Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend has come and gone! I love Easter, for many reasons, but one of them is the real start of spring! I know the first day of spring was really a few weeks ago, but I love embracing our white sandals and the sunshine now. I could do without the overabundance of pollen, but we'll survive (barely...M and I are both on heavy doses of Zyrtec these days). 

We started Easter weekend with a birthday party for one of M's pals on Friday morning. A birthday party + an egg hunt were the perfect way to start the weekend.

We came home from the party and had some lunch, and then my family got here shortly before M's nap time. Spending time with them is always a treat for all of us! Before her nap, M got an Easter basket full of goodies from them. She scored 2 new movies for her collection, and it's all she'll talk about now ("Gigi got me Pooh and Tiana's movie!"). After M's nap, we took her to the playground where she showed off and played for a solid hour, and then came home to a great dinner. J made a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs on Friday night (spaghetti noodles from Pasta and Provisions!) and it was delicious! 

Saturday morning we dyed our eggs! M had fun, but she lost interest after about half an hour. 

Oh well, our eggs turned out pretty!

We had a yummy lunch out at Mac's BBQ

After lunch, my mom and I went to the new(ish) outlets in Charlotte. We both went just wanting to check it out, but both left with a new purse after finding a super sale at Kate Spade. I am so not a fancy handbag girl, but this sale is was insanely good, and I'm now excited to have a great, nice purse that I will use on those nights when I get to go out without a sippy cup and a snack cup of goldfish. I know fellow toddler moms understand!

Saturday evening, my parents sent us out to dinner on our own while M stayed with them. It was nice to get out and have dinner with just J. The following morning my family left early so my brother could get back to Richmond for a commitment he had there. We said our goodbyes and headed to church, and came home and she got her Easter basket, and we got a few pictures. I adore M's Easter dress this year. I want it to fit her forever!

I love my sweet girl!

Quite the cheesy smile here...I promise this was a smile and not an "I'm in pain" face!

Hope your family had a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

M's Thoughts and Sayings.... {29 months}

This post is more for me and my memory since I know I'll forget some of these sweet things as she gets older, so feel free to skip this post, but the things this one says cracks us up on a regular basis, and also astounds me. I quite often look at her and wonder how such a little person can know so much in such a short time. Also, her memory is insane. She's always bringing up things we did MONTHS ago that both J and I had forgotten about. At almost two and a half, we love this little girl and the personality we see shining through more and more each day.

All small birds we see are pigeons. Doesn't matter if they're robins or wrens, or cardinals....she calls them pigeons.

Ending all verb from the past in "ded" even when it's not grammatically, flew-ded, swim-ded, you get the idea.

One night while J was out at a neighborhood meeting: "Mom, I wish Daddy was here for our dance party. I really really wish he was here"
On that same night: "Mom, we're gonna have a girls night. Just you and me"

We're in a big "mine" phase right now (side do I make this stop?!). But what I love is that she says "mines" with an s on the end.

We took her to TCBY a few weeks ago and it's in the same shopping center as our grocery store. When we pulled in, she said, "Oh no, this is the grocery store! Where is the ice cream? It must be hiding. ICE CREAM WHERE ARE YOU?!"

Last month, her favorite nursery worker at church was gone on a mission trip to Haiti. Now when we see Miss K on Sundays, M always says "Oh you're back from your trip!" which cracks us up because she's been back for weeks.

She has become quite the bossypants with the pups. Like...really bossy. Sometimes it's obnoxious, "NO ROSIE! YOU CAN'T BE IN MY ROOM!" but it's also kind of hilarious when she stands in her learning tower and bosses them around as she helps me cook. She's also the only kid in the world who doesn't want to feed them from the table. In fact, she's the opposite and flips if any of her food falls and they eat it. Layla actually lost 2 pounds since her last trip to the vet and I honestly think it's because M has become so crazy about not sharing anything with the dogs.

Making up her own words to songs. I love it.

Loves her nightly dance party. It consists of the same three songs in the same order each night, Happy, Shake it Off, and Brave. On "special nights" she gets to do Uptown Funk too. She has taken to telling us at about 5pm most evenings, "I think it's a good night for a special night!"

