Friday, May 20, 2016

5 on Friday

O     N     E

A little over a month ago, I won a Tula baby carrier in a raffle!

I have actually been interested in a Tula for a while.  A good friend has one and she loves it.  But I have an ergo (an older one but still in great condition) and couldn't really justify that amount. 

But then I a brand new Tula for $12!

I got to pick my pattern and I went with the Shenandoah.  

Y'all, I am loving this carrier.  I am still glad I have my ergo, because I think it's better with smaller babies.  But this carrier is perfect for Gil.  It feels better on my back and it's easier to put on by myself.  I am officially a Tula fan!

T     W     O

We made it all the way through the winter without any major sickness and then Jack got sick this week.  He just had a slight fever and was sort of mopey on Tuesday, so nothing big.

When Jack takes a nap during the day, you know he's not feeling well!

By Wednesday he was fine, but he hadn't been fever free for long enough, so we had another quiet day at home.  He enjoyed playing out back in his (Christmas) pjs.  Also, those pjs were a splurge and a bit more than I usually spend on pjs (which is not saying much because I'm a total cheapo).  We have gotten every penny worth from them.  Jack loves these pajamas SO much.

T     H     R     E     E

Bech was home yesterday so I used the extra help and got some sewing done!

I have had this fabric since last fall and finally made some throw pillows.  I made two, but only had the insert on hand for one.  But I've got a craft store coupon so I'll grab another one this weekend.

I want to add some more pillows to our couch to go with this fabric.

I'm loving this one from Target.

Here's another fun option.

I just love the look of a gray couch (which we have) with lots of fun throw pillows in bright colors, like this:

F     O     U     R

I also worked on some shorts for Gil.  Gil has an absurd amount of smocked bubbles and jon jons for the summer.  But Gil is SO messy when he's outside so I knew I needed some play clothes for the summer too.  I wanted something cheap (so I wouldn't be too upset when he got them dirty) but still cute.  I bought some fabric at the Cotton Patch in Bogue Chitto two years ago to make shorts for Jack and never got around to it.  So I pulled the fabric out and picked up some cheap striped shirts at Target.

Here he is modeling one of his new pair of shorts.  Also, that's the face he made when I told him I wanted to take a picture.  He's a cheeseball!

F     I     V     E

We have a busy and fun weekend planned.  When the weather finally gets nice up here, life gets busy!  It's like we've all been bears, hibernating through the winter, and now we are just so excited to be outside and with other people again!

This afternoon, I'm going over to a friends house for a mom "happy hour."  We are drinking wine and cider and letting our kids run around their yard.  Perfection!

Tomorrow we have swim lessons, Jack's best school friends' birthday party (oh fine, she's his girlfriend, at least that's what they say), and then Saturday night is a cookout at a friends.  

On Sundays, we don't have church until 3 p.m. (the perks of being a church plant!), so I'm sure we will be at a park that morning!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 13, 2016

5 on Friday

Ah, the end of another week.  This past week has been full and fun.  I had a girls night, the MOPS final dinner, a field trip for Jack, and LOTS of time spent outside (we got up to 80 degrees yesterday!).

This week, I'm going to tell you 5 things I am loving.

O     N     E

I had to go back and double check this one, because I think it's crazy I haven't blogged about my newest obsession:


Y'all, this musical is ah-mazing.  It's a hip hop musical all about Alexander Hamilton.

Sound like a snooze fest to you?  You couldn't be more wrong.  I don't know how, but Lin-Manuel Miranda managed to write an absolutely incredible musical that is jam packed with history.  Want to know who ran for president in 1800?  Oh, I can tell you.  Better yet, I can sing it to you.

Seriously, check this out.  I listen to it on spotify.  

Heads up, some of the songs are not appropriate for little ears so maybe listen to it once through by yourself (or ask me which songs to skip).

T     W     O

I love the idea of a subscription service, but most either don't appeal to me or aren't in our budget.  But a friend told me about MightyFix a couple of months ago.  For $10 a month, you get sustainable kitchen gear.  What you get is always worth at least $10 and usually more than that.

I signed up with a special code and got my first fix (a $20 lifeproof bottle that I use every day) for $5.  But they just gave me a referral email that will give you your first fix for $3.  And then if you want to cancel it after that, you can (it's super easy).  I kept mine and got Bee's Wrap (made in Vermont!) for my second month.  I'm going to keep it until I get a month I don't love, but for now I'm liking everything.

Also, if you are doing the fix, you can add items to your order from the website for free shipping.  I am really liking these reusable lunch napkins and I think I'm going to add them to my next fix.

