Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter Sunday

We spent our Easter Sunday with family. The day started with an egg hunt at home with the chillen's, then we had brunch with the Roth's and an afternoon egg hunt with the Reed's.

The kids opening up their baskets at home...

Easter baskets with Grandma & Gramps...

It was a beautiful day and Ella was enjoying walking in the sunshine...

The big kids hunting for eggs in Grandpas tree...

Ella's first real egg hunt...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tax season is taxing

Mike has been working overtime this tax season. He works his regular 8-5 at McD's and then goes to GMS to work nights and weekends. We aren't getting to see a lot of him, but we are making it work. We regularly meet him for lunch on the days that he works longer and he has managed to reserve two nights a week for family time. Needless to say, we are both exhausted but we are focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.
With this time apart, I've gotten creative. I've tried to turn this time away from each other into a positive. The kids and I have had lots of dinners with friends, which we wouldn't normally do, so that has been a lot of fun. It's going to be hard to stop doing that, actually. Mike might have to start coming along ;-). I have also been babysitting Logan more, since my friend, Molly, is a CPA and works longer hours as well. Having Jaycoby, plus the two babies, is definitely keeping me busy while Mike is away. And we are having a lot of fun!

I took this picture at 9 p.m. Ella would normally be in bed, but I think she needed to see daddy that day and just wouldn't go to sleep. He was excited to see her, of course, and spoiled her with cookies.

Ella cruising around at NW Kids Club.

Logan taking the police car for a spin at NW Kids Club.

Jaycoby got the babies to pose for this picture.

Ella's expression is hilarious and Logan was not real happy with me for putting him in the bath :-(.

Jaycoby is always so excited to see Logan when he comes over. Logan will sit there with him and watch cartoons until Ella gets up.

I took this picture when we were waiting for Mike in the Taco Bell parking lot. The babies were so excited to have freedom in the car.


We have become regulars at our local frozen yogurt shop. LimeBerry is a fun place to try new yogurt flavors and toppings. Plus, it is a cheap treat for the kids. Jaycoby is daring with new yogurt flavors, but regularly tops his dish with nerds, gummy worms, colored sprinkles, peach rings and sour patch kids. Ella sits in her high chair saying "HI" loudly to the shop employee over and over and over.

Mr. Mohawk

Lately, when it's time to get ready for school, Jaycoby has been requesting that I style his hair in a mohawk. The kids at school seem to be fascinated by "the hawk", because every morning when I am using my "really good hairspray" (as he calls it) he tells me stories about how the kids want to touch it and he has to protect it. And he is senstitive about it getting messed up. When he wanted to go outside to play in the snow, I told him that he needed to wear his big coat, with his hood up. He gasped and said "but that will mess up my mohawk" and decided against going outside. I assured him that we could fix "the hawk" and made him go outside. He comes by this naturally. I used to be the same way about my bangs ;-). March?

Jaycoby's playing t-ball for the Reds

Jaycoby's first t-ball practice...

Group shot. He already knows several of the boys from preschool, kindergarten and AWANA.

Batter up!

Nice swing.

He is going to need his own helmet. None of them fit his noggin'. He's got the Reed blood.

He's so cute in his team hat.

Shamrock 15k

It's been a year since I started faithfully working out after having Ella. I have finally gotten to the point where I needed a goal to work towards. I will go to Group Ride every Tuesday/Thursday and I will run Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat, but for what? I needed to have a purpose for my training, so that I could push myself. And my gym-buddy, Jess, was feeling the same way. We decided to do the Shamrock 15k and we signed up for a half marathon in May. I'm excited to have someone there with me through all of the miles of training. And, unlike when I did my training alone, it is nice to have someone push me on the days I don't want to be running at all.
My approach has been different to the last time I trained for my half marathon. I have tried to be more laid back. I don't beat myself up if I have to miss a run for a meeting or a sick kiddo and I'm trying to truly enjoy the running. It's been harder for me to get into the "zone" and stay focused, but I'm giving it a try. Jess has definitely helped me keep my focus. We are very much alike in that we speak our minds, we want to reach our goal and we have high expectations for ourselves. It is going to be tough, but I think we are doing great so far.
So......the Shamrock Run. Our training for this was mostly okay, except for one run. We decided to run the hills of West Salem, in preparation for this hilly 9+mile run we'd signed up for. Long story short, Jess killed that hill and I nearly died. Not kidding. Not being dramatic. It. was. horrible. Hills are my enemy and I was mad that it was MY idea to do the 15k. We could have done the 8k and run it really fast. But no, we signed up for the 15k. And neither of us had the guts to back out of it. So I was dreading the Shamrock Run. I've never had a race that I didn't want to do, until this one. Did I mention I was dreading it? UGH!
The morning of the Shamrock we got up really early and headed up to Portland. Our race started at 7:45 (yuck), so we made sure to get there plenty early. This meant I was tired. But despite the misty weather, we were determined to push through the hill. Honestly, I just couldn't wait to get it over with, so we could move on. Turns out, the hill that the website described AND graphed was no where near as horrible as we'd anticipated. We actually could have gone faster. Say what? I kept thinking "I feel pretty good. I could go faster." But I was sure that there was going to be a steep mountain that we'd have to climb, so we just kept plotting along. This was Jess' first race ever and neither one of us dared to take any chances. When we made it to the top of the peak, they had a live band playing music, and I literally cheered out loud because we'd made it. Then, we kicked it into higher gear and settled into the second half of our race. It rained much harder the second half of our run, but we still held a pretty good pace. Our last 1.5 miles we weren't talking much, but just running steady. In the end, we finished with a 9:19 pace. Our goal going into it (keeping this huge hill in mind) was somewhere around 10:15-30. We would have been ecstatic to have a 10:00 pace, so we were really proud of our 9:19 (and knowing that we'd played it safe and definitely could have gone faster).

