beginning of spring break

One of the many, many perks of being a teacher is spring break.  Kids get so excited about their upcoming days off, but teachers do, too, possibly even more so!  William’s spring break coincides with mine this year which is perfect.  We’re just a few days in so far, and already, we’ve had lots of fun.  Let’s start off with a clean baby photo, because you know those black and white bath pictures are some of my favorites.  Even though he’s less than a month away from turning three (WAH!), and he really looks like it here, he’ll always be my baby.

So happy.  These days he’s more into showers than baths.  It’s not quite as easy to wash him this way, but as long as he wants to get clean, that’s one fight I’m not fighting.  Plus, it cracks me up because every time he’s in the shower, he makes different things for me.  Lately it’s been hot chocolate or macaroni and cheese.  That little one’s imagination is always running wild!

Friday was my first day off, so we didn’t have to rush to get to school.  William went to school for a couple of hours because they had their Purim celebration.  First, I worked out at home, and William joined in the warm up.  If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw the hilarious story of William doing jumping jacks and stretching.  Once he was at school, I went to Yoga Six for a Power Yoga class.

The class was tough, both physically and mentally, but it was just what I needed.  The next day I was incredibly sore, possibly from a combination of my morning at-home workout and yoga.  I certainly felt it!  I love feeling sore, especially in the beginning of a new workout routine, which hopefully this is what it is.

I met William at school for his Purim parade.  After, we headed home, ate lunch, napped, and played before going to Jacob and Audrey’s house.

I know I’ve said it before, but they sure are more like siblings than cousins.  They love like siblings and fight like siblings.  William and Audrey got into a little tiff, and Audrey pushed William.  It won’t be long before he’ll be the same size as her as he’s rapidly catching up, but Jacob immediately went after Audrey.  Big brother protecting the little one.  Once the situation was diffused, it did make Stephanie and I smile a bit… and become slightly worried for what the future brings when they all get bigger and stronger.

The beginning of spring break continued with a night out for me… which meant a nice, big coffee early the next morning for William’s soccer practice.

We’ve moved up a level in soccer.  For the last several months, William and I have done the parent – toddler class together.  Now, William is on the field by himself with me on the sidelines.  Some classes have gone better than others.  Sometimes all he wants to do is come with me and other times he’s very independent and a great listener.  He’s on the younger side of the group, so I think this will continue to improve if we stick with it.  It’s definitely hard not to quit and give up though.

The rest of Saturday went by quickly as I stayed very busy.  I ran errands, went grocery shopping, did laundry, even squeezed in a shower, all before picking up Diana for a “sprinkle” to welcome her second baby that’s on the way!

It was a surprise even though the kind host who took us to the room didn’t get that memo.  “You’re here for the private party?” he asked.  “Ummm yeah,” I quickly replied hoping Diana didn’t catch on.  Then, if that wasn’t enough, he added, “For the baby shower?”  Thanks, bud!  Diana caught on and was surprised anyway to see everyone.  Much to my dismay and like her first child, she refuses to find out what she’s having.  Guess we’ll all be surprised in the next month or so!

linking up with healthy diva

Following the sprinkle, my friends Julie and Sara came over for a makeup party.

Another fun evening didn’t stop me from getting in my morning workout!

Best part about working out at home is definitely little man joining in and both of us rocking the jammies.  Although William definitely gets the win for that one.

On Sunday, we went to a birthday party at one of our favorite places, Miss Kelly’s!

Monkey man had fun swinging and running around.  We celebrated Leo’s third birthday who is also a fellow Paw Patrol lover, like William.  William made him a birthday card and meticulously put 100 different Paw Patrol stickers on it.  When we arrived at a party, a girl asked if she could take his gift and card.  She took the present, but William told her, “No, I want to give my card to Leo (We-o) and tell him about all my stickers!”  And he did!

Ended the weekend with a big family dinner at my parents’ house.  I’m always grateful to be surrounded by so much love…

….especially with this little guy – my favorite!

How was your weekend?

Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla

A few weeks ago, I went on vacation to San Diego, California.  The sun was shining and the weather was warm; I couldn’t ask for anything more.  I was excited to spend time outside and relax.  We stayed at The Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla.  It was perfect and completed our stay!  We learned that it is the seaside town’s oldest original hotel, built in 1913. You would never know it was over 100 years old though, as it’s been renovated and looks very new.

