Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kicking Away

Our new baby love is kicking up a storm these days.  She has really started bumping around over the past few nights.  It's fun to see my belly jump as she learns to use those little arms and legs.  I can't wait to meet her in just a few months.  I'm sure that once she's here, it will be hard to remember a time without her.

Now, if we could only figure out her name...

Farm Animal Days

We had a great time visiting N.C. State's Farm Animal Days with Grandma and Grandad this morning.  It's a free event that allows little ones to see bunnies, turkeys, chicks, cows, sheep, goats, tractors and horses up close. 

Miles and Vivienne were able to get up close and personal with the chicks.  Miles was really interested in them and kept wanting to go back and hold them again.

We thought it was funny that we were waiting in line to sit in a tractor when Grandad has a tractor back in Georgia.  But, it was a big hit with both kids.  Miles loves pressing all the buttons and pulling all the levers.  Unfortunately, they only sat in it for about 60 seconds, because there was a long line of kids behind us waiting for their turn.

With all the interesting things to see, Miles was most intensely drawn to a stroller that someone had parked at the side.  Go figure.  There was no line for this particular stroller, but I had to tell Miles that we couldn't take it for a ride.  =)

After exploring the animals, we headed out for the Farmer's Market where we bought some locally grown veggies and plants and had a fried fish lunch (don't tell Daddy).  Vivienne discovered her love for ketchup during lunch.  At one point she was eating it straight off of her fork.

"The van is over there, Grandad!"

My little man

Support Local Grandparents

I'm very happy to announce that my parents have moved to Cary!  They are renting a house about 3 miles from our home.  They will be selling their home in Georgia and eventually buying a home here.  We're all excited to see them more often, and they have already been very generous in helping me with the kids.  This is going to be even more critical when our third baby comes in July.  Managing 2-year-old twins and a newborn is going to be a challenge, but it will be much easier with the extra help.

We're so glad to welcome Grandma and Granddad to Cary!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Egg Hunt

This morning, I took Miles and Vivienne to their first Easter egg hunt.  One of the mommies in our play group had a bunch of us over to her home to play and hunt eggs in their back yard.  Miles and Vivienne were very distracted by the slide and the sandbox and the basketball hoop, and they didn't really seem to grasp the whole concept of gathering eggs.  Luckily, we had some good friends there who were happy to help us fill our baskets.  The eggs had stickers in them instead of candy.  It was a fun morning playing with our friends.

Watch Greg, guys.  He has this egg hunting thing down.

Viv at least enjoyed opening the eggs to play with the stickers.

Miles tried his hand at basketball.  His dunk was unbelievable.  Surely the NBA is in his future.

Nothing makes Vivienne happier than filling her clothes with sand.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

This morning, Jason got up at 4:25 to go run the Tobacco Road Half Marathon.  This was a training run as part of his training for the Boston Marathon, which is only in 4 weeks!  I got up early, too... well, not SO early.  I got up at 7 am (the first time I have set my alarm clock in a long time, because I have 2 20-month-old alarm clocks in the next room).  I got the kids ready, packed them in the van, and flew over to the finish line to catch Daddy in action.

One kid seems much more excited than the other.
 Jason finished in 1:23:35.  He was very happy with his time.  We were waiting for him before he crossed the finish line, and the kids were excited to see him waving as he ran toward us.  Then he ran past us (to get the finish line), and Miles absolutely lost it.  He started bawling.  He didn't understand why Daddy was going away when he had not seen him all morning.  It was pretty cute.  I actually had tears in my eyes as well.  Even though Jason has done 4 Ironman triathlons and countless other marathons, half marathons, half Ironmans and other triathlons, I am still amazed and inspired and proud of every race he finishes.  It's such an incredible metaphor for life.  Run the good race.

