Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Michiganders Invade WV-Part II (MLB Game)

The big finale for Family Adventure 2012 was and MLB game. Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates. As you can see by the group photo, my little group of 3 is completely outnumbered!

With 4 small kids it's hard to get a good photo, so I set my camera up to take multiple shots at once, hit the timer and ran for my spot. I may have skinned a knee, but look how good we all did :-)

There may have been a few out takes too!!

It was kids day outside PNC Park before the game, but the lines were sooo long to do anything that we headed in after a few obligatory pics. They close this bridge to auto traffic on game days for fans to get over the river. I only had my zoom lens or it would have been a much more interesting photo of my bro and his little men!

We had made sure to watch the Friday and Saturday games in the series on TV. The Pirates took those with relative ease and I was excited to witness a sweep. Of course we had to go on the day Verlander was pitching...
Justin Verlander vs. Andrew McCutcheon-2 All-Stars!
We had great seats in the upper deck above behind home plate. I actually prefer upper deck seats, you can see all the action! And the TV announcers were right ove our shoulders, they throw out great SWAG at the 7th inning stretch; the hubs managed to snag a shirt!

The Tigers got 2 runs in the 1st and then there was a long stretch of pitching duels-yawn. G was very into it though! All the kids got braided Pirates necklaces just like the players wear!

Of course the Pirates chose to score their only runs while I was in line for ice cream. Has anyone noticed that I grab every excuse for ice cream?! So it was a tie game- I got excited and fans started getting out their brooms in anticipation. And then with one hit we were let down. Oh well, 2 outta 3 ain't bad Bucs.

The boys had the opportunity to run the bases after the game, and after standing in an extremely long line in the heat they got their chance. I hope it was a highlight for them since they had hours in a car back home right after!

On a parenting side note, I learned that I am not yet prepared for all day outings with G in tow. I tend to be a minimalist when packing but with a baby you really do need to be prepared for anything. Or at least the regular things...see, I thought I had everything ready; sunscreen, hat, stroller, food, prepared bottles, travel diaper tote...wait where are the diapers? Not a good question to ask when strolling to the ball  park in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh. #new mom failure

Lucky for me my SIL packs everything but the kitchen sink and I was able to borrow (thanks Bethany!) but I still felt just plain dumb. I'll get there with a little more practice!

I have much to learn. But look how far we've come in a year-we went to a game late in the summer last year. What a difference!! I love my little family!

And I love my big family! I have to say that ALL of the kids were great. We are very lucky and I had a great time hosting everyone. It makes me even more grateful every time we're all together. I imagine by the next time it will be even harder to fit in my house since there are bound to me more little ones, and the ones that are little now will just be bigger :-) But I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Michiganders invade WV!! Part I

My entire family made the 8 hour drive (well, a few more than that with 3 kids!) from MI to visit us in Wild and Wonderful WV this past weekend. My brother and SIL haven't been here since my wedding in 2008 and we have both added one to our families since then.

I wanted them to have a good time, but not be exhausted when they went home. It was a vacation after all. We chose some good old fashioned putt-putt golf and batting cages for Friday (can I just say that I would love to have every Friday off in the summer-who wouldn't?!)
This guy towered over the course-crazy coal miner!
One cool thing about the putt-putt course was that everything was made from old mining equioment. There were even explanations at each hole to show what the 'obstacle' was once used for. Fun and education all in one! PS-I'm a horrible putt-putter, even though that is one of the better parts of my real golf game :-(

To say my oldest nephew is obsessed with baseball is an understatement so the batting cages were a big hit with him. All 3 generations gave it a whirl, some with more success than others-I'm not naming names.

Generation 1-my dad

Generation 2-my brother

Generation 3-my nephew
G hung out on the side lines and played with Gramma Bonnie. I can't resist this litte hat, it somehow makes her even cuter!

Of course we had to follow this with a gluttonous ice cream trip, which I thankfully have no pictures of! Although when the youngest boy discovered how good french fries dipped in ice cream were I kind of wish I had the camera!

Saturday was a stay at home day. My nephew, dad and I made a hike to the little cemetery on our property. I knew it was there but never really explored it.

