Dec 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

This is what my crazy husband brought me today at work for my birthday! There are 36 in total, one for each year! You can't even see them all in this picture. I had to put them in a plastic recycle trashcan to get them all in water, lol! Needless to say... he surprised me! After he gave me the roses he took me to a great little Italian restaurant for a yummy lunch and tonight after Owen's gymnastics we are all going out for sushi and my favorite dessert... cheesecake tempura!

Now the only other thing I want for my birthday is for my daughter to behave. For a week now Cackie has gotten U's in conduct at schoool (unsatisfactory). We've tried everything in the book to get her to "use her listening ears" and improve her conduct, but nothing so far has worked. So today I used my birthday to lay a guilt trip on her.... I told her that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was for her to get an E (excellent) in conduct. I'll leave work in a few minutes and will hopefully be met with good news!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Cackie was well behaved and that Velcro Boy doesn't make another appearance at gymnastics!

Stay tuned...

Dec 12, 2008

Velcro Boy and Silly Girl

Back at the first of November we signed Owen up for gymnastics lessons. He enjoyed watching Cackie at her lessons for months and a couple of times he tried to sneak into class with her, so we figured it was time to get him involved in his own activities.

The only problem was that we wanted to have the kids in separate classes to eliminate fighting and give them each an opportunity for "alone time". Unfortuntately that meant that Owen would have to take lessons on Thursday nights at 5:30 and Cackie would continue her lessons on Tuesdays at 6:30.

Trying to get into a routine we planned things so that I would take the kids to their lessons and Michael would spend time with whichever one didn't have a lesson. This was working well until a few weeks ago when Cackie and I were about to leave the house and Owen attached himself to my leg and started crying. Michael freed me from Owen's grips so we could leave and says that within a few minutes Owen was fine.

Of course, this concerned Cackie and we had a long discussion in the car about Owen crying and how she didn't want him to cry, etc.

This happened a couple more times, but nothing big. Then last week Owen and I were at his lesson, he ran his 2 warmup laps around the track but when it was time to go off with his coach and take his lesson he suddenly became attached to my leg again.He started screaming "I want my Mommy" (this always freaks me out and makes me afraid that someone will think I'm abducting him). I begged and pleaded with him to calm down and go do his gymnastics, his coach even begged and pleaded with him but no luck. We went and got dressed despite the fact that I kept telling him that he was going home to go to bed. We had one brief minute where he wanted to go and join the class, but that was quickly over when he actually had to detach himself from my leg!

We went home and I didn't quite know what to do. I was worried that something was wrong, but he had really enjoyed the lessons before and couldn't figure out what happened. It was certainly becoming apparant that Owen needed some time away from Mommy, though.

So, this week when Cackie went to her lesson on Tuesday we made a big deal about her going to gymnastics and how much fun it was, etc. To help things even more I had Michael take Owen to his lesson last night. My not being there helped a lot! He enjoyed his lesson and was excited to show off his smiley face stamps to Cackie when he came home!

Since Michael & Owen were off at the gym together I took advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with Cackie. I picked her up from school and we headed out to do a little Christmas shopping and then to the dreaded grocery store.

On the way to the store I explained to her that we were looking for presents for other people and at first she didn't like that at all, but it didn't take long for her to understand how nice it was to give presents to other people. She very thoughtfully picked out a present for Owen and was very excited. It's something that she can enjoy as well, but she was adamant that Owen will really like it and she wanted him to have it.

I had a lot of fun out with her and I think she enjoyed it, too. At the grocery store she didn't want to get in the cart and tried to convince me that she's too big to ride in the seat. She's got a good point there, she almost doesn't fit in the seat anymore! But, I made her squeeze in because I didn't need to worry about her wandering off. As we were walking around she kept putting her hands on either side of my face, squeezing my cheeks and saying "OOH Mommy, you're soo CUTE!" It's really funny when she decides to get silly like that! We also had a good round of a game where we call each others names in silly voices back and forth. I'm sure the other shoppers didn't appreciate it, but we had a good time!

Tonight is Parent's Night Out at school, so the kids will have a little pajama party while Michael and I go out and get some shopping done.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for us... We have breakfast with Santa in the cafeteria at St. Jude (this will be Owen's first opportunity to see Santa) and then in the evening we're going with friends to a Christmas Village at a local church. Cackie loved it last year and we're all anxious to see if Owen enjoys it, too. I'm hoping to see more of Silly Girl this weekend and a little less of Velcro Boy!

