Saturday, December 31, 2011

Long time friends are the best friends

I had the best evening last night!  A friend of mine from high school invited a bunch of us to a happy hour at his house.  Some friends were there that I have seen recently and some I hadn't seen since high school. 

I was a little nervous about going and seeing people I hadn't seen in years but my nervousness was stupid and not necessary.  As soon as I arrived, it was like we had just seen each other last week.  3 out of 6 of my very best high school friends where there last night.  There is nothing like friends that you have known for 20+ years.  Friends who knew you when you were young and stupid and had zits on your face, or a bad haircut.  Friends who have seen you cry and laugh, been there when you were fall-down-drunk or when you scored your first goal.  Friends who you studied with, partied with, graduated with, lived next door to.  Friends who have seen you at your worst and your best.  People who knew you before you knew who you were going to be, when you were unimportant, or broke, and loved you anyway. 

These are the type of friends that I got to hang out with last night.  Lucky me!  On my drive home, I thought (as my husband slept), why do I let these people drift out of my life?  It's so hard to keep in touch with everyone as life takes over.  Work, dinner, kids activites, bills, laundry, weekend and repeat.  You lose track of each other when we all get busy with our own things.  Some had moved away and then moved back.

I don't usually make New Years Resolutions, so I won't call this a resolution, but instead a goal for next year.  Keep these people close to me.  Try to get together more often and share our lives.  These people helped make me who I am.  I need them in my life. 

So you people--you know who you are--be prepared to see more of me and my husband and kids.  Like it or not. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Missed workout post

Well, here I am on my lunch hour, writing a blog post because I didn't get done with patients until 12:10, then my partner needed to speak with me about business stuff and by the time that was done, it was 12:20.  My next appointment is at 1.  It's hardly worth the effort to change, drive to Y, sweat for 15 minutes, drive back to work, shower etc.  Thus, I missed my workout today.  We are having friends over for dinner tonight so after work is not a possibility either.  Oh well.  One day will not kill me, right?

I do have a lot of virtual challenges coming up for January so I won't be able to miss many workouts then!  HBBC continues through 1/8 so I need to keep gathering points for that.  I also signed up for the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K (FYTO5K) hosted by the Boring Runner.  Basically you sign up on his blog, then on 1/28 you run a 5K.  Then comment back about it, post it on your blog, FB, whatever and you are entered to win some prizes.  He's from Arizona so that's where the thorns part comes from.  And anything below 50 for them is 'freezing' so that's how he can freeze his thorns in AZ.  I pray for 50 here in Maine on 1/28!  That would be a miracle! 

The next exciting virtual race I'm signed up for is KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge.  Karen over at Working it Out, has organized a challenge for her birthday to complete a 1/2 Ironman over a 11 day period.  From 1/1-1/11 you would need to complete 2100 yards swim, 56 miles bike, 13.1 miles run.  It can be done all at once, in parts, however you want.  1 hour on a spin bike = 16 miles unless you can show otherwise.  All those that complete the challenge are entered into a random drawing for prizes.  I can totally do this challenge with a little effort!  Finding enough time to spin will be a little challenging, but I think I can do it. 

Isn't this cake awesome?  I totally want this for my next birthday.  Or if I ever complete an Ironman.
Oh, and I stole it off Karen's blog....

On another note, I seem to be attracting a bit more traffic to my blog lately. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!  I love reading your comments and then linking back to read about you.  Whoever you are that found my blog by searching for "extreme things in ass" or "girls doing unheard things", I'm sure you are quite disappointed with my blog.  And I will not be linking back to read yours....  I'm not sure how either of those things are related to my blog but it was kinda funny to read. 

Are you signed up for any races?  Real or virtual?

