Monday, April 25, 2011

Studio C Gecko

I don't know why it's so hard to get along with my 12yo son, sometimes. Right now he's on a Leopard Gecko trip and it's driving me nuts. I'm not being callous - it's just that in the last 3 months he has been obsessively doing research on things that he wants to buy. How does he earn money?

Babysitting for us. So who actually funds all of this? Us.

First it was the Chameleon. He found out that he needed nearly $400 dollars for a suitable living space, nutrients and the animal itself. He even bought a custom made cage from Craigslist.com for $100!

Well, he moved on from that when he discovered (or maybe started listening to his Dad & Mom) that the animal might be to fragile to keep in a basement in Nebraska. On to the guitar...

This he saved for (I re-sold the cage on Craigslist.com) and a friend of ours took interest in his learning to play and chipped in a generous amount. To his credit, the kid IS practicing every day and interest seems to remain. It's just that then we had the sword issue...

I fought that one tooth and nail. Dangerous, I said. Unsharpened, said he. David went to bat for him, and after more "babysitting" jobs and a week of checking the tracking number every single day (sometimes twice!) he has the swords and display case.

Okay - not to sound like a jerk, but this has been a lot of work for me. I have to fit his obsessions in with my own, and slide all that in between housework, meals, and diaper changes!

Now he wants a Gecko. He has read every single thing he can get his hands on...Daddy and I have put the breaks on but still he pushes. I almost kicked him out of the car tonight when, on the way home from the Y at 7:45pm he reminded me that PetCo was open til 10pm.

*smack*

Anyhow - my brain is fried and I can't wait until summer when the kid can fill his time with the garden, the park, his bow and arrows, and baseball.

Oh, btw, I took my first exercise class tonight! Liam has to be at the Y for his FitClass and there is a Yoga class at the same time. It was really great and I worked up a good sweat. It was so nice that I didn't want to leave.

And get in the car with my son.

And the Leopard Gecko *talk*...


Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Pay Off

I love to cook and eat.

These last 18 months have been a huge challenge for me. When our 4th child was born, I was way overweight, and having been on partial bed rest for most of the pregnancy, I was out of shape!

In the fall of 2009, I stared walking on the treadmill and counting calories. I could only manage 15 - 20 minutes of walking at a time. I put my laptop on the shelf above the treadmill to watch DVD's on, but I just hated it. Couldn't stand it.

Did it anyway.

By a year later, fall of 2010, I had lost 40lbs, worked my way up slowly, and had been running quite regularly. So, I signed up for a 5k road race. The summer had been hot, I had worked my way up to an IT Band (overuse) injury, and was hoping to just finish in less than 40 minutes. I worked so hard all summer on my running and just wanted to make a 12:59 pace!

September 2010, 5k, 39:49 (13:15 pace)

In the next 6 months, I would loose 20 pounds and continue to run and lift weights. I did a round of P90X, learned to love cycling and even did a little swimming. I hurt my knee during training for a Half Marathon, and was told that walking breaks would help that not happen again.

I signed up for 10 mile race to test my marathon meddle. Injured, but recovering, I switched to the 5k at the last minute.

March 2011, 5k, 32:32 (10:30 pace)

Mind you, I don't run like that all the time! We train to race...so my training runs are more like and 11:00 pace, but you get the idea. In six months I have managed to whittle away 2 minutes from my average pace on a 3 mile run.

I feel really happy about that! I sometimes think that the scale isn't moving fast enough, that my "baby belly" will never be gone, that my arms will always do the "double wave." But the truth is - there IS a pay-off. Progress HAS been made.

I will continue to stick with it - excited to see what I can write in another six months!





Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eleven

I ran eleven miles today. It took over 2 hours - but I did it. I can't tell you that I loved it - maybe at mile 7 or 8 I would have - but it's done. My knees are a mess, the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue are sore, swollen, and tired. My back is a bit sore as well - but all in all - nothing a little Ibuprofen and a good nights sleep won't help.