Dec 8, 2008

I did it!

I did it! I walked 13.1 miles in 3:36!
Saturday was a GREAT day! It was sooo cold, but I got my butt out of bed and we all headed downtown to Autozone park to meet up with friends before the race.
This is Jennifer and I warming up at the ballpark.
The race officically started at 8AM, but it was a wave start, so I didn't actually get started until close to 8:25. Here's one of the groups heading out before me, there were nearly 14,000 people racing!
Here I am at the starting line, you can't tell but I was sooo cold!
I had my cellphone with me and was able to call Michael at different points during the race. He tried to meet up with me at mile 5, but the police had the roads blocked off and it made getting around town very difficult. They were able to meet up with me between miles 6 & 7 and I was soo happy to see them!
They were able to make their way around between miles 8 & 9 to see me again. Here's a great shot Michael got while they were waiting...
When they saw me here Cackie got very excited. She ran up to me and gave me a huge bear hug. Only problem was that my hips were starting to ache and if I stopped I wouldn't have been able to start again. I almost knocked poor Cackie over trying to get her detached from my legs!

The last 4 miles or so went pretty quickly for me. There was lots of traffic on the street and soo many people were out cheering the runners and walkers on. I was starting to hurt in my hips, but I had no doubt that I was going to finish. In fact, the last mile or so I was passing people who just couldn't keep up any longer.

Here I am just crossing the finish line.

Michael said I had this big smile on everytime he saw me.

The best part was getting to hug my kiddos when it was all over!

I finished just after noon and the kids were starving, so Michael took us out to lunch. After that we all took a much needed nap! I was lucky enough to get a massage appointment for that afternoon and that helped my recovery a lot! The rest of Saturday I did absolutely nothing, which is not like me at all. I was just too pooped and achy!

Sunday I was pretty sore, but I tried to keep moving as much as I could. Yesterday I didn't hurt much and today I'm hoping to get back out and do some walking!

The race was a lot of fun and I really hope to be able to do it again next year. It has me motiviated now to get back to exercising and maybe next year I'll be able to get an even better time!

Dec 1, 2008

I've Decided to do Something Crazy!

I've decided to do something crazy!

Some of you may know that back in August I began a training program to run/walk the St. Jude Half Marathon. But, then in September I started to have problems with my left ankle and after an MRI found out that I had a couple of stress fractures and had to quit training. Well, there has been lots going on between then and now and I just haven't had time to get back into training. I figured it was just a silly dream to do a half marathon and it was time for me to get back to reality and focus on all the other things in my life.

But, the thing is that I work at St. Jude. I’m constantly hearing information about the upcoming events and the Marathon/Half Marathon is a pretty big one around here. When I heard the news that the Half Marathon was sold out I felt guilty… just before I got hurt I signed up for the Half Marathon to help give myself a goal and motivation, I even signed up to be a St. Jude Hero because I believe in what we do here at St. Jude. Once you are signed up to be in the race your spot is taken and can’t be given to anyone else even if you don’t show up to race.

So, that race registration has been burning a hole in my brain. I keep thinking I’ve signed up and no one else can take my place. Our old house is right in the middle of the race course, so over the years we’ve tried to go out and about on race day and have seen the participants, some running and a lot of them walking along just to be a part of the race. I keep thinking about those walkers and I’ve told myself, I can do that!

So, this Saturday I will get out of bed early and get out into the cold morning to be at the starting line downtown (anyone who really knows me will know that getting up early and out in the cold will be half the battle). I’ll walk for as long and as far as I can. There are no promises that I’ll finish this race! But, the whole time I’m walking I will be thinking about the reasons why I’m there… because I believe in the mission of St. Jude and want to do something else to help, because I’ve been blessed with two beautiful children who are happy and HEALTHY, because there are children out there who not as lucky as my children and they need the best medical care available, because I never knew my grandmother but she believed in Danny Thomas’ mission and would send money to St. Jude and lastly because I’m blessed to be able bodied and can get out and do my part, even if it’s just a little bit.

If you believe in me and want to support me in my dream of becoming a St. Jude Hero, please log onto my website and consider making a donation. If you can’t make a donation, please let me know I have your support… leave a comment here, each one will help motivate me on Saturday!