FEBRUARY 1, 2017
I will usually run outside with my group in any weather except if it is dangerous for me to drive to the location where we are meeting. This morning was one of those days where it was better to not drive very far. The frozen fog was crazy and I was glad it only took me 5 min to get to the club to run on the treadmill. Instead of doing a 30 min tempo on the treadmill I opted to run 4x5 min tempo intervals with a 2:30 recovery job in between. I don't enjoy running on the treadmill but was grateful I could at least run on a morning like today.
PIANO TIME WITH MADELINE
FEBRUARY 4, 2017
Madeline loves music so it is no surprise that she loves to sit on Mike's lap while he plays the piano. Today she actually took interest in pressing on the keys herself. It was so fun to watch her excitement.
EARLY MORNING TRACK WORKOUT
FEBRUARY 7, 2017
It is an internal struggle sometimes to get up so early and head out on a run. Most mornings I am up at 5am feeding Madeline but the temptation to get back in bed after she is done eating is almost more than I can bare. I am always so happy running with my group and I am usually more productive throughout the day when I exercise early in the morning. This morning we were doing descending 400's on the track. They were essentially mile repeats with each 400 getting progressively faster. After my last set I jogged around the track and noticed the beautiful sunrise. I just had to stop and take a picture.
A PACKAGE FROM THE MURATA FAMILY
FEBRUARY 8, 2017
It is so much fun that the Murata family continues to exchange a yearly package with us. We usually send ours right before Christmas and then receive one from them in January. This year in addition to their fun array of Japanese snacks they sent Madeline the most adorable, and very Japanese, cream sweater cape. I can't wait until she is a little bigger to fit into it. The kids loved the super ramune hard candies and the unique apple
hi-chews this year.
NEW THAI CURRY RECIPE
FEBRUARY 8, 2017
I LOVE that Mike is so good at cooking. I especially love it when he has found a new recipe to try. Tonight's dinner was a green based curry to go along with fresh shrimp. It was absolutely delicious. Every one of the kids ate and loved this meal. This one will definitely be going in our recipe book.
SWIMMING IN FEBRUARY
FEBRUARY 10, 2017
It seems like every February we get a few random WARM days. Today topped the charts as the warmest day in February ever in Colorado Springs. The high today ended up being around 78F. Mike and the girls took advantage of the warm weather and went to Flying Horse to swim in the pool.
WINTER SERIES RACE #3
FEBRUARY 11, 2017
Peter and I ran the third race in the Winter Series today. This race was 5 miles along the Santa Fe/Greenway Trail starting down near the El Pomar Sports Complex. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. If anything we were a little too warm on our run. Both of us did well enough and were happy to check yet another race off our list.
HS SWIM PRE-SEASON
FEBRUARY 22, 2017
Andrew's pre-season practices for the High School swim team started this week. He was relieved to be in decent shape from swimming on the Altitude club team since September. More than anything I think he liked being back with the boys on the team. They really bonded last year and that is something I think he missed.
SEEING MADELINE BEFORE SCHOOL
FEBRUARY 23, 2017
Every morning Peter is so excited to see Madeline but she is usually still sleeping by the time he has to leave for the bus stop. This morning he heard her and asked if he could go and see her before he had to leave. Knowing that he was cutting it close to make the bus I told him to hurry and say a quick hello. It was so cute to see that he would risk missing the bus just to say hi to Madeline. He really loves his baby sister.
It was so fun to watch Madeline grow and change this month. Her hair is starting to fill in and it looks like it will be blond like all the other kids. Sometimes in certain light the sides of her hair look a little more golden. It almost looks like she has red hair from the side when the light hits it just right. She doesn't have any teeth yet but she has a pretty good grip with her mouth so we do have to be careful. She has bit me a few times while nursing just with her gums and it did hurt. Madeline still loves to suck on her fingers and toes and pretty much anything she can get to her mouth. It seems like every time I change her diaper she grabs her toes and starts to suck on them. She is still a thumb sucker when it comes to nap time and bed time. In fact, she won't take the pacifier very well anymore. She loves to use her hands and is getting better about grabbing toys and playing with them. She loves playing with the plastic keys and her spoons. She mostly chews on her toys.
Madeline loves sitting in her bumbo seat and enjoys sitting up to the table with us while we eat dinner. We always put toys on her tray to play with but her favorite thing to do is sit close to the table without her tray and tap on the table with her hands. She especially loves it when we move her hands on the table like she is playing the piano. One thing is for sure...Madeline loves to sit up. She doesn't really love laying on her back to play. She would rather be upright where she can see everything a little better. Madeline loves to play with her toys and will usually try and eat anything we put in front of her. She is starting to like tummy time better and will play longer on her tummy than she will on her back.
