Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Overwhelmed and Versatile Blogger

I am officially overwhelmed right now.  I should expect that it's going to happen, because it does every year around the holidays.  This time of year always makes me anxious and stressed.  There is so much pressure to do and spend, it just makes me crazy.  Christmas cards, presents for kids that have everything they need and most everything they want, gifts for relatives, dance recitals, Christmas parties, continuing education and end of year tax stuff.  Top that off with business being slow (like it always is in December and January), and dealing with the home inspection for our under-contract house and it makes a great combination for one stressed out me. 

I know this will get better, because it always does, it's just the trudging through this season that is diffucult for me.  I need to refocus on the giving part of the holiday--not so much the spending part.  My world will not end if the xmas cards are not out until the week before xmas.   Those bills will still be there next month and I can catch up then--I'm not heading to poverty tomorrow.   SUAR's post the other day was timely and gave me some great ideas on how to focus on others during this season.  Small things matter and are sometimes more appreciated than the big, expensive things.

Now on to a more fun topic--Carrie from Maine Mom on the Run has tagged me with the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thanks Carrie!

So now I get to share with you 7 things about me and then tag others so that they can share as well.  I'm not sure that I have 7 worthwhile things to share, but here goes!  And I know I can't top Carrie's senior photo--so I won't even try!  lol!

1.  As you may have guessed from the start of this blog--I am a Grinch.  I dislike the the holiday season.  In fact, I dislike almost everything about it.  I hate the commercialism, the music that starts in October, the gross overspending, the useless crap we buy--just to give a gift!  I hate that 80% (my guess, not a published fact) of America puts themselves in debt just to 'keep up with the Jones' at Christmas time.  I hate the crowds, I hate the swapping of gift cards--the list goes on and on.

2.  What I do like about Christmas is the getting together with family.  I enjoy buying gifts for a needy family that we adopt both at home and at work.  When the kids get older, I would like us all to work a shift at a soup kitchen or help with Habitat for Humanity or something like that.

3.  All three of my kids were born via C-section.  The first and the last were breech and once you have one c-section at our local hospital, all subsequent births are c-section.  Which was fine by me. :)  I was lucky enough to not have to face my fear of actually giving birth and pushing out a baby.  And no cone-head babies either! *bonus!*

4.  I was adopted at 4 weeks of age.  I have since located my birth mother who is about as French as one can be (French-Canadian that is).  So I am as French as my name might suggest.....  I know the name of my birth father but have not met him.  He doesn't know I exist and it would make things difficult for my birth mother.   And that is ok.  He's the one missing out. :)

5.  I hate confrontations and/or arguments.  Hate them.  I will avoid them at all costs.  I will often give up my position in order to avoid conflict.  Which can be a bad thing because after some time of doing that, I get really angry and blow up.  Then I feel better but then almost instantly feel bad about it and feel guilty for saying what I said. 

6.  My favorite color is red!  I never wear it, but it is my favorite color. 

7.  I want to make sure I visit Australia, Hawaii and Alaska in my lifetime.  I don't really care about visiting Europe, but would go if the opportunity arose.  Other places that I would like to see--Iceland, Figi and New Zealand.

Ok, so not so exciting, I know.  Now to try to find someone who has not already been tagged...
Lisa @ Getting it Done on the Run!
Terzah @ BQ by 40
Sarah @ Runner Girls Blogspot
Shannon @ Tough Chik
Carla @ Pierces in Bama

Feeling the stress of the holidays?

How do you bust through that feeling?

Hope your hump day is fabulous!  (Here in Maine it's a crazy 55 degrees!!!)  :D  Monthly recap on the agenda for tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Long Weekend Update/Cyber Monday

Ok, so Thanksgiving and the weekend following it are officially my *favorite* holiday of the year.  I love, love, love the four days off in a row!  With absolutely nothing to do, since I flat-out refuse to shop anywhere on Black Friday.  What riduculousness that is.  I don't care how little money I have, I will not ever wait outside a store at crazy-stupid hours of the morning to save $20 on a Xbox.  No. Freakin. Way.  I would rather pay more.  Or not have it.  I mean, seriously people!  It is just stuff!  It's not like there is a big sale on years of your life, or get-healthy-points or cure your diabetes!  90% of this crap you ran out to purchase will end up in the trash or at Goodwill 6 months from now.  Good thing it was $10 cheaper.....  And so begins my hating of the Christmas holiday and the disgusting consumerism that goes with it.

