The Weekend It Didn’t Rain

You guys. We FINALLY had a weekend where it didn’t rain. No flash flood in our backyard. No mud on our shoes. We went all weekend without a drop of rain ruining any of our outdoor time and it was GREAT.

Here’s a look at some of the fun we had:

Friday after was B and LM’s school’s end of year picnic. The school closes early for preschool graduation (thank goodness we have a few years before that cryfest), and all the kids are invited to fun with facepaint, a picnic, food, games, an artshow, etc.

B and I skipped the hot dogs and ended up getting takeout, Cilantro (local Chipotle-esqe restaurant).

And the evening included some low key reading on the porch while listening to the Indians game (spoiler – they beat the Yankees!).

Saturday was another gorgeous day, so we spent most of the morning outside. It started with a stroller run and walk for LM and me – a little over 5 miles on a stroller-friendly path near our house – and then a run to the Farmers Market.

We did some shopping and hung out at the market, enjoying the weather.

Then it was time to head home. This time, FW hopped in the stroller (with some of the groceries) while B and LM biked alongside of us, and we ran home.

After we got home, everyone was pooped! After some brief women’s World Cup watching it was nap time. I even got in a quick snooze.

That afternoon included some more outdoor time – including playing with a water table and water gun! My friend Emily came over with her family – she has a 3 year old and almost 1 year old – for a little while, too.

Dinner that night was pizza on the porch. The gorgeous weather continued and we couldn’t stay inside.

Even after the kids went to bed, we went back outside for some summer reading and relaxing. I’m reading The Immortalists for book club right now and can’t put it down!

The next day included MORE outdoor time. We started the day with breakfast on the porch, followed by a ride around the block.

And then a family run! B pushed LM and I pushed FW in the stroller for an easy 5k.

We even saw a big turtle on the run!

After our run, it was time for some errands and then the Indians game! It was a hot game that went into extra innings, but they ended up losing.

We then spent some more time outside at B’s parents’ house on their swing set before heading home for the night.

It was so amazing to spend so much time outdoors. I’m pooped and slightly sunburn, but so happy to have gotten some much needed Vitamin D! (but don’t worry about our plants — of course we have rain in the forecast for today)

Some questions for you:

  • Was it clear/sunny near you?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do outside?

LM Turns One

This weekend is brought to you by the letter F. F is for First birthday, Friends, Family and Food — all wonderful things and well, I’m still smiling over what an amazingly wonderful weekend it was.

Friday was LM’s first birthday. That’s right, LM turned one over the weekend and I can’t believe it! While I’m still emotionally recovering, we had a blast celebrating. Friday celebrations started off early – I took the afternoon off and we were able to get the kids early from daycare to spend some time at the playground. Both LM and FW loved the swings.

And then we took LM to get her first ice cream. No photos of her, but FW loved his 🙂

Friday night, B and I actually got in a date night. My parents came into town, so B and I snuck out to grab drinks.

And then we had tickets to see the Indians – they won!

We even made it out for an after dinner drink on East 4th.

Saturday came early (especially after staying out late Friday), but was filled with celebrations — it was LM’s party! She enjoyed her first cake.

B’s mom made the cake and cupcakes – isn’t she amazing?!

LM thought so. She got frosting in her nose 🙂

The weather was PERFECT and FW enjoyed playing with his friends, cousins and of course, me.

After Saturday’s perfect weather, Sunday turned out stormy. We managed to catch a break in the rain and made it to the Zoo with my parents.

LM is still a little too young to enjoy it, but FW had such a blast. His favorite animals are the giraffes and elephants, and he got in some quality time with both.

Monday morning my parents left, and we hit up the local Memorial Day parade. It starts about 2 miles from our house, so B rode with the kids on the bike and I ran over.

Post-parade included some hot dogs at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, followed by a run home.

Aftet naptime, it was time for bbq #2, this time at B’s uncle’s house.

FW had some more fun and food with his cousins and LM did some assisted walking.

And that was the end of our perfect three-day weekend. Cheers to the unofficial start of summer!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you watch a Memorial Day parade?
  • Did you get outside this weekend?

How I’m Learning to Deal with Picky Eaters

I have a confession to make. Last week alone, I fed my kid “chik’n” nuggets, grilled cheese and quesadillas … and I’m okay with it.

