Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get movin', mama.

Remember a little over a year ago when I started running?  Not because I particularly had an interest in doing so, but because I made a vow to myself to do what I can to stay healthy for my husband and kids?  That went ok for awhile.  I kept up with it nearly all of last summer, running two 5Ks over the summer, and another one in early October with my sister-in-law, Katie.

That was in early October; it all fell apart after that.  We went to Disney.  It was Halloween.  It got cold.  It was the holidays.  It was even more cold.  It snowed for 439 days in a row (at least it felt that way)  All excuses, I know.  But they were excuses I was willing to accept.  I was sporadically doing the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, but I wasn't being as consistent as I should have been.

Spring was finally just around the corner, and a friend asked me to run a 5K with her.  Not just any 5K (because if it had been just any old 5K I would have immediately told her no, there was no way I'd be ready)...but this dear friend has watched her dad battle leukemia for over a year.  She has been by his side for multiple hospital stays, testing, treatments, and transfusions.  There were times when she was going through that when I felt helpless..I would do what I could, I'd drop off food, take her daughter for a few hours so that she could go to the hospital...but I always felt like I wanted to do more.  So this 5K that was for leukemia?  That I could do. 

I ran it. It wasn't pretty since I literally had not run since October, but I did it in 38 minutes.  But I knew after running it, I wanted to do something else.  I needed to try something new, something more structured.  I know myself all too well, and it's way too easy for me to make excuses to not keep up with running.

So I finally took the plunge and signed up for a fitness class through work; it's called total body fusion and it meets 2 days as week for 50 minutes each class.  It works for me for two reasons: #1, I paid for it (really reasonable, but still) so I'm more inspired to go to get my money's worth out of it.  #2 - it's in the middle of the day, not during my "home" time.  The home thing was a big part of it for me before, I felt guilty (even though I shouldn't) for going out to run when I was at home with the boys.  After being away from them all day, the guilt was eating away at me when I would leave them again to go do something for myself.  But doing something during my lunch hour eases that guilt right up!

I don't love the class, and I think I just have to accept the fact that I will never love any type of workout.  I think that was another issue for me; I keep waiting to have that "a-ha!" moment that other people seem to have...the one where they find something that clicks for them and they look forward to it, and crave it when they can't do it.  I'm not going to lie...I hate every minute of being in that class.  I hate the sweating, I hate the tiredness, I hate hauling myself there when frankly, I would rather take a leisurely lunch break to myself.  But, I will do it because what I don't hate is knowing that I  am helping myself, and through that, helping my family in the long run. 

image courtesy of theworkoutmama.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: No bad guys in this house!!

Explorers: unite!!

During Liam's nap last Sunday, Jake played very nicely by himself with his legos for about an hour (we've really been trying to work on this whole, "you don't need to be constantly entertained by a human or electronics" thing with him recently....it's been getting better, that will be a whole other post at some point)  I had wrapped up the few things I had been working on (like un-burying myself out of a mountain of laundry) and Brian was outside setting up the pool and slip and slides for later that day; I asked Jake if he wanted to do something for a bit before Liam woke up and without hesitation he said, "Yes.  I would like to go on a scavenger hunt.  Do you have a notebook I can use to write down my observations?"  Well, then.  How could I say no to that?  We gathered up the essentials (notebook, pen, magnifying glass, binoculars) and headed outside, scavenger hunt items in my head.

I told him the following items were part of the scavenger hunt: an acorn, a bug, a flower,a piece of a fern, a twig and a rock.  After he found each one, he would stop and sit in the grass to write down his observations.  Here is page 1 of his "scientific notebook", as he called it:

After he located all of the items, we took them into the "secret hideout" (aka-the clubhouse area of the swingset) and took a look at our findings.

 It was here that I discovered upon inspection of my legs that something had decided to enjoy me as a late afternoon snack.  I had EIGHT bites on my 2 legs, and not just little bites...I'm talking welts the size of a coaster that were already hugely swollen and standing off of my legs.  I called Brian over to look at them, and he kind of shuddered and said "I've never seen anything like that!" and immediately checked Jake.  Jake didn't have a single bite.  not one!!  And for the record, our yard is surrounded by woods on two sides and while we were near the woods, we were not IN the woods.  In fact, I was probably not closer than 5 feet away from the woods.  How did I get attacked so viciously??

This just further cements my case that I am simply not made to be outdoors for prolonged periods of time.

But, despite that little incident (which are still there by the way, 3 days later...and still itching like crazy!) we had a great time on our little hunt. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Brian did a little bit of early celebrating for Father's Day when his dad was in town last weekend, the boys (minus Liam, since I'm still not sure he would sit through something that long) went to the Pirates game and had a great time.

