November life happening

In a matter of blink, November is gone. I feel like I’m just catching up with life here at home.

Work is still busy but very interesting! I’m really happy with work now. New countries to work on, new challenges to face, new colleagues, and new exciting projects! 🙂

Running is going well too. Still running 4-5 times a week, averaging 20-25 miles. Last week I had issue with high HR during most of the runs, but after taking a break during thanksgiving, HR came back to normal. Oh… I run a PR 10k too.

Lizzy is funnier than ever! I love love seeing her smiling faces. Even the face she makes when she’s annoyed/bored/wanting to be entertained is so cute.

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sisterhood is going stronger everyday. Sofia loves playing with Lizzy, making her laugh.

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for our date night last month, we went to watch Arrival. I was very skeptical of a science fiction movie, but it turned out to be one of the greatest movie I’ve seen for a long long time! It made me appreciate even more my girls.

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I run Pacers veterans 10k race and had a blast. It was a really cold day. I couldn’t feel my feet and hands for 3-4 miles. But it turned out to be a perfect weather for a PR.

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because I run a negative split race, finishing at below 8 min/mile pace.

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My official time was 50 min 8 secs.

love the finisher medal

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obviously my cheer group is the best. I really appreciate that Tony and Sofia cheers me up in all the races. It was really a cold day and they had to walk 1 mile each way from the parking lot to the race. There’s nothing more gratifying to see them at the finishing line.

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we were treated with massages. It felt so good.

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despite the coldness, it was a gorgeous day and the course had spectacular view.

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I think that concludes my 2016 race season. 🙂


Life lately October – first anniversary

Someone started solids (just few days before Lizzy turned 6 months)

!!! YEY! Let’s the fun begin. First I prepared her rainbow carrots

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then made cooked lentils

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she was curious to explore

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but milk still tasted better

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Grandma has been taking her for walk once a day and she loves it

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And I love taking the girls to the playground on weekends, even nicer when Tony comes along too

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Sunday is my long run day and I love it. First because I get to run with Tony for 2-3 miles, then I’ll have solo run for 5-6 more. When I come back home, Tony already gone with Sofia for her swimming class, which means I get to enjoy peaceful breakfast by myself. Still loving the toast + eggs + cheese + avocado combo

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More birthday parties to attend (2 that weekend)

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Sofia still loves her ballet class

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Last Saturday 10/22 Tony and I went on a date to celebrate our first anniversary. The actual date of anniversary is 10/27, but I’ll be in Brazil that day for work, so we celebrate it the day before I left. It was a gorgeous day

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we went to the French restaurant Chez Francois.. one of my favorite place in VA

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we had the fix menu that started with a fennel soup with a very intense white wine flavor which I really liked

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for appetizer, Tony had mussels










and I had mushroom crepe (I always have this when I come here)

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for main dish, Tony had the lamb

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and I had the seafood stew, love it

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we both enjoyed a lot the food and each others company. Now with two kids is harder to have time alone as couple, but I’m glad that we both think it’s something important for us to keep our intimacy so we make an extra effort for it to happen.

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sometimes I still find myself amazed by this new life. I could never imagined we would be together, so in love, and with two lovely girls.

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cheers for more years in love to come!!!

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Life: catching up & apple picking

After a low-key weekend, our schedule got packed up again last weekend. Well… life of two kids just got interesting.  First few recap of past few weeks

Sofia had a birthday party at her school on her actual birthday (9/26).

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we sing a song, all her classmates gave her either a hug/kiss/good luck, and we had chocolate cake.

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but then the teacher told me she lost the pics of that day so we had another party last week… the teachers brought cupcakes for the kids

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this girl had two chocolate cupcakes with frosting and all.

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Lizzy is loving mama’s milk. She’s taking 6-7 oz. twice a day while I’m at work and could probably take another one if we let her. To save her appetite for when I’m back home, grandma gives her 4-5 oz. instead.

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she’s so happy these days… smiling at us all the time as long as her tummy is full

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oh… she loves exploring with her mouth

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I took Sofia to have dinner with a friend one Friday as “girls’ night out”, she loved it!

