Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

My little technology pro playing Ant Smasher on the Kindle. I know I will date myself when I eventually share with my kids that I used a typewriter until college.
 My dinosaur-loving boy.

A quick sneak peek of a spring/Easter photo shoot my sister did with the kids a few days ago. Can't wait to share more when I receive them and tell you about the business she (finally, after much nagging encouraging) started.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hello, spring!

(Disclaimer: If you follow me on IG and are confused because you saw these pics a week ago, you're not going crazy-- this post was scheduled and not published right away. Just wanted to clear that up!)

Finally, at long last, it looks like spring is (maybe) here to stay. I was just about over having a random 70 degree day that served as nothing but a tease, followed by a wintry mix of sleet and snow the very next day. We celebrated the beginning of our warm streak by heading to our local Life and Science Museum. Camden is very big into dinosaurs right now, so we figured it would be the perfect time to check out the Dinosaur Trail, along with some of the other exhibits. Our nephew, Will, tagged along for the trip and I have to say-- having 3 kids was a lot more manageable than I thought (but don't get any ideas, people!).

Our first stop: the train ride. This was a big hit with all of the kids. They especially liked the glimpses of the dinosaurs that you could catch as the train flew by them. Another big hit? The tunnel. The train conductor instructed us that it was mandatory to scream while going through the tunnel. The kids happily obliged.

Poor Camden was sick, but held up like a trooper.

  This was taken in a mirror that's along the side of the track.

I've had an Ergo for a while, and I got a lot of use out of it when Macey was an infant. Since she started toddling around, it's hung over my banister, untouched. The other day, I decided to dust it off and learn how to do the back carry. It was a good decision. Macey spent at least half of our trip on my back.

Dinosaur trail! The kids loved this part. This was the only dinosaur that they were allowed to climb on, but they loved spotting the other ones in the woods. Camden was mesmerized and the first thing he did when we got home was get out all of his toy dinosaurs to play with.

At the end of the dinosaur trail, there's a little site where kids can dig for fossils. They're actually digging for shark teeth, coral, and sea shells (among other ocean items), but they didn't know any different.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

A small disclaimer: if you follow me on Instagram, you will see a few repeat pics on my Wordless Wednesday posts. If you don't follow me on IG and you want to, I am: @klo1215
Celebrating the Orioles winning their season opener (too bad they haven't won many more since then!)

Exploring the neighborhood pond and stopping to feed some ducks. Or: attempting to feed a "duck", which was really a mean, aggressive goose that we later ended up running from.

Taking our neighbors up on their offer to use their trampoline anytime. The kids LOVE it, even though Macey can't stay on her feet for more than a few seconds at a time.

Playground time! Have I mentioned how much we're loving this spring weather? Minus the allergies, of course.
But with spring and outside play time, comes our first skinned knee of the season. Nothing a little TMNT Band-Aid couldn't fix.
Camden and his honorary cousins (otherwise known as my neighbors), but Camden has no idea they're not related to him.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Sibling Bond

When we first found out that we were expecting a girl during my pregnancy with Macey, I was ecstatic. I started daydreaming about tiny dresses and pig tails and all of the pink and purple that would soon consume our world. And then I started thinking about Camden and the kind of relationship he would have with his little sister. You see, I have both a brother and a sister and have unique relationships with each of them. My sister is much closer in age to me (4 years apart) than my brother (8 years apart). Growing up, my sister was a friend and playmate to me (until she reached her teenage years and decided she didn't want anything to do with her annoying little sister anymore). My brother and I had a decidedly different relationship since he was so much younger than me. I was more of a caretaker to him; I looked after him and was (and still am) very protective of him.

So, even though I do have siblings of my own, I knew Camden's relationship with his future sister would be a very different experience for him than what I knew growing up. First of all, they are much closer in age than I was with either of my siblings (2 years, 9 months apart). And they are different genders. I didn't know what to expect: would they have anything in common? Would they want anything to do with each other? Would they even like each other? I had watched my same-gender nephews (who are just over 2 years apart) grow up as the best of friends. But I wondered if that was only because they were both boys and had more in common than Camden and his sister likely would.

Oh, my goodness- let me tell you, watching Camden and Macey's relationship grow over the past 18 months has been one of the most rewarding parts of being a parent. It's such a wonderful and fulfilling feeling to see two people that you love with all of your heart love each other just as much. There just aren't really adequate words to explain how I feel when I see them laughing together, playing together, and even making trouble together. They have such a special bond. Macey grins whenever he walks into her room in the morning and yells, " Hi, bro!" from her crib. Camden is always looking out for his sister. He'll often walk to the fridge and pick out two yogurts; one for himself and one for his sister. He's also already protective of her. Whenever he feels like anyone is being too rough with Macey, he will say, "Don't hurt my baby sister!" and stand guard in front of her. Even when they gang up on me, I secretly enjoy it (shh, don't tell them). Every night when it's time to get into pajamas, they make a show of running from me and hiding. I hear the pitter patter of little feet as they sprint into the dining room and then squeals of laughter as they squeeze under the table to avoid having to get ready for bed.

