Archives for March 2015

ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: VIP Party Like a Rockstar

After we had happy hour at the hotel, it was time to board the shuttles and head to the VIP party. I was super excited about it, because I have never attending anything like it before. It was being held at the Devoe House, which is Marilyn Monroe’s old house! It took a good while to get there, but we made it to through Beverly Hills and then went up, up, up! We could see the house all lit up on the side of the hill before we made it up the drive. Of course ASICS had decked it out in the coolest running stuff!

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The pictures don’t do it justice, but check out the view!

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We headed inside and I was the dork taking pictures of everything. Since I only knew a handful of people there, it was a bit odd not having a bunch of people to talk with.

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Shoe chandelier above the bar? Amazing!

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I headed upstairs to go to the bathroom, and I thought an “oh my gosh I am at a party in Marilyn Monroe’s house” selfie was appropriate. Not sure why the tub was full of water? They unfortunately had most of the house blocked off and we just had access to the rooms across the back and the back patio. They also had the pool covered which was probably a wise decision!

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I made it back downstairs, grabbed a drink, and of course took more pictures.

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Food was also being passed around, but word on the street was if you didn’t hang out near the kitchen you wouldn’t get any. I was too excited to eat anyway so I didn’t care!

There was another bar outside, and a DJ up on the second floor balcony.

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Soon it was time to light up the night. For the special 30th anniversary of the race, there would be lights going up at each mile marker of the course, one by one. How cool is that?!?! We got to see the actual ceremony at the house as it happened which was very cool.

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This was taken during the lighting ceremony. You can see Andrew and Deena Kastor on the left, they got to help turn the lights on.

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It’s kind of hard to see, but can you see some of the lights shooting straight up into the sky? I’m sure it was easier to see looking up towards the hills as opposed to looking down into the city. If you check on ASICS and LA marathon on Instagram, they both posted some pretty spectacular shots! All I have to say is…seeing the lights from left to right, made 26.2 miles seem REALLY far!

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It was such a cool idea and a fun way to kick off the race weekend and I am so glad I got to see it from up in the Hollywood hills! I chatted with some folks for awhile then headed back inside. My body thought it was 11:30 even though it was 9:30, and I was told I could go back on a shuttle at 10:00 to the hotel. I was sure to grab my super generous gifts from ASICS, )a pair of the official ALAM running shoes, some socks, and a very soft blanket) before leaving.

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How cool that ASICS was stamped into this concrete on the counter? (That would be a watermelon margarita by the way!)

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I grabbed some donut bites covered in chocolate, powdered sugar and toffee bits (oh yes) before heading out to the shuttle.

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I hated to leave on the early shuttle but I was so. darn. tired. From flying and the time difference, and I knew I had a busy weekend that I needed rest for.

I am so grateful that I got to be a part of such a fun night that I will never forget. ASICS is so generous and this party was no exception. It was fun to see how some people get to party in LA, and it was definitely an experience to remember!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a cool party like this one?

ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: Arriving in LA

WOW what a whirlwind weekend! I was looking forward to it for so long, and now I feel like I blinked and it’s over! I can’t wait to share with you some of the amazing experience I had all courtesy of the amazing folks at Asics. They truly went above and beyond to make our stay special. I want to back track and start from the beginning, Friday morning!

I headed to the New Orleans airport early because it was foggy and pouring rain. I parked and made it in quicker than I thought so I had a long time to wait. A lot of folks have asked why I fly out of NOLA as opposed to Jackson…3 reasons: 1.) No direct flights from Jackson. 2.) No southwest in Jackson so flights are more money. 3.) When I fly from NOLA I get to spend time with my parents the night before I fly out. ANYWAY, I was ready to get going and we finally boarded the flight!

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I scored an exit row seat so I had more legroom which was nice. I was able to take a nap, but by time we landed in LA it was almost 2:00 and I was starving!

