Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lunchtime Giggles

Abby got pretty tuckered out at Phipps earlier. So when we got home and were eating lunch she was quite the little giggler. 

Wanna see? 
Of course you do... its the only reason why you check this blog... for the pictures. :)

Sarah even wanted to get in on the action. 

Should have gotten video. It was pretty cute. 


It is RADical days again. Which means free entrances into various Pittsburgh attractions... such as Phipps Conservatory

We went last year and were excited to go again. There was actually a rather large group of us that meet up together to go, but the crowds were so overwhelming that we just ended up going around on our own. I decided to forgo the stroller because I knew it was going to be crowded. Abby LOVED it! Me... not so much, she was one little busy body. Constantly running away from me, Sarah on the other hand was so well behaved. She is really getting better about listening and I was so grateful. I had my hands more than full with Abby. 

Anyway... on with the, pictures. 
WARNING: There aren't that many "good" pictures. Abby would book it at every turn, 
so I only had time to snap a photo here and there and not look to see how any turned out. Who cares though, right? 
This is a cool little pond. There is a set of controls for turning on sprayers, like out of the mouths of the fish in the water, you can see one stream hitting the buildings.

Abby taking a breather to look at the exhibit. 

Sarah posing for mom. :)

Whenever I would let go of Abby's hands she would run right for the dirt and rocks... ugh!

Say "Cheese!"

Abby loved the gargoyles. She would run up to them and say hi and give them quick hugs. 

They had this cool little hobbit house in a tree stump (not real) and Sarah loved playing in it... for. e.ver.
It was okay, because while she was in there Abby was...
Running back and forth on this little stone path...
and across this bridge. Over, and over, and over again. 

They had these long vines hanging down and they were very fragrant.
I had Sarah to go and smell them. 

We had a really good time. I'm glad that we went. 
Plenty of fun memories to cherish. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

You won't believe it...

I hardly believe it myself. 

8.26 miles 
With hills...big ones... without stopping. 

Well, I did take a 3 minute potty and hydration break at around 3.5 miles, but I don't count it as stopping. 
I didn't even feel like I needed a break, but knew there wouldn't be another bathroom break along the way. 

I don't know how I made it up some of those hills. They seemed so never ending. I'm sure people passing me wondered why I didn't just stop and walk... it may have been faster... 
but I was determined not. to. stop. 

After this distance
I think I can announce that I am running a half marathon on December 5th 
(its a little no name race in State College, PA... but I don't care, its something to work toward)
I know that I can do it... even if it takes me 3+ hours to run it. 

My knees do feel pretty tender now... hopefully they don't get too sore. 
Some of those hills were pretty rough on them. 
I need to do some strength training to build up the muscles around them to prevent any serious injuries. 
Hopefully I can lose a little {or a lot} more weight before December so that each run won't be as hard on my knees. I know that is the main source of the problem/pain. 

Anyway, sorry to post about all of my long runs. 
I just have to post about it so I can track my progress and see how far I am coming. 

Thanks for all of the love and support. I sure need it. 

Thanks Daddy

Oh Daddy. we were so excited that you were able to come to the zoo with us. 
It was way more fun than when its just the girls. 

It made mom extra happy to only have to chase one kiddo around at a time. 

Sarah loved being able to show off all of her favorite climbing spots to you. 

It was great to have you see for yourself how sweet the girls can be to each other. 
Like when Sarah asked Abby if she wanted to hold her hand.
Wasn't it so cute to see them walk hand in hand?

We could hardly believe the cute little sea lion, and how he followed our fingers around in circles. 
Don't know if we could have explained how cute it was, so we were glad you were there too. 

Thanks for taking the girls into pet the goats. 
Abby was so excited,

and Sarah felt so special. 

We loved showing you our favorite parts of the zoo... like our friend Mr. Turtle. 

And our favorite the kangaroo yard. 

We loved how you ran around the kids kingdom with us, while mom took a breather. 
Even if half way through Abby needed a break and had to hang tight with mom,
and get smothered by the camera. 
But she didn't mind. 

Thanks for helping us build sand castles and get all sandy. 

Abby's favorite part was putting the dirt into the bucket for you. 

I hope you saw how happy I was to have you there. 
We didn't even have one melt down. 

Even after we learned that the carousel, our special Daddy-Daughter treat, was closed. 

But you made it all better by letting us play in the cars. 
Helping us in and out of each one, over and over again. 
We felt so big, and didn't even mind that they weren't moving. 

It was a wonderful day at the zoo. 
We hope you know how much we love you Daddy. 
We know that you work so hard to do well in school, 
we are so proud of you, 
and are grateful for the time that you set aside to spend with us. 

