Friday, July 29, 2016

30 for 30

I'm excited to be hitting a big milestone with this birthday, the big 3-0! There are some things I've really been wanting to do but I feel like I won't do them without some motivation. So as 30 approached, I thought, why not come up with 30 things to accomplish during my 30th year. Kind of like a bucket list for year 30, all things I really want to do, just need some accountability to accomplish them. When I can check something off a list, I'm so much more likely to get it done. I'm highly motivated by accomplishing goals, I just have to have them written out. The title "30 for 30" stuck in my head and I later realized it's the title of a show Ty likes to watch about football or maybe all sports, I'm not sure. Anyway, here are 30 things I'd like to do during my 30th year. Check back next year to see if I accomplish them all.
Enjoying cupcakes together on my birthday!
  1. Read at least one book each month which means taking a little time for myself every now and then. 
  2. Go on at least 3 girls' night outs. I tend to get asked to do things a lot, but would rather be the one to put my kids to bed and would rather hang out with Ty. But then each time I actually say yes I realize how nice it is to have quality time with friends. So I'd like to go out with a girlfriend or friends at least once every 4 months, seems reasonable, right?
  3. Plant some flowers that attract butterflies. I love butterflies and there are so many on the endangered species list due to loss of habitat. I keep thinking I need to plant some flowers that will attract butterflies, but just haven't made it a priority to do so. Now that I have a few plants I've been remembering to water and have kept alive for a while, I think it's a good time for that!
  4. Have a few days with less than 12,000 steps. I can be a bit obsessive and force myself to get up and walk at the end of a long day just to make my 12,000 step goal. I'd like to cut myself some slack and have a few lazy days this year.
  5. Get involved in another charity. I have been volunteering with the Lauren Elise Memorial Foundation for 3 years and became more involved last year. I loved being able to give back through the foundation and would really like to become involved in another charity so I can make a bigger impact.
  6. Run a spring half-marathon. I haven't run a spring half-marathon since before the kids were born. There are a couple I've been really wanting to run, the Aquarium Run Half-Marathon and the Joplin Memorial Marathon. I'd like to commit to completing one of them this year.
  7. Buy new underwear. I know this seems like a weird thing to put on here, but most of my underwear either has holes in it or is stretched out from wearing it while pregnant. I'm really bad about not spending money on myself, especially on clothes, even worse when it comes to socks and undies. So I'm putting this on here to pretty much force myself to do it!
  8. Stick with strength training. So far I've been really good about doing my strength training every other days with yoga thrown in on the off days. Ty has offered to be my coach and help me kick it up to the next level.
  9. Try out a free yoga class. There is an awesome park in our town that offers weekly yoga and Barre classes for free. I've always wanted to go but never have because I feel bad leaving Ty to put the kids to bed or being gone for a while on the weekend when we don't have much time with Ty. That being said, I've always wanted to go and I want to finally make it to one this year!
  10. Take time out each day to snuggle with Carter. Most days at naptime I am so focused on getting chores done and cleaning house that I rush getting Carter to sleep. The minute I hear him snoring I am out of his bed and ready to work. I'd like to take more time to just lay and cuddle him. It won't be long before he's in school and no longer taking naps and I will be reminiscing about the days we laid in bed together and wishing I had taken the time to really appreciate it when I could.
  11. Buy a new pair of jean shorts. I have one pair that I love and wear daily. When they get dirty, I pretty much don't want to wear shorts because I don't have any others I like.
  12. Paint the kitchen. I've been talking about this and wanting to do it for soooo long! I hate the paint in there because it is all marked up and dirty looking. I've scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed to no avail. It's wasn't until Leina, my cleaning expert mother-in-law, tried scrubbing the wall and it was still dirty that I realized it was just crappy paint. I was under the impression I just sucked at cleaning walls.
  13. Get professional family photos done. We did professional photos when Elise was 6 weeks old and it is the only time we've ever used a professional photographer to have family pictures done. I think it would be nice to have some professional photos not only because they turn out so much nicer but because I'm more likely to buy them and our pictures hanging in our living room are all pretty darn old!
