Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friends at last

Our cat Diesel has always had a love/hate relationship with our kids. 

When they were really little, Diesel loved them.  She would come over to the bouncy seat and sniff at them and happily sit nearby. 

But then those little people start moving.  And chasing.  And grabbing at tails and ears.  And smothering.  And trying to carry her around.  And just generally over-"loving" her.  Diesel spends a lot of time hiding out in the basement or up on our bed when the kids are in this stage.  When pushed to her limit, she sometimes even hisses or bites or swipes at them.  But usually that's only when she's beyond annoyed. 

Anyhow, Audrey & Carter have both crossed the bridge from being annoying little people to being acceptable family members.  But Chloe?  Well, Diesel has steered clear of Chloe for quite some time now. 

So the other day I heard Chloe calling me from downstairs "MOMMY!  Come here!" 

I am so glad I responded right away, because this is what I saw when I got down there:
 Diesel was actually sitting calmly on Chloe's lap letting Chloe pet her.  Chloe was so thrilled!  And so was I.  Looks like Chloe & Diesel have finally made friends with one another. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running ups and downs

So I just have to start off with this little tidbit:

That is 55 minutes of running, folks!!!

My hair was like an oil slick, my self was totally slimy, and my face looked red as a raspberry, but I did it, people!!

So obviously, this is one of my running "ups".  

However, last week was a total downer.  I try to run every Tuesday and Thursday morning as well as one weekend day.  Well, Tuesday I was unable to run because I was signed up to help out in Carter's preschool class.  That afternoon I decided to do some "strength training" at home so I turned on a workout dvd from netflix and concentrated on my legs mostly.  Well, whoa doggie.  I was SO sore that it was hard to walk up and down stairs...for days!  Chalk up downer #1.

Then Thursday - despite having slept poorly and having a cold - I made myself go to my 5K training class.  


Well, well, well.  Let me just say that 3 people showed up - the leader (who is training for a marathon), another woman (who had just completed one hour of exercise with her personal trainer and was now on to her second workout of the day), and ummm.... me.  The leader had us run over to the high school track (which is an uphill run part of the way).  Then she had us doing sprints alternating with jogging for a mile or so.  I literally prayed "Help me Jesus" through this part.  I thought I was going to die.  (And I only am kinda kidding about that...)  Then we had to run back.  3 miles total.  I am ALWAYS the slowest runner in the group and the last person to arrive back at the Y.... so my running self-esteem was pretty low by then.  Not to mention that by 3 pm that day I was ready for bed!!!  Downer #2.

So on Saturday morning I went to the Y track to run my "long run".  I was STILL sore from my Tuesday and Thursday escapades.  I started running, and around 2 miles in, my shoe came untied.  I stopped to tie it and then tried to start jogging again.  My legs were KILLING me.  I don't mean sore, I mean painful.  Painful to the point that I decided I should stop because I really didn't want to injure myself.  Even just walking was hurting.  Even just sitting on the floor stretching, my legs were screaming.  So again, I was totally discouraged.  I really need to up my mileage and so far the farthest I had run at once was 4 miles.  And my "long run" became a short 2 mile run.  Downer #3!!  UGH!

I really began to question myself -- why on earth did I sign up to run TEN MILES?  WILLINGLY??  Can I even do this?  Am I just feeling temporary pain (which I have had all along) or am I injuring myself?  Is it too late to sell my race bib???

I took the rest of the weekend off.  The soreness eventually went away.  I went to run today and decided that I was just going to take it slow and see what I could do...and as I ran I felt good.  My legs were NOT hurting.  In fact, even the shin splints were mostly gone (this has been my main problem all along).  So I decided to keep going.  And going.  And going. For 5 miles!  I even just said to Chad - I'm not even sore. 

I am so excited!  5 miles!  It made me think that maybe all that soreness and pain were perhaps part of the path to greater strength and's hoping that all the downers were part of a "breakthrough" of sorts. 

Although I am still not looking forward to that 5K training class this Thursday....wonder what kind of "fun" she has planned for us this week??

One moment in time

The other day  I took Carter & Chloe to the Y.  Carter had a swimming lesson and Chloe was, as usual, along for the ride.  I got Carter settled in with his swim teacher and then Chloe said she had to use the bathroom.  So, of course, even though we had just COME from the bathroom area, back to the locker room we went.

