Swim Class!

The entire month of March, and over Spring break, the boys have been learning how to swim! They were going twice a week in March, and over Spring break, they both really were able to show me some amazing things that they have learned. Parker has been moved up to PS3, and Mason is in PS2. Parker can hold his breath for longer and can grab things at the bottom of the pool and come back up with the object. He is also able to “swim” to the instructor and come up for breaths like he’s supposed to. I put swim in quotes because it’s more like doggy paddling. He’ll learn how to perfect his strokes when he moves up to PS4. Mason has done great floating on his back and has been starting to learn how to keep his face under water and swim (doggy paddle) without a float. He’s not quite there yet, but he’s been doing great! I’m so proud of how they’re both doing and I can’t wait to spend the summer with them at the pool with their new learned skills!
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New Fish Friends

We got some new fish! We thought it would be fun for the kiddos if we got a little aquarium. We got a little ten gallon tank to start off with. We know nothing about fish except that we had them as pets when we were little. So, we’re all learning. We’d love to eventually get a saltwater tank, but we’ve heard it’s best to make our mistakes with little five dollar fish, than to make our mistakes and kill a eighty dollar fish. The kids are having fun with Stripe, Sharky, Nemo (of course), Orangena and two snails named Turbo and Bertha. The kids love watching them and feeding them! Please pray we don’t kill them, and have to give a speech about death to the kids.

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Working on my Fitness

It’s past due.  I’ve had a few hiccups in getting back to my pre-baby weight.  The busyness of life mixed with many obstacles such as overcoming poor health from Lyme Disease, moving and getting settling into our new home, raising three kids… the usual.  I decided a few weeks ago that I’d had it.  I’m tired of the excuses.  I needed to do something consistent every day if I wanted to see results.  My problem was, that some days I would do great.  Sienna would go down for a morning nap, I would zip off to the elliptical trainer, get some cardio in, and maybe again in the evening I would go for a walk before or after dinner, but then some days, I had laundry or something else that needed my attention and my exercise routine always suffered.  I knew that if I wanted to  see results, then I had to come up with a strict plan and stick with it!

yoga-tree-poseAbout a month ago I convinced a friend to come to a yoga class with me at a nearby studio Breathe Yoga that I had been eye-ing up since we moved here.  After my first class, I knew it was something that I wanted to make apart of a weekly routine.  It centered me- for lack of a better word.  I have three kids, I’m a busy Mom and our house is loud.  This place was quiet.  My house has demanding expectations. This place leaves expectations at the door.  It is a place that helps rejuvenate me and when I leave there, I leave with a boost!  It also helps me be intentional about having “me” time.  I can do something for myself without the title of “Mom” or “Wife” or “Friend” or whatever.  Of course, I am all of those things, and will always be those things, but for the hour and ten minutes that I am intentional about the practice of yoga, I get to be in the moment with just me.  Just my breath.  I can choose to invite God into my heart and mind, and meditate.  Or I can choose to have some quiet time alone focusing on my breathing.  I love that!

So, after a handful of visits to the studio, I found which instructors I like the best, and I am regularly going twice a week now.  Saturday mornings they have an intense Hot yoga class, which is my favorite class and on Tuesday nights they have a “Yoga for Everybody” class which is less intense, but a great addition to my week.  On the days I’m not practicing yoga, I’ve made a commitment to wake up every morning at 6:20am and hit the elliptical trainer for 30-35 minutes and then rotate doing some muscle strengthening exercises following that.  The kiddos start stirring around 7:15, so it gives me lots of time to get my cardio on why they’re still asleep.  Dan takes off for the gym early, so I bring the video monitor downstairs to listen out for any early risers.  The boys have a clock that turns green in their room at 7:20 and they know to play in their rooms until it’s green if they’re awake.  Most of the time, they abide by that rule.iworkout

There you have it.  I’m SERIOUS about working on my fitness.  Going on almost a month of this fitness routine and I’ve lost six pounds.  Still working on being more conscientious about my food intake.  Quality is ok, quantity is not good.  The good news is though since I’ve been working out, I’ve felt less hungry and have had more energy throughout the day.  I am ready to receive the kids in the morning with joy instead of feeling irritated that they’ve woken me up to start a new day.  I’ve been more intentional about my quiet time with God and I feel that I’m growing spiritually too, which is huge.  I know in order to be in the best overall health, it requires me to transform my mind, body and spirit to focus on HIM.  That is my mantra!

