Saturday, April 28, 2012

 Its been about a year now that I have been running consistently again. Toward the end of last year, my cousin and I were joking about running a half marathon. Joking, because both of us were a little scared to commit to it. But the joking turned into a commitment, and many months later it is race day eve. To our great disappointment Hayli got injured during our training and had to stop running. I fell off the wagon for a while after that, but picked it back up and joined up with Heather for long runs. The long runs alone are tough, so I am so grateful that we have been able to run together.

 The memorial flags were put up along the course I run a couple of weeks ago, and spurred me on toward race day.
 Tonight I cooked up my good friend Beth's delicious spaghetti recipe for a "carb load" dinner.
 There are many reasons why I run and why I chose this commitment, but that's for another day.
I've got all my stuff laid out for my 5AM wake up call...nothing else to do now at this point but try to rest, even though I'm feeling very nervous/excited/not tired!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday fun

 We went to the science museum today and explored some new areas.
 Like the hall of mirrors
 But her favorite thing is still the train room and the station where you can pain your face. As I mentioned in her 19th month post, she loves coloring. So here she is just getting started. Most of the kids were drawing hearts, peace signs, or just adding a little color...
 But not Isabella. She went to town. I decided to drag her away at the point the colors started going in her eyes. She was not happy about my decision. We went off to see other things, and I think she forgot about the color on her face.
 Because when she saw herself she was shocked and confused...
 Then she said COLOR?!!!
And was like, "Yeah, I'm rocking this painted face!!"

 We went to the Art's Festival that evening. The atmosphere of our city was alive and vibrant. Michael's mom was able to join us, and we ran into some old friends and some of our good friends from church.
After dinner we headed over the to splash pad. Isabella was a little hesitant at first, but then she got in and had a great time.

We decided to move on after her second crash and a big collision with an older kid.

 I tried the Cinn and Corruption per recommendation: warm cinnamon roll bites, ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce, nuts, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar...WOW.
It was a day that included every day things like laundry, unloading and loading the dishwasher, making breakfast and lunch, doing nap time, but also things like a great walk through our neighborhood, fun at the museum together, and a great time at the art's festival. I tried to soak in and appreciate the ordinary along with the extraordinary. I went to bed with a full and happy heart. (And I went to bed lamenting that I am reading the last harry potter book. A little slow on getting into these, but I have loved the last several books and I'm sad to finish the series.)

April Project

 For my April project I wanted to make a shirt skirt that I had seen a tutorial for last year. I had a sewing day with my sister and SIL and we attempted these skirts. While the tutorial says its a 30 minute skirt, it was more like a 4 hour project for us! I am not an experienced seamstress, so it was very slow going. Michael had a huge bag full of t-shirts he was getting rid of, so we used those. You cut the shirt right under the sleeves. Then you sew 12-15 rows around the top of the shirt, using elastic thread in your bobbin to shirr the top part of the skirt.
 I picked an old blue shirt.
 My finished product
(And obviously I should have turned off my flash when taking a picture in a mirror).
Now that I've done it once, I *think* I could get another one done more quickly. I have a really soft yellow shirt, I want to use to make another one. 

I still haven't done March's project, but here are the others:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

19 Months

At 19 months you are:
-Repeating everything we say, and starting to string more words together. Such as: "where it go?" "Dada at work" "I did it" "I see you".
-Sometimes you seem to want to say all the words you can and will go on a random rant saying: "Mama! Dada! puppy! truck! Ava! water! baby! night-night!" You end with great gusto and seem very pleased with yourself. 
-Your new favorite treat is marshmallows, and you call them "shinos". "More shino peeese!!"
-You have become interested in Elmo this month. 
-You love trying on mine and daddy's shoes, putting on jackets, and carrying my purses or bags around.
-You are really enjoying coloring- in coloring books, on the kitchen floor, the bathroom floor, your face, the wall, the steps, in your books... ;) you are starting to do better, and we have been working on remembering we only color on paper. 
-You become more frustrated now when I don't understand you or you aren't able to do something you want to do. Your fits have become a little more and sometimes A LOT more intense along with this. 
-We ended our journey with nursing this month, and while it was bittersweet, the time was right for both of us. I hadn't thought about going this long, but also didn't have a specific timeline in mind, and I'm glad it worked out the way it did for both of us. You drink regular milk right before bed now, and sometimes ask for it in the morning, but won't drink it any other time. 
-You love playing outside, and ask a lot to go outside and "pay". 
-You have started making up songs, some of the words are coherent, some are not. It is so sweet!
-You have started talking about the potty, and telling me when you need your diaper changed or if you need to poop. This is great, except at church or when I'm on the phone with a client and you are yelling: Poop! Mama! POOP!

-You still love books, and have started "reading" some of them to us. You always read the Llama llama books in the funniest voice! It makes me wonder if that is what I sound like to you.

I love you Isabella with your wild curly hair and your boisterous and fun personality! You give me great joy! 


Monday, April 23, 2012


We enjoyed beautiful weather this weekend. Another weekend in the books and another full week ahead!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A little bit of our week

 I was racing against the rain on my run tonight and on the last quarter mile the rain won. I.was.soaked! The memorial marathon is 10 days away. And while I am not as ready as I'd like to be for a half marathon, I'm close enough to be able to do it. I'm excited!
 Monday we had lunch at inspirations tea room with Daddy. Isabella enjoyed her first tea!
 Sometimes she wants to be like me...(although I don't hold any babies by their feet)
 And sometimes she tries daddy's shoes on for size.

