Thursday, May 30, 2013

currently #3

Go link up with Harvesting Kale!

THIS WEEK'S THEMES: Borrowing, Dancing, Building, Throwing, Buying

Elliot and Emmett are currently...

Borrowing they both like to "borrow" toys from eachother... which really means Emmett tries to take whatever Elliot is playing with, and then Elliot says, "No No! Ellie's toy!" and takes it right back. He's stronger than Emmett, so big brother wins this battle... for now.

Dancing on poles. Well, Emmett is anyways. I have no idea where he learned this from, but anytime he finds something remotely pole-like, he grabs onto it and dances like a maniac, while squealing with delight. He does this with the rails on our balcony, lamp posts, and most recently the pole that sticks up out of Ross shopping carts. I have to admit, it's pretty amusing!

Building elaborate trains. Elliot's new thing is lining up all of his blocks into a long snake that winds around his room, and calling these creations "choo-trains." To his dismay, Emmett's favorite thing to do with said trains is destroy them. 

Throwing fits, occasionally. Emmett has started throwing mini-fits when he gets mad. He throws himself onto the floor and whines... then gets up two seconds later like nothing happened. It's pretty cute... for now. Elliot also throws fits sometimes, but his are FAR less cute.

Buying ... nothing, but if they had it their way, probably all the goldfish and multigrain cheerios in the world. They just can't get enough!

I am currently...

Borrowing nothing, really...  but I should be borrowing library books! I'm sad to admit that in the almost two years that we've lived here in Texas, I haven't borrowed a single book :( That makes me sad, guys! I checked out books from the library on post in Arizona all the time! I just haven't had the time to read, lately. Now that I finally have some free time in the evenings, since the boys go to bed pretty early,  I've been using those couple hours to relax with my husband or get online. Hence my recent blogging streak!

Dancing with Elliot while I clean. In the mornings, when I get down and dirty to vacuum, scrub the floors, etc (and let's face it, I have to do that every day because toddlers are messy) I put on a music choice channel on TV and we all boogie. Elliot gets excited when I get out the vacuum now, because he loves when I chase his silly little dancing butt around the living room with it.

Building up my music collection- again. I've gone through three laptops in the last six months, so I lost my music a few months ago. Well, thanks to flvto's music downloader, I'm slowly building up my music library again! And that makes me one happy woman, because I can't live without my music. 

Throwing away a whole bag of trash a day. I don't know how we do it, but somehow we are filling up a whole kitchen garbage bag each and every day. It's nuts! I need to invest in some eco-friendly garbage bags. Any recommendations? 

Buying a lot of new bras. I've always had small boobs but MAN! Since Emmett is only nursing once or twice a day now, and only in the evenings, all the bras that I bought while pregnant with him no longer fit. It seems like my boobs are smaller than ever! I remember reading somewhere that the fat cells in your breast tissue are replaced with milk glands, and that the fat cells don't return until several months after weaning. Untl then, I guess it's back to an A-cup for me, lol! Oh well... at least I don't have to worry about sagging boobies when I get older ;)


Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

name this puppy!

This is Cinco- or that's what we've been calling him, anyways. He will be the first four-legged addition to our family once we get to Costa Rica (he's already there waiting for us). 

He was born on Cinco de Mayo, which is how he got his current nickname. I'd love to give him some sort of lovely/creative Spanish name, but we'll see... I'm nearly as indecisive about pet names as I am about baby names so... I'm definitely open to suggestions.