Daddy and 2 of his 3 children after the finish
We also got to watch some friends finish.  Our friend, Julia, finished her seventeenth (what the heck???) half marathon, and Rhonda finished her first (I recognized her too late to pull out the camera unfortunately).  Leigh also completed her first full marathon, but the babies didn't have the stamina to wait for the full marathon finishers, so we didn't get to see her.  We're so proud of everyone for all they accomplished this morning.

Julia looking fabulous at the finish.

Pam's Baby Shower

Yesterday, I helped to host a baby shower for my dear friend, Pam.  She is expecting her first baby, a boy, in May.  She is going to be an amazing mother, and it was so fun to celebrate her and her little man.  I can't wait to meet him in a few short months!

I was responsible for games and cake.  The fun twist is that Pam has a gluten-free diet, so I tried my hand at making gluten-free cupcakes.  This was also the first time I had tried to decorate cupcakes, besides just slapping some icing on them with a spatula.  I was really happy with how they turned out.

 The other hostesses ensured that all of the food at the shower was gluten-free.  I swear I could have eaten the entire bowl of fruit salad and tomato salad on my own.  And the quiches were delicious!

Needless to say, Pam had an enormous pile of gifts to open.

Julie made some ridiculously cute bath salts for the guests to take home.

Thanks for being such a blessing to all of us, Pam.  And thanks for allowing us to celebrate you!

(Unfortunately, Mary had already left and missed the photo!)

Spring is Here

I was just out on the back porch, at 7:15 on this perfect spring evening, hanging my kids' diapers on the line to dry.  The sun is setting against the trees, and the clouds have cleared out.  Then I look to the side of the porch and notice that one of the azaleas that I planted last year is colored with light pink blossoms. 

I love this time of year.  I love seeing the buds bursting out of the tips of the tree limbs and the hydrangeas poking up from their dormant winter state.  I love seeing that my crepe myrtle is starting to grow back again, and the Japanese maple in the front yard is unfurling its first leaves.  I love watching my ruby loropetalums bloom their bright pink firecracker blossoms.  The knockout roses are growing back with their usual fervour, and the zoysia is really greening up.

I have truly enjoyed watching all of my hard work from last summer return to provide another beautiful landscape for my children to play in.  Yes, there are weeds to pick and mulch to spread, but I love getting dirt under my fingernails and sweat on my brow.  Miles and Vivienne even get excited and "help" me weed.  I just need to teach them which one is a pansy and which one is a weed!  But I appreciate the help anyway.

I look forward to seeing what the upcoming weeks and months bring.  And I look forward to having a third set of chubby little toes running around on that grass next summer.  It will be here before we know it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reading with Granddad

Daddy's Shoes

This kids love to put on our shoes.  I caught Miles sporting his dad's sandals a couple days ago.  With no pants on, of course.

Toddler Hike at Hemlock Bluffs

Yesterday morning, we went on a "hike" with our other toddler friends and mommies at Hemlock Bluffs.  Hemlock Bluffs is a nature preserve in Cary with a nice network of trails through the woods.  The weather was perfect - 60s and 70s with Carolina blue skies.  The kids enjoyed exploring in the woods and "hiking" (probably half a mile or so?).  Miles loved running down the trails with his friends.  Vivienne seemed more comfortable in Mommy's arms, but also got to stretch her legs quite a bit.  Afterward, we all had a picnic lunch at the nearby shelter.  Needless to say, Miles and Viv napped very well when we got home that afternoon.

"This sock is tasty!"

Forward Facing

Last Saturday, we switched the kids' convertible car seats around so that they are facing forward.  They didn't seem to mind facing backward, but we definitely needed to flip them before the baby comes anyway (to fit an extra car seat in the back row).  They seem to really enjoy being able to see the world from a totally different viewpoint.  We went to a birthday party that afternoon, and Miles was all smiles with his new forward facing view.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

So I guess I'm netting one step forward, right?  I'll take it!

