Thursday, April 29, 2010

Living Vicariously Through My 3 year old

Some parents wait until their children are older until they try to live vicariously through their children, but I guess I get to start now . . .

Ever since I started running two things have happened: (1) My boys want to run with me and they want to run races and (2) After each race, my three year old's first question to me is "Mom, did you win?"

Since I just ran a race this past weekend, the boys have been focused on running. My oldest has been asking to run a race with me for a while and this weekend just renewed his energy to keep on asking. So I have been looking to find a 1 mile fun run that we can do together. While searching this week, I found a kids race that is not too far away. They have a Toddler Trot, a .5 K, 1 K and 2 K for the kids. J, my oldest wants to run in the 1K with my husband (parents can run with their kids), so I told K that I will run the toddler trot with him.

Now, since I told him about the race, all K says is "I'm going to run the race. Run fast. Run past all the kids and win!" I like his confidence. But, I try to tell him that it does not matter if you win or not, what matters is that you try your best.

Well, yesterday morning he added, "Mom, I am going to win the race for you!"

My heart melted! I guess he figures that since I cannot seem to win a race, he needs to take matters into his own hands!

I picked him up and gave him a huge hug!
And, I hope the little guy wins!

Monday, April 26, 2010

GW Parkway 10 Miler

This past Sunday, I ran in the GW Parkway Classic 10 mile race. This was my first race since my stress fracture and I was very nervous. In the weeks leading up to the race I began to worry if I could even finish the race. I was running, but really did not know how much my leg and body could take. To put my mind at rest, two weeks ago I ran 10 miles for my long run. I felt great afterwards, so I knew I would be OK.
Sunday morning I had to wake up a 4AM!! The race started in front of the gates at Mt Vernon and went along the Potomac River on the GW Parkway into Old Town Alexandria. Since the race was a point to point race, you could not (and would not want to) park by the start, so you had to be bused to the start. This race has several thousand people in it, and the buses take you to the start beginning at 5:30 AM. So, I had to drive myself to Arlington to get the shuttle to the bus. I was at the start by 6:30 AM (1 1/2 hours before the start!). Unfortunately, it rained pretty much the whole time. Thanks to my amazing husband for remembering the disposable ponchos we had or else I would have been soaked! I checked out the port-a-potties, checked my bag, and met some nice people. About 20 min before the race started, it stopped raining.
10 min before the race started, everyone began to line up. 3 minutes after the horn blew, I crossed the start line. Now, I had a few goals in mind for the race:
1. Stick to the Jeff Galloway method no matter how good or bad I felt
2. Not run hard. I did not want re-injure myself.
3. Enjoy the race and have fun
So, with these in mind, I started towards the back of the pack so I did not go out fast. The first 2 miles were nice and easy. I felt good and stuck to my plan. These miles were also, for the most part, slightly down hill which made them easier. Miles 3-5 were the hardest for me. My mind tended to wander and it seemed to be taking way too long to see the next mile marker. But, by mile 5, my body kind of went on autopilot. I felt great and I began running a bit faster. I am not quite sure what it is about that 5 mile threshold, but it all seems to get easier for me. And, in a strange way, prayerful too. Yes, running is a very prayerful experience for me. Miles 5 through 8 just zipped by and before I knew it I could see the Wilson Bridge and we were entering Old Town Alexandria.
Once I passed mile marker 9, I began to get excited. I could not believe how good I felt, that I had not had any pain in my leg and how much energy I had left. At the beginning of mile 9 there was a slight hill. The road then leveled off and we turned left onto a different street. Way off in the distance, I could see the finish line. It was time to pick up the pace a little. I ran the last mile conservatively hard. About a third of a mile away from the finish, I felt my GymBoss go off again . .. time for another 1 min walk interval. But, I ignored it. There was no way I would walk that close to the finish line (Sorry, Jeff Galloway!). The closer I got to the finish line, the faster I ran. I finished in 1:43:13. I was a bit disappointed in my time as this was my slowest race pace yet, but I did what I set out to do: (1) I followed my plan, (2) I felt great at the end of the race and (3) I ran the second 5 miles faster than the first 5!
And, what is even better, is I am not really that sore today. My quads are a bit sore, but that is it! Most of all I am just excited to know that I can distance run again!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How does this boy come up with these things?

Tonight, I was putting the finishing touches on dinner. I called the boys to the kitchen. My three year old comes up to me and in an angry tone says, "Mommy you better apologize."

I look at him, a little confused, "Apologize for what, K?"
"For making THAT for dinner!"
. . . I have no words . . .

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby A!

You are 2 today! I guess I cannot call you Baby much longer! You are a sweet little angel and are a perfect gift from God for our family.

You are a great little brother . . . J and K adore you and so do your mom and dad! You jump right into playing with your brothers as if you were as old as them. It is so cute to watch you try to play light sabers and to try to carry around a toy rifle that is larger than you!

You are my silly little man . . .

with an infectious smile!

I love you my little boy! Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The art of flower gardens

(This is a post I wrote almost two years ago! After spending a great deal of time weeding my flower beds, I decided to repost it.)

Lately I have really missed my grandmother. She died 7 years ago and was like a second mother to me. I miss her smile, her bright eyes, the way she would look at you and hug you when you left her house . . . I miss you Grandma.

