Tuesday, July 22, 2014

History Lesson From L Child

In honor of finding out five years ago I was going to have my second baby boy, a little history lesson from L Child.

Liam: Did you know that Abraham Lincoln died from being shot?
Me: Yes. What happened?
Liam: He got shot in the head at Sea World and died.
Me: Right except he got shot at a theater.
Casen: Yeah, but it wasn't like a theater we go to watch movies. It was one where the people are doing real things (insert hand movements of "people doing real things").

We had a mini history lesson this afternoon about Abraham Lincoln to make sure the boys knew what he did and not just about his assassination.
And to clear up about that Sea World thing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Observations From Vacationing With 3 Kids

Having a traveling mantra is a good idea. Ours began two years ago before Button was born: "Vacation begins when you get in the car." We reminded ourselves out loud when Casen was yelling at Liam for chewing on their toy dragons. We kept reminding ourselves when Liam used his punch toy on his brother or sister. We kept muttering it under our breaths when we were doctoring chigger bites on the boys' ankles and a nasty, diaper-leaked-on car seat. Reminded us that road trips are part of the vacation memories.

I miss good Mexican food I grew up eating. I had some while I was down south. I wish I could have it flown to me.
The best breakfast taco you'll ever have.
I also miss DQ. I had incredibly too much ice cream on my vacation, but it was totally worth it.

If someone could possibly get hurt, it'll happen. It's inevitable. The guys got severe chigger bites on the first bathroom stop. C fell at the second stop and skinned up his legs and forehead (nothing like applying alcohol on a wound of a high-strung kid in a rest stop bathroom). Thankfully, the hurts eased up as the trip went along.
Notice how jam-packed the car is. It's the first day.
Don't label your kid (ignore my prior observation). They don't always fit them! That's something that Josh and I have tried since the kids were born. It's actually proven to be quite difficult, but their personalities, likes, and dislikes are changing and developing. We just forget that sometimes. This trip reminded me that my kids aren't always cautious, hyper, or ______ (fill in the blank). Neither boys have loved swimming yet. With limited access to swimming pools and a minimum number of swim lessons, they aren't what I would call little fishes. But I was surprised this trip. C became a little fish. He loved going way out into the ocean and playing in the big waves and body boarding to shore. He didn't even freak out when he would go under a big wave. He would just pop back up, take a breath, and get his bearings. He swam hours with his cousin on our last day in south Texas. L surprised me too. He didn't like going out far from shore but he would dump water on his head (he called it being "brave") and play in the smaller waves by the shoreline.

The little fishes: Jaida and Casen
Flexibility is key and know your (and the kids') limits. We didn't know how H would travel. She did pretty well, but she had her limits. We had to stop every couple hours usually for her to get out and stretch and crawl/walk. She never slept more than an hour and a half at at time in the car. The boys never slept (except L did for about 15 minutes) which is how they always are on road trips. Therefore, we all needed a lot of car breaks. We also worked in an extra day so there was one full day between all our driving days.

We carry gloves and ball now at all times.
We found this great spot in some small town in Texas at the high school.
Another great spot in small town Texas: a Catholic church yard.

This is what happened if Button needed a morning nap, but we were still trying to get out of the hotel room.
It's totally worth it to budget in a car detail after your return. Drinks were spilled. Baby had a blow out that somehow ended up on her seat AND the car seat. Crackers were crumbled. Wet towels and swim suits left in the car. Beach sand everywhere. Needless to say, the car was RANK when we pulled into our house. Now it's so clean after the detailing, no one is ever allowed to ride in it again.

It's also totally worth it to revisit places you did as a kid and see it through your kids' eyes this time around. I might be sappy, but I teared up throughout the week seeing the joy on my kids' faces. It reminded me of the joy I felt as a child and made me thankful that we were able to take a vacation. I'll never forget sitting on the beach with L Child and Button on my lap singing songs about the ocean. It was a heart-warming moment.
Sea lions and seals!
Spent their money on eels of course!
I call this the "Happy-Elevator-I'm-Going-Swimming" dance.
Do you remember being this happy about swimming in a hotel pool?

The boys helped to dig up Ghost Shrimps.
Button loved the carousel!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

So We Went A Little Overboard...

It started with a simple fabric tie banner (thank you Pinterest).


Wouldn't a cute button material banner be cute for Haddie's 1-year-old cake smash photo shoot? Then I could use the banner for her birthday party and up in her room.

Totally justified.


My Kansas family makes these delicious mints for weddings and other special events. Why wouldn't we make mints for the party in the shape of a button?
But only making one or two colored mints wasn't as much fun as making ten different colored flavored buttons.
Yeah, Mom, Mamaw, and I made ten different types of button mints. And man, they were yummy! I also had a lot of fun making these easy candies. I'll be making them again!



We also used the buttons on the cakes. Rather, my mom did. Isn't she a fabulous cake maker?


   I had a whole lotta fun with Haddie's decorations. She's my only girl and last one. Mom asked me what Josh thought about all the decoration planning before the party. I told her, "Oh, he doesn't know the extent. It's better for him to just see it at the party." My dad teased that this was Button's QuinceaƱeraNot quite. Though she did have a button outfit to wear.
Or two.
Don't judge.


Monday, June 16, 2014

How I Feel Too On Laundry Day….

I had been doing a load here and there. I had no idea I had about ten loads of laundry until I had the boys go and collect all the baskets and bring them to the laundry area.

P.S. You can tell it's laundry day too because Button is rocking' stripes and polka dots together!

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Running Journey Part 1

I decided to blog about my running journey because maybe it'll encourage you if you are trying to get into running. Maybe what's working for me will work for you.

