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Friday's Flick: Jackson's First Steps

Seriously... Another movie day? How self-obsessed could we possibly be?

Oh, just come to our house and count how many home movies we make you watch.

I kid, I kid... Kinda. :)

In all seriousness, I promise I'm not going to have 2 movie days in one week on the family blog. Instead, as this blog is a constant work in progress, I have decided to change "Movie Monday" to "Friday's Flick".

1) Because it's a much cuter & catchier name.
2) Because it will be much easier to get a movie put together for a post by a Friday than a Monday.

Now, considering my last post was seriously long, I'm not going to do anything major today. Well, it's major to us, but you know what I mean... Basically, I'm not going to share our whole life story. :)

One big new thing that's been going on over the last few weeks is Jackson's new developing skill of walking! I wanted to share a video of him walking, especially for our family back in Tennessee who kept seeing him so close to taking those first steps!

So, here it is... Friday's Flick!

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** If you're having trouble viewing this video you can go here or copy and paste this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv_nc-NsCik

Have a great weekend and Chaudhari love to you all!!

Caution: Long Post Ahead. Movie Thursday?? + Updates

Failure.

My second "Movie Monday" and I didn't get it done. My apologies!

To be completely honest, Monday was not a fun day. I was completely exhausted and had a massive headache that even medicine couldn't help, which is very unusual for me... so, no movies were posted. However, to show my sincerest apologies, I offer a bonus movie for every day I'm late. I think this should make up for the delay. :)

Just to update you guys a little on what we've been up to, I'll fill you in on the last week and a half of our lives and throw the movies in there as well...

After church on Sunday the 18th we drove up to St. Louis to be with some of our much loved friends who were having a joint wedding shower. It was so nice and refreshing to be with those good people! :) This was also our first time getting to meet little Gus, the sweet baby to two of our favorite people, Blake & Lindsey (I can't believe I didn't take any pictures - failure #2). The boy is beyond precious!! I can't wait to watch him grow and see our boys play together one day!

One of the fun activities at the shower was an Almost Newlyweds game, which surprisingly, I did take pictures of. There were some very funny moments, and let's just say we learned some new things about our friends... too much fun!! :)

Laughs at the different responses to the question "How many children do you plan on having?"

Question: Who initiated the first kiss?

Unfortunately, we also found out on that day that my Great Aunt Betty passed away after much suffering and pain. We're thankful for hope of her being in a better place now and knowing she no longer has to suffer. Please continue to pray for my family, especially my Uncle Danny & their daughter, Celeste. They have been there to completely take care of my Aunt Betty's every need and they will be missing her so much.

With the news of my Aunt Betty's passing we decided for the boys and I to go to Tennessee a few days earlier than we had originally planned (We were already planning on being in Nashville for Dipal to run the half in the Country Music Marathon... more on that later). Dipal wasn't able to stay with us as this is an extremely busy time for him at work, but he took the boys and me down to Nashville Wednesday morning and we rode with Dad to Harriman early Thursday morning. We didn't get to spend very much time with family since we needed to get back to Nashville quickly, but I am thankful we got to go for the short amount of time we did. I miss seeing that family so much! Actually, I miss seeing all my family down that way... Uggghhh... Moving on...

Dipal joined us in Nashville Friday evening and got up dark & early (it definitely wasn't bright at 4 am) and headed on over to the race. The rest of us got up and got ready and headed over as Dipal was finishing his last few miles. We knew this because he signed us up to receive text message updates on his status in the race, which was so helpful! If you're going to watch someone in a race and this option is available I highly recommend it!! Knowing where he was helped us to park and run to a spot around mile 12 to give him the boost he needed to make it to the finish! :)

Here's a (very) short clip of our time at the race:

video
** If you're having trouble viewing this video you can click here or copy and paste this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeHXyZEikyM

Quick Brag Report (Because I know Dipal won't do it): With hardly any training (I think he might have done a 5 mile run a couple of days before the race), Dipal finished the half marathon in a time of 2:01. I thought this was pretty amazing considering the longest I've ever run was 3 miles and that took me around 35 minutes, but I'm no runner and I digress. We're also thankful that his soreness was minimal afterwards and he had no injuries, well, at least during the race. (End brag report here) The day after the race when Dipal was loading the truck he jumped down and landed on his ankle (Ouch!!). It got very swollen and he's been a little gimp for most the week.

We really enjoyed our time in Nashville! We had great weather for the most part (Thanks Dad! ;) ), which allowed us to play outside a lot! At one point while we were outside my little brother, Robert, started singing "Over the Rainbow" to Jackson. It was so sweet and I was lucky enough to get him to do it a second time while I got it on video, which leads us to video #2...

video
** If you're having trouble viewing this video you can click here or copy and paste this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tseRuyk-rFg

Before moving on, I have to share my 2 favorite quotes while in Nashville. To start, on the first day we were there I was sitting outside with the kids, but wanted to step inside to check on something. After telling the kids I was going to do this Robert looked at Jayden and said "Don't worry, I'll be your protector Jayden. Brittany has to go inside." :) I thought that was just way too sweet. In the beginning of the video above he also told Jackson he would be his "take-carer." Too. Cute.

