Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Go ahead and roll your eyes

I know that people probably roll their eyes when they hear me talk about daily schedules and what I do with my kids. I could make things easier. I could have the TV on all day. I could let them do whatever they want. I could send them all away and let someone else take care of them. But that's not how we do things. We like to be together. We like to do things together. There's just a small part of the day when I need a break and they get crazy. It's only been 2 days but this daily schedule is working GREAT. I think SkyWalker really responds to a structured day. He's said many times that he misses school. Yesterday we did our morning fun at a new local indoor play area since the weather was so muggy and there was a threat of thunderstorms. We came home for lunch and then went upstairs and read together and did some gymnastics and then I had all 3 of them napping or having quiet time for 2 hours. No problems. After nap time we did our A is for Apples stuff and SkyWalker showed the Princess how to write a letter A and she did it. Mondays are always so difficult, but yesterday was just great from start to finish. He asked that we add 30 minutes to the schedule--for cuddling and kissing. For serious. Today was less great--they got a little crazy in their rooms while I was making dinner, but nothing horrible. They had their nap/quiet time long enough for me to run and shower. I don't even really care if the Princess sleeps, as long as she doesn't wake up Chewie. The important thing is giving me a break so I can run. 

Speaking of. 

A couple of Sundays ago I went to the local high school track to calibrate my Nike+. I ran my fastest mile (9:18). I ran another mile to make sure it worked and it did. I was curious to see how my treadmill would compare to my calibrated Nike+. I expect them to be a little off because they measure differently, but I was shocked at how off they were. The treadmill said I did 3/4 mile LESS than the Nike+. That is a HUGE difference. Let's say that it's not really that far off... even if it's 1/2 mile that's still a pretty big difference. I've often felt that my treadmill was harder than it should be. I know when I was in college I walked at a much faster speed than I can now, but I figured I was just old now. When I ran on my SIL's treadmill there was a definite difference in speed. I don't know if the kids putting paint on the treadmill can affect it or if it needs a tune up... I don't really care all that much. It works. I just don't pay attention to the distance now. And I don't kill myself trying to run at a higher speed. Since I've discovered this it's given me extra motivation. When I went out this past Sunday I ran the whole way on my road--a first for me--and finished in just less than my race time. When I ran today on the treadmill I ran for 30 minutes straight because I wasn't trying to maintain an inflated higher speed. I had been looking at my running friends and their facebook statuses and wondering why I wasn't able to do as much or keep up... and now I know! When I thought I was running at a 6 speed (10 minutes per mile) it was really much faster. I can't keep that up! Not yet anyway. I'm pretty excited that I've been doing more than I thought I was and I'm eager to keep running. I'm trying to figure out how I can add another day of running to the week and still write my articles and take care of my children. And do laundry. OH and this past week? All the running I did? I had my girlie monthly visitor. And it was bad. The only relief I had was while running. I can't stand at the sink to do dishes without being in pain, but I can run. Funny, no?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer of Fun

Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but then again I'm not quite sure how we got to the first day of school. Whoooosh. I'm both excited and frightened. It will be nice to not have to make lunch the night before or to schedule everything around bus drop off time. But the last 2 days have been half days and they've been... challenging. The Princess has absolutely refused to nap with SkyWalker home. But she's also refused to stay in her room for quiet time. I let them have quiet time together yesterday and that was mistake. But they didn't wake up Chewie and I really needed her to sleep so I could run. Today I insisted they be in their own rooms... and they caused more problems. I shut their gates but they can both climb over them so it really didn't matter. I watched the Princess walk over to Chewie's crib and wake her up. She had a spray bottle from the bathroom in her hand. I don't know if she sprayed her or not. I wound up taking all of them to Wal-Mart and then Home Depot to look for a bird feeder just so we were out of the house and I wasn't tempted to throw them out the window. 

The half days have caused definite problems. We haven't been able to go anywhere in the morning because the bus has come early. I am hoping that after tomorrow, the last half day, that we can get on track. The Princess has been fighting her naps anyway, but with SkyWalker home it's just ridiculous. And if he's not listening, she won't even pretend to listen to me. And the two of them together is just well, maddening. 

