Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend roundup

Another busy weekend!  My mom has been in town a while and this was her last weekend, so we piled it on!

Friday my mom and I made our way to Queen Anne Olive Oil for some oil tasting and of course buying.  Friday Matt went out for dad's night so the boys, mom, and I hunkered in and made dinner together - it was fun getting the boys to help in the kitchen.

Saturday was a relatively mellow day.  We brought the boys for some (hipster) haircuts and walked around Queen Anne.

Sunday we went to Carkeek for some hiking, train watching, and playing in the sand.


We came home for baseball in our postage stamp sized front yard. 
Sunday wrapped up with all of us walking up to the top of Queen Anne to watch the sunset.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Contest: win 4 FREE ReSqueeze pouches

Set of 4 PouchesI've blogged a couple times now about our playing with ReSqueeze pouches.  Now I'm happy to be able to give a set of 4 away to one lucky winner!  If I had had these when the boys were 2 up until now I'm confident I would have saved hundreds of dollars on the fruit squeeze pouches at the market and on car cleaning from globs of apple sauce in the back seat.  I can't go back in time, but I can gift these forward ...

So, here's the contest:
  1. Leave a comment on my blog with why you want to win the ReSqueeze pouch
  2. You can leave 2 comments (double your odds) if you leave a recipe idea
  3. I'll randomly pick a winner on February 1 who will email me their shipping address
  4. 4 ReSqueeze pouches will show up in the mail

P.S. For great recipes and updates follow ReSqueeze on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Getting a 4 year old to eat vegetables: trickery!

Don't judge me ... I'll just start with that.  Our boys aren't ones for exploring with food.  Wilson continues on a kick of just white food (bread, pasta, you get the picture) and sweets (fruit, muffins, and many requests for lollipops).  Cole continues to dabble with new foods (1 lettuce leaf, 1 slice of tomato, etc.).  But the boys are far from getting all their food groups unless they can be sweetly baked into a pastry.  We've tried it all: "Kindergarteners need to eat vegetables."  "You'll get taller / faster / smarter with a carrot and some kale."  They don't believe us. 

We even tried letting the boys know that real astronauts eat greens.  Still bites only at best.
 Last night for dinner my mom made an incredible white bean soup with white beans, pork, carrots, leaks, potatoes, yellow beets, celery, and kale.  Cold weather heaven in a bowl.  The boys sat down and proceeded to eat bread ... only.  So I decided to re-test the previously blogged about ReSqueeze pouches ... and it worked! 6 oz of purred white bean and veg soup gone.  I feel like quite an accomplished mom now, even though I cheated a little.  Some day I'll get to the point that the boys only eat what we cook (and how we cook it) but for now I'm good with the fact that they ate real food.

Here's what we did ... started with the fresh home-made white bean soup:

 Busted out our old babycook (yes, we should have retired this when the boys hit 2 ... but I un-dug this from our moving boxes (from 2 years ago)).  Pureed.  Scooped the soup in the pouches. and BAM.  Eating (drinking / squeezing) success.
I'm not planning to make these a regular appearance at the dinner table, but for an experiment I'm pretty proud of our little slurpable soup success.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter running in 1, 2, 3

As we're still in the heart of a very dark winter, I've had to adopt a few tricks to motivate my runs.  Here are my favorite tricks in order of use:

Step 1: wake up with a sun lamp!  I used to think these were a total waste of money, but I invested in one a month ago and am LOVING it.  The "alarm" goes off by first lighting up (starting at dim and getting lighter) for about 10min, and then starting the sound of birds chirping.  I'm so addicted I bought the office version of this (not that I need an alarm at work - just the light jolt) for my computer:

Step 2: Peppermint leg gel.  I bought this because I read an article somewhere that this could help give legs a little kick at the beginning of a run to get going, and cool down at the end of a run.  This just helps me wake up and that's all I need.

Step 3: Peets.  Needed.  Very needed.  This isn't just a run kind of need.  It's a full-time-working mom-of-twins lacking-sleep kind of need.  It's my vitamin P.

I can't believe ...

Three little words I think all moms know well: "I can't believe" often followed by: "they grew so fast!" "My baby is grown up." "I'm 3# (4#, 5#, 6#, 7#, 8#, 9#...)" "It's already ."  And now it's my turn to say these magic words - I can't believe my boys are starting kindergarten next year - yikes!  This week my mom and I went to check out Coe, the school the boys are going to attend next year.  Even as an adult, the school felt giant - I can't imagine what the boys will feel.  

Here are some pics from our trip:

The gym where the boys will be timed - did you know the fitness standard for a 7 year old girl to run a half mile is 5:40, and for a boy it's 4:50?  Did you know at 6 a girl should be able to do 25 curl ups, 4 push ups, and 9 "sit and reaches" and a boy should be able to do 28 curl ups, 4 push ups, and 8.5 "sit and reaches."  Me neither!
And here's the cafeteria.  Ah I miss the days of swapping lunches and drinking juice from a tiny box.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ReSqueeze = veggies for 4 year olds

It's been quite a battle getting the boys to eat vegetables lately.  Wilson seems to only eat white foods (potatoes, bread, rice ... you get the picture) and Cole only eats brown foods (steak, peanut butter, lentils).  I've been trying to figure out a way to a) combine their collective food choices so they'll both eat both and b) get some fruits and veggies in the mix.  They do OK with bribes (don't think less of me) such as "eat grapes, get to go to the playground," but bribes don't even work for veggies - not even Diego!  I've had some success with "fruit squeezies" - expensive pouches we buy at Whole Foods with fruit and veg pureed in a little squeezable container (I think it's for baby food, but I'm not going to look a gift horse (gift food group) in the mouth).  I was so excited when a rep from ReSqueeze reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try re-usable little pouches.  I replied with a big YES! 

