Friday, July 25, 2014

Harbor Cruisin' {{Summer Bucket List}}

One of the things I wanted to make sure our family did before Scott left, and before summer completely slipped through our fingers like sand at the beach, was take a cruise through the LA Harbor.

I had grand ideas of the three of us merrily taking in the sights as the salty sea breeze kissed our faces (think Jack and Rose -very Titanic-esque- but in more of a family way, not love story way). I imagined Marcus being totally enthralled with our boat, enamored with the ships we would pass, and delighted by the large cranes that are scattered all throughout the harbor.

Then we actually got on the ship and reality quickly gave me a gut punch. Marcus was transitioning out of his nap - something he doesn't always do well - and he wasn't totally on board (see what I did there) with our family outing.

While Marcus' mood was less than stellar (read: he was basically a pill the entire time) we made the best of the 45 minutes we had on the water. (Initially I thought we could go on a whale watching cruise, which lasts TWO HOURS. There wasn't a chance we would have made it through that without one of us getting tossed overboard.)

Fridays Fives highlight our little harbor cruise, and check "get out on the water" off our Bucket List.

1. I've always loved being on the water. Any kind of boat, ship, vessel, what have you, fascinates me.
1. Our harbor cruise ship.
2. We weren't totally sure if this was a Coast Guard vessel, but it obviously has very large guns attached to it. So, I'm guessing yes, probably Coast Guard.
3. The tugs that bring the huge ships (including cruise ships!) into the harbor.
4. I couldn't tell if this was a party boat, or just another harbor cruise boat. Either way, it looked fun.
5. The USS Iowa.
2. LA Harbor, or Port of Los Angeles, is the busiest port in the United States. Cargo ships are always coming and going, being unloaded and loaded. I'm continually blown away when I see these ships from afar, and watch as the cranes unload/load them. The cruise allowed us to get right up and watch as a ship was being unloaded.
I can't get over how MASSIVE the cargo ships are.
Lower right photo: all those containers are hooked to the back of semis and hauled all over the U.S. The logistics behind this operation is mind boggling.
3. Along with the hustle and bustle of the port we spotted a few lazy sea lions loitering where ever they could belly up and bask in the sun.
I don't know what it is, but seeing marine life in their natural environment is remarkable.
4. Perhaps my favorite part of the whole cruise was seeing the Vincent Thomas Bridge (which we frequently cross) from a totally different vantage point than what we are generally used to.
5. And, even though we were dealing with Grumpy McGrumperson for most of the cruise, it was great getting out as a family, being on the water, and doing something a little different.
We'll give this little adventure another shot. Maybe next time we'll try it before nap time.

How is your Summer Bucket List coming along? Squeezing in as much fun as possible before we're all raving about the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and college football? If so, be sure to link up with us!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's Christmas! (In July)

While I like to think Fall is my favorite season (everything pumpkin! the cute and cozy sweaters!) I absolutely adore summer: the beach, the sun, the tan, watermelon, fruity drinks, days spent lounging in a swim suit by the pool, multiple trips to get ice cream any given week, warm evenings spent at the park, the list is essentially endless. The only complaint I have about summer is that it is SO far away from Christmas, which is my favorite holiday, but happens to be smack dab in the middle of my least favorite season. Winter… whomp whomp. 

When the Christmas in July blog swap came about I couldn't pass it up.

Marcus is now getting to the point where he understands receiving gifts, and that new things are always, always cooler than the stuff we already have. This little swap was going to be just perfect for him.

I was to send a gift to sweet Connor (and his mommy, Stephanie), over at Wife Mommy Me. I was pumped when I heard that news, as I've been a follower of Stephanie's for quiet some time. She I and I have really connected in the past year or so, and I can genuinely call her my friend. 
My sending partner was Laurie at Disney 'n Diapers. I've had a blast getting to know her through her blog and InstaGram - she may have the cutest little girl I've ever seen. 

When we first opened Laurie's box I was blown away. She nailed this. With Scott being gone for such a long time I knew we were going to need some new activities, and Laurie's ideas could not have come at a better time. Not only are these fun (!), but they are things Marcus and I can do/make together.

Check out the goodies:
Going clockwise: Main photo - so much good stuff!
Popsicle moulds. I cannot wait to make these! I'm on the hunt for a good "recipe" to make, so suggestions are welcome for homemade popsicles!
Make your own sidewalk chalk. Say whaaaat?! We love us some sidewalk chalk over here, so MAKING our own? Yep, winner winner.
The hair gel and food coloring. That is to make mess free finger paint. I'll explain more in a sec.
And, a cute floral pen for this momma. So sweet!

