Tuesday, May 28, 2013

10 years

This year was C and my 10 year anniversary. Which seems like a lot and very grown-up. Like maybe this should be the cholesterol-screening anniversary. Over the years we've had lots of ideas about what we wanted to do for our ten-year (vacations, vow renewals, an actual wedding band) but then we went and had a baby on our seventh anniversary, and another baby two months before our tenth. So instead, my folks watched our kids while we ran a 5K, let us take a nap in the middle of the day, and then handed us money for dinner and kicked us out of the house (after a mandatory, prom-esque photoshoot in the front yard.)
                                  This isn't the best picture, but I couldn't pass up memorializing Eli's photobomb
I wore heels and lipstick and C pulled out my chair and opened the door for me. We ate at a very fancy, expensive restaurant where our meals were served by candlelight on actual plates and there were no highchairs to be seen. We split a decadent dessert and then wandered around our little downtown holding hands. It was pretty perfect. 

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Monday, May 27, 2013


A good friend and I have decided that we want to run a half-marathon together, and so I'm back to doing C25K in hopes of not dying (Incidentally, according to my app I do C25K every year in May and June. And yet...) This year C and Eli are running the program as well. We're a veritable family of fitness these days. So when our local library/zoo/etc put on a 5K and Kids run we thought it would be a fun way to spend a day.
So excited!
Totally overwhelmed by the noise and the crowds. I thought he was going to freak. I've never seen him do this before.
 After I saw Eli covering his ears I decided to at least start the race with him. As soon as the starting gun went off though, he was out of there. I was sprinting and couldn't keep up with him. 
Passing kids
He was in the second heat, 30 seconds after the 8+ year olds, and he STILL came in about 12th. The kid was like lightening! 
Not quite so lightening-ish ourselves (we're the 43:48, not the 55:46)

I am really glad that C and I did it, and the experience as a whole was really, really fun. However, I learned a few things along the way.
1.  C and I should run the same races, but not necessarily together. That man is FAST. There was no way I was keeping up. And if he kept my pace he was leisurely walking, which just pissed me off. So we've agreed in the future to meet at the finish line and share an orange slice.
2. I am my own very worst critic. I finished this race so mad at myself because I walked parts of it. Which is ridiculous (logically, given that I had a baby three months ago and started running again less than two months ago) but it still took me a couple hours to get over my frustration.
3. This is something we should all do more often. I was so incredibly proud of Eli (and C and myself) for getting out there and trying something new. And it was SO FUN. Racers are so nice and supportive, and afterwards there were booths. I love swag like a crazy woman loves cats.
I think we're going to try to do these pretty regularly, or as often as we can afford. And I absolutely can't wait for the half-marathon! It's in January, and I bought a treadmill, so expect lots more running posts. 
I kinda like him
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sydney's birthday

This girl turned three, and celebrated in excess :)
I love this pose. This girl can rock the hands-on-her-hips attitude like nobody's business
Birthday donuts (and juice that's not juice)!
Want to know what's fun? Forcing kids to take a family picture OUTSIDE of an amusement park.
My princess loved this carriage so. freaking. much. 
Don't all three-year-olds blow out their birthday candles topless? 
Happy Birthday Sydney Cheyne! You're amazing. You are fierce and strong and stubborn. You love with a rawness that makes people adore you. You are creative and imaginative. You love all things sparkly and pink and purple as much as you love to wrestle and climb and jump. You dance facing away from people because you don't want to have an audience. But Baby Girl, your presence is magnetic. Everywhere we go people are drawn to you. You are my mini-me, and the best of me. We love you so much.  
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

OMG y'all. I've been busy. (Alternate title: Adventures of pumping in prison)

Holy buckets. Once I added in work, it's like this whole "three kids, full-time job" thing kicked into high gear. Add into that a couple of major celebrations, houseguests, and eight billion loads of laundry and there hasn't been a ton of time to blog. But fear not. There are several catch-up posts in the queue.

 I wanted to start off by talking about going back to work. I decided at the last minute to take a little extra vacation time and do two weeks of half-days. I think it was ultimately a good decision, but it is really hard to cram my work into a half-day. I hadn't anticipated how much time I'd need to get readjusted. And figuring out the whole pumping thing? Lord help me.

