Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Aunt Courtney's Visit

Aunt Courtney came to visit us this weekend and she left last night. We had a great time with her here. We spent a lot of the time at home but I know I certainly enjoyed having her help around the house. She helped with the kids, baths, dinners, laundry, errands, etc.
Courtney went to our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt with us... I believe she and Ryan are checking out the Easter bunny in the picture below. I wish I would have gotten a picture of Courtney with the boys but she was actually behind the camera a good part of the weekend snapping pictures for us.
We will definitely see her again in June but we might actually see her again on Mother's Day too.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

More about MOM

Wow, I like this writing about me stuff. :) This weekend I ran the inaugral Rock the Parkway 10K (5k and half marathon also available). I didn't feel like I was ready for the half marathon and I'd never ran a 10K before so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm still riding the high from the day. The event was incredible and I felt like I did the best I could have done for MY race. I tell myself that many times during the first couple of miles... "Run your race." As many people are taking out much faster I have to remind myself to stay within the pace that I have planned so I don't burn out too quickly. I started slow, ran MY race, and finished very strong. I clocked my time as 1:03:35 with the following splits (10:53, 10:41, 10:16, 9:59, 9:58, 9:19).

My Top 10 Observations from the Rock the Parkway 10K:

10 - Running in the rain is not half as bad as standing in the rain.

9 - Running in the rain would be better with a hat... next time think of a hat ;)

8 - I already knew it... BUT... it is confirmed - I LOVE to talk when I run. I really need a running partner that runs my pace!

7 - I like the 10K distance. I didn't feel like I needed to push my pace like in a 5K and the distance wasn't so long that it was as daunting as a half marathon.

6 - I get a big rush from spectators along the race course cheering us on. There were very few spectators out today (I'm sure due mostly to the rain) but each time I saw one and they cheered I got a bit more energy. Some day I'd like to run one of "the" races that have spectators along basically the entire course. AND I'd love to see my family there cheering me on as well!

5 -While the steady rain during the entire 10K didn't bother me much, the pouring rain as I was driving home made me glad I wasn't still out doing the half marathon.

4 - My favorite shirt that I spotted during the run "It was either this or play on facebook."

3 - Rock the Parkway was the most organized race or event that I have ever run! It was sooo smooth from registration, to packet pick-up, to the start and finish of the race.

2 - The post-race activities were awesome... ok, the FOOD available was... rolls, bananas, popcorn, milk (white and chocolate), smoothies, AND hamburgers on a bun covered in aluminum foil! I think I probably ate just as many calories as I burned :)

1 - Yes, almost all of these ran through my mind while running... See item #8.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A whole lot of updates

My blogging has been less frequent lately and the updates have been more centered on Ross so I thought I'd do one blog with updates on all of us, including me - so for today the Blog will have to be McDowell boys... and mom!

Russ is enjoying a semester off of school, not that I think he's noticed a break in the action. Things have been busy with a new addition in the house and Russ has been solidly working out in the mornings before work since Christmas. Russ weighed in at 174.6 on January 4th and is down to 156 now. He's in very good shape and continuing to work towards several goals. Russ has a busy season of orienteering and adventure racing planned along with some 5Ks. We're hoping his knee and ankles hold up for all of the running.
Russ is again coaching Reid's hockey team in the spring and practices start next week. And unfortunately, just as summer and decent weather begin to arrive... it will be back to school for dad.


Hmm... me. I've been focusing on my mommy role for the most part of the last five months but it is now the beginning of my favorite season of the year... running season! I've been getting more and more miles in during the warmer days and it feels so good! I've got 10k's, 5k's, duathlons, adventure races all planned on my calendar. This Saturday is a 10K on Ward Parkway. The weather forecast looks like a good chance of rain but not too cold so it should go well.

I've got 13 pounds of baby weight left to get off still too so that has been a major focus the last couple of months. I've lost 18 pounds in the last 10 weeks doing a biggest loser challenge at work and I'm focused on seeing the progress through to at least my pre-pregnancy weight (if not 5 - 10 pounds off of that too).

