Thursday, August 30, 2012

One Year (+ 2 months)

I just realized that I never shared the absolutely stunning photos that Stephanie Neprud took of Matilda for her 1 year birthday. It was certainly not becaue we don't love them (because we do), but rather the task of getting the disc, uploading all the pictures on the computer and then (and this is the biggie) remembering to blog about them.

They are too cute to not share. Oh Matilda. With your cheesy smile one minute, 'serious' face the next, and even a little grump face thrown in. And so here are Matilda's 12 month pictures with 12+2 commentary. :)

At 14 months, you will very easily give up a "hi" to pretty much anyone you see, UNLESS of course they say hi first and get too close to you. Then, you go into evaluate mode. Checking them out to see if they are 'in the club' and will get a smile, hint of smile or just your very serious face. Every night when we walk out of General Mills you wave to the Doughboy and pat Sprout on his head.

You've got sign language down pat. Please. Eat. More. All Done. And when you are really hungry--which seems to be all.the.time. (but I swear we feed you a ton of food every day) just sign all of them, in any order to make sure we are picking up what you are trying to tell us.

There are a lot of animal noises going on in our house. Cat. Monkey. Bunny. Elephant. Puppy. And Daddy just taught you how to 'wash your hands' by yourself. It's pretty adorable seeing you rub your little hands together on a wipe.
You have 3 best buddies at daycare: Amanda and Eila and have decided that you aren't all that interested in Mama picking you up at night if your friends are still there. You give lots of snuggles to your friends and are very good at sharing my lap with them when I come to visit you.

Books. Books. Books. When in doubt, you want a book. It's the best way to tame one of you sporadic tantrums, and the best way to get you in our lap for a long snuggle. The sure sign you are too tired and ready for bed is when you just can't decide what book you want to read. Over the past month, we have gone to storytime at Linden Hills Library where you have cautiously played with some new friends and enjoyed many new books.

You continue to have more (and stronger) preferences, keeping true to your 'particular' personality as a baby. Some nights it is a broccoli love fest. Other nights, broccoli gets steathily stockpiled just outside of your plate. You are relentless at pointing to the cupboard when you are hungry. You will crawl to the door and pat on it letting us know you want to go outside.

And you are still content with crawling. No walking yet, and we are pretty happy about that. No rush, sweet one. Take your time and enjoy the world from your current perspective. You have plenty of time to get big.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The League

Nate and I just joined a Fantasy Football team.

Here are a few pertinent facts to this discussion:
Fact: We really only watch the Packers (although we do love watching the Vikings lose).
Fact: We aren't all the knowledgeable on any other football teams.
Fact:  To be honest I'm not sure what a tight-end does vs. a wide receiver or a runningback.

I am guessing our success rate will not be high in this so called league.

So, why did we do it?

Well, first of all, we are currently pretty obsessed with the show The League on FX, and both of us like to believe that we are the couple on that show. And I am guessing the episode where their daughter has swearing issues at school because of their parents fantasy football league behavior is going to be all to relevant for us in a few years.

Second, I love smack-talking. Doesn't it just make any sort of competitive event more fun? I don't care if I win this league, as long as I get to smack-talk some people (especially if they are Vikings fans).

Plus, I have a secret weapon. It's called my cousin. And she can tell me what the difference between a tight-end and running back is. Nate will tell me he can too, but let's be honest--I'll double check with Meghan.

It should make for a very fun football season....

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hood to Coast

About 9 months ago, I was approached about joining a team to run Hood to Coast, a 200 mile relay that runs from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. Most sane people would immediately decline because that sounds terrible, right? Wrong. It sounded freaking amazing, and it was. Right up until the point where I was flying into Portland on Thursday night and saw this outside of my window:

That is Mount Hood. And the sudden dread of realization that I would be driving to *near* the top of this mountain and then proceed to run about 200 miles to the coast of Oregon set in. And I had a slight panic attack on the plane. Perhaps I could just phone it in and pretend I missed my flight?