Love, Sarah, Abby and your Love. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Edward Scissor Hands

You can just call me Edward, because that is what I have felt like the past couple of days. My right hand actually aches from all of the cutting I've been doing lately. But it has been so worth it. 

I have all of these amazing moms around me and they are all so productive with their time and strive to provide an educational setting for their children. While me on the other hand... have been using the telly as a babysitter and facebook as a social outlet for me. Both are not good... for me or the kiddos. 

So... in trying to make myself better (and my kiddos happier) I have been trying really hard to make Abby's naps a time for Sarah and I to work on school things (painting, drawing, writing or just playing games), and when Abby is awake I've been trying to help them to play together better and work on increasing my patience with them (which has really been failing me lately)

So... back to me, Edward Scissor Hands.
In my efforts to provide more educational activities for my kiddos I made some File Folder games. 

I really think they turned out cute. And the best part is, I found them all online for free and they printed out in color so I didn't have to spend more time coloring the darn things. 

I did two alphabet ones.
(I'm crazy... 26 pieces for each, and having to cut them out twice (again after lamination)... exhausting)
With the sun one you match uppercase letters to each other, 
and the heart one you match lowercase to the uppercase letter.

I also did two number ones
 More because I had already printed out the flower one,
and then fell in love with the cupcake one and had to make that one as well. 

Then I have a heart pattern matching game,
and a colors one (where you match the mama dino to her egg).  

Then my MOST favorite one that I made was a paper doll set. 
I found this lady who collects out of print vintage paper doll sets and posts them on a website for anyone to print off. I thought this set was perfect (although there was a vintage Strawberry Shortcake that was a close second).
One doll for Sarah and one for Abby.

It is kind of fun because there are five sets of clothing and accessories for each doll, and they are themed around countries from around the world. 
Once I saw all of the cute little animals that went with it, I knew Sarah would love it.
The dolls come out so that they can be played with better, and boy Sarah has had fun.
(it kept her entertained for almost the entire 2 hours of Stake Conference) 

They are just so stinkin' cute, I LOVE it! 
Well worth the hours I put in cutting out all of the little accessories. 

The countries that are represented are: (Left to Right)
Top Row - Holland, England, France, Germany, Australia
Bottom Row - Italy, Spain, Ireland, Russia, Japan

Anyway, I think they are really cute and fun. :)

I haven't been very successful in finding "churchy" ones online for free.
So if you know of any good ones pass them along. :)
(and maybe once my hand recovers I'll be up for making some more)

To make them I printed all the pieces out onto white card-stock, and after cutting out the pieces and gluing the ones on the folder I took them to get laminated (which is a little pricey).
I laminated the folders in soft laminate and the pieces in hard laminate to make them more durable.
Then I re-cut out all the pieces and slapped some clear sticky back velcro dots on them.
Wow... it doesn't really sound that hard... maybe I should make some more.

Here are the links to the various games... in case any of you want them.
Bright and Sunny Letters
Alphabet Hearts
Cupcake Count
Numbers in Bloom
Heart Patterns
Dino Eggs
Paper Dolls
Oh, and HERE is the link to all of those vintage paper dolls I mentioned.

Now, lets see if I can keep this "good mom" ball rolling. HA!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Um, for those of you who are interested. 

I ran 6 miles on Saturday.  

No stopping.
Mind over body, baby.  

Oh, so happy!

Food Faces

Sarah making a silly apple smile face. 

She thought that she was so funny. She actually asked me to take a picture. 
Thanks Sarah! It looks way cute. :)

Abby sporting the sleeping beauty food face. 

I sat both of the girls down with their lunch and decided to run upstairs and take a quick shower (it seriously was like 5 minutes long). I was surprised that Abby wasn't screaming to be let out of her high chair when I turned off the water (she eats fast, and isn't patient about staying in her high chair after). Ran downstairs panicked that maybe she had choked or something terrible... only to find her dead asleep. What a tired little girl. Exhausted from big sister climbing into her bed every morning (and in the middle of the night) and waking her up. 

Fun times at the Stevie House!

Playing House

Here was just a fun moment I wanted to remember. I am constantly impressed with how patient Sarah is being with Abby lately. She is playing with her more and more (even though Abby isn't a very good playmate quite yet). Here are the two of them playing house under the computer desk. Sarah was pretending the computer mouse was a telephone and Abby was content to just be sitting and giggling at her sister under the table.

Silly, silly {but rather cute} girls. 

I love that they are enjoying each others company... now I just need to teach Sarah to quit climbing in to Abby's crib to wake her up and play with her. 

Oh, and if you are wondering what is up with the cardboard behind them, well... it is my poor man's solution to keeping Abby out of our computer cords. 
Whatever works, right?