My best friend was in last weekend and we had the best time! We got to do a lot of my favorites. We got pedicures on Friday, scrapbooked all day on Saturday and just had a great time being together. I'm already craving more time with her! It was so nice to scrapbook again too - I've got the bug again and can't wait to plan another day. Russ watched all three boys the entire day I scrapbooked and they all did really well so it made it very easy to enjoy myself.

Reid -

Reid is getting over a pretty nasty cold right now but he has been a trooper. He's had a barky cough for a week but if we ask him if he feels bad he always says he is fine. I took him to urgent care at Children's Mercy last Friday and they said it was just croup/a cold.

Reid is becoming a rock star at reading. He is reading around a 2nd to 3rd grade reading level according to the books we get at the library. At school he is reading in reading group E and he reads with the teacher by himself as no one else is in his level. Last night when we were reading "Zug the Bug" we came to the word 'inside' and Reid read it as 'incidentally.' I had to bite my cheeks to keep from laughing, he has quite the vocabulary. :)

Reid is starting up another round of sports for the spring/summer. Soccer starts this weekend, hockey starts in the next couple of weeks and he is signed up for summer baseball. He'll also have swimming lessons during the day this summer. Only two more months of school left. Alyssa, our babysitter from last summer, will be watching Reid and Ryan again this summer. We're excited to have her back and certainly ready for the better weather!
Ryan has been having more good days than bad days lately and we have all enjoyed that. He still has his rare moments where he lacks self control but they are shorter and fewer these days. He is getting so smart as well. He knows more than half of his capital letters and loves to read books (especially at night if it delays bed time). Last night he actually came out back to play soccer and did really well. He was dribbling the ball up and down the back yard with great control. He keeps "saying" that he wants to play outdoor soccer but only if mom is his coach so I think we're going to skip it until at least the fall to make sure he is ready this time.
He will do swimming lessons this summer and will also be home with Alyssa. Hopefully we'll find a few more things that he likes to do with some family trips - miniature golf, bowling, movies... Have I mentioned that I can't wait for summer??

Ross (BRJ)
As I said yesterday, Baby Ross is just SOO happy these days. He's all smiles when he isn't hungry. He's going to bed earlier (between 7 and 7:30) and going down pretty easy... we're still working on sleeping for longer stretches but I think we're getting closer. Ross is really enjoying playing in his exersaucer, getting closer and closer to rolling over, and still loves his bath time.

This week he has tried green beans and rice cereal with applesauce and liked both.

Ross (hockey Ross) - The Stover team played Central Districts last weekend and won all three games to earn a trip to Nationals - WOO HOO! They will be going to Chicago April 6th through 11th. We thought about driving down as a family to watch but Reid would have to miss school and just decided it was too much hassle with all of the boys. Plus, I have basically no vacation at work :( But, Russ does get to go. He's riding the team vans down and will be with the team throughout the tournament. We are so excited for the Russell Stovers team... and for Hockey Ross!

Ross is done with school at Olathe East and is starting his new semester at his school back home so they will be sending him his assignments until nationals are over and he goes back home. He gets to go to prom at home and graduate with his friends that he grew up with, so it's the best of both worlds for him. This season really was a great opportunity for him yet he didn't have to give up his entire senior year with his class.

Can't wait to see what's in Ross' future. I'd be very happy to have him back at our house next year but I know his true desire is to move on to the next level so we'll hope for the best for him.

FIVE months old already...

I didn't get a decent pic of Ross this morning but I decided I'll share what I did get. We were running VERY late this morning.

