Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gavin Walks

Gavin learned to walk at the beginning of November.  My sister was visiting for the weekend and out of nowhere he just stood up and walked over to her.  He's been walking ever since. 

A couple of weeks after that I finally got an opportunity to make a video of him walking...and a month after that I'm finally getting around to posting it!

Couch to 5k ~ Week Three

Week Three
  1. 5 min. warm up walk
  2. jog 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds
  3. jog 3 min., walk 3 min.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3
  5. Cool down

This week was a piece of cake despite the cold, wet weather.  I feel great!  Sometimes I find myself wanting to go out and run on "off" days...I must be crazy....

Next week could be a challenge since we'll be out of town for a chunk of it.  May the weather be good or a treadmill close by!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

101 Goals

A few years ago this blogger introduced me to the 101 Goals in 1001 days project.  I made my list of 101 Goals and 1001 days later I had completed about 60+ of them, crossed off another 20 after deciding I no longer considered them important, and just didn't get around to doing the others. 

Now it is time to start a new list.  (Okay, actually I started this a month ago, but am just now getting around to sharing it.)  If you notice blank spots next to certain numbers it is not because I don't have a goal there, it is because it is a little to personal, a little to close to my heart, and I'm just not comfortable sharing it out loud with anyone just yet.  Maybe someday I will.  And then again, maybe I won't.  We'll see.

Anyway... here's the list...

101 Things to Do
Start Date:  November 22, 2011
End Date:  August 17, 2014

  1. Weigh 130 lbs. 
  2. Exercise 5 times a week for 1 month
  3. Jog for 30 minutes straight
  4. Run a 5k
  5. Go on a bike ride on the Katy trail
  6. Take Bram on a walk everyday for a month 
  7. Find 10 new healthy recipes for dinner

  1. Take a family vacation
  2. Take a family camping trip
  3. Do a fun activity as a family once a month for three months
  4. Take the boys to the zoo in St Louis
  5. Take the boys to the science center in St. Louis
  6. Get a family photo taken
  7. Read the boys at least one book every night for a month
  8. Spend a half an hour each day playing with the boys – NO distractions!
  9. Have a movie night once a month with Logan for three months
  10. Buy a Christmas tree for the boys to decorate  Completed November 2011

  1. Have one regular date night every month 
  2. Read Love and Respect with Justin
  3. Spend a weekend away with Justin
  4. Make our next three anniversaries special
  5. Read a book for fun with Justin
  6. Spend one night a week just the two of us for a month

  1. Get together with Rae, Marcia, and Miranda
  2. Continue sending monthly emails to Rae, Marcia, & Miranda
  3. Get Rae a baby gift Completed December 2011
  4. Get Miranda a baby gift
  5. Plan a get together with Derek & Sarah at least twice a year

  1. Pray every night for thirty days
  2. Pray as a family before dinner
  3. Read a daily devotional every morning for a month
  4. Read the entire Bible 
  5. Have  God time for 30 minutes every day for 30 days
  6. Do a personal book study
  7. Do a second personal book study
  8. Do a third personal book study

  1. Save money by spending more than $50 per month on eating out for 31 days 
  2. Pay off our diagnostics bill
  3. Pay off my Santa Fe
  4. Pay off the Fusion
  5. Pay off our credit card
  6. Pay back April & Phil
  7. Put away X amount in savings
  8. Get Logan’s savings account to X amount
  9. Get Gavin’s savings account to X amount
  10. Purchase bunk beds for the boys
  11. Purchase a new entertainment stand
  12. Purchase a new TV
  13. Buy new car seats for Logan

