Tuesday, March 25, 2014

catch the moment 365: week twelve

Back with another week's worth of photos for Catch the Moment 365, hosted by Mindi at Simply Stavish, Sarah at Nurse Loves Farmer, and Stephanie at Behind the Camera and Dreaming.

Week 12 ... that doesn't sound like the beginning of 2014 anymore.  We are well into this year and well into this project.  I didn't feel like I had been super inspired this week to take photos, but looking back through the moments I captured, I realized that this is what it's all about - picking up the camera when I normally wouldn't to freeze otherwise forgettable and ordinary moments in time. Lots of pictures of the boys and typical day to day things to share with you this week.

Day 78: March 19th. Theo's 4 year check up. He was mad about wearing that gown.

Day 79: March 20th. We walked over to the pond after I picked the boys up from the babysitter to look for fishies.  They're still hiding.

Day 80: March 21st. On the way home, Dexter wanted his window down. He was worried CG would fly out the window so he held on to him tight. (Yes, I was at a stop sign when I took this photo).

Day 81: March 22nd.  Visiting friends and playing...kitchen knight? Okay!

Day 82: March 23rd. Angel Lush. A classic recipe I had never made before. So light and delicious!

Day 83: March 24th. Batman was pretty happy with his new pajamas and sunglasses (because when he's Batman, he's "Batman" - don't you even think about calling him Dexter!)

Day 84: March 25th. Theo asked to go to the library after dinner. How could we say no?  We couldn't, obviously!

What's your favorite pic this week? I really like Theo at his check-up (day 78), Dexter squeezing Curious George (day 80), and Batman (day 83).  Oh, okay, and the boys in the fire truck (day 84). So I said all that to say that I really suck at picking a favorite photo. But that's a good thing, right?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

catch the moment: week eleven

Eleven weeks down, 41 to go!  All in all, it was a good week.

Linking up for Catch the Moment 365 with the hostesses with the mostesses, Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, and Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming.

71/365: March 12th. Wednesday afternoon around 2pm I got a call from Theo's school saying he was sick and had thrown up in his classroom.  He was feeling pretty bad when I picked him up at 2:20 so I made a sick couch for him and he watched a movie while I continued to work from home.  By the time dinner was over, he was running around like normal and acting like nothing ever happened! Sorry that he had such an upset tummy, but immensely relieved that this was not a bug that overtook our entire household. In and out!

72/365: March 13th. Since Theo was fine, there was no reason to cancel his 8am dentist appointment on Thursday morning. It went well (no cavities!) and we brought Dexter along with us so he could observe. He has his first appointment coming up in May. 

73/365: March 14th.  After I picked up the boys from the babysitter on Friday afternoon, Dexter said "mommy, I don't wanna go home. Let's do somefin." I asked him what he wanted to do and he said "let's eat somefin, I'm starving!"  So .... it's Friday, why not?  Frozen yogurt before dinner? Sure!

74/365: March 15th. The boys begged to nap in our big bed while watching a cartoon...this is Dexter's attempt to pretend he's sleeping.  Neither ever went to sleep in our bed. Dexter ended up napping in his room and Theo ran errands with daddy.  (I might have napped a bit).

75/365: March 16th.  Sunday morning grocery run and I saw this cute little springy sign in the floral department. Yes, I took my DSLR to the grocery store, just in case!

76/375: March 17th. Dexter helping with the cookies.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

77/375: March 18th. Sunrise on my way to work Tuesday morning - worth pulling over for!

That's it - nothing too extraordinary happened but that's okay with me.  Boring is nice. This week, my favorite picture has to be day 77, the sunrise.  Which one do you like best?


Monday, March 17, 2014

the connection

It all started on December 7, 2013.  After the circus.  I decided once and for all to get serious about not yelling at my kids. It doesn't feel good. I love them and they need to know that, even when they aren't acting very lovable.  Especially when they aren't acting very lovable.

I vowed no more yelling.  Then I yelled on January 7th. Exactly one month later and just one short week into the year. I yelled on February 8th. Not as intensely, but the trick to knowing if it "counts" or not is if it feels bad.  Truthfully, it felt bad.

