Thursday, February 26, 2015

Swimming Lessons 2015 Kick Off

Troy did quite a bit of swimming lessons last year and loved them all. In the last couple weeks he started asking about them again and said he had to "work on his swimming skills". Hello, Napoleon Dynamite :) Now that we're Y people, I got him signed up!

This mama is already so pleased with Y swimming lessons. First, I get to check Cassidy into childcare so I just have to get Troy through the locker room and out to the deck. I'll take any little pocket of 15 min of time with my boy I can get!

There are four kids in his class. They talked about pool and lesson rules and then got to hop in! Here they are "spinning" with their kick boards. Later they swam with them.

He has mastered the "push off the wall" approach. His teacher asked if he could swim with his arms "this far" and his push off the wall was enough to get him there without a stroke!

At the end, all the preschool parents let their kids stay in the water and play in the shallow end for awhile afterwards. There were plenty of guards around but the overprotective mama bear in me freaked out a little that I wasn't in the water with him (and the teachers had moved on to another class). Alas, Troy respected the boundary in place and happily splashed in the safe zone. And Mommy breathed a sigh of relief :)

He was sacked out at the end of the night! Swimming can wear a kid out alright!

Monday, February 23, 2015

...these never get old

Because as I said the other day, sleeping pics of my kids NEVER get old :) #myfirstbaby

St Louis Trip: Day 3

Sunday was family day for us in St. Louis! We started the day with a breakfast. This hotel (Hilton St Louis Airport) has the BEST breakfast buffet and omelet station around. It's our favorite, hands down. Troy absolutely loves the ginormous fruit buffet and the yogurt station. These guys were having some fun as we finished our coffee and just enjoyed each other. Thankful for moments like these.
Cass just smiles at me with her egg-y grin :)

Afterwards, we got ready for the pool. But for the traditional watching the airplanes at the airport across the way from the elevator area on our floor. We had an awesome view from our room too towards the end of the hallway, so we had a perfect angle to watch the planes coming in for a landing after dark. Me and Troy spent a long time watching and talking one night.

Little Miss Fish got to do lots of tricks in the pool with Daddy. Her face here cracks me up.

Then we checked out and headed over to the St Louis Science Center for some fun. We've been to this place before but Mike had never been. It certainly didn't disappoint. He was especially surprised when he found out it was free!

Ah the dino area. Digging for fossils. And digging, and digging. My kids would and could stay here all day.

Troy and "Big Doug". Doug is the name of his dinosaur he got for his second birthday from Uncle Andy and Auntie Daria. The giant moving and roaring T-Rex at the museum looks exactly like Doug, hence the name "Big Doug". This was little Doug's second trip to the Science Center to see Big Doug. Troy also told me on the way home that he would like a "Big Doug" party for his next birthday. A planner, this one.

Family photo in front of the space capsule!

After bidding farewell to my hubby at the airport, I brought the kids back home. This beautiful sunset was a nice reminder on the (mostly) quiet drive home that I'm never on my own and definitely felt God's presence with me :)


Mike tweeted this little snippet from the middle of the night of what life is like sharing a bed with your four year old son in a hotel room.

Side note: Did you know my awesome husband managed to usurp the Twitter handle @mikecunningham? Yep, he somehow got a hold of a real person at Twitter who was able to transfer the former and very inactive Tweeter @mikecunningham to MY @mikecunningham. How about that?!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

St. Louis Trip: Day 2

Saturday, the kids and I had a good chunk of the day to occupy ourselves while Mike worked. It had snowed overnight so doing anything outdoors certainly wasn't an option, and I wasn't entirely sure what or where we were going to end up doing until that morning. Finally I settled on Monkey Joe's, an inflatable paradise for little jumpers!

There was so much I loved about this place versus some of the competitors out there we've visited (Jump Zone, Pump It Up). First, we were barely in the door and Troy and I both had a wristband with matching codes on them. This same wristband distributor served as a bouncer and checked/removed wristbands as people left with their children. Amazing! Especially in a crazy place like this.

The other thing I loved was that in addition to all the huge things you'd normally see, there were four inflatables earmarked especially for the 3 and under group. Adults were allowed/encouraged in and big kids were NOT allowed in. This made it the perfect place for my littlest jumper to try it out safely!

She wasn't entirely too sure about this crazy thing at first...
...but quickly warmed up!

Another thing I loved was the design of the place. This was just one of the slides I could watch Troy do from the inside of one of the ones Cassidy was playing in.

I let Troy into one of the ones for littles when no one else was really in there as long as he remained sitting down for the most part and not crazy :)

Here's my sweaty boy on his snack break. Still wanted to jump more after eating!

I got the kids pretzels for "lunch" (I use that term loosely). We eat really well most of the time but we're far from "perfect" (whatever that is, just don't ever think its me lol). Here's my daughter's first taste of cheese from a pump. She's not too sure about it and actually ended up spitting it out! Troy wouldn't eat it either. At least they ate the pretzels.

