Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Storm Gone Wrong

As we were putting the kiddos to bed tonight, it briefly rained. By the time I finished Asher's story and prayers, the rain had stopped and Chris and I finished our stories and prayers with the girls (whew, that was close. The girls do not sleep in their rooms when it is raining). I looked outside and it looked calm, no wind. Oh, how nice. It was so windy when we were playing earlier. So, I tied my shoes and went out for my evening jog.

The weather was so nice, in the 50's. The streets were mostly dry at this point. Oh, so peaceful. As I reached the furthest place from our house, roughly 2 -2 1/2 miles away during my 4 1/2 - 5 mile jog depending upon how I felt, the lightening began. Humm, I did not recall storms in the forecast the few moments I heard the weather tonight. I could see it raining in the distance, so I increased my pace. As I continued to run, the lightening worsened, lighting the sky so much that the street lights were turning off. I began to scream out loud (yes, I know, I should be embarrassed) with every few lightening strikes as it felt as if they were right on top of me. As I turned down a street without any houses built on it yet, the lightening became almost contant, it became quite windy, and it began to rain. As I got in the middle of this probably 1/2 mile stretch of road, it began to pour down rain in sheets and the wind was out of control. As I reentered our neighborhood, the rain started to hurt as it hit me, the lightening constant. I was seriously scared out of my mind thinking I was about to be in a tornado (and I am not kidding)! One has no idea what storms are like until you are seriously stuck in one outside! Fearing for my life, I ran across some yard to the nearest house I could get to fighting the wind and rang their doorbell. The man came to the door with his dinner salad in hand. I felt so bad, embarrassed that I was such a moron to be out running in - wait - is that hail all over the ground?! No wonder!! I did not even realize I was getting hailed on until I stopped. The wife came running out of nowhere with a towel feeling bad for me. I asked if I could please use their phone so I could call my husband who I was sure waiting by the phone in worry. I called, it rang, no answer. Okay, I am not feeling his concern here. I looked outside, it was just mildly raining now. Although completely drenched, I told them I will just run home. They insisted on driving me home. My heart still beating fast from fear, I took them up on their offer (anyone who knows me knows that I would NEVER typically accept such a kind offer).

I arrived home, thinking Chris would be standing by the window in worry. I went inside, no Chris. Humm. I went downstairs and find the girls zipped up in their sleeping bags in fear of the storm and Chris sitting in his office. He knew I was running, knew it was raining and storming, but was not at all concerned thinking that I probably was not that far from home. What? Seriously. Oh, I feel the love. Not far from home? Does it matter if I am 1 mile or a 1/2 a block if I am out in hail, sheets of rain, and high winds?????!!!! Then I asked him what should I give these kind people. His response, "I don't know, that's embarrassing."

So, I think I will come up with something tomorrow to go with my thank-you note for their kindness. At least somebody cared!

What did I learn?
1. Well, for starters, our weather people know absolutely nothing. I looked up the weather online thinking I must have missed something and it said nothing about a spring lightening storm with hail. I think it said, "a few showers" tonight. If there is a cloud in the sky, perhaps I should run on the treadmill.
2. Remind Chris I am going for a run and leave him the phone, turning the ring tones on high.
3. Don't run in lightening storms or hail...that just is not fun.
4. If it has been a rainy day, and then turns calm, perhaps look around for some storm clouds. Calm and quiet usually is not a good sign.

What does not nearly kill you makes you stronger, right?

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hitting the trails

A couple of weeks ago, I hit the trails one nice, Sunday afternoon. So, today, I decided to head to Huntington Park again. It is so much different to run during the day. I see many other runners, walkers, bikers, etc. I am not scared like I am running at night or before the break of dawn, and the sun and warm weather are wonderful. Today I ran a little past Dodge Street and then headed back home. I would have ran farther...but I got hot, of all things! I have no problems doing short runs during naptime, but I do not like filling the entire naptime with running, then I come home exhausted to the kids' crying time of day. Besides, I miss out on that much needed time to do laundry, clean up a bit, and just to sit a bit in peace and quiet with Chris.

Running the trails, even if just for a short jog,  brings back the joy of running. Ahhh...

