Planning a Trip to Boston!

In October we will be heading to Boston and I cant’ wait. for. this. trip!

Our trip takes us from our home, down to Buffalo, NY and then down to Boston. We have tickets for the Patriots in Buffalo on October 12 for our 4 year wedding anniversary, and then we have more tickets for the Thursday night game in Foxboro, where the Patriots will play the Jets. We are a football loving family, so we are so pumped about this trip! Odin has had a love for football since he was 3 days old, and already know what “Tom Brady throws” and “what Gronk catches”- see his touchdown arms below:

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When we arrive in Boston, my husband is driving me to a spot where I can run the dreaded Newton Hills. I’ve mapped out a 10km stretch of the Boston Marathon route to run, and it’s going to be hilly! I eventually hope to run the Boston Marathon one day, so I wanted to run part of the route while we are there, and it just made sense to run the toughest part. I know it won’t equate to the experience of running the hills approximately 25km into the 42.2km run, so I will savour the run, because hopefully the next time I set foot on those hills, it will be as a marathon participant 🙂

We plan to spend time in Boston, going to Cheers, some running shops, TD arena, Fenway, then spend a day on Cape Cod, and then game day in Foxboro at Patriots Place and the Patriots hall of fame.

Food stops include Wahlburgers, the Cheesecake Factory (a must in every city we travel to) some yummy seafood on the Cape (looking for restaurant suggestions!) and of course Dunkin’ Donuts.

I’ve mentioned a few of our plans for our trip, but we are also looking for suggestions! Feel free to leave a comment with any of your Boston “must-sees/must-dos”!

 

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Toddlers, Sleep and Big Boy Beds

When Odin was a baby,  he stayed in our room in a bassinet for awhile, and then in a crib in his own room which is next to ours. He was definitely not one of those babies that had a sleep schedule or times each day where I could count on him to nap. I was ok with this. I believed that if he wanted to sleep, he would sleep. Most of his naps occurred in the jogging stroller, which I was also ok with, as it meant I could run and he would sleep – win win combination!

Odin would fall asleep most nights between 8:30-10:30pm, which is much later than most of the other babies we knew. Like most people with a baby/toddler, we rode the roller coaster of changing sleep patterns, periods of more predictable, consistent stretches of sleep, and then weeks on end of wondering why my child feels that sleep isn’t necessary (and when I also discovered that coffee should be available in IV drips – or Starbucks should deliver 😉 )

Now, Odin is just shy of being 21 months old. We had a couple of months where he was falling asleep at a reasonable time and napping regularly – heaven! Then all of a sudden he had a two-three week period where he would stay up until 11:30pm or so, no matter what we tried (crying it out isn’t something we were comfortable with – we would let him cry for a few minutes, but after that, we would move on to a different method, as he clearly wasn’t self-soothing). When Odin was a baby, I never really thought that we would co-sleep, but it was periods of time like this where co-sleeping was the only way for anyone to get any sleep. So we went with it.

Recently, to get him to fall asleep at an earlier time, we started getting ready for bed together and I would lay with him in our bed until he fell asleep, then move him into his crib. Most of the time, he would fall asleep in 15 minutes or less. More often than not, he would wake up immediately after I’d move him into the crib, regardless of how long I let him sleep in our bed for. Some nights I’d fall asleep and he would end up staying in our bed the entire night. However, for the most part, he was sleeping through the entire night. He was well rested and we were all getting a solid nights sleep.

Odin has been fascinated with our bed and the bed in the spare room in the basement. He has even been playing with his toys downstairs, and climbed into the bed in the spare room and fallen asleep. These signs – and the fact that he has never really liked his crib and sleeps better in a bed – make me wonder if it’s Odin’s way of letting us know he’s ready for a big boy bed. Part of me thinks a toddler bed with rails might be the solution.  This way I can put him in his room, in his bed, and help him fall asleep there.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this does the trick, as Odin went straight from boob to sippy cup and skipped bottles. Perhaps bassinet to bed may be his transition, spending minimal time in a crib.

When did you move your toddler into a bed? Were there any sleep tactics that worked best for you?

Feelin’ Like Fall…In August

It’s bad enough that we had what seemed like the longest winter ever here in Ottawa, but this week it feels like summer left us too 😦 I love, love, love fall, but I’m not ready for it yet. Ready for football, yes, ready for chilly weather, not so much.

