Friday, 31 March 2017

5

This weeks 5 is all about music.  I asked Finley and Penelope what their 5 favourite songs are and listed mine too.  Here they are:


Becky's Top 5 Current Favorite Songs:


  1. Hands down, my most favourite song right now is Body Like A Back Road by Sam Hunt. I love everything he does and this song is probably one of his best.  If you haven't heard it, go listen to it like now.  It is fantastic.  Just like him.  He's hot and if you haven't seen him, go google him.  You can thank me later hahaha. 
  2. Kenny Chesney has a new album out and I am obsessed with 2 songs off of that album: Pretty Girls and especially Bucket List.  Bucket List is funny song making fun of bucket lists and I appreciate that.  These are both on Apple Music and I assume you can find them on YouTube too.
  3. Something Like This by ColdPlay and The Chainsmokers.  This song is fantastic and is on repeat all the time when I am in the car and just even around the house.  This is also on Apple Music.  
  4. Chained To The Rhythm - Katy Perry.  I am not a huge Katy Perry fan by any means but I really like this song a lot. It's different then most of her bubble gum pop stuff that she typically sings.  
  5. Fast by Luke Bryan.  I love everything by him.  This song is such a pretty song and reminds me lots of Greg and I especially now that we have kids.  Just listen to the lyrics and I bet you will feel the same as me.  Plus he is seriously one of the most beautiful people in the whole world.  
That's my current top 5 that I have on repeat almost all of the time.  Thomas Rhett is releasing a new song today and I am sure that will be on my top 5 by lunch time because he is like Luke + Sam where I love all their music.  



Finley's Top 5 Favorite Songs:


  1. To nobody's surprise, Finley's top 2 favourite songs belong to this artist.  Wonderland is still her favourite song despite being release 18 months ago.  I still am not a huge fan of this song but Finley sure loves it. 
  2. I Don't Want To Live Forever by Taylor Swift and Zayn (formerly of One Direction) is her second favourite song mostly because it is Taylor Swift and part of One Direction.  Her two favourites.  This song is from the 50 Shades Darker soundtrack but the song isn't bad for kids to listen to haha. 
  3. Both kids are obsessed with Closer by The Chainsmokers.  I used to love this song but when you listen to it 8x on the way home from soccer practice it kinda loses its appeal.  One of the guys in the band has the last name Taggart which Finley thinks is the greatest in the whole world. 
  4. Fighter by Keith Urban and Carrie Urban is on her top 5.  She doesn't care much for Keith Urban but she loves Carrie Underwood.  She watched them perform this song on the grammy's I believe and was in love with Carrie's outfit and officially loved the song.  I also love this song but ran out of room on my top 5 haha. 
  5. Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake rounds out her top 5.  This is from the Trolls soundtrack which is one of Finley's favourite movies ever.  This is a great song that i really love to run to.  I start singing and forget about what it is I am doing. 

Penelope's Top Five Favorite Songs:
  1. The first three songs that Penelope currently loves come from the Troll Soundtrack.  She listens to them obsessively on her iPad.  The first is Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake.  How can you not love this song?? It's so freaking catchy and fun. It instantly makes you feel happy and all sunshiny.  
  2. True Colors by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timerlake takes number 2.  Listening to Penelope sing this song is one of my favourite past times. 
  3. The Sound of Silence by Anna Kendrick is number 3.  She calls it the "hello darkness my old friend" song though hahaha. 
  4. Closer by The Chainsmokers.  She is even more obsessed with this song then Finley is if that is even possible hahahah. 
  5. Penelope had a hard time picking a 5th song and decided to give honourable mentions to three songs instead of a 5th: Need You Now by Lady Antebellum, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham and Manic Monday by The Bangles.  Penelope has this knack of remembering lyrics like nobody I know.  She can hear a song once and sing it for days and days which is the case with these 3 songs.  She may sing the same 3 lines and change it up a little bit but it is the cutest thing hearing her sing Wham or The Bangles.  
Apple Music is a great investment and allows me to find so much more new music which is good for running.  

What is your favourite song right now?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Lululemon Run For The Cold Pullover

I really wanted a down or at least warmer running jacket for the winter months.  I had found the Run For The Cold pullover at Lululemon that I really liked but wasn't thrilled with the $178 price point.  Luckily for me, it was put on WMTM for their boxing day sale, which actually started on Christmas Eve.  I would have missed out if not for a friend posting about it on Facebook (yay social media haha).  It was marked down to $78 and so I decided to take the plunge to buy it.  