For the bloggers out there, any weird search words or phrases that have brought people to your blog?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HBBC catch up

This post will serve as my public announcement of all the things I have been doing to earn points for the HBBC.  I have been very lazy lately about posting my points and what I have been doing.  I don't want to look like I'm cheating (even though I'm not even close to winning....) so here's what I have been doing over the past two weeks:

12/9 2000 yds swim = 5 points
12/10 3.2 mile run, 15 min stretch = 4.2 points
12/11 nothing = 0 points
12/12 30 minutes jump rope and 30 minutes weights = 4
12/13 50 min spin = 5
12/14 3.5 mile run = 3.5
12/15 20 min spin, 1 hour tennis = 8
12/16 2000 yds swim = 5
12/17 4 miles run = 4
12/18 nothing = 0
12/19 20 min spin, 1 hour tennis = 8
12/20 nothing = 0
12/21 30 min spin, 15 min weights = 4
12/22 20 min spin, 1 hour tennis = 8
12/23 nothing = 0
12/24 5 mile run = 5
12/25 1 hour of shoveling off ice rink and ice skating (shoveling is freakin' hard work! especially an ice rink!), 30 min of wii just dance (I'm counting it.  My heart was pounding and I was sweating.) = 8
12/26 2000 yds swim = 5
12/27 20 min spin, 20 minutes of weights = 3.3

+3 points for 3 days of 7 fruits and veggies.  (I'm not very good at getting 7 each day.)

This Christmas was one of great stress and a general feeling underacheivement for me.  I was not well organized and didn't have a 'game plan' so-to-speak.  Thus, I was under-prepared and kinda unsatisified with how things went.  Everything from Thanksgiving on felt like I was rushing and like there was not enough time to complete everything.  Then with the holiday being on a weekend day, that made it all so much more hectic to not have one last weekend before to complete everything.  I swear I seriously thought about heading out xmas eve at 7 p.m. to get to Target to grab just a few more things before they closed at 9.  Like more presents was going to make it all better.....

The kids seemed to be pretty happy with everything so this feeling that I have is something that I have given to myself.  I hope I can read this post when October rolls around next year to remind me to start planning and buying and making lists as early as possible. 

As usual, I am very glad that this hectic season is over with.  And so very glad that I don't have to listen to Christmas music for a whole 335 days!  yay!  I am looking forward to the New Year and all that comes with it.  2012 is going to be a good one!  I just know it!

How are you doing with exercise during the holiday season?

High on xmas or glad it's over with?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Few Tips

Today's blog post is going to be a little off topic in that it's not about my running (or lack thereof) or training.  In my other life, I am an optometrist and I'm sure many of you wear contact lenses so I thought I might share my view of what you should know about your contact lenses that your doctor may not tell you.

1.  When you come for your appointment do not change your lenses so I can see the clean ones.  I know what new ones look like.  I want to see what your lenses look like normally.  If they are dirty sooner than they are supposed to be, we may be able to change cleaners or lens brands to improve that. 

2.  The contacts from 1800 contacts and from my office are the same.  You can purchase them from whoever you wish.  The only difference is that the meager $2/box profit that is made either benefits your local provider or some big ass company in Utah.  You decide where you want your money to go.

3.  If you decide to purchase your lenses from some large box retailer (see #2 above), do not expect me to offer you free trial lenses.  Or exchange your old prescription boxes for new ones.  (My trial lens supply is based on the number of boxes I order.  Maybe 1800 contacts will send you a free trial......)

4.  If you are having an appointment for a contact lens check, please bring your contacts.  *duh*

5.  Tell me honestly how you wear/clean your contacts.  I will not yell at you if you wear them overnight.  I just need to know so I can recommend what is appropriate for you and your eye health. 

6.  Please, please, please, do not use spit to store/rinse/clean your contacts.  <gag>  If your choice is tap water or your mouth, tap water is better.  Your mouth is a cesspool of bacteria.  That you will then put on your eye.  (yes, people have actually done this.  In my office.  In front of me.  I almost blew a gasket.)

7.  No, not all cleaners are the same.  The generic brand is actually the old Renu (like 5-6 years ago) formulation.  Renu made it's product better for a reason, why would you want the old version?  Wal-mart, Target etc. buy the old formulation from Renu and mark it with their generic brand name. 

8.  Do not use Visine.  Please.  It sucks and doesn't fix the problem.

9.  Please do not get mad at me for telling you that you can't wear your contact lenses for 2 weeks while your eyes heal.  It was not my fault that you wore your lenses in the lake swimming and then wore them overnight and some god-awful nasty bacteria attached to your lens and gave you a red, inflammed (possibly infected) eye.  I want you to be able to wear lenses.  I make more money when you can wear lenses. 

