Saturday, December 30, 2006


Again, one of those "it sounded like a good idea at the time" monents... It was a beautiful day here... middle 50's, sunny, big, high, puffy clouds above... much too nice to go to the gym. I was dressed for the gym. I was planning to go to the gym. Plans change, and the dog was happy to accomodate me.

I'd like to say I know how far we went, but I can't. See, Schooner ATE my pedometer. Yes, that's right - ate it. Grabbed it from the kitchen counter and ate the dang thing a while ago. I have one on order, but alas it has not arrived yet. So, I have to guess that we went about 2.5 miles today. Sounds about right.

I got to try out my new toy - the iPod shuffle that is so tiny I am afraid I will loose it! Really, its adorable. Clips to whereever I want it... not too heavy - makes me learn to run to something other than my usual soundtrack. Its good...

So, this whole "running after you have not run" gig?? Yeah - nearly killed me and the dog! Alright - maybe that's a bit of an exageration - at least for me... the dog I think nearly did have a heart attack... But MAN OH MAN, I am out of shape already!!

I've had no goal, no external motivation. Clearly, the internal motivation is not working for me. Last night while we were having dinner with friends, I suggested that she and I plan to do a 5k this spring. She agreed, so now we are ON!! I looked up races here in the Phoenix area add there are a ton. So - here's my goal. Mid-February is 6 weeks from now. In all realily, with some hard work, I should be able to run another 5K in 6 weeks If I take 1 race every 6 weeks, then I should be able to be in my happy size by summer's end!!

Meanwhile - I think I will up our stock holdings in Advil.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What a month its been...

I keep meaning to come back here and blog - really, I do. Something just has kept me away.

We've been/done/experienced a lot over the last month. Here's a quick, random, ADD moment filled rundown...

  • Kids at school are basically checked out from the day after Thanksgiving break ends until we reconvene in January. Why we have school at all during that time is beyond me. Germs pass like wildfire, and the kids' brains have all gone haywire, and it leaves teachers planning Holiday festivities down to the last wire...
  • We discovered Maddy has cancer. Osteosarcoma in her right leg. Strangely enough, her 1/2 brother had the same cancer in the same leg. We choose the same route his humans choose - we amputated her leg. It was brutal to see - but she's up and around and happy and without pain so as of this writing, I'd say it was worth it.
  • All 3 kids were sick for Christmas. With any luck we will be healthy long enough to enjoy time off before we have to head back to work and school.
  • The most obnoxious kids in school give the lousiest gifts at holiday time - if they actually "gift" at all.
  • Our cockatiel had to have his leg re-casted. Finally got the cast off today. He no longer looks like a parrot in search of a pirate to sit upon...
  • Evidently my address book is woefully out of date - I have gotten back a very large number of Christmas cards this year.
  • We've watched "Without Limits", the Steve Prefontaine story, a few times so far this winter, and the fact that he could run a 5K in the same time I can run a mile just boggles the mind.
  • I have eaten terribly and exercised not-at-all and really need to change that PRONTO.

I hope you and yours had a merry, healthy, happy whatever-you-celebrate and that 2007 is the year of the shrinking waistlines, and expanding cardiac-output (meaning I need to get back out there and sign up for another 5k!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thansgiving everyone... We should do more reflecting on the blessings in our lives, but at least we take this one day to remember all that we have and be appreciative, humbled and grateful. My top 10...{in no particular order}

1) My family. Specifically, Parker, Matthew and Christopher. I am so amazingly blessed to be their mom - they continue to amaze me daily, and they think I am the coolest and most wonderful mom in the whole world. (I will appreciate it now, because I am sure this will change when they hit their teenage years and everyone ELSE's mom is way cooler than me...)

2) My family - part II.. Specifically, Steve - my wonderful and loving husband who takes care of me when I'm sick, stays home with a sick child, sings to the baby and is just all around fantastic!

3) My family - part III... I was very blessed to be raised by an amazing man, my dad, who we lost last year. My mom "done good" in the dad-picking department!! I am very blessed that I still have my mom around and am so thankful for our wonderful relationship. We have fun together like a couple of girlfriends rather than mother/daughter.

4) My job... Its been crazy and insane and a racket lately, but I really do love my team and the kids I work with. I am very thankful that it all worked out so that I could stay at my school this year.

5) My camera. I love taking pictures. I love it when they turn out and the people in them are pleased with the results!! I love that I can make a side business doing something that I find so fun! I am thankful that others think I have talent.

6) My computer. Its getting old, and in need of at least a new hard drive, but it connects me to the world outside Arizona in a way that the telephone can't. I have amazing and wonderful friends, most of whom I have never met in person, who are there to encourage and support me and cheer me on. They are an amazing group of ladies and I cannot imaging my life without them.

