Monday, November 25, 2013

Marking Things Off the To-Do List

Ahh- it feels so good to be caught up with my to-do list.  Often times the holiday season gets so busy and I feel as if I'm struggling to keep up with it all.  I was determined this year to start early and finish early so I would actually have time to enjoy all the fun activities we have planned. 

I am 80% done with my Christmas shopping, and all presents I have bought are wrapped and under the tree, my Christmas decorations are up (including our outside lights), and Anniston's advent calendar is all planned and set up!  I feel like I'm totally on my A-game.

We were pretty low-key this weekend, which allowed me to finish up the last bit of chores I wanted to accomplish off my list.  Anniston and I ran a few errands Saturday morning and had plans to come back home to help Brandon rake leaves.  Once I felt how cold it was outside, I withdrew my offer to help and instead we watched him from the window:) 

We spent the rest of Saturday cleaning, doing laundry, and just taking it easy.  Anniston helped me out a lot- she apparently thought her bows needed a good cleaning again, even though she had just cleaned them really well a few days ago.

We ate in Saturday night instead of going out because I was feeling lazy and didn't want to get dressed and weather the cold. It felt nice to just hang out at home instead of rushing off here and there.  There will plenty of that later!

On Sunday my parents came into town so my dad and Brandon could hang up our outside lights.  I had a teeny tiny list of other things I wanted them to do as well.  This was one of them:

It was kind of hard to get a good angle but this is my front staircase leading up to the second floor.  I LOVE how this turned out!  I debated doing a collage of sorts, but in the end I decided I wanted to keep it simple and clean looking.  Allie helped me plan it out on a fancy app she has and I think it looks great.  Brandon and my dad had SO much fun hanging it (insert sarcasm) but it's ok because my mom and I rewarded them with cookies:)

Mom and Dad bought Anniston her very own Christmas tree for her playroom.  All the ornaments are non-breakable so she can take them off, rearrange them, and basically do whatever she wants with them.  She loved it and had so much fun putting all the ornaments on- even though all the ornaments pretty much ended up all in one spot:)

While Brandon and my dad were working on something in my craft closet, Anniston had fun "shopping":

She loaded her gift bags up with toys and books, put on her clogs, and pushed that shopping cart like she was on a mission.  Then she'd come back into the room and yell "I'm baaaaack...."  Silly girl.

Sunday night Brandon made a fire, and we all curled up on the floor next to it and watched the Grinch.  Anniston was captivated.  She didn't take her eyes off the TV for the entire show.  She loved the music and little Cindy Lou Who.  She demanded to watch it again after it was over, but I finally talked her into taking a bath first and then watching it again.  I know we are starting the Christmas season early, but I just can't help myself.  There is just too much fun stuff to do!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Midweek Randoms

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is next week!  I have a pretty busy work week, but the overtime shift I was going to pick up on one of my days off got canceled, so it's not going to be as hectic as I originally thought. 

It feels SO good to have my Christmas décor up!  My mom and dad are coming in town this weekend to assist in hanging up our outside decorations but otherwise, I'm done.  Now to focus on Thanksgiving, Christmas presents, Anniston's advent calendar, Elf on the Shelf, etc.  It's going to be a busy December!

Anniston and I went out and about yesterday morning searching for advent calendar goodies, craft paint, ornaments for her little tree, and Christmas books.  I'm incorporating reading Christmas books into her advent calendar so I needed to buy a few more.  As always, we went up and down every toy aisle in Target oohing and aahing over everything.  She is so good about not insisting we buy anything.  She wants to hold each toy, but when I tell her it's time to put it back on the shelf she does it with no argument (so far.)  I like looking at all the toys, too, because it gives me ideas for Christmas presents.  At the top of the list so far is the Sweet Dreams Dora doll.  We look at it every time and her face just lights up when she gets to hold her. 

She also loved the Baby Alive doll and giggled when the baby talked.  I snuck a little pink broom and dust pan cleaning set into the bottom of the cart when she wasn't looking for one of her Christmas presents.  She loves to get our big broom out and sweep the kitchen floors so I'm hoping she will love having one of her own to pretend with.

In other randomness today, Annie got into my makeup yesterday morning while I was in the shower.

There was a little bit more on the other cheek and on her hands but not bad, right?  I mean, it could have been a lot worse- maybe like this??

