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Mother Daughter Road Trip to Cincinnati

09/09/2013

 

 

 

Over Labor Day weekend, Ali and I took a road trip up to visit our dear friends in Cincinnati. It’s a 4 hour drive so manageable for just the two of us. It was 2 weeks after her potty training day so we stopped more than usual—3x instead of 1. She did great though. Before we left she was feeding her favorite lovie Little Lucy cereal for breakfast. It was so sweet and funny. I could tell it was going to be a good day.

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We stopped for lunch at Skyline Chili, a speciality of Cincinnati. Ali wanted to sit in the booth across from me rather than in a high chair. She’s turning into such a little lady!

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It was her first experience with cincinnati chili over speghetti and I think it was a bit too spicy for her tastes. She said, “I no like that. I just like cheese.” OK, sweetheart. You can eat oyster crackers and shredded cheddar for lunch.

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She had a great time visiting with our friends Jonas (her birthday buddy who just turned 1 in July), Olivia (who is 3 months older than Ali) and Ben (who just turned 4).

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Ben didn’t want me to take his picture but he agreed to make silly faces with me.

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“Night Night” is Ali’s new favorite game.

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We took the kids to a childrens museum on Sunday afternoon. They liked petting Shelly the turtle.

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Ali coloring with Aunt Renata.

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Shopping at the miniature Kroger.

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Celebrating another staying dry and using the potty instance in the restroom. She gets a Skittle when she has stayed dry/clean and successfully uses the bathroom.

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In a miniature house, wearing an apple dress, holding an apple. She’s fun!

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I know this picture is terribly blurry but 90% of my pictures of the kids over the weekend were blurry. (I forgot my good camera.) Ali and Olivia got along so well. Renata is one of my very best friends and it was really sweet for us to see our daughters become fast friends, too.

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On Labor Day we went to a fair and the kids got to ride this little train. What a cute caboose!

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since our last visit. Before Ali and I left last summer both girls were wanting me to hold them and Renata took this picture.

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She thought it would be fun to recreate the picture one year later. These two got a lot heavier! I’m wearing the same jeans in both pictures and I actually packed that purple shirt with me. Had I realized, I would have worn it.

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I’m sad that our good friends aren’t in Nashville anymore but glad that we can see them at least once a year. Gosh, that seems like way too long! I’m really thankful that our kids got along so well and we had lots of time to visit as adults over the weekend, too.

 

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Phone Photo Friday

09/06/2013

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Most of my Phone Photo Friday pictures are from my Instagram feed. Follow me @mahlbrandt if you’d like!


Ali’s First Purse

09/05/2013

Ali has been really into mimicking her mama lately—wanting to put on make-up, glasses—and recently wanting to carry a purse. She had taken to using a red plastic bucket with a handle as a purse and I thought it would be fun to make her a special handbag of her own. Actually, I had been itching to do some sewing ever since I got my work room organized with new cabinets (I guess I should post about that some day!) and this was a great excuse to blow the dust off of my sewing machine. Maybe making a dust cover for my sewing machine should be my next project.

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I did this quickly during a nap time one afternoon. It’s a perfect fit for her Leap Frog cell phone and a small wallet that I no longer use. I added a couple of fake debit cards for her to play with. When I gave her the purse she immediately pulled out the phone to play with and then later discovered the wallet. She pulled it out and said, “What’s this, Mommy?” with a big grin on her face. It’s so fun to surprise our kids, isn’t it?

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You can see her carrying her purse while we were grocery shopping in yesterday’s blog post.

I recently read a post over on one of my favorite blogs of all time about little girls imitating their moms and how important it is that we exemplify the kind of woman we hope they become. Ali is about the same age as Ashley’s youngest and she is definitely watching and learning from everything we do. It’s a good reminder to be very intentional.


Mama’s Little Helper

09/04/2013

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I took this little lady grocery shopping with me the other day. We weren’t in a rush and the store wasn’t busy so when she didn’t want to ride in the shopping cart I decided to let her walk for the first time. She got so much attention with her stylish boots, little purse, (Dora sticker on her face…) and her out-going personality. I think she said hi to every person in the store and had at least 5 conversations about how old she is and what her name. She was thrilled to look at the live lobsters and knew what they were (maybe from shopping with her daddy, I’ve never talked to her about them before). I would hand her a item, like an orange or a box of rice, and she would drop it into the cart for me. I even let her choose a couple things for me… red grapes or green grapes? (She chose red.) Mac and cheese in a fun shape. Fruit snacks (her new obsession), even though we had a box at home. She carried the fruit snacks under her arm for the duration of our shopping. She told me she was carrying them in her armpit. She was usually trailing 5-10 feet behind me as I walked up and down the aisles pushing our cart. At one point I looked back and noticed she would take a few steps, turn around in a circle, take a few more steps, turn in a circle. She has such a passion for life and an incredible joy even at the small things. I decided to follow her lead…take a few steps, turn in a circle, take a few steps, turn in a circle. Her vitality is contagious. And she thought it was pretty great, too.

I must note: Publix employees are amazing! They all stopped to talk to her and offer her samples. While we were checking out she told one of the ladies that she had to go potty. She offered to take her for me (I declined that…that would have been weird) but then they offered to finish bagging my groceries and I could pay when we were done in the restroom so my little 2 year old wouldn’t have to hold it too long. After we finished up and paid, the older woman who bagged our groceries pushed our cart out to our van and insisted on loading it all herself so I could buckle Ali in. It was such a wonderful grocery shopping experience!