Thursday, March 31, 2016

Playing at the Bean Museum

We have had a fun filled day. My brother's family are in town, family that we haven't seen for about 2 years. It's great to have them around and we've been spending a lot of time with them.

Yesterday we went to the Bean Museum. All the grandkids except for one, who was in school. 11 kids and 4 adults, we looked like a school field trip of our own.

They had a fun time and it was really good to get out for a couple of hours this afternoon.  I love that my kids have close cousins to play with.  Cousins make the best friends. 

My mom was pretty popular with the whole crew. 

The Bean Museum is a great, free activity to do with kids.  They have all sorts of animals, 3 floors worth, and a little play ground for them to play on too. Every time we go, all the kids run like mad to the play ground as soon as they see it. They also have a little room dedicated to Boyd K Packer that has a lot of his paintings and his WWII memorabilia. It's one of my favorite things to look at there. 

After we had seen everything possible there, we went to Maceys for some donuts and ice cream. We all ate them too fast to even take a picture. That's pretty understandable though because it's pretty good stuff. 

Do you live close to family?

What are some of your favorite free things to do with kids in your town?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quiet Time Activities for Kids Who Won't Nap

Being a first-time mom, I worried about J not getting enough sleep. She wasn't ever a really good sleeper for me. She woke up at least once a night, every night until she was 2 years old. And then most nights she would still wake up. She also stopped napping altogether by the time she was two.  So, me being 7 months pregnant at the time, I was exhausted and needed alone time, and so did J.
I remember asking my mom over and over what I was supposed to do.  She needed to have a rest time but refused to nap. I needed a rest time for myself, even if it wasn't a nap, I needed time for me to get something done. That never happened with an active two-year-old to follow me around and undo everything I was doing.

I started looking up "quiet time activities" and "why won't my toddler nap" and all sorts of other things on google, because I was convinced (with all the other opinions floating around out there) that it was abnormal for my toddler to stop napping this early. My mom put all those worries to ease by telling me that I was the same way. Which made a lot of sense, because even now almost never nap unless I'm pregnant, sick, or got no sleep the night before. So I decided that it was time to find something for her to do during quiet time.

My first attempt was putting her in her room with a few toys or a book and telling her she could sit and play for an hour while I did something for me. This worked for about two days and then she started to do things that were dangerous or that were naughty so that she could come out. One day she got the Bag Balm out of her diaper box and wiped it all over EVERYTHING. I thought it was quiet because she fell asleep, but when I went in to check on her, I found a very slippery two-year old along with slippery walls, clothes and stuffed animals. This happened several times with everything from lotions to poop and I didn't want to clean it up anymore. So bedroom quiet time was done. I needed some other ideas, which I thought I'd share with you today. Here is how we do quiet time at our house.

Movies. Some kids love them and will sit through them, others not so much. I have one of each. J would sit through a whole movie, and sometimes fall asleep, every day. It gave me at least an hour to get my to-do list done. M, on the other hand, will only sit through a few minutes alone before she comes looking for me. In this case, as long as I make sure to check on her, sit with her for a minute or two and remind her I'll be back in a little bit to check on her again, she will stay.

Stickers. Some people hate stickers, that's not the case here. If I give either of my kid's stickers and a piece of paper they will stay busy as long as the stickers don't run out. It doesn't give me as long as a movie, but it gives me a few minutes and sometimes that's all I need. We usually just buy stickers at the dollar store or at Target (most of the time I can find them in the dollar section).  I stock up when I find some and hide them until I need them. We use these to keep the girls quiet in church too.

Put them to work. A lot of times, the girls quiet time is my blogging time. When this happens and movies aren't working, I will give them "homework".  I print out letter sheets and have them sit by me and color them while I'm writing or editing or whatever I'm trying to get done. While they color, we talk about what starts with that letter. I like this option just because I feel like it's a way I can get something done without worrying that they aren't getting enough attention from me.

This was today's worksheet

Music. When all else fails, and quiet time is just not working, I turn some princess or ABC music on and let them dress up and dance while I work. This works best when they are both home and can dance together. Sometimes I can even take a break and dance with them.

For me, the key to quiet time is to find something you know they enjoy and save it for quiet time so that it feels special. The more they enjoy the activity, the more time you're going to have to yourself.

What do you do when your little one stops napping?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Weekend

We started our spring cleaning this week. We've actually been de-cluttering for several weeks now, but on Friday I started the deep cleaning process here. 