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Morning Torture

I decided this morning if I had not already signed up for this 1/2 marathon, I may not continue the training. Seriously, getting up at 4:40 AM (my alarm was to go off at 5 - but I woke up at 4:30 on my own!) to go out into the frrrreeeezing cold, windy weather takes the joy right out of running. It is serious torture! I just want to get up and run my 14 miles, get cleaned up, all before the kiddos wake up. I am generally successful, too! However, this is no longer any fun. I run by dark houses knowing they are all snug in bed while I am running outside instead (me and the paper delivery person). You have to be seriously crazy to run 1/2 marathons with kids (meaning if I did not have kids I could run during the day at least). And, those who run full marathons have to be totally nuts!

The countdown has begun until my morning weekend torture is over and I can go back to enjoying running again. Until then, I will keep dreaming about sleeping in my warm bed on weekend mornings!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Friday, March 27, 2009

Apple Oatmeal Cake

This recipe is from Alivia's school. We have made it several times already! The kids really like it! It is a good treat loaded with fruit and fiber! Mmmm!

Apple Oatmeal Cake

1/2 c. oil
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Add to above, mixture will be quite thick:
1 c. flour
3/4 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. all spice
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 c. oatmeal

Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Vacuum Review

<iframe src="" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Okay, I believe the verdict is in (See update below!!). I like the new vacuum Chris and the kids got me for my birthday. He got me the Eureka 4870MZ Boss Smart-Vac Upright HEPA Vacuum Cleaner from I have only had a canister vacuum, so getting an upright was a big change. The "thing" is so heavy. I would say that is its only downfall. It really sucks, which is a good thing in this case! It will pick up ANYTHING in its way, from toys to paper towels. Okay, some items I wish it would spare. I can tell it has a lot more suction than my previous model, which may not be saying a heck of a lot. Anyway, I use in on all surfaces in our home including our wood floor and have no problems. I am getting used to the long cord and having to wrap it up after using it (canisters have retractable cords which are nice). Asher, however, hates the vacuum because it is so loud. So, I find myself holding a toddler while vacuuming, which is not always good on a bad back. It works well on stairs, but I have yet to use the stair attachment, primarily because I have yet to feel like reading the book to find out how to use the attachment!
I guess in summary, I really like it and would completely recommend it. The good outweigh the bad in this case...and it is way more better on the wallet than some of those so called state of the art vacuums that consumer reports rates as junk.

UPDATE 1.13.11:
Since August of 2010, this vacuum has more or less died. It works for 2-3 minutes at a time, then turns off. I give it a breather and then it works for another 2-3 minutes. I need a new vacuum....really bad. It is SO HEAVY that my back goes numb when hauling this up and down the stairs. And, in our new house, it does not work on the wood floors...leaves scratches. So, I swifer the wood floors.
Today...would not recommend this vacuum. Back to the drawing board...

1 Year Later

Officially, I quit to be a stay at home mommy the first of March, 2008. Now, 1 year later, I am now home with a 1 year old, 2 1/2 year old, and a 4 1/2 year old. I am also now working, however little, 2 times a month. But really, the kids do not know that I work except I may miss a little of breakfast on a couple Sunday mornings and I may be tired those mornings.

Being a stay at home mommy is a lot of fun, but is a lot of work. The "job" should be titled, "family manager" because of all the hats at home mommy's need to wear. During the average week, I do several loads of laundry, prepare several meals and snacks, clean, clean and do more cleaning (and I thought I would be home more so the house would be cleaner. But the kids are home, too, thus making more messes!), vacuum at least daily if not multiple times daily, I am the official Austin Family accountant, I take the kids to their various activities and birthday parties, take the kids to fun places like the zoo and children's museum monthly as well as frequent trips to the library, parks, shopping, visiting great grandparents and grandparents, swimming, etc. We try to keep active away from home, but there are plenty of things we do at home, too. Alivia and Addison like to play hide and seek, play with their dolls while Asher likes to play chase and bring all his cars onto the wood floor and play "vroom!" All the kids like play-doh time and coloring, although Mommy would rather the play-doh remained outdoors...what a mess! The kids and I bake something, generally once a week, for dessert. Dessert is the kids' favorite thing!