We counted about 50 headstones, some with names, but the older ones were just upended rocks. The oldest one we could make out was fromt the 1840's. I needed to pull an Indiana Jones and pencil rub the stones to get some more info off them! One of these days I would like to do some research into who these people were, especially now that I've walked all over their resting place!
G got a new pool so we had to give that a trial in the afternoon. It was a hit with the little ones, it was too small for the rest. Although my 13 month old nephew got a little splash happy and scared G, they quickly made up and enjoyed some time together. I can see this getting alot of use this summer.

We also grilled-and I didn't take any pictures of the food because:
#1-my family is not into the 'blog thing' and would think I'm crazy, and more importantly
#2-I ate WAY too much of it.

I've been trying to keep regular workouts since this whole ankle debaucle put my running plans on hold but I think hiking through the woods and chasing kids around counts for for the food-hey I was on stay-cation! :-)

Part II-MLB Game-family style!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Full House

It has arrived...the weekend where I finally get to see what it's like to have this big ole house of mine full. And not just for a few hours but several days. Here are a few of the weekend players...

We have these guys...and their parents-my brother and SIL who I apparently need to take more pictures of!

And these guys...

 And of course my little family...

And yes, G is in every picture, because as a new mom no picture is complete without my baby girl in them :-) This adventure almost didn't happen as the boys are getting over Hand, Foot and Mouth's way worse sounding than it actually is!! But I do have copious amounts of Lysol on hand just to be safe!

The whole group of them are troopers for piling into one vehicle (with two carseats) and driving 8+ hours to the hills of WV to visit. I can't wait to share all the fun we have!! I think up frst may be putt-putt and batting cages, which can only be followed by ice cream. Sounds like a good day to me!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekends-Father's Day

We had two celebrations to make around here this weekend: the hubs had a b-day on Saturday followed by his first Father's Day on Sunday. I got up early on Saturday (ok- I always get up early!) and since I can't go for my usual run I made him breakfast.

Since we're at the point in our lives when you don't necessarily want to advertise you're a year older, that was about the extent of the celebration. I guess I made his favorite buffalo pizza for dinner but it tastes better than it looks so no pics! We have company coming this next weekend so I spent the day cleaning and playing with G.
She visited with her Grami on Sunday morning and there was a flurry of activity around here as we tried to finish up last minute items. I had wanted to hit the Farmer's Market (failed attempt #2!) but I literally did not stop moving all morning. I did manage to squeeze in 30 minutes on the elliptical. My ankle feels good and it's hard to stay off the treadmill but I'm giving it the full 2 weeks rest hoping that will be the end of it!!

In the afternoon we had a few family members over for some simple hot dogs on the grill and letting G entertain us. She got her daddy a gift but was way more interested in the tissue paper than anything else going on.

This was serious business for about 20 minutes! It was a very low key couple of days, which is how I prefer it. We accomplished a lot and were worn out after :-) Mondays always come too quick.

I am looking forward to this next weekend though, because my whole family is visiting from MI-that means 10 people in my house!!! Well, maybe. More on that later.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gwyn's World: 8 months

Oh my, 8 months the time flies! This big girl continues to amaze me with how quickly she learns new things, I guess that is her full time job right now but still. She really enjoys standing and has been caught trying to pull herself up in her 'crib'.

Speaking of, anyone else think Baby Girl has outgrown sleeping in the pack 'n play? I so wanted to try her in her real crib upstairs this weekend but she went on a bit of a sleep strike both Friday and Saturday nights. She lay between her daddy and I talking until hours past her usual bedtime. Thank goodness she chose the weekend!!

She loves to screech and loves it even more if you screech right back at her. The way her little legs are constantly kicking let me know that the minute she gets mobile I will be on the run non-stop. I'm taking advantage of every last day of having her staying put while I work around her! We keep thinking she going to start a scoot instead of a crawl but she just goes directly over to her belly instead. She doesn't hate it like she used to though!

She doesn't mind if you put a basket full of toys in front of her and go about your own business, in fact sometimes I think she prefers it. Although she thoroughly enjoys interaction, she's content on her own; I hope this is also a sign of things to come. I think it has a lot to do with being at school 5 days a week where the teachers are responsible for several kids and can't give full time attention. It's good training for having a younger sibling!

