Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Photodump

#rockstar traveler
I HATE being sick but I HATE HATE HATE
seeing my baby sick #rsvsucks
Sick baby = extra awesome snuggles
Lucy LOVES blueberries and strawberries
4 times a day this is what we do
Lucy's favorite daycare toy 
By far the hardest head to mark with the cross this year
Someone thinks she is hot stuff now
that she can sit up in a cart
Rocking the sit now
With a double ear infection you get to come
to work with mom and nap in her office
We were given a new travel high chair
and we were testing it out
Lucy approves

How was your February?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Training Update


  • Running

    • My trip to Florida reminded me how much I LOVE running outside and how much I HATE the treadmill, however, given the weather and current temps here in northern Minnesota the treadmill and I attempt to stay on speaking terms
    • I have managed to get in several good and long runs which massively feels good (while every quarter mile on the treadmill takes some convincing it is beautiful when I am done)

  • Biking
    • For Valentine's day Marc got me a sweet bike computer thingy (technical terms here) anyways it has TOTALLY helped with my bike training
      • Cateye Strada 410 Digital Wireless Computer - the perks of this one over my old one is that it actually goes on the back tire which allows me to know speed and distance while riding on the bike trainer in our basement -the other perk of this one is that it does have a heart rate monitor as well as a cadence monitor so that I know if I am pedaling at an even pace or something all over the board.
  • Swimming
    • With all of the travel this past month my swims have been a little sporadic however, I did manage at least one good swim a week
    • I wish I could convince myself to go swim over my lunch hour but I HATE smelling like chlorine and the way that the smell stays in my hair even with a good washing

  • Nutrition

    • I have massively been focusing on keeping the amount of sugar I eat under control - I hate to admit or think about how much sugar I was consuming
    • Marc & I have also really gotten into drinking "Green Smoothies" with Spinach, greek yogurt, & whatever fruit we have in the house

How do you feel about winter training?
Any feelings about the treadmill?

I am already dreaming about spring and warm temps and outside runs!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Walt Disney World Characters & a 6 month old

Oh the number of pictures I could post from this past trip - I am sure you will continue to see the pictures for who knows how long, we had such a marvelous trip, I continue to soak it all up. One aspect that Lucy LOVED was the characters - they were so marvelous at interacting with her at six months old. Several even allowed her to chew on their noses.
My suggestion for the characters and a six month old is don't push it or over do it. I was a little nervous as to how Lucy would respond, she hadn't ever seen oversized characters, particularly since they moved and talked (Mickey at townhall as well as the non masked characters) and interacted with her. She also didn't even really know these characters - a few she has seen in books but so far she hasn't watched any tv so these guys were all foreign to her. But she LOVED them so we did take her to meet quite a few of them (there were very small lines).
We also accepted the fact that some of the characters Lucy would be asleep for - we have quite a few photos of Lucy asleep in the Tula or in the stroller and that was just fine. There was no WAY I was going to wake her just to take photos with the different characters. One thing we did find out was that - we had a fast pass for the town hall Mickey Mouse and Lucy was napping in the Tula and we were able to go and talk to the cast members and they were able to move our fast pass so we could come back when she was awake. THANKFUL for fabulous Disney cast members.

Tinkerbell played with Lucy for a LONG time and
as you can tell LUCY LOVED interacting with Tinkerbell
Lucy will never remember these days,
but they will live on in my memory and in photos on our wall

Do you like to visit the characters in Disney? 
Who is your favorite Disney character?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Walt Disney World & a Bob Stoller

