year: working towards goals, redefining goals, etc.  I've never felt the need to let the start of a new calendar entice me to make a bunch of off the cuff promises to myself.

This year is mostly the same yet a little different.

No resolutions, really.

One of the ladies in my mom's group posted a 20 Week Challenge: she wants to lose some pregnancy weight and had a goal of losing 20% of her total weight within a 20 week time line.  I thought - perfect.  I've been itching to get more healthy, attempt to get somewhat fit and while I don't have any "pregnancy" weight to lose, it isn't difficult to see that I am overweight and could stand to lose some.  So I joined & I made Nick do it, too.

Then I went and joined Weight Watchers.  I did WW a few years ago briefly and it was okay.  It's kind of time consuming, figuring out how many points each little morsel is and making sure you track and account for each of those little morsels.  At the same time, it's kind of worth it.  I haven't really overhauled our eating habits too much, but I am way more mindful of how much I'm eating.  I've been on WW and the 20 Week Challenge for 2 weeks now and I'm down 5 pounds.

This morning, I got up early and let Jillian Michael's kick my butt for 15 minutes of her 30 Day Shred.  Tomorrow I'll do 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

3 Years Old!


Holy cow, man!  You're 3!  That's so amazing and surreal and just weird!  I love it, though.

This has been a wild year.  Shortly after your birthday last year, we shared with you that a new little brother or sister was going to be joining our family.  Of course, at 2, you had no idea what we were talking about.  We did our best to prep you though, before he got here.

This has been the year of the yuck. You, my tiny friend, embodied the terrible twos.  Woosh.  I certainly don't mean it to sound like the entire year was the nasty and I know that's how it can come off some times.  You push buttons, you toe the line, you run right over the line, you are defiant, sassy, and some times violent.

You are also incredibly funny, so super sweet, so easy going and good natured.  You're 3.  What else can we expect from you?  ;)

We've asked a LOT of you this last year and I'd have to say you held up to it really well.  In April we got on a plane and traveled forever to go visit nana, granddad, aunt Tara, Uncle Rob and cousins Shea & Ruby down in Florida.  We had the best vacation.  We did a little of everything and had a blast.

Oh, and did I mention we did this in the middle of hard core potty training?

Yeah, your mom is a sadist, apparently.

See, we started potty training the fall prior.  You were doing really great, then we went on vacation to Chicago and potty training came to a screeching halt.  I got lazy and it was easier to just change a diaper than clean up messes, do mass laundry and constantly remind you to go.  Then I decided enough and we went 100% diaper free during the day.

Anyway, we visited Florida & Seattle that spring.  Then little brother was born and Nana came out to help.  She spoiled you rotten and you loved it.

Then we stopped sending you to Tumble Time and enrolled you in preschool instead.  You love it.  Love, love, love it and I love that we're able to have you go.

Then we switched you from a crib to a toddler bed.

Then we took away your diapers completely.

I didn't do as much for your birthday this year as I have in the past and I felt really bad about it.  Time is stuck on fast forward and I can't seem to keep up.  Mommy is in charge of a kiddo bookclub with our play group and it just happened to fall on your actual birthday in December.  Rather than reschedule it, I meshed our bookclub with your birthday and we had a lot of little friends over for a PJ party to play.

After your nap, family came over for dinner, presents & cake and ice cream.  You chose a strawberry cake this year and we had a spaghetti dinner.  You were spoiled.

At 2 years old, you were still mostly in diapers, using the binkie pretty much all day and were a tall skinny boy at 26.5 lbs and 38" tall.
At 3 years old, we are completely diaper free, only using the binkie at night (we've made you do so many changes this past 6 months, we're letting you hold on to your "security blanket" just a little bit longer) and are still tall and skinny.  You only grew 2 inches over the last year (you're now 40" which put you in the 93rd percentile) but nearly 10 pounds (35 pounds, which is the 87th percentile) - WOW!

