Thoughts on Aging and More Swimming!

Hi there!  Sure feels like Friday to me…but it’s only Tuesday!  I think that is due to lots of fun plans we have coming up this week.  We’ve been doing more swimming this week with a full hour today to make up for one day we will miss…

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Check out that killer jump!  He absolutely loves jumping in now!

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Little sister beating the heat with her fan!

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I can’t believe the last day for us will be tomorrow!  I really thought it would be a bit of a pain in the you-know-what, but Holden has loved it!  As a parent, you know that you tend to love what seeing your kid(s) enjoy himself/themselves.  So…I had the best time too!  I won’t miss sitting in the sauna that the pool area is, but I will miss getting to see him enjoy the water.  Lots of pool/beach days in our future this summer I hope!

In other athletic pursuits, I did a 4 mile run this morning.  I foolishly did a pretty vigorous leg workout/arm/abs yesterday.  Now, the arms and abs were fine, but I could feel how tired my legs were as soon as I took the first strides.  Sunday was a 6 mile run too.  Apparently, I need a little more rest than I used to!  I was just telling the Mr. this morning that I feel like I’m a better runner than I used to be (i.e. in my youth), but I also feel like a more delicate runner.  More stretching, more planning, more “babying” myself in order to run better and feel better.  Isn’t it funny how things change?!?!  I used to look for the “easy” way or cut out some spots on a run to decrease my mileage when I was in high school.  Running/”practice” was a little more dread than enjoyment.  Nowadays, I’m scheming on ways to get out of the house and eek out a few more minutes to make my run longer.  So funny!  I was just reading a bit about how women become better endurance runners in their 30s and later.  Here’s hoping!  I’d love to beat my time (1:50:20).  🙂

My heel is still a bit tender, but I didn’t have any pain on my run.  More like stiffness.  I did have a pain in my side that I believe resulted in absolutely NO concentration on my breathing…I find that I have to be very methodical and make sure I’m breathing in and out of my nose.  All those things you forget when you haven’t run for a speedy purpose (half marathon 67 days!) in some time.

Tomorrow will be crazy busy for us, but I’m hoping to do some yoga and REST.  Like easy peasy yoga – I don’t want to break a sweat at all yoga.

Have a great evening!

 

 

Weekend Recap – Tomahawks & Running Shoes

Hi there!  Can you believe it’s the last week of June?!?!  Time is going so quickly!  We checked one item off our summer fun list by visiting the Jamestown Settlement this past Saturday.  Holden absolutely loved the Powhatan Indian Village!  It was our first stop when we got there.  P.S.  Everything takes three times as long with two kids…like getting out of the car!  🙂

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In the picture below, the Mr. and Holden are standing in front of the little “deer stand” thing that the young Indian boys would sit in to shoot at or scare off critters trying to eat their garden goodies.  How about that for entertaining the kids!

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Replica of the Susan Constant

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Little girl riding on mama

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Church pictured below

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I think my personal favorite were the ships…Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.  We also looked in all the buildings at the fort.  Holden even stated one time to one of the costumed people, “I like the Indian village better!”  In fact, he liked it so much that we had to go back a second time!  We did not go through the museum inside the welcome center, but it looked very nice as we were passing by on our way out.  Holden got a tomahawk to go with all his weaponry at the gift store, and I picked up another Christmas ornament for our collection.  Definitely had to get one since this is Helen’s longest trip away from home!

We had a nice picnic off of Colonial Parkway on our way back home.

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The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing and watching Sleeping Beauty.

On Sunday, I went on my first trail run in a long time.  It was so nice to be out of the neighborhood running thing.  I did 6 miles in my new shoes!

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Love my Brooks Ghost 9!  I had been having some Achilles tendon pain/tightness, but I took all last week off from ANY physical activity.  I’m happy to report only slight tightness this morning.  I did put my little rice pack thing in the freezer and put it on my ankle twice yesterday.  This brings me to my next point…I’m a little bi-polar when it comes to running these days!  I recently wrote about how I didn’t want to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in September.  Well…then I talked to a neighbor who is doing it and how she did it after she had her second child.  Competition…Competition…uh oh.  About 12 hours later, I found myself purchasing a race ticket on Groupon {yay for saving 15% off the price}.  So now I’m doing it!  I know that it will be tricky to get the longer and even the shorter runs in, but I’m trying to give myself grace and remember that I enjoy running.  I don’t have to beat my time {yes, yes, yes I want to!} or my neighbor!  😉  Who am I kidding?!  I want to do that too!  All jokes aside…it will be good to have time to think and for myself to be out of the house without a dog or a kid.  IMG_3579.jpg

