Friday, February 27, 2009

Hanging With The Girls

This morning, Kyle and I went to my friend Angie's house for a little playdate. Just thought I would share a few pictures of Kyle with Riley (age 4) and Hayden (age 3). Angie and I met each other while Kyle and Hayden were in the NICU together. They were both preemies and each spent 86 days in the hospital. By looking at them today it's hard to believe...they have both come such a long way and certainly have grown up!

Riley, Kyle, and Hayden
This picture makes me laugh because Kyle thinks he is so cool sitting
between the two girls. At the age of three, Kyle is already such a stud...LOL!
Kyle and Riley hugging each other sweet and adorable!
Angie, thanks for having us over this morning and getting me hooked on Wii Tennis!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras


Being from New Orleans, I obviously grew up with Mardi Gras, traveling from one parade to the next, attempting to catch every bead and doubloon that came my way! I would love for Kyle to have the opportunity to experience Mardi Gras as he grows up. Kyle has been once when he was sixteen months old and I know he won't remember the trip. We were just in New Orleans last month so we weren't able to make another trip so soon, but I would love to make it an annual tradition for our family!

We had to have our own little family celebration here in St. Louis...including decorating the entrance to our house with Mardi Gras decorations.
Recently, Kyle received a little Mardi Gras "care package" from CeCe and Poppy (my parents) who still live in New Orleans. The package included the Mardi Gras shirt he is wearing in the pictures above and purple, green, and gold beads to give to his classmates. To dress it up, I packaged the beads in purple bags and made Happy Mardi Gras tags. Kyle wore his Mardi Gras shirt to preschool today and also brought the gift bags! As mentioned in a previous post, we brought a king cake back from our recent trip for Kyle's preschool class to enjoy! I enjoy helping to bring additional fun to his preschool experience!

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kyle's New Room

Shortly before Christmas Kyle moved to his "Big Boy" bedroom and I'm finally getting around to posting pictures (better late than never!). As mentioned in a previous post, we chose the Planes, Trains, and Trucks theme. A very fitting theme since Kyle loves anything "transportation" related. John and I had so much fun redesigning his flooring, paint, furniture, and the most fun...the decor! I LOVE the room and think it is absolutely adorable!

By far, my all time favorite pieces in Kyle's room are the table/chair set and the toybox. The moment I saw these two items I automatically knew they would be a perfect addition to the room! Aren't they just the cutest pieces????

Friday, February 20, 2009

Not Meant To Be

Well, today is the day my world was going to the phone, internet, and cable arena. We have continually had issues with our current service and decided to make the switch to a new company about a month ago. I had my hopes up so high to have an upgraded cable/DVR system, and an internet and phone connection that actually works. John even decided to take the day off to be home in case any technical questions came up that I would be unable to answer. Unfortunately, the installer arrived, and after checking numerous items, determined the service wouldn't work at our house since we are too far away from the junction box. Needless to say I'm a bit disappointed, but I guess it wasn't meant to be! On a positive note, I don't have to change my email address!

Since we knew the switch was scheduled to take place, we haven't called to have our current service repaired, but I guess it's time to do that now. John is off to work to save some vacation time for the future. Kyle and I will find an activity to keep us occupied until naptime. Hope everyone has a great day and weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Babysitting Solution?

Maybe, just maybe, I found a solution to reliable babysitting... well, we shall see. Since we had Kyle, we haven't found a very reliable babysitter so we don't get date nights on a regular basis. It seems the majority of people are blessed with the help from family. I really hope these people realize how lucky they really are to have family at their disposal to babysit or even watch their children overnight, etc. I was browsing through the St. Louis Kids Magazine yesterday and came across an advertisement for Seeking Sitters. This is a service that you must first become a member and from their they arrange a babysitter for you. John and I decided give it a whirl and we have our first babysitter scheduled for next weekend. We were able to view pictures, read introductions, and hear customer feedback on the babysitters and we chose several which seemed like a good fit for Kyle. I truly hope this works out because it would be such a wonderful feeling to have reliable babysitting service for date nights, special occasions, holidays, etc. The downfall to this type of situation is the fact that it cost more than a typical babysitter, but it is reliable and guaranteed. All the babysitters employed with Seeking Sitters are 18 years or older,highly trained...many whom are studying education in college, and must pass a background check. The babysitter also comes prepared with age appropriate toys and crafts for your child. I have a good feeling this will be great for John, Kyle, and me.

