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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Video Games - A Lesson in Reparenting

When Kye was almost six months old I wrote this blog post about re-parenting and how one of my main goals as a mother was to avoid re-parenting. Three and a half years later and it's STILL something I think about on a daily basis. Parenting is not easy and I know when I'm tired, upset about other things, or just distracted I tend not to stay as focused on my parenting job as I should be. I slack! I let things slide...say yes when I should say no...etc. Almost anytime that happens, re-parenting is the result. Once I get that needed rest, get over that funk, or get back focused on my role as Mom then I have to "fix" the things I allowed happen. It makes it easy to see how so many parents get trapped in that endless cycle of re-parenting again and again and again. 

I am thankful I read Babywise and understood that concept early in my parenting days. It is an idea that has stuck with me and has shaped my children as well as their futures. By thinking through every decision I make as a parent (even the small ones) I think my children are happier (even if they are upset at first when hearing "no"), they have an understanding of my authority over them (as well as God's over all of us), and they are very obedient.

Just as an example there is are two playgrounds at Kye's school. One in the back (where he plays during school time) and one near the entrance of the building (for younger kids where he used to play in the younger class). Every day we pass by that smaller playground. We pass it when we go into the building to drop him off and we pass it on our way out of the building when we pick him up. If I'm early to pick him up I will sometimes swing Britt on the swings at the playground but once she attends school there that will stop. Everyday when we pass the playground we also pass other children. Who are crying, begging, and pitching fits because they want to play on the playground. Sometimes they do play. Sometimes their moms drag them (often kicking and screaming) to the car. Earlier in the school year Kye asked to play on the playground. I simply told him no. We don't play on that playground. He has time during school to play on the "big kid" playground. He was disappointed at first. But now? He never ever asks because he knows what to expect. My answer would be no. Every time. So we enjoy our walks to and from the school building...and I never have to deal with any fits or any issues regarding the playground. I made my rules clear to him from day 1 and I have stood my ground on that. 

It may seem harsh to some of you that I never let him play but we don't have the time. We have to hurry home and get lunch before naps. But even if we did have the time I'm not sure I'd let him play? I just feel like that's school property and it's inappropriate to view it as a public park type thing, ya know? Anyways I knew on the first day of school that our time after school would be RUSHED so I made the conscious decision to never let him play. I knew we would never have a consistent time to play so it wouldn't be fair to him to allow him to play sometimes but not other times. It would be confusing for him at his age and would cause more issues than the few times of play would justify.

Just like I think about "what would Jesus do?" all the time I also think about "how will this affect him/her in the long run?" I weigh the pros and cons of any decision before I make it. I think things through and try to see the big picture. 

I'm pretty good about this majority of the time. I was a PRO about it before Britt was born. But life with two has brought about more times of tiredness for me so there are times when I slack off and I hate when that happens! 

Back in April of 2010 Zach wrote this post about Kye's first time ever "playing nintendo" (and yes, we will forever call it Nintendo in our house haha!). 
In Dec of 2011 we allowed him to legit play the Wii for the first time
While he RARELY played it over the years we did play it a decent number of times this past Christmas...we introduced Kye to the world of Mario Kart and who the heck can resist that?!?! We used to be SO hardcore about it back in the day haha! He, duh, LOVED it! Here's a video!


Every night Britt goes to bed at 7:00ish and Kye doesn't go to bed until 7:40ish so we have quality time with Kye playing board games. We play Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Hungry Hippos, etc etc etc. It's fun quality time and I love the lessons it teaches. We take turns going first each night and we all have our fair share of wins and loses. We use it as an opportunity to teach Kye how to be both a good winner and loser. We always shake hands and say "good game" no matter what the outcome! I enjoy that time together and I love all the things he's learning (plus most of the games are pretty educational too...counting, colors, memorization skills, etc). 

When we allowed him to play the Wii with us a few times during that special game time together it was fun! We all had a great time and, let's be honest, Mario Kart is a lot more entertaining for Zach and I than Cootie is haha. I made the decision to allow him to play the game because I thought it'd be fun...I did NOT think about the big picture. 

