Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rollin'


Rosie is MOVING!  So not crawling, but doing exactly what her big brother did right before he crawled: she's a roller!  And she is officially ALL OVER THE PLACE.  She gets sooooo close to crawling (on all fours, rocking back and forth), then she just flops down and starts rolling.  Whatevs, you do you, Rosie.

Anyways, Mike suggested putting this gem of a song in the background to a video I took of Rosie rolling around the other day and OMG, I'm dyinggggg.  Pretty hilarious, isn't it?!!  I mean, we've used this song before...once or twice...(here and here), so naturally it was a good fit for Ro to have it used in her rollin' video as well.

I'm sure Sister Bear will get her own crawling post as soon as she gets going, but for now, this is her primary mode of transportation.  Roll on sister, roll on.

Bye-Bye Bottles, Rosie Edition

ALMOST exactly 2 years ago I posted this exact same statement:

I have literally just packed up every single Dr. Brown's bottle and put them into storage.  Until the next kid, bon voyage bottles!


They all got a good washin' last night in the dishwasher and have been dried and packed away until #3 comes along.  I cannot tell you how excited I am about this...well, yes I can, hence the fact that I'm writing this blog post.

Anywho, I remember with Patrick the mixed feelings I had packing away the bottles, how it symbolized he wasn't a baby anymore.  Well, call me cold-hearted, but I don't feel that way AT ALL with Rosie.  Maybe it's cause I'm still nursing her all.the.time. it seems, but golly, I was too eager and excited to pack those bottles up and bid farewell until the next kid.


We did a test run yesterday while I was at work and Mike was home with Rosie (Patrick is at the lake this weekend) and then I also had to chaperone a dance at school last night, so there was plenty of time to test these bad boys out.  I went with the above sippy cup, the Munchkin Latch--it is suppose to be good for breastfed babes and a good transition away from the bottle.  Yesterday's "test" session went awesome--Ro drank all of her milk she usually does from her sippy and didn't spill it at all!  Woo hoo! Mike said she didn't really hold it--he had to hold it for her (#diva), but she did awesome drinking out of it and not gagging or spitting on it all over the place.  Go girlfriend.

I don't have any action shots of her with it (as I have almost ZERO pics of her drinking a bottle, since she won't take one when I'm around--gonna try and work on changing that with the sippy cups now!), so those will have to come laterrrrrrr. 

But I wanted to write a fun little milestone post about how we've bid farewell to the bottles for Ro and just doing the sippy cups now!  I'm hoping and praying it goes just as well as it did on our test day (cause we've literally cold-turkeyed it!) and she continues to take a sippy well.  The downside about these sippies is that they're only 4oz (Ro usually takes more than that at a time), so we have to refill if she's still hungry.  I only got a few of these kind...figured they're just transitional for now then we'll get her something else that's bigger and can hold more.  I can say every.single.sippy.cup. Patrick used is no longer functional because, not naming any names, but someone bit the tops off of all of them and they are just huge openings now. Ha.

Anyways, that's you're super exciting bye-bye bottles helllllllo sippy cup update for Miss Rosie for this Saturday.  Have a good one friends!

Friday, February 26, 2016

366 Project Update

I've referenced this a bit in the past several weeks, and thought I'd do a formal update seeing as we're almost into month 3 of 2016...and although I've shared some of these pics, I kinda want to share all of them that I've snapped this far.  Plus, this week has been incredibly BORING (minus a glorious snow day on Wednesday, that I did NOTHING during and it was amazing) and I haven't really had anything other 'blogworthy' to write about...so!  I give you my 366 Black and White project update!


Today is day 57, and I haven't snapped a black and white pic today, so that's just days 1-56.  I'm shockingly impressed with myself that I've actually managed to NOT miss any days (yet!  --and hopefully not at all!) which is astounding to me.

And I want to reiterate (mostly to myself) that these pics don't necessarily symbolize "the day" that it was taken, but more so what was taken in the now when I snapped it.  A few I've cheated (not really, I don't think I actually made this a formal rule for myself) and taken with my big camera instead of my iPhone, but the vast majority are simple iPhone snaps edited in PicTapGo! with my favorite black and white filter.  A few snaps other people (Mike, Patrick!!) have taken, but I loved them so much I thought I'd share them.

