Monday, November 17, 2014

Charlie Starts PreK

Hi friends! I think today will be my last "belated" post finally!  I know it's probably no fun to read about the first day of school in the middle of November (and this is suppppposed to be a scrapbooking blog anyways) but I print out my blogs into books and want to make sure I have it recorded.  Sooooo sorry about that but this is the last one, I promise.  I mean, I think it is.  Don't hold me to that.
 
Charlie started Pre-K this year which is crazy and fun and totally weird that he's so old.  He's going to the same preschool he went to last year but some of his classmates and one of his teachers have changed, the main teacher is still the same lady though.  Now he goes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-1130 but starting in January we're hoping to do the extended day option which will keep him until 130.  That's supposed to get him more used to the Kindergarden schedule and give him time to do extra Kindergarden type work.  I'm not entirely sure that Charlie will be ready for Kindergarden next year but we're keeping an eye on how he's doing this year and will assess at the end of the year.
 
 
I know "red shirting" is a big thing nowadays which I think is silly.  Let the parents and the teachers decide what is best for their kids, it's not anyone else's business, really.  I don't even think that Charlie would be considered "red shirted" if we repeated pre K because despite how old he looks he is one of the youngest kids in the class (end of August birthday).  Plus he's a boy full of energy and just doesn't have an easy time staying still and focusing quite yet.  He improved a LOT over the summer and this year is going much better than last year, hardly any time-out's anymore, however he still has some issues.  He gets so excited playing with his friends that he'll start being loud or distracting the other kids.  He also has some trouble with snack time because he doesn't eat snacks and gets bored sitting at the table not doing anything.  SO maybe he'll be ready and maybe he won't be- doesn't matter to me either way :)
 
Charlie's special new backpack which he brings to school everyday virtually empty lol
 
Anyways, Charlie is LOVING pre-K even more than he loved preschool! He has a bestest bestest friend that he loves to play with- it's so cute, the two of them always scream each other's names across the parking lot when they see each other.  He likes to learn, make art, and sing songs.  It's so good for him and he is really growing up before our eyes.  This year he can actually tell us what he did during preschool and tells us stories about the other kids.  He also loves the Sharing Bag and doing show and tell with his favorite toys.  Plus his mom enjoys the 2.5 hours free every Monday and Wednesday so she can do her homework, excercise, and/or do laundry ;)
 
 
The only tough part about Pre-K is that Charlie has been "sick" pretty much the whole time.  First he had a cough that wouldn't go away for about 2 months (it was really nasty and junky for about 3-4 weeks of that time).  Then he got actually sick with a fever last week (that he oh so kindly gave to Robb and I, too.  UGH it was a rough week).  Oh well, it's a fair trade off in my opinion because he loves it so much and we can really tell a difference in maturity level when he goes to preschool.  He loves it and so do we!




Friday, November 14, 2014

The Big E!

Hi everyone! Today I'm sharing another post from the past (this September) that I'm trying to catch up on :)

It's been brought to my attention from one of my colleagues that lives in Rhode Island (the state in which I work) that most people do not know what the Big E is!  This is totally weird, as the Big E is a pretty big deal here in CT.  It's a giant New England fair/carnival thing that lasts for weeks, it's held in Massachusetts and is really fun!  They have rides, food, parades, a circus, musical acts, livestock and more!  The last time I went was when I was probably 10 years old and I was completely obsessed with all of the "As Seen on TV" informercial booths, begging my mom to buy everything in sight.  I'm pretty sure I convinced my mom to buy a Wonder Mop and a Super Slicer (which she still uses to this day!) haha. 


I haven't been in a really long time because it's always super crowded.  However my work schedule recently shifted from 5x8 hour days to 4x10 hour days, leaving me with Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays off.  I LOVE my new schedule, even though it's really tiring.  I have M-W to bring Charlie to Dr's appointments, preschool, etc and Thurs-Sunday to work so I get a nice balance between "Stay at Home Mom" and "Working Mom".  It also means that I don't get a weekend, but whatever, you never really do when you have a kid anyways.  My point, though, is that I was able to bring Charlie to the Big E early on a Tuesday when it was almost empty.  It was great, no long lines and we were able to take advantage of lots of fun things without the wait.  Tickets were cheaper than I originally thought, too.  With parking and admission it only cost $25 for both of us (Charlie was free).  I also brought $60 in spending money that I got from selling Charlie's old co-sleeper which was just *barely* enough-- we were trying to be frugal as fairs can be money pits!

