Life as we know it

Our family adventures


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Gardens in bloom

Two posts in one week? Yes, it happened!

We had kind of a rough weekend. Saturday was filled with chores. We weren’t going to go anywhere, but when Peyton decided not to take a nap, we made a spur-of-the-moment trip to Olbrich Botanical Gardens. We were there in February and even without leaves, it was pretty (never got around to posting those pictures… its still on the list of posts to post!). But it was even better to see so much green and so many blooms! I don’t know if the kids appreciated the blooms as much as the freedom to just run, mostly uninhibited.
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Many, if not all, of the fountains were on… and we had fun trying to keep Peyton out of them.
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Peyton was on the cranky side since he chose not to nap that day…
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Allie was happy to smile for Mama, but happier to keep running.
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Pretty!
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This was where Peyton actually made contact with the water.
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And this was where Peyton fell down and just laid there sobbing for a couple minutes. This boy’s tantrums are WAY more than Allie’s ever were!
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We got home and our evening was much better than the afternoon had been. Peyton still took a long time to fall asleep at bedtime though!


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Allie’s favorite memories

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Throughout 4k, we’ve had family projects to work on with Allie. At the beginning of the year we made a treasure box. We made a pumpkin,  a turkey, snowman, valentine and a Dr. Seuss hat… I think there were a few others in there too. Sometimes its felt like a chore, but it really was fun to get creative together.

For the last family project of 4k, we made a timeline of Allie’s life. Mama did a lot of the construction, but Allie picked the memories and did all the writing. Look how well she’s writing now! It really was fun looking back through Allie’s favorite memories. When we were going through pictures this week, she wanted to include everything.

Its strange to this that we only have one more month of 4k! Tomorrow night Dada and I are going to a kindergarten information meeting. How does time go by so quickly? I am so amazed and proud of how much Allie has grown and learned this year. Allie sometimes says she is scared of kindergarten, but I am sure she will do great.

This week has been one filled with a lot of memories for various reasons, and I’m reminded again and again not to take any of these times for granted. I did enjoy this project looking back at our family memories. I am so grateful for my awesome family and all of our adventures.


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Animal adventures

We don’t really live in the country. Just past the state and county park area is the city less than a mile away. But it sure feels more like the country here than what we’re used to! Examples? Well yesterday one of the things Allie did with the neighbor kids, when she was over there for three and a half hours, was catch frogs! I told her she’s not bringing any home!

We love love love having a back yard. We all spent a lot of time outside this weekend. Allie probably spent more time outside than any of us because she played with the neighbor kids all afternoon Sunday. Peyton cries whenever we let Monk outside but don’t let him. He’d stay outside all day if we’d let him. But he’s still small and going outside wears him out. He’s generally more exhausted lately with all the stimulation. Going outside wears him out, but at the same time he’s not going to sleep as quickly as we need him to so he’s short on sleep already. Both kids love playing on the swing set and going down the slide. Allie and Dada were kicking the soccer ball around yesterday for a while.

Monk loves the yard too. For the most part she seems to have adjusted to the new house. I am still afraid of her getting out in spite of the fence. There are some areas of the fence I am watching because I saw her try to dig yesterday in an area where there was already a little gap under the fence. In that area I was able to move some big rocks to stop that digging.

Monk has reminded us that she is our pet but also an animal. On Saturday I was sitting on the deck reading and Allie was playing by the garden. Monk was there too and suddenly Allie screams that there are rats in the garden an Monk is playing with them! I thought at first they were mice but realized later they were baby bunnies. Monk got two of them… and by “got” them, I mean she ate them. I thought she was just playing with the first one because I was trying to get her away from them and she took it to the other side of the yard. When she came back for the second one she’d already injured, she stayed by the swing set and I realized what she was really doing. I had to explain to Allie because she already talks about animals dying every once in a while (Bridget’s dog was hit by a car last year, so she has been exposed a bit). I made sure to explain to Allie that Monk was just doing what an animal does and that doesn’t mean Monk will hurt her.