Overall, I am really happy with how my project is going thus far, and proud of myself for not throwing in the towel and keeping it going!  It does get tedious sometimes when 6pm approaches and I realize I haven't snapped a pic for this--but again, I challenge myself to not 'force' a pic and just snap naturally (hehehe that sounds funny) and hope for a good pic for the day!  I love how the pics vary in what they're showing and are raw and (minus the black and white!) unedited and real.  They give a glimpse into our life and I am loving watching every second of it evolve!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I love this weather.

We have been SO SPOILED this weekend by the weather!  Which is funny cause I JUST posted last week about how much fun we had in the snow, and BOOM!  It's 70+ degrees this weekend and not a flake in sight.  STL weather is hands-down the most finicky out there!  Nevermind it's showing me a snowflake on Wednesday and chillier weather all this week...but, let's not dwell on that.  Instead, let me show you some of the fun snaps I got this weekend of us out enjoying the weather.



First off, Patrick got a new Paw Patrol hat and it's his new favorite.  He's worn it nearly everywhere since he got it on Friday.  Isn't he just the cutest little ham?!


Ro has officially boycotted baby food and girlfriend really wants nothing to with it.  So, we're trying to force into her the last few containers of food we have lying around, but, as you can see above, it's not going well.  Ugh.  I may have to just wave my white flag and give away our last food containers and just give in and let her eat what we're eating.  She loves that oh so much.  And I can't blame her, baby food is gross.


Speaking of food, Mike brought home donuts from work on Friday night so we got to indulge in them Saturday morning.  Patrick echoes my sentiments, he goes crazyyyyy when he sees that John's Donuts box on the counter.  I need to get it on camera next time Mike brings donuts home cause it is just the cutest.


Patrick is like a tiny little drunk when he sleeps (follow along with #toddlerbedPatrick on Instagram) and I have NO IDEA how he stays on the bed AND stays asleep.  Funny little thing, isn't he?!


Ro got a new Soft Bums diaper and OMG, it might be one of my new favorite prints.  That rainbow chevron is just the cutest!

Okay, wow.  I totally deviated from my original intent of this post (so sorry) about the weather...I apologize for that!  Onto outside fun pics!

Saturday morning I had a photoshoot with little Abby who is turning one soon and the weather was absolutely PERFECT!  We had a lunch shindig with my grandma and some family who were in town, and then the kids went and took a siesta.  When we got home we decided to head up to the park and it was so much fun!




First off, Patrick and I both were in shorts and tshirts because it was 75 degrees out!  Patrick had a blast running around at the playground for over an hour and Ro enjoyed just hanging out on my back.  My dad came with us too and it was fun getting to catch up with him too!

This morning we got up and it was nice out again (not as warm, only high 50s), but I told Mike I wanted some new snaps of the kiddos together, so we got them clothed up and headed out back for a little impromptu photoshoot.













Sorry.  Wait, no I'm not.  That was only HALF of what I snapped!  Haha!  I wish Rosie's dress came in my size cause it's the cutest.thing.ever.  I got it from my favorite online shop and I really think they'd make a killing selling adult clothing too...

But I think we had some great weather and got some good snaps of the kiddos in today.  I need to find which ones I like the most to get printed and hung up in the house...maybe, this one!


I'll end this gorgeous weather post with this pic...my new absolute FAVORITE.  I love how sweetly Patrick is being to his sister, and the subtle little smirk across her face.  My mama heart is melting.  And exploding.  And, it's just the BEST.

Have a great week friends! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

iPhone Snaps

I absolutely LOVE my iPhone.  Duh.  That's no secret if you're a regular around here.  However, what I've been trying to do lately is really challenge myself to take GOOD pictures with my iPhone.  Now, yes, not every.single.picture. I take (and post!) is what I'd deem a "good" iPhone snap--some are out of focus or grainy or what not--however, I'm trying to be more cognizant of what I'm snapping and the pic outcome I want to achieve.  Obviously when I've got my big camera out I'm always aware of this; however, I tend to slip into the haphazard whatevs mode when I'm using my iPhone to snap away.  BUT, I'm challenging myself to change this and really try and take good pics ALWAYS with my iPhone.