My second favorite quote that I heard several times and had never heard before (I might be showing how little I get out these days by saying this) was "Shut the front door!" in response to telling someone something surprising. If you don't get it, try saying it outloud and you might. It makes me laugh just typing it... I need to get out more.

Finally, I wanted to share some sweet developments in Jackson with you. Although being mommy to an infant and toddler has plenty of hard times, it's the moments like these that make my heart melt. I heard a quote yesterday on the radio from a woman who had worked her way up the ladder to an executive position in NASA, but when she and her husband decided to adopt she left it all and decided to stay home with the kids. When asked why she left such a prestigious position with such great income to be a stay-at-home mom she replied, "The pay is low, but the benefits are fantastic!". Here are some of my "benefits" I would like to share with you.

Jackson has started singing, sometimes randomly, but mostly when he hears someone else doing it or music in the background. On this day we were watching a movie when Jackson started singing along followed by a quick game of peek-a-boo. Enjoy!

P.S. Please excuse Jackson's drool. For those of you without kids, this is what happens when kiddos are getting their teeth.

video
** If you're having trouble viewing this video you can click here or copy and paste this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlpoU2pWWgA

Another thing Jackson has started doing lately is a little bit of sign language. Some of you might remember how we use to do this with Jayden to help him be able to communicate before he was able to use words. Jayden still occasionally uses sign language with his words (like sometimes when he says "please" he does the sign for please at the same time). To be honest, we haven't been as consistent teaching sign language to Jackson as we were with Jayden because it's a lot harder to focus on that when you have 2 little ones at the table, but to my surprise, one day when I asked Jackson if he wanted more puffs (a baby snack), he did the sign language!

To help you see it, here is a picture of what the sign language looks like for the word "More":

Photo Credit: ASL University

And here's the video... Please excuse my (extremely annoying, if it weren't for how cute I thought the kiddos are I would be way too embarrassed to share this) high-pitched excitement. :)


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** If you're having trouble viewing this video I'll post the link as soon as it's available.

So, that's all for today, but tune back in tomorrow as I have a little something I'm working on... Until then, Chaudhari love to you all!!

The "F" Word (Repost)

First, I want to apologize for not posting earlier this week.  My Great-Aunt passed away on Sunday, so I decided to travel down to Tennessee to spend time with my family.  We're going to be staying through the weekend while my husband runs the half marathon in the Music City race this weekend.  With exercising on the mind, I decided to repost an entry from my previous blog. Enjoy!

Originally posted on August 13,2008


This past weekend Dipal (my husband) had to travel to Chicago for a work trip, so little Jayden and I tagged along and brought our friend Amanda to help us tour "The Windy City." It was my first time actually spending time in the downtown area and I absolutely loved it! I definitely could have spent a lot more time there, there's just so much available to do. I think it's great when you can go somewhere and enjoy great shopping, great weather temp.s, a clean beach and of course sight-seeing (if you wish) all within a very short drive, or possibly even walking distance. We had a great view of downtown and the river from our hotel - The Holiday Inn at Mart Plaza - and amazing service from the staff! I have to say kudos to the Chicagoans for being way nicer than I ever expected in the north! Being from the south, I feel like I can always tell a huge difference when I travel somewhere in the hospitality of the people, but everyone was so unbelievably nice in Chicago! My only complaint would be heavy traffic, no matter what time of day, it was always there - but hey, it's a big city, it's to be expected!


So, after our downtown fun was over, we stopped to see Dipal's family who live in the Chicago suburbs. I am very lucky to have very sweet family from Dipal's side and I want to say that I really enjoy the family that we had the chance to visit with! With that said, something happened during our visit and I feel the need to share because I know I'm not the only one this has happened to, and if it happens to you, know you're not alone. Ok, here goes... My husband's aunt walked up to me and said (loosely quoted) "Brittany, you getting fat? Are you pregnant again?". That's right folks - she called me every new mom's worst nightmare, the "F" word, "FAT." Even more, asked if I was pregnant again. :(

