Friday, October 9, 2015

6 years

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. This is the first time in 6 years that we are spending the day apart. Normally, we don't usually celebrate, or do anything big, but it still sucks that we are apart.

Our wedding day wasn't fancy or even big. I hate having people stare at me or focus on me so I wanted something small. Hell, I was content to go to city hall. After many discussion, we finally decided on Vegas. We like to travel so we figured we could go on vacation and get married at the same time. E was still in Iraq while I planned the wedding which meant I made most of the decisions. I finally chose Mandalay Bay (the aquarium area of Mandalay Bay to be exact.) There were sharks floating around me while I said "I do". Since it was a small space they only allowed 10 people. We had our families and a few close friends come. I was pretty excited to stand in front of a few instead of a few hundred. The ceremony started at 9am, and lasted 15 minutes. It was perfect in my eyes. The big secret we kept for that weekend was I was pregnant with Hannah. I was a bit scared to tell my conservative, Catholic family that I was pregnant already so I made E do it. I am a baby I know. We had discussed starting a family and decided to try the month before the wedding. Who knew it would actually happen?! So, I was 7 weeks along when I walked down the aisle.

Our wedding day. We look so young!

My friends that came to celebrate (thank you pregnancy for giving me cleavage)

My family and E's family

My brother who wanted to wear a Hawaiian shirt or tuxedo t-shirt. I chose Hawaiian.

The first year of our marriage was rough. Really rough. To the point where I almost left. However, we have grown a lot and learned how to work through the rough patches. Marriage isn't easy, but I am glad the last 6 years have been spent married to him. It is already the 10th in Japan. Happy Anniversary, E!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Let's Get Physical

Yes, that song is running through my head now.

The girls are still sleeping horribly (and so am I). I am still failing a class even after a second attempt at a quiz. The class is hard! However, one thing going well for me is running.

I am taking advantage of having grandma here to help, and filling my racing schedule. When E is home, we either have to take turns running a race or find one that allows strollers. Since it is just me running right now, it makes it easier to register for a race. I have a 10 miler in October, a half in November (and maybe a 10K), I am still deciding about December, a half in January, a full in February, a 15K in March, and a half in April (Star Wars at Disney World). I know I will add a few more before the season gets into full swing. I was following Jeff Galloway's plans, and it was a great way to ease me into running, but I wanted to work on my times. I decided to try Hal Higdon's plan for my next half. Training started a few weeks ago, and it seems to be working. I went from running 3 days a week to 5 days. My legs are responding to the fatigue. Some runs start off a bit sluggish, but I finish strong. I am starting to see faster times more consistently despite the wretched heat and humidity we still have here. I have no clue if it will translate to longer runs, but I am excited to see if it works. My biggest hurdle is still the mental aspect. The minute I decide I am tired my body shuts down. I have to yell at myself not to slow down or stop. I start playing the "run to each lightpole" game. I am working hard on fighting the mental fatigue that has always plagued me. Some runs end up emotional runs because I feel like it is the only time I can truly think about everything going on. I consider it free therapy. I have set my 3 goals for the half in November. I am still not sure if I want to share them at this point, but I am going to fight to meet my A goal. 

Friday, September 25, 2015


It has been over a month since I have updated although I do write some great blog posts in my head while driving to and from school. School is taking all my free time. I am behind in every class thanks to the unorganized program I am in, but I am trying my hardest to catch up. The classes are harder than I thought they would be. Plus the girls are really clingy. On top of school for Hannah, Meeghan, and myself, we are dealing with a deployment. E left a few weeks ago, and the girls are not handling it well. Meeghan doesn't understand so she is super clingy. Hannah is fine during the day, but clingy at night. All this means that nobody is sleeping well. I get up at 5am to get my run in for the day since I know trying to run during the day won't happen. I tried to run after putting the girls to bed last week, and Meeghan stood at the window screaming for me. My mother-in-law is here to watch the girls while I am in school so that does help, but I am still struggling with trying to fit in all of the study time. For every hour I am in class, I am supposed to spend 2 hours at home studying. That would be 20 hours a week. Not happening! I no longer have any expectations other than passing these classes. C is for cookie and that is good enough for me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back to school

School hasn't started around here yet. However, a few weeks ago I received a very large envelope in the mail telling me I had been accepted into the Medical Laboratory Technology program. It is official! I will be in school to become a MLT. The funny thing is years ago when I was in college so many people told me this is what I needed to study instead of general biology. I wish I would have listened to them. I am taking the hard route by getting the associates degree for MLT, and then going back for the bachelor's for MT. I am pretty excited to start the classes. And a bit scared. I think it will be good though. I am hoping after all this I can work part time while the girls are in school so we have some extra money for debt, and I can still be available for their school functions or extracurricular activities.