Anyhoo, I loved having four days off!  It was great!  We ate, we played, we exercised and with no work in sight, it was awesome!  I think I got a really good start to the HBBC (Holiday Booty  Buster Challenge).  Here is the week's recap:

11/19--5 miles run = 5 points
11/20--1000 yds swim = 3 points
11/21--30 min spin + 20 min weights/stretch = 4
11/22 rest
11/23--30 min spin + 20 min weights/stretch = 4
11/24--6 miles run = 6
11/25--2000 yds swim = 6
Plus 1 point for a day of 7 fruits/vegetables. 

I'm pretty sure I won't win anything, but I do like keeping track and trying to accumulate as many points as possible for exercise and healthy eating.  You can still join in as a late sign up!  You won't be eligible for prizes, but the real prize is the healthier you!

I do not participate in Black Friday, however, I do enjoy Cyber Monday! (and small business Saturday--since I own a small business and all...)  Cyber Monday has been my time to grab good deals on mostly American Girl Doll stuff as this seems to be the only time of the year their stuff goes on sale.  So I got my ass up at 4:00 a.m. to look on the website to see what was on sale this year.  Previous years I have gotten beds, outfits, strollers etc. but I had to get up early so I could get through on the computer.  This year, there was really nothing good.  What a bummer.  All the stuff Princess wants is not on sale.  Figures.  So, I wasted about 4 minutes of sleeping time to check.  Back to bed I went.  I'm going to try to get a few things from Dick's later on for Manimal and Hubby and maybe some clothes for the girls. 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and didn't mess up your training/exercise schedules too much with all the good food!

How is your holiday shopping going?  Black Friday?  Cyber Monday?

Are you doing your own HBBC?  How is that going?

Still no word on my two winners of the Chica Bands--Stacey L and Sara.  If no one responds by Wed, I'll pick two new winners.  Also, I'm still giving away a can of Chocolate Dipped Peanuts--so far Christi is the lone entry!  They are from Girl Scouts and are yummy so enter here by Wed or Christi gets them!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble gobble and two winners!

As I sit here on the couch in a post-turkey coma, messing around on the computer, I remembered that today is the day that I choose the winners for the Chica Bands giveaway!  Before I get to the winners, I join the rest of the world and share with you what I am thankful for today.

1.  My family--my husband and my kids are the reason I do everything I do (well, most everything).  It's hard to imagine what my life would be like without them in it.  Pretty sad and lonely for sure.  I love them all and consider myself very lucky to be a wife and mom.

2.  I am so thankful for my health.  It is so easy to forget how important our health is.  The ability to walk, talk, think, see, smell, taste, run, breathe--all of it. 

3.  I am also very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend college and earn the degree that I did in order to have the job that I have now.  I am so fortunate to be able to make a good living doing something that I love and help others at the same time. 

4.  I am thankful to live in a country (even as messed up as it is) that is free.  Women have opportunites and freedoms here that you will never see in other countries.  What luck that this is the country I was born in. 

Ok enough of that kumbaya stuff. 

I am racking up the point for the HHBC this week!  6 miles done today.  I had planned on getting up for a Turkey Trot but the entire house slept in until 8:30!!  8:30!!  That is a freakin' record for sure.  Unheard of that everyone stays in bed, actually sleeping, for that long.  It's a Christmas Thanksgiving miracle!  So, since I didn't make the trot, I decided to do twice the distance on the loop around my house.  It was a little chilly but was fine after I got going.  Swimming with the kids and maybe another run is on the schedule tomorrow.  I could be in some serious shape if I didn't have to work everyday!  These 4 days off in a row really gives me plenty of time to do all the exercise that I care to do.

Sara and Stacey L are the winners from the Chica Bands giveaway!  Congratulations!!  email me your choice of bands (up to $17) and mailing address and I'll send the info along to Chica Bands.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Multiple Things Monday--Want Some Nuts?

Just a collection of thoughts I have had recently.

--American Music Awards were on last night and I watched, like I was a 17 year old.  I didn't know who half of the presenters were but I did recognize most of the artists.  Is is just me or did Kelly Clarkson and Christina Agulara (I can't spell that name...) look like 10 lbs of sausage stuffed into a 5 lb casing?  Kelly was always a little heavier but Christina was always a stick and now she is borderline chunky.  I wish their stylist would tell them that stuffing their larger self into a smaller dress does not make you look smaller.  Just sayin.

LMFAO continues to make me laugh loudly.  Their performance at the end of the show was silly and a little raunchy, kinda like 10-year-old-boy humor, but had me laughing and enjoying it.  I'm not sure what that says about me, but oh well.

