Life as we know it

Our family adventures


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Bumps, bruises and blood

When I became a parent, I knew what I signed up for. I expect the injuries and I know I can’t protect Allie from everything. We’ve seen the bumps and bruises plenty in her short life. But last night when she fell and split her lip open and I saw all that blood, it was hard to stomach!

It wasn’t really a lot of blood. But it was more than I would have expected to come from her lip. She’d been playing by Dada and fell down hitting Dada’s knee. It really gushed out at first and got all over her shirt. I thought she’d lost a tooth! I sat her down out in the kitchen and we wiped away the blood (which gushed out a bit more before it finally stopped!) and could finally see that her teeth were fine. She was fine and she liked dabbing the wet rag on her lip for a little while. Mama kissed the owie and it was all better.

She recovered and went on playing, but ended up sitting on the couch with Mama and Dada and we decided to take her up to bed after that. She was tired. And we were too.

The whole incident was a bit nerve racking. Dada was pretty upset by it. I suppose I was too, but I was more calm. We know this is by no means the last time our little girl is going to bleed. And I’m sure there will be worse injuries than this. But its just so scary to know that not only will our little girl bleed, we can’t protect her from it. I guess the only reassurance is that we will be there to help fix it. I just wonder how it will be if or when its something that we can’t fix so easily with a little kiss?


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Little Miss Smartypants

Allie can count to 10! Last week on Dada’s birthday we were on our way out to dinner and she was saying 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4. With some help she went up to 10! She’d been counting to 3 and that was the first time we’ve heard her go past 3. Tonight at dinner she had a cutie and we counted the pieces. There were 9 and she said all the numbers except 7 and 9. Where’d she learn to do that???

We got her some ABC cards for her birthday but had kept them put away since they aren’t terribly toddler-proof. But she keeps pulling them out of a drawer, so we’ve started letting her play with them and talking about the letters. She sings the ABC song by herself, with or without music.

She really likes putting away the groceries. She takes things out of the bag and hands them to Mama to put away. Every time I’m always surprised by the objects she names, like rice, tortillas, tomatoes and paper towels to name a few.

Her verbal skills are growing a lot lately too. We’ve been working on saying please and thank you, and she says please at daycare. She’s putting together basic sentences in asking for things she wants, like “milk Dada please.” Its gratifying to work on something at home and hear that she’s applying that at daycare.

Another fun part of the verbal skills is singing. She’s been singing along with her music in the car for awhile, but she’s really getting good. Tonight she belted out “five green and speckled frogs sat on a speckled log, eating some most delicious bugs, yum yum.” Not quite with all the verbage, but pretty close! It really surprised us. Every night before bed we sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and she sings right along with us.


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Endless discoveries

I love our children’s museum membership. We don’t take advantage of it nearly enough. But we did yesterday. This time Mama and Dada mostly hung back and let Allie go where she wanted to. Its so neat how she discovers new things every time we go!

Driving the cart… I think the animal pulling it may be an ox, but I really don’t know. Allie didn’t care what was pulling it, she just enjoyed pulling on the reins!

Playing in the little baby area… Allie liked bouncing as well as the pictures on the wall and the aquarium in the background.

Allie found the water fountain… and kept going back. Between the water fountain and the water room, her shirt was soaked!

She really loved watching the birds race down the poles.

Then it was time to go upstairs!

This big table is a model of Madison with all kinds of blocks to build the city and cars to drive on the streets. Allie was building and driving in Lake Monona!

 And of course we had to stop by the paint wall.

She was way more interested in the squee-gee though!

Then it was time to wash hands… Allie liked the soap and used a lot of it.

There were a couple refrigerator fronts with a whole bunch of magnetic words. Of course Allie can’t read yet, but she likes magnets! We need to get some magnets for our fridge.

Outside the art studio there’s a “car” for kids to drive. Allie wasn’t interested in driving though. She wanted Mama to drive and she just rode.

Right before we went home Allie took a ride on this puppy.

Allie would have stayed all day if we’d let her. But it was a good thing we didn’t let her… she almost fell asleep in the car. We gave her a quick lunch and she slept for three hours!


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Our food this week: Food Network edition

This is really our food from the last two weeks. Allie gave me a Food Network desk calendar for my birthday, which inspired me to try new things in cooking this year. We’ve tried several new things in the last couple weeks as well as kept with the simple staples in an effort to avoid going out to eat as well as to eat better.