What I did not know about being a SAHM? Well, I did not consider all the Dr appointments and having to take 3 kids with me. I miss being able to go and get my hair cut and all those girly grooming things. I would love to cut/color my hair...but twice a year is really a blessing. I tend to go to the grocery store at night because grocery carts are not made for 3 kids, and Alivia just gets too tired to walk all over the store. Yes, HyVee has great school bus carts for 3 kids...but I refuse to pay their prices! I also thought SAHM moms went shopping a lot. Um, I rarely go shopping. I shop online or do quick errands with the kiddos to find birthday gifts with Alivia. Alivia and Addison like Von Maur and Westroads play area, so we do go there probably once a month (at least they have great taste!). Alivia likes to pick out her own clothes, too.

Being at home has shown me how much I missed with Alivia and Addison while they were in daycare. They were in daycare, really, very few hours daily when compared to other kids. However, it is amazing how the kids have changed being at home. The early years of a child are extremely important. Chris sent me an article about the influence of children during the early year. Basically, the article stated that children that are actively involved in activities such as reading, active play, and visiting educational places were more fun and active children when compared to children that were contained in play or TV time surrounded by walls. I am blessed to be the one to be able to make the big difference in our kids during the day. That is what being a mother is, right? That is my primary job from here on out. Even if in a day the only thing we do is learn our address and how to dial 911 on the cell phone, or we make a mess in the kitchen because I let Alivia do the dishes (or play in the water), or we spend a morning playing with all the dress up clothes from Aunt Marsha and match them with mommy's shoes...they are having fun and learning upon the way. Chris may wonder when he walks in after work at 5:30 and I had not even thought about dinner, "What have you guys been doing all day." And, Alivia usually say, "Um, we played." My job was more ways than I can count. Now, onto making dinner!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Spring Cleaning at the Austin House

I'm Lucky, I guess. I did my spring cleaning in January in preparation for moving. But, since today we are not moving, I have less to do. (However, Chris and I change our minds often on the moving thing. Who knows...tomorrow we may be moving again). I have the STAY AT HOME SYNDROME. What is that? Well, you stay home and stare at all the things you do not like about where you live until you have to do something about it. I believe this is a real thing. Not to name any names, but I have talked to people that recently began spending more time in their homes and they sound like me with their long list of improvements they want to do.
Moving forward, spring brings time to clean the windows, right? Well, I'm lazy. So, I think we should just buy new ones. Ha ha. Actually, we are pricing window replacement for our upstairs. We have a few with broken seals that need to be replaced or repaired. I had no idea how complex it is to buy a few windows. They cost as much (if not more) than a car! Seriously, I had no idea! We do have a friend who is an installer for Pella that may be able to do the installation for us, which may help. I will be sure to post pictures of our new cars, I mean windows, if we do go ahead with this major undertaking.
Next comes the brass. I am not happy with the brass that remains in our home. Yuck! So, Chris and I took the big trip to Lowes last week to buy 9 door knobs for our upstairs. Seriously, door knobs do not come cheap either! With that said, they make our home look so much better! Now, after a couple days of installation with some help from Asher (he held the tools for me!) we have all brushed nickel door knobs. Next, I hate cleaning the bathrooms (although I do this several times a week!). So, let's just buy new faucets. However, a new faucet costs $200 to $250 if not more! Um, I refuse to pay that! So, onto Ebay I go. I have purchased a new brushed nickel faucet and tub/shower set for the kids' bathroom and am considering moving onto our bathroom. The problem...this just means that there are many installations in our future! Chris and I (mostly Chris though) hate plumbing projects because they are never easy!
I am now thinking that maybe, just maybe, moving would have been easier, and maybe even less expensive (but unlikely!).

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Storytime at the GBH

Tuesday night was storytime (or music time as it turned out) at Alivia's preschool. I brought Addison along for PJ night so she could get a feel for her school next year and so Alivia would feel more comfortable. They sang some of the songs that the kids sing during music at school. Alivia was quiet, but I did catch her performing a few of the actions to the songs (much improved over last year where she cried. :( ). Addison, it turns out, is shy. She was more than happy to just sit on Mommy's lap. Next time, the whole family will go.

