Thursday, November 27, 2008

Going down without a blaze of glory

Once I missed out on a day of NaBloPoMo I made my way down the slippery slope of "maybe tomorrow." Obviously that was a lot of tomorrows ago.

The recap:

I went to Richmond for the weekend to race in the NTelos 8K with Buildermama. She and the Builder family were there usual fantastic and entertaining selves. I love having friends where you can just go, hang out and not worry. BM says I was the one who was all into the race, the only reason was I felt like I *had* to do it since I'd signed up months ago, drove 2.5 hours and told everyone I know that I was doing it. The night before the race there was a 90% chance of rain and thunderstorms. During the night there were storms and we had agreed, lightning equalled no race. Race morning was warm--68 and 100% humidity, in November, go figure. We made it through the race. BM was having trouble early and since I'd practiced to run all 5 miles I smugly kept going figuring she'd catch up. Around the beginning of mile 3 I had some aches and pains and everyone around me was walking so I bowed to peer pressure. I never lost my breath or felt like my HR was super high, I just felt, well, lazy. I finished in 1:09 and BM finished exactly 2 minutes behind me. I should have waited for her, it would have been loads more fun to chat with her than to run alone. I endured Monkey Man's birthday party, the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the Badasses. The lesson, kid birthday parties are the same everywhere, kids, adults, which birthday doesn't matter--loud, chaotic and that is even before they get sugared up. Thanks to BM, MM and BJ for the great weekend. Love ya, mean it!

Then it was home for a week of the grind before my parents and sister came to visit. I was really looking forward to their visit and the Dazzle Dash. DD is a walk through the light display that is a lot of fun. Unfortunately my sister got the stomach flu and didn't get to go with us. Needless to say she was not happy about driving 5.5 hours to lay around my house and run to the bathroom over and over. We had a good time at DD without her, especially since we ran into several friends there as well. By the next morning Mom was sick as well. And, lucky us, they left the germs behind. Abby threw up at the gym on Monday night, Ellie threw up in her bed later that night and I spent yesterday running to the bathroom. Here's hoping that we can all keep Thanksgiving dinner down!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I feel blessed this year as every year for my family, friends and all I have.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Acupuncture Haiku

Ode to Acupuncture

Very fine needles
Make everything feel better
Thank you Mr. Don

After feeling icky most of the week I went to see Mr. Don last night and as usual I feel so much better this morning. Obviously there is a connection between mind and body and he is masterful at unlocking the energy that I manage to bind up and struggle with. Today I feel like a new person.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They Are All About Eve

Positive Spin Press has released three delightful books about a fairy named Eve. Winter's Eve, All Hallows Eve, and Christmas Eve all follow Eve the fairy through learning about traditions and helping other people. The books combine fantastic illustrations with rhymes worthy of Dr. Seuss to provide a great reading experience--especially aloud.

In Winter's Eve there is the celebration of everything from Diwali to Chinese New Year and Eve learns that each tradition is filled with love. If you have questions about any of the holidays discussed you can visit the dedicated web site to find out more. In the multi-cultural world we live in this book does a great job of introducing differences in a way that leaves you wanting to know more.

In All Hallows Eve there is a celebration of not only Halloween but Eve's birthday. While Eve is a masterful toy maker, she can't make candy. To cheer her up her friends give her the candy she craves and Halloween is born.

In Christmas Eve there are appearances from both Santa and Jesus. As in the other books the focus is on love, caring and giving. A beautiful story combining the religious and the secular parts of Christmas, this one is my favorite. (The kids, they couldn't choose just one).

Thanks to Parent Bloggers Network for the opportunity to review these great books from Positive Spin Press. The husband and wife team of Lisa Sferlazza Johnson and Tucker Johnson have done a fabulous job of serving up lessons about the world in a series of fun books with pictures that will have the kids opening the books to be read over and over (and maybe just look at the pictures).

Monday, November 10, 2008

It Only FEELS Like I Got Hit By A Truck

I woke up this morning tired. Wow, imagine that. Most mornings I get up, get moving and the feeling soon passes. This morning after much "snoozing" and finally extricating myself from bed I got dressed, got the kids motivated and made it out of the house only about half an hour behind schedule. I called Gman and told him I how I felt and that I hadn't managed to perk up quite yet. I got to work, got a few things done and realized my ankle hurt, my knees too and then there was my head. I promised myself that if I could just make it through my 1:30 meeting I would go home. And home I did go. To nap. I napped from 2:30ish until Gman came home from work. Then I had dinner with the fam and now I am back in the bed. Everything aches a little less after the happy ibuprofen pills but still, mostly like I got hit by a truck.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled reading...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Talking Turkey

My grandmother was sick one Thanksgiving and someone else had to host the family dinner. My mother, in a flash of brilliance took over Thanksgiving. In that one act she saved us from eating two turkey dinners every Thanksgiving. Instead, both sides of the family came to our house, one meal, everyone we love all in one place and time to go to a movie afterwards. One giant meal instead of two. Win-win-win.

