Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

We have a new obsession in our house. Ayden has completely fallen in love with the story of the Grinch! I tried to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas to the kids last year, but they never really got into it. I think it was too long for them then. This year is a completely different story! They both sit and actually listen to the entire book. Ayden and Rylee both enjoy it, but Ayden is completely enthralled!

When it's his turn to pick a bedtime story, he picks the Grinch. He takes the book to bed with him every night, and he "reads" it during nap/quiet time. He falls asleep with it next to his pillow every day.

I've introduced the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie to them, the cartoon version. We have watched it on repeat. It might be my best find from the last consignment sale. It was one of my favorite Christmas specials on tv when I was a kid, so it's so fun that they are enjoying it too! When we were flipping through Netflix the other day, they saw the newer version with Jim Carrey and insisted on watching it. They even enjoyed that, despite it not being a cartoon!

Ironically, Ayden's Christmas stocking is the Grinch! My Aunt D made all of our stockings. Tony (his has reindeer) and mine (has a teddy bear) were made over 20 years ago. She made Ayden and Rylee's (her's is Hello Kitty) when they were born, so she would have had no idea how big the Grinch would become, but it's perfect. I bet we heard "my stocking is the Grinch one" a good 50 times (at least) over the weekend. It's so fun how excited he is about it!

There is nothing that compares to how amazing Christmas is through the eyes of your children. I have always loved Christmas. It by far has always been my favorite holiday, but I had no idea how much better it would get! Christmas really is magical with kids.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Microblog Monday: 5k in the Books

*Whelp, I tried to get this in for Microblog Monday, but I missed Monday by 15 minutes! haha. So it reads Tuesday at the top instead. Oh well. Here it is anyway.

I did it! I completed my first race in over 3 years. Despite not getting enough training runs in the 3 weeks before the race, I feel like I killed it and I am so proud of myself! Okay, when I say killed it, that's all relative of course. I'm not fast by any means, and I walked close to half, but when you take in my activity level (or lack of) over the last 3+ years... I killed it.

This was a small town event, about 45 minutes from our house. I might have been the only person there that was participating by myself. I didn't care though. Going into it, I was nervous about bringing up the rear of the race. I quickly discovered that wouldn't be a problem. Not that it would be a bad thing. Someone has to finish last. I just didn't want it to be me.

I used to run with timed intervals, such as running 5 minutes and walking 30 seconds. Not this time, and most likely not any time soon. Now I just set landmarks as my goal, talking to myself along the way.

Okay, I'm going to run to that light pole.
Now walk to that leaf pile.
Run to that stop sign and then walk to that car.
Run to that bump in the road.
Oh, I can go farther. Let's go to that van instead.
Walk to that tree.
And so on, and so on.

My final stats (according to my Fitbit) are:

3.22 miles, with a complete time of 43:47, at a 13'35" pace. I finished under a 14 minute pace! That was HUGE for me! All my training runs jog/walks leading up to this race, I was somewhere between a 15-16'00 minute pace, so this was a big improvement.

My fitness level is not even close to where it used to be. I mean, seriously, Not. Even. Close. I'm embarrassed of how I look and feel in my own body. But I am PROUD of myself for finally doing something to change this. Now I just need to keep it up. Time to find another race to sign up for!

It was 39℉ and drizzly the entire race, so the hot chocolate afterward was nice!

I did it!

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, click here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Whelp, running jog/walking has been derailed. Last week I didn't get out running while the kids were at school because of one thing or another. I had to go grocery shopping early in the week, and then I spent two days making cookies during that time. The city of Veneta does a huge holiday bizarre at multiple locations throughout town the Friday/Saturday before Thanksgiving, including the preschool that Ayden and Rylee attend. I committed myself to contributing cookies for the bizarre. The kids didn't have school on Friday because of the bizarre, so I didn't go running then either. And then we were gone all weekend at the in-laws, celebrating Thanksgiving with Tony's family. 