For the last two weeks, this included three great recipes from the Food Network.

Most recently, we had Chinese Peppered Pork Chops on Wednesday. No links to this recipe, but I took pictures!

These were really easy and very tasty. I enjoyed using my new skillet that I got for Christmas! The pork chops marinate for a half hour in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and one or two other spices and then are cooked. We paired the chops with green beans and instant mashed sweet potatoes. I didn’t give Allie any though because they were a bit spicy. Allie had leftover macaroni and cheese instead.

Last week we had two dishes from the Food Network calendar. First up was Turkey meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti and red pepper tomato sauce. This made a very tasty tomato and pepper sauce and was pretty easy to make. The meatballs didn’t strike my fancy much at first because I just don’t care for ground turkey. But I liked them better when I had the leftovers. I think some of the flavors came out more. I made the meatballs without the spinach because I had it but forgot to thaw it. I was a little concerned that the meatballs didn’t cook all the way through so I cooked it a bit longer than the recipe said. One meatball looked like it wasn’t done, but the rest were fine. This was very tasty and I will make it again.

Another highlight from last week that we enjoyed was oven fried chicken. I’ve tried to make breaded pork chops in the past and failed, but the oven fried chicken turned out perfectly! I have this on my radar to try with pork chops.

I’ve found some good stuff in the Food Network calendar! There wasn’t anything last week though. Some of the stuff is just too fancy or too much work. I was about to say I’m keeping up with trying new dishes each week, but I’ve planned all thing we’ve had before this week. But I am getting out recipes we haven’t had in awhile. I do have some baking planned though, some strawberry banana muffins that are new! I’ll get some new dinners next week.


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Post-holidays

I was so focused during the holidays on being careful what I ate. I was so proud to make it through the holidays having maintained my weight. For various reasons, I’ve never really kept track of whether I maintained during the holidays or gained. So I suppose I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I was proud of myself nonetheless for coming through the holidays still weighing in my 174 to 176 range.

Unfortunately I’ve lost that focus in the month since the holidays. My range has gone up 5 pounds so that for the last few weeks I’ve been between 179 and 181. Its not much, but I can tell a difference in how I look and how some of my clothes fit. I think I just lost my focus a bit… and I really like the Ben & Jerry’s. I’m upset but I haven’t been able to do anything about it yet. Sometimes it just takes me awhile to make up my mind and fix it.

Its the usual culprits… too much Ben & Jerry’s, too much going out to eat, too much mindless snacking and too many trips to Starbucks. I also haven’t gotten back to exercising 5 or 6 days a week yet. I’ve been doing 3, through I did 4 last week. I know with this combination that gaining weight has been inevitable, but I also know I can fix it.

We haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s in about a week and a half. Various factors have kept us going out to eat, though I have been making more of an effort to vary our meals and actually cook. Our going out lately has been for special occasions like celebrating Doug’s birthday last night instead of going to Taco Bell because I don’t feel like cooking. The last time we did that was also a week and a half ago.

I haven’t been to Starbucks in a week and a half. The mindless snacking though is still ongoing. I can go a few days being good and then one day screws it all up. I actually did see a 176 on the scale last week, but this week I’m still hanging out at 180.

Once we get one more document needed to file our taxes, priority #1 with the refund is to rejoin Weight Watchers. Admittedly I really haven’t been terribly committed to keeping my diet in check since canceling last July. Hopefully this time I’ll keep it up and lose the 5 pounds I’ve gained in January and then some.


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Bring on the snow!

With the first snowfall of the winter a week and a half ago, this weekend I decided to have Allie finally try on her snow geat. She seemed to like it.

She even tried to open the sliding door to the deck to go outside!

She has a pair of boots too that I tried on her before the snow pants. Allie has all the necessary items to play in the snow… but now Mama and/or Dada need to get some snow gear in order to take her out! I found out this weekend thats harder than it should be this time of year. Its only late-January and we only got our first snow a week and a half ago, but winter items are nowhere to be found, at least at Target! Most of the snow boots are clearance, which would be good… if my feet were a size 5 or 10! They already have racks and racks of bikinis out at Target! It doesn’t make much sense to me… who actually buys the summer’s swimsuit in January anyway?
I may continue hunting for the snow boots. Its my sixth winter in Madison and I’ve finally decided this year that they may be a good investment… you know, for keeping my feet dry and warm when tromping through the snow!