 We played at the zoo today and the splash pads are open for the season!
 Tonight we went on a walk and played at the park. The clouds were awesome with the storm rolling in.
Its been a week of catching up on a some things, some laundry and cleaning, and some good downtime. I love a good thunderstorm. I've just made a cup of blueberry bliss tea and I'm ready to read my book, drink my tea, listen to the rain, and go to sleep! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The windy city

Michael and I spent our 5th anniversary in Chicago. My trip concerns then were what dress would I pack for our celebratory dinner, what books would I read, what nice restaurant would we go to to celebrate, etc. For this trip I was calculating how many diapers I would need, what snacks and toys would entertain my daughter on the plane and trip, and how I would safely entertain two toddlers. My how things change! But I enjoy traveling, and if it is a free or mostly free trip, then I am most likely up for it.
 We made it there safely and the biggest hurdles: the plane ride, getting our two massive suitcases, two car seats, diaper bags, stroller, two children, etc. out of the airport and into a cab, then all of that into the hotel, went off without a hitch. We got to our hotel and I was so happy to see our room was really big, with plenty of room for the girls to play, we were right across from a huge park, and within walking distance of some great places. I didn't get a ton of great pictures on the trip, as I often had someone in my arms, holding my hand, or was chasing someone and not able to juggle a camera. But here goes...our trip in pictures:
Here we are after taking on the city our first full day, back from the field museum and lunch, and the tired girls were ready to nap. This was our set up, one in the carrier and one in the stroller. Ava was also good to walk and hold my hand or the strap on the side of the stroller, Isabella was not. There was only one moment that consisted of major weeping and gnashing of teeth at the same time with the girls. Sometimes naps went well, sometimes they didn't.
 Another morning, coffee in hand, ready to walk to the Shedd Aquarium.
 We played in Grant Park across the street every day. Mostly Isabella just wanted to push the stroller around. I had meant to look up some activities to do with toddlers but that didn't happen. But this trip reminded me that kids, especially ones at this developmental stage enjoy simple things. Isabella loved pushing the stroller and playing ring around the rosie, and Ava loved finding sticks and stirring flowers and leaves. Isabella's favorite thing was standing on a bridge that had a train track underneath, and watching the trains go by.
 The park was beautiful with lots of cherry trees and other trees and flowers I don't know. I love parks in big cities and their oasis from the noise and traffic.
 The walk through the park would take us over to museum campus and lake Michigan.
 Shortly after this picture was taken isabella ran straight into lake michigan...
Not really, but while it was a beautiful spot by the water and I would have loved to have stayed longer, but there was no barrier to the water and it made me a bit nervous.
 I had forgotten how blue the water is.
At the aquarium, Ava loved the fish, penguins, dolphins, and turtles while Isabella mostly just loved running around like a hooligan.  I realized it was becoming a bit overwhelming for one child and I was getting tired from chasing the other one constantly, so we headed out and enjoyed the quiet outside in the park and more train watching. 
 Thursday night we took a bus (a highlight for the girls) to Navy Pier for dinner and a children's museum there. The museum is free on Thursday nights so it was crazy crowded. We found a toddler play room upstairs that only small children can be in and hung out there the rest of the time. It was an awesome set up and we were able to relax. Isabella loved pulling around this dog on a leash. The hotel also had a great pool on the 8th floor with views of the city all around, and we had fun swimming a few nights.
 Our last night we walked to Millennium Park before going to dinner.
 Isabella was impressed with the bean for a second and then went back to wanting to push the stroller all over the place.

Here is the four of us together.
While the trip was very tiring, we also had fun and made some lasting memories. I learned some things about myself and from Heather and I was proud of us for making the trip. Any time I've traveled in a big city I've been with Michael who navigates the whole time or someone who is local and knows there way around. So I was happy we made it to all the places we wanted to go. We were blessed many times by kind and helpful people, extra empty seats on the plane ride home, and good weather. You can read Heather's account of the trip here.

I've said it many times before I love to travel and I love coming home. I love seeing new places, experiencing different things and cultures, and getting out of the day to day norms and routines. But I also love coming home, my family, and slipping back into the day to day things that make up our life. I missed Michael a lot and having him there to share the little things with, and having a partner in parenting. Isabella has been making up for lost sleep since we've been home and has been happy to play with some of her favorite things. We have a few things on our schedule for this week, but otherwise we will just be playing catch up and enjoying some down time.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Happy Easter!

 Isabella spotted her Easter basket when she came in the living room.
 She loved shaking the eggs! We headed off to church and she was wild and busy as usual so she wouldn't fall asleep.
 Our church had an egg hunt in the park across the street after the service. She had already made progress since the egg hunt on Thursday at getting as many in her basket as she could. Except for the ones that were cracked open, and with those she just took the candy and discarded the egg!
 Squinty sun smiles
 Lunch at my mom's
 Isabella got a bubble blower in Easter bag
 Another egg hunt!
Isabella with Cappy and Papa. We were blessed to get to spend time with both of our parents.
By the end of this easter season Isabella is a well practiced egg hunter! We have tons of candy! We had such a lovely day with our families and delicious food, even with a major meltdown from being overtired and not understanding why she couldn't have more candy. I loved sharing the holiday with my little girl. Happy Easter!