Has anyone else used a babysitting service such as this before or do you think we are completely crazy for attempting this? I will definitely update on how our babysitting experience is next weekend and if this will be our babysitter solution afterall. The next step is to decide what our date night will consist of...I have a feeling it will involve dinner...LOL!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Parenting sure can be hard! I'm sure every parent encounters certain challenges when raising a child. I have always been a worry wart and becoming a mother, especially to a 25 weeker, certainly hasn't helped me in this department. One of the main struggles we have had with Kyle since he was a baby is eating. Unfortunately, this still is a constant, daily struggle in our life. Recently, I was reading a parenting magazine which stated that toddlers don't need to eat as much since they aren't growing as rapidly as when they were infants. The article also stressed the importance of giving your toddler a vitamin. We have always been very diligent about giving Kyle vitamins...he loves the My First Flintstones...especially the grape flavor! Kyle grows up (height), but doesn't grow out (weight). I've come to the realization that Kyle will most likely be a string bean for many years to come. I can't believe he is my son because I LOVE to eat...LOL!

In the past I've heard a lot of hype about a book called Deceptively Delicious. I recently purchased the book and am on a mission to locate some good recipes to assist with Kyle's eating...mainly in the vegetable department. Unfortunately, Kyle has two bad eating habits; the first being the fact he is a big snacker and second, he loves to drink (milk and juice). We need to work on limiting intake in these two areas to make sure he is hungrier at mealtime. Does anyone have any great recipes from this book or any other cookbooks geared to feeding children? Hopefully, the book will have some brilliant ideas to help me answer the question...What's for dinner? If I locate any that Kyle particularly enjoys I will be sure to share them with everyone...because if Kyle will eat must be good! I would love to hear any great ideas that may help me answer the question as well. Thanks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My New Laptop

A couple of weeks ago, John ordered me a new laptop. My old one has several issues (mainly cosmetic) and he didn't think it was worth getting the items repaired. Also, my laptop is by far one of the most used electronics in our house (sad, but true!), so it was a little easier to justify purchasing the new computer. I LOVE my new midnight blue. I chose this color since it is the same color as my new car! I'm still in the process of transferring files and links to the new computer and learning about the fun new features. We have been experiencing terrible internet and phone service and unfortunately, since the laptop arrived, the internet has been down the majority of the time :( Hopefully, this issue will be fully resolved by Friday since we are having new service installed for our phone, internet, and television. I'm sure it will be much better...needless to say it can't be much worse than what we have been living with. Well, enough of my tangent vent, but thanks for "listening". The biggest change is the fact that the new computer has Windows Vista instead of Windows Internet Explorer which I'm so accustomed too. I'm sure I will adjust in due time to the changes. Any comments about Windows Vista vs. Internet Explorer are welcome. I would love to hear how the two compare and which you prefer using on your computer. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and information.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I had a low key day with my "Two Boys". John and I have been under the weather and Kyle has a slight cold so we stayed in and plan to celebrate in the near future with a special dinner.

Our low key Valentine's did include cupcakes decorated for the occasion. Kyle throughly enjoyed the treat, hence the big smiles in the pictures below. As with any toddler, the icing is his's a wonder he actually fell asleep tonight...LOL!

"My Boys" really treated me like a queen this Valentine's Day...first really sweet sentimental cards, a dozen red roses, and was topped off with a gift certificate for a one hour body massage. The massage also, includes free baby sitting by John for the outing...LOL! I can't wait till my day of pampering!

