Monday, November 28, 2011

So we're totally crazy!

This? Is Bella. The latest four-legged addition to our family. Please join me and welcome her to our household. Isn't she so precious? And sweet looking? She is just that - honestly. I'm sure having her around will be one of the best things for our crew - I can tell it already.

And as for me? Well, I'll develop a few gray hairs in the process, I am sure.

Today was our first day home, me, the kid, the dogs and the cats (who? right. More on them later!) and we've had a pretty good day. The pups just got a bit crazy now, but we've been outside a LOT, which is excellent. And good for us all.

Fresh air. Sunshine. Vitamin D. Melatonin. Rainy winds. Mud. Dirt. Running. Laughing. Loads of fun.

What more can a family need - right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Almost a month!

How awful! I cannot believe I let a month go by without updating with some new shots of the kiddo. My major bad!

We have had some outside time, which has been nice, and fall is here (sometimes) in NC. It's not all the time, but we're getting there. Last night was nice and cool and I loved it. We took an evening walk, just the two of us, as her daddy is up in bed (appendectomy last week) recuperating.

She was chilly, so we grabbed a sweater for her and then she was good to go. I think she would have stayed out there all night, so my plan is to walk tonight, as well. If anything, she fell asleep pretty quickly, so that might have helped - right? Can't hurt to try again and see!

So, here are a few shots of us picking out pumpkins:

See how strong she is? It was pretty funny to watch her try to pull these pumpkins. I could barely do it myself! Good thing we went when we did or we would have been pumpkin-less this year.

Stay tuned as I hope to do a Halloween flashback post to see how much she has grown over the years. Should be cute to look at. Once I get it done ...

Happy not quite yet Halloween ... I promise to get back before the 31st!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Whole Month!

Can you tell it is summertime here in NC? It's so danged hot that I don't even think straight - let alone about being outside for any extended period of time. Sigh.

So I totally fell off and slacked on the creative moments for my little one. Indoors we're sitting in front of the TV a little too long. And outdoors we're pretty much running indoors when we can after a short stint in the summer heat.

We did do a few fun things over the last four weeks, though, despite my not taking the time to document them as they were happening.

One of our typical weekend Jeep rides:

The kiddo took her first flight from New York to North Carolina and I took one picture before take-off and one when we were in the air:

So here's hoping it cools down a bit and maybe we get to do some more fun and exciting things outdoors. But in the meantime we're sticking to indoor playdates and (as we did last weekend) bowling.

Hope you're all staying cool somehow!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Turtle Rescue!

The kiddo and my husband were out on Sunday morning and they came across a turtle in the road. So, what did they do? They rescued it - of course!

Hubby pulled the Jeep on over, picked up Mister Turtle (or perhaps Miss?) and brought him/her over to the kiddo before setting the lil fella (sounds so much cuter if it was a he, doesn't it?) on his way.

Here's the single shot that he took and I had to share here ...

Scavenger Hunt Around the 'Hood

After going a little stir crazy the other day I decided it was cool enough to head outside for a little bit and needed to come up with something to do after we got bored with bubbles.

What better way to occupy ourselves on a short but fun walk than an outdoor scavenger hunt?

We made a list (and I used it to teach spelling and letter sounds) and came up with things like:

* rocks

* sticks

* flowers

* grass

* leaves

And whatever else we came up with. I made sure to have our list and a pen in my pocket as we walked down the street looking for treasure.

Here are some pictures of our finds:

I especially love the way I edited this last picture to have an "old photo" feel, as the table was my parents' old kitchen table and is now ours. Those rounded edges just seem to work, don't they?

So if you're looking for something to do with your little ones, just head outside and see what Mama Nature has in store for you every single day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I've been OOT!

But I wanted to say that while I was away my husband did a more than incredible job at getting our kiddo outdoors. Apparently they hit the zoo one day (hours and hours of outdoor fun)! And then they were blowing bubbles outside (we even did a little bit of this yesterday, which gave me MY fifteen minutes), kicking around a soccer ball and so much more.

Anyway - here are a few pictures of our New York trip. I'm way slack as I was not blogging while I was away, and skipped a bit before I left, too, but plan to get back on track this week, if only for myself!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Working backwards ...

So yesterday we went to a friend's house for a playdate. We walked over (outside time!) because they live down the street from us. The girls played bubbles a bit and then we made our way into the backyard where they spent some time playing tag, digging around the fairyland sandbox created by mom (it's adorable!) and did some running, jumping, sliding and refreshing with water after.

