8.30.2012

Might As Well Jump

Some days, especially those particular days when you are on the cusp of turning nine (NINE!! Hold me!) years old, you might find yourself with some pent up energy.

So what's a girl to do?
Throw on your blue and pink Chucks and head outside for some serious trampoline action.

For an extra dose of fun you can practice your soccer skills as you jump.
Crazy, crazy fun. Is what it is.

If you're almost nine.

8.27.2012

Switching Gears

Last week, after an awesome first day of school, Annelise missed her second day (Thursday), so we've already tossed her record for perfect attendance out the window. Not that she was really hoping for that or anything. I don't know if she just picked up a little bug somewhere or if her Monday morning spent raking and spreading pine needles ignited her allergies but she was equal parts sniffly and stuffy (if that's possible) so a day of rest and Vicks VapoRub was in order.
After a brief visit to the library we settled in with a late morning treat, hot chocolate for her and coffee (of course) for me and our new reads.
And speaking of books, I'm currently enjoying a mystery/crime series set in England by Deborah Crombie (the Kincaid/James series). Not only does she create interesting, layered characters but weaves a really captivating story as well.

Since school is back in session, we are back to no TV during the week for Annelise, and after a summer of lots of TV I'm really looking forward to tightening things up a bit. In the past since she doesn't watch it during the week we were pretty laid back on the weekends and one show or movie would soon lead to another. Ugh! She likes the Disney show Shake It Up and some of her friends watch it and gush about it but I've gone back and forth about letting her watch it. I just don't like the way kids on Disney shows act (exception: Lizzie McGuire, that was a cute show), they're (usually) sassy and act way too big for their britches, and of course that sort of behavior is easily and quickly mimicked. It seems like my saying I don't want her watching a certain show makes her want to watch it even more, so we've been going round and round about what she can and can't watch.

Over the summer, in desperation for good TV, we watched some I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show and Leave It To Beaver on Netflix together. Now that was some good TV! Plus there are no annoying commercials. The good news is she likes these shows now (well, Lucy not so much--yet) so I'm glad we have that option on Netflix.

It's hard to wean off screens (computer, TV, iPad, iPhones, NintendoDS) but we're trying (at least limit the time spent on them, not wean off completely). So with that goal in mind we've been breaking out the games again and it's been FUN (I mean, I know they've always been fun but when you get out of the habit of playing and are numbed by screens you kind of forget).
Thursday afternoon Annelise and I played Pentago (she whooped me), Boggle (we had dud letters and gave that up after one round) and Mancala.
We had played Mancala before but at the time Annelise wasn't that impressed, this time she ate it up (possibly because she was beating me) and even taught Scott to play when he got home.

I kind of love that.

And it didn't involve a screen.

Do you limit TV and/or other screen time? What works for your family?
What are your family's favorite board/card games?

8.24.2012

First Day of School: Watch Out Third Grade, Here Comes Annelise

It's a bit of a rude awakening to be blasted out of a deep sleep by an alarm after a lazy hazy summer of that rarely having to happen.

For both the newly minted third grader and her mom.

In all the hustle and bustle Wednesday morning I missed getting photos of Annelise getting ready that I've somehow managed to snap in the past, but as Doris Day sings, "Que Sera, Sera".

However, I did manage to make her an egg-in-the-hole (or heart) for a special back to school treat. She was thrilled.
I'm really going to have to up my game (or you know, get up earlier) in order to fix her breakfast and pack her lunch without getting all frantic.

Frantic is not good nor is it fun. For anyone.

I also forgot to snap a photo of her lunch, but she's using a blue Pack It (you keep it in the freezer and it keeps lunches cold) this year and along with tuna salad, veggies, fruit, cheese, almonds, crackers and milk I sneaked in a Little Debbie and a note.

She was beside herself (mainly about the Little Debbie because I hardly ever (read: never) send those) with glee (she told me later).