Photo courtesy of lululemon.  It's a much better photo then the ones I took of me in it hahaha

I read all the reviews for the jacket since WMTM is final sale.  I didn't want to waste $80 on a jacket if it wouldn't fit me.  All the reviews said to size up in this jacket as it fit snug around the shoulders making it hard to get on and off.  I usually wear a 6 so I crossed my fingers and ordered it in the 8.  I also got it in black as white is a no go for me and I wasn't loving the plum - especially since I wear a lot of pink crb's and running shirts.  

When I received it in the mail, I was definitely happy that I sized up because I am pretty sure had I gotten my regular 6 like I do in all other jackets, I would have been so disappointed - it would have been impossible for me to move my shoulders or arms hahaha.  The downside to having to order a size up to fit the shoulders was that it felt big everywhere else.  The upside to having the extra room was the ability to layer up on the really cold days that I actually got out for short runs.  Despite the not great all over fit, I decided to keep the jacket and not try to sell it on any buy n sell sites.  I really wish it was fitted all over and not just in the shoulders and chest area.



Here's a little bit of info about the jacket, taken from the tag attached to my pullover:
  • They engineered this pullover with Primaloft Active Insulation and water repellant Fleece fabric panels to provide warmth without compromising mobility.
  • Thermoregulation: designed with strategically weighted Primaloft Active Insulation to keep you warm where you need it most.  We use synthetic insulation because it retains warmth when it gets wet. 
  • Sweat Management: This pullover has perforation and breathable side panels to help you let off steam and avoid chills after outdoor sweat sessions.
  • Water Protection: Stretch Glyde and Fleece fabric are both water repellant
  • 360 reflectivity helps keep you visible
  • Both the insulated core and the side panels are made with four way stretch fabric for freedom of movement
  • Stash all your essentials in the brushed zippered hand pockets and stow your phone in the no bounce pocket in the back
  • Cinchable hood lets you maintain your peripheral vision
  • Wear this over a sweat wicking base layer and under a shell to customize your thermoregulation. 



The cinched hood has been fantastic in the colder weather over top of my Lululemon top knot toque and my buff neck warmer.  Some days were cold enough for all of that haha.  I use the front pockets to store my iPhone and to put my mitts and buffs and toques if I get to warm on a run.  I have never used the back pocket even though they recommend it because it doesn't fit properly and I am not even 3% convinced that it actually wouldn't bounce on me.  I have worn this jacket a lot - with layers, without layers, under my down jacket and shell and on long runs, short runs and hikes.  It does smell pretty bad when you sweat though so it does get washed more then any other jacket I own haha. I have never felt cold while wearing this jacket and I love that when I start out wearing it and I get warm, I can pull out my arms without taking it off and tie the arms around my waist and not have to worry about it falling off or bothering me on my run.  I don't run at night, but i appreciate the added visibility for my early morning runs before the sun rises for the day.  


At first, I thought it was just the fit I didn't especially love but tolerated about this pullover but soon I discovered that it pilled on the inside.  It pilled a lot and it annoys me to no end and I know a few people who actually returned theirs because of all the pilling.  I did think about doing that but I really like the functionality of this jacket and there were no other options available for me to turn to this winter. Most of the pilling is on the inside so not visible to the front which is good but it actually ruined one of my CRB's which made me unhappy but now I try to wear that one and instead of my nice lululemon running shirts, I use the free ones you get from races because I don't care if they get wrecked.  It's a little disappointing that this has happened with a jacket I paid $80 for.  I can't even imagine how I would feel about it if I paid full price for it.  

All that being said, I don't know if I would buy it again and I definitely don't think  I would recommend it to any of my friends who were looking for a winter running jacket.  It's the first time that I have ever been disappointed with a lululemon product that I have purchased since I started wearing their clothes 12 years ago.  I am really hoping that this is a one off instance and not a sign of things to come.  

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Gait Analysis

This was supposed to post last Thursday but I forgot to publish it so here it is today!


Last weekend when Finley had her soccer windup at the bowling alley at Chinook I decided to head to Sportchek Women for a gait analysis to make sure I was wearing the right kind of shoe and what other options I might have for shoes.  