She loves to take little items to nap or bedtime with her, usually a princess of Daniel Tiger figurine, sometimes DVD cases (?). She occasionally tries to bring larger things (magna doodle or her computer keyboard she "types" on) and I tell her no it's too big, only little things, and one day she picked her kazoo and said, "Look Mom! This is a little thing!"...nice try kiddo. 

Her lovie now has his own seat in our dining room when we eat. In her mind he is 100% a family member.

She is so much fun right now! I wish I could bottle this age up!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Toddler Girl Easter Basket

Can y'all believe Easter is so soon? Just two weeks away.....I feel like it kind of snuck up on me this year!  Didn't we just have Valentine's Day? Heck...wasn't it just Christmas??

Since M has a fall birthday followed two months later by Christmas, Easter is a nice chance to sneak in some fun treats for spring and summer. This year her Easter basket is going to include the following....

1. Kid's Folding Camp Chair - This was an item I have been wanting to get her for awhile, and Easter is a good time to gift it. We do a lot of fun things outside in the spring and summer (cookouts, food truck Friday, Riverjam at the Whitewater Center) and I think she'd like to have her own chair at these events, and she won't be stealing mine anymore! I found this cute Melissa and Doug one on Amazon and think it may be what we'll get unless I can find a cheap one in a store.

2. Crayola Sidewalk Chalk - Her stash from last spring and summer is looking pretty rough and almost gone so we're gonna get a re-up from the Easter bunny! (Also...only $3.99 on Amazon right now for this 48 count!)

3. Frozen Swim Cover Up - Like the chair, this is something I knew we'd be getting for summer anyway, so why not put it in the Easter basket? I found this cover up at the Disney store in NYC last month, and stepped aside to buy it without her noticing. I think Anna and Elsa will be a big hit each time we get dressed for the pool!

4. 101 Dalmations Blu-Ray - She still loves her daily Daniel Tiger, but she's also old enough now to sit still for a full movie, and boy oh boy does she love her movies. Loves them to the point where she requests to sleep with the cases. We're slowly adding to her movie collection, and this one just came back out of the (very annoying) Disney vault, so I think we'll pick it up to add to her pile. 

5. Jellybeans - Because we all love to celebrate a holiday with sugar! She'll probably also get some eggs filled with goldfish and raisins too. I'm all about balance!

What's going in the Easter baskets in your home this year??

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Five on Friday

Time for Five on Friday!

1. Anyone else start watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? I loved 30 Rock and Tina Fey and this is filling the 30 Rock hole that's been in my heart these last two years! Also, Ellie Kemper is adorable and hilarious.

2. It's been beautiful outside for most of this week, which means lots of extra vitamin D for all of us. This has been how I've spent the first half of nap time most days this week....a good book (man I love Amy) and a tasty lunch. M goes down to sleep and I get in a good half hour of sunshine.

3. This is so random, but does anyone else own Ugg slippers where the insoles are DONE? I got a pair for Christmas the year M was born, and I love them, but the insoles were gross after so much wear and I was debating getting a new pair. BUT! After a quick google search, I found you can get new Ugg insoles for your boots or slippers for only $15!! Y'all. This is a game changer! It's like I have brand new slippers all over again and for only $15! Also....I can't believe I just wrote a full paragraph about slipper insoles...

4. Do you live Charlotte? Do you subscribe to the Charlotte Five? If not, get on it! I look forward to this email in my inbox every morning. It's a lot like The Skimm, but geared only toward Charlotte news and happenings. If you live here, sign up!

5. I made these Niman Ranch burgers this weekend after seeing them on my friend Nina's blog. Make them. ASAP! They were awesome!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

February NYC Trip: Days 3 and 4

We woke up on Saturday morning, nice and early thanks to our early riser. We got dressed and headed out to find some breakfast. We had bagels and some yogurt and of course, coffee!

We had time to kill before we were ready to begin our day, as most of the museums and things we were interested in didn't open until 10AM. We wondered around Times Square for a little bit, and found our way into the Disney store. When you ask M now, three weeks later, what she enjoyed the most about NYC, the "Anna and Elsa Store!" is what she'll tell you! She was in heaven walking around and looking at everything! (And the Easter Bunny may have found a really cute Frozen swimsuit coverup that she knows M will go bananas over when she sees it in April.)