We didn’t know what to do and the other four baby bunnies were still in the nest in the garden plot and there wasn’t going to be a way to keep Monk away from it, so Doug and I moved the bunnies. And then I found out later that I shouldn’t have because the Mama probably couldn’t find them. 😦 But they wouldn’t have survived long in that nest anyway.

So that’s our adventure living in the country!

In addition to animal adventures at home, we went to the zoo Saturday afternoon! The morning got away from us so we didn’t get there until after lunch. We had lunch early and figured Peyton could nap a little later afterwards, it only takes an hour or two to get through the zoo. It was packed! We weren’t the only ones there on the beautiful day. Unfortunately by the time we got there both kids were getting tired and more cranky.
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We saw the seals first at Allie’s request.
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Then the giraffes. This one was very social on Saturday afternoon! A baby giraffe was just born at the zoo in the last couple weeks, but the baby was not out on the exhibit yet.
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The kids liked seeing the ostrich, who looks just like robo-ostrich MERC on Miles from Tomorrowland on Disney Junior. That is Peyton’s favorite show, so he liked seeing one close up.
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Allie liked seeing him too but she decided she needed to hitch a ride in the stroller. Luckily Peyton was up to walking at that point.
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I think this is a cute selfie of me and Peyts, in spite of his grumpy face.
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We went to the playground within the children’s zoo, but the kids weren’t into it. It was crowded, so Mama couldn’t go with Allie and Allie didn’t want to go by herself.
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Where both kids finally seemed to enjoy themselves was feeding the goats! I fished a couple quarters out of my wallet and got some food for the goats.
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You’d think those goats never eat with how the leap toward the food!
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Peyton got in on the action and laughed when he got licked (we washed up afterward!).
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Another grumpy picture, this time with Dada.
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Also in the children’s zoo, the kids liked seeing the aardvark.
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After the children’s zoo we decided to head home. We didn’t last quite as long as usual but we still saw plenty. On the way out I got this picture of the pretty flowers! They had flowers all over the place!
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On the way out we stopped to see the penquins, who were actually out and active! They were swimming and walking around. Usually one or two penguins are out and they are just standing by their wall. I didn’t get any pictures of the real penguins, but I got a picture of this penguin!
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I’ve gotten a picture of Allie with these penguins at least once a year since she was small. She loves taking pictures with the cutouts!

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Our new digs

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Its like we’re on vacation! I still sort of feel like we will have to go back to the old house. Its so awesome how much things have changed in moving to this house. I’m enjoying having the kids on the first floor as well as the first floor laundry. I even like the stacked washer and dryer. In spite of its smaller capacity, its so much more convenient to have it on the main floor and I don’t have to bend over as much! And its so great having the back yard and already knowing a bunch of the neighbors. Allie spent several hours outside this weekend in the back yard and playing with other kids.
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Here’s the living room with furniture! The arrangement didn’t end up how I wanted but I like it this way better I think.
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And here’s the kids’ room. It has been a process to get the kids, well Peyton, sleeping well here. Every night he’s stayed up a long time in his crib. But since the kids were so tired from being outside so much yesterday, they slept until 8 and Peyton had a nice long nap today and he went to sleep much quicker tonight. We had been concerned about hearing everything because of the wooden floors. You can hear from the kids room what’s going on in the living room, but it hasn’t been an issue with sleep really.
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And this is the toy room! So far this has been great! The kids do bring toys out in the living room, but we put them away in the toy rooms. I need to get some bins to organize things, but that has to wait until next weekend.
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Here’s the kitchen, which has been great to work in! We actually have room for evertying and could even fit more in the storage.
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I didn’t always love the idea of an open floor plan, but I’m becoming a fan.
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Here’s our big bedroom! This has taken some getting used to. The first night here there were big thunderstorms and the rain got loud on that roof!
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Best part of the master right here… wine and the jetted tub. Wine is great any time, but loving the jetted tub!
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The house is mostly organized, as much as it can be right now. I need to find a way to stablize our big cabinet/bookcases in the living room before putting anything in them. I have some ideas and hope to get to that next weekend. I was on vacation last week and Friday managed to have a true vacation day without work! I got out for a run. This is where I get to run now!
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There are a lot of trails around here, both paved and not paved. There will be a lot of variety.
Maybe the coolest is getting outside. Monk is a big fan of the yard.
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We’ve slowly gotten brave enough to let Monk out in the back yard without the leash. She has gotten out in the neighborhood though already, luckily she was easily retrieved!
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Peyton loves going outside. If we open the door to let Monk out, he gets upset we aren’t letting him outside.
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Its so great that the weather was so nice our first weekend here! We got out for a walk yesterday too.
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I can’t wait until we can get a full size patio set, but our little table will work for now with a couple extra chairs. And we can’t wait to use the grill!
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We’ve still felt all crazy and disconnected, but tomorrow we get back to our routine with work and school and daycare. Last week it was great how early Dada and the kids got home. We had so much time! It will be so nice to have a shorter commute!


