Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hair Cut and Pitch Perfect

Our three day weekend was as good as it could get with a VERY cranky Jonah. It certainly brought flashbacks from Jonah's first six months of life with all the crying and screaming he did back then. Only mommy could hold him (and he must be held!), and whenever he didn't get his little way about anything, he would fling himself to the floor and bang his head on whatever the surface may be. Violent little baby (can I still call him a baby?) tantrums! He has some nice little scratches on his forehead from deciding to bang his head into the sidewalk a few times.

BUT we did have fun at a friend's housewarming party on Saturday, which was made even better by the perfect weather. Sunny and in the low 70's with no humidity. Can't get much better than that! We ate yummy food, fellow-shipped with some friends from church, and Noelle fell in their pool. That part wasn't so much fun- but she survived, and hopefully learned the lesson of not reaching too far forward! I was inside when it happened so I missed her initial reaction, which was understandably scared. By the time she got to me, she just wanted her mommy to hold her. I changed her into dry clothes, and she was ready to play some more and didn't want to leave to get the cranky Jonah home.

family hike

Jonah's big milestone of the weekend was getting his first haircut! On Saturday (the exact day Jonah turned 13 months), Luke brought our kitchen scissors outside and went to work. Luke did the front and it ended up a little shorter (and choppier) than I was thinking, but it definitely does the job and keeps it out of his eyes. We finished the sides and back before church the next morning because little man was just not having it. Then this happened:

Nursery coordinator at church: I see Jonah got a haircut.
Me: Yup- Luke gave him his first trim!
Nursery coordinator: I thought you were going to say Noelle did it.
[cue lots of laughter]

It really turned out as well as a haircut can be when you have a moving target! J looks adorable, and it was way better than paying $15 for someone else to do the same thing!

I will coordinate their clothes for as long as I can!

After service, we were talking to our friends who said they were planning to go see Pitch Perfect 2 that evening. They invited Luke and me to join them, and I was all on board after all the "fun" we'd been having with Jonah for the past few days. We just had to find a sitter- and thankfully Heather loves her niece and nephew so much that she and Jason were able to meet his parents earlier for dinner just so she could get to our house in enough time. (Thank you, Heather!) After we took an afternoon family hike, we hoped that Jonah would mostly sleep while she was watching him!

We met Jess, Megan, and Joe for some food and then headed to the theater, where Jack caught up with us. Two important things to note about this movie: [ONE] this is the first movie that Luke and I were seeing TOGETHER since before Noelle was born. I don't even remember what we last saw together in theaters- probably something Harry Potter related. [TWO] We're pretty sure this is the first chick flick that we've seen together in theaters EVER.

I really enjoyed the movie, and it was a perfect way to relax (even though I checked my phone every five minutes) and get some endorphins by laughing. Luke was not too impressed by the movie, but he thoroughly enjoyed hearing our friend Jack laugh at everything. Definitely a win in my book!

Monday morning I took the littles to the Memorial Day parade, and later that afternoon we joined Luke's parents and Lydia for a yummy cookout- a great end to our three day weekend!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

As I was running this morning, I couldn't help but think about and pray for those who have gone before us and who are currently fighting for our freedom. They have sacrificed so much, and I know I take for granted my freedoms as an American. I am so thankful to be free to openly worship God, and to be able to have access to so many opportunities as a woman.

My brother served in the Marines for four years, and though I'm thankful he is safely away from battle grounds now, there is still the struggle of the trauma and losses of comrades. He posted a picture of two of his fallen brothers on Facebook, and it struck me at how young they were. I can only imagine the pain a mother feels when they outlive a child, or the guilt military people may feel that it was someone else and not them, or that maybe they could have done something differently.

This world is so broken, and so in need of Jesus. I pray that God is with our military, keeping them safe, but also drawing each of them to Himself. That they would know the peace of trusting Jesus and living in relationship with Him. And praying for families of those serving and who have lost loved ones that they would know His love and peace as well.

This Memorial Day we'll enjoy having Luke home for the day, the cook out, and the festivities honoring those who have served and are serving the USA, while remembering all that they've done for us.

as good as it got waiting for the Memorial Day parade to start

Friday, May 22, 2015

What We're Loving

Noelle these days is all about her ballerina skirts- which is pretty much any skirt. It's a nice change from her wearing a dress every single day, but it still makes it a little tricky for being lady-like on the playground. But we roll with it!

She seems to be over her obsession with watching Strawberry Shortcake 24/7, and has moved on to watching Horseland on Netflix when she gets t.v. time. I love that she seems to be so into horses, and am not so secretly dreaming of the day when she will be old enough to start taking riding lessons. When I told Luke, he suggested I go take lessons with her. I'm trying to picture myself being a part of a lesson with a bunch of five year olds! This might just be on of those things where I live vicariously through my kids.