Sportchek Women opened in early March and is located on the second level right beside Nordstrom.   When I walked in, I loved how bright and open it seemed to be and I love how the clothing was organized by activity and not brand, which I think all stores should do.  What I didn't love is how not one single employee stopped to ask if I was looking for anything in particular.  Not even a hello or good afternoon - I think they could use a greeter for welcoming customers into their store.  It's one of my favourite things about some stores.  After walking around for awhile, I finally flagged down a staff member and asked about the gait analysis.  She was very friendly and did find me someone who could do it for me.  Only 2 people are trained on the gait analysis so while I didn't make an appointment, it might be something to think about if  you want it done.  


They take you to a treadmill area and you take off your socks and shoes and you run on the treadmill.  They let you warm up for a bit because it is kinda weird running on it without shoes or socks.  Then you run for like 2 minutes if that and then you get off.  The cool thing is you can watch yourself run on the screen in front of you.  I brought a pair of my current running shoes but you don't need to do that.  She didn't even look at my shoes to check for wear pattern.  Do wear shorts or pants you can pull up above your knees so they can measure for better accuracy.  


 If you look at my photo you can see a green line from my hip to my ankle.  Your knee should always be at a 90 angle but mine is about 104.  That means I am not running with my hips forward enough or my glutes or hips could be tight.  I am leaning towards not running forward enough probably because I run on my toes which is the absolute worst way to run.  We determined that I do need a neutral shoe and Greg told me that my Altra runners are a neutral shoe.  So at least I did something right haha.

Alannia knew her shoes which was a relief.  She brought out 12 different neutral shoes but all of them were too tight in the toe box area except for a pair of Under Armours but they had no cushioning around the toes which as a toe runner I desperately need.  I did buy a pair of Asics because I felt bad making her go back and forth for all the shoes for me to try on but I knew they weren't the ones for me.  I ended up returning them the following Monday at the Sportchek near my house.  

I decided to order a pair of Altra Torin's instead off of Amazon since I couldn't find any in my size locally.  I have been wearing Altra's for almost 2 years now and I am really happy with them and decided that after all the shoes I had tried on the day before, they were still the right shoe for me.  I have 4 pairs of Inutitions for regular running and bootcamp and Lonepeaks for hiking and winter running but I decided to try out the Altra Torin's because they had a bit more cushioning on the toe and my physiotherapist suggested I try them out given my style of running hahah.  They arrived on Friday so I will post soon my review on them.  



The gait analysis was a really cool experience and if you are having pain from running or think you are wearing the wrong shoes or both of the above, give it a go.  It's a free service and you can potentially learn a lot from it.  

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Weekend Recap

We had a crazy busy weekend with Grandma Gail visiting from Saskatchewan! Greg had Monday off work too so our weekend was extended until yesterday giving us 4 days of fun leading into Spring Break for the girls.  They don't go back to school until next Monday.  

Gail arrived in Calgary after school on Friday where the girls quickly brought out Triominoes for them to play.  I think they got 3 games in before Gail had to leave to meet Brad + Kari at IKEA to do some shopping.  The girls asked to go with Grandma Gail giving Greg and I some free time to ourselves.  


Greg and I headed to The Smith which is located in Canyon Meadows.  We were there at Thanksgiving and it was pretty good.  We again ordered the truffle fries and they were amazing.  Seriously I could order 2 of these and be set for my entire meal.  But as you will see in this post alone, I am a sucker for anything truffle related.  


Saturday morning saw me up early and getting 12km run in with Greg.  I wanted to keep it simple and just run around Bridlewood + Evergreen but he wanted to go on an adventure so we headed to Marshall Springs entrance of Fish Creek.  It was actually pretty good for about 3km and then we turned and went up some stairs that we typically use for bootcamp workouts and it was so snowy and icy but once we got out of that section it was smooth sailing until we got home.  While we were out running, Grandma Gail and the girls went to Tim Hortons for breakfast which is something they always do when she visits. 


When we got back home we found Grandma Gail and the girls playing triominoes.  I am not sure how many times that game got played this weekend.  The girls love to play games and Grandma Gail isn't one to say no to that.  After a quick shower and some lunch, we packed up and headed to meet Brad + Kari in Canmore.  


Our first stop in Canmore was at the Canmore Museum + Geoscience Centre.  It is also home to their city hall.  It's a very cool building inside and out.  The girls LOVED this museum.  They got to do a scavenger hunt and got to pick out some rocks after they found all of the items on their list.  Penelope also put her rock under the microscope to check it out as well as her damaged thumb.  It's a very small museum but it is filled with lots of fun and interesting artifacts.  


