Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter from Lil'C

Lil'C is the crafter in this house and she is always busy creating something.   For the past 2 months she has been making Valentine's Day Cards daily.  She doesn't seem to understand that the holiday is behind us and thus keeps on making them.  Her favorite question while making the cards is, "Valentine's Day tomorrow Mama?"

The Two Princess Crafted in Full Costume :)
Crafting in her Jammies on this Sunny Morning
This past week I was able to stop her Valentine's Card making for a few moments and we started crafting for Easter.  We painted paper eggs with watercolors, made bunny ears and paper bunny cards for friends.  It has been fun and festive and her little buddy J was over one of the days to craft with us.  I wanted to share some of her creations.  Happy Easter to all!!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Won't Leave Home Without Them....

Scott and I ended up extending our trip in Arizona by 11 hours because of the snow storm and thus needed to book an extra night in a hotel.  We had already checked out of our hotel when this decision was made and felt that we would try something new.  We arrived at the new hotel late at night, after our day in Sedona, and only grabbed our two small suitcases when we left the car with the valet.  The car was valet parking only and it wasn't until I got into the room that I realized my toiletry bag was in the garment bag we had left behind.  This left me feeling a bit unsettled but with a little ingenuity I made it all work.

In my handbag I always carry a small bar of MadeOn Bee Silk Hard Lotion and my MadeOn Lip Balm (won't leave home without either!!!).  I also had a few other items I needed in my handbag so other than my hair stuff I was good to go.  I felt lost without my MADEON Second Life Hair Butter to tame my frizzy curly mane.  I decided to be a little daring and used some of the Bee Silk Hard lotion bar on my hair instead.  It has similar ingredients (just in a different concentration) but has a different texture. I used it sparingly and only on the ends of my hair and you know what, it worked!  It is not something I would do everyday but in a pinch, it did work!

I am so appreciative for MadeOn and their amazing products.  All of their products contain simple ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils and are handmade by the Harris Family themselves.  Their hard lotion bar is great for airport security (no liquid) and I carry mine everywhere I go.  It is great for chapped hands, dry feet, legs...anything!  We also use their Bee Silk Jr. for Lil'C.  She has the tin by her bed and applies it on her dry skin herself.  She also uses the diaper rash cream (yes still in diapers) and the whole family loves our lip balm and their bug block.  For the past year we have loved everything we have tried and it has replaced many of the unhealthy personal products we were using (especially my hair gel and mousse).   If you are more of a DIY person they sell ebooks with recipes to make your own products (including sunscreen) and the materials to do so.

The customer service at MadeOn is incredible and personable. It is a fabulous company with an amazing product.  We recommend it to everyone we know  and thought you should know about it too!

Let me say that I am no being compensated in anyway for this post.  These words and opinions are all my own and all products that I have told you about were purchased with Scott's my own money.  MadeOn is a family run business and we not only love their products but feel good that we are helping to support an entrepreneurial family!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Maple Sugar Weekend

This past weekend was NH Maple Sugar Weekend and thus we made our annual pilgrimage to the Sugar Shack.  This is one of my most favorite outings of the year because it is not only tasty, it means spring is right around the corner (well at least we hope).  In honor of the weekend I made a GF version of my favorite Maple Cake.  Unfortunately it came out really BAD and so I made a quick GF ginger cake with maple frosting.  That was a hit and was enjoyed over both weekend days as well as a serving of vanilla ice cream with maple syrup on top!
This will be the last time I can enjoy maple syrup for awhile and ice cream for that matter. I am about to give up sugar (as well as many other foods) for a year or two to heal my body (more on that another day).  I enjoyed this last hurrah and look forward to enjoying this delicious gift from Mother Nature again soon.  Spring is in the air!

Friday, March 22, 2013

From Cacti to Snow

Scott and I just got back from an AMAZING long weekend in Arizona.  We were out there for the wedding of a family friend and though much of our time was spent on fun Wedding Weekend Activities, we used all the rest of our available time for adventure.