If you want the referral email to get your first fix for $3, let me know!

T     H     R     E     E

I am loving this weather!  I know it has been warm for the South for a while now, but we are finally getting consistent warm days.  I still miss the parks in State College, but we are slowing finding new favorites around here.

Wednesday afternoon, Bech came home early and we took the boys to one of our favorites, Oakledge Park.  Oakledge is great because there is SO much to do.  It's right on Lake Champlain, so you can play on the rocks by the water.  There's a play structure (not amazing, but still pretty good) and a treehouse.  Plus, there's lots of grass to run around on!

We stopped by Citizen Cider (another one of my favorites) for some Full Nelson cans.  A perfect afternoon!

F     O     U     R

I mentioned this on instagram, that I just recently became a Beachbody coach.  I am not really looking to make a lot; I mostly just want the discount on new workout programs that I buy.

Since I am now a coach, I figured that I should try Shakeology for a month.  Shakeology is Beachbody's "dense super food nutrition" (their words) shake.  

Honestly, I didn't have high hopes.  For the past 3 1/2 months, I have been buying cheapo protein powder off of Amazon and making my own shakes with fruit and cottage cheese or greek yogurt.  I thought they were pretty good and waaay cheaper.  Plus, I had seen that a lot of people added veggies and fruits to their shakes, which adds to the overall cost (if you are factoring it into your budget as a meal replacement--usually breakfast).

I have been drinking shakeology for 12 days now (since I started Focus T25 on May 2nd) and I have to admit that I am sold, which totally surprises me.  Okay, here's what I love.  First of all, I haven't been adding a ton to it.  Usually I'm just adding a liquid, so almond milk, water, or OJ, and ice.  Second, they are way more filling than my protein shakes were.  I guess that's because they have more than just protein in it (so, duh), but it surprised me.  Finally, and this one caught me way off guard, they are sweet and thus I feel like I got my sweet treat for the day.  I was struggling on the 21 day fix as far as sweet things were concerned.  I would stick to the meal plan most of the time, but if I cheated, it was always for something sweet.  Now, I am not really craving the sweets, and shakeology is the only thing different I am doing.  That right there is enough to make me a believer.

If you are interested, let me know and I can tell you more.  Plus you can make me your coach (I am sure my mom is cracking up at that, I am not normally the athletic type!) and be in a facebook challege group for accountability.

F     I     V     E

This isn't something I love.  This is a confession.

For the past year, I have been rewatching Gilmore Girls.  I watched it live, I rewatched it through in Malawi, so I guess this is the 3rd go around for me (although I have watched various seasons and episodes again as well).  I am on the 7th season, so almost done.

Here's where the confession comes in.  I am Team Jess, no big deal.  Everyone loves him.

But I'm also Team Chris.

I know, I know, so lame!  But I can't help it.  I love Chris.  He's Rorie's dad.  He's always loved Lorelai.  He's cute.  There it is.  I have finally come clean.  Please tell me I'm not alone and that all the Team Luke people don't hate me.

Welp, there it is!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Gil at 18 months

Yes, Gil is now almost 20 months.  I wanted to do this several weeks ago after his check up, but I didn't have great pics of him on the real camera.  Today I realized that who knows when I will actually take those pictures, so I will just use what I have!

swinging at Oakledge Park in late September

I love this little jacket.  Katy gave it to Jack when he was a baby.

At 15 months Gil was 21 lbs 4 oz (24%) and 31 1/2 inches (52%).  At 18 months (well really 19), Gil was 22 lbs 8 oz (22%) and 33 inches (58%).  He's still on the smaller size, but he's jumped up since that 5% at a year. 

picking pumpkins at Sam Mazzas, October

Gil found the coffee grinds in the trash, October

When he wears disposables, he can still fit in a 3 but you are almost in a 4.  He wears mostly 12 to 18 month clothes, but he has started wearing a couple of 18 to 24 month outfits.  They're a little big but they work.  And he has a few 12 month outfits that fit.  He wears a size 5 shoe.
At about 16 months, he dropped his morning nap.  He usually goes down for a nap at noon and will sleep anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours (with random 3 hour naps every now and then).  He goes to bed at 7 and wakes up at 6 or 6:30.  He is still in the crib, but he has started climbing out.  I am hoping to make it until 2 with him in the crib, but we will see!

