Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Checkin' those chompers

Anna did great during her first visit to the dentist last month and received TWO tokens to the treasure chest! Now that vacation is over, we're going to work on less thumb sucking, but otherwise she received great marks from Dr. Lisa!

Monday, September 22, 2014

I run for life (a series)

Twelve miles down, a little over one to go! I ran my what was and what will be my longest training run, 12 miles (and an extra quarter mile thanks to a missing street sign), this past weekend and am now less than three weeks away from the Queen Bee half marathon! And I feel great!

I set out to get back into running last fall and quickly had to sit on the sidelines due to my bum knee. Seven months, a surgery to remove a cyst and the lining of my knee joint, physical therapy, and a lot of patience later, I was back in the game, but didn't feel like I'd found my stride when I ran the Flying Pig 5K (3.1 miles) in early May. Fast forward four months and I'm well on my way to setting a personal record with this race. I've shaved nearly a minute off my per-mile pace, and feel great after most runs. I've always been a morning person, but never thought I'd take it to the heights I have by running at 5am regularly. I cross-train with elliptical workouts and hot yoga and strength train by regularly lifting a preschooler and a toddler.

I finally feel like I've found my stride, and a little bit of "me" again!

This has, by far, been my most successful fundraiser run with Team in Training and I breezed through my first goal of $5,000 in just about 6 weeks and know I'll make it to $6,000 by race day, maybe even more! My team of recruited runners and I have done several fundraisers outside of direct asks and it's been amazing to see the support we've received from our neighbors and community. I know it sounds silly, but I get chills every time I see a fundraising e-mail come through and I truly feel the support as I run. There are SO many times I want to quit during some of my runs ... the time along gives you a lot of time to think and negotiate with yourself and running is VERY mental for me. But knowing I have SO many supporters, well, that keeps me running that extra mile, literally.

There's still plenty of time to donate, just CLICK HERE. If you can't make a monetary donation; I promise that your support and encouragement means just as much!

The Moms on a Mission after a "short" 6-miler in early August

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Listening ears

"Anna, what are you doing?"
"Just using my listening ears to hear what Snap, Crackle, and Pop are saying."
: )

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Letter to Anna: Month forty

Dear Anna,

Well, I missed another few months. I’m sorry, but time just has a way of getting away from me and I can’t seem to catch up some days. Also, I’m just tired and usually don’t feel especially thoughtful at the end of the day; I think I sound incoherent enough on my own accord without publishing my random and haphazard thoughts for the world to see.

I have no idea where the term “terrible twos” came from and I’m not sure how or if behavior at that age has changed since it did, but I agree with most mothers in this day and age and lean toward the third year being the most challenging. You’re giving us a run for our money on a regular basis, usually in a good way, and I try to step back and admire your growing independence, aptitude, and physical skills when we have challenging moments; even when all I want to do is run and hide for a few minutes of quiet and cooperation.

You’re Miss Independent to a T. You want to do everything your own way and in your own time. The morning routine is probably the most frustrating because we have a set amount of time to get you girls, up, dressed, fed, and out the door and to our respective workplaces, and you seem to take the phrase the mindset around “stopping to smell the roses” to new levels during this 45-60 minute time span. Every.single.morning. Granted I’m a morning person and I’ve usually been up for 2 hours before waking you, but still. From the “leave me allllloooonnnneeee” to the snail’s pace you use in getting out of bed, to the disagreement over your outfit for the day, it takes FOR-EVER.

You’re very artistic and theatrical lately and routinely put on “shows” for the entire family. You’ll go on and on and then instruct us when to participate, or clap at the end, and are always happy to take your  bow, telling us “thank you, thank you.” You pick up new songs at school on a regular basis, including “Mr Sun”, “the days of the week”, and “Two little ducks.” Your performances range from traditional children’s songs to a full re-enactment from the movie Frozen, to something of your own creation, usually involving one of us, one of the cats, and always lots of hopping, jumping and twirling.