7) My in-real-life friends... old and new... Life is just so much better with friends!! Especially the kind who have known you since way-back-when or the kind you can just pick right back up with regardless of the time between visits! Good Friends are the sisters God forgot to give you...

8) My new car... it works, nothing is falling apart, it gets great gas mileage, fits everything I need in it...its safe and cute and I don't feel rediculous driving a big huge car alone like I did with the Odyssey.

9) My iPod. I earned it through Arbonne, which was really wicked cool in itself, its an amazing little gadget (and those who know me know my love for gadgets) that goes easily with me running, keeps the boys amused on long flights, goes with me anywhere... I could not run without it!

10) The fact that the sun rises each day and sets each night and that I get to experience both, at least for today, since we don't always know what tomorrow brings, but we can enjoy today for all its splendor and beauty and just be thankful that we can be a part of it all...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

POP goes the ego...

I made Schooner a very happy puppy today and took her for a quick walk/jog. We covered about 2.5 miles when all was said and done, and it felt good. The air was just cool enough without freezing the tips of my ears or my fingers.

It has been a while since I've done any running at all - life and illness have burst apart all the best of intentions. I figured that I should take it easy today since this was the first time out since being so sick over the weekend. We walked the first 1.25 mile to my usual stopping point, and when it was time to turn around I broke into a nice slow jog.

Felt good... and the more steps I took, the better it felt! As I was heading down the "home stretch" (which is ever-so-slightly downhill) I started picking up the pace, and it felt really good... I'm feeling all proud of myself, moving at a good clip down the street, dragging the poor pooch behind me...


On my right comes this runner... chiseled and toned without an ounce of extra fat on him, who passes me like I am standing still.

Ho hum.... well maybe someday I will be a true "Runner"... someday...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good news, bad news

The bad news... I was hit with the flu something awful this weekend. Could NOT get out of bed except to become all to familiar with our bathroom. Have not been that sick in a year when I was hit with a very similar flu exactly at this time last year.

The good news? I dropped 6 pounds in a day and got to a "low" I have not seen in over 2 years. Being sick has to have a silver lining somewhere, right?

The good news: The flu seemed to last exactly 24 hours and then disappeared as quickly as it arrived.

The bad news: Some of those 6 pounds will inevitably find me again, probably by today. Drat!

Reminds me of my friend Nancy's siggy line... "I'm just one good stomach virus away from my goal weight!!"

Yeah - its kind of like that.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Its been a while!

I used to blog daily.

I used to do a lot of things, daily. Somehow "life" seems to be getting in the way of a lot of my daily activities. It's getting kind of annoying!

I guess one of my excuses for not writing more is that there really is not a whole lot going on. There's the endless din of chaos from school (albeit softer now) and the cacophony of sounds that is my house... (as can be expected with 3 boys in residence) and among it all, things are staying rather status-quo.

I'm thinking that's a good thing....

On the "you had to do WHAT??!!" front... we had to take our bird to the vet on Monday. His little left foot was just dangling there, and he was not able to move it. He was no crankier than usual, but something was clearly wrong, so we piled in the car - me, the three boys, a limp bird and a lame dog... what a sight we were!!

They had to x-ray the birds leg. Now someone tell me, how on earth does one actually get a rather twerked off bird to hold STILL long enough to get an x-ray? I'm not sure I want to know the answer to that one, but the Vet came out with his little x-ray in hand to show us that, clearly, the bird's leg was broken.

I think I might have been able to ascertain that one all on my own, without my x-ray vision.

Nonetheless, the bird has some very pricey photos of its leg to show its grandkids, and a splint on its damaged leg.

Wanna see a really pissed off pigeon?? Put his leg in a cast!! (ok, CeCe is not a pigeon, but rather a cute cockatiel, but pissed off cockatiel was lacking the alliteration that makes the first statement fun to say...)

Since he was already wearing his bullet- and Kryptonite-proof vest, the vet also took pictures of Maddy's leg.

Not so good.. she has lesions on her leg, right near the elbow. We don't know why... could be valley fever, or bone cancer. Let's hope its the first one - she's the world's most perfect dog. She is our first child, the daughter I will never have, the smartest canine on the planet with the patience of a saint (as evidenced by Christopher literally crawling over her in the vet's office and her just looking at me, with pleading in her eyes to make him stop) The thought of loosing her makes me literally sick. I know it will happen someday... I'd just like to wait until we actually grow to LIKE Schooner before we have to have her as our only Berner.... (we love her, but she still eats things. Like an entire pumpkin pie, Peanut Butter and Fluff sandwiches, the moulding on the baseboards....)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hold that...

