April 25, 2015

The Time I Decided to Run Across Georgia

Alternate Title: This may not be one of my better ideas

So I am signed up to run across the state of Georgia in about four weeks time. Fortunately I'm not attempting it solo, but as part of a relay team made up of other Stroller Strong Moms (my workout stroller gang). There was a team in Columbus, GA up and running (literally) preparing for this race, but they ended up needing another member and ever so kindly asked me to join. We will have 40 hours to complete the 260 miles (my share of the run will end up being about 28 miles).

The run will take place over Memorial Day Weekend and I've been training a decent amount though have many more miles I need to log between now and then.The Run Across Georgia is an event put on as part of a fundraiser for the House of Heroes, a local non-profit that helps do repairs and maintenance on homes of veterans and their spouses/widows (some of whom have disabilities and need the physical help just as much as the financial help). It's definitely a great cause and one I can get behind for at least 28 miles. At the bottom of this blog is a link to my fundraising page and I would be so grateful for any donation. Your donation truly will go towards supporting Veterans and is something to be proud of. Even though I'm fairly new to the team and the race is only a month away, I'm setting my fundraising goal at $4,000 and appreciate any amount you could donate to help me reach that goal. Thank you in advance for your support.

Help me raise money for the House of Heroes by clicking here!


April 16, 2015

An Impromptu Non-Birthday Celebration

Mary turned 16 months old today.

It also happens to be the 16th, and the only reason I know that is because yesterday was tax day. Otherwise I was likely to forget the date, but when I realized the coincidence I decided it would be fun to do something to mark this sudo-mini-golden-sweet-sixteen non-birthday.

So cake it was! Well, cupcakes to be honest, and thankfully that's because I had a mix that only made six cupcakes and seeing as though I'll be eating most of them it's best I not make a whole cake anyway.

The helper and the supervisor

Tonight is Miles' last night of a crappy schedule that keeps him away at nights and fortunately Finn has been leaps and bounds better than last week, so it was kinda nice for all of us to do something fun. I was planning to make salmon and zucchini, but opted for pizza and a smoothie to accompany our cupcakes instead. It was the right decision.

I put Mary's gold crown headband on that she wore on her birthday (her real birthday) because it's a shame she doesn't get to wear it more often. However when Finn saw he asked if Mary was turning two tonight, so I explained we were just sort of pretending it was her birthday and that it's fun to have any excuse to make cupcakes.

He licked the frosting a few times then was done. Quitter.
Not a quitter.

April 10, 2015

Surviving Spring Break

It has been a very, very, very long week. Finn is on spring break and Miles is on a reverse cycle that puts him home somewhere between 1-5 AM giving him anywhere from very little to not so many hours of sleep before going back to work. While he's sleeping I rush to get up with the kids and get them downstairs so they don't wake Daddy. We eat, get dressed, and hustle out the door and if we are lucky get back home for maybe twenty minutes before Miles has to leave again. However most days he is already gone and the kids don't see him at all and the only times I see him are in the middle of the night when I'm half asleep or quickly in the morning when I'm turning off the baby monitors and tip toeing out of the room.

Finn has been a real pill this week and there have been lots of tantrums, lots of crying, lots of screaming (mostly on my behalf), and not nearly enough listening, good behavior, and patience (also on my behalf). He is currently watching digger videos on You Tube while Mary entertains herself in the water bottle and coffee cup cabinet because I just. need. a minute. Or, ya know like twenty.

I suspect Finn has been difficult in part because of the change in his schedule, and in part because of the change in Miles' schedule. And I'm sure there's a vicious cycle of tantrums and time outs we are both failing at ending, but most nights I go to bed angry with myself for how impatient I was with him and angry at him for testing the boundaries and then angry at myself for being angry at my three year old. 

I've tried to fill the week with things to do and it shouldn't be that challenging because Finn is only in school three days a week, but Lord have mercy I cannot wait for him to go back to school and I just am so thankful for teachers and will be even more grateful for the beauty that is summer camp. Typing all that makes me think I'm not really acing this whole stay-at-home mom gig, but whatever! At least I'm not day drinking. Though maybe that's not a bad option . . .

Anyway, so what have we done this week aside from some mother-son fits? We went to the beach one day which was fun, but exhausting.

Eating sand. Maybe I should have prevented that?
It also meant Finn didn't nap so was a bit crabby that night. Mary peed through her swim diaper on the way home, and combined with all the sand in the car, I had good reason to wash the car seats, only I didn't remember until we were leaving the following morning when I had to put Mary in said car seat where she sat on soggy (from urine) cereal that got smushed on her butt and went UNDER my fingernails and on my hands as I got her out of the car. Gag. 

