Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time to Get Real

I'm taking a financial class through my church. Those who are close to us know our financial situation isn't pretty, though there is light at the end of the tunnel. IF I can get a handle on my spending.

One of the questions posed by the teacher the first week has been running through my head. Very simply, she asked, "What do you value?"

I always say I value my family and God, but honestly, my spending habits have not reflected that, nor have my eating and exercise habits of late. I haven't been taking care of this gift of life that God has given me, nor have I been a good steward of all the wonderful gifts he's bestowed on us.

I am working on getting a handle on my spending, and one of the things I decided I didn't need to spend money on anymore was soda. I have been so horribly addicted to caffeine, it's ridiculous! I drank my last Pepsi on Saturday and decided not to spend more money on the evil stuff.

I know it's bad for my body, and I know being this heavy is not good for me either. And I know I'm never going to get healthy if I keep drinking soda, but no matter what anyone said, I kept going back to it. But the way this question was asked really has me reflecting on it. Every time I get in the car, I think, "What do you value, Stewbert?" It has me staying away from the soda and fast food for the most part (though race days make the fast food thing harder).

Day one was rough, but I handled it because we were so busy, we were out of Pepsi in the house, and it was Sunday so I wasn't going to go to the store. Day two was worse and I had to remind Runner Girl that I hadn't had a Pepsi and I needed her to chill. I got a headache that night. One Excedrin Tension kicked it. Day three was hilarious -- I got really hyper in the afternoon and could not stop, until I passed out when putting my son to bed last night and slept until 7:30 this morning. The only reason I got up was because The Rock turned on the bedroom lights so I could get up to take Runner Girl to school. Day four hasn't been as funny. The headache is back, worse, and noises are bothering me a lot. I tried having a nap with the babies, but it didn't work so well and Little Mister didn't get his normal nap either. I have hope, however, that things will ease up over the next few days.

So, friends, I am choosing to give up soda because it's not good for my waistline or my wallet. I have to get back to the gym and I KNOW that will be easier and more productive if I cut the soda. Runner Girl said I could go to the gym tonight. I just may.

Tuesday's Race!

Runner Girl was excited to go to her race. We had to drive about 45 minutes to get there, and then had a hard time finding the correct place in the venue. But we found it eventually and were there before most of the other teams, so it worked out.

Runner Girl came in last yesterday, but she didn't give up or quit. She just kept going, no matter how far behind everyone she got. (The girl who was last at the last race wasn't there yesterday.) Runner Girl cut just over 5 minutes off her time last week, and was just over her best time from the race before.

One of the other moms whose daughter is usually in the top 3 came and said, "She is like the little engine that could! She doesn't get discouraged, just keeps trucking along!" The other moms on our team are quite impressed with her. Not so sure about the parents from other teams. haha.

I asked her if she was still having fun running, and she said yes. She's also quite proud of herself for pushing and doing her best. Which is awesome.

Our school's boys team came in first and the girls came in second. The coaches have recruited a few more girls (older ones) to run, who could already run 2 miles without stopping, and they did awesome. I'm not sure about individual places this time because I was wrestling both babies. Little Mister found some cute older girls (around age 5 or 6) and was flirting his little heart out, saying hi and waving one hand to each of them. Their parents said things like, "He is going to keep you busy!" He already does!

I talked with the coach yesterday about the flat feet thing, and she had them as a kid too. She said she hopes the orthotics help like they did her, but we all think the surgery is going to have to happen. She said they are fine with Runner Girl's time being around 30 minutes and aren't pushing her to go faster at this point since it is causing her pain, and her running gait is so odd from the flat feet and knock knees. We are hoping she'll be up and at 'em again very soon and will be able to start training in the spring.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Happenings

We had a super busy weekend with blessing Bitty at home and all, and we were out and about a lot and cleaning up and cooking to get ready for it all. We did not run. I failed. *sigh*

But this post isn't about that. My sweet daughter is a bit knock-kneed and has flat feet. It's genetic; I had surgery to correct the same thing when I was 12.

