Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Slow cooker = time saver

Again with the slow cooker...I know... I have been doing a little more research in this department, and thanks to Nicole suggesting I check out this link to a woman's blog who used her slow cooker for 365 a row...I have decided I am going to up my usage. My plan is to start using my slow cooker two days a week. I am not jumping into anything crazy like every day of the week, but two days is a good number. One thing I really like about this blog collection of recipes is that she includes pictures, but she also explains how the recipes turned out in the end. How many times have you looked at a recipe, the picture looked good, but then when you made it, it just wasn't great? I'm sick of that. She had one curry recipe listed that I thought looked awesome. After reading her review of it, I KNOW we wouldn't like it. I want someone else to do that work for me, so then I will just be left with recipes that are decent.

Tomorrow I will be making one of the recipes. I found a corn chowder recipe on there. I LOVE me some corn chowder, so I thought that would be a good place to start. I think Lilli will like it, too. Caden? Maybe. We will see. :) That kid still isn't a big eater. I did get him to eat two fish sticks last night. Now these were not your run of the mill fish sticks. I have been trying to get the kiddos more organic food. Since Caden doesn't eat a ton, I need to make sure that what he does eat is the best it can be. He seems to like those. Lilli does too, of course, but that girl will eat almost anything.

Tomorrow I will have a substitute teacher at school since I will be at a meeting in Oshkosh. I already have everything set up for the sub, so today should be a relatively smooth day. Ryan has a meeting tonight, so that means no spinning :( Since I didn't do my 4 mile run yesterday, that's what I will be doing after the kiddos are in bed. Although I still LOVE working out in the morning so I don't have to do it in the evening, 4 mile runs just take too much time. If I were faster this wouldn't be an issue, but I'm not. I will continue to do my elliptical work in the morning on cross training days since that is only for 40-45 minutes.

The kids and I had fun playing tonight while Dada was in his meeting. Here are some pics from our evening:

"No, don't take my picture!"

Silly kids! Lilli decided to store Jessie in her mouth instead of holding her :)

Caden thinks it is pretty cool that we both can curl our tongues.

Playing with the Toy Story toys. She has Woody.

Pausing from playing to smile and say "cheese."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Caden's screening

Since Ryan took Caden to his Development Screening, I decided it would make more sense for him to write the blog entry. Here it is from Ryan:

"Today Caden had his preschool screening.  I told him we were going there to play some special games and have some fun.  The person who evaluated him is a speech pathologist who worked with my mom for years.  She followed him around and asked him questions and just observed his speech, fine & gross motor, interaction with others, and asked me questions about what he was able to do.  He passed that with flying colors and she said he was obviously fine.  His favorite thing was chasing two college girls around with a ball that they threw back and forth.  It was a little weird when he asked for their phone numbers though.  They also give the option to have hearing and vision screenings.  We did the hearing test (which was fine), but opted out of the vision screening since I'm one of the docs they refer the kids to anyway.  I told them I could probably handle that one.  He had a good time and they confirmed that he is doing great!"

Here is the proof:

I am so happy that Ryan was able to go with him. I think he was proud of our little man. He said he thought about taking pictures after he left. No biggie! I know Caden had a great time, and I am glad he wasn't shy. We were a very proud Mama and Dada today :)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Lilli's 18 Month Appointment

Isn't it hard to believe that Lilli is already 18 months old? I think is. She was technically 18 month old yesterday, but today was her 18 month appointment. The time is just flying and my kiddos are getting bigger and bigger!

Her appointment went very well. She is doing great. Here are some pics that Ryan and I took:

Lilli kept trying to grab the pen while I was filling out the questionnaire about her.
Caden decided he needed to take a picture of himself with Dada's phone.
Lilli enjoyed playing with this.
Look at that pretty girl.
Being a good girl while her heart is checked out.
"Hey, what are you lookin' at?"
Here are Lilli's stats:

Weight: 22.5 lbs. (21st percentile)
Ht: 32 inches (61st percentile)
Head: 47.8 cm (83rd percentile)

These were Caden's stats from his 18 month appointment:

Weight: 23 lbs. 21 ounces (45th percentile)
Ht: 34 1/4 inches (50th percentile)
Head: 50 cm (95th percentile)

Here is the post if you want to be reminded of what that little man looked like then. :) Seems like it was just yesterday.