The rooms were nice; they were clean and spacious with plenty of storage space. The hotel had a quaint living room area complete with a fireplace.  The valet parking was clutch.  We didn’t take the car out too much as we spent most of our days walking around outside.  We had an ocean view room.  Waking up to see the ocean is amazing.  (Especially coming from this midwest girl!)  What’s even more amazing, though, is that the Grande Colonial is literally a two minute walk from the beach!  The location was, by far and away, the very best part.  Not only was it a skip, hop, and a jump away from the beach, but it’s located right in the heart of La Jolla.  We were able to walk to lunch and dinner, explore the town, do some shopping, and soak up plenty of sunshine!

If you’re familiar at all with La Jolla, then you probably know about the seals.  It was fun to watch these blubbery animals.  We were able to get pretty close to them and get a good look.  At first, I did not think they were the most attractive animals.  I mean, they are large blobs who don’t move too well on land.  But after watching them, I decided they actually are pretty cute.  Their faces sort of resemble dogs as they both have whiskers.  It was comical to watch the seals “walk” to and from the water.  In the water, they were much more graceful than out of the water.  And there were a couple baby seals who were just adorable!

While there is a lot to do in California, what I was looking forward to most was simply being outside in the sun and walking around.  You know me and you know how much I love walking.  Actually, the Grande Colonial has a partnership with La Jolla Sports Club where you receive a complimentary guest pass.  I wanted to check it out for a workout, but we spent the majority of our time on our feet walking around.  Exercise definitely wasn’t lacking in the fresh air!

linking up with healthy diva today

During my short stay, I was able to see firsthand how majestic the sunsets are.  It’s one thing to see photographs, but it’s extra amazing to witness the sunset and literally watch the sun go down.

There’s something very calming about listening to the ocean, too.  In a world that too oftentimes feels rushed, chaotic, and out of control, standing by the vast water, looking into the sunset, and focusing on just being at that present moment is a very surreal thing.  We all need more moments of peace like this in our lives; I know I do.

Have you ever visited San Diego?

model baby

I know I’m biased, but…

William is the most beautiful baby (toddler) ever.  I’m his mom, of course I think that.  But I hear all the time how precious is curls are and how his dark eyes (like his momma) could melt anyone.  Really, this is just a lighthearted post to highlight my gorgeous little one from January 2017.  He’s growing up so quickly, but forever my baby he’ll always be.

my mom needs caffeine

Ain’t that the truth?  Especially on Mondays!

There are those crazy curls!  They need to be tamed on a daily basis, and I probably do his hair more than most girls, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world!  Or those eyes.  Or that smile.

William loves living in sweats, just like his momma.  So on the rare occasion I get “real” clothes on him, you better believe I’m busting out my camera!

linking up with healthy diva

I just want to squeeze those cheekies!  And that big ol’ curl sticking out from his beanie. There’s something so beautiful about black and white photos; I’ve always loved them.  The closeup of his face confirms that he is certainly a little boy, baby no more.  My little boy, where oh where is the time going?

Chanukah 2016

With 2016 officially in the books, I knew I needed to get my Chanukah 2016 post up!  If for no other reason, because I love looking back on old blog posts from special occasions.  I know blogging has not been consistent these days, that’s a whole different issue, but really it’s for good reasons. I’ve been enjoying life, out of routine, and blogging simply has not been a priority.  I thought I’d try to catch up on life in a few different posts as to not do one huge photo dump of the last month.  So today, Chanukah 2016!  While I have many more pictures from Chanukah, these are specifically the menorah photos, since nothing says Chaunkah like a brightly lit menorah and smiling faces!

William will be three in April, so this is the first Chaunkah he started to understand how it worked.  After the first snow in St. Louis, before Chanukah began, I took him outside to show him the snow in the morning.  “It’s Chanukah?” he asked.  It’s funny how people always associate Christmas with snow, but my little Jewish boy equated Chanukah with snow.  Then, when the snow melted, still before Chanukah began, he questioned, “How will we have Chanukah if there’s no snow?”  The associations he makes and questions he asks continue to amaze me.

William celebrated Chanukah at his school where they played games, ate snacks, and made their own menorahs.