Since she's running so much, we decided to take her to the podiatrist today to be evaluated. We took her to the one who did my surgery since he is the best. And yes, he's still practicing!

They did some x-rays and found that she has an extra bone in each foot called the accessory navicular, and her arches have fallen. With all the running she's doing, she's having pain from the combination of the flat feet and the extra bone. They took casts to make some orthotics for her, which will be done in about 3 weeks, which is after the cross country season ends. He wants her to try those for a month, but we think she's going to have to have surgery: Add an implant to help the arch, remove the extra bone, and lift the fallen arch.

We don't enter into this decision lightly. It is obviously affecting her ability to run and her knees will get worse as she gets older and will be in danger of further injury. It is a more complex surgery than mine was, but still a same-day surgery. We are looking at doing it in December.

In even sadder news, the doc looked at both babies' feet while we were there and said they are pretty flat too. At least we have a few years to save up for their surgeries ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not Last Today!

Runner Girl had her second race today! We drove up there straight from school, so it was good she got up early today and got her bag ready. She just took it to school with her and changed after classes were over.

On the way up, she ate an apple and a yogurt and a few carrots and drank some water. Her race was about an hour and a half after that, so she had plenty of digestion time before the race.

It was a street race today. They had cones and police officers directing traffic to keep the kids safe. We got up there a little early, so we drove around the course twice, and then her coach took them out again. Runner Girl knew where the turns were and where to go, so I felt better about her running on roads in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

The boys went first (again). I think it's because the boys are typically a couple of minutes faster, so the girls can start half an hour after they do, whereas the girls have more variables.

Kiddo called me to go to the start line, but I was farther along the course so I could cheer her on from there, then walk to the end line (right next to the start) and cheer her some more. She didn't like that plan, so I walked to the start and got there right as the first boys were finishing. So we (Little Mister, Bitty, and I) cheered the boys on and then talked with the assistant coach while we waited for Runner Girl to finish hers.

I walked down to the cross street after the rest of our team had come in. I could see several slower runners from another team in the distance but could not see Runner Girl. The officer directing traffic right there was great. Another school's coach ran back to find her stragglers, and came back with her last one and Runner Girl. When Runner Girl saw me and heard me and the assistant coach cheering her on, she put on the speed and ran to the end (about 1/4 mile). So she wasn't last today! The other coach's student was. She was the girl who didn't even finish last week, so there are a lot of proud parents tonight. Turns out Runner Girl fell off a curb and twisted her ankle, so they walked together for a bit and exchanged phone numbers. haha. The Rock and I both told Runner Girl it is a RACE and next time she needs to not chat during it, but can afterward. She said okay. We'll see!! haha.

After she passed me, I walked back from the cross street and rounded the corner, just in time to see Runner Girl pass the finish line. Hearing all the other students, parents, and coaches cheer her on? Was huge. I started bawling like a baby. They were so loud! It was just amazing.

In BAD news, our fastest boy runner, the little third grader, got shoved around by a bigger kid from another school once they were out of sight of all the coaches and parents. Not cool at all. And our fastest girl (small 6th grader) got shoved around by a bigger kid from another school, too. They both won last week's race. Fortunately, neither kid was injured and, though they didn't come in first today, they did come in the top five and still beat the kids who shoved them around. The coaches are filing complaints. I don't understand that behavior, or the ones who cut corners last week. Grah. Whatever happened to good sportsmanship? Besides, y'know, every single person cheering on my kid.

The Ice Cream Treatise

As anyone on my Facebook knows, I was having a rough day last Friday and wanted chocolate for dinner. The only chocolate in the house was part of a jar of hot fudge topping for ice cream, and it was extremely tempting to just eat that and skip dinner.

