Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm STILL bananas for him.

This week Mr. R. has been especially sweet. He has been helpful, caring, kind, and thoughtful. There was a surprise delivered to work, he emptied the dishwasher, randomly swiffered the living room, let me sleep in, AND he took Pip out on a day date so I could have some alone time at home. 
I wanted to make sure he knew how much I love him and love the little things he does to make my life easier/better/worth living. Mr. R. loves to eat something sweet with his morning coffee and I knew banana muffins (with chocolate chips) would be right up his alley. 
I added a little note and placed them in the counter next to our Keurig machine.
And if you are reading this, husband of mine, I love you to the moon and back. Thanks for being you! Also Pip loves these muffins so plan on sharing...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Midweek Date: Pub Grub and Bowling

Happy Hump Day Friends!
I am trying to be more intentional with my time and the time I have with my husband. This includes putting down my cell phone, eating dinner at the table, taking time to really listen when he talks about his day, and making time for midweek date nights. Tonight we are technology free. Ipads, cellphones, pinterest, and facebook are contraband in my house tonight.
We are bowling from our living room tonight. We made buffalo chicken dip for dinner, there was a playroom dance party, and I actually won a game in bowling!
This win deserves serious props because I bowled the last 5 frames with Piper on my hip. Perhaps she is a good luck charm?

P.S. The weekend is only one workday away!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tickle Monster

Now that I am back to work I am not able to attend Barnes and Noble's Wednesday story hour. Miss Pip still goes with Miss Rita, but I am left out of the loop. Luckily we discovered that Barnes has online story hour! 
Saturday afternoon Pip and I curled up on our chaise, grabbed the lap top, and settled in for The Tickle Monster authored and read by Josie Bissett. 
She loved it. And loved it. I pretended to be the monster and as she read aloud I attacked Pip's toes, tummy, knees, and neck and armpits with my tickle monster hands. We actually played the story twice making sure to throughly tickle each body part named by the Tickle Monster. 
I think our story time only lasted 15 minutes, but it made my day.
We laughed, we tickled, she ran, I chased her and we laughed some more.
Thank you Barnes and Noble for making these great books available. 
P.S. Amazon sells the book complete with the tickle monster glove. 
I think this set needs to go on Pip's Christmas list this year!

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Some people FEEL the rain, others just get wet" -Bob Marley

Who needs dinner and clean laundry when there are puddles to jump in?

And thus begins my grace year.

This is my year to say no thank you.
This is my year to honestly say I don't have time.
This is my year to make sure that the things I am giving my time and effort to are worth my time and effort.
This year I am putting my family before work and social commitments.
This year I am putting myself back on the list.
This is my year to start reading again.
This year I am going to accept help when I need it. 
This year I am thankful that Mr. R. is making dinner once a week.
This year I am trying life as a pearl. 
And so far, it feels good. 
Thank you curly girl designs for the inspiration!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

London Staycation

Friday: Our London staycation started with afternoon tea service, mugs of milky tea and roasted peaches with goat cheese, walnuts, and honey. We made a promise to leave our stresses at the front door for the weekend.
 I always dream of taking a vacation where I can book spa treatments so I decided to set up a few of my own for after Pip went to bed. Body scrub and facial? Yes please! 
Mr. R. and I set up a couch date for 9:00 PM to see London from the bottom up.
 (Thank you Cities of the Underworld).
 Saturday Morning we headed to Brighton (aka our local beach). There was Piper chasing, shell hunting, and some sand eating. She has to try the sand each time and then she spits it out and looks horrified that we let her eat it.  

Our afternoon consisted of more mugs of milky tea, shortbread, and naps.
When we visited London a few years ago we were amazed by the number of Indian take-away (fast food) shops. I wanted to incorporate that into our staycation as well. So after church we settled into bowls of crockpot Indian Curry and the new Sherlock Holmes DVD.
 This morning I slept in. We drank more coffee. 
We took a long walk around the neighborhood.

I am so loving this weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fancy Piper

Pip has gotten really into accessories lately. This afternoon she chose to wear a scarf, purse, headband and hat. We are attributing her new found love for fashion to Fancy Nancy. 
I bought Pip a Fancy Nancy book at Barnes in June.  We have been reading it off and on since then. According to the book's author, "Nancy, believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy." 

