Friday, December 31, 2010

The Schwartz's vs Florida Christmas

Nothing screams Christmas more to me then being at Leighton Ave in FL with my family.  Growing up we spent every other Christmas there with my dad's family packed into my grandparents wonderful home which hasn't changed since they moved in there in the 70s (down to the blue carpet in the aptly named "blue room").  I love being there, it completely exemplifies everything which makes me a Smith.  As a kid there could be up to 19 of us when you count Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Sarah, mom and dad and us 3 kids, Uncle Ken and Aunt Ludonna and their 3 kids and Uncle Steve and Aunt Peggy and their 4 kids.  We'd run around until someone inevitably hit the glass door which an adult closed and we didn't notice as we chased about.  All 3 tvs would be on blaring louder and louder as one viewer competed to hear their program over the other viewer.  Emily would play the piano I'm sure trying to drowned out the rest of the noise.  Aunt Sarah would be making an army of Christmas cookies, raspberry tarts, coconut crips, magic cookie bars, and pies, pies, and more pies which would be devoured before everyone left.  Then as the evening would wind down, the kids would watch a movie while adults played the Smith family card game of Oh Heck!  "Arguments" carried through the house of who stole who's trick and stuck someone with points.  Grandma's furious because someone led trump on the first round.  Mom's giggling hysterically as she racks up the points.  And I looked on enviously waiting until I was old enough to play (Had to be 18 to play cards with the adults.  I think they made that rule so they could have some time to themselves.)  By about 2 in the morning after the cards were put away it looked like a war zone with bodies strewn about the house finding whatever soft place to lay down on.  Christmas was chaotic and loud and I loved it!

Since Peter graduated from college I've only been back to FL Christmas one other time, 5 years ago when Chris and I had been married for a year and it was a Smith rotation.  So it was extremely important to me that we take Sarah to FL for Christmas this year.  At first there was concern that Pete and his family wouldn't be able to go, but thankfully it all worked out and our entire family was together for the first time for Christmas in years.

Grandma makes all the stockings.  Everyone's is just slightly different from the others.  And you can see Baby Sarah got her stocking this year, it's down there on the right side next to mine and Chris's as opposed to Aunt Sarah's that's on the left.  

So we commenced with our traditional Christmas activities.  
Mom, Melissa, Elizabeth, and Aunt Sarah worked on the army of christmas cookies.

We did a puzzle together.

We played Oh Heck!

And Grandpa fell in love with my Nook.  He read the entire new John Grisham novel in 2 days.  Since he was enjoying the book so much there was less dueling tvs.  

Christmas morning cuddling with daddy waiting to open presents.

Grandma made Sarah some adorable outfits.

And then she crawled off to check out the gifts other were getting.
Logan loved his gifts.  

Aunt Sarah helped Sarah open presents.

 A book!  I love books!

The reason why I'm opposed to Christmas morning pictures.  From now on I'm showering and putting on real clothes. 

This year, since it was costing everyone a fortune to travel to FL, we decided not to exchange gifts and instead played As Seen on TV themed Dirty Santa.  It was fantastic!  Uncle Steve and Aunt Peggy came over with Stetson and McKenzie and so we had 17 gifts to steal and swap around.  It was a hoot!

It was a great trip and we had a great time!  Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Happiest Place on Earth

Here's the beginning of the next generation of Disney kids.  I'm a disney kid and come from a disney family.  We are incredibly fortunate that our Aunt Sarah, my father's only sister, works for Disney.  And growing up she would save her guest passes and use them when family came to town to take us to the park.  Growing up I must have been to the park at least 10 times, but I think this time may have been my favorite.  It was completely different going to the park with our child.  We didn't run wildly from ride to ride and hop from park to park.  Instead we became quite familiar with all the stroller parking areas of the park and spent our time riding those rides that we haven't been on since we were kids and actually waiting in line to meet characters.  Funny thing, I asked my mom "did you enjoy spending the day with your first granddaughter in the park" to which she replied "not really".  And she pointed out that having a baby at Disney is a lot of work and the right age is about 5 or 6 for a trip.  I agree and we probably won't return until then.  But for now, let's enjoy the memories of this trip.