Charlie was SO excited to go to the Big E and he really wanted to see the oxen pulls.  I haven't seen an ox pull in ages, so it was fun! Those oxen are BIG, yikes! Charlie kept wanting them to put more and more blocks on the sled haha



After the oxen pull the free circus started and we spent an hour watching trained dogs, jugglers, a funny clown, and acrobats! Very cool!


Then I made Charlie sit down and eat lunch like a horrible, mean, awful, no-good, unfair mommy.


Next up was rides! We went on the ferris wheel together (which was super expensive for a 1 minute ride, hmph) and Charlie loved it! It made me, however, very nervous because I'm not great with heights.


Charlie went on a few other little rides that he enjoyed too.

Afterwards I told Charlie it was mommy's turn to pick an activity (again, i'm a no-good, mean, horrible, unfair mommy). I wanted to go to the Avenue of the States, which sounds quite boring but is really cool.  They have smaller versions of all the capital buildings from New England on the road and inside each are goods and edibles unique to that state.  I got a tomato and mozzarella salad in the CT booth which made me feel better about eating the gyro and funnel cake I ended up wolfing down later :)


Outside the Avenue of the states there was a fun parade! It was Rhode Island day (each state gets a day to put on shows, etc) so I debated getting a hot weiner but held off because Charlie was getting antsy.  Since I work in RI I now know that they have all sorts of weird food that we don't have in CT-- things like hot weiners, stuffies, and coffee milk.  My coworkers had to teach me what these meant, as I had no idea (if you're curious they're kind of like chili dogs, stuffed clams, and coffee syrup, respectively).

Lastly, Charlie went on a pony ride and played with some remote race cars in a carnival game (the only one I let him play, thank you very much). 

It was exhausting but so much fun! We'll definitely go back next year too.  New England's the best :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lyman's Orchard and Fall Fun

You guys.  Fall is my FAVORITE.  I LOVE IT.  I love taking the scenic route to look at the leaves changing, I love picking out pumpkins, baking things with apples, and the cool breezes.  Fall is just the best season there is!  I know, I know, it's probably a big shock that a 30 year old white girl from Connecticut loves fall so I'll let it sink in a bit. 


 I also love chai lattes from Starbucks.  And pumpkin spice candles. And boots.  And cozy sweaters. And The Notebook.

So now that we've established that I'm the most basic-est of all the bitches I wanted to share some of the fun fall activities that we've been up to. 


If you read my blog religously, and you have an encyclopedic memory of dates and locations of which I speak, than you of course remember that we love to go to Lyman's Orchards in Middletown, CT (Here we are in 2012 and here was 2013).  Last year Charlie and I went by ourselves but this year all 3 of us went together!  Now there are a lot of fun pumpkin and fall places closer to our house than Lyman's but I didn't bother with those because they don't make delicious cider doughnuts like they make at Lyman's.  So we drove an extra 45 minutes to get the cider doughnuts because I like to force my family to participate in my basic-ness.


We had an impromptu little family photo shoot outside of the store on a bale of hay :) And by impromptu I mean we brought our DSLR and dressed up in cute fall clothes and knew we would be taking pictures.  So not really impromptu at all, really.  Charlie wanted to grab all the little pumpkins he could find!  He said they were "sooo cute!"




After playing on the hay bales we drove out to the actual pumpkin patch down the road.  The orchards and pumpkin patches are up on a big hill and the view was so pretty!



Then we went to some apple trees (I think that's what they were?) and took some more pictures.  Robb said I looked pretty that day (isn't he sweet?) so he wanted to take about a gazillion pictures of me alone.  He also used that as an excuse to grab my butt all day but that's neither here nor there.  He's real good at posing my face in such a way that you can't notice my huge double chin :))).  