I never intended to buy frozen food, heat it up and serve it on a regular basis. I know my mom never did that (did you, mom? Because the only thing I’m pretty sure you bought frozen was tortellini, but you made it with your homemade sauce so that doesn’t count, right?) … and before kids, our dinners consisted of grilled meats and fishes, healthy grains, homemade sauces and dressings, salads and even homemade bread. So what happened?

how to deal with a picky eater toddler

I have a picky eater. My (almost) 3-year-old doesn’t like vegetables. Not even the so-called “kid-friendly” vegetables like broccoli or carrots (yes, people have told me that these are the veggies kids like). He doesn’t even really like pizza!

So how are we surviving? Here’s how I’ve learned to live with it:

  • Stop comparing and beating myself up. Before having kids, I’d heard people say that if you feed kids what you eat then they’ll have to eat it. Let’s just say that that’s not the case. That’s what we’ve tried to do, but my son is perfectly happy not eating dinner. If we’re eating something he doesn’t like, he’s happy going to bed without eating and then waking up at 3 a.m. starving. For his well-being (and attempt not to wake up at 3 a.m.), I prefer that not be the case.
  • Never give up. Just because he doesn’t like something the first time (or the 5th time), doesn’t mean he always won’t like it. And, the more he sees us eating different foods, the more likely he is to try them. You can imagine my astonishment when one day he reached for a drumstick off my husband’s plate and took a bite. And now “chicken on the bone” (as he calls it) is something he loves.
  • Find a food your kid loves and sneak the good stuff in it. My son loves muffins. We call him the muffin man. So you’d better bet that we’ve made spinach muffins, lentil muffins, zucchini cauliflower muffins, etc. Is he eating spinach or lentils or zucchini on a regular basis? Not by itself, but definitely in a muffin. And, after he’s eaten the muffins, I do tell him what is in there. His favorite muffin is a banana, zucchini, lentil, chocolate chip muffin.
  • Make mealtime fun. The last thing I want is to make dinner stressful. So maybe we’ll put the peas on his plate in the shape of a letter C. Or maybe the roasted carrots will be standing up. OR, maybe I’ll hide a gummy fruit snack under a few pieces of vegetables for him to find. And if he doesn’t eat them, he doesn’t eat them – but at least they make him smile.

Do you have any tips for fellow moms of picky eaters?

Note: This post originally appeared on my page on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website. I blog for them on occasion- see what else I have to say there!

Partying the Weekend Away (Family-Friendly Style)

We had a jam packed, fun weekend in CLE. The weather finally turned nice (on one day), and it included a birthday party, Indians game, some running, some working on the house and a Derby party. Man, I think I need another weekend just to recover from our fun – I’m feeling pooped!

Friday started with a LONG run – I got up at 4 a.m. and got in 11.23 mi before the kids woke up and it was time to get ready for school and work. Cleveland half marathon race day is just two weeks away!

Work flew by Friday. It was a busy day and I got pulled last minute into a 2 hour meeting, which made my morning fly by. And my coworker brought her dog in – look how cute he is!

 

We ended the day with BBQ for dinner – I forgot to take a pic of the food, but we all (even LM) got in on the fun 🙂

Saturday was by far our busiest day. It included some indoor playtime while it rained in the morning.

And an Indians game – they won!

Also, a birthday party for our neighbor – they now have a 1 year old! Their baby is actually in LM’s class at school, too.

And a Kentucky Derby party. This hat stayed on for about 30 seconds.

Sunday included some work around the house – we got a delivery of dirt so we can finally start our garden soon!

And a stroller run with FW. I got in 5+ miles, which I think ism longest stroller run ever. He fell asleep around 3-4 miles in, so I was able to go a little longer than usual.

FW and I also made some spinach zucchini banana muffins. They’re not as sweet as the muffins I’ve been making, but I hope they’ll get him to eat some more veggies!

We ended the day with a Cinco De Mayo themed dinner … that i forgot to get a picture of. Oh well – I assure you it was delicious 🙂 And instead I’ll leave you with a picture of a taco I had on Thursday.

  • How was your weekend?
  • Did you do anything for Cinco de Mayo?

Feeling Like Myself – Date Night, Racing, Kid Time and More

I have to say, I had a great weekend. It included everything I love – family time, running, good food AND a date night. And, it made me really feel like myself again!

