Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend in Review

Hello! The weekend felt long and wonderful, so I'm only now catching up. I hope you've had a wonderful few days to end August!

Saturday morning we headed up to meet our friends for some splash park fun! 

I've wanted to take Marshall to a splash pad all summer, so I can't explain how excited I was to see our little ones play in the water.

Marshall stole that bucket, resulting in this poster, courtesy of Katie:

I didn't take many pictures because I was playing in the water and talking with our friends, but it was awesome to see the kids play in the water and have fun. Then we brought the kids to Katie and Corey's house for naps and lunch and more conversation. We had a wonderful time seeing everyone and letting the kids play together, and we even made it home in plenty of time to make a delicious meal.

Terry had thrown pork in the slow cooker that morning to make pulled pork, and when we came home I made cornbread. And check it out: I got a DOUBLE YOLK EGG!!!! First time ever. I was SO excited.

And a delicious meal to boot! Sauteed green beans on the side.

Sunday morning we headed out early to beat the heat for a run (1.5 miles) and walk (2.5 miles) up to campus. Marshall's first time really checking out the Inverted Fountain!

When we came home I made pancakes--and got ANOTHER DOUBLE YOLK EGG!!! Are you kidding me? Two in one carton?!

And on Sunday afternoon Terry and I actually managed to sneak away for a movie! Finally, after all our attempts to go, I got to see my first movie in theaters since I was pregnant. It was Ant-Man, and it was loud, but pretty good. Then we came home and made pulled pork salads with grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, pepper jack cheese, crunchy slaw, Romaine lettuce, and cornbread on the side. Dressing was a simple mix of 1 part maple syrup, 1 part red wine vinegar, 2 parts olive oil.

And then, sadly, the weekend was over, but today Marshall and I soaked up the cloudy, cool morning and headed to the park. Marshall even wore pants because it was so cool!

Otherwise our day was nice and mellow, hitting the grocery store after Marshall's long nap. Our meal plan for the week:

Sunday: Pulled pork salads (above)
Monday: Fried rice
Tuesday: Caprese salads with greens
Wednesday: fish (thanks to inspiration from Jenn, who's kicking healthy up a notch in her final weeks of pregnancy) and vegetables

(We'll figure out the rest later, apparently.)

Okay, off to enjoy some crossword action and Trader Joe's Babka, which, if you haven't tried it, is a MUST. You're welcome.

Have a great week!

Random question: Would you rather ALWAYS be one hour early or ALWAYS be ten minutes late?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fun Friday

Happy Friiiiiiiday! Actually, all day I felt like it was Saturday, so the fact that we have a whole weekend ahead is thrilling. And today was already awesome!

We decided to get up and out (after a cup of tea, of course) for a quick jog around the block. Perhaps 15-20 minutes, but a great start to the morning nonetheless. Then Terry took Marshall to the park and gave me a bit of time on my own, and we all reunited after Terry took Scout for a checkup at a new vet. During Marshall's nap, Terry and I raced through three more episodes of Once Upon a Time. We've been averaging at least two episodes per night in an effort to finish season four before it expires on Hulu. And then today, of course, Terry discovered that season four will be available on Netflix (to which we also subscribe) today. Sooooo that was pretty hilarious.

After Marshall woke up, we all needed to get out of our ridiculously hot apartment,

 so we headed to Third Street to walk around and share a milkshake.

And then we went to Burger Lounge for a little splurge for dinner!

(A little nervous when the waiter came over.)

Our evening has been a super mellow one, focused almost entirely on staying coolish in this heat. Lots of ice water around here.

Two fun links:

I'm not a concert person, and I don't LOVE Taylor Swift as much as maybe I'm supposed to (though of course her songs are always stuck in my head and I will not turn off "Blank Space" or "Shake It Off" for anything), but I would have been ridiculously excited to see this surprise guest at her concert last night. Plus Justin Timberlake? Well done, TSwift.

Guy annoys girlfriend with puns at IKEA. This man is my cuppa tea. With Terry, I'm usually the one who makes annoying puns, so I feel like this guy and I could be friends.

We're off to bed! Good night all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Day in the Life and 15 Months

This week is flying! The last two seemed to drag a bit for me, and I struggled finding fun activities for Marshall and me to enjoy, but luckily this week has been a huge improvement. Even the evenings are racing by, which explains the skipped posts. So anyway I thought I'd pop in today with a day in the life post. I always love reading these, so hopefully you do, too. 

