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Have a holly jolly Christmas…

6 Dec

Christmas time! As the parent of a two and six year old, there is truly no better time of the year. I can vividly remember harassing my parents about putting up the tree, wrapping presents, and WHEN WILL CHRISTMAS BE HERE?? I’m happy to report that nothing much has changed with kids in the years since I was little. We put up our Christmas decorations last weekend and the house is feeling downright festive. Although we bought that darn Elf on the Shelf a few years ago, I was sort of hoping Eli had forgotten about him but no dice. Several days ago he started asking where he was so I had to put him back out two nights ago. I find the elf to be a bit creepy and I also don’t necessarily dig the whole “the elf is watching and reporting on you so you better be good” aspect of it all. I would rather the boys be good because they’re just being good and not necessarily because they think they’ll get more presents because of it. So we bring the elf out but we never threaten with the elf, we never reinforce the whole “the ELF IS WATCHING” number and instead hope it’s just a fun thing for them that the elf pops up in a different place every morning. Ours is a sometimes very fun but mostly lazy elf, often finding a comfy place to hang out for several nights in a row because he “must have just really liked that spot” and Eli seems okay with the elf not moving every night. Seriously, I do not have the time for inventive elf games every night.

Ben is being a champ about not messing with the tree so far although Will’s gigantic bean bag, which had previously taken up space in the corner of the living room, had to be booted down to the playroom to make room. Ben has asked several times to get rid of the tree so the bean bag can return because he liked propping up the end of his slide on it for never-ending opportunities to crack his head open. I assured him the tree won’t be around for long and he can resume his teetering on unstable slides as soon as January rolls around. He really likes the tree lights as well as the lights we put all around the outside of the house. Although it was a HUGE pain in the butt to light the house (involving two ladder rentals because of the distance over the garage to the gutters), in the end we still think it was worth it. Parts of the front of the house aren’t as lighted as I would like but we figure we’ll buy a little more every year until we achieve Griswold status.

For what it’s worth, clothing sizes:

Shirts size 8
Pants size 7
Shoes size 2 (kids)

Shirts size 4T
Pants 2T or 2 years
Shoes 9 (toddler)

Ben starts Small Faces in a few weeks and he’s pretty excited about it. It will be so good to have him around other kids again although we’ve been spoiled with BP and will have to do most of his potty training on our own. BP really took the lead and handled most of it with the kids. I got the potty seat out a few weeks ago and although we’ve been plunking him on it here and there, we really have to start buckling down as it’s an extra $75 a month for kids who are still in diapers. ON TOP of the $1100 a month for three days a week. They should be feeding these children gold and star dust for those costs. Ridiculous. So probably in January I’m going to start busting Ben’s chops about getting potty trained ASAP so we don’t have to pay that any longer than we have to. He’s amused by the potty but doesn’t really have any inclination to it so far. I’m hoping peer pressure will work in our favor once he starts at Small Faces and he’ll get more interested.

Ben’s been on a tear so far as getting out of bed the last few nights. The other night, he got out of bed three times because “I poopy, Mommy” (he was not but he knows I’ll check). Then twice I saw the light on in his room and when I opened the door he was sitting in front of his bookshelf looking at books (THE CHILD WHO WILL NOT SIT STILL FOR A BOOK). Then one time he came into the living room with his pj pants in his hand declaring, “My pants fell off!” Like, what the heck? How did this happen, Mommy? My pants just totally fell off! It was hard not to laugh because he was totally trying to play it off as a legit reason for getting out of bed.

Eli started karate classes at Washington Karate by our house. He really loves it. We signed up for three months and I told him if he did the three months and wanted to stay in it then at that point I would buy him the karate uniform. I just don’t see the point in buying it now since who knows what he’ll think three months down the road? He can do his classes just as well in sweatpants for now.