  1. Landscape the front yard with stones
  2. Learn how to plant a garden
  3. Plant a summer garden
  4. Put up a privacy fence in the backyard 
  5. Start recycling
  6. Learn how to compost
  7. Learn how to coupon
  8. Plan eight weeks of menus that can be rotated
  9. Pack away all of the boys’ outgrown clothing
  10. Pack away all of the infant toys
  11. Paint (and decorate?) the laundry room
  12. Repaint and redecorate the guest bathroom
  13. Repaint and redecorate the master bathroom
  14. Clean out and reorganize the hall closet
  15. Clean out and reorganize kitchen cabinets
  16. Replace the air filter in the heater every six months
  17. Frame and hang collages of the boys
  18. Re-hang Gavin’s birth announcement in his bedroom
  19. Replace the filing cabinet
  20. Replace the book shelf
  21. Find a new, space-saving way to store DVDs
  22. Re-organize and find space for all of our photo books
  23. Create a weekly cleaning schedule
  24. Stick to a weekly cleaning schedule for one month
  1. No TV for 30 days
  2. Make an address/telephone book of all friends and family
  3. Send out Christmas cards
  4. Send birthday cards to all immediate family members and close friends for a year
  5. Finish our Beach Vacation scrapbook
  6. Finish Logan’s second year scrapbook
  7. Make Logan’s third year scrapbook
  8. Make a photo book for Logan’s fourth year pictures
  9. Make a photo book for Logan’s fifth year pictures
  10. Make a photo book for Gavin’s second year pictures
  11. Finish updating Gavin’s baby book
  12. Finish updating Logan’s baby book
  13. Update Logan’s portrait book
  14. Create a portrait book for Gavin
  15. Blog every day for a month
  16. Comment on each blog I read at least once a week for a month
  17. Watch all of my seasons of One Tree Hill
  18. Learn how to use the white balance on my camera
  19. Learn how to use the different flash settings on my camera
  20. Participate in You Capture every week for three months
  21. Complete a 365 photo challenge
  22. Learn how to use photoshop (take a class???)
  23. Keep my car clutter free, vacuumed, and dusted for 3 months

99.  Re-organize and write units for Communications
100.                      Write lessons for Word Study 2
101.                      Find two new novel units that can be used in any class

Monday, December 19, 2011

Couch to 5k ~ Week Two

Week Two:
  1. 5 minute warm up walk
  2. alternate 90 seconds jogging with 2 minutes walking for 20 minutes
  3. 5 minute cool down walk
I finished Week Two on Sunday.  My goal is to run Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but the weather has required to me to be very flexible.  This week I ran on Tuesday and then had to wait until Friday to run again which pushed my Saturday run back to Sunday.  At least it all worked out.

Tuesday's run was a piece of cake.  I thought I had it made for the week it was so easy.  And then came Friday.  Five minutes in I had a rotten side ache and wondered if I would even make it through to the end.  I kept pushing though and in the last five minutes of running I finally found my groove...just in time to be done.  Then Sunday's temperature was in the high fifties - perfect for running in just pants and a long sleeve T-shirt.  I found my stride right from the start and cruised through.  I felt amazing when I had finished!

I'm looking forward to this week.  And, one of my co-workers just brought in a treadmill to put in our building so now I'll be able to run regardless of the weather!

(If you care about how Week One went click here.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

the one where I dress my cat up

A while back I realized that our cat Lucius and Gavin were about the same size.  I wondered if Gavin's clothes would fit Lucius.  Then I decided to find out...he was not amused...

I think the ultimate humiliation was the fact that I purposely chose a shirt with a picture of a dog to dress Lucius in...he really, really hates dogs.

After Justin put him down he spent quite awhile walking around backwards trying to get the shirt off.  It didn't work...

Our other two cats chased him around the house sniffing him and trying to figure out what was wrong with him...

I did finally remove the humiliating shirt though he didn't thank me for it.  Instead he just yowled at me and glared a lot.  Go figure. 

I did make sure to get one last picture though...

Such a happy kitty don't you think?

Couch to 5k ~ Week 1

Have you heard about Couch to 5k?  My sister is the first person that told me about it sometime last spring.  Then one of my favorite bloggers started writing about her experience doing the program.  So, back in July - you know when it was really too hot to be doing any kind of outdoor exercise - I decided to start my own Couch to 5k adventure.  And I did really well...for awhile.  I got to the second to last week of the program and could run 25 minutes straight, and then I just stopped running.

I had a lot of reasons to stop running...all of them no good and all of them too personal for me to feel comfortable sharing at this point.

