Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A little Easter catch up

I think I've mentioned about a billion times on this blog how much I enjoy experiencing the holidays as a parent. It's so much fun being on the other end of the months of planning and it's so rewarding watching it all come together in a way that's so magical through the innocent eyes of childhood. And now that Macey is old enough to actually participate in our holiday traditions, it's twice as rewarding.

Initially, we had planned on going to our neighborhood egg hunt on Saturday morning, but the weather had other plans. Because no one wants to be outside hunting for Easter eggs when it's 45 degrees and raining, the egg hunt got scrapped, but they did still have the Easter bunny visit our clubhouse. They also had some cookie decorating and a few little crafts, so we (along with my in-laws) took the kids over for a little while. Macey wanted absolutely nothing to do with the Easter bunny, but Camden marched right over to him for a high five.

If you had told me he'd voluntarily take a picture with the Easter bunny when he was two, I would've told you that you'd lost your mind.

We woke up bright and early (as per usual) on Easter morning and headed downstairs to search for baskets. I don't know if that's a normal Easter tradition for most families, but it's something that I carried over from my own childhood; our Easter baskets were always hidden. Matt's childhood Easter Bunny hid their previously dyed Easter eggs instead of their baskets, so we do both. So, Camden and Macey (okay, Camden) had a lot of hunting to do first thing in the morning. After baskets (and eggs) were located, both kids sat on the family room floor and checked out their goods. One of Camden's "goods" was a new bike. That's not a typical Easter gift for us (they're usually much smaller), but he was in desperate need of a big kid bike. I was feeling bad for him riding down the street on his tricycle while passing other 3 and 4 year old kids on their regular bikes. He was thrilled (and he loved the Mohawk helmet too).
Big kid bikes take a lot of concentration and focus.

That evening, we hosted Easter dinner at our house for my side of the family and Matt's parents, who were in town visiting. We also put together a little egg hunt for the cousins in our backyard. The kids had a great time; the older cousins were good about making sure the little ones had enough eggs. And Camden ended up getting the "golden egg", which contained a dollar bill along with some candy. He was pretty thrilled about that!

The hunt begins. 

Macey was much too busy to have her picture taken, but her Grandpa managed to snap this picture of her coloring at the kitchen table. I love that little dress she's wearing with bunnies on it (courtesy of Old Navy).

The golden egg recipient with his cash prize!

It was a very happy Easter around here. I hope yours was, too.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter from my blondies

Here they are- Camden and Macey's Spring/Easter photo shoot, courtesy of my sister. I seriously adore every last picture and feel thankful to have such a talented photographer in the family.
This was such a fun shoot. We drove to an awesome little park, took the kids' shoes off, and let them run free in between pictures. That way, it felt a lot more like play time than a restrictive photo shoot. My sister, Lauren, has a photographer's eye; she's naturally artistic and has spent the last couple of years studying the technical side of photography. As mentioned before, she has finally started her own business (long overdue, in my opinion) called 3 Anchors Photography. If you are local, feel free to visit her Facebook page here.
I'll be back soon with a recap of our Easter adventures. Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!






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.