Friday, April 29, 2011

Congratulations William and Kate....

....from another William and Kate.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Run like the wind

Ok - so I don't quite "run like the wind".....

But I thought I'd give a little update from a couple weeks ago when I posted the 5k schedule I was following. Remember I was a little shocked at how it jumped from running 3/4 of a mile on day to running 2 miles the very next time. Well, let's just say I didn't do the 2 miles.

Week 5 had me doing 5-8-5-8 (walk 5, run 8, walk 5, run 8). I did that for a couple days then decided to "up it" to 5-10-5-10, and I was shocked that I didn't fall over dead. In fact, I realized that I honestly could have gone 5-12-5-10...maybe more. I think I'm starting to break through that "wall".  I have to have conversations with different parts of my body when my head starts screaming at me "STOP!! What are you trying to do to us - we can't do this! You KNOW we can't do this - STOP!!"

I have to consciously "check" my legs - they're pain...just tired...they can keep going. My arms: same thing, no pain - keep going. My chest - take some slow breaths, try to do some deep breaths instead of all quick shallow breathing. Calm down. No pain in the side.  Then I tell my head to F*#k off, we CAN do this.

Now I think most "runners" do this about mile 13-14....I do this at about 8 minutes in. :) However, it really makes you realize how short of a time span 2 minutes is. If you can run for 8 minutes, then I bet you can do 10. If you can do 10, then I'm sure you would survive 12...and so on. Plus - the first minute goes by so fast, doesn't really if you run for 15 really only have to worry about running 10. (Stop laughing...this rational works for me.)  When I was pregnant the first time, we took a delivery class at the hospital and that teacher told me something that really helped get me through the delivery.  "You can do ANYTHING for a minute."  A minute is not that long - you really can do anything for a minute.  Take each contraction, deal with it on it's own.  Take each minute you run, deal with it on it's own.  They all end sometime.

I think I've come a long way. The fact that I can run a whole mile - walk for 4-5 minutes, then run another mile right away, makes me happy and proud of myself. I never could do that before. So, I'm not really following the 5k schedule anymore - I'm improvising my own. Right now 5-10-5-10 is a good challenge, and I'd like to see the first 10 minutes increase a little each week, while the 5 minute walking in between shortens up. Yesterday I did 5-10-4-10 and that was a challenge. Usually by the end of this 29 minutes, I'm at just under 2.75 miles....then I was for about 90 seconds and sprint the last 90 seconds so I can get 3 miles in around 32 minutes. My goal has always been to get a 5k in under 30 minutes. Not sure if I'll ever get there, but after 7 weeks of solid running 3 times a week, I'm happy with where I'm at.

My question for you all.....
I've had to re-vamp my music that I listen to lately. The hard, fast, pulsing sounds of Green Day seem to make me more out of breath, even if I don't speed up. So I've inserted some Avett Brothers, Dave Matthews, etc.

If you listen to music when YOU exercise, what do you listen to?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wedding Week

Have you heard that there's a royal wedding taking place this week?  Just checking to make sure you aren't living under a rock or anything. 

There are TONS of specials about the royal wedding on this week, and I've watching a few here and there, but none are great.  I don't give a flying fig about where Kate and William shared their first kiss....where they held many times they broke up......what kind of dress she will wear......yadda, yadda, yadda.  Don't get me wrong - I'll watch the ceremony (not at 4 am), but I'd MUCH rather hear about Westminster Abby itself - do a special about that.  Tell everyone about how many wonderful coronations have taken place many other weddings (besides members of the Windsor family) have taken place there.  Tell us about who's buried there - no, you won't, well then allow me....

Did you know ALL these and TONS more are buried there.....
Jane Austen
Margaret Beaufort (Henry viii's grandmother)
William Blake
Sir Winston Churchill
Oliver Cromwell (Lord Protector of England in the 1600's.....his plaque says "Burial place of Oliver Cromwell 1658-1661....only 3 years....cuz after 3 years Charles II had him dug back up....taken to Tyburn - where most executions were done and his dead body was hung up for a few days, then his head cut off and put on spikes. I'd gather he upset a few people while alive. )The fact that this still happened even just 200 years ago - blows my mind.