Then we got down to business messing our kitchen back up...Well, first my mom's kitchen and then we came back to mess ours up later. We had a lot of baking to do. Firstly, pie. My mom makes the best pie that you'd ever have. So I went to her house so she could supervise my pie crust making. After the pie crust is done, I'm pretty ok making the rest (as long as it's easy-ish pie). Just as a side note: the phrase "easy as pie" is inaccurate, because it's not super easy to make the perfect flakey pie crust and tastiest filling with out it being runny or, you know, not perfect. Anyway, the girls played while I made pie. One strawberry and one chocolate cream. They were super tasty.

We needed a break for a while after that so we went with my sister to feed the ducks. It was a chilly day, but at least it wasn't cold. Utah weather can't make up it's mind. This time of year is almost always unseasonably warm or freezing. (My poor apricot tree may not get any apricots again this year). It was a perfect break before going home and getting back to work in our own kitchen.

I'd also been asked to bring cookies to a different easter party and that we'd planned to take to our sunday school class so we made the normal chocolate chip cookies that are amazing. The girls watched a movie and I got 40 something cookies made. 

There was also a game of candy land somewhere in there. I can't even describe how sick of this game I am. 

We started Saturday morning off with coloring some eggs with cousins. The girls loved this and I love the eggs.  I'm getting real excited about egg salad sandwiches and all that stuff. 

Then we headed over to the Francis egg hunt. My uncle has been putting this on for a few years now and we've loved doing it. We let the kids do an egg hunt and then we all roast hotdogs and have a lunch. 

 Sunday morning the girls woke up to their easter baskets on our table. We didn't do dresses this year, but the girls both got these cute bows and hats, and stickers with notepads, plus candy.

I can't tell you how much stickers save me.  Any time I need the girls to be quietly entertained for more than five minutes at a time, I pull stickers out. We usually just get our sticker packs in the dollar section of Target too. 

My mom and J both have this thing where they can't not blink in a picture. That's ok, they still look good. 

After church, we had another easter egg hunt/ family party to go to. Stew and rolls and pie for desert. And the girls loved doing another easter egg hunt. 

See, blinking again. Anyway, after that, we headed over to their grandpa's house for dinner.  I'm pretty sure we hit the candy jackpot.  This is a really good thing for bribing the kids to get things cleaned up, but I have to pace myself or this whole basket would be gone by the end of the week.

Who had more than one Easter egg hunt?

What's your favorite/least favorite easter candy?
  Favorite: probably the mini Cadberry eggs. Least favorite: Peeps...ew. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Random Things From Our Day

Yesterday was a good, productive day. Everyone felt good and was mostly happy.  The girls were a little fussy in the morning. So we opted for a morning bath to kind of reset things. Afterwords, M would not let me take her knot out. There are worse things. Besides, this hair style is "in" right now.

After the morning chores were done, we set out for some errands. We went to Costco and got a massive amount of things on our list. While we were there, we ran into my mom and sister.  The girls really love when this happens. 

One of the things on our list were these fruit leather snacks. We had them a couple of days ago at a friend's house and the girls loved them (so did I). So I had to get some because they are healthy and theres no complaints about the girls eating something healthy. It also helps me with all the sweet cravings I've been having. They are also super convenient so it was a big win for us. 

We are also getting ready for planting to start at our house. I love this time of year. So every where I go that I notice flowers, I stop and look through them. I almost always know exactly what I'm going to plant, but I still can't help but stop and look.  The smell of the dirt and the flowers makes me happy. This wasn't always the case. I hated yard work up until I got my own yard. Now I'm loving it and I love the feeling when I see all the new life coming back after winter. 

After we'd gotten our errands run and lunch done, the girls wanted to go back up to my mom's house. We are super lucky to live so close, so this happens a lot. When we got up there, she had one more errand to run so we went with her. We may have gotten a little side tracked looking at baby boy clothes. He's going to look pretty cute in these little outfits. Just so you all know, Target is having a buy one get one 50% off deal on carters clothes right now. 

After dinner, and the girls were in bed, it was time for a run. Last night I had a really hard time running. I had a side ache the whole time and couldn't get past 1.5 miles. That's ok, I don't need to be pushing myself that hard right now. And this morning I'm feeling it. It may be time to take another little step back from running for the next couple of months. No more than 1 mile at a time and doing alternative workouts for a while.  

