Monday, November 25, 2013

I Caught Santa

Do you want to make the magic of Santa even more personal this year? I recently was given the opportunity to offer my blog readers the opportunity to get free pictures now through December 10th. Just use the code #SantaShare at and you can have fun personalized family photos with Santa in the middle of them! Be sure to grab a picture of your living room and Christmas tree and add Santa to the mix. I know Nolan will be so excited to see the picture I capture!!  As soon as our tree is up this Friday I'll post back with the pictures! Maybe our little Elf on a Shelf will get in on the fun too.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lil Peanut

Carter had his 15mo checkup yesterday. He made it to 18#4oz if you take the highest weight shown on the scale as he bounced around. Yep, we'll cheat and take those few extra ounces!! He's almost 30" long now too. We're going to explore food allergies a bit more thanks to diarrhea, upset tummy, and a few other signs. I'm pretty sure he's not tolerating cow's milk and thus have been keeping him off of it but wasn't sure if it was a true food allergy or if he was okay with small amounts of dairy like yogurt or cheese. The tests should helpfully tell us that.

C is in a very clingy phase which is kind of cute. He's easily overwhelmed in big groups. Brother takes off running and playing and little guy hangs by mom. Here I am wearing him at a birthday party. the awesome bounce houses and trampolines were a bit too much. Eventually he got brave enough to try it out once though!! Check out his moves here. While you're there be sure to follow us on YouTube so you can see any new videos I post!!

Nolan didn't want his dancing to be forgotten so here is his take on break dancing.... in slow motion. The iPhones new slow motion video option is pretty hilarious when you video tape kids!

Carter hangs out with me at the local grade school twice a week while Nolan goes to speech therapy. It's not the most exciting adventure but he has fun. Today he practiced with his first backpack. He was so excited to wear it and was all giggly.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pics of the week

Here are a few fun pics from our week.

Dress Up - CC found Nolan's dress up box and tried to put on Ironman goggles.

Mr. Rico Suave poses with his sippy. 

About the best joint picture I can get these days. Nol gets tired of sitting and C is always on the go!

... and then they are goofy!

..and so serious!

Children Learning Reading

I recently was chosen to try out Jim Yang's e-book lessons Children Learning Reading. It's a program designed to instill early reading skills for children that can be started at an early age or used once they are school aged. Nolan and I have been trying it out learning basic letter sounds and phonics. I'm not in any rush to teach Nolan but like to explore whatever he is most interested in at the time. He loves books and asks questions so we thought this was a great time to start! I grew up loving reading (still do) and can't wait for both kids to find the joy of books too.

We've been trying it out for a few weeks now and while Nolan isn't suddenly reading Shakespeare, he is now more interested in letter sounds which is a start. He's gone through the first few lessons so far and we're working on putting together and blending a few letter sounds at a time. This program is .pdf file based so the tools you use (flashcards or letter drawings) need to be created by you the parent. There are .mp3 clips of appropriate sounds to help you out and also to use with your child. It's a hands on program that starts with you reading a pretty intensive description and instruction file. I've used an early reading program in the past that mainly involved videos and this is definitely not that. I loved that it gave me reasoning for each of the steps we were doing and was very thorough in describing what I should be doing. They recommend doing the short lessons a few times a day and only moving on once your child has mastered each step. This program is a time commitment but anything that has a chance of working likely is! 

Children Learning Reading focuses on phonics and Phonemic Awareness (PA). I wasn't familiar with what that actually entailed and really only remember phonics from grade school so I was hesitant as I started reading. Basically though, PA entails blending letter sounds and teaching the children to sound out words. No sight word memorization or rote memorization which is a plus.

If you're interested in starting a basic phonics approach to teaching your child to read, you should definitely check out Children Learning Reading!! You can see videos of children who have used the program here too. I'll post back as we continue trying out this program!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


We love Cynthia from Kids Cutz!! She's given Carter all of his haircuts (we're up to 4 now) and done most of Nolan's too!! Today they were long overdue and went in for fun. Here is a blurry pic from this morning before the cuts.

 ... and during!

I just can't believe just how adorable Carter looks after his cut! Tim and I were both ohhing and ahhing all evening. Nolan is always cute after his cut but I think this is the first time Carter has looked like a little boy (and been walking around) after his cut. It's much more tame but he still has those perfect curls in back! Sorry for the poor pics. I grabbed the camera once the light was gone tonight. Better ones will be coming in the next few days!