Thanks to a very generous neighbor and friend, they had amazing seats again in a suite:

That's two games in a row that Jake has been in a suite for a baseball game; how will he ever return to the regular stands again?? ;)  Major first world problems for such a little boy.

Our actual Father's Day was pretty low key; my dad had to work, so we saw him Friday evening and had a little cookout at our house.  On Sunday morning, I took the kids to church and then to a playground so that Brian could have a few hours to himself to go running and sit in peace.  We also gave him his gift (a knock-off Go Pro camera to take skiing) and these fun questionnaires from the kids:

I love their descriptions of what Brian does at work: "gives people money" (Jake) and "goes and then comes home" (Liam)
That afternoon, Brian's request was to get the slip and slides out.  I'm not a mushy person, but in moments like that, I am reminded of why I married him and love him so much....he works so hard to provide for our family and gets so much happiness from seeing me and the kids have fun.  I couldn't ask for a better dad or bigger kid at heart for those boys :)

Happy Father's Day to ALL of the dads in my life!!!  We love you!

Another successful season of baseball!

We wrapped up our 3rd season of baseball last night; it's been so much fun to watch these boys grow and improve over the last 2 months, they've really come a long way!

And a video of the last hit of the season:

I have to say, as chaotic as it was to venture into the world of weekday sports (and as much as I complained about it), I will miss seeing him out there on the field!

So long, baseball fans!

Monday, June 16, 2014

"The days are long, and yet the years are short"

It's a phrase that many parents are familiar with, and if you're not, I'm sure after reading this you're sitting there going, "Oh boy, is that right!"

image courtesy of babysavers.com

Last weekend, we had a visit from a friend who was in town for a wedding and needed a place to stay. We opened up our guest room for her, and she had some down time and we were able to catch up for a bit during her visit as well.  Sunday morning, we were hanging out in the playroom; the morning was pretty much identical to nearly any other weekend morning.  The kids were both awake by 6:30, had already watched a bit of TV and grew tired of that, so they were just playing on the floor, probably dragging out a bunch of toys.  Our friend joined us and as she told us details about the wedding the night before, the kids of course did their kid things: they flew all around the playroom, dumping blocks, zooming cars, becoming superheros...all the while asking my friend to "watch me!" or "listen to this!" or "did you know I can..."

About an hour or so went by and after watching me break up a fight between the two (I don't even remember what it was about now, I'm sure something trivial like who got to use the Batman figure and who had to be the bad guy), I sat back down, my friend said "wow...time goes by really slowly, huh?  It feels like it should be much later than it is."  This was probably around 9am.  She wasn't saying it in an insulting way, and I didn't take offense to it at all, because frankly, it summed up a lot of what I think on some days.  I reiterated the quote above to her, and tried to explain how yes, some days feel like they are literally crawling by.

But then....

....then you blink and you see that somewhere along the line your tiny baby turned into a toddler.  Your first baby is in elementary school.  You no longer have any cribs being used in your house. You have an attic full of baby clothes and carseats and highchairs and tiny stray socks that you randomly find mixed in with other stuff that are only small enough to fit a newborn.  You stumble across a teeny, tiny hat while cleaning out a closet and you have to close your eyes to imagine when one of the boys was small enough to wear that.  And then of course, when you think of that, you immediately think of the newborn baby smell.

Then you open your eyes, and you are looking at a 6 year old and a 3 year old.  And they're not babies anymore, not even close. They're wound up, and running in circles, and they're certainly not sleeping peacefully in a baby bouncy seat anymore. They may be yelling at each other, or yelling your name that they need something.  You may have to break up a fight.  And you may even think to yourself, "is this day ever going to end??  It feels so long!"

But they're yours.  They're yours, and when they're not wound up or fighting or asking for things, they do things like run across the room and give you a hug so big it's like they're never going to see you again.  They tell you they love you out of nowhere, in between bites at the dinner table.  They tell you they love spending time with our family, and that when they're in school they think about you on the playground.  They do all of these things that they couldn't do in the baby phase, all of the things that melt your heart on a daily basis and make you realize that even though the days will drag sometimes, the years are flying by and it's worth it to appreciate the phases they're in now.

So right now, I look back on the baby days with fondness, and with the realization that baby things are packed up in the attic and not needed anymore.  But before I know it, I'll be looking back at THIS phase, and saying things like "I remember when Jake was just learning to read all by himself!" or "Remember when Liam first moved to the preschool room?" as if those things were just yesterday, rather than years before.  

All of that being said, I leave you with this poem that's sure to tug at your heartstrings. 

source: bellebebes.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ahhh....the start of summer.

Days spent in the pool, running through the sprinkler, having squirt gun battles, and (my personal favorite) eating ice cream.  School's out, summer is just around the corner!

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