Saturday, December 13, 2014

the anticipation

6 days.  This is worse than waiting for Christmas morning as a seven year old!  We can hardly wait another second to get on the plane, and be New Zealand bound.  It is our first real vacation since we have been married.  Not only that, it's home.  We are going home.  

I have some resolutions while I am there.  I will be on the beach daily.  I will have fresh sushi.  I will eat as much New Zealand chocolate as I want.  I will take a billion photos.  

the santa

 We waited way too long to have Santa meet Callum.  Nevertheless, the facial expressions will be something to giggle about a long time from now.  

He never shed a tear, but he was extremely weirded out by Santa.  

This precious little 20 month old is mostly nice but naughty JUST before this picture was taken. He took a truck to our tv and cracked the plasma screen!  Last week he drew on our wall with a purple crayon.  He also took an orange marker to our couch, but I don't care about the couch so no loss there. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

the cardinals game

Happy Birthday (in September) and Merry Christmas to my one and only!
I gave him the gift that would make him happiest of all-tickets to a Cardinals game. 

Just like last year, my sister babysat for us, and we enjoyed several hours of adult time.  My parents came along this year too.  My mom thoroughly enjoyed it, but the environment was a bit much for my dad.  The Cardinals have the loudest stadium-decibel wise-for stadiums this year, and it was a sold out stadium.  

The game was intense and as usual, we can call them the cardiac cards.  Something I really like about taking Jason to these games is that it makes him so darn happy.  He has worked hard this semester and thrived in nursing school.  He deserved a game to unwind and enjoy himself.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

the first semester

Nursing school.  That is what is pictured here. I did my fair share of intense study sessions in my BYU days, but I must say Jason takes the cake in terms of extended rigorous study sessions.  Each note card was carefully crafted to detail all crucial elements of the course content from his first semester of nursing school.  

We kept trying to keep Callum away from the cards, but at some point even stressed out Jason gave up.  He threw them, rolled in them, and dashed across them for a solid 20 minutes.  That's an eternity to a 20 month old.  

For the record, Jason passed his first semester with flying colors.  Not only did he successfully complete a very challenging course load, but he also managed to work full time.  That is a feat that I am very grateful for.  Just three semesters to go. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

the thanksgiving at our house

 This year we hosted the Bratt family Thanksgiving festivities.  We volunteered knowing that our house could comfortably accommodate quite a few relatives.  

We spent a ton of time getting our house in tip-top shape.  Callum did his fair share of chores...fake vacuuming, getting toys out after they had been put away, you know, the most effective chores.  

We cooked all day-no surprise there.  But at some point it got super long and unbearable to wait for food.  Nobody had real food at all for the whole day.  Christmas M&Ms were the only thing in my belly.  We decided to walk to the school so that the adults and little ones had some exercise/reprieve from the yummy smells.  

 After a solid hour of play, the dinner bell alarmed, and we got our butts back to the house.  We borrowed tables and chairs to make a huge place setting for the entire family.  All 17 in attendance had a seat at the same table.  We love our formal dining room for that!

I was disappointed in Callum.  He did not eat a single thing off of his plate.  I ate enough to feed a family of five.  

Did you know that I don't drink pop?  I stopped drinking pop as a high school runner and never got the desire to drink it again.  However, once a year on Thanksgiving I make a return to the land of soda drinkers to enjoy ONE pop.  I am then promptly reminded why pop is the dumbest thing.  

And, no Thanksgiving post is complete without telling what you are grateful for.  This year it was my house.  I am still happy and proud to call it MY house that I own.  Filling it up with people I love is a really neat thing.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

the little painted desert

 No words needed here. Just plain amazing Arizona.  Seriously, why do I live in the best state?  Lucky son of a gun.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

the Saturday run

also found on my running blog,  I run far.
Saturdays are special days.  It's the day we get ready for Sundays. 

Saturdays have started with a long run for a long time in my world.  I don't even know how many years it has been.  

79 degrees or -79 degrees, it just doesn't matter.  That's what you do on Saturdays.  

This long standing ritual is probably a very big part of the reason I am never out of shape.  I have to get out the door and do it.  And because I have to do it, I have to train during the week.  And because I train during the week, I am ready for long runs any time of the year.  

Another big part of me being successful at keeping my morning run intact is because I work M-F.  After getting up at 5:10am all week to workout, it is a treasure trove of adventure to wake up at 6 and go running only after Callum has been sufficiently cuddled, and the sun is completely up for the day.  It's a cake walk to run for a long time in those conditions. 

Since living in America, it has been an added bonus to run with my sister.  It's always that much easier to get out the door when you have someone counting on you.  

Today I ran alone because said sister is out of town.  I had a great run along 3rd street.  I wasn't chasing miles today, but I was chasing time.  I gave myself 40 minutes to see how much ground I could cover.  I managed to cover 5 miles in 38 minutes and 38 seconds.  7:40ish pace?  I'll take it.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

the cow

 We did it right this year.  Carved pumpkins with the cousins.  only bought one bag of candy.  dressed Callum in a hand-me-down cow costume.  ducked out of trunk or treat.  visited only three houses for treats.  

Obviously 18 month old Callum still has no idea what is going on.  However, the glow sticks, flickering jack o lanterns, and walking to houses really excited him.  

My only regret regarding Halloween is that I did not dress up for work this year.  Next year I will do long as I don't buy anything.  That's kind of my motto for Halloween.  

I can tell you now...Callum will be a monkey next year because that is the hand me down costume that is waiting for him.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

the drop off

We have reached a milestone.  

