Thursday, July 18, 2013

sweat baby run

Hi there.  For the last couple of weeks I have dived head first into a new mission to get fit.  I was in really great shape and running a ton before I had my babies.  Since then, well, I've made a lot of excuses.  I've made a recommitment to myself to get in shape and work on the post-baby body and I've started a new blog to keep track of my journey.  I think that by documenting my process it keeps me on track and maybe helps inspire another Mom out there too.  If you are interested you can follow my new blog here.

I've named it sweat baby run.  www.sweatbabyrun.com

I'd love to have you follow my journey.

I haven't decided what I am going to do with The Little Things.  I have wanted to rename and move it for a while but for now I am just going to let it sit.  If I feel inspired to continue, well, you'll know about it.

See you over at sweatbabyrun!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Settling into Arizona

Our first two weeks in Arizona have been fun and frustrating. 

Despite not having our household goods so I can begin unpacking, I have been busy from sun up to sun down entertaining Emmi & Landon and keeping them out of all the trouble that comes with a nearly empty house.  Did I mention Emmi is crawling and getting into everything now?  Anywho, here are a few tidbits about our first week in a new state and new home.


- Arizona is backwards.  If you are in the left turn lane at a light you will get a green arrow after the straight ahead traffic, not before.  Target's entrance is backwards to.  I walk in the exit every. single. time.

- Obey the traffic laws here or you will get a ticket (with a picture of you driving) in the mail.

-I found a local farm csa and a farmers market!

-Waiting two weeks in an empty house for your household goods is much easier without kids.

-I want to join a gym but the "child care" is extra.  "Child care" is in quotations because they don't change diapers or give bottles so I'm not exactly sure what I'm paying for.

-There's a six month wait for on-post part-time toddler care.  Off-post daycares want a longer than six month agreement.  We will be here for six months.

- So far the weather is gorgeous and as it turns out I'm pretty happy when a monsoon comes through because we usually need the cool down.


Tonight we are going to make fajitas with our local (made today) tortillas, tortilla chips & salsa, and have dinner in our camp chairs around a box dinner table.  Hopefully for one of the last times.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cross Country Road Trip Day Four

 
 

Landon's expression pretty much sums it up.  We rocked this road trip!  A short six hour drive is all the stood between us and our new home in southern Arizona.  So, we hit the road early, the kids both took a morning nap.  We lunched at McDonald's. (Read here about how the kids were completely over our picnic lunches.)  Then we hit the road again and made it into our new town between one and two in the afternoon.  I mentioned in my road trip prep that I was planning daily new gifts for Landon to help encourage good behavior in the car.  Here are the pictures of him each day.
 

 

Day 1 - Superman notebook and pencil.

 

Day 2 - Superman stickers & pencil case.
 
Day 3 - Dinosaur Train book.
 

Day 4 - Superman Wallet & a pop-up book.
 
 
Landon got about 3 new toys on the last day because we weren't sure how many days the trip would take.  Shorter was definitely better! 

So, we arrive in Arizona.  First stop was to pick up keys to our rental house.  Second stop - home!

Some notes to myself for the next time we PCS:

-Make sure power/water/gas are turned on at your new location before arrival.
-Easy road trip does now mean easy first week in new home.
-Your household goods will NOT show up when you think they will.
-Packing mattresses in our trailer - BEST. DECISION. EVER. (although a couch would be nice too.)
-Coffee pot should be unpacked first with toys.
-Pack a TV next time.
-Oh, and schedule TV/internet hookup ASAP.

Ok, road trip over.  New mission - find daycare/preschool, sign up for gym, and find way to pass the time until our stuff ever arrives aannnnnddddd....sleep. 

Yes, I need lots more sleep.

Cross Country Road Trip Day Three

 


If you are just now joining us, you can read about Day One and Day Two here. 

Day two began with a hotel coffee fail so I was pretty excited last night when I spotted a Starbucks not far from our hotel.  Mental note for morning.  My husband thankfully agreed to the extra stop for my much needed coffee fix.  Last night we stayed at a Spring Hill Suites (in Oklahoma City) which was very nice, but caused for a chaotic morning as there were not two separate rooms.  It doesn't matter how tired my littles are if they hear you awake they are going to wake up and usually not happy.  So it just meant for a quick exit from the hotel before we woke up everyone!