Easter Photo Shoot

It’s the week before Easter, and I decided I would break out the camera and dust of my 50mm lens (I usually use my 28mm lens because it’s better for life with movement photos).  I didn’t have a ton of creative ideas for what I wanted to do for the pictures, but I wanted to get pictures of them dressed nice with their basket.  Here’s the lowdown on their Easter attire:

Parker and Mason:

OshKosh Button Down shirts- sale rack from Target, Calvin Klein easy zip ties-Macys (definitely recommend this easy-to-tighten style!), White Ralph Lauren Polo shorts-Macys, OshKosh grey lace-up loafer shoes-Target

Sienna:

Rare Editions Brand Dress- Given to us by a friend, and Smart Fit white leather buckle shoes- All4kids Consignment

I prefer to take seasonal photos prior to the actual holiday.  That way among the fun, I don’t get distracted about trying to get the perfect shot, and I’m able to enjoy the holiday itself.  Over this next week, the kids will be attending three Easter Egg hunts between playdates, school and Easter.  We’re working on incorporating the true meaning of Easter among all the fun, too.  Last night I read Parker the story of Jesus’ death.  Tonight we cover the resurrection.  It was nice to have a deep discussion with him about this important topic that is so crucial to our belief in Jesus as our savior.  It’s been great learning about Christ’ crucifixion through the eyes of a four year old!  The questions and curiosity has given me a great reminder of what he did for us that day on the cross!  We’re waiting to discuss the details of Easter with Mason.  I just don’t feel like he’s old enough to understand in great detail.

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Sending abundant Easter blessings to you and your family!

 

A Disney filled weekend with Mason

We started our trip to Orlando with Mason flying on his first ever airplane!  He loved it, and he honestly wasn’t nervous at all.  He had plenty of fun little distractions, but preferred sitting by the window, staring out and telling me what he saw.  I’ve never been a big fan of flying, and I’m glad that I didn’t pass my fear onto him.  After a little while, we broke out the iPad, and Mason enjoyed playing a little Mickey’s Road Rally.  Happy as a clam with bear-bear in tow!

MasonDisney07I loved the time I spent with Parker at Disney so much right before his third birthday and that was one reason why we decided to continue the tradition and bring Mason there for his third birthday as well!

We arrived in the afternoon and Mason took a quick snooze in the car on the way to the hotel.  That was perfect, because then he was recharged for fun! I told him the hotel had a pool, and he immediately wanted to go for a swim!  It was perfect because he played in the kiddie pool, and Mama got to relax and enjoy the sunshine for a bit!IMG_5276

After a nice dip in the pool, we headed to Downtown Disney for some yummy dinner and to look around at the fun stores!  A nice tip for those of you dining with one child and heading to T-Rex, SIT AT THE BAR! There’s always a few seats available and best of all, you get the same fun filled atmosphere with NO WAIT.  Those wait lists are ridiculous spanning over an hour for a table. With kids… No. Thank. You.  Granted, they do have a cool place where you can dig for bones, and a gift shop, and other fun things to keep your child busy, but still… when they’re hungry, they’re hungry.  Meltdown could ensue… so either get there early or if there are just a few of you, then hit up the bar! It’s totally kid friendly!

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This was a busier time of year than when I took Parker.  Mostly because quite a few people had their spring break.   We still made the best of it, even though the lines were a bit longer.  We arrived early before the gates opened and Mason LOVED seeing all the characters open the park!  It is one of my most favorite times. The anticipation of seeing all the characters just brings a big smile on my face! I loved seeing Mason’s face for the first time when he saw Mickey.  Pure Joy!  He DOES NOT normally like characters either.  He LOVED seeing Mickey though!

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We got on a lot of rides right away when we first got there because we were there so early.  Buzz Lightyear ride was first, then tea cups, race cars, flying saucers, and Dumbo… Lots of fun!!!

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We ate lunch at the Crystal Palace.  I knew Mason wasn’t too fond of large stuffed characters, but the lunch is truly fantastic, with it being a buffet, and free for kids under 3.  I tried to get him to warm up to Pooh, and a few of his friends, but he wasn’t having it.  It didn’t help that Mason was starving, and as soon as we were seated, the last thing he wanted to see was a fuzzy bear in a suit.  He wanted food.  I didn’t blame him either.  It was pretty hot out, and it was easy after all the fun activities to work up an appetite.  MasonDisney10

MasonDisney09After lunch, we enjoyed seeing the parade, and we headed back to the hotel so Mason could get a nice nap.  I wanted him to get a good nap, so we could hopefully stay out late and avoid potential meltdowns.  Meltdowns were averted, and we enjoyed the rest of the evening!

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MasonDisney12DisneyMason12Mason and I made some sweet memories together.  It’s been fun seeing his sweet personality shine during this trip.  It is so different from Parker’s personality and I love him for that.  When Parker went to Disney he wanted to do the fastest and scariest rides, and loved all the Winnie the Pooh characters. Mason on the other hand loved the siging and dancing of the parades, meeting Mickey, and the outdoor rides and wasn’t as fond of the Winnie the pooh characters.  When we left after the parade that night, I felt like we did everything in a day that we could to make it a fun special time for the two of us.  The weather was nice, and afterward Mason said that he really loved the time we spent together.  That alone made it all worth it.  Sharing memories that I know he’ll remember for many years to come!

MickeyDisney13 MasonDisney14 MasonDisney15Our last day in Orlando was St. Patty’s Day.  We went back to Downtown Disney and did some shopping and had fun at the Lego store, and ate lunch at the Rainforest Cafe before going to see the Lego Movie at the theater.  A great way to rap up the weekend! {iPhone pics}

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