My trail run did prove that I need to do outside runs as the humidity KILLED me!  I’ve been using my treadmill in my nice, climate-controlled house.  I felt like I had just moved here from the Midwest complaining about the Virginia humidity.  I also learned/remembered a few other things on my first long run…

  1. No hat – better cooling
  2. I like to run in tank tops not shirt.
  3. Take a change of clothes
  4. Wear hair in a braid – Whoa the tangles when I got done!
  5. Runners are so friendly…probably the friendliest people you’ll see at 7AM on a Sunday in the heat running through a swamp 🙂

After my run, the kid and I went to church.  They were little angels!  Thank goodness!  Nothing like a crying baby to make all heads turn to you!  Later on in the afternoon, Holden’s C-Pa came over to take him to see Finding Dory.  What a special treat!  He stayed for dinner and helped the Mr. and I celebrate 6 years of marriage!

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These chocolate-covered strawberries were so easy!

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We cracked open our rehearsal dinner favor from over a year ago!  I felt all festive with the strawberries and Prosecco!

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Love this guy!  So glad I get to do life with him.

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How was your weekend?

Don’t summer weekends seem way busier than any other seasons?

Our New Routine – Swim & Library

Happy Hump Day!  This week has been flying by!  I admit that I was kind of dreading the whole swimming lesson thing, but it has given a nice focus for our days.  Holden is doing awesome at lesson.  It’s so much fun to watch him!  We’ve also enjoyed two fun library events {free too!}.

So proud of this boy!

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The pool is very warm as well as the greenhouse-style building.  Helen and I were MELTING inside today.  Tomorrow I think we’ll have to watch from inside the A/C.

The Teeny Tiny Farm visited the library branch closest to our swimming lesson spot.  We checked out rabbits, a pig, a llama, goats, a sheep, two horses, and a cow.IMG_3517.jpgIMG_3518.jpgIMG_3519.jpg

Today we visited the library AGAIN to meet The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  The library also had a simple make-a-caterpillar craft set up, and Holden made two.  We got new books as well since we are reading so much every day.  IMG_3533.jpg

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The book pictured above reminded me of my sister!  She hated to have her hair brushed as a kid.  This little girl finds out that mice like to make a home in her hair, but she’s okay with it for a little while…ewww.

We’ve been continuing our “school” time in the morning.  Holden absolutely loves it!  We are working on beginning sounds and number identification.  P.S. He does his best work in his undies.  🙂IMG_3501.jpg

In the afternoon {after naps}, we’ve been doing some crafting.  Very, very simplistic crafting…

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Planning to finish up our flag today!

Miss Helen got in on the action with some baby-friendly painting…which was mostly Holden and me telling her the colors and showing her how to mush.

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I’m actually enjoying having both Helen and Holden home with me a lot more this week.  Last week was the first week, and anything is hard the first time.  I do wish Helen would take more of a break in the afternoon i.e. NAP SILLY GIRL!  However, I think we’re doing pretty well with our party of 3 {plus Roscoe}.

How’s your week been?

The heat is crazy here!  I wish we could be outside more, but I feel like we are in a sauna by 10AM.

Natalie

 

Father’s Day Weekend

Hi there!  I hope you’re doing well on this first official day of summer and what I think is the longest day of the year.

We had a great weekend that started off with a 2 month check-up for Helen.  She’s growing and gaining weight and now…vaccinated!  🙂  It’s so funny how she’s such a little peanut compared to Holden at the same age.  She’s 25th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference.  A very proportionate individual!  The Mr. joined us for lots of family fun in the waiting room and exam room.  We just hung out at home before and after that appointment.  Holden was super proud of his dinosaur puzzle that he did all by himself while I ran on the treadmill.

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My sister arrived that afternoon, and we were so glad to see her!  She works way too much in my humble opinion and lives too far away {all in my humble opinion}!  We enjoyed some DIY pizzas, lots of talking, and baby-free time that included a few shopping stops and some fro-yo.  Helen was in rare form that night and may have emotionally scarred my sister from every having kids of her own.  Since then, she’s been an absolute angel for us!

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On Saturday, I got a gym workout in AND a walk!  Yay!  My mom and cousin arrived later in the day for a little birthday celebration.  The tourist scene is cray cray right now, but we braved all that and ate lunch at Waterman’s down at the Oceanfront.  My mom is so tech savvy these days and quick to whip out her smartphone!  She snapped this picture of me enjoying some sunshine and fresh ocean air…

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We tried to get a fun dessert afterwards {fondue}, but we had to settle for gelato.