It quickly turned into a nightly round of begging to be allowed to play "the game on the tv" instead of a board game from the closet. I had become that parent dragging their kid kicking and screaming past the playground. Except this time it was past the tv. I didn't like the picture I was seeing. The cycle we were getting into. Our night time fun quality game time together had become not so fun anymore. Zach and I talked about it and he pointed out that Kye needed consistency with the "tv game" either we needed to let him know it'd be a certain day of the week (I wanted one night a month while Zach wanted one night a week haha) or we just cut it out all together. 

We have gone the cut-it-out-all-together approach. Kye isn't old enough to fully understand time. He wouldn't understand "you get to play this game every Monday or every 15th of the month" or something like that. He'd still ask every night. It'd still be an issue. So it's better for him to just not play it at all right now. 

I know many people reading this will think I'm harsh. Letting my kid play a video game for 20 min once a week (or once a month like I wanted haha) isn't a big deal. But we are very traditional when it comes to our kids and stuff like that. I personally believe that a lot of our country's problem with ADD and other attention issues comes back to video games, tv, and other forms of "mindless entertainment." Even I'm a victim of it! Heck who doesn't have their phone on them 24/7 and if we have even just a 2 min wait period somewhere we bust it out and check our Facebook or Twitter? I'm guilty of it too! I don't want that for my child. Especially not at the age of 3. I cannot STAND seeing families out to dinner and kids playing on their little handheld video systems. I equally cringe when I see parents ignoring their kids at dinner and messing with their phones too. Quality time is important!!! Our little 20-30 min of board game time together is SO valuable. 

I also don't want to expose him to things at a young age that will cause him to crave more in the future. Like how they say smoking pot is a gateway to other drugs...I feel like if we let him play innocent games now he'll want more games in the future and it will be more likely for him to get bored with the innocent ones and start wanting the violent ones. We will never have violent games in our home so why not just save the innocent ones for when he is older? So hopefully he won't be wanting more mature games at a younger age and we won't have to deal with telling him no? It's like we see young girls being dressed by their parents to look like dang teenagers then we are shocked when they dress super provocatively in high school. Duh, if you let them wear slutty stuff when they are seven...it's only gonna get MORE slutty when they are 17...

People may say that I'm sheltering my kids, but that's fine. Our world is filled with evil and they will find that out soon enough. They will be faced with sinful temptations every time they leave the walls of our home. It's our job as their parents not to let those sinful things of the world into our home. It's our job to protect them from Satan and to prepare them to face him when they are out in the world. 

Kye watches under 3 hours of total "tv" a week and that "tv" time is movies that I have seen. It's either Disney or Mighty Machines. If it's a new movie then Zach or I watch it together with him the first time he sees it. No, they aren't educational movies...but they have content that I have seen myself and know what he will be seeing. There are no commercials trying to lure him in (which is funny because at holidays he legit doesn't even know WHAT to ask for. If you ask him what he wants he usually says some kind of food item haha).  In the car we either listen to Disney music, Christmas music, or KLove (a Christian station) or we just talk. Kye has only ever watched You Tube videos of himself or Britt...ones that are posted in our family You Tube Channel. He's only ever "played" on an ipad when he has watched a little of a FSU game or golf clip with Zach. Our kids never ever ever touch our phones unless they are handing them to us or talking to someone on them. And now our kids also do not play any "games on the tv." 

And you know what? There have been NO issues about it! Kye has asked a couple of times if we can play the game on the tv and I just simply say no and it's been fine. No more whining or begging. I'm not saying he'll never be allowed to play it, as I'm sure he will be. But it will be when he is at an age to more appropriately handle it. Babywise talks a lot about parenting inside the funnel and how you have to find the right balance of proper freedoms for your child. Too much freedom is bad as is too little freedom. The 20 min of board game playing is just the right amount of freedom for Kye. He gets to choose the game each night and he gets to have special time with us without his sister. He gets to feel like the "big kid" because he's staying up a little later than she is and we get to feel good about not missing out on that time with him too. 

