Saturday, June 29, 2013

My newest scheme

We made a quick little visit to an old friend of mine this weekend.  She lives 3.5 hours away, which is the longest drive I've made in quite some time.  We drove up on Friday, left Saturday evening... quick, but fun.  She has a little girl about Isabelle's age who is named Isabella, which is a fun coincidence since we had lost touch for a while about then and had no idea we were pregnant at the same time and named our children basically the same thing.

We had a lot of fun visiting, and our kids hit it off big time!  We visited a museum, which I could have spent days exploring inside and out, but we only stayed a few hours because of the kids.


On our drive back home, I had this crazy idea.  And it's even crazier that I am still thinking about it after the drive home, which was really tedious towards the end with 3 over-tired children.

I want to take a massive road trip with the girls.  I want to take about 2 months off of work one summer, and visit every state (well, 48 of them anyway).  Get up, drive a few hours into the next state, find something fun to do or see for the afternoon, move on the next day.  We'd stay a day or two longer in states with family, of course.  I know Bill won't ever be able to take off time like that so we'd maybe fly him out to meet up with us a few times, especially when we're out east near his family.  

It would take a few years to save up the money and properly plan.  It would be crazy expensive...  and it would take a lot of planning.  But I think it would be such an awesome experience for the girls.  

I'm sure Bill won't be crazy about the idea.  He'd hate being left alone that long.  And he'd hate not being able to see all the things we'd be seeing.  He hates flying so he wouldn't even be excited about flying out to meet us places, either.  

I think it would be a blast.  So I'm going to start working up a plan to make it happen and see where it goes.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The weight of the world

First, I just have to say that I am extremely happy to report 2 important milestones this week with my weight loss.  I reached 40 lbs lost!  Not only is that 40 lbs, but it's 25 lbs for 2013 - my halfway mark.  I was really concerned that I wouldn't hit 25 lbs by the end of June, so it was a relief.  I probably have my salad kick I'm on to credit for that...  I love salads and it's just so much easier in the summer.  

Now, lets talk about my kids' weights.

In Arkansas, the law for booster seats is that they must remain in one until they are at least 6 years old AND 60 lbs.  Olivia, being the walking stick figure she is, is 8 and not even close to 60 lbs.  I don't know her exact weight, but I believe the last time she was in the lower 50s.  The newest recommendations by the powers that be is that kids remain in boosters until they are 4'9" and 100 lbs.  4'9" is nothing new, but 100 lbs???  Olivia will be learning to drive in a booster seat at the rate she gains weight!  

Isabelle decided to get on the scale today and she weighs in right at 60 lbs.  She is super excited.... she knows the law is 60 lbs and she's 7, so she can legally ride without a booster.

I'm not sure yet if I'll let her, though.  Olivia will be devastated to still be in a booster while her younger sister rides without.  I know some people would tell me I'm stupid for entertaining the idea since they aren't tall enough or weigh enough for the newest recommendations.  But here's the thing... while I believe in safety, I also believe there is a line that gets crossed into being just too over-protective.  

Is it safer?  Certainly.  If we're going for ultimate safety, they shouldn't be in vehicles at all.  Unpractical, yes, but we're talking safety, right?.  Why are we not all using 5 point harness systems and helmets in the car?  That would be safer, too.  Is that silly?  Where's the line between being as safe as possible and being ridiculous?  I happen to think it's before 100 lbs, myself.

Yes, people can show me all sorts of videos and pictures of kids' injuries saying "this is what can happen without a proper booster."  But can you tell me, without a doubt, that the same injuries can be avoided with one?  Show me the pictures of a kid who better survived an identical crash, and I do mean identical - same cars, same conditions, same speeds, etc.  You can't.  Because there are so many variables to each and every accident.  I don't buy into the scare tactics of die-hard car seat advocates, or anyone for that matter.  If I responded to things like that, I'd never eat, or leave the house, or touch anything without gloves.  Danger lurks in every corner for some people.  I can't live like that.

So, yeah, I'm just generally not a paranoid person.  I don't even mind my kids riding around the driveway on their bikes or scooters without helmets or pads.  I guess I'm just not one of those people who feel that they have to try to remove all risk from their children's lives. We all have our own limit to the risks we're willing to take, and I know some people would consider me terrible for being willing to take more risks on my children's lives than they would, but I'm not strapping them to the luggage rack, OK?

