Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Fun Times

At the beginning of the month we went to Ian's youngest brother's college graduation at BYU-I. Congrats, Brandon!

Serra "carried" her baby in her jacket because she saw Ian carrying Alex that way when we were outside walking in the snow [Alex didn't have his own jacket at the time].

Everyone celebrated Ian's 31st birthday after Brandon's graduation- Serra helped blow out the candles.

Alex has yet to figure out the point of puzzles...

Both of our kids LOVE bath time. [And don't worry that's bath crayon on the wall, not real crayon. :) ]

Serra and Alex sharing some Cheerios while watching a movie on Serra's princess couch.

The Barbie furniture Serra and I painted- and yes, I let her do most of the painting [she just needed some guidance to prevent having a 1/4-inch thick blob on the seat of the chair!]

We went to Utah and saw my sister- and I threw a baby shower for her [in case you couldn't tell, she's holding some baby boy clothes up to her preggo belly!]

We also had a yard sale- Serra and Alex liked sitting in the boxes while we cleaned up after.

AND we had an Easter egg hunt with my Aunt & Uncle in Orem- Alex loved the eggs.

Serra was thrilled with having so much candy that she had to empty her bucket several times into a grocery bag- here's her spoils!

Happy Easter- bunny ears for both of them [not sure why they were both naked... I slept in a little bit and this is how they were "dressed" when I woke up to do Easter baskets.]

Alex discovered that he LOVES chocolate- here he is eating some Easter chocolate.

And both of our kids LOVE smoothies- here they are drinking GREEN smoothies [half spinach, half fruits].

Ian was warming up for a run and Serra decided that she needed to stretch too. :)

And, finally, here is Serra- I mean, Rapunzel. Whenever she watches Tangled she has to get her blanket and wrap it like this to resemble Rapunzel's long hair. I thought it was rather clever- even if it did take me about an hour to figure out what she was doing!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Morning Mantra & Insights

So I'm training for a marathon and using the book The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer as a guide and it's been EXTREMELY helpful so far. The last couple of weeks it's been focusing on the mental aspects of endurance running- thinking positive, etc. And this week it had me make up a positive paragraph to say each morning and throughout the day EVERY day. Our brains are amazing... when we talk ourselves down we are really putting ourselves down. If you say, "I'm not good with names" you really won't be good with names- your brain listens to what you say [both aloud and internally] and like a computer it follows what you "program" it to do! So here's a taste of my morning mantra as of right now:

I am a marathoner. I run four days a week and never miss a training run. I am beautiful. I am healthy. I love my husband. I love my children. I love running and never quit on a run. I am a marathoner.

I'm going to put it to the test and see if it works for me- you should do it too and tell me how it goes! You can do it with anything- and whenever you hear yourself saying something negative about yourself, change it to a positive [instead of "I can't..." try "I can..." or "I choose not to..."

Also this week I had some realizations- I ran my first 10 miler and afterward I felt like I could continue running if I had reason to. I have more energy and more mental strength than I ever would have thought! And because I only do my long runs at 5mph, it took me 2 hours to run it- or 120 minutes. Well, my treadmill dash only has 4 digits... so I learned that even though the calories will wrap from 999 to 001 the time will NOT wrap from 99:59 to 00:01- it just stops! Also... when I am standing and bend over to touch my toes for stretching my thighs don't touch at all anymore- not even at the top! They still touch a little at the top when I'm standing normal, but I figure one step at a time. :)

And finally, I realize that some of you may be wondering about my mantra and why I need to positively reinforce myself in some of those things. I'll hit on one of those today- "I love my children." Those of you without children can never fully comprehend how hard it is to believe that sometimes. I've realized that being a parent is the most peculiar relationship. I can't speak for the entire world, but at least for our Western/American culture, we typically shun anything or anyone that has a majority of cons attached. We keep mental lists [and sometimes physical lists] of pros vs. cons and if the cons outweigh the pros, we typically leave, quit, or whatever. It is only in parenthood that we do the exact opposite.

[Those of you who aren't parents yet, get ready for your mind to be blown away with brutal honesty...] Children are LOADED with cons. Having children, being responsible for children, is LOADED with cons. There are so many negatives to children- and only very few positives. Those times they are asleep and you can think clearly because they are no longer screaming constantly and you realize you really DID want a baby... Those times they reach for you and say "mama"... Those times they say, without prompting, "I love you"... Those times they do something completely on their own that makes you burst with pride. But those moments are few and far between! So I find it interesting that if it was a boyfriend, a friend, sometimes even a sibling or other family member, we would shun them or at least interact with them less because it wasn't "worth it" since there are more negatives than positives. But when you've created that other person- when you have that deep of a connection to them- it doesn't matter that some days are nothing but negatives and other days you are lucky to get 1 or maybe even 2 positives- you still love them and you still want them in your life.