Charles Darwin
Charles Dickens
Sir Francis Drake
Sir Isaac Newton
William Shakespeare
Frances Brandon (daughter of Charles Brandon - niece of Henry viii, mother of Lady Jane Grey who was Queen for 9 days, then executed.)

Anne of Cleves (4th wife to Henry viii.....Queen Mary ordered her buried in the Abby....cuz she was catholic and Mary quite liked that about people.)

Speaking of being catholic....did you know that William had to ask the Queen's permission to marry? Not a big surprise - but one of the reasons she gave her approval is because Kate is NOT catholic.  The monarchy demands that if a person in line for the throne marries a Catholic - then they abdicate their claim to the throne.....or the Catholic must convert faiths.  I guess they'll be damned if another Catholic gets any power in England. :)

This is the stuff I want to know about - so since the news coverage isn't giving it to me - I guess I've found other sources. :)

I figured I can do as many posts about the royal wedding as I want because we have OUR OWN Kate and William.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today I am sending out birthday wishes to my dad.  I hope you get to do whatever you want today!  It's probably too early to mow the maybe that leaves a trip to the nearby gambling boat. :)  If that's on the schedule - good luck!

John has memories of his dad taking him into town (they lived in the country) and treating him to a pop.  I have the same memories with my dad too.  Sometimes if I ran errands with him we'd stop off and I'd get to have a a glass....with ice...and a teeny straw.....and usually a candy bar or chips of some sort while I twirl and spin around on the wobbly circle bar stool.  I guess that's a "dad" thing - unexpected treats like that.  It's the same thing in our house - if the kids want candy or a treat they know that their odds are best if they hit up John first. :)

So happy birthday dad!  I wish we could go share a pop today, but maybe we can make time to do that in a few weeks.  Either that, or I'll help you mow the lawn. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weddings really ARE for other people

I remember when I was planning our wedding, people told me "Remember, the party is really for everyone else, not you."  I thought - What?!  Of course it's for John and I....nope - it's for everyone else.  Here's why - I'm a mom of two who's been married for over 8 years, and am planning on attending a wedding/reception/dance in 2 weeks with NO kids to drag along.  Oh, and we're staying over night in a hotel....again, with NO kids. 

I think I'm more excited than the bride and groom. 

I get to buy a new dress, maybe new shoes, get a haircut, relax with friends (who are also leaving their kids at home!!)  It's been 18 months since John and I spent a night away from the kids....but who's counting. 

I'm heading to the mall today to look for a dress...I have created one in my mind that would be perfect, so of course I can't find anything that looks even remotely like it.  Oh, I take that back...I did find an Oscar de la Renta number that looked like the "mind dress", but it was $1,999.  I'm not THAT excited.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Party ideas

John's birthday present was Rocky Rococo pizza and breadsticks.  It wasn't much, but seemed to hit the spot.  It had been a while since he's gotten to enjoy their pizza because it's such a long drive for us to get some.  (It's about 35 minutes away.)
The kids did help decorate with balloons, signs and streamers.  And we also had ice cream with sprinkles and cherries. 

Now I guess it's on the next set of birthdays in the house - the kids.  Katie's is coming up in June, and while that seems like it's far away - we have to start getting ideas of what we (she) would like to do for it.  We had thought about renting out a place nearby called the "Outdoor Center".  They put on an animal program for up to 10 kids, lead a nature walk, and you can bring in your own food/cake.  Now, Katie thinks she wants to have to the party here at home.  Even better!  But....what do I do to entertain 5-6 seven year old girls for 2 hours.  (Honestly, probably very little.)

In the past we've done water balloons, colored flower pots, made bookmarks, and doorhangers.  This year I was casually looking for ideas online when I ran across this site that helps you put together a treasure hunt throughout your house and yard.  The kids have to find clues, keys, solve coded messages all to lead them to a locked treasure box filled with goodies.  I can use this as a guide and create my own, or pay them $15 and they'll make it for me, tell me where to hide stuff and give me all the stuff to print out.  I think it's a pretty reasonable investment considering I would spend more on a getting a craft for the girls to do.  It'll be my own little Amazing Race....and I think I'll add some funny tasks they have to do along the way. 