All too soon though it was time to get this show on road and hit it.
I asked her to hold up three fingers for third grade and this is her take on that.
Again, as Doris Day sings, "Que Sera, Sera".
Third grade is DOWN A WHOLE NEW HALLWAY.
(Pardon my screaming, but she's been highly excited about this fact, and a bit nervous too.)
Her homeroom teacher is Mrs. Lopez for math, reading and social studies and the other third grade teacher, Mrs. Bradley, teaches language and science. There are 11 kids in Annelise's class and 9 in the other which does seem a little off kilter but I think they had to juggle things a bit to separate some kiddos to hopefully keep the drama (!!) and behavior issues to a minimum. Four kids (two of whom Annelise has known since Kindergarten) didn't come back this year, but there is one new little girl.

I missed getting a photo of Annelise with her teacher, it was a little crazy, but I will get one sometime I'm sure.
All too soon it was time for me to skedaddle (the teachers probably frown on moms staying, you know, all day) so with one more hug and smooch we bid each other adieu.

After she hopped into the car after school, I asked her to tell me three great things about her first day and three not so great things.

The great things: 1.) Math, 2.) Playing with her friends at recess and 3.) all the books in her classroom  (she sits right next to the shelves) and for a bonus, they went to the library and she got a Guinness Book of World Records.

The not so great: 1.) She has to sit by T. ( a boy, you know that type of boy, a stinker) in class (their desks are grouped into threes and fours) (I told her that it would probably only be for a while and then Mrs. Lopez will change the desks around).

And then she couldn't think of any other not so great things about her first day of third grade, so I think we can safely assume it was a hit.

We celebrated an awesome return to school with happy hour at Sonic.
As you do.

Orange slush and tater tots for her and Diet Coke with lime for me.

I then surprised her with her traditional back to school treats...
Books, books and a few more BOOKS!
(Some to read together, some just for her and a new set of Mad Libs.)

All in all, it was a GREAT day.

I'm so looking forward to what this new school year brings!

8.18.2012

Six for Saturday

A few notables of late.

Or maybe not so notable but still random.
01.) A little slice of life from Thursday night.

Engrossed in Suits (disc 2, season 1 from Netflix) and Fro Yo (from my good friends Ben & Jerry) Chocolate Fudge Brownie. 

So...truth be told, I kind of love Suits.  Like a lot. I probably shouldn't because even though it's on USA and not something like HBO they feel the need to push the language envelope, especially this current season. Why, USA, why? I have a hard time believing that professionals walk around casually yet liberally throwing GDs and forms of S@*% all around. Do people really do that in offices? On a regular basis? Really?

02.) I admitted in my last post that I've been on bit of a junk food journey lately. Well, at least since Thursday.

Yeah. It's not good.

I mean, it's good at the time I'm eating it (sort-of) but then not so much.

Plus then there's guilt on top of the sugar and fast food nastiness.

But I think I've got it out of my system now and am ready to get back on the cleaner food wagon.
03.) However, we did go to IHOP for breakfast this morning.

On a slightly more positive note Scott and I split the breakfast sampler, so it was not pure gluttony gone wild.

And on a quirky note, I like to cut all my meat into small pieces all at once, then I like to take mixed bites, usually a bit meat, a bit of egg and a smidge of hash browns.

04.) Over the last week-ish I've managed to find Annelise three new-to-her jeans from the Goodwill and am pretty proud of myself, especially since I recently discovered Justice jeans are like $36 and I found a pair of like new Justice capris for $4. The other 2 pairs are from Old Navy but are in really good shape with no worn spots on the knees, so hip hip hooray for the Goodwill.

05.) Along with the junk food binge I took a break from my workouts.

This behavior seems to go hand in hand doesn't it?

My last one (a TurboFire instead of Insanity that day) was Wednesday. Yikes!

The good news is I sucked it up (literally) and plowed through my Insanity (Pure Cardio & Abs) this evening and didn't throw up, so yay for that.