Day three went pretty much like the previous two - began with Landon's 'new' toy for the day and a new DVD or two to watch.  Soon it was time for lunch and well, the picnic lunch has lost its appeal completely.  Neither kid wanted to eat, again, and they were too curious about their surroundings.  We tried to keep meal times on schedule with the time change each day, but of course hunger came early and both kids snacked in the car.  Ah well, at least they were eating something!  After lunch time both kids have been taking a nearly two hour nap.  That has made for a nice break, even for sitting in a car.  Also, on day three the landscape finally started to noticeably change.  This was a stop in New Mexico.
 
 
We arrived in Albuquerque mid-afternoon between the early start and gaining an hour crossing into New Mexico.  Exhaustion has begun to set in so we order in a pizza, then give the kids a bath.  It's amazing how fun two empty water bottles can be to play with.
 
By 8pm (10pm Eastern time) our hotel room looked like this:
 
Ahhh, sweet silence.  One more day to go.

 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Cross Country Road Trip Day Two


If you are following, we recently drove from Virginia to Arizona with a toddler, baby, and one very large dog.  Our trip actually began in upstate NY (Fort Drum if you are military) but we detoured for two weeks in Virginia to visit with family.  I've been slow to post each day because we've been adjusting to our new home, trying to get the kids off of East Coast time (which has made for early mornings AND late nights) and dealing with a fever in the littlest one.  Here is a little bit about day two.
 
Today is Day two on the road.  It began with a huge hotel coffee fail.  I filled to the max line.  Apparently that will fill up about 3 cups off coffee.  Oops!  We made it all the way to a small town in Tennessee between Nashville and Memphis on Day one.  We were off to a later start this morning (about 8:30am) but we enjoyed a little extra sleep as day one was our longest.  Our hotel stay at La Quinta was great and highly recommended if you have dogs (no extra pet fee - even for a Great Dane!)  Getting a suite so that our toddler could sleep in a different room than us?  Genius!  He fell and stayed asleep so much better than if we had been in the same room. (*Disclaimer – I don’t mean an actually separate hotel room, a suite with two connecting rooms, but a wall separating us.)  Anyways, our Great Dane, Tucker, slept in the room with Landon and he thought that was pretty cool.  We grabbed (free) breakfast at the hotel and hit the road.  We had another lunch picnic but neither kid ate so that was kind of a fail.  There’s been a lot of snacking in the car so maybe that is to blame.  I expect all routines will be a little wacky until we get to Arizona and settled.  I stocked up on organic, squeeze pouches of baby food for Emmi so that I had a way to satisfy her hunger if we weren’t at a stopping point.  She can actually hold them herself and sucks the baby food down like a yummy smoothie.  I should point out here that Landon never could have those on his own.  He had too much fun squeezing and making a huge mess of them so I was pleasantly surprised to see Emmi EAT them and not making a mess of them.  Yay for little girls!  Day two was for the most part uneventful, so here are a few pictures.
 
Lunch picnic!

Emmi preferred dirt and rocks.
 
Traffic jam = fresh air.
 
A fun game of peek-a-boo between Landon and Emmi.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cross Country Road Trip Day One


 
We're now settling into our new, temporary home, in Arizona.  I took some notes at the end of each day of our four day drive from Virginia to Arizona.  Here is a bit about Day 1:
 
Our road trip to Arizona got off to a great start.  The day before, we went to a local Splash Park and wore the kids out with water, sun and playtime with their cousins.  I’m convinced that helped us get through our first and longest day on the road.  We kicked off about 6:30am and woke the kids just enough to dress them and throw them in the car.  We stopped for breakfast a couple hours down the road.  I’ve found this makes a long day on the road go faster than attempting breakfast before leaving.  Tucker, our Great Dane, traveled well as usual, although he seems to be having more trouble getting into and out of the truck.  Landon and Emmilyn shared applejacks during our breakfast stop (pictured above).  Our goal for this trip was to only buy dinner for two reasons.  1. To eat healthy and 2. To feel good.  I always find on a road trip I feel miserable because of the food I eat, usually purchased at whatever stop we make.  Saving money is definitely a bonus. Traveling with a big dog gives us limitations too.  We can't go sit down at a restaurant or visit some touristy site.  We can pretty much stop, eat outside, walk the dog, and let the kids play.  I was a bit more lazy packing food this time around but here is what we did pack:

-          Ham biscuits (Ham & swiss rolls with a Dijon mustard/worstershire sauce.  I toast them in the oven then put one bag in the fridge and one in the freezer so it will last longer.