6:00 am - Wake up! I had set my alarm for 5:30 in an effort to get a jump on the day (or drink my cup of tea) before Marshall woke up, but you know how it goes. Instead, I wake up to Terry getting ready and Marshall starting to babble in his crib. It's nice that he wakes up happy a lot of times now and doesn't mind hanging out on his own for a little while (although, of course, about a third of the time things go the opposite way). After getting myself up, I say goodbye to Terry and head in to greet Marshall, who points eagerly at his fire hat and apparently wants to wear it before the day really began. 

Okay, kid.

6:45 am - After a diaper change and some play around the house, Marshall and I sit down to breakfast--yogurt with various toppings, a little pita bread for Marshall, and a banana. Marshall eats everything (breakfast tends to be his biggest meal of the day) and then some, and I send him back on his way to play while I clean up and get dressed.

7:45 am - Out the door! We head down to the South Bay to meet my friend and her son, whom we met at My Gym several months ago. We're not in the same toddler class, so we've been trying to get together on Wednesday mornings. We have a great time together, and the boys are about a month apart, so we're hoping they can be friends too!

8:30 am - Arrive at the park, watch the boys play, catch up on our weekends, make more plans for future get togethers. Marshall gets sand all over his hands and then rubs his eyes (of course), but we have a great time overall.

9:50 am - Clean up and head to My Gym! Class is pretty full today, and Marshall is tired (he has been going down for naps around 11:15 or so lately, but today he's tired by 10:45), so his energy is hit-and-miss throughout class. Of course, I have a great time watching him and the other kids play!

11:20 am - Class ends, and Marshall and I enjoy our usual post-class car picnic (peanut butter sandwiches on pita bread, raisins, and peas). I e-mail Terry to tell him I wonder if people think it's weird that I do this each week, but he responds, "Ah, people do far weirder stuff than eat lunch out of car in a parking lot. Though writing that does sound weird." True.

11:35 am - Back in the car, we head home, and I spend the thirty minute drive trying to make sure Marshall doesn't fall asleep. I used to have no problem letting him nap in the car, because I would just pull over and read or something until he woke up. But now that he's on one nap I try to make sure he's sleeping in his crib so that the nap has the best chance of being a good one. Wednesdays are the challenge because of the My Gym class timing, but we're 2/2 these last two weeks!

12:15 pm - Marshall is asleep! Aaaannnnd I'm on the couch drinking water with zero motivation to get up, so I tell myself I should just take care of laundry and then I can sit down to work on my blog post. Eventually, I get around to other chores and prepping a snack for Marshall, along with eating half a nectarine. 

And lots of iced tea.

2:30 pm (!!!!) - Marshall is awake! He's suuuuper grumpy, so we cuddle a bit and keep things mellow. Then he just wants to play, so I leave him to it, and he hangs out in his room quite a while stacking blocks and digging through his toy box.

3:15 pm - Snack time! Marshall has a small lunch usually before nap and then a snack afterward. Today his snack was peaches and milk (he rejected the cheese I offered...weirdo). I join him for a bowl of cereal (I love making granola, but it never lasts more than three days in our house), then tidy up a tiny bit before he continues playing. 

3:45 pm - I know we should go to the grocery store, but he's happy hanging out and reading with me, and I'm feeling less than excited about going out into the heat, even if an air conditioned store awaits. I read books with him and get a few more odds and ends done around the house before Terry calls to say he's on his way home (yay!). Marshall knocks his head on the table multiple times and laughs it off each time, so I call that a good mood and gladly take it as a sign that staying home was perfectly fine this afternoon.

4:50 pm - Terry comes home! We quickly head out for a walk. I had given Terry a few suggestions for dinner, but ultimately we decided to grab something to go while out on our walk. We tried a semi-new place, Garlo's, which Terry liked but I didn't care for much. 

5:55 pm - Come home, enjoy dinner together, and get the bedtime process started. Terry gives Marshall his bath while I clean up a bit, and then I read Marshall his bedtime story. 

6:50 pm - I chill on the couch for a few minutes while Terry gets Marshall to sleep, which actually takes a few tries, and then we settle in for a few episodes of Once Upon a Time. We also throw in 100 push ups throughout the show to feel like we did a mini workout. 