I recently posted about how my students are working on an iPhoneography project (which they finish very soon and I cannot wait to see the snaps they produced!), and it's challenged me to really try and use my iPhone as an art tool in capturing pictures rather than just random snappings.  I've taken my own advice from my guide and am trying to put it into practice!

I wanted to share some recent snaps (the before and afters!) with you all and what I've done to them to get them "posting worthy" and ready to be shared...cause, who knows, maybe you'll can take away some of these tips too for your own snaps!


This was Ro looking all excited at her cousin Cole's birthday party.  I love this pic, but didn't love Mike's weird face in the background, and the light was kinda dim inside the restaurant so if you look realllll close it's a bit grainy.  However, I wanted to share it, so my go-to for low-light grainy lookin' pics is to black and white them.  I've been obsessed with black and white pics lately (my 366 black and white project is still going strong over on Instagram!) and it really is a great go-to for snaps that you want to add a little something to.  I also cropped Mike's face out (and the other gals in the pic too) and voila!  Here ya go:

edited with PicTapGo! iPhone app




I took this snap when the kiddos and Mike came up to have lunch with me and my students at school.  I love the determined nature of Rosie this.close. to crawling, and Patrick looking like he's going to yank his pizza away from her.  I love that they're not centered (rule of thirds!), but HATED that their name stickers were on the floor.  I felt like this was distracting to the viewer, so I removed them (using the clone too in the Pics Art iPhone app).  I then went to my go-to black and white filter and colorized it that way.

edited with Pics Art and PicTapGo! iPhone apps




I absolutely LOVE this pic of Ro swinging.  She is just in her pure joy swinging heaven and I love the subtle sun flare popping through the trees.  She's not centered (rule of thirds again!) but you can clearly see her excitement (even in her little hand!) in the picture.  However, I wanted to brighten up the pic a bit and add a more dramatic sun flare to the one that was in the pic.  So I brightened the picture, made the colors pop, and added a sun flare that I thought matched well to the sun that was already there.

edited with PicTapGo! and Lens Distortion apps




Patrick absolutely LOVES to walk Scoots, and seemingly always has!  Recently on our walks to the playground he demands to walk Scooter (and usually stays in front of us), so it gives me prime opportunities to snap some cute pics of them.  This particular snap was taken in the late afternoon (so you get that little sun flare) and was just so cute of the two of them.  Again, going back to my go-to, I wanted it to be black and white (since the colors were really dull anyways, I hate you winter).  I was able to use the leading lines of two trees' shadows to snap this pic and Patrick and Scoots fell perfectly in between them.  I also added a bit more dramatic sun flare as well.

edited with PicTapGo! and Lens Distortion apps




I snapped this earllllllly in the morning when I took Scoots out to go pee.  We have a really great street for sunrise and sunset pics, and Scooter is always such a gentleman to pose so nicely for me.  I love how he was looking off into the distance for this, and I had my iPhone literally in the wet grass (ekkk) for this snap.  I focused on Scoots, so he was darker, but also to capture the color of the sunrise.  Scooter's body was directly in front of the rising sun, so that added a cool orange glow around him.  I did a little more tweaking and editing than I normally do in pics, but I love the dramatic colors it brought out.  I also cropped the image a smidgen to get rid of my neighbor's house on the left as well and center Scoots some more.

edited with Snapseed app



Anyways, those are a few recent iPhone snaps I've taken!  I know some people feel like it's 'cheating' to edit a picture after you've taken it and before you post it--well, if that's the case then I spend 99% of my picture-taking and posting cheating then :) BUT!  I'm happy to do it, because, to me, the results are stunning and far superior than the original snap.  All good photographers edit and enhance their images the take with their big cameras, so I feel like doing it with your "mobile" camera (iPhone) is okay too.