While I'm disappointed in myself for ever allowing the video game cycle to start, I appreciate the lesson in it and the reminder I needed to always keep my mind on the big picture and to truly THINK about every parenting decision I make! Re-parenting is not fun and I'm so thankful it's not something I have to do very often!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Aflac District Kickoff

I LOVE that Mr. Rusty values the husbands and wives of Aflac and our contribution to the success of the agents in his district. It's SO NICE that he always includes us in his kick-off parties each year. Last year he was nice enough to even let us bring Britt along since she was a newborn :) Since Zach is a CIT (which means "coordinator in training) we like to do something to show our appreciation for his team. Really, nothing is expected of us. I'm pretty sure Zach is probably the only CIT in the country that has contests and gives gifts to his people but he takes his manager position seriously and I'm proud of his giving spirit. At the time of the kick-off he had NINE people on his team (now I think it's down to six?) so we tried to get creative with something we could do for each of them. Aflac gear is a common gift to give out but at this point I think everyone has everything from Aflac possible haha! We thought Zaxby's gift cards would be great because they all spend a lot of time driving in their cars with work and a free meal is always well appreciated, right? :) I came up with the idea of making them cute in their presentation and I really like how they turned out! I didn't find the idea on Pinterest or anything...it's completely my own ;) The little tag says "Thanks for being part of Z's team!"

Since most of our family would be at the event we asked Mema and Jolee to come to the house and watch the kids for us. The dinner was at Austin's Steakhouse and we left plenty early to get there in time. We ended up having a good chunk of time just the two of us. And what else do you do when you're just hanging out waiting? Take pictures, of course! And yes, those are the size 36 pants on Zach I was talking about...skinny!!!!!
With my foot issues heals were a no-go so I tried to put something together that still looked dressy enough to match Zach. I mean I like to be over-dressed but Zach LOVES it haha Most people there were in jeans but he wore a dang vest and tie ;) I love that about him though!!! I've taught him well, right? ;)
A lot of awards and prizes and such were handed out and Mr. Rusty asked for there to be pictures taken. I took a couple but Zach took most of them (as you will be able to tell from all the goofiness!). Zach won for top associate in the district and it was awesome that Mr. Rusty gave him a golf trip as his prize. They just got back yesterday from 4 days together in Florida playing 5 rounds of golf at beautiful courses! I know Zach appreciated it SO MUCH and had an amazing time. I, of course, kinda wish he'd gotten cash so I could have benefitted from it too hahahaha Seriously though, it was a trip of a lifetime for him and I love that he and his dad always have such a great time together like that! 
Here are all the team members getting their prizes and awards!








The food was great and the company was wonderful! We had a great time at our table cracking jokes and laughing together. We are so blessed to work for such a fabulous company and get to share that experience with so many people we care so much about!!! Mrs. Charlotte even gave out a little gift to the spouses...cute little measuring spoons! Mine were heart shaped and I love when I measure stuff out how it comes out of the spoon in a heart :) They also gave out some Aflac gear to everyone...I love the file folder thing Zach got, it makes a great toy basket for my car haha :)

We were having such a great time that we made a quick stop by The Mix with some of the crew for more fun and lots of yummy treats. It was my first time getting froyo (or any ice cream for that matter) since my 24 Day Challenge and I may have gone a bit overboard about it. I had so many toppings that I had to transport mine into a bigger cup and it ended up weighing 19 oz haha!
We seriously had SUCH a great time. It was one of those rare times where you just kinda forget that you're a grown up and a parent and just feel like you're right back in high school or something :) I think we all laughed quite a bit (which is a LOT for me...I'm not a big laugher haha). We, of course, had to get some group shots before heading home! 

Zach thinks it's funny to take "action pictures"
The girls! I was happy to finally meet Claire!!!
Silly Boys

This is their Boy Band CD Cover Photo ;)
Casey and Jordan came back to the house with us and we played a round of Loaded Questions (it's Jordan's favorite haha). I LOVE board game nights!!! We used to play board games ALL. THE. TIME. Back in the day. Pre-kids :) Now it's tough to get people together to play because so many of our friends have kids too! We are taking full advantage of hanging out with Casey and Jordan as much as we possibly can before they start popping out the little ones and can't go and do as easily as they can now! 

