Thursday, August 29, 2013

~Three Things Thursday~

1. After 9 months of owning my amazing iPhone, I finally found a new case that I love for it!! I searched online but could never find anything that I really liked. It's super girly and I love it! The only thing I don't like is that the white is going to get dirty over time, since it's a silicone cover, but that will just be a good excuse to get another one I think!

I also got a new screen protector. Holy wow, did it ever make a difference! My previous one was so dirty that pictures looked horrible on it. I thought maybe it was just the difference between the 4S and 5 (which hubby has) but once I got the new protector I was amazed at how much sharper the pictures are (either the ones that I take or the ones that I'm viewing on the phone).



2. After too many exhausting and disappointing toddler shoe shopping trips, I decided to order some shoes for Audrey online. I have ordered from Tiny Soles before and they have excellent service, free shipping over $20 and a good selection of well made shoes. I'm still cheap though and all the shoes that I wanted for her were sold out of her size. I couldn't find anything that I liked that I wanted to pay full price for so I finally settled on this pair. Fingers crossed they fit!!
See Kai Run- Adalynn Berry
Thanks to everyone that gave me local shopping tips. Next time I will check out those places rather than running around to every other children's store in the city. Or I will just order online again!

3. I'm currently solo parenting right now as hubby is on a work fishing trip. Holy exhausting! The first night was awful, with Audrey up multiple times. I don't think she was feeling well since that was out of character even for her. She was super happy when she first woke up in the morning which was sweet.

Thankfully the grandparents are helping out so I don't have to go to work late too many days this week! Which also means that I will get a good night of sleep! It will certainly be weird being at home alone at night for the first time in 18 months!! I will admit that I will miss her immensely even if the break will be wonderful.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

~ Audrey: 18 Months ~



I will smile, but not when I look at you!

17 Months
16 Months

Sleep: Slowly getting better. I'm not sure she will ever consistently sleep through the night but at least it's way better than it used to be. (except last night!)

Eating: She is a little more adventurous these days. She still has her favourites- muffins, apple sauce, yogurt, watermelon and then rotates between liking and not liking everything else. She just likes variety I think.

She likes to eat stuff whole now. For example, she prefers to bite into the apple herself rather than us cutting it up. She loves corn on the cob, and nectarines for the same reason.

She is starting to use a spoon and fork more frequently.

She still has one bottle of milk before bed. We attempted to switch to a sippy cup and it did not go well. With sleep being as crappy as it is, we are picking our battles for now!

Teething: No change from last month- she has all her teeth except the 2 year molars.

Crawling/Standing/Walking: She's a runner! She is constantly moving. She is currently going through the phase of wanting to be carried up and down the stairs- for no real reason.

Eyes: Grey/hazel/green.

Hair: It's finally long enough to put clips in!! Now how long it actually stays in for is another question! She's not loving the headbands right now.

Playing: She loves being outside most of all. She had the time of her life spending a week at the lake. She loves going on the slide, swings, playing in the sandbox, wandering through Daddy's garden and going on walks.

Talking: First 2 syllable words this week- apple and happy!! She also kind of said her name which melted my heart! She says so many words but hasn't put any words together yet so far. Latest words are: door, apple, melon, sweater, happy, Audrey, hair, and many more that I can't think of!

Sign Language: She is signing less and less as she learns to say more words.

Weight/Clothing: She definitely had a growth spurt. She is 34 inches, which is the 97% percentile for height. She went from ~50% percentile for height in the first year to the 97%! She's still pretty light at 24.25 pounds, which is ~50% percentile. She still fits into 12-18m clothing, and wearing more 18m-24m items, especially pants. Her feet grew also. She is busting out of her size 4 shoes so I've been frantically trying to find new shoes for her. I'm buying her fall/winter wardrobe in 2T since I think she will need the length and so she doesn't grow out of it too quickly!

Personality: She is so strong-willed! She gets mad when she doesn't get her way. She is very funny though, love to make us laugh and likes it when you play with her. She likes to be involved in whatever you are doing.

Current Favourite Things: Duplo blocks, books, our iPhones, spoons & forks, and shoes. Oh, and Daddy. He is her absolute favourite!!

Dislikes: The car - still!, diaper changes, getting changed in general, pasta, peppers, and having her face & hands washed.

