Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Midweek Randoms

  • Work has been rough this week.  I have left in tears 3 out of 3 days.  
  • I took a nap today.  I got home from work and basically went straight to the bed.  I laid down and fell asleep - in my work clothes.  Jason got Joe down for a nap and popped in a DVD for Amelia before he left for work and I slept, all in all, about two hours.  I needed it.

  • Things are so hectic around here lately that I have been having a hard time keeping up on making Joe's baby food.  My sister noticed this and took it upon herself to make him some.

  • So far she has made him two batches and without it I would be up a creek.  I do have a butternut squash and some sweet potatoes to make up for him.  Hopefully soon...
  • Amelia recently discovered Little Einsteins.  It is a wonderful show and Jason and I are both really pleased with it.  However, the theme song?  Yeah, gets stuck in your head and I hum it far too often throughout my day.
  • Last weekend we ran into the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile.

  • We got some cheap water guns at the store and tested them out the other night.  Amelia had a blast with them!

  • I have started using a calorie counting app in an effort to drop some weight.  I entered a goal weight, how much I want to lose a week and then I added on 500 extra calories (a day) for breastfeeding - believe it or not that is what the average, nursing mama burns a day manufacturing milk!  
  • After Amelia is in bed and I am nursing Joe to sleep I have stopped turning the TV on.  I used to always watch TV while nursing him but for a week or so I have been just relaxing during that time.  I watch him fall asleep and when he is done I hold him for a bit before putting him down.  I wish I had done this all along - it's a special time for us.
  • There is a pile of dirty dishes to be washed but I think tonight it is just not going to get done.  The kitchen is my "one thing."  I always make sure I get the kitchen cleaned up and in order before bed each night.  Why?  It gives me a small sense of accomplishment since most nights not a lot else gets done and also because it is wonderful to start the day out in a clean, orderly kitchen.  Tonight, however, I am leaving it.  I am unmotivated.  
  • Last week, this week and next week I am working M-F with the weekends off.  That is almost unheard of in retail.  I'm not sure how I managed it but it is nice to be working the same days as Jason, even if we do work opposite shifts, because that means we have two whole days off together and can do things as a family.
  • Amelia's new nicknames for herself and I are "volcano" (pronounced ball-came-oh) and "hot lava" (pronounced ha wah-wah.)  I am "volcano" and she is "hot lava."    She has even referred to me as "volcano" in public.  
  • I am glad the week is half over.  The weekend can't come fast enough.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Park Playdate

My lifelong friend, L, is in town with her two children, J and A!  They live down south currently so it is always a nice treat when they come to the north for a visit! 

We met at our old elementary school this afternoon so the kids could play and we could catch up a bit.

A showed Amelia her fun way of swinging:

I had to laugh because I have tried showing her this before but I guess sometimes it just takes another small person to really show how fun it is!

Amelia really took to A and at one point held her hand as they walked the playground.

It was neat to see because usually Amelia takes to older children better than ones her own age/younger.  

J really enjoyed baby Joe!  He played peek-a-boo with him, tickled him and pushed him in the swing!  Amelia got a little protective and made sure she was right there as J enjoyed time with her little brother.

All three kids enjoyed running around this pole!

It is so much fun to see our children interacting and playing together!


We attempted a group shot of the kids before we left.  You can imagine how that went...

The boys aren't looking in this one but I suppose boys will be boys ;)  Maybe next time we see them the kids will be more into picture time...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tie-Dye Twins

My parents are fans of tie-dye.  So much so that Amelia refers to tie-dye as "papa clothes."

The kids now have matching Elmo tie-dye.

Amelia was not that into wearing matching clothes with her brother until I held them up side by side.  Her eyes lit up and she said, "oh, mama baby!"  She is very into mamas and babies aka small and large.  She loves to have a small version to put by a larger version!

Group tie-dye shot:

At some point this summer we plan to have a tie-dye party and make our own clothes!  We haven't done that since we were young so it should be a fun time!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Late Night

We had a late night here!  It all started with a frustrating afternoon.  Pieces of puzzles were (well, still are) missing, beds were unmade, toys were all over - it was anxiety central over here.  I decided to just get us out of the house.  We went to Wal-Mart.  Amelia got a few new baby ponies and I got yogurt and a salad for dinner.

We came home, ate, made the mess a bit bigger so I decided we'd play outside.  She got her little car, filled it's seat compartment with ponies and off we went.

We played past bath time.  We played past bedtime.  Then, just when I was getting us ready to head in for a late bath, therefore, making an even later bedtime we were invited down to paint rocks.  So, we painted rocks.  