Luckily, it came up after only a small amount of scrubbing on my part- all the while she's standing behind me saying "I sorry, Mommy."  I just couldn't get mad at her when she was being so sweet about it!

While A was napping, I worked on a little project for my upstairs hallway.  I bought this wood monogram from at a ridiculously cheap price a few weeks ago and found the perfect place to hang it upstairs.

I decided to paint it white (the walls upstairs are a light gray color) in hopes of it adding some freshness to the walls. 

Not the best after pic- but I'll take a better one when I get it on the wall.
After nap, Annie and I went for a run for the first time in a LONG time.  I've been so focused on other things since we moved that working out has not been much of a priority.  I wondered how Annie would do since she's so much older now than the last time I took her running with me.  I didn't know if she would sit still long.  She had a blast, though!  We got her all bundled up (it might have been a bit overkill) and off we went.  Whenever I would stop to take a walk break, she would yell "Run, Mommy!"  My cute little motivator:)  We ran about 2 miles- which was plenty for my first time back out there pushing a 34 lb kid (she was a lot smaller last time we went!)  We had a great time and the weather was awesome.

We treated ourselves to some Mellow Mushroom pizza once Brandon got home from work.  Anniston loves Mellow Mushroom and loves coloring while we wait on our food.  She was in such a good mood, waving and talking up a storm.

And she insisted that we hold hands when we ate.  How sweet is that?

Now I just have 2 more days of work before another long weekend!  And I'm very excited that this weekend will not be busy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Weekend Fun: Pizza + S'more Party

My three day weekend.  Finally.  I worked 6 days straight last week and I was past ready for some time off to spend with the fam. 

We kicked off Friday with a little shopping trip for Christmas supplies since I wanted to get our holiday decorations up.  (Yes, I realize it's early.)  Allie joined us and Annie had a blast at Hobby Lobby looking at the trees, snow globes, and toy soldiers.  We then had a yummy lunch at Huey's before Annie crashed for a whopping 3 hour nap.  In the meantime, I started on my Christmas decorating.  This is the first year we are hosting Christmas and I want the house to look fun and festive. 

Isn't her little side ponytail the cutest?  I'm now obsessed!

We took it easy Friday afternoon, playing around the house and such.  Annie is really into cleaning things right now.  She gets in trouble a lot with her wet wipes.  She constantly wants to get them out and clean stuff.  I'm all about promoting her cleaning things, but she seems to need the entire box of wet wipes in order to properly clean.  I found her in her bedroom Friday morning surrounded by all of her bows and an empty box of wet wipes (empty because she had taken them all out).  She was wiping down her bows.  When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "Cleaning bows, Mommy."  I couldn't do anything but laugh. 

We tried out a new restaurant Friday night with Allie and Brandon called Noodles.  It was pretty good and Annie had fun eating with both Allie and Brandon.  After Anniston went to sleep, Brandon and I stayed up late putting up the tree while listening to Christmas music.  Christmas décor pics to come soon!  I know we are way early but I work the weekend after Thanksgiving, so it would only be about 3 weeks before Christmas before I would have another free weekend! 

Ready for dinner stylin' in her fringe boots and Gap shirt:)  Oh yes, and the side ponytail completes the look!

Saturday morning we ran errands around town, looking for garland for our outside Christmas decorations.  Annie was so pooped when we got home that she took yet another 3 hour nap.  Gotta love nap time! 

Saturday night we had our friends Jullee, Mike and Ava and Sarah, Joe, and Sally over for a pizza and s'mores party.  I love entertaining in this house and it was so nice to sit back and relax with some good friends after a long and busy week.  We all had a great time and Annie loved the s'mores- if you can't tell:)

I slept in Sunday morning- longer than I have slept in months!  A big thank you to my awesome husband:)  I've been up late almost every night this week trying to keep up with house work and such since I worked so much this past week.  I apparently needed the sleep:) 

Anniston is going to be all about Frosty the Snowman this year it seems.  We all piled up on the couch this morning to watch it- twice.  She was so into it.  And she loves to sing the song.  At our trip to Target this morning I gave her the choice of a Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty sippy cup.  She yells "Frosty" for all of Target to hear.  She was so excited about it and immediately had to have some milk in it when we got home. 

