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Showing posts from March, 2012

Eat chocolate, stay lean - read it to believe it

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Anyone that knows me at all knows that I have a love affair with chocolate. So I had to share this tidbit of good news about new potential health benefits of chocolate.

We’ve been hearing for some time that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is good for us and the antioxidant properties of chocolate have been linked favorably with insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.News this week focused on the association between chocolate and body mass index (a ratio of body weight to height used to estimate body fat).

In the study published by Golomb from the University of California San Diego, they asked a simple question to approximately 1000 men and women: “How many times a week do you consume chocolate?” The individuals that consumed chocolate more frequently had consistently lower BMIs. And this relationship was maintained even when factors such as age, sex, activity levels, calorie and saturated fat consumption, and mood were factored in. What’s interesting an…

Izzy's Birthday - wrap up!

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The last birthday post. Finally.

Pardon my French

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Parlez-vous francais? Neither do I. But I secretly wish I could - definitely my favorite language to listen to.

But before we talk about the French, can I get a Rock Chalk? I have to start this post by congratulating the Kansas Jayhawks for their improbable run to the Final Four. No one predicted this team to get this far.

Just a few years ago, I would have been making plans to head to New Orleans for the games this weekend. But it isn't that easy with two little ones to plan for. So instead we will be cheering from home, wishing we were there. At any rate, I'm not sure they can top yesterday's win over UNC and our old friend Roy. Call it a season, wrap it up. It can't get any better than that. 

Besides basketball, I have a couple parenting issues on my mind this Monday morning. This past Saturday I did something I've never done before - hire a babysitter to watch the kids while I'm also at home. We're trying to get our house ready to put on the market a…

Charlie goes to the dentist

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We've been talking this up for weeks - Charlie's first visit to the dentist! He was shy, a little nervous, even a little scared at one point. After a few tears and holding Mom's hand, he was brave and did just great. He'd been practicing opening wide and it paid off. He had his teeth counted, cleaned, and flossed and he was given two thumbs up! We went to the same dentist that Ryan went to as a little kid and that his parents also still go to - another Manies generation with beauteous chompers.
He made out with a ton of dental swag and toys to boot! We showed all the kids at school the toothbrushes and toys from the dentist. Many of them haven't been to the dentist yet so Charlie's visit was of great interest to the class.
After the dentist, we made a trip to the Roasterie for some coffee for Mom, kid's coffee (milk) for Charlie. It was fun, just the two of us - something we don't get to do very often anymore. We walked down the sidewalk holding hands…

Rainy day at the library

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We were spoiled with awesome Spring weather last week, so the rain has made for some long, gray days this week. Lucky for us, we have a great public library nearby that is perfect for a rainy afternoon. Charlie has been asking to go to the library for weeks. I think it is because his favorite furry friend, Curious George, makes frequent visits to the library on his tv show and in our books at home.
This library has a fantastic wide open space for kids with floor to ceiling windows. C & Iz like to look down at the passing cars below, both with and without the viewfinder. We're still working on our quiet voices inside the library - Charlie knows only one volume and it's loud! With all there is to see and do, we didn't manage to check out any books. We'll save that for the next rainy day.

Have a great weekend and ROCK CHALK!

Izzy's rainbow party - behind the scenes

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It's hard to focus on much besides Izzy's beautiful rainbow birthday cake... But there were other aspects of the party that I really enjoyed as well. I loved the idea of using baby food jars to decorate for Izzy's first birthday when I saw this post. In the interest of time and my waning energy, I decided to simplify this idea.

Stashed memories

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After the birthday party extravaganza on Saturday, I turned my attention to neglected household chores on Sunday afternoon. I started by organizing the closet in our upstairs office as, lately, it has been spilling over with bags. I like bags of all kinds and can always find a reason to purchase a new one. Each have their own purpose - laptop bags, long-weekend bags, diaper bags, bags for holding kid's gear, among others. Ryan doesn't get this logic, but I digress...

