Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I've Obviously Lost My Mind

I've been doing the C25k thing for a grand total of 4 weeks. In fact, I have one more day to run before I can say I've completed Week 4 of the program. This week consists of two segments running 3 minutes continuously and two segments running for five minutes continuously, with some walking breaks sprinkled throughout so I don't have to lay down on the gym floor when I'm done.

So what exactly about that strenuous regimen leads me to believe I should run a trail series this summer? Sure, in theory, I'll be running a 5k with my sister at the end of April (barring injury or laziness). And yes, the first race of the trail series is a 5k (3.1 miles). But the next race? That's a 10k (6.2 miles). And the third race would require me to run for 10 miles in September. On purpose! With no one chasing me! If I managed to survive that, I could gear up for a 1/2 marathon at the end of October.

Uh huh. Exactly. I'm looney. And yet I'm still considering it.

I need to take better care of myself mentally and physically, and training for these races would definitely accomplish that. I need an actual goal - and this provides four of them, right in a row. One of my goals is to someday run a 1/2 marathon, and October seems as good a time as any, right?

I don't have to make a decision for a while. In fact, I can register for each race as it approaches so I don't have to commit to anything in advance. But it's tempting to sign up for all four - to know that those races are on the horizon and that I'd better keep putting one foot in front of the other to avoid complete embarassment.

I'm thinking about it. And I'm keeping an eye out for those guys with the white jackets... just in case.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Miss P!

In honor of your special day, I'll share the knock-knock joke you've been telling us:

Us: Knock Knock.
P: Knock Knock.
Us: Who's There?
P: Who's There?
Us: Cow
P: Moooooooooooooooooooo


This is the earliest picture we have of you, baby girl. It was taken by another family traveling to bring their munchkin home - you were around 6 weeks old. We were waiting for you, but didn't yet know who our little girl would be. When they snuggled you close, they didn't know whose family you would be a part of.


Today, you're two and we have had you in our lives for 14 months now. We love you so much! Happy birthday!!!


And Lord help us as you hit the terrible twos. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

High School Reminiscing

This blog has been all running and no fun lately. So, in honor of the high-school friends I've been connecting with on Facebook, how about I share one of my favorite memories? At the very least, it should amuse the heck out of you!

The stage: District Speech Contest, my senior year.

Of all of my high school memories, this one comes closest to 'the day I scored the winning basket in the state championship game' or 'the day I was voted prom queen'. Since I am - at the very least - incredibly untalented athletically and since I was never voted prom queen (see also this post), the district speech contest my senior year is as good as it's going to get. Although *I* was a loser, being on the speech team in our school didn't actually get you an automatic 'L' on your forehead since our school was so small that practically everyone had to be involved just to send a team. Speech was kind of my thing though and I took a perverse pride in being darn good at it. Still, I had an evil nemesis (heck, it wouldn't be a very good story without an evil nemesis!). I performed in poetry and serious prose. (Like you expected anything else, right?) My evil nemesis also performed poetry and our senior year, her piece included the Lord's Prayer. (Say it with me now... ugh!)

Since we were both from small schools, we performed against each other at almost all of the competitions - not just our senior year but every year for four years. I got really, really tired of hearing her poetry interpretations. Especially her overly dramatic, chest-heaving, heavy-sighing versions of them. I also got tired of getting my rear kicked every single time we competed against each other. Inevitably, she took first place and I came in second. This part of the story doesn't have a Disney ending, by the way. At District Speech, she still kicked my rear and I took second... but that was all that was necessary to qualify for State. When my name was announced, I walked out to the center of the gym floor to get my medal and came back to my teammates cheering and clapping. One of my teammates picked me up, gave me a huge hug, and spun me around in a circle, putting my feet back on the ground just in time for another teammate to swing me up again.

It was the speech team equivalent to being put on your teammates' shoulders and paraded across the football field. (I know... pitiful, isn't it?)