You’re still shy, but are a little quicker to come out of your shell. You did great with the transition to both of your new rooms at school recently (you’re still an Orca, but now in a different Orca room, with a new, but old, teacher), and we were floored when you started running down the hall to your class versus sulking and being pulled against your will. You’ve started telling us more detail about your day at school, but for a few weeks it always involved you crying / whining, such as “I was playing with a doll and Avery came over and tried to take it, so I said ‘wah wah wah.” Upon discussing these scenarios with your teacher, she confirmed that you do still have a whiny tendency, but it was much improved and you were getting better each day. 

You’re continuing to have “smarter” conversations with us where you recall a situation or a day and a series of events; such as “Aiden said don’t chase me, And I said don’t chase me, And then we played tag.” Sometimes we can make sense of it, sometimes we just let it go. You’re still working on the concept of time and defer to yesterday or last year often, telling me the other day that “yesterday I was a baby and said wah wah wah!” You ask most mornings if it’s a “school day” or a “stay at home” day, and although we all wish that every day was a “stay at home day”, we can always find something exciting enough to get you out of bed …. well, in about 15 minutes anyway.

You had a blast on vacation this year and loved the beach and the pool, but not the ocean. We spent most mornings enjoying a walk on the promenade or into town with your Grandparents, then went down to the beach for a bit where you played in the sand, chased seagulls, and generally refused to get any form of wet, much to your Dad’s chagrin. In the afternoon we went to one of the pools and you had an absolute ball. You wore your puddle-jumper life vest and went to town. One day I took you down while Charlotte continued to nap and you entertained yourself for over an hour and wanted nothing to do with me. We checked out a small amusement park on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, Funland, two evenings and you were in heaven. You rode rides both by yourself and with your sister and I’m pretty sure you smiled so hard that your cheeks hurt the next day. It took you a few days to realize we were on vacation, a few days in, you asked us “when does vacation start?,” but by the end of the week, as we were packed-up and heading out of town, you sulked that “I want to go down to the beach.” And, we all did! To be fair, you’d probably be happy anywhere there’s a pool and an alligator (elevator), so we’ll have to look at using some free hotel nights pretty soon. 

You’re at an age where you appreciate and recognize special time with me or your Dad and we try to make sure that we take you on dates regularly. Sometimes it’s a big outing like seeing Disney Jr Live with both of us, and other times it’s a trip to the dentist (your first, you did great!), a trip to the store, or out for ice cream. You don’t usually care what you’re doing, you’re just thrilled to be with us. Don’t get me wrong, you love your sister something fierce, but every girl needs some along time with Mommy and Daddy.

You make me proud every single day and I hope I tell you enough. I love to remind you that you’re smart, kind, pretty, and sweet, and all around of my favorite girls and that you’re going (we’re all going to) to have a great day. Just like my Mom did for me. I have plenty of time to remind you of these things during the one million seconds it takes you to get ready in the morning, a time you’re not usually paying total attention, but I figure that if I say it enough, it will sink in. Because you are the smartest, kindest, prettiest, and sweetest (big) girl that I know. And you’re all mine!



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Letter to Charlotte: Month eighteen

Dear Charlotte,

One and a half years old, wow! It seems like just yesterday we were waiting for you to sit unassisted and you are literally off and running, and into everything less than a year later. You continue to bring so much joy to our lives, help me see the world in a new light, and make everyday a little bit better. Everyone that spends any amount of time with you is blessed with the gift of your smile and sweet nature and everyone gushes about joy you bring to their days and we lovingly refer to you as “our sweet Charlotte girl.”

You’re the sweetest little girl and have the sweetest heart. You “adopted” one of Anna’s baby dolls this month and love being a little Mommy. You carry your baby around, push her in the stroller, pat her back, put her to bed, and although there are times you carry her around by one of her feet, you are one of the best little Mommies around. Even though you fancy yourself a “Mommy” sometimes, you’re still a huge Momma’s girl and we are literally connected at the hip many times during the day. You often melt into my shoulder, which immediately melts my heart, and lately you've started patting or rubbing my back when I do the same to you.