Of course then Charlie makes me belly laugh and I ruin the carefully orchestrated illusion :P


Then it was time to go home! We sure had a fun time but hauling around those pumpkins all over the place was tiring (um why did they not provide wagons??? Lyman's Orchards: get your shit together next year).  We took the long way home and looked at the changing leaves while Charlie asked us important questions like "What are cars made of?" "What are airplanes made of?" "What are houses made of?" and other deeply philosophical musings.


Till next year, Lyman's!





Monday, November 10, 2014

Well Shiver Me Timbers!

Wahoooo Halloween is so much damn fun!  We had a great Halloween this year, and we also had a great time celebrating Robb's 35th Birthday too, as his birthday is on Halloween.  October is a busy month for us because we both have birthdays.  We spent a lot of time debating what Halloween costume Charlie would pick....it took quite a while to finally land on a pirate.  Robb was pushing these "boy" costumes that covered up his cute little face, like a storm trooper or ninja or batman.  Those are wicked cool and all but I'm just not ready to let go of the idea of cute halloween costumes.  You might remember Charlie has been a teddy bear, a porcupine, Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and most recently, an Astronaut.  I just really didn't want his face covered in his costume, so I tried to gently nudge him towards non-masked costumes which drove Robb bananas.  Eventually he was torn between a ninja, a pirate, and Dash from the Incredibles-- luckily he chose the pirate all by himself! Although to be fair I did inform him how pirates were the coolest of the costumes ever in the history of the world and only the most awesome kids dress up as pirates.  But in a very non-biased way, of course.




 Charlie had a Halloween parade with his preschool, just like last year, except this year I was smart and took the day off of work so I could attend!  It was adorable and I loved all the costumes :) Charlie kind of looked like Sam Adams or Pawtucket Pat from a distance lol.


Afterwards we all piled into the preschool to listen to the kids sing songs (Charlie didn't sing so much as squirmed and played with his pirate hat....I'm trying my best to not go crazy that he was the only kid too distracted to sing along....). He has a silly face in the picture because there was a part in the song where you were supposed to make a scary face but then Charlie kept doing it.  He's *that* kid lol.



Once we got home we did a little impromptu photo shoot in our woods- Robb got some great pictures of his costume.  Such a handsome, I mean terrifying, pirate!


We spent the afternoon hanging around the house and Charlie and I gave Robb his presents.  For dinner we made reservations at our (technically *my*) favorite restaurant- The Bee and Thistle Inn.  We planned to trick or treat in downtown Old Lyme like we did last year, and this restaurant is right down the road.  It's super fancy, and not really a kid restaurant, so we prepped Charlie for days ahead of time.  "What do we do at the fancy restaurant Charlie?" "Be Quiet!".  He did really well there and Robb and I enjoyed a DELICIOUS dinner! I had a fig, prosciutoo and burratta appetizer and we both had deconstructed Beef Wellingtons for entrees.  SO GOOD.

Lastly, we headed out in the rain to trick or treat along the main street.  I took some pictures but they're so dark it's not even worth sharing, but it's a really cool old town, very New Englandy- if that's a thing- and quaint.  Charlie had a blast and we enjoyed it as well.  We're still working on getting him to remember to say thank you loud enough that people can hear it though :)

Afterwards we drove home and crashed!  A really busy day but equally fun! Robb's birthday falling on Halloween makes Halloween extra fun each year :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stitch Fix for Plus Size: Part 3

Hi friends! I decided for my birthday this year I would get myself a Stitch Fix (see my first and second Stitch Fixes).  I currently wear a size 2X (sometimes 1X) so I knew that the likelihood of anything fitting me was quite small because they only go up to size XL.  However I was super surprised and pleased that this wasn't quite the case :)  This by far has been my favorite Stitch Fix- I just loved everything my stylist picked out.  You can tell that she really went out of her way to find my style and get me pieces I would love.  I asked for preppy "Mary Margaret from Once Upon a Time" type pieces- specifying no pants.