Ok, so the mess free finger paint Marcus and I busted into right away. Laurie sent all the supplies needed to do this activity (hair gel, food coloring, gallon size zip lock baggies, and duck tape).
I let Marcus help with each step.
Step one: add hair gel to zip lock bag.
Step two: add food coloring to the hair gel.
Step three: combine hair gel and food coloring.
Step four: close zip lock and duck tape the top to ensure no gel gets squeezed out.
Step five: FINGER PAINT!
We had so much fun practicing tracing and spelling M-A-R-C-U-S, as well as making our hand prints and tracing shapes.
Laurie, thanks so much for the awesome ideas! We love it all!

Now, we sit back and patiently wait for Christmas in December…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Little Fish // Summer Goals

When I was about Marcus' age my mom had me enrolled in swim lessons. Though I don't remember any of this, according to my mom, I took to lessons really well. That same summer of swim lessons my mom and I were at the lake and apparently I fell off the dock. Thanks to the swim lessons, at the tender age of 2, I was able to swim to the dock ladder unassisted.

This story has resonated with me for some time now.

This summer I set a goal for myself and Marcus. I wanted the little guy to have some pool safety skills in his tiny little pocket, you know, just in case he unexpectedly fell off a dock, or into a pool.

We have been working pretty hard all summer at getting Marcus as "water safe" as possible. He's taken swim lessons (you can read about our trial and error with that process HERE), and I've worked with him almost every day it's been possible to get in the pool.

As a swim instructor I knew this would be a process that could take some time. Swimming and water safety isn't something that is learned over night. It takes repetition and daily practice and patience.

However, I have to say, in the last week Marcus has been really connecting the dots in the pool. Things are starting to "click" for him.

Last week this was how Marcus got to the side of the pool if he fell - or in his case, jumped - into the water.
Just kicking his little heart out.

Then, yesterday, THIS happened.
I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't the proudest mommy on the planet when those little arms came popping out of the water.

I'd also be lying if I told you I thought Marcus was totally "water safe." He's not. We have a long way to go. But, it is so much more reassuring to know that the little man can get himself to the side of the pool if he accidentally fell in.

What steps have you taken to get your child(ren) as "water safe" as possible this summer? It's not too late to enroll in summer swim lessons, and it's never too early to start your kiddos!

#DJV5K // Training

I've never trained for a 5k. In fact, the only thing I've ever trained for is a half marathon. It wasn't until after I ran a half marathon that I then ran a few 5k's and then one 10k (in my humble opinion, 10k's are about the worst race in the world - that distance is truly terrible).

When Jenny came to me with the idea of the Fall Virtual 5k, and sharing our training programs, I was a little stumped. I'd never done this before… Where do I start?? 

A few trusty internet searches brought up several different training programs. One had me running seven days a week. I know my body, and I know how important rest days are, so I quickly ruled that one out. Another had the "long" runs going distances much farther than I was willing to run for a 5k (some as far as 9, 10, 11 miles… for a 5k… whaaaat?!). That one went out the window as well. Then I came to Hal Higdon's program. Good ol' Hal. He and I go waaaaaay back. After taking a look at what was on tap I was on board.
To see descriptions and explanations of each workout click HERE.
Of course I alter the program to fit my needs and availability each day. Some days my long runs happen on Saturdays, and my rest days vary. I've also been adding in some weight and strength training a couple of days a week, along with running. It's been awhile since I've incorporated weights to my workouts, and as much as I complain during the workouts, I genuinely missed it.

As of now, my goal is to run the Fall Virtual 5k in 24:30. The last 5k I participated in (last October!) I finished, unofficially, in 24:42. Shaving off 12 seconds seems doable, right?? 

I'm a bit nervous about how training will continue after last night. This morning Scott left for six weeks for work, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get the longer runs in. Because, I can assure you, neither Marcus nor I will enjoy 5-7 miles with the BOB. Three miles is about the cap for both of us. So, we shall see what the next six weeks brings… 

If you've been following along with me on InstaGram (desireemacke) you've seen my workout shenanigans. If you haven't seen, here's what you've been missing…
Selfies are the worst things to take. How does anyone take them well/seriously? I feel and look like such a goon taking them!
Don't forget to post your workouts on InstaGram and/or Facebook using the hash tag #DJV5K!

What does your training look like? Be sure to link up below and share! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Marcus Monday!

This is the last Monday where all of my guys will be together. We won't have another Monday like this for SIX more Mondays. That's a lot of Mondays.
If you have a minute, stop by and say, "Hi!" to Elizabeth over at Chasin' Mason, today. She so kindly asked me to participate in her Boy Mom series, and share a few of my thoughts on what it's like to be a mommy to a little man.
Just a quick excerpt from my post…
Then the announcement came that Baby M was a boy. I turned to my husband with tears of joy and said, "You're getting your boy!" And, while I was truly elated, a little piece of me was ever so slightly sad. I thought I might be missing out.
To read more just click HERE!

