Monthly Archives: February 2015

On the Go Meals{& GIVEAWAY}

Meals must be thought out ahead of time in our house… not because I am all sorts of organized(that would be lovely). Instead it is from a whole slew of food allergies that make it almost impossible for us to eat on the go.  The list is twenty-four foods deep and not getting any smaller.  So we make it work with a large and in charge diaper bag full of necessities, because honestly no one likes a hungry preschooler(or toddler for that matter).   AND? My kids like to eat.  Luckily, they LOVE veggies, chicken, and all sorts of things I wouldn’t have thought to add into our diets that were lovely finds after being diagnosed with food allergies. On our visits to the Phoenix Zoo, that happen weekly, I bring enough food with us to feed them for six or more hours… and they usually eat every last bit of it.
Brother Sister Time
Snacks range from our Allergy-Friendly Chex Mix, fresh fruit and veggies, and their most favorite snack of all-what we like to call a “treat” for them is plain greek yogurt with fresh blueberries.  My one year old and three year old LIGHT UP when they see this snack make its way out of the diaper bag.  Of course, we need to make sure to say hi to all of the animals, run out the crazies at the pirate ship, and do our first lap before we sit down for our Zoo Picnic.  We usually stop at two spots to eat. This morning we TRIED to stay at one because Emma Marie’s favorite thing in the world(this week) is birds.  So ducks galore was her happy spot.
Feeding the Ducks
Unfortunately, as you can see in the background the geese thought the ducks were being fed by us and swam their way over… and they are definitely not the nicest.  So as the hisses started we all dashed for our other spot. Emma Marie ran the fastest… last time we saw a grown adult get attacked by one(not feeding the birds) and another get landed on while walking with a stroller.  Rowdy birds.
Tonight We Feast
Our FEAST was moved.  All hail the travel set!
Nuby Giveaway
Sweet, sweet sanctuary! We found our secluded spot overlooking the lemur island and set about getting out the goodies.  Emma Marie knew EXACTLY what treat we were having for lunch when I propped that on the table.  Greek Yogurt for the win!  And Nuby is letting me give away one set to you- my fabulous readers!

GIVEAWAY

So excited that you will get to see how invaluable this gem is for daily adventures. Find out how to enter below.
Picnic at the Phoenix Zoo
Too Cool for School.
Flamingo DanceOur new activity at the zoo? Act like all of the animals! Apparently talking like them is so last week… we went around and acted like every single animal we saw.
That’s right, we.  I was hopping on one leg like the flamingos… Good times were had by all!

NUBY MEALTIME TRAVEL SET

The Nûby™ Travel Set is designed to keep your baby’s utensils and your diaper bag clean, tidy and hygienic whilst out and about. The handy travel case comes with an easy to use spoon and fork set and is perfect for mom and baby on the go.

Available at these fine retailers:

    • www.buybabydirect.com
    • www.cookieskids.com
    • www.idealbaby.com
    • www.kidslandusa.com
    • Ross Dress for Less
    • DD’s Discounts
    • Bealls
    • TJ Maxx

GIVEAWAY

 
Now YOU can know how marvelous this set is!  Nuby is giving away one set of the Mealtime Travel Set!
There are FOUR total possible entries for this giveaway.
1.  Leave a comment on the bottom of this post on why you would want to win the Nuby Mealtime Travel Set. Please include your name and email in the post so that I can contact you if you are the winner!
2.  Follow As Cute as a Bug’s Ear on Instagram and  leave a separate comment on the bottom of this post saying you did so.
3.  Follow As Cute as a Bug’s Ear on Twitter and  leave a separate comment on the bottom of this post saying you did so.
4.  Follow As Cute as a Bug’s Ear on Pinterest and  leave a separate comment on the bottom of this post saying you did so.
Winner will be chosen by Random.org and emailed.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends 2/27 at 5PM Mountain Standard Time.
Connect with Nuby on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest to stay up to date with all of their new products and promotions.


*Disclaimer – I was provided a product for review as a Nuby Parent Blogger. No other compensation was received. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.

Soccer Summer Camp for my Preschooler

BRITISH SOCCER CAMP

Growing up I lived for soccer… through grade school playing against the boys(and winning), middles school, high school and on into college. LOVE soccer.  During the summer when I was little I loved the opportunity to go to soccer camps with my friends in the summer and I have some of the fondest memories from my time in cleats. Now that Raymond is three we are looking into getting him into some activities and naturally, soccer was the winner for this summer.  We also plan on doing swimming lessons as a family throughout the heat.

Our beloved Seattle Sounders team comes down to visit each year for training and we have traveled to see them each time! Love some baby photo ops with my favorite players.