Miscellaneous: Every day is new and exciting with an 18 month old. It's amazing how much she has grown and how independent she is. She has a feisty side and she is also very lovable. She learns something new every day and for the most part the good parts outweigh the bad parts.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

~A Little Weekend Recap~

Of course it went by too fast but I feel good about what we accomplished, even if it was small things.

On Friday, Audrey and I hit up the mall after work in search of some gifts and shoes for her. We were successful with the gifts but looking for good toddler shoes is proving to be very difficult. I think I am going to have to resort to buying online as I have already spent 4 separate shopping trips looking for something sturdy, yet pretty and have come up empty handed. It doesn't help that I am very picky and don't want running shoes for every day.

On Saturday, we took it easy all day while we did chores around the house, organized the basement (apparently I am a box hoarder!), and played in the backyard with Audrey. Luckily, hubby found a babysitter last minute for Audrey (Yay Auntie L & Uncle C!) so we were both able to go out for my best friend's 30th birthday party.

We went for dinner at Black Betty Burger & Wine bar and it was sooooo good! I've never heard of this place before- shows how often I go out these days. The burgers and drinks were so good- I had a strawberry mojito which was amazing!

It was a good night catching up with friends and eating delicious birthday cake! I wish I could get the picture to load since it was so pretty!

Afterwards, we stayed up late having a good chat with L & C, who had fun spending the evening with Audrey. I'm so glad they are back from their trip as it's nice to see them more often.

Sunday we met up with the Run Club for 16K. We were running a bit late so we had some catching up to do. It was a beautiful day for running- overcast, slight breeze and around 18C. Great start to the day!

Originally I planned to just do some stuff around the house for the rest of the day but hubby decided we needed to go shopping. Ok, if you insist, dear!! We still had no luck with shoes for Audrey (I'm giving up!) but I managed to find a few cute things for myself. The mall was crazy with all the back to school shoppers.

Playing at the train table in Chapters

Hubby had a short work meeting so he met up with us for dinner after he was done.

It was a nice weekend with lots of family time, just the way I like it!

Monday, August 26, 2013

~ Seven ~

Happy 7th Anniversary to my hubby!!



It's been seven wonderful years, with many blessings, a few trials, more laughs than we can count and a lot of love.

That day was the beginning of many magical adventures we have embarked on together. It is one of my most favourite days that I will cherish forever.







I knew I married an amazing man that day and over the years he has exceeded my already high expectations. Every day he blows me away with his hard work, dedication to his family, his selflessness, ambition and how he chose me. I'm so lucky!

I love you!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Post- Vacation Catch Up

I've been back from vacation for over a week now and I'm finally starting to feel like I am caught up on things!

It's been a whirlwind week and I'm looking forward to a slightly less busy weekend and helping my BFF celebrate her 30th birthday!






Audrey and I both came down with post-vacation colds. While it sucks, I am glad it didn't happen while we were on vacation. Hopefully a weekend of taking it easy can kill these germs.

I'm starting to get into my regular workout routine post-SeaWheeze. We did a hellish hilly 13K route on Sunday and a couple shorter runs in the evenings. Hubby is now pacing Melissa's Half next month so he's getting a bit more serious about getting his runs in. He has signed up for the currently Half clinic, whereas I have not, since it's his turn to be part of the clinic. I'm okay with just meeting up with the group on Sundays since it's so hard during the week anyway.

We have agreed that he is going to put Audrey to bed a couple nights a week so that I can get some workouts in at a more reasonable hour. I'm just finding it too hard to workout at 8pm. I force myself to but I don't have the energy to push myself to make the workout as effective as possible. Too many times I skip the workout in lieu of chores or sleep.

I've also started tracking my calories with My Fitness Pal as I was feeling very low on energy most days. I discovered that I wasn't eating enough protein and eating too much sugar in the AM, since my breakfasts and morning snacks usually consist of fruit. So I'm working on eating more balanced meals throughout the day so I don't get the highs and lows. I'm also trying to increase my water intake.

So while we have nothing exciting planned for the weekend (other than the big birthday celebration), I have lots of little projects at home that I need to work on. The weather is slowly turning cooler so I need to pull out a few more fall pieces. I'm not ready to give up on the summer wardrobe yet but I'm tired of freezing in the morning and at work.

Have a good weekend!! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

SeaWheeze Half Marathon Race Recap: August 2013

The race has come and gone and what an experience it was!
Lululemon sure knows how to throw a great event!

Pre-race activities are recapped here.