Scott rented an FJ Cruiser for our stay and is now in love with this car.  I found it to look like a car from a Disney Attraction but he loved it's "off-roading" capabilities.  We drove over 800 miles in 3 days and saw so many beautiful things.  It was the first time we had this much time alone since our kids were born.  It was great to hike, chat, eat slow meals and explore a part of Arizona we have both never seen.

The wedding was an hour north of Phoenix and that is where we stayed.  We hiked some amazing trails around the resort, took in the sunrise on the first day, we also visited Wickenburg, drove part of the Apache Trail and spent a day in Sedona.  Every place we visited was spectacular and left us in awe.  We hiked every day (sometimes more than once a day), saw some great wildlife and worked up a big appetite.

The Gluten Free App that Scott got me was amazing (by the way Becky, thanks for the GF recipe...sorry I have not had a chance to thank you!!!) and we found some of the BEST food using it.  Whether you are GF or not, we'd recommend this app when you are traveling, it was an incredible resource.  FYI...The Cowboy Club pictured above was not found in our GF App but was recommend to us by the park ranger :)

The wedding weekend was busy with an Out of Town Guest Dinner, the Wedding and a Send off Brunch.  All was lovely and we enjoyed our time with our family friends.  We delayed our flight home by 11 hours because of the foot of snow that was falling at home. This afforded us one more night in a hotel and allowed us to skip the Red-Eye flight.   It was a bit crazy to go from 90 degrees and sunny to 29 degrees and snowy but we sucked it up and traded in our sandals for winter boots.

The whole weekend was great and much needed.  A big THANKS goes out to my parents for taking such good care of Z and C (they had a BLAST) and our friends who also helped with care and transportation on Friday.  It takes a village and we are so grateful for ours!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lil' C's Night Terrors

Poor Lil' C has been experiencing Night Terrors for a few months now.  It usually happens once a week and Scott and I feel so helpless during the whole ordeal.  She sits up, screams and violently shakes with her eyes wide open.  There are moments in the beginning where she wants to be held and moments where she pushes us away.  We have to stay close by because there have been times where she has almost hurt herself.  After a few minutes she will let us hold and rock her.  It takes her about 15 minutes to get to a relaxed state and another 15 minutes to go back to sleep.  It is exhausting for all of us.

Thankfully in the morning she does not remember a thing and wakes up her happy little self.  We have tried to note what has happened during the day when these Terrors occur and wonder if watching Z play Super Mario Bros. has had something to do with it (she does not like Bowser's Castle).  There didn't seem to be any direct connection but I asked Z to stay out of Bower's Castle when Lil'C is around and then turned to the Internet for help.

The best suggestion from my reading online was to wake her up right before the Night Terrors are about to begin.  The is done so that her sleep cycle will be altered. Thankfully her terrors are consistent and usually happen around 10pm.  I have been going in and waking her around 9:30 and this seems to be working (knock on wood).

The Night Terrors might be gone for now but she is back to waking most nights at 2 AM and unable to go back to sleep until 4 AM.  Scott and I call this her "Party Time" and she has been doing it on and off for over a year.  Thankfully she no longer asks for too much of us during this time but we can still hear her "partying" in her bed.  The child has never been a great sleeper but her sleepless nights and Night Terrors are definitely starting to take their toll on us.  Those nights where I sleep straight through the night are rare and such a gift!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Time to Make the Traps!

St. Patrick's Day is on Sunday and so it is time to get out those cardboard boxes, raid the recycle bin and make your Leprechaun Traps!  They say if you catch a Leprechaun in your trap, don't blink and quickly ask him where he put his gold.  Leprechauns are very clever so be careful not to be tricked.

I have been trying to catch Leprechauns for years and have yet to succeed.  Maybe this year will be the year!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lazy Mornings...My Favorite!

Tuesday and Thursday mornings are our "Lazy Mornings".  We usually stay in our PJ's until 11, bake, create, play, read and do some family yoga.  Yesterday was one of those mornings and it was so nice.  These mornings are a chance to recharge from the busy week and just spend time together.

Family Yoga is one of my most favorite things to do with the kids.  We have a small library of DVDs, a Yoga ABC book and some Yoga Cards.  We bought the kids their own yoga mats a few months ago and have them stored in a basket in our Family room.  They often will get them out on their own to play with or practice poses.  Family Yoga time is a wonderful time to giggle, follow directions, practice focus and relax. We especially love doing it when Daddy is home to join us.