The weather was very weird - it kept going back and forth from sunny and clear to cloudy and snow. We spent some time walking up and down main street looking in all the different shops.  We stopped for ice cream at Mooses's (I think) and then walked to CommuniTEA for some afternoon tea.  Penelope was being a brat and had to go stand outside and so decided to dance and put on a show for everybody to see.  Turned out to be not much of a punishment haha.   We stopped at the Olive Oil shop and had truffle salt butter oil popcorn.  It was delicious.  Penelope hated it so I ate hers too hahaha.  


And finally, we ended our day at Sage Bistro and Wine Lounge for dinner.  This was the whole purpose of our trip to Canmore as we were going to have dinner where Brad and Kari are probably going to have their wedding reception next summer.  The restaurant has lots of windows for amazing views and although you can't see it very well, Penelope is actually double fisting her chocolate milk and water.  The food was very good and my favourite was the garlic butter for the bread.  I normally don't eat butter but it was amazing.  Unfortunately, my body doesn't like butter and I paid for it most of the night but it was worth it.  We also had the fries for an appetizer with their truffle aioili sauce.  I also don't normally eat sauces like that either but I tried this one because it had truffle (I wasn't kidding when I said i was a sucker for it) and I really liked it.  Thank goodness we ordered two of these appetizers.  We all enjoyed our entrees and then Kari politely used her bride card for us to try the Smores Cake.  It is typically only available in the wine lounge upstairs and they have two different kitchens and don't allow menu items to go to different floors, which is fair.  But after Kari explained why we wanted to try it, they made an exception for us.  The girls absolutely loved it.  It was pretty good I must say.  


The second late night in a row got Penelope as soon as she got in the car and she slept all the way back to Calgary and was asleep again as soon as she hit her pillow.  


On Sunday morning, Brad and Kari came over for brunch and we had waffles - courtesy of Kari, while Penelope helped Brad make the berry sauce and helped Greg with the whipping cream.  She was supposed to watch the bacon too but she forgot and it came out crispy much to Kari's delight haha.  I have never been one for waffles but they were really good and now I want to get a waffle iron for myself hahaha.  


After brunch, Greg, the girls and Gail went to Southcentre Mall for CANstruction and for me to make a return at the children's place.  CANstruction is done every year and we love it.  The event is held around the world and challenges teams to design and build colossal structures made entirely out of cans of food.  The cans of food are then donated to local food banks.  Such a great cause!!  The downturn in oil prices has seen the number of participants reduced over the last few years but there were still some awesome ones on display.  Since 2006, CANstruction has provided more than 355,909 pounds of food to Calgarians in need.  


This one was done by the city of Calgary and was called Everyday UnspoCAN Heroes.  They showed how important fire fighters are to our city and safety.  More than 8500 cans were used in building this structure.


My other favourite was Brion Energy's structure.  It was called CANada's True Heroes and it depicted the fire fighters in Fort Mac last summer.  When thinking of heroes and villains, there was no greater local villain in 2016 then the Fort MacMurray fire.  And there were no greater heroes than then emergency responders who helped to bring this beast under conrol and ensure the safety of the community.  Some families lost their homes, which meant they might have visited the Food Bank for help.  This structure depicts the ultimate battle of good v evil: a fire fighter standing tall against the flames that engulfed trees, houses, buildings and spanned more than 500,000 hectares.  This structure is composed of more than 4000 cans.  

CANstructions runs until for the next 5 or 6 days and I really recommend you go check it out!!  


After we left Southcentre Mall, we headed home but Greg decided to show Gail how far the city went south so drove down past Legacy and then turned right and took a scenic road home.  How we ended back on 22x I will never know haha.  But the kids were getting bored so they played the alphabet game that Kari taught them last summer while driving home from a backpack trip.  Basically you have to find one letter of the alphabet on a sign and keep going until you get to Z.  You can only get one letter per sign so it makes it a little difficult.  We finally got to Z and thought we were going to be stuck on that but just before we turned into Bridlewood off of James McKevitt, we found this conservative sign that had a Z in it.  We did it!!!!  It's a pretty fun game to play if you ever have bored kids (or adults) in the car.  


When we got back from that, Greg went grocery shopping because we had no food and the girls and Grandma Gail played several more games of Triominoes.  I wasn't kidding when I said I had lost count of all the times they played haha.  I laid on the couch with Pizza watching MasterChef Canada.  