Tomorrow is a big day for Caden. The Oshkosh school district is doing the pre-kindergarten screenings, and Caden has an appointment tomorrow. It worked out really well that it is a Tuesday morning, because Ryan is able to take him. We are anxious to see what they say. Caden is lucky that Aunt Cara has been screening him informally since he was born, so we always work on what she suggests since she is the expert! It will be nice to see what the others say as well. So look for tomorrow's update to be a Caden centered one. It's about time :)


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Windy Day and Peek a Boo Lilli

The sun did make an appearance today, but it was soooo WINDY! Although I know I've mentioned many times that I hate running on the treadmill, but it was just too windy to run outside. I am happy to report that I did successfully complete my 5 miles for today. While I was running outside, Ryan took the kiddos outside to soak up some Vitamin D. Here are a couple shots:

Lilli loves wearing her helmet.
Caden got a good workout riding his motorcycle.

It was a very nice day. We ended the evening with a nice family meal at our house.

I will leave you for tonight with a video that Ryan got of Lilli yesterday. She is REALLY into playing peek a boo. She loves to play it just about anywhere. Today she was playing it by hiding her head in Ryan's coat while he was pushing the shopping cart. We also got her to demonstrate how she shows "stinky baby." She is a funny little squirt.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Busy weekend

Last night started our busy weekend. We have the Mid-Morning Kiwanis fundraising event: Oshkosh Talent Untapped. It was a lot of fun. There were performers, of course, but there were also some items on which to bid. Ryan won a year supply of beer from Fratello's. It is for once a month. He was pretty pleased about that. The people who performed were pretty good. There was one student from West who recited his poetry. He was amazing. The talent was so great that I asked him for an email address so I could set up a time for him to come and visit my Creative Writing students and recite his poetry. He ended up getting second place for his division.

We had a really great time. Thank you to Chris for watching the kiddos for us. It was cute when we got home. The living room was very quiet with Caden sleeping on Aunt Chris' lap. Too cute.

Today was also a busy day. I went spinning this morning, and then soon after I got home Ryan had to leave to help work Battle on Bago. This was another fundraising event for conservation. Ryan's rotary club was running a Chili cook-off, so he had to be there from roughly 10-4 to help with it. The kids and I stayed home and played. I had planned to run to the store with them, but then Caden slept FOREVER. Not that I'm complaining. I got a chance to paint my nails! :) The fun didn't stop there.

Tonight Ryan and I went to a Propel membership drive meeting.

Propel was organized in 2003 as a development and networking group for young professionals. Ryan knows multiple people in the group, and he has been asked multiple times to come and check it out. Ryan really likes the idea since it is something we could do together. The event was at the YMCA by our house. It was fun because the facility was kept open just for the group, so we were able to either rock wall climb, play volleyball, or ice skate. Ryan and I did the rock wall climbing. Here are some shots of Ryan. He did a very good job.

This is much trickier than it looks!
Here he is working at climbing the hard side. NOT the side I did :)

Almost there!
We had a really good time, and we think we will end up joining. We met some nice people, and would like to have a group with which to socialize. The networking for Ryan is also a huge positive.

It seems like we have done so much this weekend, and it is only Saturday night! A HUGE thank you goes out to Grandma and Bumpah for watching the kiddos while we were networking :) The kids were pretty happy to see them when they got here.