  14. Send out a Christmas card this year. We missed sending one out last year and I'd like to get on the ball and send them out early this year. Typically what happens is I'm focused on Carter's birthday party and getting it all planned that by the time I think of Christmas cards, it would be too late to order them and get them sent out in time so I just don't.
  15. Run a postpartum PR in the 5k. I ran a 20:29 at the Race Into the New Year in 2015/2016. I'd like to run faster than that in a race this fall. I feel like I have a sub-20 in my at some point in the future, but I'm not sure it will be this fall as I plan to focus more on the half.
  16. Run a postpartum PR in a half marathon. I ran a 1:35:43 just 8 months after Elise was born. With how my summer training has been going, I feel confident I can drop some time off this fall. I'd really like to get under 1:30, but I'm thinking that's a goal for a different season when I'm motivated to run over 30 mile weeks.
  17. Run a race just for fun and not worry about place or time. When I was pregnant I would always just go out and run what felt right and not worry about the pace I was running or where I fared place-wise. It was fun and I'd like to do that even when I'm in good shape.
  18. Do another mud run or obstacle course run. We did quite a few right after Carter was born and they were a blast. I haven't done one since I got pregnant and then gave birth to Elise.
  19. Run a trail race. I love running and taking hikes at the trails close to our house. I'd like to try out running a race there. I know they do them and I think it would be fun.
  20. Start wearing my hair naturally more often. I've always hated my hair. It is more curly than wavy, but I've always felt like it wasn't curly enough to wear naturally and have always blow dried it straight (which is a lot of work and a pain in the butt) or straightened it. Ty has always said he loves my hair just air dried and natural and I'm starting to believe him. I tried out some styling cream stuff Leina had and I felt like it did make my curls look better. So I'd like to figure out a way to feel comfortable with the hair I have and go out in public with "crazy hair".
  21. Work on Elise's baby book. I got it out right after she was born and filled some stuff in and haven't opened it since.
  22. Finish Carter's baby book. I know I wrote in his more than I have written in Elise's but I'm sure there are things that need filled in.
  23. Make a photo book from Elise's birth and newborn photos. I made a photo book with Carter's photos at newborn and each 6 months up to a year. I'd like to have the same for Elise.
  24. Dance more. Carter, Elise, and I have so much fun when we just stop what we're doing and have a dance party. We just don't do it enough.
  25. Have more unscheduled days. We tend to have a playdate or event to attend every day of the week. When we have a day or two with no plans and just do our own thing, it is so nice and I always tell myself I'm going to leave one day a week free for us to do whatever we feel like that day, but then something fun comes up and we're all booked up again. So this year I want to really try to keep at least one day a week free to just do whatever randomness we feel like or even not leave the house!
  26. Re-do the entryway to our house. I love our entryway but after we painted the hallway I've always felt like it's weird to have the entryway a different color than the hall and it would look better if it was all one color. I have been meaning to repaint the walls, picture frames, and bench for a while. It's just one of those things that keep falling further down my list of things to do.
  27. Paint the outside of our house. This is something we have planned to do ever since we moved in. When Ty and his dad put in our new door and replaced the fake door with siding, he was going to paint it but decided to wait until we painted the entire exterior. Well it's years later and it's still not painted. I think it's mostly just that I've never painted the exterior of a house so I feel intimidated. But our house is brick so it's mostly just trim. I need to just buck up and get it done!
  28. Do a better job of staying in touch with my long distance friends. I miss my best friend, Ang, all the time. I just don't call her very often because the only time of day I am sitting down with a quiet house is when she's at work. I pretty much don't know anything about what's going on in her life right now and it makes me depressed to even admit that. I have done even worse with my other friends who live more than 2 hours away.
  29. Have more at home date nights with Ty that consist of something other than just sitting on the couch and watching tv, things like playing games or sitting in the backyard next to the fire pit (not now, when it cools off!)
  30. Do more little sweet things for Ty. I love doing something that is typically his chore or buying him a special treat when we go grocery shopping. It is so exciting when he realizes and gets a big smile on his face.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Day In Our Lives