However, I was so busy being overwhelmed by the attention that I failed to hear my name called again... as the first place winner in the serious prose division. I had beaten a bow-tie-wearing, son-of-a-speech-coach named Teddy who irritated me almost as much as the Lord's-Prayer-chick. My teammates had to push me out onto the floor. I was walking on air... but still aware enough to see the twisted expression of Miss-the-Lord's-Prayer... who had only qualified for State in one event. Heh.

Even a whole lotta years later, that's a very satisfying memory.

I wish I could wrap this up nicely by telling you I went on to dominate at the State competition and came home victorious, but I took getting to State a whole lot more seriously than I took performing at State. As it was, I was content... and still am... with my medals and my moment in the spotlight.

Next up: An even more humiliating story about the boyfriend who dumped me at major holidays so he didn't have to buy me gifts...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Favorite Section From Obama's Speech

In the words of our new President:

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

Inauguration Day

Whether you voted for him or not:

Welcome to the highest office in the land, President Obama. You begin your first term with the burden of high expectations. I wish you the best as you assume the responsibilities of the office and guide our country in the rocky days ahead. Best wishes to your wife, Michelle, and your daughters as they step into the spotlight to become a part of the most watched family in the U.S.

Whether you agree with his policies or not:

Thank you, President Bush, for the eight years of service to our country. I'm sure there were many sleepless nights as you struggled to do what was right for the people of the United States. You served honorably. To your wife, Laura, and your daughters, thank you for the sacrifices you made personally in order to support Mr. Bush while in office. Best wishes as you return to a more peaceful life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Playhouse Disney Live... And Why I Sent A Letter To The Disney Channel

Well THERE'S a blog title for ya.

As I mentioned, Miss A and I snuck out over the weekend to spend an afternoon with our very closest friends:
  • Leo, Quincy, Annie, June, and Rocket from the Little Einsteins
  • Darby, Pooh, and Tigger from My Friends Tigger and Pooh
  • Handy Manny, Mr. Lopar, and the Tools
  • and of course, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy

The show was actually pretty low key, and very interactive. We did the Hot Dog dance, we patted our laps to give Rocket more power, we sang a song with Pooh... and Miss A loved every minute of it.

Exhibit A:

I spent most of the show snapping pictures with my fancy-dancy camera and then adjusting the settings to try to compensate for the lighting. The main thing I learned? I desperately need a zoom lens. I also learned that giving Miss A an entire bag of cotton candy without having any wipes in my purse was a really bad idea. (see the dirty shirt in Exhibit A)

But I'm sure you're truly dying to know WHY I was forced to write a letter to the Disney Channel this afternoon. It's really very simple. After enjoying a lovely show, Miss A cried. All. the. way. home. Huge tears. Because she missed Annie (from Little Einsteins). And she didn't get to hug her.

Soooooo... I convinced Miss A that we could send a letter to the Little Einsteins. She spent most of Sunday afternoon coloring pictures for Leo, Quincy, June and - of course - Annie. Then she dictated a letter that her sister faithfully wrote. I spent a good 25 minutes on the internet searching for an address to send it to. And I didn't give in to the temptation to include a few swear words in the postscript of the letter. WHY on earth don't they include character meet-n-greets as a part of these shows??


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Still Here! Still Running!

Hey all! I feel like I fell off the edge of the world for a few days, but it's really just been four days since my last post... which truly should be an indicator that I spend too much time on the internet.

Quick note to say I ran Day 1 of Week 3 of C25k on Friday morning. 5 minute warm up, and then 2 cycles of run 90 seconds/walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes/walk 3 minutes. I actually screwed up and added an extra run 90 seconds/walk 90 seconds on at the end but no shin splints, no foul. I'm running Day 2 tomorrow - hopefully outside. Believe it or not, temps are supposed to get into the mid 40s! Honestly, it's no surprise that everyone and their dog (not my dog... other people's dogs) have been sick lately. This stinkin' weather has been up and down like a yo yo. How can it be 10 degrees when I leave the house on Friday morning (minus 5 if you count that pesky wind chill factor) and 47 on Saturday afternoon when I take Miss A to see Playhouse Disney Live?

