My little family!

My little family!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

5 things on a Thursday.

I just posted Benny's 19 month entry - I was a week late. I'm sorry buddy. To be honest, I had the pictures & post done but it's nearly impossible to get to the basement computer and actually put everything together.

So here goes.

5 things on a Thursday.

1. Josh's mom left this morning - she was here for a week and it was awesome. The kids LOVE when she's here and it is always nice to have an extra set of hands. Yesterday was an amazing day. Layla, my mom, Josh's mom and myself went to NYC for the day. I planned this immediately after we went to NYC last month with my sister, sister in law & nieces to see Aladdin. It was such a blast that I knew I wanted to go again with Lisa. It was a perfect day. Layla was completely spoiled in the best way possible. Her 3 favorite women had her undivided attention and it was great. We took the train in, took a cab (Layla's first!), had lunch at Carnegie Deli (not so good) and saw Cinderella (adorable). It was really a nice day and one I'll never forget.

2. Layla's crib is officially gone - Josh took it apart and put it in the attic (how sad is that?) She has been sleeping in her big girl bed for 4 nights. The first 2 were great. The 3rd she woke up once, cried in the hallway and I took her back to bed. Last night, she begged and cried to sleep in our bed (something she has never done). After some convincing, I managed to get her to sleep on a towel on the floor in her room. Poor thing. She's been sleeping so great so I'm hoping it was a minor setback. We got her a brand new bed from Ikea the other day (she had been sleeping on a full sized mattress on the floor). Once he puts it together, I think she'll love it again. She's also FULLY potty trained! BIG GIRL STATUS! She has trouble pooping (she's gone about 5 times, otherwise waiting until she is in her pull-up for night and naps) but we'll get there. She is doing so great and I'm really proud of her.

3. We are almost done week 1 of 3 weeks off in between camp & school. It's tough and I'm trying to keep everyone busy -- it was really nice to have Lisa here but now I'm on my own! I am making some  plans but these past couple of weeks have been rough with the two kids - they've been a disaster on every shopping trip or restaurant. I have no idea why?! But I literally almost left them at Target the other day (kidding). Hoping to get back on good behavior!!

4. I threw out my back yesterday right before we boarded the train in the morning. I lifted Layla, turned and BOOM - I felt like I broke something. I guess I pulled a muscle? It literally hurt to breath - ibuprofen helped so I'm coping but GEEZ - I am bummed I'm not at the gym right now but I need to get better first.

5. The news is possibly the most depressing it's ever been. Isis in Iraq. Israel/Hamas war. Disaster in Ferguson (an unarmed boy was killed by cops). The list never ends. It's hard to watch. Sometimes you just need to pray for world peace. <3

Benny turns 19 months!

19 month stats:
Weight: 30 pounds - maybe even 31??
Height: I'd say 35 inches?
Eating: Food is your favorite!
Clothes: 18-24 months & 24 months, 2T and some 3T
Diaper: Size 5
Shoe Size: 6.5 or 7

Benjamin Sawyer: 

I literally did a double take on the calendar yesterday (see, I'm a day late!) --- can you be another month older?! Didn't we just celebrate your 18 month celebration. And just like that, when people ask now I need to say you are 19 months. It doesn't seem (too) insane for me to plan your 2nd birthday. The summer is fast ending -- this morning it was actually COOL outside (felt great!) and I realized fall will be here in the blink of an eye. 

You are loving life lately -- still ALL boy. Your favorite thing to do is basketball. We have a small hoop in the basement that you are always playing with (including right now!) -- we also put up our big basketball hoop outside and you LOVE when Dada lifts you up to make baskets! You hold on to the rim and hang there like a regular Michael Jordon! ;) I can't wait to sign you up for sports. I know you'll love it so so much - Layla starts soccer tonight and I wish you could play right along with her! You love to climb things, jump off anything high, use the steps, and throw yourself on the floor. You love when we yell 1-2-3 GO and run back and forth. But most of all? You love Layla -- you ask for her all day and want to snuggle up to her (or chase her) when she gets home. You also love love love the cats. If you're upset, we can quickly change your mood by putting you with Shluffy & Rigby!