But, here I am.  Ready to start again.  Of course, now it is not too hot.  It's just too cold.  I have to stop choosing times of extreme weather to start these outdoor excersize programs!

Week One looks like this:
  • five minute warm up walk
  • alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for twenty minutes
  • five minute cool down walk
I actually did this last week starting on Tuesday.  I went to the park after work and ran on the trail there...despite the fact that it was only like 30 degrees out and it was spitting snow.  Then I was supposed to run again on Thursday, but I had a cold (maybe from running outside in the snow???) and took the day off.  But I picked it up again on Saturday, and it felt great!

So I'm officially done with Week One and ready to start on Week Two tomorrow afternoon.  My plan is to keep a log of sorts on how I'm doing.  Hopefully it will keep me motivated!  Then come spring maybe Justin and I will finally run a 5k (my first!) together like we've been talking about doing!

So, here I go...cold weather or not!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

my blog

So blogger keeps track of stuff like how many page views you've had and where the people come from and so on.  I hardly ever look at the "Stats" page on dashboard.  But this morning I was bored so I did.  Guess what I found intersting?

  1. I have exactly 2,000 page views at this moment.
  2. Somebody from Russia (and a few other countries) has been visiting my blog.  I have no idea why, but it is still cool right?
  3. And I have like 127 posts written.
All of this since April when I started this little blog!

Now, I'm not naive.  I know that there are people out there in the land of blogging that get 2,000 page views a day!  And I know there are bloggers out there with huge followings from around the world making my two page views from Russia seem pretty insignificant.  And I know there are bloggers out there who have made thousands of posts over there multiple year long blogging history.

But still...

This is my blog in my little corner of the blogging world, and I'm pretty pround of it.

Now I'm going to go back to hardly ever looking at my stats page.

Oh, and I'm going to go back to work, because working is what I'm really supposed to be doing right now...

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Tour

I guess this post could also be titled "A Belated Thanksgiving ~ Part III" since we did all of our Christmas decorating over Thanksgiving break.  But, since I'm a lazy blogger who is just getting around to doing this post I'll just call it what it is:  a tour of our house filled with Christmas decorations.

First there is the boys' tree which I've mentioned already:

Then there is our big tree.  Normally we put this one in front of our big living room window, but we decided to change things up a bit this year and put it against a wall next to our living room.

Of course there is the nativity (I actually put that up before Thanksgiving):

And then there are the little odds and ends in the area:

Then there is the second nativity along with a few snowmen in the dinning room:

Then with the exception of the angels which are out all year long there are some odds and ends on top of the entertainment stand:

And I just realized there's another itty bitty tree in our bedroom that I don't have a picture of and all of the Christmas stuffed animals that are now under the boys' tree which I don't have a picture I guess this makes this tour slightly incomplete....

Oh well...Merry Christmas anyway!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a sense of style?

After much chasing and wrestling I finally got Gavin zipped up in his footy pajamas.  He much prefers to be naked, so this much fight from him about putting clothes on is not unusual.  After he was dressed he wandered over to Logan (who was still slowly working on pulling on his jammas), picked up his socks (the ones Logan insists on wearing to bed), and then...Gavin ran (okay, toddled) off down the hall with them!

Logan (of course) threw a minny fit and insisted I get his socks back.  To avoid a full on melt down (always possible before bed no matter how small the issue) I chased down Gavin and caught up with him in the living room....where I found him trying to put on Logan's socks!

Gavin smiled at me - happy to see his awesome Mama whom he knew could help him out.  And, of course, I caved.  I pulled Logan's big ole socks on Gavin's feet over his footy pajamas!  If that wasn't funny enough he then walked over to the back door, picked up one of his shoes, carried it back to me, and sat on the floor with his foot out.  Laughing, I complied again and put his shoe on over the sock and jammas.  Then, he got up, went over to the back door, picked up the other shoe, and returned again!  I, once again, complied, and this was the result:

Nothing like editing pictures to show you that your son has something totally gross stuck to the bottom of his shoe!

Add a bulky, super stuffed cloth diaper to this already stylish ensemble...

...and you get twenty some odd pounds of total cuteness that looks something like this:

Isn't this the perfect recipe for a future fashion icon?