Yesterday I missed running again, because I had to go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving stuff, and because our cupboards and fridge were getting pretty thin. I promised myself I would get out and run jog/walk today, regardless of if it was pouring down rain or not, but wouldn't you know it? The kids are home sick. They both have coughs and low grade fevers. Ugh. We actually had a break in the rain this morning though, so I did manage to get the kids outside for a short walk to get the mail and was able to rake the leaves in our yard while the kids enjoyed playing outside for a bit. Other than that, we are having a very lazy day at home today. Their school is closed the rest of the week for Thanksgiving break, so I won't have a chance to run then either. Maybe this weekend I'll be able to...

It's dark when Tony gets home from work now, thanks to the time change, so getting out at night isn't an option. I am signed up for that Jingle Bell 5K next weekend though, so next week I'm REALLY hoping I can get out early in the week for a few decent runs.

Either way, I'm not too worried about being able to finish the 5K. I just might be walking more than I would like, or had planned on. I'm still committed to making running more of a priority and plan on finding a race to sign up for after this upcoming one, even if I am currently at a standstill.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Birthday Party Planning

These two goofballs will be FOUR next month! I'm a little sad, nostalgic, overwhelmed... at the thought of them being four. I mean, that is only ONE year away from them turning FIVE!!! And that just seems too old for my babies to be. It's such a total cliche, but they are growing up too fast! They aren't allowed to be big kids already! No. Just, no.

Aaanyyyywayyyyyy, so now I'm in the midst of planning their birthday party. I'm not a party planner. I don't come up with fancy themes. I don't label food to match said fancy theme. In fact, we had their first birthday without a theme AT ALL! *Gasp* For their second birthday, we had an Elmo birthday candle, Elmo plates and napkins, and there wasn't a single other kid at their party. Last year, I got inspired and actually did go a little overboard with the whole Dinosaur/Princess theme, and even gave out goodie bags to all the kids in attendance, but that's not something I want to do every year.

Yet, somehow, here I am planning a big birthday bash. We went round and round, tossing out different ideas for their birthday party. What I REALLY wanted to do was have it at the local fire station, but I found out that they only do tours and that wasn't quite what I had in mind. We considered renting out a bouncy house place, but it's pretty expensive and would limit who we could invite to the party. We thought about having it at our house, but our new place isn't set up to accommodate everyone either. If we did just family and didn't invite friends, we'd probably be okay, but we'd really like to invite all their little friends.

We settled on renting the local community center. And now we are inviting their entire preschool class!! Oy. It's a lot, but since we are doing it at the community center, there will be room and we figured, why not? So now I have to come up with activities to keep a bunch of preschoolers entertained. Double oy.

We are doing a Christmas themed birthday party. Tony didn't like that idea at all, saying he thought we needed to keep Christmas and their birthday separate. I completely understand, considering I'm the one that REALLY hoped they wouldn't be born on the 24th or 25th just so they would have their own special day. Their birthday ended up being on December 23rd, in case you didn't know that already. However, I see nothing wrong with having a Christmas themed birthday party! What is the difference between that and the two Halloween/costume parties we went to in October? It's not a CHRISTMAS party, just the "theme." Tony has finally come around on the idea, or at the very least, has backed off his objections and is rolling with it. A very good thing, because as I stated earlier, I am not a party planner! Plan A at the fire station was nixed, and if he didn't agree to the Christmas theme.... the thought of coming up with a Plan C made me want to hurl myself off a bridge! Not really, but you get the idea.

As of right now, we've got the venue booked, invitations done, and their birthday t-shirts ordered (by my good friend at Double Blessings Designs; she is amazing). I will order a Costco Cake and make finger foods, and so far the activities include cookie decorating and pin the carrot nose on the snowman. I just need to come up with a few more activities/games/crafts for the kids to do. Suggestions are welcome!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Preschool Update

Ayden and Rylee are loving their preschool, and so am I! It's not always the easiest to get them out the door in the morning, but they are always excited and happy once we get there, running off to play with their new friends. Ayden sometimes says he doesn't want to go to school and whines about it, but again, once we get there he is raring to go! And they are always happy when I pick them up (although that happiness sometimes almost always turns to whining/crying shortly after we get in the car or get back home).

