Monday, October 28, 2013

5 is Fabulous!

Buggy turned 5 years old last week. I still can't believe it. She has always seemed grown up that I think she has always seemed older than she is.  Even at ages 3 and 4 she was a big help to me.  Her height also makes me forget that she is younger than I think she is.  But no, she is only 5. Thank you goodness! I don't want her growing up too fast!

Cousins celebrating being 5 years old!
We celebrated my sweet girl with an annual family party with her cousin who is 3 weeks older.  The two of them have celebrated every birthday together.  This year we celebrated the family party much earlier than we usually do and this time we celebrated it at her cousin's house.  It is usually at our house in late October. This time, we celebrated in early October. Poor Buggy thought we were not including her in the birthday celebration because it really wasn't her birthday, yet.  She wondered aloud if her cousins would think to give her presents. I had to assure her that it was a celebration for and for her cousin, and yes, she would receive presents.  She had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect. The cousins spent most of their time playing outside and soaking up the sun.

Buggy and friends cheering for the yellow knight
The weekend before Buggy's birthday I took her and two of her friends to Medieval Times.  She has been wanting to go ever since her big brother went earlier this year.  I wish we could have invited more people and included her friends' families, but tickets are expensive so it was a little party.  The girls had so much fun and I have to admit I did, too.  Buggy's eyes went wide when they announced "Princess" with her name during the royal announcements.  She whispered, "I'm a princess!" Yes, Sweetheart, you are!  The girls cheered for the yellow knight and were most excited to see the jousting.  While the yellow knight did not win, he did throw his last carnation to Buggy just after he kissed. It's still sitting on our dining room table, still a brilliant pink.  We ended the evening with cupcakes and at our friend's house where we were able to include the rest of the families in the celebration.  It was wonderful and fun and Buggy was happy to be with her friends.

The Princess caught the flower from the yellow knight
We ended the month long celebration on her real birthday, October 22nd.  Buggy brought cookies and juice pouches to her preschool for snack.  Her teachers made a big deal about how much they think she's grown.  She felt special the whole day.  We took her out to dinner to our favorite family restaurant. We were joined by my parents and we were waited on by one of my former students. (I'm starting to feel my age when I meet my former elementary and middle school students outside of school and they are waiting on me at a store or restaurant!).

Family photo!
We ended the evening with opening presents on mommy and daddy's bed where they were waiting for her.  Her brothers helped and she "ooooohhhhhed and ahhhhhhhed" over each present.  We took a selfie family picture and I reveled in the miracle that is my daughter.  She amazes me and I feel so blessed to be able to call her mine.  She and her brothers are truly God's gift to me and their father.

I look at my blond haired daughter with her wide blue eyes and I am reminded to find the good in all things and people, to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be grateful, to love, and to be loved.  Buggy came at a time in my life when I was struggling with bullies at work, feeling let down, and feeling frustrated with so many things. She is God's reminder to me that even through great challenges, good things can happen.  She is the sunshine in my life. She has my heart.

Happy 5th birthday, my sweet Buggy!  I love you to the moon and back. Love, Mama

Just Born!

One is Fun!

Two is "tu-tu" perfect

Three is thrilling

"Four" ever Daddy's girl!

5 is fabulous when Daddy is a super hero!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Like Daddy

He looks so scholarly holding a ruler in his hand
Recently Mr. Bananas has been asking for a tie to wear on Sundays. I have to say that we dress somewhat casually for church. The boys wear polos or sweaters, Buggy wears a dress (she's probably the most dressed up), Hubby wears a polo or a button down shirt with dress pants, and depending on the weather I'm wearing a dress, skirt, or even jeans with a nice top. But no heels for this lady. A nice pair of flats does nicely.

So it was funny when Bananas started asking for a tie. We have two toddler sized ties. I don't know the location of one, so all we have been able to find is a red Christmas tie.  He's worn it two Sundays in a row and has started asking to wear it during the day over his t-shirts.  He says he wants to be "like Daddy."

 "Daddy wear tie?"
"Yes, Daddy wears a tie for work."
"Bananas wear tie, too. Wear, tie, too!"

It's pretty stinkin' cute. Especially when he runs down the aisle at church to catch up with the big kids and walk down to Children's Liturgy with them.

"Yes! I get to wear a tie!"

Friday, October 18, 2013

Exercising with the Kids

I can't always get in a run, but I try to keep up with a monthly challenge featured on the Women's Running Community Facebook page. This month it's a tricep challenge which also included planks.  Of course, without fail, anytime I am on the floor, my two year old decides it's the best time to climb on Mommy.  Have you tried to do planks with a two year old on your back? He was having way more fun that I was :)

I love that my kids see me exercise.  I want them to know that Mommy exercises so that she can be strong and healthy and I try very hard to not to mention weight or losing weight. I want them to equate exercise with being healthy and strong, not weight loss.  But let's be honest, I am constantly fighting the battle of the bulge.  I still have 6 pounds to lose to bring me to my pre-baby weight from my last pregnancy. I also know that I really should lose about another 20 to bring me to a "healthy" weight according to BMI.  While I struggle with my weight, I also know that I am more fit than I have ever been in my life. This year I completed TWO half marathons.  I run longer and farther than I ever have and I now eat to fuel my body for the next training run or work out.

