Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oh that time I ran a 5k...

Sixteen years ago I ran my first 5k. I was with a high school friend and her family at their cabin. Everyone was running the 5k so I decided (on a whim) to join them. That was NOT a good decision. While I was involved in athletics in high school I was/am not a runner. I'm just not good at it. And I really don't enjoy it. One of my life mottos is "If you see me running, LOOK OUT because something (someone) is chasing me." So I finished that race...barely. And swore I'd never do a 5k again...


Then Isaiah joined his school's running team this year and started doing races. And he asked me to do one with him....


Saturday night I participated in my second 5k. Because how can you say NO to your eldest child when they tell you they want you to be healthy and live a long life?!? You can't! Or at least I can't. This picture was taken pre-race when I was freaked out and convinced I'd never be able to finish. I was also begging/bribing Isaiah to run with me instead of running his usual (much faster!) pace. Maybe this is where I should mention that despite registering six weeks in advance I never once prepared for this running or jogging or even a brisk walk around the block. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Oops. Clearly this child had reason to be concerned about my health...


I finished! I did it. I ran/walked/hobbled the entire thing! I'm not going to lie. It was hard. And after I finished the second lap of the course (which I thought was the last lap!) and learned I had an entire lap more to go I wanted to sit down and cry. But I didn't. I just kept moving. (Something I learned the hard way during my first 5k. Stopping is never a good idea.) And eventually I made it to the finish line. Sure there were little kids and elderly adults passing me left and right. Sometimes my "run" was slower than the walkers surrounding me. But I finished. I kinda had to...Isaiah left me in his dust and I had to cross that finish line to find my child! Talk about motivation. 

After we were reunited at the finish line, Isaiah wisely had me stretch and then we waited for the posted results. I was so slow my time wasn't listed on the results. And by my calculations it was nearly double Isaiah's time. As I was expressing my disappointment in my results Isaiah interrupted me and proudly told me...

It was a success. You did it! You ran!

And in the end that's all that really matters. I made my eight year old proud of me. I might not be able to walk for the next week, but I did it!

Friday, April 22, 2016


Tonight while attempting to cook dinner for my family + one sleepover guest, I was getting a little exasperated. I was spending more time refereeing sibling AND friend squabbles and doling out snacks to the starving children and holding the clingy one year old than actually cooking. That's when I remembered a recent picture I'd seen of another blogger serenely wearing her needy two year old while making dinner. It was an AHA MOMENT for me. I grabbed the ergo and instructed the five year old to grab the one year old. Together we managed to strap him to my back. The three year old then generously shared a drink of her water with him from her cup. Open cup.  Meaning most of it was poured down my back and her brother's belly. Not deterred I told the eight year olds to FIGURE IT OUT or I would end the sleepover early. Very early! And then I carried on my merry (slightly soggy) way preparing dinner. Unfortunately I'd forgotten one minor detail...

My baby does NOT like baby-wearing!  I tried. We tried. Co-cooking just might not be our thing. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sleep Training

I want to write something...witty or funny. Or at the very least mildly entertaining. But I just don't have it in me. I keep thinking "certainly something funny has happened recently" or "I know my kids are saying cute things". And yet when I sit down to write I draw a complete BLANK. 

Levi has been waking up between 5 and 5:30 AM for the past couple weeks...months?!? I'm not even sure at this point. I just know it's been going on too long. It's turning me into a complete sleep-deprived zombie. I think the trendy word for this is "mombie". Whatever it's called, I'm the crabby irritable mom with the crabby irritable baby. We are quite the duo! It would be one thing if he woke up happy or cuddly or hungry. Or willing to be rocked back to sleep. But alas he is none of these things. He is just MAD. He stands up in his crib and screams. I then stumble over and try my best to make him happy/meet his needs which does....nothing. 

He pretty much screams until morning nap time. It's sloooowly killing me. Or at least it feels like it is. I'm just not a morning person. Plus (according to me) 5 AM is still night. Not morning! It may not actually be killing me. But it most definitely is killing my attitude towards life. I'm sure my kids and husband have noticed. Like when one kid asks me sweet child-like questions. "Mom how many days until Christmas? Will we give Santa my list at Christmas? Mom is it almost Christmas?" And all I can respond with is "I don't know. Sure. Quit asking me so many questions. No more questions!" Or when another child of mine tells me that her brother kicked her and instead of intervening appropriately I hope she will just kick him back. 

(Unrelated cute picture.)