The other good news is that Scott has started doing Insanity too. I'm glad that we can encourage each other and share the cray-cray.
06.) I broke down and bought a 1 1/4" curling iron the other day at TJ Maxx. It's kind of a knock-off faker Hot Tools and it looks like it but it's called Hot Gold.

I'd been wanting to try the larger iron in order to hopefully create looser curls/waves (the 1" HT iron is awesome but curls my hair really tight and my flat iron makes loose waves but they're unpredictable and I tend to burn myself).

And...I'm 99% sure I like the results, much more of a wave than curly-curl, curls.

I'm sure y'all will sleep much better now that you know I've resolved my curling iron woes.

At least for now.

Hope y'all are having a fabulous weekend!

8.16.2012

Confessional Quickie

I ate Taco Bell for supper.

And it was equal parts gross and delicious at the same time.

I did not (read: chose not to) exercise today.

There are Little Debbies in the house. Yo.

I planned my errands today specifically so I would shop in the vicinity of TJ Maxx.

As you do.

I came this close to getting a new purse. An orange hobo bag. B. Makowsky. Yes. But no.

I decided I would use leather conditioner/cleaner on my current bag (a mustard B. Makowsky hobo bag, are you sensing a theme?) and be happy with what I have.

I bought Annelise new navy shorts, pants and a few polos (to get embroidered with her school logo) today and was so incredibly stoked...

Wait.

Do people still say stoked?

...to be done with back to school shopping AND not have to do it during the madhouse known as tax free weekend.

In the words of Antoine Dodson, hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife... it's tax free weekend, y'all.

I got a pedicure (french) last week y'all and was highly irked to notice chips like, by Saturday which steadily got worse. Of course I did not have the nerve to go back and complain but I will (maybe) mention it when I go back for a full redo. I hate it when they talk about me in Vietnamese. Last week she asked me if I wanted a brow & lip wax and when I said no, not today she pressed me for further details so I felt the need to confess I've switched to threading, but instead of telling the truth that I wasn't happy with their waxing (leaving too many baby fine hairs) I just said the threading wasn't as irritating to my skin. And I felt still felt guilty.

However, those chipped tootsies just meant I got to try out my new Essie polish, Turquoise & Caicos even sooner (even though I had to do them myself). I likey.

Disc 2 of Suits (Season 1) came today in the mail from Netflix so of course I had to sit right down and watch it, so that was the perfect time to paint my nails.

I am highly infatuated with Essie Sand Tropez, which is what I painted my fingernails.

Highly. Highly. Infatuated.

I'd show you a picture but it's late and I'm lazy. Sorry.

It's the perfect neutral beige without any grey tones. I likey.

Annelise is back from her adventures with Peggy at C & C's house, thoroughly exhausted. I'm glad she had such a great time.

So it looks like this whole third grade thing is really going to happen.

She got her letter from her new teacher and was slightly disappointed because she had her heart set on the other third grade teacher (and I had mine on the one she got, so whatevs) BUT it really doesn't matter because there are only two third grade teachers and they co-teach anyway.

I will be interested to find out who her homeroom classmates are and see how that dynamic goes.

Since there are usually only 22-24 kids in the whole grade and only two teachers, well, there's only so much shuffling around you can do.

I guess that's enough confessing for now.

And I guess I lied about the whole quickie thing.

Words. I likey.
Anything to confess? Spill it.

8.15.2012

Sitting Here On the Sleepover Fence

(Anticipation: all packed & waiting for grandma to pick her up*.)

It's hardly a secret that I am a protective mom. Some might say overly so. I don't think of myself as a helicopter mom, constantly up in Annelise's business when she's playing and what have you, but I do shelter her to some extent. Some might say to quite an extent.

I am not one to allow her to do things just because all her friends are able to do said thing.

So far she has not been allowed to go on sleepovers at friend's houses.

I know, I'm so Mommie Dearest.

She's almost 9 and is going into the third grade.

Some of her school friends (she says) have been having sleepovers for ages. Like forever.

