Thursday, September 23, 2010

Puppy Pool-ooza!

This was the second year that we attended the Indian Hills Puppy Pool-ooza party to close out the summer. The party is for dogs (and their owners) to celebrate the conclusion of the pool season and let the dogs have their day in the water (just before they drain the pools). Molly the pug is so social, so this event is right up her alley. Of course, she can't really swim - she's just too dense - but she loves a good party nonetheless. Last year she wore her life jacket because we were so worried she would follow a big dog right into the deep end and sink to the bottom (guesses on who would dive in after her?). Her life jacket has a handle on the back, so we could pick her out of the water like a six-pack of beer from a cooler! She also took her terry cloth spa robe, of course, for after-swim lounging. Here are some pics from last year:

This year's Puppy Pool-ooza was a great opportunity for us to head out as a family - pug and baby in tow. Naturally we fussed over the baby a bit more than the dog, but I think she's used to that by now. And Molly took home the Best in Show Best Costume Award because this year she went dressed as a GOLFER! She even had three clubs - driver, 9 iron, and putter. It's just a coincidence that those are the only three clubs I ever use! Even Hudson dressed the part in shorts and a polo with a pug on it!

The pool deck was completely packed with dogs of all sizes. Even the baby pool was a popular place...until there was a little accident in that pool and then it really cleared out! Dogs were even jumping off the diving board! Year two of Puppy Pool-ooza was a huge success. Now we'd better start working on Molly's costume for next year!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Shower for the Arthurs

We co-hosted the first baby shower for Whitney and Robby Arthur last weekend with Chris and Melissa Clarkson and Annie and Ryan Anderson. It was a co-ed shower and we had an amazing turn out – almost 40 people! 
Ryan & Annie, Chris & Melissa, Whitney & Robby, Emily & Rollie
For the group gift, we did an “On the Go” theme and purchased their stroller, infant carrier car seat, baby Bjorn, and car and stroller accessories. My mom made the most amazing diaper cake (ribbon even matched the adorable invitation). And we did a clothesline of baby items (sleepers, onesies, bibs, socks and burp cloths) to match the invitation. 
The ribbon we found matched the invitation perfectly!
Sleepers, bibs, socks, and more from Carters!
The invitation turned out really cute. I tried to design it to match their nursery with the green and stripes.
We served a full dinner of Italian – complete with lasagna, tortellini, meatballs in marinara sauce, Caesar salad, garlic bread, plus bruschetta and spinach and artichoke dip for appetizers.

Amazing Italian Dinner!
The little bud vases are actually glass baby bottles.
Mini cupcakes from Baby Cakes - check out the amazing tiered display trays.
The highlight of the shower was a hilarious game that we made up. Typically I do not care for shower games, but this was pretty funny and unique. We filled plastic baby bottles with 2 oz of beer and gave to each of the guys for a drinking contest. Robby didn’t know it, but his bottle had been rigged with a  slow-flow Level 1 nipple – so he was sucking and sucking and not getting any beer out! It was pretty hilarious. Of course Rollie and I had to test this out and determine how much beer to use. Here are our sample bottles!

Practice round for Emily (pink bottle with Level 3 nipple) and Rollie (blue with Level 1).
The dad-to-be didn't even know that nipples came in different sizes. Jokes on him!

Friday, September 17, 2010


The happiest time of day at our house is bath time! Hudson has just loved having baths almost since day one. He smiles and giggles in his “whale of a tub” in the kitchen sink. And we have fun dressing him in different hooded towels for every bath. The joy of bath time can only truly be explained in pictures. 


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Swim Bike Run!

I was able to start jogging again about 5 weeks after having Hudson. I had to wait another couple of weeks to really start up running again like I did before baby though. Having a c-section just meant I had a little longer recovery time. It felt so great to get out there and run again though. The first time out, I just felt like myself again (for the first time in really almost a year)!

I decided to vary my work outs and get back in shape post-baby by training for a triathlon. If J-Lo can do it, I can do it! I registered for the Jackson County Tri out at Longview Lake. It was so great to have a goal and a work out plan, and also really a nice change for me to add in the biking and swimming to my normal running routine. I started a basic training schedule of swimming, running, and cycling each twice a week (with one day off). It wasn’t hard to keep this up while still on maternity leave, but when I started back at work on July 21st, it became a bit more challenging. It was so much easier to be away from Hudson for an hour per day when I was on leave, but add that extra hour to the work-day and it was almost impossible to cram in that work-out when I was so anxious to get home to see him.  

Luckily, a coworker of mine was training for the same Tri. We brought our bikes to work and stored them here and twice a week would take them out for a few laps around the 4-mile airport loop, usually over our lunch hour. The convenience of having an established bike route right around our offices made this possible. I did a couple of BRICKs, which stands for Bike + Run = It Can Kill, and also did a few combo workouts with biking and swimming and running and swimming, just to see how I’d handle the transitions. 