I immediately turned a very bright shade of red and became completely flustered and speechless. I felt so great about all the walking we had done while downtown, but that bubble got busted within seconds! I never in my life have struggled with weight and definitely have never been called fat. But almost eight months after giving birth I am still struggling with losing the weight, and those who know me closely know I am very hard on myself because I have always struggled with a low self image. But only eight months after giving birth, isn't that normal for most women? Not all of us can look like Nicole Kidman or Jennifer Lopez with our personal trainers, chefs, and nannys to watch our children so we can spend time whipping ourselves into tip-top shape. For the average everyday person it takes time, and that is okay! Actually, I remember reading many times while pregnant: It takes 9 months to gain the weight and about the same to lose it. And another little fact I heard recently is that although breastfeeding can help to lose weight quickly in the beginning, it makes those last 10-15 pounds harder to lose because your body is still supporting another precious little being. So, to all of you moms out there... it's ok if you're struggling to lose that weight! You are SO not alone, even if you feel like you're surrounded by skinny mommys on TV! The healthy way to lose is slowly and you need to do what is best for you and your baby. I know I'm trying to focus on sticking to the basics of working out and eating well to try to lose my weight and eventually my weight will get back in check. To those of you who know a mommy who is working to lose that weight, give nothing but support and positivity!

I hold absolutley no hard feelings towards the aunt who made this comment to me. If anything, I'm now thankful because it inspired my working out, that had been taking somewhat of a vacation, to get back on track. I have such a supportive network of family and friends who boost that low self-esteem back up that I usually don't stay too down for too long. And hopefully, as part of the intention of the entire blog, this story can show others of you out there we all share in the same struggles as mommys!
*Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Chicago*

** Update to this post:  Since the original posting of this entry I have had a second baby (He is almost a year old, and no, I was not pregnant with him yet at the time of this entry) and am still struggling to lose the weight!  Plain and simple - it's going to take work.  Finding time in the day to work out with 2 little ones is hard!  Now that the weather is getting nicer we occasionally take walks around the neighborhood, which is great for me and the boys!  How do you find time in your busy day to fit in exercise?

The Very First Movie Monday (Since renamed Friday's Flick)!!

Lately, I've been thinking of occasionally sharing videos on the family blog so everyone could see a little more of the boys than in the pictures. Pictures are fantastic, but I thought the occasional video would be much better at connecting with long-distance family and friends who are missing the cutie-patooties!! :)

Thanks to inspiration from my friend Melinda, I'm deciding to start a "cutesy-pie series" called "Movie Monday"!

I'll try to post a new movie every Monday to keep you guys updated on what Jayden and Jackson are up to, but I'm not making any promises!

Without further ado... duh duh duh duh...

This is a movie I took of Jayden this morning as he and Jackson were watching one of their favorite DVDs (a nursery rhyme sing-along). Jayden has always seemed to enjoy music, but recently has really started catching on to singing along. For example, *Proud Mama Moment: He can sing his ABC's, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Jesus Loves Me, just to name a few.* This morning he decided to pick up his guitar and jam along. I couldn't resist picking up the camera and getting some footage!


video
** If you're having trouble viewing this video you can also view it by clicking here or copying & pasting this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch_private?v=0Nd6hq085TA&sharing_token=ZaGQxFWo6pAme1cMoA4TVA .


Chaudhari love to you all!!

Fabulous Spring Saturday

Spring has officially sprung at the Chaudhari house!!

For some of you this might have happened with the celebration of Easter or as your flowers started blooming.  I still have no flowers in my yard (we're just thankful for grass right now), and although Easter was a fantastic weekend (I promise pictures and an update are coming, no really, I mean it) it didn't quite get me in the springy, wanna stay outside in the sunshine spirit.  But today did.

The morning started with Dipal leaving bright and early to help plant plots of crops he sells seed for.  We're  officially into planting season, which means Dipal's schedule becomes quite long and sometimes even a little unpredictable.  He had assured me a few minutes before leaving that he would leave the car seats for me so that the boys and I would have the ability to get out of the house and go do something.

He forgot.

And I realized this as I got outside with the boys, diaper bag, cooler bag, and purse in hand at the car.

I was not happy.

By this point it was time for Jackson's morning nap so I took him back inside to lay down, but decided to stay outside with Jayden while Jackson was napping so Jayden could have some outside playtime.  Little did I know how much I would enjoy it too!  We ended up staying outside most the day with the exception of naps and meal times!

Here are some pics I snapped as we were finishing out our day:

My little sidewalk chalk artist


Who doesn't wear rain boots while sidewalk chalking it?


Me: "Jayden, you look like you're at a parade!"
Jayden: "No, Tennessee football game!"
Oh, dear.

Back at Easter we noticed this little bird nest.  Yesterday we noticed there were 3 eggs (at Easter there was just 1).  Today we watched Mama Bird protecting her babies.


As Jayden was playing I decided to pull up a chair so I could just sit and enjoy watching him play, however, when he saw me sitting he decided to go grab his Elmo chair so he could sit too.


Sitting on the porch steps with my little man.  The original reason I took this picture was because his boots were on the wrong feet.  You can't really tell, but I still think it's a neat picture.