Madeline has some definite tickle spots and we can usually get some giggles out of her when we tickle her. Her most ticklish spots are on her sides up close to her armpits and on her upper back between her shoulder blades. She loves it when we make funny noises with our mouths while blowing on her tummy.
Madeline loves music. She loves sitting with Mike at the piano while he plays. She also loves to tap on the keys. Anytime Madeline gets a little fussy or sad all we have to do is sing to her and she is completely mesmerized. Some of her favorite songs are:
Wheels on the Bus
Jumbo the Elephant
Little Purple Pansies
All Around the Mulberry Bush
5 Little Ducks
Madeline loves it when we read her books. I think she is more interested in grabbing the pages but she seems to enjoy some of the board books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Barnyard Dance, and Moo, Baa, La La La. She seems to like books that have lots of rhyming words.
Bath time with Madeline is finally a fun affair instead of a quick wash and get out. Even though she still can't sit up on her own she finally learned to kick and splash in the bath while laying on her yellow foam pad. She loves to grab and suck on the washcloth. She also loves it when we squeeze water from the wash cloth from up above. She puts her hands out and tries to catch the big drops of water that fall from the washcloth.
Madeline started baby food this month. We fed her rice cereal first and she absolutely loved it. Then we moved onto sweet potatoes and carrots but realized after a week of vegetables that she was not nursing very well so we cut back to just the cereal once a day. I wanted to make sure that we got the nursing under control before we added any other foods back into her diet. I continued keep cow's milk out of my diet to help with her spit up problems. It seemed to help most of the time but by the end of the month I noticed that she continued to spit up quite a bit. It was very clear by the end of this month that Madeline has been suffering from acid reflux.
This month's FIRSTS:
Going for rides in the stroller without the car seat
Zantac medicine for acid reflux
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
We had the BEST holiday weekend skiing at Crested Butte with our good friends, The Holleys. Since the kids didn't have school on Friday we were able to leave early enough to arrive by the middle of the afternoon. The drive along the 14ers was absolutely amazing. Once we popped out on the other side of the mountain range towards Crested Butte the view was equally amazing. The cute town of Crested Butte was hard to see with the high piles of snow drifts on the sides of the road. Mike found us the coolest little single house to rent for the few days while we were there. The driveway was horrific to park in but between Mike and Andrew shoveling some of the snow they were able to fit the car in the driveway in front of the garage. We ended up using the garage to store our skis and boots. The inside of the house was pretty awesome with a gourmet kitchen and good sized living room. The kitchen was really the selling point so that we could do dinners with our friends every night. In the basement there were three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and even a laundry closet. The boys shared a room and the girls shared a room and everyone was thrilled that they got to sleep on real beds...no sleeper sofas this trip. Not only was the inside of the house amazing, but we were literally only a 5 min walk across the street from the main ski lifts.
After unpacking our things we worked together to make dinner for everyone. The first night we wanted something that reminded all of us of Japan so we cooked Mike's famous Japanese curry and rice. I think everyone was transported back to the time we all lived there. It was so good to be back with our friends again.
FEBRUARY 18, 2017
The next morning we got ready for our first day on the slopes. Mike took the kids out first while I stayed behind to pick things up and get ready for our swap at lunchtime. Josh, Sean, Andrew and Peter took the Silver Queen Express lift so that they could do some black runs while Mike, Sam, Morgan, Emma, and Abby rode up the Red Lady Express lift to ski the Paradise Bowl. They were all having a great time until they came to the Teocalli 2 person lift and saw the enormously long line. Instead of waiting in the line they decided to ski down to the East River Express Lift instead. The line at that lift was even longer and since there was no where to go except up the lift, they waited the hour wait to get on the lift only to have to ski back down the mountain to meet for lunch. It was a bit of a crazy morning. It's amazing how the sun and food can make people happy again. After lunch the little girls were done skiing so they went back to the house with Mike and Madeline. Josh, Sean and Andrew headed back up to do some double black diamond runs while Sam, Peter and I took the Red Lady Express so that we could ski Paradise Bowl and the fun runs in that area. We spent a good portion of our morning skiing down Paradise Bowl and Ruby Chief which was a double blue run. We also enjoyed the fun little terrain park that was all rolling hills and fun turns. It was like riding on a roller coaster ride. We ended our day skiing some of the blues near Prospect. The homes that were over there were absolutely amazing. When we got to the bottom we enjoyed hearing about Andrew's adventure with Josh and Sean and how they did 2 double black diamond runs. I think it's safe to say that Andrew has surpassed my skills on the skis.