And another weight issue....  My Zoe.  Isabelle weighed 60 lbs today.  Zoe weighed 61.  A year and a half younger, several inches shorter.  Isabelle is not the stick figure Olivia is.  She's a solid child.  So Zoe weighing more than her definitely is not a good thing.  We've had problems lately because Zoe's having trouble finding clothes that fit her.... clothes that fit her sisters are now becoming too small for her.  This is BAD.  I'm really concerned about her weight, but I'm also concerned about how this is going to affect her self-esteem if we can't get this under control... and I need to make sure that I'm not doing damage there myself with how we get it under control.

I try to limit snacks, but my kids will sneak food.  All three of them can be found at any time munching on dry cereal that they stole out from under my nose.  And if I manage to keep them from eating nonstop, there's the issue that I'm not the one in charge all day... Daddy's not quite as observant.  But obviously we have to control this somehow.  I really hate locking up food so I can control them, but I'm kind of at a loss right now.  It's one of those things were I don't want to give them food issues later in life, but I have to do something.

I try to keep them active, as well, but they HATE it.  I guess I need to get more creative and make it seem less like exercise and more like fun.  We go for a walk on Wednesdays, usually between 1-2 miles.  They act like I'm killing them.  It's embarrassing, really.  It's been unanimously decided among them that they HATE Wednesday.  I don't plan on stopping though.

Anyway, I need to really figure this out.  I think they're about to start going to day camp a few days a week and that should help some... they won't be home to snack all day and they'll be more active, I'm sure.  

Ah, the fun of parenthood... always walking that thin line between screwing your kids up for life and molding good kids.  Good thing that I believe being a little screwy is a good thing...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Early in the morning

I decided that in order to avoid having a heat stroke at some point this summer, I'll have to get up super early on Sundays to run.  Waking up at 6am on the weekend is not my idea of fun, but neither is passing out somewhere along the Arkansas River miles away from any road.  

So, today, I managed to drag my booty out of the bed at 6:05 am (I hit snooze, but just once).  I debated whether or not to eat something first... and knowing that we were in need of groceries and my choices were toast or toast... I made the terrible decision to just wait until after my run.

While I was getting dressed, I started making myself really paranoid about going out to run so early.  I don't know why I felt like it would be more dangerous than running any other time of day, since it was daylight already, but I felt like I'd be out there all alone on the trail.  Except for the maniac serial killers, of course.

But I went anyway.  Because screw serial killers.

There were probably more people out that early than I usually see later in the day.  And I discovered that's when the fit shirtless guys (vs the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes shirtless guys) run.  So, if I were to pass out or have some hobo accost me, I had lots of muscle to rescue me.

I started off, and my legs just felt really heavy.  I couldn't find my rhythm.  After a mile, I decided I would walk a quarter mile, then run a mile, and so on like that.  After my second mile run, I got some water and was at the Big Dam Bridge and was glad that it was a walking section because I am not ready for a quarter mile of uphill.  I thought running back down would be easy, but running down the bridge is very jarring to the body, and I decided to walk back down.  I drank some water and took off running again, but just wasn't feeling it.  My lower back was hurting and I felt just icky.

I probably should have eaten.  And I think my body is fighting off something.  I walked the rest of the way back, and towards the end, even that was difficult.  

The temperature was really great though... not hot at all.  And it rained a little on me, which was nice.  It wasn't hard rain, just sprinkles.

I picked up some donuts for the girls on the way home and ate, then while they ate and watched TV, I laid down on the bed and dozed off for a while.  I felt just awful.  Achy, my head hurt, totally wiped out.  

After I got up, made coffee and took some Advil, I felt fine.  

Part of me is disappointed I didn't run my entire 4.5 miles today, or even half of it.  But part of me is content to resign myself to the idea that maybe I won't be ready to run the entire half-marathon, and that's OK.  I'm going to keep my mileage for my Sunday runs the same and run what I can.  I'm sure some weeks will be awesome, and some will suck like today.  I just hope that by giving myself that inch that I won't take a mile and end up just walking the whole thing.  