Okay, maybe not a future fashion icon...

...but how can you deny the utter cuteness here?

Oh, that's can't!  (Or at least I can't!)

Gavin is now tucked happily in to bed...minus the shoes.  But, he did keep the socks on...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Belated Thanksgiving ~ Part II

My in-laws hosted our family Thanksgiving dinner at their house, but we, Justin and I, did the cooking.  Hey - their house is way bigger and it means I got out of the cleaning!  Of course this also means that I was up at 5:30 that morning getting ready and then getting two kids ready and then loading up the car and then driving the ten miles out to the house.  Two hours later all four of us were out at my in-laws house.  The boys played while Justin and I chopped, sauteed, and cooked dinner.  In between tasks I snuck in glimpses of the parade on TV and cheered with Logan as Buzz Lightyear and Spiderman made their appearances.  Gavin preferred to spread his toys out...right in front of the dishwahser and play.  Then dinner was served and both children actually ate and liked the food.  Afterwards I took Gavin upstairs to play while conveniently letting everyone else do the dishes.

It was perfect.

The only thing I wanted was a good picture of my boys together on Thanksgiving and a nice, new, updated family photo.

Instead I got cheesy grins...

...a run-a-way baby...

...and one lone picture of me while I was fooling around with my camera.

There are no pictures of our family, no pictures of grandparents.  But there are pictures of Gavin playing the piano and stuffing undecorated Christmas cookies in his mouth.

The truth is my kids and my self and my family just weren't up for a photo shoot on this holiday.  But that's okay, because those cheesey grins are pretty awesome too...

Sometimes not following the plan, leaving the agenda behind, is the best thing I can do.  It was all pretty perfect.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Belated Thanksgiving ~ Part I

Yes, yes, I know...I'm late again on posting.  I couldn't help it.  I was having so much fun relaxing and playing with my children over this past long weekend that I just didn't feel like blogging about it right then.  But I'm here today, reading to remember and share all the little things we spent time doing over the past five days (yes, FIVE days...I'm a teacher who was on break officially at 3:15 on Tuesday afternoon).

This is the first holiday weekend in the history of EVER that Justin and I had all of the same days off from work.  That meant that starting Wednesday morning our little family of four was looking at five days worth of togetherness.  We started it off with a shopping trip to Springfield.  Logan wanted to see Santa Clause so we took him to the mall where he promptly stood six feet outside of "Santa's Village" and hid behind my legs with quick peeks around now and then to get a glimpse of Santa.  He would not for any reason actually get close to the jolly man in the red suit.  In fact, he's never sat on Santa's lap - he's always refused which is actually shocking because generally he is not afraid of anybody.  After we walked away from Santa he promptly told me that later "me and santa are gonna have a little talk in my room."  Okay, Buddy, whatever suits your fancy.

Next on the list was lunch at Hu Hot (or the "Mall Chinese House" as Logan calls it).  Kids three and under eat free there (Yay!), and I'm pretty sure they charged us for the wrong kid.  See, all Logan did was pick at his noodles while Gavin finished off Logan's plate and part of mine.  Logan should be able to eat free wherever we go since he hardly eats whenever we're away from home. 

Then we were on our way to Target - the real reason for coming to Springfield that day.  See, I had found a little 4 foot Christmas tree there that was on sale that I just had to have!  I wanted it for the boys' bedroom - a tree that they could decorate.  We have a huge tree that we put up in our living room, but it is one of those "fancy" know where all the ornaments follow a color scheme and everything matches and it perfectly placed.  Not really a "kid friendly" kind of tree.  In the meantime I have this tub of ornaments that never get put out and I thought they would be perfect for the boys to use to decorate their own tree.  Once we had the tree purchased and one fit by Logan (over not getting a toy while we were there) barely averted, we headed to Barnes & Noble for coffee and snacks, and then we were on our way home.

Of course when we got home the first thing Logan wanted to do was put up his new Christmas tree.  So we did!  That's the great thing about time schedules to keep, no rushing about.  And up the tree went!

Gavin had little interest in the actual tree, but the box was fun times...