Then it happened.  Right as I approached the door to leave the pool area.  It was like time stood still for a moment and time flashed forward in my mind.  I got this overwhelming feeling that time was short and that in a blink of an eye, my season of taking kids to swim classes and preschool and all that other kiddie stuff that I do -- would be over.  It was such a strange, overwhelming sensation that it is hard to describe. Tears actually very quickly sprung to my eyes and I am not someone who tears up or cries easily or often.  Has this ever happened to anyone else out there?  Where you just get a very overwhelming feeling out of nowhere?  This doesn't happen to me often, but when it does happen, I just kind of take it as a little revelation from God that I need to take note of ... perhaps that I need to remember to enjoy and savor these special moments. 

But now you have to read the end to this story.

So....I'm in the midst of my little reverie with all these thoughts and feelings flooding through me. My eyes are blurry with tears.  I take Chloe's hand and open the locker room door.....and right there in the walkway stands a middle-aged lady....

BUCK. NAKED.  My jaw almost hit the floor as she just stood there rummaging through her bag, totally unembarrassed in her state of undress.  She didn't even look up as we approached her!

Wow.  Did that snap me out of my little "moment"....

Just the fact that these 2 separate episode happened in tandem makes me laugh out loud just thinking about it!

(PS - Bet this blog post ended in a way you didn't expect!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Puzzle Girl

 Chloe spent the evening working on this puzzle....
48 pieces.
I am very proud of her little persistent spirit!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Mafia Boy

Today when I went to pick up Carter from preschool, the children in his class were all outside playing on the playground and I noticed that Carter was sitting on the "better choice bench" (aka timeout chair). 

Later at home I asked him "Carter, how did you end up on the better choice bench, buddy?"

Carter replied, "I was playing 'Action Boys' with Ethan, and I whacked him."  (He then  got up from the table and demonstrated the "whacking" he gave Ethan ... which looked like some kind of karate chop.)

Thankfully, "whack" has a different connotation in preschool than it does in the big wide world...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My secret weapon: Smoothies

Smoothies are my latest favorite thing.  Full of healthy stuff, refreshing after a run, etc, etc....

I am guzzling them down almost daily ... and so are Carter and Chloe.  The best part is I am getting them to drink down - wait for it - SPINACH! Yup, spinach in a smoothie, folks.

The nice thing about smoothies is that you can just add whatever you have on hand.  Here is my "go-to" recipe:
 SPINACH, frozen fruit, a banana, yogurt, juice/almond milk, and ground flaxseeds
First I puree the spinach with some liquid - because really - does anyone want green floaties in their smoothie? This way you can be sure the spinach is totally liquified.  (Plus then the kids won't be on to your tricks!) 
You can use juice, milk, almond/soy/rice milk, even just water.  Whatever floats your boat.  
And as you can see, you do not need the latest, greatest blender or "smoothie maker" they sell to make a good smoothie!  This blender was Chad's from before we got married -11 years ago-and it still kicks butt when it comes to in our kitchen it stays.
 You can then add the rest of the ingredients....finish with a puree... and presto -  a smoothie!  I love that you can just add whatever you have on hand.  I think the key is to have something frozen, a "thickener" like yogurt or banana, and a liquid.  If it's too thick, just add more liquid. 

Anyhow, I just have to add a few comments here about healthy stuff in general. 

I am really glad I decided to train for this race in May.  Not because I particularly enjoy running, although I am enjoying it more and more. But I have learned some things that I would not have learned otherwise:

1.  Having an exercise challenge can actually make exercise almost fun.  I will admit - I rarely WANT to go to the Y to exercise....and almost every time I have scheduled to go, I WANT to wimp out.  I think I'm too tired, or that I should do something else "important".....but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go, I leave feeling good.  And proud of myself.  And surprising myself at how I've improved even!  It also helps that they have child care there that costs me $1 per hour. :)  A little time to myself is always a plus.  But I have learned that I can't leave it to chance, and I can't make it optional.  I put it on the calendar, and I make myself go.  It's like a little appointment.

2.  Since I have been exercising more regularly, I am eating better.  Because of course- who wants to come home after a good workout and then fill yourself with donuts?   I have ended up eating in a more deliberate and healthful way.  And THIS is what REALLY surprised me:  I actually don't crave junk food very much lately.  Like - it doesn't even look very good at all.  