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The best Easter ever!

According to Allie, anyway!

Since we always have a hard time fitting in coloring Easter eggs, Mama stopped at the store on the way home Friday and we colored eggs Friday night instead of Saturday! It was super fun and opened up our Saturday.
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It was a little tough because Peyton really wanted to help. And he did, he dropped some eggs in the dye. But he also wanted to drink the egg dye and handle the eggs when they were done! So he alternated between screaming in delight and screaming in despair.
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Allie really enjoyed herself.
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Saturday morning we decorated the eggs with stickers. Peyton was able to participate more, but that activity had to end when Peyton ended up cracking many of the eggs. Coincidentally, Allie doesn’t like eggs at all. I don’t know if Peyton likes boiled eggs. He sometimes eats scrambled. So we have 12 boiled eggs in the fridge that didn’t even come out on Sunday and Mama and Dada have to eat! I plan to make some egg salad, but not 12 eggs’ worth!
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Saturday morning we also went to the egg hunt. This year we decided to stay home and check out one in Oregon since that’s our school district. They had it inside, I’m not sure if they always have it inside or if it was because of the cold outside. They had activities besides the egg hunt, but we didn’t really do anything because it was really crowded. They did have free Culvers frozen custard though. That was yummy!
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The 0-3 age group was up first. This was the typical stampede egg hunt, but they announced a 7-egg limit. So I thought that was good because in other egg hunts some kids get tons while other kids (mine!) only get a few!
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It took a little prodding to get Peyton to pick up some eggs. After his egg hunt, he carried around this Nestle Crunch candy bar. I don’t know if he ended up eating it or if it melted from carrying around.
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Next was Allie’s hunt, the 4-6 age group. As you can see, it wasn’t much of a hunt!
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Saturday afternoon Mama went to the new house to do some cleaning the rest of the family relaxed while Peyton napped. Saturday night we ordered pizza for the Final Four. The Badgers didn’t play until after the kids went to bed. It was a good game and tense! And they won! We are looking forward to the championship game tomorrow night!