I’m doing as much cross fitting as I can in the garage. It’s not a lot of space so I do what workouts I can. I’m signed up for 12Ks of Christmas in 2 weeks and then the Hot Chocolate (15k) in March and the Lake Sammammish 1/2 marathon the week after that so I’ll be getting a lot of running in. I really miss Crossfit. I am hoping that once Eli no longer has kindergarten tuition that I can go back to it as it’s just really hard to replicate that level of intensity on my own. In any case, I’m fortunate to have a squat rack and weights in my garage so I’m doing what I can. I’ve been talking to Eli about running with me and doing some of the kid fun runs (1k) that usually happen with my races and he’s shown some interest. I think it would be super cool if eventually we could do some 5ks together.

Andy still isn’t fencing yet. He’s gone a time or two but both times really aggravated his knee so he’s been holding off. He’s going to go back this coming week and we’ll see what happens. I’m worried that fencing just won’t be in the cards for him anymore but that’s hard to know without him trying it more and more PT. Fingers crossed.

Enough for tonight. 🙂


March Madness

31 Mar

I ran the Mercer Island half today in 2:17:59.  That’s 34 seconds off my previous record and the fastest I’ve gone so far. I ran with a friend of mine and I think I could have shaved another 5 or so minutes off of my time but I waited for her after a few hills. The last mile was nothing but hills and she finally said I could go on ahead. I haven’t really been running much at all, I’ve been doing the long runs on Sundays but the longest was 10 miles two weeks ago and since I ran once, 3.8 miles. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The crossfit is making me stronger all over which translates to better running and MAN! I was KILLING those hills! Usually my legs will start burning halfway up but it felt great today.

That being said, I think I’m done running for a while. I’m fine with running 4 or 5 on the weekends here and there but I think I’ll just stick with crossfit 4X weekly for the next six or so months and take a break from long races. I’ve done enough at this point that they’re not that exciting anymore and I don’t really feel like I’m accomplishing anything with them. Also, when I have a long run coming up, I have to skip crossfit to save my legs so I’m missing out on gains I could be making there.

Everything is going well here. After the half, we came home so the boys could have naps then once they woke up we went to the park since it was a gorgeous, sunny day. Ben’s big enough now that he can and does climb all over the equipment–he is much more daring climbing-wise than Eli was at this age–anything he sees the big kids (particularly Eli) do, he will try as well. He will go down any slide, no matter how high, with no hesitancy whatsoever.

We are about six days away from finishing the Whole 30 and it’s gone great–we had a few cheat days in there so it’s lasting a little longer than originally planned because we’re making up for that. I’ve been really, really pleased with how it’s worked–my energy is through the roof, I’m sleeping like a ton of bricks, and yes, we’ve both lost weight. I’ve lost about 7 or 8 lbs so far, enough to fit into clothes I haven’t worn since pre-Ben and Andy has lost almost 15 lbs. Although they make it quite clear that this diet isn’t something you’re supposed to do indefinitely as it’s hard to be this strict but I do think we will probably stick to it about 85% or so once it’s over.

…And now it’s a week and a half later.

It’s nice to have the Whole30 done but I’m still mostly trying to stick to it during the week. I figure if I can eat clean five days of the week, that will be striking a pretty good balance. I’ve managed to catch Eli’s sinusy stuff so I’m skipping the workout today because I’d probably just have to blow my nose 50 times during it anyway and that’s just gross. I’ll go to it tomorrow once this clears up a little, I’m sure it’s probably allergy related.

I’m having some password issues with the youtube account, I have a ton of videos to post but it’s just been hard to login. I will fix that ASAP 🙂

Aside 19 Feb

Ben continues to talk up a storm. He’s got two main versions of words–one with some mashup of B sounds — (admittedly, it usually sounds like he’s saying “boobie”) which he uses for a lot of things. Belly is bubby, bagel is buhbah (although if you practice, he’ll get it to baybel). Rather inexplicably, things that start with B get M sounds–his binky (I know, I know) is meemee, bananas are also meemees. Other words, he’s got down pretty clearly. Cracker is cackuh–better than Eli’s version which was “daduh” and you never knew if he was talking about food or Andy. Slide is “shide”, bath is VERY CLEARLY “bath”.  Don’t dare say bath around him unless you are putting him in. The meltdown isn’t worth it.  Sometimes I’ll just give him a bath anyway because I slipped and said it around him.

