Friday, November 9, 2018

2.5 Year Toddler Update

I might be a month behind on this one, but better late than never, right?!

Last month, Brayden turned 2 1/2 years old and has grown, developed, and changed so much in just 6 short months! I'm not going to lie, I'm super sad that his baby features (chubby cheeks and thighs) are slowly fading away.

Clothing: Mostly 2T and some 3T
Diapers: Size 5 - working on learning to use the potty has been an interesting time!
Shoes: Size 7 and some 8's
Weight: 34 pounds (estimated)
Height: 36 inches (estimated)

In his last update, I mentioned that he hit a "word explosion" right before turning 2. Since then, those words have turned into more words which turned into phrases and he hasn't looked back for a single second. His current favorite phrase is to say "I want _____"! It's also hilarious to hear how he mispronounces things. Take orange pumpkin for example - "ooo-range pun-kin". I just love it!

His favorite place ever is the park. He also still LOVES the splash pad! Anywhere water is, that's where Brayden wants to be. We keep a pair of boots at both my house and my mom's house so he can splash in the puddles after it rains.

Like the rest of the country, he’s super obsessed with the “baby shark” song and it’s so cute to see the look on his face when the song starts. We’ve listened to it at least a million times!

He also LOVES his momma which of course melts my heart. I've heard before that there's just something about the bond between a little boy and his mom and "they" were right!

As far as food goes, Brayden loves it, especially "ice cream" aka frozen yogurt. Other favorites of his include pizza, spaghetti, tacos, waffles, chicken nuggets, cereal, chips, refried beans, french fries, fruit, and of course, candy (which is totally limited). He's not always open to trying something new, but once you convince him to take a bite, he will usually want more.

Favorite TV shows include Puppy Dog Pals and Mickey Mouse, but he now asks for Little Einsteins by name as well as "Paw Dogs" which is also known as Paw Patrol.

Landmarks are something he's picked up on as well. For example, he knows when we've made the turn to go to the park, my mom and dad's house, the frozen yogurt place, school/church, etc. 

Over the summer, we had all kinds of exciting adventures like swim lessons...

...seeing the 2017 World Series trophy on its tour...

...feeding the giraffes at the San Antonio Zoo... Astros game...

...and Sea World in San Antonio!

Brayden travels really well in the car and we love going on new adventures and exploring new areas!

He LOVES animals of any kind, especially dogs! My dogs still aren't super agreeable to allowing him to touch, but we can convince them every once in a while with a little snack or treat!

Just like any boy, Brayden loves playing in the dirt. I ended up purchasing a giant plastic container that I keep topsoil in for him to play with. He loves using his shovel and bucket to repurpose the dirt (aka put it all over the backyard)! Another new fascination as of late has been dinosaurs. Being a boy mom sure is interesting!

Since moving up to the two year old class at school (where we also added an extra day), I've seen a huge change in the information Brayden absorbs. He knows his numbers of 0-10 and even surprised me the other day by counting to 10! He also knows his colors very well. We are currently working on letters and shapes, too! He's come a long way in just 6 months and I love seeing the new things he says and does every day!

Personality wise, Brayden is still a pretty chill, happy, and sweet kid although he has his moments/days just like most toddlers. He's easily redirectable when he's upset by reminding him to use his words and asking what he wants. We are loving and cherishing this time with this sweet kid we've been blessed with!

Thanks for following along in our journey! Stay tuned for his next update at 3 years old! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Racing Mistakes

How many of us wake up on race morning and don't have it all together? As much as we try to prepare ahead of of time the night before, sometimes things just don't work out. Many pre-race nightmares have occurred about alarms not going off in time, missing a race bus, etc.

So, what kind of mistakes have I made in the past that am trying to avoid in the future? I've come up with a list to share with you today so you can avoid making these mistakes too.

It's vintage runDisney (before runDisney was even a thing)!

#1 Fitness Tracker/Garmin/Watch

For my VERY FIRST half marathon ever (that really cold one at WDW back in 2010), I made it all the way to the bust stop at Pop Century and realized I left my Garmin charging in the room! After turning around and running back to my room to retrieve it, I made it back to the bus stop to encounter a now SUPER long bus line. I thankfully made it to the start line on time, but still...I always plug in my Garmin to charge in a visible location and I make it part of my routine to put on while I'm getting dressed on race morning. Never. Again.

#2 No TP!

So, this one my be kind of funny, but at Rock n Roll New Orleans this year, it took me SEVERAL miles of port-a-potty stops before I finally found one that had toilet paper. Had I added Kleenex to my flipbelt, this all could have been avoided. Definitely noted for next time.