From 2012: Rosales how I love thee.  As soon as the final whistle blew some of the players that played in the first round of the game(1 of 3, 45 minute mini-games) started heading back toward the dorms at the complex.  The hubby handed me the camera and I brazenly marched right across the field- who is going to mess with this mom?-not them.  I saw Rosales fleeing the crowd because well frankly it was cold and he had been sitting, watching with cold sweat(probably) for over an hour and a half and wanted to seek refuge.  I went straight up to him and asked if he would kindly take a picture with Raymond.  He gave me this HUGE smile and said, “Of course!”.  He grabbed him and immediately cuddled up with Raymond.  He even gave him two mini-baby kisses on the cheek!  Such a gracious athlete!

 

Oh, goodness I can not wait to see my little man at camp with friends this year! Seriously, two years ago he was just this little round bowl of joy.

BSClogoCOB

British Soccer Camp is the most popular camp in North America – 150,000 campers! With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert’s right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!

 

Summer Soccer Camp

ENROLL

Enroll you child in a British Soccer Camp today and receive a Free British Soccer Jersey – Sign up during Early Registration and we will immediately ship you a great looking British Soccer Jersey!

challengersports

 

COUPON CODE

PLUS – enter code FMG15 and we will include a bonus Challenger water bottle.

SEARCH HERE

http://challenger.mycustomevent.com/content/search

 

This post is sponsored by British Soccer Camp. As always, all opinions are honest and 100% my own.

 

 

 

A Day in the Life{Toddler & Preschooler}

I secretly(not so secretly now) love reading posts by my favorite bloggers of a Day in the Life… everyone’s days are so different and it’s refreshing to see just how “they do it” with their families. When Emma Marie was first born I wanted to write a post about this topic but all of our days looked so different that I just didn’t think it warranted a post. Now looking back I wish I would’ve taken the time to put some of our days in writing- that time with them so little was so fleeting-the lack of sleep with two under two got the better of me.

Our days still tend to change here and there with little ones getting sick, doctor appointments and such but I will be sharing what a typical day looks like for us now.

day in the life

6:30-7AM

I wake-up before the kids to check email, brush my teeth(shower sometimes), and change into whatever outfit warrants the days activities. Most notably that would be compression pants, tank top, and light running sweater.

Baby Fashion

 

Emma Marie picked out this outfit… before we had figured out where we were going. Girl’s got good taste.

7:30AM

Both or one say good morning and I’m off to rescue them. Raymond(3) is now fully potty-trained and he marches straight to the potty first thing when he gets up. He definitely wakes up slow… so no real talking to him until after his teeth are brushed and clothes picked out. Emma Marie wakes up with the biggest smile and points expectantly at the ground waiting for me to pick up her “Pup-Pup” that she ‘let free’ sometime in the night. She starts talking about her night and runs over to read one of her books. We brush her teeth, pick out her outfit and all head downstairs.

8:30AM

Don’t know why it takes us that long to get downstairs now… especially after re-reading the above paragraph-it just does.

I ask them what they would like for breakfast, they always get two choices, and set about making it. They greet their toys and run amok as I make coffee and plate their breakfast along with a big cup of milk. So glad that Emma Marie now LOVES milk. She easily eats and drinks as much as Raymond who is literally twice her size(weight). Our grocery bills attest to this.

9AM

Get them dressed for our activity of the day. Activities depending on date/temperature/kid’s temperament… I swear I could make a spreadsheet. Our go-to activities are: Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix Children’s Museum, Ride Bikes to Local Park, Rec Center, National Geographic Kids, Splashpad, Story Time, Schnepf Farms, and just playing in the backyard.

Diaper Bag Essentials

I pack up the diaper bag with all the necessities. Mostly now I just need to bring enough food- there are only two food safe places that we could stop for food if they got hungry so I usually bring the kitchen with us. I make a massive amount of Allergy-Friendly Chex Mix, bring pouches full of goodness, water bottles, and fresh fruit(bananas, apples, pears). I also throw in my back pack, double stroller, two swaddle blankets, make sure the obnoxious(but necessary) musical instruments are packed, and then load up the kids.

9:25AM

On this particular day we were headed to Schnepf Farms– one of our local favorites and completely kid-friendly. The drive out is about 25 minutes and we pass by tons of other farms which is perfect for two little kids on an adventure to “The Real Farm” as it has become known. As soon as we make it to the farm I pack up the backpack with the epi-pens, food, keys, water and we head out to check in at the bakery! Of course we stop and smell the flowers by the entrance.

