October 20, 2014

number six

Half marathons that is.

I have run six half marathons in the last three years.  Some people will read that and think 'oh my gosh that's amazing', while other people might read that and think 'congrats, wanna cookie?'  For some people a half marathon is no big deal.  For some people it seems unattainable.  And some people just plain don't care about running so there's that.  :o)

What is important to me is to remember how far I've come, every time I finish a race.  Saturday wasn't my best race.  I've made some poor food choices the last couple of weeks, and I certainly felt it during the first nine miles of the race.  I had to stop at that point and use the bathroom.  Something I've never done, even when I was pregnant.  By mile eleven I was feeling gassed.  I hadn't grabbed any fuel to run with, and hadn't slept well the night before, so I hit a wall.  My training definitely wasn't the greatest either.  All of these things added up to a less than stellar race.  BUT.  I finished.  And I pushed until the end.  And I am proud to earn that sixth medal.

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post 13.1 with my favorite 5k finishers!

Three and a half years ago running a 5k seemed like such a daunting task.  I struggled through the first few weeks of the C25K, wanting to die during each and every run.  If felt so hard.  Now three miles is my short run.  I seriously still can't believe I've fallen in love with running.  Sure there are some days I don't want to do it.  Sitting on the couch watching HGTV or staying in my warm cozy bed or reading a good book, they all often sound way more fun than lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement.  But the satisfaction I feel when I finish a run is so much greater.

This is the first time I've signed up for two halfs in one season.  I've got another one on the calendar less than three weeks away.  Thankfully this is the first season I haven't felt burnt out by the time I finished a race.  I wasn't as dedicated to my training this time around, and while that may sometimes be a bad thing, I think I'm finally settling in to a good point in my life.  I'm taking it more in stride and realizing that missing one run won't kill me, only running 4 instead of 5 once in a while won't ruin my ability to finish a race.  Thus I'm not as anxious for the running season to come to a close.

Plus, as I've said, fall is by far my FAVORITE running seasoning!

October 15, 2014

elsie - twenty months

I've been meaning to sit down and write this for nearly a week but keep getting sidetracked.  Better get to it before I blink and the little miss is another month older.  I can't believe how close she is to two!

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she would only smile if she grabbed her legs... goober.

Again, I was too lazy (or forgetful really) to get Elsie on the scale, so I have no idea how much she weighed.  My guess is somewhere between 26-27 pounds.  Her round little belly still makes quite the statement.  Her clothes are either 18-24 month or 2T.  2T is definitely a little big, but not to the point that I would consider buying anything else (as if she needs more clothes) in the 18-24 month size.  I really don't get it, all of a sudden she went from wearing a size 4 shoes, to a size 6.  Ry skipped right past the 5's too, so I shouldn't be all that surprised, but I was like wait what?  Thankfully we had borrowed some size 5's that worked for the maybe two weeks she was in them.  We've used a box of size 5 diapers, but they were a touch big and she was pissed because they covered up her belly button (naturally) so we're back to a size 4 for a bit.

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Elsie is currently cutting the last three canine teeth, all at once.  I keep thinking she is doing a great job teething, which really she probably is.  Not super drooly, no fevers, sleep is relatively normal, but her attitude the last couple weeks?  OY.  I love that girl to pieces, she is so funny and cute.  But lately everything, every request, every word, is accompanied with a big ol' pile of whine.  If I remind her to nicely say please, or ask her not to whine, she changes her voice in an instant.  However her initial attempt at getting anything is always in a whiny voice.  And oh man, the ridiculous battles and power struggles we've been having lately, they are slowly killing me!  We fight over getting her diaper changed, getting in the car, getting in the crib, getting out of the crib, every little transition.

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And I said that sleep was relatively normal.  In regards to the fact that when she goes to sleep she is out.  But it is the whole going to sleep that is a problem.  She has caught on to the fact that Ryann doesn't nap, and I'm pretty sure that makes her drag her feet to nap time.  And in the last month we've had several days where she stays in her crib for over an hour, never really fussing or anything, but just doesn't go to sleep.  It might have something to do with the bajillion 'buddies' she demands to take to bed.  I swear I tried to keep it to one or two stuffed guys in her crib, but then she'd cry and want this or that and I just wanted her to go to sleep so I went with it.  And now there are nine little (ish) friends in there that she has to count every night.  We've got owlie of course, and then 'second owlie' and 'rainbow kitty' that came home from Omaha, 'kitty' that she got for Christmas, 'woof woof' that came from who knows where, 'hop hop' that she stole from Ryann's room, 'neigh neigh' that came from Build a Bear, and for the life of me I somehow can't think of the other two.  But I know there are nine because again, she makes me count them each night.