Are you a bad impulse buyer?

Any healthier snack finds lately?

Do you like yard work or hate it?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

When The Power Goes Out, You Change Plans

We had a stormy, chilly day yesterday. So I'd planned on staying inside as much as possible and getting a good amount of blogging stuff done while the girls played. And then the power went out. We had a power line near us catch fire and it took a good 4-5 hours to repair. So the blogging to do list didn't get all done.  We settled for the cleaning to do list, because that also needed to be done.

For quiet time, I usually let the girls watch a movie. J was at school so it was just M, but a movie wasn't an option and because I couldn't use the computer either, we played instead.

Dress up, and Frozen toys made her happy. She was happy and entertained for 2 hours. Then the power came back on! So we fixed the clocks and I finished what I was working on and we headed out to pick J up. They requested playing with their cousins, so we went to my sister's house and hung there until it was time to go home and make dinner. 

After dinner we watched a movie and had hot chocolate. It sounded better than a milk shake because it was so cold. 

By bed time, I was exhausted and ready for some quiet alone time. J was fussy and tired and didn't want to listen so it was a struggle to get them in bed. By the time they did go to bed, the Grokker workout I'd planned didn't sound very appealing. What did sound appealing was a big bowl of ice cream and watching Fixer Upper. But that made me feel guilty so I decided to give my Fixer Upper workout a try. And I decided that it was a much more fun way to do a workout, and I'll probably be making another one soon to share so everyone can mix it up. Have you tried it yet? What are your thoughts?

Before bed, I had to take this iron supplement. My glucose test came back normal, but unfortunately, my iron is way too low. The thing with iron, is that they don't like you to take iron with anything dairy or your prenatal. So I can't take it in the morning. They also don't like you to take it with calcium which was a problem because Tums have been a really good thing at nights. So I can't take it in the mornings due to prenatal and dairy foods, and taking it at night meant I couldn't take it before bed because Tums have calcium in it. So I switched to prevacid. At least I know that works for me. 

They couldn't at least try to make it a more appealing color? At least it's small. I was not looking forward to taking it because I'd heard that iron tends to be hard on your stomach. But I read the box like 50 times and it says right on the front "gentle on your stomach" and it was actually pretty ok compared to all the horror stories I'd heard. If there was any queasiness, I slept through it. So tonight I won't be so resistant to taking it. 

What do you do when the power goes out?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Running Music Has Changed A Bit

Yesterday I got up early and went to the gym. Because of that, by dinner time I couldn't keep my eyes open. So once dinner was cleaned up, I laid down on the couch and let the girls play. I dozed off for a few minutes, and this woke up to this:

J had covered me with a blanket and they were playing puzzles. It made me happy that J would help keep M busy so she wouldn't wake me up (what normally happens when I nap) and that she was taking care of me at the same time. What a sweetie.

I'm sure I've talked a couple times about how, if I want a treat of my own I have to hide in the pantry. This actually goes for any food. M wants to eat anything I'm eating. This is here asking to have some of my breakfast after she'd already finished a bowl of her own.

My dad says she gets this from me. I believe it. My love for food was passed down to this little one and even though I'd like to eat my own, it's hard for me to resist her little voice asking "I has some mommy?"

This weekend, Trevon found a giant stack of CDs, ok a whole box of CDs and asked why I kept them. I love music, is the easy answer. Among the box of music were a few CDs that were dedicated to running music. So, today I wanted to share some of those running songs that I've had through the years, with all of you. There have been so many songs that I can't list all of them, seriously.  Maybe someday I will dedicate an entire post to my old running music.  Music has made running easier for me from the beginning. But here are some of the songs that bring back all sorts of running memories for me. 
Just a small part of the Cds

Bullets and Butterfly Wings- Smashing Pumpkins
Zombie - The Cranberries
Under Pressure- David Bowie
Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins
Eye of the Tiger- Survivor 
Jenny (8675309)- Tommy Tutone
Getting Jiggy With it- Will Smith
Lose Yourself- Eminem 
Crazy Beautiful - Hansen
Yeah - Usher
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
Uprising- Muse
Run Don't Walk - Hey Monday
Immortals - Fall Out Boy
Uptown Funk- Bruno Mars
Geronimo - Shepard
Light 'em Up - Fall Out Boy
Shut up and Dance - Walk The Moon
Fight Song - Rachel Platten
Love Runs Out- One Republic
Counting Stars - One Republic

Clearly, my taste in music has changed a little bit from high school.  Looking through my old pump CD's was an interesting memory trip for me. There was clearly an angry/rap/hard core (much of which was a little too embarrassing for me to post here haha) phase and now it's much more upbeat and happier than it used to be. 