After saying “Hi” to all of the people in the bakery and checking out their local goodies(the cinnamon rolls and brownies are amazing-along with their dinners-chili YUM). We(I) grab two goat cones and we take off toward the goats. Along the way we stop and say hi to the peacocks, play on the playground, say hello to the pigs, jump off a couple of stumps, and of course check both ways when crossing the train tracks. A real train went by on the other side of the road and BLEW THEIR MINDS. Til this day they had only ridden on small trains and I guess they look a lot smaller from the window of a Prius(how could that be?) than I thought. Seriously, BLEW THEIR MINDS. With their minds efficiently blown we set-off to see the goats. Both of my little ones love animals. We say hi to the chickens, roosters, sheep, and commence feeding the goats. There was another toddler that slid down this slide into the goat pen and until that day I had convinced both of my kids that it was the goat’s slide and that kids were not supposed to go on it. Not trying to be the un-fun mom but the slide is covered, COVERED, in feces and urine and well? Our Prius is small with tight quarters and I didn’t want to bring that smell all the way home each time. I mean our feet get covered but I toss those bad boys back in the trunk.

Preschooler

So today they saw a REAL LIVE TRAIN AND- AND THEY SLID DOWN THE GOAT SLIDE. Emma Marie nearly toppled over(don’t worry I was right there) and Raymond was at the bottom telling me, “Momma I got this”. I’m not even kidding. So instead of letting Emma Marie take him out, I save them both the pain(ignorance is bliss) and caught her at the bottom. We were then surrounded by goats. Kind of the point. But notably we have been to the farm probably 15 times at this point for hours at a time and had never, ever seen a kid go down this slide.

The goats were intrigued.

Raymond was smitten and immediately made it his mission to make sure that each and every goat got tended to.

Goat Whisperer

Emma Marie tried desperately to find a place where goats were not(impossible in a goat pen) and frantically ran in circles with her hands in the air. I need a Go-Pro attached to my head. Hands-free and family memories. WIN-WIN.

Raymond is now known as The Goat Whisperer. He is a kind and gentle soul. All of the babies clamored around him, perhaps(BIG perhaps) they were trying to escape other over-eager toddlers and felt calm and safe around the gentle giant… or he has a true gift. Either way, the babies stayed around him and fled all of the other kids.

This was the worst case scenario for Emma Marie and she made it her mission to break the record for climbing up me. She won. And my little girl clung to me for the remainder of the visit. Goats need to be tended to and appreciated from afar for Em. Lesson learned.

We made another loop through the barn, feeding the donkey, giving the sheep a good back rub, and saying hi to the new baby goats. NEW. Like brand-new National Geographic NEW. “Mom, why is the goat covered in red? Is that blood?” followed quickly with, “Save that baby goat mom he is hurt! Save him RIGHT NOW!” After a quick lesson in how baby goats are born, they were both led away from the scene.

Best Friends

I asked them if they wanted to go for a hike today. Sometimes we just start to go back to the Prius at this point, but it was a beautiful day and I wanted to give them both a choice. They both agreed and we set-off.

We hiked back toward where the corn fields are, past the peach blossoms starting to bloom, following the train tracks(not on the tracks) back toward the edge of the property.

Best Friends

We collected rocks, mud, sticks, and pine cones.

Baby Girl

 Emma Marie collected pine cones and kept picking out ones she liked better(for whatever reasons) and replacing the old ones. So much fun to just explore nature.

 

12:30PM

After three hours at the farm we were all hungry, hot, and tired.

We made it back to the Prius and I quickly got them in their seats, took off their shoes, and gave them their pouches, chex mix, and water. Both of them ate all of the food I brought and right before they were about to pass out I hand them the dreaded musical instruments that they adore. I only dislike them because they are literally a foot and a half from my head(tiny car) and LOUD. But this stops the dreaded car nap.

1PM

We get home and it is GO-TIME. Critical moments before nap time. Raymond goes to the bathroom. Everyone washed their hands, gets new clothes, white noise machines are turned on and both are tucked in. Emma Marie likes to be rocked(sometimes) so I get in some extra sweet cuddles with her.

1:30PM

Freedom. This is the time I usually un-pack the car, clear up breakfast, put toys away, change, eat lunch, tend to work contracts, and sometimes-just sometimes I sit outside with an iced-coffee. This is one of those days, plus it was a Friday. They rarely both nap and I took the time to sit and just soak in the quiet after a fabulous time on the farm. Of course I sat outside after all of the above was completed… but that was still a glorious 30 minutes of ME-Time. Glorious.

3PM

Both of them wake-up and we eat a snack at the table. Usually something with protein so they got “Scooby Sandwiches” which are turkey rolled around cheese. Kid-friendly and non-messy.

