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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

End of NaBloPoMo!

While we were putting the babies to bed tonight Chad said, "Do you know what tonight is?" and I said, "Um, Wednesday?" and he said, "No, guess again!" and I said, "Harry's Law comes on tonight?" and he was like, "Geez, woman!".  Finally it dawned on me today is the last day of November, and therefore, the end of NaBloPoMo, my quest to blog every day in the month of November!  I made it!  Yay! 

Blogging day to day you don't think much really happens to you in a month's time, particularly in the life of a stay at home mom, where most days have the same general structure.  But after remembering some of my blog posts this month I realized quite a lot has happened. 

A brief recap of this month:

* My mom wrapped up her visit for the babies' first Halloween
* Brady started crawling
*The babies turned 9 months old
* Brady broke through 3 additional teeth!  Nuts!  (I blogged about two, I forgot to mention a third one I noticed about a week ago)
* We made our first Christmas ornament craft
* I baked my first pie
* Chloe learned to clap
* The blog surpassed 100 posts
* I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal and first turkey
* My family lost a loved one

Just like always, there were highs and lows.  There were days when posts were just pictures or maybe just an "I'm tired!" post.  I think that what NaBloPoMo did for our family blog is it let you into a little more of our day to day life.  Usually I post when something unusual/momentous happens, whereas blogging every day meant that some posts were more general in nature. 

I would say the one main thing I learned from doing NaBloPoMo is that if you are committed to doing something, you will find the extra time or energy to see it through.  A lot of times nowadays I find myself saying "I don't have time to do x,y,z" and usually the thing I am thinking about doing is something for myself or for Chad and I to enjoy.  It is just a reality of parenthood that most of your energy is devoted to the well being of your children. 

There are several different things that we'd both like to get back into doing that I would like to see if we can set aside some time in our busy lives to do.  NaBloPoMo has shown me that this is possible if you commit yourself to finding space/time for your goals. 

Well, that's all I have for today.  Sorry no pictures!  I will definitely be taking a blog break for a while, not sure how long or I may just post intermittently as I feel like it.  We'll see!  Have a great night everyone!

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eeek!

The Blogger website is acting up right now and I only have a few hours left to post for today!  I have definitely NOT come this far with NaBloPoMo to miss a day because of the Blogger website breaking down!

I really don't have a lot to say tonight, I am still trying to process what has happened in my family so I'm just going to show you a few pictures of our day.

Mommy confession:  Every now and then when I could use a boost in the morning, I pack the babies in the car jammies and all, and we all go two minutes down the road to the McDonald's drive thru and I get a biscuit and a sweet tea and drive right back home.  This morning was one of those mornings.


Her pink boots are from her Meepie.  Thanks Meepie!


Brady was goofing around during one of today's feedings.  He thought it was hilarious that I used a baby wipe to get sweet potato out of his hair.  Chad calls these bibs their "lobster shack" bibs, LOL.


This picture was actually from yesterday.  The babies are really obsessed with remotes right now.  This is a toy one we bought for them, but they still prefer to play with our real ones.


That's all she wrote today.  Feeling very tired, please keep thinking of our family.

 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Remembering Aunt Susie

I got a call this afternoon that my Aunt Susie was involved in a car accident and passed away this morning.  This was very sudden and terrible news to receive.  Everyone in our family will miss her dearly. 

Growing up I had a lot of great memories of Aunt Susie.  She was often the host of McDowell family parties at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and a lot of parties in the summertime too.  When you were going to Aunt Susie's house you knew you were going to have a great time.  Aunt Susie had a great laugh and a great smile, she was always the life of the party and she was always a great host.  She made the most amazing homemade macaroni and cheese and chocolate pies ever.  She was the main inspiration that made me want to include these items in my first Thanksgiving meal for my own little family.  Mom and I had a lot of great shopping excursions with Aunt Susie during family trips.  She and my Dad were very close siblings and they loved each other very much.

We all have our own special memories of her and we will hold them close to our hearts.  Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Brunch!

Today we had a very fun day out with the babies.  Chad's coworker and friend Monica invited us out to brunch at this very neat restaurant called Tiny Boxwoods.  It was an indoor/outdoor cafe that also had a garden/nursery attached to it.  They had delicious orange juice and cinnamon rolls, yum!

The interesting thing was that I don't think this is the type of place that sees very many babies, in fact, they had a total of TWO highchairs for the whole place, and of course we needed both of them.  I think some of the other diners were surprised we would bring our babies there, but in all fairness it was morning, not the more formal evening time and also our babies were extremely quiet and well behaved.  I also made sure to pick up any baby puffs we left on the floor. I was very proud of how the babies conducted themselves.  I do believe that there are places that are not appropriate to bring babies (movie theaters, concerts, formal dining places especially at night, etc).  I also believe that you can't let having children limit you from going most places and that babies benefit from a range of different experiences.  In any event, we had a great time at brunch with our friends and I think no one's dining experience was compromised by the presence of our little ones.

