Weekend in Review

13 Apr

I am currently in a rotation at work that had me working two weekends in a row of day shifts.  The other two weekends off are invariably busy, so I was thrilled to actually have this weekend off with my family!

Yesterday was the Lethbridge Road Race (recap HERE) and following that Ty and I took the girls to Children’s Fest.  To our surprise, Abby was not really that into it.  She didn’t want to see any of the characters, get her face painted or get a sparkle tattoo applied.    She and Gracie both loved the petting zoo (the baby goats are so cute!) and Gracelyn was all gung ho on petting the sheep until one bleated quite loudly in her face.  After that she wanted to be carried! 

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Loved the "hop hops"

We hit up the bouncy house at the end and the lines actually weren’t atrocious so Abby went through twice.  It is amazing how easily she navigated the obstacle course…a big change from last year!

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We picked up some supplies for a wiener roast and Ty started a fire for Abby in our ghetto fire pit.  It looks bad, but works so good!  Abby loves camping and has been dying to go, so hopefully this helped to scratch that itch a bit!

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We had a late fire that night but it got cold so we ended up wrapping up pretty early!

Today was a lazy sleep in day.  We made a big breakfast, went to the park and then the mall.  The girls and I had naps when we got home and Ty watched the Masters, then we went to my Mom’s for a delicious turkey dinner.  We knew it was time to go when Gracelyn made a pillow out of a dish cloth and put herself to bed on the kitchen floor.

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Now I am heading to sleep with a scratchy throat and prayers that I am not getting sick!

Lethbridge Road Race Recap

12 Apr

This morning was the Lethbridge Road Race.  I had originally, and confidently signed up for the 10 mile, but due to my continued falling off the treadmill back issues, along with the damage I did to myself in New York, it wasnt happening.

I got cleared to do the 4 mile and was REALLY disappointed that I had to drop down.  It felt like quitting and was a little depressing.  I was a little excited to do a shorter race, and not have to worry about fueling, or carb loading.

This morning it was cold, a little windy and snowy.  In April.  Brutes.  I wasn’t feeling so hot and was running a little bit late, and ate in the car and forgot my iPod.  Double brutes.

With the weather and how I was feeling, I was super pumped suddenly to only be doing 4 miles.  I met up with Leighann (pushing 2.5 year old Amelia and 6.5 months pregnant).  We waited inside until go time, and Danielle and I naturally snapped a picture :-)

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The race started and Leighann and I paced together for close to the first two miles.  I felt pukey and had a big stitch in my ribs, so eventually dropped back and even had to walk twice because I was sure I was going to throw up.  Thankfully I didn’t and ended up finishing the race in 40:36.  I wasn’t too upset by that, and was surprised that I would have had such a great time had I been feeling better.  It was a teeny bit embarassing that they announced that I had just finished the NYC 1/2 Marathon as I huffed and puffed across the finish line!

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Ty had planned on bringing the girls but thanks to the dawdle queen, Abrielle Sophia, they got there a few minutes after I crossed the finish line.  Abby was really upset that she didn’t get to cheer for me and started to cry when she realized that I had already run the race.  She perked up with some refreshments!

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Afterwards, we headed to Tim Horton’s for some breakfast. I felt a little better after some peppermint tea and a bagel, and the girls had fun chowing down.

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Abby went to run some errands with Ty and I took a ridiculously tired Gracelyn home and relaxed for a bit.  When Abby got home, we had a bit of snuggles before she requested some wrestling (her new fave pass time).  Now, once little Grace Face wakes up we are headed to the Children’s Fest!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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The Give and Take

8 Apr

Working part time is such a blessing.  I love having days off with my girls and that I get to be present for so much of their lives.  I know that the day will come when I have no excuse not to work full time, so I take full advantage and give thanks for these times.

There are times when it is tough.  For example, absolutely every single one of Abby’s preschool functions has fallen after a night shift, so I stay up and attend them dog tired.  Don’t get me wrong, I would rather be there than sleeping but it is tough some times!  Also, there are two weekends of every month that I miss.