I use one or two large, all-purpose handbags on a regular basis. With two kids under three, I don't switch bags around as much as I used to and instead go for practical and convenient most days. But when I venture out sans kids for a date night or evening with friends, I have a stash of clutches for just about any occasion. Over the years I got in the habit of leaving behind tickets stubs in these 'occasion' purses and since I use them so infrequently, its always a surprise when I open them up again.

Birthday post coming soon...

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I think we are all really going to enjoy the annual St. Patrick's/Birthday event for many years to come. What a great day for a birthday!


Pre-party, C & Iz spent the morning sporting green and no pants...whatevs! That's how we roll...

Rainbow cake - sneak peak!

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Cars, scooters & lounge chairs

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363 days old...

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Some pictures from day care today. She is getting very close to walking! I hope I didn't miss her first steps...

Izzy's Party - sneak peak!

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I am really having fun planning and prepping for Izzy's first birthday on Saturday. Maybe it is all the decorating options that say Spring that has me excited. Maybe it is because I find it easier to plan and decorate for a girl's party than for a boy's. Maybe because her birthday is on St. Patrick's Day and it is a Saturday, and it is the first weekend of March Madness, and it is Spring Break most everywhere except in my lab at work. Maybe because it is 80 degrees outside! I think it is all these things, and rather than finding it stressful and tedious, I am having fun tinkering with paper flowers and photo banners til midnight every night. Daylight savings this week has made it easy to stay up late. But I'm naturally a night owl and if no one is telling me to go to bed, I can tinker til the wee hours.

I am also working on Izzy's baby book this week. I made a promise to myself that I would finish both kids' baby books before their first birthday because I…

Weekend Update

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We had an excellent weekend that began on Friday with a day at home with Mom. It is exhausting to be home all day with two small kids, make no mistake about it. Anyone who says otherwise, has never done it or has simply blocked it out. Ryan and I went to the KU game at the Sprint Center Friday night which was fun, until we lost. Charlie and Izzy stayed with Haley, Aunt Kara and Uncle Karl. I understand they had pizza, whipped cream with a little jello, and tons of fun. Such lucky kids!

Saturday was a gorgeous day and we walked over to Brookside to take in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Charlie had so much fun watching the parade and dancing along with the bands. He told me later his favorite part was getting candy, no surprise there. This parade is so very random, basically you can put on a green t-shirt and fall in line. I don't think they turn anyone away that wants to participate. Its eclectic, really long, and both urban and small town at the same time. I love a good parad…

Up in the clouds

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We drove about 10 minutes up the coast one afternoon and had lunch at Glider Point in La Jolla - a prime hang gliding spot. For an hour or so we were witness to a whole different way of spending a beautiful afternoon. High up in the clouds, these guys get as close to flying as I imagine you can get.

Kansans on the beach

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Our California trip overlapped with the Geiger cousins by a couple of days. Charlie had fun trying to keep up with the "M"s.

Beach Vacation

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This was the second year we spent the good part of a week in sunny Southern California in February (the posts from last year can be seen here, here, here, and here). I grew up visiting this area of California to see my Grandparents in the summers and it invokes happy memories of family and fun. Now I have new memories and routines to share with Ryan, Charlie and Izzy.

Tapping her inner artist

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These pictures are a little blurry, but I couldn't resist posting. The things they let them do at school!  Today was finger paiting on themselves bubble wrap.

Sushi for everyone

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We had a craving for sushi on Saturday night and it was a successful night out with the kids. They had room to wiggle in our large booth by the window and our corner spot away from other tables meant they could be a little loud without much notice. The waitress rigged up a pair of chopsticks to make them 'kid friendly' using the wrapper and a rubber band - so cool! Charlie practiced and really managed well with the chopsticks (picking up some lettuce in this pic, that's not easy!) Both kids devoured some green tea ice cream to finish it all off. If only we hadn't destroyed our lovely window table in the process - the floor! Oh my. That's why we tip well.


Prepping for the party

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Getting crafty!