Luckily, the 'grow a pair' voice in my head turned on and I got off the plane. One of the coolest things about this race, and there were many, was the immediate bond that I felt with these women--many of whom I was just meeting for the first time--as we all shared a common goal and destination. This bond proved important as there were many moments that we needed to come through for each other...

...Like helping each other get our van un-wedged from a curb.

...Multiple conversations about bathroom duties--or lack thereof--and the ability to hop out of the car and use whatever is available outside. (can you spot our runner?) By the way I didn't poop all weekend. I was the only one on our entire team that got to run with an entire intestine full. If you are a runner, you understand my lament. If not, you just think I'm gross. And I'm fine with that. cheering for each other to bring it in each leg and to get back out there on the next one..

...and probably most importantly keeping everyone's spirits up when you haven't slept for two days and are sitting in traffic for 3 hours behind these nimrods..In general we were incredibly respectful racers. Thanking volunteers. Minding traffic rules. Race rules. But we unleashed a whole string of swearing and venom on the souls in this van because they sucked at driving, and because we had all slept approximately 20 minutes the night before.

If this race had a motto it could be "I'll sleep when I'm dead..." because you pretty much throw any dreams of catching some shut-eye out the door for a solid 3 days.

This is what Becca and I looked like at 2AM on Saturday Morning after being up since 6AM:
This is what we looked like at midnight on Sunday after being awake for about 40 hours

But even with the extreme sleep deprivation, our team dominated. Everyone raced their hearts out and left it all out there. Our team Captain was truly an inspiration as a bunch of runners got misdirected on the FINAL leg of the race, and instead of 5.5 miles, ran THIRTEEN. Nevermind the previous two legs she had already run. But she stayed out there and ran it in. That was the kind of team I was on. And we all got to run her across the finish line.

I will never forget the awe of my 2nd leg--5AM--climbing 2 miles of hills and then cruising downhill for 5 miles. First in the complete and utter dark, surrounded by the tallest trees I have ever seen...just me, my headlamp and the still dark of the night and the stars in the sky. And then, mile by mile....daylight slowly creeping in to the up my run and exposing the beauty that I had been running in.

I was so fortunate to get to be a part of this team, this experience and to do all of this with my sister.
I am, coincidentally, in the market for a personal massage therapist who can be on call to rub my aching feet, shins, quads, hamstrings, ass, back, shoulders, and achilles tendon. Let me know if I have any takers...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cheater Post

I can't seem to get my act together to formulate a blog post, so instead indulge me in my 'blog cheat' while I post big, adorable pictures from our very fun family vacation....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Little Fisherwoman

We are Up North with the family this week soakin' in the vacation life (which means lots of relaxing, playing, eating good, eating bad, fishing and some running).

Til got into the boat and filled out her life jacket much differently than last year.



It was a slight case of "fat baby in a little life vest..." But still very cute.
She loved the wildlife

and even wanted desperately to get her hands on a few of those fish...

The week has just begun and already it is clear who has stolen Matilda's heart....and it is this guy.
I"m pretty sure in like 2 years Finn will be able to be a certified babysitter, and we can all go party up at the Lodge while he puts the kids to bed. Right?! 

This girl gives out the biggest smiles and giggles to Finnegan, and he is always quick to give her a little snuggle.

More to come from the North Woods.....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not Above Bribing

It's no secret that I am 100% fine with a small, harmless bribe for my baby (anyone remember this?)

And it was time to pull out the big guns last night as I wasn't quite certain I could take another 5AM wake-up call this week. Someone must have told Matilda that the early bird gets the worm, because she is getting up before a rooster would crow.

And really all she wants to do is sit and read books. This is what happens when you walk in her room:

First, she giggles.
Then she says hi.
Then she points urgently at her gigantic stack of books and attempts to say "book".
When you put her in your lap, and point to a book she giggles again and settles in.
No joke I read 13 books to her this morning before she even hinted at being interested in anything else.

Perhaps she heard the statement wrong and thinks it is the early bird gets the bookworm.

A simple semantics error, perhaps?

It doesn't really matter. The point is last night I promised her that if she just slept until 6AM, I would give her a huge ice cream cone when we are up north with my family. And if she slept until 7AM she could have cotton candy.