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I was met at baggage by my driver who was holding up a card with my name on it (so cool!) and he took my bag and we headed to the hotel.

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I was staying in Santa Monica, at the gorgeous Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows.

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I had to hurry and check in and get to the hospitality room so we could get to the expo. The sweet girl in charge of us was taking Nathan and I since we had earlier flights. My room was amazing and so was my view!

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Way in the distance in between the trees you can see the Santa Monica Pier. Also, the finish line of the race was just a bit down Ocean Avenue to the right of this picture, right in front of the hotel.

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I headed to the hospitality suite, and I was starving. I had only had a smoothie at the airport and was getting woozie. Thankfully, super sweet Noelle with ASICS had gone to Whole Foods and gotten us sandwiches. Food has never tasted so good! I scarfed down my sandwich and an adorable ASICS cookie almost too cute to eat (almost folks, I may have had a few over the course of the weekend), and we headed to the convention center.

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We made it to the expo! Time to shop and get my bib!

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We headed back to the hotel with just enough time to change before happy hour at the hotel and then the VIP party. When Nathan and I got back to our rooms (they were side by side) we both realized our AC was not working. Yikes! I was sweating getting ready for the party, and I called maintenance as I walked out the door, crossing my fingers it would be fixed by time I got back.

We got to hang out outside and have a drink or two with the Kastors, some of the ASICS crew, and the other #TeamASICSLAM folks before our bus came to get us for the party.

Forecast for that night was BRIGHT, but we were ready. Smile Stay tuned…..

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QOTD: Do you bring food to the airport with you?

Jeff Galloway: Tips for Injury

Hi friends! I fly out to LA today for the LA marathon! I can’t wait to make new friends, see old friends, and hang out with the ASICS crew. While I am flying across the country, be sure to check out these tips on injury and prevention from Jeff Galloway. I will be using his run walk run method for Sunday’s race!

Jeff Galloway injury tips:

Most injuries experienced by my runners are due to 1) pacing long runs too fast, 2) increasing the weekly mileage too quickly, 3)lengthening stride and 4) stretching.

The principle in staying injury free is to balance gentle stress with the right recovery periods-allowing for rebuilding. (for more information, see my book RUNNING INJURIES)

Finding the right Run Walk Run strategy from the beginning of a run has been the best way I’ve found to stay injury free, come back from an injury and in some cases, continue to run while the injury heals. (See my book RUN WALK RUN)

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  • Are you concerned that running will damage joints, and other body parts ? I was told this regularly, from my first week of running over 50 years ago but the research shows the opposite result: Runners have healthier joints, etc. than non runners as the decades go by.
  • While researching for my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100, I reviewed dozens of studies and could not find one showing that running harms legs, feet, joints, etc.
  • It may surprise you to know that many studies show that runners have fewer orthopedic issues compared with non-runners as the years go by.
  • A respected and large population study out of Stanford following thousands of runners over 50 who had run for more than 20 years concluded that runners had less than 25% of orthopedic issues compared with non runners of the same age.

As long as you stay below the threshold of irritation you can often continue to run while the injury heals.

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The last line about continuing to run while an injury heals is what helped me finish training for the LA marathon, as I was recovering from tendonitis. I’m still doing physical therapy exercises though!

 

QOTD: Do you find these tips helpful? Have you run through an injury?

Disney Day 2, February 2015

We left off after Thursday, our first day in Disney. Friday we were headed to the Magic Kingdom for the day since we had an early dinner at Chef Mickey’s that night with Jen and her family. It was a nice sunny day but it was freezing cold!

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We arrived mid morning, and headed to Big Thunder Mountain which was out first fastpass. Aaanndd…it was down for mechanical issues. Great. So we rode haunted mansion instead. Then we rode the peoplemover before heading back over to big thunder. The ride was back up but the fastpass line was SO LONG, so we said forget it and decided to go back later.

