Friday, May 30, 2014


Short weeks always feel longer to me and having been fighting some kind of gross cold all week I was extra ready for Friday to roll around.

And then I got home from work today and the following events occurred:

  • Gianna was chomping at the bit to go back outside as soon as I walked in, which seemed odd since she is usually excited to at least say hi to me when I get home.
  • I noticed crayon on the screen. Which also seemed odd.
  • And then I noticed a beautiful crayon drawing. on my front door. (now the previously noted odd behavior made sense)
  • After the ensuing 5 year old meltdown, crayon clean up and punishment there was even MORE crying and screaming which ended in a closed door timeout. Always fun.
  • I ended up starting dinner late, which didn’t make Aleesia too happy. Or left her SO HUNGRY that she ended up literally licking her plate!
  • Then bath time rolled around and Aleesia does not like to sit in the bath, however she does like to lean over the edge of the tub and play in the faucet as the water warms up. Only this time she leaned a little too far and fell into the tub resulting in a giant goose egg on her forehead! She wasn’t fazed by it at all and was in fact more upset that I wouldn’t let her keep her chap stick while taking a bath.
  • Once Aleesia was in bed and Gianna’s bath was finished and Mike got home, he noticed something on Gianna’s wall. Apparently she tried to hang up a poster using purple princess chap stick – you know, like a glue stick.

This all happened in a matter of approximately 2.5 hours.

Thank goodness Aleesia showed me she knows that noses go “beep” and Gianna apologized and helped with the dishes to redeem their crazy antics tonight! It’s officially a great thing it’s Friday because otherwise I would be quitting this week right about now.

Big Kid First

All of the “firsts” pretty much happen by the time a kid is 18 months old, ya know? But not this one!

Someone informed me last week that she has a loose tooth, a REALLY loose tooth. And she did. (She had been telling me for months that her “sweet tooth” was loose ever since reading the book Silverlicious, and they were not actually loose!) Gianna also insisted that the tooth fairy would leave her a lollipop to make sure her “sweet tooth” wasn’t gone forever. So the tooth fairy made a run for the candy store so the lollipop would be ready when the time came.

I do NOT like loose teeth – I remember as a kid HATING it when my teeth would fall out – something about it just totally grosses me out. So naturally I was hoping that dang tooth would fall out when I wasn’t home. I saw it was getting REALLY loose the other day and started to get nervous it would fall out on my watch, to be honest!

And it did! She was eating a pb&j sammie for lunch at the zoo with her Aunt Jacqui and out came her tooth! Low and behold her “adult” tooth is already coming in!


(I cross my heart promise not to post any gross bloody mouth pictures from lost teeth – they also gross me out!)

We talked about where her tooth would go and how the tooth fairy would get it on the way to and from swimming today. During our conversation I convinced her that the tooth fairy is SO small that she would surely get lost finding her way to Gianna’s bed if she didn’t clean her room AND her bed. And she did – it’s spotless in there! (or a 5 year old version of spotless, at least!). she  made an envelope for her tooth.

5.29 - First Lost Tooth! (5)

And a picture so the tooth fairy would know just where to find her.

5.29 - First Lost Tooth! (4)

She added the wand “because wands are for fairies, mommy. I don’t want her to get lost” and when the tooth fairy picks up her tooth she will apparently put Gianna’s picture on it and put it in her magical tooth fairy treasure box right next to my teeth from when I was a little girl.

Nah, this tooth fairy is going to hide that tooth for now and probably toss it in a week, who needs little baby teeth hanging around for no real reason? But I hear this tooth fairy leaves just the right kind of tooth fairy surprise, sparkling money and a chocolate lollipop.

5.29 - First Lost Tooth! (9)

I am fairly certain she JUST got those teeth so it can’t be possible for them to be falling out already, but here we are. Big kid first number one, in the record books.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Weekend Perfection

Life is always a little hectic trying to fit in All The Things, both have-to and want-to things in just a short 48 hour period each weekend. But then the magical long weekend rolls around and it’s glorious! This past weekend was just that – the weather was perfect, everyone was in a good mood, we had fun plans and still go our top priority “have-to” things accomplished.

Friday night I got to surprise a dear friend for her 30th birthday, so that was really fun and a great start to the weekend!

Saturday while Mike was running some important errands I hung out with the girls (who slept in!)5.24  (6)

We took a stroll around Target and then headed to my mom’s for a picnic (and birthday celebration for me and my sister, actually). It was super laid back and fun! And G was excited to finally get in the pool!

5.24  (15)5.24  (10)

Sunday we had a great church service followed by a spontaneous first baseball game for the girls!

5.25  (3)5.25  (10)5.25  (22)

and more swimming! The wee one LOVES the pool!