I'm officially ready for the Half Marathon on May 1st. I am done with my training and can now enjoy what is referred to as a "taper" until then. Since I missed 3 weeks out of the 12 weeks of training, my taper is a little short. Not perfect, but I will run, nonetheless. Yay!

To bad we didn't get that solid night's sleep we were hoping for last night. I'm not sure what was up with our 23mo old, but once he's awake and screaming - it's on. He cried, almost solid, from 1:30am to 3am. David and I both made a few trips to give a drink/cover up/give kissandhug/check diaper and then just gave up. My poor, sweet, husband took a pillow and blanket and finally slept beside his crib. With an alarm that buzzed at 5, he had a rough night.

Kids.

We did have a better day on the school front. Sort of. My 12yo is not understanding the finer points of solving for "x" and struggled to make a passing grade on the last quiz. He is a perfectionist and an intellectually gifted child, so grades like that rub him the wrong way. Who better to take it out on?

Mom.

I threw some burgers on the grill and we went to church for one of the last AWANA club meetings. The kids are all doing so well, and it's fun to watch them grow up over the school year. Next up we will have VBS, and I am hoping to do the character role of "Heidi Claire Super Sleuth Extraordiaire!" I love doing the plays and dramatic roles and helping with the singing. I'm not that great at acting or singing, but I goof around well and kids always love that.

Not an eventful day - other than I RAN ELEVEN MILES TODAY. Really pretty boring and same old - other than that little detail of my ELEVEN MILE RUN.

But I don't want to toot my own horn.

Toot-toot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not Perfect - Forgiven

What a day.

What a night.

Anyone with children can testify that some days are just a bust. Last night, Susan was a real pill about 2:30 am. She hollered and fussed and woke Cameron up (all because she finally decided she wanted her PJ's on after I had conceded to let her sleep in her clothes!). After Dave and I both attempted to bribe, beg, and threaten her back to sleep, we went out and closed the door - leaving her to immediately decide that she was to tired for all of that.

At 4:30 am, my Tuesday alarm went off. Duh... In previous in-climate weather, I had been holed up in the local YMCA using the treadmill to train for my upcoming Half Marathon. Weather is better now = why is my alarm still set!?

A little before 5:00, it seems a thunder storm rolled through. I would not have noticed, except for our 9 year old made me aware. Poor kid - she likes to sleep with a window cracked, and the mini blinds were slapping against the window in the wind. I directed her to the couch and rolled over to get some more Z's.

About 6:00 our 23mo old son woke up for his usual morning Mommy snuggle time. Only today, Daddy was working 8-5, so all three of us got to share sheets.

At 6:30, David's alarm went off and by that time the sun was up. I have a 7:00 alarm set so that I am dressed and ready for the 7:30 arrival of the sweet little boy that I watch...so essentially I should have gotten up at 5 and been productive instead of lazing about!

I can deal with one night of ridiculousness. It's a day full of it that follows that really drives me nuts. Miss Alahnnah did not have a nice day. She fussed, she cried, she whined, she died her Barbie's hair with lipstick.

Yep.

Did I mention that I have the best husband ever? When he came home, I had dinner ready. We ate, and I escaped to appease my inner Yogi. What a salve for my bones and for my soul. Just the time that I was able to be away from "things" was invaluable. I talked to God, asked him to bless the time and restore my body.

He did.

When I went up to pray with Miss A tonight, she asked God to forgive her for the way she acted today. Her eyes lit up when I told her that she was instantly forgiven. We talked about how God keeps no records of wrongs. How we could all start over with a clean slate tomorrow.

How much God loves her. How much I love her. No matter what.

Now, if we can all get a solid nights sleep - there's hope that tomorrow will be better. And if not...well, at least we are forgiven!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Therapy

What do you do to cope with the stress of daily life?

Listen to music
Take a bath
Watch a favorite TV show or movie
Go for a walk
Read a book
Pray

What about when things get really hard to handle?