I have very good children, most of the time. And when they aren't being wonderful, they're not (usually) horrible. Little Mister is extremely busy, and if insomnia hits or the baby doesn't sleep well, I don't have enough energy to keep up with him the next day. Runner Girl is a preteen and ... well, that should say it all right there. I had been sort of dizzy all day Friday, so Friday night, I just wanted to go to bed with the baby (at 6:30) and was NOT up to being a good mom. Runner Girl and I had had a fight and I really wanted some alone time, but decided not to go to the grocery store in the middle of the night when I was mad. I probably would have bought a lot more chocolate and/or ice cream.

Ice cream ... oh that stuff. Cool, creamy, smooth, any flavor you can think of ... in a cone, in a cup, right from the carton! how it melts on the tongue ... I lurrrrrve it.

When Japan Boy and I lived at home, we'd watch movies together on the weekend and eat Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby (long before the name changed) until the 'rents came home. When I lived with Kaje, we used to keep pints of B&J's in the freezer. One of my son's favorite words? "Ice ceam."

Ice cream is to me as video games are to The Rock. Completely and totally necessary. At least, that's how I used to view it.

As I've gotten older and my hips have gotten wider, I've realized a few things.

First, I can live without ice cream. *sob*

Second, I can live without ice cream longer than The Rock can live without games. teehee

Third, if I'm really craving ice cream and I refuse it for too long, I will become the Fridger Raider! and gorge myself on other foods that are more unhealthy, and I will still want the ice cream. I will eat anything I can find in the fridge or pantry that might curb the craving. And eventually I will buy and eat the ice cream, and will probably eat more ice cream than I would have had I just gone to the store or the ice cream shoppe around the corner and just had a scoop or two in the first place. That means I will have more than quadrupled how many calories I've eaten! I will also have spent more money avoiding the craving in the first place.

The Rock's vice is Chinese food. It is his comfort food. It is like chocolate to him, engaging those great endorphins and makes him feel more calm. The problem is that I am not Chinese and I don't cook Chinese food very well (drat), so it does tend to cost us a bit more money. But he has finally learned this theory as well, and instead of becoming the Massive Fridger Raider and cleaning out the fridge, freezer, and pantry when he is craving a bit of Chinese food, he goes and gets it. And then he isn't bloated, gassy, or over stuffed for hours afterward, too! Doing this has also helped our money budget since I don't have to figure out how to feed us all for a week after he binges right after I've been to the store!

I'm still learning portion control on a few things, especially ice cream, but I really think that giving yourself permission to have a bit of a comfort food or a sweet on occasion is one of the keys to success.

So Friday night, instead of eating the rest of the jar of hot fudge or going to the store and eating a pint or more of ice cream, I ate dinner and then had a couple of spoonfuls of the hot fudge. And you know what? The endorphins kicked in and I was better able to take care of my kids all night, then hit the store Saturday morning. And no chocolate or ice cream found its way into my cart!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh Fiddlesticks, It's Monday!

At dinnertime last night, Kiddo realized we hadn't gone running over the weekend. so instead of eating dinner, we left and got our run on.

We drove over to my sister's neighborhood and ran on the trail in the park. Well. I walked. She ran. I did 4 laps and she did 6. Not quite the 3 miles that she is supposed to do, but better than nothing.

Then today at the practice, the coach informed me that Kiddo needs to do the race tomorrow. Apparently, they don't have enough girls on the team to qualify if she doesn't run, even if she goes over the 20 minutes. So we have to drive an hour to the race right after school tomorrow. Yay! She's excited.

Better go update our miles. It's been a while!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The first race!

Runner Girl ran in her very first race today! Our school was hosting, and they decided today would be a trial for who gets to run next week. If the kids came in under 20 minutes, no matter how old the kids were, they'd get to race next week, but everyone is encouraged to continue training, and the coach will do timed trials every Friday for anyone who asks. Makes sense to me.

We got there around 4:00 and the boys were getting all warmed up to run. Their race started at 4:30. In the very first lap around the park, the leaders were established: Two from our school and one from another. They stayed close together the entire race, and finally at the end, the youngest one from our school won! He's in 3rd grade. The boy who placed second was from a different school, but the one who took third was from ours! Good start to the day.