7:55 pm - The Internet goes out, so we work on a crossword and then get showered and do dishes. 

9:25 pm - The Internet is back on by the time we're done, so we turn on one more episode, and I work on this post. Soon as we're done, we'll head to bed!

And now, some notes about our 15-month-old (Marshall officially turned 15 months old on Sunday, but Terry and I both didn't realize the date, so that's a good sign for Marshall's future) :

- Weight: 24 pounds; height unknown until tomorrow's doctor appointment

- This month Marshall seemed slightly less interested in books and MUCH more interested in things that move, like trucks and cars. He has also become more physical, testing his strength with really bulky items like his toy box or his step stool. He loves to try to pick up really heavy, awkward items and try to carry them, which, as you might imagine, isn't always a success.

- We are excited to see that Marshall is showing a lot more understanding about basic commands, requests, and suggestions. He definitely knows no (whether he will listen and obey is another story!), but he also understands phrases like, "Sit down," "Knock on the door!," "Put this in the box please," or, "Where is your bib?" 

- Marshall is adding more words to his vocabulary, but he is more consistent in responding to questions by pointing or doing. His most consistent words are dada, mama, cat ("dat"), dog ("dog-dog"), truck ("ja-jra"), shoes (shz), that, and probably a few more I'm forgetting.

- Sleep has been incredible, and we could not be more grateful. (Here's more about that, if you're curious.) He sleeps 6:45 pm to 6:00 or 6:30 am almost every night, with very few exceptions. Naps vary--60 minutes to 3 hours--but we'll take weird naps if it means we get this great sleep at night! It's been such a relief and a huge weight off our shoulders.

- Breastfeeding is officially done! I was a little sad in the moment, but now it feels totally right and normal. We had a bunch of milk stored in the freezer, so I've been adding a little to his milk each night, just so it doesn't go bad before he reaps the benefits. Otherwise, his eating is pretty much the same as always--he eats 95% of what we eat (except lettuce, whole nuts, anything that's a choking hazard). He doesn't care for fried eggs or hardboiled eggs, and he doesn't seem to like chicken on its own. Favorite foods: anything bread-like (pancakes, pita, toast, etc.), all fruit, yogurt, and the crunchy peas we get at Trader Joe's.

- Favorite activities: playing at the park, reading, climbing onto the couch, trying to pet Scout, eating, looking at trucks or dogs, going for walks, and stacking blocks/boxes. Dislikes: diaper changes, feeling tired, having something taken away, waiting for food.

- Things we're looking forward to: taking Marshall to a splash park this weekend, watching M learn how to run (although it may be a while...he doesn't seem to be in any rush to get anywhere!), seeing Marshall meet Aunt Jenny's baby (about a month away!), and a visit from JanJan next month!

- Toddler challenges: Ah, we've been warned! So we knew these challenges would be coming, but you never know how your own child will handle toddlerhood. Marshall is mostly mellow, and we haven't had any full-body meltdowns, but he's got a nice high-pitched scream when he wants us to know he's unhappy (like today at My Gym when he was informed he couldn't go on the train ride again). We try to acknowledge his feelings and then move into another activity, and for the most part it works fine. I'm sure we're only at the beginning, though! He also enjoys standing on the couch even though he knows he's not supposed to, wiping his food off the table, and whining when we won't let him in the kitchen. I'd say that's not too bad so far though!

Marshall, we're having so much fun with you! We hope you're enjoying your childhood as much as we're enjoying parenthood. Love you!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Girls' Weekend

Happy start of the week to you! We kicked things off over here with lots of chores, since I was away all weekend and didn't get to much of anything. Our plans this week mostly revolve around staying out of the heat, because we're expecting high temperatures and even some humidity. Early walks to the park and staying indoors the rest of the day will likely take up most of our week.

So about that being away all weekend--I had my very first night away from Marshall! Jenn and I both celebrated our 30th birthdays this year, and since she's due in a month(!), and since I was looking for an excuse to get away for the night...we planned a girls' night! I knew it would be good for me (and Marshall and Terry!), so away we went. All the way to Pasadena. :-)  Hey, we didn't want to go far, and Pasadena is pretty delightful, so it was perfect.