I've just been struggling with running the past few weeks... I'm having a very hard time making myself run on the treadmill.  My head just isn't in the game lately and it's frustrating.  I know as long as I'm still doing something, it's good.  I think a big part of it is just that it's summer.  I'm not a summer person.  The heat just drains me, and I'm constantly having to remind myself that once I get this weight off, summer won't be so bad, so I have to just keep dragging myself along.  

Tomorrow I am taking the girls to a children's nutrition class offered by UAMS.  I'm curious to see how it goes and if having someone other than me tell the girls how important it is to eat healthy food has any impact.  My sister has a friend who has gone through their very intense weight loss program, and while I don't really agree with all the things his nutritionist tells him (like encouraging reduced fat products and things like that), I hope that there won't be many things they have to say that I'll be biting my tongue about.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Color Me Rad 2013

Today was the day my kids have been waiting months for... Color Me Rad!

You know, I did The Color Run last year and I had fun, but I had pretty much decided that the only reason I would do another one was for my kids.  When I found out CMR was coming, and it was cheaper - and the age limit for registration was lower - I jumped on it.  If we had done The Color Run, I would have had to register Isabelle... they require it for 7 and up.  CMR is 8 and up, so I only had to pay for Olivia.

We got all dressed in our whitest clothes 


and picked up my sister and brother-in-law.  We met up with one of my sister's friends there and she had a few friends, but they must have been running, because we didn't see them again after the race started.


Always have to have a picture with my sister before a race.  =)  Funny story about her shirt...  we're assuming that some of the people associated with the race here work for a competing gym, because the first color station we passed, one guy made sure to hit her right in the logo.  Another color station, a guy commented on how he could still see the logo and blasted her again.  


Zoe was just the cutest thing ever this morning.  She was so serious about it all.  She was very calm and patient waiting to actually get to start, and as soon as we got through the start, she wanted to run.  That didn't last long, but we ran for a little bit.


My sister and brother-in-law had an old wagon that we brought along, in case the girls pooped out.  This was their first 5k (and actually the distance was way less than 5k, my Runkeeper was only at 3 miles AFTER our long walk back to the van).  The girls took turns riding in it, but towards then end all of them got in.  This was about 30 seconds before one of the wheels popped off.  But hats off to Uncle Lee for toting that thing around the whole time.

The race course wound throughout our State Fairgrounds, which was absolutely awesome... no traffic whatsoever to worry about, no crossing streets.  I'm sure they saved a ton of money not having to have police out blocking streets for the race.

I'm just assuming that almost all of these color runs are pretty much the same.  The only real difference between The Color Run and Color Me Rad was that every other color station was liquid.  Our first color station (purple) was powder, the next (yellow) had a bunch of people with what looked like the tanks exterminators use and they just sprayed us as we walked past.  I liked it.  I think it made for a much messier experience.  Orange was powder (and went all down inside my shirt - I still am a little oompah-loompah-ish), Green was liquid, and Pink was powder.  Then we got our own color bomb at the end and blasted each other with that.  When I did the Color Run, honestly, that was the most color we got since it was all powder and a lot of it just dusted off of us... we weren't all that colorful until we pelted each other with several color packs.  But today we were a mess before we got our color bombs.


After shot =)


They had sooo much fun.  Isabelle's poor face is still green... it stained pretty badly.  I have splotches of green on my legs, and pink stripes here and there, and my orange chest.  Sweat and liquid color made a huge difference in the mess factor for sure.

I'm sure the girls will be begging me to take them to another one next year.  We'll have to see, since I'll be paying for 2 of them in the future.  That's some pretty expensive fun.  =P

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Break - Week 1

Ahhh, what I've been waiting for... summer break!  Actually, I have mixed feelings about summer break.  I am so glad school is out, but I do dread the antics of bored children.  Two years ago, I had to go to working part-time because my kids were so off the wall.  Last year was a little better.  Hopefully this will be the summer where I just wish I could take off of work to have fun, not to keep the house from burning down.

Since Mr. Bill is off work on Sundays and Mondays, one of those days (or occasionally both) are Family Fun Days.  This week, since there was much yard work and cleaning to be done on Sunday, it was Monday after I got off of work.  We took the girls downtown...

No, seriously, it really is downtown.  Little Rock rocks!

They played on the hills by the Clinton Library and we walked and they played on the playground.  

Tuesday.  Day 2, may I remind you.... Tuesday brought this:

That looks good compared to the next day...