We started the morning with a walk down Main Street USA holding onto Natalie and Aunt Sarah's fingers as we went to the celebrations cart to get our Birthday and First Visit Buttons.  Then we headed on over to Adventure Land to knock out some of our favorite attractions: the Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room.
For those of you who don't know, the Jungle Cruise is a boat ride with a guide that tells horribly cheesy jokes.  Our family philosophy is to make the cruise better for everyone by egging the guide on to tell worse jokes and adding our own to the mix.  We like to play along with all the cast members to add to the Disney magic.  But here's Sarah enjoying the ride with Grandma.  Sarah also really liked the Tiki room, she lit up and waved her arms as the anamatronic birds came out of the ceiling and started singing.

After that we rode on Aladdin's magic carpet ride.  It's the same premise as Dumbo.  Sarah loved it!  She kept reaching forward to push the button to control the tilt of the carpet.
Mom and Aunt Sarah sat in the carpet with us and snapped this picture.  You can see Dad in the carpet behind us with Emily's friend Eli and in the next carpet is Auntie Em and Uncle David.  After that it was time for the first of many diaper changes.  Chris took Sarah and I noticed a small line forming outside of the ride.  I asked what was about to happen and the cast member said Jasmine and Aladdin were about to arrive.  So I thought what the heck.  We waited about 5 minutes to meet them.  And this was the moment of truth.  
I had hoped that Sarah would be walking by Disney so she could walk up to the characters and I wouldn't have to hold her in the all the pictures.  She wasn't so I was worried about how the characters would be able to interact with her.  I put her on the ground, and walked her towards them with her holding on to my fingers and they were just wonderful!  Jasmine immediately put her hand out to help Sarah walk to her. My child immediately started touching Jasmine inappropriately because she's attracted to bling.  I apologized profusely but Jasmine just smiled and laughed and said it was fine.  So here are Jasmine and Aladdin looking nicely at the camera for the picture, and my lovely daughter getting to second base.  Awesome.

We of course hit Pirates of the Caribbean next telling as many bad pirate jokes as possible.  (I think it was only about a 5 or 10 minute wait for that so not bad!)  And then ran over to the Haunted Mansion to pick up our ghostly hitch hiker.  Sarah was fine on both of those rides which surprised me because I was worried about how dark they were.  She's such a trooper.  After that we went to ride Big Thunder Mountain and did the parent ride share.  So while mom, dad, and Aunt Sarah waited and rode the roller coaster Chris and I walked around and Sarah took a nap in her stroller which is when we realized that a napping baby at the park sounds like a great idea but it actually stops us from getting to ride the rides.  There were quite a few rides with under a 5 minute wait, including It's a Small World, but we didn't want to park the stroller and risk waking Sarah up as we took her out of it to ride anything.  So we shopped for a bit before swapping out with the parents for our turn on Big Thunder Mountain.  Then we rode Peter Pan's Flight and saw Gena Davis, from A League of Their Own while we waited.  But after that was the highlight of the day for me.  We bit the bullet and waited in the 40 minute line to meet the Princesses.

So, since the princesses (and apparently fairies but we didn't wait to meet them) are so popular they can always be found in Toon Town.  You wait in a line and they let you into a room with the ladies in groups to meet and greet.  We happened to be the last people in our meet and greet group and it was amazing.  First, the ladies that play the princesses are all just so incredibly nice!  They seemed genuinely happy to meet our daughter and excited to hold her and help her walk.  They called her by name (because it was on her dress and matching hat of course) and wished her a happy birthday.  We met Sleeping Beauty first and she held her arms out to help Sarah walk over to her, sat down on the floor and brought her right into her lap.  Then Sleeping Beauty held Sarah's fingers and helped her walk over to Cinderella.  Who wouldn't you know doesn't have much bling!  But Sarah still loved on her by petting her silky gloves.It was just wonderful how they talked to her and she looked up at them and listened and smiled.  Then Cinderella helped Sarah walk to Belle who was already sitting on the ground with her arms out calling to Sarah and waiting to get to hold her.
I think Sarah may have loved Belle the most.  She petted her gloves and picked at the sparkles on her dress.  We're all snapping pictures like mad trying to get Sarah to actually stop looking at Belle for one moment to look at the camera.  Then I think it was Cinderella who asked if she and Sleeping Beauty could join Belle for some group shots with Sarah!  How cool is that!  None of the other kids in this meet and greet session got a chance for group shots.  
I was just really, really impressed with how sweet and wonderful all the characters were with Sarah.  I can only imagine how much she'll really love it when she's old enough to remember it!

