Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Family pictures

A sneak peek of the family pics we had done last night... my neighbor and I swapped shoots with each other like last fall :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Feeling good and Facebook Funnies

First off, I have an appt. with my arthritis doctor today and I am feeling good! Since getting the injections a few months ago in my problem joints I haven't had any pain and sometimes the swelling and pain comes right back---but so far this time it hasn't. Yippee!

When I was having tons of problems awhile back (since the start of the year) they increased my steroids quite a bit and I ended up gaining 10lbs in a month and then another 5 after that. Ugh. They have since decreased the meds slightly but the extra weight didn't just fall back off magically unfortunately :-P Well in August my mom and I are taking a trip to the Mall of America (yay!) and I plan on buying a whole work wardrobe before I start back to work---and really didn't want to buy a bunch of clothes for my plumped up size ;-) So I started a basic calorie counting + WW points type of self designed diet using phone apps and I'm already down 6lbs in 2 weeks--wahoo! (I'm sure since it's weight I gained quickly from a medicine that maybe helps it come back off sooner--not quite sure. I'm not feeling hungry at all!) I'd love to knock off the other 9 before we go to the mall--we'll see :-P

For anyone interested I mainly am doing it through diet alone since I can only do super low impact things like walking and swimming with my joints (although we've done some hiking lately and so far my knee and such is ok!). I am lucky in that I am a person who can easily eat the same thing every day and it doesn't bother me one bit here's what I've been eating:

1) Apple and peanut butter for breakfast (occasionally oatmeal instead)
2) Salad for lunch (with a little cheese and almonds on it for protein---sometimes grilled chicken if I have it left over from supper---as well as tons of veggies--and Panera dressing (I love all the Panera dressings and you can buy them right at the grocery store in the refrigerated section)  ---- If we are out and about then I try to get Subway---no cheese, oil and vinegar. Or else eat at Panera (I love the strawberry chicken salad they have this time of year!)
3) Snacks---I have found I can get a tall skinny vanilla latte, etc. at Starbucks for a snack, or a small twist cone from Dairy Queen, etc. etc....for indulgences. Otherwise at home I've just been trying to snack on fruits and veggies and nuts. (On the days we have gone on long hikes I eat extra to make up for those calories burned....motivation to go hike haha)
4) Dinner-- Usually 4oz of some sort of grilled meat---hamburger (no bun), chicken, pork chop, etc....that way Lee can eat like a normal person still :-P And then a big side of grilled veggies (or frozen veggies).
5) If I still have points/calories left after dinner than I usually have popcorn for a snack at night---I really like the "simply salted" microwave popcorn. You can eat a whole bag for about 100 calories. Or I have a glass of wine hehe.

Oh, and the other thing I've done is given up my 3 can of diet soda a day addiction and switched to water. I do let myself have some diet coke at restaurants and stuff though.


And now Facebook funnies---here are some Facebook status updates that I don't think I have copied over to my blog, and I want to always remember them!

Raya: Let's play house! I'll be the mom, Sawyer can be the dad, and Brielle and Harper can be the sisters.
Sawyer: Ok, but who's going to be the brother? Because you know, dads die before brothers.
Raya: Oh.
Sawyer: Well, unless the brother dies of a heart attack....or gets shot.

Boys! LOL


Finished our hike! Brielle ran most of it and Raya walked behind saying "this is the worst day ever" lol. Can't you tell who the hiker of the family is? Hehe

Photo: Finished our hike! Brielle ran most of it and Raya walked behind saying "this is the worst day ever" lol. Can't you tell who the hiker of the family is? Hehe


Raya: Who carried me downstairs during the storm last night?
Me: I did
Raya: yay, mama carried me Brielle and daddy carried you
Brielle: nooooooooooo!!!!! Mama carried me!
Raya: No she didnt. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.
Brielle: MAMA!!!!!!!
Me: fine, whatever, I carried you both.
Brielle: See Raya?!

Next time I am not carrying either of them...let the tornado get 'em
Put the girls to bed and Brielle was throwing a fit in their shared room. Next thing I know Raya comes out and tells me "can you PLEASE put this kid in a timeout?! I am trying to go to sleep and this crying is soooo annoying!"