Me and Jess before the 15k

Megan, Meghan, Kristi, Jess and me at our post-run breakfast (M,M and K did the 8k)

Jaycoby's playdate with Aidan

Jaycoby invited his friend, Aidan, over for a playdate after school one day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Salem Academy Carnival

Ella- 21 months old

*We can now REALLY say that Ella is a walker. She can push herself up to stand from the middle of the room and then walk across it. She is even realizing that walking is a faster means of transportation and is slowly making the transition to walking more than crawling. It’s crazy to see her cruising around the house, but we are loving it. She is gaining more confidence each day, but still remains cautious when we are out in public. I figure we definitely won’t lose her this way, because she likes to stay close by or hold our hands.

*In general, I have made the comparison that Ella is a slightly fussier baby than Jaycoby was. I have tried to keep my cool and not be too hard on the poor girl, but this month was extra challenging for both of us. Maybe it is because daddy is gone more and working longer hours. Maybe it is because she is going through a growth spurt and just needs more food and sleep than our busy schedule allows. Whatever the reason, she was a lot more fussy this last month. Her moods are unpredictable. She can be happy one second and sobbing the next. I’ve tried to have a patient attitude, but I’m human. There are days where I just want to make the fussing stop! In her defense, she always seems to get extra happy, silly and adorable within the hour before her bedtime (of course). There have been several days where I am watching the clock. Sometimes 7 p.m. just doesn’t come fast enough! But there have been several evenings where we find ourselves not wanting to put her to bed at 7, because she is in such a great mood. There have been some really long and more challenging days though. We’re just hoping that this is a “phase”. You are testing mommy’s patience, little girl. It’s a good thing you are adorable. I am easily distracted by that.

*I’m going to take a positive approach to this next issue we’ve had with Ella. She has been obsessed with the potty (and I’m not talking about potty training). I have caught her playing IN the potty several times and it isn’t funny. It really isn’t funny at all . But each time I remind myself that this is something that a grandmother would laugh at and would say is “silly” or “cute”. Then I force myself to chuckle about it, because we really could have bigger problems. I can only hope that she is as obsessed with the potty when it comes time for potty-training. And, by then, she better have broken the habit of splashing around in the bowl, or we will have bigger problems.

*Most of you know that I have a shoe obsession; especially when it comes to my kids. Lately, Ella has been fixated on removing her socks and shoes any time we put her in the car seat. I am okay with her being barefoot at home. It’s actually better for her when she is walking. But I’d rather she keep the shoes, and especially the socks, on when we are out and about. It has been REALLY cold lately and she insists on pulling it all off and being barefoot. Little turkey!

*Since day one, Ella has always gotten comments on how much hair she has. But her semi-curly locks have really grown now. Now we have something we can work with. She is well past the headband stage. Now I can pull it all up into a pony tail, adorable pigtails or we have lots of French-braid options. It’s a lot of fun for mommy!

*Words: she doesn’t really have more new words than I have reported before, but the words she says are all becoming more clear. Her soft, sweet “bye bye” can melt your heart and she is still saying “hi” to every stranger passing by.

Even when her hair is a little "crazy", it still looks cute. Daddy took out her braid before bed time.

Jaycoby actually took this photo. I love how it turned out.

Our little girl.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Video- Ella is not always a proper little lady

If booger eating makes you queezy- don't watch this video. I know this might be one of those "TMI" types of things, but we thought it was funny, after the fact. Here is a video of our precious, little princess doing what she does best- picking her nose. She had been doing it for a while, but I turned the camera on right when it took a turn for the worse.

Video- Ella standing up by herself & walking

Here is a brief progress report. She is doing awesome!

Video- Ella & Jaycoby playing with the iPhone

It was so fun watching Ella discover that she can see herself on the phone. And Jaycoby was having just as much fun in the background :-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Video- Jaycoby @ Karate

Jaycoby has been attending karate with his friend, Isabella, for the last few weeks. He has been LOVING it! Isabella is the cute little girl with the bangs, on the bottom right and wearing the orange belt.

Video- Walking with her Lil Walker

She thinks her walker is pretty silly and loved taking it for a test drive.

Video- Ella reading and talking

Our little munchkin being her cute, little self...