I find great pleasure in going for a walk or run with my kiddos or have them join me in doing planks...even if I am the only one actually doing it while they are along for the ride ;)

Looks like fun, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Run Like a Mother Party

Hanging out at the Run Like a Mother Party
 On my last birthday my BFF gave me the book Train Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. For all the mama runners out there, I highly recommend this book. It's written as if you are hanging out with your best girlfriends talking about running, training for races, and how to maintain a running lifestyle while maintaining your "family, job, or sanity."  It's a must read.

I used the half-marathon "finish it" plan for my last half marathon. I cranked out a lot of miles while working on my speed and preparation for hills.  Um, it is not for the faint of heart.  I haven't even attempted the "own it" plan.  I'm using the "finish it" plan once again in the hopes to PR for my next half.

Shortly after receiving this book my friend m00se, an ultramarathoner recommended the "Run Like a Mother: The Book" Facebook page. I "liked" it and and now get daily inspiration from these witty, fun, and "I totally get you" mother runners.

m00se and I had the awesome opportunity to attend one of of their "Run Like a Mother" parties that was happening locally. I think we signed up 6 months in advance and we were both looking forward to it. It did not disappoint.  It was filled with other mother runners of all shapes, sizes, ages, and seasons of life.  The authors read snippets from their Train Like a Mother book, awarded some amazing giveaways (jogging stroller, anyone?), and took their time to meet, greet, take pictures, and sign books for their fans.

A pic with the awesome Dimity McDowell
I brought my brought my birthday present and they each signed my book. Admittedly, I was too shy to ask for pictures and did not get one with SBS, but Dimity saw me taking candid pictures of her and my friend and offered to take a picture with me. Uh, yes please!

The best part of the night was watching m00se and Dimity connect and of course, hanging out with my friend. m00se and I knew each other in college and we were friendly, lost contact over the years and reconnected through Facebook.  Running has brought us to a new level of friendship.  Over the course of the last year or so we have gotten to know each other better, cheered for each (or at least texted) for races, talked training plans, and moved towards talking about family, marriage, children, and life in general. There's nothing like a friendship of that of a sole sister. It is a friendship that I value.

By the end of the evening I was the proud owner of Run Like a Mother, a signed copy of Train Like a Mother, and two shirts with running slogans. Yeah, I totally geeked out over going to a running party.  It was energizing and empowering to hang out with other mother runners, the authors, and my friend who is a running inspiration.  It was awesome.

Keep running!

They signed my book!

S. and Dimity bonding over tattoos, running, and running coaches.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Can I Pencil You In?

I'm still here. I'm still running. I'm still being a mommy with a lot on my to-do list. Lately, I have felt that I haven't been a good friend to any of my friends. I have so much I do with and for the kids that I haven't made the time to get together with anyone else. I'm sorry.  Really I am. It's not you, it's me.

I've been working on my own time line and if you've asked me for a date and I haven't gotten back to you, it's that I am working on one thing at a time and that thing you asked me for...well it's behind several other things.

I know. It's awful.  I should make time for my friends. All the magazine articles, MOPS meetings, tv commercials tell me I'm missing out if I don't make time to get together with my friends.. But can I be honest? That's it. I'm just tired and crazy busy. Not really discombobulated or overwhelmed, just busy. I'm not doing anything super exciting or crafty. I'm just being mom and every hour/day is filled with one thing or another. There are times that I have scheduled a get together months in advance. No lie. Months.  Just last week I went to a Another Mother Runner event with another running friend. I think we had this on our calendar for months. I was really looking forward to it and last week between the PTA Book Fair, potty training the 2 year old, figuring out whether or not I'll run in a half marathon next week (I'm not), and trying to plan a family party for my middle child's upcoming 5th birthday, I completely forgot. If my friend hadn't messaged me and told me she was excited about getting together and going I might have missed it altogether. As it stood I was lucky to get a last minute babysitter!

I feel bad. It's not that I need help with this or that. It's just I'm always in the midst of doing one thing or another.  And Hubby's new schedule has just thrown me off. I should be used to it by now, I mean it's been 3 months now, but we're still flitting by on the seat of our pants. Things get done. But if I have any extra free time, I'm spending it with my Hubby, whether it's date night on the sofa eating Thai food and watching Netflix, or I'm in the middle of folding laundry while he's doing his back exercises.

I know this whole not able to make time for my friends is going to bite me in the butt sooner or later.  It's ironic really. The first few years of staying home with my kids I was desperate to find friends. Somebody to hang out with to help me fill those oh, so lonely days where I didn't have any adult interaction or conversation until Hubby walked in the door after a long day at work. Now, I crave the solitude. And yes, most of the time I run solo so that I can just be alone and not have to answer to anyone for at least a half hour or so.  I also get to squeeze in a good book by listening to it. It's all about the multitasking, Baby.

I miss my friends. I miss seeing them. The thing is I know we are all busy, so I don't ever try to schedule anything. I'd much rather someone call me and throw out some dates and I do mean dates as in the plural so that I have a better chance of having at least one of those days free-ish. It's trying to find time between the soccer games and practices, potty training, being the room parent, or helping out at the book fair. I promise I'll do better. Really I will. Just after we finish with the book fair, plan the middle child's birthday, and the Halloween/harvest festivals at the kids' schools, finding costumes for the children, oh, and my sister-in-law's baby shower, and hosting Thanksgiving for the extended family, and preparing for advent and Christmas, oh, and while your at it, throw in a 5K or two. So like in January? Call me? Maybe?