3:30PM

We head to the backyard for bubbles, playing on the castle, chalk, and sand turtle time. I weeded the yard as they played together. This age is so much fun to watch them grow as siblings and friends.

Best friends

4PM I prep dinner. I wash and cut veggies, and prep chicken kabobs.

Chicken Kabobs

 

4:30PM

Kabobs go on the grill and the the kids continue to play outside. I get the table ready and clean-up downstairs.

5PM

Dinner is ready. Both kids come in, take off their shoes, put them away and wash their hands before sitting at the table. Chicken Kabobs with yellow onion, and veggies on the side are for dinner. Both of them gobble down two plate-fulls of food. We talk about our adventures of the day and share our favorite parts. SO much fun watching them recount their days.

6PM

Clear plates and we are headed upstairs. Pajamas are out, books and toys are put away by each of them. Shower time for both. After playing with cars, foam letters/numbers/sea animals, both kids get toweled off and brush their teeth.

7:30PM

Lights out for both!

This means clean-up crew in the kitchen. I work-out and then work on contracts(if need be), but since this was Friday I relaxed(after working out) and caught up on some television shows I missed during the week. Big Bang Theory and Suits.

10PM

I call it an early night and it is lights out for me. Sometimes Raymond wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to use the restroom I take him… this happens probably 1-2 times a month. But I am just SO SO SO excited to be done with diapers(pull-ups) for one of the kids. And Emma Marie is already asking to use the real potty… WOOHOO.

 

The last time I wrote about our daily routine was for a Day in the Life of a Toddler and a Day in the Life of a Six Month Old.

Cue Mom Alligator Tears. Time. Never enough time.

The days may be long, but the years are short my dear friends.

 

Are You Pregnant?

No, Mom I’m not.  I know she reads my little blog and I may or may not have just given her a miniature heart attack… and for that I apologize. But in all seriousness? I got asked that question by two strangers at the zoo yesterday.

How brave do you have to be to ask if someone is pregnant? I know I only ask my dear friends(because I keep willing them to have babies) and have never been so brazen than to ask a complete stranger.

 

fit-mom-workout

Funny how life is sometimes.  Just when I think I’ve started to look like my normal self and BAM.

Reality check.

Maybe I do look pregnant to some? I feel awash with emotions at this topic.  I long to be able to have a third child and that is just not in the cards for us.  My heart gave out when I was in active labor with Em and I was not given very good odds at surviving another pregnancy.  So as much as my husband and I were not prepared to be done.  That chapter was closed, well slammed very unexpectedly.

Please know that we are very well aware at how lucky we are.  Both Raymond and Emma Marie are everything we could have asked for and we thank the stars that we get to be their parents every day.

The two women at the zoo started asking about the double stroller I was using and ended with the question, “Are you pregnant?” I thought it was a joke at first(weird thing to joke about with strangers-I now “get that”) and laughed… before realizing they meant the question and I said firmly, “No.” As I realized their intentions weren’t kind(by the looks on their faces) I motioned Raymond and Emma to head toward the next animal exhibit- but who wants to leave the cheetahs when they are running around? Nobody.

So as I herded them, reluctantly away  the two women smirked, laughed, and said, “Well, she looks pregnant.”

Ouch.

Ouch on so many levels. Fat shaming? Emotional grenade?

Goodness.  It hit me like a ton of bricks when I got home.  I put both kids to sleep and found myself aching inside as I sat by myself at the kitchen table.

There will always be those negative people in life. That mean to do harm. And I know I have a choice to listen or to ignore.

just because

 

I worked out hard last night.  I will continue to make healthy choices for myself and my life.

I just wanted to remind you that your choices matter.  How you treat people matter.  How you choose to act in front of your children? It all matters.

Choose kindness.

I am so thankful that I am surrounded in life and online by an incredible group of people that will always out shine those that mean to do harm.

Thank you for everything you do and for everything you are. ~Holly Marie

 

Body After Babies

After two babies and gaining and losing nearly 80 lbs in the past two years I feel like I finally can discuss my body.  Goodness do pregnancies differ, as well as recovery time for each birth.  With both pregnancies I started at an incredibly healthy and strong weight(hello college fitness level) and gained 40 lbs with each.  The goal was thirty… but well, forty happened and I didn’t kick myself.

Body After Babies

First Pregnancy

Worked out 4-5 days a week: Swimming Laps, 3 Mile Walk/Jogs, Yoga, Strength Training, Zumba

Weight Gained: 40 lbs

Weight Lost: By Six Weeks Postpartum.