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

things I don't want to forget

Elliot, 29 months:
  • Elliot likes to refer to himself in the third person ("Elliot carry it, Elliot have banana? Elliot walk! Elliot yikes this!")
  • he is also fond of adding "too" to the end of everything he says, even if it doesn't make sense. ("Elliot snacky, too? Elliot carry it, too. No bye bye, too")
  • he is obsessed with cupcakes, sailboats, and trains. Whenever we're building or drawing, that's waht he wants- a cupcake, a sailboat, or a choo-train. I'm not sure where he picked these up (especially the cupcakes?) but it's pretty cute. A couple days ago, at the sandbox, he sculpted a whole bunch of little round "cupcakes" and was so proud of himself. :)
  • he hates the camera. HATES it. Hence the lack of photos of him lately.
  • Whenever he needs something, he says (in a very pathetic voice) "Help, Mama! Help!"
  • if we're outside, he insists on holding my hand. If I forget, he will say, "Hand, Mama! Hand!" until I grab his adorable little hand in mine. It's absolutely endearing and I know it won't last, so I'll treasure it while I can.
  • he says please like: "cheeeeeese!" and usually without us asking
  • Elliot is very into organizing and sorting his toys. He likes to gather up all of his rubber duckies into a bucket and carry it around, or line up his blocks along the wall, etc. It's silly. I wonder if he's going to like organizing like I do when he gets older?
  • Whenever little brother even so much as touches Elliot, he says "ow! ow! OW!" Yeah, the big brother is commonly "beat up" by the little brother. Except luckily for Elliot, Emmett is the nicest baby there is so, really, nothing ever happens. Unless Elliot gets in the way of Emmett's food... then there may be a problem.
  • His favorite animals are cows 
  • favorite foods: broccoli (bwok-wee), rice (ice), graham crackers (big cwacker), & apples
  • He's wearing mostly 12-18m shorts and 18-24m shirts. Occasionally, depending on the brand, he wears 2t shirts, for the length. He wears size 3 disposables and Flips snapped to the smallest rise setting. We recently started selling off our cloth diaper stash in preparation for our move to Costa Rica (because they would take up way too much valuable suitcase space)... hence why they are sometimes in disposables now, too, whereas they were exclusively in cloth for over 8 months. Once we get to Costa Rica, and get settled into a place with a washer, we plan to cloth diaper again. 
  • He weighs around 24 lbs and is 35.5".

Emmett, 12 months: 
  • Emmett has 9 teeth (he just got his first molar!)
  • he likes to randomly squeal and dive onto unsuspecting pillows and blankets
  • he is all about the random snuggles. Oh my Emme, I don't think his life would go on if he couldn't get his snuggles in every day.
  • when I go in to get him in the morning or after his nap, as soon as he hears the door open, he jumps up, throws his arms out, and either laughs or squeals. Then the first thing he does once picked up is give me a good long hug. ♥ 
  • words he says: "more", "mama", "dada", "uh-oh", and I swear he says banana, but I might just be imagining that one? He says something that sounds just like it every time he sees a banana, though. 
  • favorite food: bananas, but really he loves and will devour ANYTHING. And then he proceeds to eat about an adult-sized serving, far more than his big brother ever eats, until his little round tummy sticks out and is hard as a rock. What can I say? He's a piglet. 
  • he takes two naps a day (3 hours in the morning + 1-2 hours in the afternoon), is in bed by 8pm, and usually wakes up between 8-9am. He is waking up for one night feeding still, most nights.
  • whenever I'm doing laundry, he loves to help. His favorite thing to do is stand in front of the dryer and hand me each piece of freshly-dried clothing, one by one. Time consuming? Yes... but oh so adorable.
  • every evening, before his bath, I start filling up the tub and take his diaper off while he stands and waits. EVERY time I take his diaper off, he looks down and checks out his "boy parts". I don't know if he's making sure they're still there, or just amazed that he's naked and free, or what, but it totally cracks me up.
  • he is still nursing- but I'm not sure how much longer I'll get to treasure this last part of babyhood. He only nurses before bed and usually once during the night now. Although a few months ago I was somewhat eager to wean, I'm in no rush at all anymore- I love nursing him to sleep. It's our special bonding time.
  • he's wearing 9 & 12 month shirts, sometimes 18 month onesies, for the length. Mostly 9 month shorts, and size 3 disposables and Flips snapped to the smallest rise setting. 
  • he weighs around 21 lbs and is 30".

