Tuesdays With Meri

Originally this post was going to be about the #communitybuild I participated in on Saturday, June 11th. It was a heart swelling in the chest moment when I saw everyone coming together for the greater good of our community and our children.

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And then Sunday morning happened. 

There is a lot of absolutely horrifying, crazy acts of violence and scariness in the world. While I cannot and do not turn a blind eye to it, I also wonder how I’m supposed to approach it. As a mother. As a person putting words on a screen. As a human being living on this planet.

I wonder how to present things to my children in a way that they will both understand and also not fear living and going about their day-to-day activities. Because, quite honestly, I’m scared of the next. And the next. And the next.

When my 11 year old asks me “But we’re safe, right?” how can I respond truthfully without scaring the ever-loving daylights out of him? It’s a very helpless feeling when you don’t know the answers to the questions that your children are asking and when you’re asking yourself the very same questions.

I’m sad. I’m tired. I don’t know how many different ways I can say the same thoughts for similar situations without it sounding formulaic. It’s no less heartfelt but how can the repetitiveness sound anything but that?

With that in mind, I choose to focus on love. And I realize that might sound a bit hippie-ish but it’s what I can do right in this moment to feel like I’m doing something.

Originally this post was going to be about the #communitybuild I participated in. It still is.

It's about the whoopsies that turned into my favorite heart, a watermelon.

It’s about the whoopsies that turned into my favorite heart, a watermelon. Because we are #fiberartists.

It's about spending the majority of a Saturday with a few people who mean the world to me and new people who also mean the world to me.

It’s about spending the majority of a Saturday with a few people who mean the world to me and new people who now also mean the world to me, because we shared this together.

It's about the kids in my community having a brand new playground that has age appropriate equipment.

It’s about the kids in my community having a brand new playground that has age appropriate equipment.

It's about the kids in my community having a playground that isn't vandalized.

It’s about the kids in my community having a playground that isn’t vandalized and the amazing volunteers that made it happen.

This post is about making a community feel safe and having children know that they are loved, cherished, and appreciated for the amazing little people they are.

It’s also about my kiddos. Because when they feel that way both outside and inside the home, it helps them make good choices, now and later on.

When they ask hard questions that I might not know the answer to, they still feel assured and confident that we are doing everything we possibly can to make their lives filled with love.

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It’s about starting each day with a dance party, because despite the scariness and uncertainty in the world, there’s still a lot to dance about.

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Hug your family and friends and know that I’m hugging you, too.

Shiny (er, Sweaty), Happy, Person Running

If you have young kids, then you know that the only thing they’re really consistent about is being inconsistent. My happy little dude, who has always been fine with our babysitter, and really, never met a stranger he didn’t like, is currently going through some terrible separation anxiety. He cries when my husband leaves for work, he wails when we drop the girls off at school. He sobs when I leave- even if he’s with his dad, or our sitter who’s been with us since before he was born. We’ve been sitting together in the crying room at church and the gym hasn’t been an option- as soon as we walk in the doors of a nursery, he shakes his head and says, “Nope.”

I know this will pass, and typically, I’m pretty patient and let the baby lead on these things, but- (of course there’s a “but”) I need to exercise. I was excited to finally start running again, and had fallen into a decent schedule of treadmill walk/running and cycling on a stationary bike when the nursery meltdowns began.

A week passed without any workouts and September 1st arrived- the beginning of our #journey2amillion. I knew I had to do something, so I dusted off the jogging stroller and my garmin, grabbed a hat and some pepper spray, and off we went. I ran and walked just over 3.5 miles that day, the most I had done since the Nike half. A day passed and I went out again. I continued the next week, running every other day. I switched up my intervals quickly and I don’t want to bore you with all the numbers, but I started out running 15 minutes at a time, and yesterday, I ran a full 30 minutes without stopping to walk.

Slightly happier to be in a stroller vs. gym nursery. He'd probably most like to run alongside me!

Slightly happier to be in a stroller vs. gym nursery. He’d probably most like to run alongside me!

I am so crazy happy to be running again. My legs feel lighter. My mind feels lighter. And the best part is, I’m running for a cause this month- for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Most of you probably already know that we’re logging miles (and wearing yellow) all month to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

#onwednesdayswewearyellow On Wednesdays, I also make a lot of jokes about dressing like Brenda Walsh.

#onwednesdayswewearyellow On Wednesdays, I also make a lot of jokes about dressing like Brenda Walsh.