--My house is under contract!  Woot!  We got the price we wanted and the buyer is really excited to get in as soon as possible, so hopefully, the home inspection will go without issues and we will be done with this before 2012.  I really don't want to pay another 3% to Obama's whatever it is that this extra fee is going towards.  The 6% to the realtor is enough.

--The trip to Goodwill with my Girl Scout troop this weekend was really great!  We learned a lot about what Goodwill does and how they help others.  As a bonus, my daughter found this little treat for me:

She saw it and just about interrupted everything to show me.  It was only $1.50 because those items with a yellow price tag were 50% off!  Ha!  How's that for a deal?  Sadly, I was about 3 steps away from getting an actual pair of UGG boots in my size!  A woman just in front of me picked them up for her daughter.  Crap.  I followed them around the store just to make sure she wasn't going to put them down.  I kinda have wanted a pair now that they are 5 years out of date, but I just won't pay $130 for a new pair. 

--I swam 5000 yds last week!  Wow!  It's so convenient now that my local Y pool is open again.  Not to mention the kids want to go swimming all the time too.  They are old enough now that they swim with their friends and I can just do my laps.  It's perfect.

--I got a 5 miler in on Saturday.  It was really nice out.  I do have to remember that I don't have to dress extra for the wind.  Somehow, the wind doesn't really make it any colder once you get going.  I overdressed a little but it was still a good run.

--I signed up for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge.  I had meant to sign up earlier, but just forgot so now I'm in the Late Sign-up category.  Whatever.  Basically, you get points for the exercise that you do and at the end of the challenge there are prizes for those with the most points.  Sounds like fun and maybe some prizes too?  I'm in.  If you are interested, head over to Run to the Finish and join us in the late sign-up group!  It runs until January 6. 

--I ordered a bunch of nuts/candies through Girl Scouts for my office about one month ago.  I didn't quite realize how much I ordered until the order came in:

This might be a little much for our staff of 12....  so I have decided to offer up a can of Double Dipped Chocolate Peanuts to one follower!  All you have to do is tell me what your favorite Thanksgiving Day food is and you are entered into the drawing.  I'll draw a winner on Nov 30.  So now that's two giveaways I have going on!  Extra enteries for the usual things--blog, fb, tweet etc.  Get entering!

--Lastly, I want a new look for this blog.  Anyone who has recently updated their blog look, please shoot me an email to let me know what you found easy to do or what troubles you had or any advice.  I would like to have a bunch of pictures at the top with the blog name embedded in them.  I'm not sure how to do that with blogger's templates.....  Hopefully, sometime before the end of this year I can come up with something new.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Glorious Friday!

Today is Friday, the most glorious of weekdays.  Doesn't just saying that 'Today is Friday!' make you feel awesome?  It does me.  Firstly, we got an offer on our house!  Yay!  Double Yay!  I hope this goes through and goes through quickly.  That would really be a weight off my shoulders.  It will be nice to have just one mortgage and hopefully, a smaller one after we roll the money from the old house into the new house.  Confusing, huh?  Glad I don't do my own taxes....

After I get out of work at noon, I'm heading over to our new Y pool to get my swim on!  I'm so excited that I don't have to drive far anymore to swim.  I'm also going to try to join the 100 mile club at our pool.  I have yet to sign up but I think that you just log your swimming miles and once you get to 100, you get to join the club!  I think you get your name on the wall and a t-shirt or something like that.  I don't really care about the stuff but I like trying to reach a goal.  I'll have to try to go more than once a week if I'd like to reach the goal in the next year.  Or swim more than a mile.....

We don't have much on the agenda for activites this weekend.  Tomorrow I am taking my Girl Scout Troop to Goodwill to donate clothes and take a tour and see how Goodwill uses the donations to help people.   A nice lesson right before Thanksgiving. 

I also plan on getting a run or two in while the weather is still cooperating.  The weather here has shifted from an unusual 55ish deg to the normal 40 deg.  But definately still runnable.  So I'm going to take advantage.

Are you a member of the 100 mile club?

Do you do your own taxes?

Sign up for the Chica Bands giveaway here!  It's a good one!

Happy weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WTF Wednesday PIG Edition

I really only have one WTF thing for today but it is a doosey.  WTF is up with men in prominent positions--football coaches/church leaders--molesting children?  I am talking specifically about the Penn State thing that has just been all over the media for the past few days.  I almost had to turn the tv off last night when watching the interview by Bob Costas with him.  It was really disgusting to hear those questions being asked and to have him hesitate and dance around the answers.  It was pretty telling.  I can't imagine why his lawyer ever let him give that interview.  It is pretty apparant (to me) that he is guilty as charged.  What a freakin' pig.  I mean pig, with a capital P. I. G.  I hope everyone involved goes down and goes down hard. 