We started our "weekend" (which was really just about 24 hours) Saturday around noon and drove out to Green Street Restaurant for lunch. We both ordered salads, because I think that's what you do at a girly lunch, and then we checked in to our hotel, the Westin Pasadena. I chose it because I wanted a clean, comfortable room in a great location. Once we parked at the hotel, we didn't have to drive anywhere, so that's an ideal location to me.

We spent the afternoon chatting poolside, and some ladies even offered us their (prepaid) cabana because they thought Jenn could use the shade for her adorable belly! (By the way, I completely neglected to take any photos almost the entire weekend.) Around 5:30 we headed back to the room for an in-room "happy hour"--I had packed sparkling lemonade, grapefruit soda, dried mangoes, some fruit, and crunchy peas. I called for two wine glasses to make it more fun, so we sipped and snacked while we got ready for the evening. Dinner was at Green Street Tavern, and it was okay but not fantastic. I think we weren't really in the mood for their menu, so maybe another time it would have been more fitting. Afterward we headed to 21 Flavors for frozen yogurt. We were a little confused about how it worked, but basically it's like Cold Stone as far as how you choose your flavors and mix-ins. It was pretty good, although we both asked for "Heath Bar" and really they just had toffee. These are the true troubles in life.

After staying up until almost 11:30, we clocked a solid eight hours of sleep (ahhhh), and then we walked a short distance to Urth Caffe for breakfast.

We took a longer route back and then packed up to head home. It was such a fantastic, relaxing, fun weekend. I felt completely relaxed knowing Terry was home with Marshall and of course loved all the girl talk. Perhaps a new tradition has been born!

Now that I'm back home we're back to the normal swing of things and even fit in a short strength workout tonight. I am planning two days of running this week, so we'll see how it all works out in the heat. Maybe some early mornings...? Orrrrr maybe not.

Where was your last getaway?

Do you prefer morning or evening workouts? I prefer morning, but those are SO rare now.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quiet Little Thursday

I took last night off from blogging and working out in favor of some much-needed cleaning, food prep (overnight oats for breakfast today!), and general relaxation. But yesterday was a really nice day, complete with a walk and park time with a friend and her son (a month older than Marshall), a My Gym class, and plenty of play time with the kiddo. We stopped at a fountain and splashed around for fun!

...Good thing I brought an extra shirt. 

Terry has been waking up early (around 5:30) to get to work early so he can get home for quality time with Marshall. It's ridiculously cliche to say so, but hey, it's true: I have fallen more in love with my husband as I've watched him become an incredible father to our son. I married him because I thought he would be a great dad, and it turns out he's exceeding expectations (typical overachiever). I love seeing those two together!

Also, he can grill like a champ. Last night's menu included sliders, so Terry grabbed our munchkin and headed down to the patio, giving me a chance to deep clean the kitchen. 

We topped the sliders with some leftover bacon, sliced tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and pepper jack cheese, plus sesame buns from TJs. We thought it would be so cute to see Marshall eating a toddler-sized burger, but he didn't really know how to tackle it, so a lot of it ended up on the floor and/or spat back out. Ah, well, maybe next time.

Our favorite breakfast of late: scrambled eggs, toast (homemade whole wheat bread) with butter, and fruit. 

Today began bright and early at 5:20 when Marshall decided he'd slept enough (it was not enough based on his grumpy mood most of the morning), so we all stumbled around to get Terry out the door and then I was on my own with our crabby toddler. We chatted with my parents, walked to the park and the store, and got dinner in the crock pot before nap time. 

Oh, and there was a box incident.

Thankfully, he took a long nap so we could both recharge, and the weather stayed cool enough for a fun afternoon of playing in the house and taking a long walk to campus.

When Terry got home, I decided to head out for a jog around the neighborhood all by myself. Normally we do our workouts together for the sake of solidarity, but I thought a half hour on my own out of the house might feel good, so I brought along my music and my heart rate monitor and jogged slowly around the neighborhood. I had hoped to make it to a certain landmark, but couldn't quite get that far (hello tired legs and hungry family), so I was surprised to see that I ended up covering 2.8 miles in around 33 minutes, including stoplights and a few walking breaks. Not bad at all for feeling pretty out of shape running-wise.