Also Saturday night, the Easter bunny came.
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Allie was so excited that she woke up before 6, ugggh. Every one stayed in bed until closer to 7 though. And the kids were not disappointed by what they found in the living room! Allie said all day how much she loved her Easter basket and that this was the best Easter ever!
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The Easter bunny found these M&M fans. They were a hit with both kids! They never even opened them up to eat the M&Ms!
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We got some pictures of the kids dressed up, but of course Peyton didn’t want to sit next to his sister and smile for the camera. He is 2, after all.
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Just look how handsome! The tie is a clip on, and was a bit discolored and apparently badly wrinkled, but still adorable! The scab on his nose is from when he took a nose dive off his little chair into the shelf under the TV. Its healing nicely!
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I felt a little nostalgic since this is our last Easter in this house, last time we take pictures on this porch!
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Allie was more than happy to pose for the camera though!
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Next came brunch. We had to wait a few minutes when we got there, but we didn’t mind since we got to see the Easter bunny first thing!
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Peyton wanted no part of a picture with the Easter bunny! Allie sure did though.
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And some other pictures while we waited.
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That was the only fun of this brunch, however. We were seated upstairs for the first time ever. We were in a raised booth, so the high chair wasn’t tall enough. So we got to put Peyton in a booster seat… first and last time for a while, I hope. The table also had a beer tap. Would have been fun times 10 years ago before kids… today, however, there wasn’t room for anything on the table! Oh and the best part? The tap was on. I thought they’d be turned off or something… nope. Allie pulled and beer came out and made a mess.
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We did eat our brunch though. In addition to not eating, Peyton also cried the whole time. It seemed to be a theme of the weekend. He also didn’t eat much until we started letting him shove doughnuts in his face. We didn’t love this option, but it at least allowed us some peace in our meal. We wouldn’t have stayed except the brunch is expensive and the whole place was loud and crowded, so while I know we probably did disturb some people around us, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Anyway, after we were done, we decided to stop at the McKee Farms dream park around the corner to let the kids run around since it was so nice outside.
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They had fun and got dirty. It was the best part of the day.
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A great part of the day for me was when Peyton went down for a nap and I got out for a beautiful 6-mile run. I took a hilly route because when you get to the top of the worst hill, its a great view and a great view on the way down. I only discovered it last summer and today was the last time I’d run that particular route because I don’t go that far when I’m running in the dark. It was a really tough run. I had to take a lot of walking breaks in the first half. But it didn’t bother me. I didn’t go as fast but that didn’t bother me. It was so tough, but I was happy the whole time and never felt like it was taking forever or at the beginning like I wanted to just turn around and go home.

And now its vacation week and moving week. There are many things I won’t miss about this house, but I am feeling a little sad at the same time as I’m excited. This was our first home and we brought both our babies home from the hospital to their bedroom with the goodnight moon on the wall.

I am off tomorrow and Dada is joining me Tuesday. Those two days are prep days, moving as much as we can of the little stuff and finishing cleaning in the new house, organizing what is already there enough that we can move the furniture in. Wednesday is moving day. It was estimated to be a 6-7 hour move, so by around 3 p.m. that will be finished and the rest of the week will be spent organizing!


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Ending March on a high mileage note

I ended the March with 5 gorgeous miles outside on Monday morning. I’ve been waiting eagerly for the weather to improve enough for me to get outside again. We are moving in a week. I know I will enjoy running in a new area, but I’ve been running my current neighborhood for eight years. I run random routes and I have my tried and true routes. And I really love running as the sun is coming up. I won’t be running at sunrise in the new neighborhood until I’m more familiar with my surroundings… for one thing, there aren’t street lights over there. I don’t get sentimental about a lot, though I am finding I’m more sentimental than I expect as the move is getting closer. And running that neighborhood is one of those sentimental things.

The 5 miles I ran on Monday and the 5 miles I ran Sunday afternoon on the treadmill were my longest runs since last fall. I overdid it by running so much so close together. My legs are still achy today… that probably also has to do with needing new shoes.

I am so happy to have gone a full month without getting sick! That meant a full month of running! Of course other things, like laziness, happen… but surprisingly not often. In fact, I really did not want to run on Sunday afternoon, but I knew those kinds of workouts often are the best and that was the case for that particular run.

I ran on my own terms in March and that makes me happy.

Total mileage was 51.6, which beats last November’s 50.5. I’ve also surpassed 100 for the year, 102.1, to be exact.

The month included a last-minute entry and then a very surprising result for the Shamrock Shuffle 5K. I don’t have any more immediate for sure race plans, but I hope to capitalize on my recent progress. I decided I probably won’t run Crazylegs at the end of this month. That race is fun, but its just hard with logistics. And its been nice for that race the last few years so I’d bet it will rain this year. I don’t know if I’ll run the Madison Twilight 10K Memorial Day weekend. This is the Madison half, which I always aim for but haven’t gotten to the last few years. I’d like to run the 10K though because I bet I can improve on last year’s time. I have tentative plans for a 5K at the end of June. Racing is just up in the air right now with all the other things going on.