We’re doing good, and feeling good, and I’m feeling even better because not all of my miles are coming from walking or cycling. High fives all around!

I’ve also been taking yoga classes again. Do you have a regular yoga studio? I like to switch it up based on my needs. My Saturday morning class works because it’s an early morning power hour, so I don’t feel like I’m missing most of the morning. There’s an evening class at a different studio that I love for relaxation. And finally, a new hot yoga place opened in my city! This is a BIG DEAL because all of the other hot studios are at least 40 minutes away. They have classes later in the evening, which is perfect for me because I can get the kids into bed before I “Om.”

So, hooray for recovering from injuries! I’m grateful for consistent exercise, even if I’m surrounded by chaos.

The 90s are back. Whose closet would you raid- Brenda, Kelly, or Donna (Martin graduates)? How far do you drive for yoga? Check out our page for Alex’s Million Mile! There’s still time to join our team, or donate: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1117658

Oh, Summer. I Miss You Already.

Summer lovin’, had me a blast…
Summer lovin’, happened so fast…

I introduced my daughters to Grease this summer, and this song has been on repeat the last few weeks. That line is appropriate for how I’m feeling now, because we’re in our last week of summer vacation. SAD FACE. Last Friday, I took my kids shopping for school supplies (which is one of my favorite activities. Paper, pencils, markers- oh my!). Today begins a flurry of back-to-school prep, including a PTA meeting and kindergarten orientation.

I’m excited to get back to our routine- which will mean regular gym time for me and consistent naps for the baby- but I’m sad to lose all this fun time with my kids. We’ve been swimming, visited museums, had movie nights every week, read lots of books, eaten all the cupcakes, baked pies and just enjoyed hanging out with each other. (Oh, and I reached our summer goals- Teaching my oldest to tie her shoes- check. Getting my middle one to start reading- check. Full night of sleep for the dude- CHECK AND HALLELUJAH. For me, learn to play chess- check, and the new goal is to kick J’s butt in a game. Or all the games. Checkmate, baby!) I had date nights, girls nights, moms nights, and while I rarely slept in, I basked in the contentment that comes with balancing adult time and kid time.

Here are some favorites from my summer vacation:

These were almost too cute to eat! The kids and I loved the tour at Chocolate Kingdom.

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One of our field trips was to The Container Store, because I was desperate for something to organize all of my makeup. I’m happy to report that two months later, things still look this neat.

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This book! I’m still thinking about it. I read a lot this summer, but this, Last Letter to my Lover by Jojo Moyes, and Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead were my faves.

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One of my only naps with this guy (He is obsessed with those cute Honest brand diapers- he calls this one is “zoom zoom,” and the skull and crossbones pattern is “yo ho”). Now he naps in his crib! Glad I got a picture of this. Sniff.

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Ice Cream smoke! If you’re a run Disney person, and you bring your kids with you, try to check out Abracadabra Ice Cream. You choose your mix-ins and they use liquid nitrogen for a little ice cream magic. My kids loved it.

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My best friend is a teacher, and her daughter is six months older than my son. We saw them at least twice a week, usually more, for the first half of summer (before they traveled north to visit family. LEFT US, I MEAN.). She and little dude love each other the most, and I get bff time. How cool is that? Here’s our little crew at Chipotle.

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We spent so much time at the pool. We also spent a week at the beach with my wonderful inlaws. Flying kites, night swimming, boogie boarding in the ocean, collecting shells…that’s the life, man.

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The girls love baking with me. I let them bake m&m blondies for July 4th, and my oldest also helped make the crust for my berry galettes. At the beach, she helped with a strawberry-rhubarb pie (store bought crust here) and I taught her how to make a fluted crust. She’s my picky eater though, so she still won’t try most of what she makes. Silly girl!

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We also celebrated my middle one’s 5th birthday. We had a big party with friends back in May, and a small celebration with family while at the beach. She chose a menu of crescent roll hot dogs and s’mores. I made my husband’s s’more with a Reese’s Cup instead of Hershey’s and I don’t think he’ll ever have a plain one again. (Speaking of, have you tried the peanut butter cup Oreos? OMG.)

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer as much as I’ve loved mine! Tell me what you’ve been up to. Any book recs? What would you mix in your ice cream? The kids mixed cotton candy, white chocolate and marshmallow. I think they get their sweet tooth from me.