The first night of Chanukah may have been celebrated in the morning because both William and I were too excited to wait for the evening.  We lit the menorah first thing after breakfast and I gave William his first gift.

William is really into playing games right now, so I gave him a new game (Pop Up Pirate), and it provided a lot of entertainment for the day.  His imagination is running wild these days.  We played the game, but then he took the pirate and the barrel and turned it into a ship.  Then, we drew pictures of our own pirate ship and he made the game pirate hop in.

The second night of Chanukah was a big family get together at my cousins’ house.  They host a beautiful Chanukah dinner every year with my mom’s side of the family.  The cousins play, the adults visit, and many menorahs are lit.

My parents had our immediate family over for Chanukah.  I say it over and over again, but it’s still true.  William is so close with his cousins Jacob, Audrey, and Jackson.  I hope that bond is always there.  Yaya and Pops sure instilled love in our family!

linking up with healthy diva 

And now the kids picture:

The following night, William and I went over to Stephanie’s house.  Audrey was so kind in letting William help her with her menorah.  She was cracking up when he went out of order in putting in the candles.  She so gently held his hand while they lit the candles together.

Another night, just William and I spent Chanukah with my mom.  I love our big family, but some quality one on one time is definitely nice, too.

At William’s school, they made menorahs and wrapped them up as gifts which was sweet.

It’s funny because even prior to seeing it, I helped William make handprint menorahs for a Chanukah card for his great-grandparents.  I’m pretty sure there is a handprint craft for every single holiday out there.

The last night of Chanukah fell on New Year’s Eve.  We, of course, spent it with Jacob and Audrey.  Bright lights and a glittery gold background!

I love that Chanukah traditions are beginning with William, and he is starting to appreciate the importance of the holiday.  With our hearts full, Chanukah 2016 (and all of 2016 actually) is officially over!  We have many memories to look back on and celebrate.

How were your holidays?

two and a half year old baby William

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

Yes, I did still title this post two and a half year old baby William.  The other day my dad looked at me and said, “You know he’s not a little baby anymore, right?  He’s such a little boy!”  I know; I’m well aware.  But he’ll always be my little baby.  Just look at this guy, this big boy, this handsome two and a half year old baby!

william-2-half-years

all photos in post by stephanie cotta photography

That’s definitely my most favorite picture to date.  I was extremely lucky that my sister took William’s preschool photos this year.  How she works her magic, I have no idea, but this photo is pure love.  Let’s get to little man’s update:

Height & Weight: 35 1/2 inches and 29.2 pounds

Eating: William eats close to the same thing on days he goes to school, so I try and include more variety into our dinners.  Here’s some of his favorites lately:

  • Breakfast: whole scrambled egg and banana with peanut butter; on days that aren’t school days, he also like french toast or pancakes
  • Lunch: sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich, cheese stick, and grapes
  • Dinner: chicken, spinach / kale balls, avocado, salmon, hamburger, etc.
  • Snacks: pouch (organic carrot apple from TJ’s is his favorite), bar, goldfish, muffins

William LOVES Chipotle.  He can eat a good portion of my bowl and it’s the only way I can get him to eat black beans, rice, and corn.  I started “making Chipotle” at home which is a similar combination to what we order at the real place.  By calling it Chipotle gets him to eat it.  Sometimes I sub quinoa for brown rice and turkey meat for chicken, but other than that it’s close to the same.  Obviously this isn’t all William eats.  Other favorites include pizza or macaroni and cheese, but I have to watch his dairy intake as he is definitely sensitive to it.  Too much or too rich of foods make him sick; he has a sensitive stomach, just like his momma.

Sleeping (naps): Naps are actually consistent these days.  They last for an hour and a half, though sometimes they’re a bit shorter if I’m the one napping him (nothing has changed there!).  He goes down around 1:00 pm.