Since we were staying at one of our friend's Mom's house in Maple Ridge, we had a super early wake up call on race day- 3:30am. That's definitely the earliest I have ever woken up to run! We quickly got ready, ate breakfast and hit the road into downtown Vancouver.

We arrived with plenty of time to park, hit the port-a-potties a few times, take a bunch of pictures and head to our race corrals.

This place is stunning!

Walking towards the start- the backs of our shirts

CHRR represents!
This race had over 10,000 runners, which is by far the biggest race I have ever run in. While it was pretty amazing to be part of such a great crowd, logistically it wasn't my favourite.

Most of us seeded ourselves between the 2:20-2:30 pace beavers (still can't get used to that term).

They did not run with those signs...

They did run with the beaver headband and tail
(orange & yellow)
I'm grateful that someone in our group suggested that we make shirts since it made it very easy to pick us out amongst the sea of Lululemon!

Lynn & I before the start
It took close to 30 minutes after the gun went off for our wave to start. Again, I've never had to do this before- I might wait maximum 5 minutes before starting after the gun goes off, so the anticipation was hard.
I ate an apple about an hour before I started since it had been so long since breakfast.

My amazing clinic instructor


The route
Finally it was go time. I was feeling pretty awesome and pumped to do this. I started off with a bunch of my friends as I didn't want to start too fast.

I found pacing very difficult for the first half of the race. I made the mistake of not properly setting my virtual partner on my Garmin- I set her at a faster pace so I never really knew what my pace was as I was always behind. Dumb mistake- I should have known better.

Since there were so many people, I felt like I did a lot of weaving. Many people didn't have good race etiquette and were walking in the middle of the path and walking without warning those around them. For someone not used to running with this many people so close together it was pretty frustrating.


Running under the Granville Island Bridge
~5K

While I wouldn't consider this race hilly, there were definitely some hills in the first half. The worst of it was around 9-10K, the Burrard Street bridge. This was the first spot that you started to see the faster runners since it was part of an out and back. The steepest part of the bridge was on the return portion so I was getting quite nervous while running down it thinking about how I had to run back up it! In the end, I didn't actually find it that bad. The anticipation was far worse!

They had the best signs!
The cheer sections for this race were amazing. Lululemon have many different sections set up with music, entertainers, drag queens!, crazy yoga poses, spray guns, etc. By far this race had the best cheering sections of any race I have done.

While I started out the race with about 4 or 5 of my running friends, by 3-4K I was running by myself, as in I knew no one else around me. I was faster than one group of friends and slower than another group. I tried to hang on to my clinic instructor's pace but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it up the entire race so I hung back while she cruised on. I did play 'cat and mouse' with one of the girls in our group but our walk breaks were off so she would catch up to me and then it would be walk break time for her.

The 2nd half of the race is along the Sea Wall which is amazingly scenic and flat!! I loved this portion of the run, even if it was congested. Some of the aid stations were tight to get through, especially if you were trying to run past them. Very few people carried water/nutrition so the aid stations were so busy.

Running along the sea wall

selfie by the paddle boarding cheer section

While running along the Sea Wall, I could see my friend Carol up ahead of me. I made it my goal to try to catch up to her, even though she was quite far away. I was thankful for our shirts since there is no way I would have been able to spot her otherwise!

Finally around, 18K I caught up to her. It was nice to have someone to run with for the remaining 3K. We chatted for a bit and encouraged each other to keep going as we were both fading. The crowds started to get bigger as we got closer to the finish line.

I couldn't quite remember the remaining portion of the course so I kept hoping that the finish line was "right around the corner" but we still had a few more turns. I so wanted to be done!

Soon the finish line was in sight! Sweet relief!

I finished in 2:32:18- slightly behind my goal but that's ok!

Carol and I got our medals, our finisher's swag and hobbled over to our meeting spot. We were sore!



Race bag, wrist band, medal, Saje aromatherapy, Skull Candy Ear buds





Post race 
After the rest of our gang finished, (and were released from the medical tent- not me! Long story!) we loaded up on the delicious runner's brunch. Yum it was good! We were all pretty tired and decided to head back to our home-away-from-home rather than stick around for the post-race activities.

In front of the Olympic Torch

I was a bit disappointed that we weren't going to participate in the post-race yoga and Sunset Festival but it made sense for us to skip it. We didn't want to wait around for 4-5 hours for it to start, without showering. Since we were staying a distance away from downtown, no one wanted to drive back and forth again.

If we were staying downtown I would have gone to the Festival in a heartbeat so maybe I'll do that next time I do this race. I heard it was lots of fun, with great music.