Amelia went shirtless since they were not washable paints.  Mama even painted some rocks.  

We stayed out well past nine tonight enjoying a cool, summer evening.  It is a good thing I am off tomorrow and don't have to be up at 3:30 a.m.!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cat in the Hat

Last week, on our way to Milwaukee, we heard Amelia talking in the backseat. She was reading to herself! We listened to her for a few miles before turning the radio back up.  It was so sweet to listen to her.  

I could only get a short clip because if she realized I was recording her, she stopped and stared and would not continue reading until myself and the camera were facing forward. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pit Stop

On our way home from Milwaukee we stopped (overnight) outside of Madison to see our friends, Marie and Jordan.  They just bought a house and are expecting a baby any day now!

Amelia and Joe were very interested in their two dogs:

Amelia made herself right at home Saturday night...

She got to stay up until almost midnight!  Jason and Jordan went to the casino (with twenty dollars each) and Marie and I were visiting.  The time flew by, Amelia showed no signs of being tired and before we knew it the guys were home!  

Amelia and Joe had a good time playing with Jordan while we were there.

Marie, I have the next two weekends off somehow so have that baby and I will come see him! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Milwaukee Moments

We spent almost five days in Milwaukee last week! 

Jason was a groomsmen in the wedding of two friends he worked with when we lived in Milwaukee.  We had a great time.  Here is a glimpse into our visit!

Lake Michigan :)

Watching kite surfers

The second seat for our jogger came the day we left.  Talk about good timing!

Visiting Sarah and her family

Amelia went bowling, on her own, for the first time!  She had a blast!

"Big Waterfall!"

Friday evening was Ben and Rebecca's wedding.  It was a gorgeous night out!

Family photo after the ceremony

Mustache straw!

We met Jen for lunch on our way out of the Milwaukee area!

We had a great time and were definitely reminded that we miss Milwaukee!  We look forward to our next visit!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


We packed up the car this morning and headed to Milwaukee for the week!  Our car is always full.

When it was just Jason and I traveling we filled the trunk.  When it was Jason, Amelia and I we filled the trunk.  It is now Jason, Amelia, Joe and I and we still fill the trunk!

I was thinking about it on the way down and I realized that in order to make our small car work for travels we have had to simplify.  The best part?  We didn't really realize we were doing it!  We've always filled the trunk, whether it was for two, three or four people.  Everything always fits into the trunk. 
Simplifying is going on somewhere - that is for sure!  We don't over pack like we used to.  If I'm going to be gone six days, I pack seven shirts.  In the past I would have packed twice that - you know, so I had options.  I pack favorite items that I know are comfortable and that I like to wear.  It's much easier.  The kids also don't need to pack up their rooms.  We bring a few favorite toys and that's about it. 

For this trip Jason and I each had one bag.  I fit both kids' clothes into Amelia's suitcase.  We limited toys/books to one bag that we brought in the car with us.  We brought only one pack and play (for Joe) and Amelia is using a big bed for the first time.  Well, the first time away from home :)   We also brought the portable DVD player, a cable for it and a few movies.  We hooked it up to the TV in our hotel room and we watched My Little Pony with Amelia tonight. 
My packing list was fairly short for this trip.  I kept thinking we were forgetting things but we have all we need!  In fact, I am sure there are several things that made the trip that we don't truly need as well.  I love that we have been able to gradually get down to just the basics for our travels.  It is so much easier and involves less stress on everyone! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Early Father's Day

This afternoon we celebrated father's day a week early with my family.  We will be traveling this week and returning next weekend and then next Monday my dad leaves for Texas for a week for work so it just made sense to do father's day today!

Papa and his grandkids

We had sopa, carnitas and tacos for dinner.  I ate alone after everyone else because Joe was on a roll with his solids right at dinner time.  Big boy ate peas, carrots AND green beans!  Go, Joey!  It's hard to believe that just a few months ago he refused to open his mouth for food and now he can't get enough!

After dinner there were a few gifts exchanged.  Amelia opened them all and Joe hung out in the aftermath.

My family found Jason a near perfect gift this year:

Remnants of the collapsed Metrodome roof made into collectibles!  We plan to get these arranged in a frame of some sort, with the certificate of authenticity, so he can display them.  He is pretty excited about these so hopefully we can get them framed and on the wall soon!

RFYL - Videos

Last weekend at Run For Your Lives we saw a lot of people with GoPro cameras.  We thought it would be neat to have one for the race but at $300 dollars a pop it was obviously not an investment we decided to make.  

I did find a couple of youtube videos that people took at the Minnesota race.  For anyone interested in getting a better feel for what we did last weekend I thought I'd share the videos here.

