Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Misadventures in Potty Training

Well, in the words of Elsa, I think we are gonna have to "let it go" for awhile and revisit this whole potty training thing again later on down the road.

We have been wearing real panties for 6 weeks now and still having accidents on a regular basis.  As in, 3 or 4 a day.  She's hiding in my closet to go potty and last week she even crouched down on the kitchen floor and peed like a puppy dog.

I can hear older Morgan absolutely dying of humiliation that I just put that on the internet.

This tells me that she knows what she's doing - and just doesn't WANT to go potty.  To say it has been frustrating is a very large understatement.  

We have tried M&Ms.  We have tried ice cream.  Nothing has given us the desired reaction.  I think next we're going to try stickers but at this point I'm just not going to push it.  If she goes - WONDERFUL, here have a sticker!  If she doesn't??  Well, at least I won't be washing little girl panties every other day.

Have you ever folded 10+ pairs of 2T panties???

So yeah, we made the decision to let it go for now and let her lead us back when she's ready.

Any one else have any good reward ideas???

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pre and Post Race Fueling at The Happiest Place on Earth

Welcome to the Disneyland Half Marathon Virtual Blog Hop!

Virtual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

It hardly seems like it was a year ago that I was headed west for my first trip to The Happiest Place on Earth for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!  It was such a fun trip that even though I'm not going this year (sad face) I wanted to participate in this blog hop to help you plan YOUR trip!!

If you are new to The Smith Summary - welcome!!!  My name is Kristen and I'll be your tour guide for this stop on the hop.

My topic for today's hop is pre- and post-race fueling options.  I'm gonna go ahead and tell you - there are SO many good places to eat at Disneyland that you probably cannot go wrong wherever you eat!  But I have selected a few of my favorites to share with you!

Pre-Race Favorites

I am a big fan of not trying new things before a race - so for me, I wanted to stick with foods that were familiar to my tummy.  Usually before a race I eat a protein and a pasta dish to build up my glycogen stores for the next day.  My first inclination is to go Italian, and my first pick last year was Naples Ristorante in Downtown Disney.  They also have a quick service restaurant attached called Napolini for those wanting to get in and out a little faster.

However, last year at 5pm on Saturday night there was a 2 HOUR wait for a table at Naples!  If you have your heart set on some spaghetti and meatballs then I highly recommend a reservation for this restaurant during a race weekend.  Even the quick service had an extremely long line.

So let me fill you in on my secret carb loading spot in Downtown Disney:

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen

At 5pm we walked right in - no waiting.  This chicken and pasta dish was delicious and was the perfect pre-race fuel for a half marathon.

And the beignets weren't bad either ;)

My honorable mention goes to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney.  Like I said before, I love to try new things and Disneyland has tons to offer - but save it for after the race!!!

Speaking of after the race...

Whether you are running the Disneyland 10K, the Disneyland half marathon, or both for the Dumbo Double Dare, you will want to celebrate with a delicious meal so without further adieu...

Post-Race Favorites

I have to break post-race favorites into two categories - formal and informal.  Immediately following the race (and not necessarily before you've had a shower!) you will probably want some grub and Disneyland has plenty of lighter and not so light options for you!  Here are my favs from each.

If you are like me and crave a little caffeine after you're all cleaned up, then I would hit up Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney's California Adventure for a pastry and a Starbucks.  

If it's closer to lunch though, how about a turkey leg??  

I'm sorry, but nothing says Disney quite like a turkey leg.  You agree?

I got this piece of deliciousness at a cart beside Award Weiners in California Adventure.  

My honorable mention here goes to Jamba Juice in Downtown Disney.

If, however, you are absolutely famished at the end of 13.1 miles and need something with a little more sustenance, might I suggest a breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney??

I had no idea this place served breakfast y'all!  And it's location near the finish line makes it an ideal place to stop and grab some nourishment.  Not gonna lie, we stopped here last year before I had the chance to hit the hotel for a shower.  Don't worry, I wasn't the only one ;)

My honorable mention here goes to Blue Bayou inside Disneyland park.  More specifically, it is INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Their Monte Cristo sandwich is to DIE for y'all but be forewarned, it's big enough to share!  Another tip - this place is incredibly popular so I would highly recommend a dining reservation here.  But it's worth it.

So after you've cleaned up and played around in the parks a bit, if you are looking for a nicer sit-down environment for your celebration meal, I have a few recommendations there too!

Napa Rose, located inside The Grand Californian Hotel

Last year on Sunday evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Napa Rose - however, it is currently closed for refurbishment - sad face.  Some incredibly worthy alternatives include:

Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel

Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney's California Adventure

For any of these I would definitely recommend an advance dining reservation.  A few also have dress code so be sure to read up on that in advance!

Like I said before, there are SO many good places to eat at Disneyland that you are not going to go wrong wherever you choose!  I hope some of these recommendations are helpful and make your trip more enjoyable!

