Tuesday, October 29, 2013

And so it continues...

Random blabbering from me while I watch my youngest pout through her swim lessons. Not sure what the issue is but sure I will hear about it.

One of my friends posted this pic on her Facebook page and I thought it was perfect for current state of mind. I also took a picture of my feet in swimming flip flops as reminder that even though my arms feel like noodles ( started weight lifting program this week and seriously I was a little concerned if I got in the pool I a. wouldn't be able to swim and b. worried I wasn't going to be able to hoist myself out of the water). Well I made it through and despite my time crunch of 20 min got 750 yds in- which isn't a whole lot, but more than not doing anything at all right :)? So another day has flown by with busy work day, interrupted by horrible stomach cramps (maybe it was combo of wearing tights all day- not uber comfy, and the diet coke/peanut M&Ms I had following a lunch of broccoli and brown rice- life is all about balance right ) and then pick up kids,make dinner, do spelling ( I'm forcing myself to smile writing this) and then hit the pool. Day will soon be over and I still have 75 pages left of book club book- I know- what is the deal? Can't remember the last time I finished a book club book the day before book club. This is life. We are all living it in our own way.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

It's been too long...

I have missed writing.  I think those of us that blog do so because we like to write and put down our thoughts. It is therapeutic- at least for me. I haven't done very much writing lately (blog, journal, kid's books, or even letters).  I've truly been missing it.  I have thought about so many different topics I can write about and haven't done it.  I've always heard that if you are going to be a writer, you have to write a lot.  Not that I'm going to be an author any time soon, but if you enjoy writing and getting your ideas down on paper why wouldn't you?

So I don't like the excuse "I've been so busy"- because I truly believe that you make time for those things in your life that mean the most to you, but sometimes other areas of life take up more time and energy than others. I've been busy finishing up my racing season (another post another time), working on getting the Little Free Library donations and Reach Out and Read donations (aka-having a fun girl's night party at my house with all my favorite peeps), finishing the building of our house (no I'm not doing manual later, but I tell you if I didn't work part time I don't know how we would be getting all the numerous meetings and errands done during the work week), working on NP organization, and lastly trying to be a mom.  I know I should be putting down being a good wife, but fortunately hubbie and me are good with each other and so not a focus right now (I know may come back to bite me).  I don't list all these varied "to do's" as an excuse, but sometimes it helps to write stuff down and give myself a break in regard to my lack of writing.  We only have so much time in the day. 

Like right at this moment I'm sitting in one of my favorite buildings (Library- know you guessed it) and trying not to pull my hair out of my head as my oldest pain stakingly re-writes his spelling list, because his nice spelling sheet he brings home on Monday has been colored with pencil all over and I shouldn't have to strain my eyes to read his spelling words right?  Yep sometimes we have to spend time on things that are painfully energy sucking!  The time it has taken me to write this post and spell check it and edit we are still working on wonderful spelling worksheet- grin and bare it. 

But this is the time of my life I'm in- I'm starting to get it as I get older :)- you know recently turned the big 37.  Super Elderly!  A friend and I were discussing this "time" in my life in comparison to where she is at. We got to this  by me discussing my wonderful experience with my oldest getting  his flu shot.  Yep- took 3 medical assistants to hold him down- while as my youngest held still and nothing but one single crocodile tear rolled down her cheek.  She went first, thank the Lord, because after she witnessed her brother's antics I don't think she would have handled it so well.  So I was telling my friend all about this fun experience and she being older and wiser- you know older as in maybe 39 :).  Says, "as you get older you will stop worrying about others judging you"- like me thinking I looked like the "worst" mom in the world, because my oldest needs three lovely ladies to hold him down and get his annual flu shot.   We were talking about how as you age you become wiser and start to figure out life a little more easier.  Sometimes it is because you grow up and you figure out who you are- which I can attest to.