Truth be told, she rarely has play dates at friend's houses. When she does, it's usually at houses of my really good friends and I am there too. That's not to say we never meet up with school friends at various places to play/socialize, we do. 

And the other, most important truth be told, I want our family and our home environment to be her greatest influence (well, besides church, obvs.) right now. There will come a point, and I'm fairly certain it's just around the corner not so patiently waiting, where her friends will be one of her biggest influences, for better or worse and we will be competing even more for her attentions (yes, I mean the teen years), so I am not in any hurry to rush things (read: relinquish control).

Maybe it's because I was an only child, living on a single street without other neighborhood children, or maybe 30+ years ago playdates and sleepovers just weren't the big deal that they seem to be now. Don't get me wrong, I had friends over occasionally, had birthday parties, sleepovers with my cousins (I can only remember one friend sleepover in elementary school, maybe in third grade?) and then of course more time with friends and sleepovers when I was older (upper elementary, junior high and high school), and I turned out okay (I think) (pretty much).

I know I can't control everything, I know that bad things can happen almost anywhere, anytime.

And yet. Still.

Am I depriving her? Maybe. For now. And maybe that's both good and bad. I don't know.

I might be ready to allow more play dates with school friends on a case by case basis (yes, I'm picky) but I'm still not sure when we'll feel comfortable with sleepovers.

In a teensie-tiny step toward allowing her a smidge more freedom, we let her go with Peggy to visit her  grandsons C & C across town. And yes, she's sleeping over. And I haven't come unglued. Yet.

I'm so proud of me.

*She was so beyond excited to go to C & C's house that she was up, dressed, wearing her packed backpack and standing beside my bed staring at me at 7:30. They weren't leaving until 9:00. Yi, yi yi!

Do you allow sleepovers?
What are your guidelines? With friends? Family only? At what age?
Do tell.
Thanks!

8.14.2012

In Which I Try Not to Be High-Horse-y (And Promptly Fail)

Well, it's finally happening.

Summer is quickly rolling up its streets. The gig is up. The shades are drawn. Going south. Its nearing its expiration date.

I think you get my drift.

We go to Meet the Teacher next Tuesday evening (must double check that pesky time) and then Annelise officially becomes a third grader bright and early next Wednesday morning (must start practicing a bedtime/morning pronto).

And?

We've been total slackers this summer. Totes. Summers past I've always ordered the practice workbooks her school conveniently promotes so that her precious brain doesn't turn to jello over a twelve week period.

I put off ordering one, and then I asked if I still could get one and then I forgot to stop by the office and then I gave up. Naturally.

I wonder what flavor jello her brain is now.

I'm rather partial to lime.

In other news, we had a pretty fun weekend, what with all the time with friends and family and yummy food.

Saturday morning was our second Mugs & Muffins thingie for the ladies (like a devotional and fellowship but with breakfast) at church which went really well. The lesson was based on Titus 2:3-4 (about the older women being examples for the younger women) and gave me lots to think about.

Which is my downfall.

The thinking.

I think but I don't always act. Or I think and plan to act but then put it off. Then I think it's much too late to do/say something so I do/say nothing. Or I think others do a better job with whatever it is than I do and I talk myself out of it. Then I think about guilt. And so forth. And so on.

So, um...yeah, much room for improvement there.

Later that afternoon we went over to my dad and Peggy's house for lunch and swimming (though I didn't swim) with her family, which was also fun.

I'm hesitant to type this next part because I do not want to sound all judge-y and high-horse-y. Really, I don't.

And yet. Still.

Upon arriving I noticed someone had brought a book. You know, that book every one has been chattering on about for months. The book, that being the voracious reader that I am, bout which I read the blurb on Amazon and decided nope, not going to read that one. Not that I've never read anything with steamy passages and not that I may still read a book with them. Not that I'm perfect (yeah, I'm so not) and never have questionable entertainment.

And yet. Still.

I tried to prepare myself to have a coherent yet not high-horse-y answer in case someone asked me if I'd read it or if I was going to read it.