Brad and Kari came back for supper and I have no idea what was going on when I took this photo for Kari to look the way she did haha.  Greg made the best mashed potatoes for supper that night.  I had 2 big helpings and pretty much of nothing else haha.  We also discussed when Kari becomes Aunty Kari since they are engaged.  Greg came up with Fiaunty combining Aunty and Fiancee but I don't know if either child will remember to call her that hahaha.  


After Brad + Kari went home and the girls went to sleep, I made some gross tea in my new mug from my bestie.  The best way to my heart is definitely a fun new mug!!!  I drank my tea and went to bed pretty early because I was so tired.  


Greg had Monday off of work so we headed down to the Calgary Zoo.  Usually public school has spring break one week and Catholic has it another week but this year they are both at the same time and the zoo was cray-cray.  So many people everywhere.  But despite the business, we all had a great time and the girls were able to get their faces painted.  The downside was that Finley took her glasses off to get her face painted and left them there and forgot until we had left the zoo and were on our way to lunch.  I called Customer Service at the zoo who didn't have them and then transferred me to security.  They hadn't been turned in yet but they were going to check on them.  As we were leaving lunch, they called me and told me they had them and we detoured on our way home to pick them up.  I am just grateful they were found unlike Penelope's at Chester Lake.  


Almost every time we go to the zoo, we go to Peter's Drive In since it is in close proximation.  Brad was finished school at Sait and met us there.  It was delicious as always but I really need to learn to not have a milkshake no matter how good they taste.  They make me so sick and cause me so much pain in my stomach, it's not a fun thing.  It's been almost 7 hours since I had it as I type this and my tummy still hurts.  

After we got home from Peters, I had a nap and the girls played games and watched videos on wolves while I think Greg played on his iPhone.  Nobody was really hungry because we had a late lunch at Peters but Greg made some pasta for Finley because she had a outdoor soccer practice to help get them ready for evaluations that start next week.  


She said the fields were a little wet but nothing too bad and she was dressed warm enough and wasn't cold at all.  She's been playing soccer 1 - 4x per week since October and will hopefully get a short break from April 12th until the season starts towards the end of April.  She loves soccer but she is getting tired from it.  


While Finley was at soccer practice, Penelope and Grandma Gail played triominoes and frozen scrabble and shopkins go shopping before watching another video on wolves.  When Finley got home from practice, everybody went upstairs to watch Inside Out while I worked on this blog.  Soon it will be bedtime for all as Greg heads back to work tomorrow and Gail heads back home to Saskatoon and we continue our spring break adventures.  

Hope you guys all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Biking Adventure Within The City

On Sunday, we met up with Brad + Kari at North Glenmore Park with a plan for a quick bike ride around the reservoir and then head out somewhere for brunch.  This bike ride, however, was anything but quick hahahaha. 


The pathway from our car we went towards South Glenmore Park was perfect.  It was a little chilly and we had scarves, ear warmers and mitts to help keep warm.  The paths seemed fine and we had not a worry in the world about our bike ride until we got to the massive awful hill that goes down into a long path to the next hill...


We went down the big hill and Greg wiped out and Penelope wiped out in a reaction to him wiping out.  We probably should have turned around at this point but we thought this would be the worst that we would hit.  It turns out this was some of the best we would see.


After Greg wiped out, we walked about 3km through this snow.  We all took turns helping to push Finley and Penelope's bikes because it was hard.  My arm felt like jello from pushing my bike and it isn't even heavy.  


Eventually we found some pavement and we were prematurely excited by it.  It didn't last long.  


We encountered this and this continued up a really icy hill which was so hard to get up.  I was so frustrated and tired and we were still only about 4km, which meant we still had more then 11km to get back to our car because going back was not an option at this point. 


We had to climb over the fence and put our bikes over the fence and walk up our bikes that way.  Once we figured out to do that, it got so much easier to get the bikes up.  Penelope pulled herself up the whole way on the ice along the fence, she was quite proud of it.  Greg went up and down this icy hill 3x to get his bike up and to get both girls bikes up.  At the top of the icy hill, we did find a cute little squirrel who had no friends with him that we could see. 



This was another icy section where Greg actually slid down to come get mine and Penelope's bikes.  By this time, I had fallen off my bike 2x and each time had gotten progressively worse.  The first time, I landed on my back and was cushioned by my backpack and got my bike on the inside of my knee.  It was a little sore but then shortly after that, I went through a long icy puddle and because I didn't have enough a speed, I ended up falling off.  Falling into the coldest water my body has ever touched.  My entire right leg from the knee to the foot hit the water and it was numb.  I fell right on my knee cap (the other one of course) and that hurt but it was more the cold that was bothering me then the pain of falling.  Damn that water was cold though.  I didn't feel warm until I got home hours later and laid in my bathtub for a long time.  