Talk to a friend or family member
Go for a longer walk
Read your Bible
Eat
Drink
Isolate
Stop talking
Sleep to much
Stare endlessly at TV that doesn't really interest you

The later of the hard to handle list used to be my way to cope. Essentially, not coping at all. Just trying to weather the storms of life until it passed. How did that work out for me? Not well. Things do pass with time, but you never grow unless you learn to cope.

While I disagree with the theory of evolution of species, Darwin did get it right when he asserted that "survival is ultimately dependent on the ability to change and evolve." Change in a positive direction is labeled "growth" - spiritual maturity. And if you want to survive your life, you have to change.

Back to the question: What do you do to cope? How is this affecting other areas of your life? Is it compounding the problem and causing ill health, social alienation, weight gain/loss, etc? How do you shrug off what you've always done and do something new?

Slowly.

Identify that you would like to adopt a new way to deal with things. Pick one un-healthy thing that you do and replace it with the new thing. Don't change everything all at once. Try to pick the one thing you are willing to let go of and trade it for something you don't hate so much.

For example:

The Now Normal - come home from a stressful day, order a pizza and sit down in front of whatever is on the TV. Eat to much pizza and drink a few beers, watch TV until it is an acceptable time to go to bed. Evening wasted, you feel the same as you did when you came home.

The New Normal - come home from a stressful day, order a pizza and sit down in front of the TV. Have a slice of two of pizza and one beer, turn off the TV when you get bored. Grab a magazine, a crossword puzzle book, or your Bible and commit to spending 15 minutes doing something worth while for your brain. Get to bed on time. Maybe glean some solace, maybe feel a little more calm at bed time.

Eventually, you may stop at the gym after work instead - have some grilled chicken instead of the pizza (you can keep the beer if you want!) and decide that you want to spend time on a new hobby such as painting, drawing, sewing, or gardening instead of sitting in front of the glow of the Idiot Box all evening.

But you don't have to make such a huge sweeping change all at once! We are so used to being lied to by TV and print media that there is some secret way to change our lives. That if we just buy the new pill/cream/system that "So-in-So" developed, we will be a totally different person in just 7 days!!

It's baloney. You have to start slowly.

But you have to start.

Check out how Amy is finding new ways to cope over at Appetite for Destruction.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Week Wrap Up

I have had a bunch of things running around in my mind this week - but no time to write. From the feelings evoked by seeing the crucifixion of Christ re-enacted by my church family, to thoughts of putting my training miles to good use and running for a charity. I've started my older children on next years books (they blew through this years) and my youngest child has regressed all the way back to getting in bed with me around 4am. Or screaming and waking up the whole house...refusing to be reasoned with.

I've had a head cold, ran my longest training run since my knee injury, and consumed more in the way of junk food that usual. Today, I took some cough syrup during nap time and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up when hubby walked in, grabbed my gym bag and tried to go swim some drills. I bonked out at 750 yards, a little more than half of what I wanted to do.

So, not really on the top of my game this week. I will admit, my 9 mile run on Tuesday was the BOMB. The weather was perfect, I was properly hydrated and fueled, I paced myself a little on the slow side, and despite the every other mile snot rocket, I felt good about it. One more long one, then nothing major til the Half on May 1st.

No more long distance training for a couple of months. I want to do another Half marathon the first week of September - but that shouldn't be a problem if I can train July and August. I will be glad when we can go back to long runs on the weekends. Doing them on Tuesday works with hubby's work schedule, but there is no time for a nap or proper recovery on the weekdays. You would think that 4 kids is a lot to take care of on any day...until you have 6 Tuesday through Friday.

Lots and lots of things to think about. I'm reading a new book called Running on Empty. So far, it seems to be about a guy who went wonko when his young wife died of cancer and proceeded to make a mess of his social life by running as far as he could as fast as he could as often as he could. I hear it gets better and is quite inspiring. I'll let you know.

Onward with the weekend. More to come on the fundraising. There's a great organization that recently sponsored a run that I'd like to start working with. I sent them an email to see what they think. I run anyhow - may as well do it for a reason. We'll see what they say...maybe they will want a faster runner to represent them! Ha, ha, ha!!