FEBRUARY 19, 2017
This morning I took the first shift skiing with the kids while Mike watched Madeline back at the house. Josh and Sean headed off on a backcountry tour while the rest of us headed up the Red Lady Express Lift to ski near Paradise bowl again. We did more of the same runs we had done the day before and even got Abby to ski down Ruby Chief, a double blue run, without too many problems. Everyone loved the hilly terrain park run and it seemed like everyone was just happy to keep doing that run. After we took Abby on that the first time she perked up and started skiing a little faster. She was so excited by how fun that run was. We spent most of the time on the runs near the Paradise Express lift. As it got closer to lunch we headed down to the Teocalli lift and took that up so that we could ski Poverty Gulch down to the bottom. The lines weren't bad at all today. After lunch Mike, Andrew, and Peter went back out to ski. Unfortunately, the good weather turned quickly into snow and wind. I'm not sure how much the boys enjoyed the afternoon skiing but they still managed to get in a few good runs while the girls and I enjoyed some girl time back at the house. Emma and Abby played for a while in the snow next to the driveway while I introduced Madeline to snow. I actually put some of it in her hands to see how she would react. She wasn't really sure what to think of the snow. It didn't put a smile on her face and it didn't make her cry. She learned pretty quickly that it was cold and when I put her hand near the snow bank to see if she would grab it, she knew better than to touch that cold thing.
After everyone was done skiing and showered we spent another fun evening together with our friends. Tonight we ate Southwestern Chicken Skillet and boy was it yummy. The best part was watching Peter and Sean being super silly as they cleaned up dinner.
FEBRUARY 20, 2017
Since this was our last day to ski we packed up everything into the car and Mike drove to park the car in the free lot while I took the kids to meet our friends at the lifts. Andrew and Peter decided to join the girls this morning and we did more runs on Paradise Bowl and then headed down to the East River Express lift to try some of the blue runs over there. The girls took the Floresta run to Lower Treasury and skied to the bottom while Andrew and Peter tried the Double Top Glades run which was a black mogul run. We ended up waiting at the bottom a good 5-10 minutes for those boys. When we got back to the top of that lift Emma wanted to try that run so I took her on it. The first part of the run was small moguls through the trees. It was awesome at first. Then we came to the cliff and as I looked down I realized we had gotten ourselves into a really tough run. The pitch was steep and the moguls were almost as tall as Emma. We did pretty well for the first half of that section until Emma lost her footing and tumbled 20 feet below. She was ok but lost her polls. A kind skier coming down after us was able to grab her poles and handed them off to me. I was terrified as I saw her tumble and tumble and was so relieved when she finally stopped and said she was ok. Everyone was waiting for us at the bottom and after retelling what had just happened, I was once again so relieved and grateful that Emma didn't get hurt. We all headed back up the lift to the Teocalli lift so that we could head back down the mountain to meet Mike for lunch. After lunch Mike went on a few runs with Josh and all the boys before the Holleys had to leave. Then he went on a few more runs with Andrew and Peter. At one point he got separated from Andrew and Peter and so everyone came back down to the bottom. There were words exchanged. Mike was not so happy about what happened, but then he put on a happy face and did another run with the boys so that they could end our trip with smiles instead of frowns.
I was a little unsure of how Madeline would take to baby food since she is only 5 months old. After a few days of feeding her rice cereal, which she loved, we started with sweet potatoes. Every one of my babies makes "the face" when they first are introduced to baby food. Usually it lasts through the entire feeding. Not this girl. She made the face only on the first spoonful and then it was like she just couldn't get it in fast enough. She was constantly grabbing for the spoon because she just wanted more. Peter was so excited to be able to feed her the sweet potatoes. She just loved him feeding her. Now that she is getting used to food she doesn't put her fingers in her mouth quite as much as she did the first time with rice cereal. Occasionally her fingers will navigate towards her mouth but as long as we are quick with the spoon she isn't really tempted to leave her fingers in her mouth. I didn't think it was possible for a baby to get any cuter but with every new stage, Madeline does get cuter and cuter. I just LOVE this little food lover of mine.
SOME MORE RICE CEREAL...YUM YUM
The winter is a hard time to be a runner in Colorado. The weather is usually cold and sometimes snowy or icy which makes for unfavorable conditions when heading out for a run. Sometimes we do get those warmer days but they are pretty rare. One thing is for sure, though, it is sunny 95% of the time. This afternoon Peter geared up to head to the track to do a one mile run for his Physical Fitness merit badge. The girls decided they wanted to tag along and run as well. It had been a really nice day but as the sun started to go down it got really cold. Once at the track we realized just how cold it truly was outside. We were all a little underprepared as none of us brought gloves or hats. The wind was biting and so the kids quickly did their run so we could head back home. Peter had a great run and clocked in his mile at 7:20. With plenty of room to improve over the course of the next few months I think he was happy. I was proud of the girls as well for braving the cold to get their exercise done for the day.