So yeah, she doesn't nap a lot and then she is a real peach for the rest of the evening.  I'm assuming it is just a phase and she'll go back to napping.  But, um, what if she doesn't?  WHY DON'T MY CHILDREN NAP?!?  Ok enough of that.

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The things that Elsie says lately crack me up.  Last week she held up a dish towel in front of her chest and "it fit me" like she was trying on clothes or something.  Then she tossed it over her head and said "now hiding!"  And of course I can't think of any of them right now, but she'll surprise me and string together a four word sentence.  When she counts it is always 2 3 5 6 7 9 10!  I correct her every time, but she doesn't care :o).  I think she can sing most of the ABC's too, because she'll occasionally chime in when I'm signing, but won't do it on her own.  She also sings twinkle twinkle, baa baa black sheep and a couple other songs too.  Really she knows tons of words and songs and tries to say them, it just isn't always really clear what she is trying to convey.

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Elsie is definitely turning in to a picky toddler.  The best part?  Ryann will only consistently eat peanut butter and jelly and chicken nuggets.  Elsie does not like peanut butter and jelly or chicken nuggets.  Oy, dinner goes over so well in our house these days!!  It isn't that bad, thankfully Elsie doesn't really care if she doesn't like what is on her plate, she just doesn't eat it.  Ryann was always offended by foods she didn't want and would throw a fit, so this works much better.  Elsie seems to really like different soups, it is just unfortunate that soup isn't really an easy thing for toddlers to eat.  She isn't too terrible with a spoon, but not skilled enough that I'd just give her a bowl of tomato soup.  She loves rolls and muffins, and m&m's of course.  Fruit and cheese are also at the top of her love list.  Oh, and mac 'n cheese.  For the longest time I never fed her mac 'n cheese because we just didn't eat it all that much, but now she goes nuts for it.

We can't go anywhere without someone commenting on Elsie's hair.  Telling me how beautiful it is, asking where the curls came from, wondering if the curls will last.  I can't blame them, I love her hair so much, it is adorable.  I don't think the curls will last, but one can hope.

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Miss E is still my little mama's girl.  A few weeks ago she actually pushed me out the door at MDO and said "bye mama!"  And now the last two weeks she has screamed her head off walking down the hall to her classroom.  I feel so bad and guilty about it, but they assure me that she never cries for long, and she always is excited to tell me about the things she did at 'school' that day.  Aside from that, in general, she prefers to be with me.  Unless of course Grammy is an option.  She asks if we can go to Grammy's house ALL THE TIME.  The other day when we were leaving the gym I said "let's go home!" to which she responded "no home."  So I asked her, "No home?  If we don't go home where will we go?"  "Mimi's house!"  Too cute.

I need to read up on fostering sibling relationships or something, because my girls bicker and fight like crazy!  I know they're young and still learning the ways of sharing and such, but they go after each other.  And Elsie is a top notch hair puller.  She has pulled chunks of hair from Ryann's head.  CHUNKS!  Ryann doesn't have a ton of hair to begin with so it freaks me out a little.  Even with all the fighting though, I can see the love too.  There will be spontaneous hugs and kisses and cuddles, and nobody can make Elsie giggle like Ryann can.  I really hope that they can learn to be civil with each other more often, and get along.

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Elsie's current favorite pop song is Fireball by Pitbull.  I know, but she loves it.  She loves to shake her little booty and yell 'fireball!'.  She loves coloring and school buses and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  She has a thing for wearing other people's shoes around the house.  She wants to help with everything, from unloading the dishwasher, to using the bathroom (whether I want help or not! and not that she wants anything to do with the potty herself.).  She is full of personality and spunk and I adore her.

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Oh Elsie girl, I love you.  So much.

October 8, 2014

my favorite season

I dislike winter aside from the holidays.  Spring is pretty awesome.  Summer rocks too.  But fall wins.  The weather is (for the most part) wonderful, and there are all sorts of festive things to be done.  And festive outfits to be worn.  And I just love watching all the leaves change, so gorgeous.

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The goal is to squeeze in a couple of pumpkin patch trips this month, but if it doesn't happen we have already gone to the Cider Mill.  Not quite the same as the pumpkin patch (they do have a patch at this mill, but it has a separate entrance fee and doesn't have as many attractions as other KC patches), but it does come with a side of cider doughnuts, heck yes!  I'm also a huge fan of the cider slushies.