We reached another puddle and this time, the girls and I walked around it.  I was not chancing get wet even more and I didn't want the girls getting wet either because they would not be happy.  


Brad biked my bike through the water and Kari brought the girls bikes through while we walked through the trees.  It was getting more adventurous every time we turned a corner.  Despite all of this, we were still mostly having fun.

After this point, we had some great pathways to bike but it was definitely colder - partly because we were wet and partly because the sun had disappeared and it was mostly cloudy out.  We biked a long time before I hit some ice on my bike going too fast and wiped out.  This hurt but it was kinda funny. For as hard as I hit the pavement, I am surprised I wasn't hurt more haha.  We were pretty close to the Starbucks at Glenmore Landing and you have no idea how close I was to heading there and just wait for Greg and the girls to finish the bike ride.  My hands were so cold at this point because the mitts I had worn were wet and my other ones that I had in my backpack weren't warm enough for me at that point.  

When we came down the overpass near Rockyview General Hospital, we ran into this guy who said the next 50 yards were just treacherous and we should turn around or detour.  He took off and we decided that it couldn't be any worse then the previous 13km we biked through.  We were less then 3km from our car, there was no way I was detouring to get back now.  I was done and needed to be at my car.  We kinda laughed as we biked/walk biked through the sections he warned us about.  If that was the worse we would have encountered, we would be so happy.  We all laughed at what he called treacherous.  


Just before the above photo was taken, I wiped out for a 4th and final time.  I should not have been on my bike but I was just thinking about finishing this bike ride and getting warm and totally wiped out hard.  I hurt my knee again and the ankle I sprained 6 months ago.  I was terrified that all of the hard work I did all winter rehabbing my ankle was going to go to waste because of my being stupid and so I cried.  I cried because I was worried I hurt myself and cried mostly because I was so tired and cold and just wanted to be done with this run.  The lake you see above isn't even a pond or any type of body of water, this was all snow melt.  It was insane.  

When we finally got back to the car and Greg tested my ankle and it moved well and didn't hurt.  I didn't twist anything so that is good.  My bike fell on me which hurt my knee and my ankle.  Both were super swollen on Sunday night but on Monday morning, the swelling was still on my knee but no bruising - just really red.  The swelling was gone on my ankle and just bruised.  I took Monday and Tuesday off and hope to get back to bootcamp and running today.  

As much as I hurt myself and as much as I hated all the puddles, snow, ice and hills, it was a fun bike ride and made for great adventures and great stories.  But that being said, I hope our next bike ride isn't quite as adventurous haha.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A FOUR Day Weekend Recap, Parent Teacher Interviews + A Sugar Update

It was a very long and busy weekend for us and so this is a very long post hahaha.  Finley and Penelope had Thursday off for parent teacher interviews and Friday off for a PD Day.  Greg attended parent teacher interviews on Wednesday on his own as Finley wasn't feeling well.   Both had great progress reports where a common theme - yet again - was for them to slow down and focus on their work.  They both finish very quickly and it is right but it is not neat and occasionally missing commas, capital letters etc.  Penelope also talks a lot in class.  She has been moved from all her friends but she will talk to anybody.  The problem is that she can talk and get all her work done correctly but her classmates get distracted and don't finish.  Greg asked if she listened when she was told to quit talking and she usually does not.  Finley needs to add more to her stories - more steps and more photos and focus on neatness.  These are the same comments that Greg got growing up as well.  The apple does not fall far from the tree.  Both kids are beyond their grade level for reading and ahead in math so Mrs M. gave Greg some math websites for Finley to work on her math and he showed it to Penelope too.  Hopefully they can improve on these areas by the end of the school year.  Other then those small things, all comments were really positive.  


On Thursday morning, Finley was feeling a little better so we headed out to the library to return some overdue library books and pick out some new ones to read.  I think each kid got like 7 books.  I try to limit the amount of books we take out from the library - not because I want to discourage their love of reading but because we tend to lose track of books and I hate paying for books!!!!  After the library, we went to Walmart where we picked up some crafting supplies to keep the kids busy and a birthday present for an upcoming birthday party.  