And then, here in Maine, a prominent reverend of a church just committed suicide.  It was found out that an investigation had begun regarding his having inappropriate sexual relationships with children.  It is just in the media everywhere.  It really seems that you just cannot trust anyone with your children.  In fact, it seems that the ones that should be the most trustworthy are the ones that are doing the assualt.  I just don't get it.  How do these people get away with it for so long?

Ok, enough of that.  It is depressing enough to listen to at night, I'm not going to dwell on it now.  I only hope the victims get the retribution they need/deserve. 

So I started swimming regularly again and that feels great!  Especially as I can't get out to run as much as I had been during the summer.  I am an ok swimmer, I almost completed lifeguard training but never swam as part of a swim team.  My strokes are fine, but I don't really have formal training so I can't flip turn.  Someone had mentioned that I might swim more effeciently if I were to breath every third stroke rather than every time.  I usually breathe each time on my right side.  So I tried (last year) to swim by alternating my breathing side and I just about drowned.  I cannot breathe on my left side well at all.  I swallow water and then get myself all in a tizzy so that I go back to right side breathing only.  I figured what was the point?  I surely wasn't saving any time.

Well this last time in the pool, I thought I would try to breathe every other time rather than every time, but stay on my right side.  So it goes like right arm, left arm, right, left then breathe.  I would do that every other time and I was able to maintain that for 500 yds without fatiguing myself.  I think it might make me a little faster.  I'll have to time myself to know for sure.  Any thoughts on swimming and how to breathe?

Lastly, I really have no plan in regards to my training.  What I mean is when I run, I just run.  I don't really have a plan as to keeping a certain pace or trying to do hills or anything like that.  I really don't have any experience with that so I don't know what to do.  I wonder if I could do much better if I had some plan that I were following.

I just read over this post and realized that it has rambled and jumped around and is basically just blabber.  Sorry about that.

Do you have any thoughts on swimming and breathing?

How about a running plan?

Ever have a crappy blog post? 

Oh yah--don't forget my Chica Band giveaway!!!!  Enter.  Now!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tough Chiks Unite!

I've been meaning to write a post about the Tough Chik brand for a long time.  I just had to get the thoughts complete and compile my pictures before I was ready to put it all together.  Way back, gee, like a whole 8 months ago, I started my training for my first sprint tri.  At that time I ran across Jennifer's blog, and on it she was having a giveaway for a Tough Chik t-shirt.  That was my introduction to Tough Chik.  I loved it right away!  The styles are cute and flattering, but more importantly, I liked the message of  being a Tough Chik.  It sounds so cliche, but it really made me feel like I Can Do It!  I know I am tough in other aspects of my life--I've completed 8 years of college and received a doctorate, I run my own business, I am a mom of three, my house is kinda clean (most of the time) and my kids are well-mannered and polite.  But somehow, completing a sprint tri or running a 1/2 marathon seemed like something other people did.  As I did more and more running, spinning and swimming, I realized that I am able to do this, and do it well!  I'll never be Chrissy Wellington or Joan Benoit, but I can be in the best shape of my adult life (I don't count 22 as adult....) and telling myself that I am tough, has helped me when I wanted to stop. 

My girls, especially Princess, really likes being a Tough Chik as well!
Is she not the prettiest little girl??

Big Sissy has the same shirt and is just as awesome in hers!

I am addicted to this brand and have 3 shirts, multiple stickers and am now wishing for a visor!  Which I will soon have because I have joined the Tough Chik Team!  What a super idea!  I am so psyched to be on a team! (cause I won't ever be good enough for a sponsor....)  What a great way to get like minded runners/bikers/tri-ers together!  It's for everyone so click here if you want more information.

Run like you are being chased shirt.  Guess I should've put on some make-up.....  Tough Chik can't help everything.  lol

What I see each morning in the mirror when I get ready.

Don't be jealous of my know you are.

So I just wanted to take a post to thank Shannon for her awesome company and all the inspiration and drive it has given me.  I am jealous of her clever brand and wish I was creative enough to come up with it myself.  I want her company and brand to have great success and sell tons of product so head on over to Tough Chik and join the team or buy yourself an awesome shirt.  Shannon--you'd better let me know if you ever come to Maine, I'd love to help you promote your product at an event.