After everyone came in, the girls geared up to go. The leaders once again established an early lead and kept on trucking. First and second were from our school.

The way they judge the races depends on a point system that I don't fully understand. The boys from our school won their race overall, but the girls came in second overall.

The thing I found the most interesting is that there were slower runners from some of the other schools, BUT our school had both the fastest and the slowest runners in both boys and girls.

Runner Girl came in very last. After all the other girls came in, I walked over to the assistant coach and we encouraged her from where we stood, about 1/4 of the way from the finish line, through her last lap. During her last two laps, she never stopped, just kept pacing herself. When she got to the assistant coach and me, I turned the jogging stroller and ran along side her for a bit. Until my pants threatened to fall off. I was *not* dressed for running and my jeans are a tad too big! haha. When I stopped running, one of the girls from our school ran over and finished the race with her.

She finished the 2 mile race well over the 20 minutes, but I could not be more proud of my girl. She didn't quit. She didn't cry. She didn't stop. She didn't give up, even when she was lapped (twice) by the girl who took first. She didn't even walk during most of the race! She just kept going and she finished her race. Even if she can't race with the team next week, she will keep training, and I will keep being proud of my Runner Girl.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Phone Day: Check!

I spent a good part of my day on the phone today. Neurologist, gynecologist, ophthalmologist, and podiatrist appointments have been made for the various members of our family who needed them. And I spoke with the training manager at the other gym, who gave me the number for corporate so I could get an extension on my training contract and texted the manager down here so I can get started training with a new trainer here. I'm going to wait to start with the trainer here until the cross country season is over. I will have until February 1 then to use up all the rest of my paid-for sessions (awesome), but really can't focus on anything else right now. I will still start hitting the gym next week ... around the various doctors' appointments. And after those paid-for sessions have been used up, I have a couple of people I may call for help ... but they don't know it yet! bwahahaha!

Time to put Bitty to bed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Awesome Day!

I got a call from Runner Girl's coach on my way to practice today. They were doing intervals again, so I didn't absolutely have to be there. I went anyway since we were on the way and Little Mister had fallen asleep and would have FREAKED if we'd come home without Runner Girl!

Runner Girl said the most awesome thing Monday on the way to school. "I like cross country. I am getting faster!" And she proved it with her times today!

Intervals are just the kids running around the school's back field. Last time I heard Runner Girl's times they were almost 3 minutes. Her slowest today was 2 minutes even and her fastest was 1 minute 40 seconds. She is actually NOT the last kid in the pack anymore, though the ones slower than her are younger. And she's actually running most of it now, too!

Her first race is on Thursday. Wish her luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What a weekend!

Since Thursday, the babies have just been sick and grouchy. There were a few things we HAD to do (grocery shopping, for instance), but we did not get out and run. *bangs head on desk*

I've also been fighting a migraine, which The Rock told me tonight must still be lingering since everyone's noise was bothering me and I had to turn the TV off while I was making dinner. Um, yep, there it is! Right in the back of my skull and in my left eye!

So, there's another hurdle for myself that I've discovered: When most of the people in the house aren't feeling well (including the mom), how does mom get to workout? How does mom get the older child out for her run when the babies are clingy and sick? And when everyone IS feeling okay, how does mom get the workout in around all the "have to's" on the schedule?

The Rock and I have discussed things a bit today. We've decided that I need to workout when he gets home from work and that he will take Runner Girl to school so I can hit the gym. He doesn't know where the school is, however, so we will be taking a field trip! that means I can't stay up until 2 sewing anymore because I need to get up around 6:30 to get everyone up and ready for the day.

Have I mentioned that I am NOT a morning person?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


It's Thursday and cross country doesn't go on Friday, so I'm off the hook tomorrow as far as helping with the kids goes.

Yesterday, they did interval training. We timed them running laps around the back of the school. Technically, I didn't help time. Another mom helps on Wednesdays, which is great! I just cheered on the kids in the back whom I'd met the day before. They are the only ones whose names I know. I also helped sort the extra uniforms they bought last year and the coach ordered the rest today.

