Saturday, August 27, 2011

Changes you never saw coming...

So, it is official.  We are pet owners.  I know, I know, it is something we swore we would never do, but alas, all parents do give in eventually, right?  
Introducing Ponyo.
Yes, Ponyo is a beta fish!  And a rather pretty one if you ask me.  What did you think we got?
We promised Kirsten six months ago that if she could keep her room clean for two weeks we would get her a beta.  She finally was able to do it this week.  If you can't tell, she designed the bowl herself, and is so proud of her first pet.

Over the past few months we have been making a lot of changes in our lifestyle, trying to be healthier.  Yesterday I finished the Couch to 5k running program.  It took me 4 months instead of 2, but I did it.  When I started, I could barely run the required one minute.  After 2 minutes of running, my heart rate would be up over 180-190 bpm.  Now four months and 54 pounds later, I can run for 30 minutes and keep my heart rate between 156-160 bpm.  It feels so amazing.  I am still going sort of slow, but I am now going to work on my speed and distance since.  I have actually grown to love running and my body starts getting warmed up and excited when I put my running shoes on.

We have also been trying to make some healthy food changes and are doing pretty well, but I could not help but feel there was more that we could do.  Then this week Jeremy and I watch Food Inc.  Holy Moly.  If you have never seen it, you need to, like right now.  It is on Netflix Insta-play.  Go watch it. NOW.  I knew some of this, but not the extent of it.  So Jeremy and I sat down this week, did some research, budgeting, recipe and menu planning, and lots of talking.  This morning we headed out with a plan to the Farmer's Market.
We really had a great time.  There are so many neat things there, live music, face painting, and tons of food.  The biggest changes we are making are buying grass-fed beef and pastured chicken and eggs.  We are focusing on organic produce and fresh, raw, cheeses.  We have a plan to expand our garden and will be doing some fall planting in the next few weeks.  It will take some getting used to, but I am really excited about it.  I want to not only keep my family healthy, but make a difference by supporting local farmers.  For breakfast this morning we had fresh pastured eggs with fresh goat cheese, organic cantaloupe, fresh bread that I baked (ground the wheat, local honey ect...) topped with fresh plum jam.  I am excited to see the difference that this makes in our health over the next few months.  Kirsten is already talking about taking her spending envelope with her next week and the things that she wants to get at the market.

This has been a year of changes for our family, and most of them have been good changes.  I love life, love my family, and look forward to what the future will bring.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First of First

Today was Kirsten's first day of first grade.  She very carefully picked out her outfit two months ago and had it in a special place in her closet.  Last week we finally found the perfect shoes, last night she very meticulously explained to me how she wanted her hair fixed, and this morning she added the necklace.  I cannot believe how independent and grown up she is getting.  She is in the same pod as last year, but on the other side.  
 Her teacher this year is Mrs Bolling.  All of my friends with older kids light up when I tell them that Kirsten has her and insist that she is their favorite teacher at the whole school.  Kirsten is already completely in love with her after just one day.
 I think that her favorite part is actually having her own desk this year. She is so excited that she can put her pencil box in it and have her own supplies.  I guess that is just one more step to growing up.
 After dropping her off, I headed over to Vicki's house for a "Cheers and Tears Brunch".  Katie jumped right in and wanted to play with the big kids and I loved seeing so many friends that I missed over the summer.

When we got home, it sunk in that it was just Katie and me for the day.  For the past year she has just basically been my "plus 1" or my a tag-a-long for whatever Kirsten did.  She is now getting to where she wants to get out and go places and be entertained.  I know that I used to know what toddlers liked to do, but I am having major mental blocks now.  I will have to figure out some new activities for us to stay busy during those long school hours without Kirsten.