I just saw THIS on today's morning news... we're not out of the woods yet. Record breaking heat. Great!! Wonderful! We've not had enough of that this summer, so, you know - go ahead and pile it on!!

Heellloooooo up there - it's NOVEMBER people... wanna stop blasting the heat for us??

We were at Fr. Jon's farewell dinner last night. People were getting up to speak... one of our Choir members, a very outspoken and funny guy, remembered thinking they were hiring a Pastor who may not have full command of his senses when Fr. Jon accepted the job in the middle of July. When it was 119* in the shade....

He said - You know, they call it a "dry heat"... Dry - yeah, its dry, but then again so's a house-fire!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Its finally OVER

Remember this?? --> First 100* day.

Luckily we have not seen those temps for about a month now, but we still had somewhere around 106 days over 100* this year. ICK.

But yesterday - just after Halloween, right when the rest of the country is finding gloves and gollashes and sweaters with hoods, I was able to turn OFF my air conditioning.

I betcha by the end of the weekend I will be turning on the heat! That's just how things go here in the Sonoran Desert...

Job update

Full time contract??


Job Description???


It only took until the 10th week of school (aren't you glad your kids are not in the Special Ed program where I work!??) for us to get fully staffed and for me to finally KNOW what my job will be!!

Isn't it strange that this is the exact job I had mentioned to the school and the district back in SEPTEMBER? So much of the headaches and troubles would have been avoided if they had just listened to me...

And we all know that if I ruled the world, there'd be world peace, a cure for cancer and pleanty of food on every table... ;-)

Oh, and for those of you keeping score at home, I will be the 6th and 7th grade LRC teacher, included for 4 classes a day with 1 pull-out resource class.... Just as I had suggested way back when....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Another Halloween come and gone... leaving in its wake enough processed sugar to keep us all high for the next 8 or 9 months!! Posted by Picasa

The Happiest Place on Earth!

This is me - in my element - with my very happy boys and MICKEY... who could ask for anything more?? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Finally, a picture!!!

I know you all have been dying for a picture of me from my race. Seriously, I don't know how you have managed to make it this long! Your stength and resolve is quite inspiring! Truly...

Sun Chips got their images uploaded today so here you go... Please, note the change in the number of chins from one picture to the next... and realize that the first one was taken June 10th, the second one October 8th... (and in case you need some help, I'm the one with the glasses on in both shots)

Mileage for last week: 12 miles
Mileage for this week: A meager 6.5 so far. Hope to get to the gym tomorrow, Friday and Saturday morning before we leave for DISNEYWORLD!! The good news? The last 3 times I have run a 3.1, I've beaten my time from the previous attempt. Yesterday, I ran 3.5 miles in 40:22. Still - I don't plan to set the world on fire with my time, but I'm rather pleased with myself!

Monday, October 09, 2006

6 miles in 2 days

Got up early this morning and ran with the dog. It was rough going for a bit, I was stiff and running felt clumsy, but then I got into a groove and we did about 3 miles. A much easier 3 miles, I will say, than yesterdays. I wonder why that is... I walked a bit more than I did yesterday, but managed to keep about the same overall time.

3.05 miles, 38 minutes, approx. 1/2 mile walked.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Some cool pictures from today...

All photo credits go to the Arizona Republic...


Today was the race. While it was harder than I'd planned, I was happy to run an average mile of 12:10. The whole thing in 37min 52sec!! I was hoping for closer to 36 minutes, but hey - I ran (jogged) the whole thing, and didn't stop! I slowed to a near crawl a few times, but made it through.

I ran for me, but I also ran in celebration of my dear god-mother who is a survivor. Whenever I thought I'd have to stop, I just thought about Georgia, and what hell she must have endured going through surgey and chemo and recovery. What I was doing for those 38 minutes paled in comparison. If she could make it through that, I could finish that race!!

The whole experience was wonderful. So many people (still have not gotten a full count, but estimations stand somewhere near 70,000. The crowd was punctuated by lots and lots of pink shirts (survivors) and nearly everyone wore a pink card attached to their race number. These cards were worn in celebration or in memory of someone who had breast cancer.

So, now I want to run another one. Don't know when, but sooner rather than later!

I want to shave at least 10sec/mile off my time! I want to run it in 36 minutes.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Adventures on the high seas

Water was rushing down the street so fast it looked like we'd be carried out to sea... so much for my connection to a snappy (albeit hijacked) title.

Tomorrow is my race. ACK! I needed to run some errands and Matthew wanted mommy/Matthew time, so I had him come along with me on said errands. I rue the day that he actually wants to DO something rather than think its just way too cool to be with me regardless of the mundane tasks we must finish...

I ventured into unchartered waters (see, another SEA analogy!!) to go to a place called the Runners Den. I've heard of this place from folks around me who like to run and have been told I MUST go there to get the proper shoes. Have not done so yet. Runners Den sounded a bit too frightening so I avoided it until now.