I love the self confidence Pip has. I love that she gets giddy with excitement when she steps into my closet. I love that she piles on accessories and never once wonders if she looks OK. I think I too need to study under the tutelage of Fancy Nancy. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


It has been raining like crazy in my part of Florida. The sun will shine all morning and than at 2:00 PM the heavens open up and it looks as though Noah should have built a second ark. Seriously, for almost seven afternoons straight I haven't seen the sun. 

I made a comment to Mr. R. earlier this week that I felt like I was living in London instead of the Sunshine state. And just like that a date idea was born. 
This weekend, with a budget of $20 and two DVDs from Netflix, Mr. R. and I are jetting off to jolly old England. We are both in need of a little down time to reconnect and relax and what better way to do that than a weekend stay-cation in Hotel Republican. 

Photo Sources: 1 2 3 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cowgirl in training.

She's got the hat...

...all that's missing are the boots and the pony.

To: Piper Love: Mimi

A package arrived yesterday and the contents inside were addressed to Piper. She took a moment to read her note and then (just like her Mama) she was all about the contents. Thank you Mimi for the new clothes! 

Pip immediately demanded to wear her Monkey shirt. And as soon as we put the tee on her she couldn't stop looking at the monkey. She even makes the monkey sounds and points to her tee. I think we have a budding fashionista around here!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elvis Suds

Bath time is always a good time in our house. There is music (via Pandora), tub dancing by Piper, bath toy splashing and bubbles. Lots of bubbles. Monday night I started piling bubbles on Pip's head and she could not get enough. I was showing Pip her reflection as the bubble pile was growing and she could not stop giggling. The giggling turned into belly laughing and soon we were both cracking up as the bubble pile continued to grow. I showed Mr. R. the photos later and he dubbed them Elvis hair. 
Elvis has left the building. 

Who's the fairest?

 Pip has become infatuated with mirrors. She loves to wave at herself, kiss herself, and dance in front of the mirror. She has killer self esteem! 

The classroom pinterest built.

 This year we are the Scientific Super Heroes. We are fighting against bad grades and bad attitudes. My students love the theme and so far are all in. There is lots of excitement in the air and homework is being turned in completed and on time.
  I am feeling a bit like Wonder Woman, or  should I say Wonder Teacher. The only thing holding me back from conquering the world is laundry and lesson plans. Both of which are on the agenda for this evening. Wish me luck!

How to eat a watermelon, Piper style.

She just can't get enough.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The twins are ONE!

Two years ago Charlie and I sat in my classroom sharing the burden on infertility. I had miscarried early that spring and Mr. R. and I had started talking about life without children or choosing the root of IVF. Charlie and Courtney knew our story of trying, hoping, prayer, and loss. Soon after that conversation Jeff and I discovered I was pregnant with Pip and being the awesome friends that Charlie and Courtney are, they rejoiced in our good news. Five months later I received a phone call from Charlie. He left an elated message stating Courtney was eight weeks pregnant and they would be the proud parents of twins! Courtney attended my baby shower, we shared crazy pregnancy stories, and I watched her belly grow. She and Charlie visited us and celebrated when Piper finally made her appearance. Mr. R. and I rejoiced when Charlie texted the twin's first pictures.
We were honored to take part in celebrating the twin's first birthday on Saturday. Happy Birthday boys! You are SO loved!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back to work.

After having two glorious months off this summer, I returned to full time employment on Monday. The first week back in the classroom is always overwhelming, bittersweet, and exciting. It's very hard to leave my girl each morning, but rushing in the door at 3:45 each day is my favorite part. At 4:00 PM we wave goodbye to Miss Rita and start our night as a family.

I have been trying to be more INTENTIONAL with my time this summer. That means no more wasting time waiting for life to happen or plans to be made. This week we made time for the park, a visit to my grandparents, a trip to the store, nightly dinners at the table, a Thursday night dance party, and dinner with my grandparents on Friday. At 7:00PM our day stops for bath time and two books. And then at 8:00 Mr. R. and I have time together, we usually end up watching a DVD, but once again trying to be more intentional, I hope to sneak in at least one school night date per week. 