Do you have any awesome iPhoneography tips you'd like to share?!  I'd love to hear them!  Seriously, I'm always looking for new tips to make taking pictures with my iPhone that much better...so please!  Share them with me!  I'm all ears!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Kinsa Thermometer Review

I've actually had this post sitting in my drafts for a while now...because I felt weird writing a personal review on it without really "using" it...I don't know, seemed kinda fake to me if I just whipped something up just because.

So, I wanted some practical use of this nifty little device before writing this review...and, low and behold, Rosie came down with her legit nasty winter cold, so we put this bad boy to the test.


For those of you who are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, it's this guy pictured above: the Kinsa Smart Thermometer (check out their website here for more deets).  A little history on this cool tool, that I borrowed from the Kinsa website:

"We created the first FDA-cleared app-enabled thermometer because, from our work in the health systems within the U.S. and across impoverished nations throughout the world, we’ve learned that an elevated temperature is often the first sign of sickness.  By building intelligence into a once basic thermometer and turning it into a connected device, we’re able to keep an eye on illnesses from beginning to end. We can more quickly alert users when fever and symptoms warrant closer monitoring or a visit to the doctor. Our network of connected thermometers can even offer helpful insights such as common illnesses that may be circulating in a local area or within a user’s school.  Kinsa is ready to help whole communities better track, treat, and stop the spread of illness. But we know we’ll only do it if our products delight users from their first touch. It’s with this in mind that we developed the Kinsa Smart Thermometer."

Pretty cool, huh?!  I mean, yes, it's easy to grab a regular thermometer, get a temp reading, and toss it back into the medicine cabinet.  But, what I love about the Kinsa one is that it syncs with an app on your phone and keeps a log of temperature readings, symptoms, and so forth in one spot.  I know this would have been SUPER helpful when Patrick had his almost month-long plague back in September last year--would have been really useful to track his fevers, how high they got, and all of his other symptoms.


It's neat how it allows you to set up different profiles for each of the members of your family, and allows you to track separate temperatures and symptoms for each of them.  Obviously the kiddos get their temp taken more than Mike or I, but it's still nice and useful to have everyone all in one place.


Another pretty sweet feature is the groups--this is in BETA mode, but it allows you to link up with the schools/organizations in your area to track any bugs (flu, viruses, etc...) going around.  I haven't played around too much with the groups feature, probably because it is still new, but it seems like a really cool tool to have to see if there are any health concerns or trends nearby.



Rosie recently got her first super nastttyyyyy winter cold.  So.much.snot.  So gross.  After it seemed that it wasn't going away after a day--and actually looking like it was getting worse--I whipped out the Kinsa thermometer and thought we should start tracking her temp and symptoms.  I didn't think she had a fever, but I also could put my hand in a burning oven and not think it was very hot either, so I decided to get a thermometer opinion to make sure I wasn't just not feeling it.

Turns out Ro didn't have a fever (and still doesn't! Going on day 3 with the Kinsa confirming no fever, just congestion, runny nose, and a little cough for sister bear).  I even, cause I'm OCD and like things to be double and triple-checked, took her temp more than once each time I've taken it with the Kinsa (cause I'm always skeptical of thermometers!) and it is the exact same temp every.single.time.  So that's super cool--something that no other thermometer seems to be that sensitive with.

The thermometer is easy to use--you just launch the app, plug in the thermometer into the headphone jack, and tell the app where you're taking the temp at (arm, mouth, rectal).  It launches the temperature catcher, and even lets you pop bubbles for the few seconds it's reading (Patrick loves this).  Then, when it's finished it tells you your temp and asks you if you want to save the reading and log any symptoms.  So easy, right?!  RIGHT.

The one downside to this device (in my opinion) is that it can take a little long (sometimes 20ish seconds) to get the temp reading and that is a longgggg time for little ones to stay still with a thermometer under their arm or in their mouth.  Sometimes it's a bit tricky and it takes us a couple tries to get a good, accurate reading without anyone wiggling away.  That really is my only criticism, and, honestly, Kinsa seems to have already remedied this with having the Smart Ear thermometer available (the one I have is the Smart Stick).  Maybe I'll need to get my hands on that and give that one a whirl too!