Patriots Game

Here are some of the things I’m loving right now, as well as things we love about the fall:

  • Football – we are die hard Patriots fans in our house. Odin has loved football since he was three days old (I’m not even joking) and attended his first NFL game at 9 months old. This fall, we are fortunate enough to be going to see the Patriots in Buffalo and then 5 days after that, watching the Patriots play at home in Foxborough!
  • New England in the fall – we will be in Boston and Vermont in October and I can’t wait. It’s the perfect time to be going there, not to mention, lots of football too 🙂
  • Starbucks Salted Caramel Mochas – my favourite fall drink will be returning soon!!
  • Essie nail polish in hot coco – I love this shade for fall. You can check it out here.
  • Oiselle Hayward Track Pants – I usually don’t like pants that come in at the ankle, but these pants are an exception. So comfortable and the material is unlike any other. It’s not a surprise that I love these pants, considering I’ve fallen in love with every piece of clothing I’ve purchased from Oiselle. I’m rocking these pants today because it’s a wee bit cold in Ottawa today, and I love any excuse to wear these pants 🙂
  • Nuun Hydration – I’ve recently started using the Nuun Hydration tabs and I love them. The grape flavour is my favourite so far. I ordered some of the Nuun Energy tabs and can’t wait to try those.

A New Running Milestone!

It took me a lot of years and a handful of half marathons to get to a finishing time of 1 hour 47 minutes. Roughly 3 months ago, I completed 21.1km in just over 1 hour 37 minutes. Then, this week this happened:

 Half marathon PB

I seriously never imagined running 21.1km in less than an hour and 35 minutes. My goal for the longest time was to run a sub 1 hour 45 minute half marathon. To say I’m excited about this is an understatement. I also feel like it’s proof to myself that there are no limits to the things I, or anyone else, can do. I went from believing that I’d never be a runner, to running a 4:30/km pace for the duration of a half marathon. This is beyond my wildest dreams. Honestly.

Now, I just need to be able to do this in a crowd of over 10 000 runners in a few weeks when I run the Canada Army Run half marathon 🙂

Half Marathon Training

Since I’m in the thick of training for a half marathon near the end of September, I thought it would be fitting to write a post about what I’m doing to prepare myself for race day.

Since having Odin, I’ve been hesitant to register for a race, as I was afraid of race day rolling around and having that one day be the day where running is a struggle. Prepping for a half marathon takes some work – unless you’re my husband, who ran a half marathon with me a few years ago without doing any training, and had no issues finishing the race (jerk 😉 I still love him, so it’s ok!). Everyone trains for these types of races differently for a number of reasons. I am the furthest from being a “natural runner”, seeing as I was told I was no longer going to be able to run way back when I was 12 and suffered some pretty bad knee injuries. This means that I need to be very careful when training for long distance races, because if I don’t put in the kilometers and really listen to my body, I’m going to either get hurt or not be in top performance mode come race day.

I have more than a handful of half marathons under my belt, and am using the things that I learned from training for those races to guide my training for the Canadian Army Run. Here are a few of the key things I’m integrating into my training to get the most out of it:

  • Never skipping long runs – getting one long run in each week is crucial. For me, I also like to fit in a 25km run about a month before race day. I find that it makes a 21.1km run not seem as long 🙂
  • Listening to my body – if I feel an ache or a pain, or am simply having a really bad run, I will stop and walk, try running again after a few minutes, and if those feeling persist, I will stop. There’s not point pushing yourself at the risk of an injury.
  • Speed and hill work – the course I’m running isn’t overly hilly, but there are a few hills, so I try different routes outside that have hills, or play with the incline on my treadmill to prepare myself. I have also slacked on speed training in the past, and have incorporated sprints and intervals into one of my running sessions each week.
  • Taking care of myself – I religiously go to a massage therapist. My muscles need it.
  • Having the right gear – I’m more passionate about my running gear than any other articles of clothing or pair of shoes I own. I put in a lot of kilometers so I need a lot of running shoes. I also wear different ones for running outside and running on my treadmill. Invest in a good shoe. Trust me. I also have fallen in love with the running gear from Oiselle. This company seriously makes the best running clothes I’ve ever worn. Every sports bra and tank top I’ve purchased have been of the highest quality, the tanks don’t shift or bunch up (I have a short torso) and their tops are very flattering. I make sure my Garmin is ready to go for my longer runs so I can track my stats and make sure I’m running certain paces for different types of runs. I’ve also purchased Nuun tabs to help with better hydration (drinking a ton of water is also key!).
  • Watching what I eat – When I was pregnant, I overhauled my diet. If you keep putting junk in, you can expect junk runs. I’m not one to shy away from the dessert table at all, but paying attention to what you eat is important when fueling your body to train for long distance races. Quest bars have been a heavenly gift for coping with my sweet tooth 🙂

And there you have it. What are some of the things you do to train for long runs? Any tips to share? Please feel free to leave a comment 🙂

August Long Weekend Recap

With the Civic Holiday over, another summer long weekend has come and gone. Our long weekend was the perfect balance of fun and relaxation (with a dash of housework 😉 )