I tried to show Ananda how he sat for a reading of Goodnight Moon — he made it about 2/3rds of the way through it, then shut the book. She started laughing and tried to keep reading so he walked back to her, took it out of her hands, then put it back on the bookshelf. Okay, Ben, we get the hint.  Since then he hasn’t sat still for a whole reading. I “read” him a few books tonight while he climbed on me, smacked the book, and played with some toys next to me. Ah well, to each his own.

He is sleeping well lately, only waking up once a night because he’s lost his binky and needs recorking. Recently, he was doing that a lot and he must have sensed that we were planning to de-binky him because he got really quiet all of the sudden. Now we have put it back on the back burner. Ben-1, Parents-0. At least it’s only for sleep. I don’t even think he gets it for nap at BP. He’s got quite the little bedtime routine–you say to him, “Ready for night night?” and he will rather agreeably nod. We will brush his teeth and then he’ll start making his rounds of telling everyone good night “NIGHT NIGHT!” with a big hug and kiss. He exits the room with a very drawn out game of “I’m going to blow you a kiss and you pretend it knocks you down” that he plays with both Andy and Eli, but mostly Eli.

He’s all over such an agreeable child. He’s a little slap happy lately and he’s definitely got some patience to learn but he’s so much fun to have around. It’s hilarious to watch him harrass Eli–most of the time he’s just trying to get him to play or just be near him. Sometimes Eli is fine with it and will play along. Lately, Eli is a little more agreeable to letting Ben “attack” him–meaning Ben basically tries to tackle and belly flop on him.

Crossfit is going well. Most of the time I’ve managed to go four times a week and although that can be challenging, I’m really enjoying it. I did manage to strain my neck two weeks in. I had to skip a Thursday/Saturday workout but was back in the game on Monday. So it’s been a little over a month now I’ve been doing it? I really feel like it’s such a good fit for me-if I’m going to work out, I prefer to sort of feel like I’m dying during it and I really prefer to be sore afterwards–after all, what’s the point if you can’t feel it at all? Also, if I’m going to work out hard enough to have that “Ugh, I’m going to die” thing going on, it’s even better if the workouts are SHORT. They are! My longest work out so far has only been 25 minutes. Most of them are in the 8-15 minute range but oh, they are brutal.

I was supposed to go yesterday but couldn’t because of Andy’s work schedule so I decided to run intervals on the treadmills during naps. I did 4 miles in 35 minutes. That’s an 8:45 min/mile pace! I did intervals of 6.3 mph with 7.6 mph sprints every three minutes. Once I hit the 30 minute mark, I just ran it out and sprinted until I hit four miles. Although I definitely felt achy last night, overall I felt pretty good. It’s not a pace I can maintain at ALL at this point and I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the treadmill but still, yay! I’ve got that half at the end of March and I’m hoping to beat my 2:18 time.  I think I’d be shooting for 2:10 but that might be too lofty, particularly since I’m mostly crossfitting and only doing long runs on Sundays with no other running in there.

On Monday, Andy and I are starting this eating program (diet? It’s not really to lose weight) called Whole30. It’s basically 30 days of no grains, legumes, processed food, dairy, sugar, soy, (happiness?), alcohol….uh, I think that’s it. Supposedly it is good as a “nutritional reset” and breaks a lot of bad cycles your body gets into from eating crap for a long time. I think we tend to eat fairly healthy most of the time but I’m sure there’s a lot of tweaking we could do.

I’ve been having energy problems for a while now. I exercise regularly, fairly healthy diet, but I just feel TIRED a lot of the time. Not sleepy, just fatigued, like I just ran a race. I started sleeping more and that helped some but not a lot. Then back in December we cut out alcohol altogether and although that improved my sleep some, no big change in anything with that. The only thing left is to look at my diet and wonder if there’s not something in there that might help if I take it out. So that’s why I’m doing the whole30. I’d like to have even energy throughout the day and not feel sluggish all the time. If we drop a few pounds along the way, hey, that’s just a nice bonus. So the last two weeks has been mostly prepping for it. No, we’re not ridding the house of everything that we can’t eat because I realize we are likely to eat it again in the future. This way of eating will just allow me the ability to see if my energy does improve and if it does, I can add things back in one at a time and find out what the offender is.

