Mal Smiles

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snowing & Sewing

There is always a day of adjustment after my mom leaves. Collins loves her "Khaki" and I loved having another set of hands around the house and someone else to talk to.
Colorado was covered in a blanket of snow this weekend. We had almost 6 inches in our backyard and even more around the neighborhood. I decided not to drive up to Denver on Sunday for my AFAA training. My time and safety are worth more than the money it will cost to reschedule. I can't believe they still held the training with over a foot of snow in Denver.
DLW and I got to play in the snow with the pups. My sweet Southern husband had never seen this much snow!
Snowy Sundays are the best reason to make waffles and enjoy a cozy day inside. It was a classy breakfast with paper towels and plastic forks.
Collins spent her snow day in her jammies practicing sitting up and reading.
Every time my mom visits, she helps me learn to sew. This visit she made me an AMAZING shopping cart cover (I will show you when we actually use it) and helped me with this baby blanket. I need to keep practicing my sewing skills and would love to take a sewing class this summer.
Every time my mom leaves it makes me wish we lived closer. I am one of those people who could live right next door to their parents and happily see them everyday. Although we are far apart, I am thankful for airplanes and flexible schedules that make her able to visit. I am already looking at flights to go visit my parents in April- it will be Collins' first flight!

The snow has stopped for now but we are expected even more Wednesday though Sunday! Whoever told me the snow melts the next day out here was a liar.

  • Did you get any snow this weekend? I think it snowed all over the US!
  • What is your snow day comfort food?
  • How far do you live from your family?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Climb All The Stairs, Eat All The Mexican Food

A new post on a Saturday? Whaaaaat? I sort of disappeared this week between study for AFAA and just not having anything to say so I figured I owed you all a post this morning.

This week Collins learned to read. Okay maybe not but this former teacher is making her baby familiar with books from the start.
Then she decided Sun Chips should be her first food. She was obviously wrong but very cute.
We are practicing our sitting up. She didn't know I let go of her and she was sitting like a big girl for .5 seconds. We're getting there!
She is quite the Tummy Time pro these days and extra cute when she is proud of herself.
Yesterday DLW and I hiked The Incline. Climbing wooden stairs .88 miles up the side of a mountain always seems like a great idea until you get there...
It was great to be able to go hike together while my mom is here to watch Collins. The fall risk on The Incline is so high that we would never bring Collins with us.
I set a new PR of 53:53! My pre-pregnancy time was 57 minutes and my last time was 1:07 when I was 10 weeks pregnant and thought I was going to vom every 7 steps. I am definitely in way better shape now than I was last year.
Burning over 1,000 calories hiking means I needed to eat all of the Mexican food. Even the cheese.
Tax return presents are a thing, right?! I have been eyeing this baby at Costco for weeks and we finally bought it with a little of our tax return money. You've got to reward yourself for working all year, right?!
My mom is here until Monday to help with Collins while I (maybe) go to AFAA training tomorrow. We are expecting 6-12 inches of snow today/tonight so if the roads are horrible, I won't be driving to Denver for training. I may lose money but my safety is worth more.

I am looking forward to a snowy day inside with my family today and playing with my new toy! Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Read Along Books From Baby's Brilliant

Disclaimer: I received compensation for this post from Baby's Brilliant but all opinions are my own.

We are a family of readers. We have more books than we have shelves and it's no surprise that Collins already has a library of her own. DLW loves to read to her and it is one of the things I love most about him as a dad. It breaks my heart to think that he could possibly be deployed again someday and miss out on that special time with Collins.

Luckily, Baby's Brilliant has a created Read Along Books to allow parents to share a story with their child, even if they can't physically be there. With the Read Along Books, parents are able to record themselves reading a story from any location, using the voice memo feature on their phones and email it back to Baby's Brilliant. The Baby’s Brilliant team will then edit their voice into the video of the book and post it on a dedicated YouTube page to be viewed by the family back home. Parents will also be encouraged to make a short personalized video intro and goodbye to make the message even more personal for their babies.

Right now, Baby's Brilliant is offering this service for free to men and women in uniform who are currently deployed and away from their families.

“Their children will be able to read the story and hear it narrated by their own mom or dad who is far away, serving our country. It’s a small way for our Baby’s Brilliant family, to express our gratitude to theirs, for their selfless service to our country.” -Benedict Coulter, Co-Founder.

There are currently two Read Along Books available on the Baby's Brilliant website and they recently finished a third book titled, "It's Alright To Be Scared" about getting a shot that will be available in a few weeks. The books are available in both English and Spanish.
In addition to Read Along Books, Baby's Brilliant also has an iPhone and iPad app that provides educational videos and music for babies and toddlers. I am constantly searching for quality apps for Collins and this is one to add to your home screen. The app is free and available in the App Store.
I am always happy to learn of companies who support military families. If there is ever a day DLW is deployed again, we will personalize a Read Along Book for Collins to read with her daddy. Baby's Brilliant is giving back to our men and women in uniform and allowing them to take part in their child's education and development from across the world.

Follow Baby's Brilliant on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with what they create next!
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Hard Decisions, Handstands, and Other Weekend Things

The snow is coming down strong here in Colorado (again) and I am wishing I had tonight off from BODYPUMP. It always seems to snow on Mondays and I am terrified driving to the gym with Collins in the car. Snow is just a "normal" part of Colorado life so the gym never closes or cancels classes. Just because it's normal doesn't mean it's safe; don't tell me they know how to take care of the roads out here because they are the worst I have ever seen. It's snowy days like this that make me eager for the day we move back Southeast where the city shuts down if/when it snows. Okay, rant over.

We had a great little Valentine's Day weekend as a family filled with love, friends, and calories, too.

Our trip to Park Meadows Mall in Denver to eat at the Cheesecake Factory didn't disappoint. DLW snapped this picture of me trying to decide which cheesecake to order. It is a very serious decision when you only eat there once a year.
That cheesecake is definitely not dairy free. So far, Collins didn't show any reaction to my dairy indulgences this weekend.
We had to check out the Disney store where DLW wanted to buy her everything. A Minnie Mouse for his mini Valentine.
We checked out a new CrossFit style gym Saturday morning for a couples workout. The gym is small and does not offer childcare so we just brought the baby and she happily sat in the corner and watched us work.
I am now obsessed with wall handstands and handstand kick-ups. I attempted a handstand push up but could barely do one. I don't think CrossFit is for me but it was fun to try something new and get to workout with DLW.
 A good workout earns a Valentine's Day cinnamon roll, right?!
 Saturday brunch with Tia Xochitl is Collins' favorite.
That lip. Collins has started pouting when strangers look at her or talk to her. She get it from her Mother.
My brother and his girlfriend, Caroline, sent us the best Valentine's Day with a little something for everyone. Do those pants come in my size?
My AFAA Group Fitness certification is this Sunday (panic) so I have been getting up early to study before Collins wakes up. So. Much. Information.
A peacefully sleeping piglet was the perfect end to our Valentine's Day weekend.
It seems to be snowing everywhere today so stay warm and safe! Enjoy today if you have the day off!
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