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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Week 21(May 20th-27): Muddy Man & Racing Rugrats

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This spring has been all about races around the Smith household. Jeff runs just about everyday and signed up to do a few 5K’s. Caroline, Liam and I went to one and cheered him on. They had fun rooting for Dad, but in all honesty, we learned other than the start and finish, watching a race can be is rather boring. That is until Jeff signed up to do the Warrior Dash. If you haven’t heard about it, check out this http://www.warriordash.com

I knew about the dash from my friend, Becky, who competed last year. Jeff and I debated about taking the kids to see it. We weighed the pros and cons. Possible long lines of traffic just to park, trekking across the field just to get to the main gate, waiting in the hot sun just for the dash to start. And the list of cons goes on. But the one pro that tipped the scale totally in favor for bringing the kids….a chance to see Daddy jumping over fire and crawling through mud!

The excitement from Jeff’s Warrior Dash is still going strong nearly a week and half later. Liam and Caroline will randomly just drop to an army crawl and announce they are in the mud! Just yesterday Liam saw Caroline jump over some hay at Miss Gina’s and made the connection that there was hay on the ground at the Warrior Dash. I guess that race made an impression on them.

Sunday was Jeff’s muddy race and the following Saturday was a 5K that Jeff and our friends Becky and Melissa had signed up to run. The draw to this race was that there was a kid’s race first. Caroline and Liam were SO excited that they were going to race with their friends. Liam talked all week about running and Caroline lead evening practices on the front lawn. Caroline boasted that she was going to win and when I asked her what she would do if she was not the winner, she gave me a sigh and said, “Mom, don’t you know I am the fastest runner in the WHOLE world?”

Their kid race was a quarter mile. There were about 85 runners and five different start times. Everyone that crossed the finish line—or near it—was given a medal. On that Saturday morning, you couldn’t have found two prouder kids. Or parents, for that fact.

Jeff covered in mud after completing the Warrior Dash on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Even after he was sprayed down with a hose from a huge tank of water, Jeff was still muddy and the kids didn’t want to go near him!

Caroline participates in her first quarter mile race. She was very motivated and ran the whole thing pretty much by herself!

Liam talked about racing all week but in the end, he needed a little help from Dad. I am not sure if he actually ran one step. At one point, he asked to be carried!

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Week 20 (May 14-20): Good Morning, Sunshine

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Caroline and Liam are so alike in so many ways. The mannerisms and phrases that they share do not go unnoticed. But one big difference about them is how they handle going to bed and waking up.

Caroline is a fantastic sleeper. She has been for a long time. I won’t pretend that we never have trouble getting her to bed, because in truth it was less than a year ago that Jeff and I were serenaded by Miss Caroline with an hour plus of moaning at night. Moaning has faded away to singing and playing and talking. And lots of requests for tucking the blankets in tight. (She prefers the way Jeff does it.) Some nights she is up until 9:30, waiting and listening for us to walk by her room on our way to bed. (And yes, I am not afraid to admit that I go to bed at 9:30!) But once she is asleep—she is out!

There are things that Liam does at nearly two and a half years old that Caroline did….multiple trips to the potty, needing a drink, wanting a story, requesting an extra hug. But there are things he does that she never did. Like leaving the room. Multiple times. He’s stubborn but most nights he just doesn’t have the stamina to fight sleep like his big sister does. And lately, he has been better about not leaving the room. We are now working on not opening the door at night. It’s not going so well, but I haven’t given up hope. I’d like to say once he’s asleep, he’s asleep, but I still hear him over the monitor a few times a week. He calls for mom or says no or just kind of cries. If I drag myself out of bed to check on him, I usually find he is actually still sleeping, just upside down on the bed. Feet on the pillows, no blanket. Sometimes he’s wide awake and asking for pancakes. I won’t even talk about that except to say yes, I have given my child pancakes at 4 am in the morning. Please don’t tell my mother.