I wound up buying the whole box (yikes!) which was a first for me, but thankfully some of you kind readers have gotten Stitch Fixes through my referral link (which is HERE) and I had some credits that eased the blow quite a bit.  Thanks for the help you guys!
 Before we get into the box I need to explain my shitty hair.  You see I curled it and it looked awesome, which is a first for me because usually when I attempt curls it just winds up a rats nest.  Anyways, after perfecting my hair Charlie and I went to this cold rainy outdoors activity which was quite fun but totally ruined my curls in the process.  So I'm showing this picture as proof that my hair DID look decent in the beginning and I don't normally have frizzy dreadlocks when I try on my Stitch Fixes.  K? Kay.


First up was this bright pink top with cool ribbing down the middle.  Bright pink isn't usually my style but this was super soft and fun! I liked that I could wear it to work and also because it actually fit!  The cuffs at the end of the sleeves were a nice touch too :)


This chambray shirt is AWESOME and exactly what I was looking for.  However it was way too small.  Like way, way too small.  I kept it anyways as a "motivation" shirt and it's been working pretty well to get me to work out.  I mean, I really want to fit into that damn shirt.  It's incredibly soft!  Sorry for the side pic but my boobies were poking out on the front and considering how much search traffic I get for "cute chubby white girls" thanks to these posts (sorry to disappoint BTW...I'm guessing 30 year old fat moms weren't what you were looking for?) I thought I'd keep it G-rated.


I'm wearing this sweater as I'm writing this post- I love it so much! Great quality knit, very preppy and pretty much exactly the type of item I was hoping for.  Nailed it! Oh yeah, and it actually fit which was a pleasant surprise, too!


I asked for a dainty gold necklace and while this wasn't especially dainty I did love it and think it's perfect!  BTW if you came here via a google search looking for chubby girl pictures please enjoy the bags under my eyes.  Sexy on a stick, baby.


The last item was this polka dot skirt which is super cute as well (sweater is from Target).  It's a bit too small but another goal-loss inspiration piece that will be a great spring skirt.

So there you have it! What a great fix!  If you'd like to sign up for your very own Stitch Fix please click here to use my referral link.  Ask any size questions, etc you might have in the comments and I will do my best to answer :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

6 Years and 8 Inches

Man that title sounds soooooo dirty doesn't it?  Whenever someone writes "8 inches" without explaining it my mind goes straight to the gutter.  To be fair, it was probably there anyways. 

Well this post isn't about that kinda thing, kay? I know....you're disappointed.  Me too.  I should start a dirty blog or something.

Anyways..
..

Here's a sexy picture of the Cyr Family to bring us back down to reality....


Robb and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary back in September! Wahoo!  Hard to believe it's already been 6 years :) We celebrated by going to our favorite BBQ place, Chesters in Groton CT.  SO YUMMY! We pigged out and it was awesome.  Charlie stubbornly wouldn't eat anything besides chips and his Pediasure shake (per usual) which just meant more for us fatties.


After our anniversary lunch (which wound up being enough food at one meal to last us until breakfast the next morning) we went home and I decided to get my hair cut. I've been "growing it out" (read: too lazy to get it cut) for 2 years so it was really quite long.  I had dyed my hair blond 2 years ago and then back to brunette shortly afterwards so the bottom half of my hair was wicked damaged and looked blond again.  It was wierd two toned hair that was always frizzy and never looked good, so off it went!


I went with a shoulder length angled bob and I love it!  It's SO much easier and I actually wear my hair down now...I wore it in a top knot (read: messy, ugly, shitty bun) back when it was long virtually everyday.  Now I have cute hair clips and headbands and I like to make my hair look nice :)




Of course since I had a new haircut I went out and bought a thousand fall sweaters because I obviously needed new clothes too.  Luckily Target is cheap :p  Anyways, I like my new look! Since I work weekends I'm only around 2 days during the week when my colleagues are there, so I'm trying to actually look nice for those days (and sometimes even when I'm out and about during the week too!).  I put on makeup, do my hair, have a coordinated outfit, wear jewelry- the whole shebang!  Since I work in a lab I used to show up looking like I just rolled out of bed, which usually I had, because I'd be covered in a lab coat and safety glasses all day anyways.  The "new look" was pretty funny at first because everyone was shocked -- they'd never seen me dress nicely or wear makeup lol! I guess that means it's an improvement :) Of course now I have a bit of a shopping obsession but that's neither here nor there so we'll just skip that part....