After we left, the kids promptly both fell asleep. I decided to go for a drive instead of go back to the hotel and risk ending naptime by moving them upstairs. Alicia told me about this beautiful park years ago called "Lone Elk Park" and I think that every year I end up going for a drive through it when I need to kill some time. Funny, Troy would LOVE this place but he is always snoozing for this drive :) Just peaceful time for Mommy, I guess!

The bison were all very close to the road this afternoon! This was the closest I'd ever seen them.

White-tailed deer below, I believe.

After picking up Mike from work, we headed out for dinner. We have been eager to try "Sweet Tomatoes", typically found in big cities and *sounded* like a salad-lovers paradise. Troy, our fruit and veggie lover, went crazy. Mike and I on the other hand thought it was just eh. I wouldn't go back again. There wasn't anything bad about it per se, it just wasn't uber impressive. I was expecting the salad bar to truly be gigantic and it wasn't really that special. Still an enjoyable meal with my fam though, and the kids both loved it!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

St Louis Trip: Day 1

It's always tradition that if Mike has to work a weekend away in St Louis, the kids and I hop in the car for the (slightly less than) three hour drive. Normally we have my friend Alicia to hang around with, but with an expedition out of the country happening right now, we were going to miss her. Fortunately, all these trips (2014, 2013a, 2013b, 2012, 2011) have me pretty comfortable in the St. Louis area and we have traditionally stayed at the same place.

Upon arrival and our technical difficulties getting checked in, Cass and I had some time to kill while the boys when down to the lobby not just one but two times to get our rooms straightened out. The girl and that smile, I tell ya.

They look SO much alike to me in this pic below. Pardon my daughter's wet shirt. We had all just had hot chocolate and this was my weak attempt to clean the chocolate off her shirt from where she spilled.

Cassidy is lucky to have a daddy and a big bro who look out for her and care for her so much!

Mike had to go to work so the kids and I stayed at the hotel and took some time to play in the pool. Huge win, this pool has a huge 3 foot section, meaning my hands don't need to be on Troy while we play in that area. He's happier and I'm happier not juggling two kids in the water!

Cass swims too! Proof below.

We got ourselves all cleaned up and dressed so that we could go out for a late-ish (for us) dinner. These guys loved the mirror tables all throughout the lobby.

Yelp steered us in the direction of a nearby Mexican restaurant and we all feasted - authentic chips and salsa were a nice carb-y splurge for us!

Obligatory pic of cute sleeping baby in big hotel bed below. Sleeping baby pics never ever get old... to me at least :)

16 months update

Here's your dose of Cassidy cuteness and updates. Gosh, is she growing UP! Her personality is so apparent to me now, she's such a little person, and she is such a delight! This first pic below is from one day when I let her go outside with Troy while I finished gathering our books to return to the library. Troy always gets to walk out in the yard once he's bundled himself up and wait for me to open the garage- its like that 2 minutes of sunshine and fresh air is enough to tide him over on otherwise too-cold-to-play days. Cass always watches on and though this was the BEST THING EVER. (But then again, Cassidy pretty much thinks EVERYTHING is the BEST THING EVER.)

Such a little person. She LOVES to read and be read to. Here she is waiting on the couch for me to read her "Doggies" by Sandra Boynton (again).  Yes, she climbs up there all by herself all the time.

Her nickname is "snuggle bug". She is SUCH a snuggle bug. Now that she has the freedom to constantly be running away from us and she still chooses to lunge at us and just sink into us at times, she's totally the snuggle bug of the family. Needless to say, this mama LOVES having a snuggle bug. Melt.

She loves to color, especially during Troy's many "project times". I also find her coloring at the Y a lot when I go to pick her up (yes, usually with a crew of 4 and 5 yr old girls). She does pretty well. When she's not trying to eat the crayons.

She's the first one at daycare on our two work days, and she gets special one on one time with Miss Carly. Before I even get out the door, Cassidy has picked out this same farm animal book, brought it to Carly and is asking for the bucket of animals. They pick the animals out of the bucket and put them on the page where the pictures are. It's their system :)

This week I got this exciting picture from Carly, as well. Apparently my 16 month old daughter showed an interest in the potty when they were helping the boys who are potty training do their business. She sat down and promptly went. Since that day we have had at least ONE success a day. I can't believe it. She totally gets it. Sometimes she asks to sit down and sometimes I just put her on there if I think she's dry and its been awhile. She's signs "all done" if she's all done or doesn't have to go. I'm trying not to get to excited here but holy cow. I'll leave it at that.

Speaking of signs, Cassidy has picked up a ton of signs! Her favorites (and ones we use most often) are please, more, eat, and all done. She is pretty patient at communicating what she wants and since she says "please" for everything she wants, its really hard to turn her down, its so stinkin' cute. The first sign in the video below (rubbing her chest) is "please" and the second one with her hands is "more". 