Lol...point taken.
Part 2:
OMG, that kid is seriously evil. I finally called Lee in to deal with her. After a couple minutes in her room he comes out cradling a very happy and content Brielle. Apparently she told him the reason she can't sleep is because when she closes her eyes she thinks about the cops taking her and her daddy away ... which led Lee to take her to watch TV and cuddle. HE'S BEEN PLAYED! lol
I have never felt as old as I did just now listening to Lee read one of my favorite books, the berenstein bears, to the was talking about bringing a boom box and cassettes to a slumber party lol...The girls had no idea what he was talking about lol
Raya just came to me and said "I set my silver glitter shoes by the door so that I can wear them later to Walmart...bc you have to look gorgeous at Walmart" ...clearly she has missed the memo about Walmart shopping attire lol


Raya being Raya and Brielle being...well being Brielle lol ;-)

Photo: Raya being Raya and Brielle being...well being Brielle lol ;-)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yearly Checkups -- 3.5 years and 5 years

The girls had their checkups on Tuesday! The doctor is fun when Grandma Donna is your nurse :-)

They were NOT impressed with the gowns....they kept telling my mom "these are not very beautiful!"

Photo: This little peanut was 29lbs (20th % ile) and 36 inches (8th% ile). I thought she had gotten taller but I guess I mismeasured at home lol...shorty ;-)

This little peanut is still a peanut! Her stats were:
29lbs (20th % ile) and 36 inches (8th% ile)

Everything else checked out great though---she's just petite!

Then Raya....
Photo: This pretty girl is still solid! 47 lbs (86th % ile) and 43.8 inches (70th % ile)

Raya is still above average for both height and weight---a growing girl and the complete opposite of her sister! haha
47 lbs (86th % ile) and 43.8 inches (70th % ile)

She looked great too!

The other thing we were up to this week was some home improvement projects. I feel like this summer I am doing a little "nesting" before I go back to work in August haha....some projects that I've been talking about for a couple years, ever since we moved in, are finally getting done!

First, I painted the girls' Barbie house and added on a tower addition ;-)
Photo: Forgot to share my other project from yesterday....painted the Barbie house yellow and made a little tower addition for them lol. Millions of barbies are stored on the back of the door in a shoe organizer :)

The I made a family command center on the big wall in our kitchen! The previous owners had done something similar that I remember loving when we came to look at the I wanted to do something kinda like it. Each person in the family has a corkboard with their picture on it---to hang school/work papers etc. that need to be dealt with and such. Then in the middle is a white board calendar that is color coded for everyone in the family, so that we can glance at the week and know exactly who needs to be where and when!
Photo: Family command center finished! Wanted to get organized before I go back to work in August. Still want to add some hooks under each person's board but mostly done :) Painting the living room tomorrow!

And then today I painted the accent wall in our living room my very favorite color--aqua!
Photo: Aqua accent wall complete! Hard to see the curtains since it's so bright out, but perfect match :-) Just need Lee to hang the TV back up on the wall when he gets home!

I love it :-)

I also have one more project down in the guest room that isn't quite I will have to update that later!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Catching up!

First off, I apologize, but I've fallen victim to Instagram---so much easier than posting over here lol. I take back all the mean things I said about it in the past (except my making fun of foodie pictures....I still stand by that :-P )  So if you aren't following me on Instagram yet go do so ASAP HERE

In other news, here is week 23's Sister Saturday picture

Aren't they adorable? :-)

The girls and I are in the swing of our summer schedule---this week Raya had dance camp for ballet and jazz....she's loving it

Photo: Dance camp this week.. ballet and jazz! Donuts for Brielle as consolation since she's too young lol

Brielle isn't old enough for this camp, so I've been trying to make her forget the unfairness of it all by bribing her with donuts :-P

Photo: Brielle gets a donut instead of dance camp lol

In the summer I have a tendancy to cave often for cool treats---DQ is a frequent stop
Photo: Why do I do this to myself? #conesaremessy #theylovemessy #sprinklesforbonuspoints

Photo: She's only slightly less messy than Brielle :-P

As is Starbucks
Photo: Forgot to post this earlier...The girls at Target today ;-)

And when I had all the cousins Sunday night we went to Orange Leaf...on of those add your own toppings places
Photo: Orange leaf! Last sleepover before John and Em return

And DQ before that
Photo: Giving my poor parents a break from watching sawyer and harper lol...cousin sleepover at Shawna's tonight!