The weekend we went was their Cider Fest, so there were some extra activities like the inflatable slides, pony rides and several vendors.  The cost of the different activities added up quickly, but Ryann and Elsie couldn't stop talking about the pony rides so I deemed the $10 for the two of them worth it.  Elsie kept saying "Neigh neigh go round a round!"  We met up with my bestie, her husband and little guy.  We've been friends since Meaghan and I were under two, so to get to attend activities and such with our families is surreal and just so fun.  Elsie wasn't in the best of moods that day, she hadn't napped, and also chugged and then puked up her cider, so our outing only lasted about an hour.  Ry would have stayed much later, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

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Even though it wasn't necessary a fall activity, I thought I'd throw these photos in here too.  A few weeks ago we went to Deanna Rose Farm with some friends.  All three of us brought our strollers, and wouldn't you know none of them were used.  Baby needed his mama and the toddler girls had no interest in riding.  We had fun feeding the goats though.  Elsie was so cute feeding the baby with the bottle, but she wouldn't hold on to it tightly and the little guy kept trying to steal it!  It was another day where Elsie was a bit of a pill, but she is still cutting teeth so I'm going to give her a pass for a bit longer.  We still had a great time and enjoyed being outside.

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Seriously, fall just makes me giddy.  Fun things to do, great running weather, plenty of excuses to eat soup and snuggle under blankets.  I love it.

October 2, 2014

chocolate pumpkin spice cookies

Last week I posted a picture of some cookies the girls and I made on instagram...

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The photo got a pretty positive response, and our family really enjoyed them (I forgot to take a 'real' picture of them for a couple days, and we ate them all!), so I figured I'd share my recipe.  Which really isn't much of a recipe at all.  At least not mine anyway.  When I spotted the kisses in the store I wasn't really sure what I'd make with them, but I was in the fall/pumpkin/etc mood so I grabbed a bag.  After trying one at home, I decided I thought they'd go well with a chocolate cookie.  I searched 'chocolate kiss cookie' on pinterest and came up with Jeanne's Chocolate Kiss Cookies on allrecipes.com.  Swapped out the chocolate kisses for the pumpkin kisses and boom.  Chocolate pumpkin spice kiss cookies.  Yum.

Just please note the part where is says the recipe yields 4 1/2 dozen.  Not that you can ever have too many cookies of course, but that is a fair amount, so halve the recipe if you really need to.  Or just send some with your hubby to work.  That is my method for getting rid of excess sweets.

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Ryann and Elsie were my little helpers, Elsie dumping ingredients in and Ryann unwrapping all of the kisses.  The both love baking, mostly because they love trying to sneak as much dough and as many chocolate chips as they can, but they do like helping :o).  Well Ryann had put all of the unwrapped kisses in a bowl, and at one point I turned around and caught her biting the tips off of the kisses and tossing them back in the bowl!!  "Ryann!!  What are you doing?!?" "Mommy they taste so good I just couldn't resist them!" I couldn't help but laugh.  But then I had to dig out several 'trimmed' kisses.  Oh sweet girl, you are too funny.

September 29, 2014

georgia vacation part two

Continuing where I left off...

Tuesday morning I went for a run.  The day seemed like it was going to be a gloomy one (it was supposed to rain the entire time we were there, and never did!!), so we opted for a short walk to the park instead of going to the beach.  This particular park had a new play structure put in since the last time we were there and it didn't disappoint.  The thing was HUGE!  Again, more slides I was scared of.  Not in the picture is a whole bunch of other spinning things and such that my sister and I enjoyed as well.

After the park we split up, my mom, Elsie, my sister and myself doing a little shopping, and Christopher and Ryann heading to the library.  The rest of the day was spent hanging out at the house, going to dinner, and getting some Moo Cow ice cream.

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Wednesday was our last day so we decided on some more beach time.  Unfortunately the tide just wasn't in our favor this beach trip, so we were never able to just walk to the beach by my parents house.  Thankfully east beach is always accessible so we weren't out of options.  It is just slightly more annoying to have to get in the car, and the walk to and from the car from the beach is kind of miserable.  It is in some sort of no air flow vortex thing, I have no idea, but it is stupid hot in that little stretch of land.  We still managed to have a good time though.

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Thursday morning, the trip home was... interesting.  We had to leave for the airport at 7am, so I told my mom to wake Ry up by 20 till (Ryann sleeps in my mom's closet, it's the size of a small room, it works :o).  I was getting things ready and texted her at 6:45 to make sure they were up.  She responded with 'yes, and Ry just threw up'.  Oh well isn't that just fantastic?  Just what I wanted to hear before several hours of travel.  I went up to check on them and Ry said she was fine.  So we carried on, got everything loaded up and headed out.  10 minutes from the airport she threw up again.  Whyyyyy.  When we got to the airport I changed her clothes, we got checked in and stood in line for security.