Prior to coming home and actually washing the car seats, Finn had his first swim lesson of the season which went fairly well all things considered. He complained a little about being cold (in the 84 degree indoor pool), but eventually he warmed up and did a good job listening to his instructor. So at least he's listening to someone this week!

While I washed the kids' seats (I'm really stuck on this topic it seems), I also took the shop vac to the car, my single and double stroller, and cleaned out my car. It was so nice to have a clean car and clean seats so it would only be fitting that both kids got mud on them today at the park. Super.

Also accomplished this week was the killing of our lawn mower which thankfully kicked the bucket just as I was finishing up the back yard. Miles birthday is next week and I'm thinking a good gift for him will be a yard service. Did I say gift for him? I meant for me. While mowing the yard Finn was playing with kinetic sand he decided to mix with silly puddy (didn't end well for the puddy) and Mary was babysat by a bag of veggie straws.

Because leaving her unattended with food is always such a good idea.
The front yard was mowed last night at 8pm because that's what most people do when they put their kids to bed, right? After I showered I had no desire to do anything productive so sat on the couch and watched Parenthood (no spoilers please - only on season 2) until going to bed close to midnight (why do I do that!?) Literally the second I turned off my light and closed my eyes Mary started fussing as if to say, "oh you weren't thinking of sleeping were you?" Why no, Mary I really wanted to hang out with you - let's do it again at 5:30. And so we did.

Anyway, it's encroaching on dinner time and while I've been fairly decent at extra healthy eating the last few weeks (since my skin looks like that of a teenager in the thick of puberty), tonight I really just want to feed the kids quesadillas and binge eat the Milano cookies I got on sale.

Miles has another week of this crappy schedule but at least come Monday Finn will be someone else's problem for a few hours so here's hoping next week is better.

Books passed down from my mom. Kids be crazy no matter the decade.

April 5, 2015

Easter Traditions

Apparently my Easter tradition is waiting until the last minute to prepare for the holiday as I found myself running out last night to get baskets and goodies for the kids. Giving up Target for Lent meant that my sacrifice was put to one last test as I navigated the crowded aisles of Walmart, weeding through leftover Easter goodies and a meh selection of Easter candy.

Finn got an "Uncle Jared" (police officer) Pez dispenser, two Disney Planes stickers ($1 each), a train, and eggs filled with candy. Mary got two new bath toys and when I came home I grabbed a fruit pouch to throw in there as well. I put some cereal and veggies sticks in her eggs and called it good. Their baskets maybe cost a combined total of $15. Fortunately they are too young to realize how lazy and cheap their Easter Bunny is.

The one tradition I did want to start this year was that of a scavenger hunt. I don't remember what material possessions I got on Easter when I was growing up, but I do remember how much fun I had searching for my basket with my siblings. Last night Miles and I came up with a few clues and when we came home from church we read the clues to Finn and he set out to find his basket. It was fun seeing him think through them (though none were that challenging) and hustle off to that spot to find another clue. It makes me look forward to making these scavenger hunts more challenging over the years.

This year's clues:
1. Where does the mail man put letters? (the mailbox)
2. What's your favorite movie? (Planes Fire and Rescue)
3. What has tracks and a scoop? (a digger)
4. Roscoe's special treats. (Milkbones in the pantry)
5. You and Mary play with this water even though mommy tells you not to (the bathtub in my bathroom)

Prior to the scavenger hunt we went to church as everyone knows the Easter Bunny's visit is contingent on good behavior in church, right? Fortunately, the kids were very well behaved despite being late and having to stand in the back (also an Easter tradition of ours it would appear). It was Miles who was hangry and in need of some sort of bribery to encourage good behavior, but we made it, got a delicious breakfast afterwards and are now home enjoying a Starburst jellybean overdose. Wishing you and yours a very happy Easter!

Miles was willing to stop for a picture since this was post breakfast. Pre breakfast Miles is not as patient.
This was the best we could do for cute Easter pictures. Nailed it.

April 2, 2015

The Perks of the Military Life

Sometimes it's easy to focus on the negative aspects of a military life (deployments, continual moves, separation from family, etc.) but there definitely are perks to it as well. Tonight we got to watch Miles and his Soldiers practice fast roping out of chinook helicopters. Finn loved it and didn't want to leave despite the fact that we stayed for 45 minutes and watched the same thing at least a dozen times.

So while it may be 10:30pm and Miles isn't home yet, I'm going to remember this smile of Finn's and be grateful for the unique and exciting experiences we get to have because of this lifestyle.