tick, tock

I feel like summer and Ryan's impending departure are making the clock tick so much faster, lately, and it's making my heart hurt a little bit. I know I haven't discussed him leaving yet, but he's leaving next week for a month. We're so thankful it's not a longer trip, but it's definitely long enough. The last time he had to leave was for WOCs last year, and it's hard to believe, but I was barely pregnant with Spencer at the time.

Because of OPSEC guidelines (safety in this unsafe day and age), I won't be saying where or when exactly he's going, but this is the first time that I'll be tackling this parenting thing solo. I don't mention it enough on here, but Ryan is my biggest ally. He's my lighthouse. I'm prone to anxiety, and he's my beacon of strength and support, and I'm going to miss him more than he could ever know.

I am, however, so thankful that he doesn't have to deploy this year. Military life isn't easy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, and I know that he loves to serve, which makes it even more worth the while. We're counting down until our cruise (can't wait till November), and we're going to enjoy the time we have while we have it.

And, because we have the best neighbors in the world, they've offered us their lake house this weekend to savor our last few days as a family before he goes. I'm so grateful that we have them in our lives, as well, and I know that Ryan is thankful that they'll be here to look after Spencer and I, as well. 

If I need to be grateful for one thing and one thing alone, it's that I'm committed to being a better blogger while he's gone - if only to document all the little things. 

friday favorites

I've been a terrible blogger this month. And, truthfully, I'd apologize, but I don't feel bad about it! Life is for living, and these summer months are so short in Northern NY that I'm savoring every ounce of sunshine that I can. Being able to have Spencer outside and enjoy the beautiful weather is such a gift, and I certainly won't apologize for taking the time to soak it all in. Life is oh-so-sweet lately, and as I watch my little boy's personality grow by the day, I fall more and more in love with him. So, without further ado...five of my favorite things this sunny Friday:

one// Target's $4 special - the perfect itty bitty baby pool! We discarded our beautiful blow-up pool because it was too much of a hassle to clean and keep our grass happy. This little pool is Spencer-sized, and he just loves it.

two// Spending time in the aforementioned baby pool with my little peanut. (Have I mentioned how hot it's been - and humid?) Last week was deadly, and it looks like this next week will be something else, too. Be prepared for a lot more pool shots. 

three// Shopping cart covers! Spencer is getting bigger and more independent, and these shopping cart covers are a lifesaver. Almost everything goes straight into his little mouth these days, and the last thing I want is for him to be sucking on a commissary shopping cart handle. Added bonus? He's strapped in securely, and he loves it!

four// I've had some time lately with our amazing childcare team of Heidi and Sam to actually run and get some other things - besides work - done. Just this week, I managed to take the time and sew a crib blanket for a friend of mine...a hobby I thought I'd never be able to enjoy again. It was so therapeutic.

five// This boy. Simply put, he's the best thing that's ever happened to both Ryan and myself; our happiest little accident. I can't imagine life without him, and I love my husband even more because we have this tiny little man.

Linking up this week with Darci for Five on Friday this week.

those lazy summer days

There's something about sunshine, cicadas and throwing open all the windows that just soothes my soul...even if there is approximately 109328903284% humidity in northern NY right now. Ryan's block leave ended yesterday, and we managed to soak up the sun and those last few moments before his work picked right back up over the weekend. I'm so thankful we had the time.

Spencer had his first time in the real pool on post. We ditched the ugly old blowup pool we bought because I didn't want to deal with the mess and refilling it all the time. So, we took him to the pool, and he loved it. This happy momma thinks we might just have a water baby! 

On Sunday, since we were all recovering from nasty colds we picked up somewhere in Canada, we played hooky from church and just caught up on some rest. Spencer's been taking naps (I don't want to jinx it) in the afternoon again, so we actually all got a little extra sleep.

To wear him out a little more though, I set up a little faux-pool in the backyard. We've been trying to work on him sitting up more, and I figured this was just the ticket, since he loves the water so much. I filled a plastic storage bin about halfway with water, plopped it in the sunny backyard, and we just played and played...until he pooped :)

Also over block leave, we got news that Ryan's overseas trip has been confirmed, so he'll be leaving next month for about 6 weeks. For OPSEC reasons, I'm not going to say where, but this momma is nervous about being a single parent for so long. I'm truly thankful it's not a real deployment this year, but holy moly...Spencer and I are in for a treat!

when in toronto

I'm sorely late in recapping our trip to Toronto, but I don't want to forget to do it! This was Ryan's first trip - ever - to Toronto, and it was clearly Spencer's, as well. It was also Spencer's first time using his passport, which I think is both awesome and hilarious…mostly because his baby passport is valid for 5 years. Ridiculous! Anyway, we decided we were going to take a trip up to Toronto during Ryan's block leave because my best friend, Karly, lives up there now as a NICU nurse in the city. I also have a friend that lives just outside the city in Barrie, and she's a photographer! We desperately needed family photos done, so we did the whole "two birds, one stone" deal.

