Trick or Treat!

For weeks now, we have been trying to get Kaitlyn hyped up for Halloween and her first time going Trick or Treating.  We've watched many Halloween-themed cartoons and Sesame Street episodes, practiced saying "trick or treat" and pranced around the house holding the felt pumpkin to collect candy.  I even bought her Minnie Mouse costume months ago to give her plenty of time to get used to it. 

We did a dress rehearsal last weekend so I could take some pictures and she was NOT happy to be wearing the costume.  This was her attitude for most of the "photo shoot".
So, we decided to bribe her with candy.  And once she had the candy, she turned into a super model!
Of course, I didn't like having the huge plastic bag in the photos so I tried to take it away.  And she didn't like that.
So, for the sake of getting some decent pictures, we gave her the bag back.  And she turned into a happy girl again.
This transition from tears to smiles was literally in a matter of seconds.  It was really kind of funny.

Last night, the Embassy organized a trick or treating event in our neighborhood.  American families that live on our street passed out candy and those that live in other neighborhoods decorated their cars and parked on our street to pass out candy from their trunks.  We told her there would be lots of kids outside dressed in costumes and all of our neighbors would be passing out candy.  After all the tears, we weren't sure how she'd do when it was show time.

As we finished dinner that night, we told her it was almost time to go get candy, but we needed to get dressed first.  All of a sudden she was excited and eager to be transformed into Minnie Mouse!  She didn't put up a fight and there wasn't a single tear shed...until we tried to paint the black nose on, but she eventually gave in to that one.

The best part about the event being on our street was we could literally walk out our front gate and get going.  You could hear all the kids outside and that got Kaitlyn even more excited.  She was a little intimidated at first.  She'd walk up to a house and whisper a barely audible "trick or treat" and "thank you".

"Hey Tinker, what kind of candy did you get?"

As the crowd grew bigger and the older kids got a little more pushy, Kaitlyn no longer wanted to walk. Then we saw some scary costumes and she really didn't want to walk.  Most of the people in scary costumes were really nice to Kaitlyn, lifting their masks to say "peek-a-boo" and show that they weren't real monsters.
And this little Mickey was in such a good mood.  He napped a little and otherwise laid in our arms wide-eyed and grinning.
Not the best family picture (sorry, Jonathan), but a family picture, nonetheless.
Because I couldn't find a Mickey Mouse costume small enough for Jonathan, we went the semi-homemade route this year. I dyed the shirt black, bought the red leggings and ironed on the "buttons". I figured this may be the only year that I can get the two of them to dress as a pair. Even without the ears, he's the cutest Mickey Mouse I've ever seen!
"This is fun!  I can't wait until I can eat the candy next year!"
After a while, Kaitlyn wanted to walk again and started to really like trick or treating.  She would scream "MORE candy!" as soon as we'd walk away from a house. 

I'm so proud of what a great job she did.  She wasn't nearly as afraid as I thought she'd be and she actually wore the costume (minus the ears that kept falling off...not her fault).

Here's a quick clip of the action:


My Heart is Full

Last weekend, we took the kids to our new favorite hangout...the beach. We played in the sand and said "night, night" to the sun. I love ending our days this way. Family fun, then home for dinner, baths and bedtime stories.  It makes my heart smile.

And Jonathan seems to really like the beach.  He was all smiles and had lots to say.
(If you're reading this in email, please click here to be taken to the post to see the video.)


C25K Update - Week 3

I'm in the middle of week three of the Couch to 5K training program.  This week consists of a 5 min brisk walk, run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for 3 minutes, walk for the minutes and repeat.  It sounded hard, but it actually wasn't bad at all.  I was happy I was able to do it and I didn't feel like I was going to die.  I realize 3 straight minutes of running is no big deal to many, many people--and I guess I now realize it's no big deal for me either, but I wasn't sure what to expect since I haven't had a regular exercise routine in ages.

