Jack – One and a half years

One weekmatt jack

6 monthsIMG_2009

1 yearHoliday Portrait (21)-editOne and a half years

photo 2 It’s been a year and a half since this fun little man entered our lives.  Here’s what he’s been up to lately.photo 1

Personality:  Smilely and happy, physical, little daredevilIMG_3649

Height/Weight:  34.5 inches and 30 lbs 4 oz, 99th percentile in both!  He wears 2T clothes most of the time now and really needs to transition to 3T jammies…I think he has his mom’s big feet.

Likes:  Some of the same stuff from our last check-in…still loves bathtime, books, basketball, balls, balloons and songs.  He has started singing along to songs in the last couple of weeks (Wheels on the Bus and Baa Baa Black Sheep).  I love it!  He loves trucks, cars, trains and bikes – real and in books.  Running and playing outside.  The park and especially the swings and slides.  Food!  He still is the best eater – all fruit (especially blueberries, raspberries, bananas, watermelon and grapes), most veggies, all dairy (cottage cheese is his favorite food), oatmeal (every weekday morning for breakfast), fish, crackers, pasta…and anything that anyone else is eating.IMG_3668

Dislikes:  Not having mommy and daddy’s full attention when he wants it.  Stopping play for diaper changes.

Talking:  I have been amazed how quickly words have been coming in the last couple of weeks.  There are so many words that he uses in correct context but my recent new favorites are please, fire truck, all wet, a mess!, pretty, byebye, baby.  And he repeats things we say…his favorite is to repeat “I know” in the same way that I say it.  It cracks me up!

He has started identifying objects as belonging to certain people.  He knows which running shoes are Matt’s and which are mine.  He knows that the Cheez-Its are Matt’s and will happily tell you about them.  “Dada’s!  Hot!”

His favorite books are:  Guess How Much I Love You, Richard Scary’s Busy Town, and the Llama Llama collection.  He is a book junkie, though, and loves to sit in our laps and read almost any book.  My mom spoils him with books nearly every visit, and Matt and I are so thankful.  You need quite a book collection with this little book aficionado!

Thanks for letting me indulge in a recap of some of the happenings of an 18 month old!

Yoga and the Zoo

I’m celebrating the end of my first year as a PhD student!  My last paper is done, and I am taking a quick breather before a big week of research.  We’ve had a lot of fun around here lately, with wonderful weather and a really happy toddler.  Our weekends have included strength and yoga at home…with my favorite little person who likes to be involved in everything Matt and I do.yoga babyAnd a really fun trip to the zoo and park on Saturday.  zooJack hasn’t been to the zoo since he was a “baby.”  Remember this tiny little guy?  IMG_1898Our outings just keep getting more and more fun.  He loved the monkeys and the petting zoo.  We didn’t get a chance to ride the train through the park but he loved yelling “choo choo” when it was finishing for the night.  We followed our zoo time with lots of playing in the park – plenty of time sliding and swinging.  He was such a happy little boy!  We rounded out our easy Saturday with take-out bbq on our way home.  Just smelling bbq again made me feel like I was in Kansas City.

IMG_3599On the food front, not everything was as indulgent as bbq over the last couple of weeks.  Salad jars are still a favorite.  This one featured quinoa, chickpeas, fresh basil, diced cherry tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese all mixed together.  I threw some spinach on top after taking the picture.  It tasted like summer – fresh and delicious!

I hope you’re enjoying beautiful weather and are surrounded by happy people.  Have a great rest of the week!

15.5 Months Old

Where does the time go?  I had this draft ready two weeks ago but I was waiting on some pictures to be sent my way.  The pictures are delayed and I figured that some iPhone pics would just have to do so that this post doesn’t become a 16 month update.

………..