Anyways, I want to offer up my own personal recommendation for this nifty little thermometer.  It definitely is something you won't necessarily need to use all the time (or shoot, maybe it is--if you're charting your morning temps or what not, uh-hm, ladies--a great way to chart your cycles!) but when you do need it it is something you will be happy to have.  And the app is accessible any time with or without the thermometer plugged in, so you can always add symptoms and data and check group updates.  All in all, I highly recommend this thermometer and will be adding this to my baby item must-haves for my soon-to-be new parent friends!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Snow Fun! ...And Other Fine Things.

Okay, before I get into the 'snow fun' point of this post, I want to point out that last week was incredibly boringgggg and thus I didn't feel the need to blog.  However, now that I sit here typing this post I realize there were a few cool things to happen last week, so before I delve into our snowy Valentine's Day morning, lemme recap those for ya.



I am SO PROUD of my students...they won 2 out of the 3 categories for high school for the 2015 Show-Me a Movie video contest.  Before the annual METC conference (nerd conference for us ed tech peeps) they had a big banquet reception for them to show off their movies.  This was last Monday night and it was so fun!  I am so proud of them!!!  You can watch their winning movies here: Clean Up the Earth and Why We Run.




Last week my very first wrap conversion Tula came in the mail and I love it OH SO MUCH.  It is handwoven and feels so buttery soft.  It's already my new favorite Tula and I wear it every possible place I can!  Ro really likes it too :)


Patrick had a several day fiesta sleep over at his Kiki's lake and, I swear this boy never wants to come home!  He has so much fun down there (I think some one, cough-cough, KATE! spoils him a wittle bit :) and whenever he gets home he immediately asks when he gets to go back to Kiki's lake.  It is so cute to watch him get so excited about going down there!





Rosie has boycotted baby food lately and just wants the real deal.  Her 8th tooth popped through in the past few days, so she's happy to use those chompers to eat real food.  Current favorites are grilled cheese, PB & J--anything really.  And Ro sure misses her big bro when he's gone...and has to fend for herself with Scoots...


...but gets so exited when he comes back!  The smiles and giggles she gives him are unmatched!




Just a few cute snaps of diva dog, just because.  Oh!  Happy Valentine's Day too!  I hope Cupid was good to you :)




Speaking of Ro, girlfriend woke up on Saturday with a nasty cold.  She looks so miserable and pathetic (her poor nose!!) but seems oh-so-much-happier once the Tylenol or Ibuprofen kicks in.  Poor little lamb...I hope she feels better soon!  Fortunately she's still sleeping well so it's not too terrible...and no fever so that's good.

So!  Onto the point of this post! Ro couldn't play in the snow today because of her cold...but Patrick is feelin' good so we bundled him all up to let him go frolick in the snowy wonderland.  It was really coming down (whyyyyy does it always snow on the weekends?!!  I want SNOW DAYS off of school!!) so I didn't really want to stay out there too long, but naturally Patrick had other plans.












I brought my big camera out for some quick snaps...it was snowing so much and hard I didn't want to chance getting my camera too wet and having that cause issues, so I only had it out there for maybe 5 minutes, but was able to get these snaps in before I took it back inside :)

We realized that our neighbor has a perfect sledding hill in their backyard (aka minimal trees and things to run into at the bottom), so I grabbed the sled from the garage, grabbed the GoPro, strapped it to Patrick's head, and off we went!


OMG.  He had SO MUCH FUN.  He is fearless and so brave!  He would have stayed out there FOREVER if I'd have let him, but alas, the warm house was calling and so was our stomachs because it was almost lunch time.


Before we came in though I did do one sledding run with him.  OMG.  Holy fast!  I totally cheated and put my boots down to slow us down cause we were really going super fast and there were trees that we could potentially run into (#safetypolice).

Anyways, what a fun little morning we had!  We're suppose to go to my mom's for Valentine's Day dinner (Mike has to work, boo hiss), but playing it by ear to see how bad the streets are later.

I'm psyched to be off school tomorrow (yay President's Day!) so I get another day at home with my bebes!  Now if only the snow gods would make it snow like this Monday night into Tuesday and give us another bonus day off!  Haha, wishful thinking, eh?!!  Have a great one friends!
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