Not too excited Alivia & AddisonMrs. Ehmke in her PJs

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Welcome Spring

Flower cookies for the GBH1st Picnic: 3/21/09Swimtastics St Vincent Play Date

Friday marked the first day of spring, and it could not have come soon enough! We celebrated the day by making cut out spring cookies. I think the kids just enjoyed eating the dough. We were able to get outside a bit and enjoy the nice spring day, too. The second day of spring was not bad either with temps in the 70’s! We spent most of the day outside playing, riding bikes, and taking a walk. We also made it to our church’s playdate for some swimming. I am finally getting Addison to go swimming past the first step of the pool (she likes zero entry pools only). Now, if I can just "spring" through this night after running 14 miles, bike riding, swimming, walking and playing all day in the beautiful spring weather…I will be good!

Welcome Spring!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day '09

Today we were GREEN all day. The kids woke up to fresh green pancakes. Alivia asked, "What the heck are these?" but ate them anyway. Next we were off to swim class, where Alivia swam underwater! Finally, nearing 5 years old and several swimming lessons later, her practice and patience paid off! Next it was home to play outside on our greening grass in the beautiful 70 something degree day! After a brief non nap, it was off to cousin Cora's green birthday party at BOINGZ! The kids had a blast. Asher sat in, but mostly ran around. He would tell me he wanted in the BOINGZ jumpy things, and then he would want right back out. Alivia loves playing with her cousins, especially Lucas. They loved the green cupcakes, too! After this long day that began at 4:30 am for Mommy, we were all ready for bed, no green beer necessary.

Happy St. Patrick's

Green Pancakes....Mmmm!Alivia UNDERwaterHappy Fish AliviaAsher at BOINGZAlivia, jumped out!Addison & Uncle LouieCousin Cora turns 5!Party TimeAddison & Alivia at BOINGZ

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Great Week


Grandma Marci, Nikki, & the kidsAlivia put a puzzle together at Grandma Pat's.Grandma Pat & Bailey (with Addi and Asher watching on).Playing at Grandma Pat'sAlivia "walking" BaileyAsher with a Ball and Chain!3 Generations of AustinsAlivia playing cards at Grandma & Grandpa AustinsGrandpa showing Addison how to draw a cow

This week was the week of visiting the Great Grandparents. We try to visit them every month, but typically we do not visit them all in the same week. Lucky kiddos!

On Tuesday, we visited Grandma Jones (aka Marci) with Aunt Nikki before Aunt Nikki moved to Colorado. Then, we got to see Grandma and Grandpa Austin and Grandma Pat at Boppa Bob's retirement party on Thursday night. Friday morning, we visited with Grandma Pat and Bailey. The girls are now warming up to Doggy Bailey after frequent visits (and now Alivia wants a dog!) but Asher still is not a fan. Then today, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Austins in Council Bluffs with Daddy. At the last minute, we treated the kiddos to lunch at Christy Creme (an icecream place in Council Bluffs that Chris really likes).

During our visits the kids play with their fun toys, have special snacks, and we bring the Grandparents home made treats, too. We learn a lot about our Grandparents through our visits. I want our kids to make lots of memories with the Grandparents, and I want to be able to retell the stories they tell us. The kids are really warming up to their Great Grandparents after our frequent visits and look forward to seeing them again soon.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Boppa Bob Officially Retires


Party on...MMmm! Let's eat!Great Grandpa Austin & AddisonGreat Grandma Pat and AliviaLet's make a toast (Boppa Bob is on the Left).The girls and their GrandmasAddison and Asher with GG Austin

On Thursday night, we attended Bob's retirement party at Biaggi's. (Officially, this was to be a non-kids event. So, I planned on staying home with them so Chris could attend. However, Bob told Chris at lunch last week that he thought it would be okay to take the kids. So, we did. The kids had fun visiting with their grandparents and never complained at all, which surprised me after a busy day. We did learn, however, that if it is assumed to be a non kids event, best to keep peace and keep the kiddos at home). Bob was at HDR over 30 years! That is a huge accomplishment that I can not imagine ever achieving (being at one job 30 some years). Chris has been at his job almost 11 years, and he thinks that is a long time!