10.  Yah, about wearing those lenses for 2 weeks straight......  You change your underwear daily, right?  Just sayin'.

11.  Those multifocal/bifocal contact lenses they advertise will not make your vision as it was when you were 20 years old.  What you are looking for is called the Fountain of Youth or a miracle and optometrists do not have access to either.  See your nearest religious provider. 

12.  I love fitting contact lenses to teenagers!  I love that confidence that shows up on their face once they have the lenses in.  They often follow my directions better than my adult wearers..... 

Do you wear contacts?

Do you have any questions you want answered?

The doctor is in--just until I get my running mojo back.  ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

What I Spend My Money On

Blog posts about running have become few and far between lately as my running has become few and far between.  I did manage to get 4 miles in on the track on Saturday while Manimal was playing basketball, but that was it for last week.  Ick.   At least my swimming and spinning are staying on track.  So as we all are spending oodles of money on presents that will get returned this holiday season, I thought I might share with you what exactly the average girl (me!) spends her money on.  Not in any particular order..

I'm going to skip over the obvious ones like mortgage, utilities, car, taxes, groceries etc.  We all pay for that kinda stuff so no point in going over that.  Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what I deem worthy of blowing my cash on.

1.  Going out to eat.  Our family is big on going out to eat on the weekends.  I rarely make any dinners at home on Friday and Saturday night.  After working all week and doing the homework, dinner, dishes etc routine Monday through Thursday, I just want to go somewhere and have a person put my dinner down in front of me.  Our favorite lately is a Japanese sushi restaurant called Little Tokyo.  YUM!

2.  Kids sports stuff.  Our three kids are pretty active in sports year round so this can be pretty expensive to  keep everyone going.  It's not a necessity, but it is a priority.  Basketball right now is just through the Y so that's pretty reasonable.  Field hockey in the fall was free for middle school and again through the Y for the younger one.  Manimal and Princess take swimming lessons at the Y and Princess takes dance through a studio, which is probably the most expensive activity of all of them.  AAU basketball will begin in  February and this will be our first year doing that.  I imagine that will be expensive just to get started--the fee, the uniform and all the travel.  Softball will be free in the spring--again middle school sports. 

Summer sports camps are wicked expensive and I'm thinking I might ask for grandparents to give gifts or money towards the sports camps instead of presents at birthdays and xmas.   They are at least $200/week for one kid and this year there will be 2 at field hockey camp, 2 separate weeks of basketball camp, 2 weeks of soccer camp and 2 weeks of dance camp.

3.  Race fees.  I actually thought this number was much higher last year but it's really a small expense totalling around $500 for the year.  Still an expense and one I don't want to give up.

4.  Workout/running clothes and accessories.  I have spent a bunch of money on running/tri/swim clothes the past year.  I do purchase everything on sale and usually on the clearance racks or at the outlet stores.  The only thing I have paid full price for was my sneakers and my tri shirt/shorts.  Even my Trek bike was bought used off of craigslist.  I have no problem with used things and I am always looking for a deal. 

5.  Hairdresser.  I used to spend much more and had my hair done much more frequently.  Lately, I just haven't had time to deal with it, but a foil highlight and then a cut is never less than $100.  I do this probably 3-4 times a year. 

6.  Decent shoes.  I don't have many pairs of shoes that I wear regularly, I don't care about high heels so the shoes that I buy have to be comfortable, practical and look good.  I also have bunions so I will often pay more for a quality shoe that doesn't hurt my foot and will last a few years.

7.  Charity.  I do make donations during the year to Goodwill, the Y, various cancer societies, the food pantry, humane society, Girl Scouts, the local library and other things that come up.  I should do more in this department.  We all can do better in this department.

This list got me thinking about stuff I don't spend money on.  Things that I find unimportant or will cut back on without a problem.

1.  A new car every few years.  Nope.  My van is almost 7 years old and I will drive that thing right until the wheels fall off.  It rattles, it's filthy on the inside, but it runs and gets me from A to B.  I don't care about having a BMW.  I love my Odyssey.