We also aren’t making the kids do it although just from being in the house, they’re going to get subjected to a lot of it. They already have pretty good diets in general so I don’t really feel the need to mess with them.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it in that “Oh man, this is probably going to be really hard and I’m really going to hate it at times but hopefully it will be worth it” sort of way. In any case, it can’t HURT, so why not?

And now, it’s 9:30 PM. Time to hit the sack and get some shuteye. Good night!

October already?

16 Oct

We have….walking!

This video is from the “first” day he started walking. I like to think of it as the first day he started letting anyone see it. As with Eli, I was sitting on the floor with them playing and all of the sudden he was across the room. After a few tries, he finally let me catch it on video. Does this look like a kid who just started walking to you? I had worked the previous two nights so I texted my friend and Andy to ask if he had been walking then. They both said they thought he had but they never managed to catch him doing it. It reminds me of his crawling, it seemed like once he decide to start crawling he all of the sudden crawled like a pro.  I think Ben practices something until he’s good at it before he lets us see it. I mean, come on! He slips on a book and recovers without falling!  Witness:

And now walking is just so old hat for him. Although sometimes it seems he forgets he can do it and he will crawl at first. Then you see this light sort of come over his face and he’s all, “Oh yeah!”

He also likes the remote and changing the channels:

If he can’t do it with the remote, he will walk up to the receiver and do it from there. He will also walk up to the TV and TURN IT OFF. He laughs when he does this. My children are mean.

Short but sweet, Ben wants more!

Ben’s getting more words. His ability to imitate words we say is sometimes quite surprising in that it will sound very clear and distinct, causing several “Did he just say…?” moments. Then if you ask him to say it again, it gets baby-fied. Mostly these days he is VERY attached to me. He starts out with “Mommy mommy” and then it becomes “nonny nonny”. He is able to do the signs for “all done” and “more” although I really don’t think he has any idea what “all done” means because he signs it then keeps eating. He also just signs “more” to let us know he is hungry and wants some food. OR if he wants another round of “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.

Some things he has been saying: Waffle “wapuh”, Eli “Aye-yai!”, Ananda (my friend who watches him a lot) “Nanuh”, NIght-night (time to hit the sack) “nigh-nigh”.

Eli is doing well and excited as can be about his upcoming fifth birthday.  How did he get to be five already?  It seems so old. He’s going to be a Samurai Power Ranger for Halloween (thank goodness he picked a costume I can just order) and his birthday party is a few days before that. We’re just having a group of kids come here and destroy the house for his birthday. I think we invited about 10-15 kids and their corresponding adults so it should be entertaining, if nothing else. We have a pinata, a few silly games with prizes, then some snacks and a sheet cake. It’s a little less exciting than big gymnastics place from last year but this year I can sleep and function so kid has to put up with what I’m willing to do on my own!  Ha!  He’s excited as can be about it.

The swimming lessons are PAYING OFF. He now puts his entire face in the water and has even been dunked several times and is fine with it. He wears his goggles in the tub sometimes so he can practice putting his face under water. So proud of that kid! We will probably buy another few sets of the one on one lessons since he seems to be gaining so much ground with them and then we will re-evaluate where we are. Right now I think having one class with his buddies where it’s some lesson and play and another lesson where it’s all learning seems to really be working for him. It’s a lot of time in the water, for sure, and it seems to be working out so we will stick with that.

