Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wait, when did this happen?

In the past few days, I have gone from having a toddler to having a big girl. We knew that we'd put a few things off for a while that we wouldn't be able to put off much longer, but STILL! Summer decided this morning that she's got this whole potty thing under control. She used the potty pretty much all day long. If that wasn't enough, she put on her own pants. She tried to take her diaper off at nap because she had to go to the bathroom. She is a complete motor mouth and is just acting BIG!

Translation, we're full blown potty training. If it isn't absolutely required, we won't be going anywhere in the next week or so. We also took down Summer's crib rail and she is spending her first night in a toddler bed. Its like the switch was flipped-she's big now. No more baby. She's starting to show interest in all the 3 & Up Discovery Toys stuff I have laying around. Its just unfathomable to me. I knew it was coming, but it doesn't mean I was ready for it.

I'm an emotional wreck today--Brad is leaving for Maryland tomorrow until the end of Thursday (which was finalized at noon today). My boss is leaving on a cruise on Saturday (that I kind of wanted to go on too, but that's a whole other issue), which means work is hectic. And then there is this whole "holy cow my baby is growing up!" thing with BOTH kids (Garrett copied "Santa's Elf Shop" on to a project for Grandma Sherry. My kid can WRITE, when did that happen??) Add in the holidays, typical monthly hormones, and my tendancy to over-react to finances, no workout since SATURDAY and YUP, basket case. But we'll be taking it all in stride.

And here is a sampling of the things I've heard today:
Summer, to Garrett, Xander, and Logan as we were getting ready to head out to school:
"Come on boys" (while clapping her hands to hurry them along).

Me to Summer, who lost her pants somewhere: "Where are your pants?"
Summer: "I dunno!"

Garrett to Xander: "You've eaten at Red Lobster?? Mom, even XANDER has eaten at Red Lobster. We just HAVE to go there soon." (For some reason he's obsessed with eating at Red Lobster. No clue why, we hardly ever go out to eat)

Summer (in the car on the way to school--Xander is in the 3rd row with G and Logan is sitting next to her) . . . "Hiiiiii Xan-er!!!" (Waving frantically at Xander in the back row)
Logan: "Why is hers calling me Xan-er? I'm Logan!"
Summer: "Hiiiii Xan-er!" (Summer is OBSESSED WITH XANDER)

And after dropping them all off:
Summer: "I call Xan-er" (Dials on phone) "Hiiii Xan-er!" (Did I mention she was obsessed?)

Chaos, as always, reigns supreme around here!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Mayhem - Thanksgiving Addition

This weekend was EPIC. We had such a great time, and are so very thankful that we have such a great network of friends (our Florida Family!) to make Thanksgiving Weekend so very fun!

Our fun weekend started bright and early Thursday with a Budget 5K race hosted by Shelah. It was tons of fun. Budget races with friends are my new favorite thing. Brad smoked me as always. I was terribly sluggish and finished in 34 minutes, definitely not my best time for a 5K. Such a great way to start Turkey-Day!

Then Jess brought over my kids and her kids, and we had a kids race. Check out Garrett's game face. That kid is so flipping competitive it isn't even funny.Summer decided half way through she was done. She sat down and started crying. As soon as we made it to the finish, we discovered the problem. . .
"I wanna BUFFIN!!" (muffin)-the entire thing is crammed in her mouth in this one.

I made cute (or cheesy, depending on your sense of humor) turkey medals for the kids out of a cereal box. My ever-competitive son made me write #1 on his when we got home, because (and I'm quoting here): "I ran really fast and crossed the finish line first because my sketchers make me go FAST!!" He gets it from Daddy, what can I say.
Dinner at the Shumans.And Summer greatly enjoyed her blueberry pie afterward.
We had a BBQ at Biscayne National Park on Saturday. As soon as Garrett found out we were going, he said "I hope we can find some good trees to climb". Which, of course, he did.
Shocker-Summer, eating. Garnet and Miss Jess were both elevated WAY up on Summer's list of favorite people this weekend!

Best buds with their sticks. Silly boys! They've been OBSESSED with each other lately and always asking to play. Even Summer is obsessed now, everything is "Xan-er" this and "Xan-er" that.On top of those fun gatherings, we did the usual Thanksgiving weekend stuff too . . .

We watched Football (poor Aspen was pooped!). I wish I could post the picture of Summer imitating the refs signals, but since we are potty training, she was completely nakie at the time. It was super cute though! (And yes, the potty training is going well. I think if we would just STAY HOME for several days it would be a done deal, but its next to impossible).
I took some pictures of the Shumans (their first family photos since Xander was born!).
. . . and they took some of us. Summer was NOT cooperative, so it took 2 tries. Little stinker. She really can't be convinced to do anything she doesn't want to. This is the only peak you are getting though, until after Christmas!
And we got the Christmas stuff down from the attic. We decorated the banister, but the tree will wait a few more weeks since we're going to get a live one again this year. Garrett made his Christmas list:

In case you can't read Brad's chicken scratch, the opening line is "Happy Christmas to you Santa" :-) He also wanted us to add "Battle-gaun" after I took this (that would be Bakugans, which of course I had to look up how to spell!). I'm still so proud that he is writing his name.