 You’re a woman of the world and a total and complete busy body. I forgot just how “into EVERYthing” this age is. In the blink of an eye you can unroll an entire roll of toilet paper, empty a tissue box, completely negate a mess I just cleaned up, or be a step away from total danger. You can climb the steps in the blink of an eye and then get really made when I won’t let you walk down them standing up. You see what your sister is doing and you want to do it too. On the flip side, it means you’re very keen to help out by throwing your own diaper away, one of the many tissues you just pulled out of a new box, or help deliver something to your Dad or Anna across the room.

You’re learning a lot at school and come home with a new word or new knowledge on a daily basis. You’re very into facial parts and we saw the wheels turning as you learned “nose” recently and immediately associated it with needing a tissue. You’ll point to the tissues, say “nose,” use your tissue and then throw it away. 90% of the time you didn’t really need that tissue, but that doesn’t stop you … or us. I usually wind up daydreaming about a day when you and your sister can load the dishwasher, fold laundry, or run the vacuum; but for now I’ll take the fact that you like throwing things in the trash.

You‘ve had a blast this summer and love being outside. You prefer to be pushed around the neighborhood on a “walk” in your little red car, but also enjoy sidewalk chalk (until you eat start chewing on it), playing ball with Anna, or generally trying to keep up with the bigger kids. You love splashing at the water table, playing in the pool, and although it took a few months of the summertime for you to perfect walking, the sprinkler was lots of fun too. Anytime we had a door open you’d press your face up to the door or the screen and use a pathetic whine to ask to go “outttsside??” If we don’t respond immediately or start the process, you’ve been known to bring your shoes over, and ask for ‘shhhoooeess outttsside” to further reiterate your request.

Maybe it’s because we have cats and you see them doing this, but you love to sit in weird places and on weird things; like a stack of books, an open box … or my hand (I’ll tell you that story one day). You just love to be in the thick of things. It’s quirky and weird, but it’s so “you” and I love the huge grin that spreads as you get yourself situationed into a random basket or box. Speaking of cats and animals, you love them; any and all. Although you know that sounds that most farm and common animals make, you continue to refer to most of them at puppies. You are fearless when it comes to wanting to pet them and had the best time petting goats at the Zoo a few weekends ago.

You found a bigger voice this past month and have turned into an occasional screamer / squealer. For no reason at all you’ll just start squealing, with a huge grin on your face; you may take a short break, get your breathe, and start again. Sometimes your sister joins in, and let me tell you, that’s ear piercing fun; but at least you’re not crying. Your vocabulary is growing each day and it’s so fun to hear you communicate with more ease. You still use sign language, mostly to tell us “more or “all done,”  and when you can’t find a word, there’s a scream, yell, or whine that gets the point across.

I read a poem this past month called “the last time” that talked about how quickly children grow and that you don’t realize you’re in the middle of many of the “last times” until they’re over. I often find myself rushing through the day and get flustered when you or your sister need me to slow down or stop in the middle of a task, but that poem has stayed in the back of my mind as a reminder that slowing down a little is what life is all about. Dinner will eventually get to the table, and we’ll go through those motions again tomorrow, but the chance to rock and cuddle you after a long day won’t always be there. So, thank you for helping me slow down, for showing me the bigger, and more important picture.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Big clips

The kid-themed hair cuttery down the street closed a few months ago, so Anna joined the ranks of "big kids" at the same place Daddy gets cleaned up before we headed out on vacation. I was a little worried because she tended to be extremely shy at the old place, and there would be no chairs in the shape of a car or Sophia on TV to entertain.

Boy, was I wrong; she owned that haircut like a boss. She waltzed right up to the chair, sat still, did as she was asked, and walked away pretty proud of herself! The promise of fro-yo afterwards probably didn't hurt either : )