After school Kirsten came walking out with Michael, of course.  As soon as she saw her sister, she took off running and hugged her.  I wish I had that on video.  I could tell that Kirsten missed Katie as much as Katie missed her.  Even though it was 106 degrees outside, we still headed over to Sonic with friends for happy hour drinks.
Katie, Kirsten, Michael, Rachael
 Koral, Kenna and Kirsten
Once we got home, Kirsten went into hyper-drive.  She made her bed, cleaned her room, practiced her violin, the piano, read for 30 minutes, set the table for dinner, had a bath, family home evening, put curlers in her hair, played Monopoly and was still in bed by 8.  This is a girl that thrives on schedule - she must take after her momma.  Overall, I think I will declare day one a success.  We will see how Katie does when mommy goes back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Musical Popcorn Randomness

Survival has been the name of the game these past few weeks.  It has been so unbelievably hot and we have had to become very creative with finding indoor activities to keep these little ones busy.  I got really desperate and pulled the water table into the house.
 We have been playing many games - most of them Kirsten originals - and they usually involve making Katie laugh.  But honestly, she is so cute, how can you not want to make her laugh all of the time?!
 Speaking of Katie, it has not been all fun and games.  Kirsten and I were painting while Katie took a nap on Friday and forgot to put it away.  The end result was not pretty.
 Jeremy and I went on a date on Saturday to the most amazing movie theatre ever.  It is call IPIC  - you should totally look it up!  The seats are plush recliners, they give you pillows and blankets, and you can order food to eat while you watch.  We saw The Help, and it was so wonderful to be out without the kids.  Jeremy made me pose for a picture on the way out, so I thought I would share.  I am finally starting to feel comfortable with myself again.
 On Monday, Kirsten treated Katie to her first Tea Party.  She was a little frustrated that Katie could not seem to leave things in their place, but I reminded her that practice makes perfect, and now we have been having one every day.
 On Monday we also had Michael and Rachael over while their mom took their brand new baby sister to the pediatrician.  The big kids wanted a movie and popcorn and of course Katie had to be right up there with them.
On Tuesday, I paid Kirsten to babysit Katie for 30 minutes while I taught a trumpet lesson.  She was determined to prove to me that she was the best babysitter ever.  I did not hear a peep from them the entire time.  Afterwards, this is how I found them on my bed.  Can you tell that we like popcorn around here?!
Kirsten has been obsessed with my trumpet for a long time, but now Katie is wanting to play it all the time too.  She likes to get out her plastic trumpet and climb up in the lesson chairs.  Kirsten is thrilled to have graduated to the "real trumpet" since Katie has the plastic one now.  Maybe someday I will be able to start my very own Brass Band in my Living Room!
Tuesday was a long anticipated day for Kirsten - she started her Violin lessons!  I do not think that anyone has ever been more thrilled.  She practiced 4 times today!

She has been begging to start for a while, but I told her she had to know all her treble and bass clef notes first and get through her first level of piano books. So yesterday was the day!  Thank you Sister Hope for teaching her.

I can hardly believe that school starts next week.  Kirsten is excited to meet her new teacher on Friday, and her new dance teacher tomorrow.  Kirsten had her six year old check up today and weighed in at 57 lbs (90%) and 48 inches (88%).  She is getting so big!  We have been busy getting everything ready for schoool and I think we may actually be done.  Last night we went to a mommy/daughter stamping night and had fun making notebooks and bows.  Then today I met with my new Girl Scout Co-Leader and we planned the year.  I am looking forward to teaching more next week and getting back into a more normal schedule.

My sister-in-law, Kacey, had her first baby on Saturday.  She is in Idaho, so it will be a few more weeks until we get to meet Leah. We are so excited for her and Tyler.  
That is it for now, only four more days of summer.  Is anyone else counting?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Funniest thing tonight

Jeremy and I were playing Settlers of Catan tonight when Kirsten came out of her room.  She seemed very disoriented and so I asked her if she had to go the the bathroom.  She nodded so I took her in.  She immediately flipped open the lid on her step stool and tried to sit down on it.  She fought me the whole time, but I was finally able to man handle her to the toilet.  Once there, she proceeded to strip off her pajamas, get up, and walk to her room and put herself back to bed completely naked.  I do not think I have ever laughed so hard in my entire life. Who knew being a parent could be so hilarious!