Gil as Hedwig, October

Gil is a big remote fan and used to regularly hide them, November

He is CONSTANTLY on the go.  I like to say that Gil hasn't figured out that he's still a baby.  In fact, we all say that to him a lot at home: "Gil, you're still a baby!"  He sits at the table, he drinks out of real cups sometimes, he wants to do EVERYthing big brother does.  He will only play with duplo legos if Jack is doing it.  He will climb everything.

opening presents in Brookhaven, December

modeling Baby Gap, December

He loves building things, just like his brother.  He also loves anything kitchen related.  I think I may get him a toy kitchen for his birthday.  He loves to play with our Melissa and Doug play food sets and with any spoons or bowls that he can get to in our kitchen.  And other than that, he really just wants to play with whatever brother is into.  Oh, and he loves to get into the trash and recycling.  Seriously.  It's a problem.

smiles for Ole Miss recruiting day, February

enjoying some warm weather at Dorset Park, March

It was about this time that Jack became obsessed with Thomas the train.  He hasn't really shown any leanings like that.  He does love his blanket and will carry it around like Linus.  And he loves his pacifier.  Jack used his until 23 months (because we took a trip to San Diego then and I wanted it for the plane ride).  We are flying to MS in August, so I think I will do the same, let Gil keep his paci for one last trip and then cut him off cold turkey.

Gil's first hushpuppy (he's a fan!), March

first Easter egg hunt, also a fan, March

Gil has such a different temperament than Jack.  Jack is just really chill.  He's super energetic, but emotion wise he's pretty easy.  Gil on the other hand is all over the place.  If he is happy, he is SO happy.  Oh, but if he's mad, watch out!  At least 2/3 of naps, he wakes up pretty grumpy from.  He will cry for at least 30 minutes, throwing himself on the floor.  Sometimes, he will beat his head on the floor (don't worry, I told my pediatrician, and he's not worried).  I think some of that is because he can't tell us what he wants and so he gets really frustrated.

celebrating free cone day, at home, April

playing like a big kid at Clemyjontri park, April

But he's also pretty compliant and obedient.  Let's hope that sticks!  He is very much a family kid, and it takes him a long time to warm up to others.  He loves loves loves cuddling, which melts my heart.
I just love this outfit, April

He's still not really talking.  He has said "mama" and "dada" and "jack," but he doesn't say them on a regular basis.  He does say "hot" and "more."  He also signs alot: milk, more, please, thank you, eat, brush teeth, take a bath, sorry, go to sleep, all done.

He's had a pretty healthy winter.  He had a cold and a little cough and then he had roseola.  His liver seems to be fine though, so that's good.  He does have pretty bad eczema.  We have learned how to be proactive with the steroid creme and the aquaphor.  It is already looking better in this warm weather, so I am thankful for that!

At the pottery coop potluck at UVM, May

Oh, Gilly man.  You are a mess, but you are our little mess!  We love you and we are so thankful you are ours.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What I Read: April

I am going to start doing a monthly post about what I have read each month.  First of all, I love reading what other people have read (and then getting ideas for new books to checkout from those posts!).  Second, I think it will give me a sense of accountability.  After reading through this month's list, I feel the need to perhaps add a little more depth to my list!

Also, if you are interested in reading any of these, I linked them to amazon (although your local library is free!).

The Royal We

This is a great example of why shared kindle accounts are fun.  Someone in my family (I'm guessing Katy?) downloaded this book to our account.  It's about the romance between an American exchange student and the young, British prince.  It's something that would never have caught my eye, but I really enjoyed it!  It's not a hard read, but it's interesting and funny.  

If you are looking for something a little on the light side (but not too fluffy) this is a good read.  And of course, if you are interested in the British monarchy, it's a really interesting read too.  Disclaimer: this was a little more on the wild side.

This Is Awkward

Oh goodness.  Get this book.  Read it.  You will love it.

I have mentioned before that I struggle to get through most non-fiction.  This book broke that rule.  It reads sort of like a memoir and it's written by an RUF pastor.  This Is Awkward is raw and real (sometimes painfully so, just check out the subtitle!), but the end result is amazing.  I tore through this book and loved it.  

Seriously, you will not be disappointed. 

The Things We Keep

I read a few posts that recommended this book.  Honestly, I wasn't a fan.  I kept waiting and wanting more, something a little bigger.  But really, the book was pretty straight forward. 

It's about a young woman with early onset dementia who moves into a nursing home.  She starts a friendship/romance with another young person that, a man with another form of dementia.  Again, not awful, but also not my favorite.