Having no choice, Matthew and I went to Phoenix so that I could get my t-shirt and my number for tomorrow's race. There were about a gagillion people there and while waiting in line to complete my purchase (a black hat with pink ribbon and some lucky socks) a girl who was volunteering outside came in and told the manager to call 911 because there was smoke billowing into the sky just about a block away.

Yes... house was on fire, First Responders were already on the scene - don't worry.

Matthew and I complete our transactions and head for home. We can see the plumes of smoke and Matthew comments that it smells like a hot-dog. I can only presume he associates the burning smell with the bar-b-que (and no, that is not commentary on Steve's skills as Grillmaster!). As we pass the street all a flutter with activity, I get a strange idea to see if we can get close...

We circle the block and are able to park. We're only about 2 houses from the one causing such a ruccous. The fire is mostly out now and neighbors are gathered about watching the firemen and police (and utility workers) so Matthew and I stroll up to a good spot and watch.

We were right next to the fire trucks and the firefighters and Matthew was in hog heaven. T-H-E-N.... A local news truck drove up - a news channel we usually watch - and Matthew wanted to go investigate. He was fascinated by the big camera, and the cameraman asked if Matthew wanted to be on TV. Are you kidding me?? He jumped at the chance, so the cameraman told him to go watch the firefighters... and he got some good footage and long story not-so-short, Matthew made the 6:00 news!!

If that weren't cool enough... the firefighters had Matthew help them empty water from the hoses and "help" bring them back to the truck! I think he was on cloud nine for the rest of the day!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tales of a slug

Just because you believe that something will work out to your benefit, don't take this as a sign that you can be lazy. You are in a major career phase now and this is your chance to effectively use informal communications to strengthen your position with your coworkers. Don't worry about the rules; just say what's on your mind. Others are interested in knowing your opinion.

This is my horoscope for today. Eventually, when all the crap at work settles down I will blog about what's been going on for the last 7 weeks. I do, however, find todays horoscope for Capricorn to be, well, dead on. Freakily dead on.

I have been a slug this week. Ran Monday, and not since. Worked out with the trainer Tuesday and I pulled my right hip-flexor so I am NOT meeting with her today because I got about 3 hours of sleep last night (Chris either has an ear infection or is just going through hell with teeth) and if she so much as mentions squats, lunges or something else that moves my hip flexors, I will not be held responsible for my actions.

My race is Sunday, and I feel like I should be doing MORE to prepare, but I'm exhausted, running ragged at work trying to do the job of 3 people and Steve is gone this morning so I can't walk/run even if I want to before work.


I need coffee.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Race for the Race...

My Race for the Cure 5K is Sunday. How it got here so fast I have no idea!!

Went to the gym today once I got enough motivation under my belt to GO - been walking around all day in my gym-gear so at least I can't use that as an excuse to not go.

Ran (full on ran, not walked/ran) the 3.1 miles.

My time?? Best yet!!!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Tag... Your'e it

Nancy R. tells me I've been tagged, so even though the meme isn't fitness-related, here goes.

List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets, then tag 5 people.

1) Schooner does not "sit" like a dog - she sits on her rump with both front feet up in the air and her tounge hanging out the side of her mouth. I didn't think you'd believe me, so I have included proof...

2) Madison eats bananas

3) Schooner eats everything else.. phones, glasses, remote controls, pacifiers

4) I, like Nancy, don't like to eat egg whites. Even in hard-boiled eggs - the only good part is the yolk.

5) I refuse to eat bi-valves. Clams, oysters, scallops, muscles... ICK ICK ICKY ICK!

I tag: Angie, Terri, Tina, Bren and YOU...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Genetic switching?

Back to my weekend seeing Carrie and her family (its only Wednesday, and if I start talking about work my blood pressure goes through the roof, so let's just reminisce about college and gawk at what cute kids we have....)

Carrie has always reminded me of a Barbie - she's petite, beautiful with big blue eyes and long blonde hair and a waist about the size of a New York Minute...and if she weren't' so sweet and such a wonderful person and friend, I would have hated her from Freshman year on... But she is all those things and I love her dearly and really hate the fact that after 3 kids her waist is STILL the size of a New York Minute...Must be the ocean breezes or something!! :-)

Anyway... Genetics are a funny thing. You would think that my dark eyes and hair would dominate. And with Carrie, she is so blonde and fair that there's just no imaginable combination of genes that would give her a dark, Italian looking child.

Low and behold, we have each others' kids living in our houses!! Doesn't this look like a more proper pairing of moms with kids??

Sunday, September 24, 2006

How did this happen??