My life will revolve around all sorts of bodily fluids. Yay!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

21 Day Fix

Normally, I don't really buy into these kind of programs that limit what you eat. However, a friend of mine is a Beachbody coach so I figured I would try it. She swore it would help my running. I was supposed to start last week, but I failed miserably because of vacation. So Monday was my first real day of trying the program. I hate it. I hate that I am hungry all the time. I know I was probably eating portions that were too big, but dang. I. Am. Hungry. It is making me cranky and irritable which means I am yelling a lot. I am supposed to portion out my food, and follow the color container for food type. It calls for a lot of protein. Unfortunately, I don't like to eat a lot of meat and the other proteins are things I don't eat. They have beans in a different category so I am screwed. I am hoping in a week I will adjust, and I won't feel so hungry but I know they limit your calories on purpose. I am not too concerned about losing weight. I want to be toned and stronger. The workouts are pretty hard, and I typically yell obscenities at the lady on the screen. I push through, though, and finish it. The office has been transformed into a semi-gym. We bought floor mats to make it softer since we have laminate flooring. I will keep plugging away for the next 3 weeks to see how much it works, and I will do my best to stay away from chocolate (you know that thing that keeps me sane).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy thoughts

Things around here haven't been especially happy and positive lately so I thought I would post all the good things happening. I have been in a funk, and I am hoping that focusing on the positive will help break out of it.

  • I have a 95% test average in my class right now. All the late night study sessions are paying off. 
  • Meeghan is 99% potty trained. At night one of us has to wake her to take her to the bathroom, but most morning she is waking up dry. Plus she is over her fear of public restrooms! A few weeks ago she had no choice but to go in one, and she did. Since that night she has gone without a fuss. It has made outings so nice. 
  • E is taking leave in a few days so we are taking a mini vacation
  • Hannah ate mashed potatoes last night! I know it doesn't sound like a huge deal, but for 2 years she has been refusing to eat them. Last night she helped me make them, and decided she wanted to try them. I can finally make potato dishes again!
  • I may have made a friend here. She is close to my age and has two boys close to my girls' ages. We were talking about going to Disney together while our husbands are gone.
  • E was promoted this month. The pay raise is always nice when trying to pay down our debt. 
And with that bit of happiness, I am off to study about point of care testing and all the crap that goes with it. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I am back!

It has been almost a month. I am slacking lately. E was home on leave which I thought would be relaxing. Ha! He decided he needed to do stuff so we painted the living room, kitchen, and the hallways. As well painting the cabinets. We also threw in a day trip to Disney. It was not relaxing like I hoped. It was tiring! Let me tell you, all the squatting I did to paint the baseboards counted as cross training. My booty was sore for a few days. What free time I do have has been spent catching up on my classwork. We have to type labs and study questions. I was far behind, and my notebook is due soon. I needed to type all this stuff so I can get back on schedule. We did sneak in a date night. It consisted of going to dinner and then Target, but it was nice to eat and shop without kids. We are running out of time to hang out as a family of four. A deployment date has been issued and now it is looming over us. Thankfully, he will be here for Hannah's first day of kindergarten. Also, his mom will be moving here to help out so I don't have to hire someone while I am in school. The girls are pretty excited to have grandma here for a few months. I am hoping I can be more consistent with updating. I am still struggling with balancing everything right now. I promise I will try harder though!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Running lately

Lately, exercise for me is chasing after a dog who stole something, or trying to bathe a child who clearly doesn't want to take a bath. With E gone, running  means pushing a double stroller or running on a treadmill at the family gym on base. Base is 20 minutes away, and the kids interrupt me constantly so I never really get to run, so pushing a stroller it is. However, we are in the middle of summer here, and it is around 100 every day. I am limited to early morning or late evening. I have tried both, and neither are working very well. The farthest I have run in about 3 weeks is 2 miles. I figure since I am pushing 65 pounds of kid while doing it that I can really count it as 4 miles. I decided just to call June a rest month, and start fresh again in July. My times are going to be slow, and my stamina will probably suck again, but not much I can do when life gets in the way. I am sure I could try harder to squeeze a run in, but I haven't. Since I can only study at night, I also have to choose between studying and running. Studying wins. Here's hoping to a fresh start in July.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Picture post

I had a long, ranty post in my head about things that are bothering me lately, but I don't want to put that out in the world. So I decided this will be a post full of pictures from the last month (so basically just pictures of my kids.) Did I mention that the girls are at summer camp this week which means I have 4 hours of freedom for 3 days this week? It is wonderful. They have fun, and I have fun. It is win win.