Then last night when my husband got home we took a nice stroll, and even took Dexter with us. Fortunately it was cool enough outside. Here's hoping the nights - and even the days - stay that way!

Wednesday was a pretty mellow indoors kind of day, but we more than made up for that yesterday, and the day before. And the day before that, too. She did get outside a bit by herself, which is also fine by me. She didn't do too much out there, but probably had just about fifteen minutes before she came back inside.

Tuesday we took a nighttime stroll, which was nice. It's the perfect time of night to get out, after seven, as it's cool enough and nobody is really around. Except for our neighbors. Which is fine, as our daughter loves their little boy. And he really is too cute.

Monday was our first day back in NC after a long drive home the day before, so we were out and about in the Jeep quite a bit. And she had some water table/hose time outside, which was (and usually is) great fun for her. It cools her down and it's a lot of fun splashing around like that. Even if it is [supposed to be] from the waist up! We also hit the bookstore and walked around the shopping center there while hubby caught a movie. Kiddo and I walked for ice cream, and then did a little bit of shopping, and more walking - but not too much. It did get warm out there.

I still need to load the NY pictures, but we definitely had lots of outdoors time captured on film. Between my mom and I, we're bound to have some fun shots to share. Looking forward to seeing them again myself, and on an object larger than a camera screen.

Find yourself that fifteen minutes and get out that door! :)

As for me, for today, we'll stay in for a bit and head out later when it cools down some.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More like days ...

Our fifteen minutes has been more like day after day after day.

We're in NY right now, and the time outside has been unlimited. Odd, no? In that normally you'd think the opposite and consider that we might be outdoors more back home in the South. But not so much when it comes to that crazy heat. But Brooklyn is giving the Triangle a run for its money. With a 98 or 99 degree forecast for tomorrow. Holy cow!

We've kept pretty busy round here. With a trip to the park and playground on Monday with my dad, brand new soccer ball in tow! And yesterday we hit Coney Island. And man, it was hot! With what should have been a capital "H"! Whew!

After the rides and the craziness, we went to the boardwalk for a bit and then missy wanted to hit the playground on the beach. Yes, a small area with a slide and some climbing spots IN the sand. Don't worry, I took pictures - so I'll be sure to share at some point.

It's been lots of fun, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was ready to hang up my hat (that I so haven't been wearing but probably should have yesterday!) and stay indoors for a bit. So that is the agenda for today!

Stay cool. but don't forget your fifteen minutes outside whenever you can fit them in! For us today's should cover walking the dog (he's getting loads of fifteen minutes in every day up here!) and a stroll over to all get our nails done. Which I'm sure will be lots of fun, as well.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fry an egg on the sidewalk HOT!

Ugh. It is so friggin hot down here it's ridiculous. Seriously. I'm losing my mind with the heat. I kid you not, but I wish I were. Whew.

Yesterday we didn't play outside, but she got a lot of fun painting and Lego time in. Better than how today has been, which has mostly been TV and computer time. Not cool, I know. But seriously it's so hot out there I probably COULD fry an egg on the sidewalk. If I were able to tolerate looking at eggs that long. Blech.

But we did get out of the house yesterday. So that was a good thing. Hubby picked us up and we were headed to Chili's for dinner as it was Kids Eat Free night. And they even had a balloon artist there. Pretty cool, right? Yeah, it was. Especially since we were indoors.
Ha. I'm punny ...

But as we took off in the Jeep, top up but windows and sides down
(technically that could be considered outside, if you look at it thoroughly, right?) we spot a small Jack Russell walking down the street. Just strolling along by itself.

My husband and I looked at one another and he backed the truck up. OK, the Jeep, but you get me ... and he called to the pup and she came over and hung with us as we tried to contact her owner. No luck after two voicemails, so we went back to the house and got our leash, held onto her that way and ultimately ended up with our fifteen minutes outside rescuing a lost pupster and walking her home to her mama.

Her name was Jackie, and if I had been quick enough I would have snapped a quick shot of her with my phone. But I didn't. Plus, Dexter would have been way jealous, I'm sure.

Anyway - that was that. And if it happens to cool down at all tonight then maybe we'll be lucky and have an opportunity for a walk. Cause man, this heat is a killer!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day three!