Shannon and Tough Chik did not ask me to write this post and did not compensate me in any way for my glowing report.  Although--you know my address if you have something hanging around you want to get rid of..... ;)  Size M.  Just sayin'.  The only compensation I received was the motivation and feel-good thoughts I get when I have one of the shirts on. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Post Full Moon Monday

Wow!  is it Monday for sure!  Last night was delightful with both my son and my middle daughter crying and not going to sleep, each for different reasons.  My son's stomach hurt but he hadn't eaten hardly anything so I didn't think he was going to puke.  He tried to poop but no luck there.  So we just had to wait it out and hope the vomit wasn't on its way.  Meanwhile, drama queen Princess, decided to rear her miserable side at 10 o'clock and 1 a.m.  Just at the same time as Manimal was needing attention.  Coincidence?  Not likely.  That girl really knows how to push my buttons, let me tell you.  She is the one of my kids who just will keep going and going and just doesn't know when to stop.  I'd tell her to stop and get back into bed and she'd say No! and cry louder.  Like she wants to wake up everyone else in the house.  All because she didn't want the cat coming into her room.  I can handle one kid crying at night (well, kinda) but two kids put me over the edge.  It was not a good night.

Now Manimal needs to be picked up from school--same belly ache, still no puke though, so I'm not convinced of the actual sickness.  We shall see.  I'm off to get him as soon as I finish up at work.  I swear, all hell breaks loose after every long weekend.

Oh, so I'll share an interesting story from our long weekend.  We went north to Jackman to go hunting.  No, I don't hunt but my husband and daughter do and the other two kids like to go so I go along for the ride.  It's not so bad because we stay in a cabin with tv, shower and toliet (otherwise, there's no way I would go).  Anyhoo, we are on the way up and we stop at KFC in Skowhegan to grab a bucket of chicken.  (Don't judge.  What else would you want to eat on the way to kill woodland creatures but a bucket of spicy, crispy grease-laden chicken?)

Now for those of you that don't know Skowhegan, it is not the nicest of towns.  It is basically an old mill or factory town.  Nothing special.  *Side note--New Balance sneakers are made here.  We go into the store, it is around 8 and order our food.  I carried Manimal because he had on his jammies and slippers and it was raining.  I put him down on the counter while we order and wait for our food.  I should point out that the counter was covered with dirty trays and old used napkins and such, the staff looked like they were just paroled from the local jail complete with Momma from "Throw Momma from the Train".  The floor out in the kitchen was covered with various types of trash:  food, plastic wrap, papers, napkins etc.   It was not the cleanest of places.  It's KFC--what did you expect?

Momma.  If you haven't seen this movie, it is freakin' funny.  netflicks it.

So the guy who ordered ahead of us decides to tell my husband to take the kid off the counter.  Not the employees, this random guy waiting for tacos.  Really?  It's not the freakin' Ritz Carlton.  It's a KFC and the place is a shithole.  I think my son was the cleanest thing in the place!  I proceed to take him off the counter and my husband and the man have a few words and hubs points out the garbage and shit all over the place and says that our son is probably cleaner than anything in here including the staff. 

I swear it's like random people just want to start up something with other people just to get them riled up.

Right, this is a running/triathlon blog isn't it?  Let's get back to that.  I don't have any races planned at the moment but I'd like to get in on a Holiday Themed race--like a turkey trot or Christmas one.  I'll have to look around to find one and hope that it works in with my schedule.

Our new Y pool is finally open!  It is pretty nice and the lap time is super convenient for me.  I can continue to do my noon time swim on Fridays like I had been doing all spring.  I'm so glad I won't have to drive but 10 minutes from my house!  We went as a family yesterday and I got in 2000 yds while the kids played with their friends.  I'm hoping that sometime in the next year or two, I can join the 100 mile club.  I'll have to pick up the pace if I want to do it in a year.  But that's a nice goal to work towards. 

Our Y's new pool!

Welcome to my new followers!  I am so happy to have you all!  It really makes me feel good to hear my phone buzz and see a new comment on my blog.  I'm so thrilled that people actually read my blabber.  Today's rant is just an anomaly.  I'm usually very witty and have super interesting things to say.  ;)

How does the full moon affect your life?

Do random people come out of nowhere to say things to piss you off?

Did you sign up for my Chica Bands giveaway

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WTF Wednesday Returns!

I am bringing back WTF Wednesday this week because a little news item that has been released this week is just too ridiculous to not comment on.

The Duggar family, (this is the family that keeps on having kids--they are up to 19) has released the news that they are expecting child number 20.  Seriously, Duggars?  Child 20?  I'm not sure what amount of children is too many children but I'm pretty sure 20 is way beyond that number. 