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We had a fastpass for the new seven dwarves mine train ride, and we went over to do it..and it was down too! We were not having good luck. We ate lunch at Cosmic Ray’s, and finally got to ride both rides that had been down earlier. I loved mine train, but it was way too short.

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Something else we got to do that I had been looking forward to was finally seeing the Festival of Fantasy parade.

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It was so cute, I really enjoyed it! We got to ride the mine train again, and Bobby got a funnel cake for a snack.

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It was close to dinner time, so we took the monorail over to the Contemporary to meet up with Jen and her family. I finally got to meet her little Hadley!

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We had a fun time catching up and eating. They had to head out before we were done since it was bedtime for the kids, so we stayed and got some character pictures.

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As we were leaving, a got a text form Karen asking if we were still there. They had reservations and were just walking up. So we met up with them and kept them company while they waited for their table. We eventually left, but we would be spending all day with them Saturday so we had more time to catch up!

We headed back to the resort and crashed, as another fun day in Disney World was complete.

QOTD: Do you go to character meals at Disney? Have you ever gotten stuck on a broken down ride?

Disney Day 1, February 2015

Now that I have recapped my runDisney experience, I wanted to share a bit of what we did on the other days we were in Disney World last month. We had a really great time and got to see a lot of friends!

We landed on Thursday around lunch, hopped on Disney’s Magical Express, and were off to our resort.

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We stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort in the alligator bayou section.

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We were a pretty good hike from the main building and food court, which I only minded on the really cold days!

As soon as we got to our room, we hopped on the courtesy shuttle I had arranged, and were brought to the car care center to rent our car. We love that Disney provides free transportation from it’s resorts, but sometimes the buses take FOREVER so we have found it saves time and our sanity to rent a car when staying all week. After getting the car, we hopped over to the race expo, then made a quick stop back at our room to change for dinner at California Grill. We parked at the Contemporary then walked over to the Magic Kingdom to get my annual pass and do a couple of other quick housekeeping things.

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We were just in time to see the flag get lowered, something I have never seen before.

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We walked back over to the contemporary and were seated for dinner. I love this time of day up there, the view was just breathtaking.

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And my drink wasn’t too bad either! After a long day of travel, I finally felt like I could relax.

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I had a delicious filet, and Bobby had sushi of course.

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We hopped back in our car after dinner and headed back to the resort. (If we had taken Disney transportation we would have needed to walk back to the Magic Kingdom, THEN catch a bus. I needed to be rolled out of the restaurant so I am glad I had the car!) When we got back we went to the food court to sit and chat and I got a mickey bar for my dessert. Well worth the wait I tell ya!

We were old people and went to bed early. We had a big day planned for EPCOT the next day!

QOTD: Have you ever eaten at California Grill? Do you ever rent a car in Disney World?

ASICS LA Marathon Prep

It’s here! It’s here! The week I leave for California to run the LA marathon with #TeamAsics. This race really snuck up on me! When I agreed to run back in December, I thought I had “plenty of time” to get ready. Famous last words, right? I have dealt with a couple of set backs, but I am confident I can complete the distance.

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Here is a little bit of info about the race and what I will be doing:

-This year is a very special year for the LA marathon, it is the 30th anniversary! There are special events going on over the weekend, and one will be on Friday night when the mile markers for the race are lit up during a one of a kind event.

-From March 12-15, people can visit the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica to see the ASICS “big race cup” art installation. Anyone who takes a “running photo” in front of the big race cup  and shares the image on Twitter or Instagram using #RunItForwardLA, ASICS will make a $20 donation up to $26,200 to Back on my feet, a non profit creating independence and self-sufficiency within homeless populations by encouraging running to build self esteem and strength.

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-There is a special LA marathon running shoe created just for the event, as well as running apparel that will be available for purchase at the expo.