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Tips for Getting Rid of That Head Cold

Disclaimer:  My title might be Dr., but I am not YOUR doctor.  These are just the things that work best for me.  Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications/supplements.  :)

I know the blog has been kinda quiet here lately - part of that has just been the sheer craziness with Samantha going back to school and stuff going on at work.

Part of it has also been that for the second time in a month I have come down with a head cold.  Thanks to my allergies I have fought my fair share of head colds but thankfully I keep an arsenal on hand to combat them early when they do strike so that I don't feel quite as bad and get better faster.

And I thought today I'd share those with you - because who doesn't get a head cold at least once or twice a year??

Before proceeding please read the disclaimer above :)  I've used what I learned in school to establish my own routine and while it works best for me, it might not work best for everyone.  Plus, I think it goes without saying that if you are running a fever or showing signs of a more serious infection you should definitely see your doctor!  AND, you should always discuss your current medications or medical conditions with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any over the counter remedies.

Well, now that we've gotten all that mumbo jumbo out of the way...

Even though the word TIPS is plural, meaning more than one, I really have one a few and they are very short and to the point.

1.  If you feel yourself coming down with anything, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS establish a strict handwashing regimen and use hand sanitizer after touching your face or blowing your nose.  I would also hit common things you touch (i.e. the computer mouse or the pen you write with) with a Clorox or other sanitizing wipe.

2.  Within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms, begin taking an over the counter zinc supplement.  I prefer the zinc lozenges myself, even though those have to be taken every 2-4 hours to be effective and you cannot eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after you take one.  They make quick dissolve tablets now that disintegrate on your tongue, as well as nasal swabs that might be more convenient.  Whichever product you chose, read the directions CAREFULLY to get the full benefit of the supplement.  And especially make sure you begin using it within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms!!!

3.  Load up on vitamin C!!!  I particularly like Emergen-C but any vitamin C supplement will do.  Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin so anything your body does not need will come right back out in your urine.  I usually start my day with an Emergen-C and then wait 30 minutes before I pop my first zinc lozenge.

4.  HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE.  I cannot stress this enough.  Water will help flush out the yuck and keep mucus (eww!!!) thinner and easier to manage.  At least 64oz daily y'all, which is what you should be drinking anyways :)

And there you have it!  Again, these are the things that work best for ME.  When I stick to my regimen I do not feel like I have to climb in bed and stay there all day and I usually feel back to my usual self within about 4 or 5 days.  I hope that if you try any of these tips that they work for you too!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#RnRSTL Bling Alert

Disclaimer:  I am a Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador for this event but received a free registration through a previous promotion; as always, all opinions are 100% my own.

What better way to start a Tuesday than a sneak peek at the newly released half and full marathon medals for the Rungevity Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by The Quinn Family Foundation!

Marathon medal

Half marathon medal

What do you guys think??  I for one really like them!  I love how they incorporated the arch - it's a historic St. Louis landmark!!!

Will you be joining me on a quest for this bling in October??!!!  If not, it's not too late to join me!  Click here to register and be sure to use the code KSMITHRUNS to save yourself $10 off the full or half marathon registration!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

To FP+ or Not to FP+ - That Is the Question

Perhaps I have mentioned previously that the Smiths are going on vacation over fall break??

Yes, that's right - we're returning to our happy place in just 64 days for a week full of magic!  Which means in just a few short days, I can begin making our Fast Pass + (FP+) reservations for our trip.

Am I the only one that has ever felt overwhelmed by FP+???  

I don't know if it's because Samantha is now tall enough to ride everything and I want her to experience everything she wants to (the kid is 4'2", y'all, no lie) or what, but looking at the list of what I CAN book and knowing I can only choose 3 things per day right now is enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios aren't stressing me out as much as the Magic Kingdom.  I mean, HELLO - if I don't get my girls in to meet Anna and Elsa I just might as well stay at home ;)  So that's one thing and I was hoping to try Be Our Guest for lunch but do I use a FP+ reservation for that or do I chance a walk-up??  Things change so frequently down there I don't know what the current recommendation is.  And then I'm stuck on spot #3 - do I pick one of the mountains to ride with Samantha or something that Morgan could also ride, like Pirates or Jungle Cruise??

See now why I'm going crazy?

Did I mention that I have to do this on Monday???

So I need your help folks - send the FP+ tips my way!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gatlinburg: 10 Years Later

Last weekend Mr. SS and I enjoyed a wonderful, long weekend getaway to the Smokey Mountains in East Tennessee to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!  We honeymooned in Gatlinburg and had not been back in 10 years so it was quite a treat to see just how the more things change, the more they stay the same :)

Since our trip was planned at the last minute, we stayed at a nice hotel in Pigeon Forge.  Our hotel even had a fireplace, which you would find odd in the middle of July but we were experiencing a polar vortex that weekend and actually had to turn the thing on once or twice!

In the interest of keeping it real - I gotta tell you - the traffic in this part of the state is HORRIBLE.  As we were coming in town we got held up so badly that we had to cancel our dinner reservation for that evening because an hour prior we had not even made it to our hotel to check in.  We ended up having a nice dinner at another restaurant closer to our hotel and we saw the South's largest Christmas shop across the street and knew we needed to make a pit stop.