The girls wanted french fries for lunch so I turned on the oven and started the fries and soon our house was full of smoke because when Greg had make supper a few days earlier, it appears he spilled something in the oven and didn't tell me.  I opened the back door and front door and most of the smoke got out before our fire alarm went off but everything smelled kinda funny after that.  I turned on the self cleaning thing of the oven and it cleaned most of the crap out.  Needless to say I was not that happy.


Thursday afternoon, Finley started to feel not good again so she went to have a nap while Penelope played outside on her skateboard.  She wanted to go for a bike ride but since her bike hadn't been ridden since last fall, so Greg had to put air in the tires and check the brakes.  She wasn't initially happy about going on her skateboard but soon she remembered how much fun she had on it.  


Thursday night Finley finished up her Leprachaun Trap before she went to bed.  I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it so I knocked it over and wrote a note that said better luck next year.  Was this right? I have no idea but Finley was really annoyed haha.  I also headed out for a 5km run.  I don't really like running at night but when kids are out of school it was that or 5am.  Now, I do prefer the earlier mornings but it was too wet out the day before and I knew the sidewalks would be treacherous.  


Friday morning so both girls go to the dentist for their 6 month check ups.  Penelope had no cavities yet again and got her photo taken to go on the cavity free wall of fame for the rest of the month and have her name entered in for a prize that they draw for on the first of each month.  She had some plaque on the bottom of her back teeth but they said that was normal for kids her age and the front of her teeth were great.  She has lots of spacing between her teeth so lots of room for her adult teeth to come in.  She has lost 2 teeth so far.


Finley also had another cavity free check up.  She has to work a little harder on flossing her teeth because she has no spacing between her teeth.  She still has some baby teeth but the dentist referred her to an orthodontist so they can look and see if they can do some preliminary work on her incisors or something like that.  The dentist said that she has almost no room in the back for any of her adult teeth to come in so they (the orthodontist) will probably have to do something about that. She also got her photo taken for the wall of fame.  

Both girls left with bags of new toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, lipgloss and treats and were very happy with that.  


The rest of Friday was pretty lazy until Greg got home.  I had a headache so I had a nap while Finley watched more "how to" videos on YouTube Kids and Penelope played in the backyard and did some puzzles.  Nothing too exciting. 


After supper Greg got home from work and did tune ups on all the bikes so Penelope could go for a bike ride.  Penelope thanked her dad by finally taking the inflatable christmas decor off of our front lawn haha.  As I write this on Monday afternoon, there is no snow left in our front yard but still lots in the back yard.  


Finley and Penelope rode their bikes around the block about 6 times before their hands were too cold to hold onto their handlebars.  Mittens and/or gloves were not an option for these 2.  Both were very excited to be back out on their bikes.  And even though you can't really see, Penelope is wearing her fleece kitty cat onesie pajamas with rubber boots for her ride.  


After the bike ride, I made some popcorn from my popcorn popper.  I bought this on some crazy sale at walmart for like $8 but had never used it.  I made some and then melted some butter and put some sea salt on it.  The kids loved it, it was alright.  I want to make some fun popcorn - does anybody have any good suggestions?  Using the popper made my fire alarm going off despite there being no smoke compared to what happened the day before.  We settled in upstairs in the bonus room with our popcorn and watched MasterChef Junior - this has become our Friday night tradition and we love it.  


On Saturday morning, Finley had her final Saturday morning Tech Training.  It was supposed to be the end of soccer until evaluations began next month, but they extended tech training for every Tuesday until April 11th so soccer may not be done for us completely until like July or August depending on what soccer camps the girls do.  We have been carpooling with another one of Finley's team-mates because her dad got a job in Fort Mac and her mom works evenings, so we drive to the week day practices and then her mom drives on the weekends sometimes.  I kinda like going Saturdays because then I can get to the Farmers' Market but I was grateful for her driving this time since I really wanted to get my 12km done.  Greg wanted to run to so we decided to do a bike and run with Penelope.  We went to Fish Creek because it would be easier for Penelope rather then dealing with streets, however Fish Creek was wayyyyyy icier but she had a good time.  She biked about 8km and headed back to the car with Greg while I finished out my 12km.  All of us were happy. 


We got home just before Finley got home from soccer and mere minutes before we had to take Penelope to one of her bff's birthday party.  


Finley played outside for a little bit with one of the kids who lived down the block from us until a few months ago.  His parents got divorced and he moved to somewhere north of Edmonton and was just back visiting his dad for the weekend.  Then, we left and went to pick up Penelope from her birthday party so we could head to Chinook Centre for the Soccer wind up party. 