Is this normal in any way?  Does any culture of humans anywhere routinely have families of 15 or more children?  I mean, 10 maybe.  I don't care how many investments they have, how much goodwill stuff you buy or how debt free they are--it costs A LOT of freakin' money to keep that household going.  I mean lets just discuss the house alone.  My electricity bill is anywhere from $150-170/month for my 3600 sq. ft. house with 5 people.  If we just multiply that by 4 that is $600/month just for electricity!  And we don't have central air!!  I hope they are on a well for water--I can't imagine how much water they go through in a month or how much that would cost.  How about food?  My family spends anywhere from $150-200/week on food.  I do purchase fresh fruits and vegetables so that may inflate the price a little, but that's what my growing family needs.  I have never seen them serve fresh vegetables or fruit on their show, but let's assume that they have some.  Again,  based on my family's food bill, they should be around $800/week for food.  Let's not forget that they have at least 2 that are using diapers still.  Unless they use cloth diapers, that is another $50/week.  So, between food, diapers and electricity, they are up to $48k in expenses per year.  Good thing they have TLC to pay them 10K/episode or whatever it is that they make.

This family both fascinates me and drives me crazy.  I thought they might be done after the scare with the last baby, but apparently not.  Why not have children and grandchildren of the same age?  That way they have someone to play with, right?  I would probably be less irritated with the whole family if the girls aspired to (or were encouraged to) something other than be a mom and raise babies.  Not that isn't a noble thing to do, but it would seem like out of the 9 or whatever girls that they have, at least ONE of them would wish to do something else.  Wouldn't you think?  Can you say, Brainwash?  I can.

WTF Duggars.  Enough already. 

Is 20 children too many?

Wacked out family or just a bunch of folks serving God?
I think you may already know my opinion.....

"Help control the Duggar population, have your Duggar spayed or neutered!  Good bye everybody!"
Stolen from our local radio DJ

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Big Sissy!

Today is my beautiful daughter's birthday!  My first born.  I cannot believe that she is 12.  I cannot believe that I am the mother of a 12 year old.  I am not that old.  I can still remember almost every detail about the birth and bringing her home:
--The brownie points we got with the nurses and doctors when we brought in muffins as I was admitted. 
--The reaction to one of the medications I received for my c-section that made me freak out and grab all the IV's and try to get up. 
--The absolute surprise when they said "It's a Girl!"  I was 100% sure I was having a boy.  My mother's instinct sucks, I guess...
--Having her sleep with us for the first 6 months of her life.  (in hindsight, not the best idea...)
--Nursing her and having her grow and thrive because of the food I was providing for her.
--Loving someone more than you could ever imagine.

I don't have any baby pictures on this computer so we'll have to start around age 5 ish.

With her little sister

Loving her baby brother

First bird!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful girl!  I love you to the moon and back. <3

Monday, November 7, 2011

running in the dark

Well, I did it.  I ran in the dark.  First time ever.  I had to.  Well, actually, I didn't have to.  I wanted to.  I wanted to go for a run yesterday because it was so awesomely warm and sunny but we had so many things to do yesterday.  Sam's Club, groceries, Panera Bread, birthday girl shopping, take the boat of the water etc.  By the time all that was done, it was 4:30 and in our neck of the woods (since the stupid time change) it is now getting dark at that hour.  Crap. 

I was determined to go anyway.  The temperatures were so perfect, high 40's, and it was clear and getting close to a full moon.  What a perfect night for a run.  I got my stuff on:  running clothes, reflective ankle straps, reflective vest, flashlight, and headed out.  I looked like a crazed crossing guard.
Substitute the stop sign for a flash light and that's basically what I looked like.

I was a little nervous because we live on a private dirt road about 1/4 mile long, then you come out to another smallish town road that goes along the water.  I wasn't scared about something getting me, but just a little nervous about the dark.  There aren't street lights so the only light would be from my flashlight and the moon.

Once I got out there, it was AWESOME!!  I mean, really awesome!  The temp was perfect, the moon was beautiful and it was quiet and dark.  I think I ran faster too maybe because I was nervous, I don't know.  But it was a peaceful run.  I saw two cars and one other person walking.  She was nuts, however.  Fully dressed in black---um... duh! and not one hint of anything reflective on her.  Good thing we live in east nowhere and nobody is out after dark.  Because she would've gotten hit for sure. 

So my new favorite time to run is in the dark at night.  :)  Love it!  I'm not sure how I'll feel when the moon isn't so full and it's dark as a boot, but we'll do it as often as possible.  It's 100,000 times better than the dreadmill. 

Do you run in the dark?

Any advice for my newly found love of night running?

Be on the lookout this week for 2 reviews and 1 giveaway!  Good stuff is a-coming!  Happy Monday!!

Chica Bands Review and Giveaway!

