Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not My Fault

I'm sure me having the worst cold I've ever had has absolutely nothing to do with my running 11 miles on Saturday...when already feeling a bit the the wet...over mud and ice. Nope nothing. Not related at all.

For fun: I love how Ollie loves wearing all of our shoes. And because his little feet fit at the bottom of the shoes, he's probably more stable in these shoes than I!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life as a Poker Game

You know how sometimes when you're playing poker with a bunch of people and everyone has very difficult hands to play (even harder than yours), but strangely, they are fine with it? In fact, they profess to actually love playing poker, even when they have these really ridiculously hard hands? And you feel like a wimp because you're dying with your easier one? No? Okaaaaaaaay.

Then how about this: You know when you are having a really hard time with your kids? Your TWO kids. But you look at everyone else who has three/four/half-dozen kids and they seem to be doing fine. Kids are happy. Moms aren't yell-y. Things are being dusted and swept. But you, with only your two kids and husband who is home more than other husbands, can't seem to handle it all? That's hard. Nobody likes to feel like a wimp.

It's a good thing I love them so much. Seriously. Otherwise, if they didn't look like this some of the time...

and only looked like this instead, well, who knows what would happen.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Find Yourself on Google Maps (Street View): A Tutorial

How to find yourself on Google maps (Street View): A Quick Tutorial.

1. Take a walk with your family.

2. See the Google car drive by and freak out about how awesome it is.

3. Remember where you were for future reference.

4. Check the internet a couple of times a month until they post it. Be patient; it may take nine months (ours did). Voila! There you are!

Easy, no?

P.S. It's pretty hard to miss this, although I don't think ours was self-driving like this one. Nor was ours in such a beautiful location. I want to go there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not Necessarily a "Life's Little Victory"

And really, not a blessing either (Natalie), but it's still the coolest thing to happen to me all week. Well, all workweek. Okay, maybe just all of Tuesday. And come to think of it, I did finish our taxes Tuesday night, so maybe it's the coolest thing to happen to me in the 9 o'clock hour of Tuesday morning. Anyway...

Check this out! We're Google famous! We're immortalized! And to think we were just heading out for a nice spring walk. Who knew this walk would change nothing everything?!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Life's Little Victories

You know how sometimes, things just work out perfectly? I've had a couple of these happen to me recently and I dubbed them my "life's little victories."

First, a couple of weeks ago, I was looking for plane tickets for a family reunion this summer. We could fly into Vegas or Salt Lake, but when I found tickets for $140 ROUND-TRIP to Vegas, uh, guess which city we chose? I mean, seriously. We even splurged and bought Ollie a ticket even though he'll only be 22 months old. Victory!

Second, did you happen to notice my hair when we went to the aquarium? No? Go take a look; I'll wait. Okay. That sock bun? Perfection. On my first try. Victory!

Finally, hand apple pies. I made these for Valentine's Day because I didn't want to do an entire doubled-crusted pie. They were awesome. Because they're small, the crust-to-filling ratio is larger, which is a good thing for me because I LOVE my crust. And gooder still, I didn't use all my crust so I got to eat some with cinnamon and sugar on it.  And the goodest news? They freeze so you can eat more later. You know, when you really need them. Like, say, after a crazy-tiring Saturday when the kids are asleep. Yeah, they taste really good then. Victory!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Running Update

Running has been a big part of my life this year. First, there is the New Year's Resolution to do the Montgomery County Road Runners Championship Series. So far I've only done the one race, but the rest are still on my radar. The next is not until Memorial Day (others are/were Sunday races), but I'm ready! Actually I'm not because that race is always really humid and goes steeply uphill for the last half mile. Lame.

Second, I'm training for the Rock 'n' Roll National Half-Marathon on March 16th. I found a few other women who are also running and we been doing our long runs together. It's amazing how easy nine miles are when you're just chatting the whole time. Yes, we've had some lip-freezing runs, but they're always enjoyable. Ten miles tomorrow? Bring it.

In conjunction with the half-marathon training, we've also added a nighttime interval track workout. Uh, hello!? This has been awesome. In a small way it's because I get to use my Garmin in a new way, but in a much larger way it's because I enjoy these women.

Third, because we all seem to enjoy each other so much, we thought, "Why not make a weekend out of it?!" So that's what we did. We're going to do the Ragnar Trail Race in West Virginia in early June. Awesome, right? Right. Any good ideas on our team name and/or costumes? Chuck's idea was to be the "Church Ladies." I'm thinking running with a wig would be painfully itchy, but also pretty dang funny.

Other than our night workouts, I've been logging all my miles in the mornings, which is new. The boys just kept fighting in the stroller and every quarter mile I'd have to stop and break up fights. (The best is when Ollie just puts his arm in front of Rhett's face. He doesn't touch him, just puts it there. Sometimes I can convince Rhett to laugh, but most of the time he just gets mad.) So I've been getting up and out before 6:00 a.m. and have really enjoyed this. Let's just hope it warms up a bit soon. Come on groundhog!