There are so many exciting things to come in the year ahead with Aflac...I'm truly so proud of Zach and all of his hard work. I'm thankful that Aflac has provided so much for our family and especially that his successes have allowed me to stay at home with my children. I'm beyond blessed and forever grateful for that!!! Plus Zach's his own boss meaning we have the time to go on family vacations together AND we get to go on such fabulous Aflac trips too!!! As I mentioned, Zach is in management now and is always looking for people to add to his team! Let me know if you have any questions or think Aflac may be a good fit for you :) Can't wait to see what is to come this year!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

24 Day Challenge Results!

I know...I've been owing yall this post for awhile! My hold up has been the new computer. I like to show and side by side of my before and after pics and with the Mac I don't use Picasa anymore so I needed to figure out a new way to do it (pixlr.com is awesome...thanks to Robyn for the tip!). 

As you know I did the modified version of the 24 Day Challenge for nursing moms back in July of last year. During that 24 days I was able to lose 6 lbs and 5.75 overall inches. After the challenge I continued to stay on products and continued with the Advocare lifestyle of healthier eating choices and maintained that weight loss and lost another 5.75 inches!

In October some "rough stuff" came to a head in my life and I had to deal with a lot of emotional drama. Turns out...I'm an EMOTIONAL EATER. When I'm upset, I want ice cream. I want cookies. I want brownies. Anything bad for me to eat, I want it. The holidays were a little tough emotionally and I used food to "make me feel better." When, duh, junk food does NOT make you feel better AT ALL. Instead I felt worse. I felt yucky. I felt ugly. I started back on getting headaches. Etc. 

I weaned Britt in December and was EAGER to start the LEGIT 24 Day Challenge in Jan! I NEEDED it!!! I was motivated: New Year, 10 year high school reunion coming up, and a great group of people all doing it together. I couldn't wait!!!

In November Danielle and Jonathan came down for a visit to share more about Advocare with us Valdosta crew...we learned SO MUCH about the products and the company and how there truly is something for everyone with Advocare. From weight loss, to healthier living, to extra income!
Cutie Preston did NOT find our info meeting very entertaining haha

Over Christmas break Zach and I PIGGED OUT in anticipation for the Challenge. Which is so stupid. Why gain weight that you'll have to work harder to lose??? So, so dumb and something we both regretted! Although it WAS good to start our Challenges with NO sweets or junk in our house ;)

We had our last pre-Challenge date at Ruby Tuesdays to see Les Mis!

In our goal of stuffing ourselves before starting the Challenge we indulged in a LOT of junk...I took Kye for donuts one morning...

And we had a Zaxby's FEAST! Yes, I ate TWO pieces of toast!


Starting off the New Year Advocare offered a bundle package with 80 days worth of products. I knew going in that I wasn't going to meet my goals in just 24 Days so I invested in the huge bundle! It even included their new workout dvd with 24 min long workouts. Yes, I was gonna try to get my butt in gear and sweat a little ;) For only $30 and no needed equipment, I had no excuse not to!
A BIG group of us started the Challenge together on Jan 7th. I have to say, having so many people doing it with me was a HUGE encouragement for me. I even created a "secret" group on Facebook for all of us to share our experiences, ask questions, and even vent to each other on days that we were struggling. I thought it was a great idea and it was SO helpful to so many people! I've kept the group up and running so if anyone decides they wanna do the Challenge I can send you the link to join it with us :) 

During our Challenge Courtney, Casey and I decided to get a booth at the Bridal Expo here in town. We are all LOVING the Advocare lifestyle and love an opportunity to share our story with others. It was seriously SO FUN. Our booth was packed the ENTIRE expo and we got to meet so many great ladies!!! For throwing it together at the last minute, I think it turned out pretty cute :)
 We gave out Spark and Rehydrate and even vendors from other booths kept coming back for more!