And last, but not least, a video of Garrett singing his Harvest song from school. He rushed through it, probably because I've made him sing it about 1,000 times in the past few weeks. But at least the memory is preserved.

So, so very much to be thankful for this year. And we won't be forgetting, just because Thanksgiving is over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Garrett's Thanksgiving Potluck at School

Monday was Garrett's Thanksgiving Potluck at school. I volunteered for the day in the classroom. I love his teacher, she's fabulously wonderful. The other teacher in the class is leaving so I figured an extra set of hands would be very helpful indeed. The kids were SO FLIPPING CUTE, it wasn't even funny.

Classroom decorations

I set the tables while the kids were outside. Summer helped, of course. She was supposed to go to the 2 year old room but adamantly refused. She loves Garrett's school, she just doesn't like to be where he isn't.
Garrett and Xander in their Indian garb with another friend, Alejandro.
Soooo cute. G is the one scarfing the juice, of course.

Summer was so fried by the time noon rolled around. Daylight savings time is still giving us a hard time.
At dinner last night, during our usual prayer that Garrett leads, he tacked on a "and we are thankful for Mommy, Daddy, Summer and the rest of our family." Sigh, so sweet! He's just getting too big too fast.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Mayhem

Maybe I'll call our week-in-review Monday Mayhem. Because that pretty much sums up things around here. After another very busy week, we had a fabulous weekend. Garrett and I did a project at Lowes on Saturday. He some of his money to buy a pirate ship model there, which he and Daddy made when they got home. We went to the VERY cold pool so that he could test out the snorkel gear he got from the ocean kids event last weekend. We went down to the track, since it was championship weekend, even though we did not actually go to the race. And we had to go buy the boy a new pair of shoes because for some reason the little stinker won't stop growing! :-) Random pictures from this week:

We'd be lost without our produce!
Playdough provides endless sources of entertainment.
Kid loves doing his homework. Which is AWESOME.

Guess who can write his name, and is insulted now if you try to help him?After spending his money on the pirate ship, he wanted to see what he had left. This was his creation:

Monday was our thankgiving potluck at school. The kids made Indian vests and headbands. This will get its own post (pics are on FB already), but here's a preview.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blue Puppy

Blue Puppy is Garrett's bestest friend in the whole wide world. He's had this thing since he was an infant. It has gone almost everywhere (except in to school, more on that in a minute) and done almost everything with Garrett.

Blue Puppy has been lost for several weeks. Garrett had stopped asking for him, and I thought for sure he was practically forgotten, but when Garrett was making his "I am thankful for" craft, he included Blue Puppy. It made me want to cry.

Blue Puppy has been found! On top of (and behind) the kids' play kitchen. For those of you who haven't been at my house, the kitchen is next to our open staircase. For some reason, I am pretty sure GARRETT did not drop blue puppy back there. I suspect he was placed there by a much smaller and much more rotten little girl.

I can't wait to give him to Garrett when I go pick him up from school, he'll be stoked. SCHOOL, by the way, is the one place Blue Puppy has not been, much to my surprise. Garrett told Brad and I that he was worried all the kids would laugh at him "because I chewed Blue Puppy's nose off." I don't know, but if he doesn't want to share that part of himself with his classmates, that's fine. His relationship with blue puppy seems to be the last vestige of the little boy that he was.

A few pictures from the archives of the adventures of Blue Puppy. And also THIS POST for a trip down memory lane. Its amazing how much he has grown up. The other day he was talking all about how exciting Kindergarten is going to be. And I quote. "Its all because of the Miss Bindergarten books. Do you think when I get to Kindergarten, a dog will be my teacher?" (Miss Bidergarten is, of course, a dog!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Poster

Garrett gave his Thanksgiving presentation today. He had so much fun on the poster.

And an outtake from family photos on Sunday. Check out silly Summer! Poor baby, her teeth are bothering her.Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Make It Monday - Oat Flour Pancakes

This recipe is modified from one given to me by my fabulous cousin Alesa. A healthier, whole grain take on an old favorite . . . .

Combine 4 tbs ground flax seed with 12 tbs water, set aside.

Sift together 2/3 c wheat flour, 1/3 c. white flour, 1/2 c. oat flour (purchase oats and grind in coffee grinder), 6 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp sugar (or honey). Mix, then add flax seed mixture, 1 cup milk and 1/2 c applesauce. Mix, cook, YUM! Garrett prefers his in the shape of Mickey Mouse :-)

Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ocean Kids!