Lately I've just been thinking about how quickly time passes- it seems like just yesterday that Emmett was born, and we became a family of four. Suddenly, he's already one year old. They are each their own person,  developing their own distinct personality. They each have their own little quirks that I don't want to forget. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze time. I stopped doing monthly updates on the boys awhile ago, but I wanted a way to record and remember the little things forever. This is just my way of doing that. This "things I don't want to forget" post is probably the first in a series. I'll  post a new one every month or two. 

"Life is short, and it's up to you to make it sweet." 
-Sarah Louise Delany

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, May 27, 2013

memorial day

Wishing a very happy Memorial Day to all soldiers- past, present, and fallen, but especially my very own soldier, Aaron Patrick. Elliot, Emmett, and I love you so much and are so glad God decided to keep you here on earth with us ♥ 

... so God made a soldier.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

weekly menu plan + a recipe

I meant to post yesterday, but our household got hit with a serious 24 hour stomach bug. We're talking about the kind of bug where you can't even keep water down and spend hours laying on the bathroom floor by the toilet. It started with Emmett on Thursday, then hit me Friday night, and hit my husband yesterday evening. Sooo... the only one left is Elliot. Oh, poor Elliot. We've never experienced a toddler vomit around here... and I'm really hoping to just skip over that lovely horrendous milestone completely, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. You never know, right? Maybe the kid has the immune system of a superhero... after all, he was a miracle baby. Heh. One can hope.

Well, as I got ready to post this salsa recipe, I was thinking, wouldn't it be kinda neat to post our whole meal plan? I mean, not only does it hold us accountable, but it could also give all you lovely readers some new ideas! So, that's how we came to a new Sunday feature here at my blog. From now on (I hope) every Sunday, I'll be posting our meal plan for the upcoming week, along with pictures and comments about last week's meals. My facebook friends are always asking where I get my recipes so- I think they'll be quite happy about this. :)

Monday: basil lime chicken
Tuesday: skinny slowcooker savory superfood soup (vegetarian)
Wednesday: spinach & bean burrito wraps (vegetarian)
Thursday: squash & zucchini stir fry* (vegetarian)
Friday: asian chicken salads* 
Saturday: southwestern black bean casserole (vegetarian)
Sunday: basil artichoke chicken bake
{this week's recipes can be found at skinny ms & my kitchen escapades}
meals marked with * = my own recipe

Goal & Focus this week: at least 3 vegetarian meals, black beans

Favorite meal from last week: black bean & corn salsa. I made this for lunch on Friday- the day that I got sick. But nevermind that, it was delicious!

1 can of black beans
1 can of corn
2 cans of Rotel
1 medium chopped onion
freshly chopped cilantro
a dash of lime juice or one squeezed lime

- open can of black beans, place in strainer and rinse, dump in bowl
- open can of corn, strain excess water, then dump in bowl with beans
- open cans of rotel and add to beans and corn
- chop onions and cilantro, add to bowl. Notice how I didn't give a measurement for the cilantro? I LOVE cilantro- it gives the salsa such an invigorating, fresh taste. So I used a lot. The original recipe called for 3 tbsp- you can add as little or much as you want
- add lime juice to your taste
- LASTLY: once it's all mixed together, cover and chill in fridge for at least a couple hours before eating. This allows the flavors to meld and makes it that much more delicious.
- enjoy :)
{original recipe from spark recipes}

Google Friend Connect disappears July 1st, so let's find eachother on BlogLovin'! 
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, May 24, 2013

fab friday

What's fab in our lives lately: 

Welcoming new babies into the world:
I was lucky enough to be chosen as my friend Nicki (from Mostly Average) to be her birth coach and also to photograph her labor and delivery. Now, playing both of those roles at once was a little tricky, so I didn't get any pictures of the birth itself. But I still managed to capture many other wonderful moments. To see more, visit Patton Jakob's birth on my facebook page.

