Thursday, February 24, 2011

Run, Run, Run

Last October I casually mentioned to Jeremy that maybe we should start running as a way to get some exercise as a family. Apparently he thought that this was a good idea because the next thing I knew we had borrowed a jogging stroller from my aunt and uncle and started running three times week.

We started off slowly, with lots a walking and just a minute or two of running. We have gradually added time and distance. Today Jeremy is running just under two miles and I am running somewhere between one and a a half and two miles each time.

I am not sure when this got serious. Like I said, it started just as a way to get a little exercise, but somewhere along the way something changed. We each got ipods, new Nike Free running shoes, and now have set a goal that I never saw coming.

This week, with lots of encouragement from Jeremy, I signed us up for the Pat Tillman run in April. It is 4.2 miles through the streets of downtown Tempe with a finish on the 42 yard line of Sun Devil Stadium. Over the next eight weeks we will step up our training so that come April 4.2 miles does not seem as scary as it does right now. Wish me luck because I am panicking just thinking about it.

Here are some really awesome pictures of us on a run. I have to give Jeremy credit because he pushes Merrick's stroller every hero!

I must have been running too fast for the camera to keep up

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Two Valentines

Monday was Valentine's Day and while I wanted some alone time with Jeremy, I also wanted to make the day special for my little valentine. When I was growing up my mom always made holidays so special for us. On Valentine's Day she would write us notes in our lunch, cut our sandwiches into heart shapes and make heart shaped Jello. I always felt so loved and I want to make Merrick feel the same.

Since Valentine's Day fell on a Monday this year Jeremy and I decided to celebrate, just the two of us, on Saturday. We went out to a long dinner and just spent time together. I got Jeremy an ipod shuffle to use on our runs and he got me the perfect jacket with an offset zipper, which I am totally obsessed with. I am very grateful to Grandpa and Lollie for watching Merrick so that we could have that time.

On Monday we celebrated Valentine's Day all together as a family. I made a special dinner and while it was cooking we let Merrick open his gift. The candy came out first and honestly he would have been happy with just that.

Eventually we were able to get him to move on from the candy long enough to try on his headband and blow some bubbles.

He really liked it when Daddy blew bubbles at his face.

While Jeremy and Merrick were playing with the bubbles I went to frost the cake that I had made earlier in the day. It was not long before Merrick realized there was something going on in the kitchen that he wanted to be a part of and he came over to help me. I let him taste the frosting and he definitely wanted more. I told him he had to wait until after dinner and turned my back for half a second. I guess he was not happy with my answer and decided to help himself.

At the end of the day I was perfectly happy. I felt like we had the perfect balance in our Valentine's Day celebrations between time as a family and time for just Jeremy and I. I hope that my two valentines felt as loved as I did.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finding Meaning

Merrick turned seventeen months last week and I can't believe how big and smart he is. When we are out people always want to talk to him and no one ever believes that he is just seventeen months because he talks so much and so well.

I think sometimes how hard it must be for Merrick (and all babies for that matter). There is so much to learn and discover each day. I love watching Merrick make sense of his world. He finds meaning in his world by labeling the people and the things he sees and fitting them into the world he already knows. When we see a dogs at the park he is learning to say "dog-dog", but he often calls them "Lola" (our dog), "Sweet Pea" (Jeremy's parents' dog), or "Booboo" aka Toby (my parents' dog). This goes for people as well. Merrick will often call them by the name of the person they look the most like.

The next door neighbor is having their house painted and painters have been outside every day this week. Merrick loves to stand at the window and watch them and has decided that two of the painters are Dada and Uncle Mike. One day he stood at the window saying "that's Dada" and "that's Uncle Mike". I did not see the need to correct him at the time, but I guess I should have. Later that day we walked to get the mail and passed one of the painters. Merrick said "Hi Uncle Mike" and the guy did not respond, so Merrick repeated himself. Again the guy did not respond and Merrick repeated himself again. After several rounds of this I had to explain to the man that Merrick had been watching him from the window and that he thought he was his "Uncle Mike". After the explanation he said "hi" and we were able to move on with our lives.

Here he is watching "Uncle Mike" working.

As much as I want Merrick to keep learning and growing, I think this stage he is in right now it just so cute. Hopefully keeping this blog will help me capture these memories before they are gone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Best Friends

A few weeks ago Emily had to go back to work and I started watching Kai. He was with us everyday for two weeks and now we have him on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We are all settling into the routine and working out the kinks.

Merrick and Kai have such a funny relationship. They spend much of the day fighting over the same toy, but they still always want to be together. If one of them is napping, the other tries to wake him up. The other day Kai was sleeping and Merrick cried for him until he woke up. As soon as he got up, he accidentally knocked Merrick down and Merrick cried again. I know that despite the struggles they would rather be together than apart.

I have found that the best way to keep the struggles to a minimum is to keep them as active as possible. This means that most days include a trip to the park, the play area at the mall, or at least some time in the backyard. Unfortunately, yesterday I did not have car seat for Kai so the mall was out. To make matters worse yesterday was the coldest February day in recorded Arizona history. I decided that our best bet was to stay close to home in the backyard.

Our first attempt out we all only had one layer on. That lasted about 10 seconds and we came back in for jackets.

Despite the jackets, it was still bitterly cold out, but the boys still seemed to enjoy themselves. I practically had to drag them inside when I thought hypothermia was imminent.