We went to Tucson yesterday to meet up with my college roomie of 2 years and her family. We'll just ignore the fact that this is only my 2nd trip to Tucson in the pushing 6 years I've lived in Arizona, and say that I was very thankful for the portable DVD player I got for the boys or the entire 130 mile trip would have been punctuated with a chorus of "Are we there yet?"

At what point do you get to the age where you see your old friends and realize just how much you've changed (read, aged)?? I have not seen Carrie for, gosh, at least 3 years, if not more like 4+... and I swear we look just like we did in college. Her hair is a bit shorter, neither of us has time to do our nails like we used to, and if you look close you will see some creases by the corners of our eyes, but other than that, we look the same... truly...

So, we look the same, we don't feel any older... would someone then please tell me how THIS happened to us???

In fact, we started adding it up.. Carrie (3), me (3), my friends Vicki (3), and Ken (3) and Kellee (3), all of whom were at SC with me, and all had 3 kids... that's 15 kids under the age of 8. Won't homecoming be a loud event if we all show up!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quick running update.

The Race for the Cure is 4 weeks away. Today I went to the gym with the intention of running a 5K on the treadmill, and I am very proud to say that I did. My time for all 3.1 miles? 37:40. My first attempt was last week and that got me 39:14, so I'm making progress. My goal is to be right around 36 minutes. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Looking for answers to questions that bothered her so...

Sorry Jimmy... It was either that or "A Mom by any other car is still a Mom".

We took a BIG HUGE plunge yesterday.

The Odyssey, my faithful carrier of children and junk with the occasional dog thrown in for good measure, has started to really tick me off. I added it up - over the last 13 months, we've put over $2,000 into it, including working on the electrical system the A/C system, a new transmission, new brakes, several tires.... and now it needed at least another $1000 in work - and that's just what we knew was wrong with it. (automatic side doors aren't automatic anymore, back windsheild wiper is hanging limply from its axis, brakes are squeaking and crunching - and that can't be a good thing...)

I love that car... like I said, its been faithful and taken good care of my brood.

But it was starting to nickel and dime us to DEATH. Yes - it was paid for, therefore no car payments to need to budget in, but still...

Are you ready for this??

We went back to Volkswagon. Steve and I now have (Please know, NOT ON PURPOSE) matching VW"s in the driveway - right down to the color. I got a Passat wagon and I L-O-V-E it... Bells and whistles, smaller, drives like a dream...

So, I started thinking - I do have some pangs of guilt about not driving a minivan. Afterall - now, its just US that can fit in my car. I've lost the ability to tow another 2 people around with me, unless they want to hunker down in the back.

Isn't a mom supposed to drive a minivan, or at least an SUV nowadays?? Isn't a wagon so, like, from our MOTHERS' generation??

I guess I need to find a hat to eat somewhere...

I swore all of the following:

I will NEVER drive a VOLVO... what did we buy when I found out I was pregnant? A Volvo Wagon.

I will NEVER drive a Minivan... What did we buy when I found out I was pregnant again> A Honda Odyssey...

I will NEVER drive a Stationwagon (again)... yeah, I know...

On a totally different topic, Following the blog invite on Nancy's blog, I have added my own "What people envy about you". Its cute - check it out... then let me know what I should envy about you.

People Envy Your Compassion

You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others' happiness and pain.
People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What a difference 13 months can make...


As we celebrated Christopher's first birthday, I thought it was appropraite to take a walk down the "I was HOW big" highway...

Phew - glad that's over! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

The perils of weightloss

I had a purging session with my closet today. I went to put on a skirt this morning for work (yes, we are already back in school, finished our first week!) and removed the tags (meaning, of course, I've never actually WORN this skirt before) and it's too big. Not sort-of-loose-around-the-belly too big, more of the "Gee, I can take it off without having to undo any of the buttons" too big.

I wore it anyway - clothing that hangs on your hips is in fashion, right? But when I got home, my new, really cute skirt ended up in the "donate" box.

And ... it has a few friends.

I started with the cute brown skirt, and proceeded to rumage through every skirt, pair of pants, and dress in my closet.

The good news?? Many were way too big.

The bad news?? I have no pants. Literally - other than jeans, I have NO pants. I'm frightfully low on skirts, too....

Thank God for Old Navy!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Little Wobbler!!!

Christopher is following in his big brother's footsteps. Parker took his first steps at 1year, and 6 days. How, on earth, do I remember that? It was the same day as his first year check up and he got a ton of shots and I remember being amazed that after such an ordeal, he'd have the gumption to walk.

Of course, it takes something mildly traumatic for information of any relevane to actually stick in my brain.

I digress.. the NEWS is that, not only is Christopher how 1, he's also walking!! Not around the block or down to the store for milk, but he's taking about 6 or 7 steps at a time now before giving up and resorting to a faster mode of transport - that of the elephant walk.