I like the footage in both videos but was not a fan of the music choice in the second one...  The second one was taken during our wave though so I thought that was kind of cool!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Run For Your Lives 2012

Last Saturday Jason and I participated in our first 5K obstacle course!  This wasn't just any 5K obstacle course though - it was infested with zombies!  

(This was my favorite zombie of the day!  He never broke character - ever.  When there were no runners coming through he came over to the fence and antagonized the runners waiting to go!)

Basically, we went through the course with a belt (similar to those worn in flag football) with "health" flags on it.  Zombies tried to steal your health and if you lost all your flags you were infected and became a zombie upon crossing the finish line. *The numbers show that out of almost 1,800 - there were only 300 "survivors."  We were not listed amongst the survivors...

We got there about four hours before our wave.  We wanted to get our registration before the crowds arrived, check things out, watch others run the course and get camp set up without being rushed etc.  It really was wonderful being there so early!

When it was time to get lined up we chose the desserts (12 min mile or longer) gate...

The appetizers and entrees were let out first and then it was out turn!  This first incline was almost the end of me - literally (not health flag-wise.)

It wound us up the hillside, there were people everywhere, zombies everywhere, rocks, potholes and more.

The next thing we came to was a covered mudslide:

At first I tried to crab-crawl down it but eventually just sat down and slid the whole way down.  Talk about fun - I couldn't stop once I got to the bottom and had to yell to our friend, Leigh (red bandana on the left) to get out of my way!

From there we went over stationary walls, through an abandoned structure, across monkey bars (which I fell off of into a chest deep pool of glorious, cold water), through a maze (filled with zombies), up and down some more hills, through mud, across creeks and balance beams, over cargo nets and so on...

Now, the end.  The end was scary - for me.  You see, there was this giant, orange tarp stretched down a hillside.  It led into a pool of muddy water.

 (This picture doesn't do it justice!  It was HUGE!)

View from the top of the hill - cluster of people = top of the slide

About one hour before our wave we watched someone get pulled from this pool with his ankle going unnatural ways...  It freaked me out.  I got the butterflies then.  Up until then I was calm and had no worries.

Leigh, myself and our "ballerina" (a straggler we picked up along the way) all went down the slide at the same time.  It was awesome!  You went so fast you almost didn't even realize you were on the slide and then before you knew it you were choking on muddy water.  It was a rush!

The final obstacle before the finish was the electric fence:

Yes, there really was an electric charge going through it!  I think we lucked out though because the jolts I felt were pretty minimal and earlier in the day you could hear it shocking people and them cursing.  I'm thinking as the day went on the charge got weaker.  That was fine by me!

From here it was a short jaunt to the finish line and the decontamination chambers (shower heads rigged up in a cement walkway under part of the track!)

Jason and I finished in an hour and a half!  We ended up at the end of our wave but we spent time waiting for others and vice versa.  One cool thing about an event like this is the bond you can form with complete strangers.  People get left behind when they can't keep up with their groups and in our wave we chose to just stick together and finish strong - as a group.  Jason, Leigh and I lost the other couple we were with on the first hill but we picked up two more on that same hill!  I don't mind one bit that our group of five finished dead last for our wave.  We stuck together and I think that as a result the two stragglers we picked up along the way had a better experience because they weren't alone!

Comparison pictures:


(well, after decontamination showers that is...)

*Keep in mind, Brandon's shirt was white at the start...

Our shoes after the race:

Once we got cleaned up and changed we actually went into town for Dairy Queen :)

Upon returning the campground was in full swing and we settled in for a relaxing night.

The people next to us came over, introduced themselves and invited us to their campfire!

As we were talking with everyone we began to realize that we were about the only runners who stayed to camp.  Everyone we talked to, and everyone they had talked to, were zombies!  They were so interested in what we thought of the race and what it was like.  Zombies had the opportunity to run the course after their zombie shift but from the sound of it, most of them were too tired to give it a shot!  We learned that zombies received free camping so that would explain why so many stayed!  Us runners had to pay twenty dollars.

Jason and I enjoyed a nice overnight away from the kids and we experienced something new and exciting!  We are anxious to see if this race ever returns to Minnesota.  If it does, we will be there!  We would probably even travel a reasonable distance to do it again we decided!

There were professional photographers there taking pictures.  If you want to see us, go HERE.  My bib number was 5522 and Jason's was 56541.  They are not the most flattering pictures but they were taken in the moment :) 

Oh, and our kids?  They were with my family and those lucky ducks went to the Minnesota Zoo!