Noelle is all about her "Anna braids", as she calls any type of braid based on Princess Anna in Frozen. Whenever I tell her I need to do her hair, she requests Anna braids. There's usually not enough time to do it every day, but it is adorable when we have the time!

Jonah is absolutely obsessed with Noelle's toddler potty. Every time we go upstairs to use the bathroom, he is all over it. He takes it apart, carries pieces of it around, puts it in his mouth (UGH!). If Noelle is sitting on it, he's all up in her space. I will definitely be glad when she can use the big potty full-time and we can put the toddler potty away!

He also loves being able to do what big sister is doing. He steals all her drinks and food if they are within reach. If she is playing with some stuffed animals, he wants to grab them. We keep reminding her to place things up out of his reach, but this is only the beginning of life with a little brother!

I am loving the fitbit my sister got me for my birthday! When I was down in Texas, my friends Kristen and Amy were wearing theirs and competing with each other for the most steps. Becky had already told me she was getting me a fitbit, so I was looking forward to joining in the competition fun. Running pretty much every day sets me up with a good amount of steps, but it also makes me realize that if I didn't run, there's a good chance I wouldn't make the recommended number of steps. When I told Becky how much I loved it, she got one for herself and for Heather so that the three of us could compete as well. Love it!

I'm also really enjoying being a part of getting the MOPS group started at church. I love the overall idea of MOPS, and am really glad for the friendships I've started to make with the MOPS group I've been a part of near where we live. All the emails and meetings to coordinate registration and plans makes me feel like I'm in the work world again- just way less stress and everyone I work with are people I love!

Luke and I both have really appreciated the date nights we've been able to have (and are looking forward to more!) We've got plans in the works to go away for our anniversary, and for my birthday, one of our closest couple friends gave us movie tickets and a note saying they would watch the kids. It really does take a community to raise children, AND to help marriages thrive.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Little Adventures

We are definitely loving this warm weather. Being outside makes everyone much happier, and it's so much easier to just walk out the door and go- cold means lots of bundling and extra stuff, and I was definitely over all that!  Jonah especially loves being outside, and if he starts to get fussy in the evenings, out we go!

We've filled up the pool on the deck a few times already, and I can foresee this being a regular part of our weeks over the summer. 

My friend's wedding is officially scheduled for Labor Day weekend so I headed to David's Bridal last week to try on the dress we had decided on over the phone. My mom came to watch Jonah, and I took Noelle so that she could see all the "princess" dresses. She loved it and wanted me to try on more dresses. (Meanwhile girlfriend has lost her privilege of wearing a princess dress because we're working on some potty issues.)

I took the kids on an afternoon froyo date last week. Noelle insisted on the really big cup, and Jonah ate all my fruit and refused the actual froyo. But it was a fun afternoon adventure. And I love seeing how much more they interact with each other. Jonah loves to laugh at Noelle, and she (not so gently) will pull him around and "take care" of him.

We also met my mom and her exchange student at a local country club for a free hot air balloon festival. I knew Jonah wouldn't last for too long since a lot of the festivities would be happening around his bedtime, so we got there as close to the beginning as we could. There were a few balloons inflated, and Noelle especially loved watching them. We walked around checking out the vendors, played in the grass, and watched people riding a balloon. It brought back memories of when I surprised Luke with a hot air balloon ride for his 23rd birthday. Definitely an adventure- landing was the scariest part to me, and of course Luke's favorite part!

This past Sunday was the second week we had our MOPS registration table set up. I stayed after the service to work the table, but had both littles with me since Luke wasn't feeling well and stayed home. My friend Stephanie was also there solo with her three kids, and I think the chaos of keeping up with all of them while trying to talk to people showed real life as mom of a preschooler.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Whale of A Tale Party

Now that it's been three weeks since Jonah's first birthday party, I want to write up a little something to remember it all!

The party was the Saturday after his actual birthday, and we themed it "A Whale of A Tale." We wanted to keep it small like we had done with Noelle's first birthday and just invite family and some friends from church. My grandma and aunt and uncle from Seattle flew out to see our family and celebrate with us, and Luke's older sister also came up from Virginia. With all the relatives visiting, and the family members who live nearby, family was an additional 11 people. And our number of friends from church have increased over the last few years (both by new people and babies!) So in the end we had 27 adults and 11 children RSVP yes!