John and Em returned from Mexico on Monday and we are missing all the cousin time we had last week---here are a few pics I don't think I"ve posted yet here

Photo: Babies in a bath

Photo: Good morning

Photo: 4 kids dressed and outside playing by 7:30 am #iamgood

We are on day 2 currently of a reading challenge we started. I made a reading chart and set a goal of 10 books a day---8 read aloud between Lee and I and then 2 "read" independently by the girls. They are loving this so far and I love the visual reminder to myself of how many I've read them so far during the day. It's not that I don't like reading to them, but as they've gotten older their books have gotten so long! So sometimes Lee and I just don't really feel like it :-P But I know it's important and with Raya out of preschool for the summer I wanted to keep something academic going consistently.

We went to the library yesterday to stock up on some new books...and play
Photo: Playing at the library!

We've also done quite a bit of sprinkler play! The temps have only been in the low 70s lately so not warm enough for the pool or splash pad really, but they still brave the cool weather to play in the yard :-)

Photo: Sprinkler time! Raya was insanely jealous of brielles 2-piece so I had to do a quick conversion on hers ;-) #toocoldforsprinklers #whateverfloatstheirboat

I even set the sprinkler up on the driveway and made a "car wash" for them :-)
Photo: Carwash!

Other than all our summer fun I've been doing TONS of photo sessions. I've really enjoyed meeting a lot of new people and getting to cuddle some new babies as well :-)

Here are some favorites of late:

I even did my first in-home lifestyle session!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


We to the local amusement park today. We go once a summer and the kids always look forward to it!

This is my favorite pic of the day <3

Here are some other favorites---my mom bought the girls matching outfits at Children's Place and I made their headbands
Photo: Heading to adventureland! Grandma got all the girls matching outfits and I made headbands...Harper is going as Brielle's identical twin ;-) i will post an updated pic when we get there!

Photo: We made it!

Raya has a very weak stomach like grandma (and me at times too) and she would get very scared/nauseous on the rides that went in fast circles (like the teacups) or on anything that caused that stomach dropping sensation. But Brielle wasn't scared of anything---she wanted to go on grownup rides and would get mad when we wouldn't let her! Sawyer also loved just about everything that he was big enough to go on. Harper did much better this year than last and liked everything she tried.

Photo: They grow up so fast lol #mirrormaze

We took our lunch and had a picnic---the weather was nice and cool (mid 70s) and the park was very quiet---no lines! A lot of schools aren't quite out yet, which helped

Photo: Ready for our picnic lunch!

Heading home...thumbs up for an awesome day!! (After this pic harper slapped Brielle on the arm...we asked her why and she said "bc she keeps closing her eyes for pictures!" Don't worry harper, I feel like doing the same thing lol)

Photo: Heading home...thumbs up for an awesome day!! (After this pic harper slapped Brielle on the arm...we asked her why and she said "bc she keeps closing her eyes for pictures!"  Don't worry harper, I feel like doing the same thing lol)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Raya's Birthday Interview (A Little Late)

Oops. Forgot to do this---here it is, a little late! These are the questions I first asked her at 3 years old.

What is your  favorite  color?   *Pink and Blue

What is your favorite TV show? *Callie's Wild West

What is your favorite  room in your house? *My room
Why is that your favorite? *I like the other side of my bed because there's a camper.

Do you like princesses? *Yeah
Which is  your favorite princess? *All of them!

What is  your  favorite  food? *Butterfly cakes with cream inside with sprinkles
What  food  don't  you like? * Tacos

What is you favorite thing to drink? *Raspberry flavor and cherry flavor....ummm...blueberry....and strawberry and maybe like one ummmmm....grape

 If you could change  your  name, what would it be? *That little kitten's name that has the white body....Marie    (Aristocats)

 If  you had lots  of money, what  would you buy with it? * Umm, a Frozen tall as me and a baby Frozen and a dolly Frozen.