Once again, I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day! Please share your special moments from the day...I would love to hear about your Valentine's Day activities!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friendship Day

Kyle's preschool class celebrated Friendship Day today. Apparently, some schools are now calling the holiday "Friendship Day" instead of Valentine's Day because of the religious meaning. Kyle had the option to hand out Friendship cards to fellow classmates. Kyle brought the cards below to his friends...the front of the card says "Happy Friendship Day" with fun, colorful sticker letters and the inside of the card says "Thanks for being my friend..Your friend, Kyle." I also added a few school themed stickers inside the card as well. I hope the other children like the cards...they are only ages 3-5 so probably not, but I did want Kyle to participate.

The February theme for Kyle's class is "pizza". Many activities have focused around pizza...books they are reading and pizza server for pretend play. To help celebrate Friendship Day they also had a pizza party at school today. Each parent was asked to provide an ingredient...we were signed up to bring English Muffins (used as the crust). Each child was able to make their very own pizza. I'm sure it was a lot of fun for the children!

Kyle's teacher does make the class a lot of fun, yet educational for the children's development. We really like his teacher and we are hoping he will continue in her class for the next two years until he enters kindergarten.

Kyle also made John and me a Valentine's Day card.
I love how the sign for "I Love You" is incorporated in the card.
*I apologize for the quality of the picutures.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thomas Live!

Yes, Kyle is a HUGE Thomas The Train fan! In April, we are taking Kyle to see Thomas Live on Stage! I realize this phase won't last forever, so I want him to enjoy all the Thomas activities while he is still interested. I'm sure another phase is lurking around the corner, but for now he continues to LOVE Thomas and his friends!

Getting Fit

Shortly after Christmas, we purchased a Wii. Since then, we have been on a mission to find a Wii Fit and Sunday we finally had success. The Wii Fit is a combination of exercise and fun wrapped into one and is designed for all age groups. The Wii Fit has four different, strenghing, balancing activities, and aerobics. The system allows you to program particular schedules and goals. It even calculates your Wii Fit age...John's age is 31 and mine is 35. These numbers aren't too terrible since we both don't excercise often...well, technically never! Hopefully, I will begin a little exercise program, mainly using the aerobics and balancing so I can attempt to get a little "fit" before the summer months are here!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spring Is In The Air

We have experienced some unseasonably "warm" days in STL which certainly is a nice change from the bitter cold temperatures. After Kyle's All Aboard The Train workshop we headed to the park to enjoy the weather. It sure was nice to be outside and get a breath of fresh air. Kyle played on the playground and we also explored the park and just loved being outside. Unfortunately, our camera battery wasn't charged so we don't have many good photos at the park. It felt wonderful to leave the house and not have to get Kyle and ourselves bundled up with winter coats, gloves, and hats. To top off our "spring" like Saturday, we fired up the grill at dinner time and enjoyed some delicious steaks. Oh, how I wish these type of days were here to stay, but mother nature has other things in mind!

I hope everyone else experienced pleasant temperatures and were able to enjoy the weekend outdoors!

Kyle in action on the playground

Saturday, February 7, 2009

All Aboard The Train

This morning we took Kyle to a workshop sponsored by our local school district called "All Aboard The Train". Since Kyle is a train fanatic, we thought this would be right up his alley. There were so many cute, fun activities for the children to explore, most involving a train theme...train tables, books, puzzles, playdoh, obstacle course, storting/matching by color, size, and shape, and many handmade, creative activities. Kyle had a very fun morning and was rather upset when it was time to leave although he was off on yet another adventure.

Playing with the Thomas The Train table. This was his favorite...not that he doesn't have the same exact train set at home or anything!
Kyle working on the puzzle
Kyle playing in the train made from a card board box.
Kyle had fun pulling the stuffed animal around in the train.
Getting in on the action!

Day of Beauty

When Chloe goes to the groomer I call it her "Day of Beauty". Today was the day! It was time, since she was so shaggy and dirty from running around in the snow and the wet backyard. Chloe always looks so cute, clean, white, and fluffy when she returns from the groomer and I'm sure she feels 1000% better as well!