Nothing like a little Christmas in July to brighten your spirits after a long day of traveling!

Friday we headed to the Tanger Outlets in Seviervile; we were pleasantly surprised to see more shops that we were interested in than we had seen 10 years ago and spent most of the day wandering around the open air mall.  For dinner, though, we headed into Gatlinburg to eat at the very restaurant that we had eaten at 10 years ago that night - No Way Jose's.

Our view while waiting on our table

Even though we had planned to return to Gatlinburg the next day to walk the main strip, we decided to walk down a ways after a really filling dinner and came across Sugarlands.

This fun establishment was not here 10 years ago!  And yes, those jars are filled with moonshine - the legal kind, of course :)  I had never tried moonshine and they were offering taste testing (you had to show you were of age before you were allowed to try any) so I decided to give it a try.  I can honestly say I am not a fan of the 100-proof stuff but the apple pie flavor was to DIE for!  Their moonshine is processed 6 times to make it smoother and for this flavor in particular, they use grannie smith apples and caramel, which is not your usual combination for an apple pie flavor but it was SO good I had to buy a jar.

Or two.  Don't judge.

The next day we headed back into Gatlinburg for adventures walking the main strip.  The traffic was exceptionally bad that day and we were stuck in the Smokey Mountains National Park area for about an hour.

It was terrible - let me tell ya ;)

There is a place to the side of the road where you can stop and take in the scenery - we knew this because we stopped at the exact same spot 10 years prior.  And we figured since we weren't really going anywhere fast that we would take a few pics, like we had on our honeymoon.

Me in the Smokey Mountains National Park

Let's go to Gatlinburg - but first - #letmetakeaselfie

Compared to 10 years ago...

Me in the Smokey Mountains National Park in 2004

Let's go to Gatlinburg on our honeymoon - but first - #letmetakeaselfie

I know what you're thinking and I agree - yes, I age well.  LOL

It was really fun revisiting the main strip in Gatlinburg - there were a lot of new places but a lot of our favorites were still there.  

I took this picture while Owen was inside this shop - the Dayhiker.  10 years ago he bought a shirt here so in keeping with tradition, he had to buy another one.  We even had lunch at Blaine's, a bar and grill on the main strip that we had had lunch at on our honeymoon.

Heading back towards Pigeon Forge I couldn't resist snapping this pic of the aquarium area - we did not go this time because tickets are kinda pricey but I just love how green the area looks.

One of our favorite meals on our honeymoon was actually at the Hard Rock Cafe, so imagine our surprise when we came upon the place where the Hard Rock had been only to find a Denny's.

Whomp whomp.

Good news was they had only relocated to a much larger facility in Pigeon Forge, so for our last night we headed there for dinner and were very impressed with the new building!

The OC Choppers Hard Rock bike - pretty cool!!

The new restaurant was big enough that they had a stage and live music - AND, since we were sans children, we sat around for a little while after we ate dinner and listened to a few songs!

And then, as quickly as it had begun, our anniversary trip ended as we woke up Sunday morning and headed back home.  It was nice to get away with just the hubs for a trip down memory lane to celebrate our anniversary!  I hope we can go back soon - and maybe next time we'll take the kids along :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adventures in Potty Training


We are in full-on potty training mode in the Smith house.  We moved the girls to a new daycare at the beginning of this month and Morgan needs to be potty trained by August 4th at her new school.  We had not been pushing the whole potty training thing as hard prior to that but I figured with a full month - surely, we could get it accomplished.

Boy did I have it wrong.

I'm pretty sure that's what she's thinking.

At the recommendation of the daycare, we began putting Morgan in regular underwear at the beginning of the month.  I bought her Sofia the First panties and princess panties...I mean, why would you want to mess up your beautiful princess panties??  I don't really think she cares though because, so far, wearing regular underwear has not sped up this process.  She is still having daily accidents - sometimes more than one.  Yesterday, it was about 4 or 5.  And yes, we are going #2 in them also.

Although yesterday, she did drop trou in the playhouse outside on the playground to do her business, so I guess we're getting somewhere...???  #lookedlikeanouthousetomemom

We do give rewards when she goes potty IN the potty - those little snack packs of M&Ms work wonders.    Yesterday, she told me she made "I make yellow water; I want NimNims."  So I'm pretty sure she knows what she's SUPPOSED to do, just doesn't necessarily WANT to do it all the time.  

So defiant.

She's not really telling us when she needs to go potty, so we've just been routinely taking her about every hour; we started with going every 30 minutes but that backfired when she would refuse to go.  Perhaps she's a monster of our own creation...

I don't recall having NEAR this many issues potty training Samantha - she picked it up rather quickly.  Which I guess only goes to show you how completely different two children can be.  

We are running out of time here and I am kinda at a loss - does anyone have any tips for potty training the defiant child??