My grandmother had the most beautiful flower gardens I think I have ever seen. I remember walking around in my grandparents' back yard surrounded by hanging flower pots, half-barrel flower gardens and beautifully manicured beds, one with a fountain in the middle. As a child I would imagine I was in a walking garden in a European country. I do not even remember a weed in sight . . . I think there was so much beauty there, that a weed dared not to spoil it.

Now, as an adult, with a house and flower beds of my own, I think back to my grandmother and her flower beds differently. I LOVE to garden . . . I love to plant flowers and watch them bloom. I love to plant new bulbs in the fall and, in the spring, I wait impatiently for them to come up and show their beauty. For me, this ritual makes me think of my grandma and I feel closer to her, like she is still with me some how. I work very hard on my flower beds, but in the end, they do not come close to my grandmother's. I am beginning to realize that growing flowers and having beautiful flower beds is an art. For my grandmother, the dirt in the beds was her canvas and the flowers her colors. They were placed perfectly on the canvas and nurtured until they created a beautiful ,breathtaking scene. Each year she would paint a new scene similar to the last. The colors amazing, the artist's touch, beautiful.

Thank you grandma for the beautiful pictures you created that are forever in my memory. You were truly an artist.

Monday, April 12, 2010

No New Taxes!

Our children have been getting a lesson in economics and on taxes lately. My oldest son was saving up money to buy a Bionicle. I took him to the store so that he could see how much it cost. He looked and said, "$12.98, Mom, I am almost there." I then had to explain to him that it would cost more due to tax. This launched a whole lesson in taxes. Since that day, my oldest has been going around the house complaining about taxes.

Then, over the last few days, my husband and I have been finishing up our taxes and also talking about going to a Tea Party Rally. My three year old must have been listening in on all of these conversations, because today at lunch, he goes:

"Mommy, when we get to the tea party I am going to yell 'I don't want your taxes. We have too many taxes already!'"
Yes, that is my little political activist!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our Trip to the National Arboretum

I feel very blessed. I live in the metro DC area; one of the best areas to homeschool in. We are a short drive away (as long as there is no traffic ;0)from the Capital, numerous museums, historical landmarks, homes of our nation's founding fathers, and many battlefields. But, just two weeks ago, we found a hidden gem: The National Arboretum.

Buffalo Grandma and Grandpa (as K likes to call them) were down for a visit. I was trying to think of a good place to take them. A place that they would like, the boys would like and that we would not get stuck in traffic going to and from. We have driven past the Arboretum a bunch of times, but I had not given it a lot of consideration before. It is not in the best part of DC and, from the road, it looks pretty bare. But, I thought it might be a good place to check out. It was a nice day and at least the boys would enjoy running around outside.

Well, it was a hit! There is a Koi pond (and you can feed the fish!). There are many walking trails (or you can take a driving tour). The area is beautiful!! There is a lot of staff manicuring the grounds and they are very knowledgeable (we learned all about a type of fern!). Plus, there are plenty of places to have a picnic lunch (so, if you go, pack your lunch)! And, best of all, it is not crowded.

We had a great time there and are planning another trip in a few weeks. So, if you are in the area, go check it out!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

While You Were Out

Well, it should be while I was out, but you get the idea!

Happy Easter everyone! So over the last few months, this is what happened in our life:

1. All the snow I mentioned here, has melted, the flowers are in bloom and we are enjoying beautiful 85 F weather!

2. My air cast is off and I am running again. I am up to 5 miles and I am using the Jeff Galloway training method. It is a run/ walk method and I am hoping to avoid injury. Surprisingly, my pace is not much different with the run/walk method than just running . . . many runners had told me that. I just did not believe it until now! I am also praying about running in the Marine Corps Marathon in October with the Run for Vocations team for the Archdiocese of Washington. There are a lot of "ifs" right now, so I am not sure, but I am leaning towards registering!

3. Our little monkey ,that finally started walking on Super Bowl Sunday, is now off to the races. Within a month of qualifying for the county's infant and toddler program, because he was not walking enough, he was discharged from the program. Now he chases his brothers around the house and outside!

4. Duke won! Yes, I am a Duke fan and have been for years. I think Coach K is an incredible coach with a great deal of integrity. I would not have been too upset if Butler had won. Normally, I root for the underdog. Just not last night.

5. I have a job, other than being a full time mom and teacher to my kids. I am now sub-contracting at Fitness Matters Gym as a Life Coach. I will have to share the story of how it all happened; it must have been ordained by God, because it is really coincidental how it happened. And, I will be working there as a Personal Trainer too! I am currently studying for my Personal Trainer certification. I plan to take the exam in June. Please pray for me, studying is going slower than I wanted. Plus, I think the boys have caused my brain power to be zapped . . . studying is not as easy as it used to be!

6. I am going to a nutritionist for low thyroid function. After months of being tired, moody, thinking I may be going through perimenopause, having difficulty losing weight,and having many, many bad hair days, I finally put all of my symptoms together and called Dr Mowry, an amazing physical therapist, nutritionist and all natural Dr. So far we have increased the amount of several vitamin/supplements I had been taking and added a few extra and I feel a difference already. My energy levels are getting back to normal and I am feeling better.

7. I had an amazing Lent and Easter. I missed blogging and reading other blogs at first, but by the end, I wondered if I should even start up again. I had more time from prayer, the boys and projects around the house. Taking the break really helped me to learn to manage my time online better. So, I am not sure how much I will be blogging and commenting on others' blogs yet.

That's it for an update from me! I look forward to reading all of your blogs again!