I decided monthly updates probably weren’t necessary after Jack turned 1, but he has been up to so many new tricks lately that I thought it would be fun to check in.IMG_0411

We had Jack’s 15 month checkup last week.  Our little guy isn’t so little anymore – 91% for height and 95% for weight!  He is still a phenomenal eater.  He starts his day with a bowl of steel cut oats and some berries.  He has started doing a Macaulay Culkin fist pump when he gets food that he especially likes – like raspberries and blueberries.  He loves most fruit and makes the sign language for bananas.  Fish is his preferred animal protein, (chicken is rarely enjoyed), and most vegetables are still a hit – especially peas, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans (only the flat ones!), and sweet potatoes.  And of course all things dairy like cheese, cottage cheese and greek yogurt are hits.

Sleeping is going really well.  The time change has pushed Jack’s bedtime back to 8pm but he likes to sleep until about 7:30am lately.  He’s down to one nap which makes going places on the weekend much easier to plan around.

He has 12 teeth and is working on getting his incisors and canines in next.  Poor little guy has been drooling again so hopefully these teeth will come in quickly and give him some relief.

IMG_0378And the really fun stuff…he has become more adventurous and is a little daring sometimes, flinging himself off the couch for a laugh.  He loves playing, running and dancing.  We got him a basketball hoop to have a good inside activity with the rough winter, and he LOVES it!  He says “ball” all the time, and has a pretty decent shot.

His language has really taken off in the last couple of weeks.  Earlier last week I was explaining to him that I had to change his diaper because it was so wet (he HATES having his diaper changed in the morning…or really anytime).  He looked at me and asked “diaper?” very clearly.  So in addition to saying mama, dada, and ball, he can tell you what sounds most of the animals make (cow, monkey, owl, lamb, doggy and cat are his favorites), says thank you (“shu shu”), yeah, uh oh, purple (and sometimes gets it right), hot, more, hat, brr! and bubble.IMG_0404

Speaking of bubbles, check out this bathtime video from last week from his first time saying bubble.

This age has been a lot of fun, but it would be remiss of me to not mention the start of toddler tantrums in our house.  The back-arching and screaming is not one of my favorite parts, but I guess it keeps us on our toes.  (Case in point:  Matt and I took Jack to the park last week on one of our first nice weather days for a picnic dinner and lots of playing.  As we congratulated ourselves on such a wonderful Monday night of parenting on our way to the car, Jack threw a complete fit not wanting to leave.  Kids are great for lessons in humility.)

Hope you have a great week ahead!

We like to move it…

Yep, we’re in one of the states with bitter cold and lots of snowfall…around 10 inches of snow.  And we have a pretty sick little guy in our house with a fever, major sniffles, and big time clinginess.  We’ve been cuddling a lot, and while not much is making him smile this video seems to make Jack happy.  It makes me pretty happy too, and if you’re waiting out the cold at home I hope this gives you some smiles.  And if you want to join in the dancing I bet it will help keep you warm!

 

12 Month Update

It is almost the end of 2013 and I am finally getting around to writing a 12-month update for Jack.  I just noticed I missed an 11-month update.  C’est la vie! Luckily, we had a trips to Kansas City, Effingham, and Rossville in the last few weeks so lots of people were able to see the updates in person. 1 year portrait (3)

Height and weight:  Over 24 lbs and 31.5 inches (88% for weight and 94% for height!  He jumped on both growth curves this appointment!)  He has come along way from the little peanut he was the first couple of months.Jack1

Food:  Jack is a voracious eater!  There are very few things he won’t eat, but his favorites are avocados, bananas, raspberries, clementine oranges, broccoli, string cheese, cottage cheese, peas, oatmeal, salmon and most fish, bbq sauce (Baby was born in Kansas City.  What else can I say?) Jack2

Teeth:  8 baby teeth, and two molars just popped up after Christmas, explaining the drooling and clinginess.

Party tricks:  Signing “hungry,” “more” and “music.”  Clapping, waving, blowing kisses, spinning in circles and dancing to music, singing into the tuberware, peek-a-boo.  Pointing to dada’s nose. Jack3

Words:  dada, momma, woof woof, and that are the only ones that he say consistently with meaning. Jack4

Likes:  Turning on electronics, cell phones, music (especially toddler radio on Pandora), reading books and turning the pages, anything outside (snow was a hit!), bathtime, running in circles around the kitchen, being chased, the park, the kites hanging from his bedroom ceiling, brushing his teeth (but having him drop his toothbrush is difficult), food time, wrestling and playing around, throwing balls.