Today I got to sleep in as my daughter and husband left the house early to head to a hamfest. As in ham radio. Or something like that. So while I know she had some outdoor time, and we had loads of fresh air while driving around in the Jeep today - we also had a good dose of outside play tonight after hubby left to go catch a movie.

She wanted to jump rope, which I was up for, but then decided she couldn't decide what to do out there. It was around dusk, and the bugs were starting to come out, and bugs love me, so I knew I wasn't going to last very long. But we did make it a good 20+ minutes.

We started off with jump-roping, her - not me - I wasn't given a chance today. And then she was watering flowers randomly. Weeds are more like it. But we did go to ACE Hardware today to look at some chairs for the yard, and then some birdhouses, and also - GASP - vegetable plants. Because maybe, despite my black thumb when it comes to flowers, maybe I can actually plant a garden of some sort and see if we can create and grow our own food. It sounds doubtful, I know, but hubby seems to think he can affordably create an area that he can fence off and we can grow stuff like cucumbers and zucchini, or maybe even tomatoes. Mmmn. I may need to get my hands on a topsy turvy. And yes, I mean the "as seen on TV" kind!

We ended our outdoor semi-adventure playing ball. Basketball, and rolling a bouncy ball and soccer ball, and then some bouncing. And then she raced for one and landed hands-first into the mud, which was a perfect opportunity to close up shop and head inside for a nice, long, pre-bedtime bath.

And we'll see what tomorrow will bring, because Sundays = swimming around these parts, so our 15 minutes and then some might be indoors, and in the pool, but we'll see what else we can get ourselves into before the day ends.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day two!

I am so proud of myself. I even took pictures (but hang tight, I'll try to post picture recaps on the weekends, if I can remember to do so!) today.

First, it's a crazy rainy day out there. But the child decided she wanted to get out. So we went out back for a bit, but the dog was flipping out. As he is likely to do when the winds are whipping and thunder is booming in the distance. So I decided it'd be better to go out front, shut the door behind us and enjoy the looming weather from our porch.

So we did, for a while, but every time a drip of rain came down, she ran for shelter. We had on rain boots (I still need a pair, and I covet these shown below - but for now I wore my husband's black ones), raincoat - her /windbreaker - me and I was armed with the camera.

And I took some cute shots of her in her coat, dress, leggings and boots. Mostly dry shots. Because of course, when we stepped back out later and the rain was streaming down in buckets (or in what would have filled buckets, had we had any) I left the camera inside. And it was then I was most proud of myself. Because I let my beautiful four-year-old-daughter stomp in mud puddles and get fully soaked to the bone. I let her pull back her hood and enjoy the fresh raindrops splashing onto her face. And I didn't even flinch when she stared straight up and caught the water on her tongue.

"Rain tastes like water!" she shouted.

"It is! It is water!" I shouted back, from my mostly dry spot on the porch.

This time I didn't prepare myself to come out. I left my windbreaker inside, sure that since she fled from the mini-shower a moment or two before, she wouldn't be interested and would come back in immediately. She proved me wrong! And it was fun. And yes, I did run off the porch and into the storm for a moment or two myself, because you know what? I love the rain!

And I hate umbrellas ... but I really want those rain boots!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Starting today!

Last night we went to Barnes and Noble and I came across this incredible book, at least it seemed really cool, so I decided to buy it, because who could ever have too many books, right?

Anyway, here is the book info: Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids, by Rebecca Cohen.

Something in this book triggered something in me, and I started today! So despite the crazy NC heat, I am going to get my child outside for at least fifteen minutes every day. And if that doesn't work then I am going to promise to commit to fifteen minutes of movement INSIDE every day, as best I can.

I started that last week with a workout on the Wii and reminded myself that my incredible doctor told me that fifteen minutes on that would be enough for me, every single day. Every day. And I have not been doing enough of it, so I start now.

Basically this blog is my entry into the world of fifteen minute increments, and a reminder to myself that quality is much more important than quantity! And if fifteen minutes is all you have to give, then that will have to be enough.

Today, Day 1:

We played outside in the backyard, drawing on the concrete of our "patio" area with sidewalk chalk. Then we played basketball for about twenty minutes or so. Then we went out front, drew some more artwork, rainbows and rainclouds, and then the kiddo taught me some ballet moves. We also got in a family walk after dinner, once the hubby got home, and took the dog with us, too.

So, there you have it. Day one of our fifteen minutes (and then some!) complete. See you tomorrow!