On my run this morning I started thinking about how I needed to do another day in our lives post. I did our last one about 4 months ago but so much changes in that amount of time. As I went back and looked at the last post Elise looked so much more like a baby, it blew my mind! This is what our day looked like with Carter at 3.5 years and Elise at 16 months. After experiencing the afternoon (you'll see what I mean in a little bit), I feel like I shouldn't do another day in the lives post. Reading back over my last one our afternoon went down the shitter slowly but surely and then today's afternoon totally takes the cow pie. I could have just scrapped this whole post and not done it, but it's life and there are good days and bad days, good mornings (which we had) and bad mornings, and good afternoons and bad afternoons (which we had). Plus there is a bit of humor in the whole thing.

5:15 am- My alarm goes off. It always takes me a ridiculous amount of time to realize it is my alarm, wake up, and get it turned off compared to how quickly Ty is on top of his. I feel bad because I can tell it woke him up. I brush my teeth and get dressed in my running clothes I laid out in the bathroom the night before. As I'm walking out into the hallway Carter wakes up and is crying because Harper left his room during the night and he realized he's sleeping alone. I get him situated and then head outside to put my shoes on and lace on light up shoe laces while my Garmin picks up satellites. Then I'm off for a 6 mile run. Ty had been going in to work by 6 every day meaning he was leaving at 5:30 in the morning which put me getting up before 5 to run in the morning if I decided to do that, so it didn't happen very often. Now that he's going in at 7, leaving by 6:30, morning runs are so much more manageable! It works out so nicely because we aren't rushed in the morning trying to make it out for a run and then get showered before leaving the house for a playdate by 9 or 9:30. It also saves the kids from having to ride in the stroller during the heat of the day after naps which would be our other option.
Ready to head out for my run with light up shoelaces.
6:25- I arrive home to Carter and Ty eating breakfast together. They are chatting about their plans for the day. Ty has already given Carter a head's up on what we will be doing so Carter is really excited talking about trampolines and ball pits. Ty leaves around 6:30 and I head in to take a shower while Carter finishes breakfast. He doesn't mind being in the kitchen alone as long as Harper stays in with him. Once Carter's done eating he comes in and wants to shower with me as I finish up. He stays in the shower while I get dressed. Then I get him out and get him dried off and dressed. I check Elise on the monitor and she's still out cold so we head into the living room to read some books.
7:15- I hear Elise making noise so I check on the monitor and she is awake. Carter goes running to her room because he loves to be the one to open her door. He enjoys seeing her face light up as he walks in the room. Today she opens her mouth in surprise and excitement. Carter keeps telling me about the face she made and shows me her face over and over. Elise hands me her blanket as I get her out. Her new thing is carrying her blanket around when she first wakes up, either from the night or a nap. We go into the kitchen so Elise and I can eat breakfast, oatmeal with honey for her and oatmeal with honey and raisins for me. Carter wants to read books while we eat breakfast so I read him books as I eat. When I'm finished I clean up from breakfast, hand wash some dishes, and fill the dishwasher while Elise finishes her breakfast and Carter rides around on Lightning McQueen. When Elise is done eating, I get her cleaned up and then we all read books on the futon. Then we play some games about opposites for our weekly learning theme. After a couple games, I take Elise in to get her dressed. Then I set up an obstacle course so we can talk about opposites as we play. Carter gets super jacked up doing the obstacle course so I'm glad it's almost time to play off some energy at Skyzone's Toddler Time. I pack waters and snacks for all of us, change Elise's diaper, and send Carter to go potty one last time, then we head to the car.