Our diet is still going strong: 
We've been dieting now for about a week and a half, and I'm happy to report that Aaron has lost 5 pounds, and I've lost 3. More importantly, I have so much more energy and enthusiasm! It just feels so great to be eating healthy again. And I've been cooking up all sorts of delicious dinners. On the menu this week? Chicken & wild rice casserole, skinny savory superfood soup, spinach & black bean burrito wraps, baked basil lime chicken, baked tilapia with peppers, skinny southwestern black bean casserole, and an asian chicken salad. For lunch today, I made a black bean & corn salsa, which I'll be blogging about tomorrow. (So check back!)

Our puppy, waiting for us in Costa Rica:
Emily's dog gave birth to a litter of 6 puppies on either May 5th or May 6th (which also happens to be both Emmett's and her son's birthday). Unfortunately, stray dogs and accidental litters are common in Costa Rica. One of the things we hope to do there is to catch and spay/neuter as many street dogs as we can. Emily has already lined up families for most of the puppies, who will be spayed/neutered before they go to their new homes. Mama will be spayed soon, too. She is being kind enough to care for one of the puppies for us until we arrive. We picked #5, the black and white male. We want to give him a spanish name, but for now, we're calling him Cinco- not only was he the fifth pup in this picture, but he also may have been born on Cinco de Mayo, so it seems to fit. We had to rehome our beloved cat Charlie and our husky mix Luna before moving to our current apartment last summer, and we are VERY excited to have a dog around the house again. The boys both absolutely love animals and Elliot is fantastically well behaved with our friends' dogs. The added fact that Cinco will have grown up in a family with two young children before coming home makes me very happy.

Rubber duckies & rain:
It doesn't rain here very often, so when it does, we get a little excited. It makes things green(er) for a little while- and by a little while, I mean a few days. There really isn't any nice green grass in this area of Texas, just prickly crab grass and weeds that hurt your feet if you try to walk barefoot... and soon even the crab grass will dry out. (Another great thing I'm looking forward to about Costa Rica- lush green vegetation!) It's raining today, and before it started raining, they pumped all the water out of one of apartment complex's pools so they could renovate, so Elliot took full advantage by taking his rubber duckies (his latest obsession) outside to play in the flooded playhouse and sandbox. It was sort of like a redneck water park. 

Google Reader/Friend Connect is going away on July 1st, let's find eachother on BlogLovin!Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Currently #2

Go link up with Harvesting Kale!

THIS WEEK'S THEMES: eating, loving, missing, moving, talking

Elliot and Emmett are currently...

Eating broccoli & cauliflower... and lots of it. They are definitely not complaining one bit about Mama & Daddy's diet. I'm so glad my boys are veggie lovers like me.

Loving their Mama, and sometimes I swear only their mama. Elliot especially is going through what started off as an endearing but is now extremely frustrating "mama only" stage. He only wants me to do everything- not daddy. Mama has to make him his food, cuddle him, pick him up, wash him in the bathtub, fill up his cups, build towers with him, etc. No matter how many times Aaron asks "can Daddy help you?" his response is always the same- "No, Mama. Mama, help!" Emmett has always had a special relationship with me, but neither I or Aaron are surprised, seems how I'm the one with the boobies. (ha!)

Missing their "Gumpa!", Aaron's dad, who came to visit for Emmett's birthday. Elliot sure did keep him busy, that's for sure!

Moving allll the time, especially Emmett, who is fully walking now, and getting rather fast! Oh boy!

Talking more- both of them. Elliot is coming up with new phrases, questions, and statements every day. He's currently obsessed with colors and counting, and insists on pointing out the color of everything. The other night, we had an... uh... interesting conversation about the color of his peepee. He ended up deciding it was yellow.

I am currently...

Eating amazing labor & delivery crunchy ice. Oh man guys, I can't get enough of this stuff.

Loving the fact that my dear friend trusts me enough to choose me as her labor/delivery coach, and also gave me the wonderful opportunity to photograph her labor, delivery and (eventually) birth. I am so beyond excited.

Missing my babies, especially Emmett, who went to bed tonight for the first time in his entire life without nursing. Since I have been in the hospital with my friend, Aaron had to put him to bed. He has been going down for his morning nap without nursing, though, so hopefully it wasn't too hard on him.