About ten years ago, a few years after the Thanksgiving takeover, my mother got a new oven. A really cool Jennair with the grill on top, gas range and convection oven. On that first Thanksgiving with the awesome new oven Mom put the turkey in as usual except this year it was supposed to take much less time on convection. The pop-up timer wasn't popping up and Grandma kept opening the oven (hmmm and you wonder why it wasn't getting done). About this time my father decides to break it to my mother that she should be using convection roast, not convection bake. If looks could kill. I am not sure which was more likely, Mom killing Dad or pushing Grandma into the oven. Eventually the turkey was done and we sat down to dinner. I don't remember anything about that particular turkey or that Thanksgiving outside of the turkey debate.

Thanksgiving at my parents house is pretty much the same. Mom and a mediocre turkey, never enough mashed potatoes, a debate about stuffing in the bird or out, a selection of pies, and grandma's cranberry salad. The few times we haven't been at my parents for Thanksgiving I have put together a few of the favorites and even come up with a few new ones (try out the strusseled sweet potato casserole from Cooking Light sometime). Besides the food, the thing that ties all those meals together is family, whether the one I was born into, married into, or just joined along the way.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Butterball.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning up the house

I am having a jewelry party tomorrow and am trying to get the "quiet room" cleaned out. The quiet room was the former dining room that we've turned into the kids homework room. Quiet because there is not TV, no stereo, no nothing. I'll let you know how it goes.

I have grand organizing plans, not sure how far I'll get!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Its NAtional BLOg POst MOnth, you know, NaBloPoMo. Which means I am supposed to blog everyday for the month of November. Its nice to get back into the writing groove, I have been so busy there never seems to be a moment to think enough to write anything I want, let alone anyone else would want to read.

It will be a quiet weekend (I hope) here at HQ. Gman is taking his car for new tires so I can drive it to meet up with Buildermama next week for our big race. I need to run 5 miles again so I know I am ready for the race next week. Sunday I am having a jewelry party so I suppose there is a little necessary cleaning and cooking involved for that. Mostly I'd like to stay in bed and watch football--no birthday parties, no sports, house in a relatively clean place (thank you Miss Betty!).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Step Away from the Cookie

I am not a fan of store bought cookies. I can pass up the sandwich cookie, the chocolate chip cookies from a bag and even the perenial Girl Scout favorite Thin Mint doesn't do much for me. I like fresh donuts or danish but the stuff from a package, I can leave it. When I was offered an Oreo Cakester this evening I thought what the heck. Mistake. Big. Huge. Mistake. It was the right mix of sweet and chewy and none of the things that I usually think of when I think store bought baked goods. It was actually good. It made me want to lick the inside of the package to see if there were any of that lucious creamy filling. Must never buy the Oreo Cakester!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Running Thought O' The Day

It is really amazing to me how much your mind has to do with running. Tonight was my short run, 2 miles. It was dark almost as soon as I started but relatively balmy so I put on my shoes and went before dinner. I know that if I start off with a less than stellar attitude about a run it takes much longer to get into it and sometimes it just never surfaces, the whole thing is an exercise of mind of matter. On the other hand, some days, like today I was a woman obsessed, I needed to run. It was dark, there were leaves piled on the sidewalk, I really didn't care. I needed to blow off some stress, I needed to RUN. It felt good, the first half mile wasn't a struggle (other than half of it being uphill). When I got home I was sweaty and stinky but I was done and could actually start dinner without biting any heads off or feel like I was ready to implode.Nike might have been right when they said Just Do It, I can't say there has ever been a time when mentally I've felt worse after a run (or a ride or a swim for that matter) than before I started.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Finally, its election day. The excitement has really been driven out of me because the build up to the election has been so long and SO drawn out. Boobah thinks Obama is running against Michael Phelps, probably not a fair race here in the swimmers home state. She finally got herself straightened around and proudly declared that she voted for Obama as did most of her Kindergarten class. Abby said she voted for McCain because, clearly, he has more experience. Not wanting to quash her independent thinking but being a little queasy inside we had a discussion about whether all experience was good and what else she knew about him. Obviously she and the TV are close friends and one message rang true for her.