-          Pasta salad – thanks to my Mom for making this.  Everything from pasta, peppers, carrots, squash, salami, cheese.  Lots of fresh goodies that all four of us could eat.

-          Cheese, crackers, and pepperoni snack kit.  The kind you buy in the store.  Yeah.  Lazy.  But as it turns out, the perfect travel food!

-          String cheese, individual boxes of Horizon milk, lots of water.

-          -Dry snacks put into individual snack bags. Cheerios, pretzels, dried apricots, craisins, cheese-its, Belvita breakfast biscuits, Applejacks.

We’ve had to stop for gas often because we are pulling a huge trailer so we set up a lunch picnic in the back of a truck stop parking lot.  Sounds classy, eh?  The sacrifices you make traveling with a dog and a gas guzzling truck & trailer.  Our first day we logged over 600 miles, 10-11 hours of driving time, and about 13 hours on the road total. The remaining days should be shorter. 

 

Remember when I said I was going to have this road trip all planned out before we left?  Well…I didn’t.  I’m not sure if it was part denial, part laziness, or the realization that flexibility was the only way we would survive a road trip with a toddler, baby, and a VERY big dog.  We had sorta kinda looked up the route and discussed it but ultimately we left Virginia without a single hotel booked and we hadn’t yet decided which route we were going to take.  Thanks to technology we discussed on the first leg of the trip and searched hotels while driving down the road.  Our plan as of now is to take each day with this method.  Decide on the road in the morning how far we want to go, book a hotel for that night, and take the next day as it comes. 
Wow, perhaps I am moving past my obsessive planning?  I guess kids will do that to you. 

Ah well, here’s hoping tomorrow is just as smooth.
Here are two more snaps towards the end of the first day.
 
Still happy and watching a movie.  Probably Marmaduke.

We managed to also eat healthy for dinner.  Check out the delish looking fish tacos!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Toddler Travel Finds

I like to think of myself as a bargain shopper.  It's just a way of shopping that was embedded into my brain by my mother.  At times it's frustrating because I see something I really want and I just. can't. buy it.  That little voice in the back of my head won't let me!  Have I ever mentioned that my Mom bought my prom dress for $30 without me even being present?  It fit perfect and was gorgeous!

When it came to picking up some toys and dvd's for our cross country drive I was not going to spend much money.  Speaking of dvd's, what's with them being so expensive to begin with?  $20-50 for a single movie?  No thanks, we'll rent through red box or Vudu and be done with it.

The first place we went was Target (as if I needed a reason) and I noticed a bunch of Superman themed items in the dollar bins. 

 
I picked up a sticker book, pencils, a pencil case, velcro wallet, and a little notebook.  They also had these adorable pop-up books.  One is about robot cowboys and the other dinosaurs in outer space.  In other words, perfect for little boys!  I realize most of the Superman stuff is way above Landon's age of 2 but I know my kid.  He loves stickers, containers to put random things in, and he will probably play with the velcro wallet for about half a day.  At a dollar each, mission accomplished.
 
Next we went to Ollie's Bargain Outlet and found the following.
 

Word World, Bob the Builder, two Thomas the train DVD's each over an hour long and a Dinosaur Train book.  Each of these items were only $3.99!  My plan is to give Landon one or two of the new items each day on our road trip which we are expecting to be 4-5 days long (still working out the drive details.)

Neither store really had bargain items suited for Emmi, but I have a bunch of Baby Einstein DVD's I plan to use (in case of emergency) and I'll just rotate some of her smaller toys she already has.

We expect full on meltdowns from both kids probably more than once on our drive but with a few new items we can at least minimize the damage!