Happy Birthday little Buddy - just don't stop being my baby too soon, ok?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

So much can change in a year...

I've been doing a lot of thinking and remembering lately. One year ago, I had just lost my dad and was waiting for the birth of my son. One year ago last night, in fact, I was in the hospital convinced I was in labor only to be sent home.

Perspective is a strange thing. It seems like a lifetime ago that we lost Dad, and just a few months ago that we had Chris...and yet the two events are less than 10 days apart...

Mom and I went out to dinner last Sunday night to sort-of commemorate the anniversary of Dad's death. Nothing dark and depressing - we went out for Chineese food and had a toast to a great man who lived a great life.

When you think about all the changes a new baby makes in his first year of life, it really takes your breath away! I watch Christopher now, just on the verge of walking, as he communicates with us, feeds himself, is mobile and reactive, plays with the boys and the dogs... and just a year ago he was an adorable lump that ate, slept and pooped. If we all continued the emotional/intellectual/physical growth at the pace a newborn does, we'd all look like Andre the Giant and have the wisdom of Aristotle & Eintstein combined!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Workout Wrapup

Its Thursday, and I took today off.

I've been to the gym, since my last post over a week ago, Wed, Thu, Fri, Mon, Tue, Wed so I think I can take today and not feel too guilty.

I met with a trainer on Friday. I'd been absent from the gym for so long during the winter/spring that I got a "We will help you get back into your routine by giving you three sessions with a trainer" letter so it took a while, but I finally took them up on the offer.

By Saturday, I could not move. I was proud of what I was able to do, however... but I hurt in places I didn't even know about the next day...

Took the weekend to recoup.

Monday - Ran again - did 4 miles on the treadmill. Shins were OK - not great, not really bad, just more achey than anything so I ignored them and was able to finish 4 miles in about 52 minutes. Of course, this included a lot of walking, but still..

Then I did the elpitical Tuesday, covering 3.5 miles, and yesterday I hit the bike (the upright one, not the recumband) for 12 miles.

I meet with the trainer again tomorrow. God help my poor Glutes!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No pain, no gain??

There's been a lot of pain in our house lately. Christopher's ears and gums (those 12 month molars are a bugger) accompany my knees and shins. We're a lovely sight, Chris screaming in my arms as I hobble around the house trying to comfort him and not fall over!

I did not work out yesterday. We went to the Chiropractor instead. Both of us - Chris and me... I know my neck is all out of whack, not to mention the rest of me (no snide comments from the peanut gallery are necessary at this juncture!!) and I have heard from several sources that their kids were cured of their ear infections by seeing a chiropractor. I'm skeptical, but this is his third round of rather hefty antibiotics in less than 6 months, so at his point I am willing to try anything.

Dr. Chiro worked on me - the adjustment in my neck felt amazing as I am sure there was a good year or so worth of tension built up there - and then took a look at Christopher. A few taps with the activator thingy and that was all...

Low and behold, Chris slept all night for the first time in 5 days. Is it the antibiotics or the adjustment? Dont know and don't care... he slept and was a happy camper today!

My other excuse for not working out were my shins. MAN OH MAN they hurt after Monday. I thought I was over the whole shin-splint thing but I guess I'm not. I went back today and tried the treadmill again. Call me brave, call me stupid, call me a bit of both. I was able to do 2 miles in just about 13 minutes per mile. 26:10 in fact. A month ago I would have been really thrilled with that time, but now - well, I want MORE! More from myself, from my body... but I guess I really do need to stop thinking I had the body I had in college where I could just pick something like running up because it sounded like a good idea and suffer no ill effects.

I finished out my workout on the elliptical machine to cover a total of about 3.5 miles today.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Poor little buddy...

Christopher has yet another ear infection. It will be his third dose of OmniCef since January. It comes just as his bottom molars are breaking through. The kiddo is miserable and cranky and can neither sleep nor eat well. Even amid an Advil induced haze, his temp at the docs this morning was 101.

We are running on very little sleep around here, as you can imagine. I was berating myself for NOT having gone to the gym this weekend. I took Saturday off as it was Parker's birthday party, and then just felt icky yesterday and used that as an excuse.

I was then expecting to have a 3-day weekend from the gym when my dear husband came home for lunch!! Luckily for me, I was dressed in my gym clothes, so off I went! He sat with the kids while I ran another 3 miles on the treadmill... No world's records broken, but three miles in 37:14.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Testosterone and Television results in blindness, news at 11:00

I know that I am the only female surrounded by a sea of testosterone, but yet I am still amazed at what the other members of my family are either capable of, or incapable of (*depending on the circumstances).