Still,I wouldn’t trade it.  The weather is getting nice (yay!) and the girls and I are taking full advantage.   We started yesterday with a park date with Leighann and her little Amelia.  It mostly turned into a “benture” (adventure) walk, and ended in a bloody knee, a fit, and lots of tears but it was still nice!   Following that, we headed outside after naps for some more “benture” walks, complete with the discovery of “pinecorns” and some sidewalk chalking.  Even though we were absolutely filthy following, it was so fun!

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Inspired by Kelle Hampton

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We tried out a new frozen yogurt spot before bed as well.

Today was Grace’s 18 month immunization appointment, and she is now up to 21.6lbs!  She is also 31.5 inches and more than on track with her developmental milestones.  The nurse couldn’t help but laugh at her antics, such as trying to open the door to escape, and when that failed, covering her eyes to hide.  Cheeky little monkey.  As predicted, my little drama queen screamed after getting her shots but settled very quickly after receiving a sticker!

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Little stinky was asleep minutes after we left!

After picking Abrielle up from school, we met Tawnya at the mall where basically my kids stole her lunch and then Gracelyn threw a fit when I made her sit back in her stroller to leave.  Never a dull moment, lol!  It is nice to be with a like minded Mama when melt downs happen, she was completely unruffled.
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After naps, Abby and I made some cookies

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That Gracelyn later enjoyed when she woke up

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And then did some manicures.  Abby pretends to call me, makes an appointment, and then pretend drives to my salon where she asks for a macchiato and tells me about her tough day as a sick baby nurse. 

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I love these days, where nothing at all special happens but everything is extraordinary in it’s own way.  I love being a Mama to these girls, and am thankful for every little moment with them.

Gracelyn at 18 Months

2 Apr

Gracie Face,

How is it possible that you are now closer to two than you are to one.  I look at you and within a one hour span you go from looking like a teeny baby to having almost no baby left at all.  You are growing, my dear little one.

Gracelyn Ella, you are amazing.  You are such a spirited little girl and you start out your days at a running leap.  You go from one minute being so sleepy and heavy eyed in your crib to lunging out of my arms and taking off after the dog or your sister in the next.  You love to run around and chatter all day long.

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You are completely and totally a little girl, and love to brush your hair, put clips and headbands in, and pretend to do makeup.  You grin from ear to ear when I dramatically exclaim how lovely you look and peer to see yourself in the mirror.  Thank you for sitting still exaclty long enough, and not a moment more, for me to do your hair.

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You are so mischievious and all of your naughty things are done only if you have a rapt audience.  Your devilish little smile gives you away every time, and although you generally think we are egging you on if we tell you “no”, you will cease and desist if we ask you to clean up what you are doing.  Cheekiness for days.  Your favourite naughty currently is throwing your change table mattress on the ground and dumping out my purse and wallet. 

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We caught you "helping" with dinner after you discovered this stool

I would be lying if I said you didn’t have a temper, because you totally do.  You will now even cross your arms and stomp off in a huff if you are displeased by a situation.  Thankfully, you are completely and quickly redirectable and generally are laughing just as quickly as you were screaming …and the scream could make glass shatter little one!  Some proof of your tempermental nature ..

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Seriously, you are so dramatic.

Darling, you are so cute.  You still only have two teeth on the bottom (although number 3 is making it’s appearance) and you show them off the same way people bat their eye lashes.  It is so adorable the way you grin and giggle.  You copy pretty much everything Abby does, and still are convinced that she hung the moon.

You love Bubble Guppies and the Bubble Puppy that I brought you back from New York is a huge hit.  You also are obsessed with Olaf from Frozen and shriek and laugh excitedly whenever you see him.  You also love Minnie Mouse and the little figurines are one of your favourite things to play with.  You love books and drag them out to read all day, and cuddle so nicely before naps and bed to share them.