On March 2nd, I posted this on the Yell-Free Year Challenge group's wall on Facebook:

I yelled on December 7th.
Then again on January 7th.
Then once more on February 8th.
I will make it more than one month.  I WILL make it more than one month.

I got so many supportive comments and such positive feedback for my success so far.  One person pointed out at this rate, that's only 12 yells a year.  True, that doesn't sound so bad, but my goal was zero. Someone else pointed out that in the last 3 months - 90 days - I had only yelled 3 days.  87 yell-free days. Good point.

I felt confident.  One of the last comments asked if my yelling was related to my PMS...hmm.  I looked at the dates again and noticed the pattern and shrugged, sure that it was merely coincidence and that I just had a 30 day tolerance limit before my head popped off.  One side effect of my birth control is irregular cycles and I'm terrible about tracking/remembering so I just assumed I was irregular. But maybe I need to pay more attention.

Because I started on March 8th.
And I yelled on March 9th.

The scene:  Theo was in time-out for talking back and telling us no repeatedly.  We were eating lunch and sitting 20 feet from time-out. He continued shouting and being disrespectful from time-out with the intention to push our buttons.  Job well done, because I reached my boiling point and bolted out of my chair and over to time out.  I squatted down, eye level with him and shouted "STOP IT!! Just STOP!!!!!"

I turned and walked back to my seat with shame in my heart and embarrassment on my face. Looked at Ryan and said, "I guess I can't make it past 30 days."  Then I remembered the question about my cycle and literally felt this connection happening between my mind and my body.

It hit me, maybe she was right. Maybe my tolerance is not thirty days, but maybe my tolerance is just lower while my hormones are out of whack.  Maybe the trick is getting a better handle on myself ahead of time. Preparing mentally for these situations might be the key.  I have to increase my ability to ignore toddler/pre-schooler behavior and be the bigger person.  I have to keep in mind that I cannot be disappointed in a 2 or 4 year old with out of control emotions when that is the very thing that I have modeled for them.  I have to remain calm when I am upset.  Or tired.  Or moody.

So I'll say it again....and I will believe it again. Because I will try harder. Again.

I will make it more than 30 days.
I WILL make it more than 30 days.

Because don't these two deserve the best me I can be?


Saturday, March 15, 2014

struggle, struggle

Resolution Running: Fail.

I started off strong - what I mean by that is that I ran about 14 miles the first half of January. Then I was sick for six weeks with some sort of incapacitating illness or another including two stomach bugs, two rounds of strep, and the flu.  The one I got the flu shot for.  When I wasn't sick (rare), my kids were. Or my husband was.  So there were two solid months of no running.  The last time that I ran in January, I didn't make it very far before terrible knee pain struck and forced me to stop. I could  not run through it.

Since then, I've wanted to run. Some days my knee feels great. Other days, a sudden pain will take my breath away. At times, it hurts to walk.  It's so random because literally, some days, it feels like nothing is wrong.  All along, I have felt the urge to run. I have the urge to push my body past where I think it can take me.  Now it is {finally} getting warmer out and I picture myself with nothing but my feet, my thoughts, and my iPod, running around the neighborhood.  I want to run.

I ran two weeks ago on the treadmill and only made it .8 miles before that debilitating knee pain was too much to take. I just started running a year ago. Is it possible that my running days are already over? If this was caused from an injury, wouldn't the 6-8 week break be enough time for it to heal?

People have asked me about wearing a knee brace - I don't know the first thing about it.  I went to the orthopedic doctor about my knee 2 years ago and he wanted me to have a $1500 MRI. It was in the middle of us selling our house and moving in with my in-laws so I never got it done. Then I lost 25 pounds, started running and didn't have anymore knee trouble. Until January.  Maybe I need to go back to the doctor. This is a totally different pain/problem than what I had 2 years ago, but just as troublesome.

My goal of running 300 miles this year (25 miles a month) is definitely not going to happen. At this point, I just need to find something I enjoy doing that keeps me active. I'm dying to hike, but the weather hasn't quite gotten there yet for taking the boys.  There aren't a lot of super awesome hiking spots close by (nothing less than 30+ minutes) so it's not like I'll be doing that 3x or more per week anyway.

