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.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Is there such a thing as too many hugs from your children? I know this sounds terrible, but I think there is!

Rylee has become a world class procrastinator. I'm not kidding. She is such a sloooooooooooooow eater. She takes FOREVER to get dressed, which she has actually mastered doing by herself, but holy moly does she make you want to scream trying to get her to actually do it. Even when you help her in the hopes that she will get dressed faster, she still flits and prances around so much that it's nearly impossible to put clothes on her.

And now recently she has started this hugging thing. Both her and Ayden are amazing snuggle bugs, which I really appreciate and love. But she has taken it to a whole new level.

"Rylee, go in and go potty and wash your hands." She needs a hug first.
"Rylee, sit down at the table. Let's eat." She needs a hug.
"Rylee, it's time to go." Hug.
"Put your shoes on." Hug.
"Rylee, it's time to pick up your toys." She needs a hug.

While brushing her teeth, she puts her arms around me and buries her face into my side, effectively smearing toothpaste all over and making it impossible to brush her teeth.

Doing dishes, hands soaking wet, and she needs a hug from you. Can't cook dinner without having to stop for hugs a million times. Can't get said dinner on plates and on the table without giving a hug.

You get what I'm saying? I absolutely love cuddles and hugs, but it's getting a little exasperating. She's using hugs to procrastinate and get out of doing things she doesn't want to do, and when it's not done in procrastination, it makes other things impossible for me to get done.

Cute, but Oh. My. Gosh.

Sweet, adorable, ornery, exasperating little person!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Best Halloween Ever

We had soooooooooooo much fun last night! Ayden and Rylee had been asking pretty much every day for the entire month of October, if it was Halloween yet. They wanted it to be Halloween so they could wear their costumes. Not so much for the rest of the festivities, like trick or treating, because they didn't really have a full understanding what that was all about. FINALLY, the day arrived!

I had found Rylee's bumblebee costume at the consignment sale. It was brand new with tags, so a great find. Thankfully, she loved it! I took Ayden shopping for some one-on-one time to find his costume. As soon as he saw the Dinotrux costume, it was game over. We walked around so he could see all the choices, and I pointed out a few others I thought he might like, but he insisted on getting the Dinotrux costume. He was beyond excited! I mean, really, what little boy doesn't like dinosaurs and trucks? Combine them, and it's pretty much Ayden's dream! haha!

The Halloween festivities started out with the kids getting to wear their costumes to preschool. I dropped them off, but then had to be back an hour later to volunteer and help with their Halloween party. All the kids were adorable and amped up to be wearing their costumes!

Ayden and Rylee with a few of the kids in their class.

Tony got off work early so he could be home to join us for the evening festivities. We had a quick pb&j dinner before heading to the carnival at one of the local elementary schools. The kids jumped up and down with excitement when we arrived and got out of the car, naming off every costume they saw. We made the rounds for them to play games and "win" lots of candy and treats. We were pleasantly surprised that they opted for the non candy items the most, such as stickers and fake bugs.

Fishing for a treat

After the carnival, we stopped by a trunk or treat. We walked one time through for the kids to trick trunk or treat, and then headed home. The kids were upset at first, thinking our Halloween fun was coming to an end, not understanding that we still planned on trick or treating around our neighborhood loop. This year was their first time actually going door to door to trick or treat.
They were so excited at the thought of going into the neighbor's houses. We had to explain to them that we wouldn't actually be going IN anyone's house! We had to remind them many times that it was important to stand back on the porch and not actually step up into people's houses. We also had to teach them about only going to houses with porch lights on.

Trick or treating was my favorite part of the whole night. Ayden and Rylee literally sprinted from one house to the next! And they were such social little bees, asking each neighbor a million questions.

"What's your name?"
"Why are you wearing that [costume]?"
"Do you have kids?"
If yes, "where are they?"
If no, "why?" face palm
"What's your dog's name?"
"Where's your t.v.?"
"Why are you here?"

We only trick or treated for about 20 minutes, and then headed home so the kids could give out candy to the other kids. Ayden actually said this was his favorite part of the whole day! I gave them each their own bucket, so both of them could give a piece of candy to all the kids. They started out sitting at the bottom of our stairs, which is right by our front door, so they could be ready for whenever someone knocked on the door. It didn't take long before we were out on the front porch waiting for people to come by. Every time a group would come by, Ayden and Rylee wound up at the sidewalk giving out their candy, instead of waiting for them to come up to the porch. They were definitely just as enthusiastic to give out the candy as they had been to receive it, which made my momma heart proud!

Tony and I both agreed that this was the best Halloween ever! We've never actually been big into Halloween. Not since we were kids anyway. In all the years we've been together (25, but who's counting), we've only dressed up once when we got invited to an adult only Halloween party. Everything is a million times better when you experience it through a child's eyes. I never knew the magnitude of that until Ayden and Rylee came along.

Here's a few more pictures taken from the week leading up to Halloween...

Meet Jack. He wasn't a Jack-O-Lantern yet, according to Ayden, because he wasn't lit up.

Rylee's pumpkin

My "scary monsters"

*Edited to add that this is the only Halloween that I can remember in recent history that we actually had FANTASTIC weather! It was a comfortable 57℉ and NO RAIN! It didn't even sprinkle. In fact, it was a clear night!