The best preparation, however, was biking the entire Longview Bike Loop with my dad. We thought we’d just do a flat course first, but decided to tackle the real thing. Cycling is by far my weakest link of the Swim-Bike-Run combo. If only it were Swim-Run-Run or Swim-Run-Golf! But we did the Longview Loop and although exhausting and extraordinarily hilly, it was definitely doable. After that, I was certain I could finish the Tri. It was mental preparation as much as physical.

I was so fortunate to have an amazing support system for both training and the day of the race. My dad was a great cycling companion, Rollie (and Hudson in the Bob Jogger stroller) joined me for the weekend running, and the gals watched pool side as I did my laps (and often times watched Hudson so I could do this). And of course, my mom was always willing to watch little Hudson so I could get those work outs in – even coming over early in the morning so I could run or bike before it was too hot outside. 

And the day of the race I even had amazing friends out there cheering me on! Brandi Smith (and her darling fiance Scott) went above and beyond by baking muffins, bringing Vitamin Waters, delivering water along the route, making a custom sign with my name and number (!) and Brandi even ran alongside me for the last stretch of the race! I don’t think I could have done it without her. My aunt Pat surprised me by coming and taking gorgeous pictures. And of course the hubs, Hudson and my folks were there as my biggest fans. I ordered Hudson a custom onesie that said: Swim, Mommy, Swim – Bike, Mommy, Bike – Run, Mommy, Run! I contemplated one that said: “Cryathlete: Eat, Sleep, Poop”


All in all, it was an amazing experience. I beat my time goal, even though my biking really slowed me down. I think if I do another one of these some day, I’d have to get a nicer bike than the old mountain bike I borrowed from my dad. But where my cycling suffered, my swimming was actually better than I expected. And I passed another 50 people on the run portion alone! My transitions were also very smooth and not at all stressful. 

Triathlon complete! Cross it off the bucket list. And with fans like this, maybe someday I’ll even do another.  


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Pool

Hudson's first trip to the Pool
For some reason I thought we wouldn’t be using the Indian Hills country club facilities (pool, golf course, etc.) very much this summer with the baby coming. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Rollie golfed more this summer than he ever has in his life and Hudson and I spent many of our days poolside, both during the week and on the weekends. When it wasn’t too hot, Hudson and I found a spot under an umbrella and enjoyed our lazy summer days to the fullest.

Hudson really loved taking a little dip in the baby pool. It’s completely covered with a shaded pergola, which is perfect because he’s still too little to wear sunscreen. 

Just loungin' poolside
He also still loves being dressed up, so we had to embrace the many infant swim trunks and bucket hats out there! We got the Lobster outfit as a gift and also stocked up at Mady & Me in Prairie Village and Baby Gap and Old Navy. Hunting for cute boy clothes is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  And yes, he is usually this happy at the pool - and who wouldn't be!?

And here he is with his favorite pool buddies: Melissa holding him on the left and Brandi on the right.

Hudson is so happy at the pool. Too bad this was the last pool day of the summer!

Maternity Leave

I had loads of anxiety about maternity leave on the days leading up to Hudson’s arrival. I haven’t taken more than 2 weeks off work since our honeymoon, and really that was the longest break I had ever had since I started working full time 10 years ago. I was so sure it would be difficult to be away from the office and my work routine.

Boy, was I wrong! Maternity leave was incredible! Of course it didn’t hurt that it was gorgeous spring/summer weather, so it was the perfect time of year to take 12 weeks off work. Hudson and I spent most of the maternity leave going on long walks, shopping and going to the pool. Every morning we would go for a walk before it got too warm, then in the afternoons we’d either hit the pool or call my mom and all take a shopping excursion together either to a shopping center or to the Farmers Market. We got pretty good at that routine and although I was looking forward to going back to work and seeing all of my colleagues, I cherished every second of maternity leave. 

My sister and Mom, on our many walks with Hudson
My sister came to visit the second week of May, which was perfect timing since we were finally out and about by then. We weren't supposed to leave the house for the first two weeks, which ended up being fine since it rained those first two weeks anyway. We went on a lot of walks as soon as we were ready to leave the house. 

Here are my top five favorite places in Kansas City to go on maternity leave and the food/beverage that must accompany them:
  1. Wednesday Fresh Market at Park Place with the Wild Mushroom Pizza from Ingredient
  2. Nordstrom at Oak Park Mall and a Piccolo of Gelato from Paciugo
  3. Indian Hills Country Club Pool lets you Build-Your-Own-Salad, poolside
  4. Country Club Plaza browsing, sipping a Mocha Light Frappachino from Starbucks
  5. Overland Park Farmers Market & The Tasteful Olive with Kettle Corn from local vendor
And we also spent a fair amount of time getting dressed up and taking pictures. He just loves having his diaper and clothes changed, so we had fun getting dressed up every day! 
World Cup Soccer Fan
Happy Baby!
He's always smiley on the changing table
He just loves laying on the couch at my parents' house and staring at the ceiling fan!
With his favorite toy: sock monkey
Being silly on the boppy
Crazy hair!
Dressed up for Father's Day