On Thursday we got an email that children of RSMAS personnel would be able to attend an event on Saturday called Ocean Kids on UM's Main Campus. Brad had been planning to take Garrett to the car show, since he had been asking for a date with Daddy. But we could NOT pass this up--it was right up our familial alley and something we knew Garrett would love. It was geared for children 5-12 years old, but of course Garrett had a blast. I'm a little jealous to have missed out on all the fun!

Awesome, awesome lessons . . . Garrett was in the mix during all of them and had a great deal to say, of course.
Just like daddy when you tell him to say CHEESE!

Bubbles are fun!

Touch tank

Frame craft

Water and oil mixing

Crude oil demo = totally awesome. Chocolate syrup + veg oil in water, then the kids got to stick feathers in to see how it sticks to everything.

Mangrove experiement - kids got to add sand to water to see how it would wash away, then stick in mangrove propagules to show how the mangroves keep the sand from eroding. AWESOME!

This one was to demonstrate the importance of sharks in the ecosystem. Some of the kids got to be sharks and some were fish (the fish wore red hats). The sharks were then caught in fishing nets or finned as the area they were in was reduced, demonstrating that without the sharks around, there are too many fish. Great, great job with basic but important scientific concept.

Simulated marine mammal rescue:

Fossil dig

The got to dissect a squid and write with its ink.

Coral talk, then modeling corals with playdough. Yeah, Garrett didn't get the modeling concept so much, but he still had fun!

Be still my heart--microscopy! Zooplankton, but we'll forgive them for that. They got to draw what they saw, but slacker daddy didn't save the pictures!! (But didn't he do a great job taking pictures of everything? So we'll forgive him.)

All in all, an absolutely awesome experience for the little guy! Thanks FINSEA and Dr. Richardson!

Race Report - the Budget (Almost) Half Marathon that just wasn't meant to be.

Today was my scheduled to be my Budget Half Marathon, run in conjunction with my friend Amanda's half in Illinois. My friend Amanda is FAST. As in, she finished 13.1 in 2:00:25. Yes, folks, an almost 9 min mile pace over a half. But anyway . . . This is the kind of day when both the pluses and minuses of doing a budget race, rather than an actual organized race on a predefined course, reared their heads. I have been very much under the weather for the past few days. As in barely-able-to-stand-up-without-falling-over sick. Last night I took a ton of cold medicine to knock me out so I could sleep.

The ORIGINAL plan for this half was to run it first thing in the morning at work. THAT plan was ruined when Garrett got an AWESOME opportunity to do Ocean Kids, a really great educational program held at UM. So I didn't go to work, and I had Summer starting at 7:30 when they left. But the second plan was that I would go early AT HOME, and be back in time to take Summer so the boys could go. THAT plan was ruined by my copious use of cold meds. I'm pretty sure running 13.1 miles with medicine head just isn't the best idea . . . and really, I'd rather not find out the hard way. Soooooo, I ran when Brad got home. This is the plus side of budget races. Flexibility. And had I decided I was still not feeling well enough to run, I wouldn't have been out the $50-$90 race fee. So, yay for budget races, right?

I made the HORRIBLE mistake of not mapping my course out before hand. In hind sight, I should have known better. My Nike + has been giving me issues as it has been off on distances here lately. I KNEW this, and yet I went out planning to just run based on the distance on it. I just went wherever my little heart desired. BIG mistake. 10 miles (according to it) and 2.5 hours later . . . um, wait, a 15:00 min/mile pace?? REALLY?? I was annoyed, I was tired, and damn it, I did NOT have another 5K in me. I could have made myself run it if I really wanted to. But I was tired, I was BORED, and darn it, 3.1 miles would have sucked. I could have done it, but I would have hated every minute of it. And I probably wouldn't have run again for weeks. So since I was coming off being sick anyway, I cut my losses, turned off my Nike +, and walked the mile home. This is where the boo for budget races comes in, because A: I never would have quit with other people around and B: I would have known, as I do now, that I had actually ran 11.5 miles and I would have found 1.6 WAY more doable than 3.1.

Anyway, I came home, mapped my route, and found it was 11.5, which averaged to a ~12:30 min mile, which is doable for me. I just hope Laura C over at the 500 miles in 2010 blog won't type a huge FAIL next to my half marathon, and instead will descreatly draw a line through it and put Angela's 10-miler instead!! :-)

So, at any rate, I don't consider it a failure. It was a long run, it was fun right up until the end, and I was coming off being sick . . . so no regrets. I AM fighting the urge to throw my Nike + in the trash. A garmin is definitely on my dream big list . . . there was one on sale for $125 on Amazon and I am seriously kicking myself for not buying it. But oh well. Next time I will DEFINITELY map out my route before hand. And hopefully run it at work. Because ocean views and multi-million dollar mansions are way more interesting than the scenery around here. And I can also like running without music for at least part of my run out there, something I haven't been able to pull off at home. Live and learn. And not a penny spent in the process :-)

Oh, official stats . . . or, er, my best guesstimate anyway:
11.5 miles
12:35 pace