Second Pregnancy

Worked Out 2-3 days a week: Zumba, Weights, Yoga AND Chased after my toddler(totally counts) every day

Weight Gained: 40 lbs

Weight Lost: By 16 Months Postpartum

Please note that I do not live or breathe by the number on the scale.  I weigh myself perhaps once a week, if that.  I prefer to go by how my clothes fit- those pre-baby(the pre-first baby jeans?!?) jeans fitting? That’s a win in my book.  Now, just because they fit doesn’t mean they look good… but that’s what flowy tops are made for… or at least that’s how I roll in my world of fashion “Do’s & Don’ts”.

Why did it take longer to lose the weight with Pregnancy #2? Honestly, I didn’t have as much energy to work out as with my first pregnancy because well, toddler.  And well I couldn’t just go swim laps, do yoga, or zumba when I wanted because well, toddler and lack of a gym membership with childcare.

Two distinct differences for my journey to weight loss.

With Raymond I was physically unable to breastfeed and with only a hand pump available(we couldn’t afford an electrical and they were not yet covered by insurance) I pumped for 30 minutes and would get 2-3 ounces and he would eat nearly every hour for the first week.  We had to almost immediately supplement with formula and there in-lies a sour spot that even I don’t want to talk about.  Women do not talk about breastfeeding not working.  We saw multiple lactation consultants to no avail.  I know why women do not talk about not being able to breastfeed.  I was thrust into the world of Mom Wars- a Mom War I didn’t even know existed.  I was publicly shamed on multiple occasions(too many that I lost track) for bottle feeding Raymond.  Strangers were the culprits, almost always.  Loved ones tried to support me but I was lost in the shame of not being able to feed my own child.  I stopped trying to tell my story because I realized people don’t want to listen.  I would choke back tears as people spit venom of hate.  I’m choking back tears as I even type this three years later and time has definitely not healed these wounds.  Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work.  Sometimes it isn’t even a choice.  And honestly it’s just none of your business. I lost all of the baby weight in six weeks with Raymond.  The fluffiness took work and at six months postpartum I was toned and proud to have my body back.

With Emma Marie we had latch issues early and went through four lactation experts until it worked at the hospital.  Emma Marie was completely breastfed.  Every single feeding.  She wouldn’t take a bottle.  Not one bottle.  Baby companies sent me ALL of their bottles and not one “worked” for us.

The Tale of Two Extremes: Body After Babies

Our breastfeeding journey ended after sixteen months.  She was no longer interested and it was time.  I didn’t lose one pound, not one single pound when I was breastfeeding.  As soon as I stopped breastfeeding I lost fifteen pounds in the first month, and ten each month since.  I am at a happy weight and am at the low-range for my height for body-mass-index- BUT I need to tone-up.  Hello fluffiness.  I am eating and working out the same as I have been for the past 18 months and it really just took for me to be done breastfeeding.  I fed Emma Marie all by myself for over a year and would not go back if I could and not breastfeed to lose the weight faster.  My body reacts differently compared to those that you see publicized(the exact opposite).

Seriously, two extremes.

So now after gaining and losing 80 lbs in the past couple of years I am working on getting my body back.  MY body back.  I am joining Allison from The Fit Tutor and completing her 8-week Get Fit Program. You get to choose your fitness level and the videos she posts to accompany the workouts help make sure that you are doing everything accurately and effectively. She is an incredibly motivational person and her positivity(if that was a word) is contagious.

In her own words, “I’m ridiculously passionate about helping busy women (especially moms) get and stay in shape. I believe strength training is essential for all women, and I want to make getting an effective workout doable, affordable, and efficient! I talk with moms all of the time about how they wish they had time, resources, etc for a personal trainer, so I made that happen. There are exercises for every level of exerciser, and I’ve combined them for effective workouts. There’s also a Workout Creator for people who want to go a step further and design their own. I really want to empower women with the knowledge and tools they need to get healthy, despite their limitations or crazy schedule.”

I am beyond excited to start today on working toward my goal of being toned and truly fitting into my pre-first baby jeans.  I took a range of “Before” pictures and my weight(not really important) so that I can post a true “After” with a healthy discussion of what worked for me.

My small dumb bells are out.  Workout clothes ready.  I am ready to begin!
Body After Babies

You can follow along a number of wonderful bloggers as they embark on the 8-week Get Fit Program too.  Check out A Whimsicle Life  for more information about The Fit Tutor.

COUPON CODE

Now YOU can join in with me for the first four weeks of the 8-week Get Fit Program! Come join me and let’s make this the year for us!

Code: BloggerFIT

 

Do you have any fitness goals in the New Year? Share!

How long did it take you to “feel like yourself” after baby?  How did you get your body back after baby? 

 

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