Talking my friend through labor, and we've also been talking a lot about baby names (this is a little dangerous). I even added names to our baby name list. I'm battling some serious baby fever right now! Ahhh! I don't know if it's because I'm living vicariously through her, or because I'm a bit nostalgic since just a tiny bit over a year ago, I was in the same place she was, about to welcome a new baby boy into the world...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

why costa rica: the short list

I've been a busy bee, for months now, researching researching researching. I've looked into basically all of our options, from cities in the US to countries on nearly every continent. I just keep coming back to Costa Rica. Our second choice is Panama, but since it borders Costa Rica, we plan to explore Panama as well. Until our pensionado visas are approved, we will have to leave the country every 3 months, anyways. I suppose we could always end up moving to Panama, in the future, but we're definitely putting down roots in Costa Rica first.

I could blog about our decision for hours and fill pages upon pages, but it would probably bore you all. So for now, I'll leave you with my short list.

One thing not listed, but definitely worth mentioning, is that on one of my random Google searches, I happened to stumble upon a lovely lady named Emily, an American expat and writer of the Travel Mother blog. She, her husband, and two young children (close to the ages of our boys) have been living in Costa Rica. It has been fantastic to be able to shoot questions at her and receive honest responses from someone who has mostly the same priorities as us. She also pointed me to some helpful facebook groups. She may be the one who pushed me over the edge when I was debating between Panama and Costa Rica, in fact. I think it's comforting to know, going into it, that there are other native-English speaking families there, who could show us the ropes, so to speak, if needed. Not to mention... she is also currently raising the first canine addition to our Costa Rican family. Visit her blog if you have time! You won't be disappointed.

We are still just waiting on a few things with the VA and the Army so that we can go home to visit our family,  bid our goodbyes, and finally start living our new life in Costa Rica!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

our wonderfully busy weekend

Well, I wrote about how I was planning a fun weekend... and I wasn't kidding. We aren't very good at relaxing, but exploring? We've got that part down.

On Saturday, we met up with some friends at the local fair, called Rabbit Fest, here in town. It was 92 degrees, which is about average for May here in central Texas, but a storm was brewing, so it was humid- the air was literally heavy with moisture. If it weren't for the breeze, I think we all would have melted, especially the little ones and my two pregnant friends.

Elliot especially LOVED the petting zoo. His favorites were the miniature pigs (cutest round bellied little fuzzy creatures I've ever seen) and some of the more "spunky" goats, who were tied to the gate (I think because they might have knocked over the tots in pursuit of food if they'd been allowed to roam free). Elliot delighted in the fact that they gulped down the feed he offered them, whereas the goats that were free bored him. I guess a sleeping baby goat, no matter how soft or adorable, is just plain boring in the eyes of a two-year-old. I was sure to get a few snuggles in, though!

Something about carnival rides just screams photograph me! Some of my favorite childhood memories are at fairs, like the Swiss Alpenfest in Gaylord, Michigan. Carousels, ferris wheels, bumper cars... they all take me back. The fact that my boys might someday look back at days like these made me feel like I should try to capture every moment on camera.

The food stands in particular really caught my eye. I can remember being slightly appalled last year, at our first Texas carnival exploration, when we learned that in Texas, they deep fry almost anything and everything, and even the standard carnival foods come in "Texas size". You know that saying, "everything's bigger in Texas?" Well, it's definitely true about their food. Last year, I ordered a "Texas sized corndog" and was handed a 13" giant corndog- for only $1 more than a standard corndog! This year, I'm proud to say that we stuck to our diet- I didn't eat anything at all while we were there, and Aaron had a simple smoked turkey leg.

It occurred to me, while we were walking around, that this was the last Rabbit Fest we'd probably attend. In fact, it could very well be our last fair in the states! It was a bit of a bittersweet revelation. Even more of a reason to go a little snap happy, right?

hot, tired baby. He still had fun, though. :)

You'd think after a long day of walking around in the heat, we'd want to stay home and relax on Sunday, right? Wrong! After a somewhat tumultuous morning {my husband's PTSD was to blame for that}, we decided to drive out to Waco to the children's museum.