THIS is the best shot I did get, the camera just wasn't focusing right this morning. So, of course, when I do get a good shot I cut his head off :( It didn't help that Ryan was insisting on sitting on my lap to help take the pictures.
Here's what most of the pics look like from this morning :( But this is the one I'll use that shows his full body so I can compare his size from month to month (unless I happen to remember to get some better shots tonight).
So, what has baby Ross been up to you ask. A whole lot of this:
Ross has been the happiest little guy the last week. He is ALL smiles most of the time.
Ross has been eating really well! He has now had carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and sweet peas. Last night was his first night of sweet peas. He made a crazy face the first couple of bites but then he decided that he liked them and ate the whole 2.5 oz jar of baby food.
I wish I could say he was doing so well at sleeping. He had gone a couple of nights where he only got up once a night - and mommy could definitely handle that! The last two nights he has gotten up three times. He is going to bed much earlier now - between 7 and 8... but not sleeping as long as he had been. I think we are going to try his baby food at dinner and then maybe some cereal right at bedtime and see if that helps the little guy. I also turned the baby monitor completely off. His room is right outside of our room so I know I will hear him. But I'm hoping that if he isn't crying much then maybe he can get himself back to sleep if mommy isn't coming running at every peep - which I know that I do.
Ross' bug outfit up above is from my BFF in DC. I thought it was so cute that I made sure to save it for his special day today. Thanks Cath!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Day at Home...

Our daycare is closed today so the little two (L2 as we now call them in texts) are home with me. This is a work from home day for me so I actually did have a conference call and need to stay close to my computer for the most part. Here are some random parts to our day...

I had an important call at 9 so Russ took Ryan out to Independence with him. They went and picked up a bench weight set for the garage. We are "working" on an organization plan out there that includes a new refrigerator, shelving, an area for working out, and some open space for Reid to roller blade and shoot (hockey pucks). We have the space - we just don't have a good solid plan yet - but we're getting closer. Finding the time to put the plan into action is more of an issue ;)

Ryan was really good for Russ. He got chocolate milk and a cookie on the trip out. Then Russ got called into work so took Ryan with him and he scored a snack size bag of m&m's from the candy guy (Ed) at Russ' work. After Russ fixed the server issue they stopped on the way home and Ryan got some gummy bears and brought me some hershey kisses since I've been sick (so sweet! how could I resist?).

Ross has played quite a bit today - he's such a happy guy. He is getting really stable in his exersaucer and I can tell it's going to be a hit in the next month.

Ross does not nap well at home - I think his room is too light. So after a short morning nap he was getting kind of crabby so I turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - which both Ryan and Ross like... Yep, Ross will lay and watch it - he's picking up on tv early just like Reid did! (Ryan has only come into liking tv in the last couple of months)

When he got sick of Mickey and wouldn't sleep in his bed, I ended up letting him nap in his swing - just as he fell:

Ryan has played really well... but my living room is DESTROYED. And these pictures are from an hour ago - it's gotten even worse since then.

Ryan picked out his jammies last night - can you tell? Batman flannel shirt and Bob the Builder cotton pants. And hand down the back of his pants scratching his butt... all he needs now is a beer in his hands :)

ps - Happy Birthday Grandma Cella - I hope you are ready for this wrecking ball crew next week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's up Doc...

Ross has not been eating his cereal as well lately as he had been. He got into blowing raspberries every time I put the spoon to his lips so I thought I would give him a taste of something else. Our pediatrician had said that Ross could start some vegetables as soon as we wanted. We are sticking with one vegetable for at least four days and then staying with the same color group for several vegetables. So... up first... ORANGE!!

Here's Ross... doesn't know what's about to hit him :)

First bite...

And the verdict was... YUM! So we kept on going with the carrots and he ate almost the whole 2.5 oz jar. There were only like three bites left in the whole jar.
Ross wasn't even "that" messy... he ate them so good. He has, however, had carrots for three nights now though and he has gotten messier each night :) but he still likes them a lot!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm so late in getting these up but I had to share them as we got some good pictures. Grandpa Steve and Grandma Linda came up to visit the last Saturday in April. It's quite a haul between KC and Hannibal so we really appreciated them visiting!! We're subtly working on persuading them to retire in KC - sending grandma Linda job notices here, forwarding their mail here (ok, we haven't went that far yet - but I've thought about it).

Ryan was in one of his typical moods of not wanting his picture taken - can you tell?
Reid's always willing to ham it up for the camera... especially if he can be silly.

Do you know how hard it is to capture a picture with six people looking forward... NOT easy. These are the best two we got and that was out of six different attempts. Russ got the gold star for looking forward in each picture and keeping his eyes open - everyone else... not as good!