Just about a month ago I ran the Maine 1/2 Marathon.  While visiting the expo and picking up my packet, I found a vendor who sold the cutest headbands!  I just had to have some, so we bought 3.  I got one for my race the next day and my daughters each picked out one.  There were so many cute styles and colors, that it was really hard to just choose one.  I used mine for my race the next day and despite the pouring rain, it held my hair out of my face perfectly!  It was super comfortable and I forgot I was even wearing it. 

Chica Bands are non-slip, nonbinding hair bands.  One side is the pattern--glittery (love it!), reflective, sports themes, colored, polka-dots, camouflage--you name it!  The other is a felt soft side that goes against your head.  The soft felt makes the band extra comfy and it doesn't slip at all! 

Here you can see the glittery and the felt side of the bands.  (You can see that our family likes the glittery ones best!) 

There are skinny bands and thicker bands.  The glittery ones above are 3/8" thick and the thicker band is 1" thick.  Both felt comfortable and held my hair in place while running.

skinny glittery black!  Please pay no attention to those god-awful roots.....

Princess sporting the 'Diva' appropriate!

Big Sissy with her sliver glittery band.  That she wears every single day.  Seriously.  Every. Day.

Sporting the hot pink camo band post-run!

We love the Chica Bands here at our house!  I need to buy more!  Next on my list is the reflective bands for my night runs and maybe a school colors band for Sissy to wear when she plays basketball. 

Here is your chance to win your very own two pack of Chica Bands!  Lucky you!!!  Chica Bands has given me 2 two-packs of bands to give away!  I know!  They totally ROCK!  Here's what you have to do and you get one entry for each:

1.  Follow my blog! 
2.  Go to Chica Bands on FB and 'like' them.  Tell them I sent you!
3.  Visit Chica Bands here and tell me which two bands you would choose if you win.
4.  Share the giveaway on FB, twitter, your blog--whatever. 

There will be two winners chosen from all the entries.  Also, if I reach 75 followers before the end of the giveaway, I will buy another two bands myself and choose one more winner! 

Even if you are not a winner (or need more than two bands.....) you can visit their website and purchase as many as you need.  Prices range from $12-19 per band.  If you buy three you can use the code CHICAFREE at checkout and receive a band for free!

Now go!  Enter this awesome giveaway!  Get yourself some awesome bands from Chica Bands!

Contest runs until Thanksgiving.  Then I'll announce two winners the following Monday.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Ramblings

Hello Friday!  It's so good to see you!  I feel like it's been a whole week since we have met.

Do you love Friday's as much as I do?  Friday is a half day at work for me.  I get to leave around 11:30 and then I have 3.5 hours ALL TO MYSELF!!!  All you mothers out there know what I am talking about!  Time to yourself is just the best.  I don't care if you are scrubbing the floor or running 3 miles or getting groceries.  If you get to do it all by yourself without anyone bugging you, it is just divine!  After doing some banking, my plan is to head home and get a nice long run in before the kids get off the bus.  It's sunny and 45ish right now so it is perfect for running.  I can't wait!  I've got to make sure I wear my blaze orange though--it's hunting season around here!

So I hear Christmas is only 51 days away.  I hear this because some crazy people have already got X-mas crap in their stores.  We just finished Halloween!  Seriously people!  I hate Christmas and all the excess and consumerism that goes with it now, please don't shove it down my throat any sooner than necessary.  Can we give thanks first??

You tell 'em, Turkey!!

Oh,  one last thing to share before I bid you adieu.  I found a yummy recipe in Women's Running Magazine.  Basically, it was spaghetti and meatballs but the pasta was spaghetti squash.   Here's the recipe:

1 large spaghetti squash
16 oz. ground turkey breast
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T Mrs. Dash Italian Medley Seasoning Blend
1/2 T salt
1/2  T pepper
1/2 T onion powder and garlic powder
1 14 oz jar of Ragu Light Tomato & Basil Sauce
1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400 deg.  Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.  Bake face down on a sprayed foil-covered baking sheet for 50 minutes or until you can poke a fork through the skin.

In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, Parm, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.  Form the mixture into 16 small balls.  (snicker, snicker  I know.  I'm a child.)  Place the meatballs inot a large saucepan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Saute until browned.

Pour sauce over browned meatballs and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked.

When the squash is cooked remove from oven and let cool.  After it has cooled, use a fork to shred the squash and place into a large bowl.  Cover squash with sauce and meatballs and eat with garlic bread!  yum!
Here's what the squash looks like after you shred it (in case you have no idea how to work a spaghetti squash......  I didn't.  lol)

I hate squash but this was good because it didn't taste like the squash.  It really just tasted like sauce!  What a great substitute for pasta!  I told my 6 year old to try it, it was a new kinda of spaghetti.  He said, mmmm smells good, and tastes good!  Of course, they all balked at eating it again once they knew it was squash!  I'll never tell my secrets again.