Jonah with GG- the only picture I took at the party

For our small townhouse that was a lot of people. I remember at one point just stopping and praying that people would be full of grace and understanding because we were packed in. The weather was just icky enough that people wouldn't really want to be hanging out on the deck or backyard like we had been hoping. And of course Jonah woke up earlier than usual that morning and was ready for his nap about an hour into the party.

But I think most people were understanding (especially those with babies or who have raised their babies). After we sang Jonah "Happy Birthday", I put him to bed and the party continued on without him. It really was so much fun, and such a blessing to be able to celebrate our baby boy with so many people we love.

four generations

For food, we ordered Chick Fil A chicken nugget platters like we had done for Noelle's first birthday, and then a couple of whale themed things. My mom and sister made and frosted a ton of whale shaped sugar cookies, I ordered edible whale toppers for the cupcakes, we had whale shaped crackers, and something I found on Pinterest were little blue jello cups with whipped cream and whale shaped gummy candy. Lot's of yummy food!

Jonah at his one year check up

The next day I ran the Columbia Half Marathon. It worked out well that it started and ended by our local mall so I could drive myself without having to worry about getting lost. This was my first half marathon since running the DC Rock N' Roll half when I was pregnant with Noelle back in March of 2012. My goal was to finish, but I also [not so secretly] hoped to run it in under two hours.

It was a little chilly at the start, but once we finally got going it didn't take long to warm up. Some of the areas we ran through I was familiar with, while others I had no clue where I was. Running past the county hospital made me think about delivering my babies. We ran past the house of our friends from the UK who lived here for three years, and it made me think about all the fun we had with them.

It was a great run, and I finished in 1:40:26, which is the fastest half I've ever run! I was happily surprised, but it was a great reminder and boost of confidence to myself that my body could still push so hard after having two babies. I love running and being able to have that time to myself, and running races is a fun way to see what I can do!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

My third Mother's Day come and gone, and I still feel like I just became a mom. Though, I guess when compared to my mom celebrating her 30th Mother's Day, I really did just become a mom. But I love celebrating motherhood and moms everywhere, as well as those who fill those mom rolls, even if they don't have kids of their own.

Last year Jonah was only about three and a half weeks old, so we were walking around in an exhausted daze, but it also made Mother's Day extra special to have him there. This year, we got to celebrate all weekend, and I felt a lot less exhausted! Saturday I had a baby shower to attend for my friend Megan who is due next month with her first. It's so fun celebrating these new blessings with friends, and I'm excited to see her become a mommy!

Mother's Day 2014- they were so little!

Saturday evening, we went up to Luke's parent's to treat his mom to a Mother's Day/Birthday dinner. I love that we live so close and are able to celebrate all the fun holidays and birthdays with family. Luke's mom raised five (five!) kids to be wonderful, loving adults, and I'm so thankful for her wisdom and help with my littles. Even though Jonah was in an extra-clingy-only-mom-will-do phase, we all had fun and got to eat yummy food!

Sunday morning, I woke up early to run (as usual), and when I was done getting ready, Luke surprised me with tulips, my favorite drink from Starbucks, and a breakfast sandwich. AND he bought two bouquets of tulips, one for me, and one for the MOPS registration table at church because I had mentioned that I wanted to run out Sunday morning to pick up some flowers. It definitely makes me appreciate that he was listening and remembered!

It was exciting to be at the MOPS registration table and talk to other women who were interested in joining, as well as hearing from older women who were excited for us because they had been a part of a MOPS group when their kids were little! I love that we're moving forward with kicking off registration and connecting with moms at our church, and hopefully moms in the community. And Mother's Day seemed like the perfect day to do it!

The afternoon involved chilling at home, and a not so easy trip to the grocery store with a cranky Noelle. Even though she chose to come with me, she threw a fit as we walked in saying she wanted to leave because we had left Care Bear at home, and after she finally settled down from that, threw a fit about not wanting to leave because I wouldn't move the food around in the cart so that she could sit in the back. Definitely becoming a moody threenager already!


After Jonah woke up from his nap, we headed to my parent's house for a cook out. It was a beautiful day, I ate a delicious grilled cheeseburger, summer fruit, salad, and chocolate cake for dessert. And I got spoiled by my family. My sisters had taken the kids to Heather's house for an afternoon about two months ago and made me adorable things to hang on the wall using Noelle and Jonah's handprints and footprints. I LOVE them! I get sad thinking about how big they've already grown and how one day they will be big teenagers, and the tiny-ness will be all gone.

some Roxy lovin'

I love my mom so much, and now that I'm a mom, appreciate her SO much more. The sleepless nights, the long days when my dad traveled, giving birth without drugs. I also understand her love for us a little bit more. A mother's love is truly unique and so strong. And I love sharing motherhood adventures with my mom!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Zoo and Some Other Fun

The month of April flew by with all that we had going on, and it seems that May is already passing in the blink of an eye. We went into this week with only a few plans, but it has turned out to be a good mix of fun and trying to get things done (though it seems impossible to have everything done!)