So whereas Caroline is a night owl, Liam is the early bird. Asleep by 8:15 means awake and up at 5:30. Always with a “I’m not tired” even if he still is. Or sometimes we get an excited “The sun is up!” Either way, once he is awake, Liam wants one of two things: food or play. He takes his dad like that.

Caroline would lounge in bed all morning if she wasn’t so afraid of missing something important. Like t.v. or trains. She likes to wake up slow, just like her mom. Back when I had to use an alarm clock, I would hit snooze. A lot. Caroline’s favorite thing to do first thing in the morning is to climb into our bed and snuggle (but only if it is still occupied). She is happy to lay beside you, suck her thumb, and twirl your hair. No big deal if you are mom, but ask Jeff what it feels like when she tries twirling his! Once she is awake and moving, the first thing she wants is books and more hugs. Don’t even think about mentioning food until she has been out of bed for a good half hour.

It was a rare occassion last week when Caroline was up at six and Liam slept until 7:30 (thanks to Aunt Mary for the idea of putting up light blocking curtains!). She took advantage of the alone time with mom. We read books, drew pictures and played with the blocks. She wanted to build a huge tower using each and every block. So we did. You can tell by the pictures that she was having a grand time because she usually isn’t so playful for the camera!

The next morning things were back to normal. Liam was up at 5:30 and wanted to play storytime while Caroline enjoyed the comforts of her cozy bed. Some mornings, while I am waiting for my coffee to brew, I wonder what they will be like when they are 15 and 16. Will Jeff and I be sitting at the kitchen table, griping about whose turn it is to drag them out of bed? Will Caroline be like me, reading until past midnight on a school night, too tired to get up in the morning? Will Liam still bound out of bed, ready to start the day? Whatever their sleep patterns are like then, I’m looking forward running into their rooms, throwing open the curtains and singing “Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!”

Caroline’s early morning tower

It’s hard to see her smile, but those eyes tell you she’s having a blast!

“You can’t see me”

Here I am!

Liam is a bundle of movement as he pretends he is Miss Tess…or Miss Amanda

Up date to Week 18

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Good eye, Jeff, for spotting this in the Washington Post last week.

Jeff and Caroline are famous! Well, their noggins are. Jeff spotted this picture in the Southern Maryland Local Living insert of the Washington Post. We’d recognize those noodles anywhere!

Week 19 (May 6th-May 13th): Life’s a Beach

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Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.
-Michelle Held

Between May 6th and the 13th, the Smith family went to beach a total of three times. The first trip involved just hopping in the car and going. After seeing how much fun the kids had on that little trip, we followed up the next weekend with bathing suits, buckets and beach blankets. And now, before it is even summer, they are hooked and already asking when we are going back! Liam is all about the digging and making castles. Caroline wants to swim, swim, swim –even in the coldest of water. I guess we will need to look into getting a beach pass for those world famous Hampton beaches!

I help Liam test the water. We both agree it was a bit chilly!

May 6, 2012: The Smith’s stick their toes in the water.

Caroline was a little (ok–lot!) disappointed that this was as high as we would let her go on the rocks.

Notice how Liam has to keep a hand on Jeff….another good reminder that my big boy is still little.

As the kids say…”Look, there’s our bridge!”

Week 18 (April 29th-May 5th): Everyone Loves a Parade!

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Saturday was “Pride in the Park” for the town of Lexington Park, right near where we live. The town is somewhat run down, but over the past year, official have been working on trying to spruce it up. All I have noticed is some roadwork, but I think there are other plans in place. “Pride in the Park” was a way to get the community excited about the revitalization. It started off with a parade and since we knew parades would include all 3 “F”‘s for great family outing, we went to it.

Daddy and Liam clown around while waiting for the parade to start.

Caroline enthusiastically waves her Lexington Park flags.

Still waiting for the parade.

The parade begins!

Caroline makes a new friend.

Liam was impressed by the drums. They stopped right in front of us and did a song.

Last but not least: Our favorites!

In case you haven’t figured out what the 3 “F”‘s for a great family outing are:
Fun, Free & Firetrucks!