You have an amazing vocabulary and a delightful sense of humor.  You stutter a bit, which I'm not sure if I should be concerned with or not. I assume it's a phase as your mouth struggles to keep up with your brain to get the words out.  You know all your colors, you can count to about 20, you have sight recognition of all your letters and a lot of your numbers.  You are so independent, which often turns into a power struggle with mom & dad, but is wonderful to see at the same time.

Your daily schedule hasn't really changed that much in the last year.  You wake some where from 6:30 to 7:30 pretty much every morning.  You sleep a good 2 to 3 hours every afternoon for nap.  Your bed time is still 7:30.  You still love Caillou, though you rarely watch it.  You're all about movies now and are always asking if we can put a movie on.  Your favorites are the Cars movies (Cars 2 beats out the original - you love Finn McMissile or "Mick-a-sigh-el" as you say it), Monsters, Inc and Ratatouille.

You love to play with cars.  All cars.  Big cars, little cars, cars you can ride on, cars you can push around, cars that crash.  You love to color and play with stickers and have recently really gotten into Playdoh and Legos.  You're not that into action figures yet, but Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear are starting to catch your attention.

You love to read.  Books about cars, construction or dinosaurs seem to be your favorite, but there's very few stories you won't sit and listen to.

Your imagination is astounding and pretend play is starting to get very fun, though you're not especially into dress up play (but I hope it comes - mommy picked out a fun doctors set for you for Christmas that you've barely touched).

I'm so excited to see what this next year brings!!!

Elf on the Shelf

This year a new friend came to visit, the Elf on the Shelf.

Our elf didn't come on December 1st or the day after Thanksgiving.  Our elf arrived after we put up and decorated our tree.  He came in the middle of the night and brought a special breakfast for us - chocolate chip pancakes, strawberries, sausage & yogurt.

He also brought Ben & Matthew new Christmas jammies.

In our house, we follow the rule that you mustn't touch the elf or he loses his magic.  This meant the elf had to be particularly creative about where he hid, so he was out of the arm reach of small hands.  I read on another blog a few weeks into the elf thing, that one mom has special powers and only she can move the elf.  That way, the elf can play his tricks, the kids can discover it and then the mom moves the elf to his special watching place on the mantle for the rest of the day.  I sure wish our elf had clued me in to that ahead of time...

Here are the things our elf did:
  • brought our special elf breakfast
  • hid by the sheep & the duck (Friends reference, any one?)
  • drew mustaches on our family photos (this may have been Ben's favorite)
  • went sledding in faux snow
  • hid on the Christmas tree
  • zip lined across the living room
  • colored the milk pink/red
  • hung out on top of the TV
  • colored all over the bathroom mirror
  • went swinging by the beehive with a tiny jar of honey
  • played Godzilla in our Christmas village
  • got into our stickers
  • rode a chicken
  • swung from the hall chandy
  • Christmas wrapped the bathroom
  • rode a giant duck
  • hid in Ben's room
  • hung our underpants on the stocking hooks & moved our stockings all over the house
  • left a Christmas movie & popcorn in Ben's stocking
  • TP'd our Christmas tree
  • got into the syrup
  • wished Ben a happy birthday
  • hung out with our Christmas cards
  • made lunch with play food
and finally:
  • wearing a matching mask (okay, so that mask is actually a giant joke.  every time we visit my grandparents in Portland, they make us take something with us.  the mask is cool but it's absolutely not my style.  Nick hung it up as a joke and Ben has a fit if I take it down so now it's stuck up there...)
  • playing with Legos
  • putting cuties in our Christmas village.
I only forgot to take a picture like twice, I think, but the elf wasn't doing anything exciting - just moved to a new place.  Elf (named Solider by Ben, who wanted to change it to "Chippy" after incessant Elf on the Shelf movie watching) didn't play tricks every night and I have to admit the best tricks were played after I went to bed... my husband is apparently insanely creative and a super sport.


Uhh... so...