Hannah's last day of school

Visited the mouse

She's cool and she knows it (my niece is on the right)

Meeghan did not like it when I woke her from her nap

Hannah's birthday party

We took a girls day trip to Disney 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

And they are gone

My mother-in-law has been here for the last two weeks with my niece. It has been interesting watching two very different 5 year olds interact. I do not have a relationship with my sister-in-law, but I feel like I should send her a bottle of wine. Her kid is a handful. Let's just say, she didn't like the rules of my house and told me she doesn't like me. (I do have a lot of rules, but it helps keep the sanity with two kids around.) They left this morning, and it is amazing how quiet the house is even with my girls still here. E also left yesterday morning for a DET. It is only for a few weeks, but Meeghan doesn't understand yet so it is has been hard listening to her ask for daddy. She scraped her knee, and really wanted to show daddy. I told her I would have to take a picture and send it to him since it would be gone by the time he was home. The upcoming a deployment is going to be hard for that little girl.

I still haven't looked through my pictures from the last two weeks. Hopefully I can do that soon. Between playing hostess and student, I haven't had much time on a computer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer vacation

Summer has started for Hannah, and ironically I am still in school. Her last day of pre-k was Friday, and we promptly left for Disney after her program. It has been a crazy 5 days.

Disney was hot and crowded which is to be expected for the end of May. However, E and I snuck out to Hollywood Studios Friday night after the girls were in bed, and we waited maybe 2 minutes for Toy Story Mania. There was no line! It was awesome. My mother-in-law and niece are visiting as well. It was Tiana's first time since she was 1 to visit Disney, and she didn't really seem impressed. Nothing made her happy, and all she wanted was a stupid sucker. Meeghan called it an early night on Saturday because she is terrified of public restrooms, and refused to go in a diaper. Her fear is making it difficult to go anywhere. Despite some issues, I had fun and my girls had fun. I have a ton of pictures, but I haven't even looked at them yet.

Since we have been home it has been constant go, go, go. Laundry, school, party planning, babysitting. I watched one of Hannah's classmates Monday so I had three 5 year olds, and a 2 year old. The classmate and Tiana ended up shutting Hannah out, and it really hurt her feelings. It was her first taste of mean girls. I cried a bit knowing it wouldn't be the last time.

It has been interesting having another child here for an extended amount of time. Especially one that is parented completely different than mine. The relationship between E and his sister is strained so we never see our niece. His sister has very different ideals than him, and so they take a different approaches to life. The way she parents is very different, and the stuff I have been able to get out of Tiana makes me sad. I have been asking questions to get an idea of what life is like at home for her. She spends a lot of time in her room. She doesn't play games with her parents. She is an only child, and she struggles with playing with other kids. She hasn't been in day care or school much. She doesn't know her alphabet, can't count to 20, she can't spell her name, or read and write. She is behind her peers for starting kindergarten, and it makes my heart hurt. I have tried some homeschooling with her while she is here to help her a bit, but I have no clue how much her parents will do with her. Plus, she is kind of mean, and full of attitude. I know a lot of kids have an attitude, but hers is nasty. Like I said, it has been interesting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I have been absent around these parts. Honestly, when I get a chance to write I usually pass. Typically I only have the evening to write, and I have been studying or cleaning most nights.

Tonight is my third class of the semester. It is harder than I imagined. We have tests every week, and we have to draw blood every week as well. Tonight's test subject has been kicking my ass. Hopefully I have retained enough of the material to make an educated guess on the test.

This is Hannah's last week of school. My mother-in-law decided to come for Hannah's "graduation" Friday. She is also bringing my niece who is just a few months older than Hannah. I haven't seen her in 2 years. Some how it was decided we would go to Disney this weekend for a fun family getaway. It is a surprise for my niece, and my girls are happy we are staying at a hotel. Since we usually just go for the day, we never get to see Disney at night. That means this week is a bit crazy, but it will be worth it. Of course, I developed a sore throat yesterday, and I still have it today. I told my body to suck it up because I don't have time to be sick.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


When I have a chance to sit at a computer, I usually do boring stuff like pay bills or arrange schedules. I will open a new post page, but it sits blank for days. The words don't come to me when I have the chance. Although, I do write great blog posts in my head.  

School starts next week. I am pretty nervous. I have trouble in social situations so walking into a classroom where I am sure I will be the oldest student makes me anxious. I am excited to learn about phlebotomy though. At least this skill can provide a job if I don't make it through the program.

