Saturday, May 07, 2011

Catch up

Life moves fast when you are the mom of a 3 and a half year old and a 1 year old. I feel like I am constantly behind, trying to keep up.

First an Evie update. She tips the scales at barely 20 lbs and is 28 inches tall. She took her first steps in the last week of March, was walking everywhere by April 10th and now a week past her first birthday she is learning to run! Evie is my little troublemaker, always finding the most dangerous thing whether it is climbing stairs, chairs or tables, pulling stuff off of tables onto her head, or trying to stuff anything and everything in her mouth. Verbally Evie loves to screech, scream, and say Eh? Aaaah? at everything. She doesn't have too many words yet: Mama, Dad, bye, hi and Ut-oh are the only consistent ones. She also does cow, sheep, and airplane noises. Evie is very affectionate--she gives lots of kisses to everyone and everything :) However she is not a snuggler, she will run by and make kissing noises in your direction and then be off to the next thing. Very independent, she doesn't really mind if I am in sight or not, and she actually enjoys being held by other people (for the few seconds she will hold still :)).

As Evie is getting older, she and Aubrey are really playing together a lot more now. It melts my heart to see them walk around the house holding hands. Aubrey is really learning a lot about making other people happy, even if it means giving up something that you want. She has been a great big sister. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments of sibling rivalry, but overall they get along great. Evie is a stinker and likes to pull Aubrey's hair, which causes great dramatic screaming from Aubrey. Yeah, we are working on that one. When I tell Evie NO about things she just laughs and tries to do it faster or harder. Aubrey at that age would start crying if I said no. I think my discipline approach will have to be totally different for the different kids.

Aubrey is making huge strides in learning lately. She has started being able to sound out and read words. It is so fun to watch the excitement on her face as she sounds out and then figures out what the word is. She is very good at writing all our names, and now she is very into drawing pictures of our family. Just about every day she adds a new detail, yesterday it was eyelashes. She loves learning and begs me to do school with her almost every day (weekends off? no way!) I think I will be starting a kindergarden curriculum with her in the fall. She still is growing like a weed: she is 41 inches tall and 36 lbs--totally grown out of her 4ts in height and is now moved up to 4/5s or xs in childrens. No more toddler clothes here!

Well, there's my catchup post for now...I am hoping to get a little more consistent with updates, but we'll see how that goes!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Me from A to Z

A: age: 30
B: bed size: queen, but I'd love a king if I had a big enough bedroom
C: Chore I dislike: Dishes
D: Dogs: Have one, love the big ones, not so much the little ones
E: Essential to start my day: COFFEE and hugs and kisses from my girls
F: Favorite Color: Kelly or grass green
G: Gold or Silver: Silver or white gold
H: Height: 5'6"
I: Instruments you play: piano long, long ago
J: Job Title: Mom (aka. wife, nurse, chef, housekeeper, personal shopper, personal assistant, chauffer, scheduler, grounds keeper, activities director, teacher, financial planner, and troubleshooter.
K: Kids: 2 girls so far: 3.5 and 10 months
L: Live: in Connecticut, where I grew up. Used to live in Virginia
M: Mom's name: Kristine
N: Nickname: Don't really have one. My Dad calls me Beck
O: Overnight hospital stays: 2 for the two child births.
P: Pet peeves: Inefficiency and laziness
Q: Quote from a movie: "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you," and "I hate waiting. Get used to disappointment. Okay"
R: Righty or Lefty: Righty
S: Siblings: One younger brother (and lots of SILs and BILs)
T: Time you wake up: Whenever the baby gets me up, around 5:30am currently
U: Underwear: should be worn
V: Veggie you don't like: Lima beans
W: What makes you run late: I don't. I can't remember being late for something ever. If I was late it probably would be because of the car breaking down or an apocalyptical event. I should have put down being late in my pet peeves.
X: X-rays you have had: Teeth and my back (scoliosis as a kid)
Y: Yummy food you make: baked goods, especially secretly healthy muffins
Z: Zoo animal favorites: Giraffes and meerkats.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wardrobe Facelift Needed!

It has been a few years since I have done any serious clothes shopping. I have picked up a few items here and there when I see a really good deal--a t-shirt here, a cardigan there, for example. However I am getting to the point where my wardrobe needs a serious face lift. When trying to put together outfits to wear to church, I came to two realizations. One: 95% of my clothing does not fit me properly and two: there really isn't anything I own that I LOVE. Somehow I shrank after having two kids rather than gaining weight. Also much of my clothing is actually worn out since I have been wearing it for 8 or so years. I would gladly throw everything I own away and start from scratch. Now that would be nice if some "ambush makeover" type show would come give me a $5,000 shopping spree, but the likelihood of that happening is nil.

So when Bill asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said, clothes! So we went shopping and I went to my two go-to stores for clothes: J.Crew and Ann Taylor Loft. Well, actually we went to the outlets for both places. I didn't even end up trying on many items. I ran into a huge disconnect between how much I thought things should cost and how much they actually did. I spent most of the time in the stores going: oh, that looks nice, pick it up, look at the price tag, $90 for a pair of pants! $30 for a t-shirt! $180 for a jacket!