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I would list your favourite food as “all” or “whatever Mama is eating”.  You out eat your sister at pretty much every meal, and are loving date rolls and bananas for snacks currently.  Unless you are at Grandma’s house, and then you want Ritz Crackers.

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You also love zippers and shocking people with your naked self.  Before every bath you run out into the kitchen naked and scream, then giggle all the way back.  You also love stripping.

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Sweet baby, I love you so much.  You are a whirlwind of fun and I can’t love you more.

Love, Mama

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Abrielle at 3.5

1 Apr

Abrielle Sophia,

My biggest girl, you officially are 3.5 years old. It was right around this time, 4 years ago that we excitedly announced our pregnancy and time has flown since then.

My clever girl, you are a wonder. Your imagination is limitless and you constantly are engaged in imaginative games that I can’t even follow. You often play multiple rolls and they more often that not involve being locked in a castle by a bad guy, only to be rescued to join our family. 

You indulge us in lots of snuggles and kisses, and my favourite game to play with you at bed time is the “too many kisses”.  In this, I cover you with kisses and you tell me “that’s too many kisses!”.  When I respond “there’s never too many kisses” you cry out “oh that’s it!” and cover me in kisses, at which point we change places in the script.  You will one day be very embarrassed about this I am sure, so for now I take full advantage!

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You love to dance and sing, and make a song up about any topic at any given time.  You singsong and prance through your day, and I have no doubt that to you, the world is a stage.  You often pretend to host a dance class and Gracelyn is more than happy to join you.

You are getting great at letter recognition and have been able to write your name from memory for quite a while now.  You can count to ten in spanish and French and even higher in English.  You do math all the time with every day situations, like easy subtraction and addition.

Your favourite foods are sushi, date rolls, eggs, peanut butter celery and hummus.  You remain very concerned as to what is a healthy snack and what is a treat.  Your favourite treat is Starbucks steamed milk with a pump of caramel.

An interview with Abby

How old are you? 3
What is your favourite food? Eggies
What is your favourite colour? Pink and purple
Who is your best friend? Wyatt
What is your favourite book? Zookeeper Goofy
What is your favourite thing to do?  Dance
What is your favourite song? Defying gravity
What do you want to be when you grow up? Grader operator, same as Daddy
What makes you happy? Laughing

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You love books and to read and will read to yourself in your bed of you can’t sleep.  You also read to Gracie in her rocking chair.  You really do dote on her, and she loves how you include her in your games and activities.  You melt my heart when you say “come’re baby…come with sissy!”

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You really are a sweet child and love to make people happy.  You love to bring people little gifts (generally Starbucks!) and trinkets as a surprise.  You are all about equality and ensure Gracelyn receives the same things you do.  You are a very kind and sensitive child and thrive on following The Golden Rule.

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You are very verbal and are very clear with your feelings.  You are known for saying things like:
-that frustrates me
-we are having a misunderstanding
-that made me disappointed
-I feel like you arent listening to me
This alleviates a lot of tantrums and you truly are an easy child.

You are a great sleeper and still nap most days for a few hours.  You are also very helpful around the house, helping to tidy messes that you make.

You remain princess obsessed and Frozen might be edging out Tangled.  You pretend to make snow magic throughout the day and love to imitate Elsa’s motions in the Let it Go sequence.  You must have a thing for Idina Mendel because you also request Wicked’s Defying Gravity as a bedtime song every night!

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Abrielle Sophia, my big, strong, smart, clever, sweet and beautiful girl, I adore you. I am so thankful to have such an amazing daughter in you, and my love grows for you more and more each day.  You made me a Mama, and I am forever grateful for you.  I love you my bumblebee!

Love,

Mama

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Moonlight Run Recap

24 Mar

I realized that in the excitement of getting ready for New York I didn’t ever recap my Moonlight Run experience.  I like to have a record, so here it is!

Leading up to the run I had been not running at all.  I did a 5k on the zero gravity treadmill the day before and felt good, so I figured I would give the 10k a go, seeing as I was going to be running a half the next week!