A few years ago I thought that I was a "bad" mom because the month after my first child I had no desire to soon parent again another baby/child, where as I felt surrounded by moms that just had their first child whom couldn't stop talking about having another.  I asked my husband one night if he thought my lack of desire to have another baby soon meant I was a bad mom?  He of course reassured me and I soon let it go to worry about other mothering/parenting things. For example-  guilt early in my motherhood when friends  would say "don't you love being off of work with your baby" and I would cringe thinking about how I was counting down the days until I could return to part time work and part time time away from my "challenging" child.  This also brought on guilt, because some of my friends didn't have the great maternity leave I had.  I know, I know feel like the whole theme of this post is "guilt". 

Looking back I was a first time, type A mom, who thought since she had a master's in pediatric health care of children (PNP) that I would know all the right answers and parent by the books I had studied- growth/development, milestones, etc.  Then with my second I was much easier on my self.  I still had the pressure to be a "great mom" and do what is "right" - aka- breastfeed my little one (which I never felt like I did well nor did I enjoy the feeling of being the sole nutrition provider).  But the crying didn't seem as much, and she slept easier, and I just felt like I was a "better" mom. 

Fast forward 8 years and my oldest is still a challenge and I still feel like I'm not the best mom, in comparison to all my other "mom" friends (some of my mom friends are saints in my book- they offer to have endless play dates at their home, are great teachers-always patient), but I'm doing the best I think I can.  Hopefully if I'm really screwing them up someone will tell me.  Not the lightest fair, but it is a post and I'm writing.  Looking forward to catching up on writing about books, running, and life. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Marathon Weekend

Two of my favorite peeps asked me what I felt like with the Chicago Marathon weekend upon me and me not running. 

I feel kind of peaceful.  I'm looking forward to  being on the sideline cheering my husband on.  I'm looking forward to seeing the Elite Runners, the average runners, the fans/spectators, and of course my favorite city Chicago.  It will be a different race this year, because instead of having our kids, and family present cheering whichever VW(s) running the race on- there will likely be just me on the sidelines.  I'll keep you posted on the race experience as a singleton. 

Last year when I was running the Springbrook Trail in Illinois in November and had that "aha" moment of "I'm not going to run a marathon in 2013" I think it was a good "aha" for me.  I got to do 3 1/2 marathons, a sprint tri, and some other fun 5K's with the kids.  All 3 races were in different seasons.  The spring one was a hilly one and I did good, but no PR.  The summer one was HOT! and I just didn't jive/get my normal race mojo and hence did OK, but no PR.  The sprint tri was good, but times weren't as great as last year- I truly blame that on my horrible Transition (sport's bra issues going from swim to bike).  Last 1/2 is next Sunday and who knows what it will bring, but since this training schedule has been my most lax to date in regard to diet, no true interval training, and no ban on alcohol I'm assuming I won't PR it either. 

So no fast race times for me this year, but again I feel pretty peaceful.  I feel like I'm still able to drive around town proudly with my Running Girl magnet on the back of my car.  I am a runner. 

So to all those buddies of mine who are either racing in Chicago or have other races upcoming I hope you have great runs, maybe even some PRs, and call yourself a runner, too. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

September Running

I'm still in my pajamas and it is almost 12pm- LOVE IT!
Had a social gathering/goodbye to house party + book/cash drive for Little Free Library and Reach Out and Read Iowa last night so I planned a no early run day for this morning.  Well I've ended up basically working on catch up with house stuff, and normal every week "mom" stuff, and of course catching up on my blog posts.  So here is the low down on September Running...

Total for month of September: 93 miles
The increase is due to me being at the height of my training and doing some 10,11, and 11 mile runs throughout weeks in September.  I have been swimming almost one day a week every week- and I'm doing some biking, but nothing heavy and that will need to increase if I want to up my distance on the Triathlon racing.  I jumped quite steeply from 63 miles in August to 93 miles in September.  I wasn't hurt during this increase, which I'm lucky, because sometimes that kind of increase can bring on injury. 