This was supposed to be a quick note, so I'll tell you about Playhouse Disney Live tomorrow. If I survive my run. Me... running... wouldn't everyone who knew me in high school be laughing their rear ends off if they could see me now...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Week 2 Day 3 Running Update

I missed my workout last night so I rolled out of bed at what I would consider an ungodly hour (6:15 thankyouverymuch) and went to the gym. Today was a repeat of the other Week 2 days in C25k - 5 minute warm up, 90 seconds running/2 minutes walking for 20 minutes, and 5 minute cool down. But today hurt. OH MY GOSH, it still hurts. I'm guessing the fact that I wasn't completely awake has something to do with it, and the fact that I didn't stretch much before stepping on the treadmill didn't help either. I won't run again until Friday, so hopefully with a little ice I'll be ready to go.

Week 3 here I come!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recipe For Chai Tea Mix

I love chai tea. It's soothing and delicious and smells absolutely amazing! For Christmas, my friend Melanie gave me a homemade mix for chai tea and I thought you might like to try it too. Yum!


CHAI TEA

1 c. Nonfat Dry Pwdered Milk
1 1/2 c. Unsweetened instant tea
1 c. Powdered Non-Dairy Creamer
2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 c. French Vanilla Powder Non-Dairy Creamer
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 1/2 c. White Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Ground Cardamom (optional)

In large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir together well. In blender or food processor, blend 1 cut at a time, until mixture is consistency of fine powder. Keeps well in freezer. To serve, stir in 2 heaping Tablespoons to mug of hot milk or water.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Running Update

Today was Day 2 of Week 2 in the Couch to 5k program. The schedule called for a 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of running 90 seconds/walking 2minutes, and then a 5 minute cool down. I ran this same schedule on Friday with no problems, but then yesterday I decided to hop on the treadmill for a brisk 40 minute walk. After today's schedule, my legs are TIRED! Still, I survived and that's all that was required.

I'm taking tomorrow off!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Who Says I'm Wasting Time On The Internet?

Just as I was starting to think that I've been spending way too much time on the internet lately, something happened to prove me wrong.

I won a laptop.

Yes, you read right - I won a laptop! I entered a contest at FamilyEden.com for the best photo memories of 2008 and, thanks to the adorableness of Miss P, I won. I still can't believe it! I guess all that time I spend roaming around blogs, checking in on friends on Facebook, and tweeting on Twitter has finally paid off. Whoo!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Re-Adoption Day!

C25k Update: I ran Day 1 of Week 2 this morning. 5 minute warm up, 90 second run/2 minute walk for 20 minutes, 5 minute cool down. Still feeling good and very proud of myself for getting up darn early to get a workout in!


This morning, the family and I threw on some of our finer duds and headed to the courthouse for P's re-adoption. We met our attorney and were pleased to find out we were second on the docket for the morning. After a few minutes of hanging in the hallway, we were ushered into the small courtroom. Our attorney had warned us that our judge was prone to yelling, even during seemingly easy, happy proceedings, so we were a little apprehensive but all went well! The judge asked our attorney to introduce everyone in the room, had a few questions about the petition and our adoption process, and signed the requisite paperwork to recognize the adoption as full and legal, and to change P's name to the American name we chose soon after we received her referral. He even agreed to come off the bench to take a couple of photos with our family.

P's adoption was final in the eyes of the Vietnamese and U.S. governments when we brought her home in November of 2007. The re-adoption is essentially a paperwork thing - having our state recognize her adoption will make it easier to access forms that she'll need through her entire life - but even though this was essentially a quick legal formality, it's an exciting day for our family.

Welcome to the family officially Miss P!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm Having One Of Those Days...

...and I think my co-workers noticed
because one of them sent me this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Darn... It's January Again

A quick update on C25k - I ran Week 1 Day 3 yesterday and I'm still feeling great. With this program, you only have to run 3 x a week to complete the program, but I might throw in an extra day on Thursday in a meagre attempt to build some stamina. Stay tuned :)

If you've been around a while, you know that January is my busiest month at work. In a normal month I produce on magazine, write copy for a couple of ads, update a web site or two, and try to work ahead on whatever other projects are coming down the pipeline. In January of each year, my little office puts out three magazines (two of which are my responsibility), two association directories, and a major visitors guide. Actually, that last project is rarely completed in January due to a particular town in the southern part of the state's inability to provide content on a timely basis... but it still stresses me out. The typical 25-30 hour work weeks rapidly mutate into 50-60 hour work weeks, which makes for a happy paycheck but a grouchy mama who doesn't get to spend nearly enough time in her pajamas.