I bullied my friend Kaley into running the 10k with me as we usually run at a similar pace.  My other girlfriends are faster than me and I was planning on taking it very easy during the run. I worked a day shift that day, and after a quick supper we headed over to the Art Gallery, where the race was taking place.

It was a pretty mild night, and lots of the snow was melting.  Now, because it is the Moonlight Run, it obviously was quite dark and being at the river bottom there were no street lights.  The melt made the course incredibly sloppy in parts, icy in others, and practically impassable in others.  There were times I was up to my knees in water with ice chunks floating around, and other times I was climbing up a muddy bank, hanging onto a tree branch to get around impassable bodies of water.

Really, the run wasn’t that fun.  There is no fault to the organizers, because you get what you get weather wise when you sign up for March races.  It would be nice if they had put a few flood lights out in some of the sketchier spots. I was really pleased that my body felt fine until about the 7th km, and after that I started getting numb.  The race finishes with the 1km long brutal hill, and I opted to walk the majority of that (it is steep).

I finished with a crappy time- 1:10, but I didn’t really care because of the conditions and the fact that I set out to take it easy.  After the race I snagged some free coffee, multiple bananas, and met up with Kaella and Tawnya.  Kaley, myself, Tawnya and Kaella then headed over to Telegraph for a celebratory drink!

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Poor Abby was still sick here and barfed all over the floor mere seconds before this picture was taken. Such a trooper!

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Post race!

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Said it before, will say it again: Will run for coffee

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Earned this deliciousness!

Random: We ran into a guy from New York who was also running the NYRR 1/2! He let us know that the hills were nothing compared to what we had just run, so that gave us a bit of peace of mind!

Although the race really wasn’t that enjoyable, it was still nice to run it.  It was the last race I ran prior to blowing my knees out all those years ago, and I always had a little pang of bitterness every year it rolled around.  It was nice to get back on the horse, so to speak!

I Heart New York

21 Mar

Where to even begin…what a trip.  One of my besties, Kaella has always talked about how amazing NYC is.  Her wedding a few years ago was NYC themed.  Can I just say, I get it.  I totally, totally get it.

Our trip to New York started early with a 4 am wake up call.  Tawnya and Kaella picked me up at 4:30 and we headed to the airport for our 5:30 flight (the first of three!).  We connected from Calgary to Toronto and once there grabbed some much, much needed coffee and food.  We also learned that Courtney’s flight was delayed and she would be late getting to NY :-(

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Once we survived our sketchy taxi ride to our hotel, we settled in.  Courtney arrived not much later and we went to the race expo.

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The expo was cool and we picked up some free swag.  It definitely got me excited for the race, although I was still crazy nervous.  Afterwards, we hit Times Square and did a little shopping, gawking and exploring.  We ended up at a little gastro pub named The Guilty Goose where we had our first of many amazing meals. 

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The next day we did some more sight seeing (including the Plaza, aka the hotel from Home Alone, Rockefeller, Tiffany’s and St. Patrick’s Cathedral).  A quick change and lunch at our hotel and then it was off to see Wicked!

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Wicked was amazing, and I shed more than a few ugly tears watching the performance. I love musicals and this one tops my list for sure!  It was just a surreal experience.

We knew we would need a good carb load prerace, so we went to a restaurant in Little Italy called La Mela.  We knew nothing about it, but were surprised to find it was the real deal…noisy, crowded, festive and full of New York accents!  I had a delicious spaghetti marinara, a gazillion pieces of the exact same bread I remember eating in Italy, and wine.  They just drop the whole bottle on the table and they use the honor system .  They even topped our glasses up after we paid!

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It was early to bed that night, because the next morning was the race!  Kaella and I laid our gear out, snagged some buns and bananas from the hotel cafe and tried to get some sleep.

