Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"this ain't no Easter Basket"

Harper's climbing landed her inside our blanket basket. If I were posting a "Not Me Monday," this is what it would be:
I most certainly did not search for homes on my computer while Harper climbed into our living room blanket basket. Then, I most certainly DID NOT NOT NOT watch her stand inside and then proceed to sit down, much to her unusual comfort. Next, I would NEVER, EVER, not in a MILLION years, grab my phone and record her reclining in the basket. Nope, not me. I didn't do it. Finally, I would never continue to record once she both signed and said "done" (as in, get me OUT, mom)...I'm a perfect mom and I don't let me daughter get into such mischief; and if I did (which I certainly don't) I would never laugh about it either.
What have you NOT done lately? Eat well over your body weight in Peeps last month? Talk with a mouthful of Runts Easter Eggs? Come on, fess up...this video will inspire your honesty.


Monday, March 29, 2010

spring break (30-something version)

This weekend we went to North Carolina to see our dear friends and Harper's godparents, Matt and Kathryn. We had the best time visiting with them and their daughter, Avery. They recently moved back East so they're much closer for little weekend get-togethers.

Avery loving on Harper-this picture cracks all of us up. Look at both of their expressions!

Avery and Harper are definitely daddy's girls

We loaded up the car and headed down Friday night. Our 4 1/2 hour car ride took a little longer than expected, due to none other than the infamous I-95 stretch in Virginia. Yuck. That is seriously some of the worst traffic ever. Harper did so well in the car, though, and we were welcomed at 1:30 in the morning to a warm house and comfortable bed. I wish I had a picture of their charming house, but I don't. All I can say is that I absolutely love it. We spent Saturday morning letting the girls play (and play and play). While the girls napped, Kathryn and I went to a CUTE little interior design shop called Coastal Fog.

There's nothing like a Radio Flyer!

Later that day, we all took a tour around town and then stopped in at a children's art festival and walked around a little bit. After that, we headed home to get them ready for dinner, bed, and the babysitter! Whoo hoo! Parents' night out!

Getting ready to go out to dinner

We had a yummy dinner at Chefs 505 and had a nice surprise by the end of dinner; an awesome band was playing at the restaurant that night. So, we stuck around to hear Big Rick and the Bombers play some soul music. We had the best time dancing and laughing at ourselves.
Of course, there's no sleeping in with 2 toddlers, who had us up bright and early the next day. We ate some Bojangles for breakfast (the best and worst idea), and then some "lucky" Jersey Mike's subs for the UT game. I won't even discuss that game. All I'll say is, the lucky subs didn't work.

Even with a BIG UT loss, Harper had the best time! Thank you, Matt and Kathryn!

We headed home after the game and made it back safely. Harper travels well (sounds like I'm talking about dress clothes or something), and I'm thankful that we can take her on little trips like that. I will say that I'd like to turn her around in a new toddler car seat soon, but she's just at 20 lbs. and her car seat goes up to 30. Safety says keep her rear-facing until I no longer have to (at least one year and 20 lbs, and she actually has a 30 lb. infant seat), but her fussing around town says get her a front-facing seat to keep her happy. Any experience or ideas on this would be helpful.

house update: we didn't get the house that I posted about last week. I guess it wasn't meant to be. I'm a little bummed, but still very thankful for all that we have in our lives. We'll just keep looking.

Friday, March 26, 2010

the taming of the do

So, how does one tame a toddler's wild hair? I'm all out of ideas, here. She usually wakes up with the wildest hair-do's, even when I've given her a bath, brushed her hair, and then let it dry before putting her down for bed. I usually stick a bow in it to make it look like I tried. I think she has her daddy's hair. Any help?

In other news, we also have a climber on our hands. She puts something on the floor, climbs on top of it, and then stands-books, boxes, stuffed animals, toy buckets, table toy systems, and even poor Georgia. I turned my back the other day, turned around, and she was standing up on top of her toy box picking out CD's from the wall (by the way, she liked The Rat Pack Christmas Album, apparently). Yikes!

This is where I found her this morning. She's like, "What? Am I not supposed to be in here? Well, then, help me out already." Good grief. I really have to watch her. The other day at Gymboree, all she wanted to do was climb up the steps and stand on top of the platform. Napoleon complex maybe? Let's see, what can she do with this talent? Surf, become a circus elephant, perform on stage at American Idol, teach English like Mr. Keating from Dead Poet's Society, and stand on the garbage when it gets too full...