On Monday, we had no plans other than Noelle's preschool orientation in the evening- I figured after the race last weekend, it would be good to ease ourselves into the week. Around 7:30 Monday morning, I got a text from my friend Beverly asking if we wanted to go to the Maryland Zoo with them that day. At first I was hesitant to say yes because I'm a total wimp about driving into Baltimore, and especially with all the chaos that had been going on the previous week, I wasn't sure I wanted to use my horrible directional skills to try and get there.

But I told myself- I'm an adult, I can do this, I don't need Luke or my mom to drive me to the city. And I did some praying that the Lord would protect us and make sure that my GPS took me to the right place. I quickly bathed the kids because they were about three days overdue for a bath (just keeping it real!), and then packed a lunch and headed out the door. Even though I wasn't too sure about where I was going, we made it to the zoo with me only getting off at one incorrect exit, which was thankfully easy to fix.

We met up with Beverly and her kids and headed straight to the carousel. She has a membership to the zoo, and during the first hour they were open on Monday, only members could enter and the rides were free! Noelle loves the carousel, and would have stayed on non-stop, but after one ride we went to check out some of the animals. Between the two of us, we have two almost three year olds, a one year old, and almost one year old. We attempted taking pictures of all four together and it was hilarious. Her oldest looks like he could fit in with my kids with his blonde hair, and I'm not sure people would be able to tell that the three oldest have any Asian in them (my kids being 1/8 and Beverly's are 1/4).

After we ate our picnic lunch and went to brush the goats, we all headed home. Jonah and Noelle both fell asleep in the car and I hoped that they would just stay asleep while I sat in the car with the windows down in the driveway. But, of course, both woke up as soon as we pulled in, and that was Jonah's nap for the day.

On Tuesday morning, we met up with my friend Natalie for a walk/run at the park, and then some playground fun. I almost never run with the stroller, but was surprised that I could mostly keep up with Natalie who regularly runs with hers. I'm amazed by her because I feel like I'm dying when I'm pushing that thing! It was a beautiful day, and Noelle enjoyed being able to play at a different play ground than the ones we normally go to.

Wednesday morning we had our last MOPS meeting before we break for the summer with the group I've been a part of this year. Noelle had no problem going into the MOPPETS room to play with friends, but after I heard Jonah crying for 10 minutes, I went in to rescue him. Thankfully, he snuggled in my lap and ate the rest of my bagel while we listened to our speaker. The woman who spoke is going to be our MOPS mentor for next year, and it was so fun hearing her story and asking her questions about life when our babies aren't so little anymore. Wednesday evening, I had a meeting at church for the MOPS group we are starting there, so it was definitely a MOPS focused day!

The rest of the week I spent catching up on laundry and getting things together for the baby shower I'm going to this weekend. We also start registration for my church's MOPS group on Sunday, which I've been helping to coordinate! I'm praying that it all goes smoothly and that we get lots of moms, because I know our leadership team is SO excited about getting this group started. And thanks to some beautiful weather, we've been able to enjoy lots of outside time!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

American Odyssey Relay 2015

Whew, life has been busy! Lots of birthday celebrating, organizing and planning for starting a MOPS group at church, and racing on the weekends.

This past weekend I got to run the American Odyssey Relay for the fourth time. It is by far my favorite race, and I love that I can still participate even after having babies! The idea of the race is to run 200 miles from Gettysburg, PA to Washington D.C. with a team of 12 people. The first time I ran was in 2010, and the only years I haven't run since then were when I was super pregnant with Noelle, and when I had just given birth to Jonah (literally two days before the race!)

back in 2010 when I ran for the first time and Luke was a driver

Each runner runs three "legs" of the race with specified transition spots between each leg. Teams usually have two vans so that one van can go relax/sleep/eat while the other van is completing their runs. I was in van one this year, and even though it seems like van one gets a smaller chunk of time to try to sleep, it was nice getting all my runs done and being able to relax while cheering on the other runners.

Each person's three runs are ranked for difficulty based on length, terrain, hills, and what time of day the runs will be completed. This year I was runner five, and my runs were ranked as seventh hardest. The very first year I ran, I was runner six, which is now ranked as the hardest, mostly because of the four mile mountain the runner has to run up during their very first run. The guy who ran it this year totally rocked it, and was even smiling every time we drove past him to cheer him on!

