Wednesday, May 25, 2016

If I Could Ask Why?

Without a doubt we are fully into the "why" stage with E. I thought everyone was exaggerating when they talked about this stage of development, but yeah, no exaggeration happening. It is all "why" all the time.

While I love E's curiosity, sometimes I can't answer "why" 10 times before we make it out of our subdivision (we are talking about a quarter mile here). There are also many times when I just don't know the answer and I don't want to give her wrong information.

All of this got me thinking...what if I could ask E why? Here are some of the questions on my list.
  • Why is asking you to potty before bed the end of the world?
  • Why do you like to put food in between your toes and then eat it? (Yeah, she is gross.)
  • Why do you like to lick everything, like counters and the railings at Disney? (I told you she was gross.)
  • Why is 5:45 a.m. an appropriate time to wake up....every day? 
  • Why does it seem like a good idea to jump from the coffee table to the couch?
  • Why is kicking off your shoes an appropriate response to being angry? 
  • Why do you like to eat toothpaste? (Even the mint kind.)
  • Why are you obsessed with everyone's naked booty (even when we are all fully clothed)?
  • Why is picking up your toys the end of the world?
  • Why do you ask why about everything? 
  • Why do you have to grow up so fast? (It seems like I blink and she is bigger)
I joke about all the why questions we are answering right now, but I hope that E never looses her curiosity. Exploring the world is fun and the world would probably be a better place if we asked "why?" a little more often.   

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Making a Masterpiece

Sorry that things were quiet here last week. A crazy week and a sick toddler is a terrible combination for a part-time blogger, but this week I have something fun.

One thing that I didn't realize when we bought our house is how much wall space we would have. We added some square footage when we bought our house, but tall ceilings and an open floor plan mean a whole different scale to deal with. When we moved in, it was a large giant blank canvas.

Last fall we painted the interior of the house and that added a little personality. I started to look at unique and interesting things to add to the wall, but quickly realized that our budget was not going to get me a whole lot.

I am the world's least crafty person (craft stores tend to give me an anxiety attack), so I was a little nervous when I decided it would be a good idea to have Ellie help me make some art. My idea was to have her finger paint on canvas. (Yeah, what could go wrong with that.)

Before I could back out, I bought some canvases and paint. My husband helped me pick colors that went with the furniture and accessories we already had in the room. Then those items sat in our office for a few months, because it takes forever to get projects done with a toddler.

I finally got around to painting the canvases white so the fun could begin. One Saturday morning we headed out to our backyard and let E use her hands to create a painting. We started with the dark blue, then did the turquoise and then some additional dark blue. It was a lot of fun and E seemed to enjoy herself. We even picked her up and let her be a brush to go across all the paintings.

I let the blue dry for about a week. Then had E add some copper accents to go with a couple of lamps in the room. 

Another week and some picture hangers later we had a masterpiece above our sofa. (Okay, so it may not be a masterpiece for everyone, but I love it.)

Our one of a kind art

It may have taken us a few weeks to get all the blue paint off of E's nails, but that was the only fall out from this project. In my world, that is a huge win. Now we have some fun art and a great story behind it.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Thank You For Making Me Mommy

Dear Daughter,

Today we celebrate Mother's Day for the third time. Today is mostly about mothers, but I think you should get some recognition too. Without you, I wouldn't be a mother.

Wishing you a happy Mother's Day!
I want to thank you for putting up with me as I fumble my way through this thing called motherhood. There is no instruction manual. I know I have made mistakes and will make more. Just know I am doing the best I can.

Thank you for your laughs that fill my ears with joy and hugs that fill my soul. Few things are better than hearing you call for "Mommy" or asking me to watch your latest trick.

She decorated a cake for me!

Thank you for being a little sad when I leave you at daycare to go to work. Thank you for also being a little sad when I pick you up. It makes me feel better to know you have a good time while I am gone. 

Today I want to thank you for letting me show you the world and for showing me a whole new way to look at the world. Exploring the world with you is a lot of fun.
So many places I would like to show you.

This will be the only car
she is driving for a while

Thank you for making me a Mommy.

Love always,


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Training Update

So for a blog that has running in the title, I realize I haven't been talking about running very much. It isn't that I haven't been running, it just hasn't been on the top of the priority list. I still get out a couple times a week, but the runs have been nothing to write home about.