Elise snuggling her blanket when she first woke up.
Matching opposites.
Reading books on the futon.
9:00- We are loaded up in the car and leave for Skyzone. Carter was signed up for gymnastics in July after he said he'd like to continue with gymnastics when he was finished with June classes. Every time we went to class he had a different teacher. Some of the teachers were great and others obviously weren't used to working with younger children and didn't have the skills or temperament for it. There were times he had high schoolers as his teacher. Carter had been doing really well going with his class and listening to his teacher but last week and the week before he had teachers that were a bit harsher and scared him so he'd come running back over to me crying. During last week's class I decided it was enough and talked to the front desk, receiving a refund for the classes we had already signed up for and would not attend. I decided I'd use that money to take the kids to Skyzone since what Carter liked about gymnastics was the trampoline and the ball pit. We had only been once before and Elise was a baby so I wore her the whole time. I was excited to let her play. After paying we take a restroom break and then are off to play.  Carter wants to start in the "ball pit" which is really foam blocks but Carter calls it a ball pit. Elise is not afraid of anything and gets in all by herself as I watch. Both kids are hilarious running around and bouncing on the trampolines. Elise especially enjoys playing with some balls they have out for everyone. Carter mostly likes to either run down the long trampolines in the middle or hop all the way down them. He is a wild man and even finds a way to climb the side of the trampoline area. They also have an inflatable slide set up and Elise is determined to go up it so I follow her up. She is able to climb up the ladder all by herself, just a bit slowly. Then I have her ride down the slide on my lap. They give out balloons at the end and when they are walking through with balloons, Elise goes running after them with her hand in the air reaching for them. It's so cute! Toddler time is an hour and a half. Elise plays so hard, she's tired after about an hour. At that point she just wants to be held or sit in my lap to watch Carter. When it is time to go Carter's hair is soaked with sweat and he drinks his entire sippy cup as I'm putting our shoes on. Each kids picks out a balloon before we head over to the bathrooms before leaving. I'm wearing Elise and she takes hers and repeatedly hits me in the head with it as we use the restroom.
Wearing their Skyzone socks and ready to play.
Both kids playing in the foam pit.
Wild woman on the run!
Tired girl taking a rest.
Carter climbing the side of the trampolines.
Double bouncing, bouncing on a ball as he bounces on the trampoline.
Elise resting as we watch Carter play.
11:20- We are loaded up in the car. I set both kids up with snacks and their balloons before we head home. I was really nervous about letting Elise have her balloon in the car because I was worried she'd either bite it and then choke on it or get the ribbon wrapped around her neck. Each time I see her balloon pop down lower, I reach back to check on her and each time she has just pulled it down to play with it. When we get home I heat up Carter's English Muffin pizza he didn't finish yesterday and give him broccoli and watermelon to go along with it. Elise has some turkey and string cheese along with the same sides. Once I've cleaned up from lunch Carter requests to play kitties. Around 12:30 Elise starts crying because she's tired so I lay her down for a nap. She goes to sleep right away. When I come back into the living room after putting Elise down for a nap Carter is sitting on the floor reading books out of our opposites basket I made for his week. Since he's reading so nicely I go ahead and do my 10 minute strength shot workout as he continues to read. When I'm finished with my workout he wants to read some books so we read books together until it's naptime. Carter's new thing is pretending to be asleep right before a nap or bedtime so I will carry him to bed. I would carry him anyway, but he does it just to be silly. It does make me giggle every time.