Last night, as is my evening ritual, I retired upstairs after dinner to make some Arbonne calls. The boys know this is Mom's time and unless there is significant amounts of blood, fire or broken bones, do not bug me until I come back downstairs. It has taken me a while to train them, and while we do have the occasional "Opps, I forgot", they do quite well.

Christopher is no exception to this rule. He's cute and cuddly and all that, but the folks on the other end of the phone do not always agree with my assessment. He was in good hands, being watched by the caring eyes of his father and two adoring big brothers.

Or so I thought.

I hang up after one call and I can hear Christopher crying. Its his "I'm stuck and it hurts to crawl out" cry. I go investigate. I find:

Chris crawling around the dog's room, crying, with a mouth full of dog kibble (ICK!)
The door to Steve's office closed
All 3 other men in my life holed up in said room
The TV on with two little boys doing Idol Worship infront of it
The Computer on with Steve looking like Johnnie Bench

and I ask...

Where's the baby??

No one responds to me the first time - so I ask again - where's the baby?? Do any of you realize he is NOT in this room??

None did... truly... they all thought he was in the room with them. No one noticed that he had crawled out of the room, that the door had been shut (like closing the bard door after the horse escapes) nor did anyone hear him crying...

So much for built in babysitters, huh?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

4 miles to Migraine City

First off - I am thrilled with myself on many levels! I went back to the gym today and hit the treadmill and did FOUR MILES!!! WooHoo!!!

More thrilling was this.. after my 1/4 mile warm up, I went straight to a 5.0 pace (where as before I was starting about 4.4 and maybe making it to 4.8) and it felt GREAT!! No sore anything - knee, shins, the works - and I hit a nice, smooth stride right away, and was able to even go for a while at 5.4!!! While running, I never dipped below 4.7 and that used to be my sprint!

My stats for today:
Mile 1 --> 12:52 which is almost 20 seconds faster than yesterday!
Mile 2 --> 11:27 meaning I BROKE A 12-MINUTE MILE!!!
Mile 3 --> 12:21 I was getting tired here and walked about 1/4 mile
Mile 4 --> 14:08 which included 1/2 mile walking.
My average pace for the whole run was 12:48

Breaking the 12-minute mile mark was huge for me. It was not long ago that I was happy to be running a 13-minute mile and now this??!! It is SO COOL to see my endurance getting better and better... Now to keep it up and NOT get hurt!

The down side?

It used to take a 3-mile run to give me a "you did too much dope!" migraine. Now, it takes 4 miles.... Ouch!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions

I had every intention to run 3 miles today. And, to actually RUN most of those 3, with a 1/4 mile warm up and a 1/4 mile cool down.

Alas, it was not to be.

And I am really buggered because I was off to such a good start! Miile 1 --> 13:09!! My best "warm up" time yet!! Mile 2 --> 12:05!!! I am SO close to breaking a full 12 minute mile!

It felt good. The new music I uploaded onto my MP3 player was perfect - kept me going, I was able to run at 5.3 for the entire length of "Anyway you want it" by Journey. Oh, and the song HOLIDAY by Green Day is perfect for running at about 5.0, incase anyone wants to know. I did my warm up walk, I hit my stride by the 3/4 mile mark and I was going to have my best run yet.

Then Mr. Stinky Bottom thwarted my plans. The child care gals called with desperate pleas to remove Mr. Stinky from the premesis - of course I had used our last diaper right before I left him to go for my run, so I had no other choice than to abandon my plans for the run of the season and tend to Mr. SB.

Oh well - my body just might thank me. I don't think I was doing the best job of listening to my head and was letting my ego rule the tread mill. Probably not a wise choice on my part!

But it felt so good at the time....

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ha!! Tricked you!!

Its fun, sometimes, to trick folks. I can still trick the boys into thinking that if they don't behave I will sell them to the circus. My mother and I would mercilessly trick my dear, sweet, amazingly gullible grandmother. My best trick involved an April Fool's day, my mother and a scale...

Its a sad state of affairs, however, when you have to trick your own body into doing what you want it to. My trick? Wrap my knee gently with an Ace Bandage and it does not mind me running 3 miles!!

After I got home from the gym, I came to a conclusion. Well, its an excuse actually. I needed to go shopping for something "proper" to go running in! If I was going to think about continuing this endeavor over the summer, I would need to make some wardrobe adjustments.

My choices so far have been: Way too hot for this climate long workout (yoga I think) pants, a pair of too tight lycra somethings, or my one good pair of running/biking shorts that come just above the knee. My problem, and I KNOW some of you share in my cross to bear, is that my thighs... well... they need me to wear something that won't ride up. Shorts are out. So that leaves me with the aforementioned options. All, by the way, from Target. My favorite place on earth. Love the store - don't love the sometimes-right-on-sometimes-who-on-earth-marked-this sizing.

