Wednesday, April 30, 2008

31 cent ice cream...can't beat that!

Well, I wasn't feeling too well today so I left work a little early to get some much needed rest. After sleeping for a full 2 hours, Myles arrived home ready to play. 

I remembered that tonight is Baskin Robbins' annual 31 cent scoop night so we ate some dinner and headed out at around 7 for some scoops. We paid exactly $1 for 3 scoops - I picked bubble gum flavor for Myles (good choice!). We enjoyed our treats and decided to ride down to the park up the road to run off some of that energy gained from eating that sugar. It was a perfectly low-key night and we were entertained for about 90 minutes for $1. 

If you missed this event, bookmark it for next year. I believe they hold it every April 30 and it's a great way to have a nice night with your kids. 

Monday, April 28, 2008

Looking back on a fun weekend

Well Mr. Myles certainly can't claim to have been bored this weekend. He went to a total of THREE events with bounce houses, one of his favorite things! After Kindermusik Saturday morning, Daddy took him to Monkey Joe's while Mommy had a much needed hair appt. We then headed up to Ocala for a fundraiser for my dad. Lots of bouncing (and sliding down a BIG slide) there! One of the funniest moments was when Myles figured out he could climb back UP the slide, rather than going back up the rope side. He looked like a monkey climbing up, up, up, as the line of about a dozen kids waiting for their turn watched on. He was the smallest child doing the slide and probably took the most turns! Sadly, I have no photos of the slide.Sunday, our neighborhood association held a community picnic. Once again, he bounced. He also took great interest in the face painting lady and for the first time, had his own face painted with Lightning McQueen. He did really great sitting still and had a ball! Below is a picture from the Sunday picnic. These types of free community events are WELL WORTH ATTENDING, especially when you have little ones. All they need is 2 or 3 activities and they are set for hours with free (or cheap) entertainment. Really, who needs Chuck-e-Cheese?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mission accomplished!

When I became a mom, I took a look (for the first time) at how healthy I was really living. I think most moms re-evaluate their lifestyle and health at this critical life juncture. I ended up making some minor changes like trying to be a little more active, but nothing too big. 

Then came time for New Year's Resolutions for 2008. I've never been a big Resolution person, but I couldn't believe it when I realized I'd never lost all of my baby weight. Myles was 22 months old and I was feeling like a complete loser. So I made a decision to change that. I joined Weight Watchers and started REALLY watching what I was eating. Then I started running. 

I had dabbled in running late in 2007, but not done very well, never really being able to jog more than a mile. However, I asked for an iPod for Christmas and got one. Then I asked for real running shoes for my birthday in January. My mom was wonderful to buy both of these items, and they truly revolutionized my life, changing running from a punishment to a joy. 

So, what I'm getting to is that last night I RAN my first 5K!!! I took part in the IOA Corporate Challenge, which is held in Orlando each year. I was part of my company's team and unsure whether I could run the full 3.1 miles despite my training. 

I can't remember many other times in my life I have felt so amazing than during this 5K! I felt strong, accomplished, and HEALTHY! Although the last mile was really tough, passing hundreds, if not over a thousand, runners who had started walking during that last mile kept me going. And as I thought about Myles, I pressed on and continued to run. I was nearly sobbing as I crossed the finish line. I never did slow to a walk. I persevered and finished in 32 minutes, 21 seconds! I would have never believed even 6 months ago that I could run a 5K, let alone in that time. But I did!!! I am in the best shape of my life...thanks to Myles!

Below are two photos - one of me before the race and one of the crowd as we crossed the starting line. I am near the middle in the mint green tank top, trying to push through the crowd. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Digital scrapbooking

I started digital scrapbooking a couple of weeks ago. There is a great site called How Fast They Grow, which has lots and lots of templates you can use to get started. It is free to join the site, and you may purchase actual print-outs of your scrapbook pages. Here is one that I created last week. I plan to keep this up as I assemble photos that would make a good story or set for a scrapbook page. This is a great way to preserve memories for your child to enjoy for a lifetime!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ice cream dream

When I arrived home last night from work (with Myles in tow), it was obvious we were not going to be sitting watching TV all night. You see, I mistakenly sent PIE with Myles for lunch, instead of the leftover chicken he'd been served Sunday night at his Meme's house. She sent me home with two different baggies Sunday night - one with pie and one with chicken. I forgot about the pie and when I went to grab his lunch on Monday morning, I grabbed the first thing I saw, which I thought was the chicken.

Our babysitter, Jade, had quite the laugh when I came to pick him up, asking if I was SURE that was chicken, as it smelled very sweet and looked a little like pie. son ate applesauce and pie for lunch and was bouncing off the walls.