Oh, they even invited Aunt Sarah and I to join them in some of the pictures.

So we walked around Toon Town for a while and visited Minnie's house and then Mickey's house before we waited in line the meet the Mouse.
(In front of Minnie Mouse's house with Natalie, Chris, and Aunt Sarah.)

Mickey and Minnie were the last characters we were willing to stand in line to meet especially because I think my dad was going to hurt someone if we wasted any more time on this endeavor.  What can I say, he's a roller coaster guy so we hit up the Barnstormer after that.  Sarah was, as expected, terrified of them.  You can see it was all hands on deck to keep her in place to snap a quick shot.  But I rescued her after this and held her as we took the other pictures.  She even lovingly held her Minnie doll in some of them.  And by the end she was willing to give both of them a kiss on the nose before parting.  What can I say, she'll like them more when she's 5.

If you know me, you know Sarah has a strict routine.  And by about 6:30 she had about had enough.  We had time for one more ride so we hit Dumbo.  She rode with Aunt Sarah but those pictures are on her camera, so here's the one that we staged with her Daddy.  Then she blissfully passed out in her stroller allowing the adults to enjoy some more coasters.  She woke up during the fireworks and wide eyed the 11:00pm Electric Parade as we ambled out of the park.  

Am I crazy for taking a 1 year old to Disney?  Probably.  But the opportunity was there and I wouldn't turn it down.  Will I plan to do that for any other kids, no.  But once again, it's all about the opportunities and seeing how I LOVE disney, I'll never turn down an chance to be in the happiest place on earth, especially now that I have children to share it with.  Thanks Aunt Sarah for taking us, and mom and dad for helping make the day memorable.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the 1 Year Old

Dear Sarah,

You are now 1 year old! I can't believe this year has gone by so fast. You are one very special and lucky kid because today, we are spending your first birthday at Disney World in the Magic Kingdom. Your Aunt Sarah is taking you, your mom and dad, your Grandma and Grandpa Smith, and your Auntie Em and Uncle David to the parks. You'll spend the day in the happiest place on earth riding Dumbo and It's a Small World. We are very excited about this!

So, my sweet baby girl, here's how you've grown:

* You are very independent now.
* You know what you want and expresses yourself, mostly by screaming.
* You give high 5s. It's adorable.
* You wave hi and bye, but only when you want to, not on command. However, you always wave at yourself in every reflective surface.
* You are bottle free and on whole milk. You get a sippy cup in the morning and cuddle on the couch with mom.
* Your favorite books right now are your night time books Good Night Moon and The Going to Bed Book.
* You really hate your car seat but probably because it's too small for you and the straps are tight. So we bought your big girl car seat a few days ago and you'll be front facing in it when we get home.
* You still aren't free standing or walking, but we really think it'll be soon. (Or perhaps we are hoping it'll be soon.)
* However, just 2 days ago and really you had a blast doing it yesterday you have started walking while holding on to someone hands. You'll even walk between mommy and daddy holding one hand of each of them. Adorable!
* You love the bling. If someone at church is wearing a bracelet you leap out of my arms to get to them so you can play with it.
* You still LOVE Little Einsteins. And now it is so cute because you flap your arms when they say pat your legs to help Rocket take off and then your raise your hands for blast off. So cute! They helped you get through your first flight.
* You have fallen in love with and selected your first Minnie Mouse doll while at the Boardwalk last night. It was an early birthday present. You were torn for a while between the baby Minnie and the small plush Minnie in the red dress. I'll add pictures later of which one you chose.
* You no longer cooperate with the camera. I'm very sad about this. I think it has negatively impacted my blogging.
* You like to have your hair blown dry.
* You have your own unique language, your GG wants to hear it, but you stop talking when I try to video record you.

