Saturday, March 19, 2011

spring is here

...but the winter weather hasn't completely gone away. It's an unusually cold spring so far (still in the 30s) but at least all of the snow is gone! Our kids have had coughs/colds for the last 6 weeks. All of them seem to be getting over it this week. Illness seems to have hit everyone hard this winter. We are so ready for warmer weather. Mom and Dad Barkel took the whole family to a hotel with a pool one weekend which was fun for everyone! The girls loved swimming again and I'm so anxious for pool/beach days this summer. I've been wanting to write for a long time again but have not had the time. I feel like we are still so busy these days. For me, some of it is work for other people (massages, sewing bags, babysitting) but I also pack a lot more into my day than necessary! Jordan and I have been tackling our endless house to-do list. Jordan completed my massage room and has now moved on to finish off the rest of our basement. He's making himself an official workshop and a family craft room. But he also has some more side jobs coming up that he'll have to commit himself to so it may be awhile until it is all finished. We are also 'life-leaders' with our church's middle school youth group now (which we are really excited about)! I also celebrated a birthday in there. Jordan surprised me with a cake and I'm not even ashamed to admit that we all finished it off over the rest of the night!! I don't really make much a deal out of my own birthday but this one kind of seemed like a milestone for me. I'm 25 now. Part of me thinks, 'that's it? that's young!' but the other part of me thinks, 'I'm a quarter of a century old and probably a quarter of the way done with my life!' Whoa! But I always have to remind myself to just live in the here and now. I don't want to keep looking backward while my life goes ever-faster forward. And I don't want to miss out on the present by dwelling on the future. I need to remember to appreciate the little moments of today! My sister and I have started this thing where every-other week we swap each other's kids and take a date night. So it works out that each of us and our husbands have one date per month. So on our last date, we made a bucket list for the rest of this year for different things we want to do with the family and accomplish. I think it's going to be a good thing to refer to when we find ourselves working too much. Family time is important to us! We just purchased a couple new kayaks and we're very anxious to try those out as well. One of the things on that bucket list is to run a 25k. And there are only 6 weeks left until we run it! We ran (just about!) 10 miles yesterday. It was our first long run outside together. It was much windier than we realized and cold! Our final 2.5 miles were into the wind. It was the hardest physical thing either of us had ever done but worth it :) I started running about 7.5 months ago and would never have believed that I'd be able to do it! And we started in January training for this 25k so I'm happy with our progress. It has been so rewarding! A 25k is 16.1 miles so not too much further to go, I guess! Two weeks ago, I started to cross train and take down the running a bit. I've been getting sore knees and burning toes about the last mile so I thought maybe I should lay off a little during the week. I've been doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred every other day and I really love it. It's not as monotonous as running everyday. Jordan has been doing very well with his training. We've both been incorporating speed intervals into our 'short runs' and this really seems to be working well for Jordan. He's gonna leave me in the dust! We thought that since we're this far into the training, we might as well go for a marathon. We were going to sign up for the Chicago Marathon in October but the sign up is full. The only way we can still enter is if we want to run for a charity. We would love to but we'll have to check into it a little more to see how much we'd have to raise. Charlie is officially crawling on his knees now and pulling himself up on to furniture. He's very active! He has also started to babble a lot more. He's going to be loud like Ruby. Ruby is completely potty-trained now which is so great! She still sleeps in a diaper but that's fine by me! And for diapers for Charlie, I've actually been using (nice) cloth diapers since he was 4 months old. I'll put him in a disposable if we go out or if someone else is going to be watching him but most of the time, he's in cloth. They're not as convenient but they save us a lot of money. I think we only spend about $8 on diapers each month versus like $60+ when we had both kids in disposable diapers! Natalie is changing a lot these days. She is growing up! She is always acting like a dog or a monster and she is always drawing or coloring. I save so many of her pictures because they are amazing for her age! The kids are so ready to go outside and play but it's still so cold and their colds have wore them out. We just bought Ruby a new bike and some helmets for both of them. We're tring out a balance bike for Ruby which it will be interesting to see if it works! Once again, soo ready to get outside to play! As usual, here are some pictures....

By the way, do not let this blog fool you that we are a nice little family. We are horrible people! Remember Bambi, the guinea pig, from the last post? I had stated in there something about not keeping him for long because he stinks.... Well, he is no longer a part of this family. He's dead and we killed him. Now before you turn me over to PETA let me explain. It wasn't intentional. We had a potential buyer that was waiting to check him out and we ran out of his hay/feed. So we just fed him veggies for a few days. Apparently, guinea pigs can't go more than a day or two without hay or feed or they go into irreversible liver failure. We laid Bambi to rest in a shoebox under a snowbank. Actually, I just tossed a couple of shovels of snow on top and when the girls weren't looking I threw him in the garbage! They were sad but not as sad as I thought they'd be. We still talk about him all the time though, because everytime we leave, Ruby shouts, 'bye Gary, bye Bambi'. And then Natalie uses her sweet voice to tell Ruby that Bambi is dead while Ruby very bluntly says, 'Bambi's dead!' You gotta know Ruby, she is so loud and matter-of-fact! So RIP, Bambi. Ruby was getting dressed for church today and I had to take this because it reminds me of Tom Cruise in 'Risky Business', doesn't it?!

Damsel in distress!

Natalie is picking up dog poop (this used to be Jordan's job!)