Today it was legitimately cold outside (in the 50s probably?) and we did have to wait outside for a table for a brief time, less than five minutes.  The babies were dressed fairly warmly, but I found myself wishing they had hats on.  So after brunch we went and bought them hats at Old Navy.  I know I am biased, but I think they sure did look cute in them!

Here are some pictures from our day:

Ready to go to Brunch!


Chloe says hi at Brunch!


In our stroller at Old Navy!


Poor buddy conked out while we were in Target!


New hats!


Chloe likes her new hat!


Brady didn't like his hat as much, but Daddy got him to laugh!


That is all for today!  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! 

 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

100th Post!

Today marks the 100th post for the Ringley Family Circus!  Since I've been blogging every day during the month of November for National Blog Posting Month I reached 100 posts a lot faster than I otherwise would have.  Posting every day this month has been an interesting undertaking, and there were certainly some nights where it was right down to the wire.  I've learned a few things from this experience, but that is for another day and another blog post. 

It was another low key day in our household since it was rainy and "cold" outside.  I took a chance and called my hairdresser to see if she had an open appointment today, and I guess the holiday weekend and terrible weather was working in my favor since she did have an opening!  I was thrilled to get a chance to go out and get my hair highlighted and trimmed.  I am very lucky that Chad was happy to watch the babies for me so I could go out and get my hair done.  It was one of the rare days that I had makeup on and my hair wasn't just pulled back in a pony tail!  I enjoyed my time talking with the ladies at the salon, but of course I also had to show off my pictures and videos of the babies from my phone. 

Speaking of pictures, I think I only took one picture of the babies today!  I looked through my older pictures and found a couple from a few weeks ago I never posted so I will leave you with those for today. 



Have a great night everyone!

 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fun Friday!

Today we enjoyed a fun day at home.  We didn't go out and participate in any of the Black Friday madness.  With two babies and a giant double stroller it is difficult enough to navigate stores and go shopping on a regular day, much less a crazy holiday shopping day like today. 

Instead we ate delicious leftovers and got our Christmas tree and ornaments down from the attic.  I was nervous about putting up the tree with the babies around, particularly how Brady would react to it since he is crawling and pulling up on everything.  I decided to only put up ornaments that were either fabric, wood, and some porcelain but I made sure to put those on the higher branches.  No glass ornaments this year and nothing with hooks.  We only decorated the front top 2/3 of the tree, but at least it is festive and I still feel relatively safe with it around the babies.  I was surprised that Brady only stopped to tug at a bottom branch once or twice and then he scooted after something else.  Apparently his short attention span is working in our favor!  I imagine as time goes by and it becomes more familiar it will receive less and less attention. 

Chloe had a big day today, she started to push up and rock as if she wants to crawl.  She was also quite the roller and scooter today.  While I was decorating the tree she scooted herself all the way under it!  She liked it for a few minutes and then cried for Chad to get her out.  I am excited for her and I bet she will be more mobile very soon. 

In the afternoon we all went out for a walk around the neighborhood.  We stopped by a really neat new frozen yogurt place we'd never been to before.  You picked out the size cup you wanted, then there were self serve soft serve machines with tons of flavors, and then an area where you put on your own toppings.  You just paid for the size you selected at the end.  It was a bright and fun place and very kid friendly.  There was even a neat wall-size chalkboard kids could doodle on.  Chad and I shared a cup, his half was cake batter with a Reese's topping, my half was chocolate with Sour Patch Kids!  Both flavors were delicious!  Since we shared a cup I think it was only $4! 

Here are some pictures from today:

Chloe helping me with the tree!


Bright mural!


Fun Chalkboard for the kids to doodle on!


Our delicious yogurt!  Cake batter with Reese's and Chocolate with Sour Patch Kids!


Brady and Chloe weren't sure...I bet they will love this place when they are older!


Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving break!  

 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day celebrating with your families.  Since we made our big trip home back in September, my Mom came for Halloween, Chad's Mom is coming in December, and my Dad and Stepmom are coming in February, that meant it was just us for today.

Although we missed our families and thought of them throughout the day, we were able to see many of them through Skype on the computer and talk to others on the phone.  We are so lucky that we live in a time where technology allows us to still connect with our families even when we don't live nearby.  Even though it isn't the same as being there in person, it does make it easier when we can see and hear from our loved ones. To all of our family members back home, we love you and miss you!

