Love Overflowing

For the love of books

Emily LOVES books. We go to the library every week and get at least 8-10 books. We have read many of them twice by mid-week. A mommy friend of mine sent me a list of 100 books to read before kindergarten. Pretty interesting. It will give me some titles to check out for this year’s summer reading program at the library.  The ones in bold are books we have already read.

100 Books to Read Before Kindergarten

“More, More, More” Said the Baby

A Nap in a Lap

A Splendid Friend, Indeed

ABC, Like Me!

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alphabet City

Alphabet Rescue

Amazing Grace

An Extraordinary Egg

Angelina Ballerina

Bark, George

Barnyard Banter

Bear in a Square

Big Fat Hen

Book! Book! Book!

Bread and Jam for Frances

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?

Caps for Sale

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom


Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Come Along Daisy

Come on, Rain!


Counting Kisses

Curious George

Daisy 1, 2, 3

Does a Cow Say Boo?

Duck on a Bike

Each Peach Pear Plum

Eating the Alphabet

Fancy Nancy

First the Egg

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Freight Train

Goodnight Moon


Guess How Much I Love You

Hands Can

Happy Birthday Moon

Hear Are My Hands

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

How I Became a Pirate

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!

I Kissed the Baby

I Went Walking

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

In the Tall, Tall Grass

Is Your Mama a Llama?

It Looked Like Spilt Milk


Jazz Baby

Jump Frog, Jump

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Little Red Hen

Little Toot

Llama, Llama Red Pajama

Love You Forever

Maisy Goes Swimming

Make Way For Ducklings

Mama Cat Has Three Kittens

Mama, Do You Love Me?

Max Cleans Up

Max’s ABC

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Mouse Mess

Mouse Paint

Mr. Grumpy’s Outing

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha

My Friend Rabbit

My Very First Mother Goose

Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs

Old Black Fly


One Beautiful Baby

Planting a Rainbow

Rosie’s Walk

Silly Sally

Snowy Day

Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails

Ten Tiny Tickles

Ten, Nine, Eight

The Doorbell Rang

The Hat

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Little Engine that Could

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

The Napping House

The Story of Babar

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Three Bears

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet

Wemberly Worried

Where the Wild Things Are

Where’s My Teddy

Where’s Spot?

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Monday was a celebration of sorts in the J household. It was my 31st birthday! My, how time flies!

I got woke up, bright and early at 6:15, to a little girl outside my door asking to have her “princess panties” changed. (Those are what we call the pullups that she wears to bed.) My wonderful husband got up and took care of everything while I lounged in bed. Everyone rested for a little while longer and then Stephen got Emily and himself ready and they went to get breakfast. I got to take a leisurely shower and get dressed at my own pace. It was wonderful.

We were originally going to have the inlaws over for lunch and grill brats and kabobs but the weather had other plans. Like every other Memorial Day, it rained. And rained some more. Sure, turns out that we had a good hour where we could have grilled but we had made other plans by that point. So we headed over to Locos Bar and Grill for some lunch. They have a super yummy Cuban!

We came back for cake, ice cream and presents. I am not totally sure how many presents that I actually got to unwrap. Emily is TOTALLY into this whole unwrapping thing now. Papa and Grandma are going to have to fight for the right to open when their birthdays end up rolling around! Emily is ready for her birthday to be here NOW! And she keeps telling me that she wants clothes. What 2 1/2 year old asks for clothes??? It’s not like she doesn’t have a closet FULL of them!

It was a wonderful birthday. I spoke to all of my family and got many, many birthday wishes from my friends. I am truly blessed to have such amazing friends and family. Even if I only got a card for my birthday, I would have been pleased as punch. I am grateful for all the wonderful gifts that I did receive of course though! Stephen did most of the work with Emily and I got lots of hugs and kisses from my little girl. What more could you ask for??? I have the best husband and daughter. And an amazing family!

If you have to turn another year older, this is the way to do it!


Grant’s Farm

We had a somewhat busy Memorial Day weekend so I think I will do two entries.

Saturday we took Emily to Grant’s Farm for the first time. She was so excited to see the “horsies”. That was the first thing we did when we got there- head to the stables. There were quite a few Clydsdales out in the morning. We even got to see a baby taking a rest. She loved it!

We then headed across the street so we could see the rest. She didn’t quite understand why we had to wait in line before we did anything! And it rained while we were on the tram. Go figure. The only rain on the radar was over Grant’s Farm. It was ok though since we were covered. We got to see so many animals! Emily loved the deer and buffalos the best.

After we got off of the tram, we HAD to ride the new carousel there. If there is a carousel anywhere, Emily must ride it. We then checked out the elephants and headed over for lunch. We were going to take in an elephant show after lunch but Emily wasn’t feeling well and her belly started hurting so we headed home.

It was still a good trip even if it got cut short. We got to see tons of animals, walk around and got a souvenir. This was a milestone for Emily. It was the first time she had ever named one of her animals by herself! She named her stuff Clydesdale “Sear”. Not sure where that come from but that’s the name. We had to take one last peek at the “horsies” before we left despite the fever and ucky tummy.

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Great Day for a Picnic

Friday was a leisure day for Emily and myself. We just went at our own pace and had a good time. Our first stop was the library to get Emily more reading material. We then hit the park and had a blast! Emily had been good all week so she got a treat- a Happy Meal. We came home and I spread a blanket across the backyard and we ate al fresco.

It was great. It was our first picnic in our backyard believe it or not. Poor Shadow had to stay inside and mope. Didn’t help that Emily took an apple slice to the window and was teasing her. I think this is something that we will do more often- as long as it isn’t too hot or too buggy. Those mosquitos are bad already!

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Pumpkin Mousse

Oh so yummy and not too bad for you!