Long time, no update.... I even know it.  I know it as time is zipping past me that there's crap I need to document and get on my blog so that in 3 months when I've forgotten all this amazing stuff my little guys do, I can read back and go "oh yeah..." and then you know... I don't even KNOW what happens and it's freaking January and there's SO.MUCH. I'm behind on.

The blog falls to the bottom of the list.

Which sucks.  I've looked back on it several times these last few months, to see what sorts of shenanigans Ben was up to at Matthew's age to remind myself.


There's simply too much.

I had plans to write individual posts for some big things that have happened since like... freaking September but I didn't make very much progress.

It ain't happening.

So instead, I'll sum up and then maybe get back to doing this more regularly.

Anyway, let's see... I so wanted to take monthly pictures of Matthew in the same set up each month to compare and I did actually do it for 2 months.  Then I just didn't have the time to cut out the numbers, glue them on the calendar and try to find a time that he was in the mood to be laid out mostly naked on cold paper for photos.  I should have picked something WAY easier.  Oh well.

We waited til 5 months to start him on solids.  I decided to skip the store bought rice cereal and started him on home made sweet potato puree.  He really likes it.  He had that pretty much exclusively til a few days ago, when I introduced a few more foods.  He's had banana, applesauce, avocado and my home made brown rice cereal.  He's not a fan of the rice cereal by itself (but I can get him to eat it mixed with banana) or the avocado by itself (but again, with banana).

December was mad busy.  So crazy.  I actually feel like I went full out non stop from about November 1st til yesterday.  Plus, we were all sick (still are) pretty much all of December.  We went to the doctor 4 times in December.  That's pretty much a trip a week, folks.  I've had this cold crud twice, Matthew had a sinus infection and now has this cold thing, Ben had bronchitis and an ear infection and a 12 hour tummy bug that he shared with me the next day.  Even Nick (who rarely gets sick) caught this last cold crap.

I made Ben an advent calendar.  Well, I'm almost done.  It was usable, but I need to finish decorating the pockets.  I copied this idea and wrote out each note with an activity to do (like make salt dough ornaments, take a drive to see Christmas lights, make a gingerbread house, decorate cookies for Santa, have a Christmas movie night, etc) or prizes to get (like a couple matchbox cars, some new Christmas books or coloring books and a few pieces of candy).  Ben really looked forward to it each day.  I saved all the tags and plan to reuse most of them next year.

Ben also turned 3.  I feel like I totally dropped the ball on his party this year.  The past two years, I've done so much more in terms of decorating and making the day festive and fun.  This year, I combined our play group's monthly mommy & me book club with a party for Ben and had a bunch of little friends over to play the day of his birthday.  That evening family came over for dinner, presents & cake and ice cream.

I need to write a post just about turning three and the things that happened over the last year.

Part of his birthday present was riding the North Pole Express train.  We'd been talking to him about this pretty much all year and he was really looking forward to it.

I think he might have been slightly... bored.  It's a long ride if you're 3 and it's not that exciting.  We did get to see Santa & Mrs. Claus, drink cocoa (Ben took one sip, make a horrific face and spit it back out), have cookies and all that fun stuff.

We also visited Santa at the mall.  You might recall previous years, looking well... devastated:
So I really had absolutely NO idea what to expect this year.  A repeat of the last two years?  Both boys crying hysterically?  I actually felt BAD taking them to see Santa, I was afraid they'd both be terrified.

It was, in fact, the opposite.  Ben didn't cry at all and both smiled awesomely for the pictures.  I just wish they had better equipment and that our photo wasn't blurry.

Then, of course, was Christmas.  This year we stayed home for Christmas Eve and started a family tradition of a lasagna dinner followed by opening presents from each other.  Then we left out cookies, milk & the reindeer food Ben made at school and went to bed.  Ben woke up to a stuffed stocking and a few prizes under the tree from Santa.

Then we headed over to my dad's for Christmas brunch with the family, more present opening and good times.

And that, I think is pretty much it.

But I'm probably forgetting a whole bunch.