I have absolutely loved staying home with you this year. I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me in this decision. I know in today's world being a stay at home mom isn't a popular choice, but there's a quote that I hold very dear, "The most important of the Lord's work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own home." It's true that some days are better than others and believe me, recently as you exert your personality more it's been difficult. Sometimes I miss my job, but then I look at you and realize right now you're the most important student I have. I know your little slide show is a bit long but the second song on there I love and it makes me think of you. My sweet Sarah, I will always love you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the 100th Post

Oh my goodness!  This post has been a week in the making.  I've actually passed up other posts because I wanted to make this one special.  (And now I'm a little bummed because I can't post them because someone else has already posted something similar and I don't want my blog to seem like it's just a copy of someone elses.  What can I say, I try to be unique.)

I know that some peoples blog have many many more posts, but I really wanted to do this ever since Bekah mentioned on her 100th post how she would spare you of a list of 100 facts about her.  I filed that away going, if I ever make it to 100 then that's what I'm doing.  But coming up with 100 facts about me was difficult.  So that very wise Bekah suggested I break it up over all the people in the family and even have Chris write some about me and vice versa.

So without futher adieu, here is my 100 facts about the Schwartz family in honor of our 100th post!  Enjoy! (And COMMENT telling me your favorite fun fact you've learned, or a fun fact about yourself.  I know there's people out there that read this thing.  Come on, in honor of my 100th post let's shoot for 10% of that in comments!!!!!)