The City of Motherly Love – Philly’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration

Immediately following the Disney Social Media Moms conference in Philadelphia last Thursday the text messages, tweets, and phone calls started rolling in asking the details of the event. I might have been a little excited about it and may have talked about it non-stop for the weeks leading up to it. #yesitotallydid

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The short answer: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

The long answer: Um, how much time do you have?

Seriously though, it’s taken me a few days to coherently put together this post because there was so much I took away from the five hour morning session.

It wasn’t even just about what was said, it was the entire experience; in particular the camaraderie with people I was meeting for the first time or whom I’d only conversed with via social media. To not only put a face to the names (and in some cases put a real name to the screen name) isn’t something that happens nearly enough, in my opinion. Having face time (not the app), and being able to look someone in the eye while chatting about common interests and goals is what life is about!

Breathing the same air as Disbroads Tania and Kristen was pretty spectacular.

Breathing the same air as Disbroads Tania and Kristen was pretty spectacular.

What can I tell you about Disney’s Social Media Moms Philly event, without sounding too much like a toddler in my storytelling (and then, and then, and then) and also without leaving anything out? Summarizing is difficult, but here are a few kernels of wisdom I gleaned that are applicable to life in general.

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Disney are fun makers and as such, are memory makers. My one and only college spring break experience was Disney. My husband and I honeymooned there eleven years ago. Brooke and Vic joined me for my first 13.1 experience at the Princess half marathon in 2012. I’ve adored bringing my children there as the years have galloped past at astonishing speeds. The list goes on!

Disney has a wonderful recipe of mixing magic, Imagineering, and an enthusiasm for connections. Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager for Disney Parks blog, shared a favorite story of a very special lost teddy bear finding his way back home… but not before having a little fun in the parks. The blog post really touched readers because it encapsulated values that we love to see within people and within our favorite companies.

Applying this to my life is definitely not as magical as in the Disney Parks but I do try to incorporate the same type of thought process through my days. I choose positivity, gratitude and overall goodness and gravitate toward those who do the same.

This guy knows all about making memories!

This guy knows all about making memories!

Three of the speakers were Huggies brand MomInspired grant winners and while I don’t have a current business plan for which I’m seeking a grant, I definitely related to the moms on this panel. Lead by Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio much of the conversation was based on how to balance time as a mom and time working on their projects.

Well, let’s just say that this was my tweet earlier today…

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Yep, rookie mistake. Maria made the point of suggesting that you make sure to look at the white of your children’s eyes when they are speaking to be present within the conversation. As such, I shut down the computer and took them to the pool club where we all played in the pool together for two and a half hours. (Now one is napping and the other is reading. Sweet blissful quiet, you are welcomed with open arms!)

The ladies on the panel told us about their products, shared a bit about their thought processes and also how they went about getting to where they are today with their ideas. Dispensing one piece of advice has to be incredibly hard to do because Amy, Kristi and Jen all worked very hard in following their dreams but they each narrowed it down.

mompreneuradvice

Prior to the On the Road event, the organizers requested each of the attendees to share their favorite Disney Side picture and for me, that was like asking me to pick my favorite child! Pretty much impossible! However, I finally went with the picture that I have on my Meet Meri page because I feel like it encapsulates my love affair with Disney pretty thoroughly.

We were surprised with by HP’s Noah Lomax with this bit of awesomeness…

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HP Photo Card Pack with one card that had ME showing my Disney Side. Sweet!

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE REAL LETTERS.The fact that we were provided with this adorable card (is it narcissistic to say this?) and a stamped envelope to send along to anyone we so desired. I’m only a little obsessed with postage, you will find me window shopping for custom envelopes on sites like http://www.agenvelopes.com.au/ instead of browsing facebook and social media. Mom and Dad, I hope you enjoyed getting real mail from your adorable daughter.

These days the written word is very often limited to those we read on the computer screen, however I do believe there is something very special about receiving correspondence via the letter carrier. This gesture from HP was appreciated!

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The day wrapped with health and fitness guru, the Mojo Coach, Debi Silber. I found myself nodding in agreement with many of the points she made during her presentation.

Debi explained that as moms, we are capable of doing so much. And because of that, we do so much… until we can’t. We get overloaded, bogged down, and take on too much until the wheels fall off (or the mom starts pulling her hair out of her head). That was something that really spoke to me.

Because yes. YES, YES, YES.

