Thursday, June 30, 2011

Caleb's 1st Haircut

The time had finally come for Caleb to get his 1st haircut.  I always put the 1st cut off as long as possible because it seems like as soon as those little, fine wisps of hairs are snipped, I no longer have a baby.

All 3 of my kids have had their 1st haircuts at the Hairy Elephant.  It is a local salon that caters to children.  They get to choose what vehicle to sit in and what movie to watch.  For the 1st haircut, you also get a certificate, a picture, and a few curls of that baby hair.

Caleb chose "Bo Bob Pair Pants" otherwise known as Spongebob Squarepants. 

See that hair in his eyes?  

The first snip.  Amazingly, I didn't cry.

Caleb did really well and sat still for as long as he could.  Our stylist was very patient with him and kind of just moved in whatever direction he did.

See that little boy starting to emerge?

No longer a baby:(

Look What We Saw Yesterday

My older two kids are in Bible School this week (more later on this) so I decided to take Caleb and try to get some outdoor pictures.  Our local Rec Plex has a really nice little pond with a bridge, gazebo, waterfall, and tons of wild flowers.  It is a popular spot for weddings, wedding pics, senior pics, and family photos.

Caleb has the sweetest smile, when it is natural, but when I try to get him to smile it is crooked and very forced.  LOL  I did end up getting a few good pictures of him, though.

Forced smile-Haha

Love those little lips

Caleb ran back and forth across this bridge about 50 times.

And then I saw this about a foot from him.

And, this in the water.

And then, I screamed and grabbed him and left.  I don't think they were poisonous but just about gave me a heart attack all the same.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am NOT a Runner

I am not a natural runner.  I am slow and clumsy.  I'm sure that I don't look very graceful and I know that I will never win a race.  I sometimes get frustrated when I see other women out running, especially who are around my age, and they are literally sprinting the entire time while I feel like I am barely shuffling my feet.  

I really didn't start running on a consistent basis until I joined the Army in 1999.  Of course, I had to run during basic and AIT.  I had to run in OCS but it wasn't until my Officer Basic Course that I chose to run.  I ran mainly for the fitness factor, and of course because of the inevitable PT test, but there were little spurts where I almost enjoyed running thrown in here and there.

Given the fact that I had never been taught the "right" way to run, I'm sure that you will be surprised to find out that my first race was a full marathon.  Yep, 26.2 miles.  In the mountains.  In Arizona.  I entered into The Thunder Mountain Marathon in Sierra Vista, Arizona just 9 months after breaking my fibula in the Army.  The race was on March 27 and I didn't start training for it until January 1.  Crazy.  What was I thinking??  In my mind, though, I kept telling myself that if Oprah could run a marathon at 40 then I certainly could run one at 27.  The difference was that Oprah had trainers and nutritionists and trained for several months.  Although I did finish that race (and even placed 3rd in my age group), it made me hate running.  I swore that I would never run again.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself training for a half-marathon.  This time, though, I was smarter about it.  I gave myself plenty of training time and downloaded a schedule for first-time half-marathoners.  I made it all the way to the 10 mile training mark and then I re-injured the same foot that I had broken in the Army and had to have surgery.

"That's it," I told myself.  "I am just not meant to be a runner.  I hated the marathon and clearly couldn't finish training for the half."

I went through several months of crutches and strengthening my foot.  I joined a gym and took classes, lifted weights, and did the eliptical.

One day I said, "I guess I'll just try the treadmill for a bit."  Wouldn't you know it?  I ran 2 miles right off the bat.  Then, 3 miles and then 4. 

Until . . .

I developed a stress fracture in the same old Army foot. 

"I am DONE running," I told Scott.  "I guess I'm just not meant to be a runner."

"Uh-huh," he said to me.

So, what happened next . . . this Spring as soon as it got nice, you got it, back to running.  This time, though, I have only ran in a couple of 5K's and haven't committed to anything longer than that.  I really want to do the St. Louis Inaugural Rock-n-Roll marathon (the half) but with my track record, I am afraid to sign up for it and then not be able to do it.