Today, I woke up with a nasty cold and two sick and grouchy babies. Little Mister has been screaming at me much of the day and Bitty is grumpier than normal too. The Rock hasn't really slept since Wednesday morning, so he's a grouch, but when he realized how close *I* was to losing it, he cleaned the house while I napped with the babies and went to cross country.

They went for an "easy" run of 2.5 miles and I was supposed to keep an eye on Runner Girl, who was in the very back. She lost me less than halfway into it and I went the wrong way right after that since I couldn't see the kids either way down the fork in the trail. Oops. When I got to train tracks, I realized I'd gone the wrong way. So I got to the school about 12 minutes after Runner Girl first texted and called to say, "I'm at the school; where are you?" haha.

I didn't stop the whole 2-1/2 miles, just turned around. I kept walking, kept going, jogged occasionally, and knew I'd get back eventually. Coach asked if I was okay after I got to the school. I am fine. Just tired.

And one of the tires on the jogging stroller has a slow leak, so it got harder to push. Ah well.

During the first part of the run, Runner Girl kept turning back to check on me. I finally yelled, "Quit worrying about me. Just GO!" Turns out she kept up pretty well today. When the kids noticed she was behind the group after they got off the trail and back off the road, they told the coach and she had a couple of them run back to run with her. They were all pretty excited she'd kept up well enough for them to be able to go back to her.

Tonight, I'm glad it's Thursday. We'll still walk/run/jog this weekend, but between the cold and the run, every inch of my body hurts except my left ... no ... right eyelid.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My first day at cross country

Was a little less spectacular than I'd thought. The coach had me time the younger kids running 2 miles while she took the rest for a 3-1/2 mile run. The school seems a bit disorganized on a few things, and they can't seem to decide whether to let the slower kids run or not. I have volunteered to be there every day to follow the slower kids and make sure they are all safe, which is probably helping Runner Girl keep her spot on the team since she is the slowest 6th grader and one of the slowest overall. But they can't decide whether to let the slower younger kids still train with the team or not. I don't care if they are there -- I'll do my best to help them keep going and make sure they're safe too!

Alas, today while running with the younger kids, Runner Girl suddenly got a horrible bloody nose when she was at the part of the run where I couldn't see her. She was a mess by the time she got back around to where I could see she had a problem. Thank heaven for cloth diapers, because I was able to snag one out of the diaper bag. I ran over to her and had her go back to the school and get cleaned up. She was only halfway through her run today.

Ah well.

One thing I'm realizing is that my weight and being out of shape are definitely preventing me from being the mother I'd like to be. I can't keep up with Little Mister, and Bitty is trying her hardest to start crawling (she scoots sideways to me). How am I going to cope when she's mobile if I'm still this out of shape?

Must go do more laundry and clean the kitchen or the older girl child will have nothing to wear to practice tomorrow!

The Thing About Water

We've all been told to drink enough water to get a camel through the Sahara, but really, who has time to drink water all day long? And have the subsequent bathroom breaks that follow?

Steph told me a long time ago to get a water bottle that has a straw because you will drink more water. And you know what? She was right.

I didn't get an expensive bottle because my kids are always swiping my water bottles, but I did find a 32-ounce bottle with a straw. Within a few days, I could tell I was better hydrated. I can now go through 3 or 4 of them a day without thinking about it. Who knew?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday's Miles

I did NOT want to move this morning. I haven't been doing so well emotionally the last few days, and I woke up feeling every minute of my age in my back and legs, which is at least partly because Little Mister kicked me all night last night. I also had a bit of a junk food binge over the weekend (total emotional eating), and that has made me feel more tired, bloated, and less willing to move.

But, knowing we have to get Runner Girl conditioned for her races that start next week, I sucked it up, got dressed, got the babies dressed and put into the jogging stroller, had Runner Girl get dressed too, and off we went.