It’s why I carve out the time that I need to go to the gym, to get a run in, to go to a Disney Social Media Moms conference (even though it was the last day of school): to make time for me. My belief system, my internal monologue, used to be a lot of excuses… reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something. It has been updated in the past couple of years to I can and I will.

It’s all interconnected; a lot of what this conference encapsulated was finding and maintaining balance, embracing off-the-wall ideas (or 10pm typos that turn into something wonderful à la Gary Buchanan – ahem, the DIAPER DANS anyone?) and looking to tap into the childlike wonder that hides within us all.

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Have you ever been to a social media celebration? This was my first but I would love to participate in more – I had a blast! There’s so much more I’d love to share about this one that I just might have to do another post.

A Day in the Life: Mer

DitL

Wake up to the sound of birds chirping. Open one eye to peek at the clock and see if it’s worth going back to sleep or if I should just lie in bed. Alarm set for 5:10am. It’s 4:56am.

Damnitsomuch.

Lay around for a couple of minutes. Contemplate the use of lie versus lay and realize that it’s probably going to be wrong in this post so I might as well just get up.

Skulk around the house in hopes of not waking my family as I prepare for the gym. Skulking/preparing takes approximately 10 minutes. The pooch shifts in her bed as I’m sitting on the kitchen floor, putting on my shoes, and I freeze. She settles down. I grab my gym essentials (towel, water, wallet, phone, keys) and creep out the door.

It’s always interesting to see what song is on the radio; perhaps it will be an indication of the tone of the day? Maybe it will be Born to Run? Perhaps a little Radiohead?

No.

Well... okay then.

Well… okay then.

Head into the gym, chat with my trainer’s wife for a couple of minutes before she heads out on her rainy run. I decide to stick to the treadmill as I like to stay close by in case my trainer swings in early (not usually the case but it’s happened on occasion). Sometimes I run sprints on the nearby side street but since it’s gross, I stay inside.

But look, I took a picture of the one of the weight while the gym was absolutely empty. Because I promise you that if I took my phone into the gym or even took a picture in the gym when my trainer or anyone else was around, I would have to answer at least twenty questions.

And possibly get ridiculed for taking pictures of inanimate objects.

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The “light” weights.

My Thursday partner shows up a little before 6am and does a quick warmup before we start a set of FitDeck cards and a five minute treadmill run, until our trainer shows. Once he arrives, we move into his plan for us for the hour while talking about the news, society, my dad, my Dude, and a variety of other topics. Well, mostly he talks and I grunt out responses in between deadlifts, cleans, push presses, etc. It works out well.

At 7:10am I arrive home and fall back into the Mom Role and the family routine.

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There was a hot second of consideration toward straightening my hair. Maybe it was a half second.

Breakfast is the next order of business because I’m more than hungry at this point. Pooks heads out the door for the school bus after our usual “See you later, alligator/After a while, crocodile” routine.

Dude and I chat for a few minutes while I eat my eggs and toast before I realize that I need to deal with my arch nemesis… Laundry.

Said in the way that Seinfeld says NEWMAN.

Said in the way that Seinfeld says NEWMAN.

Throw that load in and immediately get sidetracked when I also realize that I need to start our dinner in the crock pot. Ten minutes later, I’m fighting with the can opener and glance over to see Gemma trying to eat the rest of my eggs.

Yeah, welcome to mornings in my house. Set Gemma up with the eggs (in her bowl rather than on my plate) and turn back to the task at hand of opening cans. Which shouldn’t be incredibly difficult, except when your can opener is a piece of poop.

Which mine is.

Little and I decide that we need to remedy this and head to CVS for a new can opener.

"Can I carry the new can opener?" Sure buddy.

“Can I carry the new can opener?” Sure buddy.

After Little and the cashier mutually express their admiration for each other, we head back home.

You had ONE job...

You had ONE job…

I defy you, can opener! And I’m able to finish my task of getting dinner into the crock pot.

All is right with the world once more.

All is right with the world once more.

9:30am – Little requests his favorite snack and drink and I head to the computer to do some work for Scoot a Doot. Instagram a couple of throwback pictures. Chat with Vic via email. Chat with Jess via text. Hear from my book club buddies about new books. Email with Jess and Cam about Disneyland half and talk about what we’re going to wear (priorities).

Prep lunch for Little and prep Gemma for a visit to the park once Little heads off to school. Our district’s Pre-K is a half day program so he’s picked up by the bus at 10:45am. Next year he’ll be in full day Kindergarten.

