Friday, February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday: June 2009 Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jane

Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jane were visiting my parents this last weekend from Kansas. Last time we'd seen them was the summer of '09.

 Jeff is my mom's brother and that have kids that are all grown up now and on their own. Here's my mom and Jeff.

Funny, but I am actually the shortest of all of their children, with the female just a tad taller than me, and I learned the tallest "boy" is 6'10". I had always thought 6'8"!

They came over Sunday to see the Super Bowl and we all had dinner together, which was fun. Soren loved them, hanging all over them and wanting them to tickle him! They also brought him a t-shirt and this cute laughing cat.

Soren was hanging all over Grandpa too.
It was so nice to see you both, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jane!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Blog Address

I am trying out WordPress and have moved the location of my blog.
Please go to here to start following. Looking forward to seeing you there!

WILTW: Lots of Goodies

This week, I learned many new things:
1) Interval Training, while hard, can make one feel so proud of accomplishments!

2) I learned that switching over to WordPress could be a lot more difficult and time consuming than just staying with Blogger. It could have a lot of neat options, but with limited time, is it worth the transfer over? Does anyone know if there's an easy way to read others' posts from WordPress, like Google Reader for Blogger? When I realized all my "followings" didn't import from Blogger and that I'd have to resubscribe to all of them, I wondered if the switch is worth it?

3) When your son hits his Fisher Price t-ball set so hard the base of it breaks, and he loves to run fast, it may just be time for t-ball! (Enrolling this week!)

4) I learned that sometimes, some days, it is possible to just have crazy irritable days, for no particular reason. Pamprin, Diet Coke, and chocolate COULD help...they don't hurt, right?

5) You can wake and just wonder if indeed, you too, may just (but you hope you don't) get the crud being passed all around. Do Pamprin, Diet Coke and chocolate help with that?

For more fun, see Julie's blog.

What did you learn this week?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Did It!

Okay, it sounds so like Dora the Explorer, but I Did It! I did my Day 4 of the C25K running program yesterday, what seemed like the hardest day yet, and by myself. My running partner is from work, so Saturdays, we have to do it alone. Check this out:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Yeah, so I ran 16 minutes yesterday. I've NEVER run that much, ever. I could never even run a full 4 laps around the track in middle or high school!

Okay, so I'm proud of myself. That's okay every once in awhile, right? What I learned were two (actually three) things:
1) It really helps to have an iPod. I can't hear myself breathing like they are my last breaths.
2) It helps to have a partner, someone you know is doing it too. Makes you not want to cheat.
3) Self talk is amazing. "You can do it. Only 2 more minutes. Look how far you've come!"

With no intent to really have this running program take me anywhere, because I just started it to start back into exercise, who knows where it might take me? A friend today said I have to do a 5K when I'm done. Who knows, maybe I should?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WFMW: Weekends and Motivation

This past weekend I found myself highly motivated. That's not far from my norm, but my motivation to do chores in the early morning was high. Minutes after my son got out of bed, I had my first load of laundry in the wash (I'd even prepped it the night before), and shortly after breakfast, I was already dusting. Sure, we had company coming later in the day, so of course I wanted the house clean, but I had a moment (yes,  a moment), where I thought, "I should do this every weekend, get the chores done early and have most of the rest of the day, or next day off." I felt exhilarated by the idea, then realized that while I felt that way Saturday, I might not feel that way every Saturday.

What I realized that might just work instead, is to go with the flow each Saturday, and see where my motivation takes me. I often try to plan, plan, plan my moments, to get the most accomplished, when in actuality, sometimes the less I have planned, the more I actually get accomplished because I do things as I'm in the mood for them. I also find I seem to have more fun and am more in the moment, versus where I need to be going or what I need to be doing next.

Of course, while that feels like a revelation, and one I'd like to stick with, who knows if I'll really follow through? I always love great ideas to start with, but don't always continue with them.

How are you best motivated on weekends?

See We Are That Family for more of What Works for Me Wednesday.

WILTW: Butt Kicking and More

I wish I could brag and say I was the one doing some butt kicking this week, but honestly, I had MY butt kicked by this Couch to 5K program I'm doing. Ouch. My butt DOES hurt today.

That's one of many things I learned I learned this week:

1) After not exercising for several years, even just running 3 minutes at a time can kick your butt. I'm hoping days two and three this week are easier!

2) I shouldn't second guess myself on buying the next size up for my son in jeans. He's gotten skinnier, but definitely taller. He may end the summer in some great high waters. Hopefully other 3-year-old won't tease him.

3) I'm beginning to think it is easier to save money when you do Bountiful Baskets each week. It is so easy (and inexpensive) for side dishes of yummy veggies and fruits that all you really need is a great protein to go with it.