Hannah only has 4 weeks of school left, and I am terrified about how to entertain her during the summer. I enrolled her in summer camp, vacation bible school, and she will be in swim lessons. I hope that keeps us busy enough. I am also considering setting up a homeschool session with her because she always wants to learn. Meeghan will also be going to summer camp so I will have 3 half days that are childless. I don't know what I will do with my time!

We canceled our cable a few weeks ago. The girls are taking it harder than the adults. We used to be able to watch different episodes on the Disney Junior app, and now we can't. Meeghan doesn't understand why she can't. I found some new puzzles, though, which Meeghan loves so she doesn't miss tv too much.

Other than that, things around here are the same.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Potty training

I am so over potty training. Meeghan was doing awesome, and now she has regressed. We went to Disney at the beginning of March, and we let her wear underwear. She only had one accident the entire weekend. I was so happy! We went to Magic Kingdom on Sunday, and she had two accidents within an hour. She is terrified of public bathrooms suddenly. She used to ask to go in them constantly. Now she screams if we even try to take her in one. I have started taking her little training potty in the car anytime we leave the house. At home, she does great. She even woke up during the night to tell me she had to go potty. It is when we leave the house that we have a problem. On Sunday, we finally put a diaper on her which is not helping her, but I was out of spare clothes. The other issue is she won't poop in a toilet. She will do it in her underwear, or wait until she is wearing her bedtime diaper. I am hoping a bit of time will solve these problems, but the kid is so darn stubborn I am not sure how long to wait.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Catching Up

Life lately has been consumed with trying to get into school, and keeping my kids entertained. I have been going round and round with a college here about assessment tests. They are used to determine your math and English placement. I have already taken those courses, and my academic adviser only has me taking program specific courses. They claim that I don't qualify for an exemption based on some Florida bill, but I found two passages on their own website that states students with bachelor's degrees can be exempt from these tests. Every time I call I am directed to a different department, but I think they all read the same sheet. I even directed one lady to the website, but conveniently her computer crashed so she couldn't see it. The summer class I need to take starts May 6. I have a month to sort through this mess. It gives me such a headache. I am tempted to take the tests anyway just to have this mess over, but that would mean 3 hours of testing for me and at least 4 hours of day care for my kids. If I can avoid that, I will.

The bright spot of the weekend was running a 10K on base. I set a new PR! I have been running with E to increase my sustained pace. Unfortunately we were only running 3 miles so I wasn't sure how I would do doubling the distance. I knew I could run for the time I wanted because I have done it a few times during training runs, but I have never done it in a race. I struggle mentally in races. I decided to use positive mantras during the race, and tell myself that I was capable. It worked. The race is timed, but they only have gun time and not a separate chip time. If you go by my watch (which would equal chip time) I set the new PR by over 2 minutes! It took me 25 seconds to cross the start line so my official time shows a PR of a minute and a half. It isn't a huge drop in time, but my old PR was set in November 2013. It was time for the record to fall. Plus it was a warm day which made the race more difficult. E pushed the girls in the double stroller, and still finished minutes ahead of me!

We don't really celebrate Easter, but the girls did dye eggs. Here is a picture of them before we started:  

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mom vs Student

Today I had a meeting with the adviser at a college. I am looking to start a med tech program since I will eventually go back to work. When I looked into the program I could never find the time of the classes, but I assumed they were during the day. I was wrong. I was told that they are typically afternoon and evening. This does not work for the girls' school schedules at all. This program is my only option here. So now I have to choose between going back to school or spending time with my kids. I know that it won't scar them if I am not around as much for a few months. However, I would start school right as E deploys which means both parents would be absent at the same time. I would have to find a babysitter to pick up the girls in the afternoon, and then spend the rest of the evening with them. Some classes don't end until 9. It would be 10 before I made it home. I hate this feeling. I feel so torn. There are some days where I wish I could send them away for a day because I have had enough of their shenanigans, but I know that if I was gone every night it would make me sad. I guess it is time for the pros and cons list.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Gate River Run Recap

I can sum it up in one word: hot. It was hotter than I hoped. I know some people do well running in the heat, but I am not one of them. Despite the heat, I love the run. It is crowded, it has bridges, and it lacks shade, but I still love it.

