Wednesday, June 29, 2011

i need some help

anyone that has some suggestions, i'm in need. i've been trying to start running again (it's been like 15 years... and when i was a teenager i still didn't run all that much or far, but i enjoyed it then, so i'm saying "again" even if it's not technically accurate) and i need some motivation. what do you do to motivate yourself to exercise? how do you exercise with small children? how do you eat healthier (without "dieting", which i hate and refuse to do)? any ideas?

ps, i've been jogging in the evenings after paul gets home, and usually that works for me, but it's so HOT! and i haven't been going as long as i want, i still like it, and i still feel good, but i get so thirsty (even if i drink as i go i feel dehydrated). i also go on long walk/jogs some mornings (with afton on her bike and the other 2 in the stroller, but i can only go as fast as afton... and that's not very consistent or very fast). i know i need to do more, but i can't figure out a practical approach.
(and i'm posting this in part so i don't have any more excuses)

Monday, June 27, 2011

afton's new look

and not only new bangs, but also a tinkerbell bun :)
ps, the rest of her hair is the same

stay-cation, part 1 addendum

conversations between naomi & rayna during the night of the babysitting:
     1st time to bed
N: Rayna, lie down
R: I can't
N:why not?
R: it's night time, i'm old now, and my back hurts
N: ok, lay on your tummy
R:it hurts too
N: lay down, and i'll rub your back
(she was out by the time i got up to her on the bunkbed)
     2nd time i put her to bed (aprox. 1:20 am
N: R, where do you want to sleep? in mom's bed, your bed, or aftons bed?
R: one minute, i'm thinking
(20 seconds later)
R: I've decided!
N: where will you sleep then?
R:daddy's bed.

hehehe :D

Sunday, June 26, 2011

sunday afternoon pile-ups

so, now that we have sunday morning church, it seems the afternoons always end up like this: 

i guess it's because we like to wake daddy up from his sunday nap ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

malachi's first bike ride

about two weeks ago malachi got to go on his first bike ride with dad. he was a little frustrated at first, seriously dad, that helmet's partly pink (poor little brother), and he DOES NOT like hats of any kind (we've already lost 2, though some of our friends found the second one), and as much as he likes being outside, he'd rather be running away from mom or dad than sitting behind someone.
but dad, this helmet's got pink flowers on it!!!
 however, it only took about this far:
 before he realized this was going to be fun!!! and they had a great ride, so that when they got back home and dad took chi's helmet off, he tried to put it back on so he could ride some more :).
ps, this is still paul's old bike, he had already gotten his new one,
but the baby seat doesn't go on it, only the old one...
why am i getting the feeling we're not going to be selling this one?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

stay-cation, part 2

so the best part of our stay-cation was actually after the conference. we had paul nearly all to ourselves from june 7-12! we got some good shopping in, and my apartment has not been cleaner since we moved in three years ago (i can actually get stuff done, and it stays clean when there's another adult around... for a few hours at least), and paul cleaned the carpets, and bought his christmas present (he got $ towards a new bike, but he hadn't had time to look for one til june! seriously folks, he's THAT busy!). and best of all, we went blackberry picking! malachi you'll see, is a natural:

love them berries!
okay, this one admitedly has nothing to do with blackberries, but i thought it was cute :)
afton could eat blackberries three meals a day, seven days a week if allowed!

and yes, we got 4 bags! YUM!!!
we actually probably didn't do too much more than usual with paul home, but we appreciated it all a lot more! we also had plenty of time playing with blocks:

we were rather proud of how we got this tower to balance on rayna's ear.
afton was too wiggly to get more than a couple blocks.

and this tower is nearly as tall as rayna!
 both girls LOVE building towers for chi to knock down. and he loves to oblige! what a great easy activity!

stay-cation, part 1

there's nothing like a little "time-off" for daddy, while he's got a conference for which he's supposed to be general go-fer boy, for a great family stay-cation! fortunately for us, it worked out really, really well!