Fun Facts about Natalie by Natalie
1. Natalie can juggle.  She just learned how this year while playing in Sarah’s room.  (See previous post about the abundance of balls.)
2.   2. Natalie was the first reported lab accident at Cordova High School.  Her group accidently severed a nerve in her left index finger while dissecting a frog.
3.   3. Natalie loves to play typing games.
   4. Natalie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Millsaps College in 3 years, then when on to get a 4.0 in her masters program in 18 months.
5. Natalie is a pile-er.  She leaves little piles of junk everywhere. 
 6. Natalie’s favorite color is pink.
  7. Natalie is a Phi Mu.  
   8. Natalie is passive aggressive.  She is also a grudge holder (but only holds one at a time to keep this negative habit in check) and a dweller. She decided to add this to the list because something someone said about 2 months ago just popped in her head and it still bugs her!  But I ADAMENTLY want to stress I’m not a hater.  I actually like to think I’m a pretty nice person and I try to like everyone.
9.   9. Natalie’s favorite holiday is the 4th of July.  Cookouts and fireworks, plus it’s not freezing cold outside like Christmas time.
   10. Natalie 2nd toe is longer than her big toe.  It’s true that’s actually pretty common, what’s weird is that her next two toes are the same length and then her pinky toe is a whole knuckle shorter than the others.
   11.  Natalie thinks poop stories are hilarious.   For example, in college she used to wear her roommates flip-flops to the bathroom so that people wouldn’t look under the stall and think it was her.  As an RA she had her residents make a sign for the bathroom that on the green side “It’s all clear there’s fresh air in here” and on the red side said, “Please stop, the poop’s about to drop.”  So that everyone could poop in peace.
   12. Natalie still bites her nails.  It’s a horrible disgusting habit she wishes she could break.
   13. Natalie still counts on her fingers and really can’t do math in her head.  She has to write everything down.  SHOW YOUR WORK!
   14. Natalie’s favorite pass time is napping.
   15. Natalie eats like a broke college kid.  She seriously could eat cereal for every meal with some PB&J to break up the monotony if necessary.
   16. Natalie’s debit card still says Smith.  Her driver’s license says SmithSchwartz (that’s right, all one word).  Her name on her passport is Schwartz making it the only correct form of picture id.  Not that anyone ever actually checks or cares.  But she does get a giggle out of stores that are trained to hand you back your card and say “thank you Ms. ______(fill in the blank with the last name from the card) and people say Ms. Smith.  It was even funnier when I was with my MIL and her eyes got real big like she was annoyed that my debit card still said Smith. 
   17. Natalie likes to create new words using “Schwartz”.  Some of the favorites are “schwartztastic” (obviously), “schwartzariffic”, “schwartzaria” (when we have pizza for dinner), and “schwartzanate” (when a kid would drop algebra because it was too hard/they were too lazy/when they wouldn’t stop crying while taking my quizzes).
Fun Facts about Chris by Natalie
   18. Chris snores.  Not always, but often enough that I keep earplugs in my nightstand.
   19. Chris is an AWESOME cook.  Everything he makes turns out great and he enjoys doing it.  (I married well!)
   20.Chris and his guy friends get together about once a month and play really embarrassingly geeky games.  I have dubbed it “Nerdfest”. 
   21. Chris can keep a peanut m&m aloft with his breath.
   22.Chris use to work Loss Prevention at Best Buy and use the cameras to peak at Natalie while she worked in the back of the store.
   23.Chris loves to play outdoor soccer.
   24.Chris wishes it was still the 80s, though thankfully he no longer longs for his mullet.
   25.Chris is a super organizer.  He can rearrange and find a home for anything.  He use to come to college and help set up my dorm room and show me where everything belong and I would work hard to put them back in their spot.
   26.Chris likes to chase me around the house and try to touch me when he has cold hands to hear me scream.
   27.Chris has totaled 3 cars in his driving career.  (2 cougars and an escort)
   28.Chris doesn’t talk a whole bunch.  (Which I’m sure you are thinking…well, Natalie talks enough for the both of them.)
   29.Chris loves to play video games but doesn’t have the time because of work and school.
   30.Chris has been going to school for 6 years now and has about 4 more to go.
   31. Chris puts product in his hair.  (Sorry to bust you out, but I’m having a hard time coming up with things because I read your list first and now I just keep wanting to write what you wrote.)
   32.Chris has mad mental math skills.  He’s my human calculator.
   33.Chris used to not be able to stand in front of a group and talk but now he is awesome at it.  He teaches lessons in Elders Quorum, gives talks in Sacrament, and presents projects in classes.  I’m so proud of him.
Fun Facts about Natalie by Chris
   34.Natalie likes to make up songs about what she is currently doing.  She'll fit the words to a tune and it will all make sense!
   35.Natalie starts fictitious letter writing campaigns to companies that she feels deserve a "dressing down.  Each letter always ends in, " you suck.   Sincerely, Natalie Schwartz" 
   36.Natalie's voice will turn mousy when she's being teased or tickled and she wants it to stop.  All she says thought is, "I don't like it"
   37.Natalie has to finish out a show series if she has invested in it by previously watching almost every other episode.  Case in point, ER.  It got really bad in the last season or two, but Natalie held strong and finished it out