 I used this famous frame yet again and stuck some of our before and after pics and other info on it with clothespins
 We made up flyers to give to everyone!
I think the BEST thing about representing Advocare is that we are sharing OUR OWN stories with everyone. People said over and over again that they loved how we had pictures of ourselves at the booth. Seeing our LEGIT results is inspiring and it proves that we aren't just making this junk up! Advocare IS the real deal!!! I didn't ask Zach if it was okay to use his pictures and didn't even THINK about the fact that so many of the girls coming by would recognize him from high school haha. I think his pictures got the most comments from people...many ladies asked if he was single ;) I mean he IS a good lookin' dude there is no denying that!
 We also had a 24 Day Challenge on display...this is great for you guys to see what it included in it as well!
 I was so proud of our booth and proud of the company we were representing!
When it was time for us to do our pre-challenge weigh-in Zach and I were DISGUSTED by ourselves. I had gained back 4 of the 6 lbs I'd lost with my first Challenge and he too had gained. (He gained roughly 5 lbs back of the 12 he'd lost during his first Challenge). We were SO disappointed in ourselves and didn't have anyone to blame except ourselves and our poor eating choices. We vowed to each other NOT to let this happen again!!!!

Even though I'd done the nursing version of the Challenge before, this was my first LEGIT Challenge. The first three days were again the toughest but having so many friends texting me and using the Facebook group made it SO much easier! I did all the products that are included in the Challenge bundle but I also added in Thermoplus (it's a fat burner...duh I need that junk!) and Catalyst (it tightens up the skin as you lose the weight). 

I LOVE having a plan so I printed off all the info and checked off the boxes as I went (I have TONS of helpful info I can send to anyone who wants it!). Super, super easy and they aren't kidding when they say it's nutrition for dummies! The HARDEST part for me was drinking enough water. I just am not a big drinker. I don't even drink while I eat. My pee is ALWAYS dark yellow because I don't drink enough throughout the day. I pretty much ate all the same things I did last Challenge (I'm tell ya...I am a ROUTINE eater!) but did love that I could drink Spark two times a day now on days when I needed it. Really helped!!! Zach was out of town a good chunk of time during the Challenge so I didn't sleep well and needed the boost in the mornings :) I am also a HUGE fan of the Snack Bars. I bought some Cliff bars too since they were cheaper than the Advocare ones and I totally regret that purchase. When I did the comparison of nutrients and such the Advocare bars are WAY healthier with WAY less added junk in them (especially sugar!) and way less calories and fat too!!! I ate a snack bar whenever I had that urge to get something sweet or when I had an emotional breakdown and "needed" something bad for me ;) Worked like a charm! I also got some Carb-Ease to take before meals where I had a lot of carbs. Cutting out sweets is tough on me...but carbs? Impossible! Literally I tried to go carb-free and I was STARVING b/c I just don't like enough variety of other foods to make up for the carb intake. I stuck with whole wheat everything though and the Carb-Ease helped digest those carbs so it wouldn't have a negative result on my meal plan!

I am BLOWN AWAY by Zach's results. He has ALWAYS been a size 38 pants (dude's got a booty!) and after his last Challenge we have been able to buy him size 36!!! He is now needing new belts as his belts are on the tightest they can go and they SAG down!!! I look at him and cannot get OVER how thin he is. It seriously takes me back to when were in college. I LOVE IT!!! He did a great job sticking to the plan and his results prove that! He is always on the go so the Advocare Meal Replacement Bars were a big help for him during times when he was tempted to drive through and pick up something to eat :) During this challenge he lost 11 lbs and 11 inches!!! He is down now (we finished up our Challenge the end of Jan/beginning of Feb so it'd been almost a month post-Challenge) to what he weighed in college. UNDER his original goal weight!!!

I did a great job being hardcore about following the plan during the Challenge. The ONLY area I failed with it was drinking enough water. I also did the work out dvd 7 times. Yes, only 7. Haha. But hey, it's 7 more times than I would have done it normally!!! Honestly...it's a SUPER great workout. Short. Easy to follow. Zach and I did it together and even had fun doing it. It's lack of motivation on my part, not the dvd's fault! I'm sure you mamas understand...it's TOUGH to find the time. And when I do have the time I wanna do stuff for myself that I enjoy...Plus even though the workout is only 24 min, I get sweaty and have to shower after. I shower at night so that means I gotta do the workout at night once the kids are in bed and I just struggle to FEEL up to doing it. I get lazy at night...I gotta work on that!!!