Sleeping (at night): I don’t want to jinx anything, but dare I say sleeping is going well?  After our second round of sleep training early in the summer, William puts himself to sleep (though sometimes he does like me to lay in the room with him), stays asleep throughout the night, and wakes up at 6:30 on average.  Some days it’s 6:15, but other days it’s 6:45 which is fantastic!  The only thing that has been messing with sleep is his darn molars that are taking forever to come through.

william-2-half-years-bw

Clothing: Mostly 2T.  His Carter’s sleepers are 3T and most of his pants are 18/24 months.  William’s shoe size is 8, though I probably need to have him measured again soon.  He’s always had big feet.

linking up with healthy diva life

New this year: So much!  William is currently enrolled in soccer which is a lot of fun.  It’s mostly about following the directions, but there are some technical drills weaved in.  He took a couple of swimming lessons over the summer.  William is talking up a storm!  He’s always talking and is so hilarious.  His imagination is seriously incredible.  I’m pretty sure he learned it completely from his cousin Audrey.  William loves reading the same books over and over again.  Sometimes he’ll read them along with me when I do and other times he will read them by himself which totally melts my heart.  He’s doing great riding his tricycle and is very independent in general.

William’s talking, memory, and ability to take in information amazes me.  He asks “why” no less than 500 times a day. He hears everything, wants to know how it all works, the reasons behind things.  He’s literally a sponge.

William makes me laugh all day long with the things he says.  “Hold on, Mom.  Hold on.  I have a question!”  In the evening before bed, “Toys open?”  No.  “Toys closed?  That’s what my teachers say.”

William likes: William loves anything relating to fire trucks, trains, tools, construction machines, soccer, baseball, books, pretend play, fishing, music, being outside, his cousins, his Yaya and Pops, and nursing.  (Yep, still going strong!)  At our house, he rides his “trucks” pretending they are fire trucks or pretending he’s going to fix something like Bob the Builder.  He loves playing in his kitchen, pretending to call his cousins, or playing doctor.  His mind is always going.  Audrey slept over last weekend, and William woke up extra early, but was still half asleep as he said, “Audrey here?”  He’s woken up in the middle of the night, clearly in the middle of a dream, saying things like, “Hit the ball!” or “Yaya and Pops house?”

William dislikes: William has a harder time sharing his toys when we’re at our house.  If he needs to share a toy when he is at school or at a friend’s house, he is much better, but there’s something about his own toys.  I’m sure (I hope) he’ll grow out of this phase.

william-2half-years

He’s my little man, definitely a momma’s boy, and my favorite person in the world.  My heart couldn’t be fuller with this one in my life!

Mommas, tell me, what should I expect these next six months?

friends are important

Friends are important. All the time, no matter who you are, how old you are, what stage of life you’re in, how long you’ve been friends, or how the friendship developed; the bottom line is: friends are important.  Friendships develop very early on, but just because you grow older, they don’t stop.  Friends change, just as people do, but true friendships last no matter the time that goes in between seeing or talking or the distance that may keep you apart.  I have friends that I’ve known my entire life and also friends that I’ve made in the last year.  I have friends from my childhood, high school, college, previous jobs, current coworkers, playgroup, etc.

As I was scrolling through the photos in my phone, I was smiling remembering the time spent with my friends throughout these past couple of months when I wasn’t blogging and thought today was a good day to share some of these snapshots.

steph sara julie

On Saturday night, a few of us had an impromptu girls night out.  I picked up my sister Stephanie on the way out, and as she entered my car, she said noticed, “Do we have the exact same outfit on?!”  Not planned!  Then, when we met Sara and Julie out, we saw their outfits were almost identical, as well.  Not planned either.  Friends who stick together dress the same?  Or something like that.  We had a wonderful evening, talking, and laughing until there were tears in our eyes.

mck-gno

I’m lucky in that I get to teach with ladies who have become some of my closest friends.  It’s funny to spend over 40 hours a week with each other during the school year, and then not see them very often over the summer.  We planned a couple girls night outs, so we didn’t go the entire two months without!

caitlin july16

Caitlin and I met when we were 15 hostessing at First Watch.  Despite going to different high schools, colleges, and living in different states the last ten years, we’ve remained close as ever.  Now that Caitlin is back in St. Louis, it’s like we were never apart, and we get to have as much fun now (or more?) than we did when we were 15!

linking up with katie and erin 

mara rachel julie steph jen

When I became a mom, I knew I wanted to join a playgroup to be able to connect with other women going through the same thing I was.  Little did I know, these girls would become some of my closest friends.  Two and a half years later, we continue to plan play dates, celebrate special occasions, share / question / discuss the ins and outs of being mommas to our littles.

caitlin heather angel

Another amazing thing about friends is when friends from different areas of your life get together.  These were some girls during my birthday celebration and they only know each other through me.  We had such a fun night and everyone got along great.

julie mara sara jen

Maintaining and making time for friends can be challenging.  Everyone is busy, so putting in time and effort is required.  It’s not to say that you’re not friends with those who you may not speak with on a regular basis.  I have many friends who we have phone dates every so often or we see each other maybe just once a year due to location, but it’s always as though no time has passed.  Friendships are strong and I’m grateful to have so many important friendships in my life.  Obviously, many of my friends are not pictured in this post, but looking through past pictures was a nice reminder of how I’m surrounded by loving, smart, caring, and inspiring ladies.