My weight is ... okay. For now.  When I was sick, my weight loss reached 31 pounds (from when I started losing weight over a year ago). My original goal was to lose and stay within a 20-24 pound loss range. On average, I've maintained about a 25-26 pound weight loss.  I think since I was sick, I got in the habit of thinking I can eat whatever because it wouldn't matter if I gained that 5 pounds back.  I've definitely gained that 5 pounds back but haven't stepped on the scale in a bit because I don't think I want to know if I've exceeded that.  I know I'm sort of okay, because my clothes still fit.  But I definitely don't feel as healthy or energetic or lean as I do when I'm eating better and exercising regularly.

That's what's going on with my health/fitness goal right now...not the end of the world, but definitely not as positive of a report as I'd like to give.  I'm excited to go for lots of walks with (and without) the boys now that it's getting warmer.  More outside time = less inactivity and less TV.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

theo's fourth birthday: a lego-tastic celebration

The celebrating started two days before Theo's birthday, on Thursday March 6th.  His Montessori school has a neat birthday tradition and invited us and Theo's grandparents to attend.  My mom even drove up from Tennessee the night before to be there in time.  We were quite the crowd in his little classroom but I loved it and wouldn't have had it any other way.

Here's Theo's teacher, Ms. Holly, talking about Theo and asking me what Theo was like each year of his life.  I made the scrapbook page with one photo of him from each year.  Theo got to hold the globe and walk around the sun one time for each birthday so far.  They sung a couple of cute songs as well as the traditional birthday song, then we went outside for treats - Theo asked for chocolate muffins so I made enough brownies in a mini muffin tin for the class and teachers.  

Not wanting to take time away from that brownie to pose for a picture with Ms. Holly. 

Friday was extra nice - the first time in many years that I just spent a day with my mom. We sent the boys to the sitter to get things ready for Theo's small party on Saturday.  It was nice just hanging out, shopping, eating lunch, and talking without the constant distractions from my sweet little energetic, talkative, attention-sucking boys.  We picked them up, let them play outside for an hour or so, then continued working on party stuff. 
First time the grass got mowed in 2014. 

Making minifigure cups and gift bags for our guests.

Saturday - Theo's 4th birthday! Party day! Swim lessons and so much stuff to do! 
Dexter helping Grammy with the lemon bars.

Aunt Chelle and Pop Pop are ready to party. 

Some of Theo's favorite foods: assorted berries.

My mom made the awesome banner!

Even though it's not a Lego, Ryan and I decided Theo needs a bike. It wasn't the most popular gift and we were prepared for that.  He's such a homebody - he loves to play Legos, games, read books, etc. so we wanted to do something to encourage him to get outside this spring and summer.  He liked it.  I wouldn't say he looooved it.  Don't worry, we also got him a few little Legos.

Three minifigures and two small sets to be exact. 

Create your own Mini-fig table.

Lining up for that tasty food.  We had:
-Cocktail Meatballs-
-Mini Corn Dogs-
-Assorted Veggies & Dip-
-Queso & Chips-
-Berry Salad-
-Lemon Bars-

Fun with punching balloons

Not too sure about this.

Of course, one of the best parts of the day was seeing his excitement as he opened his gifts.

At Theo's request, Nana made him a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. It was delicious. I found the cute Lego cake topper (that was not technically a cake topper) on Amazon. 

Our "not-really-a-party" that turned into a little bit of a party was so much fun. We were so happy to have all of our guests in attendance at our little bit of a party. 

Salazar Family

Weir Family

Nana and Pop Pop


The Beals/Jeffries

Too bad little buddy was done-zo with pics by the time we got around to attempting ...

Sunday, coincidentally, Brickworld was going on at the State Fairgrounds. What better way to round out this little guy's Lego birthday bonanza than to surround ourselves with MORE LEGOS?

45,000 square feet of massive Lego displays. The boys were in heaven.

It didn't hurt that they got yet another mini-figure. I mean, at a place like that, how could we say no?

Loved the look on Dexter's face when he spotted me watching him from outside this madness. He was so excited to show me his tower. It was funny, there were several kids in there his same age and they were all building the same things...towers. It's a start to the Lego addiction!

It was a really great weekend and birthday celebration for my FOUR year old boy - that still sounds weird! 
Dexter is already talking about his Batman & Robin party so the bar has been raised...the expectation is there. Here we go again!