Usually I remove the stroller seats and send them through the x-ray machine while the base gets hand checked.  The security people didn't ask me to take the seats off so I figured yay, less work for me.  Except then the seats set off the alarm and I got my bags searched and a full pat down.  Fail.  Whatever, we got through and essentially boarded the plane.  Everything seemed to be going fine and then we just sat on the runway.  This airport has one gate.  We were the only flight.  We were not waiting in line.  Nope, apparently the bigger planes were hogging the airspace so the Atlanta airport wouldn't let us take off.  Lame sauce.  Especially since our layover was only 40 minutes.  We ended up sitting on the runway for 15 minutes, and then while we were in the air, they made us circle the airport for 30 minutes before landing.  Goodbye layover.  Goodbye flight and getting in to KC before noon.

I could drag this out, but the rest of the story short, we got put on stand by for the next flight and successfully got on it.  We were home by 2:30, the girls fell asleep in the car, and Ryann didn't throw up anymore.  Traveling with Elsie pretty much still sucks.  Despite the amount of snacks, iPad, movies, crayons and stickers, she just wanted to get up and run around.  Hopefully she gets better at it soon, but we'll keep going to Georgia anyway.  We love it! 

September 28, 2014

georgia vacation part one

I'm feeling lazy and don't want to throw too much in to one post, so I'm splitting my vacation recap in to two.  A couple weeks ago we went to Georgia for a little family vacation.  Chris had a five day stretch without any games or things he had to attend so we decided to jump on it.  Plus my mom thought this was her birthday celebration :o).

We usually fly in to the Jacksonville airport, but this time the prices to there and Brunswick (which is closer to my parents, but a SMALL airport) were pretty comparable so we switched it up.  And in a bold move we scheduled the 7AM flight out of Kansas City.  Truthfully I think it ended up working out better.  Sure it sucks to set your alarm for 4am, but I was 100% packed the night before because there wasn't another option.  I had clothes and everything laid out for the girls and I, so I just woke up, got myself ready, we packed the car and then woke the kids up and essentially buckled them in and left.  No doing any last minute things or packing any last minute things or convincing kids to get in the stupid car.  And that way we were at my parents house by 1pm, essentially giving us an extra day.  Winning.

The only downside to the early wake up call?  Ryann didn't make it through dinner.  Whoops.  We tried to get her to take a nap earlier in the day, but she couldn't get comfortable on the plane, and by the time we were there she was just too excited.  She passed out at the table, and Chris eventually moved her to a nearby booth where she slept until we left.  She pretty much went right to bed when we got back and slept all night so no harm done I guess?  It was funny.

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Sunday morning I woke up early and went for a disgustingly humid seven mile run.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with Georgia running.  The views are so much prettier than what I usually have, and it is nice and flat.  But humidity is just plain gross.  Nonetheless, I got it done.  We had some breakfast and then headed to the marina to go out on the boat.  Our last Georgia boating experience lasted approximately 5 minutes thanks to Elsie hating it.  This time she gave us a solid 20 before deciding she was done.  I'm not a huge fan of being on the boat there, but it was very pretty.

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After boating we headed back to my parents house to swim and eat some lunch.  If you are ever putting in a pool I highly suggest having a shallow deck.  The girls LOVE being able to just play easily in the water, and it is nice to be able to sit in the water as an adult as well.

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On Monday we spent some time at the beach.  Both Elsie and Ryann LOVE being at the beach.  Minus the heat, they both can only handle it for so long.  But Elsie was charging the water and splashing in the waves.  Ryann loves playing in the tide pools.  And they both enjoy searching for shells.  After the beach we got changed and headed to lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  Margaritas in the middle of the day make me kind of useless, but they sure taste good :o).

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I think there was some more swimming and of course more eating that day.  Which is pretty much what our entire vacation consisted of.  And I am not complaining about that one bit.

September 26, 2014

labor day weekend

No judging.  I'm only like three weeks behind.  Whatever.  For labor day weekend we packed up and headed to my parents house to enjoy some time in the pool and on the boat.  And we ate.  Because that is what we do.  As usual we had a great time, the girls love hanging out with Grammy and Papa, and it was fun to spend some family time in the pool.  Plus we scored some Tad's (snocones, shaved ice, whatever you want to call it), which is always a win. 

Oh!  and we actually convinced Ryann to jump in the pool by herself without one of us catching her, with her puddle jumper on of course.  It only cost me a $5 bribe, but hey.  She did it.

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Elsie is such a character.  I can hardly stand it sometimes.  There is so much freaking personality in our house between those two girls.  It can get a bit crazy and over the top, but I love them so much!