Since we were staying home for Thanksgiving, I decided to give cooking my first turkey a try.  I was really nervous but it turned out very moist and cooked all the way through!  I was relieved!  I also cooked Paula Deen's crockpot macaroni and cheese, and I baked another chocolate pie.  Both turned out great!  I know that isn't a complete Thanksgiving meal but since I was only cooking for two people and I was nervous about the turkey I decided to keep it small and simple.  As it is we will have several days worth of turkey, mac and cheese, and pie left over!  Now that I know how to handle a turkey I think I will feel more confident in adding more menu items next year, especially if we have more guests.

Today and every day I feel overwhelmed with gratitude.  I will never be able to adequately express how grateful I am for my husband, my children, my family and the time I have with them.  Since Brady and Chloe have come into our lives, I feel I've gained a greater and deeper understanding of the importance of family and cherishing your loved ones.  I will always try to remember that not only during the holiday season, but in general.

To everyone reading, I hope you and your families enjoyed a great day together.  I will leave you with a few pictures:

Turkey!




Paula Deen's Crockpot Mac and Cheese


I realized just before we put the babies to bed tonight that I didn't take a single Thanksgiving picture of them today!  So, this picture in their PJs will have to suffice for this year! 


Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night! 

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is It Wordless Wednesday Yet?!?

Today is Tuesday, so I can't get away with a wordless post, but I will keep it short today because I am tired.  I am so glad Chad is off of work the rest of the week, I am really going to enjoy the extra time with him and I know the babies will love having him around more! 

I put the turkey breast in the refrigerator today to begin defrosting.  Tomorrow we are going to the grocery store to pick up some last minute items for Thanksgiving.  We plan to put up our Christmas tree over the break, and also to follow our annual tradition of watching Christmas Vacation and Home Alone, our two favorite Christmas movies.  Other than that, we hope to just have a relaxing break enjoying our time together. 

I will leave you with a few fun Chloe pictures.  Her hair was out of control today!  She had a major "floof" as we call it.  Loved it! 




Good night everyone!

 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Something New Every Day!

Today was a pretty normal day, just our regular routine of eating, playing, and naps.  The funny thing is, even on a regular day exciting new things can happen! 

On the food front, for our two breakfast meals we had blueberry yogurt with whole grains, scrambled egg yolks with cheese, and avocado mixed with banana in addition to two servings of formula.  At lunchtime we had some whole grain pasta pick ups, baked sweet potato puree with cinnamon and real butter, and formula.  Around late afternoon we had formula and apple blueberry puree.  At our last feeding of the day we had formula and vanilla banana custard.  I would say it was a great day of eating quite a variety of foods.  Making some of the food for the babies is messier and takes a bit longer, but I think there will be several benefits for the babies including helping them to ease into the transition of eating more table foods. 

While holding Brady upside down and tickling him I discovered that he has another two top teeth coming in on either side of the front middle ones!  So once they break through he will have six teeth!  For some reason he has a habit of always getting two teeth at a time.  Sheesh! 

The babies have also recently graduated from using their inflatable ducky tub to taking a bath without an infant tub like big kids!  They had the best time splashing around tonight!

Well, that is all for today.  I will leave you with a few pictures:

Brady's attempt to get Sabrina!


Splish Splash! 


Goodnight everyone!
 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Made My First Pie and Chloe Clapped!

Ha ha, well, I did make my first pie and Chloe did clap today, but sadly she wasn't applauding my new-found pie-making skills (yet, at least).  I think my pie turned out pretty well, it LOOKS good, but I'll have to wait until Chad and his coworkers try it at their Thanksgiving pot luck tomorrow to determine whether or not it tastes good.  All parts of it were homemade with the exception of the crust.  By the way, making meringue is not easy!  I have been reassured by several excellent bakers and friends of mine on Facebook that it will keep just fine in the refrigerator until tomorrow.

My First Ever Pie!  Chocolate Meringue


The only thing is that I wish the meringue would have turned out a little fluffier/higher, but I'll take it! 

As I said yesterday, Chloe started clapping for the first time while we had some friends over last night, and that I would try to get a video of her doing this today.  I was able to get a quick video of her clapping, so here it is:

Chloe Clapping!

video

That is all for today, I will hopefully report back tomorrow about whether or not the pie was any good!