Soon enough, the bus takes Little off to school. Gemma and I hop in the car to go to the park.

"Momma! I want to play with everyone!"

“Momma! I want to play with everyone!”

The rescue we got her from (Bella Reed Pit Bull Rescue) is filming a video for pit bull advocacy/awareness. I wish I could say that she was the best behaved dog there but… well… she was a little wound and really excited to see everyone. Regardless, she had a blast and I was happy to help.

Oh, now you show up!

Oh, now you show up!

The ride home is filled with me singing and Gemma sighing at my singing. What, only you’re allowed to act a fool, Gemma? I don’t think so.

Geez Momma, you're SO embarrassing.

Geez Momma, you’re SO embarrassing.

Dude and I meet at h0me for lunch, as we do most days. It’s nice because we’re able to have conversations that aren’t interrupted by our kids. Heck, we even get to talk about our kids without their big ol’ ears around. And sometimes, we have conversations that don’t have to do with the kids at all!

After lunch there’s an hour of free time for errands. Today’s include a visit to the farm and getting my eyebrows waxed. I’ll spare you a picture of the brow waxing because no one needs to see that.

This is New Jersey.

This is New Jersey.

berries612Little rolls in at 2:20 and he’s excited to show me his memory book. Pooks rolls in at 3 and the first thing he does is check out the memory book, too.

"We both wanted to be astronauts in Pre-K!"

“We both wanted to be astronauts in Pre-K!”

Moments like these are when my heart swells in my chest, and I hide the fact that I want to smush their little faces together in a group hug. I hang back, I listen, and I’m so grateful that they are such good brothers to one another.

With the end of school coming up (next week), I get to work on the thank yous for our teachers and bus drivers as the boys entertain each other.

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Watch a little SYTYCD and then snuggle up with Pooks so he can read me stories that he’s written during the school year. After he’s finished, he asks if I can find “Happy” sheet music on the computer so he can start practicing it on the piano. I happily oblige. Thank you, Pinterest.

As he disappears, Little shows up, nose scrunched.

“Momma, what are you making that smells so yummy?”
“Oh, that’s Chicken Taco Chili.” (nonchalantly in hopes that maybe he’ll try)
“Ew, I’m not eating that.”

*cue sad trombone*
(I’m not surprised at all… he’s my pickier than picky eater.)

All this technology and yet we have no smell-o-vision.

All this technology and yet we have no smell-o-vision.

As we wait for Dude to get home from work, I fold laundry and Gemma “helps”. Her helping includes stealing socks and standing on the folded clothes while sniffing my hair.

I hear the boys downstairs. Remember that warm fuzzy feeling I described earlier about how loving they are with each other? Well, the tone now is decidedly less loving. The older one being crazy and the little one saying “Ow, ow, ow!” Hmph.

6:15pm – Dinner is served and to Pooks’ credit he tries the chili and even compliments me. Little has pancakes. Everyone is happy.

Gemma has a photo shoot scheduled with the same photographer who took her Adopt Me rescue pictures. But first, to make our lives more interesting, she’s found a bunny nest in our yard.

Yeah. No pictures of that either. Rethinking sharing my eyebrow waxing picture.

Dude and Gem are off to the photographer. Chat on Facebook about youth literature. I gently rouse Little, who’s fallen asleep on the couch, and get him into his pjs.

Instead I'll share my non-rabbit eating children.

My non-rabbit eating children.

Watch a little tv and read Little two books before bed. He’s ready to go to sleep a couple of minutes before 8pm.

Pooks hangs out on the couch with me and we watch Spongebob and talk about everything and nothing. Soon he leaves me for the shower, a book, and bed.

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I write the majority of this post (and figure I should document it for the sake of… I don’t even know).

And that is the majority of my Thursday, June 12th, 2014. I was saying earlier via email that I don’t think I realized how boring I was until this post, but I would like to amend that statement.

I don’t think I realized how lucky I am. I’ve got a good life.

As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Indeed.

A Day In The Life: Brooke

Ever wonder what a stay-at-home mom does all day? How about a professional volunteer? Or a journalist? I know I often want to text Jess about what she’s doing at work (because make-up) and what she’s wearing or buying or coveting at Nordy’s (because fashion). And what is Bec making for dinner? What bags is she eyeing at Kate Spade? What fitness class is Cam trying today? Did her students get her anything good for the last day of school? What are we reading? These are the questions of our lives, and lucky for you (or lucky for me, anyway), we have decided to give you some answers. For the next six Fridays, the Scoot Chicks will be giving you a glimpse into our day, and today, we start with me!