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had adult-like meal and finished it all

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she had shrimp with grits and I had sea scallop with corn, mushrooms and spinach. Delicious both of them.

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she behaved really well during dinner time while I chat with my friend

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post running fuel lately: toasts + eggs + goat cheese.

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want to eat this face too!

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I took a Friday off to relax after the weekend of Sofia’s birthday party which left me exhausted. So Tony took Sofia to daycare by taking the metro. Sofia really liked the experience and asked for more.

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Last week’s lunch at work: quinoa + cauliflower/eggplant/zucchini/tofu cooked in tahini/miso/ginger sauce. YUM~

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Weekend activities:

Saturday: Tony and I went to IIF to see my advisor giving a talk. It was really interesting. And meeting with my advisor was even better! I missed her and it was really nice to reconnect. We might visit her in Boston this coming Thanksgiving.

Then I took Sofia to ballet class.  After lunch and nap, we were ready to go to a colleague’s birthday party with my girl

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again she got her face painted in butterflies.

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Sunday started with 10 miles run for me and a swimming class for Sofia. After that, we went to do groceries with grandparents. Lunch, nap, and had friends over to make and eat wonton together.

Monday started with a BIG EVENT, starting solid for Lizzy.

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we introduced kabocha mixed with breast milk.

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she DID great! making funny face and finished 1/4 cup worth of food.

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then we went to apple picking

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first time carrying her and she didn’t complain

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unfortunately the kind of apple we liked (cameo) was out… so we didn’t buy any but we did have a lot of fun. Sofia had fun eating apples on the spot and feeding animals

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My friend Susan also took her family, so it was a nice family trip.

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Loving the pumpkin season!!!


Life: back to work, weekend happening

After 4 months and half of being on maternity leave, going back to work was not too hard. As I mentioned before, this maternity leave was less relaxing than the previous one before I had to be out of the house at least twice a day, and there were more errands to take care of. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it fully, had plenty of time to read, to run and to nap.

But it is also nice to be back at work, to have a routine, to be connected to friends and colleagues more closely, and have a purpose in life other than motherhood. And on top of all, Tony commutes with us, so in the morning we leave together. Both Tony and I work while Sofia has wonderful time with her friends at school. And then all three of us goes home together at the end of a fun day.

First day going back to work, I lied down with my girls and felt so lucky to be where I am now. 🙂

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Lizzy stays at home with grandma. She’s such an easy, calm and happy baby, behaves extremely well, doesn’t fuss much and always laughing.

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Grandma would send us pics of her during the day which make us miss her more and appreciate more time spent with her once we are home.

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Sofia is transitioning to preschool class, a new building, new teachers and new classmates. She adapted it right away and loves the new environment.

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There were 3 days that school was closed and Sofia had to stay at home. She behaved really well playing with Lizzy and by herself. She’s just a big girl already!

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Tony started to run!!! YEY!!! I love that we share an activity together, actually my latest passion. So it’s great that he’s running too so he gets to appreciate and understand when I talk about all the running jargon.

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He started to run 5 times a week, 2 to 3 miles, and then last Saturday he run 6 miles :shock:. I even went to the trail to look for him. He felt great after the run, experiencing runner’s high. But then next day, his foot hurt. opss…… too much too soon. Hopefully he recovers soon while doing some cross training, so he can resume running. We have a 5k in less than 2 weeks.

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Our second “date” night was spent eating Korean food and at REI. Nothing fancy and we both enjoyed our couple time.

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Last Saturday Sofia didn’t have her usual ballet class, so I took her to her favorite playground. It was nice spending time alone with my girl.

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Sunday I had my longest run during this training cycle, 12 miles. I went slow and felt great.

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Shower and had a big breakfast which I think worked because I didn’t experience runger the next day.

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Then I wore my new compression socks for 1 hour and rest most of the day. I got to learn that eating and resting well after the long run, even if I don’t feel hungry or tired, is important, it’s part of the recovery and training.