   38.Natalie has to watch a Disney movie after watching a scary movie or she won't be able to sleep.
   39.Natalie is so very creative, but is in denial about how creative she is.
   40.Natalie is a heat seeker.
   41. Natalie loves hot cocoa, whether it is flavored, has marshmallows, or just plain chocolate; it doesn't matter.  It just has to be hot!
   42.Natalie is very resistant to change... at first.  If something is changed, then it is only a matter of time before the change is set in her mind as permanent and she is OK with the "change" now.
   43. Natalie is also in denial about how much of a good cook she is... especially baking deserts!
   44. Natalie can talk people into just about anything, she has a gift.
   45. Natalie loves to go to the skating rink, in fact Sarah skated with her mom before she was born.
   46. Natalie loves laser tag and is quite competitive...
   47. Natalie is very competitive about almost everything.  It's OK though because she is the best!
   48. Natalie is quite good at organizing family gatherings and getting everyone together.
   49. Natalie favorite Disney Princess is Sleeping Beauty.
   50. Natalie is a wonderful mother, the best wife, and an awesome friend.
Fun Facts about Chris by Chris
   51. Chris loves to read.
   52.Chris loves solving puzzle problems.
   53. Chris is a know-it-all and enjoys letting everyone know in some sort of condescending manner.
   54. Chris has a birth mark that he was once told was a cigarette burn - the same birth mark would have had him burned at the stake in Salem... according to some hippie
   55. Chris might not ever really grow up.
   56. Chris enjoys doing many things that he is not very good at: Golf, running, talking with people, talking at people..
   57. Chris believes that the zombie apocalypse will happen one day and that he should be prepared for it.
   58. Chris has a collection of knives that at least one friend finds "concerning"
   59. Chris likes to wear shirts and ties and thinks that men should dress like men from the 30's 40's and 50's.
   60. Chris has two favorite numbers, 7 & 13.
   61. Chris used to have long hair but now can't fathom his hair getting longer than 3 inches.
   62. Chris's favorite animal is the cougar, which is also his favorite car.
   63. Chris would like to own a real and functional light saber - it would be green.
   64. Chris sometimes wonders if there was time travel and he went back in time to tell himself not to/to do something, would his life actually turnout any better that it is?
   65. Chris would love to visit Germany and Switzerland again.
   66. Chris loves being in the water, whether it is the ocean, a lake, river, or a pool.
   67. Chris loves being a daddy!
Fun Facts about Sophie
   68. Sophie weighs over 13 pounds. 
   69. Sophie likes to sleep in the rocking chair.
   70. Sophie doesn’t care much for Sarah.
   71.  Sophie has no interest in people food and has never eaten any of ours even if we leave a plate on the floor in front of her.
   72. Sophie drinks with her paws sometimes.
   73. Sophie has jumped in a bathtub full of water—once.
   74. Sophie likes to chase laser light pens and knows the sound of one being picked up off the dresser.
   75. Sophie is afraid of the outdoors, but has gotten braver in her age.
   76. Sophie is the 3rd cat Chris and I have had. (The first 2 didn’t last longer than a week.)
   77. Sophie was named by my mom.  Her name at the adoption place was Amie but there was a girl in my sorority that spelled her name like that and I didn’t want my cat named after her.
   78. Sophie will purr before she lovingly bites you.
   79. Sophie does not like the grill and will attack Chris when he comes in from it.
   80. Sophie does not like to be shut out of a room and will meow outside of it until you open the door.  She’ll then normally walk away.  She didn’t want in, she just doesn’t like to be shut out.
Fun Facts about Sarah
   81. Sarah’s favorite food right now is cheese. 
   82. Sarah’s favorite vegetable right now is carrots.
   83. Sarah was named after Natalie’s Aunt and her middle name is after Natalie’s mom.
   84. Sarah was born preciously on her due date after the Dr. said it wasn’t going to happen and scheduled an induction for New Year’s Eve.
   85. Sarah always has cold hands and likes to touch mommy with them.  She giggles when mommy screams because her hands are so cold.
   86. Sarah doesn’t like to put things on over her head like shirts and bibs.
   87. Sarah knows where the Tupperware cabinet is in the kitchen and will open it and take stuff out while mommy is cooking.
   88. Sarah laughs after she farts.
   89. Sarah cries whenever you lay her on her changing table, regardless of how many things you hand her to try to distract her.
   90. Sarah licks the floor sometimes. 
   91. Sarah wears mostly ET hand-me-downs and we are so VERY VERY thankful for them!!!  (ET has style!)
   92. Sarah doesn’t like to be cuddled like a baby.
   93. Sarah loves the bling and will grab at people bracelets, watches, necklaces, and rings.
   94. Sarah loves to watch people.
   95. Sarah likes to crawl around on the new couch.
   96. Sarah will only wave at herself in the reflection of a mirror or a door.
   97. Sarah whispers to herself.
   98. Sarah sometimes makes mommy think she needs to be an only child.
   99. Sarah sat on the toilet for the first time yesterday.  She didn’t do anything, but she didn’t cry so I guess that’s a good sign.
   100.       Sarah gives the world’s best hugs.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Schwartz vs Having a Ball