 What's your favorite  book? * Disney Books, because they have Elsa and Anna in it

What do you love  about Grandma and  Papa's house? * Having a sleepover....that's all

 If you could do  anything all  day, what would it be? * Buying dollies...buying ALL of the dollies

Who's your best friend? *Lilly and Sawyer

What's  your  favorite game? * Chutes and Ladders

What's  your favorite thing to wear? *Summer dresses, but no jeans! Just summer dresses and no shorts or tank tops!

What  is something you want to teach  Brielle when  she's older? *To reach her clothes with a little stool....I'm gonna teach her skating by herself

What's  your favorite thing to do at the mall? *Eat cookies....that's all
What do  you dream about? * Frozen...I met Frozen in her castle and I did what Frozen was doing.

What's your favorite thing about Daddy? * He teaches me how to rollerskate and he plays games

If you had to pick  a new mommy, who would you pick? * Lilly

Why  is  the sky blue? Because it has to be blue so that the sun comes up....if it isn't blue then it will be dark forever

What  do you want  to be when you grow up? * Teaching school

Would you like another  sister  or brother? * Another sister and it would be a lilly.

What if you ever had a brother? * It would be Sawyer.

But would you like a tiny baby to live with us? No....because they poop and pee all over!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

knit headband tutorial

Ok, on Instagram and Facebook I've had quite a few people inquiring about these knit headbands I started making for the girls...and they are SO EASY that I thought I'd share a little tutorial in case someone wanted to try making one themselves :-)

Time: 10-15 minutes
Supplies: 1/4 yard fabric (I can make a headband for both Raya and Brielle out of 1/4 yard), scissors or rotary cutter, sewing machine (or hand stitch if you are really motivated lol)

Step 1: Fold your fabric in half (short side to short side) ...then fold the top (long side) down so that you end up with 4 layers of fabric  (my thumb is showing the long side that I folded down...then the bottom of my stencil is lined up along the other fold that was created when I folded short end to short end)

**The "stencil" I just made up with a ruler. That is the general shape needed for the style I have been making. If you want your ends to be more square rather than pointed you could draw yours with more square ends, etc. I make the bottom more narrow just so that the part behind the neck isn't so wide b/c that bother's my girls. The length of your stencil should be half the head circumference + however long you want your tie ends to be (I tested a couple first and eventually figured out my ideal length---just gotta play around with it.).

Step 2: Cut out your stencil (this doesn't have to be exact...I don't trace it or anything...just cut around the stencil the best you can by eyeballing it.)

**I made mine a little longer than the stencil b/c it was for Raya...the stencil is Brielle's size**

Step 3: Unfold everything and you now have 2 pieces, double the length of the stencil (b/c the fabric was folded over.)

Step 4: Lay the two pieces on top of each other (right sides together---b/c you will turn it right side out after you sew it). Start sewing where my thumb is in the picture below...and sew all the way around until you get to where my pointer finger is--the space in-between my fingers you will *not* sew shut. 

Use a zigzag stitch if will allow for some stretch better than a straight stitch.

This shows what it looks like when I'm done sewing...see the gap I left unsewn?

Step 5: Start turning it right side out, by pushing the fabric back through that hole you left unsewn. Do little bits at a time b/c the hole is not very big (you don't want to leave too big of a hole because then you will see it on the finished product).

Step 6:

This is the finished product once it's turned right side out! The hole (shown by my fingers) will be hidden under the knot you tie, but you can hand stitch it shut if you want.

Step 7: Put it on! I need to practice my knots haha, but just a double knot of some kind works :-)


*** If you like your headbands to be wider then just cut them wider! If you like longer floppy ends on your bow then make it longer. You can pretty much alter it however you want! ***

And seriously, it seems more complicated than it is. Such a quick and easy project--anyone could do it I promise. And if your sewing is wonky and uneven etc it really doesn't matter. By the time it's all tied on their head it hides almost all imperfections.

Have fun!

Here are a few others I've made too