Anyway, today is a good hair day. AND a good day for cheerios and bananas.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Make A Cleaning Schedule

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Show us your life: Cleaning Tips.
Here is one that I finally committed to: create a cleaning schedule. I sat down one day and created a weekly cleaning schedule. When I was a teacher, I was ALL about schedules. I made bi-weekly calendars for my kids, opened and closed each class
the same way, and always reminded my kids, "did you check the class calendar?"
So, I finally realized that a calendar would help me to keep the house somewhat clean. It goes Monday through Friday, with weekends off. But, by Friday the house is so clean, I don't really need to get into cleaning on the weekend. Nice.

Here's the schedule. Keep in mind I have a 900 square foot house, so this is pretty easy. My big thing is keeping things o-r-g-a-n-i-z-ed and s-a-n-i-t-i-z-e-d. That's right. 900 square feet, 1 closet, a cat, a dog, and a toddler. Plus, Brian has an office and that eats up about 100 of those square feet. I also only have one bathroom, so that makes things easier-though I do have to clean it more often.

Vacuum and/or steam clean carpets (we have a bissell
at home that is awesome-more later)
grocery shop for the week (oh my, the grocery store is so stocked yet crowd-free on Monday)
clean fridge and pantry

mop floors-wet




I will say that some days warrant an extra quick mop or vacuum, but that's easy. This works great. Here are some great cleaning tips:

1. Get gloves. I just feel like I can get more done with gloves. I got them so that my hands would stop cracking, but I soon realized that they put me in "clean mode." Okay, yes I have these in hot pink. Yes, they are goofy, but who cares.
2. Use newspaper or coffee filters on glass. These leave lint-free clean glass. I love the Method glass cleaner because it smells like mint instead of ammonia. Mmm.

3. Steam! I recently got the Shark Pocket Steam Mop at Ta
rget. I was a little hesitant, but I needed something that was quick, sanitary, and efficient. With paw prints and toddler-thrown food galore, this has been wonderful! It takes 60 seconds to heat up (faster than I could fill a soapy mop bucket), sanitizes with steam, and leaves no residue. Better yet, I don't have to worry about a dirty mop head because the cloth cover (it comes with 6!!!) goes into the washing machine. I do like a good soapy floor scrub once or twice a week, but this works great for a quick clean-up.
4. Laundry day. Yes, I do laundry one day a week and that is it. Seriously, do this! The laundry basket is oh so full on Thursday, but boy I love the fact that I'm not folding and putting clothes away all week. So refreshing.

5. This is kind of gross, but do it anyway. Put a Clorox toilet tablet in the toilet reservoir. Oh my goodness, it is so worth it.

6. Clean and/or replace your vacuum filter. Just when I think I need a new vacuum, I clean the washable filter and voila! The vacuum comes back to life. I do this about every 6 weeks. I recently saved my mother-in-laws vacuum by discovering a filter, um, "issue." That was a funny time!

Alright. Now it is your turn. Could you PALEASE post a good cleaning tip for me? I'm ALL about it. So, what are some of your cleaning secrets? Using vinegar to clean your coffee pot? Find a secret cleaner (ooh, the painting section of Home Depot carries a great patio furniture cleaner)? Find a cool cleaning gadget? Leave a comment. Happy cleaning!

its been a while...

Yes, I know it has been quite a while since I last posted. I promise to have something tomorrow. But, my parents were in town and then I accidentally put my camera in storage, and what's a blog post without pictures? I'm going to try and get the camera tonight so I can upload pictures from their visit and Harper's first trip to the...ZOO!

In the meantime, see that picture at the top?

It is the house we're hoping to get. We're waiting to hear back from the seller. Last time we had our hearts set on a house, the seller pulled it off of the market mid-negotiation. So, I'm not getting my hopes too up, but I really want this to work out.

I'll post again once I have my camera. And here's another goodie for you. It is old, but so cute. One year ago...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday (and Sunday) in the park...

1)Harper was on a toddler playground, not the big kid playground. Don't worry, grandma..
2) I found a good site for playgroundetiquette: http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/a-guide-to-playground-etiquette/
Pretty funny to me.
Brian had to work "the truck"-and by that, I mean the mobile medical education truck with cadavers on it-this weekend. It turned out to be such a beautiful weekend, the first in many months, so Harper, Georgia and I went to the park. At first, she didn't know what to think. The girl forgot what grass is! Ha! Cold weather and piles of snow prevented us from playing in the yard for so long! So, when we got there she took several awkward, curious steps and then had a blast. I pushed her in the swing and let her go down the slide...so begins mother bear mode for me. There are some mean and aggressive kids at the playground. Remember those kids that used to scream furiously, swing so high you thought the swing would break-or break someone-, push other kids to get where they wanted, or sat in the opening of the "tube" so that no one could get in? Well, now that I'm in momma bear mode, it feels like that kid is everywhere. Ugh. I'm going to have to get over that. I think I did pretty well; though Brian would probably say everyone could tell I didn't like that kid, I didn't say a word or make any faces. Ha! Who needs to learn playground etiquette? Me! Actually, I wonder if there's something out there about that...I mean, at what point do you tell a kid, "hey, that's dangerous. I'm afraid you're going to hurt my child." I need to restrain my momma bear power and be nice.
Moving on-and back to Harper.
She had so much fun at the park on Saturday, and Sunday turned out to be nice too. So, we packed up the diaper bag for an afternoon at the park again. She's just so cute! She was her usual independent self and kept wanting to go exploring on her own. I love this little monkey. The best part of the day was taking her home, giving her dinner, helping her take a long warm bath, and then snuggling with her in her rocking chair. You know those great weekends where you're wiped out on Sunday night, you smell like the outside, and you know you took advantage of the great outdoors? Well, top that off with rocking a snuggly toddler full of milk and smelling of marshmallow soap, and you've got yourself a life right there.