Dislikes:  diaper changes, getting separated from mama, going down for naps, waiting for food, carrots.Jack5

In addition to finals and lots of travel, we also had a couple of rounds of stomach bugs at our house.  Poor Jack hasn’t even had a first birthday party OR birthday cake yet! I’m sure we will catch up on celebrating in 2014…and I’ll try to post an adorable video of Jack dancing soon!

Happy New Year!  Thanks for reading along over the past year with us.

Fitness Momma Gift Ideas – And a Giveaway!

This time last year I already had my Christmas shopping done, presents wrapped, and was trying my hand at the new mom thing. But this year, I got caught up in a busy first semester of my PhD, celebrated Jack’s first birthday, and as a result Christmas has completed snuck up on me!

So if you’re also a little behind on shopping and are looking for some Christmas gifts, I have some tried and true favorites that any fitness-minded momma (or non-momma) would love. (And continue reading through the post for an awesome give-away!)

1. Lululemon Wonder Unders – I love these pants! I have them in capri and full length. They are amazing for a run or yoga class because they are such a nice weight and have an amazing wide and comfy waistband. Plus, you can totally get away with throwing a pair of boots over these pants with a tunic (please cover your bum!) as non-workout attire, and then it seems a little easier to justify the price.wonderunders

And, no, sadly, that is not my backside but is from the Lululemon website.  Sigh.

2.  Philips Wake-up Light – This light alarm has pretty much changed my life. (A little dramatic, no?) I have tried to play around with workout scheduling but at this point in my life, early mornings just work out best. I am more consistent if I make sure to make my fitness a priority in the day, and getting a workout in before Jack (& Matt!) are up makes me feel like I am not missing out on them more than I already do. But the sun doesn’t rise until almost 8am at this time of year, so getting out of bed before 6am is tough.Wake-up Alarm

This light gradually lights up your room. You can also program it to play birds chirping. A lot of mornings, the light wakes me up before my phone alarm goes off. There are a couple of models out, but this is the one we have.

3. Another great gift for a busy person on your list is a TRX, especially if your giftee is familiar with suspension training. The basic TRX does come with a DVD (admittedly, I have not watched it) if your giftee has not done TRX before. I love it because I can workout at home if I can’t get out of the house for whatever reason. I used it a lot over maternity leave to sneak in a good workout over naps. Plus, I think it will be fun to take to the park with Jack so we can both play.TRX

4. A personalized fitness gift? How about a package of small training classes? At my new gym in West Lafayette, International Sports Club, they have a holiday package for 8 Barre classes for $55. Pretty nice deal! Or try small group training, like training offered by my favorite trainer in Kansas City, Jenny Chronister at City Gym. These classes feel like such a splurge, and what greater way to spoil someone you love?

5. And a final gift suggestion for the busy fitness momma friend if you’re looking to not drop as much cash…how about the gift of time? I am so impressed with friends who have trained for marathons. It is such a time commitment. And if you have kiddos, it is even tougher to carve out that time for adequate training. Gifting play time so that your loved one can get some running, yoga…whatever – time is truly a thoughtful gift.

Good news if you’re still in the midst of your holiday shopping. Coupons.com has put together some great lists for the moms, dads, kids and teens in your life.

XMAS_FB_GIFTGUIDE_FINCheck out their gift giving guides for some good ideas AND make sure to sign up for a chance to win one of the four $500 gift cards to featured retailers. (Enough money left over to buy something for yourself…)

Coupons.com Holiday Sweepstakes
http://www.coupons.com/blog/2013-holiday-gift-guide-giveaway/

This link will show you the list of the gift baskets that Coupons.com is giving away.

I especially like their “moms” gift guide and coupon codes (free shipping, anyone?) to accompany their gift suggestions. And I’ll definitely be entering the Mom’s raffle, and hope you get a chance to enter too. $500 worth of gift cards to Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Kate Spade, Fresh Produce, Express, 6pm.com, Sephora, Bath&Body Works, and Target sounds like a nice start to a Merry Little Christmas.

