Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Favorite Zoey-isms

Since the day Zoey was born, I've looked forward to the moments where we can talk and have actual conversations.  I looked forward to the day when we could talk - and I could make those memories of the silly things that come out of a toddler's mouth.

That day has come - we're are knee-deep in Zoey-isms, and I'm finding myself not documenting them as often as I would like!  I want to remember them!!  So, in an effort to do just that, I'm sharing some of my favorite cute Zoey moments here.  The hope is that I will catalog more of these going forward, but for now - here are a few of our favorites:

Bless You!
While watching tv with Zoey, I sneezed.  She said "Bless you, Mommy".  I smiled...and after a few seconds was educated when Zoey looked at me and polietly informed me:  "You have to say Thank You."

I'm quite proud of Zoey's manners.  In fact, Lady Z, as a friend at church has dubbed her, has used "please" and "thank you" ever since she could speak.  The first words she used - and knew what they meant - were actually "thank you".  When we ask her to do something she doesn't want to do, she doesn't always yell no and throw a tantrum.  Instead she shouts "NO THANK YOU".  That has to be some kind of record for the world's most polite toddler tantrum.  (And then she throws herself on the ground/against a sofa/whatever)

Playing Monsters
Zoey has taken quite well to scary and spooky things.  And, she loves to play "Monster" (she hides under a blanket and awaits the jolt when Daddy rips off the covers and yells "BOO").  In fact, she likes this little game so much that during trips to the playground, she has been seen telling other toddlers that she's a monster and she's going to get them.  And then proceeds to chase after them with hands above her head yelling "ROARRRRRR!!!"  Hey, with her brother being severely autistic, we're just happy she's trying to engage other kids, hahaha!

Not a Morning Person
Zoey takes after her Mommy - and is NOT a fan of waking in the morning.  And, she's also a fan of the movie Frozen (what girl isn't?).  During a point in the movie, the little girl Ana tries to wake her older sister to play and tells her "The sky is awake, so I'm awake, so we have to PLAY".  During one morning, Zoey modified the logic a little to get a few extra winks.  When telling her it was time to get up, I received "No.  We have to wait.  The sky is awake, we have to wait for it to sleep."

Lazy Lady Z
One evening while getting some quality cuddle time with Mama in Mommy & Daddy's bed, Zoey asked for her iPad (which she calls "Elmo" because she used to use it just to watch Elmo videos) and her favorite stuffed elephant (whom we've dubbed...Elephant).  I told her to go get it and she said "No, Mommy get it."  I chuckled to myself - amused that she was rejecting my order and giving her own.  I decided to be firm, and replied politely, no...if you want it, you got get it.  Her response?  "DADDY!  I WANT ELEPHANT AND ELMO"

I Need Mommy
One of Jason's favorite moments includes an evening when Zoey first started making simple requests.  From her bedroom, she could be heared yelling "Mommy!  Mommy!  Mommy?".  Knowing that she was just trying to find an excuse to stay up later, I decided to ignore the initial requests in hopes that she would give into sleep.  After a few tries, her room grew quiet - and I felt I had won.  And then, Jason & I hear "Daddy?" and Jason stands in her doorway and says "Yes, Zoey?"  Her response?  "I need Mommy."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NutriSystem: Week 1 Summary

Today is the last day in my first week of NutriSystem. Although I did some damage over the weekend, a bit of exercise and carefully watching my calorie intake on Monday got me to a weight even lower than my pre-weekend weigh-in. All together, I've lost 2.6 pounds.

NutriSystem offers a "Fast Five" program (which comes free with each new order).  In it, you basically stick to a meal plan of 900 calories and consume two NutriSystem shakes a day.  If you follow it to a T, NS claims you can lose a full 5 pounds in one week.  I started out trying the Fast Five, but after two days gave up and jumped right into a calorie allotment of 1,500 (which is what NS recommends for me).  True, had I stuck to the extreme "Fast Five" program I could have lost 5 pounds; but I'm ok sacrificing those couple of extra pounds to make sure I didn't feel deprieved. After all, I still lost - and a 2.6 pound loss in a single week isn't anything to laugh at!