On Saturday, we drove to Montreal to watch the Impact vs. Toronto FC. I bought these tickets for my husband for his birthday back in May, so it was nice to finally get to go see the same. There’s a little pizza restaurant we discovered, probably 7 years ago now, and we go there every time we’re in Montreal. This time it was nice to share in the yummy pizza with Odin. I think he liked it:

Odin

Then we walked around downtown a bit – mandatory Ben and Jerry’s visit, and a Starbucks stop to add to my city mug collection – before heading over to the stadium for the game. When I bought the tickets, we were hoping to see Jermain Defoe and Julio Cesar in action – unfortunately, Defoe was out with an injury and Cesar was sent back to England during the World Cup. Nonetheless, we had tons of fun and Odin got right into the game:

Odin watching soccer

Two years ago we went to an Impact game against the LA Galaxy (David Beckham was the main purpose of that trip) and the game was at Olympic Stadium. The game on the weekend was at Saputo Stadium, and I must say that there’s not a bad seat in that place. We were a handful of rows from the field, but I think we could have had a great view regardless of where our seats were.

On Sunday, we spent most of our time doing house and yard work. Our house is for sale, so we find ourselves cleaning much more than usual – thankfully we had Monday to finally relax a little! We also took a drive around a neighborhood that we hope to be moving to. Fingers crossed we will actually be able to sell our house, as I have been swooning over the house we have our eye on.

In my world, long weekends also equal squeezing in some additional long runs.

Running

Odin slept in the jogging stroller for my 18km run, and the 15km run was solo. The 15km run was just a couple of seconds off of my target pace time for the Canada Army Run half marathon that I’m running in September. I still have a bit of training to do, but I’m feeling confident in my ability to achieve the time that I want to for that run.

Odin’s 20 Month Update

I almost feel a slight bit of anxiety typing ’20 months’ and associating that with my son. Odin will be 2 years old in 4 short months. Although he is long out of the baby stage, I can’t help but keep asking myself where my baby went and where this little boy came from. As most moms can relate: he is growing up too fast.

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Odin turned 20 months old on July 29th. Here are some of his favourite things, his favourite foods and the things we are looking forward to:

Favourite Things:

  • Mega Bloks – hands down these are Odin’s favourite things to play with. You could put him in front of his blocks and he would build them, knock them down, rebuild and repeat for hours. I love that he loves blocks, as they encourage him to use his imagination and helps him practice different motor skills.
  • Animals – we live in a rural area and are surrounded by farms. Everyday we go for a family walk and take Odin to say hi to horses, cows, chickens, ducks and the neighbourhood dogs. He has always loved animals, but over the past month he gets so excited about them and points and waves to them which babbling away – usually pointing to the animals, looking at us and saying “I get?”
  • Wooden Peg Puzzles – when we knew Odin was on his way, we had bought a number of things for him that we knew he wouldn’t be able to use as a baby, but would be able to play with when he was a bit older. Over the past month Odin has been obsessed with putting his puzzles together. What shocks me the most is how quickly he masters them. We will be looking for new puzzles in the next few weeks so that he doesn’t get bored!
  • Red Panda – we went to a family birthday party at Build-A-Bear Whorkshop at Bayshore Mall in Ottawa. Odin selected a red panda to build, and with his limited vocabulary, named it ‘Uh-Oh’. Uh-Oh now travels everywhere with us.

Favourite Foods:

  • Fruits – melon (all kinds), apples, grapes, berries (all kinds), even dried fruit – the list goes on. He will eat a million fruits before touching a vegetable, which is something we continue to work on.
  • Pasta – he is like me in this regard. He loves all kinds of pasta (and using the pasta sauce as face paint).
  • Chicken – finally! We have spent a lot of time trying to get Odin to eat a little bit of meat and this month he really took a liking to chicken.
  • Apple sauce
  • Yogurt – after going through a yogurt loving phase, Odin barely wanted yogurt over the past few months. However, in the past couple of weeks he can’t get enough of it.

Looking Forward To:

  • The Fall – dare I say it? Before I wish the summer away, we are looking forward to the fall and some time off as a family. We have a trip to Boston planned for October, as I was able to get my hands on tickets to see the Patriots at home in Foxboro!!!
  • Football season – I don’t even care if it’s preseason football. Odin loves watching football so much and I can’t wait to see his retains to the games now that he is more vocal.
  • Cottage weekend – we get to spend some time with our friends in the next couple of weeks at their cottage in the Kawarthas (this also means wolf paws ice cream from Kawartha Dairy 😉 )

Sidenote: I’m looking forward to running the Canada Army Run half Marathon in September. It’s the last half marathon I raced in before getting pregnant with Odin!