Loaded up and ready to head home.
Carter wanted to cheers during lunch, it was so cute!
Elise out for the count!
Carter reading to himself.
Reading books together before naptime.
Pretending to be asleep.
1:00 pm- I lay down with Carter for his nap. He falls asleep so much faster if I lay with him and I love the snuggles so we do it every day. He likes to play with my hair as he falls asleep. Today he starts in his normal position laying across the head of the bed but then turns to lay behind me with his back pressed against my back. I love the snuggles so much I lay there for a while before getting out of bed. When I get up I do some chores: sweep and mop the entryway, put away dishes I hand washed earlier, wash more dishes, clean the kitty litter, and put a load of diapers in to soak. Then I sit down to work on the morning section of this post.
Laying down for a nap.
3:30- Elise wakes up. I change her diaper and get her dressed in her swimsuit. We have plans to meet our friends at the splash pad around 3:30 so I pack snacks and drinks and then round up Carter's swim stuff. Elise and I go in to wake Carter a little before 4 since he is still sleeping. Sometimes Carter does okay getting woken up but not today. He cries and cries and says he wants to go to the splash pad but is just struggling. We arrive at the splash pad around 4:15. After Carter finally wakes up a little more, he has a good time with his friends. The moms we met there are all ones I really enjoy talking to and it is fun to catch up with all of them.
Elise handing me her blanket after her nap.
She found a teething necklace and decided to wear it around.
Waking Carter up.
Pretending to have a sleepover.
5:00- All of our friends are leaving and we are the only ones left at the playground/splash pad so Carter says he's ready to go. We plan to go by Thomas' house before heading home so we can see him. As I'm pulling out our dry clothes and reach in for my keys, I realize they aren't there. I have locked them in the car. I call Ty and he decides to leave work earlier than he planned to bring us a key. Our friend offers to drive us over to her house so the kids can play as we wait on Ty. I send her on since we are at a park and can just play as we wait. Another family comes while we are playing and the girl is very friendly with us, even offering to hold Elise as I push Carter on the swing. After playing for a while we start to see lightning. We head over under a shelter area and shortly thereafter it begins to rain. At first a sideways rain that is blowing into the shelter and then a very hard rain that is difficult to even see through. As the other family leaves, the girl brings over a juice for Carter because her mom knows we are waiting on a key as our keys are locked in the car. That little random act of kindness really warms my heart. I call Ty and he is still at least 20 minutes out without adding in extra time for the lack of visibility due to rain. I call my friend to pick us up because at first Carter was smiling along and agreeing we were having an adventure, but starts crying because he is scared of the lightning. She quickly comes to pick us up. I continue with my streak of failures by slamming the door into my head after putting Elise in the car and then not getting the door shut all the way so I had to get out of the car again to go back around and shut the door. It begins hailing on our ride to her house. Ty makes really good time considering the conditions. He drives me over to the van and the kids stay with their friends. I find my keys next to Carter's car seat and then drive over to pick the kids up. On our drive home Carter tells me, "Mommy, let's not do this again." I agree with him. We arrive home drenched and all change our clothes. As I'm changing my clothes, Ty calls to tell me someone swerved into his lane and side-swiped him as he was driving. The shit storm of an afternoon/evening continues.
Drinking the juice from the family we met.
Just starting to rain.
Pretending we were on an adventure.
Carter soaked and buckling himself into his friend's car seat.
Elise soaked but still willing to cheese for me.
The kids playing with the tablet.
The damage to Ty's car. Not too bad.