5.25  (42)

Monday we went to a memorial day picnic, and Gianna rode in the parade while Aleesia waved.5.26  (7)5.26  (11)5.26  (17)

I don’t think there was just one favorite part, and three stay home days in a row were just what we all needed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

15 months of fun

I have been meaning to write an Aleesia post for the past 3 months, basically and finally here I am! As much as I try not to compare Aleesia to Gianna, it’s hard. But they are so different yet so alike it blows my mind!

Aleesia doesn’t talk much – she says daddy, doggie, woof!, shoes, and mommy pretty consistently. She doesn’t sign much even though we sign to her – it’s clear that she understands what we are saying though. Usually she just smiles at whoever is talking to her, honestly!

But she does sing a lot and babble on and on about who knows what. She also is in that awkward communication stage where we get a lot of grunting, pointing, whining, crying, etc. as she attempts to direct our attention to whatever it is she needs. Sometimes we get a literal temper tantrum – I’m talking about on the floor, leg kicking tantrums. I would say she learned that from her big sister.

And she dances! About the cutest thing ever is when she sings and dances at the same time. She loves to be outside and enjoys barking back at the neighbors dogs.

Aleesia loves to laugh and smile. Smiling is FOR SURE her favorite!

3.29  (14)

Second favorite would be eating! She loves to eat and coming from the mom of a picky picky eater, I don’t even know how to deal with her appetite sometimes! So far she is really not that picky – she doesn’t like some veggies but generally she tries everything so far.

4.20  (81)

Total second child leniency is in play – she gets sweets WAY more often than G ever did. Instead of Cheerios ONLY she gets fruit loops or whatever other cereal Gianna is eating most days. She doesn’t always have “real” clothes on and she is a Disney Junior connoisseur. Also, the number of pictures on my real camera of this blue eyed beauty is embarrassingly low. Sorry punkin!

One thing about this girl though, is her love for snuggling. She will just come running right up to me when I get home and give me a giant hug around the legs. And she snuggles right up to my shoulder when she is tired, which is my favorite. She pretty much adores her Wubanub still. She still sleeps in a sleep sack at night and now cuddles a really soft blanket that Gianna actually picked out for her along with her tiny lovie (again from her big sis).

I might not get time to document everything about her, and embarrassingly I have still not hand journaled her BIRTHDAY letter into her book, but I just find myself trying to make her smile and laugh and subsequently snuggling her up as much as I can. We are quickly approaching full blown toddler-dom around here and I am just holding on for the ride ahead!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

a gentle reminder

In case you missed all of the commercials, advertisements, and all of the “muffins with mom’s” facebook pictures – Mother’s Day is tomorrow.

I was sitting on the couch this morning with my girls who were climbing on me to get the best snuggle spot and I was almost annoyed because I couldn’t reach my coffee. I was actually annoyed when the oldest one asked for a granola bar after she had been offered one. I was pleasantly surprised when they both played with ponies together for almost 30 minutes.

I was immediately humbled when I read about a college acquaintance who posted that she delivered her second son asleep at 37 weeks yesterday morning. This was at least the 3rd time I have heard such tragic news in so many weeks.  Each time I hear about someone losing a child it honestly rocks me to the core.

I was rocking Aleesia back to sleep for her morning nap, something I haven’t done in a number of months and I just was flooded with emotion. So many days I can’t believe that I am blessed to have these girls in my life and I can’t imagine life any other way. Being their mom brings me the most joy, purpose, pureness, and grace along with bigger challenges that I could have ever imagined. I thought about all of the people I know whose children are sick and those who have lost a child – while I can’t relate to these specific situations still hurt for them as their friend. Their strength, even if it is just an outward show of strength, always amazes me.

I just needed to take a minute to remember and pray for all of those mothers (& fathers) whose children are no longer here with them. I just needed to send some positive thoughts out into the universe on their behalf that the second Sunday in May not be sad but be a reminder that they are amazing women and they are the greatest moms.

Monday, May 5, 2014

13.1 #WeRunDC

It’s been a week (and a day) since I ran the furthest distance of my life. It’s taken me a while to really process the whole thing, to be honest. All those months of training culminated in less than 3 hours.

So we shall start from the beginning, I suppose.

The last few weeks, really since Aleesia spent that week in the hospital, of my training were just rough. Life was busy and complicated and it was really hard to get workouts in during the week and sometimes it was even hard to get long runs in on the weekends. But I did my best and that’s all that anyone can do, right?

We made the race weekend a family get away and I am SO GLAD!

The kids were fabulous road-trippers (as always, actually!) and we made it to DC Friday afternoon.

