Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Run

So normal people don't run. The people who do run usually do it for health, fitness, weight loss, exercise, or any other perfectly valid reason. If you have been reading my blog for a few years, you might remember why I started running. It would take neuroscience to finally make me run.

So for new year's eve I ran a double. I started with a 5K and then slightly later ran a half marathon. Only, it was cold. REALLY cold and windy (It ranged from 32-36F degrees that day with gusts of wind up to 18mph - that's 0-2C for those  not in the US). Here are some photos:

Finishing the 5K

Out running the half marathon

A bonus 5K photo from on the trail.

What is the only thing worse than running a 5K followed by a half marathon? Doing it again the next day. Come back tomorrow for that post.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Photo by Sweet Son

We were Skyping with friends in another country and rather than talking, Sweet Son photographed the event.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

End of Year Statistics

Every year I like to look back at my statistics. Maybe I can learn something. Maybe I can improve something. Usually I just end up looking up new places on the map. Here are this year's statistics.

Most people visit my site on a Thursday. I have new content M-F so I'm not sure why this is. People are also more willing to click on ads on a Thursday. Thank you for that!

My top 10 most popular posts has only changed slightly. I'm glad to see at least one post from this year made it. Usually it takes a couple of years before a post gets enough views to get into the top 10. Clearly, giveaways are the exception so I will try to have more of those.

Eye Droppers Jan 28, 2013

Twin Pregnancy Jan 7, 2011

Lunchbox Giveaway Aug 8, 2015

Teething Necklaces Apr 27, 2011

Art with babies Feb 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Chiropractic Care Jul 25, 2011

Tummy Time Mar 2, 2011

Most of my readers found me on Google.,, and I also had many come from facebook, so that type of advertising seems to be working. Twitter didn't even break the top 10. Probably because I have no idea how to use twitter.

Homemade zamboni is still one of the top searches that leads to my page. Making it to 38 weeks pregnant with twins is also a top search, but most of those are from outside the U.S. I have theories about that, but I will keep them to myself until I have done more research.

Now to the most interesting part. Who in the world reads this blog? The majority of my readers are in the U.S. This is logical since I'm in the U.S. Typically in the past the other top countries have all been English speaking, but not this year. Russia, Ukraine, China, and France round out the top 5. Canada and the United Kingdom come next, which I expected. Then the top 10 is rounded out with Germany, Romania, and Australia. I'm not sure what happened to India, which used to be one of my top countries.

So, please tell me what I can do better? What do you like? What don't you like? Clearly I need to look at my Thursday content more carefully since that's when everyone else is. I know giveaways are helpful and if you know someone who would like to sponsor them, please let me know. I am open to ideas and constructive criticism.

Monday, December 28, 2015

kid photographer

Since I did a post two weeks ago with photos from Sweet Daughter's camera, here is a post with photos from Sweet Son's camera.

Sweet Daughter showing off buttons.

Working on his silly selfies

These made him giggle

His favorites are when he turns the camera upside down. I left it flipped because I know he would correct me otherwise!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

It's finally Christmas morning and time to see what's in the stockings! He had asked for a garbage truck and she had asked for a Hello Kitty coloring book. We surprised them both.

The stockings are usually small toys. This year they both got a new card game (She got Top Trumps Wonders Of The World  and he got Top Trumps - Bugs). She got the motorcycle she requested. He got a toy garbage can, hehe.

There's the garbage truck he requested! If you attach the can you can press buttons to make it lift the can up and have it dump into the truck. This was a huge hit.

And there are her coloring books and a Hello Kitty fuse bead set.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Tale of Two Beds, part 27

Once again, here are the links to the previous tales. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Frustration, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26.

Yes, this series gets a bonus part this month. This is the version where the goal is to find where they fell asleep. Am I the only one that has to play "find the child" at night?

This is level 1 - easy. He is in the hallway. Where else would he be?

This is level 2 - She is crammed in between the dresser and a wall. Doesn't that look... cozy?

This is the expert level. You can see the bed frame. You can see the mattress. I'll give you a hint, there is no child in this room anywhere.

There he is. Because why would you want to sleep on your bed, mattress, pillow, blanket, etc. Clearly those are building toys not for sleeping.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas with Papa

Our next round of Christmas was with Papa T. and Oma. There were surprise visitors, jello shots, and toys.