We did not, however, think about the Pan Am games traffic in the city, and it was a rough trip. Coming home was much easier because we did it after Spencer went to sleep. Let's just say that 92% of our family photos include a screaming baby though. Whoops. Regardless, here's a little snapshot of our trip to Toronto. Family photos will be teased later this week :)

We used Airbnb for our stay, and it was amazing! We were able to stay in a luxury high-rise flat in the middle of the city for a fraction of what a comparable hotel would have cost us. Plus, we had our own balcony and spectacular sunset views, which was so nice. We even managed a silly exhausted parents selfie before crashing…hard.

When Karly asked us what we wanted to do during our day with her, we had just one request…no car. Please. She obliged, and we explored the city by foot and made our way over to Centre Island just off the coast, where we narrowly avoided being trapped by a crazy rainstorm that only overtook us when we got back to the city.

Centre Island was the perfect escape from the craziness of downtown, and they even have a little amusement park and petting zoo for the kiddos, restaurants and a questionable, clothing-optional beach, which we avoided. Coming back though, we were able to see the city in its full glory, and it was fantastic. 

It was so, so much fun (exhausting) but so fun. Friends, if you ever have a chance to visit Toronto, I highly recommend it. A few pointers though - exchange currency ahead of time, or use you Apple passbook because with the chip, it's next to impossible to use your card, and you'll get screwed on the exchange rate in cash. Also, go with a few people…the HOV lanes are the best invention ever.

7 months of spencer bruce

I'm so far behind on blogging. I had the best of intentions the past couple weeks. I wanted to blog every other day. Ryan's on block leave though, and we decided to enjoy this time as a family...and that meant that the blog went by the wayside a little bit. So, let me back up to one of the most important monthly events, and then I'll recap the trip later this week(end). Spencer Bruce turned 7 months old on the 4th of July! We spent his 7-month birthday with his Aunt Kristina and Uncle Josh in Philadelphia, and it was a grand ol' time.

^^^ morning snuggles with Aunt Kristina

^^^ baby in the middle

^^^ mid-destruction of everything around him

Weight: This little man is not so little anymore! Weighing in at a whopping 18 lbs, he has rolls on rolls on rolls, and I just love it! His goofy little pot-belly is the best thing ever.

Clothes: We're still pushing our 6-month onesies, and he's firmly in his 6-month pants and shorts now. I think we're nearing the tail end of the 6-month tops though because a lot of them look a bit like v-necks now. He's in firmly in size 3 diapers, and we switched to The Honest Company after one too many blowouts in Pampers. It's funny - they didn't work when he was a newborn, but we love them now.

Milestones: What hasn't he done this month?! On June 18th, this boy cut his very first tooth, and just 8 days later, the second little tooth came in, so he now has two little bottom teeth, and it makes me super happy! He scoots around a lot now, and flips over onto his belly if you ever set him on his back. He hasn't mastered crawling, but he scoots backwards under the couch all. the. time.

He enjoys a few solids now, though not too regularly. He likes apples and pears, so we mix them with broccoli and other veggies to ensure he's getting the best of both worlds. We're starting to investigate weaning, since Ryan and I are going on a cruise in November, and he'll need to be weaned by then (or mostly weaned). We also discovered he has a few allergies - raspberries, and he got hives when he had a dab of Ryan's milkshake. To add some fun, he now gags whenever we try to give him avocado.

Sleeping was rough for a while, but we seem to be in a decent routine for the moment. He sleeps at 7, gets up around 12:45 to nurse, and then he sleeps through until 7, which I can deal with.

Spencer's Favorites this Month: He has literally no interest in his toys anymore. However, if you give him an empty water bottle, or something that crinkles, this boy has the time of his life! Oh, and he loves his jumperoo, and that makes me a happy momma.

Mama's Thoughts this Month: Honestly, I thought teething was going to be worse. He usually has one really fussy day before the tooth actually cuts, but other than that, it's no better or worse than usual. I love love love love love him, and I'm hoping that Ryan can cram all these baby snuggles in before he leaves next month (more on that later).

running wrap-up: june

Seriously, how is it already July? There's a part of me that's super excited for another month, and yet there's a part of me struggling with the fact that my baby's first year is just ticking away at warp speed. All that said though, June was a really good running month for me. Though I didn't get in as many runs as I wanted to - or should have - I got a good number of miles on my legs, and I'm seeing a ton of progress, which I love. 

I only managed to do 11 runs in June, though I did 12 in May. I think I need to get better with my recovery days and really just get out there and do two miles - or three. I want to make sure I'm not using my rest days as a crutch, and I think that I definitely struggled at the beginning of the month after my 8-miler in prep for my half marathon. I should probably have done a couple more little runs between there, but I didn't. 

My half marathon was obviously my longest (and most challenging) run, but I did get a bunch of longer runs in, too. I'm registered for the Empire State Half Marathon in October now, so I'm looking forward to watching that slow time drop...even a little bit! Here's the breakdown for June:

Longest run: 13.1 miles
Shortest run: 2 miles
Fastest pace: 9:29
Slowest pace: 11:43 
Total miles: 56.8 

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the strides I took in June, though there's definitely room for improvement. I did two 10Ks in 3 days, and then I had my fastest 5K ever just this week. I went 29:24, and I've honestly never run that fast. It's an amazing thing to be losing weight, feeling great and really feeling like myself again.