And then there's that stinkin' PTO thing. I swear, I must have been hit on the head with something very hard to get me to agree to be PTO president this year. You wouldn't think the PTO would have much going on in January, but this is the month we kick things in gear for the school carnival. So, I have two meetings to chair this month, plus I'm pretty sure the district has a site council meeting scheduled in a week that I need to attend since I'm ... you know... on the site council. P's birthday is this month and I think the in-laws are coming down one weekend. Add in N's basketball practice twice a week, plus games starting this Saturday and I'm seeing a recipe for disaster.

January is really not my favorite month.

But have no fear! Everything will be okay! My To Do list will be knocked off in a timely and efficient manner, because mothers are superheroes! We routinely accomplish tasks that awe bystanders, dazzling their eyes with our freshly laundered capes while we run around saving the universe and handing out cupcakes before flying off to the next catastrophe.

Now... when am I going to find time to bake cupcakes?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Still Running - Couch to 5k Day 2

I went to the gym yesterday, intending to do a bit of general cardio and maybe some weight training. After 12 minutes on the eliptical, I said to heck with it and hopped on a treadmill. I figured I was in the mood AND at the gym AND there was an open treadmill AND there was football on the mini-tv to watch so... I ran the second day of C25k. For those keeping track, the second day is exactly like the first day - 5 minute warm up, followed by 20 minutes of 60 second run/90 second walk, followed by 5 minute cool down. It was a bit more challenging yesterday, thanks to the 12 minutes on the eliptical before running. The last two 60 second runs had me watching the clock ticking down on the treadmill screen with unusual intensity :)

However, I survived and I'm not sore today so that must mean I'm on the right track. (on the right track... a running joke... ha!) I'm taking today off and will hopefully be able to head outside for Day 3 tomorrow. We'll see if the weather cooperates.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Day of the Couch to 5k

*** I meant to provide the link to the Couch to 5k program - sorry folks! http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml ***

After weeks of Christmas cookies, eggnog, and football game snack food, I waddled over to the gym today and sidled up to a treadmill. We greeted each other cautiously, moving at a slow walk until we trusted each other again after such a long absence, and then moved into the program for the first day of the Couch to 5k.

For those of you who aren't familiar, Couch to 5k is a running program geared towards non-runners, slowly increasing your stamina and running distance until at the end of the 9 weeks, you should be able to run a 5k race (3.1 miles). I did C25k in mid-2007 while we were waiting for P to come home and the program definitely works. I haven't done much of anything since, so I was surprised to find that Day 1 was pretty easy. We'll see how long I can go before I get horrible shin splints :)

Day 1 Program: Walk 5 minute warm up, run 60 seconds/walk 90 seconds and alternate for 20 minutes, then walk 5 minute cool down.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here we are on the first day of 2009. My goals for the day included staying in pajamas for as long as possible, watching a lot of football, and eating yummy snacks. Mission accomplished! With my Huskers in the Gator Bowl today, a good four hours were spent staring at the television and willing them to a win. Since I hadn't expected my team to make a New Year's Day bowl game anyway, I was thrilled just to see them play in a significant game so no ulcer developed despite the close score and last minute victory. Now I have to endure another 8 months before the Big Red take the field again... what shall I do with my time?

Oh yes... that running thing I mentioned a few days ago could take up some time. I did manage to lace up my shoes for a two mile walk this afternoon. I ran about 1/4 of a mile, just to see if I remembered how to do it. Evidently I need to work on my technique because I've already developed shin splints. But it felt good to put one foot in front of the other and I'm going to do some searching tonight for a 5k to strive for as my first goal. I believe Saturday will be my first day of the Couch to 5k plan... right now I'm going to continue perfecting the 'couch' portion of the program.