Valentine’s Day 2018

Anthony is not big on Valentine’s Day. He has gotten me gifts before (probably because I complained) but we don’t usually get each other anything or plan anything special.

Now that both girls are ages that they understand the holiday and want to celebrate it, it makes Valentine’s Day much more fun!

I made several heart shaped food items this year for Hailey and Aurora.

Pancakes, of course!

I also surprised them in their lunches with heart shaped turkey sandwiches. I have several different sizes of heart cookie cutters, which made it possible to use most of the bread, not having to waste much!

And last but not least, heart shaped grilled cheese.

Hailey’s school also has “soft pretzel day” occasionally and they had one on Valentine’s Day for heart shaped pretzels. Yum! You can order as many pretzels as you want with your choice of dipping sauce and they send them home with the kids at the end of the day.

Now, for the gifts this year, everyone did so good and the girls didn’t get much candy at all! That’s a plus in my book because we still have last years Easter candy (along with all the other holidays after it up until now) sitting in the pantry waiting to be thrown away!

The girls get little gifts from grandparents, great-grandparents and some of my aunts. This year, they got tons of stickers, lots of great new books and some cash! All perfect gifts to me! I am all about minimizing clutter right now! Anthony and I got Hailey a 2018 calendar, Aurora a new book, they both got gift cards to go to the movies and a tiny tiny bit of candy.

Also, Aurora got a singing card which was probably the highlight for her! 

Oh, and their Gammie bought them cute festive outfits too!

I have been lucky that all Hailey’s holiday parties have fallen on school days for Aurora, so I was able to go in and help each time.

Instead of their four normal reading “centers,” they had a different Valentine’s Day activity at each one.

They cut out and assembled “love birds.”

They decorated bags for their valentines.

They decorated and ate cookies.

And they made beaded necklaces with hearts on them.

Hailey loves when I come in to help, so it was no surprise to me that she had a great time.

Like I said in my, Five Reasons I Love my Husband post last week, I scheduled our parent teacher conference with Hailey’s teacher for Valentine’s Day so that Anthony would have to get out of work early and we would already have a babysitter lined up to go to dinner.

Apparently, it has been a VERY long time since we have gone out on actual Valentine’s Day, because when I called around on Monday to make reservations for dinner, everywhere was booked!!

We found a new-to-us Italian restaurant called I Bambini, that had good reviews and an opening for dinner, so we were sold!

We both liked everything and thought it was really affordable! I especially loved my hot date!

I hope anyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day, had an awesome day!

 

Super Bowl Party 2018

It was Hailey’s first full week of school last week since before Christmas and she was certainly feeling it! On Friday night, she was so tired asked to go to bed at 5PM!

She slept in Saturday morning and then we headed to her basketball game. After the game, her and I went out to lunch and then she had her first ever Girl Scout cookie booth.

This is how Aurora watched part of the game, haha! 

I guess one night of decent sleep wasn’t enough to get her back on track because when we went home to get ready for her school’s Father/Daughter dance, she hit a major wall! There were lots of tears, which is so unlike her, so we decided to let her take a 45 minute nap and be a little late for the dance.

When she woke up, I got her ready really quick and then they were off!

She had a blast!

She slept in even later on Sunday morning which was just what I was hoping for because we were having some friends over for the Super Bowl!

After an eight mile run, it was time to starting prepping for the big game!

I didn’t end up taking a lot of pictures that night which I was bummed about! I did get some pictures of the snacks I had out before anyone came.

Cheese plates

Soft pretzel tray

Spinach dip and buffalo chicken dip

Meatballs with hot pepper jelly and Sriracha garlic BBQ sauce- great combo!

We actually had meatballs for dinner too but I really wanted to try the sauce combo on those ones above, so I made them anyway! Anthony made his Italian Grandma’s meatball recipe and they were a hit!

Brittany made Texas Caviar and it was delicious! I can’t believe I’ve never made it myself and that is definitely going to change! Jaime brought desserts which were all so good! She made a toffee cake and two different kinds of edible cookie dough! Yum! Needless to say, no one went home hungry!

And here are some of the kids crammed around a small table eating! We are missing Colton, Livia and Stella in this kids picture!

I also took a picture on Hailey’s instax camera for her and I thought it turned out great! She put it up on her vanity mirror in her room which I thought was the cutest!

It was a good game, good halftime show and a great time with friends!