Congratulations Bob! Enjoy retirement. Look forward to watching your golf game improve!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kindergarten Round-up


Today was Kindergarten Round-Up for Alivia. It is so hard to believe that Alivia is going to be starting elementary school this upcoming fall. I had conferences with her preschool teacher last week and she thought Alivia was doing well. She was at or above the level or her peers in all areas. Her teacher did hesitate to say she was 100% ready for school. With that, her teacher would not say whether or not to send Alivia to school or not. Alivia's birthday is the end of May, so she is borderline (Teacher's say girls born in May or later hold back with May being the borderline month and boys April or later with April being the borderline month). Alivia is a very timid, bashful little girl. However, with that said, her Mommy and Daddy were just like her when we were little. So, we really do not see one year helping her at all as far as being shy. That is just who she is!

The next question was which school to have Alivia (and Addison and Asher) attend. Well, since we were planning on moving, we gave our Catholic Church little thought. A large non-refundable deposit was required, and I was not about to throw THAT kind of money away. Then, Alivia's preschool teacher, who is also Catholic, explained to me that she did not feel Alivia would do well in Catholic School. She explained that there are more children in the classes, roughly 30, without the aides seen in many public schools. She said that a child needs to be a little outgoing to excel. Um, Alivia and the word outgoing have yet to be put together. Therefore, Catholic education was just not an option for her. Going from 8 to 10 little kiddos in preschool to 30 would be a big adjustment for any child, let alone a little girl like Alivia who is very timid and quiet.

So, today we went to Kindergarten Round-up at Standing Bear Elementary School. We have heard many great compliements about this school. It is also really nice that it is less than a mile from our house, so we will many times just walk to and from school together.

After arriving, there were brief introductions before the kids were called by the star on their name tags to go with their assigned teacher. Alivia was just a touch timid at first until she heard about a snack and then saw all the other kiddos walking up to join the teacher. She then went into a classroom where she listened to the story, "Wheels on the Bus," colored a picture, and ate a snack mix that included mini M&Ms! She even saw her friend, Sydney, who was in her class at preschool last year! Meanwhile, Mommy sat in the gym becoming increasing overwhelmed with the fact that our little baby was going to begin kindergarten next year (and Chris and I are about to embark on the next phase of life..."The School Years."). I missed Chris who was unable to truck back from Bellevue for this event (Just another reason why that move would have been nice!). I was surprised to see many Daddys at the event, too. I learned about the PTO, health requirements, what Alivia needed to bring to school on her first day, naptime, need for an extra outfit, etc. I just could not get rid of the lump in my throat. I guess I am not sure I am ready for Alivia to go to Kindergarten!

Alivia had fun! She was excited to return home to Grandma Bet, Addison and Asher and tell them about her morning in Kindergarten! And, I returned home knowing that I have 5 short months to prepare Alivia and myself for the big day! 



Almost school girl now!Alivia ready to goAlivia off to her class


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The RN Hat

Last night, I put back on my RN Hat, at least figuratively, after a few years on hiatus. I am working one 8 hour shift from 11-7 every other weekend night. Chris, who is typically right about these things, is not on board with my decision to take this small job. Why work? Well, I need to keep up my CEU's, working hours, or let my license expire. I have selected to at least try a job to see if I can make it work. Chris says it is just one more thing on our already full plates. We will see.

After my first night at UNMC, I felt fine going to 9 AM Mass with the family. By the time we got home, I was ready for bed. I waited until noon and then tried to lay down. The kids went to sleep, maybe, for 2 hours, and then were up. Addison cried and woke Asher from his typical 4 to 4 1/2 hour nap. So, my good night's sleep was limited to 2 hours. I foresee this being a habit. I hate trying to take a nap because with 3 kids, I usually end up disappointed. So, I see being without sleep 2 nights a month for a while. Hey, that's not bad with 3 kids ages 4 and under, I don't think.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Friday, March 06, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is another day older for little OLD me. Yes, I am getting OLDer every year. Please, do not remind me. I was surprised with a sweet card and a gift of vacuum cleaner bags from Topher and the kids this morning, having received a brand new vacuum yesterday in the mail! Okay, I know what you are thinking, your husband actually gave you a vacuum for your birthday? Well, I am not one of THOSE girls who thinks I should just get a vacuum because I need it and scoff at the idea of getting one as a gift. I have asked for one for YEARS. And, because of those women making those negative comments, he would not buy me one. Well, I was not going out to buy one either. They are expensive! Mine worked, just not well. With 3 messy children, we needed one that worked well. Well, my husband turned out not to be one of THOSE husbands, either, and bought me a vacuum for my birthday. It is shiny red and I love it. Now, just if I can figure out how to turn it on. :)