So far it's looking like an all-girl party.  I think there are 5-7 girls on the invite list.  Out first friend-birthday party we had 2 out of 5 show up....last year we were 3 for 3....this year, I may just have 8 girls screaming through the house.  But it's only for 2 hours. :)

And hey - I can make copies of everything and save it for Will's 7th birthday that'll come soon enough....or better yet, I've got John's 42nd birthday party planned too.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday John!!

Today is John's birthday!!!  I won't tell you how old he is, although I WILL mention that he was 40 last year. :)

I think I finally decided on a birthday present, although it isn't much - I think he will like it.  (As will the rest of us....which is always nice.)

Happy Birthday to the bestest dad, husband and friend we could ever ask for!! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Funny Friday

Katie is in the middle of studying poems at school.  I thought it would be fun to get a Shel Silverstein book of poems from the library and read through it. We're only about 1/4 of the way through, but I found some favorites that I remember when I was young.  These are all from A Light in the Attic.

Prayer of the Selfish Child

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys to break.
So none of the other kids can use 'em...

One Two

One, two, buckle my shoe.
    "Buckle your own shoe!"
Who said that?
    "I did.  What are you doing with those silly buckles
     on your shoes anyway?"
Three, four, shut the door.
    "You shut it - you opened it."
Er....five, six, pick up sticks.
    "Why should I pick them up - do you think I'm your slave? 
      Buckle my shoe, shut the door, pick up sticks, next thing
      you'll be telling me to lay them straight."
But it's only a poem....Nine, ten, a big fat....oh never mind.

Fancy Dive

The fanciest dive that ever was dove
Was done by Melissa of Coconut Grove.
She bounced on the board and flew into the air
With a twist of her head and a twirl of her hair.
She did thirty-four jackknives , backflipped and spun,
Quadruple gainered, and reached for the sun,
And then somersaulted nine times and a quarter -
And looked down and saw that the pool had no water. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crazy thoughts

As readers of this blog you should know that you are very lucky that I don't write my posts while I'm on the treadmill.  Not only would it be difficult to balance the computer on the arm rests - it would be filled with rants of nonsense.  Seriously, my thought patterns are so "off" when my heartbeat is above 150.  Mostly my thoughts center around math and equations relating to speed, lap time, mph, etc.  Ok, if I increase my speed .5 mph, that would decrease my lap time by X and improve my 3 mile time by Y.....on the other hand, if I walk for 2 minutes at this speed, and then run for an extra lap, would it end up giving me the same time......and so one, and so on.  I literally drive myself crazy....but then my heartbeat comes back down and I think normal thoughts like I have to remember to set up a fan in the basement, and geez I should maybe start running in shorts instead of yoga pants. 

On a bright note - I moved onto Week 5 of the training schedule - remember, the one with the big jump to running 2 miles?  Well, I decreased my speed from 6.7 to 6.2 and I felt a lot better running for three 5 minute intervals.  I even felt like 8 minutes may just be possible.  At the end of 26 minutes though - I ended up going 2.25 miles instead of my usual 2.5....but that will get better too. 

The schedule lets you choose whether you measure yourself by distance or time.  Like I said - I do time cuz it's easier to keep track keeps moving at the same pace, even if you slow down. :)  But I try to cover their suggested distance or even more.  During the walking periods for example, they tell you to walk 1/4 mile or 3 minutes.  I walk at 4.3 mph and that's a pretty decent speed walk for me - pumping my arms, etc.  However - at that speed I'm doing a quarter mile in about 3 and a half minutes - not 3 minutes.  Sooo....I SHOULD be walking at a speed of 5 mph.  But I think that's crazy!  (And only for people with long legs.)  