Happy Monday!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

S'more, Please {{Summer Bucket List}}

This summer has ranked right up there as one of the best. While our time together as a family has been somewhat limited, we've done the best we can to make the most out of the time we have when we are together.

Last weekend was the epitome of summer. We swam, spent a little time on the water, grilled most of our meals, and snuck in an evening of outdoor snacking.

That leads me right to the high fives.

1. Call me crazy, but I think summer nights were designed specifically for… 
*Please excuse the iPhone photos. I didn't have my good camera immediately on hand, and didn't want to miss the moment by going to grab it.
2. I'm fairly certain we have a little pyro on our hands. Marcus is mildly obsessed with fire. The little man had such a blast singeing each marshmallow we put on his skewer.
3.  However, he also had no problems eating said scorched treats. Yes - plural. The kid ate three s'mores. By.him.self.
4. Marcus wasn't great about keeping his snacking a tidy affair. But, we found his mess pretty entertaining.
5.  Such a successful, sweet little evening. Hopefully we can do it all again this weekend!
Another item checked off our Summer Bucket List!

If you're checking items off your Summer Bucket List be sure to link up below!

Now, please excuse me while the Macke clan enjoys an unexpected three-day weekend (thanks to the 20+ hour work day Scott pulled yesterday).

Have a great weekend!

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 6 hrs, 1 min (7/24/2014 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 6 hrs, 1 min (7/24/2014 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 6 hrs, 1 min (7/24/2014 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

15 Bits and Pieces

It's been a hot minute since I've done a few random Q & As, and with a few new followers added to the mix - hiiiiii! - I figured now was as appropriate as any time to answer some totally and thoroughly random questions.

These questions come courtesy from the one and only Mean Ang!
1. What is a nickname only your family calls you?
Oy. Really?! I rarely never tell people my family nickname. I don't know what it is, but only a few select people have been given the ok to say it. It just sounds so weird if others do - even Scott isn't "allowed" to call me this. But, I suppose…
DJ, or Deej (my middle name is Joy, hence DJ). If you're not in the already "ok'd" circle, please, please, please don't call me this.

2. What is a weird habit of yours?
I have to chew equally on both sides of my mouth. For example: If I chew something eight times on the left side then next bite I take I will have to chew eight times on the right.

3. Do you have any weird phobias? 
I don't mind heights, but flying kind of scares the bejeezus out of me. And spiders. I'm terrified of them. All.of.them.

4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and jam out to when you are alone?
50 Cent's In Da Club. I'll blast that bad boy and white girl rap (which I know looks and sounds completely awful) until the speakers burst.
5. What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
So many to choose from! I can't even pick just one.
Smacking of food/gum. Terrible drivers (no blinker, not going the speed limit, tailgating - I'm clearly the best driver on the road). When people don't clip their fingernails/toe nails in the bathroom; the sound of nails being clipped is absolutely horrific.

6. What's one of your nervous habits?
When I'm really nervous I have to pee. Like, every five seconds. Just ask my mom. Before any swim meet, piano recital, or softball game I'd do the pee dance like I was a six-year old.
And, I fidget. All the time. Scott doesn't find it annoying at all…

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The side farthest from the door. If an intruder comes in I don't want to be closest person to him/her. Logical, right??

8. What was your first stuffed animal and what was its name?
I had stuffed animals, but I never named them, or was too attached. I did have a Cabbage Patch doll, Maggie, who I was pretty keen on.
Not exactly Maggie, but pretty darn close.
9. What's the drink you always order at Starbucks (or in my case, Coffee Bean)?
Medium (tall) skinny carmel latte. Every.single.Sunday after church.

10. Which way do you face in the shower? 
Ha! I've never thought of this before.
When I shampoo I face away from the shower, as my hair hangs behind me. When I condition I face the shower, as my hair is flipped over my head, and hangs in front of my face.
I'm weird.

11. Do you have any weird body skills?
I can pop my knees like some people pop their knuckles. Is that considered a skill?

12. What is your favorite comfort food, that you know is bad but you eat it anyway?
Mashed potatoes. I could swim laps in those.
Or ice cream. Give me all the ice cream.

13. What is a phrase or exclamation you always say?
I say a few:
"Stop it."
"I'm over it."
"Beat it geek."
"You have no idea."
"I can't even…"
And, there's a 99.9% chance that all of the aforementioned are stated in a pseudo-shocked and/or sarcastic tone.

14. What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Nothing crazy, that's for sure. Usually mesh shorts and an old tee. Pretty exciting stuff up in here.