I'm still loving this program and I'm loving that I haven't quit or come up with one excuse to not get my scheduled runs in.  What I have slacked on is my 30-Day Shred supplement workouts on my non-run days.  Yea, that hasn't really happened at all.  And I'm going to blame that one on Kaitlyn.  We're going through some sleep issues with her so we've all been pretty exhausted around here lately.  Ok, I can't really blame it on her, I just need to suck it up and do it!

Sorry, no pictures for this post.


Momma Mule

This is what happens when Daddy takes the car to work and forgets to take the stroller out of the trunk before he leaves.
This was taken a couple of weeks ago when my mom was still visiting.  We took a walk to have lunch at a restaurant on the beach and Kaitlyn was slowing us down.  So, Mommy turned into a pack mule.  I'm sharing, because this picture makes me laugh.  That's all.  :)


Loving the Yard

It's been two weeks since the kids and I arrived in Tel Aviv and moved into our new house. I'm happy to say that I really, really love it here. And I haven't even gotten out much yet. I take the kids on a walk at least once a day. We go to one of the neighborhood parks or to the beach. Just yesterday the kids and I went to the beach to watch the sunset. Or as Kaitlyn says it, to say "bye bye" to the sun. It's such a nice change from our everyday life in Quito where I wasn't getting out of the house much during the week while Ron was at work.  And if we did go on walks, we were inhaling lots nasty polluted air.

On days when I don't feel like going far, we play in the yard.  That's another huge difference from Quito, where we lived on the top floor of an apartment building in the city.  Having a yard is so nice for the kids.  Kaitlyn loves being outside, so it's nice to be able to just open the front door and play.
I know everyone wants to see pictures of the house, but I'm waiting until we get more settled (i.e. get pictures hung on the walls) before taking the photos.  Hopefully, we'll make progress on that this weekend...if we're not playing in the yard.


I'm Running

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Jonathan I knew I needed to have a game plan for getting back into shape once he was born.  And I don't mean back into the shape I was in before Jonathan.  I'm thinking back into the shape I was in before Kaitlyn.  And maybe even before moving to Ecuador.  Maybe even before that.  Ok, maybe that's pushing it.

I haven't been as active as I know I should have been in the last few years and although there was a time where I didn't really need to exercise all that much to stay thin, I'm very aware that those days are long gone. And now that I'm a mom of two it's going to take some serious work to shed the pounds. 

So, my plan?  My plan is to run.  Run a 10k race by my 35th birthday, to be exact.  I'm not a runner and I have never enjoyed running.  But after recently reading some magazine articles and some blogs about running, I got inspired to want to learn to run.  And to learn to love it.

I hear/read about people with no prior running experience who push themselves to run that next mile no matter how much they hate it.  Then one day it just hits them...the runner's high.  Then they find themselves looking forward to their next run.  And the next thing you know, the ones that hated running are now loving it and running marathons.  I'm not saying I ever see myself running a marathon, but I'd like to kick my butt into gear and get active.  And my 10K-by-my-35th-birthday goal is how I'm going to do it.

I'm starting by using a training program called Couch to 5K (a.k.a C25K).  It's designed to get people who are not active (couch potatoes) able to run a 5K in 9 weeks.  Once I complete that program, I hope to move on to a 10K training program.  I may not be setting my goal high enough.  After all, the C25K is only 9 weeks, but I also don't want to set too high of a goal because then it will seem unachievable.  If I reach my goal sooner than expected then that will just be icing on the cake.

I bought some new running shoes and a cute running outfit to get me motivated and so far it's working!  I started the program 2 weeks ago and up to now I'm really enjoying it.  I've been running first thing in the morning before Ron leaves for work.  I love starting my day this way.  Once the run is over, I can get on with my day and it's not something I'm dreading later.  Because the C25K only has me running 3 days a week, I'm hoping to start doing the 30-Day Shred on my off days.
I'm writing about this on the blog to keep me honest and to hold myself accountable.  Once I share it on the internet, then I HAVE to do it, right?  I'll share my progress and/or set backs here.  Feel free to heckle me if I get lazy.  That may be just what I need to get back off the couch!