Obviously the two measurements aren't necessarily even related - they are just 2 separate ways to measure.  If you run for 5 minutes....walk for 3.  If you ran for 1/2 mile - walk for 1/4 mile.  But like I said - I do a lot of math on the treadmill and I compare the two.  Will I ever run a whole mile without stopping?  Yes.  I'm confident I'll get back to that.  Will I ever run 2 miles without stopping?  I don't know - it would be nice.  But I'm trying to stay in the mindset of just getting the miles done one way or another, even if there's walking involved. 

So it appears some of my treadmill thoughts HAVE leaked onto the blog.  I guess you guys aren't as lucky as I thought you were.  Sarah - maybe I DO need to do your calculus homework....I may need an outlet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Winding down

Can you believe it's the middle of April already?  The school year is really winding down and the end is in sight.  Will's preschool ends the end of April - so he only has 3 days left, really.  Katie has about 8 weeks left since they go until June 10th.  I've had 3 people approach me already to ask about getting play groups set up for the summer, getting friends signed up for activities, etc.  So it prompted me to get the calendar down, look through all the community books and write down what I thought we'd commit to this summer. 

Oh, and I did ask the kids what they'd like to do too. :)

Here's a first draft of what we're looking at this summer....keep in mind, this will probably get narrowed down more......

Katie -  swimming lessons
             piano lessons
             soccer camp (4 weeks, one day a week)
             volleyball camp (4 days)
             dance camp (2 days)
             cheerleading camp (4 days)
             drama camp (5 days)
             playground camp (7 weeks, one day a week)
             play date with friends - at least one day a week
             Girl Scout camp

Will - swimming lessons
         VBS (5 days)
         Bug art (one day)
         Gym Class Camps (2-3 days)
         T-Ball (5 weeks, one day a week)
         play date with friends - at least one day a week
I know it seems like a lot....but I don't know, it's nice to have something every week to fill up the time.  Wanna hear the miracle of all this scheduling?  So far.....Katie and Will's activities do not overlap each other.  So I don't have to choose between the two kids. :)  Will's list is totally doable....Really it's the same as last summer....the only addition is T-ball.  Katie's is a little more....she didn't do dance camp, volleyball camp or piano lessons before.  But I like doing these little "camp" sessions because they aren't much of a time commitment and she gets a taste to see if she likes it.  The only one I'm second guessing is volleyball camp.....I picked that one....not Katie.  I always liked playing volleyball.  It was a sport that even short people got a position.....but I'm thinking that Katie won't quite be into it, so that may be the first one to go. 

Now some may say - why even do ANY activities - when I was younger I didn't get to go to any "camps", I just played outside.  I agree - I didn't really do any organized activities in the summer either - besides park softball.  There really weren't any options like this in a small town.  My reasoning is this.....right now, I have the time to take the kids to these activities.  I might not always have that freedom.  They are also priced pretty reasonably.  Believe me, there are more expensive choices out there.  For example, the drama camp I'm doing is about $100 for a week.  But I could drive 20 minutes and Katie could do a week with a real children's theater company for $250.  Dance is the same way....$40 versus $85.

Also - Katie is kind of slow to make friends.  We've heard it from every teacher and I see it when she's with a group.  Exposing her to new people, new groups, as well as doing play dates with friends give her a chance to practice friend-making skills.

Will pretty much jumps right in with who ever is willing to play with him. :)  I just want to watch him play T-ball. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Garage Sale

I participated in the town's 2nd Annual Indoor Garage Sale over the weekend.  It was 4 hours on Sunday, with 2 hours to set up Saturday night.  I didn't spend too much time preparing for it - mainly because everything was still in boxes and priced from LAST year's sale. :)  So I only had to worry about the clothes the kid's had recently outgrown, and since Katie didn't grow mush this past year I think I only took 6 things out of her drawers.  Will had more, but still only about 20 pieces. 