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what do I do while I rest? Read more about running!!! 😀

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Tony took the family to an antique market, so I got to spend time alone with Lizzy, who is so cute and adorable!

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We tested out carrying her… I don’t think she’s ready for it yet.

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Then we went for brunch with friends at a new restaurant Requin. We shared two appetizers: eggplant-tomato ratatouille

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mussel & clam escabeche, both served with crostini. Sofia loved the eggplant one and had 6-7 crostinis.

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For main, I ordered grilled swordfish  with, beluga lentil salad, watercress, grapefruit. Unfortunately I didn’t like the swordfish so I gave them to Tony and finished the salad.

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Sofia had French toast

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which she surprisingly finished the plate! WOOO!!!

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Tony had smoked salmon soft scramble  puff pastry, tomato, leek, potatoes, and market salad, which he liked.

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It was a relaxing weekend with enough down time which I really appreciate, especially now that I’m away from home during the week. 🙂


Life: weekend outings and food lately

While I play with Lizzy at home during the week… I try to do more with my husband and Sofia over the weekend.

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I’ve been reading more running related books

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when Sofia woke up from her nap and saw me reading, she grabbed a book herself and started reading too. 🙂 So cute!

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We had four months appt for Lizzy. She’s doing great! Such an easy happy girl.

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Tony and I haven’t gone on a date for like…. ever? Actually not since last October when we got married. It has been too long. Although we love going out as a family, it’s important to go on dates with each other alone. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it feels different, specially going out on a Friday night. I first suggested the idea to Tony 2 weeks ago and we’ve been planning to go for a movie night. For some unexpected events, we couldn’t do it until last Friday.

So… after we had dinner and put Lizzy to bed, we left. We went to mosaic, which is just 5 min away from our house. Since we arrived 15 min earlier, I suggested to get ice cream. Obviously Tony liked the idea.

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first couple pics since WAY TOO LONG. We were both excited for our date night.

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so in love with this man! Sometimes I’m amazed that despite of what we’ve been through, how long we’ve been together, I look at him and I feel love.

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on Saturday I took Sofia to watch Cirque du Soleil

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we had free popcorn!!!

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the show was really well done, a great combination of music, costumes, story and acrobatic.

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we left the show a bit earlier because I had to go to a friends’ bachelor party

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we went to Rural Society, an argentinean restaurant. It was my first time and I was surprised by how sophisticated the food was. Good taste, presentation and ambiance.

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then on Sunday we went to a friends’ baby shower

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we decided to take Lizzy with us. We weren’t sure how she’d do because when she’s at home her awake time is about an hour. But she did great! She was super calm, looking around for the entire 1.5 hrs we went at the party, even on our way home she got sleepy but she didn’t fuss at all. What a great baby girl! Look how proud is her daddy.

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waffles making

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a banana bread

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maybe the last kale salad of the season

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I’ve been having tortilla pizza with vegan tofu sauce few times

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finally tried the protein waffle (1 scoop of protein powder + 1 egg whites + water), topped with PB. It was not as crunchy as I expected but tasty nonetheless.

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breakfast post-run has been either 2 eggs with 2 toasts with LC, or 1 egg and turkey slice with toasts

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for snack I made banana oatmeal protein bar

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Banana oatmeal protein bar (15 squares)

  • 300 g old fashion oatmeal
  • 5 medium bananas
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2.5 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 scoop protein powder

blend everything, pour into a pan and bake at 375 for 50-60 min. I wrap each square and freeze them. It’s super easy to grab one on the go for snack.