View photos of the park on my mobile me account: http://www.me.com/gallery/#100270

Friday, March 5, 2010

the system...a day in the life of ME

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

So, this week's "Show Us Your Life" is a day in the life. Well, any mom will tell you that her daily life revolves around her child(ren)-at least I kind of hope so or I'm in trouble. It sounds pitiful, but when I really thought about this post, I realized that my whole day literally revolves around Harper's schedule. I have managed to work in some of my own priorities, but again-they fall somewhere between her eating and sleeping. Note that there is some variation, depending on the day of the week. I've made my life much more pleasant by following a system and schedule for the week. This is pretty boring, but here it goes anyway.

1. Breakfast Breakslow: Harper (and thus I) wakes up. I brew some coffee and make both of us some breakfast. While she slowly finishes feeding herself, I do the dishes and clean the kitchen.
2. Getting dressed: This is always a juggle. I monitor her meal and about 3 minutes before she's finished I run and get dressed for the gym. Then, I clean her up and get her into her outfit for the day.
3. Gym: We hit the gym together; she plays and I sweat. When I drop her off, she RUNS away from me to go play. Then, when I pick her up, she runs back to me with her arms up for mommy. So funny.
4. Snack and Nap: She naps and I do whatever I need to do for those couple of hours-shower, clean, prep lunch. I'll admit I catch the first 15 minutes of The View for some Hot Topics-you know you love it!
5. Lunch and play: Harper wakes up, eats with me, and then we play for a while.
6. Afternoon errands, depending on the day of the week.
7. Optional afternoon nap: if Harper starts hanging her head in mini-tantrums or throwing her hands down on the ground, followed by her forehead in a full-blown tantrum, it is nap time for her. I'll say, "nap" and she now starts heading for her room.
8. Afternoon snack and more play time.
9. Dinner for Harper at 5, followed by a bath and maybe 15-20 minutes of Wonderpets, her absolute only (and thus favorite) show.
10. Harper goes to bed at 6 or 6:30. Don't be jealous. We used to be a little selfish and keep her up until 8 so that we could play with her. Plus, 8 just seemed like a normal bedtime. But, that just wasn't working out for her. She didn't go down easily and was just a cranky mess. Then I remembered what Baby Wise said about an earlier bedtime and we slowly cut it back. This works great for her, so we're all happy.
11. I start dinner for me and Brian and we eat around 7. I have a new love of cooking since I stay home now.
12. Clean up and couple time (the best part of the day). We spend a lot of this time talking about little Harper and how much we love her.

I add in, depending on the day, laundry day, grocery day, Gymboree day, and play dates. I have a system for laundry and grocery so that I only have to do those two things once per week. This saves me tons of time and stress.

So, that's it. I guess that if I had to have one thing for my life to revolve around, Harper works out pretty well. I think I have my priorities straight.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

my my my my bunco face

Okay, I stole that title from Jamie, but I really like it anyway. We had a great time at Bunco, thanks to our hostess Amanda and all of the wonderful company. Even though I lost miserably again, I had such a great time sharing and laughing (mostly at myself) with all of these wonderful women. I'm so blessed to be surrounded by sweet friends. They are a hoot and I am better for knowing them. I can't wait until the next bunco night!

My girls, Jamie and Dionne

Melanie and Brianna...okay, really Melissa and Brianna

the high table

Brianna and Amanda (our hostess-who is due this summer for a baby BOY!)

Lindsay and Katie

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

a little change is good

I'm going to leave my mac account and try blogger for a while. I've just become pretty frustrated with the program and I need an easier switch. If you read this blog, go ahead and make the switch with me. I'll start posting my photo albums onto my mobile me account. PLEASE, bear with me as I make some goofs with the transition. Thank you!

Here's little Harper when she got her one-year checkup last month. She was checking her throat for the doctor.

Okay, that was 10 million times easier than I thought. This will be great!