Sure enough, later that day I was asked.

::deep breath::

I wish I could have recited Edie's eloquent thoughts on this subject verbatim directly followed by Leslie's wise perspective. But I didn't. I'm sure I sounded all kinds of judge-y and high-horse-y and all Harper Valley PTA hypocritical-y when I said no, I hadn't read it and no, I won't be reading it because it's inappropriate and explicit and blah diggity blah, blah, blah.

I really don't remember exactly what I said, but I hope I said it with at least a skosh of grace.

Because I certainly need grace too.

Don't we all?

8.10.2012

Five for Friday

Well helllloooo (insert best Seinfeld voice).

I haven't blogged for a week.

Gasp.

I'm not really sure what happened.
Maybe, like one of our cats Spunky, I've just been too busy living life to the fullest.

Or something.

01.) We popped in the library Monday afternoon for a drop-off and resupply.
I love how Annelise just couldn't wait to dive into one of her books.

She's in a phase right now of reading these semi-graphic novel/diary type books (a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.) (the one above is from the Dork Diary series). She, of course, loves them, however I am lukewarm to annoyed by them because they're so silly, she reads them lickety split and they don't actually, you know, grow your brain very much. She's also at this point where her reading ability far exceeds her attention span/level of commitment, meaning she'd much rather read short books (like A-Z Mysteries,  Magic Tree House) or re-read favorites (like Beverly Cleary). I don't want to push her too much into what I'd like for her to read, but I would like for her to challenge herself a little more. My not so sneaky solution is to read aloud together some of my favorites (cue evil laugh).
And speaking of reading, if you like WWII historical fiction you might like Charlotte Gray, by Sebastian Faulks as much as I did. Imagine my glee when I discovered there was also a movie on streaming Netflix with Cate Blanchett and Rupert Penry-Jones (!!) based on the the book, but then you must also imagine my disappointment when the movie took too many liberties with the original story. I quit watching halfway-ish through.

And because it's hard for me to stop talking about books once I start, I feel obliged to also tell y'all that I am all up in The Civil War right now having  finished a Lincoln biography Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin earlier this week (and feel like I deserve a medal or something, which is not to say I didn't enjoy it, I did, but it was hefty and parts were um, tedious) and am continuing the War of Northern Aggression theme with Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James Swanson, which is not only a wordy and eyebrow raising title but a pretty good page turner so far.

02.) The Olympics have been quite the inspiration for Annelise, and not just because they're the reason she's been having much later bedtimes. So far she has decided to *improve* her swimming by perfecting her dolphin kick and arm strokes and *train* for track and field.
One morning last week we got up at dark thirty to hit my old high school's track for a little *training session*. We ran the straights and walked the curves and managed to rack up two miles for her and three miles for me. She has yet to decide if she's going to be a distance runner (she was a bit intimidated by the thought of 8 laps) or more of a sprinter. Or maybe both.

03.) I'm not sure if it was seeing a blip of the archery competition during the Olympics or seeing Brave a few weeks ago or just a random alignment of the stars, but Annelise found inspiration somewhere and talked my dad into making a bow and arrow for her. Which is totally cool but still totally random and a wee bit scary (for me at least).

Last week they went on the hunt for the perfect willow branch and then earlier this week they worked on peeling the bark off and shaping the bow, etc. She first had a dowel rod for an arrow but wasn't satisfied with that so Academy came to the rescue with a basic, gold-tipped(read: not pointy) arrow. I kind of feel like the mom on A Christmas Story, but I guess I just need to relax. And buy her a target and a quiver full of arrows.

04.) Thankfully, we don't have to do a bunch of back to school shopping since Annelise wears uniforms and can still wear most of what she already had. We do need to buy some navy shorts and pants since she can no longer fasten the ones she's had since Kindergarten, but that's NBD.