In a time where the world can be a scary place, friends (and family) are more important than ever.  Reach out to those you love and keep in touch! 🙂

Pinterest Craft Wins for Father’s Day 2016

If you know me, then you know I’m the least crafty person ever.  I’m a fourth grade teacher, but have awful handwriting.  If I need to write nicely, I need to write very slowly and make an intense conscious effort.  (I will say, I do have nice cursive, if I take my time.)  My mom is an artist through and through.  My sister got that gene, too.  They both have great creative eyes.  Not me.  Anyway, I’m proud to share some Pinterest Craft Wins for Father’s Day 2016 today!  You’ll see what I mean when I say I’m not crafty.  These Pinterest craft wins were made by my toddler, facilitated by me for the special guys in our lives.

fathersday16 dad

My dad, he’s just the best.  Seriously the best.  And can you see why I’m obsessed with my hair?  This was the first time after I washed it and it took me five minutes to blow dry, no flat iron needed!  Alright, now onto Father’s Day Pinterest crafts!

My dad, William’s “Pops”

fathersday16 pops

William, if there’s one person in the world who I want you to be exactly like, it’s your Pops.  My dad is the smartest, kindest, most selfless, hardest working person I know.  We joke that he’s perfect and never make mistakes and I follow closely in his lead.  He can fix anything and do anything.  In fact, no matter where we are, if something is broken, William tells me, “Pops, fix it!”  We sure love our Pops!

A close-up of Pops’ masterpiece:

craft footprint pops

Made up of four footprints, I had this piece matted.  When I saw it on Pinterest, it was really four separate pieces, but I knew we could squeeze it onto one.  William is very into all of these, fire engines, tractors, dump trucks, and race cars, so it was perfect!

My grandpa, William’s great-grandpa, “Papa”

fathersday16 papa

Papa is the athlete of the family and calls William his number one!  He’ll be fine-tuning William’s skills for all sports soon enough.  Papa’s biggest sport is golf and he’s won some impressive titles during his golfing days!  So his craft:

craft papa

You are the best Papa by par!  Heh, heh.  Hand prints for the grass, golf tees, and colored pom poms for the golf balls.

linking up with katie and erin 

My grandpa, William’s great-grandpa, “Poppy”

fathersday16 poppy

Poppy’s expertise is fishing, boats, and cars, just to name a few.  He tells William to hug him, “but not too tight!”  It’s so funny to hear him say this since they’re the same words we heard growing up.  It won’t be long before William goes to his first circus or rodeo with Poppy, just like I did!

craft poppy

Hooked on Poppy!  Footprint for the fishing pole and hand print for the fish.  William so beautifully helped color in the water.

See?  Even I could handle those crafts!  William LOVED making hand and footprints!  It was fun picking out crafts for each of these wonderful men.  To say William and I are both blessed to have them in our lives would be an understatement.  We love every minute we get to spend with them!

One more bonus photo from the weekend.  Audrey slept over and brought clothes that she knew William could match.  When I did her hair in the morning, she requested a side pony, so of course William wanted the same thing, as well.

aud matching june16

Are they the cutest twinsies or what?!  Possibly my favorite picture of them.

Are you crafty? Do you enjoy making things?

Mamma Chia Giveaway

You know when you love something you just have to take a duck-faced selfie with it?  No?  Just me?

mamma chia drink

Oh c’mon, you know you do it, too!

Mamma Chia, the leader of the chia revolution, has created a delicious new beverage that combines the powerhouse of chia with healthy, vibrant greens.