2.  Cleaning service.  I don't have a maid or someone to clean my house.  I used to, probably 7 or 8 years ago, but I just can't see spending $60 a week to have someone clean my house.  I can get it done in 2 ish hours, less if the kids help.   It would be nice, but not for $240/month.

3.  Nails.  I could give a rat's ass about having my nails done.  I have had one manicure in my life and it's because my maid of honor insisted that I have it done before my wedding.  Waste of money IMO.

4.  Staying in a fancy hotel on vacation.  I don't mean that I want to stay in the roach motel, but a Comfort Inn is just fine at $88/night instead of the Ritz at $300/night.  If it has a pool, wifi, and a clean bed we are all set.  In fact, the most comfortable room we had on our vacation was a suite at the Comfort Inn in Page, AZ at $80/night.  (Besides the Venetian....That was a pretty sweet suite...)

5.  Netflix/movies/DVR.  We just got HDtv 6 months ago.  Talk about cheap!  Like I'm going to pay for a DVR as well?  It sounds pretty awesome, but it's $100 for the DVR thing and then you have to pay for the service too!  I'm not home enough to watch tv now, why would I want to DVR things and then not have time to watch them later? 

What do you deem worthy of your hard earned cash?

What can you live without?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  I totalled up my entry fees for all the races I did this year.  I was pleasantly suprised to see that it wasn't that bad--$520.  I really thought it was going to be higher than that.  I think that by doing a lot of small, local races I was able to not spend that much in registration fees.  The total should be a bit higher for this year if I get to do all the races I want to.

Nor'easter Tri  $65
Bath YMCA Tri $75
Race the Runways 1/2 Marathon $45
Local Y 5K $25
Tough Mountain Challenge $78
Lobster Roll 5K $20
Rev 3 OOB $150
Maine 1/2 Marathon $55

Actually, doing the totals, it's really about the same!  huh.  Well, I guess I don't have to increase the budget then, do I? 

I just don't know about the Rev 3 OOB race.  I just got all nervous and scared just looking at the site to find out how much registration was!  My stomach got a little queasy just thinking about signing up for it.  I know I can do the distances, so I'm not sure why it makes me all nervous.  I am still worried about the OWS since I haven't really done one without panicking.  I would have a wetsuit and a bunch of other people around me so maybe it would be better....

2.  Random thought of the day.  As we were meeting with the accountant the other day I got to thinking about how many people get away with writing questionable things off as tax deductible and thus saving on taxes, when we are *squeaky clean* (as our accountant put it) but pay through the nose.  That led my thinking into honesty and ethicity (deep thinking here) and if I am as honest and ethical as I think I am.  I don't cheat on my taxes, I don't steal, so I think I am pretty good.  What do you think about other things like buying unhealthy items with food stamps or selling said food stamps so that you can buy alcohol or cigarettes?  Not good either right?  Ok, then how about redeeming an expired coupon and hoping the cashier doesn't notice.  (I've done this!)  Or, if you are in a store and notice that an item didn't get scanned while you are paying.  Do you bring it to the cashier's attention or not?  (For me, if it's in the store, I point it out.  But I would not go back into the store to pay for it if I got out to the car and noticed it then.)

Have you ever switched price tags on items to get the lower price?  How about bottles bought in another state where there is no return deposit and then redeeming in a state where there is?  Kramer did this on Seinfield--hysterical!  For those of you who don't know about this, in Maine we pay .05 extra for every bottle or can purchased, and then when you are done with the drink you can bring it to a bottle redemption and get .05 back. 

3.  Less deep thought now--I hope to finish my xmas shopping tomorrow.  I really don't know what to get the kids so it has been hard this year.  I have managed to come up with a few things that might suprise them, but nothing really spectacular.  They just don't need anything.  I don't know about you, but I hate to spend money just to spend money.  If it's something they need--that's one thing.  But this spending money on stuff they don't need and maybe don't even want just to have stuff under the tree, is for the birds.

What was the total on your race spending last year?  Any increases or cutbacks this year?

Where do you draw the line with honesty and ethicity?