You are getting over a little cold but you NEVER seemed bothered by it!! (PHEW!) I was nervous you'd get an ear infection but it never came (PHEW!) -- but I know with your upcoming school adventures comes many germs which equals lots of yucky sickness. I also know it's good for your immune systems so I'm trying not to get too caught up in the grossness of it all. 

You're doing pretty great with tantrums and slowly learning to listen better. You still don't understand time-out but you're put there quite often ;) You hit more then you should and you steal toys and don't share and all the while look adorable. I know school with be a tough lesson in sharing and learning but it'll be great for you. With your language growing by leaps and bounds, I think it helps with your frustration! 

You love to be outside so much - bubbles, pools, chalk, basketball, cars and more. It's so nice to spend time soaking it all in - you stare at the airplanes, birds and grass. You love to sit in the dirt and throw it. 

Your latest obsession is Planet Earth!!! Last weekend, Mama & Mom-Mom went to see Billy Joel in concert so Dada was in charge of bedtime. Both you & Layla begged for Mama so Dada quickly decided a distraction was needed - and thus Planet Earth entered our world! You love it and shout "EARTH! FISHES! ELEPHANT!" You love the animals and the water and it's a great learning tool. You still (rarely) like Sesame Street & Jack. You'll watch the movies in the car and you'll always be up for listening to music. Your favorite song right now is "Happy" by Pharrell. It's so cute to watch you dance!!

Forever happy to report you're still an excellent sleeper. Bedtime is now 6:30-6:45 and you wake up around 6:30-7:00 AM every morning. You nap in the afternoon for roughly 2 hours and happily love to snuggle in your crib with Teddy & Brian! I'm nervous for your naps at school but hopefully you'll adjust to the change well. 

Still willing to try and eat anything -- you are obsessed with black olives. So random and funny. You love noodles and sauce and meatballs.. and a million other things. The list is never ending and so great. Makes it much easier to feed you!!!

Today is Layla's last day of camp which means she's home with us for the next 3 weeks!! I'm so excited (and slightly nervous) to have you guys play. We have lots planned -- Grandma comes tonight for a week, we will do the zoo, Sesame Place, the beach, aquarium and more. I know you'll love having so much Layla time -- and then, school starts!!! I'm so nervous and excited for you. For the past 19 months, we have been together nearly every second of everyday. And soon you'll be with roughly 8 other kids and two great teachers, 3 days a week. I know you will have the very best time. I know it will be a huge adjustment. But know that I love you and I think this is best for you!!! I will forever cherish these months we spent together. The loud, the quiet, the snuggles, the kisses. It was all so special to me. 

You are my sweet boy. My baby. The little love of my life -- I love watching you learn and grow and can't wait for you to experience everything good in life.

With love and laughter,
Your Mama <3

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Challenge: Part 2.

First & foremost, thank you all for the love, support and overall kindness towards my last entry. That was far from easy to write (and did I really post bikini pictures of myself?!) but alas I did. I'm not held accountable. And so far, so good!!

The second part of our challenge for August is meal planning.

Josh & I are coming up on 12 years of dating come November. And in that time, I'd venture to say we've gone out to eat approximately 2,190 times. Maybe more. It's our thing - we love new restaurants, we love the same 6 restaurants, we love a quick and easy meal.

When Layla was born, I swore we would cook  more at home. And we did, but we still ordered in and went out way too often because, well, Layla actually love going out to eat. She was the perfect baby in a restaurant!!

Enter Benny into our world and until the age of 10 months? HE SUCKS - unless he was attached to my boob, he cried every time we entered a place for dinner (he was mostly good at breakfast & lunch).

SO back to the cooking board. But now that my baby boy is nearing 19 months and eating everything in sight, a restaurant is our new best friend.

It's enough though. It's enough with the money. The calories. The "what do you want to eat?" "I don't know? What do you want to eat?"  - it's boring and frustrating.

Enter the meal planning challenge.