When I got home we devoured some crock pot chicken and leftover artichokes (Marshall loves artichokes, apparently) before putting the little one to bed, which Terry is still working on. We might be dealing with some teething or something, because the poor guy isn't going down easy tonight. Still, these battles are rare now, so we're thankful!

Once Marshall's asleep, we'll continue Once Upon a Time and enjoy some cookies and milk before bed. And that about rounds out Thursday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday Tangents

One of my favorite bloggers, Hungry Runner Girl, writes "Tuesday Tangents" every week, so here's my take on it!

Hope you're making your way through the week over in your world; ours is moving along pretty slowly but moving nonetheless. My legs are dead weight today thanks to last night's workout, which I highly recommend. Remember to use heavy weights--they make all the difference!

Speaking of weights, tonight is an upper body workout--chest, triceps, and core. Supersets, 2-3 rounds of each set before moving to the next. Remember to warm up (complete a few bodyweight rounds of planned exercises to avoid injury)! (I'm using 15-lb dumbbells.)
- Dumbbell chest press (12) + Skullcrushers (12) + Reverse crunches (20)
- Wide-arm push ups (10) + Tricep push ups (10) + 1 min plank -- I did these push ups on my knees
- Dumbbell chest flys (10) + Dumbbell overhead triceps extension (10) + Hundreds
- Bench dips (15) + Crunches of choice (30)

Needless to say, between sore legs and sure-to-be-sore upper bodies, we're taking a much-needed rest day tomorrow!

I made a huge batch (is that what it's called?) of smoothies yesterday and opted for a bowl with granola, banana, and honey on top. Marshall chugged his smoothie out of his cup. We both loved them.

I'm currently listening to this song on repeat. I don't normally follow music all that much, but when I hear something I love I tend to go overboard playing it over and over again. Plus, the music video is so sweet (I have a soft spot for redheads and am secretly hoping Marshall will end up with red hair like his uncle!).

Lately I've been making iced tea at home! I actually never order iced tea in restaurants for some reason, but I was craving something cold and caffeinated, so I had to look up a recipe. Much as I consider myself a decent cook/baker, anytime I try a new recipe I always look up ways to make it to ensure I'm not skipping some essential step. Turns out iced tea isn't exactly rocket science. I brewed three tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for 5-10 minutes, tossed the tea bags, and cooled the tea in the fridge. We sweetened it with sugar our first time out but then tried maple syrup the next round and preferred that (it's how we usually make our hot tea, so it makes sense). By the way, I buy my maple syrup at Costco--Kirkland Organic Pure Maple Syrup. Less expensive than Trader Joe's AND organic! I put it in everything--baked goods, tea, oatmeal, and of course on pancakes and French toast.

I headed to the grocery store with no meal plan today, which is rare and dangerous for me. I ended up deciding on macaroni and cheese with mixed-in peas plus a salad. It's kind of weird eating at 5:30 now (we are about half-and-half as to whether or not we eat with Marshall or wait until he's asleep), but I think I prefer it to the other option. I like being able to squeeze in some dishes and cleaning while Terry gives Marshall his bath so we can use more of the evening to work out, relax, talk, and watch our shows. Tonight we opened a bottle of wine after our workout and tackled a particularly challenging Sudoku puzzle. Because we're super cool. You should be jealous you don't hang out with us more often.

And finally: this photo illustrates what I hope Marshall's childhood will feel like for him. Pure joy, no holding back, not a care in the world.

Oh, and rooting for the Giants. (And Bruins.)

What was the last workout you did that got you sore? Keep it clean, folks.

Is it a batch of smoothies? Vat? 

What song are you loving right now? My neighbor played "Blank Space" about seven times this afternoon. Not exaggerating. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weaning, Night Sleep, and One Nap

Monday morning hit hard this morning with Terry going back to work for the first time in three weeks! He was on jury duty all that time, so now we are all going back to the usual routine. Terry and I even woke up before Marshall! He may still be recovering from Saturday night's wedding, though, so I don't expect quiet mornings to become a regular thing.

After oatmeal for breakfast all around, Marshall and I said goodbye to daddy and headed to the park. I'm trying to take him early in the morning so we beat the heat, but the sun won today. I was a sweaty mess before we even walked two blocks. We played a while, hung out with another mom and her seven-month-old, and headed home before 9:30. Our next mission: new shoes for Marshall. He's got some nice regular shoes, but in this heat I thought some sandals would be a nice option, so we hit the mall.