I can't wait to see how their relationship continues to grow and evolve as they get older. (Camden often asks me, "When is Macey going to be 2? When she's 2, she'll be big enough to play more things with me.") I know, I know- there will be arguments and drama and rivalry and all of that other stuff that comes along with having a sibling (I already get some glimpses of those things here and there). But they'll also have that irreplaceable bond that comes from so many shared experiences and memories. I hope they'll always know how lucky they are.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

5k: done & done!

It's official: Matt & I have completed our first 5k! The decision to run a 5k was kind of a spur-of-the-moment type deal. Matt ran into a co-worker in the hallway at his office one day last month and the guy invited him to run in it. Since the 5k was to raise money for another co-worker who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma back in 2005, Matt readily agreed. He then called me to share the news that he had signed us up. I was excited about it. I've run consistently since middle school, including a brief cross country stint in high school. Even as an adult, I've continued to run once or twice a week. However (and this is a big however!), I am definitely a casual runner. My regular runs are usually about a mile and a half, at whatever pace I feel like. So, a 5k was a little bit out of my comfort zone.

Then there's Matt. Matt works out regularly, but his work outs consist primarily of weight training. He is not a runner by any means. And to say that he doesn't enjoy running is an understatement. So he took on a training program in the month leading up to the race to prepare himself. I just stuck to my regular running schedule, but downloaded the Map My Run app (I highly recommend it, if anyone is wondering) so I could make sure I ran 3.15 miles (the 5k distance) and I could monitor my pace.

Then came race day. We hit the road bright and early and headed to a park about a half hour from our house (my mom was kind enough to watch the kiddos). It was such a different experience for me; I'm used to running solo through our neighborhood, on flat pavement with a few hills here and there but no overwhelmingly steep inclines. Well, the 5k was nothing like my leisurely neighborhood runs. First of all, running in a mob of people is kind of intimidating. I felt pressured to run at a faster pace than I could maintain initially, just to keep up with the crowd. However, I realized pretty quickly that I'd have to pace myself if I was going to finish the race so I slowed down to a more manageable pace. The mob began to thin out shortly thereafter; the elite runners (and miraculously, my husband was in that crowd!) were a small group ahead of everyone else; I was in the middle; and then there was a much larger group bringing up the rear.

The terrain was rough! Running through the woods isn't quite like running through neighborhood streets. There were some very steep hills and we were running on a mulch covered path. I will be totally honest: I couldn't have been more excited to see that finish line. Matt finished in 25 minutes and estimates that I crossed the line about a minute to a minute and a half after him (the race was untimed to save money, but Matt used his Map My Run app to time himself during the race).

So, I can now officially cross running a 5k off of my to-do list!

Pre-race: all smiles & anticipation
And post-race with my cherry red face.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless (well, kind of) Wednesday

I'd call my participation in Wordless Wednesday over the years sporadic at best. But I had a couple of pictures I wanted to share, so I figured- what better day to post them? (Maybe I should erase that intro since it is Wordless Wednesday? Nah.)

Lego Fest came to our town a couple of weeks ago and my parents were gracious enough to get tickets for my boys and for my sister's family. Macey and I sat this event out (Macey would've been more interested in taste-testing the Legos than building with them) but the boys had a blast. This is just prior to leaving for the event; Camden was a tad excited.
My sweet girl playing in the dirt on one of those amazing warm days we had in between ice storms. We were so glad to be outside. Saying that we're ready for spring is a drastic understatement.
The Bubble Guppies must be by her side at all times. Even while sleeping.
Thanks to this awesome Home Depot employee, Camden had a dream come true the other night: he got to "drive" the tractor around the store.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chatty Macey strikes again

When Camden was 18 months old, I remember reading posts on my "birth board" (an online forum of mothers whose children were also born in November 2009) on Babycenter about toddlers who were talking. I mean, really and truly talking- not just babbling or saying the occasional "dog" or "uh oh". I also remember feeling both really anxious about the fact that Camden was not talking yet and also kind of questioning the validity of these mothers' stories. I thought maybe they were interpreting their kids' babbles as meaningful conversation. Because surely an 18 month old wasn't really talking.

Then along came Macey. And I became one of those mothers whose 18 month old was speaking in short sentences. It's still unbelievable to me. This girl can talk. Not only can she imitate almost any word, but she can put together two word sentences with relative ease these days and we've even heard some three word sentences come out of that tiny little girl. Last weekend, we were talking about going outside to play while the weather was nice. Macey walked over to Camden and clearly said, "Bro, ride Jeep." She was asking (or, more likely, telling) Camden that she wanted to go for a ride in his little blue Jeep. And so we did.

It's crazy how drastically different my children have been when it comes to verbal development. I have had two polar opposite ends of the spectrum experiences; neither child was just a typical talker. Let me be clear, though: I'm not suggesting that one means of verbal development is superior to the other. While I have certainly enjoyed hearing what's on the mind of my tiny toddler and I definitely don't miss the stress that can come along with having a late talker, Camden waiting to speak until he was just over two years old has most assuredly not slowed down his verbal development at all. He is one articulate four year old.

And just for fun- click the link below to hear Macey's newest word: scissors. I had to record it because it was just so funny and strange to hear that tiny little voice saying such a big word. (Disclaimer: the scissors were removed from her hands after the making of this video.)

Click me!