Jason and I eagerly and bittersweetly dropped Callum off at nursery today.  
He is technically not 18 months until Wednesday, but he has been quite ready to try nursery by himself for several months.  

So today was the day.  I made sure to get the inaugural picture, and he could not even pose for the two seconds I needed to document his first big boy church day. 

Since the day he was born, and I instantly fell in love with the little guy, I kept dreading this eighteenth month for the singular reason of having to let go of him for a few hours.  The reality is that all three of us have been ready and excited to get this show on the road.  

Callum has always done well with unfamiliar adults and children.  He is friendly and outgoing which helps him to do well in situations without his parents around.  We watched from the door for a few minutes and were not surprised even a little bit that he sprinted from toy to toy and chair to chair to play and be happy.  That's our boy.  

I even sneaked out of primary several times to see what he was up to.  More of running from chair to chair and toy to toy-not skipping a beat or missing a minute.  At one point he was playing with another kid at the toy kitchen.  

I picked Callum up and was very happy to see that he was coloring a picture of Jesus loving others.  It melted my heart even.  

I am proud of who he is becoming.  However, I also feel extremely responsible for how he interacts with others and learns to be a disciple of Christ.  That is absolutely my job.  Frankly, I need to do a good job.  I am reminded of this as I look through the glass window in nursery for the first time ever. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

the boston decision

Remember how I qualified for Boston?  Remember how it was a goal and dream I had referenced for more than several years?

The Boston registration process began weeks ago, and I forfeit my opportunity to register.  I did this with hesitation but stalwart confidence that comes with being a mortgage-owing, recent grad school graduate, future mom of several children, owner of tight budget, wife of nursing school student, working mom--RUNNER.  In other words, there are way too many crucial purchases and commitments for me to chase my running dreams on the east coast at this time.  I hate that it comes down to not being able to justify a big fancy running trip among the many many bills.  It is what it is.  

It does hurt my heart.  I reached a level of running that a very small percentage of runners will ever even reach.  I accomplished a goal that seemed nearly impossible.  More than anything, I did it during my first year as a mom, first year in a school leadership position, and last year of my graduate program.  To say my time was stretched didn't even scratch the surface.  In many ways I believe that this is why I succeeded with the lofty goal.  My commitments demanded that I was using my time wisely in every little way. I also believe that my very recent experience in childbirth with no pain medicine opened my eyes to what my pain threshold and endurance really is.  The bottom line is that I am a tough cookie.  I inherently knew I could run my goal marathon time because of my ability to embrace childbirth as a process and conquerable goal.  

When April comes around I will be sad.  I will always wonder what if.  However, I find solace in knowing that I ran the intended time.  I find solace in knowing that I thrived during a potentially tumultuous year.  I find solace in knowing that I still have many Boston years left to qualify and live that dream.  

Meanwhile, I run a half marathon in November.  I embrace the dark winter months of running.  I do well with those months.  Something about it being not easy to run in single digits makes me want to get out the door even more.  A 2015 marathon will fall in there somewhere.  Track season in the spring will bring me coaching time and sprinting time. 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the eighteenth month

Somewhere along the way little Motorcycle turned into a real toddler.  This toddler thing is tough.  
Labor and delivery with no pain medicine-easy
Non-mobile baby-easy
Cute walking baby-easy
Big baby that runs, plays, goes all out 100% of the time-not easy

To support my statement of challenge, I can say that I even checked out two books on toddler development and nurturing because I'm just needing some extra insight.  

It isn't all pirahhnas and quicksand though....there is so much that is fantastic and rewarding.  Here we go...
His word list consists of the following

Callum is an extremely communicative kid.  I have always felt that his ability to communicate what he needs in an effective manner has been quite effective for sometime.  He uses the sign for more when he wants anything additional to eat or drink.  He will lead your hand or fingers to the thing he needs  you to do or see.  He uses baby language effectively to express excitement or frustration. There are very few times when I scratch my to head to know what he needs. 

Callum is his dad.  What this means is that he is fully of energy and happiness.  Have you met Jason?  He is always happy.  He is always all-go.  When Callum runs around the house, it doesn't suffice to just run.  The kids sprints 100% and falls at the slightest obstacle.  He rarely cries about it.  99% of days he wakes up smiling and goes to bed smiling.  From morning to night, he is happy and loving.  This is supported by his constant need to dance when he hears music, his ability to give mom a kiss on any request, and his constant smiling and talking.  

Callum does pretty well with other kiddos around.  He worships his Henling cousins
and enjoys anytime he gets to meet other toddlers.  

He has recently discovered that tv is kind of neat.  He likes to watch the boob tube in his vibrating chair when he wakes up and before he sleeps at night.  My fear is that he'll get addicted, but it is nice to have him just sit still. 

To this day, I cannot recall even one time that he has fallen asleep on my lap or just sat on my lap for a long period of time.  He is not capable of just sitting.  I do wish that I could get additional cuddles, but he is just too energetic. 

You will be surprised to learn that he does enjoy listening to stories. He has several die-hard favorite books that he will always listen to.  That makes me very happy. 

One of the challenges I have recently faced is the binky.  He has gotten territorial with is binky.  He carries it around constantly and if we take it away from him, he throws a tantrum until it is returned.  I realize it is time to get rid of it.  I need to just go cold turkey on it.  Part of me is scared to do it because in doing so, he is no longer a baby.  That makes me sad.  

His personality seems to be increasingly stronger as he learns and learns.  Sad or frustrating things are harder for him and induce bigger cries or tantrums.  I try to not react to these episodes.  It isn't always easy.  That's where my toddler books will come in handy. 

In summary, being a mom is fantastic.  I love my little buddy.  He's all I care about.