And because I ran across this little gem again today, I thought I would share it for your entertainment. This one was even funnier because it was to the Numa Numa song, which Trevon loved in high school. Spider Man dances to any song you put on though, so try it out with any of the other songs, or any song of your choice. 

Do you have a list of running songs?

I have a playlist for normal runs and a play list for races (that I will listen to when I'm really struggling on getting through a run too). I'm also working on an "post workout list" to help motivate me to stretch more. 

What do you do to eat a snack in peace?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What Helped Me Workout Through my Second Trimester

Working out through my pregnancy is something that has been important to me. Working out helps me be happy about myself and helps me be a better mom. But exercise during pregnancy is tricky sometimes.  I already talked about working out in the first trimester of pregnancy, now that I'm past the second trimester, I wanted to share a few ways that it's been possible for me to keep a fairly regular workout routine. Please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor or a personal trainer in any way. These are just things that have helped me through my pregnancy.

First of all, I got a Belly Band for Christmas, and it saved my running routine big time. I have loved using it. Originally I had gotten a different band and tried it a couple times. It wasn't right for me, so I returned it and got THIS one. It's worked perfect and I love it.

One of the biggest things that helped me keep to my routine was Grokker. Grokker is a website that offers tons of really great work out videos that you can do at home, using your phone, tablet, computer or TV.  They have a lot of different personal trainers working with them to make these great videos and there is a huge variety. My favorite is the HIIT workouts, but they also have some great yoga workouts for maternity.

Along with their workouts, they have some really amazing looking recipes for you to try. They have real chefs and nutritionists who are sharing some of their favorite healthy, easy meals for you to cook at home. It's kind of like having them in the kitchen with you, walking you through each step.

Another great feature that Grokker has, is that you can print off any workout or recipe. That way, you can take it to the gym with you and do the workout there, if you prefer. You can take the recipe to the store with you so that you are sure to get all the ingredients for it.

Grokker is also really good for tracking your workouts and sending you reminders when it's time for another workout. You can schedule the workouts you want to do, so you don't have to spend a lot of time searching for the right video. And when you're done with the workout, you click the "I did this" button and it will track the work out on the calendar and add the duration of time to your monthly activity tracker.

This is something I will keep using through the rest of my pregnancy, and probably after having the baby too. It's a great way to mix up your workouts and keep you on track. The other thing I love about it, is that you can do it anywhere that you have internet service. That certainly makes it harder to make excuses for not doing a workout. You can try Grokker out too! Go HERE for a 14 day free trial. Then let me know what you think of it.

What are some of your favorite ways to make sure your workout gets done?

Are you expecting? How far along are you?

*This post contains affiliate links, thank you for reading and for your support. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Things

We didn't do much to celebrate St Patrick's day around here, except for wear green.  M and I had a few errands to run while J was at school though. So we made sure to get a special treat to share. Her first donut was a success, even if they were out of the ones with green sprinkles for St Patricks day.  We ended up getting a box of Lucky Charms to go with our breakfast dinner. 
We have a new rule in our house: If you don't like what's for dinner, you can have cold cereal. J doesn't happen to like breakfast food so much. I'm not sure where that came from because I love breakfast. Anyway, getting Lucky Charms for dinner was a good way for me to say we celebrated the holiday and still have a really relaxed day. 

M fell asleep on the way to pick J up. I drove around for a little bit just to make sure she would stay asleep. Because at this point, even a little nap in the car is much better than none. 

Friday morning started out with a workout, even though I really didn't feel like it. It was a good one and help set the tone for the rest of the morning to be a little more productive. 

The rest of Friday (even though I just said it was productive) was spent finishing baby boy's quilt. I hate binding. If it weren't for binding, I'd quilt a lot more. I'm pretty sure I sewed and unpicked about six times. And by the time Trevon got home from work I'd had it. We had a quick dinner and went to my mom's house so she could help me finish the binding the right way. Now, if you don't sew or quilt, that doesn't sound productive. But let me assure you, finishing the binding is very productive for me.

While we were at my mom's house, J and my mom started a puzzle. We all joined in to help after a while, but we left before it was done. So my parents sent me this picture when they finished it. I guess we missed out on the ice cream too.