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-I will be arriving on Friday and heading to the expo Friday afternoon around 2:00ish, so if you see me there be sure to say hello! The NutriBullet Health and Fitness Expo will be open Friday from 10-7, and Saturday from 9-5 at the LA convention center.

-Saturday I will be participating in a fun event, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see what I’m up to!

Sunday at 7:00 am is when the race starts! I will not only be live tweeting/Instagramming, but I will be taking video for ASICS! I can’t wait to share it with you!

-There are several elite runners running this race including Ryan and Sara Hall, Lauren Jimison, Daniel Tapia, and Becky Wade…and, this race is OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT! Amazing!

-There is an official app for this race (free) and on it you can find runner tracking and other fun information.

I cannot wait for this amazing experience, and hope you will follow along with me starting on Friday! I’m packing up my bags, my snacks (must bring Quest Nutrition Protein Bars

and here we go!

QOTD: Have you ever run a destination race? What is your favorite thing about LA?

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runDisney Princess Half Marathon 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I ran in my 4th runDisney Princess half marathon. Jen and I had been planning our outfits for years, and finally got the chance to be Anastasia and Drizella, Cinderella’s Stepsisters.

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My alarm went off at 2:15, and I was planning to leave my room at 3:15. Hey, fake eyelashes take some time to put on!

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We got our skirts from Rock City Skirts, our tops from Running Skirts, and we made the rest!

When we got to the start of the race, I got to meet up with some new and old friends, like Megan!

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and Karen

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The sisters ready to go!

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Aren’t we pretty? haha

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We made the long walk to our corral, and had about five minutes to spare before the first wave went off. We got closer and closer, and then it was time to go!

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Since I was dealing with tendonitis, and Jen had just had a stomach virus, we decided to take it nice and slow, take a bunch of pictures, and just have fun…and fun did we have!

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We talked and talked, the miles flew by, and soon we were getting close to the  Magic Kingdom!

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We stopped at the TTC to use the “real” bathrooms, and saw Jen’s husband there! Surprise! We stopped to talk to him for a minute and soon were on our way.

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It was starting to get light out, and although it was humid, the temperature was better than it has been in years past.

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We then made it to my favorite part of the race, turning down Main street where we had our first glimpse of the beautiful castle!

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We were actually kind of surprised about the lack of characters. We saw the tweedles, buzz lightyear, and then some Frozen characters on top of the castle before running through it. There were no princesses by new fantasyland sadly.

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On the other side of the castle, we stopped for another picture before heading into Frontierland. We passed where Princess Tiana usually is (there were no characters there this year).IMG_3110 (2)

Jen needed another bathroom break, so I waited for her outside and stretched and took a photo of the runners headed towards us

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We passed the line for Woody, and were a bit confused, this was the Princess half marathon and we had yet to be able to take a photo with a princess! On our way out of the Magic Kingdom, we finally got our wish! We had to stand in a long long line to get it (everyone else probably had the same idea about wanting a photo with a princess during the PRINCESS half, go figure), so we had plenty of time to plan our photo. We decided to run up to and fawn all over the prince and ignore Snow White. They both loved it and told us we were very funny and did a good job. Snow decided to “give us a moment” and step out of the picture. They were great!

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About this time we ran into some blog friends Carrie and Kristen, and ran with them for a bit before parting ways at a stop we knew we had to make near the Wedding Pavilion.

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We “fought” over the glass slipper and I think it made for a super cute picture! After passing the Grand Floridian, the rest of the course was just running. We realized we were running straight into the sun and neither of us brought sunglasses, whoops! We made it to the CLIF stop, and did some run walking in those later miles as needed.

We made the overpass loop and headed toward EPCOT and there were some really cute signs lining the road.

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Finally we saw big beautiful Spaceship earth in the morning light, we were almost there!

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But not before a couple of more stops! I don’t really consider Sofia a “princess stop” but I guess she technically counts? Hey, we were going to take what we could get.

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We also saw this lovely lady and asked her to help us get to the ball.

