Love Overflowing

Buried in a book…

Every summer the library has a wonderful reading program. Emily always looks forward to it, as she loves to read. The program goes a little like this for the children who have to be read to: Have 20 books read to you and you receive a coupon for Sonic. Have 20 more books read to you and you get two free tickets to a local baseball game (not talking big leagues here), another coupon to Sonic, a coupon for a free Kid’s meal at Bob Evans and a cool bag to tote books, stuffed animals, you name it around. If you write a few lines about your favorite book you get to pick out a free book. You are also entered in to prize drawings for completing 40 books.

The program started on June 7 and ends on August 31. Emily completed it before the end of June. That’s what happens when you check out 20 books at a time. I only counted each book as one, even though we read them a multitude of times. And I only counted the books from the library, not the dozens that we read from her personal library. Have I mentioned this child loves to read??

They also have a second part to the program. After the child has 40 books read to them, they can continue on. After 40 more books have been read, they are entered into the drawing again and receive a book plate or something. I am a little fuzzy on this as we have not completed this part yet. Over halfway there though!

Our library district  is awesome! They have so many programs for people of all ages. We are truly lucky to live in a community that places such an emphasis on reading and learning. I highly recommend that you spend some time in the library and partake in some of the wonderful offerings that they have.

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Biggest Loser Challenge- 2010

Same weight, different year. The Biggest Loser Challenge that I was involved in last year was the best thing for me. It gave me the motivation and the confidence to lose weight. I learned about portion control and eating more healthy. I learned to believe that I had the power to change the way I ate and the way I looked.

I don’t regret getting pregnant in the least bit. I am mad that I didn’t follow through on my vow to eat healthy, not eat junk and continue to work out during my entire pregnancy. That went out the window when I was told I had to restrict my activity due to complications early on. When the restrictions were lifted, I did not return back to the gym. I just ate what I pleased and figured I would deal with the consequences later. Bad, bad, bad.

So, in a nutshell, I am back to the point I was last year when starting the challenge. Trying to look at the positive, at least I started my pregnancy 20 pounds lighter so the weight I did gain just brought me back to where I was in the first place. This brings me to this year’s Biggest Loser’s Challenge. A group of girlfriends and I have decided that the time is NOW to lose weight and we need a little kick in the tush to get moving. A friendly competition  it is then!

The challenge began on July 6 and ends on August 31. I am hoping that I can lose between 15-20 pounds. I know that sounds like a lot, especially considering the challenge with exercise. It’s a lot harder to work out with 2 than with 1!!! Zachary hasn’t been to the gym yet as I am nervous about taking him. And it’s hard to work out during his morning nap because Emily gets bored and I start to feel guilty about not giving her one-on-one time. That leaves the afternoon when and if they both nap. Time that would normally be spent cleaning and trying to get some relaxation in. We’ll see how it goes. I would like to try out the gym again. It’s just tricky trying to fit it in between nap time and eating with Zachary. The kid just sleeps so much!

Also during the challenge, Stephen and I will be celebrating our anniversary. We are staying overnight in Herman. Yummy food and wineries…..Yikes! Plus, the week before the final weigh in is vacation. Double yikes!!!! It will definitely take some discipline so we’ll see how I manage. If I don’t win, I will still be a winner because I WILL lose weight and I will be making healthy habits a priority and hopefully turning them into a habit.

I think with the support of my friends, husband and trusty iPhone application to count my calories some serious damage can be achieved. Damage in a good way.

Wish me luck!!!!

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Monkey-ing around

Last week we met my sister, brother-in-law and their two children at Monkey Joes for a morning of fun. My sister is on her summer break from teaching so we thought it would be fun to get the kids together and let the girls have a blast.

Emily and Chloe are almost exactly a year apart. Cole and Zachary are about 7 weeks or so apart. It is so sweet to see the kids together. They don’t get to visit as much as I would like but when they do, they always have a great time.

This was definitely something we will have to do over Christmas break. The girls wore themselves out!!!

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4th of July

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
Theodore Roosevelt

The Fourth of July is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, and more. We celebrate the freedom of our country and those who died protecting it.

We celebrated this day by watching the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest after we returned for church. It wouldn’t be the fourth without watching people shoving dogs and buns into their bellies until they puked. After the kids took a nap, we went to Grandma and Papa’s for a bbq and visit. Later that evening, we would partake in the festivities.