We've finally found a few foods that she does not enjoy. I shared the funny broccoli pic with you already, but now I also have a video of her refusing baby food pasta. I tried two different flavors with the same reaction: gagging, spitting and a face like she sucked on a lemon. I thought maybe it was the texture since we moved to Stage 3 jarred foods, but she hasn't minded others-just pasta. I thought pasta was a universally safe food. I've never met someone who said they didn't like it in some form!

No new teeth, even though I was sure she was getting more a few weeks ago. Apparently all the snot and drool is just allergies. She did discover wet raspberries this week and has to have her clothes changed at least once a day at school due to the front being soaked in spit. She has also started to put her mouth on my bare arm and make fart sounds. HILARIOUS! Until she bit me. She also scratched the inside of my mouth and nose; she is obsessed with grabbing faces-and pulling. Ouch-who knew someone so small could have such a grip!

8 Month Update:
  • About 18.5 lbs according to home scale
  • Wearing 9 mo. clothes and size 3 diapers
  • Really needs to start sleeping in her real crib!
  • Dislikes pasta and broccoli
  • LOVES: Her inflatable tub/pool, blocks, being upside down and watching Blues Clues with Daddy
She says dada constantly but has yet to get to mama. Her Grami swears she is saying hi now too. Before I know it she'll be giving her valedictorian speech :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Motivation & Inspiration

If you read my last post you know that I've been struggling a bit. I've had a case of the blahs. It happens to us all, but I think how you make your way out of it and get back on track says a lot about who you are.

I get weekly emails from several sources that keep me up to date on what G may be doing now and what I can expect her to be doing soon. The following was part of one of this week's messages: 

Your inner peace and strength are your child's greatest resource. You're going to have some bad days, and you're going to make some mistakes, and the best thing you can do is forgive yourself and move on.

Hmm, that did it. I had a productive day at work, got in an elliptical workout when I got home (oh yeah-no stress fracture, just overuse so I'm taking some prescribed rest from impact activities), spent some time with G and tackled a few chores. It's amazing what a few simple words can do. And you never know where the source of some much needed motivation or inspiration will come from.

Sometimes mine is an early morning walk. Especially this time of year, the temperature is perfect, the birds are singing and the sun is rising. This is the view from my yard...pretty inspiring!

And then I remind myself of everything I am so lucky to have and there isn't anything I am more grateful for than this little one. I need to be my best for her, how much more motivating can you get? 
So just remember that with every interaction you have you could inadvertently be inspiring or motivating someone. Make an effort to be positive and reinforce good habits in just never know. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekends & WILT

M.I.A.-that is where I feel like I've been the past week. So-for the three of you that read this, I apologize ;-) I've honestly been a bit overwhelmed lately, I look around and think "I'll never get it all done, so why even start". I had time to blog last night but chose to lay in bed and catch up on Grey's Anatomy (can I just say that I hate season finales?!)

It all started with the weekend, who isn't excited when it finally gets here, right? I got up early and went for a run, I was even happy after that since it was my first 4-miler off the treadmill.*pats self on back*

  • 4 miles
  • 00:41 time
  • 10:15 pace  

  • And then I got home. And started to limp around. My ankle had been feeling a bit sore for a while but nothing big; then it hurt all day Saturday and I started to worry I was getting a stress fracture-I know jump right to the worst conclusion!

    The hubs and I had decided to go on a 'date': early lunch (so early we had to eat breakfast!) and matinee (have you seen movie prices!?). I begged for this one:

    Bust. Disappointed. Hours wasted. Adding to my bad feeling for the day. So we came home, did chores and hung out with G.

    Sunday I had big plans to take G with me to run to what is the biggest drain of my checking account:

    Then to the Farmer's Market and after for groceries. I thought it would be fun. Not so much. G is a good baby, a great baby actually, but she isn't quite big enough to be comfortable in the seat of the cart so she was a bit fussy. In fact she chewed up the Elmo book I had (thankfully) already planned to buy her. Love those Target $1 bins!! :-)

    One of the things I had intended on picking up at the Bullseye was a simple collapsible stroller so I didn't even pack our big one. I forgot it, checked out, changed G in the restroom, realized there was no way I could pee without a stroller to put her in-duh, I was supposed to have bought one!