  • 2 small packages sugar free vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin (Libby)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (options: cinnamon or nutmeg)
  • 1 cup fat free cool whip (I use whole container)
  1. Beat pudding, milk, pumpkin and spice with a whisk.
  2. Fold in cool whip.
  3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Makes 4 portions. 2 pts each if following Weight Watchers.

Keeps 3-4 day in refrigerator.


Easy as 1-2-3 as long as you don’t have a toddler helping you!!!


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Lazy and enjoyable

It was one of those weekends where you had nothing you “had” to do other than church. Nowhere to be, no schedules- just nice and lazy. Unfortunately, Emily’s alarm clock rarely allows for too lazy of a schedule. 6:15 Saturday morning Emily was ready to rock the house. And that was after she got to bed later than normal Friday night due to the storms. The kid is a rooster! After getting ready for our day we decided what to do. Emily wanted to “buy Lucy clothes”. We had a gift card and bear rewards for Build-a-Bear that were burning a hole in our pockets. So we headed to the mall. We bought Lucy a new outfit, big girl panties (in honor of Emily’s transition), a hoochie mama bikini and the most important thing in Emily’s mind- new shoes!!! Poor bear has to wear shoes to bed now! We walked and we walked. And we didn’t take the stroller. And we walked. Emily did pretty well without the stroller actually. There was only about one time when I thought about swinging her over my shoulder and carrying her cave woman style!

Sunday, after church, we headed over to a local parish’s church picnic. I don’t care what church is it but their fried chicken dinners are just the bomb! The tricky part was to stick to the diet while enjoying the yummy food. The old Stephen and I would have said “Forget it. We are just going to write the day off and enjoy.” We would eat a plate full of chicken, mashed potatoes with the fixings and still eat dessert. We’d walk out of there fat, dumb and happy. But, like I said, that would have been the old us.

The new us walked to that church picnic. We ate the dinner but I only had one piece of chicken and one portion of the green beans and mashed potatoes. Stephen did just as well. I ate a dessert but it was a small piece of angel food cake. We didn’t polish off the food on Emily’s plate and we didn’t walk out of there with out bellies so full we couldn’t walk. We had energy to take Emily around to the rides and games. It is a huge change for us! It’s not an overnight change though. It’s something that we are going to continue working on for the rest of our lives if we want to be healthy but you have to start somewhere and we proved we could do it today.

After lunch, Emily got to ride the big giant spinning monkey and play some games. She’s 2 so she didn’t realize that she didn’t get to do everything and play everything. She didn’t win a game but she was happy with the ball they gave out as a consolation prize. Oh, to be 2 again! It was a great outing! We all had fun, despite the fact that Stephen had to carry Emily halfway to the car, crying, because she wasn’t done.

In the giant monkey!

In the giant monkey!

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For the past few weeks, Emily keeps telling me that she has lost her medal. I have no idea what she was talking about. All I know was that I was going to lose my mind if I heard “Mommy, I lost my medal.” one more time! She would say it at the oddest of times (in my opinion). Church, grocery store, before bed, car ride……

Finally I decided to diffuse the situation and have her make a medal! I just had to remember the game plan when we were actually home. So that’s what we did the other day after nap time. She’s pretty proud of it and even wore it to the gym this morning to show it off.

It was really easy. I just cut circles out of cardboard, construction paper and aluminum foil. She glued them all together and then decorated each side. I then punched holes, covered it in contact paper and she strung rope through it. Ta da as Emily says!

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Biggest Loser Update…

It’s been hard but I have really been trying to watch what I eat. I decided that if I was truly wanting to do this I needed to write everything down and count all calories. So I have my little “Fatty Patty” notebook and I track EVERYTHING.  On days I go a little over my allotted calories I eat lighter the next day. It helps me to plan ahead too. Say I know I am going out the next day, I will lighten up the preceding day. Before we go out to eat, I try to find nutritional information and pick out what I am going to eat. It’s hard but it’s totally worth it.

Last week I was down another 2 pounds!!! I am pretty stoked about it! Want to hear something else that I am stoked about??? Julie sent out the percentages lost so far. I am at 3.2%. Which is….get this…..FIRST place!!!! It’s pretty close though with #2 at 3.1% but first place after 3 weeks! That’s HUGE for me!

Now I just have to keep on keeping on. Continue what I am doing and not lose sight of the goal. Continue eating right and exercising. Calories in, calories out. No cheating, no excuses!


Fun with friends!

Finally!!! The weather cooperated so we could take a zoo trip with our friends. It was a beautiful day for it too!

We hit the kids favorite animals first: hippos and elephants. Then walked, and walked and walked some more. I swear we walked for 3 solid hours! It was such a beautiful day and the kids were cooperating. All Norman Rockwell-ish. Minus the part that Emily had to strapped in EVERY time she got in the stroller. Even it it was to walk around the corner to the next animal!

The funny thing is, that for as long as we were there, we forgot to see the new zoo’s exhibit, the stingrays. Just means we have to go back soon!

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When did this happen??

When did Emily turn into a big girl?? Where’s my baby? It seems just like yesterday that I was wondering if she was ever going to walk. And now…..She’s ripping around the subdivision on her tricycle. She got her trike for Christmas and I thought she’d never get the hang of it. She’s a little slow with the gross motor skills.Bam! Overnight she got it! We rescued the trike out of the basement and 10 minutes later she was cruising on the patio. I am so proud of her! You could tell that she was also pretty proud of herself as well. She should be too. It’s another milestone to mark off.

After dinner last night she wanted to her daddy her new found skills. He took her trike to the front sidewalk and she was off! I then took her around the block. And I only had to carry the trike uphill for a quarter block!

My girl is growing so fast. It’s bittersweet. She’s funny and quirky and I love her!

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