The adults are doing fine. We had a great trip to Bellingham and I ran my half in 2:18:33 which is a good 10 minutes off my previous two half marathons!  I was pretty proud of that although if you want to be REALLY PICKY, I was aiming for 2:15. 2:15 was my “Oh my, I’m going to freak out that’s so great!” time and 2:20 was my “That’s so awesome, I’m amazing!” time. So 2:18 was pretty stinking good considering that was a bit of a hilly course and I wasn’t really expecting it. I was going to enter the Seattle half at the end of November to try to beat the 2:15 but it’s $100 to enter and um, no. I’m not paying someone $100 so I can exhaust myself for another tech shirt. I’ve run enough races now that I really have enough tech shirts. I’m training anyway and my goal is just to run 13.1 that day anyway, probably not for time. Running in a race always makes you a bit faster so it’s unlikely I’ll beat any time that day but it’ll be good just to get the 13.1 in anyway.

Andy’s doing well, he’s been fencing a lot lately. Tomorrow both little boys are in school so we are spending the whole day doing yard work because our yard looks terrible.  So! Exciting! Andy has a tournament in Dallas in December (Dec 13-16) so be aware!

That’s the news for now!


10 Jan

This video just really sums up what he does when he’s really digging something but is also a bit unsure of what to think.  He just sort of sits, paralyzed with an odd expression.  He’s done it since he was a baby.

Tim, Jocelyn, Erin and Nathan came to visit and we put Erin to work reading Eli some of his nightly books.

10 days in 2012 and things are going swimmingly.  Nothing but pretty boring day to day news to report.  Things are going well at Berry Patch and we’ve pretty much decided to keep him there until he starts kindergarten.  I was having trouble discerning the difference between that and preschool since it seems like what they do is the description of every preschool I’ve seen (except preschool hours are a JOKE–how do these people have jobs?)  So it’s nice to have put that to rest.

I’m running every 2 or 3 days and I’m doing about 2.5-3 miles and then about 20 minutes of weights per workout.  It’s nothing crazy but it’s a good workout and it’s comfortable and keeps me (relatively) sane because work is just crazy crazy stressful right now.  I thought that with all of the budget cuts that 90-100 clients wouldn’t really be THAT much different than 70 to 80 but you know what?  It’s a lot different.  It’s also the first of the year, a time that is hard for everyone with the holidays just passed and the sun is rarely out and it’s gloomy.  I’m hoping things calm down soon because I can’t take too much more if it continues on like the last two weeks!

Eli decided he wanted a camera of his own so I told him if he kept his room picked up and got himself dressed in the mornings and ready for bed every day for a week that I’d get him one.  He held up his end of the deal with nary a complaint (I think there were only two reminders). I ordered it for him and it finally came in today.  He’s had to keep doing his part of the deal to actually get it even though it’s been longer than a week since I was really just trying to get him into that habit.  He still has trouble taking shirts off, he just can’t seem to figure out how to get his arms out of shirts, especially if they fit well.  He’s having fun taking pictures of pretty much everything (I think he has about 40 pictures of the floor and our feet).  It’s a cool little camera, very durable and kid-proof.  It’s not the best picture but it’s a digital and will also do video (!) and has a few games on it.

Andy fenced in a tournament on Friday night and didn’t last long but had a good time nontheless.  He’s talking about taking Eli to Portland for a night this weekend so they can go to a national fencing tournament there.  He’s really working hard to get Eli into fencing.  He and Andy “play” with the foam swords quite a bit.  A few weeks ago, Eli and I watched a movie that had some kind of sword fighting in it.  Eli watched for a minute then pointed and yelled “But they’re not doing anything but just blocking!”  I told Andy about that when he came home from work and I haven’t seen him smile that big in a while!

Well, Eli is in the bathtub and I should get him washed up since we’re coming up on his bedtime.  Everyone have a good week!

Video catch up and etc

6 Dec

Posting from work since my computer here works a little bit better than the one at home. I have several videos to upload but can’t post them to YouTube from work. These are what I already had posted to YouTube but hadn’t yet posted here.