XMAS_BLOGGIFT_MOM_FINCoupons.com holiday gift guides for Moms
http://www.coupons.com/blog/2013-holiday-gift-ideas-for-mom/

AND more good news!! I’m part of a group of Kansas City bloggers giving away a $200 Amazon e-gift card. Use the rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Good luck and happy holidays!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Question: What would you buy with a $200 Amazon gift card?

This post was sponsored by Coupons.com.  All product reviews were my own opinion…but if you want to buy any of them for me, that’s cool.  Just kidding…mostly…

Two Things Tuesday

After a brief hiatus, I’m back to the blog.  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I got my act together and worked ahead on as many papers as possible so that my boys and I could go visit our families.  It was so worth it!

Two Things for this Tuesday after Thanksgiving:

#1-Matt and I went to Crossfit Effingham together on Saturday morning when we were visiting his parents.  Jack played with his grandparents while Matt and I did a partner tabata workout.  10am sweaty date (with 24 other people)?  Yes, please!photo (1)

If you’re ever in Effingham, they offer a free Saturday morning class.

#2 –I love roasted vegetables!  They take such little prep and are pretty hard to mess up.  And now that Jack eats almost everything we eat, I have even more incentive to roast a nice variety for us.  Last night was cauliflower, butternut squash and red onion.2013-12-02 18.24.01

Chop all veggies, drizzle with some olive oil, and sprinkle with a little pepper.  Then bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Viola!

Jack can now sign for “more” so I was sure he was a fan of these veggies when he would ask for more, then give me a cheesy grin.  2013-12-02 18.24.35What are your favorite vegetables to roast?  Have a great week!

Two Things Tuesday

This week is all about fall.  We got a light dusting of snow last night, and it was great reminder that winter really is coming and to enjoy all of the beautiful fall days left in the month.  So my “Two Things” this Tuesday are very fall-ish.

1.  OMGoat cheese salad

photo (2)The salad of the week at our house is a combo of red peppers, caramelized onion, black beans, romaine lettuce and a side container of crumbled goat cheese, craisins, and sunflower seeds.  Ah-maaazing!  Roasting the onions and adding dried cranberries really made this salad fall for me.  And the great flavor of goat cheese made salad dressing unnecessary.  I liked it so much I think I am going to repeat next week.

2.  Saturday was warm and sunny, but I was inside for an instructor training for a new ballet barre class at my gym.  My mom came over to play with Jack while I was in training, and as soon as I got out of class we hit the park as a family.  IMG_3021IMG_305120131109_171845Matt and I have a saying we use when Jack gets grumpy.  ”When in doubt, take him out!”  Sometimes he just needs some fresh air and sunshine.  Really – don’t we all need a little more fresh air and sunshine in our lives?  Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Two Things Tuesday

Are you an “It’s already Tuesday?” kind of person or an “It’s only Tuesday!” kind of person?  I think Tuesday is the most deceptive day of the week.  I am usually in the camp of Its only Tuesday, but I’ll tell myself that is because so much gets accomplished on Monday. (wink, wink)

Without further ado, here is this week’s Two Things Tuesday:

1.  Today I woke up wondering how I was still sore from a Sunday workout.  I was sick at the start of the weekend and didn’t get a Friday or Saturday sweatfest as a result.  So Sunday I made sure to get a great total body workout.  AND I committed to ensuring good form, which really contributed to the burn.  So when you do this workout, make sure you work on getting your chest low in your pushups and breaking parallel with your squats.  I got a quick mile run in then modified a Crossfit benchmark WOD, Barbara. 
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2.  I am loving that holidays are so much more fun with a little one.  Check out my little monkey this Halloween.  We went to my parents’ and visited with our trick-or-treater.  Already planning next year’s costume….IMG_2930

IMG_29312 (and a half).  We got family time with Matt’s side on Sunday.  Jack wants Auntie Tina to stay home from Italy longer.  Such a cute family, if I do say so myself!IMG_2974

Quick question:  what was the best Halloween costume you saw this year?