Well, with the last couple of posts being devoid of Sarah, I feel I have neglected my small following of readers who really only come here to get their daily dose of adorable. So there is a collage of cuteness to tide you over. Sarah has always been a fan of balls. She has a set that make different sounds, a set that has different textures, one that lights up when you bounce it, some that pop out of an elephant, some that go to her little front door, and I have recently given her some golf balls to use in the ball drop on her push toy. This girl needs a ball pit! I actually realized that back in June and put it on her list of things to ask for come Christmas or birthday, but didn't suggest it to anyone because I don't know where I'd keep a ball pit.
So the other night she crawled off to her room to retrieve one of her many balls. A few minutes later I hear the tink, tink tink of a ball bouncing on the wood floor in the hall and Sarah giggling like this is the greatest thing she has ever discovered. She would throw it and then laugh and laugh over and over again. It was adorable! I tried to sneak around the corner and get it on film but that little stinker is no longer a fan of the camera and would stop or turn her back to me.
Unfortunately, this is one of those precious things that has it's downside. She now knows that if she throws her balls on the floor, especially the hard floors, they bounce. So she has also started throwing any toy she has in her hand at the floor to see if it bounces too. I guess it's all fun and games until she breaks something and then I get upset.

Here's a little video of the action:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Schwartz's vs 5K Challenge Completion

 Well, it's over.  I graduated from the Couch to 5K program and successfully ran my first ever 5K on December 4th.  I am really proud of myself!  Thankfully the scale is no longer in the ladies locker room at the Y so I have no idea if all this running garnered any weight loss success, but it has been a huge boost to my confidence.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would complete a 5K.  Now when I'm watching the Biggest Loser I don't have to feel bad when the fat kids run them and I can't.  Because I can, and I rocked!

 I love my husband!  He has been such a huge support during the program always making time for me to be able to go and run.  He hasn't quite finished the program yet, but he's got a different method to running.  I run slow and pathetically and Chris is a natural sprinter.  So it is taking him a little longer to get through the weeks because he's REALLY having to build up his endurance so he can sprint for 30 minutes at a time.  But he came and did the 5K too.  He ran his appointed day in the training program W3D3 and made sure he finished strong running in all the way to the finish line.

If you have ever thought about running a big 5K I highly recommend it!  It was such an awesome experience.  From pinning my bib on to my shirt to fixing the cool electronic timing strip to my shoes this was just a really neat thing to be apart of.  This was my first race and I had no idea what to expect so I insisted that we got downtown by 6:30 am so we could check our bag at the Autozone Park (with pants and jackets in it for after the run) and then get to the starting line at the FedEx Forum by 6:45.

When the gun went off and the hoard of people start moving, I was super excited then we all came to a dead stand still.  Finally the crowd starts moving again and was walking towards the starting line.  Walking!  I'm flipping out.  I need to be running when I cross the start, gotta run, gotta run, gotta run, was all I kept thinking to myself.  I was getting nervous--finally the line was in sight and people apparently had been walking till they got to that point.  Annoying really!  I finally get to start running and I realize holy crap there are people walking in front of me wearing jeans (they should have been in the back....grrrrr......) So my internal chant became, gotta find a hole, gotta find a hole, find a place to run.  And all of a sudden I found myself approaching the first mile marker.  It said 12 minutes and a few seconds.  Oh crap, that's slower than the pace I run at the Y.  No good, gotta pick it up, lengthen my stride, keep finding holes to run in.  Then the second mile came (clock said 22 something) and went and all of a sudden I'm climbing a hill.  I laughed a little to myself thinking about how the race packet described the race as having a "unique downhill finish".  Well, you can't have a downhill finish without going uphill somewhere.  But the hill was done and I was going through the map in my mind wondering when we'll get onto Madison or Monroe or whatever street it was to come into the stadium, then I look up and I freaking see the back of the scoreboard at Autozone Park!  I'm already on the street AND running downhill with the mile 3 clock in sight.   At that point, I almost started to cry, I could not believe I was actually going to finish, the clock said 30 something on it so I was going to come in well under my goal time of 35 minutes, AND I hadn't peed on myself so I was accomplishing all sorts of goals.  We entered the stadium and ran around the outfield to our finish line and I tried to kick it up a notch.  The clock time said 32 something but that's from the gun and not from my cool electronic shoe tag thing they gave us.  I had to wait until today to find out my real time.