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Race Report II

Race for Grace - Grand Island NE - 10K + (6.65mi)

We went up to my Mom's last night and she graciously allowed us to descend on her house and proceed to totally mess up her basement with all of our junk. :)

We slept as well as anyone can with 4 children who are out of their element can. Our older children did well, but our 3yo tossed and turned and bothered our 9yo. For like and hour or more. I think we all fell asleep around midnight, and were all up at 7. So, not terrible, just not right.

The race didn't start until 9am, so we had plenty of time to get ready, get the kids something to eat, and get there. The race was in a smaller town, so parking was a breeze. It was a nicely laid out event, with a pretty nice goody bag along with our t-shirts. Coupons for local businesses, a nice water bottle, and even some post-race snacks!

Our race course was completely closed. The miles were all marked and we had water and potties at the 2 and 4 mile marks. I enjoyed the weather (60 degrees and foggy) and my husband and youngest brother were there as well.

My husband ran on ahead like a shot - and my brother ran with me. It was really nice to have an hour or so captive with him to hear about how he's doing. With 16 years between us, it's sometimes difficult to connect.

We passed the 5 mile mark at 56 minutes, and the time had just flown. The course ran a little long for infrastructural and safety reasons, so we ended up finishing the just over 6.5 miles in 1:12 or so. Official times will be posted later. I tried to use the Run Keeper application on my phone, but couldn't get a GPS lock.

No big deal - it's not like I was trying to qualify for Boston or something. :)

The race was to benefit the area Cancer Endowment, so we donated money in the names of my dad and David's oldest sister. Next year, I would like to get some Dri-fit T's made up with lettering on them like: "I run for my Dad." or "I run for my Sister." Ya know, just goofy stuff. The free race T's we got were cotton, and I.don't.wear.cotton. when I run. Yick. It gets sweaty and then cold and icky. DIVA.

Great race. Well organized. After events were massages, snacks, and lots of giving people milling about smiling ear to ear. I felt great afterward, despite running my fastest 10K. I always run faster when I run with my brother. He did take my walking breaks with me - but it's just so fun to run and chat (and act like a dork trying to embarrass him!) so we just RUN!

Second race of the season! Next up, the Half Marathon on May 1st. I'm ready! I need to get one more 10 or 11 miler in beforehand, but I think it'll be fine. Woohoo!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fantastic Friday

My daughter, Alahnnah, just about couldn't handle today being April Fool's Day. If ever there was a holiday for that girl - this is it! My requirement is that the pranks have to be "nice", not include food-esque items passed off for food, and they can't lie. She had a fun day. I think she may have even had her Daddy fooled that she found a "real" mouse in the flour!

Great day today. Had a moment that made me grin... Right after lunch, I always change diapers and help kiddos use the potty. You win some and you loose some. Today, I lost. Stinky messes all around. After I cleaned and napped them all, I went downstairs to retrieve the couch cover that was drying and passed my son's room. He needed his guitar tuned - the fancy electronic tuner wasn't working right with the laundry going nearby. That done, I went upstairs and helped Alahnnah with her math.

That variety of multi-tasking really made me laugh.

Tonight was our 9yo daughter's first volley ball practice. I happened to start chatting with another home schooling, Bible believing Momma. Her 9yo was the youngest of 7 and she had been home schooling for 17 years! Theresa was a very nice lady who let me talk like the isolated Momma that I am. Somehow we got talking and I even shared a little of my testimony with her. I tried to control my chatting...I know I can talk a Blue Streak.

Workout today was The 3-mile Challenge on my Walk Away the Pounds DVD. Our Friday Fitness Class had 11 participants tonight! It's such a blessing to see people coming to the church on a Friday to do a little moving. Boy, we stepped it up a notch tonight! The 2-mile Brisk Walk was sort of hard to get a good workout from, but this one got 'er done. I used some hand weights to up the intensity and was pleased with the sweaty results.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to do some speedwork. I haven't done any for about a month while trying to heal up my knee.

Prayers appreciated!