There are a few things I have learned this week.
1. My to-do list is always longer than the number of hours I have in my day. I need to just let go of my todo list.
2. I am a MUCH NICER person when I exercise.
3. I have the best job in the world. My students are so excited for science this year. We are talking high fiving, giant smiles, and exclamations of "so cool!". They made me excited to jump right into teaching on Monday.
4. Teaching is my day job and while it does pay the bills, it's not the only job I have. It is possible to be an awesome Mom and wife while teaching. It just takes balance.
5. Piper is watching everything I do. While doing my are weight on Thursday Pip start doing bicep curls right along with me.

Today we have a birthday party for our favorite twins and tonight Mr. R. and I have a date. Three cheers to the weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Piptures @ 14 months.

Pip turned 15 months on Sunday and I thought it was time for a little blog update on life with our little lady. 
Pip is in LOVE with animals. Her favorite is the elephant, followed very closely by the lion and the monkey. When I was pregnant the idea of an animal themed nursery seemed perfect for the sassy little girl growing in my belly. Little did I know how much she'd love these animals. She can pick out an elephant, lion, monkey, cow, pig, and chicken in pictures and books. She is able to mimic almost any animal sounds and she can sing and dance along to Old McDonald. 

Piper loves accessories. She is a big fan of her Daddy's baseball caps, my purses, and sunglasses. She wears her sunglasses upside down most days. She continues to like hair barrettes and bows, but her true love is shoes. We bought her two pairs of glittery sneakers and she tries to wear them ALL the time. She tried to wear them to bed last weekend!

Bath time is still a favorite and the more bubbles the better. She makes bubble beards, bubble hats, and tries to cover her bath toys in suds. 

She is VERY independent. She wants to feed herself, walk by HERSELF (as in she refuses to hold our hands anymore, and pick out her own toys. I am loving that we changed our bookcase into a toy cabinet that she can reach. All her toys are at her level and totally accessible. 

Pip and the pups. Right now she takes great pride in sharing her meals and snacks with the pups. Of course, they are more than willing to share her spoils. She also loves to hold their leashes and pretend to walk them. 

  • Almost 30 inches
  • 23 pounds
  • Favorite book: Roar Roar Peekaboo, complete with almost all the jungle animal sounds
  • Favorite foods: black beans, corn, sweet potatoes, soft pretzels, craisins, and avocado
  • Favorite activities: singing, dancing, and giving kisses
  • Favorite clothes: her pink tutu and her glitter shoes

Don't underestimate the things that I will do.

Today I ran three miles. 
I ran them with Adele singing in my ears. 
Her song, Rolling in the Deep, spoke to me today. 
"There's a fire burning in my heart. Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out of the dark".
I'm not sure where this fire came from. I'm not sure what it's going to turn into, but right now this fire is making me run. And for that, I am grateful. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

National Smore's Day!

Last Friday was National Smore's Day. And you know how much I love holidays. So as per usual we celebrated. I drew a tent on the chalkboard wall. We bought ingredients for smores. Mr. R. turned our coffee table into a picnic table and a bucket filled with cheese curls served as our camp fire. Also, we watched The Great Outdoors on Netflix. Miss Pip even passed out early and slept through the night. 
I tell you, Friday could not have been better. 

BTW: Why are 80's movies so much better than movies today? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

We went to France. (Not really, but it's fun to pretend)

Mr. R. and I plan an out of country vacation every four years. We save our pennies for three years and then on the fourth year we spend hours in the Barnes and Nobel travel section trying to decide where to go and what we will see, where we will stay or most importantly, what we will eat.

This year is a saving year. No out of country travel for us. But that doesn't mean we can't pretend. Last Wednesday we went to France for the night. I bought a bottle of red wine, made my famous brie, cranberry, and pecan dip. And Mr. R. and I settled in for a movie. I chose National Lampoon's European Vacation. It has all the best views of Paris, England, and Germany without cringe worthy hijinks that had us doubled over laughing. 

I also made Mr. R. pose for a passport picture, (the black and white photos above). I plan to use the photos to make him a faux passport that we can use for our international date nights. Corny yes, but its little dates like these that keep our budget intact and our relationship in check.  