With the weather nice, Billy wanted to take his plane down to the park. Perfect opportunity to get out of the house! So the three of us loaded into the car for the half-mile ride. When we arrived, Myles and I jogged a lap around the track (with Myles yelling, "Mommy, RUN!") while Daddy flew his plane. We also sat on the grass and watched the plane soar and enjoyed the beautiful breeze. Once his batteries were spent, we decided to head down to Brewster's and get some ice cream. What the heck, might as well go all out on sweets today and with me besting my personal best running time earlier that day, I felt I could afford the calories!

Myles got a free "baby cone," since he is still under 40" tall. It had a scoop of vanilla ice cream that was dyed purple and it had lots of sprinkles and two dinosaur eyes planted on the top. He LOVED the colors! He loved the ice cream even more, as Billy and I did not even get a sniff! Then, when I started eating MY ice cream (after helping him with his), he threw the biggest fit ever that I had the nerve to eat a spoonful without giving him some. So basically, he went bite for bite with me until I finally just threw the rest away. My little boy loves his sweets, just like his Mommy! Now if he could only learn some manners...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Having fun on a budget

So one of my (and my husband's) goals as parents is to find something very active and fun to do with Myles each weekend. Typically, whatever we do needs to be on a budget as well, since we don't have money coming out of our ears and have seen our fair share of "unexpected" expenses over the past 2 years. Specifically, we do our best to stay under $20 in this outing.With the Central Florida Fair in town for 10 days, we desperately wanted to go. But, as you probably know, fairs are not for the budget conscious. I checked their site Friday night and on top of $10 admissions for my husband and I (free for Myles), we would have each needed to purchase $20 wristbands to ride all of the rides. To me, this is the only way to go at a fair, since many rides cost 3-4 tickets, valued at $1 each!!! So for the three of us to enjoy a day at the fair, we were looking at $80...WAY out of our budget!

Enter my good friend, Jen, who always seems to know of the fun events around town. As it turns out, her daughter's pre-school was holding a festival, complete with two bounce houses, a cute kiddie train ride, lots and lots of great developmental activities like water tables, sand tables, bean bag toss, and more and entertainment by local kid favorite, Mister Richard. It was the perfect event for us!

Myles had an absolute blast, although he went nuts in the bounce house. You see, the kids entered the bounce house on one side, jumped a little, then climbed an inflatable wall (similar to a rock climbing wall) and slid down the other side. Well, of course, the bigger kids (4-6 years old) weren't sliding...they were jumping off the wall. And of course, my sweet little 25 month-old had to follow suit. He jumped and jumped, both off the wall side and off the slide side. I finally lured him off, red faced and covered with sweat after 20 minutes or so, by offering him some juice and popcorn.

I think the thing I liked best about this event was the developmental toys they had strewn around the grounds. Myles spent a lot of time at the sand table, where they had an assortment of small cars and trucks to ride through the sand. He also cooled off by splashing A LOT at the water table.

We spent about 2.5 hours total at the event and Myles crashed on the way home. Total cost was only $18, which bought us BBQ lunches and a wristband for Myles, getting him unlimited train rides, turns in the bounce house, and unlimited snow cones and popcorn. It was $18 well spent...and honestly, I am sure he had just as good a time there as he would have at the $80 fair!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Can a mommy "do it all"?

This is the question many women find themselves asking after they become a mommy. And I believe the answer is.... yes, and no.

First off, no, we cannot continue to do all that we did when we were living the freewheeling married-no-kids (or single) life. It simply isn't possible due to the time restraints of the day. However, YES, we can "do it all," as long as "it all" is defined ahead of time as being the things that are truly important in life. Will most of us be out getting pedicures on Saturday afternoon? Nope, we'll probably be in Gymboree class. But the real question is whether those pedicures really were that important to begin with.

I believe all moms should make a list of their priorities, then determine how much is realistically possible and stick with it. As a working mom, I find myself doing this every day. It is important to me to maintain a professional career. I tried being a SAHM and hated it. I love the freedom that comes with being around adults. Just having that hour alone in the car each day is therapeutic and prepares me for being a mommy the minute I get home. One thing I found I couldn't do any longer after returning to work was clean my house. So I hired a housekeeper to come in every other week. And while I realize not everyone can afford a housekeeper, you may be able to work out a trade for something you are unable to continue. Take out a Craigslist ad and see the possibilities. I also use my lunch breaks at work to complete errands, sometimes including purchasing my "dry goods" food for the week.

Of course, just being with your child is probably at the top of nearly every mom's list. And with that comes the question of what to do. And with that comes the purpose for this blog. I would like to share my ideas of things to do with your child(ren) and tell you about the things we like to do. I hope this will help you realize you can "do it all" with your child, even if you are a working mom!