He's even adorable when pouting but don't tell him that.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran's Weekend Fun

This is Nolan at 13months old celebrating his second Veteran's Day with a parade. I love this picture and it's one of my favorite flag shots. I need to take a few with both boys now. We're really thankful to be surrounded by so many veterans in our family including hubby who served in the Air Force.  

As part of the celebration this year, Tim McGraw put on a concert on the Navy base in town. I was lucky enough to get to go thanks to a moms group friend! We went as a moms night out event and left the little ones home with the husbands. I have to say this is the first time I've done that since Carter was born! It was a blast. Tim played great and the venue was spectacular. Navy vessels were lit surrounding the stage. Here are a few iPhone shots I managed to snap.

Monday, November 11, 2013

NutriCrystal Wireless Smart Food Scale UPDATE!!

UPDATE!! NutriCrystal has provided me with a coupon code to offer you 10% off your purchase of a NutriCrystal Wireless Smart Food Scale. Just enter: K98Z2 in the coupon code portion during checkout and you'll receive the discount! you can visit their online store here.

If you know me at all, or heck, even if you've paid just a little attention to my blog posts, you know we have weight issues in our house. Not the normal I weigh too much problems but the opposite. Both of our children are on the tiny side. By tiny I mean if 100 kids the same age were in a room mine would be the tiniest.... under the 1st percentile. Even when we use a breastfed only growth chart that encompasses the world, mine are way under the 3rd percentile and sometimes they dip and drop even more.

Now we all know weight isn't everything but when your infant or toddler stops gaining weight doctors and mothers tend to freak out. Couple that with their giant appetite and you start to wonder if something is actually wrong. Along with the barrage of tests (and a few diagnoses we've been given) we see a nutritionist. For Nolan, I kept a detailed food journal of every single bite he ate for weeks on end. Fun times for sure! For Carter we've been trying to get an idea of exactly how many calories he's consuming on average in a day.

Up until now this meant notebooks, food journals, and lots of weighing and guesstimating what was being eaten. Then I got the NutriCrystal Wireless Food Scale. It's bluetooth capable and works with a few different free apps on the iTunes store. You can simply set you food on it and have it logged and recorded in an easy to use app. Basically I set my food down and pick up my phone. There I open the app and hit connect. Once I record the weight I can customize the entry with both a food category (drop down amazing list) and a food type. The app has all the info on how much protein, fat, etc. is in the food simply from you categorizing it. I spent hours on Calorie when Nolan was having issues trying to look up the nutrient info for everything he was eating. This is so.much.easier!! I'm still working through the app and finding all of it's fun features. I haven't yet found a way to send my entire summary by email but hope that's there (if not I'll be requesting it on the app feedback). How perfect would that be to send straight to our doctors?!

Other fun facts.. the scale charges by USB. No bulky electrical cables. It's sleek and stylish so it fits in sitting out in our kitchen constantly.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween fun

Here is a quick peek into our Halloween fun. The following pictures were taken by my talented friend who owns Oh Happy Day Photography here in Jacksonville, FL.

...and now our trick-or-treating fun! (pics by me)

Surf Grip Fun!

I recently got the chance to try out a cool surfing related product. It's the Surf-Grip by Sick Performance Concepts, LLC. Now we are just a few short miles form the beach but with two kids in tow it can feel like a cross country trip. I try to limit the amount of "stuff" we drag to the beach because honestly it's a lot of work for me. This means I usually don't bring any sort of fun water toys for us, the big kids. I was pretty excited to try Surf-Grip out because it's tiny and can take the place of a boogie board or wakeboard. Here is what it is. A simple lightweight and buoyant cone with a handle inside. It increases the persons buoyancy while just body boarding in the waves. Check it out in action here.

Looks like fun right? It's completely simple for a novice or wannabe surfer or bodyboarder. I'm sure I look crazy playing with it but who cares, it's fun! This isn't the beach season for us right now but come spring it will be packed in our beach kit every time!

You probably noticed I have two in the picture. That's right I have one to give away. Just use the rafflecopter form at the end of this post for your very own chance to body surf at the beach! You can even personalize them using model airplane paint!! Please tell your friends to check out the giveaway too!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.