I just had to come back to add this--I had an 80-something year old patient yesterday stick his tongue out at me!  Like nahh nahh.  Seriously!  He was mad at me because I told him he couldn't drive anymore.  I thought that it was pretty obvious that he didn't meet the visual requirements and hadn't actually driven in 3 years, but he looked at me and stuck his tongue out!  I laughed out loud and told him that was the first time anyone, any age, had ever stuck their tongue out at me.  We all laughed then.  It made my day even though he was kinda serious in a joking way.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

made up workout

Yesterday was another day of craziness--oh how I hate Mondays.  We had scheduled a meeting with the accountant to discuss our tax options (how's that for a bunch of fun?), which if you are wondering, are pay more or pay more.  Anyhoo, that was scheduled at lunch time which is normally MY TIME.  That is the time when I workout by spinning and/or tennis.  On Mondays it is for 90 minutes.  Of course, the meeting took the full 90 minutes so that equals no exercise for me.  Which doubly stinks because I had no exercise on Sunday due to the Rockettes adventure. 

Do you ever feel like you are going to get fat overnight if you miss one workout, let alone two in a row???  Well, that's how I was feeling mid-day yesterday.  Gross, lazy and fat.  (none of which I am, but that doesn't change how I felt.)

This was me yesterday.

 I hurried home so that I could grab the kids and head to the pool for some laps while they played in the small pool.  When we arrived, Manimal had, of course, left his swimsuit at home.  He had his towel but was messing around and dropped his swimsuit.  Ugh.  Then we found out that the small pool was closed for swimming lessons and the big pool had only 3 lanes open and only for lap swim.  Fine for me, but not good for the kids.  All four of us loaded back into the car to go home and eat. 

Yah, right.  Eating will make me feel better.  Not.

I hate a plate full of vegetables and small helping of steamer clams.  Yum!  What a treat in the middle of the winter.  They were so good!  I thought about going for a run, but it was so dark and I really didn't feel like heading out down our lonely road.  So instead, I grabbed the kids jump rope and headed out to the deck.  Soon enough all 3 kids were outside jumping rope with me!  Ha!  Exercise masqueraded as fun!  Everyone but Manimal (who is 6) was much better at jumping rope than I was.  Both the girls had done jump rope club last spring and they are really quite good now.  Manimal was actually pretty good too--he and I were probably about the same ability.....  I will say that I didn't have the right sized rope for me, so I'm sure that played a role.  The shorter rope kept hitting my head and hood and the longer one kept getting tangled so I couldn't swing too fast. 

We all did 30 minutes of rope jumping and then we came inside and did planks and weights.  So I managed to squeak in 1 hour of some sort of exercise.  Now I won't have a big fat zero for my HBBC points for the day.  It's not my usual 6-9 points but a 4 is better than nothing.  And since I did weights yesterday, I can use my whole lunch hour today for cardio and really get my sweat on.  Then maybe, I will feel normal again.

Ever miss a workout and feel like Jabba the Hut?

Have you ever jumped rope for exercise?  It's harder than you think....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mice, Bon-Bons and Rockettes

This was once jam-packed weekend of dance!  Holy moly!  It all started Friday night with dress rehersal for The Tap Nutcracker that Princess' Dance Studio was putting on.  Dress rehersal was supposed to start at 3:30.  Well, our school doesn't get out until 2:40 and we live at least 1 hour away from the auditorium where the recital was being held.  Obviously, we were going to be late.  But not really, because they are always running behind.  So we arrive at 4 and they are just starting to pass out the costumes.  Our group didn't actually get on stage until 6:00 p.m.  Ugh.  And of course, we had two pieces to rehearse.....  Finally we were finished at 7:45.  Long frickin' night.

Oh, I forgot to mention that on the way to the dress rehersal, my husband calls me to tell me that he totalled his car in an accident on his way home.  Thankfully, he and everyone else involved was not hurt, but his car is pretty much toast. 

Yes, he got out of that without an injury.  Hard to believe huh?  Volvo's are one tough car.  Thankfully, we have another vehicle for him to drive while we deal with the insurance stuff on this one.

We were up and at 'em for basketball at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.  I managed to squeak in 3.2 miles on the track while Manimal had his basketball.  I ran 2 miles and then did 1 mile of alternating laps of sprint then jog.  I never sprint and I probably should do it more because I was sore yesterday and still sore today!  One fun thing--there were two guys doing some sort of physical fitness test for police or coast guard on the track with me.  I had already done one mile and then they joined me.  I was ahead of one the whole time (hee hee).  The other started out fast but by the end of his first mile and my second mile, I had lapped him and was working on lapping him a second time.  (heehee)  Chicked at the track! 