Our hotel was on the campus of George Washington University and race events were in Georgetown, which was about a 15 walk. I love visiting big cities so I loved just walking around and exploring even if I had no idea where I was going! Until it started pouring down rain and we were 15 minutes away from our hotel in a strange city. The Nike Georgetown store was awesome. The race pick-up packet location was well organized and it was easy to grab what I needed.

Saturday we spent exploring with the kids. We were up early, so early in fact the only place open for breakfast was McDonald’s! But the good news is that we were nearly the only people at the Whitehouse that early in the morning.

4.26  (7)4.26  (15)

4.26  (9)

4.26  (11)

Strangers took this picture for us and totally cropped Aleesia out. #secondchildproblems

After the Whitehouse we checked out the race area and I felt much better about where I needed to go the next morning. And then we were on an official mission to find the ruby red slippers.

Gianna is happy to announce that her mission was accomplished!

4.26  (2)

She loved the American History museum, and so did Mike and I. The star spangled banner exhibit was pretty breathtaking. We stopped for a snack on the national mall and checked out the sculpture garden.

4.26  (34)4.26  (38)

There was a great lunch at an awesome little sports bar and then we headed back to rest for a little bit. After that we went back to Georgetown (when it was not raining) to check out the Expotique.

4.26  (42)4.26  (48)

We grabbed dinner (pasta, naturally!) and I tried to go to bed early. Which was a challenge since we were all in the same room and the kids were like PARTY! But when I woke up, it was RACE DAY!

I woke up on Sunday at 5:00 am, put on my race clothes and headed for the start area. I was NERVOUS! I cried a little on the way there but then I got it together. There was coffee, water, breakfast food, etc. available (I couldn’t eat it – NERVES!) which was nice. But I just kind of headed to my corral area and hung out, stretched, apparently drained the life out of my phone battery. There was a DJ. Tons of super nice people. It was comfortable and helped ease my nerves, actually.

The sun was shining. An awesome course was ahead of me.


They did a wave start, which with 15,000 people was still crowded but much better and more controlled than I expected. It was difficult to manage the crowds for the first few miles and while things thinned out a bit, it was always pretty crowded! One of the things that surprised me the most is how many people walked so soon and so frequently – I nearly plowed right into the back of more than one person who stopped in front of me.

The first 7 miles were good, I felt strong. There was great music along the route – the steel drums were my favorite! The orange slices were a welcome treat in the beginning and water was well placed throughout the race.

My phone died at about 5.5 miles, so that stunk. A lot once I ran face first into my own personal brick wall at mile 8. That long stretch of race down Ohio St was just that LONG. And slow. My legs felt okay but mentally I was really doubting myself. I found a girl with pink shoes ahead of me and just kept following her and telling myself do.not.walk. And I didn’t. I hit the 10 mile mark and cried.

I really wasn’t sure if I could do it anymore, but I hadn’t been able to see Mike and the girls the whole race and all I wanted to do was hug them. And the only way to do that was to keep running.

So I did.

I kept running even when I didn’t know how exactly I was still running until I got to the end. There were more steel drums (yay!) and I saw the finish line. I totally missed Mike and the most awesome cheerleading squad but they were there watching me at the end.


The first thing I thought of was – where’s the water? And second, where is my family!? In total, based on chip time, I ran 2:47 which was 17 minutes slower than I anticipated. But I’m okay with it. I did it. That’s all that matters.

They had the family area organized by last name so thankfully it was really easy to find them.

4.27  (41)

I didn’t get a picture with Mike, which I am sad about. He was the reason I could run this race. The only way I could have trained and stay motivated.

Once I found him I showed off my prize (probably the only time I’ll get one of those little blue boxes, and that’s okay), probably the coolest finishers medal ever!

4.27  (1)

They had a great finishers area – places to freshen up, stretch out, roll out, change, charge your phone, hydrate. It was really nice.


I wasn’t sure how I would feel at the end. I was tired. I was sore. I was accomplished. And thankful.

We went back to the hotel to rest a little, but we did spend the rest of the day exploring DC some more. We had lunch by the Lincoln Memorial, went to the Natural History Museum (loved!!) and I fell asleep by 8pm that night!

4.27  (8)4.27  (16)4.27  (3)4.27  (33)

It was a really great time. The race was put together SO WELL, flawless actually. I still honestly can’t believe I ran that far at one time. Thanks to the Vaseline trick, NO BLISTERS although I do have a bruised toenail casualty.  DC was a GREAT family weekend getaway.

But the thing is, I have never felt that strong or determined about anything athletic because well, I’m not athletic. But I like running. It makes me feel good. I want to keep doing it. I don’t know when I will run another half but I know I will run another one. 

Thanks for cheering me along the way, I felt every ounce of support just when I needed it most.