Elliot playing on the giant piano at the museum.
The boys had a blast! There were trains (oh, the trains) and a water table where you could make a maze to send rubber duckies through for Elliot, and a whole play town (complete with house, garden, grocery store, fire department, and gas station) that Emmett enjoyed destroying playing in. Elliot's heart was pretty much broken when we had to leave. Aaron literally had to pick him up and carry him kicking and screaming out of the museum because he absolutely did not want to leave the model train tracks.

I didn't get very many pictures in the museum because the lighting was less than ideal and besides, we were having way too much fun! Don't worry, though, because I made up for it later that afternoon. In order to cheer Elliot up, we stopped on the way home in Temple, TX to visit his beloved train station and Whistle Stop playground.

Elliot was pointing and saying, "Oooh, a choo train! BLACK choo train! BIG BLACK choo train!"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

new name for a new chapter

Well, after a small catastrophe yesterday, when I realized that my blog had downright disappeared, we now have a new blog name and url. Welcome to "she follows the sun." I've been thinking about changing this little blog's name for awhile because:
1- if you search "Here Comes the Sun" on Bloglovin, it came up with 75 results, and
2- as attached as I was to the name (afterall, this blog was known as Here Comes the Sun for 3+ years!), I wanted to find something that better reflected the new direction I'll be taking... with the blog and life in general.

So the fact that I forgot to renew our old domain was the little push in the right direction that I needed.

Since the blog was originally named after a Beatles song, and because I just love their creative lyrics/song titles, I decided to browse some of their albums to see if anything popped out at me. And I kid you not, the minute I read "I'll Follow the Sun" and then tried out, "She Follows the Sun," I just knew. It was perfect! It fits the whole "wandering mama" theme, especially since the countries we plan to live in and explore are all in sunny, warm Central America. And it's no secret how much I love the sun/sunshine. Seriously- I couldn't live without it. Getting stationed in Texas, where it's 80+ degrees over half the year, was the best thing the Army ever did for us. Added bonus? It's not too radically different from our old title.

So that's it- that's our new name... and I'll admit it, I'm in love with it. And I think "I'll Follow the Sun" is a pretty lovely song, too...


If you haven't heard, Google Friend Connect is supposed to be ending soon- so let's find eachother on Blog Lovin before it's too late!

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fab Friday

What's fab in our lives lately:

Dieting & Eating Right: Aaron recently went on a diet, and I seized the opportunity to scrutinize the whole family's diet, too. We are now mostly eating the same things he's eating- lots of fruits and veggies, yogurt, cheese, rices, some healthy Kashi snacks, etc. I'm already feeling better and I LOVE it. We plan to eat mostly fresh, preservative-free food in Costa Rica, too... so I figured, why wait? Let's start now! So glad I made that choice.

Warmth & Sunshine: it's supposed to be in the 90's through the end of the week, and we absolutely CANNOT get enough of that heat and sunshine. Seriously. The boys simply adore going outside so we have been going on lots of outdoor excursions... everything from simple walks, to hikes, to trips to the lake/river or sandbox/playground adventures. We love it. Please stay nice and warm, Texas.

Emmett is WALKING: Emmett has been walking for a little while now, but he's just recently really taken off, in fact, I think I would venture so far as to say that he is starting to walk more now than crawl. I don't know what is much cuter than a baby toddling after you on two feet, or watching him follow his big brother around... it's adorable. It melts my heart. It's also a little startling, though... my boys are growing up! Ahhh! When did that happen?

Wildflowers: Grass doesn't grow too well in our area of Texas, so usually all you see is a lot of scraggly dried up grass and/or weeds. But right now, wildflowers (or as my husband calls them, pretty weeds) have sprouted up all along the sides of the roads- even the highway medians are bursting with flowers in every shade of purple, blue, or yellow you could imagine. I don't care if they're just weeds... they're lovely!