I ran a little starting in college and through graduate school, but 3 miles at a time was quite the accomplishment for me. After I had L Child (my 2nd child) in December, I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. I had ran two 5K races and was really slow. It was during my training that I discovered I loved running. Once I got past three miles of running, I was warmed up and my legs felt better. Every once in awhile I would get that elusive Runner's High you hear about. Running and nursing a baby helped me to slim back down to almost my-pre-first-baby weight. I ran the half marathon again the following spring. I was still really slow; 11-minute miles were my average and the further I went, the slower I got.

I ran a 10K in a summer night race and hated it. It was so hot, and I'm pretty tired at night to do a run. Plus, the course was a 5K loop that you do twice. Boring.

Here's what's working for me now:

#1 Set a start date that works for your schedule.
I ran off and on short distances until I got pregnant with Button. She didn't nurse that long so I had more trouble getting the weight off this time. In addition, having three kids and working full-time was eating up my time. I was attempting to do Insanity and run during the spring semester, but I just couldn't do it consistently. Someone was always sick it seemed (big brothers bringing home germs from school got Button sick A LOT!). Finally, I confided in my runner friend and she told me the best thing: "Start training at the end of the semester, but for now, just run when you can." That advice freed me and got me excited about training in May.

#2 Have an experienced runner mentor.
I panicked slightly when she texted me the week of my finals to remind me that I had a weekly mileage goal. I panicked again a few weeks later when she told me that it was time to start the speed training. Every time though I was able to reach the goal. It is key to have a runner friend that can give you a plan and reminders to do it.

#3 Run a short race early in your training.
I ran a 5K about four weeks after I began my training. It reminded me of how much fun a race can be and gave me a baseline time (32 minutes).

#4 Set and complete weekly mileage goals.
Weekly mileage goals that increase over time have helped a lot. My first week was "9 easy miles" as my runner buddy described to me. I'm on my seventh week now with almost 18 miles done this week. You can reach your weekly mileage goals however you want. If you want to do small 2-3 mile runs, you can. If you want a big run or two thrown in there, you can. You run when you can. You get your miles in no matter what. I've taken off 4 days in a row which means I'll probably have to wake up at 4:30 AM sometime later in the week to get a big run in, but if I need the rest or am busy, that early wake-up is worth it.

#5 Set and complete weekly speed work.
As I've mentioned, I'm not fast. I want to be speedy. Or at least a little speedy. When my runner friend told me about the speed work she was doing last year, I wanted to try it. I didn't know how to get fast on my own. Simply trying to run faster during my runs wasn't working for me. I met my runner friend for my first speed work a few weeks after I started running regularly. She warned, "This is going to be awful. You'll feel pretty horrible afterwards but I promise: it'll make a difference." I'm glad she prepared me because it was pretty awful. I had never pushed myself so hard. We did a couple miles to warm up and then ran around a track. My speed goal currently is 10-minute miles so I tried to do a lap (quarter mile) in 2.5 minutes. My slow body didn't like it, but it could do it. At least part of the time. After running a lap and a half at my goal pace, then I got to walk (or jog if you can!) a lap. Repeat five times or so. Then we had to run a mile or two to cool down. I would have never done a warm-up or cool-down run a year ago. I have found that they are key in my speed work. It takes my legs at least 2 miles to warm up and after pushing so hard, my legs need to stretch out on a cool down. Once a week I do some sort of speed work. My runner friend sends me the work-out if we can't meet. I keep track of my fast times during speed work so I can see the progress. I struggled with speed work last week; I just couldn't do it so I'm attempting it again this week. I'm hopeful I'll be able to complete it. I have to sprint 3 minutes, walk/jog 3 minutes, sprint 2 minutes, walk/jog 2 minutes, sprint 1 minute, walk/jog 1 minute, and repeat. Whew! That makes me tired just typing it.

#6 Variety is the spice of running life.
I have found that I am enjoying my running a lot this time because it's always different. I run at different times (summer breaks are such a blessing!). I have several venues to run including my back-up gym treadmill. It's nice to have the option of a gym with a staffed children's playroom when it's raining or dark or I need childcare. I run with different people sometimes. I run with music (I love Spotify) or my Zombie app. Sometimes I run without listening to anything and enjoy the quiet thinking and praying. I like the Nike+ app that tracks your miles, routes, and how you felt during the run. It also has some elite runners give you congratulations at the end of your run. All in all, variety helps me not get bored.

#7 Celebrate 
I'm that annoying person that shares her weekly mileage or latest time. I try to keep it at a minimum on Facebook and with friends and family. This is why having a runner friend is helpful. It's completely acceptable to brag-text your runner friend your latest time. They understand and will share their latest accomplishment. Sharing victories is helpful in sticking with it.

These seven things are making the difference in my running training this time. I've lost weight and gotten stronger. I was able to complete two 6-mile runs this week at a good speed. I can't wait to see how I do in my next 5K.

Keep running!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Happy 10 Months

Button turned 10 months old earlier this month. She is usually very happy…

… and very ornery.

Our little Button is talking up a storm now - especially if she needs your attention (which is most of the time). She calls the boys "brother" or tonight she said, "Hey guys" when she joined them by the pool. She frequently mimics what she hears and repeats phrases - or at least is trying. I think I'm in awe with her language skills because the boys talked later than her. We are all continually asking, "Did she just say….?"

Button likes to chew and bite. If you feel her mouth on you, you better pull back and say, "No biting!" She got me good a couple of weeks ago and left a bruise on my shoulder. I know she's just trying out all her new teeth, but it hurts! We've been following the pediatrician's advice and put her down or in her crib if she bites. She hasn't bit in awhile (knock on wood) but will still put her teeth on people. She pulls back when you warn her, "No biting." She trying to get more teeth in now - poor baby! They are rough ones!

Button figured out that she can pull up on anything now so anything left on coffee or kid tables might end up in her hands. Watch out!