    Now carrying bags and a baby I ran back in the store searching the baby department and simply did not see one. I gave up quickly (I had to pee!!) and left. So now the Farmer's Market is out unless I want to carry her around-no. And I'm getting crankier knowing I still have to get groceries. I hate getting groceries. And...I STILL HAVE TO PEE!!! Needless to say, I omitted anything non-essential and got home as quickly as possible.

    The saving grace was a family nap where G slept between us after entertaining us by making fart sounds on my arm. This is her new trick and she loves to make daddy laugh with it!

    So here's what I learned this weekend: There really is no such thing as done, especially in the world of a new mom. And that taking things in stride is a serious gift. One that I wish I had inherited, but hope to learn instead. Thanks for sticking with me! And yes, I realize that it's Wednesday and I'm just now posting about the weekend. Don't judge.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    National Running Day

    Happy National Running Day! I had no idea this existed...did you? I think there may be a "day" for everything now, I mean national donut day was recently too-although I will admit to being acquainted with that one ;-) Who doesn't love a free donut, right?!

    But a day dedicated to promoting the benefits of running is pretty cool. Maybe if I had known about it I would have planned my week to run today, but it happened yesterday instead. My MIL stays with G every Tuesday so it is a perfect opportunity for a baby-free, worry-free, treadmill-free run.

    I had left my Garmin charger in MI and it just arrived back here (compliments of my sweet mama!) so I decided to try a new place. It was a cloudy 60 degrees and pretty breezy. Time to get used to running in the elements! I went for time today-35 minutes-and managed 3.35 miles. Not great, not horrible-but complete. Sometimes that's all you hope for.

    It's hard to tell from the picture but this is part of the new recreation park where I ran. It has a one mile paved loop around it. It isn't complete yet but these ball fields are really nice and the rumor is that we'll be getting more fields and a minor league team to go with them!! This is great news for me because #1-I love to watch (live) baseball, #2-I love the potential of having things like that to take G to and #3-I own a townhouse across the road and this can only help being able to keep it rented!

    Speaking of G, she got this new piano over the weekend and she is LOVING it! I think babies this age love everything that makes noise, but I can be hopeful that she'll be musically inclined!

    She's also starting in with new sounds-we've mastered dada and have moved on to baba and now vava. That one is really cute because she puts those two big front teeth over her lower lip to get it out! Wow- 8 month update coming next week already!

    Keep on running-even if it's after the ice cream truck. :-)

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Protein Pancakes-recent obsession

    I'm a creature of habit when it comes to my eating. Partly because once I find things I like it's easy to shop and prepare quickly and partly because I just don't have time for trying new things all the time like I used to. So when I promised I would try a few different add-ins for the protein pancakes I've been eating...I fibbed. I just made them the same old way. And enjoyed them yet again! But ya know what, if ain't broke don't fix it!!

    1/2c oats (I've used both old fashioned and quick cook-take your pick)
    6 egg whites

    That's it. For real. Now use your imagination. Or if you don't want to, try the version I've been making:

    1T PB2
    1T mini chocolate chips\
    1t cinnamon

    If you love peanut butter and haven't tried PB2-I highly recommend it. You can eat pb and keep your calories under control, there is a nutrition god! Also, I don't always add the chocolate chips so I'm giving you the nutrition data with and without. I'm just liking them with lately.

    I scoop 2T of 'batter' for each pancake and it makes about 6. Just be careful not to overcook or they can get tough-it is mostly eggs after all!!

    Protein Pancakes                         (per pancake-makes 6)
     w/o chipswith chips
    Protein 55

    If you're snacking on a couple the chocolate chips aren't going to cut into your calorie count too badly...if you're eating all six as breakfast (or watching sugar intake) you may want to skip, or reduce to 1t instead.

    I really do want to try some other versions, I'm thinking dried cranberries with walnuts or shredded apples with pecans?? I have a bad habit of wanting needing something sweet with my morning coffee and these usually serve as a good substitute for something less nutritional. I've been contemplating giving up the coffee just for this reason. 4am workouts have been making that tough though!!

    I imagine you could try savory add-in as well. Maybe next weekend...