From here, we ventured to the subway (a pretty cool experience for a two year old!) and we traveled to the Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath as they call it.  This is a new museum in town (opened in 2012) and several of J's colleagues told him about it and said it's great for kids. We read online that it's geared toward 4th through 8th graders, but children of all ages and adults will enjoy it too. As a former 4th and 5th grade elementary math teacher, I think that's a great description. M definitely didn't understand a lot of the things she saw, but she had a ball exploring and doing all of the hands on activities. I would love to bring a class here for a field trip. It was filled with so many cool exhibits and activities for kids that would be great visual learning opportunities for them. If you have kids and you're visiting NYC with them, it's worth a trip here! We had a ball!

I love this picture of the two of them!

It was really just so much fun! And M still loves talking about the things she did here. 

From here, we left and walked a few blocks to meet J's cousin and his wife for lunch. They live in Brooklyn but came in to meet us. We always love catching up with them, so we were glad we got to sit down and catch up for an hour! After lunch they walked with us to the LEGO store where we played and took in the impressive LEGO buildings.

Around the time we left the LEGO store, it was starting to snow outside, and it was snowing hard! This was the first time M really got to experience real snow that she would remember. It was fun walking back to the subway and our hotel in it!

We made it back to our hotel and J put M down for her nap, and I headed out to go stand in the TKTS line for tickets for a show for that evening. My sister offered to come babysit for Maggie that night while we went out (love you Lindsay!), and so we figured we'd try to see if we could go see a show. The tickets go on sale at 3, so I went and got in line at 2:30. At that time, the line had started, but I was maybe only 100 people back, so not too bad! I stood in the snow for half an hour debating what to see and crossing my fingers that my choices would still be available when I got to the front of the line. I was going back and forth between Cabaret (with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone) or If/Then (with Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp) as my top choices, and my third option would have been Kinky Boots. When I got to the ticket booth, Cabaret was sold out, which made my choice easier, so we got tickets for If/Then

I headed back up to the hotel, where we all napped and rested until I decided to finally wake M up at 5:30 (the big weekend had caught up with her!). J went out and got her and Lindsay Chipotle for dinner, and when Lindsay arrived we headed out for our night out. We found a little sushi place not far from the theater where we sat at the bar and had a quick meal. Really good food, but I have no idea what it was called! 

We headed to the theater at quarter till eight, and got there in just enough time to find our seats. 

The show itself was just....okay. It wasn't bad by any means, but there are so many other great shows with better music, better stories and better dancing. BUT....the performances were fabulous. Idina was Idina. She was spectacular. Getting to see her live and on Broadway was kind of like a bucket list moment for me. I know she's not everyone's favorite, but I was in awe every time she sang. Also, being a big RENT fan from my high school days made it super cool to see her and Anthony Rapp on stage together again. He was also fantastic. 

Idina was nominated for a Tony for this role and she performed at the awards last spring. This was the ballad that her character sang at the end of the show, and my word, that woman can sing. 

Okay....enough fan girl talk! On Sunday morning, M took in the views from the 32nd floor. ..

We met up with Lindsay for brunch in her neighborhood at a diner, and for the first time since we had arrived in NYC, it was actually really nice outside! After three days of extreme cold and snow, the sunshine felt nice! We said our goodbyes to Aunt Lindsay and headed back to our hotel. We stopped by the M&M store (which M called the "Treat Store" since that's what we've called them since potty training last fall). She loved this goofy store. They had an item for everything you could think of with an M&M on it. She didn't ask for any of it until the very end....she found a butterfly container with different color M&M's inside, and looked at us and in a very matter of fact fashion said, "I'm gonna take this home with me." So that was that! She's still slowly working her way through those M&M's at home and I think I may need to replenish with new ones when these are gone, because she loves that darn butterfly. Nothing like a good souvenir!

We flew out later that afternoon and safely made it back to Charlotte (no sitting on the tarmac this time, wooo!) just in time for the Oscars where we both were impressed to see Idina on stage after just seeing her the night before! 

And there you have it! Our first successful big trip with a toddler and a very different trip to NYC then ones I've had in the past. I'm looking forward to more family adventures like this one.