Favorite Children’s Books, Ages 0-6: Five on Friday #29

I love that both my girls love books! And now that Hailey is starting to read to us, it is even more fun! The girls, Anthony and I came up with this list of five of our most favorite books.

ONE- Count My Kisses Little One

This was my favorite book to read to the girls when they were really little. It has sentences like, “One kiss for baby on baby’s nose,” so I would “boop” their little noses and they loved it! I still read this to Aurora occasionally, but she seems to be outgrowing it too. *tear*

TWO- Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Hailey got this book when she was younger and she absolutely loves it! It’s crazy to think that I read this to her SOOOO many times and now she is reading it to me!!

Both girls love the whole Pete the Cat series and Hailey got some Pete the Cat phonics books for Christmas that we read every night!

THREE- The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

When I was pregnant with Hailey, instead of having everyone bring a card with their gifts to my baby shower, we asked for them to bring books instead and write a little note with their names inside. It is so fun to see who bought which books so many years later!

This was the book Anthony picked out for Hailey before she was born. It was one of his favorites growing up. It is more for an older child, so Hailey is really starting to like it now and they read it all the time!

FOUR- The Cat in the Hat (or any Dr. Seuss book)

It shouldn’t be a shocker that a child likes Dr. Seuss books! I love them too! And if you saw my girls Halloween costumes this past year, you may have guessed they were on board the Dr. Seuss train as well!

They like pretty much every Dr. Seuss book, but The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham are probably their favs!

FIVE- The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

This is also a classic and a fun one to read! Aurora is really into it right now, especially the page where the caterpillar eats allllll the things!

There you have it! A list of our favorite books! Have a great weekend everyone!

 

A Day in the Life…on a Day off from School

The girls both had off from school yesterday for MLK Day, so I thought I would document what a day looks like with both girls home!

No alarm on a Monday makes for a very happy mom! Hailey was up first, but we sent her to the couch to play on her IPad until Aurora woke up. Aurora played in her room for a while before I went to get her at 8AM! That’s definitely sleeping in for us so I was pretty psyched!

Anthony had to get ready for work, so I made pancakes for the girls and they ate those with a banana and some chocolate milk.

Then, I got them ready to head to the Y.

I took a 30 min Insanity class, followed by 4 miles split on the treadmill and elliptical and about 20 minutes of lifting.

When we got home, I made a quick breakfast and then sent the girls upstairs to play so I could take a shower. Hailey helped watch Aurora in the play room, so it was nice to have her home. I wouldn’t let Aurora play by herself upstairs otherwise.

It was lunch time, so I threw together a snack plate for the girls. They both love Laughing Cow “spready cheese” so they had that with crackers and some pepperoni. I sautéed up a zucchini with my lunch, so they also ate some of that.

Around 1PM it was time to take Aurora up for her nap. We read a couple books and she was asleep by 1:15.

Hailey was waiting for nap time all day because I promised we would go play some basketball (even though it was 32 degrees out! Brrr!). On Sunday, Anthony and Uncle Joseph put the basketball hoop from Santa together, so she has been wanting to practice ever since, no matter what the temperature was!

I finally convinced her to come in because I couldn’t feel my fingers. She wanted to play with her die cut machine, which is something we usually have to play with when Aurora isn’t around because there are some dangerous parts.

I am not crafty, but I think I figured out a few parts to this thing, which I was excited about!

It is used to make cut-outs for decorations, cards, scrapbooking, etc. We made lots of hearts for Valentine’s Day!

After a white, I told Hailey I had to do some blog stuff and clean bathrooms and toilets before Aurora woke up, and because Hailey isn’t one to play by herself, she only lasted five minutes and came upstairs to be by me. She did end up making this card for me first, though!

How cute is that!! 

Aurora woke up around 3PM and because I was still doing blog stuff, I let the girls play upstairs by themselves for a little bit. I can’t wait to get to the point where they can play upstairs by themselves whenever they want, but Aurora isn’t ready yet…and I learned that the hard way. We had friends over who have two girls also, and they were all playing upstairs while the adults hung out. Well, Aurora came down covered in blue marker, holding push pins from Hailey’s bulletin board. Awesome. With some further investigation, that blue marker also made it on Hailey’s bed sheet, bed frame and wall. Aurora is not allowed in Hailey’s room anymore.