We stopped by the mall yesterday after Annelise's dentist appointment so I could get my eyebrows threaded (as you do) and we somehow ended up here:
It was our maiden Justice shopping voyage and after much navigation (it's a tiny store and packed to the gills) and negotiation yielded three shirts (two on red-line sale, one store wide 40% off) and three lace cami-tanks (part of a buy at least 2 get a discount special scam), earned us $50.00 (two $25 cards) Justice bucks to use on future Justice adventures, but not together and only between specific dates and even though I spent $61.49 I was told I saved $56.18. Somehow.

We retreated to the Food Court for Sonic Happy Hour. As you do.

05.) I must apologize for being oh-so-wordy and ramblelicious.

I'm blaming the week long bloggy dry spell.

So as a special treat I will a.) hush and 2.) share the awesomeness of the new Mumford & Sons song that released earlier this week.

(!!)
Happy, happy Friday, y'all!

8.02.2012

Insanity: Week 1 {The Good, Bad & Ugly}

So.

I have survived seven days of the Insanity workouts so far.

Seven. 

I took one rest day, but the calendar gives you one, so I'm still on track. I did skip the Fit Test. Sue me. I can pretty much tell where my strengths and weaknesses are (hello, push ups, I'm talking 'bout you) starting out and will just keep track mentally of my progress (when you take the Fit Test that's your workout for the day and I'd rather do a full/real workout).

Here's what I think one week in...

The Good
*Each workout is in the neighborhood of 40 minutes, so they're not super long and don't eat up too much of your time.

*You don't need any equipment except for workout clothes, good shoes and maybe a mat. You use your own body for resistance.

*You rotate through 4 different workouts for the first 30 days, take a recovery week and then start new workouts the second 30 days so your body never gets too comfortable with what you're doing (to help avoid plateaus).

*It's definitely challenging but doable (with a few modifications, going at your own pace and taking a few more rests in between each circuit).

*The stretch segments at the beginning and end of each workout are really good, he doesn't scrimp on stretching so that's good.

*Shaun T is motivating and reminds you often to go at your own pace (when he's not yelling at you to go FASTER and dig DEEPER) and not to sacrifice form or safety.

*It's all cardio all the time, baby.

The Bad
*Most of the workouts are very high impact, and there aren't low impact options demonstrated (just FYI).

*It's tough y'all, like really, really tough.

The Ugly
*You do NOT want to know how much I sweat doing these workouts.

*Shaun T refers to himself in the third person a lot. This bugs Marathon Bird.

Overall, I like it. And I kind of hate it. As you do.

I'm excited to be trying something new, to challenge myself and to see myself gradually improving.

But I am not gonna lie, Insanity is hard core.

Just for kicks, here's a little vlog I made to prove I'm really doing this.

Pure Cardio has the regular warm-up (7 moves repeated for three segments, each one getting faster), stretch followed by 15 minutes of straight high impact crazy cardio--no breaks--and then the cool down. 

Yeah.

I hit pause a lot.

But I'll keep pressing play too.

8.01.2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Hey there, y'all!

I only have one outfit to share this week so this will be short and sweet, m'mkay?

This summer I am loving the casual ease of maxi skirts, you can dress them up or down and they are so crazy comfortable. Here's one of my current favorites, simple black and white stripes that you can pair with most anything from a cut-up graphic t-shirt to a more layered look.
maxi skirt, black tank & black cardigan: target
green ruffle tank: old navy
black blingy flips: yellow box
 Another favorite this summer is the edgy and unique jewelry from Twisted Silver.

I think I may have a problem (I love it all).

They recently had a flash sale and I was able to pick up this bracelet with only a slight dent in my wallet. I love the mixed metals and bold look.
They also had a hot deal of the week that week and I scored their Tibet necklace for half price.

(!!)

You can wear it this way (like a choker) plus it opens up to a longer necklace for a totally different look.

It's always nice to have options.

Be sure to stop by Lyndsey's blog for more fashion fun.
pleated poppy

Thanks for stopping by, y'all.

Happy, happy Wednesday!
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