 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Few Firsts

Today I went grocery shopping for two important reasons, our first Thanksgiving meal prepared solely by us and for us, and a few new food options for Brady and Chloe.  I bought items needed to bake my first pie (I am not a big pie person and neither is Chad, but I love chocolate pie and so I've decided to try and bake that), my first turkey (it is only a 7 lb turkey breast, but I'm counting it!), and also Paula Deen's crockpot macaroni and cheese.  I made her macaroni and cheese last year and it was very good, although this year I think I will cook it for a little less time.  This won't be our whole meal, but this is what I have planned so far.  I need to find a way to get a vegetable or two in there somewhere!

I also bought sweet potatoes and avocados for Brady and Chloe.  Tonight we gave them some grated cheese as finger food (this was something the doctor suggested as a food with more fat in it) and they LOVED it.  They definitely are our children!  Today I also baked a sweet potato, mixed in real butter, a little bit of juice, and ground cinnamon and pureed it in the blender.  This got mixed reviews but I think it was less about the food and more that they just weren't very hungry at the time I tried to introduce it (after they just finished a full bottle).  I had enough sweet potato puree left over to fill 3 large glass baby food jars and refrigerate them, so I will see how they like it tomorrow.  I am also looking forward to trying avocado mixed with either bananas or cream cheese tomorrow.   It's so exciting now that the babies are getting older they can really enjoy a wider range of food items and we can start to incorporate foods that are closer to what we actually eat. 

Both Brady and Chloe had other firsts today that did not involve food.  Brady was hanging out on the couch with Chad today while he was watching Star Wars on blue ray.  When a light saber battle came on the screen, Brady was completely engrossed.  There isn't much that can capture his attention for longer than a minute or two at a time, but he sat quietly with Chad and watched intently for probably 10 minutes.  It was adorable!  Chloe's first happened when we had some friends over to watch the OU game tonight.  Chloe and our friend Katie were playing when suddenly Chloe started laughing and clapping her hands.  Then of course we all said "Yay!" and clapped our hands too.  She did it several times tonight, so I am hoping I can catch her clapping her hands on video soon. 

Brady is enthralled with Star Wars


That's all for today!  Night night!


 

Friday, November 18, 2011

9 Month Dr. Appointment!

This morning the babies had their 9 month well check appointment with their pediatrician.  They did excellent, and today they only had to have 1 shot (Part II of the flu shot they received in October).  Their next well check appointment is just after their First birthday!  How on Earth did my babies get to be so grown?  We have a lot of exciting times ahead and a lot to look forward to, but I can't believe my tiny babies are getting so big now!  Here are their stats from today:

Chloe Renee Ringley

Height: 28 1/2 inches (80th percentile)
Weight: 16 lbs 14 ounces (17th percentile)

At 9 months old, Chloe is an amazing little girl!  She is very talkative and very social.  She is generally very happy and adapts to whatever situation she is in with ease.  She loves to play with her toys and is very interested in figuring out how things work and what causes things to move or make sounds.  She has three bottom teeth.  Her hair is growing very long and she has beautiful long eyelashes.  She knows to smile for the camera/iphone and is a real ham about it.  She will also reach out to the camera/iphone as if she is reaching for a person.  She is an excellent eater and sleeper, including naps and nighttime.  Her favorite food is bananas by far.  In general, Chloe is just a joyful little baby girl! 

Brady Matthew Ringley

Height: 30 1/2 inches (97th percentile)
Weight:  18 lbs (12th percentile)

At 9 months old, Brady is a wonderful little boy!  Right now, Brady just wants to move, move, move.  He wants to pull up/stand up as much as possible.  He is crawling everywhere, and one of his favorite things to do is scoot around the floor pushing along a toy.  He is more reserved in terms of talking or social activity, but is very loving and you can always get lots of giggles out of him by holding him upside down and tickling him.  He has 4 teeth, two bottom and two top teeth.  His favorite food is really anything.  He is good about eating any pureed food we give him, even vegetables!  Like his sister, he is also a great sleeper, for naps and nighttime.  Brady has a very brave and adventurous spirit and is not afraid to try anything! 

The only thing the doctor said we needed to work on was getting them to gain some more weight.  They are good eaters and eat until they are full 5 times a day, but they still need to put on some more weight.  One thing the doctor suggested is avocados.  Avocados are full of the good kind of fat (I know, I didn't know there was a good kind either!) and so they are a great food for babies.  I found some interesting recipes online, including one where you mix it with banana that I am excited to try.  The doctor also said to bake a sweet potato and mix in real butter for them!  I am looking forward to trying out these new food options for the babies. 

I will leave you with a few more pictures.  It was actually a little "cold" here today, so of course we had to dress in our cold weather clothes while we have the opportunity.  Brady's flannel onesie is Osh Kosh and is from his Meepie, thanks Meepie!







Happy Friday everyone! 

 
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