paul's last day of practicum (essentially an unpaid mandatory internship) at galaxy counseling center was tuesday may 31. the conference (the name of which i have forgotten) started officially thursday, so paul was still really busy that week. fortunately, the conference was taking place in the fairmont hotel in downtown dallas, and double-fortunately the person in charge of the conference was paul's advisor, and he managed to get two connecting rooms for us for thursday night, so the kids and i got to go down to dallas and have a little time with paul, and have a great vacation too! we LOVED the hotel!

the girls, and kitty, coloring on fairmont hotel stationary.
 i think everyone's favorite part of the hotel was actually the view (though i didn't take any pictures). the kids all went straight to the window-wall upon entering the room and pointed out various items of interest (fountains, people, cars, a swimming pool on a parking garage roof, lots of really, really tall buildings with cool windows, lighting, painting, etc)

needless to say, the hotel beds were also a major fascination point (not to mention the tv that you could see from the bed...)
the kids and i went on a little walk while daddy was particularly busy, and right next to our hotel was a building i'd told afton about once before, and she remembered, so we went there first. it's called fountain place (the big green building with the triangle-shaped point for those of you that remember the dallas sky-line but don't know/remember this place). there are fairly extensive (for the city) grounds under/around the building that are covered with water and fountains. most of them are small like these, with trees and tables and benches and things to enjoy the view. they also have a great "dancing" fountain, that squirts water straight up in patterns. the kids all enjoyed sitting and watching that (again, no pictures) for a little while.
fountain place

malachi needed his own "bed" and though he didn't make it through the night in it, he loved having a place of his own

when daddy was finally done with business it was too late to go to a restaurant for dinner, so he picked up some texas barbeque for us to enjoy at the hotel. yum!
friday morning we thought we'd take a trolley ride (since we didn't have time to go swimming before daddy had to be off to another meeting... darn conference!). since i was more or less sitting still for the next hour, i took lots of pictures :)
here we go! (yes rayna was a little nervous, though she got over it pretty quickly)
see, i told you she got over it! and yes, i was there too.

malachi was having the time of his life!
our driver was a retiree that studies dallas history in his spare time, so he assured us he could tell us more than the average driver, and i'm sure he did! he was a great tour guide!

he also let us ring the trolley bell when we were disembarking. it's a button on the floor so you can just step on it, though chi liked to bang it with his hand. the girls were a little more nervous, though afton did ring it once.

if i'd gotten around to posting the pictures right after we got back i could tell you how old this trolley is... i remember it was from melbourne, and it's been in more or less continual use since it was first made. the only  real modification is the a/c (thank heavens!)
the best part of the hotel experience for me though, was friday night. my beautiful amazing loving awesome sisters came to watch the kids at our house so paul and i could have a date-night. though i'm not sure that's the right phrase because i had three hours to myself while he was still conferencing. (that's right folks, three solid hours to do absolutely nothing without any kids!!!) then we had a late dinner and walk through west end. it was nice to enjoy the energy of the city, and have a little break from the routine of the average day. thanks so much missy, nicki and naomi for watching the kids that night!

Monday, June 13, 2011

memorial day

so memorial day was great fun for us this year. we went out to lake lavon (which may be filthy and a little gross, but it was warm, and the day was beautiful!) for a little picnic with a bunch of friends. i think there were 5 families in all, including 13 1/2 children under 6. and lots of good food and laughter.
ready... set... come on mom, let's go already!
 the kids were ready to go by the time they finished their breakfast cereal.

what makes you think i got into the charcoal daddy was packing?
mostly we spent a lot of time wading in the shallows of the lake, and eating. some of our friends have this little raft that they bring to share. all the kids love it or are scared to death of it, though i guess that's the way with most water toys. we also had plenty of squirt guns and a few other land-activities.  
one of only two pics i actually took at the lake, and the other was worse... i'm just not a good photographer... but yes, this is paul's turn to take some afton boating.
unfortunately we had to leave early to get paul off to school for some last minute preparations for his conference poster presentation (more on that soon), but fortunately, the kids did great and all three had naps in the car as we got paul to school and us back home, where we switched out some of our stuff and reloaded to go up to grandma's house in the afternoon so we could see our cousins again before they moved off to utah (actually, we ended up seeing them one more time before they left this weekend, but we didn't know we'd be able to at memorial day).
we love this country we live in and love to have holidays to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy, and we especially love having a little extra fun time with daddy and our family and friends!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a few little things to make you smile

afton devised this treasure hunt for me and rayna to follow (we had to stay on the papers), i think the treasure was a toy, but i honestly don't remember... but i loved how excited she was about the whole thing.