Before the wind up party, I headed to the new Sportchek Women store, which is located inside Chinook, right beside Nordstrom where I received a gait analysis on my running form.  It was a really neat experience that I will share with you later this week.  

The wind up party was so much fun even if we aren't really winding down at all.  The girls had so much fun bowling, eating pizza and just hanging out with one another.  We lucked out with a great group of kids and parents on this team - which comes in handy when you are spending 4 days a week with them haha.  


We were all pretty tired after our busy Saturday so we picked up Vern's Pizza (our favourite) on our way home and then just hung out for the rest of the night.  The girls played on their iPads while Greg and I laid on the couch watching hockey and just being lazy.  It was really nice.  

On Sunday morning, we met up with Brad and my soon to be sister in law, Kari.  We were originally going to go for a hike but it was pretty avalanchy in most areas and Greg decided he didn't really want to go for a hike so we thought a nice easy bike ride around the Glenmore Resevoir would be nice......


This was where the bike ride turned from really nice to complete disaster haha.  Greg wiped out shortly after this photo was taken followed immediately by Penelope.  We really should have turned around at that point but we did not.  And it was insane but it was still pretty fun.  You can read all about our adventurous bike ride tomorrow on the blog.  


After our 2 and a half hour bike ride that covered almost 16km, we decided we earned a good brunch.  Our first choice was the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus but even at 1pm, it was still lined up out the door.  Kari and I were far too cold to even consider standing outside for a table so we headed to Sidewalk Citizen instead since we had to go downtown to MEC anyways.  It was crazy busy there too but we managed to find 2 tables side by side so we could be together although I was too far away to talk to anybody but Greg.  This pizza was what Greg and I shared and it was amazing.  It had fennel, chunks of pork loin and bacon and parmesan cheese.  The Sidewalk Citizen is the best bread around and is found at many local restaurants.  So delicious.  I cheated on my sugar hiatus and had a hot chocolate from Phil + Seb's but I figured I had earned it given my bike ride plus Greg had some too.  But then, we promised the girls Village Ice Cream if they finished the bike ride and it is impossible not to have it when you are there because it is the best ice cream in the whole world and I don't even really like ice cream.  It is made with all natural ingredients so I figured it wasn't too bad plus I don't ever crave ice cream and my real goal was to cut out all the other high sugary drinks and snacks that I was consuming and I have succeeded at that.  Despite these 2 semi slip ups, I am still happy with myself and the progress I have made on my sugar hiatus.  I no longer crave my sugary drinks but it is hard sometimes to not purchase a delicious mars bar when in a grocery store but so far I have gone 15 days without anything like that and that is really good for me.  I also noticed that I prefer my sugar less tea warm instead of hot now and I have no idea why that it is, but whatever works right??  And the key to having enough energy for running and bootcamp is to eat really big breakfasts beforehand and to have snacks ready in my car for when I finish so I don't end up eating something I know I will regret.  Looking forward to seeing what week 3 brings. 



We headed to MEC because Greg wanted to return a backpack and I wanted to try on a pair of Hoka's but they didn't have my size and they don't carry altras.  We went to Strides in Canyon Meadows too and they didn't have any Hoka's or Altra's in my size.  I decided to order the Altra Torin's online anyways since I knew my shoe size and worst case scenario I would have to pay to send them back to Amazon but I am fairly confident I will like them.  


While at MEC, Finley tried out one of their bikes.  She needs to size up on her bike this spring.  This model, which she loves, is last years model but for some reason it is still the same price as the new model that came out this year.  Greg is hoping this one goes on sale otherwise she will have to get the newer model that she doesn't love as much because it is better he says.  I think the new model is pretty sweet looking if you ask me.  We also went to Pure Cycle which is next door to Strides and her try the Trek bike which had different gears then the Ghost one at MEC but she didn't like that one but I think it was more because she didn't want a purple bike haha.  

We finally made it home after a long day of being out.  The girls and I each had baths and I proceeded to do nothing for the rest of the day.  I was pretty banged up from our bike ride and just tired over all. Greg got his hair cut and picked up supper from Sobeys and before you knew it, it was finally bed time and to reset for the week ahead.  The girls went to bed early and were asleep instantly while Greg went and got groceries and I watched another episode of Fixer Upper (I am obsessed).  

Our weekend was long and busy but so many memories made.  Looking forward for a nice week before Grandma Gail comes to visit and spring break starts!  Hope you all had a great weekend too!