4) Blogging is super hard to keep up with when work, home, and family keep you so occupied. I miss being able to read all the great blogs out there. I started this one when I had some down time in the summer, and miss those days. Instead, I'm not trying to be hard on myself, and just post a few times a week, and catch up on a few favorites I read.

5) I need to give myself some downtime on the weekends, where I schedule absolutely nothing, on paper or in my mind, to just spend some great family time or downtime. It feels sooo good!

What did you learn this week? Has anything kicked your butt lately or have you done anything butt kickin'? :)

For me, see Julie's blog, always so funny!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wow, I'm out of Shape!

Okay, so I wrote awhile back that I was joining a friend in doing the Couch to 5K running plan.

I'm not sure why I'm doing it, except that I decided I really wanted to get back into exercising (used to be a huge part of my life pre-baby) and a friend at work was doing it. I thought I'd just join her one day a week. Well now, I figure in order to keep up with her, I should try to do the whole plan too.

The thing is, I aspire to be a runner, but I've never had the follow-through-ed-ness to do it. I always overdo it and give up. I'm more the hiker/biker/weightlifting kind of gal.

Anyhow...I decided to really join her, and this week did one of the sessions one the treadmill (probably not as good as real-life) and one outside. Today started week 3, and I had to walk 5 min, run 90 sec. walk 90 sec. ...then here's the big 3 minutes (YIKES!), walk 3, then do the sequence again. To jump to the end of the story, I did do it. I did think also that my heart was going to jump out of my chest and I probably looked really silly in those last 2 minutes of running each cycle, like a dying person trying to get to that imaginary water pond they are hallucinating.

But, I did it. And I figure really, I'm more or less a week behind my friend since she's done the full two weeks prior, where I'd only done 3 of the 6 days. It can only get easier right, and easier with a friend. Today I was all alone in my neighborhood, choosing my route trying to stay behind, and pick my path behind, some random man walking down the road that I felt a little uncertain of.

I do feel like I have more energy, and it is always a great feeling knowing you have exercised for the day.

What are you doing lately for yourself that you are proud of?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Meme for YouYou

Okay, my friend Chelsea, who is passing on this meme, says meme rhymes with theme. I'm so glad to see that, because I think in my head, I've always said, "Me Me", like "You You."

Anyhow, she gave me this award, and I am passing it on too!

Since it is a meme, like a carnival, linking blog to blog, be sure to go see hers (see link above). Thanks Chelsea, for linking to me!

Rules for accepting this award are:
1. Thank and ink back to the person who awarded you this.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward to 5 recently discovered great bloggers. See below!(If I don't mention you, I'm sorry, but didn't have an email address for you to ask if I wasn't sure it was okay with you. :))
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their award. 

7 Super Awesome Things about ME:

1. I used to do my best mental processing via journaling, but have since had to find other ways, since having a child. I've found I'm a lot closer to my friends in doing so, and love the ideas (and suggestions) they have to share about their own life experiences.
2. I like to schedule things. That's right. I like to fill in my calendar, know when I'm heading where, and what I'm doing. I also like to make and checkoff to-do lists.
3. I am double jointed in my shoulders. That's pretty awesome, or strange.
4. I really love my job and the people I work with (and have worked with, but work other places now).
5. I absolutely LOVE being happy. I used to wish for happiness every day of my life. Now, I guess I realize I can't always be that happy and I can't make others happy, so I just try to grab those moments when I can.

6. I need quiet time. Serious quiet time. Like a young child who has just stopped napping. I can't stand having my world full of noise.

7. I love being outside. When I am moody, the best thing I can do is just step outside for a walk or activity, or even just sit.
~   ~   ~
Ok… passing it on to some GREAT bloggers that you should know!
Sweet Peas and Buddies
Simple Organized Living 
Calalilies, my sweet cousin's blog
Foolsewoode, a great friend from HS
Spell Out Loud

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WILTW: Snacks and Other Things

I always struggle with a title for this meme, hosted by Julie (check out her blog). Sometimes the things I learn don't always fit in a theme. This week is no exception!

This week I've learned:

1. When you start having to pack snacks and lunch for your preschooler, your stash of snacks and lunch items seems to decrease in desirability. What? I only packed myself 1/2 a sandwich and an apple for lunch? Where's that vending machine...I should sneak over to his preschool and steal some of HIS great snacks!

2. Your child CAN want to eat all of the snacks you've packed him all at once once he gets to school, 'cuz it is so cool to have snacks within reach or something.

3. Zappos (I'm not getting anything for this reference) DOES have a great return policy, of free shipping to and from. My first pair of shoes didn't work out, and they are already on their way back to them, free of charge. :) AND, I already got my next pair to try, AND they shipped them next day air, FOR FREE (not sure how I got that, but no complaints here!)