Chia & Greens is a delicious, fun on-the-go beverage with one of the lowest amounts of sugar and the highest amount of nutrients in the green drinks universe. In fact, each bottle delivers 2500mg of Omega-3s, seven grams of fiber, four grams of complete protein, 25% RDA of Vitamin A, and 95mg of calcium. Enjoy it as a kick-start to your day, as a revitalizing mid-afternoon pick-me-up or anytime you want that feeling of rejuvenation!  It comes in four tasty flavors:

  • Soulful Greens (Cayenne and Lemon)
  • Love Greens (Beet and Ginger)
  • Grateful Greens (Kale and Mint)
  • Joyful Greens (Ginger and Lemongrass)

People always ask me if chia drinks are good.  YES!  The texture is different since obviously they are filled with chia seeds which forms a gel-like consistency, but if that doesn’t bother you, then the taste is amazing.  Not to mention the awesome nutritional benefits that, Mamma Chia especially, chia drinks deliver!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mamma Chia.  They recently sent me a huge package which William and I both have been enjoying.

mamma chia bar

The chia vitality bars are great to throw in your purse.  I took this one out when I was getting my hair done at Preston Salon (the best in St. Louis!).  These chia vitality bars are extra amazing since there are only four grams of sugar in them.  This is VERY low compared to other snack bars and the flavors are awesome!

I also received some chia vitality granola clusters which is the crunchiest granola I’ve ever had.  The flavors are: Wild Blueberry Clusters (my favorite!), Vanilla Almond Clusters, Cinnamon Pecan Clusters, and Honey & Oats Clusters.  I’ve been topping my smoothies with them, adding granola to yogurt, and eating it straight out of the bag.  The wild blueberry flavor tastes like a blueberry muffin!

~ linking up with healthy diva ~

William has been demolishing the chia squeezes.

mamma chia squeeze

William is a picky eater (aren’t all toddlers?!), but always loves pouches.  I try to reserve them just as treats, and the chia squeezes are definitely treats with their fun flavors.  William gets an extra punch of nutrition when he eats one of these squeezes.  Audrey approves of them, as well, and now always asks for one when she comes to my house.  Check out these fun flavors: Cherry BeetBlackberry BlissGreen MagicMango CoconutStrawberry BananaWild Raspberry.

Now for the best part: Mamma Chia is graciously giveaway away one gigantic package of Mamma Chia goodness to one of YOU lucky readers!  You’ll receive the same package that I did (plus a couple extra chia squeezes that aren’t pictured since William got to them before I snapped the photo!):

mamma chia

To enter this giveaway, comment on this blog post and tell us which Mamma Chia  product you’re most excited to try (mandatory!).  For additional optional entries:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Mamma Chia on Twitter and tweet the following, “AMAZING @MammaChia giveaway on @ItzLinz’s blog! Check it out –  http://wp.me/p2WMfo-3E2 #SeedYourSoul #FitFluential”
  • Follow Itz Linz and Mamma Chia on Instagram and like my Mamma Chia Instagram post.  Tag up to three friends for additional entries!

Be sure to comment on this post to have your additional entries counted!  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm CST.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, June 10, 2016.  CLOSED

Congratulations #18,  Gia E. Please email me with your shipping information, so we can get your package of Mamma Chia goodness to you ASAP! 🙂

~Disclaimer: Through my partnership with FitFluential, I received these products at no cost in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

summer running has begun!

It’s official, summer running has begun!  Just writing the word “summer” makes me so happy.  I love love love teaching, but I also love love love summer!  (Can you blame me?!)  My last day of school was last week, and William’s school celebrated his last day with a picnic.  Of course Yaya and Audrey joined us to make it even better!

picnic yaya audrey

Do you spy those Mamma Chia squeeze pouches in the kids’ lunches?  I received an AMAZING package from them and will be giving away the very same package in the near future – it was loaded with Mamma Chia goodness! Stay tuned!

William couldn’t finish his lunch fast enough before he got to play.  There was “fishing” (in a kiddie pool with magnetic fishing poles and fish), swinging, throwing, catching, running, and more.  There was also a special visit from an ice cream truck!  I got a vanilla ice cream cone for William because I know he likes those.  Big mistake!  Audrey got some character popsicle thing (disgusting, in my opinion lol), and William HAD to have the exact same thing…

ice cream aud may16

Lesson learned, Mom.  About 12 licks later, he was over it anyway.