As I walked to the infield someone put my finishers medal around my neck and I started going through the stretches Jennifer showed me.  After I finished stretching and had caught my breath I walked to the other side to wait and cheer Chris on as he entered the stadium.  He did such an awesome job!  Chris is so cute too, he was so proud of himself he wore his finisher's medal the rest of the day as we were out running errands.  He's excited about running another race soon (and so am I).
So now that the official stats are up, here's how we did:
Natalie finished in 30:49 with a pace of 9:57 per mile
She was 38th in her age group, 253rd out of all the ladies, and finished in spot 590 out of the 3,010 runners who finished the race.  Not to shabby!
Chris finished in in 39:59 with a pace of 12:54 per mile.
He was 91st in his age group, 629th out of all the guys, and finished in the overall spot of 1535.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Schwartz's vs Barfapalooza

So I wasn't really planning on posting about how the bubonic plague struck our house this weekend but then Sarah barfed on me this morning and I did one of those mom things that I never thought I would.  First when she started coughing, I cupped my hand under her prepared to catch what might come up.  Then when the fountain of barf broke forth at what can only be described as the geyser rate of Old Faithful I took one for the team and pulled her onto my lap so she wouldn't get it on the new couch.  I know I wrote once before about being covered in nast when she threw up on me as a baby, but this time it was the entire contents of her 8 ounce bottle that splattered all over her, me, and my blanket.  It was pretty darn foul.  Luckily, (really, can I say luckily in a post about barfing), the barfing wasn't sick induced.  She was trying to cough up some snot and well, got more than we both bargained for.

So, as I was deciding to write about the flu bug that came to visit I was thinking it's funny the ways you can tell someone is really sick or not feeling well.  Chris knows that I really don't feel good if I concede to take any type of liquid meds without fighting.  And he knows to back up and put me in quarantine if I throw up.  I know Chris isn't feeling well if he naps.

It's been 4 years since I last kindled my relationship with Treva (the name I loving gave the toilet the time before last when I was sick and thought I was going to die).  And having to spend time hugging my porcelain friend made me realize that when people ask me if I miss teaching in one respect I can say yes.  I miss those nasty, dirty, snot nosed, non hand washing, disgusting children who brought every possible funk to school, touched everything on my desk, and sneezed on all their papers.  Those kids gave me the best possible kidmunity that exists.  During my almost 3 years of teaching I only ever took 1 sick day and that was when I had food poisoning (which is HORRIBLE) from a baked potato.  Now that I don't have those kids giving me their germs I've realized I'm at risk for getting the crud and I don't like it!

So after a few hours of trying to talk myself out of throwing up, something I'm normally very good at, it was over and I was kneeling before the porcelain throne.  I slept most of the day.  Monday I was pretty weak but got up because I had heard Sarah crying for 30 minutes completely unconsolable.  I came out and she threw her arms up and I caved and put her on my lap, she stopped crying immediately.  Then I looked at Chris, and he looked pale.  Crap!  Chris was coming down with it too, Sarah only wants me, and I'm barely able to pick her up between running to the restroom.  We did the only thing that we could do; we called Ma Schwartz.  I have never been more grateful that they live in town and she's retired.  I really don't know what we would have done without her.  She was at our house in an hour to scoop up Sarah and take her to her plague free home.  Chris and I spent the rest of the day take turns laying on the couch and running to see Treva.  By 7ish Monday evening I felt better and did the thing that sucks about being sick almost as much as throwing up--I had to start cleaning the sick out of the house.  Chris was still incapacitated until Tuesday.

I know it's wishful thinking, but man, I really hope that this is the last time we all get sick.  Mom's don't have time to be sick and I don't know what was worse, hearing Sarah cry and knowing it was because she wanted me, or listening to her giggle with Chris and not being able to get up and see what was so funny.

Oh, and here's our new couch that arrived a couple weeks ago.  You'd take a barf bath too to save your first ever new couch.