Walking off into the sunset.
He informed me he was going to Tennessee.  Thankfully, I convinced him that in order to get to Tennessee he needed to come back in my direction.

So, that was our day!  Wagons, strollers, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, rain boots, nature, and lots of happiness! :)

I only regret that I didn't get a single picture of Jackson, especially with the bubbles because he loved them!!  I get the bad mom award for not getting the camera out until the end of the afternoon (and when Jackson was taking his nap).

Happy Spring and Chaudhari love to you all!!

What I Learned from Richard Simmons (Repost)

As I'm starting out this new blog I wanted to repost some of my favorites from the blog I was working on previously.  Sometimes I'm embarrassingly cheesy, but I hope you can see the bright side of it like I try to.  Enjoy!


Originally posted on July 31, 2008

First, a disclaimer for today's post: I like to analyze life a lot and take lessons away from things.  Sometimes, this is a great way to learn life lessons, however, sometimes (and my husband as well as close friends would back me up on this) I over analyze and make up horrible scenarios out of nothing.  Today, some of you might think this is a silly scenario I'm writing about, but I choose to turn it into a positive life lesson!

So, earlier this week a friend my husband works with told us the one and only Richard Simmons was coming to a local Walgreen's.  I'll be honest, I've never watched a single Richard Simmons video, never followed one of his weight-loss plans, never been an avid Richard Simmons follower, but I think that guy is hysterical!!  Immediately, my first thought was: I have to get a picture with that guy!  This is too funny to pass up!!  Well, to my surprise, while driving through St. Louis yesterday I saw the sign saying the big day had arrived, Richard Simmons 6-8pm!  So, I told my husband how much I wanted to go and how funny it would be.  I told my boss (I work part-time, but take my son with me when I actually go into the office, most of my work is done from home), I told my friends...  I was ready to get my picture!  I even called my husband at work to tell him about the "Welcome Richard" car sitting outside of Walgreen's. *I sound like a crazy person, yes, I know this*  So, after my husband gets off work I'm talking about Richard Simmons again and I catch his 'absolutely not interested' vibe.  Oh no!  Then, I think, maybe one of my neighbors, who happens to be a very sweet friend, would go.  She calls to see if I want to go to the gym, I mention Richard Simmons is at Walgreen's, but she didn't seem to care much either, except to say Richard would be very proud of us for going to the gym (Very true)!  So, I didn't go, didn't get my picture, and was very sad I wouldn't have a cool Richard Simmons story for my new blog.  To make matters worse, this morning my husband sent me a very cute, funny pic of the work friend who went to meet Mr. Simmons!!  Never thought I would say this, but I am so jealous!!

My lesson learned - Why was I waiting on someone else to go with me?  If I thought it would be so fun and funny I should have just gone myself.  I immediately remembered the time when I was a freshman at the University of Tennessee (Go VOLS!!) and wanted to go to the freshman picnic to meet people.  When I didn't have anyone to go with me I stayed in my room instead of getting out to meet new people, and this was the beginning of a very hard, lonely first semester of college.  Luckily, my now husband became a great friend during that time and made sure I was getting out meeting new people.

Your take-away from all this - Do things for yourself, don't wait on others to help you do it.  Be confident, and if something is important to you, go for it.  There was a quote I really liked in high school and I think it is very appropriate here: "Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting on someone to bring you flowers." ~ Veronica A. Shoffstall

*Photo Credit: Richard Simmons Official Site*

Wow.  It's wild looking back at this post and seeing how I've grown over the last couple of years.  Silly example, yes, but I hope it reminds us all not to be so dependent on others.  Since writing this our family has moved to a smaller town where I really have to push myself out of my comfort zone sometimes if I want to make any friends.  I'm still a work in progress, but pushing myself out of my comfort zone gets a little easier each time I do it.

Welcome!

I heart blogging. It's true. Reading them, writing them... love them.

For the last couple of years I've known I wanted a platform to be able to share with others, but struggled with the details - what specifically to blog about, what my blog would be called, who would my target audience be (Sorry, PR major thoughts happen occasionally).  Finally, I feel like everything is starting to come into view.

You see, my life has been nothing like I ever would have expected (Is anyone's?).  Like many others (ok... everyone), I've had plenty of occasions where giving up hope seemed like an option, but fortunately, it's never seemed a valid option.  Through every day there always seemed to be a glimmer of hope shining, sometimes in the distance, but always there.

Appropriately, at least I think so, my parents gave me the middle name of Hope.  I'm not sure that my parents planned it this way, but I've always felt like it's a constant reminder that I have hope in my life and not to give it up.

Like me, you too have your own daily grind you're going through, so here at Hope in the Daily Grind I'll be sharing stories, laughter and thoughts to help you keep going through your day.

"For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.  Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in you." ~ Psalm 33:21-22

"... but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." ~ Romans 5:3-4

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