After You

I have been on the waitlist for several months for this book, the sequel to Jojo Moye's Me Before You.  It actually came in while I was out of town and I asked the librarian for special permission to have Bech pick it up for me (sans library card) because I didn't want to give up my place on the hold list!

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Look, sequels are hard.  If you've read Me Before You, you know that following up that story is going to be extra hard.  So in one respect, it was good.  I wanted to read more about the Traynors and about Louisa Clark and her family.  But one of the central elements of the story seemed like a bit of a stretch.

In the end though, I would say I liked this book; I might even say I liked it a lot.  If you read the first book, then definitely read this one too.  And if you haven't read Me Before You, oh goodness, go do that.

Dear Mr. Knightley

I'm a sucker for books written as letters (or should I say, letters written as books?  whatever, you know what I mean!).  Maybe it started with Beverly Cleary's Dear Mr. Henshaw.  Who knows?  I just love that style.  It is so fun to read!

This book is about Samantha, a girl from the foster care system.  She graduates college, gets a job, loses the job, and doesn't know where to go.  She gets a special scholarship for graduate school but there is one condition:  she has to write the head of the organization.  She has no idea who he is or even what his name is (she is told to call him Mr. Knightley), and he doesn't write back.  But she writes during this almost two year graduate program at Northwestern to tell him all about it and her life.

Samantha is used to living in her world of books, especially the Brontes and Jane Austen.  She even quotes the books instead of actually speaking.  This book shows how she finally learns to connect with others around her, how she starts talking about and dealing with her past, and how she learns to be a good journalist.  

I loved this book.  Again, it was another book that I just found on my kindle (my mom said it was the kindle deal of the day so she got it).  I liked this book because it was intense and heavy at times, but still overall a pretty happy book.

Someday, Someday Maybe

Can you believe Lorelei Gilmore wrote a book?

Oh, fine, her name is Lauren Graham.  Lorelei doesn't actually exist.  But still, how can I resist reading this book?

I have a suspicion (especially after reading the acknowledgements) that much of this book is based on Lorelei's Lauren's real life.  I definitely want to look into that!  This book is about Franny Banks, an aspiring actress in her 20's, living in NYC.  It's funny and sweet.  I really enjoyed this book, and not just because of who the author is!

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library

I saw this book somewhere online and was immediately intrigued by the title.  You know how some people like young adult fiction?  Not me...give me children's literature all day.  Anne?  Laura Ingalls?  The Giver?  Yes, please!

I would describe this book as a much more tame Westing Game.  It is definitely a children's book, but I enjoyed reading it.  Twelve 7th graders win a lock-in at the new (and amazing) public library.  But it is actually a game to see who can escape.  The book is full of fun puzzles.

I wouldn't suggest reading this unless you just enjoy reading children's books.  What I would suggest is buying this for any elementary school kids in your life.

The Secret Keeper

This book is going on the April list, although to be fair, I listened to 1/3 of it in March.  I logged into my mom's Audible account a few months ago and downloaded several of her books.  

I really enjoy listening to some books (Harry Potter, Flavia de Luce, Murder She Wrote).  This one, not so much.  I finally gave up the listening and just checked it out from the library.

Whoa, what a difference!  I tore through the rest of this book (I read 300 pages in a day!).  Kate Morton is a great writer.  Her plots are always across at least two time periods.  I love the way she weaves the stories together.  

This story is about a woman who is dying.  Her daughter is trying to piece together a pretty crazy memory that happened when she was a teenager.  The story goes back and forth between WWII era and present day.  I absolutely loved the ending.

I think I didn't like the audio version because it is a drier, more slow story.  I enjoy listening to fast paced books or books with a little humor--not really Kate Morton's thing.  I would suggest reading this book.  I think I might check out some more of Morton's books in May (I've also read her The Forgotten Garden).


Ah, another Elin Hildebrand book.  I've read a good amount of her books and I really enjoy them.  This book was good, but definitely not my favorite.  Maybe because I'm reading it during a still chilly Vermont April.  Her books, all taking place on Nantucket and most during the summer, are really best for beach reading.

This book is about four 17 year olds who have a car crash--one girl is dead and her twin brother is in a coma.  The story centers around the question--why did the now dead girl wreck the car?  I would suggest this book, but wait until you can read it while laying out!

Alright, so there's April for you.  9 books, which seems like a lot.  But, I had already listened to part of one and one was a children's book and thus a super quick read.  

My goal for next month is to read at least 7 books, at least 1 classic (I'm working on that one currently), at least 1 non-fiction, and at least 1 memoir (I'm counting that as different than the non-fiction).