It was all smiles before the start
The race didn't start until 8:30 which gave the morning plenty of time to heat up. I knew within the first two miles that I was screwed. By mile 3, my hands were swollen. I could barely make a fist. By mile 4, I was starting to feel dizzy. At the halfway point I decided to switch to intervals to conserve my energy and finish. I was a little scared if I didn't give myself a break I was going to be in an ambulance. So, I started my 2:30 intervals, and it helped a lot. I was drinking half my water cup, and then dumping the rest on me at every stop. I ran through every sprinkler that was offered, and enjoyed the ice pop from a lovely spectator. And then, I  hit the dreaded green monster. I swear that bridge felt like the longest stretch in the world. Have you ever felt like you were running in place instead of moving forward? That was me. I eventually made it to the top. I crossed the finish line at a time that I will take. I was hoping for a PR before I saw the weather forecast. I was 8 minutes slower than last year if that tells you how hot it was for me. My body hates the heat, but I have to learn to deal with it because it is Florida.

The best part of this race is the crowd support. I felt like there was more last year, but there were still a bunch of people out. There were groups giving out oranges, strawberries, beer, mimosas, ice pops, donuts, and I think someone had tootsie rolls. The bands were awesome. I ran without music so I could soak in the atmosphere. Plus, you get this beauty at the end.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Common courtesy

We went to Disney World this past weekend. It was a spur of the moment trip (like most of them), and I noticed a lot of things. The biggest was that common courtesy seems to be missing in society. I saw a woman cut in line. I saw kids pushing small kids out of the way, and the parents weren't even watching. Politeness was forgotten. We use a double stroller. It is big. Very big. I try my best not to bump people with it or clip them while weaving through the crowds, but when people intentionally cut in front of the stroller, you may be clipped. I was amazed that even wheelchairs had to fight to merge into a line. A girl on a bus commented on the girls' blue eyes and blonde hair. She then proceeded to ask how Hitler was doing. I am not sure why this girl thought she needed to connect my kids' features to Hitler. It is not like I had them engineered in a lab. I did come across nice people who made up for all the rude people, but it still made me wonder where we are heading as a society. Just watch people drive. Once at a stoplight, I counted how many people actually stopped at the red light before turning right. Only one out of about ten stopped. One! I know society was never like it was portrayed in Leave It to Beaver or The Brady Bunch, but I wish we could all take the time to be just a bit nicer to each other.

Monday, March 2, 2015

On the upswing

I am afraid to say it out loud (or write it down I guess), but I think my shin splints are healing. The horrible pain on the side is gone. I have tightness in my calves still, but with rolling and ice it goes away. I have been doing leg strengthening exercises as well as rolling every night. Plus, I think those few weeks off helped (as much as I hate to admit it.) I have been back to my regular schedule, and I am working on safely running without intervals. The last few runs have produced this:

 These are new records I set this week. I don't know if it is the new watch (I love it!), the rest, or the compression sleeves, but I feel like I am flying now when I run. I have a 15K in 12 days. I had a time goal set for it which I quickly dismissed when the shin splints hit. I am still reluctant to go for the goal because of the bridges on the course. I am trying to find all the hills I can to work on it, but nothing can really prepare me for the bridges except running on a bridge. At this point, though, I am happy that I can run it.

Did I mention that the NYC marathon lottery is tomorrow? I am going to be pretty antsy waiting to hear from them.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


My kids have been quite a handful lately.  I am in the middle of potty training, and it is somewhat successful. I forgot how time consuming it is to teach a child to use a toilet instead of a diaper. Other than that, Meeghan is deep into the terrible twos. She is very stubborn, and loves to dump water all over the floor. I can't get her to sit for any type of learning so I am trying to find creative ways to teach her. Most days I am at my wits end from her antics, but at night when she tells me she loves me it is worth it. 

Hannah is 4 going on 14. Door slamming, spitting, attitude, and eye rolling. I am in trouble when the real teen years hit. I have caught her lying a lot, and she just doesn't understand why she needs to stop. Despite her behavior at home, she is flourishing at school. She has started reading, and keeps asking for more to learn. She loves school. She even asked me for homework yesterday, and we have been working on flash cards today. I hope her love of school continues as she gets older. 

These two (plus my two fur babies) have been keeping me busy. In fact, it took two hours to write this post. I grumble about how I feel like I never have a second to myself, but I know in a few years I will be sad that they won't want me around. For now, I make sure there is plenty of chocolate in the kitchen to help me through the days. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