For now I'll continue to wear my early 2000's wardrobe, that doesn't fit very well as I save up for some new clothes. Then I will just have to bite the bullet and readjust my expectations of what I need to spend on clothing!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tis the Season to choose your Christmas Card

One of my favorite things about this holiday season is reconnecting with old friends and far away family members through the exchange of Christmas cards. With a busy pace of life it is hard to keep in touch with loved ones all over the country, but the Christmas season is the perfect time to reach out to let them know you are still thinking of them the year through.

I always enjoy picking out a design each year--it is part of my Christmas decorating tradition. Especially now we have two growing girls who change so much every year it is important to incorporate one or more photos on the card. is the perfect website to turn to to help me put together that perfect card. They have a huge variety of photo cards to chose from.

I was especially draw to cards with three photos: one larger and two smaller. It provides me with opportunity to highlight our two girls' different personalities and also include a photo of them together or of the whole family. While I haven't gotten the perfect photos to put in the cards yet, here are a few of my favorite designs. You'll have to let me know which card you like best, then wait to see which one you get in the mail!

First, is this Picture Joy card. I love the simplicity and exuberance of the message.

The Dotted Collage Christmas Card is a mix of Christmas red and white, with a less traditional brown. I like using brown because it is one of my favorite neutrals, much softer than black.

A beautiful script and a 2010 banner are the hallmark of the Starlight Ribbon Christmas Card. I especially love the different fonts used for the message here.

I think this card may be my favorite: The Peppermint Pink Christmas Card. A reference to a fun Christmas song, traditional Christmas red, monogram, three photos, and a bit of pink for my girls thrown in.

Shutterfly has a bunch of other photo products that you can use for your memory projects as well. I have done a photo book in the past, and am planning to do a desk calendar for Bill at work soon! They also have cute items like personalized gift tags for all your Christmas gifts.
Thanks for helping me pick our family's Christmas card this year!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Time to Eat!

I have been enjoying getting back into making baby food. One of my goals for my girls is to give them as healthful a start in life as I possibly can. This is why I breastfed Aubrey and am breastfeeding Evie and why I make my own baby food from organic produce. Such a happy feeling of satisfaction comes from seeing all those baby food ice cubes in the freezer: a rainbow of oranges, yellows, and greens. So far Evie loves eating peas, pears, and butternut squash the best. I have also made green beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, avocados, apples and mangoes. The options for variety are endless when you are making your own food--not limited to what jars are on the shelf at the grocery store.

Now while I do have a goal of healthy eating for my girls, I am not going to be one of those hyper-protective mothers regarding the food they eat. Especially after their first year, the bulk of their food should be organic, whole, nourishing foods, but an indulgence in eating a few french fries or an ice cream cone every now and then is certainly allowed.

In fact.....that reminds me. It is almost time to be baking some Christmas cookies!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Cookin'?

Ever since I was old enough to help out in the kitchen I have enjoyed cooking. Now that I am a stay at home mom, one of my "jobs" is to make most of the meals that our family eats. Every week it is a challenge for me to plan seven dinners--a challenge that I sometimes enjoy, sometimes I don't. I try not to get stuck in a rut, without spending too much money on more creative meals. I don't want to have "pizza fridays" and "pasta mondays" every single week. Incorporating seasonal produce is one of my favorite things about cooking this time of year. I love a big salad piled high with local tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn. Since my mom's garden is overflowing with green beans right now, I have inherited quite a few. My favorite way to prepare these is to blanch them and then toss with a balsamic dijon mustard vinaigrette. I am looking forward to having enough time next year to grow a garden of my own: at the very least with tomatoes, cucumbers, and some herbs.

Cooking Light has been a good resource for new dinner ideas, what are some of your inspirations?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Three Years and Three Months

It must be that the more kids you have the faster time flies by. Aubrey turned three last week and we celebrated with a fun birthday party. For a few weeks she was really anticipating her birthday, "am I three yet, Mommy?" Per her request we had a butterfly party which was a little awkward since her guests were boys, but hey, it was her party, so it was a girly one! She got lots of fun presents--she has been using her new pretending skills playing with them: trains, horses and a stable, calico critters, and some dishes and a cake decorating set. Aubrey is getting to be such a kid now--I was watching her make new friends at the church picnic and thought, this is it, this is the end of the constant need for Mommy. Aubrey is still my little snuggler, but she is also developing into her own independent little person. Always a very thoughtful and sensitive girl, Aubrey takes good care of her sister. She is always very concerned when Evie cries and even thought to pick out some books for Evie at the library when she went with Gramma. Aubrey is also is good at keeping us all laughing with her silly sense of humor.

I am happy I have another little bundle to fill my arms, wiggly as she may be. Evie is three months old now and laughed for the first time on her three month birthday. Maybe it is because of all the wiggles or just because she is a different kid, but Evie is a whole size smaller than Aubrey at the same age. This is working out well for the hand me downs :) It is different to have a baby who everyone exclaims over how little she is rather than how big she is!