I start my day with coffee- always two cups, black. Lately, I’m obsessed with Dark Chocolate Truffle from Target.

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I make my kids breakfast and get them ready for school, and in between, I make my breakfast and I make lunches for the girls. At the beginning of the school year, I was good and packed everything at night. But now it’s May, and some days, that means they get uncrustables and applesauce (Today, I actually made the sandwiches. This was pre-cutting them into flower shapes).

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Once the kids are ready, I have about ten minutes to get myself ready to go. This is when Little Dude’s Elmo obsession comes in handy. (Thank you, You Tube!) After school drop off, Little Dude and I usually have a playdate. Today, we went to open play at a local gym.

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Once home, we have lunch and I try to squeeze in a little bit of cleaning while he naps. (Some days, he naps on me, and that’s my time to read or text friends. Usually Mer. I’ll be sad when he stops napping on me because I’ll have no excuse for the laundry pile.) While putting him down, I received an email about Frozen on Ice tickets on presale, so I rushed to buy those (as did everyone else on my fb feed).

The first carline is my time to catch up on emails, check out Facebook and Instagram and listen to more Elmo.

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Between pickups, I usually take the youngers on a fun “field trip” (typically, the playground or Target). Today, we went to the library.

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Second carline means a nap for my middle girl- Bon Iver is her nap time whisperer. She usually falls asleep about 45 seconds into the first song.

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Then, I get to read a little bit more. Today, I’m catching up on a newspaper article about John Green. (My husband gets the WSJ, and he leaves articles of interest for me in our bathroom magazine rack. It’s the sweet little things that make a marriage, isn’t it?)

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Dance classes are finished and there’s no homework for the last two weeks of school, so once I picked up my oldest girl, we met some friends at the blueberry u-pick.

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Dinner for the kids was McDonald’s, along with a discussion about why mommy doesn’t eat it, why it’s a “treat” food and some examples of healthy and unhealthy food. (They asked, haha.) This all occurred on our drive to swim lessons. A lot of our teaching moments happen in the car! An older mom-friend of mine told me that she was sad once her daughter started driving because they lost that car time together.

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Once home, we worked on my oldest’s Ladybug Girl costume for book character day (so glad I hoard arts and crafts supplies because we’ve had a lot of “Fun Family Projects” in Kindergarten. I’m still waiting for my report card, to be honest. Or at least a “Super!” sticker.). My husband and I ate a quick dinner and got the kids into bed.

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The day I photographed was my blogging day for Scoot, so once Little Dude fell asleep, I worked on my post. Finally, around 9:30pm, J and I settled down on the couch for some wine and House of Cards.

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Some days are less action-packed (I LOVE THOSE DAYS), but most are a flurry of activities and chores and noise. I feel so lucky to stay at home with my kids. This is my life! It’s messy and crazy and ruled by tiny little people, and it’s a ton of time in the car, omg, but I’m doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.

For all the moms- stay-at-home, working, work-at-home- here’s a video that I saw at my MOPS meeting on Monday. It captures our days pretty well!

How do you take your coffee? Is there someone you text almost every day? Are we all stocking up on tissues for the TFIOS movie? 

Tales Of The Boot: Making Plans to Exercise (Get Me Out Of This Thing!)

There are five days of school left. FIVE. In five days, I will have a first grader. In seven days, I will have a kindergartner (Her preschool ends two days later). In seven days, I will have three kids at home for the entire summer. Whoa.

It was both easier and more difficult last summer, because little dude was a baby. He wasn’t walking, so he was easier to cart around, but he also slept more, needed more breaks for changing, nursing, food, etc. This summer, he can walk, eat big kid snacks and he enjoys things- but man, he is into EVERYTHING.

Right now, our days are fun and a little exhausting, so I know that with my girls home, our summer will be more of both. Like Meri, I’m a planner, and I’m using these last several days to work on my calendar. We’ve got camps scheduled (Frozen musical theater camp, holla!), playdates in the works, our summer learning checklist (Big girl- tie her shoes and ride her bike. Middle girl- read. Little dude- sleep through the night. Haha. For real. Me- chess.), and a family vacation. It’s got me wondering though, where will exercise fit in?