I have one more long run- tomorrow 12 miles- and then it is taper from there.  My times/speed has not been the best, but I'm kind of not pushing it with this upcoming race.  Not sure if I'm just needing a break of what.  I always get a little "anxious" after a race is done and need something to focus on moving forward, because I get worried I won't keep running.  I think when I no longer get this "anxious" feeling I will then know that I'm a "true runner" or that running is forever engrained in my life.  I'm working on it! 

Lastly- I had to share that I won something.  I follow the Another Mother Runner ladies- listen to their podcasts, have read both their books and also read their blog posts.  Well they have these Wednesday "Hump Day Giveaways" and I was a winner.  I won the following:   one set of Inspiration cards, one RACEDAY book (training book/diary- will love this), triathlon book, one HipS-sister (belt for keys, etc), and one variety pack of pancake mixes).  I will keep you posted on what I think of these as they come in.  What you had to do to enter this "giveaway" is write three words about your running- could be about you, your last run, etc.  I submitted FINISH STRONG NOW- pretty god timing for me to see that again .

September Reads

I felt like I wasn't reading very much in the month of September, but looking back I read a variety of books.  Here they are- in no particular order:
1. The Last Girls by Lee Smith
- based on true story of college girls taking a raft down Mississippi River (newspaper article copy about girl's trip found before you start reading the book)
- My Mother in-law loved it and sometimes when someone says they love a book than high expectations are put forth (note to self if I really want someone to "love" a book I "love" don't praise it :)).  So I didn't "love" it, but it was a good, easy read, but felt like it took me a while to get through. 
- I liked the flashbacks and flash-forwards throughout the book and the strength of some of the female characters. 
- O.K. read

2. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
-Book club book for September
- I hadn't read anything by him and I enjoyed it
- Different reading experience because it was written as a play so you read it as a play
- Liked trying to envision the scenes on stage
- Look forward to seeing it on stage sometime

3. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
-Have read this, I think, three times total (once a year over the last three years)
- Look back at previous post on this book for all my favorite quotes
- Love how timeless her writing is.  Despite being first published in 1955- the subjects she writes about: motherhood, independence, creativity as a women, marriage, etc- aren't any different from today's mothers, women, wives. 
- If you haven't read it- READ IT!

4. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
- I really enjoyed In Cold Blood so had been meaning to pick up another Capote novel.
- This one was nothing like In Cold Blood, but I enjoyed it still
- Holly Golightly is a character!  I somewhat struggle to envision Audrey Hepburn playing her, but will definitely rent the video sometime soon to watch the screen version. 
-It was light/entertaining, but had depth too. So that if you wanted to read it to see a more serious/sad story you could, but if you wanted to read it like fluff you could also. 

5. Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel
- I read this in two days.  I think I needed to read it that quick to find out all the great ideas to parenting my kids better.
- I really thought his parenting view was logical, straight forward and realistic.
- I wish I had read this sooner and like and need reminder of it so much I will likely look for it the next time I'm at a book store. 
- If you are struggling or feel challenged by your child(ren) I really recommend reading this. 

6. Wonderstruck by Brian Sleznick
- I really enjoyed Hugo Cabret so have been meaning to pick up this book that followed Hugo.
- I think I liked the story line more than Hugo Cabret.
- Awesome pictures throughout the book, but I think I paid more attention to the story this time and less to the pictures, because I really wanted to find out what was happening.
- At the beginning I was a little confused by the two different story lines, but as the story went on it all fell in together to make a great book.  Due to the confusion I experienced at the beginning of the book I decided that my kids may need awhile before they'd get it, maybe I'm wrong and underestimating them- which is likely :). 

So now I'm off into October- I'm almost done with one book, and getting ready to start another, seems to be the story of my life.  I've really decreased my reading to the kids due to mainly my oldest reading to himself now and wanting to read "his" books before bed.  My goal for this month is to get back in the habit of reading out loud to both kids.  Need to find a good kid book- great excuse to head off to the library today. Happy reading!