and since i evidentally didn't take a single picture of rayna's birthday parties, here's one of the girls playing with one of her gifts. (she also got a barbie that she loves, some bubbles, a purse, some water toys, and a few other things i can't think of at this moment)

this just makes me smile :) what a goofy boy!

and a classic pic of three kids "together"


i know, more old stuff... ketchup ;) but since we're on the topic of food, here's one of afton's favorite things (this video is about a month + old, she's much better now, and this is something she picked up completely on her own!)

and one of malachi with a similar problem, he decided on his own that this is the only way to eat:
(ps, yes, those are dry cheerios and they won't stay on the spoon. once he gets them balanced on the spoon he tries to flip it over into his mouth, and they fall off, usually he gets mad and throws them on the floor, but here he's performing for the camera)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

aquarium may 23

and of course, one more thing we had to take emalie to was the aquarium (though she hates slimy things... we're so rude!). thanks to our friends that take lots of pics we've got a few cool ones!
the sting ray tank... all the kids got wet, but only a couple were brave enough to actually touch the rays

jelly fish. i thought it was cool

there's supposed to be an octapus in there, i'm thinking that's a starfish on top of it? or do you think it's just starfish?
the kids could spin a dial and change the color og the light to reflect on the jelly fish. the LOVE this idea!
we debated for a couple minutes wheter that lizard was real or not... then it moved! he's a very patient lizard (moniter?)

afton now wants a pet hermit crab
rayna does not... emphatically.

malachi wasn't afraid to touch the horseshoe crab!
(but only with one finger)

afton and her good friend amelia watching sharks swim by

and this guy's always a favorite with us. usually he holds perfectly still no matter how long we watch him (you can see the moss growing on his shell), but for some reason he was very active this time, so we got a little video of him. the girls like to point out that his shell is only as long as chi is tall, but he weighs more than daddy. he's a freshwater snapping turtle, btw.

zoo may 21

of course while emalie was here we had to take a trip to the zoo! it's one of our favorite places (and that membership thing really comes in handy too!) we had lots of fun with the giraffes and elephants (real and statue), and we liked visiting with the gorilla and chimps too (one old chimp threw a banana peel and a couple pebbles at us!)
we've always got to stop to play with/on the elephants
 these guys are huge! and they were moving a lot more than usual (though that's still not saying a whole lot).

these galapagos tortises were a BIG favorite this trip, we took lots of pics with them
afton played photographer for the last part of our trip, so there were a lot of interesting pictures, here's some of my favoites: 
afton was very excited to find some of those very rare flowers, dandilions, so she took a picture of them.
aunt emalie, from afton's perspective, i thought she did a pretty good shot!

self portrait
i just though we needed one more rayna shot :)
see, i told you there were a lot with the tortises!

crow museum

back to may again, we went to the crow museum of asian art with emalie (may 20). it was a fun little trip, with some cool artwork (and of course there was plenty of weird stuff too). i think we all had fun. i didn't take any pictures inside, but here's a few from out:

the girls loved the lions, especially afton, i also have a pic of her trying to put her head in the lion's mouth

malachi was suitably impressed with the water fountain...
and of course, no trip to downtown dallas is complete without a few pictures on the DART train...

believe it or not, this is one of rayna's favorite things EVER!!!!
(perhaps it's easier to believe she was really tired)

malachi was also super-excited to be on the train! and afton couldn't sit still...
we had a ton of fun with auntie emalie, making balloon animals, blowing bubbles, folding oragami, playing at the park, walking to the woods/creek, eating far too much yummy food, and laughing up a storm, we're so glad you came to visit us!