Do you love Fridays like no other?

Christmas lover or hater?

Squash or not?

happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October Review

Monthly recap, here we go!

Miles Ran:  44.6  much lower than last month but better than what I had anticipated.  With the weather/daylight change and kids sports schedules, I just don't have any time to run at after work like I did all summer.  Once basketball gets going, I'll start running during practices in the field house.  yuck.  But better than the dreadmill.

Miles Swam:  1  Ok, not great but better than the goose egg I had last month!  The new pool at our Y is finished and will open to the public on Saturday!  yay!  I will be able to return to my weekly Friday swims next week.  That will be good to add this back into my routine since my running milage is decreasing.

Minutes on Spin Bike:  185  This is up a little from last month.  Good for me!  This continues to be an easy, convenient way to exercise for me during lunch. 

Minutes Weight Training:  70 same as last month.  Consistent at least. 

Tennis:  7 hours played  This is way up now that my cardio tennis classes are back in swing.  It's not as strenuous as running or spinning, but it is fun and still good exercise.

Races Run:  Maine 1/2 Marathon

Current Overindulgence:  Butterfinger minis from my kids trick-or-treat bags!  Get those damn things away from me!!  I cannot stop putting them into my mouth.  Then I spend the next hour picking them out of my teeth.  Bad for body, bad for teeth!  Just say no!

Current Song:  Still loving LMFAO's I'm Sexy and I Know It.  It just makes me laugh. 

Current Book:  Nothing.  I haven't found anything I want to read so I haven't read anything but the current issue of Women's Running Magazine. 

Current Wish List:  My list is pretty extensive right now.  I need some decent work clothes that fit me, black dress shoes, dress boots etc.  (cha-ching!)  I want (but don't need) some new running clothes.  I want my house to sell.  I want/need a new car.  All of which I will be able to afford if my house sells....

Current Dislike:  This winter that has arrived early and the impending time change this weekend.  yay to the extra hour of sleep, boo to the darkness at 4:30 p.m.

Current Goal:  Try to keep my running milage up despite the weather/darkness and begin swimming regularly again.

How was your month?

Are you looking forward to winter or dreading it?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Not to Wear

I will have an end of month report tomorrow.  I forgot to bring my log book to work with me so I have no idea about my totals for the month.  I'm sure you all will be sitting on the edge of your seat until you can read my blog tomorrow.  ha.

Anyhoo, I have a few things to blabber about today so here goes.  I woke up this morning and went into my closet to find something to wear.  You can probably figure out where this is going......  Well, now that we have jumped head first directly into winter, it seems as though I have nothing but clothes from 1980 to wear.  When does that happen?  One day your clothes are normal, if not cool, and the next day they are outdated and frumpy. 



(I suppose that didn't happen in one day, but it seems like it!)  I have plenty of summer wear items that look newer and somewhat trendy but really nothing in the winter clothes department that even resembles hip.  I need a "What Not to Wear" intervention.  It seems as though almost all my clothes were purchased anywhere from 5-7 years ago.  Oh right, that was just about the time I had my second then third child.  I guess that explains a lot.

I went from at least monthly trips to the mall or outlet stores to bitching and moaning about heading to the mall once a year.  Only to further bitch and moan about the cost of things and how we have oil to buy and mortgage payments to make.  Because going to the mall means this:

$60 gas to get there and back
$60 at least for lunch out for 5 people (unless you eat at the gross food court, then it's only $30)
$80-100 dollars of stuff for the kids
kids hiding in the racks or running through the store while I try to find my size, all the while saying, Mom are you done yet?  I want to go to the Apple store!

which then in turn = $0 of stuff for mom.  And here we are at the reason for frumpy mom clothes.

There just doesn't ever seem to be a good time to go blow $600 on trendy decent work clothes.  Not to mention I am so over wearing heels and nylons.  It just isn't practical in Maine winters to wear heels and a dress with nylons to work, schlepping through the snow and ice, only to change at lunch and workout and get all sweaty to come back to work and put on the nylons and dress.   Yuck. 

Even still.  I think I need an intervention.  I believe it is time for me to purge my closet of anything older than my youngest and bite the bullet and get some new things. 

Cripes.  When did I become so cheap?  Being an adult stinks.

Do you have frumpy mom clothes?

How often do you splurge on new things for yourself? 
and I'm not talking about running stuff!!!