The kids building with Magna-Tiles . They love these! Yes, the kids chose their own outfits again and they are still overdressed. Isn't it cute?

Her first Jello shot. This was the alcohol free version, the adults did have their own. ;)

She got a dance mat!

He got a drum kit!

Papa T and Oma got motorcycles, which the kids got to sit on with very close supervision.

Playing with toys. She has Blokus which is a really fun game. It's like the opposite of Tetris. Here she is playing with it before she know the rules.

Great Grandma (Dancing Grandma) wearing a gift ribbon with Uncle B in the back. It went with her dress perfectly and she wasn't going to let it go to waste. (Once you pass 90 everything is cute again!)

A group photo. The 4 adults on the left of the photo are Oma's kids and spouses. She didn't know they were coming and was thrilled to have them there.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas with Grandma

Like most families, we end up having multiple gatherings with various sides for every holiday. Here we are celebrating with Grandma!

The 4 of us on the left. Top to bottom on the right are Uncle B., Great-Grandma (gentle grandma), and Grandma. We went to Great-Grandma's nursing home to celebrate with her.

Back to Grandma's house. First, my kids picked out their own clothes. They were not told to dress up. That big box/drum had their name on it. It was a box inside a box inside a box, etc. 

Their favorite toys: Zoomer Interactive Puppy and a unicorn that walks and sings a really annoying song.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sweet Son's Piano Recital

Now it's time for Sweet Son's piano recital. Sweet Son did one year of group piano and is now in his second year of private lessons. He also practices for hours every day without being told.

The kids dressed themselves. We fixed his shirt after this photo, haha.

Here he is playing during the recital. He only performed one piece, but it was longer and more difficult than most 5 year olds.

Did you see how much better his bowing is getting? This has been an ongoing battle. Every recital is just a bit better!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How to get FREE Amazon Gift Cards

Like almost everyone I know, I buy from Amazon a lot. I'm always looking for a good deal. A year ago I heard about a web site called "Swagbucks." I did some research and it seemed legitimate. You do things to earn points and can trade those for a gift card. Now, I am lazy. I am one of the worst people for doing these types of things, but after a year here are my results.

I have earned $50 in Amazon gift cards in a year. That surprised me. Here's what I did. I signed up for Swagbucks. I made it my default search engine and installed the button in my browser. Sometimes (looks like 50 times in a year) I would answer the daily question - one multiple choice question. That's it. You randomly get point for searching for things. You get a point for answering the daily question. Those add up slowly, but an extra $50 a year for doing practically nothing works for me.

There are a lot of ways you can earn more points. They give points for watching videos, answering surveys, buying things through their links, playing games, etc. I think I tried one of everything except buying through their link. It just wasn't worth my time to do more. They also have a mobile app with more ways to earn points. I never downloaded it so I can't tell you anything about it. Did I mention I'm lazy?

So after a year, would I recommend it? Yes. You can do as much or as little as you like and when you remember to log in and realize you have earned a gift card it's pretty cool. By the way, they have other options for spending your points, I just always get Amazon cards. I know I will always use them.

Here is my referral link: Swagbucks If you sign up with it, you start with 150 swagbucks and I get a bonus 15. The 150 swagbucks are worth $1.50 in Amazon gift cards, but the smallest denomination they sell is $3 for 300 points. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Photo by Sweet Daughter

Apparently the princess is falling out of the castle. Before rescuing her, Sweet Daughter took a photo. She might be a blogger's daughter...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kid Photographer (Christmas)

These are all photos from Sweet Daughter's camera.

Christmas Tree

More of the Christmas Tree

Sweet Son upside down... I'm not sure if she took this or if he did, but it's on her camera.

A new toy they got for Christmas - love these Magna-Tiles  

Just proving some things never change, here both kids took a photo of each other taking a photo.

Bass Pro Christmas

One of our favorite traditions is going to Bass Pro Shops for Christmas. There is so  much to see and do - most of it free!

Making ornaments (free)

Riding a reindeer carousel (free)

Looking inside a shark (free and available year round)

Talking to a reindeer (free)

Petting a dog in line while waiting for Santa

The main event! Bass Pro gives you one free photo with Santa. 
Be sure to go early and get a card that tells you what time to be in line. Then, you can do the other activities while you wait.