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We looped around to the other side of Spaceship earth, and could hear the gospel choir singing.

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A couple more turns, and we were in the home stretch of the finish line! Done! We finished in 3:02:04. By far one of my slowest races, but we definitely had a blast doing it! I have always told Jen how much fun it is to stop and take pictures during a runDisney race and just goof off, and I am so glad we were finally able to do it together.

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We ran into Karen at the finish as well!

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My new beautiful bling. Loved the silver!

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Final thoughts:

This had always been one of my favorite races, but honestly, the characters are getting a bit monotonous. The same ones were out in the exact same spots as they have been for the past three years. I love the course itself, but really wish runDisney would mix up the characters and the placements. Running the PRINCESS half marathon I thought we would see at least 3-4 princesses on course, but only seeing one was disappointing. I know Belle was in the family reunion area, but literally her line was about 100 people deep when I went by headed to the buses.

As usual, runDisney gets an A+ in organization, expo, signage, volunteers, fuel stops, med tents, transportation, and the like. Really my only complaint is the character issue.

This is a great race especially for a first timer looking for a no pressure but fun “girls weekend” type event, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for another great race weekend runDisney!

QOTD: Have you ever run in costume?

Heart Health Recap and Fitbit Giveaway

Two giveaways in one week? Heck yes! It is Friday after all, so why not? You may remember I posted at the beginning of February about heart health and some goals I had for the month. I had some great tools form Staples to help me try to reach my goals, and while I didn’t reach them all, it was fun trying!

1.) Take time for myself every day

2.) Delegate- Eh. Still need to work on this one but getting better.

3.) Let things go- I had a couple of things happen this month to upset me, but after the initial anger I chose to let them go and I feel so much better not dwelling on the stress or haters.

4.) plan ahead- We went on vacation and I had to do a LOT of planning ahead to make sure things were covered at work, at home, etc. and everything went smoothly!

5.) run 100 miles- I only ran about 55 miles last month. I realized picking the shortest month of the year for such a  lofty goal probably wasn’t the best idea! Also, I was dealing with a hip injury so I was actually running less. Oh well! I will have to try this one again.

Something that really helped me stay active every day this month was my Fitbit One. I aim for 10k steps a day, and like to check in during the day to see where I am and if I need to do some more moving around. It’s been a great accountability tool!

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Staples has agreed to graciously give away a Fitbit One to one of my lovely readers! Just follow the instructions on Rafflecoptor to enter. Must have an address in the US. Good luck!

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Emma Kate: Month 5

Another month has come and gone! Emma Kate turned five months old while Bobby and I were in Disney last week for the Princess half marathon. I don’t feel she was as different between months three and four, but has made HUGE leaps between four and five.

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This month, Emma Kate loves:

– Reaching for things. It started with her bottle, now it’s my face, her toys, the dog, anything. She finally learned she can extend her arms out and is grabbing at things out of reach now.

– Playing with her feet. She figured out she can reach them and even put her toes in her mouth, so now whenever she is put on her back her legs immediately go up in the air towards her hands.

– Singing to herself. When she wakes up from a nap or in the mornings, now she will lay in her crib and just talk and sing until I go and get her. It’s so funny to hear her carrying on conversations with herself!

– Bella. She is obsessed with watching her every move. Bella could care less about the baby, but EK follows her with her head/eyes around the house all day long. It’s funny because she has been there the whole time but is just now realizing it!

– Jumping jumping jumping. Last month she loved her jumper but would just kind of wiggle around and step in it, but this month she figured out how to bounce really high and she does it nonstop, typically only on one foot.

– Still obsessed with chewing on her hands, her toys, anything she can put in her mouth.

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She does NOT like:

-Taking her zantac. Before, I could squirt it in her mouth and she would make a face and swallow it. Now she has learned how to spit it back out at me! it’s made for some interesting days.