I got a haircut, had a heart to heart with myself, and decided to take charge of my life.

 This summer I had a long hard talk with myself. In the past year of life with Pip I had let myself go. I know I said that I wouldn't. I know that I tried very hard to find balance, but the truth is I fell down the rabbit hole of Mommyhood. And as much as I love Pip I am not willing to make her my identity and my fulfillment.

Once I realized and was willing to admit I had let myself go I needed to make a game plan. I needed to find time for myself and the things that make me feel good.

1. Exercise. Since the last week of July I have been consistently working out 4 times a week. I have more energy and I feel better physically & mentally after a good sweat session on the treadmill.

2. Get more sleep. Piper has finally started sleeping through the night and I cannot tell you how much my life has improved. I really really need a full 7 hours of sleep to function. I finally feel rested when I wake up each morning.

3. Get a haircut. In my head I have this idea that I should have long hair with blonde highlights. In reality I don't have time to style long hair and highlights require more than a once a year color appointment. I faced reality with the help of my hair stylist and now I am back to my original hair color and have a pixie cut. I absolutely love this hair. So easy, so cute, and I feel just a little bit like Audrey Hepburn.

4. Eat better. I am slowly cutting sugar and wheat from my diet. It's so much harder and takes more willpower than I am actually ready to give, but I am working on it and hopefully I will see the benefits of being gluten free very soon.

5. Go to church. Just as I need to care for my body physically I need to feed my soul spiritually.

6. Put some "me time" on the family calendar. I am trying to schedule in 15 to 30 minutes of me time daily. Me time is defined as time to myself that does not involve working out or doing a task for someone else.

So far it's working. Because I am taking time to workout and eat right I have more energy. More energy makes me a better Mom to Pip. My haircut and my "me time" make me feel better about my appearance and give me more confidence. That makes me a better role model. And church, curch makes my marriage stronger, my faith deeper, and gives me hope that I can make it through each day.

Bubbles with Grandmother

My grandparents put together a mystery box for Piper and she looks for it EVERYTIME we visit their house. We have been slowly adding more items to the box as she shows interest. Right now her favorite items include matchbox cars, playing cards, and bubbles. She loves trying to grab the bubbles and pop them before they hit the ground. She really wants to be able to blow the bubbles, but she hasn't grasped the concept of blowing air. She either ends up kissing the wand or shoving the wand complete with bubble solution in her mouth. Luckily, bubble solution is non toxic and hopefully soon she will realize it doesn't taste that great either.

Moo. Moo. MOO!

This summer we have been working on recognizing animals and animal sounds. We started with the safari animals that adorn the walls of her room and now thanks to a few new books and an awesome Melissa and Doug farm animal sound puzzle we have moved onto farm animals. As far as we can tell her favorite farm animal is the cow. When ever she sees a cow in books, TV, or even the Chick Fil A cow on a billboard she moos with all her might. And of course Mr. R. stop everything we are doing and praise her for being so smart and so good at making the cow sound. 
Mr. R. was in charge of story time the other day and Miss Pip decided to ad lib the cow part. I wish I had video for you, but just imagine a little voice saying, "moo. moo. moooooo. MOOOOO!. moo. moo. ROAR!" We are thinking that maybe the cow got really mad at the end or maybe he was eaten by a lion. 

Tea for Three

 While my Mom was visiting, Mr. R. and I took advantage for her babysitting service to spend an afternoon rearranging our house and making more room for Pip to play. We ended up turning our once formal dining room into a spacious playroom. She loves it and I love not having baby toys all over our house. One of the major advantages to our new setup is that her playhouse has come inside. 

If you have ever lived or visited Florida in August and September, you know that it's HOT and by HOT I mean it feels like we are living on the sun. It's too hot to spend hours outside playing house and kitchen, but it's perfectly acceptable to bring the playhouse inside and spend hours drinking tea on Piper's porch. 

She loves to pour the tea using her singing teapot and she is a big fan our serving up her tea biscuits. Although she always saves the chocolate, or should I say brown colored,  one for herself. Don't you dare try to sneak it away from her either. She always knows when it is missing. 
 Up next, to finally finish her play kitchen and felt food. This girl is a hostess in training!