I spent most of March and April focusing on building strength. I found an awesome kettlebell class at my gym and this has been a huge help getting me to do the kind of cross training I really should be doing. The class doesn't work for my schedule this month, but I am excited to get back to it in June. I don't know if it is the lower mileage or the increased strength training, but my back is feeling better than it has in a long time.

I ran the corporate 5k in April and enjoyed spending time with some of my kick but coworkers, but wouldn't really consider it a race. More like a happy hour with a little sweat.

Right now the next race on my calendar is the WDW Wine and Dine half in November. That said, I go back to building miles in June, so it is likely other races will end up on the calendar.

As much as a part of me doesn't want to admit it, taking a break from racing has been nice. It is going to be hard to trade in the extra snuggle time with E for long runs. Being a little less busy has been good for my sanity too. I guess this is what balance is all about.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Raising E to be Strong

We waited to find out if E was a boy or girl until she was born. The most important thing to us was to have a health baby, but I was pretty excited that E was a girl. I am a girl, so I felt I had a better understanding of girls (probably not true, but I blame the hormones). What I didn't realize at that moment was the additional challenge that raising a girl in today's world means.

I am happy that she lives in an era where there are a lot more opportunities than she would have had in the past, but it doesn't mean that there still isn't work to do. Sexism still exists and many workplace policies still make it difficult to have both a career and a family. The difficult part is that it is now more subtle than it has been in the past.

A quick glance at recent news includes US Women's National Soccer Team suing for pay equal to the men's team. (The worst part of this one was that the U.S. soccer federation was disappointed with the action (source).) ESPN W just put together a PSA with men reading Tweets directed at female sports writers. It is sad that it is 2016 and we still have issues like these.

Throughout my childhood and young adult years, my parents owned a hardware store and lock shop. I spent many years working there and encountered my share of people, both male and female, that didn't think I knew what I was talking about because I didn't have boy parts. (My mom had it way worse.)
I know that as E grows up, there will hard conversations and situations I am not looking forward to. Things are moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.

For the time being, I am trying to surround her with good role models and remind her that she is amazing and strong. I also want to instill that women need to support other women. 

Supporting other women at the first home
Orlando Pride Soccer Game
Right now E has a fearlessness and determination that I love (even when they give me a heart attack.) I hope she can hold on to some of that as she grows up, because "well-behaved women seldom make history" -- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
Continue to do things your own way

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Date Night at the Beard in Baldwin Food & Wine Festival

As part of my birthday present, my husband arranged for a date night. I was super excited to have a meal with adult conversion and no crayons, tears or anyone crawling under the table. (Yeah...going out to dinner is fun right now.)

We were trying to decide where to go when we stumbled upon the Beard in Baldwin Food and Wine Festival. It was on the day we had a babysitter for E and many of the restaurants we wanted to try were going to be there (Double win). Tickets were purchased pretty much immediately.

The festival started at 7 p.m., so of course, like parents out without a toddler, we got there about 6:15. We checked in and got our wristbands. Then we headed down to sit by the water and chat for a bit. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to have an uninterrupted conversation. (Of course every toddler that walked by made me go awww. I don't understand how you can miss some one and desperately need a break from them at the same time.)

Getting there early gave us plenty of time for photos

At 7 the eating and drinking began. There was so much yummy food and some very nice adult beverages. The funny thing is that while it was a food and wine festival, I didn't have much wine. I like wine, but when there is good beer and bourbon around, it definitely takes third place.

A tasty Tripple from Copperhead Brewery
There were too may good things to describe all of them, but some of my favorites were the foie gras corn dog (Highball & Harvest), the cornbread biscut slider (Se7en Bites), pulled duck confit sliders (F & D Kitchen and Bar) and the blueberry lavender cobbler (P is for Pie.)

There is a reason I am not really a food blogger.
(I always forget to take pictures of the food before I start eating.)

This is the plate from Se7en Bites and it was amazing
My favorite drink went to the honey bourbon rosemary lemonade (also Highball & Harvest). It was amazing.

Highball & Harvest was one of my favorites

We also hung out and enjoyed the live music and some time sitting by the water and enjoying the view. Yay for adult conversation.

The festival was a lot of fun. It was well organized and even though it got busy, you never really had to wait to get food or drinks.

Sadly parenting on Sunday was not a whole lot of fun because I was super tired, but it was worth it. The best part was E took a nap with us on Sunday afternoon. Since naps are typically a fight, this was a huge win. 

Now it is back to our regularly schedule life of toddler friendly dining options.