Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mom Rollercoaster

Sometimes you have rough mom weeks.
A couple of weeks ago poor little Charlie came down with a bummer cold which was accompanied by a high fever and double ear infections. 
 He didn't sleep because he was so stuffed up and his fever kept spiking. During the day we snuggled on the couch reading hundreds of books with Curious George on repeat. I definitely love the snuggles but after days of being confined to the inner walls of our apt, I felt pretty isolated. Especially since this was round two of sickness in the past couple of months.

Finally he started feeling better but his bad whiny habits lingered, temper tantrums abounded and my motherly patience was stretched impossibly thin. Dirty dishes hung around for days, laundry piles reached an unimaginable height, and my motivation was zero.

By the end of the week I was feeling down down down. I know I am blessed to be able to stay home with my baby but sometimes the days are LONG and LONELY.

Then sometimes you have awesome mom weeks. Days where you are spent laughing with one another instead of screaming, where you are effective without feeling frazzled, and everything just flows.

With Charlie finally feeling better and fantastic weather we started the week off with multiple walks a day to throw rocks in the river, observe bugs in the sidewalk and race cars down the path. We were able to go to music time and story time at the library where we laughed together at the silly songs and I delightfully watched him try to coordinate his toddler arms and legs to follow along with the actions.

We had a mom and son date for free lunch at Ikea and a trip to the duck pond to feed the ducks. I laughed out loud when Charlie fearlessly walked up to the honking geese and laughs when as they nab the whole slice of bread out of his hand.

Mid week we were invited to a little friends Bubble birthday party where they get to blow bubbles of all different sizes, stomp on bubble wrap, splash in a pool of bubble bath and eat bubble cupcakes. The thrill of bubbles is not lost as you grow older. I was equally delighted to participate in all the activities. and Charlie is pretty thrilled with his new word "bubbles".

Along with the bubble party we were also able to attend a darling St Patricks Day Party that a cute friend of mine hosted.  The party was complete with a delicious spread of green foods, festive thumbprint shamrock cards, green dress-ups, and a leprechaun hunt for treasure. 

Nothing particularly exciting happened this week but everyday felt so full. Full of fun, exploring, laughter and learning. I ended the week feeling overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity I have to spend my days with my little man. Observing potato bugs on the sidewalk. Reading books on the porch. Teaching him to be kind. Teaching him to pray. These are awesome mom moments.

 I know there are many rough mom days, weeks, months and probably years ahead but I know there are many more wonderful moments I can look forward to as well.

Zooma Half Marathon

Last weekend I joined three good friends at the Lost Pines resort in the hill country west of Austin for the Zooma Women's half marathon. We shared a hotel room at the resort (by far the most expensive hotel I have ever stayed at!) to avoid an early morning scramble to drive and and meet the shuttle. It was such a treat to have a ladies night away (my first from Charlie ever) but it was a little bit of a let down to have to try to go to bed early so we could get some rest. No all night giggle fest sadly. Another time!

Race morning was the perfect running temp of 57 degrees. It was chilly at the finish line but felt awesome during the run. The race made a couple of loops throughout the beautiful tree lined resort filled with wildflowers and some MONSTER hills. The first seven miles were a complete roller coaster but luckily the last few miles were pretty flat.

During the last couple of weeks my knee was been really bothering me during my runs. I got really nervous about injuring myself before the race so I pretty much quit running the last couple of weeks before the race in hopes that by giving it a rest my knee would heal itself. I was really nervous about how my knee would hold up during the race but gratefully, it felt great. It started bothering me a little about mile 3 but it never got bad enough to really slow me down.

I was hoping to get under two hours and I came in at 1:57 which is just under 9 minute mile pace, cutting about 8 minutes off of my first half which I ran in 2:05. I felt pretty awesome since a year ago I could only run a 5k in about 35 minutes. Go me!

 My cute friend Amber who I try to run my long training runs with. If I can keep up! She dominated and came in about 10 minutes before I did.

All the awesome ladies I spent the weekend with: Amber, Sheyenne, me and Jamie. It was Sheyenne and Jamie's first half and they rocked it! We're looking forward to finding another race to run in together.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Food Saga

In an effort to figure out Blakely's food allergies, we have been eating gluten free and lactose free since the new year. We have long known he is lactose intolerant but we have made better efforts to strictly follow a lactose free diet which means no milk, cream, cheese (whine, whine :( ).  As a new experiment we are cutting out gluten also which means no bread, pasta, cakes, cookies etc (major whine :( ).  Although I get a little depressed thinking about how much we can't eat (mainly no pizza!) I definitely feel better overall as we have made big strides to a more healthy clean eating approach.