Blogging again: because, let's face it, I wouldn't be able to ramble about all these things without this little blog. I recently returned from a long hiatus. I came back because suddenly, I really missed blogging. So I'm not planning to disappear again anytime soon. I look forward to continuing to catch up on all of my favorite blogs!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


 photo currently1_zps60b665b0.png
Go link up with Harvesting Kale!

THIS WEEK'S THEMES: hoping, reading, wearing, making, planning

Elliot and Emmett are currently...

Hoping to go to the choo-choo park. There is this awesome park in Temple, TX where you can take pictures with/on old trains and railroad cars, and they have this awesome wooden train playground... they pretty much lose their minds every time we go, since they are both currently obsessed with trains. 

Reading Dr. Suess books. Elliot has insisted on reading the same book, "Are You My Mother?" every night before bed for the last two weeks. For the month before that, it was "Go Dog Go." Well... at least he's predictable?

Wearing long pajamas... because Texas weather is bipolar. There were deadly tornadoes in northern Texas yesterday, and although we were under a severe thunderstorm/tornado watch, thankfully the only thing the storm blew in was a little chilly morning air. Since Emmett insists on playing out on the balcony half the morning, long pants and sleeves it is! (It is currently 72 degrees... which isn't that bad, but it sure feels cold to us wimpy Texans!)

Making me laugh. Emmett is really off and walking now, and to Elliot's dismay, his new favorite thing to do is follow his brother around (on two feet) while squealing at the top of his lungs from the sheer excitement of the fact that he can walk now, too! He always wants to do everything his big brother can do, so I imagine he must be pretty thrilled at his latest accomplishment. Elliot, however, is less than thrilled...

Planning to go to the choo-choo park this week, if Daddy comes home early one day.

I am currently...

Hoping to go grocery shopping tonight or tomorrow... we need to restock on fresh fruits & veggies for our new diet.

Reading sadly... nothing. I haven't had time to pick up a book since {gasp} Emmett was born. But now that they've settled into a nice, predictable routine, I plan to start reading again soon. I have no idea what book I want to read first, though. I'm just excited to start turning those pages!

Wearing jean shorts for the first time in over a year, my friends! I finally bit the bullet and went out and bought myself some jean shorts that actually fit my post-baby body. Yes, I had to go up a size (or two). But what matters is that they look good, and I feel comfortable in them. Wearing clothes that fit is much better than trying to squeeze my booty into shorts that barely button...

Making a list of 101 of my favorite songs (which is #68 on my day zero project)

Planning to have a really great weekend spent eating lots of healthy food and getting out for a couple family walks/hikes. We will also visit the local Rabbit Fest fair, where we will be able to do more walking but will also be tempted to eat all sorts of Texas-sized, fried treats... yikes. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

healthy parents = healthy family.

"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." -walt disney

Aaron and I are tired of  filling our bodies with junk. Honestly, I had much more energy and enthusiasm back when we were more careful with what we ate. Believe it or not, I felt the most energetic, ever, when I was a vegetarian. Ever since I had getting pregnant with Emmett, we sort of threw caution to the wind and started eating whatever we wanted... and now we're paying the uncomfortable price for that. 

I want to be a good role model for my children when they get older... and I feel like I can't harp on them to make healthy choices, if I don't do it myself. Don't get me wrong, we aren't the worst eaters in the world- we never cook fried food, and although we are guilty of the occasional bowl of ice cream, it's not like we're constantly stuffing our faces with greasy or fatty junk. But I am rather fond of calorie-dense savory recipes, eating out too much, large portions, and eating too late at night.

Today, we started a diet... a diet that I hope will turn into a new, healthy lifestyle for our little family. We're concentrating mostly on fruits and veggies, with good protein choices- a little chicken, lots of yogurt, some cheese, peanut butter, etc. thrown in there. And very few grains/starches other than rice. Luckily, our boys LOVE veggies so it really won't be tough on them. Tonight we had sauteed broccoli & cauliflower served over rice, and they both devoured it. I would eventually like to wean them off some of their beloved crackers and snacks, but I'm in no rush. This isn't so much about taking things away but about demonstrating lots of healthy eating behaviors- smaller portions, healthy snacks, lighter meals, more fresh veggies/fruit, less meat, less empty calories. Getting back to the basics. This is one of the things we are looking forward to about moving to Costa Rica.