I remember my parents telling me I wouldn't understand how much they loved me until I had kids of my own. I thought they were silly- I loved my parents VERY deeply and I thought I couldn't love anyone more. But the love I have for my children can hardly be contained inside my body- it literally tries to burst out of me. I finally know- REALLY KNOW- how my much my parents loved me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Alex's Other 9 Month Pictures

Here are the other collages I ordered and just picked up about a week ago. He takes too many good pictures!

And these are the 2 pictures I sent out to different family members [had to wait to post them on here until everybody got them in the mail!] We LOVE our Alex!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April!

Today I've recommitted myself to a lot of things. I'm going to eat better- while I think I've been eating REALLY well [better than most people], I've still been having a lot of sweets. I have a VERY sweet tooth and it's hard for me to restrict myself. But it's for the better- and I'll probably lose these last 10 pounds if I do! I have been eating vegetarian for a couple of months now and LOVING it. I seriously don't even miss meat 1 bit! This was the easiest diet change I've ever made- I've never been a huge fan of meat to begin with. The only issue I face with it is finding the vegetarian items on menus when we go out [most restaurants have at least 1 or 2 options... but when I add in my other diet changes- wanting to be vegan if possible, "clean" eating, and no sugar- it makes it even more difficult.] With all of my lifestyle changes- both diet and exercise- I have really begun to enjoy life a lot more. People have been asking me, "what DO you eat?", or "don't you want to enjoy life? you can't possibly be happy not being able to eat... [fill in the blank]". But I feel better- I look better- I'm able to do more- and I feel like I am able to eat more because all kinds of windows have been opened to me. I had no idea there were so many varieties of produce and whole grains! Trust me, I'm NOT starving!

I've also rededicated myself to using my time wisely. No more sitting in front of the computer all day [wait... what am I doing right now? Haha- I promise I've spent MAYBE 40 minutes so far today and I used to literally sit here for hours by now!] No more having a movie running constantly for Serra. I'm going to spend quality time with Serra- reading, playing, drawing, teaching her craft skills [we painted some Barbie furniture today that's drying downstairs right now]. I'm going to give more attention to Alex- holding him not just when he's crying, making sure he's getting better nutrition [sounds crazy, but I swear all we give him is grains- baby snacks, cereal, etc.- and the occasional vegetable in baby food format]. I'm going to spend any free time I have that's not already consumed with making meals, shopping, or running on doing some crafts, reading books for entertainment or learning, or spending time doing something with my husband. Luckily a lot of the TV shows that I regularly watch are going to be ending their season soon [and some of them I'm going to drop for forever after this season], so that will be able to taper off quickly too.

Sounds like a lot to tackle, but I've been thinking about a lot of it lately and have been planning for lots of this for a while. I KNOW I can do it- it's just the actual act of doing it now! I'm already a lot happier today and I can tell Serra & Alex are too. I can't believe what a bum I've been- here I am training for a marathon, nobody would think to call me a lazy bum, and yet I have been! So much of my life has been wasted just sitting around waiting for the next thing to happen- waiting for Ian to come home, waiting for it to be time for Alex's nap, waiting until it's time to make dinner. Instead of waiting, I'm going to be DOING something- here's hoping it lasts!

And of course, I have to add some pictures. :)

Alex has THE biggest "big toe" I have ever seen on a child- and he's always curling his other toes and sticking his "big toe" up which makes it worse!

Muskateer Serra- complete with horse, hat, cape and sword. Thanks, Aunt Amy [& Meredith family] ***Correction: Apparently the thanks should be going to Aunt Lorie! Sorry- I forget who gives what!*** for giving Serra the Barbie Muskateer movie- she more than a little LOVES it! And thanks Aunt Brittany [& Miner family] for the adorable cape- it works perfectly for her Muskateer ensemble- although I doubt you envisioned that!

Butterfly Serra [although it's really a fairy costume, she calls it a butterfly one.] Whenever Serra uses the potty she gets to choose a dress to wear and I was sick of her ALWAYS wearing her Snow White dress, so this was her 2nd pick- complete with heels!

And of course a cute picture of Alex. Now that he's eating "real" food it's a LOT messier!