Olivia and Isabelle were playing outside and Isabelle threw a mini baseball bat behind her, not knowing Olivia was right there.  Yep, Olivia took a baseball bat to the face.  There were a few moments where I thought we might be making a trip to the ER, but I eventually decided I would just be told to put ice on it and Tylenol for the pain, and I was doing that anyway.

Here's a picture from today... not the best picture, but you can see the shiner it's become.  Wednesday it was black, Thursday it was purple, today is maroon with a little yellow.

Wednesday is our walking day.  As the weather permits (no rain or 100 degree temps), my plan is for us to take a long walk.  We took a .8 mile trail, and had to walk it back, so they got in a little over a mile and a half.  


Now, let's talk about work.  There are 4 front office employees.  Me, the boss, the boss's daughter, and the new girl.  Guess who was on vacation this week?  Not me.  But everyone else was.  All three of them.  The new girl was hired with the understanding that she already had this vacation planned, and the other two were gone for a wedding.  So it was me and a girl they pulled from the back with minimal front office training.  How'd it go?

Do you know what that is?  It's an AC adapter.  Not just any AC adapter... the AC adapter to the time clock.  It's broken.  No one could clock in or out Thursday or Friday.  Fun times.  Fun times, indeed.  

Let me just tell you about my Facebook status this morning.  It read, "There was a hole in my coffee cup this morning. And that's a pretty accurate metaphor for how my morning is going as well."  My whole week, really.  I'm glad it's over.  When I found out about them all being gone at once, I joked that I was taking July off.  I really feel like I deserve it now.

So, after escaping hell, I mean, work, today, it was officially "Fun Stuff Friday."  Where I reward the girls for not killing each other or burning the house down by doing something fun.  Yes, there was an injury, but it was a true accident.  Today we went to the sprayground.  Free water fun wins in my book.

That's pretty much the whole sprayground right there in the picture, but it's water and it's free and the girls like it.  I just sit there and watch, with a slight mist hitting me every so often.  It's nice and relaxing.

That's my week.  I'm beat.

I have a couple of facebook pages that I follow that talk about kombucha a lot, and I got curious about it.  Kombucha is a fermented tea drink and is supposed to have all sorts of health benefits.  When I read about how it's made, it pretty much grossed me out.  You can make your own... you brew sweet tea, add this bacteria/yeast culture (that's the gross part) and let it ferment for like 3 days, add some fruit juice and let that go for a few more.  It was described as fizzy, sweet and tart.  If you want to know more, those links go to Food Renegade.  It's pretty interesting.  

As grossed out as I was, I was curious, and curiosity won.  I bought two bottles of it today at Fresh Market and tried this one tonight...

That's some good stuff right there.  I was only going to drink half of it, but then it was empty.  =)  I didn't really know what to expect.  It reminded me of a wine cooler, and I even felt mildly buzzed by it (it's not alcoholic, by the way, it was probably just a mental thing from the taste).  I really liked it.  I'd really consider making my own if I had any sort of counter space to set up a jug to ferment.  It's super cheap to make, but hella expensive to buy (I paid $3 EACH, on sale).  Go figure.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

166 miles

Well, today I officially began my half-marathon training.  As a runner!  I pretty much made up my own training plan, basing it off of the one I used for my last half.  But that one had me jumping by 2 miles every increase, and I was not comfortable with that.  I worked it out and I have just enough weeks to increase by half a mile each week to get me to 12.5 miles, plus two taper weeks before the actual race.  

I added up the mileage for my long runs.  166 miles.  

I'm down 3.5 miles today.  =)

I worried a little bit about it today... I have had a total slacker week.  I really hadn't done anything physical since Tuesday.  But it was a great run, I didn't struggle mentally, and my pace was awesome!  13:32!  That's taking into account the quarter-mile warm up and cool down walking, so I was super stoked.  My second mile was 12:24!  My 5k pace was 14:30ish... so a definite improvement.

I'd love to do my half in 3 hours.  I'd need to keep a pace similar to today's to do it.  That will be my goal, but I'll be happy just to finish it running the entire thing.

I think as the summer heats up, that I might have to get up early in the morning to run.  Today wasn't bad, and my route was shady 80% of the time, but I'm sure I'm in for some torture in the upcoming weeks.


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