Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Look

Today my good buddy Christine blessed me with a gift...she created the new photo header for my blog! Isn't it fun?! It just makes me wish for Spring to get here already, since it's so bright and cheery. Here's to blooming yellow flowers, green grass and sunny days to come! :-)

Thanks for the new look, Christine! Love ya!

Apparently Maddie is feeling the need for Spring cleaning! This is "her drawer" in the kitchen, so when she gets bored she makes a B-line for it and proceeds to empty out every single item and then scatter them throughout the kitchen...and dining room...and living room. With all the practice she gets, she can empty that drawer in about 2 minutes flat--and then it's on to the next disaster. If only she was as efficient at putting everything back!! :-)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everybody! Our family had a great Easter yesterday. We went to my parents' house and had a huge feast with the Knopfs (family friends for 30 years), their daughter Angela and her friend Phillip (who is such a sweet guy and seriously the tallest person I've ever seen--he's 7 feet 2 inches!!), and our friends Jason and Cheryl with their new baby Lucy. Maddie looked like such a doll in her little dress. She was so cute with the baby, too--giving Lucy hugs and kisses and holding her hand. :-)

This one was before church on Good Friday. My sister Dana got her that red velvet peacoat for Christmas and I totally love it!

Learning how to blow bubbles...but mostly eating it!

One day a week or so ago, Maddie was having a blast being thrown up in the air, hair flying all over the place. The funny thing was that after a few more lifts, Maddie's pants fell down to her ankles in mid-air! :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Inspiring Idea

I was just reading the blog of Ali Edwards, an artist in the scrapbooking world, and she had a link to another blog which featured a really inspiring idea. It's based on the concept of "Guerilla Art": By leaving art and ideas in public places, you can affect someone's day, change their mood or their mind, and maybe even change the world in the process!

A couple of moms and their kids made 100 handwritten "fortunes" and then walked around downtown Portland together, finding and photographing clever places to hide the fortunes for random people to find and read. What a fantastic idea! It's free, it's fun, it's adventurous, and it embodies the "random acts of kindness" spirit--all wonderful things to teach our children at a young age. Of course, Maddie is a bit young for this idea now, but wouldn't it be an awesome activity for a sunny Spring afternoon? Gather up your mommy friends and kids, do the art project part of it in the morning and then head out on an adventure in the afternoon! I'd love to try it!

Take a look: http://hulaseventy.blogspot.com/2007/10/friday-afternoon.html

Thursday, March 20, 2008

31 Days mini-book

Back in December, I saw an idea for making a mini-book by taking one picture of your child every day for a month and then scrapbooking it with journaling. So, I took on the challenge! I had no problem keeping up with taking the daily pictures. So now, 3 months later, I'm finally getting around to making the book. Once I came up with my template, I realized I may have bitten off more than I can chew...considering I now will have 31 two-page spreads to assemble! Whew! This one will surely take me awhile!! It is a 6x6-inch book and I have about 8-10 of the layouts done so far. Here are a few samples...

The cover.

The center square on the left-hand side is a flap that lifts up to reveal the journaling about that day's picture.

Looking at pictures of herself is one of Maddie's favorite things, so I'm sure she'll enjoy this book when it's finished (perhaps within the NEXT 3 months?!) :-)


Since Maddie is now done with her swimming lessons, we've found a new way to spend time as a family and indulge her water-obsession...free swim night every Wednesday! Our community pool is only a mile away, so it's really handy for a quick trip. On Wednesdays from 4-6pm they open up one half of the pool for anyone to come play for free! (This is a good thing to check on in your own neighborhood, especially if you have energetic kiddos!)

So we'd been happily splashing about for about 30 minutes when the lifeguard blew her whistle and told everyone to move to one side of the pool. Not unusual, since sometimes they still have swim lessons going on. I guess people weren't responding fast enough, so she whistled again and yelled, "EVERYONE OUT OF THE POOL, NOW!" Well, okay then! I figured, with her urgency, it could only mean one of two things were involved...blood or turds. And that's when we saw the scooper net heading for the water. Yep, not one but two big floaties! How gross! Nothing like the feeling of just having swam in a toilet.

Considering this is probably somewhat common at a pool full of children, I figured the staff would be trained on how to handle it. The lifeguards stood there looking perplexed for a moment, then whispered amongst themselves. Finally one lifeguard came out with a jug of *pure bleach*, walked over to the side of the pool, poured about 1/4 of the jug into the water with nice flinging motions, and then walked away. ALRIGHTY THEN! Keith and I looked at each other and said, "Um, OK...I guess our pool time is done for today!"

Hopefully our pool visit next week will only include floaties of the foam-kickboard variety! :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Outdoor Girl

Madeline is quite the outdoor girl. It doesn't matter if it's first thing in the morning or if it's pitch black outside, there she is banging on the door and wanting to go outside. She absolutely loves going on walks to the park (which also houses the building where she takes swimming lessons, so that makes it even more thrilling!), but if we don't make it there, she's also happy just standing on our sidewalk and watching all the cars/trucks/buses and people go by. Now that she's growing bigger, she can actually reach the doorknob herself (thank goodness she hasn't learned how to open it or unlock it...YET!) and if that isn't enough of a hint for me, then she grabs Lucy's leash and brings it to me. "Um, hello Mom! Now do you get it?!" :-)

Last week my mom came over and we all took a nice walk to the park (including Lucy). Maddie wanted to go on the spiral slide about 20 times in a row! This is such a great age--she's so interactive and really tries to communicate what she's feeling and thinking. She wants to see everything and figure out how it works. She'd spend all day at the park if I let her! :-)

Whew, this teeter-tottering is a lot of work! Better take a breather.

Just me and my nana. :-)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Before and Not Quite After

First off, THANK YOU for all the amazing encouragement on my fitness goals! It's so uplifting to read your comments and thinking of all of you keeps me energized! For those of you who I don't get to see in person, I thought I'd post a "before" and a "half-way to my goal" picture for you to see.

This one was taken about a month after I had Nicholas...

and this one was taken today (now 15 lbs lighter and at the half-way point! Yay!)...

Sunday, March 2, 2008


For all of you who have been rooting me on in my weight loss goal, I wanted to give you an update. I've been seeing progress! Of course, I'd be thrilled if I was at my goal weight overnight, but I guess slow and steady is a healthier way to do it and hopefully will help me keep it off in the long run.

I started getting serious about daily exercise and healthy eating at the end of January and since then I've been good about working out 4-5 days a week, cut out wine, only have Starbucks occasionally (and if I do treat myself, it's with the 90 calorie nonfat-sugar free caramel latte!), and I only have a few gingersnaps or fat free hot chocolate as my dessert. I can tell a difference in the way I feel (physically and my attitude) when I get my workout in--I feel like, no matter what else, I've accomplished a goal for the day. Now, coming from the girl who never exercised for YEARS and would think of any excuse to get out of it, that's quite a shift! I guess it's true what they say about creating new habits to replace the old. (Don't get me wrong--I'm still not saying it's fun! But it's paying off.)

Since I know the scale can be tricky, I've also been taking my measurements every 2 weeks. I'm happy to report that I've lost 12 pounds, 2 inches off my waist, 1/2 an inch off each thigh and an inch off my "post-baby pooch" lower abs. I'm more than 1/3 of the way to my goal! Horray! :-) If I stick to my plan, I think I'll make my goal of getting into a swimsuit at the end of May. Keep the encouragement coming--it's helping alot! :-)