Anyways...on weigh-in day I was honestly pretty bummed. I had worked hard to stick to the plan and only lost 2 lbs. Which means I was still 2 lbs over my post-Challenge weight last time :( Then I took my measurements. I lost 13.5 inches in just 24 days!!!! How the heck is that even POSSIBLE?!?!?!? All my fellow Challengers said similar things...they had TONS of inches lost!!! I decided then that I just need to NOT WORRY with the scale and focus on the inches. That's what really matters, right??? Who cares about a number on a scale!!!!

The places I can tell the weight loss the most are my arms and thighs! I lost 2 inches in each thigh alone! Zach can tell a HUGE difference in those areas! When I first weighed in and all post-Challenge I felt like I still looked so bloated in the tummy. Well...it turns out I had my first pre-nursing cycle that week. Can I just say HOLY PERIOD?!?!? It was INSANNNNNNNE. Like the most insane one I've EVER had. Post-period I was WAY skinnier and felt so much better :)

After finishing up our Challenges we are continuing on products. I still want to lose more weight so I'm taking the MNS Max 3 packets every day, Thermoplus, and Catalyst. Plus I'm drinking a meal replacement shake each morning as well as my daily Spark. The only tough part to me is remembering to take the pre-lunch packet 30 min prior to lunch! Otherwise it's all so routine now that it's second nature. I LOVE the lifestyle. I can't say it enough...I love it!!! I have so much more energy, get more accomplished during the day thanks to enhanced mental focus, and I just FEEL better overall! No headaches, sleeping better at night, and losing weight too :)

Zach is also on MNS still but seriously, he's so skinny I don't think he needs to lose anymore!!! After he finishes up this box he's just going to take Omegaplex, Coreplex, Meal Replacement Shakes, and Spark to maintain his weight loss and healthier lifestyle. We are both doing great still eating right and making better choices with our food. We do have "cheat days" now and again but I have realized that it's NOT worth it. We went off product for a couple days while at the beach and I WOKE UP with a MASSIVE migraine. I felt disgusting. I wished I could puke it all up. That was a great lesson to me that "cheating" doesn't benefit anyone! We also went on a date night recently and I decided to stick with the plan and order a healthier meal (grilled chicken, veggies, plain baked potato). After the date I still felt pretty. I still felt GOOD about myself. Whereas usually when we go on dates I over-eat and feel YUCKY! Who wants to be intimate with their husband when they feel like garbage???? I prefer the confidence to the want-to-hide feeling ;)

Our plan is to stay with the products, the eating plan, the LIFESTYLE! Heck we get a 40% discount on everything so why would we EVER stop? That membership is a steal! Every three months we also plan to do another round of the 24 Day Challenge to help keep us motivated and our systems cleaned out ;) We plan to do our next round in April and would love for another group to join us! Swimsuit season is rightttttt around the corner so now is a great time to get beach ready!!!

I'm SUPER proud of EVERYONE who did the Challenge together! You can read about a lot of the results on Catherine's blog post HERE. I had a contest for the "biggest loser" and Shelia won with 16 lbs lost in just 24 Days!!! She lost over 8%!!! I'm especially proud of Brad, Courtney's husband, who is in LOVE with some Advocare. Dude is SO serious about it. Like never even ever "cheats" or anything :) He lost 22 LBS during the Challenge and is continuing on products in order to reach his weight loss goals! Courtney also had great results yet again and lost 7 lbs this go round! Girl is shrinking! We had a group of over 20 people do the 24 Day Challenge together and every single person saw results!!! Inches, pounds, more energy, you name it!!! Every person that I have met who has done the Challenge is thankful that they did it! It's worth the time, the money, and the effort because the results are real!!!!

I am thankful to have found Advocare (thanks Danielle!) not only do I LOVE the changes it has brought to my OWN life (and the extra income too!) but I am especially THANKFUL for the changes it has helped bring about in those I love!!! 