4:30 rolled around too fast and we quickly dressed and shoved some food in us so we would have time to digest.  We sat in the hotel lobby and shook out our nerves and went to the bathroom 6 or 7 times.  Finally, it was time to head to Central Park.  Kaella is much faster than me and was in a different wave, so we hugged goodbye at the entrance and went to find our respective corrals.

It was freezing and a long wait.  I made a new friend in line and we chatted to pass the time.  Finally, the horn sounded and we were off! 

I didn’t take any pictures en route, but really tried to take it all in and absorb it.  Central Park is beautiful, and not at all as hilly as people made it out to be. I actually laughed to myself a little going up one of the “dreaded” hills because it was nothing like I expected. We wound through the park for 6 miles and then headed to Time Square.  It was so encouraging, because the spectators along the route really started cheering louder and yelling things like “half way there!”, “it’s all downhill and flat now” and “you trained for this, you can do it!”.

Coming up into Time Square was crazy!  There was a huge increase in spectators and this big roar from the crowd, not to mention the bright lights of Time Square. It was significantly easier running and the music along the way helped!

We wound through downtown and down to the water along Manhattan.  It got a LOT colder there and I was starting to shiver.  Unfortunately, I had ditched my fleece in Central Park.

Around the 11th mile my body was just done.  My back hurt, my legs were numb and my knees weren’t really bending.  I couldn’t make a fist with either hand and was feeling broken, for lack of a better word.  I was encouraged that I felt awesome cardiovascularly, but made the decision to start doing walk/run intervals.  I continued with that until about 12.5 miles and the ran the rest.

When I saw the finish line, I got really emotional and started to cry a bit.  It was a really overwhelming experience.  I got my heat sheet, recovery bag and medal and then wound through the shoot to find my friends.  I was so excited to find out that Kaella had destroyed her PR and finished in just over 1:54!!!!!!  I had originally signed up for the race with a goal of 2:30.  After some training I revised that to 2:15 with a secret goal of 2:10.  After injuring myself and not being able to train, the new goal became just finishing the race at all.  I was actually really nervous that I was going to get picked up by the bus that collects runners who won’t finish in a certain length of time.  So, although I wasn’t thrilled with a time of 2:25, I am not mad about it either.  I know I could have done better had I not needed a month off from training, so I will just be happy with the experience as a whole.  Tawnya had to point out that I could see the Statue of Liberty from where we finished at Wall Street!

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This was hidden in my suitcase

Poor Tawnya was having a horrible time with her asthma, so we took a detour to the lovely Bellvue Medical Centre after the race and hung out there for a bit.  Thankfully she felt a lot better after the visit.

Also, I felt like I earned this sucker!

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We got cleaned up and sent Tawnya to bed and then went back to do some more sight seeing and shopping.  We took a break for dinner at Ruby Foo’s for a delicious dinner and celebratory drinks!

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On our last full day there, we headed to SOHO for more shopping, subway rides, street food and lunch.  We ate at an awesome vegan friendly cafe for lunch and I even snagged a vegan cookie for the ride home!

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We had to, we are all closet Kardashian fans!

Courtney and Kaella tried to get tickets to a talk show, and Tawnya and I checked out the outside of the Today Show and went to MoMA.  It was cool seeing all the art, although both of us will be the first to admit we didnt “get” everything there was to see, lol!

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We later headed to Serendipity for dinner and Dylan’s Candy Bar for dessert.  A bit more shopping and then Kaella, Tawnya and I went to the top of the Rockefeller center.  The city is all visible from there and is a beautiful sight!

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Afterwards, it was packing and bed, because once again it was early flights.  It was such a great trip, and although I missed my family a lot, I want to go back again right now!  I loved eating dinner at 9 pm, running across the street in the morning for coffee and getting ready in the room and worrying about nothing but how many different things there were to see, do and eat! 

A fantastic trip with some amazing girls.  It was the experience of a lifetime, and I will definitely be back!  I was happy to come back and find a clean house, happy kids and my husband awaiting me.  It was right back to work that night, but I took a little bit of my trip with me!

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