Monday, November 3, 2014

Charlie Turns FOUR!

Hi friends! This is a few months late (eek, his birthday was at the end of August) but I wanted to do a post about it anyways because Charlie turning 4 is pretty crazy and awesome!  Woweee, hard to believe this little guy is a 4 year old already.  He's such a little cutie pie with a very sweet heart and kind and happy personality.  He loves cars, garbage trucks, car transporters, bowling, legos, and playing with friends.  He has bit of a temper (like most 4 year olds I'm assuming) and has a pretty hilarious/obnoxious frowny face when we make him do something he doesn't want to do!  He'll say "You guys! Stop talking all over me!" when Robb and I are both telling him to do something.  He also says the sweetest and funniest things- if you're sad he'll ask if you want a hug and will tell you "It's OK".  He has a great laugh and loves to be silly and have fun!


We try and make his birthday special every year, and this was the first year we had a "kid" birthday party.  The Sunday before his actual birthday we had a party at the Bounce! house in Clinton, CT.  Coincidentally the owner of the bounce house has a child with CF too!  Charlie was so looking forward to all of his friends coming to play with him at his party. We don't know many people with kids in our area so Robb invited anyone and everyone we knew with young children that would like the bounce house.  We ended up having a full house, which was great!  Then we had pizza and cake-- the Bounce! house took care of all the details including ordering the pizzas, setting up the room, and there was even a boy that played with Charlie until his friends showed up.  If you live in CT definitely check them out, they were wonderful!  We didn't do presents at the party because we wanted more time to bounce and figured he'd be getting LOTS of presents anyways from his family.

Stopped to grab some balloons for the party! Of course Robb got so many we couldn't see out the rear window :/  Charlie and Robb wore matching batman shirts to go with the theme :)



After the party ended at 1pm we drove 15minutes to my parents beach house for a family party with his grandparents, friends of the family, and his great Aunt Peggy.  It was a gorgeous beach day and we waded out to the sand bars and played in the waves.  Charlie also opened some great gifts- he got a lego car transporter from grandma and grandpa and a very cool kids digital camera and RC car from his Aunt Peggy. 

Bedtime cuddles- 4 years apart :)


Charlie's actual birthday was on Thursday but he kept getting presents upon presents until then from his awesome Nanny and his other relatives.  On his actual birthday I made a fun treasure hunt with picture clues and presents all along the way.  He loved it!  We got him rollerskates that he had asked for, a new school backpack, batman legos, and a few other games and books.  His grandma in Florida got him some really cool games (what's in Ned's Head is definitely a hit), books, and a totally awesome basketball hoop. 



We went back and forth on what to do with him that Thursday for his actual birthday (Robb and I both took the day off work) but eventually I saw a Groupon for Go-Kart racing and knew it would be perfect! He loved doing it in Florida so we knew he'd be so excited.  We didn't tell him where we were going but told him he had a fun surprise after lunch.  We ate at Fridays (one of my favorite chains, there's none close to our house but there is one on the Berlin Turnpike, which is where the Go Karts were) which was really fun and then surprised him.  He LOVED it! Robb and Charlie went 5 times around the track and even convinced me to try it once (and never again! I'm a huge wuss). 

After Go-Karts we went to duckpin bowling and played a few rounds.


After duckpin bowling we went to mini golf

After mini golf we got dinner and the waitresses brought out a cupcake and sang Happy Birthday

After dinner we went home, did a treatment, and then we all promptly collapsed from exhaustion haha.  Seriously though, we were so tired!  But in a good "we had a great day" type of way.  And that was Charlie's 4th birthday! I didn't bake a cake or handmake his birthday invitations or custom design his birthday decorations but it was perfect anyways (minus a few 4 yo meltdowns along the way hehe).