I can tell you that I really do not like to run and that is not a lie.  What I DO like, though, is how I feel when I am done with the run.  I'm not talking about the "runner's high" that you hear about.  I'm talking about how proud I feel of myself that I actually did it.  I get the same feeling if I just run 2 miles or 5 miles.  I just feel proud of myself that even though I can't run fast, I don't breathe right, and I'm sure that I have horrible posture, at least I did it.

I saw this posted on one of the blogs (I can't for the life of me figure out who it was--comment and let me know if it was you!!) and I loved it. 

How motivating is that?  I think I'm just going to repeat this to myself the next time I'm running a 11+ minute mile.

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4th of July Crafts

If you are looking for some 4th of July crafts, check out favecrafts.  This site contains crafts and recipes for adults and kids.  The 4th of July is only 2 weeks away . . . can you believe that?

Purina Farms

Today I took the kids to Purina Farms.  It is located about an hour outside of St. Louis and it is a great 1/2 day adventure.  Purina Farms is a small place but it is free and the kids had a great time.

Right when you walk through onto the grounds there is a huge coy pond.  The kids loved looking at the fish but I was afraid that Caleb was going to fall over into it.  He kept getting down and putting his face right above them saying, "Hi, Hi, Hi."

Since Purina Farms is such a small place, I decided to leave the stroller at home and let Caleb be a "big kid."  

Here is Mable the cow.  The kids thought it was so cool that they actually got to pet a cow and then later on they got to milk her, too.  

Cows are milked for about 60 days after having their calf.  Mable is almost ready to breed again so she wasn't producing a lot of milk.

I thought Gracie would really freak out over touching the cow because, let's face it, she is a diva princess but she walked right up and did it.

At first I only let Kanin and GracieAnn go up because there were a lot of kids but Caleb threw a fit until I let him do it, too.

Then, he got milk all down his arm.

Steve, the cow guy, let Gracie go 3 times.  I guess it isn't only her dad that she can wrap around her finger.

After milking the cow, we went outside to watch the dog show.  The dogs did agility, frisbee catching, and long jump into the pool.  There was even a pot-bellied pig that did some of the agility, too.  The kids loved the dog show.  Even Caleb was mesmerized and sat there and watched and clapped.

After the dog show, we went back into the barn to pet a few more animals.

There was a rabbit.

Some type of bird.  I didn't catch the name but it was really soft.

There also were a couple of baby bigs but I guess I didn't take a pic of that.

Next, we moved outside to look at some ducks and geese.

We had a lot of fun at Purina Farms.  The only thing missing was our Daddy.  We will have to go back again and take him.  Can you see Scott milking a cow?  HAHAH

Weekend in Las Vegas

This past weekend we were back in Las Vegas to celebrate our friends' 10 year wedding anniversary.  They had never been to Vegas before so it was a lot of fun showing them around to our favorite places and to do a little sight-seeing that we normally don't do.

We got in Thursday evening and just ate and hung around our area of the Strip.  On Friday, we went down to Fremont Street to see some of the old casinos.  This is the largest gold nugget at the world at none other than The Golden Nugget.

I had to take a picture of Binion's because there is a mystery over how one of the Binion brothers died.  Some say overdose and some say murder.  I know, I'm a nerd, but I watch all of those true crime shows.

Hanging out on Fremont

The waving cowboy . . . even though he doesn't wave anymore.

The happy couple stopping to get a frozen margarita from a little casino on Fremont.  Chris took a lot of flack from Scott for carrying that drink along.

So many people wanted to take pictures in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign that they built a newer, bigger one with a parking lot.  We had to wait about 5-6 minutes in line to take this one.  The old, original sign is maybe just a tad taller than a stop sign.  This one is down by Mandalay Bay. 

Our Vegas trips just would not be complete without eating at the Hofbrauhaus.  

And, seeing Michelle.

The bands rotate over from the Munich Hofbrauhaus every 3 months.  This guy is playing Amazing Grace on the alphorn.  It was awesome!

Here Sue and I are in front of the fountain in the Paris.

Vegas never seems to disappoint.  I just love that city and can't wait to go back!