This morning Gman and I took the girls along with us to the polls. We were prepared, the girls had their DS', I had over an hour before they could be dropped of at today's camp (no school due to the election). My stomach dropped a bit when I pulled out onto the main road outside our neighborhood and saw cars lining the side of the road. Wow, glad I planned ahead, its going to be a long wait. I took my chances and pulled into the parking lot--score, good parking place! I met up with Gman who had an even better spot and we dodged the obnoxious campaigners outside of the school and as we rounded the corner we saw the line extended out the door and well down the sidewalk. Lucky for us we saw one of our neighbors who told us that the line was for the cafeteria and we were in the gym--no line. All of that planning and we were back in the car less than 15 minutes after we parked originally.

Since we had time to kill the girls and I stopped at DD for coffee and a donut for them (egg white flatbread for me) and at Target (which Ellie decided was spelled Tar-J after we were talking about it with the "French" pronunciation) to stock up on cold season supplies. I still had them at before care shortly before it started. SCORE!

So I may not have exercised my muscles yet today but I did exercise my right to vote. I've done my part, now go do yours and we'll wait for the dust to settle tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Torture of Going to the Movies

I am not a big movie buff. Its better in the theater than it is at home. At home there are WAY too many distractions, in the theater there is nothing to do (but occasionally check my Blackberry) but watch the movie. Unless I go with the kids that is. Today the girls and I went to see High School Musical 3 and I made three trips to the bathroom with Boobah and then the trip to the lobby to "discuss" movie theater behavior with her after she started a serious whine-a-thon about being hungry. I ended up on the phone with the boys at work during one of the bathroom breaks to try and straighten out something I'd watch unfold across e-mail all morning long. I did find myself noticing that Troy had put on some serious muscle since the last HSM movie, or I hadn't been forced to pay such rapt attention, either way I was a bit freaked out to have the thought go through my mind--he was born the year I graduated from HS. Talk about Mrs. Robinson!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Just" five miles

I ran five miles today, the farthest I have ever run. If you had told me a year ago that I would be running five miles and have signed up to run a half marathon, I'd have laughed at you, perhaps rolling on the floor while doing it. So now I've done the distance, I will head to Richmond to do an 8K race with Buildermama in a couple of weeks.

I've learned a lot about running: The first time at a distance is always the hardest. The first mile generally stinks (this is my theory on why I've never done it before). Some days, leaving the house may be the hardest part of the run. My worst runs are at races, I don't want to compete but it would be nice not to send my heart rate into the stratosphere and feel like crap. Some days running feels good and empowering, some days running is a battle of the mind over the body. The best part of running is almost always being done and feeling like you've really accomplished something!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mr. Rogers would love the people in my neighborhood

Halloween is always fun in our neighborhood, lots of people out an about. Some outrageous decorations. Some driveway parties where there a bunch of neighbors get together and have "one stop shopping" for the kiddos. But my favorite houses were the ones where there were shots for the adults to keep us warm and the house with a table set up down front with hot spiced cider that you could request "with" or "without."

Boobah is not a dog fan. Esmerelda's dog tackled her a few weeks ago and that has taken her fear to a whole new level. She about had a cow last night when one of the Dads brought their dog with him to trick-or-treat. She is the calmest, quietest dog ever an finally Boobah calmed down and decided it was okay (or forgot she was even around). We approached the driveway party house and Boobah refused to budge--there were dogs. We watched the dogs go inside and she was still reluctant to go near the house. Further up the street there was the most beautiful young golden retriever. Boobah protested but I convinced her the dog was behind the glass. Well she was...for a minute. As soon as the kid tending the candy bowl opened the door she pushed him out of the way and bolted out the door, across the street and ran circles around everyone. Boobah let out a blood curdling scream. One of the other kids, wide-eyed, asked what that scream was "it was spooky." After that Boobah was done. I walked her home to leave her to help Gman pass out candy. I also brought tennis shoes for another of the kids and picked up some liquid refreshment for the neighbor and I (this was, of course, before we found our party neighbors who were handing it out!).

Apparently Boobah got bored with Gman and headed over to "hang out with Mr. Neighbor." He is a quiet guy with one kid so I'd be interested to find out exactly what it is that she had to tell him and what rumors now require dispelling!

So here is to the people in my neighborhood!