On Sunday I took the kids to the museum. It's one of our favorite places to go hang out. Kill time while daddy is working. However this museum recently opened a new (and pretty cool!) kids' interactive science center which means the museum has gotten busier. Meaning my kids and I no longer have the place to ourselves on Sunday afternoons. When I texted Joe to tell him we were at the museum. (I'm sure he was just sitting around the hospital wondering what we were doing. Ok not really. But I never fail to inform him.) He sent back congratulatory clappy hands. To which I responded with a whiney "but there are other people here!" I could have mentioned how awesome the new interactive science center is or how much fun his kids were having. But no. I complained about having to share the space with other people. Like I said my attitude stinks. And I know it's because I'm sleep deprived. 

Looks like I do have a story to share after all! And since I'm on a roll let me back up and talk about Saturday too. An unintentional and non-sequential weekend recap of sorts:)

Saturday evening shortly after Joe returned home from his 9 hour exam (i.e. Step 3, part 2) on his day "off" I fled the house leaving four bewildered children and one tired husband in my wake. I was off in search of some much needed and overdue adult time...with Joe's co-residents and spouses. Yep. I ditched him with the kids to hang out with his friends! Clearly I'm a very considerate wife. But that's not the point. Actually I'm not sure there is a point. Other than hanging out with kid-less people is fun. And refreshing. And a little eye opening. One of the newly pregnant (with her first) residents was complaining about being tired and nauseous. I immediately tried to comfort her by agreeing that the first trimester is SO hard. Later in the evening she mentioned that she had napped and read a book all day. I hate to admit it but at that point I was actually envious of her. My compassion dwindled quickly. Her day sounded downright delightful. I hardly remember that days like that exist! I on the other hand had been up since 5am (thanks to my early bird baby!) and taking care of three sick kids (again!). But I kept my mouth shut because I didn't want to be that mom. Later when I was driving another resident's wife home she asked me about my day and I mentioned that I had been up since 5. With a look of horror on her face she very seriously asked me, "Why? Why would you get up that early on a Saturday? How are you even functioning right now?" I tried not to laugh when I answered, "Because that's when the baby woke up." She immediately asked me if I had napped to make up for my early wake up time. That time I did laugh a little bit when I told her I did "nap". If falling asleep for 20 minutes on the couch while the kids watch cartoons to be woken up by the baby screaming in your face and pulling your hair counts as a nap, then yes! Yes I did nap. 

All of this lead me to the obvious conclusion that something needed to change. So a little sleep training is coming this cute baby's way...

Oh and a change of scenery too! He's moving out of our room and in with big brother. I sure hope they are still this happy after being roomies!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Months in Texas

A mere 10 days into living in Texas I wrote about my first impressions of our new state. Today marks 10 months of living here so I thought it was time to do it again. Side note: It's crazy to me that it has been 10 months! I guess I should probably stop saying "we just moved here". So in no particular order (or importance) my thoughts on living in Texas. And since this state is ridiculously large and diverse I should probably clarify by "Texas" I actually mean South Texas which from what I've been told is vastly different than other parts of the state.

It's kinda dirty...or in some places a lot dirty. That whole "Don't Mess with Texas" thing apparently doesn't apply to littering because there is trash everywhere! The sidewalk, road, parks and the trash's all the same to some people. Recently my kids and I tried a new playground near (but not at!) Isaiah's school. While I was pushing Levi in the swing Charlotte took it upon herself to pick up trash. She then very proudly presented me with a handful of broken glass! Needless to say we left and haven't been back. 

Big families are fairly common. Or at least more common than in the suburbs of Chicago. Meaning me and my crew get far fewer stares and comments from strangers. Which I greatly appreciate. I like feeling normal:)  Although I'm guaranteed to get stopped by at least one stranger if I have Levi or Charlotte with me. People can't resist their blonde hair. And I don't blame them. It is pretty and super soft!

I still LOVE the food. The produce is delicious and cheap! I love eating berries all year round AND staying in our budget. I still love the tortilla shells. However I've slowed down a bit with those because I have been putting on a few extra pounds this winter and it's already swim suit season here. Not a good combination!

Speaking of seasons. The "seasons" here are laughable compared to the Midwest. Fall felt exactly like Summer. Winter felt like a complete misnomer. There were about 6-8 weeks during which my kids had to wear pants and a sweatshirt or light jacket to school. They never used hats or gloves. Other than that we have lived in shorts, t-shirts/tank tops and sandals since moving here. Spring has been downright delightful. Texas definitely knows how to do spring! Flowers and green grass everywhere. Sunshine and warm breezes. Birds singing. An occasional rainy day. It's been my favorite. Winter was pretty great too. But Fall. Oh how I missed real autumn. Leaves changing colors, all things pumpkins & apple and cooler temperatures. I've already informed Joe that next fall (if at all possible) we will be traveling north in search of a more autumn-esque environment and hopefully fall related activities for a few days!