4. Cutting open a green chili can cause you to have a coughing fit. Not once, but twice. Oh, and not only that, but later, when you are taking out your contacts, and you THINK your hands are super clean, there may still be some lingering green chili under your nail or something, because your eyes WILL let you know as they burn...

5. Best for last, I learned that a mom (or dad) should look at the price of a pair of shoes BEFORE their child falls in love with them and the flashy lights that accompany them (see below). $49 after tax later... (Guess I'm glad it was just Christmas and he got some money!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Does This Count?

So, I haven't had true exercise in THE longest time. Well, ever since work got really busy and I got sick back in May (just allergies/asthma). Today, I am going to join a coworker who is doing the Couch Potato to (something) program where you walk 3 minutes, run 90 seconds, or something like that, for 20 minutes. Hey, it is a start, right?

*OK-correction on that, after having done it...5 min. walking, then 60 sec. run, 90 sec. walk for 20 minutes. It went pretty well!

It seems like it has been even harder to get exercise in that my son is really too big for his stroller now, and I used to take him for walks, at least on the weekend. If we went for walks now, it would be either like a stroll where we stopped and looked at a million things, or a mad, marathon dash to wherever he chose to dash to.

One day again, I'll be able to get out my bicycle trainer and ride it safely (so he doesn't stick his fingers in it) or actually be able to ride bikes as a family. That will be great!

Until then, I have to find those moments of time where I can squeeze just a little bit in. It all counts, right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WFMW: To Do Lists for Weekends

Sure it is only Wednesday, but if you are like me, during the week you think of all kinds of things you need to catch up on on the weekend.

What has worked for me is to make a Weekend To-Do List, that is a general Sat./Sun. list that could get done any of the two days. It helps me keep track of those little things I need to remember, like mailing a birthday card, or taking a pair of pants back to the store that I didn't like when I tried them on at home, and I can cross them off over the weekend.

I find it important to do this, as those little things just seem to slip on by. As well, my list is somewhat flexible, in that if it doesn't get done that weekend, usually it can move onto the next weekend's list. The list isn't the normal "to-do's" of each weekend, like laundry and things I'll never forget about, but just the odds and ends.

What do you do to help you remember your to-do's for the weekend?

For more ideas that work, see We're That Family.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WILTW: Short Memory

This is always such a fun post to write each week. I should take some advice from Julie, who writes this carnival each week, and jot things down during the week to remember. Instead, it is usually compiled of things that happened over just the last few days, and sometimes hours. They say childbirth ruins your memory, but maybe it is just because you have more on your plate to attend to?

This week, I learned:

*Your child can wake you up from your own bad dream where ghosts are trying to pull you into a cabinet with his own monsters in his room (Are our dreams somehow linked?) [Last night]

*Your child can find that screaming/shouting is fun and draws attention, of EVERYONE, and won't be quiet no matter what you try (besides a spank, 'cuz I haven't tried that one...not sure on that one...) and you end up feeling like you have no control over your own, having fun shouting/screaming child in public. [Last weekend]

*A first dental visit for your child can be interesting, and you may LOVE the hygienist who is sooo cute in her magical way with kids. You may not like that they make the lobby so fun with toys that your child doesn't want to leave, but when he finally does, darts toward the street. Again, a failing parent moment as the old man with the dog blocks your child's way and glares at you and him as if you're the worst parent in the world. [Yesterday]

*When your child starts a new school, you may just be more nervous/excited than he is! [Last Friday]

*You may, after seeing some new blog layouts (Julie) want to switch over yourself, but ponder paying a monthly/yearly fee for it. [Weekend]. Love thoughts from people on this one!

*Getting little to no exercise in your life, other than chasing your darting child, can still allow your body to wake up very sore and make you think that that is exactly what you need, exercise again. [Ongoing]. I'm hoping with my son being so close to me now at preschool I could sneak in some exercise before getting him a few nights a week.

That's all I can remember, at least at 6:20 AM on a work day!

What have you learned this week?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

5 Goals for my Grocery Budget

I was reading Hummingbird Homemaking blog this morning and her post about focusing on 5 things for your grocery budget to focus on.

I love the idea, and someone named Ben awhile back commented on a money saving post I had, and gave me this link to spending under $100 a week on groceries, very helpful Ben, thanks!

For me, I seem to spend less when I really focus on looking at what I already have, like leftovers in the freezer, so for starters, here's my list:

1. Look in freezer and cupboards and plan menu (I already make menus, so that's good) around what I already have, leaving veggies options flexible in case I can make my sides from the veggies from Bountiful Baskets that I get each week.

2. Check the sales ad (which I already do) and look for things I need and/or regularly use and can stock up on.

3. Check my paper coupons and those online to match products I'm purchasing (I'm so sad that the store I shop at isn't making all coupons $1 anymore...)