They can both recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have learned the days of the week. They often sing new songs that they have learned at school. Their coloring skills have improved drastically, especially Rylee's. Not to say they aren't still scribbling all over, but at least it's more intentional. They are tracing letters and learning the sounds that vowels make.

I have been told that they are two of the best helpers in class and do a great job following directions. Not only do they pick up the toys that they were playing with, but when they have their area cleaned up, they help clean up other toys as well.

I love that their school does fun things like having a Grandparent's Tea, field trips to the pumpkin patch, and holiday parties. They also do Dress Up Friday every month. Today was dress up day and the theme was Superhero's/Princess. The kids were SUPER excited to dress up again, so soon after Halloween! Rylee got to choose between wearing her Anna dress or her Snow White dress. She chose Snow White, which didn't surprise me because it's a much more fancy dress, lol. I found Ayden a used Spiderman costume on a Facebook for sale site a few weeks ago. I kept it hidden until yesterday, and oh boy, was he pumped! Of course, Rylee was a little bummed that she didn't get a new costume to wear too.... She was still excited to wear her Snow White dress to school though.

As for me, I'm not accomplishing much while they are at school. Actually, that's not true. I HAVE started running jog/walking in the last few weeks. I feel very accomplished in that. I also do get some uninterrupted cleaning done. But I still need to finish painting the inside of the house! At the very least, I need to finish the living room so the walls aren't polka dotted with spackle. I just can't get myself motivated to do it when 2.5 hours goes by SO FAST! It feels like I will be getting all the painting supplies out, and barely get started painting before I have to put it all away again. There's no WAY I can leave it all out for the kids to get into. I'd love to be able to paint while they are home, but they insist on helping with everything! There's no way. I would lose my sanity, which already holds on by a thin thread sometimes.

One of these days I'll get the painting done, but for now, I'm going to just be proud of myself for pushing myself out the door and running again.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Toddler Interview, Round Two

Technically, I guess my kids aren't toddlers anymore. They are preschoolers. But Preschooler Interview just sounds so weird to me. Well anyway, I did this interview with the kids back in January, and thought it would be fun to do it again to see how the answers have changed.

What is your name?

How old are you?
Ayden: 3
Rylee: 3 (Holding up 3 fingers. Last time, it was an attempt at holding up 3 fingers. Now she can actually do it!)

When is your birthday?
Ayden: I don't know
Rylee: October 13
(Obviously we need to spend more time on this. Oops. December 23rd is the correct answer!)

How old is Mommy?
Ayden: (shakes head) I don't know. (giggles)
Rylee: (shakes head) I don't know.

What is your favorite color?
Ayden: orange (He has stayed very consistent with this answer. I believe he likes orange because that's his daddy's favorite color.)
Rylee: blue (This comes as a surprise. For the past few months it has been pink and purple.)

What is your favorite food?
Ayden: Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches
Rylee: Turkey sandwiches

Who is your best friend?
Ayden: Doggie. My doggie. (as he's holding up a toy doggie)
Rylee: Gigi! (her little Beanie Baby poodle)

What is your favorite song?
Ayden: Old McDonald
Rylee: Umm. A Christmas One. (asked again later, she answered Little Bunny Foo Foo, which is probably a much more accurate answer, as it's a song I am requested to sing to her multiple times every single night at bedtime)

What is your favorite animal? 
Ayden: Alligator and a doggie
Rylee: My friend, Gigi (pointing to her Beanie Baby)

What are you scared of?
Ayden: A bat. Bats flying. Bats fly every time. (they learned about bats a few weeks ago at school)
Rylee: I'm not scared of something.