I took a simple calendar and plotted out our dinners for the month of August. I included a few meals out and a couple of order in nights. I included my parent's house for dinner every Thursday. But mostly it is all about cooking at home - easy, healthy, yummy dinners. Because Layla is beyond picky we end up making her whatever she'll eat but Benny is always more then willing to try what we cook!

We are on day 3 and I'm happy to report SUCCESS!!!

August 1st was Friday -- and I obviously picked us heading to a restaurant that first night (ha!) - we chose Las Margaritas and had amazing Mexican with family.

August 2nd was last night -- we made TACOS! Using Organic low fat meat, we ate healthy and yummy tacos and it was great.

August 3rd is tonight -- and happy to report Josh is cooking! We did substitute what we were supposed to make with his pastatini (think pasta, chicken, garlic, tomatoes, etc) -- but that's fine! We'll switch and make changes and probably get annoyed but the ultimate goal is NOT to stray from the menu plan.

It feels so good to not repeat the "what's for dinner" question every day.

We're on our way to healthier, happier, skinnier Englands baby!!!!

What are your favorite recipes??? 

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Challenge: Part 1.

When I was in 5th grade, I went to play at a friend's house. We were tackling her extra large black dog when she told me she was going to blindfold me to play a game. I happily obliged and followed her until she took me in the bathroom, took off my blindfold and put me on a scale.

"Weigh yourself! Let's see who's the fattest!"

I think I weighed 85 pounds or so? Whatever it was, it was equal to my 2 friends that were there and thus we were all deemed "skinny" by the host.

This was the first time I realized that there was fat & skinny. I remember going home, sitting on my toilet and drawing a line down the middle of my thigh, wishing it was half the size.

Clearly, this stuck with me.

Years of yo-yo dieting, followed by extreme dieting in college (reaching my lowest weight of 124 pounds - at 5'5 and big boned, this was low). I have a clear memory of my size 4 pants being big. This was so exciting. (Now, I'm a size 8-10.) Post-college, I stayed around 135-140 and was happy there. My body was happy there. Around my wedding, I worked to get back down to 125 but my butt wouldn't budge and thus it seemed 135 was where I would stay.

Fast forward 4 years, two babies 19 months apart, 2 years of breastfeeding and my body is completely different. My whole shape has changed. I'm still adjusting to my new body - I'm learning (accepting?) that my new found wobbly parts are all thanks to carrying a 7.12 baby girl & 10.1 baby boy. I'm in awe that my body created & nourished these two perfect little humans.

But now. I've been working out for a year and noticing my body is not reacting the way I wish it would. My stomach still won't get flat. My thighs still touch. My arms jiggle more then I'm proud to admit. And this summer has been tough - I'm terrified to wear a bathing suit (let alone a bikini) despite our many trips to the beach & pool.

I don't want Layla to ever think that there is anything wrong with her body - I want her to see how proud I am of mine.

SO I'm making peace & giving myself a challenge --  a bikini challenge. On December 28th, Josh & myself along with my siblings & their husband/wives are going to Jamaica. I cannot WAIT - and I WILL wear a bikini.

SO today it begins. We have roughly 5 months and I hope to be comfortable in my own skin.

Below is a picture of myself in a bikini today. It was hard for me to take these but I really wanted to compare. Luckily for me, my amazing husband is also participating and let me take pictures of him in his bathing suit.

We both weighed ourselves and will continue this the first of the month until December (and I vow to NOT weigh myself in between).

I'm going to continue working out every other day (but increasing my work-out and trying new things!!) - I'm going to seriously get back to eating clean & healthy. I'm going to succeed.

Wish us luck as we take on our August challenge. Want to join in?? Take pictures and we'll do it together!!

This is only our first challenge - the next is MEAL PLANNING! I'll write that up tomorrow.


(I'm not putting our starting weights on here but I am keeping track and will note our weight loss)

Please excuse these pictures -- they are at 7 this morning in our bathroom while trying to keep Layla & Benny entertained ;) 

I'm not giving my cheat day Fridays. I love cheese enchiladas and I'm not afraid to admit it.