What else? I'm finally getting used to all the "y'alls". Though I have not adopted the phrase like my (traitor) husband. I'm from the Midwest where the guys are guys and the girls are too! And I'm sticking with it. I do still chuckle (in my head) when I hear people say "fixin to" or "have a picture made". It's just so southern and a little goofy to my northern ears. 

The other day Charlotte informed me that when she is the mom she is moving back to Minnesota. Her reason? So her kids don't have to wear polos and khakis to school! She says she knows how it feels and doesn't want to do that to her kids. 

Overall Texas has been pretty good to us. There definitely have been times when I've loved it. Likewise there have been times when I have hated it as well. But overall it's a pretty good place to have to live. And I was right in my theory. Moms of young kids in warm climates are happier. Or at least less bogged down with all that winter gear! And being able to go outside all year round? Amazing!  Oh and having a little tan all year round? I like that too:)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Around here.

When I look back on my blog the posts I enjoy the most are the ones that just capture our life at that moment in time. So today I'm going to do my best to capture our life right now. In no particular order...

Because every kid must have a messy spaghetti face picture as a baby. I'm pretty sure it's a babyhood requirement. However this baby is becoming less and less like a baby each day and more and more like a toddler. Minus the actual toddling! He can take a few wobbly steps at a time. His first steps were on March 29. One day before he turned 14 months. He can walk. He's just very hesitant to do so. That doesn't stop him from finding all sorts of trouble though. 

His latest trick is throwing his head back and screeching loudly when he doesn't get what he wants. Mostly in public. Four kids later and it's still embarrassing to be that mom with the tantruming toddler. I know it's normal. Doesn't make it any easier to deal with though. 

Charlotte is finally back to her normal self. The week before and after Easter she had this high fever and lethargy that felt like it was never going to end. Most of the time she would fine and then...BAM! She'd completely melt down. It was pitiful. See exhibit below.


Less pitiful. 

Hannah has started her long anticipated soccer season! I thought she was going to LOVE it. And she did. Kinda. Practice was good. However according to Hannah the game took fOr-EvEr!!!! It took some serious bribing to get her to participate during the second half. (Last quarter?!? I don't know. The last part.) 

I'm just a tad biased but she's pretty much THE CUTEST soccer player ever. Or at least the cutest on her team:) They asked me to be the assistant coach for her team. "Just to help with crowd control". Unfortunately Hannah's soccer season coincides with a long stretch of Joe working weekends so I'm a little preoccupied controlling my own personal crowd! I don't need MORE kids to watch. 

I'm not sure how I've completely forgotten to mention it but Isaiah has been running with his school's running club this year. Which means he's been participating in a few fun runs in the community. It's his "thing". Or so I overheard him telling his friend the other day. 

This was his first 5k with his dad. This past weekend he did a 'Mud Run' with muddy obstacles. He loved it! 

Even if he lost one shoe in the mud! (He was a bit tired when I took this picture. I promise he liked it. It's all he talked about the rest of the day.) His siblings on the other hand were less than thrilled to be ripped out of their cozy beds on a Saturday morning to watch him run in the "cold" and wind. (It was 65)

I have to admit I'm turning into a wimp. After being outside in that "cold" weather for a few hours I came home and put on my sweat pants, hoodie and slippers to warm up! 

What else have I been doing? Besides logging onto the NCCPA website and checking for my test score every single hour? Oh just painting like a mad woman...

I've got a lot of nervous energy built up as I wait for my test results. And my kitchen cupboards have been the perfect outlet! Plus they have been off the actual cupboards and sitting in my garage since...oh...mid January! It's about time. As I've been painting I'm laughing at myself. Last summer, shortly after we moved here another resident's wife asked when I hoped to have our house projects done. I casually answered "Oh in the first month or two". Ha! Maybe I should have said "the first year or two!"  Seems more accurate at this point. 

Slowly but surely we are making progress...

And last but certainly not least...

This guy is a complete rockstar. When he isn't mowing the lawn with the baby strapped to his chest, he's either at work or taking another ridiculously long and hard test. All without complaining or freaking out. (Unlike someone else I know...)