Jul 23, 2013

Inspiration for a Rainbow Princess Crown Party

I'm busy planning Taylee's 4th birthday party. It's going to be a fun one. Here's my inspiration for her party.

Here's a little wish list I've put together for her.

1. Pretend Microphone
3. Stuffed characters: Minnie Mouse and Daisy. Doc McStuffin characters: Lamby and Hippo
5. Not sure about this but... a nice babydoll
6. Not sure about this one either but maybe a dollhouse
7. A few new Dr. Seuss books (that they don't have): Happy Birthday to You, Horton Hears a Who, Oh, The Thinks you Think, Fox in Socks 

She's so excited about her party. And has been very specific about who she wants to invite and what foods she's going to have. It all started when she asked Daddy: "Can we have mango cake to share with my friends for my birthday?" Yes. Yes you can. (Except - it might be rainbow layer cake instead of mango. Hope that's okay little girl.)

Jul 22, 2013

Sprint Tri - You Go Girl

A couple of weekends ago (July 7th to be exact) I competed in the You Go Girl Sprint Tri. It was so much fun!! Done with girlfriends and 6 weeks of training behind me, it was a great race. I tried not to get too nervous or think too much about it. The worst part of the whole experience was the 5 AM wake up call. After arriving on site and seeing over 100 other women all decked out in their gear, I got a little intimidated not going to lie. I had to keep reminding myself that they've probably done 1 or 2 or 10 before. And this was my first one.

I knew that as long as I felt physically good, I could go hard. So I started the race with the plan to go as fast as I could for each event. It was a sprint after all.

(Waiting in line to start the swim. They staggered us so that we wouldn't all run into each other in the water.)

Here were my approximate times:
250m swim - 5:20
Transition time 4:00 
(yikes!!! That's a lot! Next time I'll have to practice being quicker. And un-tie my shoes beforehand!)
10 mile bike ride - 35 minutes (15 mpg avg pace)
2.5 mile - 22 minutes
Total time: 1 hr 7 minutes

Yep, pretty good times. I placed 27th overall out of 101 women. Not too bad. I'm definitely hooked now and am already looking for my next race. Initially I thought I would want to do a longer distance tri, but I'm thinking the sprint is perfect. You can go as hard and as fast as you can for a short distance. Anything longer you'd have to pace yourself and reserve your energy for the longer miles.

Since doing a triathlon was something I had talked about doing and wanted to do for a long time, I feel like this was a major score and accomplishment. Definitely reaching a long term goal. It didn't hurt that I did well and felt great and got in good shape while training for it too.

Packing the night before...

There's a lot to remember and a lot of equipment you need to do a tri. Not to mention a fast bike. (I borrowed a one from a friend). I ended up swimming in my shorts and put my shirt on top afterwards. Most of the girls had tri suits which they could swim, bike and run in - so next time I'll have to get one of those. I also ended up biking in my running shoes which was fine. And I didn't wear my biking gloves (my hands go numb when I bike thus the need for gloves). I didn't want to take the extra time to change too many times. 

Here's me and my friend Misti before and after the race. The first pic is "what were we thinking?" kind of look and the second "after" pic is "I can't even look straight" kind of face.

Taking off for the run.

Right after - needing to re-hydrate 

Me, my neighbor Mary (who also did it with us and only trained for about 3 weeks), and Misti.

Jul 19, 2013

The way she runs and counts

This girl is a pretty funny little person. 

How pretty is the backdrop to this splash park?

Running Girl

Marc and I both have commented about the way she runs. She runs super fast for a little person and seems to use her whole body, picking her feet up extra high to take even bigger strides.

A few notes about this video:
1. I need to remember to flip my phone around when taking videos so the image frame is horizontal and not vertical. Keep forgetting that little detail.
2. She asks to wear (with the sweetest little smile) this pink tutu every single day. How can I say no?
3. She counts "1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. She forgets 4 every. single. time. She knows about four. Can make the number 4 with her fingers. Talks about 4. But I think she does not like the number 4. She purposely forgets it all the time.

Jul 8, 2013

Fountain Fun

This past weekend we finally made it downtown on Saturday morning for the farmer's market. The weather was beautiful and sunny a nice change from all the grey rainy days we've had this summer.

The girls were tired and hot so we let them play in one of the fountains. They had lots of fun running around. Next time, we'll have to plan on bringing their swimsuits to wear instead of clothes.


Jul 5, 2013

June Recap

Here's a little look at our summer so far.

Stasiya playing pretend with her purse and phone. And falling asleep in the shopping cart at Walmart.

Look where I found her.

And look what she found? That big smile = LOLLY'S!!!

A cupcake decorating birthday party BOTH girls were invited to. 

The birthday girl and one of Taylee's best friend's Lane.

Girl got her nails done and lips on and checking herself out in the mirror.

They took swim lessons for the month of June at the Y.

Enjoyed the day at a friend's pool (and riding in their golf cart too!)

Fell asleep (A LOT) in the car.

Twinsies for the day.

They got matching new princess dresses and shoes from Nana.

And with Father's Day & Grandma & Grandpa's visit - you are all caught up on our summer so far.

Oh yeah, one more thing...Taylee cut a big chunk of her hair.

It's actually not too obvious. But we've had to restrict the use of scissors and really emphasize the fact that "you only cut paper." P.S. We also found a chunk of Stasiya's hair too. (I think it came from the back of her hair (Taylee cut it). I never could tell where exactly it got cut.) Ha!

Jul 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!!

It's a rainy cloudy grey day today. We're mostly staying inside and not doing too much today. Marc is attempting to grill...we'll see how that goes. We have a few (safe) fireworks to do with girls this afternoon. Hoping for some sunshine. Praying we could send all this rain out west. 

Wishing you a happy Independence Day...thankful for our freedom.

The Benjamins

Jul 2, 2013

Grandma & Grandpa

Last week Grandma and Grandpa (Marc's mom and dad) came to visit us from Florida. We helped Marie celebrate her 60th birthday! Lunise (Marc's sister) was also in and out so we had a full house for the week. The girls really enjoyed spending time with them and had lots of fun each day playing with them. Here's some pics of their visit.

They shared some food.

"I love you Grandma"

Got lots of bows in their hair.

They got their hair done.

While I brushed Taylee's hair out, Marie braided it. With us both working together at the same time it still took us an hour! Whew! That girl has a lot of curly hair!



We also had (another) little photoshoot on Marie's birthday. She had a special colorful skirt she wanted to wear and the girls got dressed up with extra accessories aka necklaces and headbands and pretty dresses too.

For her birthday dinner we had an international meal: grilled plantains (Haitian), pesto green beans (italian), curry chicken (indian), and chocolate gataeu (french cake). Everything tasted amazing thanks to Marco Polo Toto's amazing cooking skills.


I caught the tail end of Taylee's happy birthday song to Grandma.

Afterwards, we had a little dance party to some Haitian music.