And because all posts are better with pictures, here's a shot of me finishing last year's half-marathon in St. Michaels. Oh, I miss sunglasses.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aquarium Visit

Last Friday we took the boys to our second annual Baltimore Aquarium trip for their reduced Friday pricing. (See the report from the first trip here. This year they raised their prices, the big jerks.) But of course you still do it. Because it's awesome.

I can't get enough of those jellies, nor of those Ollies!

Even these that weren't real were so cool.

Rhett's still in that stage where he wants to know the biggest everything: sharks, whales, jaws. So this was pretty cool to him. We had a good time and might return next year...if they can keep their prices reasonable.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Favorite Dinners

In my attempt to diversify my dinners, how about you share one of your family's favorite go-to weekday evening meals with me? Just a link and I'll be happy.

Quid pro quo: We love this broccoli lemon pasta. It's yummy and has the vegetable built right in. We all eat it happily.

P.S. I have no idea if I used "quid pro quo" correctly. But I liked it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Things Rhett Says: Tantrum Edition

Rhett Rhett Rhett. When will you grow out of tantrums? I'm really embarrassed that you still have them with the frequency and intensity you do. I only admit to what's in this post because it's just too funny to not share. Please imagine Rhett screaming these, because that's exactly how they're delivered.

While on a walk after a rainstorm. Please imagine his whole body collapsing and arms flailing. It was a dramatic moment...
I HATE this. I HATE worms. I HATE hiking in the rain. I HATE today.

While mad at the punishment I enacted, thinking Chuck would dole differently...
I want Dad. I want Dad. I don't just want Dad, I need Dad. I want and need Dad.

While complaining about having to eat a vitamin...
I HATE that vitamins are even real!

P.S. Any recommendations (other than an iPhone or the one on your regular camera) for a video camera? I'm not sure we won't just use the one on our camera, but thought I'd do some product research first.

P.P.S. This is yet another failed attempt to keep Ollie busy. But a success at keeping Rhett busy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Ollie Boy

It's rare when we can talk about just Ollie, instead of "THAT Ollie," said with a big sigh. We all love this boy. He's funny and adventurous and sweet all in one 18-month body. But is he also stubborn and tricky and defiant. Seriously, my boys could not be more different...except that they're both adorable. Rhett used to do whatever we wanted (with small exceptions). Ollie seems to never do what we want (with small exceptions). But it always ends up a surprise.

Take Sunday. He was allowed to be in nursery for the first time, but were we able to take him? Noooooo. Thanks Ollie for the rotavirus that decimated our family last week.

He has started talking. Of course I worry whether he has "enough" words, although I couldn't quantify "enough" for you. But he can say ball, balloon, purple, turtle, mama, dada, Rhett, dog, no, flower, milk, water, etc. No one else would recognize these words but us, but that's okay, right? He takes off his pants all the time, something we had to nearly bribe Rhett to do at age three!

He sleeps well unless he's sick newly-transitioned to a bunk bed. But most of the time he does great. He loves Rhett except when he doesn't and is still learning how to softly pet the dog. All of my attempts to have this child sit quietly and self-entertain have proved futile. And believe me, I've tried a LOT. But he's a funny, funny boy and we are so happy to have him with us. It's just a good thing he's so freakin' cute.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Latest Projects

One of my goals for the new year was to really do more sewing. I went through my Pinterest boards and picked out those I really wanted to get done this year. Then I spread them through the year and on the 1st of February, I finally finished all I set out to do in January. Not bad, eh?!

I made this book holder to attach to Rhett's bunk bed. Tutorial here. I had the Berenstain Bears fabric for quite awhile but this was the perfect project for it.

These bags for loose toys. Tutorial here.

A couple of Rhett's friends received these for their birthdays. And then, of course, Rhett had to have one too. That Joel. So talented.

Another friend received this...complete with stains by Ollie. That kid.

I saw this on Etsy and had to do it. Chuck took it to work because it fits with his technology classes. Anyone else out there who can share the I.T. Crowd-love? If not, start now. The show is hilarious.

Ties for the boys for Valentine's Day.

And finally, some super cute treat bags for the boys for Valentine's Day. From Martha Stewart.

Friday, February 1, 2013

This + That

My sister gave Rhett this adorable book and it inspired me to see some of my own life's little equations. (Apologies in advance about the theme. It just emerged on its own.)

Yummy baked potato soup + Rhett eating it happily = Miracle

Chuck + sneeze = house shaking

Little kids + late night ≠ sleeping in, but

Little kids + flu = sleeping in (but it's not worth it)

Washed (and dried!) hair, make-up, new clothes + coming down the the flu = big waste of effort

The entire sick family + 65-degree weather = even bigger waste

The entire family + flu = horrible, just horrible

Creamsicle cookies + FHE = perfect dessert

And one final one, how does Montgomery County Public Schools + [see picture below] ≠ schools cancelled (or at least a delay)?! Seriously. I want Chuck home.