Since my birthday falls on a Friday this year, it is Pizza Night and Movie night with the kids. Oh, and I am hoping for some chocolate cupcakes topped with heaps of chocolate frosting. MMMmmm! So, we are getting Mama's Pizza and have Wall-E from Netflix to watch with them. After they go to bed, Chris and I have some dark comedy, again from Netflix, BURN AFTER READING, that we will watch. I am looking forward to just SITTING and EATING all night long! After all, I am OLD and I deserve it, right? 

...& Many More!!!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


14. 14 cents, not too much. $14, a pizza. 14 M&Ms sounds really good. 14 kids, um, a lot to handle. 14 miles, the distance from my home I grew up in to my high school (maybe, could be a little more or a little less). How about running 14 miles?

Sounded like a lot, but that was my goal for this week (I remember thinking 6 and 7 miles were a lot!). So, last night, after a morning walking the zoo with the kiddos, afternoon walking to the park and playing with the kiddos, and getting the kids bathed and ready for bed, I set out for this big goal. (I typically run ONLY when the kids are asleep, but Chris let me begin 40 minutes before bedtime since it was going to be getting darker and colder).

The run itself went smoothly. I did not have any major aches and pains until I reached mile 12- 12 1/2 or so. Then I felt like my body was going to crumble from the pounding of the pavement. The weather was beautiful and I loved running on sidewalks without snow or ice! I began in short sleeves and pants and stopped at home to grab a long sleeved shirt form the laundry room at mile 8 1/2 or so. My boring route consisted of going around the neighborhood 3 times (4.3 miles per circuit) which consists of too many hills for me to count, then going around a big circle near our home (1 mile), then running slower as a cool down for the last 0.1 mile).

I finished! It felt great to achieve that goal and know that I could complete the half marathon distance (which is 13.1 miles), especially if I can just get up fresh and run it without going to the zoo and park first. However, I am learning a few things by doing my long runs. 1. I need new shoes. I have lost one toenail already (and it is growing back) and have blisters in front of every toe (but none of these things bother me). 2. I need to figure out what to eat before and after my runs 3. I need to relax after my long runs and 4. TRY to do my long runs in the mornings! 

Last night, again, I finished my run, showered, and went to the grocery store. The options were to go to the store after my run or to do it with the kiddos in the morning. I WILL GO NOW! As I entered aisle 5 at Walmart, the sickness began. I had finished running, chugged a gallon or so of apple juice (it looked good at the time) and then went to the store. I think I am getting low blood sugar when I keep doing stuff without feeding my worn out body. I came home and pulled it together to bring in the groceries and put them away so Chris would not be annoyed with me for leaving them for him to do at that late hour.

I laid on the couch to work up the effort to climb the stairs to bed (Chris went outside running at this point. He runs a few miles less and thinks I am nuts). I forced myself up the stairs to bed (you think this would be the easy part of the day!). Unfortunately, that was the last thing my body wanted and landed me in the bathroom in a heap. Let's just say my body refused the apple juice. 

When Chris finally got back from his run and showered. I was wired. My body was still recovering and did not want to sleep. I think I spent most of the night in bed awake. But, I have learned what and what not to do. Although I deeply dread my long runs at night, I love them once I am out there and get done. This is my time for deep thought and peace, and I will do it until my body no longer allows me to. However, that full marathon is looking like A LONG WAY at this point!

Run on... 