Tomorrow is another 5 miler, so we will see how that goes!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Workout Update

It's Friday, so that means it's time for a workout update! I don't know how everyone else feels about reading these, but I look forward to sharing my accomplishments from the week on the blog. I guess it's my way to reflect on the week and see what I have really been able to do. Not every day was a great one, but I have remained consistent with my fitness goals :)

Here was my week:

Saturday: Rest. I usually have spinning, but since Ryan was at a meeting in Madison it just wasn't happening this morning.
Sunday: 5 miles (Outside---Yay!)
Monday: Rest (I am reading a fitness book that says one day a week should be devoted to absolutely no exercise...even sit ups.)
Tuesday: Ran 3.5 miles before work.
Wednesday: 40 minutes on the elliptical before work.
Thursday: Rest (I was planning to do another 40 on the elliptical, but by the time I got home at 7 pm from Parent/Teacher conferences, and I hadn't eaten dinner, I just wasn't feeling it. I did do quite a few squats.)
Friday: 3.5 miles on the treadmill before work

It is time for me to start looking for a 5K to run. I need to throw that into my training schedule. My philosophy for running has always been to finish. Not to look at time, not to worry about others passing me... I think for the first time I want to look at my time. I want to challenge myself for the 5K to see how well I can really do. I think this is better for a shorter distance like that. Longer runs, like the Half Marathon, I think it will still be good to have the goal to finish in a safe way. With 3.1 miles, that is short enough that I think I could sprint a good portion of it without killing myself. I don't see myself sprinting any part of the Half Marathon without losing too much steam. So I need to start looking for some 5K to get signed up. If anyone knows of any good ones, let me know!

Getting back to now, the plan for tomorrow AM is spinning. I feel like it has been FOREVER since I was able to go. I am really looking forward to it. I know that this class has really been helping me to reshape my lower body. LOVE IT! I still think at some point I am going to have to get some spinning shoes. I wonder if I will be able to find spinning shoes as sweet as my running shoes? Probably not. How can you beat those?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No poop :( New nanny :)

Unfortunately I have no update in the bathroom department for the little man. He's a big talker, but when it come time, he still doesn't want to use the toilet. I am still going to remain optimistic that it will happen in the next week. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Last week our new nanny Crystal started. She will be watching the kids every Wednesday and every other Monday. While we were super sad that Leonna had to stop watching the kiddos, we are really happy that the kids have Miss Crystal as their new friend. They had a lot of fun yesterday and went to the mall in Appleton to play in the play area before the stores opened. Here are two cute pics that Crystal sent to me:

Look at that smile!
Caden LOVED crawling around.
How happy does Lilli look? Caden always looks so serious :)

After playing at the mall (and eating a cookie :) ) the kids got to go to see Miss Crystal's house in Neenah. Caden was pretty excited because they got to feed a guinea pig. They both zonked on the way home. When I got home from work they were outside drawing with chalk on the driveway. Lilli had a HUGE smile on her face. So cute :)

I will leave you with a pic of Lilli from last night. She was eating a snack, and she wanted some ketchup. Check out her dunking skills as she adds a little ketchup to her cracker.

Making the dip
Yummy! Yummy!
She was a happy camper!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lilli the videographer

Just as Caden is good with a camera, so is Lilli. Here is a short video of her. It started with me trying to get her on film saying "hi." She decided that she wanted to hold the phone. I love it when she makes faces. The phone had the camera flipped so it was recording her and she could see herself. She is so funny!

I will need to make sure that tomorrow's post focuses on my little man!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Lilli the lounger

We have an alphabet DVD from Preschool Prep that I put on sometimes while the kids are playing. It's not the kind you sit down and watch, but it just plays in the background. It just goes through all of the letters, and then at the end of the video it plays the ABC song. Lilli LOVES the song. She stops whatever she is doing to watch it, and she usually bounces and dances along. She has even started to try to sing a long with it. It is pretty cute. The other day when it was on she decided she wanted to take a seat to watch it. Look at this little goof ball:

Smiling for the camera
Trying to get a little more comfortable
Stretching out that leg a little bit
Looking somewhat shocked, amused, or scared by the alphabet
Love it!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 miles down :)

I am happy to report that Nicole and I completed our 5 miles! Nicole had a shoe malfunction for the last mile, but other than that it went pretty well. I can definitely tell this time around with training that I am doing it the right way. The long runs aren't as tough as they were the other times I ran in the past. I think that keeping up with my runs during the week is making a HUGE difference. I am really looking forward to the Half Marathon.