Then there was a Sunday morning incident a couple months ago. Anthony and I were laying in bed talking about how nice it is that Hailey can go upstairs and get Aurora out of her room and bring her down the stairs to us now while we just lay in bed. Then, Aurora summersaulted down the stairs. She was okay, thank goodness. But now, I walk Aurora down the stairs every morning!

Okay, back to our day. The girls had a snack, and as you can see, we are still going through our Halloween candy! Aurora is sadly obsessed with candy, so if she is good, I usually let her have one piece.

After they had a snack, we went outside for round two of basketball!

Aurora obviously is not tall enough to shoot in the big hoop, so I brought her little hoop down from the back porch so she could play too!

The girls wanted to stay in the basement to play after we came in from outside, so we ate dinner down there tonight. I made the girls Chili lime chicken burgers from Trader Joe’s with rice and avocado on the side.

Aurora took her burger off the bun, but they both really liked them and ate pretty good!

It was shower night for Hailey, so she took a shower in the basement while Aurora played and then we all cuddled up and watched half an episode of The Cat in the Hat before we got ready for bed!

The girls usually have the same shower nights, but Aurora had a diaper incident yesterday that required an impromptu shower. Luckily, I was running and just heard about it from Anthony! Apparently, I dodged a bullet!

They brushed their teeth and then we all went to Aurora’s room to read a couple books and say our nightly prayer before bed!

Then I grabbed a La Croix, wrote the rest of this blog post and waited until Anthony texted me that he was on his way home so I could make his dinner. (Fish, rice and salad)

This was actually a great example of a typical winter day in our house!

 

 

 

 

 

Home Organizing: Done at my House…by my Mother-in-Law!

My mother-in-law, Stephanie, has been watching the girls for long weekends a lot in the past two years. Between 2016 and 2017, she has watched the girls while we went to Alabama, California, Colorado and New Orleans. Most of those trips the girls had school, sports or other extracurricular events she had to get them to, so she had to stay at our house to make that all happen. Even with all of that going on, every trip we came home from, she has organized a couple little areas of my house! How great is that! Here are some of things she has done recently!

Craft Area in our Built-in’s

We have built-in’s on both sides of our fire place in the living room that has closed storage at the bottom. On one side, we started putting crafts for Hailey when she was little and now it is jam packed! The doors don’t lock, so Aurora gets into them constantly and I have to be careful about what I put in them now.

On one of our trips, Stephanie sorted everything in the cabinet and put them all into separate labeled boxes!!

Under my Sink in the Bathroom

I have a container under my sink in the bathroom in my room with all the girls hair ties, bows, headbands, bobby pins and anything else hair related. They were all just thrown in and it was up to luck if I could find what I was looking for. Stephanie did the same thing here and organized them into different containers and labeled them all!

Everything in the little containers to the left,were thrown into that big container to the right! 

Books in the Bonus Room

The girls have a little reading nook in the corner of our play room and my friend, Carrie, got Hailey a book shelf for my baby shower that works so well in that space! Stephanie organized all the books in there and then got a separate bin to put all of the upcoming holidays book in. When we left in November, we came home to every Christmas book in that separate bin so the girls could find them easily. When we came home from New Orleans on January 2, we found all our Valentine’s Day books in that bin!

Bonus Room Barbie and Small Doll Area

My parents got Hailey a Barbie Dream House a couple years ago for her birthday, which both of the girls love now! We have accumulated so many Barbie’s, accessories and other dolls they can play with in the house. Both the girls are also obsessed with Shopkins, so we have a TON of those and a plane, and a house and other fun accessories to go with them! Stephanie organized them all into separate bins right next to the Barbie Dream House! She has actually organized this area more than once because once the girls start going crazy, it can get super messy and I usually don’t have the patience to organize everything again…sorry!

Other Things She has Done that are not Pictured

-Organized part of the garage
She got a huge container for all the sports balls and other outside toys we keep in the garage and organized other areas of the garage too.

-Hailey’s Toy Closet
Stephanie (and Hailey) went through all her crafts and LEGOS kept in her closets and organized them.

-Hailey’s Clothes
She went through all of Hailey’s clothes and set aside what didn’t fit her and coordinated her closet and drawers with everything that did.

-Kitchen
She also organized several drawers in the kitchen.

As you can see, she is definitely busy when she babysits at our house! We want to make sure she knows how much we appreciate all she does, especially all this stuff she did without us even asking! We thank you so much for all you do!! XOXO