Honestly, I am not sure why we thought taking Zachary to watch the fireworks would be a good idea. I pretty much suspected that they would not be well received, especially since my snoozer is usually sleeping by 6 pm. Call it mommy instinct but I was right. He did really well while waiting for them to start. He was enjoying the nice evening air. Dark? What is darkness? He’s doesn’t usually experience that. He even sat for the first few minutes of the fireworks. And then he lost it. We completely berserk. I got him calm and asleep for a few minutes and then he totally blew his stack. Needless to say, the fireworks were at my back while I was hauling butt back to the car. Not only was he tired and crying but it was sprinkling. Good times. Not. Lesson of the day was to listen to your instincts and when something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it.

On a positive note, Emily really enjoyed the fireworks. She thought they were pretty awesome. The look of awe on her face almost made it worthwhile. Next time I think I’ll stay home with Zachary and let Stephen and Emily enjoy themselves.

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Chore Chart

Wow! I saw this in my drafts just now. I meant to blog about this in May. Must have started it and not come back to finish. Guess now is as good of time as any….

Well, in May I decided that we needed a chore chart for Emily. She has been pretty good about doing her chores and helping around the house but I wanted to kick it up a notch. Teach her a little about spending, saving and earning. I came up with a basic chore chart. I am sure it will be adjusted and changed as time goes on but it works for now.

Emily has a set of chores that I would like for her to do each day:

  • Make her bed
  • Put her dirty clothes in her laundry basket
  • Clean up her toys before naptime
  • Clean up her toys before bedtime
  • Help set the table
  • Help clear the table
  • Helping mommy and daddy when asked
  • Have good table manners (staying in her chair mainly)
  • No tantrums/whining

I know the last two aren’t chores but I think she really needs to work on them. For everything she completes, we put a sticker or a check on her chart. At the end of the week we tally up the completed tasks and she receives a nickel for each one. Part of the money goes into her chore jar and part goes to her piggy bank. Emily decided that she is going to use her money to buy a Princess Tiana doll.

She has been doing pretty well. Some days are better than others of course. She’s only 3 1/2 so that’s to be expected. I am pretty proud of her progress though. Eventually I’d like her to start doing chores without me having to ask or remind her but that’s down the road.

I know there are ways that I can make this chart better. I am totally open to any ideas you have. Different chores, different methods, different rewards. Please share!

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The tradition continues

Every 4th of July holiday, we attend the parade on Main Street. It is always a good time. Emily has started to really look forward to this parade over the past year or two. Mainly because they throw out candy. She does like the floats as well but the candy is the big draw. The funny thing about that is she will eat a piece for a day or two, forget it is on top of the refrigerator until I throw it away 3 months later. Hmm, maybe I should save it and hand it out at Halloween???

This year the four of us met up with Grandma, Papa and Aunt Nina at the parade. It was kind of iffy with Zachary since he didn’t get a super long morning nap. And that kid can nap like nobody’s business! He did pretty well though. It turned out to be the perfect morning so he wasn’t too hot. We even ran into some mom friend’s of ours so he got to flirt while he was there.

He enjoyed the parade until the fire truck turned on its siren. That scarred the bejesus out of him. I was able to comfort him and get him down for a catnap. Emily, of course, had a blast. She waves at people as they walk by and dances when the bands march down the street. It still amazes me to see how much she has grown up.

This is one tradition that will definitely continue.

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Kool Kats

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Fun with food

Zachary has been enjoying solid foods for the past month or so. We started him a lot earlier on vegetables than we did Emily for some reason. The pediatrician gave us the green light and we figured he is already getting cereal in his bottle so why not.

We started out with rice cereal and worked our way up to veggies and fruit. He seems to be enjoying it and he doesn’t scream near as much when you have to burp him now.

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Enjoying the weather

The weather was pretty SPECTACULAR here last week. It’ was nice to have a break from the usual sweltering, can’t breathe humidity we are used to. We have had some good times outside. Hanging out in the yard and going to the park. I haven’t been adventurous enough to take them both to the zoo or somewhere else really fun by myself yet. My wimpiness and the fact that Zachary naps all the time has kept us close to home. Soon we will see the elephants. Might have to enlist grandma or some mom friends first.

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Burnt plastic

The stink of burnt plastic lingers long after the damage has been disposed of.
I decided today was a good day to sanitize some binkies since Zachary spit up last night with one in his mouth. I fill the pan with water, insert binkies, turn on the burner and walk away. Notice anything missing? Something important? Like setting a timer??
I walked off and started playing with Zachary in his room. Then I start to smell the stench of something burning. Being the good mom that I am, I had no idea where Emily was. Playing with a candle lighter? In flames? Turns out she was in the basement, making a mess while the binkies were melting to the bottom of the pan. Did I mention the smell? And did I mention that I was sanitizing all of the binkies? Oh yes. the only binkies in the house were the ones from the hospital, which he hated, and small newborn binkies.
Good times! And did I mention that I need a new saucepan?

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