I counted my cash last night and figured I was $40 ahead.  Not as much as last year's $130 take, but still a fun way for me to spend a few hours.  And I DO like the whole garage sale "thing" - I like buying, I like selling, I just like it.  So even $40 is good for me.  Why was last year so good?  Well, I had some "hot" baby items that went fast...this year was 90% clothes, priced at $.25 each mostly. :)

All in all, I took 14 boxes of "stuff".....and I came home with 6 empty boxes. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Running program

It's been a few weeks since I've been back at the running thing and I wanted to share with you the schedule I'm on to get your feedback.  I found this 5k training schedule at

It's a 9 week program and I am currently in the middle of week 4, so pretty much smack dab in the middle.  I feel like I'm at the point I was a few months ago, and just can't seem to push myself past this point.  Does that make sense?  They give you the option of measuring your runs by time or distance....I chose time because I go further/longer, and it's just easier to measure.

Here's what they suggest:  (I'll be honest.....I skipped ahead and started with week 2)

Week 1 (same all week): 5 min warm up walk first
                                       60 seconds of jogging
                                       90 seconds of walking
                                       Alternate for 20 minutes

Week 2 (same all week): 5 min warm up walk first
                                       90 seconds of jogging
                                       2 minutes of walking
                                       Alternate for 20 minutes

Week 3 (same all week): 5 minute warm up walk first
                                       90 seconds of jogging
                                       90 seconds walking
                                       3 minutes jogging
                                       3 minutes walking
                                       Repeat  (90-90-3-3)

Week 4 (same all week): 5 minute warm up walk first
                                       3 minutes jogging
                                       90 seconds walking
                                       5 minutes jogging
                                       2 1/2 minutes walking
                                       3 minutes jogging
                                       90 seconds walking
                                       5 minutes jogging

Week 5 (day1): 5 minute walk              (day 2):   5 minute walk     
                          5 minutes jog                    8 minutes jog             
                          3 minutes walk                  5 minutes walk            
                          5 minutes jog                    8 minutes jog               
                          3 minutes walk
                          5 minutes jog
               (day 3): 5 minute walk
                            Jog 2 miles (20 minutes) with no walking

Week 6 (day 1): 5 minute walk     (day2): 5 minute walk         
                      5 minutes jog               10 minutes jogging              
                      3 minutes walk             3 minutes walking               
                      8 minutes jog               10 minutes jogging             
                      3 minutes walk
                      5 minutes jog

               (day3): 5 minute walk
                           Jog 2 1/4 miles (25 minutes) with no walking

Week 7 (same all week): 5 minute walk
                                       Jog 2.5 miles or 25 minutes
                                       with no walking

Week 8 (same all week): 5 minute walk
                                       Jog 2.75 miles or 28 minutes
                                       with no walking

Week 9 (same all week): 5 minute walk
                                       Jog 3 miles or 30 minutes
                                       with no walking I said, I'm in week 4 and happy.  I hit the 2 mile mark at about 23 minutes in...puts me just a little behind the pace of last summer/fall.  BUT did you check out week 5?????  It seems like a BIG jump to go from running 1 - 8 minute chunk to running 20 minutes with no stops.  I spose I'll just slow my pace way down and give it a try....but I don't know.  Right now I run around 6.5 - 6.7 mph.  I don't want to go slower than 6 mph.   Maybe I'm crunching the numbers too much.  But doesn't that seem like an odd jump when the program hasn't even asked me to run ONE mile yet?

I don't know - maybe there's a miracle waiting happen next week.  Maybe that's the mental part of running that I can't seem to conquer yet.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Climbing walls

Sorry - I haven't been posting....been too busy staring at the Decorah Eagles along with 160,000 other people across the country.  Check back to this post if you're unsure what I'm talking about.  For the record, I was watching these eagles when there was only about 2,000 others interested. :)  They are really exciting now that there are 2 babies to watch.

This week was Katie's spring break and we decided to climb the walls...literally.  Friday night we went to REI and tried out their climbing walls.  Katie, John and I all took turns and are excited to trying it again in the future. 

Katie was eager to get climbing and didn't hesitate at all! 

She got pretty high...then seemed to get stuck, wanted to come down (that's the fun part). 

I made it up less than halfway...seemed to get stuck too.  But it was sure high enough for me! 

Should we take bets on how high John goes? 

Of course, he made it all the way to the top.

Katie and I decided that, next time, John should carry us on his back so that we can get to the top too. :)