We had to go get some air in one of the stroller's tires, so we went down our little hill to main street, then walked to the gas station to do so and just kept going. We did 2 miles.

By the time we got home, I was feeling it. To be totally honest, I was feeling it about 1 mile in. I was wearing my shape ups and am really feeling it in my butt now, which can only be a good thing.

And that little hill? Isn't quite as benign coming back up, especially when it seems to be spread over 4 or 5 blocks. The incline isn't as steep, but it's spread out so takes a lot longer to travel.

BUT! We did it. I'm quite proud of myself for getting out when I didn't want to, and proud of Runner Girl for getting it done without complaining. I know the kids will leave me in the dust tomorrow, especially since they are supposed to do 3 miles, but y'know ... it's okay. I am making positive changes for myself, and will be able to tell the kids if they can't beat this fat old lady, they'd better get moving so they don't turn out like me.

I caught a glimpse of my butt in some store windows. I have no idea how I didn't notice it was that big, but it is HUGE! All the more motivation to try and solve the emotional problems instead of eating to make myself feel better. It didn't work anyway. What did work was talking with The Rock last night about why I was feeling so bad, and taking my herbs. My mood is improved even further with the exercise this morning, which is a lesson I need to learn. If I'm feeling that horrid, just get out for a walk already!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm SO Excited!

I packed up the kids today and went for a drive. I'd found a used Schwinn double jogging stroller online for a very reasonable price, so we went to look at it. Long drive, about 60 miles from our place. The stroller is in good shape, steers well, and the front wheel pivots (some are stationary, which sucks), so once I figured out how to make it fold, we loaded it up, paid the guy, and away we went (after I changed two diapers and fed the baby).

I went to the parent volunteer meeting at school the other day and found out that my hours at cross country will count toward our family's required volunteer hours! (The charter school requires 40 volunteer hours total per family from the parents.) That just about made my week. By the end of the season, including the meets, our family's hours will be just about done.

I haven't been doing so well with the diet and exercise just yet. Another post for another day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So here's the plan

The school needs parent volunteers to go with the slower kids so the faster ones can train at their speed. So we're getting a used jogging stroller off of so I can run/jog/walk at the back with the babies. Er, MY babies in the stroller, not calling the students babies. haha. The season is only 5 or 6 more weeks and the first race is 9/16, so they really have to get conditioned. And I know I can do 3 miles, just don't know how fast I'll be which is perfect for me being at the back! lol.

So I'll be going 3 miles every day with the kids at school and then 3 miles on the weekends with Runner Girl. The Rock will take her at times I can't.

I'm also going to try and get to the gym starting Tuesday night after I put Bitty to bed. Seems to be the most mellow time of day, and The Rock can definitely play with Little Mister while I go lift. I need to talk with the trainers here at the gym and call the corporate offices I guess to get an extension on my training contract, but I think I have enough sessions paid for that I can do 3 sessions a week with the trainer for a few months, which can only help with the cross country training, and my ultimate goal of shedding the fat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Walking update

Monday, we were super busy and I didn't schedule time to walk. Blast. I did wear my shape ups everywhere we went. Comfiest shoes I've ever owned. *love*

Runner Girl went to cross country and when I picked her up, her coaches were quick to tell me how great she had done! She didn't cry, she finished the run, and she only said, "I can't!" twice. The coach was sort of jealous of her new running shoes (haha), and Runner Girl said they were awesome and helped out a lot.

Tuesday, after dropping Runner Girl off at school, I took the littles to Walmart and walked all over twice looking for something Runner Girl needed for a school project. When we got home, I loaded them up and walked half a mile to the park, let Little Mister play and pushed him in a swing, then walked another half mile home. We had another busy day the rest of the day. Runner Girl did great on her run and we finally got the schedule for her cross country meets for the next 6 weeks. It's a short season with 5 meets, then regionals and championships.

The goal tomorrow is to get two miles in after dropping Runner Girl off to school! And not eat any ice cream. I have had way too much lately. I really enjoy it, but need to not eat as much of it!