Neither of those things happened.

Maybe I need to speak to her in her language. Tonight, if Matilda sleeps until 6AM, I will buy her 10 new books. Let's see how this bribe goes. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When Bad Happens by Doing Good

Yes, this blog post is most certainly inspired by the circa 1990's self help book.

Frustration has taken over in my life as I can't seem to get a work-out in without getting a migraine after.

This makes it incredibly difficult to:
a) motivate myself to work-out
b) schedule in a work-out--because I also need to schedule in a migraine
c) train for Hood to Coast which is coming up in less than 3 weeks, of which I will be running about 19 total miles. Much further than the 4 I've currently gone.

And what I think it COMPLETELY unfair (and yes I am all out whining at this point) is that I am trying to do something GOOD for my body and it rewards me by giving me blinding pain for about 3 hours and then a 'hangover' headache that lasts a good day.

So what are the proposed solutions?
1) Suck it up and push through the pain.
2)  Hire someone to work-out for me and transfer the calorie burn to my metabolism.
3) Give up working out and get fat.

Cast your vote, and if you know someone that can actually make #2 happen send them my way....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Ode to Auntie Em

It was a very sad day today.
We knew this day was coming for a long time, but we sort of just ignored its impending arrival.

For the past 8 months, we have enjoyed have my cousin, Emily, in town as she continued her education at Portfolio School. I still remember the night she called to tell me she was moving to Minneapolis. She was so excited, but told me to guess--and I guessed she was engaged--that was the level of excitement she had to move here.

And from the very start, she loved Matilda and Matilda loved her. Although, Matilda did not love Emily's boyfriend so much....

Have you ever had a houseguest that just so seamlessly fits into the fabric of your family that you really don't notice them as a guest? They just sort of start to blend into the daily dynamic of the household? That was Emily. Which is why we are going to miss her SO very much.

It will feel like there is a missing link in our family for a while...and 'group baby" (if you don't watch Happy Endings get with it and then you will get this reference) will definitely miss her Auntie Em. Emily was my reliable company every Wednesday night while Nate was in class and didn't judge my typical "nate's in class dinner....", but joined right in.

She wasn't afraid of a little baby crying, or a little bit of Toddler whining. She helped Tillie learn how to wiggle, and I am guessing she will be the most likely candidate to teach her how to Wobble some day. She held her own within Nate and I's inside jokes. Helped me salute Nate when he was being Captain Complicated, and sided with Nate when all he wanted was a beer.

And while we are extremely excited for her to start the next chapter in her life, in Texas, we are hoping that Texas sucks and they very quickly decide to move back to Minneapolis. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spending Freeze

A month or so ago, I noticed a disturbing trend forming in my routine errands. While getting groceries at Costco, a new book for Matilda or little Carter's outfit would catch my eye. While getting diapers, or household goods at Target, a new toy or Toddler accessory would catch my eye.

And while none of these things were by themselves expensive, the question of 'need' remained. How many clothes can one little girl wear? How many sippy cups can she have (although I still maintain this number is high since she still doesn't quite get how to use any of them).

Enter in my month challenge to myself to not buy ANYTHING for Matilda besides food, medical necessities and diapers.

All in all, it was a success. I will admit I did buy two things during this month that didn't fit in the list. The first, was an exception that i made at the very beginning. Matilda still didn't have sandals because I hadn't gotten around to buying her any, and I found some that I loved (seriously, they are yellow, and amazing). So I go those.

But even that didn't technically count. The real ding was a moment of weakness in Target. I was feeling like she was bored of all of her toys, that they were too babyish, and bought her an $8 interactive puzzle.

It was hard at first, with cute girlie outfits whispering my name online, banner ads boasting clearance sales of my favorite kids brands, and even Matilda has started to point to toys she likes as we are walking through Target. But after a while, I kind of just avoided all of that 'noise'.

I'm not saying we will never buy again (because let's be honest I had a shopping bag on filled with super sale pajamas ready to check-out on August 1st), but it was a good reset in the mindset of the amount of stuff Matilda has vs. needs.

I am guessing this will be an exercise that will need to be repeated in the future....