We had two shows of The Tap Nutcracker on Saturday.  The show was really great!  Princess was a mouse and a bon-bon.  Here is a pic of her dance group as mice.  Princess is on the right end in the back.

Pretty darn cute huh?  They did such a great job!  In the second act, they were bon-bons that come out from under Mother Ginger's dress.  "Mother Ginger" was actually a dad on stilts in a big striped dress!  That was pretty funny/cute as well.  Here's a bon-bon pic of them getting ready:

Patiently waiting for face glitter!

So far this is my favorite show.  I love that the older girls dance with the younger girls.  Obviously, they do pieces by themselves, but some scenes have 2 or 3 different levels of dance all tapping together.  And you know what a treat it is for younger students of anything to work with the older students.  I can't wait to get the DVD!

The last act of our weekend was taking our Girl Scout troop to Boston to see the Rockettes Christmas Show at the Wang Theater.  That was a great show as well.  It was a long day--3 hour drive each way! but we survived it and had a great time.  Thank you Girl Scouts for the discounted tickets.  It made up for the $30 parking fee.  Don't I love Boston!  :)  $30 parking, $5 coffee, buying a token to 'unlock' the bathroom...  I so miss Boston in some ways, and in some ways I don't miss it at all. 

No Christmas shopping done at all this weekend.  Eek.  Here's to hoping that I get some gifts purchased.

How's your shopping going?

Any Nutcracker/Rockettes shows in your future?

Chick any men lately?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  My house is under contract.  Yay!  We have finalized the last of the contingencies.  Double Yay!  Barring some national emergency we should be able to close before or around Christmas.  Triple Yay!  This is a large relief for me.  It cost us a little more after the inspection to fix a few things, but it is worth it to not have to heat that empty house for the winter. 

2.  The last of the UFB pie is finally finished.  Thank goodness I don't have that hanging over my head, taunting me at night.  I should've just eaten it in one sitting and been done with it!  Combine that pie with the less-than-stellar exercise week I am having and my pants should be a little tight in no time.  Oh how I hate the holidays and all that goes with it (food, darkess, busy schedules, stress, recitals etc etc).

Any day now the gifts from patients and area ophthalmologists should be rolling in.  This means a plethora of food in the staff kitchen from now until 12/25.  Previous years have included:  fudge, whoopie pies (of every flavor you could imagine), peanut brittle, crackers, cheese, the occasional fruit, chocolate chip cookies.  Everyone is plotting against me in my quest to be healthy!   I must stand strong!

3. I just purchased my Team Tough Chik uniform.  (uniform?  Is that what you call it?)  I decided to go with the triathlon package.  I really liked the tri tank better than the running shirts, so that's what I went with.  I will be getting a tri tank, tri shorts, t-shirt and visor.  I'm so psyched!  I can't wait until this stuff arrives in March.   I then got to thinking about what races I'd like to do next year.  I want to do the two tri's I did last year--Nor'easter Tri and the Bath Y tri.  These are both sprint tris.  I also want to do the Tough Mountain Challenge, Maine 1/2 Marathon and many of the local 5K races I did last year.  I have in the back of my mind that I would like to do a Olympic length tri, and Maine has a few, but Rev 3 is having a race in Maine this year--right here in Old Orchard Beach.  This might be too good to pass up as my first olympic tri.  I just don't know if I can get over my OWS fear.  What a spectacular race for my first one.  Suck it up, buttercup. 

Any race plans for next year?

Are you on team Tough Chik?

Any UFB pie you need to finish up?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Busy A** Weekend/November Review

I had every intention of writing up my monthly totals on Thursday like I said I was going to, but work and life got in the way and it didn't happen.  Friday came and I wasn't working so I wasn't near the computer.  Thus, no report.  That night we took 8 Girl Scouts up to the Children's Museum in Bangor for a sleepover.  I'm not sure why it's called a sleepover, because in fact, there was very little sleeping going on.  Bedtime was at 10:00 p.m. which really was closer to 10:30, which then was even later because of the excellent planning of a decorated cupcake snack at 9:30.  Hmmmm.   Again, I don't believe they expect any actual sleep to occur. 