She also has mastered going down stairs! Maybe its a second kid thing but I give her way more freedom with this then I did with Troy when he was 2+ years old. The other day I was folding laundry and she went up and down and up and down.... over and over. Good exercise!

On the sleep front, she has officially transitioned to one nap a day. I forgot how sweet that is once its done! Our mornings are so free and I can count on about two hours straight in the afternoon of naptime. She is napping from about 12:30-2:30 and going to bed between 6:30 and 7. She sleeps until about 6:30 in the morning, with one wake up in there somewhere. As for eating goes, she's a champ when it comes to food and is nursing about four times a day these days. Sometimes three, sometimes more.

She's such a happy little girl. I love seeing her interact with her big bro and us more and more. Troy and Cass had the cutest exchange at the dinner table one day where she asked him for some of his crackers by saying "please" and he happily gave her some, to which she said "thank you". Some days its still hard to believe I have two children... I'm so very thankful to be with them as much as I am to experience moments like that!

"just like daddy"

After adjustments at the chiropractor, Troy got to choose a sticker or a tattoo from their box of fun. He chose this dinosaur and when we got home I asked him where he wanted to put it - on his hand, his cheek, his arm were all my suggestions. What is his response? "I want it here (pointing to his chest), just like Daddy does."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

glimpse into the future

A few months back, I posted a pic to Facebook of Cass and my friend Anne commented on how she looked like a teenager and needed to be put in a pair of footie pajamas ASAP :) When I took this pic today, I thought the same thing. Slow down, girl!

Side story: Cassidy wore these boots for the first time today. They've been a little big on her, but this morning as we were all getting ready for church she got them out of her closet and brought them to me. And so it begins...

Progress Pic: February

Been awhile since I posted a progress pic. I took the photo on the left the day we signed up for our Y membership and I officially began working out. I didn't and still do not expect exercise to help me lose any dramatic amount of weight, but I DID and DO expect my body to become stronger and leaner as I push it harder.

The time lapse between these photos only represents 7 pounds lost, but as I can attest to strongly, weight loss is so NOT everything. I feel a lot stronger. My arms are more toned. I literally can feel fat burning off during workouts as I do things like tuck jumps, planks and a couple (literally just two this week) push-ups on my toes, not my knees for the first time. Working out is truly FUN, and I can honestly say I enjoy everything in my regular rotation right now. Can't wait to keep it up!

I saw a quote "summer bodies are made in the winter" and it resonated with me. Last August I had a dream that I would literally need a new wardrobe for next summer and so far (sorry Mike!) this is lending itself to be true. Spring clothes are hitting the racks and I continue to hit the gym and push harder... it's going to be a good year!

Quick recap of what I'm "doing" at this point: still eating low-carb, though I'm following the 90-10 rule for the most part. Everything I'm making and bringing into the house is still no bread/pasta/etc. Occasionally we'll have a dish with some rice or quinoa. I will, however, be a little more lenient with myself when I'm at my moms group or small group and have something that wouldn't fit in with my regular "low carb" plan. Working out a handful of times a week, ideally at least three, including one run, and Body Attack or Body Pump classes.

Valentine's Day at the Cunningham house

Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday when we were all home this year so we made it a fun family day!

First, I attempted to make heart-shaped coconut flour pancakes. Fail and fail. The recipe was bad and the hearts looked worse. Oh well. My kids still ate them.

Since I couldn't get a pic of the two of them together, this was what I posted to Facebook. I like how Cassidy appears to be looking at Troy in the midst of his crazy "valentine's goggles" fun.

After a morning workout, we headed out for lunch at Destihl. Troy was beyond thrilled for the huge fruit cup that came with his lunch. Cassidy had no problem sharing my spicy adobo-seasoned chicken soup and salad combo.

A little bit of Daddy-son love while we wait for the check.

After a relaxing afternoon where I grocery shopped alone and Cass napped 2.5 hours, we got the kids their dinner and in bed a little early so we could have our Valentine's "date night in". Since we have been going big for my birthday lately, we always stay in for Valentines Day and just do something special here. This year was funny since I started cooking as soon as Troy was upstairs, and when he came down to ask us something and tell us goodnight, he took one look at the spread of food I had out and said, "Wait.... WHAT is this!?" Haha.

Caprese salad to begin. Basil, fresh mozzarella, tomato with balsamic reduction.

Steaks from Triple S Farms with gorgonzola, sundried tomatoes, balsamic reduction, and basil, with a side of spinach/zoodles (zucchini noodles) alfredo. YUM!

Dessert: not pictured because it was devoured. A delightful splurge, Cheesecake Factory cheesecake (thank you Za's for selling this by the slice!) 

Movie time! Love my hubby! Happy Valentine's Day :)