Our goals? Aaron wants to lose 40 lbs. That would put his BMI into a much healthier range. As for myself, I really don't have any real weight loss goals- I wouldn't mind losing 5 or 10 lbs, but overall, I just want to eat, feel, and be HEALTHIER.

Just a few of the fruits/veggies we picked up while grocery shopping yesterday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

happy birthday, Emmett!

It's hard to believe that Emmett is already one year old. As cliche as it sounds, time really does fly. I seriously can't wrap my head around the fact that it has already been a whole year, 365+ days, since he came into this world. There are so many things I could say, and so many things I want to remember about our first year together.

We celebrated by having a rainbow themed birthday party the weekend before his actual birthday. It was a joint party- our friends' son, Victor, was also turning two, so it was twice the fun! Polka dots and bright colors galore!! I wanted to make it an extra special party, since it is likely our boys' last birthday that they will be celebrating here in Texas. I think it was a success!

Elliot just couldn't wait to dig into that cake ;)
Emmett was in a pretty good mood and had a great day, despite having a cold and battling a high fever! Who gets a cold when it's 80+ degree outside? Only my child... and this kid doesn't do low fevers. Nope, if he's going to have a fever, it'll always be 103 or 104 degrees. I guess he just likes to keep us on our toes?

Grandpa Steve flew all the way from Michigan for the weekend, and they had a blast together ♥.
Grandpa Steve (my father-in-law) flew in from Michigan for the weekend, and he and the boys had a blast together. Elliot played with his "Gumpa" pretty much the whole time.

Emmett's actual birthday fell on a Monday, so we had a quiet little celebration, just the four of us. First, we did his cake smash. We didn't have to worry about whether he'd be like his big brother, who refused to touch his cake at first... oh no. Emmett LOVED it! Especially the frosting... orange and green frosting, everywhere! Once we got the all the frosting out of his hair, off his feet, out of his diaper, etc, we went to a chinese buffet, where both of my boys were in heaven because they could eat all the broccoli and rice they wanted.

ALL the frosting.


Some facts about Emmett at TWELVE MONTHS:
♥ He is 29.5" and 20 lbs
♥ Strawberry blonde(ish?) hair and big baby blue eyes :)
♥ he has 8 teeth and is getting some molars now!
♥ Wearing mostly 9 month & 12 month clothing, size 3 sposies or Flips snapped to the smallest setting
♥ He had been walking a bit (a few steps here and there) for about a month, but he celebrated his brithday by really taking off walking!
♥ He says and uses a few words correctly- mama, dada, bye bye, uh oh. He says other words, but I don't think he realizes it.
♥ He LOVES his big brother and is constantly following him around, playing with him, or copying him.
♥ He is still nursing- 2-3 times a day (before naps) and then 1-2x a night, too. I'm in no rush to wean him.
♥ Just like his brother, his favorite foods are veggies (peas and broccoli). He also LOVES rice.
♥ he loves to play peekaboo and hide & seek. He also really loves playing in the sandbox or at the beach.
♥ He is insanely ticklish
♥ Still a very cuddly baby. Whenever he's busy playing, he makes sure he crawls over periodically (every few minutes) to cuddle his mama.
♥ He took an interest in coloring at a very early age- in fact, he likes coloring with crayons or markers or on the magnadoodle now more than Elliot does. Maybe he will be artistic like many of the Gougeons?
♥ Pretty much nothing gets him down- he's happy even when he's sick or tired. We were truly blessed to have such an easy baby, it made things much easier when he was little and I was juggling caring for 2 under 2

Happy Birthday, Emmett Sullivan! We love you! ♥ 
ps- yes, I know this post was a week late. Better late than never, right?