Once the girls finally quieted down, it was the perfect time for my king-sized inflatable bed to begin to deflate.  I knew that one side of the bed might deflate because of the cats playing on it this summer.  But, I did not realize that the entire bed was full of tiny little cat-claw holes.  This makes for excellent sleeping conditions.  (In case you didn't know.) 

Despite the no-sleep, this event was pretty fun.  I think all the girls had a good time.  Ooohh--I almost forgot!  The girls got to make cricket houses.  Complete with crickets!   Yes, we are now the proud parents to 6 crickets.  I do realize that most people spend many hours trying to rid their house of crickets, but those people are not parents to Girl Scouts who went on this sleepover....  (my co-leader did mention that her girls' crickets might accidentally end up near their chicken coop.  oops!)

Saturday and Sunday I got to enjoy a total of 8 hours of continuting education--which thankfully, completes my requirements for this year.  25 hours of class done until 2012, when I get to do it all again. 

So here goes my monthly tally:

Miles Run:  38  Wow.  This is more sucktastic than I realized.  The never ending darkness that is New England right now, has really taken it's toll on my ability to fit in runs.  We start to get longer days on 12/21--not too much longer now!  Of course, it will be a snowy, icy mess then.  I guess I'm going to have to re-find the indoor track.  Gak.  I feel like a hamster on its wheel. 

Swim:  9000 yds  The kids are loving the new pool which makes it really easy to get there to swim.  Lately, I've been able to make it 2 times a week!  Which equal out to 2.5 miles each week!  I'll be in that 100  mile club in no time!  I need to have some plan with my swim training now.  Maybe add in some speed workouts and technique practice.  Google, here I come!

Spin Minutes:  200  Nice job!  A little bit up from last month.  I wish I could say this was an actual spin class, but no.  The lunch time class is gone.  <cries tear>  This is me alone on the spin bike.  I should get bonus points for this......

Tennis:  6 hours played.  Thanksgiving messed this up a little because Thursday is a tennis day, but 5 hours is still nice.  We do that cardio tennis class--a la Anna on The Biggest Loser.  Those folks don't realize how lucky they were to have Anna run a cardio tennis class for them.  I am so jealous.  Not jealous enough to gain 100 lbs to get on the show, but still jealous. 

Weight Training Minutes:  65  Miss consistency here. 

Races:  None this month.  Wanted to do a Turkey Trot but took advantage of the sleeping-in time instead.

Current Indulgence:  Un-freakin-believable (UFB) chocolate cream pies.  We made it for Thanksgiving--ours was not the UFB one, more like the instant pudding and cool whip kind but we had two!  The UFB one is one I picked up yesterday on the way home from the Girl Scout sleepover.  There is this truck stop called Dysarts and they make the biggest, tastiest and not that expensive pies.  Since I was driving right by, it seemed stupid to not stop and get a pie!  I only wish I had thought to grab some homemade bread and rolls too.  Duh!

Current Book:  I'm reading that book of running that I posted about a week or two ago.  I read a chapter here and there.  I now have to try to read Little Bee again as a patient of mine had rave reviews about it.  I tried once and it didn't hold my interest but I'm going to try again on her recommendation.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Current Obsession:  The sale of our other house.  What a freakin' PIA that is.  I am so sick of the crap that we need to deal with from the inspection.  Radon, furnace, septic arrrrrgh!  I just want this damn thing sold already!

Current Song:  Dedication to My Ex by Lloyd and Andre 3000.  Clean version of course.  In fact, I'm a little shocked about the not-clean version.....

One more small thing before I wrap up this post.  It's hard to believe, but the winners of the Chica Bands giveaway did not contact me so I have to pick two more.  The new winners are Terzah and Carrie from Maine Mom on the Run!  Yay to you guys!  Shoot me your info and which bands you want and I'll send that along to the Chica Bands ladies!  My email is  Congratulations!!  Oh, yes and Christi gets the nuts! 

Did you sleep on the floor this weekend?

How was your monthly totals for November?  Better or worse than you hoped for?

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!