After we showered, relaxed and napped, we went to White Rock for dinner- best fish and chips in the world!

Post dinner walk- because we didn't get enough exercise that day!

Moby Dick makes the best fish and chips ever!

Yum!!

This place is gorgeous

White Rock- hence the town's name!

Pier

Overall it was an amazing race and one of my best running experiences. I would do this race again in a heart beat. I've been a faithful Lululemon-lover forever so I am biased but they definitely put on a fantastic event.

We started the trek back home the next day, stopping overnight in Sicamous to stay at a friend's cabin. The way back was far less eventful than the way there which is good!

That being said, I hope to avoid the drive from Calgary to Vancouver for at least a few more years. I'll fly next time!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

~ Summer Vacation Part 2: SeaWheeze Road Trip ~

Bright and super early, 7am by the time they picked me up- the last stop, on Thursday, my ride arrived to pick me for the road trip to Vancouver for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon. We had been planning this trip for 8 months so we were very excited for the day to finally arrive.

I tried to pack lightly!
The trip to Vancouver in numbers:

 -6 women in one mini-van

In the back
- 7 stops between Calgary & Vancouver (not including passenger pick ups)

One of many stops along the way
Guess where at?
- 107 bottles of water consumed (ok slight exaggeration but it's got to be close to that for the number of pee breaks!)
- 147879854 times we laughed
- 12473 pictures taken between 6 women in one day (again, slight exaggeration)
- 1 decorated vehicle






- 1 hostess who wrote the wrong date on the calendar and thought we were coming in 2 weeks
- 14 hours it took us to drive there, 10 hours is what it should have taken us

While it took longer than expected to get there (7 stops along the way will do that), we had so much fun during the drive. We shared so many stories, lots of laughs and a few jokes along the way.

Friday morning we woke up at 5:30am as we wanted to get to the SeaWheeze package pick up early to avoid the lines. Even though we left on time, everyone else had the same idea so the line up was very long.

Lucky I was able to meet up with Nikki from Slow is the New Fast. I've been following her blog forever so it was great to finally be able to meet her in person! She is one of my running mom idols.
I also met Krista from Read Bake Run Repeat which was a nice surprise! Both ladies were so sweet and full of excitement for the race. They definitely got me pumped for the race! They also got there way before we did and didn't have to endure the super long line up. Smart!

Picture courtesy of Nikki
We waited in line for the race package pick up for close to 2 hours. It was painful. Thankfully there were enough of us to make the time go by quickly and we could duck in and out of the line occasionally. Lululemon did a great job of entertaining us all and keeping us hydrated and fed. Even if the line up was ridiculous at least they attempted to make it better.



Cat-Fairy?

So many people

Finally we got through the race package line up, got our bags, wrist bands and timing chips.



Yes, Chip the founder of Lululemon is on the timing chip.


Then there was another long line up into the showcase store- where you could buy all the limited edition SeaWheeze Lululemon items. 

You can see all the SeaWheeze bags on
people's backs.
It was a little insane in the store. If there was something you might possibly want you better grab it and hold onto it until you knew for sure you didn't want it. Many things were already sold out and we were in there by 11am. I still managed to buy a few things...


Showcase chaos
Post shopping high

The goods
Afterwards we were in desperate need of food so we to a nearby restaurant- Tap and Barrel. Highly recommend it if you are in the Vancouver area. They have lots of gluten free options if that's your thing (one of our road trippers is Celiac). 

Once our bellies were satisfied, we went for a nice walk along the marina. I seriously love this city!






 We went back to the convention centre where the SeaWheeze events were being held and got a little pampered:



Manicure in SeaWheeze colours

Manicure & Hair Salon set up
They also were giving massages, spray on tattoos and some food stands, like this cotton candy one.


Part of the gang

Our meeting spot

This was definitely the best "expo" I've ever been to, although I don't think it really counts as an expo since the only vendor was Lululemon!

We stayed downtown the entire day and returned to our hostess' home for a lovely pre-race turkey dinner. It was so good!

Being on our feet for 9 hours the day before the race was probably not the best idea but we had to much fun and other than the long line ups it was all worth it!

We got everything ready for the race the next day and went to bed maybe a bit later than we should have considering we had a 3:30am wakeup call! I think we all slept pretty well after being in the sun and on our feet all day.

Next up: SeaWheeze Half Marathon Race Report 2013!!