When I trained for my first half-marathon, I did most of my runs at night. We had a treadmill in our bedroom and with a busy husband and a full daytime schedule, it was easier to wait until 8pm to get moving.

After my little guy was born, I became an early morning runner. He was (and is) a terrible sleeper, and if I was already getting up at 5:30, why not just get up at 5 and go for a run? I was lucky to have a friend in my neighborhood who was willing to join me.

This spring, I joined a gym. My best running friend had moved, and I really wanted to spend some time on the treadmill to work on my speed. (My home treadmill died two years ago and we haven’t replaced it.) My running time began after school drop off and I was again fortunate to find some pals to exercise with me.

Now I’m injured. I don’t know what my doctor will say on Tuesday about resuming activity, but I hope to be in the gym again next week. At least on an elliptical or bike. Timing-wise, I’m not sure what will work best. Early morning, mid-afternoon…I have no idea how crowded the childcare is and I don’t know- I hate to think of my kids spending their summer at the gym, even if it is only for an hour, a few days a week. Then again, we have a lot planned and that ME time will probably be necessary. Mommy guilt is a powerful thing, so we’ll see, I guess.

I do know that I’m going to ease back into things, even if the doctor clears me to run right away. I want to try the spin classes at my gym (Never done it! Any tips?). I’m both impressed and inspired by our friend, Megan’s, daily yoga pics on instagram, so I definitely hope to do more yoga and do it regularly. I still want to run, but I want to be cautious. I don’t want to be back in the boot anytime soon. Or ever again, really. I have a half marathon on my calendar in December, and I’m waiting to hear from the doctor before I add one in October. I’ve got time to figure it all out and get back on schedule. My exercise time will just have to go with the flow of summer. (Yeah, right. I will totally have a plan in place as soon as Dr. Fink gives me the go ahead. Ha.)

Morning, Mid-day or Evening runner? Do you find you’re more productive one way or another? I love early morning because then it’s done. But sleep! If you’ve been injured, how did you get back into your routine? How long did it take? Parents- How did you teach your kids to tie their shoes? I don’t even tie mine the right way! (I make two bunny ears and tie them together. It’s just what I’ve always done.)

Let’s celebrate! Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road

The past few weeks have been crazypants. I say that in the most loving way possible because it’s all for the greater good, in both my life and the lives of my loved ones. It’s just been a lot.

All the lots.

I’m heavily involved with the PTO at Pooks’ elementary school and the end of the year is barreling down on us. There’s still so much to tackle: field trips, fundraisers, Pride Day (t-shirt and shirt orders to sort along with it, natch), and so forth. But this week in particular is extra busy because we are celebrating the teachers and staff during Appreciation Week, along with our lovely school nurse on Nurses Day.

I’m trying to focus on the celebration aspect of things because hey, who doesn’t like a good party? Plus, these are the educators who have done an amazing job with my son for the past three years and will be welcoming my Little with open arms in 2016 and guiding him through first through third grades.

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Now I have yet another reason to celebrate! On Cinco de Mayo, in the midst of the Appreciation Week launch, I received the happy news that I’d been invited to participate in the Disney Social Media Moms (or DSSM) Celebration – On-the-Road in Philadelphia! The City of Brotherly… or should I say MOTHERLY Love, in this instance, and furthermore it’s the city I consider “mine”.

Philadelphia is one of three stops the latest On-the-Road tour hits, the other two being Chicago and Phoenix. It will be such a terrific opportunity to meet people and to LEARN from other strong and empowering women. I know I’ll be taking so much away from the experience and hopefully I’m able to make meaningful contributions as well! I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

This week we celebrate educators, those who shape and mould our children’s lives. This weekend we celebrate motherhood. And on June 19th, I’ll be celebrating with Disney Social Media Moms!

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Have you been to any of Disney’s On-the-Road events? I’d love to hear about it; tell me about it in the comments!

Mother Runner Giveaway Winner and Spring Break Fun

Hey runner friends! Last week, I told you about the Mother Runner event in Orlando, and how I purchased some pretty sweet goodies for one of you. This morning, I picked a winner-

Congrats to Nicole, who won via Facebook entry! Check your email, Nicole, so I can send you your prize! Thank you to all who entered.

It’s Spring Break here in the Babbles house and our days have been packed with fun, fun, and more fun. This mother runner is very tired, but I adore having all of my babes at home with me. Here are some of the things we’re enjoying this week:

The Disney Infinity game. We all have our favorites, and Rapunzel is mine. (Shocking.)
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Movie Mornings in our pajamas. We don’t watch tv during the school week, so the opportunity to watch tv while eating breakfast is a welcome change for these littles. (Did Disney pick a good week for the Frozen dvd release or what?)