For those of you not familiar with NutriSystem, it's a meal program, basically.  They send you 4 weeks of food (which you can choose).  Each day includes a Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Desert/Snack.  They're all conviently packaged and ready for folks on the go!  In addition to these foods, you're supposed to supplement 4 servings of veggies, 2 servings of fruits, and snacking is to be focused on items they refer to as "Smart Carbs" and "Power Fuels" (basically carbs that don't cause you to crash and crave more, and lean proteins).  The point here is that you still have to do some shopping - the shipment you get from NS is not the only food you're going to eat.  For anyone considering the program, keep that in mind.

Overall, the food hasn't been exactly terrible.  Last night's meal was disgusting (Chicken Alfredo...avoid it!) - but that's really the only one that I just couldn't eat.  Most everything else has fared pretty well.  I've had a few real winners - my personal favorites have been the Chicken Pot Pie, Tuna Salad, Double Chocolate Muffin, and the Creamy Chicken Pasta.

I've had wins and loses with the tools.  On one hand, I love, love, love that I can speak to a counselor (via phone or online chat) free of charge!  They help give you that extra dose of "you can do it!" when you're feeling like you can't do it.  Super helpful, always available, and very friendly.  Nice touch!

On the other hand, the mobile app SUCKS.  The idea behind this app is the same as MyFitnessPal - it allows you to track your food and basically count your calories.  Honestly, the app isn't completely terrible - it's just lacking the ability to easily enter non-NS food.  And since we already know that by following the NS plan we're supposed to supplement the NS diet with fresh grocery items, one would think the app would allow you to do this.  On the bright side, the website does provide you access to a large food database - but that requires you to be tethered to a computer to log food.  I've heard rumors that NS is very close to releasing a new mobile app - my fingers are crossed.  In the mean time, I've scrapped entering food into the NS site and started using My Fitness Pal again - their food database is HUGE and can account for everything (including the NS meals!).

Now it's on to Week 2...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Start of NutriSystem

For the past 3 years, I have struggled with my lack of motivation to lose weight and found myself slowly gaining back every ounce I worked so hard to lose. And getting bigger makes me even more disgruntled, so I it pushes me further away. My desire and motivation is completely shot. 

All of that coupled with my hectic schedule (full-time work, full-time school, extremely active in church, plus my Mommy and Wife hats) - when do I have time to shop for, count calories, and plan out every single meal I eat. Point blank, I'm lazy. 

Enter NutriSystem. For a set price every month, they send you 4 weeks of food - all packaged, color coded for each meal, and ready to go. Each day, you get a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. You just supplement in water, fruits and veggies, and for some meals - little things like a slice of bread or a cup of milk. But the thought, planning, and work is all replaced with a box that arrives on your doorstep each month. Done. 

Today was my first day on the program...and I stuck with it all day. I'm starving, but I stayed with it. Whew. I ate more vegetables today that I think I have in the past month (seriously!).

The food wasn't half bad, actually. I liked most of what I had:

Chocolate muffin (delicious & rich!)
Starbucks coffee (black, with splenda)

Morning Snack
1 cup Bell Peppers
1 Banana
NutriSystem Energizing Chocolate Shake (Not so yummy, much better gulped quickly when cold)

Three Cheese Chicken (So yummy!)
1 cup Baby Carrots
1 cup Cucumbers

Afternoon Snack
2 cups Baby Carrots
NutriSystem Craving Crusher Chocolate Shake (Not so yummy, much better gulped quickly when cold)

Lasagna (So-so)
1 cup Celery
1 cup Cherry tomatoes

No dessert tonight - the first week of the program trades out the dessert option for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon shake. I think I'd rather have the snacks. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PopSugar Review - November 2013

If you've spent any time browsing the internet, I'm sure you've heard of the latest Subscription Box craze.  Basically, it's like a "cheese of the month" club, but for basically anything - arts & crafts (Whimsey Box, For The Makers, etc); Beauty (PopSugar, BirchBox); Snacks (Nature Box); Boxes for your dogs (Bark Box); Boxes for your kids (Citrus Lane); and even "That Time of the Month" box (Bonjour Jolie).  I've tried a few of these, but the one that I'm hooked on is...PopSugar.  It's a little pricier, but I feel like the items I get are always WELL worth the subscription price!  

Today, I'm sharing with you (via pictures) an "unboxing" of my PopSugar November box.  Enjoy!