4. This is in no particular order, but make a list of commonly used items and compare prices at Target and my grocery store to see which is cheaper. I did this after my son was born, but prices and products have changed.

5. Lastly, my son is now attending a preschool where I have to pack his snacks and lunch if I don't order hot lunch. I'd like to try for new and healthy snacks for him, as well as lunches, keeping in our budget, as this will cost us more each month (hoping to save in gas at least though, as he is closer to my work now). If you have any great ideas, please send them my way!

What are 5 goals you have for your grocery budget?

Friday, January 7, 2011

"What Do You Eat for Lunch?" Friday

So I was at this yummy outdoor, in a tent, off a lunch trunk place for lunch today, with a couple of other bloggers friends and people I work with. I had THE best bean, egg, and cheese burrito, and I said to my bloggy friend, we MUST take pictures with our burritos for our blogs.

So, here I am, with my awesome burrito (okay, so it is halfway eaten already). Dorky idea, maybe, but hey, I'm a dork sometimes, aren't you? Just wait until I link to my friend's post. She really looks like she cares deeply for hers, like she's posing with a special friend.

What did you eat for lunch today?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Back in the Groove

"G" for Groove.

Whew! After having two weeks off from work, I truly realize how busy a work week is and why the house gets to be the disaster it is. I LOVED the break because the house got cleaned, I didn't have to take too much time to tidy up, and I felt relaxed. The thing was, I had the time to tidy up each day, and put the dishes on the drainboard away.

Now, I'm back to work and it feels like things are stacking up: junk mail, clean dishes to put away (at least they are clean, right?), grocery lists to make, laundry to do....I wish every work day felt like a vacation day, relaxing, don't you? But that's just not possible.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it takes a certain mindset to keep sane in all the chaos and busy-ness. I have to tell myself that this just is the way it is, and move ahead.

For instance, we used to put my son to bed and be able to watch a 7 o'clock show. Now he's not down until almost 8 and doesn't go to sleep until about 8:45, calling out every 10 minutes or so for something or another, "I finished this book...want another!" "My tummy hurts. Need kiss." "Mommy, I don't want you to come...(though that's what he wants). That's a new normal and I just mentally need to accept it, be happy in it, and move on, because my son is awesome and healthy, and I have a lot to appreciate. Even if I can't watch a show even at 8 o'clock now, without pushing pause every so often to see what he needs. I know, I could be the meanie Mommy and tell him, "Go to sleep or else," but he's just not tired it seems, and truly enjoys the downtime in his room by himself, even if he has to check in from time to time.

My son is starting a new preschool tomorrow and I am excited for him. We went to tour it Tuesday and he didn't want to leave! He kept saying, "No leave Mommy. This is MY school!" I think he's going to love it. It will set us into another new normal though, in that I'll actually get to leave a little later each morning. It is attached to where I work, which will be WONDERFUL, and also different, in that I used to run errands before I picked him up, and now, well, we will be a team! I realize in all of this that I think he is ready for such adventures, and a lot more responsible than he once was, when he would take off in the blink of an eye. I'm actually REALLY enjoying him at this age (3 years and 2 months). He understands expectations, we can talk about things, it is a blast.

So while I'm getting back into the groove this week, I'll be getting in new grooves, with the new preschool and expectations, making school lunches and snacks. It is all really pretty exciting.

What kind of new grooves are you going through right now?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WILTW: Sleep

SLEEP.....beautiful sleep. You'd think once your child was three you'd get some. I found over the last week, two different nights, that that just isn't the case. One bad dream, a call to his room, a request for another story.

Back to bed for Mom. 10 minutes later another call, because he wants a different book from the shelf or a certain toy to play with (at 2 AM). Yes, my son sleeps with the lights dimmed because he's afraid of the dark, so he can see all those temptations.

Need I also share that we had company just arrive at 12:15 AM that morning who had just settled in, so I couldn't just let him call out and ignore him?

Soon, Mom (that's me) crawled into bed with him to try to get him to sleep. Lots of face pats, little kisses, talking later (that's him doing it to me, who is trying to sleep), he nods off at 4:50 AM. I must share at this point, he had to be a daycare at 6:30 AM because we were going out of town. Nice, huh, for him and me.

Six days later, the night before going back to work after school break, and said company is leaving for a 6:45 AM flying and needs his rest as well as Daddy who is driving him to airport? REPEAT, only earlier wakeup, and ending up on the sofa because Mommy's back is killing her, feet to feet, finally asleep at 4:30 AM ish, with men supposed to wake up at 4:45 AM. Guess what, alarms didn't go off, and at 5:25 AM, when Daddy woke, people started flying all over the house, frantically, to get company out to airport.

What did I learn? On the nights when you really need your rest, it is inevitable your child won't.

For more, see Julie's blog.