I Never Want to Forget: Kaitlyn's Words & Songs

I started this blog as a way to share our overseas stories and experiences with family and friends back home.  Then Kaitlyn was born and while it is still a way to keep family and friends connected, it has also turned into somewhat of a journal of mine.  I can log onto any computer, pull up the blog and scroll through old posts and relive moments that I've written about.  It has also served as a baby book for the kids.  I can document their monthly stats and post pictures from special times in their lives.

I usually only blog about the "big" events (i.e. holidays, birthdays, travels), but lately I've realized that there are a bunch of little moments and special little things that I don't want to forget and I think this is the best place to write about them.  So, I'm going to start posting them here for the sake of posterity.  They may just be short little snippets or a random photograph of something that makes me smile today, but I know someday when we are far removed from this time in our lives, I will scroll through the blog and all of those little moments and things will make me smile again.  This quote just about sums it up: "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault

So here is my first "I Never Want to Forget" post...

As with most toddlers, Kaitlyn has her own adorable way of saying certain words and it is the cutest!  Here are some of the more recent Kaitlyn-isms.

Ah-see-lola= Osceola
Jonfin = Jonathan
Wawa/Watey=Water (she pretty much says water now, but Ron still likes her to call it watey)
Uppy = up (as in, pick me up)
Kiki = Kaitlyn (I'm not sure why she calls herself Kiki, but she has from the time she could first talk.  And now we find ourselves calling her Kiki, too.)
Matoes = tomatoes
Princerella = She used to say Princesses correctly.  Then we started to teach her their individual names (i.e., Cinderella).  Since then they are all Princerella.
A doh-doh = We have no idea what this means, but she's been saying it for months.  She usually says it when she walks up to another kid and it sounds like a question.  Maybe it's some sort of secret kid-talk that we as parents aren't meant to understand.

As cute as she is when she talks, she's even more cute when she sings.  Kaitlyn (Kiki) has recently developed a love for singing.  She especially likes to sing in the car, but she has no shame and will bust out a verse of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in the middle of the grocery store if the mood strikes her.  Here's a video I put together of her singing a few of her favorites.  I'll admit, the video is kind of lengthy (3 min 30 sec), but it was hard to edit it any further because if you ask me, every second was too precious to cut out. :)

If reading this in email, click here to see the video.


More Playtime for Kaitlyn

When I posted last week about our arrival to Tel Aviv, I mentioned that it seemed like such a kid-friendly city because of all the parks and playgrounds we'd seen.  Since that post, I'm even more convinced of this.  We've discovered more parks in our neighborhood and last week we took Kaitlyn to the mall to check out this huge play area in the food court.  There was a charge of 15 shekels (approx. $4.19 USD) to go in, but I think it was worth it.

 When the ride stopped, she wanted to ride the yellow bear.  She pointed to Ron's pocket and said "money".  We're in trouble!

After we left the mall, we went outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather.  We decided to stop at the mega playground about a block from the mall.  Check this place out!

See the small slides on the right of the picture?  At first, Kaitlyn didn't want to even go down those, but eventually she did.  Once she was comfortable there, we decided to try her on the super duper big slide.

This slide was gigantic and we thought Kaitlyn wouldn't want to go down it.  But once Ron got her up there, our little dare devil was eager to get out of his arms and slide.

That loud screeching sound you may have heard coming from Tel Aviv earlier this week?  That was the sound of the thin layers of Ron's elbow skin scraping off on the sides of the slide.  All for the safety of his girl.  Next time I think we'll bring elbow pads for him.
Jonathan was pretty exhausted watching Kaitlyn play.  He and Nana G enjoyed chilling in the shade.

This place was awesome!  I feel like we could go to a different park/play area every week and still not see them all by the end of this year.

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