One of the great debates when traveling to Walt Disney world is what stroller to bring along, do you rent one, do you buy a cheap stroller to travel with, do you use one from the parks, or do you rent one from somewhere outside the parks that will bring it to your resort... or.... or.... or....... the list goes on and on. The options and possibilities are endless. In my opinion there really is not one right answer and there are probably countless answers that would serve you well. I debated what I wanted to do. Do I haul our Bob Stroller (which I love) through the airport, gate check it for free, and then lug it all around the parks and have to fold it down every time we went on a bus, and of course run the risk of something happening to it while it gets gate checked or while we are in the parks? As you can tell from the pictures I opted to bring our Bob stroller. 
I was a little worried that it would be cumbersome or that the airline would not be thrilled with my choice of stroller, but for us it was a perfect option. Lucy LOVES riding in her Bob stroller and I would completely recommend people use their Bob while at Walt Disney World. Yes, it is heavier than an umbrella stroller however, it also reclines which allowed Lucy to nap well in it when she needed to. We also own the rain cover which was AWESOME when it was raining which we don't have for our umbrella stroller. Yes, it was a little bigger and bulkier on the buses to and from the parks, and it was totally fine, we weren't the only ones with a big stroller. We even saw some folks with the double Bob stroller. During the day the buses usually had quite a bit of space on them so it really wasn't a big deal. After fireworks it was always crazy on the bus but really no one said anything about our large stroller or anything, plus there were many large strollers on the bus at night.
I really liked having our own stroller, I knew it was clean (or as clean as we keep our stroller), I knew how to use it (how to quickly fold it up and unfold it), I wasn't worried about if something happened to it and having to pay for damages, I wasn't worried about if Lucy puked or pooped on it. I loved having our own stroller. The perk of hauling a stroller that we haven't had in years past without a stroller at Disney World is that we had somewhere to store all of our sweatshirts and things so we didn't have to constantly be hauling them around. When we were on rides and in attractions we did leave stuff under and in our stroller like our sweatshirts and the rain cover for the stroller, however I always hauled our bag with us that held the diapers, bottles, camera, etc.
The stroller also provided nice viewing for Lucy at parades and things, we would park her stroller right up next to the curb and she could easily watch the parades and things in the shade of her stroller. As you can tell she LOVES riding in her stroller as much as she LOVES being worn in her Tula or Beco carrier. I wouldn't do WDW without both a stroller and a carrier. The carrier we used while on rides, while she was napping, during meals when she was sleeping, and a few other times. I would say she split her time fairly evenly between the stroller and the carrier. When we go back in November (Marc & I are running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon) I will bring the stroller and the carrier again. The perk this time with the carrier is Dad can help wear her too (I love wearing her but some days she was in the carrier five plus hours). It was particularly nice at night when we could put her in the carrier and she would fall asleep before the fireworks, she would sleep through the fireworks, the bus ride home, and I could put her straight into her pack and play after a diaper change. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Walt Disney World with a Six Month Old

I read all of the posts, take a six month old to Disney World, DON'T take a six month old to Disney World, it will be too much work to take a six month old to Disney World, it will be the worst trip of your life, it will be awesome, etc..... I read a TON of blogs about life at Walt Disney World and a six or so month old baby. I waffled back and forth on if I wanted to add my voice to this conversation. But I decided to go for it, throw my thoughts in the myriad of voices available on this topic. Take it for what it is worth. We had a MARVELOUS time. Seriously, awesome, yes, I know Lucy won't remember it, but I will. I made her onesie dresses for each day that we were there and I think they are the PERFECT January in Walt Disney World outfit, I could put pants under her dress in the mornings to keep her warm and then mid day when it is nice and hot we took her pants off and then after dinner I changed her into her PJs so that when we got back to the resort at night she was already in her jams. It worked out slick as snot. I did have a couple back up outfits packed for each day due to the nature of attempting to feed Lucy and her drool factor. 
We traveled with my friend Suzi. I brought along our Bob stroller (post on that coming) and our soft structured baby carrier (I can't imagine not having some type of baby carrier at WDW). Surprisingly Lucy was able to go on WAY more rides and into WAY more attractions that I envisioned her to be able to do. She LOVED the carousel, it's a small world, the fireworks shows, the Parades (she would have watched those all day), people watching, and the characters. Sometimes I questioned who liked each other more the characters loving Lucy or Lucy the characters, they all hammed it up with her and we have some of the cutest pictures from their interactions. Her favorite were the ones that she got to chew on their noses: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck, closely followed by chewing on Plutos whiskers. 

why yes, I would love to chew on your nose
Yes, the trip took a little bit of extra planning in terms of packing bottles and formula and that type of thing - but it was TOTALLY worth it. The baby care centers at each park are AWESOME, use them if you are going to WDW with an infant/newborn/toddler/small child. Yes, we couldn't move at the same pace that we are accustom to moving at - however due to the slower time at WDW we were able to do just about everything we wanted to and had time to spare.
WDW does have an outstanding rider swap system in place where one person waits with the child outside the que for the ride and then the cast member tending to the que gives you a "rider swap" ticket which is good for up to three people (this didn't matter for us since we were only a party of two adults and an infant) but it would be nice if you were traveling in a group so that someone doesn't have to ride alone. The system worked out great for us.

We took tons of pictures and I look forward to creating a shutterfly book from this trip and showing it to Lucy later on in life. (I am sure I will link the shutterfly book at some point on here). It was a great trip and I am even more excited to be headed to WDW in November with: my husband, Lucy, and my parents. My husband and I are going to be running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. She will have even more fun then! 

Smiles for Tinkerbell
she caught herself a Tinkerbell

She loved riding this despite her lack of a smile
Lucy size high chairs 
a thimble from visiting Tinkerbell
Lucy in her carrier with her newly beloved Minnie Mouse

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lucy's Valentine's at Daycare

Every once in a while I get in this streak where I just need to get rid of some of my scrap yarn and I make it my mission to get rid of scrap yarn. When I get in these moods every project I do MUST include scrap yarn (unless I have a super important project come up - then I give myself some grace and buy what I need) and I only buy yarn I need that will allow me to use up yarn, traditionally this means I buy a lot of neutral colors in order to balance out the crazy colors I have stored up.