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Investment Kiddos

For a long time, Chris and I have wanted to gift our kids some stock to get them started. Now, the market is in the worst state it has been in years. However, you are to buy low...and the stock we wanted was low! In July, we purchased Addison a Berkshire Hathaway B share (Warren Buffett's BRK.B stock). We purchased this for her from money her Great Grandma Marci gave her (Grandma Marci is still active in the stock market at the age of 96). Alivia was a stockholder in something else, but we wanted to buy her a Berkshire B share too. So, opened her up a gift for minors trading account. This week, she became a stockholder in Berkshire Hathoway, too, with money she had saved and a recent gift from her stock loving Grandpa. Now, I am in the process of opening up a trading account for Asher so he can be a Berkshire stockholder, too! Now, let's just get this stock moving in the right direction, Warren!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

March to the Zoo...

Today we marched to the zoo! It is so nice out (March appears to be coming in like a lamb OH NO!) that we just had to get out and enjoy it! Unlike our most recent visits, we were not the only ones there today. As usual, Alivia wanted to start at the desert dome. We also visited the night exhibit below the dome. We do not visit this area often. Seriously, it is almost too dark to walk in there. I could hear the crocs splashing below my feet and just prayed to not soon be joining them! Addison said, "That was scary," as we walked out (and I had to admit, I thought it was a bit much myself!) Since the weather was nice, I wanted to visit the animals that we had not seen in a while since it has been so cold. We trucked it all the way up the giant hill of the zoo to visit the elephants and came up empty. UGH! The seals were gone for winter too. There were like 3 fish under the bridge to feed, but we did catch the giraffe's inside. After climbing another giant hill, we stopped for popcorn since Mommy left her head and the nicely packed cooler at home! We quickly visited the aquarium before calling it a morning. Asher was really tired after walking a lot of it. It was fun to see what he wanted to see. This is a day like I always dreamed of when I was working. It would be nice out and I had to take the girls (or just Alivia at the time) to daycare. This is what a kids' life should be made of...nice days and trips to the zoo!


March Day at the zooAlivia on the Elephant

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Learning to Swim

It is no secret, Alivia is hesitant about everything! She has been in swimming lessons at the YMCA and swimtastics since she was 5 months old or something and is still very hesitant in the water. When my cousin suggested a private teacher, I thought I would give it another go around, again, one more try, and 1000's of dollars later. She started her second session this week with one other boy and is doing great (Alivia and Addison started the first session and Addison had to drop out. She would not get in past the first step). Alivia will now almost put her head under water (and this is amazing for a little girl who has a hard time just getting into the pool!). She appears to be having fun, too. So, perhaps we are FINALLY making progress. I think being almost 5 helps, too.



Finally, February in Review

Finally I am getting around to the month review and picture upload. Oh, where do I begin? We went to several fun places this month including BOINGZ twice, the zoo, Children's Museum, Grandparents' houses, lunch with Boppa, Boppa Bob's retirement party (yes, he is retired officially now!), library, and more! The weather was cold most of the month, keeping us mostly inside to enjoy our netflix movies from Aunt Marsha! We made a decision NOT to move, at least this year (and probably next year as well), but we will see. It would be nice to just stay and pay off our mortgage, wouldn't it? It is all about what we can get by with, not what we really want. Addison is finally going potty 99% of the time in the potty, helping me to do a couple fewer loads of laudry a day. I decided that I am definitely not a plumber, although I pretend to be one many times a month against my will (new faucets, unclogging toilets, etc!). Daddy began working 10 hour days minimum (usually from 6am-5pm with a few 6pm-7pm thrown in there) and will continue this until the end of March. I was lucky not to get called in for jury duty (and so were the kids who were going to go with me!). We had fun celebrating Valentine's Day and kicking off Lent at Ash Wednesday. I gave up M&Ms and limited computer time, Addison was SUPPOSED to give up her taggies during non sleeping hours, and I am not sure when Alivia and Chris gave up (Chris walked in the other day with a big bag of M&Ms and was stuffing them down! Not Nice! :) ). Now onto March...


Monday, March 02, 2009

Movie Review

For Christmas, my aunt Marsha gave us Netflix. This has been the best family gift ever! We just started it, & will get 3 movies at a time for the next 3 months. We try to get 1 kid friendly flick along with 2 adult movies. I now try to run on the treadmill in the early morning (on good mornings) or during naptime so that Chris and I can watch a movie at night a few times a week. What we have learned is that we tend to select serious and intense movies, and you can not always go by the Netflix star reviews. I will use 5 stars for the best, one or none for the worst. So, here are my reviews...