Before we knew it the tree was up and fluffed and it was time for dinner...much to Logan's disappointment.  He was ready to decorate!  But we made him eat, bathe, and get his jammies on before the decorating could begin.

When it was all finished both boys were very pleased with the outcome (not that Gavin would stick around for a picture know places to go...).

No doubt about was a great first day to our Thanksgiving weekend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Driving Lessons from a Four Year Old

Scene One:

I had just picked up the boys from day care, and we were headed home.  I was stopped in the left lane at a red light when a semi pulled up in the right lane and proceeded to turn right.  This is what I hear from the backseat:

Logan:  Mommy!  What is the truck doing?
Me:  Turning.
Logan:  Mommy, the light is red!  Tell him to stop!
Me having no clue how to explain a "right on red" rule:  I can't.  I guess he's just being a bad driver.
Logan:  He has to stop!  The light is red!
Me:  He's already turned.  Don't worry about it.
Logan:  But the light was red!

This went on for at least two more minutes before he finally dropped it. 

Scene Two:

We were coming up on the same stop light as the previous day, and as I went through the interesection the light turned yellow.  Of course I kept going.  From the back seat I hear:

Logan:  Mommy!  Slow down!
Me:  What?  Why?
Logan:  Mommy, that light was orange.  You need to slow down!
Me unable to explain the "point of no return" rule:  It's okay.  I can drive through the light when it is yellow.
Logan:  But Mommy, yellow means slow down and stop for the red light.
Me:  I know, but I had time to drive through still.
Logan:  No!  You have to slow down.  Yellow means slow down!

This went on for at least five more minutes before he dropped it.

Clearly this means I will have nothing to worry about when he turns sixteen and starts driving his own car right?  RIGHT????

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Car Seat Dispute

Gavin is 15 months old now, and if he hasn't hit the 22 pound mark yet, he's very close.  This means one thing to me:  it's time to get him in a different car seat. 

This is the easy part.

See, Logan currently rides in a convertible car seat.  We have one in each car.  All we have to do it readjust the seat to fit Gavin.  Each car seat can actually be placed rear-facing too which is even better.


The not so easy part:  What do I do with Logan now?

Logan is probably only 35 pounds...soaking wet.  This means he is still too small for a backless booster.  But it does mean that he is big enough for a high back booster.  But still, I know he would be safer in a five-point harness.

This should be an easy decision right?


My checkbook is crying out in pain at the idea of buying TWO* more five-point harness car seats.  See, backless boosters are cheap, cheap, cheap!  I can buy two for less than the price of one five-point harness seat.  And while high back boosters are more expensive than backless boosters they're still cheaper than five-point harness seats.

My cheap side and my mom side are waring with each other BIG time.  There's a part of me that wants to call a compromise and go with the high back booster, but....that mom side of me wants to keep my child SAFE!

Okay, okay...this really is a no brainer, but still!  Ugh...

Get ready to cry Mr. Checkbook, because you're buying two more (more) expensive car seats....

*YES!  We need TWO!  Justin and I are both responsible for dropping off and picking up the kids, and I don't want to mess with switching seats from car to car! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Remembering Halloween

Logan was a "hunting guy" (as he called it)...

...and Gavin was a mummy!

They made quite the pair.  Both excited for Halloween...for different reasons of course!

Logan was excited to show everyone his "vampire" pumpkin...

...and Gavin was just excited to get to stick his hands inside the pumpkins again!  (Don't worry - they weren't lit yet!)

My three handsome boys!

Mimi and Papa came over to join in on the Halloween fun.  We left Gavin with them and a bowl of candy to pass out, and Justin and I took Logan around the neighborhood for some Trick or Treating.

As much as Logan enjoyed Trick or Treating, it is still not his favorite part of Halloween.  He couldn't wait to get back to the house so that he could help pass out candy!  He and Papa passed out candy and took turns wearing the "scary" mask.

Because it was a Monday night it didn't take too long for the crowd to die down, and before we knew it, it was after seven and we had two very sleepy boys on our hands!

Everyone had a great night, and that is what I call a successful Halloween!