Sunday, January 27, 2013

Favorite Moments of the Week

#5: Talkative Jack on the drive to Charlotte: "Momma, keep your eye out for some really old houses."  Repeated 40x in various ways over the course of 2 hours. The drive along back roads between Florence, SC and Charlotte, NC did not disappoint. There were lots of falling down houses along the way.

#4: Elated Jack at various points on his Grammy/Big Papa vacation: driving up to their house, saying "I need to hug Big Papa first"...having the time of his life at the YMCA pool...playing hide and seek with various family members (he is the world's worst player btw!)...visiting the main Florence fire station and getting to watch firemen slide down actual poles!

#3: Watching Cora perk up the first time she saw her Daddy on Face Time one day into our trip. She was obviously so happy to see him :)

#2: My buddy Jack being so happy to do "big boy LEGOs" with me last night. As we got closer to having the LEGO fire truck built, he kept clasping his hands and saying "I am so excited!!"

#1: After being told no by the first attendant, my mom and I found a different USAirways employee and asked if my mom could come back through security with me at the Charlotte airport since I was traveling alone and my flight was a little delayed. That woman said it was unlikely, but when I mentioned I'd been able to do it before, she said she'd check with her supervisor. The supervisor said yes and FOUR HOURS LATER our flight left Charlotte. I am so grateful my mom stayed and helped corral my napless children.  This meant she had to drive home through sleet and ice late at night. I am so thankful for her selflessness and that the supervisor was feeling generous!

SC weather had us wearing jackets and hats for the first time this winter!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking to update your work-out wardrobe?

I've made no secret that I'm a fan of Stitch Fix.  Fashion advice in a box?  A personal shopper that sends clothes to my door with few strings attached?  This fits my life right now!

So when I heard about pv.body, a similar concept, but for work-out wear, I signed up to review their product.  pv.body works in the following way:
  • Take a simple style quiz online
  • Pay $49.95
  • Be mailed a box of high quality workout gear (1 top and 1 bottom) that you would pay more than $100 for in a store
The style quiz lets you specify what type of workouts you typically do, where (outside, the gym, etc.), what size you are, what type of fit you like (think racerback tops, cropped pants, fitted shorts, etc.), and what type of color palettes you typically wear.

I received one box and was really happy with both the quality and the "fit" for my style.  I received a MPG brand racer back tank and cropped leggings, that do indeed retail for over $100 (I checked them out online.)  They both fit me, were flattering, and coordinate as a work-out outfit.

If you receive items that you don't like or that do not fit, you have the option to exchange for different sizes or styles at no cost to you.  You can also choose to return the whole order for a complete refund.

When you sign-up, you will automatically receive boxes (and be charged) every month, so you would need to cancel if you only wanted one box or only needed a few new outfits.

I'm not someone to do a lot of shopping, so the monthly option wouldn't be something I'd be interested in, but I'd most definitely sign up for a box the next time my workout wardrobe needed a boost.  I was very impressed with the quality of the clothes and the company's ability to take my style quiz and translate it into clothes that I really liked.

If this sounds appealing, sign up through my link and you'll get 20% off!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The 7 month update

Cora (7 months) 

We are all in love with Cora-bell, also known as Cora-ba-dorable, Cora-Bora, and Cora-da-belle. 

My absolute favorite thing is to watch Jack and Cora interact.  With very few exceptions, these are sweet and loving. They both light up when they see each other. She's started playing in the "doll house" recently which just tickles them both. She loves all the toys and he is always wanting her to be a part of his imagination games (fire fighter responding to duty, conductor leading band, playing train, etc.)

I also love watching Jacob interact with Cora first thing in the morning.  We've had a few weeks of rough nights where she's waking 3-5x. Usually she just needs her paci back, but it involves us waking up fully since she's in her own room.  She also has had a run of nights where she was up for good between 4:30/5:30. Yet no matter how rough the night, Jacob is always so happy to see her in the morning. She can do no wrong in his eyes. I think it's the constant smile!