Chloe Before
Chloe After

Friday, February 6, 2009

Toy Chest

In an effort to keep the main floor of our house "toy free", I recently purchased this nice, sturdy rattan chest to store Kyle's toys in. The color is perfect since it matches our furniture and it is a great size. The chest makes the room child friendly with toys available, yet it doesn't look like a true toy chest. Kyle has his very own playroom which is where he keeps the majority of his toys, especially the larger ones. We find ourselves spending more family time upstairs on the main floor so many toys have made their way upstairs. Hopefully this turns out to be a great solution and we can attempt to stay a bit more organized.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

High Five

One of Kyle's Christmas presents from CeCe and Poppie (my parents) was a subscription to Highlights. There is a new Highlights magazine for preschoolers, ages 2-6, called High Five. Kyle recently received his first magazine and loved it! Each issue includes fun little stories (even ones in Spanish), hidden pictures, fun craft ideas and tons of fun pictures. It was the only book he wanted to look at and we were constantly looking at the pictures and reading the stories. His second issue arrived yesterday so we are looking forward to exploring the new stories and pictures featured in that issue.

When I was younger I had a subscription to Highlights and clearly remember the Hidden Picture section being my absolute favorite. I think it is nice that Kyle is able to experience a few of the same things I did while growing up. Hopefully Kyle will enjoy Highlights for many years to come!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Cell Phone At Age Three

Should a three year old have their very own cell phone? Well, I would hope least one that is active. One of Kyle's favorite "toys" is one of our old cell phones. It amazes me how much Kyle watches and learns from John and me (we need to start minding our P's & Q's...LOL) because when he is "talking" on the phone he does the same body gestures, hand movements, etc. that we do while we talk on the phone. Kyle is carrying on a real conversation, pauses as if someone is talking on the other end, then begins his side of the conversation. The pictures below really don't do the activity much justice...a video would have been better, but I'm terrible about recording Kyle on the camcorder.

My question above really got me thinking if any parents actually allow their toddler to have a cell phone?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fun Finds

I wanted to share some of the fun finds I found (sounds like a tongue twister) this morning for Kyle. I always seem to score great deals on children's toys and books at T.J. Maxx and Marshall's. I found a couple of Melissa and Doug items...a ABC Magnetic Book and a Stamp and Sort Mailbox. Melissa and Doug toys are one of my favorite toy brands because they are wooden, durable, and educational. I also found two 3-D Play Sets featuring two of Kyle's favorite characters...Thomas & Friends and Dora The Explorer. Hopefully, Kyle will enjoy playing with his new toys.

After playing with the mailbox, maybe Kyle will learn to love mail time as much as his Mommy. It sure would be nice if he would learn to pay the bills too!
Kyle loves books and puzzles so I'm sure he will enjoy this book and
even work on improving his fine motor skills.
The Dora and Thomas playsets include a 3-D Play scene, stick ons and stand up play pieces. Kyle likes pretend play toys
so I'm sure he will have a ball playing with these sets.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Six More Weeks

Happy Groundhog Day!

This morning, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow...meaning six more weeks of winter. Unfortunately, this isn't what the majority of people were hoping to hear...including me! It sure would have been a nice treat to see spring arrive a little earlier this year! The month of January flew by, so hopefully the next six weeks will too! Until springtime, enjoy the remainder of the winter season!

Groundhog Day History Lesson:

- Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, has failed to see it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

-The last year the groundhog didn't see his shadow was in 2007. If you are interested in the history of Groundhog Day, you can visit this website.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Who will be the Super Bowl champions? The Arizona Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Steelers. John has informed me in "Super Bowl 101" that I must cheer on the Cardinals...for two reasons. First reason being...The Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Arizona and the second reason is that Kurt Warner, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback played for the St. Louis Rams. So it seems that the majority of St. Louis football fans will be cheering on the Arizona Cardinals. Who will you be rooting for to win the Super Bowl?

Usually, we have chili on Super Bowl Sunday, but today we decided to have a different menu filled with plenty of "healthy" foods...toasted ravioli, spicy chicken wings, and chicken quesadillas. What are your favorite Super Bowl menu items?

Final Score:

Pittsburg Steelers - 27

Arizona Cardinals - 23