True confession:  I have always been a bit of a junk food junkie.  I have been able to eat bad-for-you foods for most of my life without having it affect my weight or general well-being, but I think those days are numbered.  The scale has slowly been creeping up after each baby's arrival, and while I am not "overweight" - I know that I have not been eating WELL.  So I don't deprive myself of anything I love, I just eat a little bit of it.  And then I try to make my meals full of more fruits and vegetables and less of what is unhealthy.  I don't count calories or points or anything.  I can't do all that, it would drive me insane.  I just try to put more "good stuff" in.... and leave more "bad stuff" out.

My goal in doing all this?  Besides the obvious - my general health - I hope to stay actively involved in my kids' lives... and someday I want to be fully involved with my grandchildren if God gives them to me.  I am someone who will not be a "young" grandma (at least I better not be too young!) because I had my children in my 30's.  In fact, I was 37 when Chloe was born so even if she has her first baby as early as 25 I will be 62 already.  If I can help it, I don't want to be the grandma who sits in the wheelchair and watches on the sidelines....I want to be on the floor playing with them and going on trips with them and chasing them around the yard!

So with God's help I am trying to maintain a more healthy lifestyle.  It is hard for me to write this on a blog because now it is in black and white and I am accountable to whomever reads this!  But I hope it will not just be a temporary thing but a true lifestyle change. 

Now if I could just get rid of these shin splints.... ;)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This week at my house

Well, it sure has been busy.

Last weekend, Chad and my brother, Andy, re-plumbed (is that a word?) our bathroom.
Thank heavens it no longer looks like this!  New floor is in, new vanity/sink is in, toilet is back where it belongs...there is still lots to do but at least it is functional.

Later that day we celebrated my Mom's birthday.  I won't say which one although the cake may give it away. ;)

Speaking of birthdays, yours truly has a VIB (Very Important Birthday) coming up on Sunday.  I am turning FORTY.   I thought it might bother me, but nope.  If it involves cake and presents, I am all in.  Even if it means I have to get older.  Actually, (tangent alert...) I feel really good right now.  My 30's were great.  I gave birth to 3 beautiful children, I moved back to the area where I grew up, I have friends, family, a church family that I adore....can't complain AT. ALL.  Lately I have been running regularly.... which has caused me to start eating healthier... which has improved my mood and energy level too!  Plus, today when Carter reminded me that soon I will be forty, I asked him "So Carter, do you think Mommy is old?" And he said " are young!"  I love that boy. :)

I am going to need all that energy later this year....this week we made some final plans to take a trip to Disney in the fall with Chad's parents. I am so, so excited!  We have been there once with Audrey when she was 2, but not with all the kids.  Chloe's eyes are going to pop right out of her little head when she sees Cinderella's castle!!!  I can't wait!  We have not told the kids yet, but Chad and I have been talking "in code" with each other about it .... apparently Audrey has been doing a little eavesdropping.  Last night I found her scribbling furiously into her notebook and this is what she had written (yes, I sneaked a peek while she was sleeping!):
(Click on the photo to see it larger)
Perhaps she has been reading too many Cam Jensen mystery books lately?  Chad & I could not stop laughing when we read this.  It is SO Audrey.

Meanwhile, I decided that I want to finish some lingering "unfinished" projects around here.  It all started when I committed to crocheting some hats to send to a woman who puts together gift boxes for children who are fighting cancer.  So I pulled out my yarn collection.  Then I found a half-finished hat that I started for my nephew...who was born last July.  So I decided that before starting any more hats, I should finish the one I already started. (Guess the hat will be going to another baby boy...)  Of course then I had to find the original pattern and figure out where I was....then I stayed up WAAAAY too late finishing it up.  Because once I get involved in it, I have a hard time putting it down.  I never know when I might get back to it!  (And now you get a little glimpse into how my scattered mind works.  Only add in interruptions every few minutes by someone needing a drink of milk or help with a puzzle or needing to tell me something RIGHT NOW.....)  Anyhow, I think it turned out cute:
It's a little elf hat...what do you think?  I think it is perfect for those photos of little sleeping newborns all curled up wearing only a diaper and a cute hat! 

Chloe is still loving puzzles.  She figured this one out all by herself today.
25 piece puzzle at 2 1/2?  I think she's a smart little cookie!

Chloe also had a play date with her friend Ella.  I took a picture of them.
 (Chloe really was wearing clothes.  Her princess dress is just so big that it falls off her shoulders!)
This picture was taken after about 10 of THIS kind of picture:
(She LOVES to make this face...I think I need to stop laughing every time she does it!) 
My beautiful daughter. :)