6:45- Ty is home with tacos from Taco Bueno due to them being 59 cents on Thursday along with the fact that they emailed me a coupon for my birthday. My dad stops by on his way back home from a conference in Oklahoma City. He picked up Subway on his way and sits to eat dinner with us. Carter talks him into watching a few minutes of Lion King with him before he leaves. Dad heads out and I take the kids in for a bath. We play with toys, seeing if they sink or float since we are talking about opposites. As I get Elise out of the bathtub I notice one of her toes is really red and swollen and immediately panic that it could be a black widow bite as I found one in the backyard about 2 years ago when I was playing with Carter and have been paranoid about it ever since. After texting all our parents I think to text our doctor who is amazing and will answer after hours text messages. He reassures me it is likely not a black widow bite, says it is likely an allergic reaction to a bite and is possibly infected. He says to give her Benadryl and come into the office for him to look at it in the morning. I love our doctor so much. I was about to take Elise to Urgent Care when I thought to text him and he responded in less than 10 minutes. I can always count on him to put my mind at ease.
Elise brought some joy into the evening by playing with her balloon all night.
I love her cheese smile!
A view of Elise's foot.
Carter petting Elise and making her feel better so we could get a better look at her foot.
Another view of her foot.

8:00- After all the shenanigans and worrying about Elise's foot, she is in bed late. I let Carter stay up later than usual since we are behind schedule. He watches a few more minutes of Lion King, reads 2 books and is off to bed. I don't know if it's due to getting woken up from his nap or what, but he struggles at bedtime crying and delaying bedtime and throwing a fit. It is awful! Then I sit down to finish this post and realize it didn't save my work from naptime so I have to start all over. The shit storm continues. It's just one of those days. So here we are at 9:45 pm with Carter just quieted down (Ty even spanked him to no avail) and me finishing up this post. A grand ole end to our day! But I'm sitting here next to Ty on the couch and there's no one I'd rather have by my side in a shit storm than him.
Just look at how cute he is!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

These first few are ones Elise's 16 month shoot that I liked but didn't have room for in her post.
Carter took his clothes off (I guess because I had her in a diaper to start with) and sat in Elise's chair during the shoot.
Sweet girl sitting in my lap mid-shoot.
I don't know why, but this one cracked me up!
She was bouncing up and down in the chair laughing.
I love that she randomly goes over and sits in her chair during shoots. It makes for such cute pictures!
Their first bath in our new bath tub!

The first time Elise said "cheese" and made a cheese face for a picture!

She loves smoothies!

Elise working really hard to put the cap on her marker.

Carter wrote an E for Elise.

Carter loves his new Woody doll Uncie J gave him from when he was a kid.

I love her curls! I'm trying to embrace my curls so she won't learn from me to hate hers.

Carter thought Elise needed a chicken on her nest too so he gave her a pig.

Carter made Elise a hat out of the materials during our art class.

He made me one too.

Her cheese face is just priceless!

Using his movie reel as binoculars.

He wanted to make "a map of a house" to help him build a house out of blocks.

Eating a snack in the gardens outside the art museum.

Elise chasing Carter in the gardens.

We stopped for a picnic lunch and to play on our way home from the farm. Elise thought she needed to stand to eat.

Elise swung for a couple minutes before crying, so we're making progress.

Carter helping Elise go down the slide at the same time as him.

Great success at Sam's Club, lots of samples!

Going for a bike ride with Uncie J, it was Jeremy's idea!

Jeremy was riding loops around us to stay with us and decided to get off and walk after a while. Carter wanted to walk his bike like Uncie J.

Carter got tired after riding for about a mile.

Elise's friend giving her a drink at his birthday party.

Enjoying cake at a birthday at the splash pad.

She found a balloon to play with.

I'm not sure who she was mean muggin.

Birthday party #2 in the afternoon.

Reading the instructions for his Ninja Turtle present.

Ty reading to the birthday boy.

He wanted to make his own oatmeal for breakfast. He's been sleeping in nothing but a pull up lately.

Such a smart boy, getting the bowl out using hot pads!

Carter found a box and put it over his friend and himself.

Their other friend decided to get in with them.

So much fun at a Talking is Teaching even centered around the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

A picture someone else took at the even and captured me and Elise!

Another picture taken by someone else, this time they got Carter too.

He was so excited that Opa stopped by.

Bubble fun in the front yard waiting on daddy to get home.

I drew a road on the driveway for him and he had a blast!

Stopped playing to read a book at the Children's Museum.

Such a sweet boy getting water for Harper.

Elise fell asleep at lunch.
That was a first in our house, but so funny!