So pumping. It's always awesome, isn't it? Last time I was lucky and had my own office. This go-round, my "area" has been a topic of concern for MONTHS. Seriously. MONTHS. Several meetings. Finally it was decided that I'd use our small shared office, and kick people out as needed. Not awkward at all. My first day back I went to the office, and suddenly remembered that one of the things that made this a great office made it a terrible, terrible pumping spot. It has three large windows and is at the end of a major hallway (read: everyone walks by it). After a day of trying to pump in what used to be an inmate bathroom and then my boss's office, I requested blinds and was told to tape paper up instead. I love the planet (and my sanity) so that night I whipped up curtains. Because I am the epitome of the modern woman.

The next day I proudly hung up all my curtains and stood back to admire my ingenuity and flexibility. As I closed my curtains for my maiden voyage, I was feeling quite proud and efficient. I even geeked out a little bit at my good fortune that my fabric matched the wall color. And for some reason, I felt compelled to put on my nursing cover. This is important, because I have never used a nursing cover to pump before. I don't even know why I threw it in my bag. (This is called foreshadowing, I think. Also, divine intervention). So there I go. Pump is whirring away and I'm hunched over, balancing bottles on my knees while I type on my computer. I hear voices in the hallway but I'm confident that I am safe and private behind my pretty curtains. And then the door opens.

I grip my cover and start yelling, "Excuse me! Excuse me!" but the little bald head that can only belong to one of the more socially awkward supervisors keeps coming. Finally, as I say, "Please close the door!" the head retreats without ever saying a word. Phew! I don't think he ever saw me and I'm sure that we're all so humiliated that this won't ever happen again. But then! I hear an officer and three inmates outside my door, pondering whether I want my office cleaned. I'm assuming that they're all aware of my near miss and so again, I'm sure that no one would think to barge in. WRONG. Again, the door slowly opens. Again, "Excuse me! Excuse me! Please shut the door! DON'T COME IN HERE!" as I'm tethered to my "discreet" backpack. Only this time I don't get the quiet retreat. I get an officer, in his officer voice, saying, "What are you doing in there? You can't have curtains on your windows! This is not cool! You need to take these down immediately! What are you doing in there?" "Can we please discuss this in a moment?" "Yes. But you need to come out here immediately."

OMG. So I unhook and get dressed, then ask the officer to step inside. Where I've left all my bottles and hoses and horns (OMG. Horns) out on my desk. And I hold my head as high as possible to explain that I am pumping breast milk and therefore require (and have a legal right to) privacy. To which he responds, "Those are really nice curtains! Did you make those?"

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Camping Weekend

With my maternity leave ending soon, we decided to take advantage of the time and weather to take our first camping trip of the season. It was a little short-notice, so we ended up plunking a couple hundred for "supplies" and basically throwing every camping-related item we own on top of the car. We're hoping that next time the process will be a lot more stream-lined (and cheaper!).
It didn't look like this for long, but it was so cozy!
We found an awesome campground that was on the other side of a local lake. Read: Everyone else was on the near side and our side was practically empty. This meant we had our pick of sites and were able to spread out a bit. I think we ended up covering three :) And the camp hosts were awesome. They even brought us free wood that they'd collected from cleaning other sites each night we were there.
This made my heart happy
Have I mentioned how much I love the Ergo? Avery practically lived in it.
(Also, this picture is my motivation to do more arm work. WTF is happening there?)
One of my favorite parts
of camping is everyone wandering around in jammies/sweats in the morning
Eli was SO excited to catch a lizard!
So happy after sleeping for EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT in the tent.
Early morning sisters photo shoot
C teaching Syd how to cast. She's a natural
They took of on a "hike" just the two of them. I just about melted from the cuteness.
Awesome little dock. Note that Syd's legs don't reach the water, so C had to dangle her. He's got incredible arm strength 
I love love love camping. I'm so glad we went and that now we know that Avery can go too. I foresee lots more trips this summer.

So questions for the internets:
Do you camp with your kids, and if so, what are your go-to dinner recipes? I'm tired of burgers and brats and want to branch out more.
What's the quickest way to remedy whatever is happening with my arms? Seriously, I may need to eliminate tank tops from my wardrobe. 
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On being the working parent

We just got back from one of Eli's school functions, where I watched my husband hold court in a mass of class moms. None of who had any interest in meeting me, if you catch my drift. School is the one place where I really notice the larger effect of our single income arrangement. I don't know a single mom by name. Despite volunteering in class I don't even know the majority of his classmates. It's not necessarily bad, but it is weird. Especially since I have been home for three months. Is this a common working mom situation? If so, how to you make sure that you stay keyed in? C knows all the gossip, who's who, and which kid is super popular this week while I still can't figure out if class starts at 8:17 or 9:06.