– When she is trying to sit up and you help her

-When she tries to pick up something and can’t/gets frustrated.

-Water from the bath getting in her face

As you can see, the list of her dislikes is different and shorter than last month. I feel like this month she has calmed down a lot and is more chill. She doesn’t get as upset or have as much as a temper as last month, so I hope this lasts! She is a genuinely happy girl who smiles and laughs a lot. She still gets cranky after her last nap/before bedtime, but other than that she is very cheerful. It is really funny when she does get mad though, she has the most fake cry when she gets frustrated, I call her my big faker,

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Emma did great while Bobby and I were out of town, and she got to hang out with both her grandmothers for a few days. I got lots of photos and videos and status reports. The day we traveled home, she caught a bit of a stomach but which was then passed on to Bobby and my mother in law. My dad has it now but we think he got it from somewhere else. I spent the weekend bleaching the house and have been washing my hands non stop hoping I don’t get it! The baby was only sick for about 10 hours and bounced back very quickly, unlike her father ha.

We had a week or so of not as great sleep (4 month sleep regression we are guessing) where she woke up once a night every night for a week. Now she is back to only waking up once a night every 7-8 days around 3-4 am to eat. She typically sleeps between 11-12 hours and takes between 2 and 3 naps a day depending on when she wakes up. her naps are typically still very short, 30-45 minutes with the occasional one hour. She knows her routine now for naps and sleep, and barely even cries when we put her down and typically goes right to sleep. I am always watching for tiredness/cues from her, so i try not to let her get overtired to where she would get fussy or have a hard time falling asleep.

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Sleep training is going great and she takes all her naps in her crib. She is in her swing at night, but as soon as we go home this weekend from my parents we are moving her to her crib at night (we had briefly put her in the crib at night but then she started waking up, and with us going out of town we decided to delay night time crib sleep until after our trip). I have stopped using the sleep sack during naps and only use it at night now or when it’s really cold outside.

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The baby drinks around 31/32 ounces of formula a day (more on days she wakes up in the night to eat once) and is still in size 2 diapers. She is growing so much taller though and is in 6-9 month sleepers and pants, but can still fit into some 6 month onesies.

She can ALMOST sit up unassisted (she can for a few seconds but then falls over so I don’t count it) and can occasionally roll but not consistently. She can’t figure out what to do with her arm when she tries to roll over but she can kick her hips and legs over.

She is constantly scanning the room looking for me when she is on the floor or in her bouncer or jumparoo, and she is so much more aware of what is going on around her. She is such a good baby and I love getting up in the morning to see her because she is always so smiley and happy! I love my crazy girl!

QOTD: Did/do your babies get frustrated when they can’t do something they are trying to master?

Don’t forget to enter my freshly picked baby moccasins giveaway!

 

Freshly Picked Review and Giveaway

Hi friends! I have a GREAT giveaway today for those with wee ones. So I know Emma Kate can’t walk yet, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have adorable little moccasins! Freshly Picked is having me not only review these on my site, but I will be giving a pair away as well!

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Emma Kate was way more excited about the cute packaging than the shoes themselves.

If I have to pick my favorite thing about Freshly Picked, It would be that they have SO many colors to choose from. I had a really hard time deciding! The baby wears a ton of pink so I thought these adorable neon pink ones fit her perfectly.

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I also ordered them a size bigger than needed so she could wear them for longer.

If I hadn’t gone with the pink, my next choice would have been Heirloom in cream and gold or the birch ones.

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The moccasins are made of genuine leather, and have elastic at the opening making them easy to get on squirmy babies, and stay on them! I also love that these items are made right here in the USA. You may have heard of them before from the ABC hit show Shark Tank, as well.

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I love how cute they are and can’t wait to add to EK’s collection soon!

Who wants to win a free pair of baby moccasins? Simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below.

*Please note if you have won a giveaway or a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in the past 60 days you are not eligible to win. US addresses only.

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