This past week I've been testing out my new ReSqueeze pouches.  We've tried blended fruit and veg mixes such as:
  • Spinach, banana, peach
  • Kale, pear, apple
  • Cucumber, beet, apple, celery - this one was OK until I added ginger and then it was "too spicy"
  • Spinach, blueberry, banana
 I'm going to try a few more with more straight veg ... we'll see how that goes!

Here are some things I love about ReSqueeze:
  • They're re-usable
  • They're based in SF (my hometown so I'm still counting this as a local item)
  • They're made by parents for parents so it's not some 20 year olds sitting in a lab trying to come up with a money maker
Stay tuned for more recipes and a chance to win a ReSqueeze pouch!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sick Boyos

Tis the season to be snotty ... this has been one sick winter!  Last week the boys were out of school the majority of the week with colds.  Wilson had a double ear infection and Cole had a never ending cough.  Both boys also traded off getting seemingly never-ending bloody noses which was horrible - Wilson topped the charts with a 45-min gusher. 

It's heartbreaking with kids are sick and there's not much we can do.  Monday I finally brought both boys to the Dr. - his sentiment "yep, they're sick.  And you're doing everything right."  I just hate that "everything right" doesn't get the cold to go away!  Here's what we did do, though - some did help make the boys feel a bit better.

Ear infection - warm pad on Wilson's ears trading off with a rag soaked in salt water to help his ears drain.  Luckily we were able to avoid antibiotics because Wilson's ear popped (but in a good way - the fluid started draining).

Bloody nose - I have always been taught to tilt the head back, pinch the bridge of the nose, and catch the blood in a tissue.  The Dr. told us for little kids it's different - that they should tip their head over a sink or something and let the blood run out.  Matt tried this with Cole which totally freaked Cole out.

Cough - we cranked the shower to make lots of steam and sat both boys in the bathroom to open up their lungs.

Race Report: Bridle Trails

Every year Bridle Trails is one of my favorite trail races in the Seattle area.  This year was no different - but this year the race turned into an all out mud run!  Bridle Trails starts at 3pm which is pretty late for a race, especially considering it gets dark here about 4:30 or 5pm.  The day of the race I decided to drop from the 10mi down to the 5mi - a week of both boys being sick and me trying to fight off whatever they had + rain + wind didn't make a compelling case for 10mi. 

Where the race started, there were a handful of tents popped up filled with runners huddled near space warmers trying to fend off the cold.  Because it was SO windy, the race was almost called off - in fact, the park ranger "left it up to the race director" as to if he wanted to continue or not.  Imagine carrying that burden!  We waited out the wind, and then the race started at 3:20pm with all waves starting together. 

The race started by going directly through a deep puddle and continued through puddles the entire way.  The pack spread out after about the first mile which was nice - the solace of running  through swampy trees and forest felt terrific.  The course wove through the trees and then popped out next to a little barn which was covered in Christmas lights - awesome. 

I placed 10th overall (out of 70) and 2nd woman with a pace of 7:21 per mile.  All in, good times!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bunk Bed Madness!

We are in bunk bed research mode and it's making my brain spin.  We've spent the past day looking at different bed options of which there are many.  Here are a few we're liking right now:
Bunk bed madness!

Notice the giant price differences ...

The couch to bunk kind of cracks me up.  I don't see that one as very safe - you?

I did find one on Craigslist for $260 with delivery, but that always sketches me out a bit.  Then again, a deal is a deal!

Here are our criteria:
  • Modern / contemporary looking
  • Can split into two beds 
  • Doesn't look like 1 big block of wood - we'd like to see the boys' room through the bed 
Ideally we'd get some extra storage potentially a little desk space.

Here are some of my favorite sites for browsing cute kid furniture:
Rafa Kids - a site in the UK that builds custom beds
Posh Tots - a good mix of contemporary and foofoo style furniture
Room & Board - another site with a good mix.  Some of the metal ones look pretty cheap to me, though ...
Land of Nod - some good classics

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bring it on 2014!

What a week (and what a year since it is the season to reflect).  This past week we had a slew of activities and social engagements.  Saturday I made it out for a leisurely 10mi run around Discovery Park and down to the water.  The run was beautiful with fog coasting over the water and very few people on the roads and trails.

Sunday the boys all went rock climbing at the Bouldering Project.  The boys LOVED scaling the walls and showing off for each other and the twin girls we were climbing with.

This week of course brought the change of year.  We made our way to my cousin's house for a very luxurious dinner of steak, lobster, vegetables, great wine, and best of all - amazing company.  We sat around talking, dancing, singing with the kids, talking some more, and then watching the East Coast ball drop until the boys were literally zombies on their feet.

New Year's day I got out early for a short run.  Then, we made our way to Laura and Max's house for another wonderful meal - this time brunch.  After brunch we made our way to Discovery Park to play on the zip line and hike in the woods.  Matt and Max hooked up again later in the day to take the kids golfing.

Looking back, this was a great week.  Moreover (and looking back further), this was a great year that included a job change, trying new sports (like cyclocross), the Big Sur marathon, many bumps and bruises as the boys' energy grew, swim class for the boys, soccer for the boys, Whistler, and much more.  In 2014 we're ready for more sports, more travels, more family adventures here and away, and starting to move forward with our goals of even better financial planning and organizing everything.