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Speaking of Frozen, of course we picked up our dvd yesterday! We stood in a pretty long line at the Disney Store, where I also bought this adorable coffee mug-

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The bowling alley and arcade, and time with their Uncle and soon-to-be Aunt. These girls love air hockey!

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These crayons. My older girl and I sat for over an hour and colored with them. The glide on the paper like an oil pastel, and then once you brush with water, you get the watercolor effect AND they sparkle brighter than Edward Cullen.

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I also love that nail polish (Deborah Lippmann She Bop) and the treadmill, because that’s the only way I’m getting to run this week. One thing we don’t love is sleeping in. The kids are all still a little off from the time change. Or they’re just early morning people like their mother.

Anyway- Happy Spring Break if you’re on one, and Happy Wednesday if you aren’t. Time to go pack lunches for today’s outing.

Any Disney Infinity players out there? Favorite Frozen character? Favorite arcade game? Favorite Spring Break activity? Talky!

A Bunch Of Random Things, With Pictures

I wanted to tell you all about the two yoga classes that my fit friends and I hit this month (Take that, Fit Club Fail!) (Spoiler: Neither one was Bikram.) but I am just crazy busy this week. Instead, I present to you some things I am doing and loving and thinking about right this second, along with some pictures. In other words, a completely self-indulgent blog post.

First- this arrived at my house yesterday.

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We visited the tasting room for Thumbprint Cellars on our 5th anniversary trip to California a few years ago, and this Christmas, J gifted me with a membership to their wine club. This is chardonnay, and they even sent a bar of chocolate. It’s like they know me.

Second- it is Girl Scout cookie time and I am eating all the cookies. My friend sent me one of those cat meme pictures that says “ATE 4 BOXES OF THIN MINTS. NOT FEELING VERY THIN.” That cat is my soul sister, you guys. I mean, really- could those cookies be any more delicious? And the scouts are just too cute to deny-

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Alright, so that is my adorable kid. (You may think she is channeling Vanna White here at our cookie booth, but that is really her Elsa pose. She does it for all photos these days. Don’t you want to build a snowman? And buy some cookies?) I’m her troop leader, so I really can’t say no, but next year I am buying two boxes and donating the rest to the military. Remind me, okay?

Our council is one of the test councils for the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread and I bought a bag for one of you! I’ll be posting a giveaway for that soon.

Third- A Fresh Market opened in my city and it’s a Very Big Deal. I popped in last week to check it out and took home this bag of popcorn-

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Which might taste better than Boom Chicka Pop. LE GASP. But really. Black pepper! It’s delightful. (It has an odd smell though, which I can’t figure out because the ingredients are normal, non-chemical-y things. But still. Tasty. Just don’t stick your nose in the bag. Which would be a weird thing to do anyway.)

In non-food related things that I love this week, my daughters are now proud owners of Nike sneakers.

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They’re very excited to be “matchies” with me, and now beg every day to go for a run. I know I gave birth to them, so I have to think they’re adorable, but really. SO ADORABLE.

More on the topic of running- Tonight, I get to hang out with THE MOTHER RUNNERS. Well, not “hang out” so much as listen to them talk about running at a local fitness store. But yay! I love their books and the way they inspire women, and well, I’m also looking forward to the swag bag.

And finally, this weekend is the Glass Slipper Challenge! Sara and I are working on our matching costumes (we’ll be dressed up as the same character that our daughters did for Halloween this year. That’s all I’m sharing for now.), and I’m making plans to see Vic and Heather. There will be lots of squeeing, hugging, merriment and pictures of it all.

I’ve been doing my long runs with my friends, Sara and Dorothy, and this weekend will be Dorothy’s first half marathon and Sara will most likely PR in both races. Even though I won’t be setting any personal records, I’m really excited to see my friends reach their goals. As much as running is a solo sport, it can also have the feel of being on a team. We’ve all worked hard, and we’ve done it together. On Sunday, I’ll be as happy for them as I would be if it were my own personal victory.

On a completely superficial note, I cannot wait to have that shoe medal. Because SHOES.

So…favorite wine? Favorite Girl Scout cookies? Favorite expensive health food store snacks? Talk to me! Who is running Disney this weekend?