After my baby-free afternoon, I was exhausted!  I think it may have had something to do with the late bedtime the night before.  Sunday was church {both kids were angels!!!} and a pool party.  Plus, celebration time for the dad of the house!  We enjoyed bacon and cinnamon buns for breakfast, and I gave him a pass on dish duty after breakfast.  Since he’s into his WWII book these days, he definitely took me up on the offer.  By the way, the cinnamon buns were delicious!  I followed Justine’s recipe which you can see here.  Just love her blog!  One of the best things about the recipe is that it is semi-homemade.

Holden saw one of his best buddies from preschool as soon as we got there, so he pretty much ignored us except when he wanted food.  I’m thinking this is a lot like it will be when he’s 13???

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Today was the first day of Holden’s swimming lessons.  I could tell at the pool party yesterday that he had regressed some from where he was at the end of summer.  Totally expected!  It did make me a little worried for how lessons would go today.  I shouldn’t have!  He was yanking his shirt and shoes off and eager to get in the pool!  He was a bit reluctant to swim too far from the side with the instructor, but he definitely warmed up by the end of the lesson.  I’m sure he’ll be a little fish at the end of these two weeks of lessons!IMG_3498.jpg

If you live in the Virginia Beach area, I highly recommend Lynnhaven Dive Center for lessons.

I hope you have the best week!  Ours is filled with swimming lessons and fun little morning outings.

Natalie

5 for Friday

Hi there!  It’s officially Friday, and I’m up extra early due to Miss Helen’s 4:30 feeding request.  She has actually slept through the night {9:00-5:00/5:30} a few times since Memorial Day weekend.  However, she’s still little.  When she wakes up that close to her official wake up time {5:30 – this will be the time she has to get up when I go back to work in late August}, I feed her just a bit and put her back to bed.  That leaves me up though!  I decided to get a few moments to myself.

{ONE}

Home with Two – Today will be day 3 of being home with two kids.  Wow.  I knew it would change the routine that Helen and I had gotten into.  I also knew it would challenge my patience and force me to rearrange my expectations.  Well, it has been everything I imagined and more!  Whew!  I feel like I’m doing the hardest work ever right now!  It is very sweet to be with both of them.  Holden is such a good boy and big helper.  He was my dusting partner when we were cleaning yesterday.  He always tries to play with his sister when I ask him to…like when she’s crying during tummy time!  Does any baby really like that time?  Plus, I am amazed at how blessed I am to have these two beings with me.  They are such gifts.

{TWO}

School in the Summer – Yesterday I began a few activities that I want to keep up with off and on with Holden this summer.  We are focusing on reviewing letter and letter sounds.  I have a set of flashcards that we use with capital/lowercase letters and key pictures.  Holden’s very good at identifying these letters and sounds, but we are also working on getting him to apply his knowledge.  There are so many great resources on Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers {just check “free” and search for worksheets/activities}.  I’m trying to keep it light and quick.  I think early morning will be best.  Holden is the most alert and agreeable {ha!} then.

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He was done at this point in the picture above.  He was playing an elaborate game of “good markers, bad markers.”  The universal boy game.

{THREE}

Breakfast Idea – I’m kind of over some of my breakfast choices these days.  I usually love oatmeal, but I need a break.  I’m not a big cereal or smoothie fan in the morning.  Eggs are okay.  I really prefer a sweet taste in the morning…but I want something healthy too!  I had the 2 ingredient banana pancake recipe one day this week, and I plan to enjoy it again this morning.  I followed the recipe except for the part about making the pancakes small.  This apparently was a key point as my pancakes looked a HOT MESS and NOTHING like the ones in the photo.

{FOUR}

Fitness and Family – Well, I’ve given up on a fitness goal that I wanted to take on this summer.  I planned to sign up for my second Rock and Roll Half-Marathon.  I had been doing two weekly shorter runs on my treadmill during the week, and I got up to 6 miles on my long run.  However, it is SO hard to find time to exercise.  I’m talking about a 4 mile run or a quick strength routine!  In order to prepare for a half-marathon, I would have to be doing one long run a week.  This would have to be on Saturday or Sunday, so the Mr. could stay home with the kids.  As my mileage got higher, I could be gone for as long as 2.5 hours in the morning.  I confess to wanting that time on the weekend with my family more.  As my mother says, there is a season for everything.  I think as women we are truly convinced that we can do everything.  That is such a lie that sets us up for failure and disappointment.  I can do lots of things…just not all at once.  It looks like my fitness focus {for now} will be on getting it in when I can and enjoying moving my body.