15. What did you used to wear that you thought was cool, and now you realize it wasn't?
Doc Martens anyone??
I owned this EXACT pair and just thought they were *the* coolest.
If you don't know, now you know! (If you can't name that song, or at least hear the lyrics in your head I'm not sure if we can be friends… I'm kidding. Sort of. If you need some help click here for your listening pleasure - you are welcome.)

I think I was supposed to "tag" people to join in this fun, but I'm just not. Such a rule breaker I am. Anyway, if you need a fun little post for a rainy day keep these questions in your back pocket.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Dying Sweaty Mess // Race Day Pics

Quick update on our sleep situation: Marcus was a saint and only cried for 45 minutes before passing out at bedtime last night. During that time I sipped my wine and told Scott I was over dealing with it. So, rather than rush to quiet Marcus I just let him figure it out. I was done (and, as predicted, yesterday WAS one of those days). Sometime around 1:00AM Marcus was up and crying. No shocker there. Scott went to deal with the issue. I literally could not peel myself out of the bed. Scott must have been able to get Marcus back to bed, as when we were all awoken at 5:45 - thanks to Marcus - Marcus was in his own crib. I'm going to say last night was more… successful… than we've had in awhile.

Moving along to what I've been wanting to post for some time… Race day pictures. Next to actually completing a race, be it a 5K, 10K, or half, one of my favorite things is to see how the race pictures come out. I mean, in most cases I'm a dying sweaty mess, and to see that in print is always fun. It's like, "Hey! Here I am, running a million miles. For fun! See how awesome I look?!" Ha. 

When I pulled up the pictures from Hospital Hill Half I was slightly disappointed there weren't more photos. But, all things considered (like the fact it rained for the ENTIRE race), it's good to see there were at least a few action shots captured. 

Without further ado…
The UMKC 5k
held the evening before the 1/2 marathon:
look how excited I was…
and how dry I was…
 Hospital Hill Half Marathon
clearly not as excited…
or as dry…
I appreciate that the photographer was able to capture me checking my time as I crossed the finish line. Anyone else do that??
Even though I was throughly exhausted after the races, I think today I'm just as - if not more - tired. Life with a child, I suppose.

After seeing these pics, I'm even more pumped about the Fall Virtual 5k being hosted by Jenny and myself! I'm looking forward to seeing all YOUR race day photos!

Have you signed up yet for the #DJV5K (<--- use that hashtag if you're keeping us updated on your training via InstaGram)? If not, just leave me a message that you want to participate. Be sure to leave your name (obviously), blog (if you have one), email, and Instagram account (if you have one). We'll get it taken care of from there!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Sleep Battle :: Part 3,821

There were so many things I wanted to post today; a few things about the virtual 5k Jenny and I are hosting sit idle in my drafts, a few fun/filler "about me" posts are there, as I see I've gained a few new followers (hi, there!). But I just can't pull myself together enough to do any of those any justice right now.

You see, it's currently 5:07AM. I've been up since 3:30. Let me correct that. WE have been up since 3:30…

I'll be the first to tell you my child isn't real great when it comes to sleeping at night. It seems no matter what stage we are in sleep is never something where Marcus excels. 

This sleep regression cycle I take full blame. It all started when we were on our Midwest tour. Marcus, for whatever reason, would wake in the middle of the night crying/screaming (I'm going to chalk it up to being in a different environment/house/crib/whatever). Under normal circumstances (ie. being in our own home), we'd let him figure it out. But, I hate putting people out, especially if those people are taking us in for multiple weeks. So, instead of Marcus self-soothing he would end up in bed with me. He would quiet down, quickly fall asleep, and we all managed to get some shut-eye. 

Insert this habit happening every night for about a month. A month! Up until this point I could count on one hand how many times my child slept in my bed. And, then I blew that all to Hell by letting him get all cozy for. a. month

We are currently in the process of trying to break this utterly inconvenient bedtime habit. It's been two weeks and I'm over it.

The fight to the crib at night seems to be lessening. Most nights it only takes 10-15 minutes of crying before he's out. But, it's been a nightly (or should I say morning?) issue of Marcus waking up between 1:30AM and 3:30AM. He cries, he screams, and he won't let up until either Scott or I does something about it. 

This morning Scott had an early day, so he was out the door by 3:30, which was the same time Marcus decided to wake up. I tried rocking for a few minutes, and then putting him back in his crib. That only resulted in hysterics from my child. By 4:30 I'd surrendered and had the kid in my bed. By 4:45 it was obvious neither of us was going to get any more sleep.

Now here I  we sit, writing this post… I'm not sure how we're going to make it through this day, but I have  a hunch it's just going to be one of those days… Is it too early for a bottle glass of wine?
Here we are, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:10AM. Because apparently my child does not share my love of sleep…
Post publish edit: By 6:03 my sleep swindler is passed out on the living room floor. Sweet Jesus, give me the strength to get through this day. 

Monday, July 14, 2014