The rest of our Sunday was pretty lazy and uneventful.  We lounged around after nap, playing and watching cartoons.  I'm gearing up for a busy week ahead and getting ready for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Anniston: 2 Years

Yes- I realize that it's been a month since Anniston turned two and I'm just now getting around to doing her update.  Things have been crazy busy lately, but I knew if I didn't stop to write this post, I would regret it.  Anniston has really developed into her own little person, doing new things and saying new phrases all the time.  I've been so bad about documenting things lately so I want to make sure I do this post properly.  In other words- this may be a long and boring post for anyone who is not Anniston's immediate family:)

I'm doing this bullet style so I can get in more with less words (see, I warned you this would be long.)

--Singing!  Anniston is singing along with everything lately.  Some of her favorites to sing along with me are:  ABCs, You Are My Sunshine, Jesus Loves Me, Easy (the now-annoying Sheryl Crow song that she has worn out), and the intro to Dora.  Just within the last week or so, Brandon and I have heard her sing a few words here and there to random songs on the radio.  It's crazy to me how she knows songs that we don't even sing together or play over and over.  Last week she heard "Sweet Annie" by the Zac Brown Band on the radio as we were coming home from dinner one night.  Once I pointed out that they were singing her name, she has wanted to play it constantly.  She will walk around with it playing on my phone and softly sing some of the words with it.  I'm hoping we can move on from "Easy" now.  It really is a sweet song and her little voice singing it is just too cute. 

--She loves to do arts and crafts.  Coloring, painting, playing with stickers and play-dough- she loves it all.  She further entertains herself by tearing pieces of masking tape off and taping it all over her paper.  She knows all of her colors- even brown, white, and black. I don't know which is her favorite although her voice does get a little perkier when she says pink, purple, or yellow:)

--Her favorite TV shows are Dora, Diego, Caillou, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I recently bought the Little Mermaid for her and she LOVES it!  We watch it for a little bit almost every night before bed.  She loves to sing along with Ariel, too.

--She loves to play dress-up!  She has so much fun trying on mine or Brandon's hoes and adding a purse or some jewelry to complete the outfit.  My purses are her favorite.  I fond one of mine in the playroom the other day.  I picked it up and almost strained my back because it was so heavy.  Why?  Oh, it was weighed down with about 20 lbs of my costume jewelry that I allow her to play with.  She loves her Minnie Mouse and Sofia the First dress up high heels.  She will put on her heels and push around her shopping basket, gathering up random household objects to throw in there.  It's amazing what all Brandon and I have found in there before.

--She loves playing "doctor" and has a preference for playing the patient.  Almost always.  I tried the other night to be the patient for a change.  "No, my turn", she says.  It's almost always her turn:)

--She can count to 10 by herself but will only do it upon request when she feels like it.

--She knows all of her basic shapes.  She can identify them and say the names.

--She has really started pitching a few more temper tantrums lately.  The other day, she informed me she wanted something "NOW!"  Brandon and I have put her in time out a couple of times but I don't think that strategy has reached it's full potential just yet.  The last few times she has acted out I've asked her if she wanted to be put in time out.  She replies "Yeah" with a smile on her face and nods her head.  I admit I was stumped on what to say after that- which might have been her plan all along!  Haha!

--She weighs 34 lbs and is mostly in size 3T.  Her physician says she is following her growth curve nicely though...

--Her favorite foods are:  strawberries, blueberries, "ba-bars" (fruit granola bars, and no, I have no idea why), mac-n-cheese, PB & J, crackers, bananas, and mandarin oranges.  Oh yes, and let's not forget ice cream and "cake cakes" (cupcakes).

--She loves to have tea parties and play and cook in her kitchen.  She also loves to pretend with her baby doll.  She will feet it, change its diaper, and sing to it.  It's so sweet.  Sometimes we hear her mumbling to her baby and we wonder what she is saying:)

My sweet Annie is so loving.  She loves to give hugs and kisses.  Usually she is the one who will say "Hugs, Mommy" first when I am dropping her off at school.  And for some reason, she really loves to give hugs when she is sitting in the shopping cart at stores.  It's really cute and sweet.  And there are many times when she says "I love you, Mommy" for simply no reason at all.

Those words are absolutely the best. 

I love you sweet Annie:)

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