The funniest thing was when I was sitting next to Caden after my run. He said, "Mama, can you go sit over there? You are all dirty from running. You smell dirty." Nice, huh? I laughed, of course! He was right though, I did need to shower :)

While Nicole and I were running, someone had to watch the kiddos. Andrew had a church meeting, so Ryan watched all four kids by himself. It went very well. He did capture a video of some of the fun:

He said that it was a fun time to be had by all.

Tonight we had our family dinner at Grandma and Bumpah's house. We had a belated celebration of my birthday. It was delicious: salmon, tenderloin, mushroom barley pilaf, angel food cake... Yum. I was also spoiled with gifts of course. It was a good time for everyone :)

I will leave you with a pic I took of Lilli earlier today. I was trying to get a nice one to send to my Grandma, but Lilli kept looking away. The lighting was too bright, but I love how her eyes look in this pic. What a little cutie:


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Surprise party, Educare, Family Dinner Date :)

Last night we went to a restaurant here in town to help celebrate one of the North Shore girl's (Carol's) birthday. It was a surprise 60th. I think she was surprised. The kids had a good time, too. Here are some of the highlights:

Caden LOVED the cake. Shocker.
Lilli looks somewhat like a pirate in this pic. She did a great job eating on her own with a fork.
Even more than the cake, Caden loved a Spiderman punching game there. We let him play it a few times. He is already asking about going back to play it again. Here he is:

It was a nice day today. I mean both weather wise and other. The kids and I played at home this AM while Dada had a meeting in Madison. The kids decided they needed to get out all of the toys by their kitchen:

It took a little bit to clean up that mess :)

After Dada got home we decided to go to Educare to play for a little bit. I also picked up a new poster for my classroom and one of Andrew's birthday presents since his birthday is next month.

We made a quick stop at Pick N Save after Educare. I was reminded of why we don't usually shop there. The produce section just doesn't compare to Festival. They had NO strawberries or blueberries. Really? What grocery store doesn't have strawberries and blueberries? It's not like I am talking about a starfruit or something. Since I am following Weight Watchers, I love me that bowl of delicious that costs me no points:

After grocery shopping we headed home because the Josephs' clan was coming over for an impromptu dinner. We had a great time. Once again I didn't think to take any pictures while they were over. I need to get better at that.

Now it is time for bed. After church Nicole is heading over so we can do our long run together. Tomorrow is a 5 mile day (GULP...), so I will have to update you about how it goes.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Workout Update

It was another fast week! It was even faster since my birthday was Wednesday, and I was at a conference instead of work on Thursday and Friday. It was a good week. Working out went very well this week, too. I liked working on some days before work. I think this is something I am going to stick with. Here is how the week looked.

Saturday: Spinning (7:30am class at the Y)
Sunday: 4 mile run on the treadmill. This was a HARD run. I was just really tired and not into it.
Monday: Rest (I did throw in some squats.)
Tuesday: Ran 3 miles before work. This should have been 3.5 miles, but I misread my schedule.
Wednesday: 30 minutes on the elliptical before work.
Thursday: 30 minutes on the elliptical
Friday: 3.5 miles on the treadmill

Since the weather is looking nicer (knock on wood), I am planning on most of the treadmill runs to move outside. I still am really lacking in strength training, so that will be my number one goal for next week. Overall, I think I did pretty well this week!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lilli is no longer a shrimp!

Last night was Lilli's last swimming class. I could really tell a difference with how comfortable she is in the water now from her first class. I know it is very important for us to keep getting the kids in the water. We REALLY need to start going swimming with them for fun once a week.

Here are some pics from her last lesson:

She does a great job of coming to me if I count to three. No fear :)

Here she is working on pulling herself out of the pool with help.
She was pretty proud that she reached the ducky. She had to show Dada.

Lounging babe
Here I am demonstrating my inability to go down the slide WITHOUT going under the water. One second after this picture was taken, Lilli went under, too :(
Here she is giving us the stink eye since she went under the water. A little upset, but still SO cute :)
I had Ryan come with me and stay out of the pool so he could get some pics. I need them for her scrapbook of course :)

Such a cute little shrimp.