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Friday, July 26, 2013

Little Dawg Nation

Only 36 more days til football season starts for Dawg fans! 

I've been actively indoctrinating our kids this summer, they picked out coordinating outfits all on their own the other day. (Ok so maybe I dressed the little man...) Blue Eyes might actually be big enough for a spot on the team one we're working hard to make sure he's got his loyalties figured out.

Oh and if anyone is looking...we have a pair of season tickets for sale - we haven't quite worked out how to get to the games with all these chilluns yet. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Favorite Pre-School Authors

Books were one of my very first loves in life. I've been an avid reader since I can remember, so naturally when I found out I was pregnant with the Squirt, I registered for a plethora of children's books along with the requisite diaper genie and bottle brushes. Now, over four years later, I have two kids who love to be read to and one who is finally getting curious about what we're doing when we all squish together on the couch before bed. But the thing is - our book collection has grown a bit stagnant. 

Reading 4-6 books a day (depending on how gullible we are before nap and bedtime) means that we've read all of our books dozens of times (or so it seems). To address this dilemma we've been hitting up the library this summer for fresh material. When I find an author/illustrator I love, we'll check out every book they have ever written. It makes trips to the library really quick, you just head to that section and make a broad sweep of everything with their last name on it. 

Here's who we're reading now (to my 2 1/2 year old and my 4 year old):

Eric Carle

No brainer. We'll read anything by Eric Carle. It took me a while to realize he had written anything beyond The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear Brown Bear. He's got over 70 books to his name and they are all beautiful.

David Ezra Stein 

Leaves was a gift from B Daddy's grandmother and I fell for the simple prose and storyline. It's won some award, which is always good. Last week at the library we checked out Interrupting Chicken and it has quickly become one of our favorites as well. I'm eager to see what else Mr. Stein has out there. 

Ludwig Behelmens

Oh Madeline. You have the most wonderful adventures. I love finding a series that both my son and daughter enjoy - they love reading about Madeline's various shenanigans. Behelmen's rhyming prose is great for pre-readers.   

Mo Willems

Specifically the Elephant and Piggie series. You MUST read these books. The story lines are always simple and universal and I crack myself up when I read them with a little flavor. Plus - it's a series. BOOM, instant win. 

Arnold Lobel

These books are completely adorable and again - a series - which makes easy work for me at the library. The Squirt (4) definitely appreciates the humor in these stories more than Sweet B (2). 

Here comes the audience participation part: who are the authors you love for your kids right now? I'll need some new material again soon I'm sure. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Back to my Roots

B Daddy asked me to change it up a little when I went to my hairdresser's yesterday afternoon...

I came home a brunette. I kind of love it and I kind of freak out every time I look in the mirror. Sorry for the picture, it's a selfie I took for my sister yesterday (because Sister gets the privilege of immediate notification on every detail of my life.) It's far more flattering than the selfie I could take right now at 7am with puffy eyes and no make up.

I'm incapable of just smiling nicely when taking a selfie. My eyebrows inevitably shoot up - apparently in an effort to communicate, "I am aware it's ridiculous that I am taking a picture of myself. But I am not vain - see, my face is silly! Not SO silly that it's ugly...pretty-silly. And it could easily just be pretty! I'm a totally secure person even if I am taking a picture of myself so you can tell me my hair looks nice."

All that to say - my hair is brown. Thanks in advance for not dropping Crazy Joy from your feed reader when you read enthralling posts like this.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Favorite Pinterest Tricks for the Home

Pinterest can be awesome. And terrible. And everything in between (useful, a waste of time, inspiring and totally defeating.) I've made it a habit to only jump on Pinterest when I have something to look up (like a recipe) or when I'm actually pinning something to a board from a website I'm already on. This tends to minimize the negative effects of looking at all those beautiful (staged) pictures. Along the way I have come across some absolutely BRILLIANT things that have changed my life.

If you're in need of some life change this morning, here you go.

1. You're opening a banana wrong.

2. Vinegar, baking soda, Borax, Dr. Brommer's Castille soap and Dawn are pretty much ONLY cleaning agents you need for your home. Windows, floors, counters, clothes, babies' bottoms - done.

3. Everything is prettier in a mason jar.

4. If you rinse your berries with a water/vinegar rinse (1 part vinegar: 5 parts water) they last WAY longer. (See #2 above)

5. Cooked chicken breasts can be shred perfectly in your Kitchen-Aid mixer. No lie. I didn't believe it either. Changed my life that right there did.

6. Spraying guacamole with a fine mist of olive oil/ oil will keep it green longer.

7. Making salads ahead of time for the entire week in mason jars is pretty, healthy and smart. Win win WIN.

Pinterest can definitely lead you astray as well. I have experienced some epic fails - most notably in the baking department. Never fall for the cookie recipe that looks epically indulgent and claims to be low-calorie and full of fiber. FAIL. My latest failure was the pin that claimed cleaning your blender was as easy as filling it with soapy water and turning it on. Not true my friends. Not true.

Now it's your turn - what tip/trick/pin has changed your life?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kiddo Update #3

We've spent lots of time away from home this past month. I have a love/hate relationship with spending time away from home. Usually it means I'm with B Daddy (love), yummy food (love/hate), too little time at the gym (hate) and also that I haven't kept up the blog very well... so I'm going to do my favorite kind of quickie post: a kiddo update.

The Squirt

Stop it already buddy - you are growing up too fast. You are a huge help to me around the house and you have such a tender spirit. I know my days of snuggling on the couch with you are numbered, so when I do that, it's because I'm soaking it all in - not because I'm lazy.

Quote of the week: "When I play for Georgia I'm gonna need two suits. A red number 5 and a blue number 81." Um...ok.

Special Skills: Snapping, jumping off the diving board, writing his name mostly correctly

Likes: Sandwiches, routine, Star Wars, fireworks

Dislikes: changes to our routine, being corrected, cheese

 Sweet B

My sweet girl - you are SO DRAMATIC. You are super high-spirited all the time, which means you give the best hugs I've ever had but you scream a lot too. I'm hoping we find some middle ground before you turn 13. 

Quotes from the week: "Mommy I need pwivacy." (We're potty-training. Again.) "I love you guys." (She says this approximately 12 times a day to me and B Daddy.)

Special Skills: Dressing herself (see pic above)

Likes: Band-Aids, dresses, milk, spinning til she gets dizzy and falls down

Dislikes: Round sandwiches, shorts, waiting

 Blue Eyes

Oh my Blue Eyes. The first baby I have really and truly appreciated. I love your squishy thighs and your belly laughs. Also, I love how much you nap. 

Quote of the week: "Baaaw"(Ball.) "Muh mmmoo." (More milk please.)

Special Skills: walking/running (this has been going on for a while, but it's new since the last kid update.)

Likes: bananas, sleeping, driving toy cars around on the floor

Dislikes: being left out, car seats, peaches

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