Back in the beginning of November, I decided I was at the point that I need to use up my scrap yarn pile and started looking at my bins (ugg yes, bins) of scrap yarn and the strange amounts I had left and was puzzled at what I could make with the yarn, because it really was great yarn just small amounts of great yarn, and I kept thinking that I could make a ton of hats if I had somewhere to take/give a ton of hats. I looked into the NICU where Lucy stayed for a  while, however they cannot take handcrafted items due to fear of germs coming in (which I suppose makes sense) and was thinking about where else are there lots of kids and my mind went to Lucy's daycare. {I did end up doing a NICU preemie hat challenge in the month of December and took them down to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis}

Then the idea was born - I would make some type of valentine card that said "Hats off to you Valentine" and attach it to a handmade hat for each kid. The idea was brilliant, I had 3 plus months to make roughly 16 hats. My goal: try lots of new patterns that I have been storing up in my ravelry library AND use up a ton of scrap yarn. BRILLIANT. My yarn stash is now MASSIVELY under control (Thankfully).

The Hats:
Ladybug by Repeat Crafter Me
Penguin by Repeat Crafter Me
Happy Hat 2 by Mamachee
Zebra by Repeat Crafter Me
Shark by Repeat Crafter Me
Snowman by Repeat Crafter Me
Brainwaves by Playin Hooky
Aviator by Repeat Crafter Me
Snow Queen by Repeat Crafter Me
Pop of Color by Mamachee
Mohawk Beanie by Boomer Beanies
Galilee Hat by Mamachee
Tiger by Repeat Crafter Me
Basic Stripes by Colie's Crochet
Emersyn Newsboy Hat by Frayed Knot

All of the hats are adapted from the above patterns, I didn't follow any of them exactly. The only hat I repeated was the Mohawk beanie, I made two of those for a set of brothers. I am actually fairly impressed I managed to get these done.

I know it won't be possible to make hats every year for the kids at daycare for Valentine's day, but it was super fun to come up with a project that allowed me to try a whole bunch of new projects without the stress of them being perfect. As you can tell by the list above I REALLY got into the Repeat Crafter Me patterns, they were fun and easy to follow, I liked how they turned out as a whole and I know I will tweak them a little next time I make them.

I also was thrilled to not be giving out candy for Valentine's day - while I am not anti-candy, it was nice to do something other than candy. I may make it my goal to do noncandy for Valentine's day for a few years, just as a different option.

Note to self: next time you decide to make 16 of anything - give yourself more than two months, particularly if Christmas and the New Year falls in that window as well as a work trip and a vacation.

In the end I LOVED this project.
Are you doing anything fun for Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Detroit Recap

And I am now home for a while, this past weekend Lucy and I went to Detroit for a youth workers/pastors/volunteers conference. It is where we will be having our national youth gathering this coming summer, so it is nice to get a little bit of a lay of the land before being there with tons of kids following us. There will be about 40,000 youth attending, 100 of them mine.
Charlye & Lucy
{Here's hoping they become BFFs}
This past month Lucy and I also took a trip to Detroit for work for me, it worked out MARVELOUSLY to take her along, plus she had a great time. I didn't actually buy Lucy a seat for any of our four legs of our trip, HOWEVER, she got to ride in her carseat each of the four legs due to there being open seats on the plane! SCORE! It was particularly nice on the way home when our flight was suppose to be at 7:00pm but didn't happen until after 11:00pm. She slept the flight, the car ride to our house, and easily transferred to her crib. She was a CHAMPION flier. Seriously, no tears at all. I fed her on the way up and down for each flight so that massively helped.
While we were in Detroit we took in some local favorites: chili dogs at both American and Layfayette in order to be able to compare them, I am a Layfayette fan for sure.

Although they both were good, so I won't complain there. We also hit up a delicious bakery and some other delightful food. The seminars that I attended were good and I took home some great food for thought and am beginning to think of ways to implement some of the things that I learned. The best part was being able to see so many colleagues from all across the United States, and friends from both near and far. Lucy was on no shortage of snuggles and love from so many of my dear friends. It was particularly fun to introduce Lucy to people she hadn't met yet but already loved her so much. She is one loved little girl.

Lucy even got to hang out with her friend Charlye who is several months younger than her (but bigger than her) - Charlye's family and ours will be traveling to Utah together in April #ridiculouslyexcited - they were cute together.
Another highlight was the group Lost and Found were at the gathering, they are a small group of two guys who do music and have made a career out of it. Fun trivia - they started the year I was born and are now retiring after 30 years! I am a little sad that they are retiring but totally pumped for them and that they were able to make a career out of their singing. Lucy got to hear their music and we even scored a picture with them.

Lucy's other favorite was the storyteller guy who essentially recanted the entire gospel of Mark, LUCY LOVED him and was fascinated by his story and the way that he presented. I seriously am a little sad I didn't get a picture of her with him, she loved him and he told her that she was his favorite person at the gathering.

A fun house in Detroit
Lost and Found and Lucy