Happy Happy Birthday Kirsten, Dear

I am in complete and total denial. There is NO WAY that I have a six year old.  Kirsten would beg to differ though.  When she woke up Thursday morning she declared "I am six, so now I look like I am nine."  What?! Just be six for a while.  She is such a wonderful little girl and we tried hard to spoil her for her birthday.  Jeremy got up really early and made her banana pancakes before he went to work.
 Thursday night we had her family party.  We had my dad and Patty, Jeremy's mom, dad, sister Megan, Zach and Allison, and the Lendermans (they are family too, right?)  She received so many wonderful presents, but I think her favorite had to be the electric snow cone maker.  It has already had a ton of use. She is also very anxious to start using her Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Junior and to get some new books with her Barnes and Noble gift card.
 She designed her cake and helped me decorate it.  She is such a talented girl!
 On Friday we had 8 little girls over for a Tinker Bell Pajama Party.  We started with pizza for dinner.
 Then spent about an hour playing Disney Sing It.  They loved singing and dancing.  They even let Katie get in on the action!
 I gave all 8 girls makeovers ~ I painted nails, fixed hair and put on make-up.  Don't they look beautiful?!
 We had cupcakes this time, and it was interesting getting six candles into one, but she insisted.
 Katie had fun finger painting with the pink frosting.  The older girls thought she was hilarious.
 After cake, we pulled out blankets and pillows and snuggled in to watch Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure.
The night ended with a rousing game of limbo.  
 We had such a wonderful time.  Thank you everyone for helping make this a special birthday for Kirsten.  We love you so much!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Cleaning

Life since we got back from our trip has seemed like a constant game of catch up.  I finally decided I was sick of my house being trashed and I was going to clean, like really, really clean this week.  So far I have cleaned our room, Katie's room, the living room and both bathrooms.  I have emptied, organized moved furniture, dusted, scrubbed, vacumned, shampooed, mopped ect.  You get the idea.  Only Kirsten's room, the kitchen and dining room to go.  I have to say that it is therapeutic for me.  I never got around to spring cleaning, so I guess that this is summer cleaning.

Other than that, I have been trying to enjoy my girls.  On Saturday I spent 6 hours out with Kirsten.  We went school supply shopping, school clothes shopping, and got her hair cut.  She is developing some definite tastes in clothes and hair styles and it took a lot longer than usual.  We had a blast though and I loved spending time with my little angel.  

I am saving most of her new clothes for her birthday this week - that is all she wanted anyways, but I let her wear her new church dress this Sunday.
 Here is a close up of her hair.
 Can you believe how grown up she looks?!  She really does seem like she is ready to be six years old and in first grade.  Less than three weeks to go!

Katie is developing more and more personality and is such a hoot.  Whenever she does something funny or new she turns and looks at us and claps!  She climbs on everything she can get on.  When she gets hungry, she will go to the pantry and grab some food, then climb into her high chair.  So cute!  One of her favorite things to do is sit in her rocking chair in her room. She was so proud of her self for getting in it alone.
 In the past few weeks she has started loving to carry around her baby dolls.  Now she likes to rock them in her chair and sing to them.
 She also positioned her chair next to her bookcase and sits in her chair and flips through books.
When she gets tired and is ready for bed she gets a book and her blanket and climbs into the big rocking chair.  She is definitely a smart one.

On a side note, I hit 50 lbs this week.  I can hardly believe that in just 4 months I am half way to my weight loss goal.  I guess Kirsten overheard me telling Jeremy, because she told a friend of ours today "my mommy is half way to being healthy, then she can play with me more."  That girl doesn't miss a beat!

I love these little girls so much.  They are truly the light of my life.