That time I ran a marathon and my legs hated me for it

I have mentioned it before on here about how I am struggling with an injury. It is calf and outer leg pain which is being lumped into the category of shin splints. Basically, after the marathon I didn't stretch or roll, and now my body hates me. I usually stretch after every run. I did not after the marathon because it was raining, and I was starving. Plus I had to hunt down my dad because he was lost. I also didn't foam roll or stretch that night before bed. The odd thing is I felt great after the race. I was walking without any problems. I felt fine the next day as well. I took 6 days off and tried to run. My calves locked up on me, and I was done after a mile. I tried the next day and it was a bit better. I was told to rest, roll, stretch, ice, and all that stuff. I couldn't though. I was too stubborn, and I think I made it worse. Finally, E started treating me like a child and put me in time out. He was not going to let me out of the house to run. One time I tried to sneak out by claiming I was going for a walk, but he knew I was going to run. He gathered the dogs and the kids, and we all went together. So, I decided to listen to him. In the month of February I have only run 5 times for 13 miles. I am usually at the 40 or 50 mile mark by this point in the month. Most of my runs have come in the last week when my legs were feeling better. I have been using compression sleeves and intervals. Two days ago I was able to run 3 miles without any pain. Today I ran 4 with no pain. There is some tightness, but no pain. Unfortunately, my endurance is gone. My legs are fatigued pretty quickly so I am going to stick with intervals to finish out this racing season. I have a 15K in March and a 10K in April. I had grand goals of a PR in the 15K. I have changed my goals to finishing the race. I have been playing around with intervals, and I have found that 2 minutes of running to 30 seconds of walking worked really well for me. I will stick with that and see if it works as my distance increases. Hopefully, taking a bit of time off in April will heal whatever is wrong with my legs, and I can start fresh in May.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Alton Brown Live

I am a science nerd. My degree is in biology. I also love food. When you combine the two, I am in heaven. That is why I love Alton Brown so much. He teaches you about the scientific component of food as well as teaching you how to cook. He currently is out on the road with a live show called the Edible Inevitable Tour. I was so happy when I saw Jacksonville was on that list. Due to the Navy, and lack of babysitter, I waited until the day before to buy my ticket. And, yes, I went by myself. It was okay though because it was hilarious. Hilarious! I laughed for 2.5 hours straight. My cheeks hurt by the time I left. He talked about many subjects, sang a few songs, and even made a pizza on a huge easy bake oven. If you are a fan of his, and he is heading your way, I suggest you go. You won't regret it.

The view from my seat

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My day off

E decided to take the girls to Disney World today because Meeghan has been asking to ride Dumbo, the tea cups, and the tram all week. He said he wanted to take them, and I could stay here. A day to myself? Yes, please! Do you know what I have done today? Not much. I went for a run (oops, I can't seem to rest even though it hurt), I am doing laundry, watching non-animated television, and I went grocery shopping. I love my kids, but I have found to keep my sanity I need some time to myself.  Some people are perfectly content with the constant chaos. I am not. It makes me nuts if I can't have quiet at some point. This is my quiet. Of course, I still have the dogs hanging around, but they are pretty quiet compared to a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Tomorrow it will be back to the grind, but for today I will pretend I am 25 again and have a lazy Sunday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This and That

Do you ever have those days where you sit down to do something, but then you are interrupted? I have those days a lot. It seems like I am constantly interrupted, and I never accomplish my task. That explains why things have been pretty quiet around here. Nap time is gone. Meeghan still needs a nap, but she won't nap now that she is sharing a room with Hannah. I try to enforce quiet time, but they are fighting me on that every day. I sit down for a minute to do something, and I find myself right back up to stop the commotion in their room. Here is the quick rundown of life for me (quiet time isn't very quiet today).

We bought a new car! It is a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Yes, we went the minivan route and I love it. I love it. It is so much easier with the girls. The insurance process has been a nightmare, and we know for sure we are switching because of this fiasco. We are waiting until they pay out, and then switching.

I am entering the scary world of enrolling Hannah for kindergarten. I called her neighborhood school last week, and was treated poorly. I was giving the lady the benefit of the doubt, but I found someone else had a horrible experience with the office staff as well. Our neighborhood school is also a technology magnet school. I am not sure how I feel about that. Hannah likes technology, but I am not sure I want the focus of that in every subject. 

Potty training is going terribly. I am tired of changing diapers, but I am afraid if I push too much Meeghan will resist even more. I am trying to be patient and let her tell me when she is ready. 