1. Juno: 4 1/2 stars. Loved it! Laughed out loud! Great movie. Chris even liked it, even though he thought it was a dumb pick initially.
2. Thank you for Smoking: 3 1/2 stars. This was another one that Chris did not want to watch, but ended up liking my pick. Good Satire.
3. Changeling: 4 1/2 stars. Okay. Great acting by Angelina Jolie. I do not like her as a person, Chris loves her (as to why I made this selection). However, I would not recommend this movie. It is based on a true story of a child abduction. I could not sleep last night after watching this movie. I will forever be bothered by this movie. It was too far of a reminder of how scary and evil this world can be.
4. Get Smart: 1 star...and I am not even sure it deserves that! STUPID! The dumbest movie I have ever sat through...seriously!
5. Pinapple express: 0 stars. Seriously, this is worse than Get Smart...but we had to find balance with all the intense movies.
6. Body of Lies: 4 1/2 stars. This is a great action movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. It is a bit disturbing again, and it is far from a relaxing movie. This can give one nightmares as well.

Movies from the theater:
1. Slumdog Millionare: 5 stars! This is one of the best movies we have seen.
2. Gran Torino: 5 stars...laughed out loud. Clint Eastwood did a great job in this one!
3. Marly and Me: 3 1/2 stars. Made Chris and I decided for sure that we do NOT want a DOG...but Chris will not allow me to say NEVER. This movie was a little slow at times for what we are used to. This is a movie that people with dogs will appreciate.

That is a good start. Chris can remind me which ones I have missed. Movies help me to hate winter just a bit less. 

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Asher Turns 15 Months Old

Asher Wade was 15 months old yesterday, I mean today, no, I mean the day between yesterday and today (He would be 15 months on on the 29th, but there is not a leap year this year)! Asher is our most talkative child yet. He can say pretty much any word we ask him to say, or at least give it a try. He likes our cell phone, and even likes saying "Hi" to whomever is on the other end of it! He likes to play chase with Mommy, but it sometimes lands him with a bruise in an obvious place. Asher is a great sleeper. He goes to bed between 7:30 and 8, after reading a book and prayers. He goes right to sleep, waking 12 hours later saying, "Mama, Up! Mama,  UP!" He takes one nap in the afternoon from 12:30-4 or 4:30. Asher, however, is a light sleeper and will wake with any little sound.

Asher's favorites: Playing ball (and he catches and throws really well), playing with the little people barn and weeble wobbles, and playing with his cars on the wood floor and saying, "Vroom!!" At 15 months, we can really see the differences between boys and girls coming out! It probably comes as no surprise that Asher loves to eat! His favorite foods are pizza, crackers, and vanilla yogurt, but not together. Asher likes stroller rides, trips to the library, the children’s museum baby room, and he loved the zoo this last time. He likes to be in the same room with Mommy, too, which is fine with me!

Asher's dislikes: Since I am on the topic of food, I will begin with his food dislikes (Yes, there are things he will not eat!). He will not eat bread of any kind. I have tried everything. So, if it is a sandwich, grilled cheese, garlic toast, bread and butter, etc, rule it out as Asher will not eat it. It generally lands on the floor. He has just started not liking oranges, grapes, and apples which are the girls' favorite fruits. Ugh! Asher just started throwing his breakfast this week, but I am hoping this is a short term thing. Asher does not like sharing Mommy with ANYONE, but especially does not sharing my lap with Addison! He does not like to be woke up from his nap, and many times does not like car rides. He has fallen asleep only a handful of times in the car.

Asher had his 15 months appointment and is 21lb 4oz (9%), 29.5 in tall (8%) and 44.5cm head (1.79%). So, he looks big because his weight is more than his height in % (and he is short). We are hoping for a bit of a growth spurt now! And, to my surprise, Asher does not weigh more than Addison! She was 25lb with her clothes on! I was amazed! She seems so much lighter to carry around!

It is hard to believe that when Addison was 15 months old, she was almost going to be a big sister to Asher! We still look at Asher as our little baby, and I do not see that changing (even when he is 21!).


Asher: Do'n his own stunts, eh?Look out...Asher's catching up!Asher in the dolly stroller

Read and post comments | Send to a friend