If you're interested in purchasing a challenge I recommend to totally sign up for the membership first. I wish we'd done it and I encourage everyone to do it now b/c why not start saving money from Day 1??? And get enough free Spark to drink 2 a day for your challenge if you want??? It's a flat $79 fee to become a member and then you get 20% off for life and they send you $50 worth of free product! Once you sign up you get your own website and can start ordering from there right away!!! You can sign up for a membership here: https://www.advocare.com/12089414/BecomeMember.aspx

I also recommend doing the Challenge TOGETHER! Got a husband? A friend? A family member? Get a group together like we did and help motivate and encourage each other!!! 

If you'd like to purchase a challenge without joining the membership you can do that here (I recommend picking the chocolate shake flavor!):https://www.advocare.com/12089414/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=99050&id=A&flavor=b

If you're wanting to get your body baby ready while trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are nursing you can purchase your version of the 24 Day Challenge here:https://www.advocare.com/12089414/Store/ViewBundle.aspx?bundleID=450907&type=B

Obviously if anyone has ANY questions feel free to contact me! After helping everyone get through their challenges I feel like a pro ;) My email is still the super mega lame one: deliasgoddess33@aol.com. Honestly though Facebook is the best way to contact me if possible! I tend to respond quicker b/c I don't have to shift through a ton of spam!!!

I'm proud of Zach and I and everyone who participated in this round of the Challenge with us. I'm excited to continue to lose weight...I want this baby pooch GONE! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Park Day, "Date" Night

Okay before I begin this post I have to give a QUICK Oscar recap from last night!

I haven't watched LIVE tv in YEARS and I enjoyed it so, so much! I cuddled up in the bed with my ipad and during the boring parts and commercial breaks I would check Twitter (Live tweets were so awesome! Made the show even better!) and browse Pinterest. I was overall really happy with the show. The Les Mis cast was phenomenal. I wasn't a huge fan of the Adele song? I mean she's great and all but that song was pretty boring to me? I'm not a big Bond fan so maybe that's why? I thought Seth did a good job hosting, the boob song was pretty funny! I thought there was a GREAT mix of winners from all the films. Happy for Anne Hathaway. Wish the little girl would have won Best Actress but I adore Jennifer Lawrence and her speech was precious. Glad to see Life of Pi so well recognized. Knew Daniel Day Lewis would win it and I didn't really want him to but his acceptance speech was awesome so I'm glad he pulled out the win! Michelle Obama about ruined it all for me. Ugh. 1st of all I don't get WHY the heck she was presenting?!? I like to live in a fantasy world where I pretend movies aren't political...she ruined that dream for me. Then it's like she went on a rant and got confused about the fact that she was PRESENTING an award, not giving an acceptance speech!!! Blah. Thankfully, Ben Affleck's speech saved the night and was BEYOND adorable. Love him. Loved Argo. Glad it won (thankful it wasn't Lincoln...if anything other than Lincoln had won I'd be okay!). Again, I think I picked a FABULOUS year to see all the Best Picture nominees! It was a year where they were all well-deserving as was reflected in the spread of the award winners...I think every one of them won at least one during the show last night? I prefer that than when one movie takes them all, ya know? Anyway...I did enjoy it so much that I kinda think I may try to do it again next year :) We'll see! Also during the In Memorium portion of the show I decided to try out one of those 2 min brownie recipes going around on Pinterest. It was SO YUMMY!!! I enjoyed it all by myself curled up in the bed ;) You can find the recipe for it here :) 


*****
We haven't been on a family vacation since LABOR DAY. I know. That's SUCH a long time for us! But we had a low-key holiday season and just haven't had anywhere to go. I really wanted to take the kids to see legit snow so we planned a weekend in Jan to take them up to Gatlinburg and stay at one of Mr Rusty's and Mrs Charlotte's condos. We had it all worked out where Zach was working up in Atlanta that week then I was going to meet him with the kids and we'd drive up as a family. I was pretty pumped about it then Mr Rusty found out they had the condos rented :( I was BUMMED. Glad for them to have that money coming in, but selfishly bummed for us! 