I have my first real running injury. I have peroneal tendonitis. Okay, it is a self diagnosis, but from what I have read it is dead on to my symptoms. I guess it is from marathon training, and probably not letting myself fully recover afterwards. 2 miles into a run I am in pretty serious pain and can barely walk. Although the other day, once I made it past the 2 mile mark I felt great. It was the fastest I had run in months. I don't understand. So, I am going with the RICE method and I will be trying out compression socks. My next race isn't until March so I have some time to heal. It is frustrating though because running is my little bit of peace and quiet. I need that solitude to regroup for the day. Has anyone tried compression socks? Any recommendations? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Recap

I am going to start with the best words in the world. I finished! It was pretty brutal at times, but my determined butt was crossing that finish line. I started my marathon weekend by waking up at 2:45 Saturday morning to watch E run the half marathon. He was doing the Goofy challenge which meant running the half Saturday and the full Sunday. I hung out with him in the start line staging area until he left for the corrals. At that point I went to Magic Kingdom to watch him run down Main Street. It was frigid (for Florida), but the view was worth it.

"Frozen" castle

Christmas tree was still out

Sunrise from the monorail

After I caught him at Main Street, I sprinted to the monorail to try to catch him at the Grand Floridian. I missed him by a minute. In hindsight, I should have gone to the Polynesian. I know for next time. After that, I went back to Epcot to catch him at the finish. I saw him at mile 12, and then again at mile 13.05. I was frozen and exhausted after this. I felt like I had run 13 miles. We decided to make it an easy day in Epcot to save our legs. 

Sunday morning. Sunday morning was the morning I was dreading and anticipating. We made it to Epcot with plenty of time to spare. E decided he would start with me since he was still nursing his IT Band injury. I agreed to run intervals with him which would be the first time I had tried them during a race. Shortly after 6am, my corral crossed the start line. It was a beautiful sight. 

Our intervals were working well except E took the lead and we were running slightly faster than what was comfortable for me. I knew we would need to slow down during the run interval if I was going to make it. He told me to take the lead so I could set the pace. The first few miles flew by, and we were having. For real. We were having fun. We made it to Magic Kingdom in great spirits. It was pretty crowded in places which was frustrating, but we knew there would be some bottlenecks. We made up our time during the open areas. We finally made it out to the Speedway and on our way to Animal Kingdom. 

I was starting to get tired, but that is not unusual. I was 13 miles in so I knew fatigue would start to set in. Animal Kingdom was fun. They had some animals out and the animals had race bibs on. It was great! We were there before the park opened so no one was riding Expedition Everest. As we exited Animal Kingdom to head to Wide World of Sports, there was a huge crowd of people. It was just the boost I needed to get through the next few miles. I seem to start to break down mentally around mile 15, but this crowd helped me so much. I tried to make it to every kid to give them a high five. 

The trek to Wide World of Sports was brutal. I was starting to lose it. I had that heavy feeling in my chest again which was telling me I was in my head too much. At some point along this stretch, there was a lovely woman handing out M&Ms. They were the best tasting thing in the world. I think I told her she was the best, and thoroughly enjoyed my handful of candy. Wide World of Sports takes up almost 5 miles of the course. As you approach it, runners are heading toward you on the other side of the road. Their mile marker says 21 while yours says 16. It is very tough to handle mentally. It was so tempting to cross the median and join those runners. 

Wide World of Sports is a huge complex with many different types of fields. We wind our way through this complex for a few miles, and it is tough, It is tough to see people ahead of you, and they are so close, but you have to take a billion turns before you get to them. The crowd support was better than I thought it would be and that helped so much. You do run on the warning track of the Atlanta Braves' spring training field which is pretty cool. 

As you exit Wide World of Sports, you cross mile 20 or The Wall. I was tired, but physically okay. Mentally I was bat crap crazy. Unfortunately, E's ITBS flared and he was in pain. He tried to run the next interval and he couldn't. He told me to go on ahead, but I said we started together and we would finish together. So we walked the last 5 miles. It was painful and long. Oh so long. We were both pretty quiet for a mile or so. I think we both needed to process that we weren't going to end the race like we wanted. I knew I could go ahead, but I wasn't sure if my mental state would have hindered me. We walked our way through Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk, and then Epcot. We decided to run the last 0.2. It was very painful for him, but we wanted finish line pictures of us running. Despite the pain, the rain (oh did I mentioned that it rained?), and the disappointment we still finished. I vowed the entire time I would never do another marathon, but here I am contemplating the NYC lottery. 

For my first marathon, I think Disney was a great choice. So many aid stations, so many spectators, and the parks are awesome to run through. I am so glad I chose to do this. It may not be what I was hoping for time wise, but I can say that I was happy. I am usually not an outwardly emotional runner, but I started crying the minute the medal was placed around my neck. Luckily, it was raining so most people didn't notice, but I was a wreck. There were so many emotions to process, and they all spilled out in the form of tears. I proudly wore that medal the rest of the day. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The roof is on fire!