I printed up a daily schedule and laminated it and put it on the fridge. I'm putting it here so I can remember it for next year when I freak out about summer again:

8 am: Breakfast
8:30/9: dressed
10-12: active play time--parks, playgrounds, beach, pool, etc
12: lunch
1:30-3:30: nap/quiet time. Mommy runs/showers, writes articles
3:30-5:30: quiet play time--arts & crafts, reading books. Mommy makes dinner
6: dinner
7:30/8: bedtime

I have something planned every single morning of next week. I am hoping to tire them out! Most of the time we will be eating lunch at whatever park or beach we are at and then just going home for naps. I'm planning on doing the preschool lesson plans that I did with the Princess during their quiet play time and also having them practice their writing and reading then too. The after nap time is the hardest time in our house (especially if nap time has been stressful!). They seem to just get crazy. I'd like to harness them a bit and have them slow down and focus on something. Especially since I won't be able to send them outside by themselves once the pool is up. Even though we have a huge front yard and driveway I refuse to let them play out front by themselves. You never know when UPS will come. So I can't throw them out of the house when they get too wild but I still have to make dinner. 

Last summer was pretty tough because Chewie was a newborn and she wasn't exactly happy. I had to feed her a lot and she screamed a lot and the other two took advantage a lot. This summer I am down to 2 feedings a day (that are quickly going away. She squirms out of my arms more often than not. Sigh.), she's happy and can stay awake and doesn't get overtired. She's getting into everything and discovered the dogs' water dish today which is oh so much fun. She's more work in that I can't just put her down and assume she's safe. But she's happier and more independent. She sleeps all night long. When I'm tired it's my own fault, not hers. So I think that I can be strong this summer and demand obedience. 

We started the good behavior jars again (they kind of fell by the wayside during the school year). Hopefully by having a plan from the get-go we can avoid any major yelling and screaming. I probably should not have tried to implement the schedule during the half days without having those running around active play time hours in the morning. I don't think I will tomorrow. Friday starts our Summer of Fun with our first visit to the town park. I will keep control this summer! Even if I have to run them ragged to do it!

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Monday, June 7, 2010

What's next?

I did it.

I'm not quite sure in what stage of running I was in when this picture was taken, but it looks hilarious to me. And thus, I share it with you. 

Before I recap the race... the day before I picked up my "bib"--the number you see attached to me. I had to cross the river and go to the Plaza to pick it up. I could have sent Vader. My running guru offered to pick it up for me. But I decided to put on my big girl pants and take my little girls and just pay for parking and do it myself. I hate driving in the "city", I hate parking there, and I had to be there a little too close to bus drop off time for SkyWalker. But I wanted to meet my friends there and really have the whole experience. And boy did I. Picking it up was wicked easy and quick. I should have left immediately. I put my bib in the bottom of the stroller with my free t-shirt and my free cookies. I didn't put it in my diaper bag because I was afraid of ripping it or bending it. These were special bibs this year with computer chips in them. So I just left it loose in the stroller. I walked around a bit, gabbed a bit, and enjoyed the time with my friends. I left with little time to spare to catch the bus. As I was going to the van I looked down and noticed the bib was NOT in the stroller. Everything else was, the shirt, the cookies, but not the one essential thing I needed! I immediately cried and panicked. I couldn't go back and look because I had to catch the bus. I checked the stroller and the diaper bag in case I had forgotten I put it in there. I drove away--going the wrong way and having to take the long way home, crying the entire time. I got home with 20 minutes to spare. I got the phone number for the race and got a recording. I called Vader sobbing and he said he would go down and look for it. I kept the girls in the car and drove to the mailbox to get SkyWalker off the bus. He asked what was wrong and I just cried to him and told him what happened. And he said "Did you look to see if there was a hole in the stroller?" and other helpful suggestions. 10 minutes later Vader called and he had my bib. It must have flown out of the stroller and someone picked it up and turned it in. I told him it was 1463 (it was not) and even though the bib he had in his hand had my name on it he called to make sure because the number was 1763 (I think?). So much for not stressing myself out before the race.