Friday, schools were closed, so I stayed home most of the day with the kids. It was rainy, so once again we entertained ourselves indoors.Saturday started bright and early. I had signed up for a ten mile race, which fit perfectly into my training schedule, and B, FW and LM dropped me off at the start and cheered me on along the way.It was actually a great race! Even though it was 40 and super windy, I still managed a PR and ran much faster than I expected.The afternoon included a trip to the West Side Market, coffee shops, some donuts and hanging out.That night, B and I had plans to celebrate our anniversary with a night out!We started the night with drinks at Bar 32, which has a great super high view of downtown.And then, we got dinner. We enjoyed some oysters, fish and split a lobster roll.

Sunday morning, we slept in (!!) and then it was time to take FW to a birthday party. He had a blast running around and playing with his classmates.

I have to say, it was a really, really good weekend. Getting to spend a night out with B was amazing. I felt like myself again. Enjoying a not-rushed, no meltdown dinner, grabbing drinks and not waking up early was amazing. AND getting in a 10 mile run by myself? Those combined were great and reminded me that I’m so much more than a mom.  I felt guilty at first, but had to remember to turn the mom-guilty off and remind myself that spending 5 hours (approximately how many hours of their waking time) away from my kids was a GOOD thing for all. Plus, we got in plenty of other quality time with our day off and the birthday party.

And now, I can’t wait until we can do it again!

Some questions for you:

  • Any races this weekend?
  • What do you do that makes you feel like YOU?

Time to Give Moms a Break

The past few months have not been easy. I had the longest cold known to man (okay, I’m exaggerating, but it lasted about four weeks). My 9-month-old daughter had a cold that turned into three back-to-back ear infections, followed by hand-foot-and-mouth disease, followed by impetigo and currently has a cough that just won’t go away. My son vomited all over our kitchen rug and then, the next week, fell off a table and split his lip open, and then also came down with hand, foot and mouth. I had an eye infection, followed by conjunctivitis. Our kitchen sink clogged up, a pipe burst at our house, we found out we need a new water heater, a new roof and my car completely died.

Easy problems? For sure. Could it be worse? Definitely. But like most moms, I’m tired. And like most moms, I mean it: I recently read that new parents face sleep deprivation for 6 years after a baby is born, and moms do more so than dads.

So, what can we do? Let’s stop scrolling through Instagram and judging one another. Let’s give one another a break.

The new mom you know? Bring her diapers and easy-to-eat snacks one day. It can be easy to forget to eat some of those early days.

That mom you know in your office who is constantly leaving early/coming in late due to family commitments but emailing at midnight? Cut her some slack and maybe see if you can take something off her plate.

The mom you know who is having a hard time? Buy her a coffee, and maybe bring her a pack of tissues on one of those days she may be feeling extra emotional/hormonal.

The single mom you know or mom whose partner is never around? Offer to watch her kids one day. Even if it’s just for an hour so she can shower in peace or grab a solo bite to eat.

The mom you know who seems to have it all together? She probably doesn’t. Check in on her — send her a text message and let her know you’re thinking about her. Sometimes that’s all someone needs to hear.

We’re all busy. We’re all tired. So let’s lift one another up. It’s the only way we’re all going to survive — and thrive — as moms.

This post originally appeared on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website.  I occasionally guest blog there – you should check them out!

A Rainy Easter in CLE

We had a rainy weekend in Cleveland – it rained pretty much nonstop from Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening. It made for a flooding backyard, some indoor runs and a REALLY early wakeup on Thursday to run before the monsoon started. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a little snapshot of our Easter in CLE.

Friday, schools were closed for Good Friday, so I worked from home while watching the kids. (Meaning, I got up and worked, entertained them, worked while they were napping, did more entertaining, and then worked again at night) BUT because of the aforementioned rainy weather, we were stuck inside for pretty much the entire day. Thank goodness for play-doh and art projects!

Saturday brought MORE rain. So, we spent the morning inside doing some spring cleaning – FW even helped out!

I popped on the treadmill for a few miles, and then after naps, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to color eggs. FW had a blast dumping them in the dye.

We stayed there later than we intended to and all of a sudden it was dinnertime. Thank goodness for Aladdin’s takeout – it satisfied everyone in our house, even FW (the picky eater) and LM (who loved my hummus, beans, peas and rice!).

Sunday was Easter morning! We started with an Easter egg hunt for FW and LM.

Then, after Mass, it was time for Easter. We ended up spending all day with B’s family and FW and LM got to play with their cousins.

Look at that big table!

After Easter, we did finally get outside to enjoy the finally nice weather. It had stopped raining, leaving us with a gorgeous afternoon!

Some questions for you-

  • What was in your Easter basket growing up?
  • What’s your favorite holiday from a food standpoint?