We tried to make the best of it and planned a really fun family day together that Saturday! That morning the guys went and did guy stuff (went to Big Daddy's house to get some wood of his for a project Zach was working on) and I chilled while Britt napped. For lunch the boys picked up Subway and we went to the neighborhood park for our first picnic of 2013 :)
SUCH a cutie!
Attempts at pictures of them together seem to be TOUGH lately!






We all had to look cool in our shades ;)



Haha I love how Britt is trying to sneak and grab his sandwich...homegirl will STEAL some food!

We tore up some sandwich for her and she LOVED it. She loves being a "big kid"



We have a playground at our house yet they STILL choose to swing whenever we visit another one!


Kye wanted to teach her to play the music!
Look how SKINNY he is!!! Post on our 24 Day Challenge results coming up!
First time climbing up this thing by himself. I tried not to have a heart attack.

Miss Adventurous wanted to do everything Kye did


That afternoon we planned to go out as a family and run errands then go eat dinner. Well, Britt had a fever :( We were worried that she was sick for the first time in her life but it ended up that she was cutting TWO molars at once!!! Bless her heart, she was miserable :(

Instead of our family going out together, just Kye and I hit the town! Zach had been gone all that week to Atlanta for work (he still had to go even though the Gatlinburg trip was canceled!). When he's gone for a good chunk of time we'll often tell Kye that if he doesn't get any spankings while Daddy is away then he'll get a prize. He behaved very well but Zach forgot to get him a prize so he gave him $3 he found in his car hahahaha! What the heck is the kid gonna do with $3??? So we hit up the dollar store and he got to choose three things to spend his money on.

He chose Peeps as his first thing. I wanted to say no, but I had told him he could spend HIS money on whatever HE wanted so I let him get them. He'd never had them before and they were pink so he was excited haha
What made me MOST proud was that he wanted to spend some of his money on Britt. 100% HIS idea and he picked out these Valentine's themed shaker noise maker things. He was super pumped to give them to her and she seriously LOVES them! It was so precious :)
The kid was def pushing my limits with his spending...first the candy, THEN the toy gun. Ugh. I'm not a fan of toy guns as it's natural for kids to point them at each other and I do not want to deal with having to discipline him over doing that. Luckily the gun he chose barely even worked. All the balls have gotten smushed and or lost. I'm anal about keeping up with toys and taking good care of things...unless the toy is one like this where I HOPE pieces get lost and broken ;)
We had originally decided to get Longhorn for dinner that night as a family as it's Zach's favorite AND I love it too so it's a great win-win place :) Kye still wanted to go there which surprised me! When we got there we waited for over 30 min for a table and didn't even have our food for 30 more min. My kid is awesome...I'm sure most kids his age would "need" to be playing on a phone with some kid app or something but he was GREAT. We visited and talked and met some strangers who we talked all about Disney with :) He never misbehaved or got antsy. We didn't have any entertainment stuff for him to do but we just enjoyed each other's company :) It was a wonderful time with my boy! 

During that meal Kye discovered his new love...honey mustard! They gave it to him with his chicken fingers and I didn't think anything of it but on his own he tried it and loved it! He also learned something else that night...anytime we eat out he asks if he can put "the sprinkle things" on his food (salt and pepper). We tell him no. Well that night he didn't ask me but just dumped a TON of salt and pepper all over his piece of bread before I could stop him! I told him to go ahead and try it (learn a natural lesson, right?) Sure enough, it was DISGUSTING and now he never asks to have it on his food anymore ;) 
Since he had been SO patient that evening and we had waited SO long for our food (poor kid was starving...we usually eat at 5:30 or 6 and it was like 7:15 when he finally got to eat!) I told him we could share a dessert. We saw so many yummy ones pass by us since we were sitting by the kitchen and we took up some of our waiting time by looking through the pictures of the dessert choices. He chose a s'more brownie that had marshmallows on top. I ate a little bit of it and it was pretty good, not as good as the cake they have their though for sure! 
While our weekend wasn't as exciting as a vacation to see snow would have been (which, btw, it LEGIT snowed up there that same weekend too...darn it!) we still had a great time as a family and it helped remind me that we DON'T have to go away to make great memories...as long as we're together the fun times never stop ;)


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