And today's workout was all about the legs and heavy weights! I have been slowly working my way up to heavier weights and felt ready to try something a little more challenging today, so here was our workout (I used 15 lb dumbbells, but I would have bumped to 20 if we had them, so that felt good):

Walking lunges (30, 24, 20, 32)
Romanian deadlifts (15, 12, 10, 20)
Plie squats (15, 12, 10, 20)
Calf raises (30, 24, 20, 60)
Squats (15 12, 10, 15)

(Reps indicated in parentheses; the final set was to fatigue)

Weaning, Night Sleep, and One Nap

Marshall's made some huge strides lately in his development, and all of them have affected the entire family. He is now taking only one nap, sleeps through the night (knock on wood!), and is officially done breastfeeding. I wanted to document a little about how we made these transitions, mostly for my own benefit, but also in case it might help other parents. Here we go!

Night sleep: I mentioned a little about it before, but we have struggled with night sleep since day one. Marshall started sleeping in 5-6 hour stretches around five or six months, but he very rarely pushed past that. We would be up with him multiple times each night, sometimes just for a quick feed but other times for up to two hours trying to soothe him back to sleep! Of course, tons of parents have gone through night sleep struggles, so we heard all sorts of advice, and we felt that none of it worked or fit with our specific trouble. Truthfully, it affected every aspect of our lives, because we couldn't talk about anything else (every morning was a recap of the previous night--"How many times did he wake up? How long did it take him to go back to sleep? Were you able to sleep at all while I was up with him?"--and most other conversations centered around strategies for how we were going to help him sleep better), we felt like zombies, and in the middle of the night we almost always ended up frustrated at each other, at Marshall, at the whole thing. By the time we reached 13 months, we finally decided we needed to try a more substantial approach, so we did let him cry for five, then ten, then up to 15 minutes at a time, soothing him between each interval, for three or four nights. I don't know if the method itself actually worked (he never actually cried himself to sleep because he would end up dozing off during one of the soothing sessions), or if it was moving his bedtime up to 6:45, but something worked, because he's been sleeping straight through the night (11+ hours) ever since.

Of course, I have to give the disclaimer that it took a LOT for me to get to a point where I was "ready" (and I use that word cautiously, because I can't say I was ever eager to hear my baby cry) to try Ferber, but it was right for our family at the time. I completely understand families who choose not to ever let their babies cry, and I completely understand families who decide to sleep train much earlier than we did. We did what was right for us, and I think that's the best we can all do, especially when it comes to parenting. I will say, though, that Marshall is a much happier, more well-rested baby (I can see it in his eyes and I can definitely tell that there's a huge difference in his demeanor and overall energy throughout the day). And, bonus, Terry and I are SO much less stressed because we know bedtime and night sleep are so consistent now! We get more rest, too, which is a huge gift after that rough year of inconsistent sleep.

Transitioning to one nap: I expected Marshall to shift to one nap in the 14-16 month window, but he declared he was ready when he was only 12 months. He started taking longer morning naps and refusing his second nap, though I still put him in his crib for 10-15 minutes of "quiet time" and just rolled with it if he didn't sleep. The problem was that he still took his first nap really early (10ish), so we just shifted his nap back 15 minutes every few days (so 10:15 for a few days, then 10:30 for a few, then 10:45, etc.). Then we moved lunch to before the nap, and now his naps are 11:45 or 12, with lunch at 11. His naps are 90 minutes to 2.5 hours (though usually closer to 90 minutes lately), and bedtime is at 6:45, so the schedule seems to be working for now. It was a pretty painless transition, as far as I could tell, although some days felt long because I was used to the two nap routine. Now we're taking advantage of the long stretches of awake time and enjoying our long mornings and afternoons!