Everything is going well. We got Eli an actual big boy (twin) sized bed two weeks ago and he’s done really well with it. He’s very proud of it and told everyone at daycare about it. He’s also pretty into the whole idea of Christmas this year and is getting pretty excited about it. We succumbed to the whole Elf on the Shelf craze. Although I maintain that the elf is creepy, Eli seems to dig it. The idea is that there’s this elf who basically acts as Santa’s spy. He lives at your house and observes the kid for naughty/nice behavior then each night magically flies (or something) to the North Pole to give Santa the report. The fun part is that the elf is never in the same place when he comes back. I think this is mostly the fun part for the parents because we spend WAY too much time trying to figure out clever elf placement. Eli is always amused at the elf placement–yesterday, Andy had posed the elf on the table with an empty cereal bar wrapper on a plate in front of him. At first, Eli thought the elf had gotten him one of his cereal bars for his breakfast but then realized the elf ATE one of his cereal bars–“I do not like him eating my cereal bars, Mommy!” Eli was annoyed but it was pretty funny. Today the elf is on the extended ladder of Eli’s fire truck, working on straightening up the ornaments on the tree.

There’s not a lot to report–Eli can talk to you now pretty much as normally as anyone else although his speech is usually a lot cuter than most people. He says the “t” sound instead of a hard “c” so you have to keep that in mind. He’s got the letters and sounds totally down and we’re working on putting sounds together to make words. He loves reading to himself and I’ll be happy when he’s got some actual reading down because wow, I am really tired of Go Dog, Go! Most of the time he loves being helpful and he’s pretty good at setting the dinner table and takes great pride in it. I’m trying to remember to encourage him to do more things on his own–pick out his clothes, get himself dressed (getting t shirts off is a bit of a problem), that sort of thing. Berry Patch continues to be great–they recently started a yoga class for the kids on Mondays! Eli does better if there’s a good bit of physical activity during the day–he doesn’t really handle being inside all day long very well, even if there are a lot of activities.

He’s more resistant to naps than he’s ever been. He skips probably 2 naps a week and that’s a big improvement over a month ago when he wasn’t napping for days at a time. We’ve tried putting him to bed early but that doesn’t seem to do a lot as he’ll just play in bed until he normally would go to sleep. So now I get up early (GREAT) in order to wake him up early and he seems to be more tired by naptime and more likely to at least take a short nap at Berry Patch. At home he’ll nap his usual amount but it’s quieter here, there are less distractions, and he still won’t actually fall asleep until 2 or so, even when we put him to bed at 1 and he’s exhausted. I have no idea how to get him back on schedule but I’ve decided not to sweat it.

No big races for me anytime soon, I just haven’t been getting around to it. I’m running three or four times a week at home and doing at least 3 miles each time so I’m staying in the habit. I’ve started watching Nova episodes on Hulu on my iPad while I run and it makes for a pretty enjoyable run! Maybe I will look for a shorter race in January, a 5 or 7 miler. We’ll see. Andy’s fencing every Thursday night at our local community center with a fencing club and he’s really enjoying that even if he is discovering that his knees aren’t in high school anymore! It’s good for all of us to get some exercise.

Here are the videos, I will try to put the rest up at home tonight.

Trick or treating. I really thought I had put this up already!

Stomp rocket fun on his 3rd birthday

Gearing up for Christmas

4 Dec

We put the tree up last weekend along with other decorations. We were going to do outside lights but that’s become a bit of an issue because we don’t have the right shingle clips and it seems that Andy has some strong feelings about how Christmas lights should look. We have to order them so we’ll do the outside stuff next year.

Miracle of miracles, I’ve managed to get almost all of my shopping done and I’ve started wrapping a few things for under the tree. I hadn’t gotten anything yet for Eli because he’s pretty much always with me. I wrapped a few gifts for Andy and one for Will yesterday. Eli was all dejected over his lack of gifts and asked in his most pitiful voice, “Mommy, do I get any presents?” As luck would have it, I got out for a bit without him today and picked up a few things and wrapped them during his nap. He noticed the extra gifts pretty quickly once he got up and asked whose they were. I told him they were his and his eyes lit up. He turned to hug me and said, “I love you getting me presents.”

Typing this on the iPad with one finger is slow. It’s also time for Eli to go to bed (although we are watching “Its the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown” because we are holiday confused). I’m refinishing Andy’s dresser and once Eli is down I have to attack it with a putty knife since the stripper has been on it a bit. Hopefully it won’t take too long to do!