Luke running part of leg 6 with me in 2010

This year my first two runs were about 4 to 4.5 miles, and my third run was just over 8 miles. My first run was my shortest and started at a ski resort and ended at a church. I ran along some back roads past farms with rolling hills here and there, alongside the train tracks for a little while, and some nice flat areas before getting to the church. My middle run was completed in a little town where three runners run basically the same route so that the team has some time to rest and/or shower at the local high school. Even though I started this run around 10:45 at night, I felt pretty safe running the out and back with all the other runners on the same course. My last run was about 5 miles along the C&O canal and then 3 miles on some country roads. This one was hard for me because my Garmin would not stay connected to satellite and I had no idea how far I'd gone or what my pace was. But once I was done, it felt so good to be done!

team Feet on Fire this year!

The team decided at the last minute on Tuesday to go up to Gettysburg on Thursday evening to stay with one of our teammate's parents who live 15 minutes from the starting line. My mom watched the kids Thursday night so that Luke wouldn't have to get up super early and drop them off before going to work on Friday. Noelle was upset when I left her at my mom's and I was sad to go, but I know she adjusted just fine after a little while. And it sounds like Jonah had no problem, other than taking awhile to fall asleep.

I missed Luke and the kids a lot, but I'm going to work on convincing Luke to come next time. He was a driver for us in 2010 and he ran it in 2011. He says he won't do it, but I'll work on him! When we saw two of our friends at church on Sunday limping around from being a bit sore after their runs, our one friend looked at Luke and said "This should be you!" Next year Luke, YOU will be coming! (Unless of course we have another baby...)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jonah: 12 Month Update

And just like that we have a one year old! In the last two weeks I have definitely been caught up in all the memories of my last doctor's appointment, going through labor, the drive to the hospital, holding Jonah for the first time, waiting for forever to leave the hospital, and driving home in the pouring rain. It just doesn't seem like it should have gone by this quickly!

Height and Weight: At his appointment last Monday, he weighed in at 20 pounds 3 ounces (14%), and 29 inches (24%). He gained three pounds and two inches since his nine month appointment, which the pediatrician was happy to see.  And he seems to be back on the curve he had been on for weight, so we just have to keep him growing!

Sleep: He has still been pretty good at consistently sleeping through the night, except for the week he turned one. He had an 8th tooth pop through on his birthday, so I think that explains why he was waking up fussy a couple of times a night. But now we're back on track and he's sleeping from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Naps are still usually one in the morning and a shorter one in the afternoon. I'm hoping he'll drop the morning one and just take a longer afternoon nap so that we can go out and do things in the morning without messing up his routine.


Eating: We are giving him mostly cows milk now, usually five 4 ounce bottles throughout the day. He knows how to drink out of a straw cup and sippy cup, but it takes him so much longer so I've still been using a bottle. The pediatrician said they like the see babies off the bottle by 15 months, so we've got to work on that!

He eats three meals a day, as well as snacks. He likes peanut butter sandwiches, cheese, applesauce, yogurt, fruities, and will usually at least try to eat a little bit of whatever I am eating. He's not great with veggies, but at least he gets some through the fruities!

Diapers/Clothing: He is wearing a size three diaper and in 12 month clothes. I think he'll be able to wear 12 months for awhile, but we have some generous friends who have given us hand-me-downs for Jonah and the 12 month stuff is so cute!

Social/Milestones: He got his eighth tooth (fourth bottom tooth) on his first birthday. I think he has twice as many teeth as Noelle had by her first birthday. Crazy! He is everywhere and can go from sitting on the floor to standing without holding on to anything. He loves to push around the little car we have for the kids to ride in, and pick up the ball and walk around with it. We have a new carseat for him, but haven't installed it yet- though he'll still be rear-facing.

Likes/Dislikes: At this point, it seems that his main dislikes are not getting sleep and teething. He gets extra clingy and fussy when those things are happening. He also still doesn't love being left at nursery (got called to pick him up this past week), but he also did fine when I left him at my mom's when I ran a race.

He loves the outdoors, loves Noelle unless she is pulling him around, and LOVES his daddy and gets super smiley when Luke gets home from work. He loves being able to walk on his own.

Fun things we did: Jonah celebrated his first Easter, witnessed several Easter Egg hunts, went on some play dates, and spent his first two nights away from mom when I went to Texas. We celebrated my 30th birthday, as well as enjoyed visits from his great grandmother and other west coast relatives as well as Aunt Hannah.

Some pictures from the month:

checking out animals at PetSmart

Jonah making messes as usual

Grandpa gives the best rides in boxes

playing with a dog at Old Navy

some playground fun

a MOPS play date to the trampoline park

birthday cupcake for Jonah