Weaning: On Friday night, Marshall nursed for the last time. He was down to just one feeding right before bed, but I knew he didn't really need it anymore. His eating is fantastic most of the time, he drinks lots of milk and eats plenty of dairy products, and at our last doctor appointment (the 12-month appt), our pediatrician said we can wean anytime we want. I had continued more out of routine and because I just wasn't sure what signs to look for. It's not as though he was going to look at me one day and say, "Oh, no thanks, Mom, I'm good. It's been nice though!" Right? So I just decided it was up to me, and apparently this weekend felt like as good a time as any, so we enjoyed one last time nursing, and I only cried a little. :-)

For the switch, we used pumped milk (stashed in the freezer) in a Lollacup and offered that to him during his bedtime story. He didn't bat an eye and is now officially weaned. The whole thing felt very anticlimactic. I will say, though, that breastfeeding was more fulfilling than I expected, a truly rewarding experience that I hadn't thought much about before becoming a mother. I felt lucky to have been able to nurse Marshall at all, and I'm so grateful that my C-section didn't affect our nursing relationship. Special thanks to my husband for his support, encouragement, and willingness to bring me millions of glasses of water during the whole process!

Okay, that's all for that. And now I need to eat a chocolate cookie and do some Sudoku and go to sleep. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Another UCLA Wedding

Hello HOT weather. We are suffering but surviving this summer weather and feeling grateful for a bit of a cross-breeze in our apartment. At night we get a nice cool down, thank goodness!

Our weekend turned into a lovely one. On Friday we took a long morning walk to the mall nearby and found a small kids' section where Marshall played a bit. He "met" Bob the Builder! Despite the heat, we all enjoyed the three mile walk, and I'm excited to have a new little activity for Marshall on weekdays!

Saturday morning we met up with one of my close friends from college who was in town for a wedding (see below!). We ended up at brunch at Clementine and all loved our food. Marshall crashed for a nice nap afterward and I did a little yoga (dripping sweat in our hot apartment at noon, but oh well). Then we all got ready for the wedding!

We got to attend another UCLA wedding, this time for a close friend I've known more than half my life. We grew up in the same town and went to the same high school, but she was two years older. We also danced together, and her dad was my history and leadership teacher in junior high. Then, at UCLA, we lived together and were on the dance team together for a year. Lots of connections! I always admired her and was so thrilled to be there to celebrate the big day. And Marshall got to come along!

The bride was on the Dance Team, as I mentioned, and the groom played on the UCLA football team, so they played up the theme of "Fairy Tale Gate" and incorporated the princess-meets-prince plus UCLA alumni ideas. Totally cute and totally them.

The ceremony included some very touching vows from each side and was perfectly sweet. The couple seemed relaxed and we didn't even notice how hot it was, which is saying something. :-) After the ceremony we had a few minutes to meander around, so Terry caught a few pictures of our favorite little guy in our favorite place.

Later, the current UCLA Spirit Squad made an appearance!

I snagged a few of the girls for a photo with Marshall. They were so kind and sweet! Good to know the current team includes these exemplary young ladies (I'm allowed to say things like that now because I'm 30).

We also grabbed the bears, Joe and Josie Bruin! When he saw them from far away, Marshall did his signature roar, but up close he was terrified. 

Thankfully the professional wedding photographer managed to get Marshall to smile! (Thank you, kind stranger! We LOVE this family photo!)

We didn't really know what to expect at the wedding, since we knew we'd be out past Marshall's bedtime. But we wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and really wanted a few of our old friends to be able to meet him, so we rolled with it. Thankfully, Marshall had a BLAST! He mostly just wanted to walk around, play with the poms left on the table, and eat, so we had a happy camper on our hands!

But by the end of dinner Marshall had had enough. We said our goodbyes and headed home for a very late bedtime, but it was a lovely evening!

Today I realized we barely ate any fruits or vegetables yesterday, so I declared this week a vegtastic marathon. We started with lots of spinach in our scrambled eggs this morning, then enjoyed simple Caprese salads (heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, lots of greens, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic. 

Then dinner was grilled vegetable taco lettuce wraps, with onion, zucchini, sweet potato, bell peppers, avocado. Yum. I also whipped up a loaf of bread and some granola, so I think we're ready for the week!

Workout plans (always tentative, because who knows what the week will bring):

Sunday: Short walk (~2 miles)
Monday: Leg day! Looking forward to lots of lunges...
Tuesday: Upper body
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: Jog
Friday: Full body strength
Saturday: Intervals

How often do you go back to your alma mater? We live two miles away, so we can go anytime we want, but I often wonder how often we'd visit if we lived out of state!

Would you rather meet Bob the Builder or Joe and Josie Bruin?