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Double digits!

This week marks a personal mileage best for me since I sprained my ankle… and its my first double digit week. I ran a huge 11 miles! That used to be a cutback week for me.

At least I’m running. And I’m also doing better on running than I was at this time last year when I was dealing with shin splints. Winter running is just so hard since I don’t do snow/extreme cold and also right now I don’t do dark even though I now have a headlamp.

I also ran my longest run since October when I logged 4.5 miles on Thursday. Maybe this week I’ll run 5. Though it doesn’t matter as much how soon I get my runs up. The Rock The Parkway Half in Kansas City sold out on Friday. I was aware it would sell out, but I don’t think anyone expected it to sell out this soon! I’m disappointed but relieved. I was doubting if I could be ready for a half that soon. I think even if I hadn’t had my sprained ankle, I just can’t run enough in the winter to be ready for a half in April.

We’re still planning a trip to Kansas City, and if we still decide to go that weekend I’ll run the 5K. Now I’m setting my sights on the Green Bay half. That one will sell out too, but I think I have a little more time. I hope I have more time!

I’m happy with my running progress. I think I’ll be able to run the 10K at the Shamrock Shuffle! I’ll still work on getting my mileage up, but I don’t feel the pressure to increase my long runs so quickly. I’m considering adding a fourth running day in February, though that may be delayed until I can get outside again. It depends on my tolerance for the treadmill. Right now I’m in a pretty good rhythm of running Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. I’ve had my Thursday run be my longest of the week since I rest two days afterward. I made last Tuesday more of a speedy run and may do the same this week.


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Bouncy Town USA

This weekend we wanted to go somewhere for Allie to play. I have a few web sites I look at for ideas of what to do with Allie and it has a section on open gym times. I was surprised to find there weren’t very many that have open gym on Saturday! That doesn’t make sense to me.

But we found Bouncy Town USA in Windsor. Its a half hour away, but worked out well because it’s only $5 and its open until 8. Allie hadn’t taken a nap on Friday so it worked out for her to nap and then we headed out to bounce.

Allie had fun! It was decently busy, but the toddler areas were empty. She enjoyed it, but I think she would have more fun next time if we went with a friend.

It was a fun evening. After playing for a little over an hour we went to Chili’s for dinner using the gift card Dada got for his birthday. We had to wait about a half hour but Allie was really good during the wait and the meal. A few of the restaurant staff stopped at the table because she was being so cute. And when anyone came by, Allie definitely turned on the charm!


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Introducing baby Tyler!

On Thursday, Jan. 5, I became an aunty again and Allie got a new baby cousin!

Photo by Jocelyn Swanson
Baby Tyler wasn’t due until the end of February. But complications with Mama, my sister Jeni, moved up his debut. Born eight weeks early via emergency c-section, he weighed 4 pounds 15 ounces and was 18 inches long.
It was all very sudden. Tyler was born on Thursday and we were supposed to have her first of two showers that Saturday! I had to hastily let everyone know it was canceled. We just rescheduled it and its the invitation photo card that I shared on the post under this one. Unfortunately I was looking at the wrong month when I put the date on the card, so we’ll have to figure out a way to fix it when I get the cards this week! But I’m very excited to throw a shower for our new Mama!
It was a couple days until Mama got to meet Tyler. But when she did, they were both so excited.
I stole this photo and the next four from Jeni’s facebook page.

Here’s Tyler with his Dada, Allie’s uncle Dave.

And here are some great pictures of baby Tyler! He’s such a cutie, especially now that he’s starting to open his eyes more!

Congratulations Aunt Jeni and Uncle Dave!
We went and saw Jeni in the hospital the weekend after Tyler was born and we saw Tyler in the NICU. I didn’t get to hold him that day though. But last weekend I went to see Tyler again and got to hold him! He’s so little!

This photo is actually mine.

´╗┐Baby Tyler is doing great. He’s been gaining weight like a champ and today was up to 5 pounds 8.4 ounces. He’s sleeping in a regular crib, meaning he’s maintaining his body temperature on his own. The only issue is in feeding and its just going to take time for him to get it. Everyone’s hopeful he can go home from the hospital within the next couple weeks.