The highlight of last week’s meal was this one that I had after Sunday long run. I first craved sea bass… but the price tag scared me so I got sea scallop instead. I cook them with butter, S+P, paired with roasted asparagus and steamed japanese sweet potato. YUM YUM~~~

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I’m one week away from going back to work. I don’t feel ready… I am so enjoying this (probably the last) maternity leave. But I know I’ll do fine. I enjoy having a routine when working, I love my job so everything will be just fine. I just need to be super organized, plan ahead and be efficient at work so I can leave office on time. 🙂

Life: enjoying the summer

Summer is ending… my maternity is ending. We’ve been trying to make the most of it by playing with Lizzy

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eating salads when it’s 90F outside

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taking Sofia to swimming class. One day we found a turtle on the road

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we stopped and helped it to move away from the danger

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we usually go to Costco after swimming class. Sofia took a nap on the ride

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and then on Sunday 7/31 we went to celebrate Lizzy’s 100 days

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she got to see around

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we got to eat

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such a peaceful lady 🙂

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so proud of my girls….

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We’ve instated the rule of not going to buy groceries until the fridge is empty, so it means we don’t necessarily go on weekend. This time it was a Friday and we took Lizzy with us. She was so entertained the whole trip

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The Olympic season is here and we’ve been watching the games all day long

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all the family

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After my 5k race, Sofia asks to take her on morning runs. I can’t really take her for my runs but on my rest day, yes of course. Last Saturday we woke up early so excited that she’d go for a run with mommy. She really run….. not for long, but run walk run… it was so fun! I can’t wait to run with her side by side on a race. But for now, I think every Saturday we’d have our “morning run” together.

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Saturday ballet class is always fun. They have different theme each week, so the girls are entertained.

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Last Sunday my long run was 9 miles. Glorious 9 miles. I felt great! Not really tired the rest of the day.

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We went to Earth Trek Crystal City in the afternoon. It was my first time since I got pregnant, so over a year already. I missed it so much! I was surprised how much I could still accomplish.

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It was a great way to introduce Sofia to the sport. She had a lot of fun passing the ropes and insists that she wants to climb too. Unfortunately she can’t do it until she’s 40 lbs.

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Now that the gym is closer to us, we’d definitely go more often. It’s a great sport.

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Last Tuesday, Lizzy woke up warm but still happy. But then after her morning nap, she was really warm, fussy and refused to eat. I got worried and booked an appt with the pediatrician. She was calmer by the time we got there (she finally nursed after I expressed some milk to her mouth).

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the pediatrician check her and she was fine, no ear infection. But the fever was 102.2F so she was given tylenol.

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then she took almost 3 hrs nap and woke up back to normal. Rolling!!!

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oh yes, that’s all she does these days! Unfortunately she doesn’t know how to roll back yet, so we have to help her or she’d “ask” for help.

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Horay for quick recovery! 🙂

Life: weekend routines

I used to think those stay at home moms are so lucky because they have plenty of time for themselves. Well…. not so true because now that I’m temporary taking that role, I find myself busy during the week for no reason. I keep running errands in the mornings. I have a long to-do list everyday to tackle. Groceries shopping takes a lot of time now that we have 5.5 people in the house.

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Fortunately coming home and see this face makes me smile

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oh… she smiles a lot too, specially when I play with her.

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We got our first batch of potatoes!!! Look how cute they are and really tasty too.

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Last weekend: Saturday mornings are dedicated to soccer game.

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Sofia and Tony warming up

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Sofia plays and eats her fruits while I got to relax. Then at noon is Sofia’s ballet class.

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She’s going to Tiny Dancers and the place is really cute. A small studio where parents get to see them the whole time.

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Each week there’s a theme, they read a book and dress afterwards, and a parade with their costume for the parents.

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first week’s theme was bubble bee

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Sofia had a lot of fun!

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Saturday evening we went to a friend’s new house for BBQ

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what a great feast!

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Sunday I started with 7 miles run. Unfortunately I didn’t feel strong in that run. Maybe because I didn’t carb load the night before? maybe because I didn’t sleep enough? Need to try another meal and sleep more this week.

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when I came home, my lovies were watching soccer game and having breakfast

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Sofia is getting into soccer games with Tony

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then it was her swimming class

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followed by lunch at Iron Chef with friends

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On July 18th Lizzy turned 3 months!!!

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she’s such a fun girl to play with

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this weekend we did pretty much the same… soccer saturday morning

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then ballet

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Sunday was my 5k race! 🙂