Last week, I ran 19 miles, all of it with the double stroller.  I felt really good on most of those runs except for one day when it was particularly warm and I ran out of water.  It's hard for me to remember to take my time and bring my breathing back to a reasonable pace, especially when I'm feeling good.  My weight keeps steadily increasing (up 12 pounds now from the start), but I feel like I'm much more healthy during this pregnancy than with Miles and Vivienne.

Yesterday, I went out for a jog, and I felt pretty bad.  I had some pulling sensations in my stomach muscles and my right shin was acting up - almost feeling like a shin splint.  I ended up running about a mile and then walking about 2.5 more miles.  I'm going to try to remember to take it easy on myself and not push too hard. 

I don't want to ask the OB about the pulling sensations in my tummy, because I don't want them to tell me that I can't run anymore.  Jason thinks that's poor reasoning, and I know he's right.  I'll ask them at my appointment this Friday.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that yesterday was just a tired day for my body.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Viv in Glasses

I think she would make quite the little librarian.

Road Rash

A week or so ago, Vivienne was playing with a full size basketball, lying on it on her belly.  She lost her balance and fell forward and went face first into the pavement. She had a nice goose egg on her forehead and a pretty big scratch on the tip of her nose and her upper lip.  She looked pretty rough for a couple days, but luckily it healed up pretty quickly.  This isn't a great photo, but you can see some of the damage.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Halfway There

Tomorrow, I'll be 20 weeks pregnant.  I can't believe that this pregnancy is almost halfway over already.  It seems to be going by much more quickly with these two little ones to chase around. 

I'm feeling really great these days.  I'm still running.  Well, I guess it's more like jogging with my current pace, but it's still a whole heck of a lot more than walking.  =)  I went 16 miles last week (in addition to pilates, yoga and the Xtend Barre class).  This week, I have gone 14.5 miles already - hoping to get in a few more miles before the week is over.

I can feel our Baby Girl kicking a lot now.  It's fun to feel her moving around and learning to use her arms and legs.  She is supposed to be the size of a mango now.  Mangoes happen to be one of Jason's and my favorite fruits.

We're starting to think about names, but we haven't settled on anything yet.  I think we'll probably wait until she is born to tell anyone the name that we choose.  I can't believe she'll be here in a few short months.  I was just looking at pictures from Miles' and Vivienne's first weeks, and it is amazing how tiny they were and how big they are now.  The time does pass so quickly.  I'm glad that I'm here for every minute of it.

Going to Bed

We have to consider ourselves lucky to have had two pretty easy sleepers.  We virtually never have to get out of bed at night.  Occasionally, one of the kids will wake up and cry for a few seconds, but they put themselves back to sleep very quickly. 

Until recently, Vivienne would nap in the guest room (in a pack n play) while Miles napped in the nursery in his crib.  While Michelle and Jason were here, I tried napping them both in their cribs in the nursery.  It actually worked quite well, and I have been doing this ever since.

Over the past week or so, I will say to them,"Are you ready for a nap?"  They get really excited, go find their lovies, and wait at the gate at the bottom of the stairs.  When I open it, they both climb up the stairs, go into the nursery and stand in front of their cribs.  I put them both in their cribs and they usually take about an hour and a half nap.  I'm trying to lie down myself every day at this time, because I need to take every opportunity that I can to rest while they're asleep.

They have also started eagerly climbing the stairs to bed at night.  It's really cute to see those two little tushies making their way up the stairs in their PJs.

Thank You!

Last week, I handed something to Vivienne and she said, "Thank you!"  I have never heard her say that before (or at least I had not recognized that she was saying it).  Whenever I empty the dishwasher, Miles and Viv will come running from the next room (because they hear the dishes clanging) to "help" me unload it.  They mainly just take out the silverware and hand it to me one piece at a time.  Though this significantly slows down the emptying process, I sit and take each piece one by one and exclaim, "Thank you!  Thank you!"  She must have learned it from me.

I've also noticed that she will occasionally hand me something and say,"Thank you."  I think she thinks that "thank you" means "we're handing each other things."  One step at a time, I suppose.