We came home, put the girls to bed and watched The Intern instead. In the end I had a whole bowl of popcorn myself because Trevon doesn't like popcorn. The movie was pretty good too.

Saturday was full of more errands in the morning that consisted of a car wash, target for Easter stuff, best buy, and petsmart. The last was just because the girls have been begging to go see puppies.  We can't get a puppy yet, but someday. The problem is, petsmart has very little in the puppy department. We ended up watching the dogs get groomed instead of seeing any puppies to play with. Any one in the Utah County area know where to go to see and play with puppies that's free?

What did your weekend look like?

Are you a popcorn lover, or do you prefer a different movie snack?

Friday, March 18, 2016

5 Things I Gave Up as a Mom

When I became a mom, there were a lot of things I gave up. Not all of them are for the worse. Most of the time, I don't even think about these things being things that I gave up. And when I do think of these things, I feel strongly about how I wouldn't trade them for my kids any day.

1. Music. I still listen to music, but most of the time, we listen to what the girls want to listen to. Because when the girls are happy in the car, or dancing to princess songs while I get something marked off my to-do list, that makes me happy.  I get really sick of hearing princess songs. Like really sick of it. But it's always better than the fits, nagging and crying I could be listening to instead. Once in a while, I even sing a long with them.

2. Privacy. It doesn't matter what your kids are doing, the second they hear the bathroom door close, they are either knocking on the door, reaching under the door, yelling at you or (if you fail to lock the door) walking in on you. They say it helps with potty training though, so let's just hope that's true.

3. Quiet. Kids are loud. But that's a good thing. When they are being loud, I know they are having fun. I've always liked back ground noise anyway. And at the end of the day when they are in bed, I hate when it's too quiet for too long.

4. Food. Any time I have a little treat for myself, or meal for that matter, it never fails that one of the girls wants a bite. I used to be an I-don't-share-food kind of person. But that had to change pretty fast when the kids came a long. Most of the time I don't mind sharing it now. And if I do want my own food, I have to hide myself in the pantry while I eat it. But at least I'm teaching the girls about sharing.

5.  Sleeping in. Some people's kids are really good about sleeping in, my girls are not. They are up between 6:30 and 7 every morning.  It  doesn't matter if we got them to bed late or they didn't take a nap, they can't sleep past that time. Which means I don't sleep in past then.  The good thing is that it gets me up and going and I don't have time to be lazy. It's also made me so used to waking up early that if I am lazy or sleep late, it makes me feel physically ill. So we count this as a good thing because of productivity.

I linked up today for Five on Friday with these great blogs, if you're interested in joining in, click on over!

What are somethings you have given up when you became a mom?

What do you not even miss anymore?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Glucose Test and Rewarding Myself

We got my least favorite dr appointment out of the way yesterday. The glucose test. They say this stuff tastes like flat orange flavored soda, but that's a lie. Maybe like orange scented soap. Or maybe even super concentrated orange soda flavoring, but not flat soda. The worst part about this test is that you have to drink the whole bottle in 5 minutes and you can't eat anything else until after your blood gets drawn.  After you get the stuff to stay down, it's not so bad. The rest of the appointment is great. I even got to see little guy's profile for the first time today, he's a look-straight-at-the-camera kind of kid so far.

I did so well at the doctors, I decided I deserved a treat. So I ran to the store and got myself a donut. And I ate it there because, who wants to wait?

Minus the major sugar crash I had once we got home from running errands, it was totally worth all the extra sugar on top of the nasty sugar drink. 

Our blossoms are looking fantastic. And they smell so good in our house. I'm really happy about having them there and I'm really hoping they last a while. 

The girls wanted their toes painted. It's been a while since I've agreed to paint any of their nails. It just doesn't last that long. And they are both nail biters, so I hate painting their finger nails. But they asked so I decided that was a good idea to pass time. J went with all sparkles and M decided on two colors. 

While on the way to the doctors, I was listening to some talk show on the radio. They were talking about pregnancy brain and had listeners text in their experiences with pregnancy brain. I could relate to a few of them, but the one that made me laugh the hardest was a lady that got in the passenger seat of her car, waiting for someone to drive her where she needed to go. She was there for a few minutes before she remembered that she was supposed to be driving. 

Have you ever dealt with pregnancy brain?

What kind of treat do you get to reward yourself?