There were a million women running (around 3500) and we lined up around the 30 minute mark. They have you line up where you think you will finish. The group--minus our fearless leader who was way ahead of us--all lined up together and started out together. That was nice. The clock had already been running for over a minute when we crossed the starting line but because of the chip in the bib it registered when we crossed so our individual clocks started then--isn't technology grand? I started my Nike+ which didn't work. Argh. Once we started really running we were on our own. It was too hard to try to keep up with anybody else. I did manage to run most of the race with one of my friends and that was really REALLY nice. And then she ran on ahead. And then I peed my pants.

Yes, dear reader. You read that right. I PEED MY PANTS. I have 3 children and no bladder control when I sneeze, so why should running be different? I was a little shocked and then I might have had a tiny panic attack because I had a strange pain in my chest that I never had while running. So I walked and then got over it (it wasn't like it was streaming down my legs). I started running again and when I saw the finish line and the clock I RAN. I wanted to get there before 35 minutes and I could see 34. I finished the race running which is what I wanted to do. I didn't care that I had to walk. I ran when it mattered. I had no idea what the clock said when I did finish and my Nike+ didn't register a thing. But I knew I made it before 35 and I was happy with that because all my practice runs had taken me 36-37 minutes. And back when I started this it took me 45 minutes. When the results were finally posted I was pleasantly surprised to see I had done it in 33:18. The clock that I saw was started with the official start of the race before I even started moving. The 33:18 was adjusted to when I crossed the starting line. Had I not peed myself I think I could have done it closer to 30 minutes, but I was pretty happy with 33:18. 

So what's next? For me, I'm going to do Chewie's first year scrapbook that I should have done before her birthday last week. I have pictures to go through, books to read, and life to catch up on. I'm not planning any more races for the summer. I want to run for fun, without the stress of training. I'm planning on running outside on the weekend when Vader is home and then treadmill running during the week when I can fit it in. I'm going to have all 3 home pretty soon so I know some weeks will be harder than others. I'd like to run another race in the fall when it's not so hot. And I'm looking forward to running in next year's Freihofer's. But first I want to just go out and run for the sake of running. (And do my kegels.)

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I was going to write a post about how Saturday is the race and how I've come from running for 5 minutes straight to running for 30 minutes, how I've been taking the time to run outside by myself and enjoy some alone time in addition to training. I was going to write about meeting my new nephew this past weekend and seeing my less-than-new niece. I had so many different things to say. 

Instead I will say: my daughter is driving me insane. Beyond insane. Not the new one, although she is contributing with her new skill of pulling up to standing in the tub and trying to break her head. No, not that one. The other one, the older one, the one who turned 3 on May 15 and is supposed to be normal now. The twos are behind us. She's supposed to be NORMAL NOW. Every night I put her to bed and she says she does not want socks or blankets. Every night. Every night I leave the room and she chases me crying saying she wants socks and blankets. When it first happened I would turn around and go back and she would lay in bed and say No, she didn't want socks and blankets. I finally stopped turning around and would leave her crying at the gate. Then my husband would eventually go up since SkyWalker needs to sleep for school and Chewie needs to sleep and who can sleep with screaming? So he would go up and she would accept the socks and blankets and all would be fine. So now when I say to her "No shananigans, if you want socks and blankets ask now because I'm not coming back up" she says "Daddy will do it." Awesome. Especially when Daddy is not home. I know that's it's not about socks and blankets. She can do these things herself. And it's 80 degrees. It's all about control and she's challenging us (me). But I'm having a devil of a time fixing it. I give her many opportunities throughout the day to have control. She chooses her breakfast and her lunch. She chooses her clothes. She has independence. I don't control every minute of her day, it's not like this is the only outlet that she has to exercise some control over her life. But I also don't give in to her every whim throughout the day either. She doesn't get rewarded for whining or crying. 

I'm sure I had these issues with SkyWalker. He probably just cried at bedtime and didn't tell me why. I know there were plenty of times he didn't want to go to bed and claimed he had to poop. Maybe this is just her wanting to delay bedtime and there's not much more to it than that. In any event, I repeat, my daughter is driving me insane.

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