Along with eating lots of salad and veggie packed smoothies, right now we are relying heavily on Asian inspired dishes (chicken  rice bowls) and Mexican dishes ( black beans, corn tortilla tacos). I'm slowly widening my recipe arsenal but I just might die if I have to eat another dish with rice.

One of our biggest challenges has been trying to find a treat Blakely can eat. Without cookies, cake, or ice cream, there is little left  for our major sweet tooth besides starbursts and skittles. (Which we have consumed at an alarming rate). Luckily we live in Austin which is mega vegan friendly and we found this awesome little ice cream shop called Lick which specializes in vegan ice cream, made from coconut milk, and offers a wide variety of other unique flavors. We checked it out one Saturday and Blakely enjoyed a scoop of spicy coconut and peanut and coconut, peanut butter chocolate swirl and I had a scoop of lemon poppyseed and sweet cream with strawberries. We will definitely be going back again. Maybe next time I'll even venture to try to the roasted beets and mint or the caramelized carrots and tarragon. Maybe...


I have also ventured into gluten baking. Its a little overwhelming to look at a recipe that has replaced flour with potato flour, rice flour, and xantham gum. Xantham gum? I dont' even know what that is! I have found a few recipes though that use almond flour though that have been pretty successful. Charlie is always eager to help and taste test of course :)

That's My Mommas Style

When we first got married, Blakely mentioned he feared ever getting called to serve in the Young Mens program at church. All too familiar with his teenage days, he dreaded having to deal with teenage attitude, laziness, stubbornness, selfishness etc.... Inevitably about a a year ago he was called to serve with the Teachers Quorum (age 14-15) and of course it has far and above been his favorite calling.

 For the past few months they have been working on a music video tribute for their moms. They changed the words of "Gangham Style" to "That's my Mama's Style" and self choreographed the whole video.

After they finished the video they invited their moms to a special dinner where they gave them individual tributes and a rose followed by viewing of the video. I got to tag along as the leading lady in Blakely's life. 
 What a fun night! The moms LOVED it. How often do Moms get to hang out with their teenage sons and watch them let loose. After viewing the video, the moms and sons had the opportunity to make their own Harlem Shake video. 
A current internet you-tube sensation, Harlem Shake videos consist of 15 seconds of one person dancing while everyone else carries on normal, followed by 15 seconds where everyone goes nuts.  You can enjoy our genius dance moves in back as I dance on top of Blakely's shoulders but my favorite is the Mom rocking like a baby on the couch in her sons arms downing a bottle of Sprite. Nailed it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fun Weekend

For Christmas I bought Blakely tickets to see Brian Regan live in concert in Austin. Two months later, we were finally able to redeem out tickets!

Because we have so many close friends with young babies and other willing neighbors we have rarely had to hire a babysitter. It felt like a true parent rite of passage to call up a teenage girl from the ward, write down a ridiculous number of instructions, and leave her completely in charge our little baby. Not to mention it made me feel OLD! I also felt extremely self conscious about the lack of good food in our pantry. Wasn't that always the highlight of babysitting? Raiding the pantry for fruit snacks and granola bars?

Brian Regan was of course hilarious and we laughed solidly for 2 hours . We were a little bummed though that his act was less story oriented (which we love) and more one liner, punchy like. Ah well, still a fantastic night out. A Merry Christmas present indeed.

Saturday morning I took my cub scouts out plant trees for conservation service project. They were a little wary of the 50 other girl scouts participating :)

When I get back it was perfect running weather and I headed out for a long run. Exactly 5 miles from home, I wiped out and got some nasty road rash. I was able to run the five miles back home but Ouch!

Saturday afternoon we headed out to McKinney Falls State Park with out friends the Trenholms. Blakely and I are always complaining about Texas outdoors but we decided we had never given a good chance so we decided to buy a state parks pass and explore the local state parks. Our first trip was a big success! Although the water was fairly stagnant and the falls were more of a trickle, we loved enjoying the sunny 70 degree day hiking around and wading in the water. We were all reminded how much we LOVE being outside, murky water or not.

 Charlie and Meleah, rock throwing hiking buddies. It is the cutest to watch Charlie throw rocks because he first starts of dropping them behind his head. After a few minutes he gets the hang of it though and manages to throw them a few feet. These two diaper babies would have sat along the bank throwing rocks all day if we let them.

Sunday we enjoyed a Chinese New Year Asian dinner. Egg Rolls, fried rice, brownies, ice cream, and friends. It was the end to a perfect weekend.