#3 Prepare for Weather

This one can be tricky because weather can change at the drop of a hat. Take Princess Weekend of 2015 in Florida for example - on Friday for the 5K, we were bundled up in layer after layer with near freezing temps and by Sunday, we were in short sleeves. Craziness. My husband was not prepared for the 5K and had to purchase additional clothing items at the Expo. Now, we always pack for any and every weather situation.

#4 Fuel

Y'all, Disney spoiled me with full marathons on this one. RunDisney has bananas, chocolate, gels, more bananas, and plenty of fuel to keep the full marathoners going for 26.2 miles. On my first non-Disney full attempt at Rock N Roll New Orleans, I realized my mistake on this - not all races equal the same and by mile 22, I was STARVING. I've run the Rock N Roll full marathon two additional times since this and am always prepared with extra fuel on my part.

#5 Travel Time

I've had some close calls in my years of running races with nearly missing an expo or nearly missing my chance to make it to day-of race registration. We always try to plan a little extra travel time to make sure we are at the race start way ahead of schedule. For out of town races, that means driving or flying in the day before and for local races, that means setting the clock just a bit earlier in the morning.

So, there you have it - my racing mistakes and ways I've adjusted so they don't happen again in the future!

What's your biggest racing mistake? Any advice to add to the list?

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween 2018

Happy November 1st! I hope you all had a safe and Happy Halloween. We had SO much fun this year, especially now since Brayden understands Halloween and the festivities a bit more.

He dressed as Bingo from the Disney Jr show, Puppy Dog Pals (which he has coined "Puppy Duppy Dogs")! We also found this costume at the little Disney Store inside of JC Penney and Brayden loved it.

Brayden loved the dog's costumes...they did not! 

Our evening started out early (5 p.m.) due to the threat of heavy rain later on in the night. We began at a local church where they were hosting an event filled with games and jump houses. Brayden's not too much into jump houses yet, so we played a few games, then moved on to the next event.

The amount of popcorn and dum-dums consumed last night was pretty intense!

Despite that, we had so much fun last night!

Our next few events were trunk-or-treats hosted at local churches.

The dino and shark were HUGE hits! Brayden stared at the shark for a few seconds, gave him a high five, then a slow grin came over his face and he said "BABY SHARK"! It was too funny!

After we finished there, we stopped by my mom and dad's house to say hello!

We had a wonderful evening and loved hanging with our little guy! He enjoyed himself so much (especially the suckers) last night!

Around 9 p.m., a crazy storm passed through with the threat of a tornado. Thankfully, we didn't have to relive that one again

What did the adults do to enjoy Halloween? Well, we took an educational, historical, for-a-good-cause tour that happened in our hometown last weekend!

After visiting plantation homes a few weekends ago, my mind has been consumed with historical things and life in the 1800's. When I read about a local project happening the weekend before Halloween that had to do with historical things around my home town, I immediately knew I wanted to do it!

You see, there's several graveyards here that have been around since the 1800's and have fallen under disrepair. After a "great fire" in 1910, many many hurricanes, flooding, and just normal wear and tear, they were in need of serious fixing up.

Also, the great minds behind this project wanted to give remembrance and honor to those who formed our city. There's a lot of rich history here, and some of that history I never knew about, even living here my entire life.

This event went better than expected (sold out at 600 tickets) and was called the Living History Cemetery Tour.

At our first stop, we met several familiar names to our town - we mainly recognized them because roads and parks were named after them. This was an awesome way to hear their story and how life was like in their time. All of the actors at each site were standing near the grave of the person they were portraying and the monologues were spot on. This seriously was one of the coolest things I've ever done here!

Brayden plays quite often at a park that was named after this lady! I had no clue the story behind "Lock Park" and it was neat being able to put two and two together!

This was a self-driving tour where we drove to four separate graveyards that were only about a mile apart from each other. Each graveyard had about 4-5 characters present.

This guy was a steamboat captain and captivated us with his tale. Out of all the actors, he was my favorite!

This lady portrayed the only woman to ever be executed by the electric chair in the state of Louisiana.

Our final two stops included graveyards where our town founders are resting. It was really neat to hear their tale of how our city became what it is today! If you're interested in seeing video, check out my instagram highlights under the "Louisiana" tab!

When I say this was one of the coolest things I've ever done here, I mean it. This tour was educational, it brought life to our city's founders and important people here, and it helped keep their memory living on. They also raised several thousands of dollars to keep these cemeteries clean and repaired. Everyone on the tour was incredibly respectful of the lives that were resting there and I heard nothing but praise for this event. Having been a first year thing, I think it went off incredibly well!

I hope you all had a great Halloween! Any fun Halloween events take place in your neck of the woods?

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