What makes you happy?
Ayden: (I didn't get an answer. He was losing his attention span by this point and I forgot to go back and ask again later.)
Rylee: Umm, my dog and my new boots. (I had just given them knew rain boots earlier today)

Where is your favorite place to go?
Ayden: going to Playgroup
Rylee: to get a Christmas tree with Daddy

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ayden: a race car astronaut. A race car driver. (pretends he's driving a steering wheel)
Rylee: umm, umm... A baby. I want to be married when I grow up. (quite the contradiction there kid 😂)

What does love mean?
Ayden: You!
Rylee: umm, your momma

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Right Now: November Edition

Reading: I am actually reading a grown up book for pleasure! Yay! My Aunt D gave me this book to read a few months ago with the deadline of this coming weekend to get it read, because she is coming for another visit and would like to take it home with her to let someone else borrow it. I'd never heard of this author before, but it's a good book and a fast read.

Watching: This is Us and The Voice. Although, I'm a full week behind on The Voice, so that may taper off. Who has time for watching tv when you've got a good book to read?

Listening: I'm venturing into the land of podcasts. It's something I haven't really gotten into before, but I've started running jog/walking again just this past week, and thought that maybe listening to podcasts will help pass the time while doing it. Any suggestions to good podcasts are welcome! A gal I used to work with has a podcast, Ali Reti: Activate a Life You Love. For now, I'm starting out with that.

Drinking: Water, always water. I did splurge and have a Diet Coke though, when I took the kids to Subway for lunch one day after school and at the movie theater yesterday.

Eating: I just ate a Zone bar, and I snacked on a little bit of Pirate Booty before that.

Wearing: My pajama bottoms and an old shirt of Tony's. Yes, it's 2:45 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pj's. I can't even say it's been a lazy day, because I've done two loads of laundry, swept and mopped the kitchen and dining room, changed Rylee's bed sheets, and put dinner in the crockpot. It's been a productive day in between snuggling and playing with the kids, but who wants to get dressed if you don't have to go anywhere?

baseball pajamas

Loving: That I'm actually reading a grown up book! It's only the second book for pleasure I've read in four years!

Anticipating: A 5k I signed up to run on December 2nd! I am so happy to be doing something for myself. I know myself though, and need to have something to work toward in order to keep it up, so I made it official by signing up for a race. Tony plans on bringing the kids (weather dependent) to cheer me on as I cross the finish line.

Hoping: That I can continue running jog/walking without getting shin splints or any other hinderance that will slow me down. My right shin does feel on the verge of getting a shin splint when I'm running jog/walking, so I need to remember to take it easy.

Following: I'm not really following anything at the moment. Or I can't think of anything anyway.

Wondering: In my last Right Now post, I was wondering when my period was going to start. This time around, I'm wondering if it will ever end! I am on day 19, day 24 if you count the days I spotted before full flow. I do feel like it's starting to slow down finally. Which is a good thing, because Tony's been afraid I'm dying. Kidding. Kind of...

Trying: To eat better, along with my newfound motivation to get out there and run. I'm not menu planning or being really strict. I've eaten a LOT of Halloween candy this last week, but I haven't bought any ice cream or any other junk food for me to binge eat.

Worrying: If Ayden is getting sick again. He spent last weekend with a raging bout of diarrhea and missed school on Monday. THANKFULLY, he was better by Tuesday and could enjoy all the Halloween fun! Phew! Now this weekend he has a crazy runny nose that will not stop dripping, even at night! I spent Friday night in bed with him, wiping his nose as needed. It was actually keeping him awake and the poor kid was miserable! Today he has a low grade fever. I'm hoping it doesn't turn into anything more than just a cold. I've also been wondering if this could be his 4 year molars?

Planning: I reallllly need to start getting on the ball, planning the kid's birthday party!

Contemplating: Life! So many things, like WHEN am I finally going to get around to painting the rest of our house? WHERE are we going to have the kids' birthday party. When will their party be? What am I going to make for dinner tomorrow? Next week? Buying a new bed. Ours is falling apart, and it's only 4 years old!!! But alas, it's breaking down. Tony has patched it up as best he can, but we WILL need a new bed soon.