Baking is something I try to do with the kids once a week. This week we made gingerbread cookies to celebrate the end of the Iditarod.  We created dogs and dog bone shapes as well as Angry Birds, butterflies and princess things.  It will be a yummy way to celebrate the end of a great race today (I made some GF cookies too).  Congrats to Mitch Seavey on his 2nd Iditarod win!!!

I live for my "Lazy Mornings" and the weeks that we aren't able to have at least one are very challenging.  We all need this time to just "BE" and reenergize for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Groundhog was Wrong

Last year Phil the Groundhog saw his shadow and this was what we were doing in March here in New England.

This year Phil the Groundhog did not see his shadow and this is what we are doing in March here in New England.

I think Phil needs a new job!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Winter of Birds

This winter we are participating in Cornell's Project Feeder Watch.  It has been a great experience for all of us and we so look forward to our two counting days each week.  Z is now able to identify most of the birds that come to our feeder and he is in charge each week of filling in our data on the Project Feeder Watch website.  I love that the data we collect is used for their work at Cornell.
Here are some fun photos of birds we have seen this winter.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Please Pass the Air...

This past January I was told I had to give up Gluten because of Celiac Disease.  I had almost expected this diagnosis and so when the news came I handled better than some might.

Scott felt terrible about this new gluten free life and surprised me with a car and driver.  We went out on the town for the "Last Supper".  Three different restaurants were visited that night and we had appetizers at one, dinner at the second and dessert at the third.  It was a night filled with Gluten (we even had cheese fondue for dessert) and drinks. He is an amazing guy and it was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience!

The "Last Supper" left me feeling awful for 3 days.  I have not had a bit of gluten since then and I already feel better.  Having a nut allergy and a sensitivity to chocolate, I am use to reading food labels and often saying "No Thanks" to questionable food.  Over the past few weeks though there have been a few sad moments when I realize that I will never have a certain food again.  A few of these realizations have been......Oktoberfest beer, my dad's favorite pretzel rods, mac and cheese from my favorite restaurant and jelly munchkins from Dunkin Donuts.
I know it is silly and many people comment to these sad moments by saying, "Well those foods aren't good for you anyway!" I know they aren't good for me but it doesn't mean I wouldn't like to have them once and a while!!!
This new lifestyle has been tricky but manageable.  Gluten has not been that difficult to give up at home and eating out these days is surprisingly easy.  It is the house parties and gatherings that are the toughest.  It is in these situations (did I mention I gave up dairy too because it was making me break out?!?) that I say, "Please pass the air".  At least when Lent is over I will be able to say, "Please pass the wine!"

Monday, March 4, 2013

Grandpa's Birthday Party!

This past weekend we headed down for Grandpa's Suess/Iditarod Birthday Party!  With Saturday being both the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod and Dr. Seuss' Birthday (he would have been 109), the kids wanted to throw a Seuss/Iditarod Party.  The kids made a banner, we had a yummy pancake brunch and Mimi reenacted the "Hat Book" with dozens of hats.  It was a lot of fun, the food was delicious (and gluten free, thanks Mimi!) and I don't think Grandpa has ever had a party quite like it before :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Enjoying the Snow

With each passing storm, we feel the urgency to get in as much snow time in as we can.  I think this is because the last two winters were so deprived of snow.  We know and appreciate that winter won't last forever, this is the beauty of living with four seasons, and we are looking forward to spring.  But for now, we are still focused on fun in the snow.
This winter marks one of the snowiest February's on record and we have enjoyed all of the snow play this year.  The kids are at that GREAT age where snow play can go on for hours. Now that they can both easily maneuver in the snow there is so much to do.  Our favorites are building snow people, watching the clouds and sledding.  Z also loves his snowball fights and Lil' C's favorite thing is EATING the snow!  Can you tell what my favorite is??
The rains this week have washed much of the snow away and we spotted this guy last week....a true sign of spring.
But this is New England and you never know what Mother Nature might throw at us later in the season.  No matter what, I am grateful for a wonderful winter filled with so many great memories.