P.S. This is my little shadow during my home workouts…which typically happen M-F.  It seems like I’ll only be a gym-goer on the weekends.

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Breakfast and Books!

{FIVE}

Father’s Day Weekend – Happiest of Father’s Days to my daddy and to the Mr.!  Dads are so important to their wives and to their kids!  Thankful for these two!

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Check out this cute video – Dad Song.

Happy weekend!

Natalie

 

Virginia Aquarium Visit

Working on our summer fun list already!  Around 8:30 AM yesterday, we {me and the two little ones} went off to the Virginia Aquarium.  After feeding Helen, we got started exploring the aquarium around 9:15.  I’m so thankful we went early since a huge school field trip arrived a little after 10:00.  This is Holden’s third trip to the aquarium, but I think he seems to get more out of it each year.  It’s almost like a new visit each time.

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We said “hi” to the scuba divers…

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Check out this crocodile!  His teeth were quite white.  I joked with Holden that he must really brush them!

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My favorite part is the jellies.

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Doing a little fishing!  This boy is so excited to be going fishing with his daddy and Poppy over the 4th of July holiday.  🙂

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Beautiful view of Owl Creek!  The Mr. and I zip lined across it twice on Sunday when we were there at the Adventure Park.

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I love checking out the otters.  They are such graceful swimmers.  We enjoyed our snacks under the climbers at the Adventure Park.  Holden was fascinated and said that he can’t wait to do it when he’s a “big boy.”

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We were home before noon due to Miss Helen’s feeding schedule, but I have to admit I was pretty tired from our morning adventure.  We took it easy in the afternoon with naps, yoga for me, and soccer for Holden and me later on.

This was our big outing for the week.  Today’s a cleaning day, and tomorrow is a doctor’s visit for Helen.  Not quite as exciting!  I’m pretty sure Holden will be A-OK with it.  He’s such a homebody!  He loves to hang out in his undies in the morning.  🙂  Have a great day!

Natalie

School’s Out…Summer’s On!

Well, school’s out for the kid pictured below!  He’s on to Pre-K in Fall 2016.  I can hardly believe it.  It seems like yesterday he was the one who had a diaper booty…now we have Miss Helen!  We picked him up on Friday with balloons and new books.  Then, it was off to pick up Daddy to join us on a trip to the local frozen yogurt spot.  I got the nastiest colored blue fro-yo called “Cookie Monster.”  It was disgustingly delicious!

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On Saturday, we loaded up the car early for a beach trip.  The Mr. was parked out by the water watching Holden in the picture below.

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How sweet is this one of Daddy and Helen!?!?  She was super, super good at the beach.  I nursed her as soon as we got there {8:45!} and let her have some tummy time in our beach tent.  She went right to sleep not long after this.  The weather was wonderful with a nice breeze keeping the temps on the comfortable side.

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Holden got planted in the sand…  He was so excited about this but quickly changed his tune when he was in the hole.

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The rest of Saturday was spent running errands and an extra long gym visit for me.  The Mr. stayed home with the H’s and Granny!  She arrived just about lunch time on Saturday.  Holden was beyond thrilled!

Sunday morning…we were at the beach again!  This time it was for the sand soccer tournament.  Since Holden played soccer this spring, we thought he might enjoy seeing “big boys” aka 8 year olds play.  He was pretty into it and only slightly concerned about how hot it was standing there.  You can tell Helen was totally into it.  P.S.  She’s in an unexciting outfit, because she was ripped from her crib at 8AM to go.  Problems of a second child!

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Holden and Granny enjoyed a snow cone.  It was definitely needed since the heat was crazy!  We only stayed until about 10:30 due to the heat.

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Granny graciously babysat the kiddos while the Mr. and I went to the Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium.  We had such a good time up in the trees!  If you haven’t been before, it is a climbing/zip lining/obstacle course park all up in the trees.  It was truly a workout but a fun one!

Yesterday, Daddy was off to work, and the rest of us took a walk to the neighborhood park and a ride out to the library.  Holden and Granny put together his easel that has been sitting there forever!  I totally thought it needed a drill/tools, so I was ignoring it in hopes the Mr. would take on the project.  No tools needed!  They had this together in no time!  Holden painted a picture for Granny to take home with her.  He really enjoys his time with her!  🙂

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We always enjoy when Granny comes to visit!  I think Holden found me a poor substitute today.  I didn’t take it personally.  🙂

Can you believe tomorrow is already Wednesday?!?!  These days are flying by.  We are planning to check one thing off our summer bucket list with a visit to the aquarium this week.  We also have Little H’s 2 month well-check.  Crazy!

Hope you have a happy week!

Natalie