The last six days have been crazy. I am beat down and exhausted from everything. This post will focus on the events from last Thursday. It started like any normal day, but it all changed around noon. It is time to pick up Hannah from school. Meeghan and I are in the parking lot of the school when my car suddenly shuts off and smoke begins to trickle out from the hood. A smoking car always makes me nervous so I decided to grab Meeghan, and the diaper bag, and ran her into the building so someone could watch her. I ran back out to see that the smoke was heavier and darker. I tried to pop the hood, but gave up. I even tried to find my hazards (I clearly was in panic thinking mode).  There was another parent who arrived during this and he stopped to help me. He ran in to get a fire extinguisher while I ran to my phone to call 911. By this point I could see tiny flames hitting the ground and knew the car was on fire. There wasn't much I could do, but make sure people stayed away. Teachers and parents were running to their cars to move them away from my car. Finally, the firefighters arrived and stopped the fire before the entire car was engulfed. The front half to the brunt of the damage. As I watched it burn, I remembered all the stuff that was still in the car. I had the double stroller in the back, Meeghan's coat and some shoes, a few toys, books, and other little things. This was what the car looked like:

See that purple cup? It wasn't damaged. 

Thank goodness no one was hurt, and we actually recovered quite a few items from the car. The stroller has some melted paint, and it smells, but I think we can restore it. I learned a few things from this. One, keep all your important stuff in one spot in case something like this happens. I am glad that I always throw my wallet and phone in the diaper bag while in the car. Two, if you see smoke don't assume that you can easily fix it. It is probably best to call for help immediately. I am also grateful this happened in the parking lot at the school. If I had been on the street, I am not sure what I would have done. The teachers kept Hannah in her classroom while they placed Meeghan in the 2 year old classroom to play. I was able to make phone calls and figure out what to do while the girls were safe and warm in a building. I now have a slight fear about every car I ride in will catch on fire, but I think in time that fear will go away. For now, I am happy that everyone is okay and I hope that insurance moves quickly so we can look for another car. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Race anxiety

My first marathon is in 5 days. 5! I am pretty nervous. My two long runs of 21 miles were absolutely horrible. Just terrible. I even cried during one of them because I hated it so much. I may have had a slight panic attack during one as well. I am worked up over this race. E is running Goofy this weekend. For those not familiar with races at Disney this means he will run the half marathon Saturday and then the full marathon Sunday. He is currently battling some IT band issues which means his training has suffered. In order to hopefully make it through the weekend, he has switched to a run/walk interval system to save his knee. He wants to run the marathon with me so I am now using the run/walk intervals with him. I did not train using them (well I walked when I was tired the last few miles of my long training runs, but nothing official.) We have started running these last training runs together using his intervals so I can adjust to them, and we can learn to run together. So far it is working. I can see how it will hopefully help me finish strong, and help him finish. I did have a time goal for this race (I know, I know first marathon the goal should be to finish and nothing else), but I know I probably won't reach it. I knew I probably wouldn't reach it if my long runs were any indication of how the race would go. However, we do think that we can make it for my C goal time, but we are going to go with the flow and not push it. We rarely get to run together , and we never get to run together during a race, so we are going to enjoy the experience the best we can. The competitive side of me cringes when I think about throwing my time goal out the window, but I know that it is probably for the best. 

We are turning the weekend into a mini-vacation. My dad and niece will be flying down Friday to join us in the fun. They will watch the girls while we run. The girls are running in the kids' races Saturday. Hannah is running the Mickey Mile while Meeghan is running the 100 meter race. Hannah even wanted running clothes like mine so I bought her a pink shirt and shorts.We are cramming a lot into 3 days, but I think we will have a lot of fun. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year

I know many people make resolutions for the new year. I usually don't because I tend to break them, and then I feel like a failure. This year, though, I do have some goals.

1. I want to go back to school. Eventually my girls will be in school, and I can go back to work. I earned my degree in 2002, and I have been told that I would have to take remedial classes again to work in my field again. So, off to school I go if I ever want to work in my chosen area again. The program I want to attend is available, but the chances of me finishing it before we move again is slim so I am looking at online master degree programs. Let's hope I can make it work.

The other goal I have is to strengthen my body. I run, but my body isn't strong. I always say I will do some sort of cross training, but then I find an excuse to sit on the couch. I want to change that. I want to be healthy, and I think doing some core work or toning exercises might be a nice mental and physical boost I need. Small steps, but I am hoping to make a lifestyle change.

The last thing is I want to be more patient with my children. I have a short fuse, and I find I yell a lot. I want to change that. I try hard to stay patient, but some days I lose. I have started counting to 10, and telling them I need just a minute to sort my thoughts. We'll see how I do on this one.