Item 1:  A $30 Voucher for Canvas Pop Merchandise

Item 2: A full-size bare fruit Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips snack

Item 3: An Illume Candle - in Naughty scent (some others got "Nice")

Item 4:  A stack of 32 lavender scented nail polish remover pads

Item 5:  An 8.3 ounce jar of Strawberry & Blackberry Cream Preserves (yum!) 
Item 6:  A full-size bar of Shea Butter Soap from The Soap & Paper Factory

Item 7:  A Michael Stars wrap (to be worn as a scarf/shawl).  The price tag was still on this, and it says $42!
Item 8:  A heavy-duty wine canvas tote from Lands End - in Red & White
My loot!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


In most areas of the country, people tend to get annoyed when a driver races up a lane that ends (especially when it's clearly marked) and cuts over.  And, until I moved to DC - I was definitely one of those drivers!  In fact, seeing people cut over at the last minute would annoy me so greatly that I would go out of my way to avoid traveling in a lane next to one that ended...just so I couldn't get pissed off at someone cutting me off!

You can imagine how difficult it was to contain the road rage when I moved here...DC drivers are infamous for waiting until a lane completely forces you to move before merging.  It annoyed me and I didn't understand why folks continued to drive in a lane until it physically ended, even when they knew better.  But, one evening during rush hour, as my car idled in the parking lot that was I-395, I studied traffic entering the freeway and realized something.  They had nowhere to go!  If the lane they need to enter is not moving, then there are no spaces to magically open up and squeeze into.  Which means, you can either (1) stop at some random point in the lane the ends (well before it ends) preventing other motorists from reaching exiting the freeway at a potential exit before the lane ends and causing the entrance ramp to back up onto the feeding streets or (2) drive up as far as you can and play a game that I like to call "alternate merge".  Most people around here follow rule #2...and no one gets angry about it.  When two lanes merge, folks leave a space for a single car and the ending lane files in nicely. 

But every once in a while you come across a jerk in an oversized SUV who thinks because they're driving a large vehicle, they own the road and can push their way in anywhere.  Like the wonderful gentleman I had the pleasure of meeting this morning...who literally tried to run me off the road because he wanted to be in front of me, instead of behind me.  His lane was ending, and I left a space large enough for the car in front of him to file in...but that wasn't good enough.  Mr. Escalade decided he wanted to be in front of me too, so he continued to drive neck-and-neck with me, literally forcing me into the lane to my left - or let him hit my car.  I didn't let him in, and when I honked to alert Mr. Wonderful to my presence, he actually got angry with me, honked back, flipped me off...and then slid in behind me.  I'm still trying to figure out how I was the wrong one here...only in DC do you get cursed at for being right.  I wonder if this guy worked in Congress...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Zoey's Talking!

Zoey's been babbling incoherently for months now, but just recently she's starting sounding a little more coherent.  And those coherent "words" (well, really syllables) seem to be associated to the same activities/items.  Could it be that our little girl is finally saying her first real words? 

We thought months ago, once Zoey started babbling non-stop, that her first words were "Dah Dah".  Jason, of course, was tickled to claim that his little girl could say Daddy.  The thing is, she really never showed any sign of understanding what "Dah Dah" meant.  She'd play fetch with the dog, and say "Dah!".  She'd go to the door and say "Dah Dah".  She'd play with her toys and say "Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah".  You get the picture. 

But this past weekend, she did something completely different.  I was sitting in the front room with a few pretzel sticks when Zoey came waddling over to the chair and held her hand out for a pretzel.  I handed her a small pretzel stick and she said "Day Doo" and wobbled off.  It sounded a lot like she said "thank you", but I figured it was just coincidence.  Until we repeated this interaction about a dozen times.  And then last night, while I was in the car - I got a call from Jason.  He got Zoey in her high chair and gave her some grapes, and she said "Thank you" - Jason stood there, baffled for a minute, and said "You're welcome".  He was so tickled that his daughter was talking to him....and he could understand it!

These two little words really just opened the flood gates though.  As with everything in Zoey's life, the build up before she reaches a milestone seems to take forever, but once she hits it, she just takes off.  No joke, she started walking in a single weekend.  She had the strength and stability to do it for weeks, but lacked the confidence.  One Friday night, she took about 3 steps on her own, and that was it.  By Sunday evening, she was wobbling all over the place - and now she insists on walking everywhere.  Since the Thank You incident, we've heard and identified "bah" (for balloon), momo (for elmo), side (for outside), go, and of course - everyone's favorite - no (or more specifically no, no, no, no, no).

Guess we've reached the age of watching what we say around her.  ;)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Photo: WWII Memorial

06.04.11: World War II Memorial