She continues to be such a happy baby, thought maybe a bit less "easy" because of the night wakings and a little difficulty getting her down for naps. She also seems to be teething, though she still just has two bottom teeth showing.

She eats 3 meals most days and seems to be swallowing more. Loves cucumbers, apples, pears, bread, pasta, sweet potato, butternut squash, cheese, and loves her sippy cup.

She sits up great now. This is such an awesome phase!! I remember this with Jack. The pre-crawling, but happy to sit and play and watch phase.

Her usual schedule now is: up early, early morning nap (8/8:30), long afternoon nap (1:30-4:30ish), and ready for bed by 7. She has had some nights where she doesn't nurse between 7pm and morning but then other times demands a 4:30am feeding.

Jack (3 yrs 1 month)

His memory impresses us. There was his Twas the Night Before Christmas reciting and he also has some of his other books memorized.
He's still a voracious reader. We probably read him 5-10 books a day depending on our mood and he flips through another 10-20.
He naps 50% of the time and is good about having quiet time.
The fire truck obsession continues. His latest game is to act out when the fire department came to our house on New Years Day thanks to my mom cooking pancakes and setting off the fire alarm. The fireman that came to the door was the same fireman that came to Jack's party and who we later saw at the firehouse when we dropped off thank you cookies. It was funny to be re-meeting him in our pajamas, but Jack was thrilled. We sent the firemen home with pancakes, so it seemed that everyone left happy. Now Jack plays this game complete with me giving him pancakes after he responds to the "call."
The time together over the holidays has made us all feel closer.  Jack continues to love his momma A LOT, but he's had some special time with Jacob too. We can tell he is processing no longer being a baby - sometimes he's happy to be the big boy but other times he wants us to pick him up and he uses baby talk.  
When he's not baby talking, he keeps us amused with his steady stream of talking. He has picked up an impressive vocabulary from his books. Our favorites: "actually," "probably," "I'm feeling a little confused," and "You're fooling me."
He was very excited to have his old buddy Lucius join his class at Waldorf.
He started swimming lessons and Kindermusik and loves them both.

Jacob & Me

Jacob is about to have a week long intensive session of his Executive MBA program so Jack, Cora, and I are headed to SC because I didn't like the sound of being a solo parent from 7am-10pm for 7 days. He will get to focus on school and sleep soundly all week and I will get to visit friends and family and get lots of Jack and Cora help. I'll also get to see my sister for the first time since she found out she was pregnant!

In other news, we got new bedding for Christmas/my birthday! After a month of no bed, our mattress arrived.  This upgrade to a king is awesome!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Celebrating the Mother

 This seemed a good topic for this week.

On the one hand, I just had my 30th birthday, and felt very celebrated by my family and friends this week.  Free babysitting, new bedding, sweet treats, a surprise lunch, a Sucre cake, a date night out, time to myself, nice messages, and lots of hugs (Jack) and smiles (Cora) from my kids = a very nice day.

On the other hand, I'm going to call myself out.  I'm at a unique place as Cora has a few weeks of solids under her belt, but hasn't yet had any decrease in her milk feedings.  This means I can claim nearly full responsibility for this:

It would be easy to see only a beautiful baby and to overlook the pure accomplishment that this beautiful specimen is!  But I was thinking recently, that I GREW her!  Jacob gets credit for half of her DNA, but I took her from mere cells to 20+ pounds of preciousness.  For 38 weeks "inside" and, now, for nearly 7 months "outside" through my made-to-order 100% cream shakes!

I can tell you that it's a rare day when a mother gets thanked by her children for the milk, love, nourishment, and care that is poured out for them daily.  (Although Jack does have a very sweet habit lately of saying thank you quite frequently!)  So I'm going to pat myself on the back for the absolute MIRACLE that are pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.  Amidst the moments of pure joy that they offer, they can take a physical toll.  They are each HARD at times.  But, I doubt I'll ever accomplish anything as beautiful, special, or amazing as this :)

Side note: statistically, if Cora encountered 99 other babies her age, she'd be the biggest!