Last week, it seemed to rain just about everyday, so when the sun was shining this weekend, we made sure to soak up every second!  We went on lots of walks, runs, and bike rides.  If William wants to run, he gives me Zoey’s leash to hold.  Well on Saturday he wanted momma to run, so he held Zoey while I trotted along in front.

running zo may16

William seriously LOVES to run (maybe all toddlers do??), and that makes me so happy!  Something that doesn’t make me happy is a stinky dog.  Whenever I wash my bed sheets, I always give Zoey a bath.  I figure that everything / everyone can be clean at least for a day.  William likes to help me give Zoey a bath.  When we’re finished, I bundle up Zoey like a baby in the towel, and last time William wanted to hold her for the first time.  He did a great job and thought it was hilarious, so I had to snap a picture!

zoey bath

linking up with katie and erin

And my own summer running has begun, as well.  I know I always talk about wanting to get back into running, but I’m so constrained by time.  This summer, I should be able to run four times a week – that’s my goal.  It might shift into different workouts, but right now I really want to build up my endurance and speed because that is long gone.  Come on muscle memory, where are ya?!  So this weekend, I pounded out two miles on BOTH Saturday and Sunday!

running selfie

They were slow, but I made it through!  Hey, it’s a start!  Now I’ve got to make my racing calendar for the summer!

Who ran this weekend? What are your summer racing plans?

My First Ikea Trip

And just like that… May is here!  Is time flying for anyone else?  I have just three weeks of school left before summer vacation.  It’ll be a busy three weeks, and break will be here before I know it.  For now, I’ll stay in the moment instead of getting ahead of myself.  Let’s recap the weekend; it was a fun one, indeed, and included my first Ikea trip.  That happened on Sunday, so let me highlight Friday and Saturday first.

Audrey and William spent the day together at my parents’ house on Friday.  They thought this was the coolest thing ever since they’re two peas in a pod, and I took them both home with me once I got off of work.  They ate a good dinner, so we went to Trader Joe’s and bought mini ice cream cones which was an obvious hit.

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Audrey ate hers in 30 seconds, while William took forever, had it dripping all over him, and needed me to eat the chocolate off so he could get to the ice cream.  Then they both thought it was the greatest thing ever to throw their cones when they finished the ice cream (who doesn’t eat the cones?!).

Saturday morning included a coffee date because those are the sweetest on the weekend.  I ended up running a bunch of errands, as well.  William thought he would rearrange part of his play area and become part of it…

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Silly baby!

linking up with katie and erin

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday evening, so we decided to walk to a nearby ice cream joint.  It was a lovely stroll, we enjoyed ice cream (as always!), and then a MASSIVE THUNDERSTORM rolled in!  Crazy winds, loud thunder, tons of lightning and hail; there was no way we could walk home!  Luckily, we were close and ended up getting a ride home.  When we finally arrived back at my house, we were greeted with a beautiful double rainbow!

double rainbow

William thought it was pretty awesome, too!

Sunday came and I finally went to Ikea for the first time!  It’s been in St. Louis for maybe six months or so (totally guessing there, but it’s still fairly new), and I’ve really been wanting to go to see what all the rave was about.  My thoughts?  Pretty overwhelming!  The whole store is a maze and I never had any idea where I was.  It’d be much better to go in there with specific items you need instead of just to look, although it was fun just to look.  And I did end up finding a new large kitchen door mat which was perfect.  I assume Ikea is similar to Target in that you always find something that you “need.”  The prices are crazy cheap!  I’m not sure if it means the quality is just as cheap, but I definitely see what the appeal is.  William picked out a pack of 100 straws.  They were a dollar and a half.  I couldn’t say no.

After browsing through the first floor, we took a gigantic elevator up to the showroom.  William showed his skills by busting out some pull ups.

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He might actually be part monkey.  He climbs on and swings from everything he can reach.  Literally.

We hung out at home for a few hours after Ikea before going to a birthday party where William could actually climb, swing, and jump.  He loved it and was ready for a bath when we got home.  And if you needed any further proof that he is, actually, 100% my child…

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THE ROBE! MY LIFE!

And now I’m off to sleep as I type this Sunday evening.  I’m going to try to be better about posting this week, but I do have a really busy week coming up.  I know, you’ll miss me. 😉  Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@itzlinz) as I’m always posting my adventures there!

What’d you do this weekend? Have you ever been to Ikea?