If I am going to look like a runner, I need to go where runners go, right? Parker and I went to Sport Chalet today - and I found some really good light weight just-below-the-knee running pants, got two shirts (one I just love - feels like I am wearing air) and a hat. A very cool, mesh and microfiber cool-hat. While I love advertisitng for Arbonne when I am at the gym, the hat makes my head sweat. Ick. I sweat enough all on my own, thank you very much.

Oh - and by the way - what is the statute on actually calling oneself a runner? Is it after you can run a mile without dying? When you break the 12-minute mile mark? I know that calling myself a runner might annoy those who actually ARE runners, but hey - dress the part if you want to become the part, right?

Today's stats: 3 miles, 38:55. Mile 1 --> 13:24 Mile 2--> 12.14 Mile 3--> 13.24 Up a pound today, but heck - it won't stick!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not So Fast....

All those great things I said yesterday about my knee and how wonderful it felt, yadda yadda yadda - today I woke up stiff and achey and felt basically like I was 90. No pain per se, which I take as a good sign, but had my knee wrapped up all morning. Feels better this evening, and I decided to listen to the head rather than the ego and took today off from the gym.

Back at it tomorrow!!

Weight loss holding at 5lbs even.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Running Update

After tweaking out my knee and thoroughly pissing myself off, I decided to take a break from trying to be a runner for a few days. Rode the bike like I was training for the Tour, and did the elliptical instead.

I admitted that I may, infact, be getting older, so I purchased a knee brace. Two, if you want to know the truth. One with an open patella, and a good sized Ace Bandage. Wore them around the house for additional support, especially when carrying a very heavy soon-to-be toddler up and down the stairs. It helped, the knee went from sharp pains to aching.

Then I went back to the gym yesterday and, fully guarded with my open-patella brace, hit the treadmill again. It was fine walking, but twinged a bit when I stepped up the pace. I decided I would jog an even mile and call it good. I did that, the knee felt ok, and I went to the elliptical to finish my workout.

Today - the knee feels fine. Better than fine - it feels normal!!! WTH??

So, I went back today, with the knee wrapped with the Ace Bandage, and was able to do 3 miles! And tonight - it feel normal too! BooYaa!!!

So... 2 miles in 26.20 and 3 miles in 40.17. Getting better!! I walked .5, ran 1.5, walked .25, ran .5 and walked the last .25.

I was beginning to doubt my ability to even think about running a 5K in October. Maybe now it can stay within my sights!!

Oh... and weight loss on the Arbonne Plan... as of today, an even 5 lbs!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Christopher the Charismatic


He cracks me up - Doesn't this last look just say "Touch another of my cheerios and you will regret it!!!" ?? Imagine this look in 18 years when he's a 6'5" 240lb linebacker... Such an expressive face - and so cute to boot!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The end, or the beginning, is getting closer...

Summer. Yesterday marked the end of week 4 since school got out. We have about 5 weeks left. It seemed like it would be a very long summer, but now, well, not so much!!

Parker celebrated his birthday in royal style! He got to choose what we did, what we ate, where we ate - he felt like a king!

He wanted to see CARS. So, we went to the 10am showing at a theater we don't typically visit... there were 6 people, including the 3 of us (Christopher doesnt count) in the theater. The kids got to move around and have fun and dance when the music was good - they loved it!

We then met friends at Chuck E Cheese for lunch/cake/playtime. It was my friend Kathleen from my old MOPS group and her kids - her youngest and Parker share a birthday so we have celebrated with them together for 4 years now.

Needless to say, I did not make it to the gym! Not Thursday...

Friday, however... The kids went to Movie Maddness, meaning they are totally entertained for about 2 hours so I can work out, do the steam room and take a shower, all of which I did. The workout included 45 minutes on the Elliptical and about 15 minutes of weights. I tried to run - did about 3/4 of a mile on the treadmill, but the legs would have none of it, so I abandoned my aspirations and gave my legs a break.

Today I went expecting to do 2 miles all total. Well, the leg-gods were on my side today because I felt good and actually ran 2 miles in one stretch, with a 1/2 mile warm up and a 1/2 mile cool down.

Lets see if I can move tomorrow!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Happy Birthday, Parker!!!

Then: 18 months old and a big brother for the first time...

Now: 6.5 yrs old and a big brother again...

I say it all the time, but I have a very hard time believing its been 7 years since your birth. You amaze me daily with all that you can do, with the person you are becoming and with all the things you have learned. You are a wonderful big brother, and a fantastic friend. I am enormously proud of you, I thoroughly enjoy you, and I cannot thank you enough for being my son!!

I love you big guy

xoxo, Mom!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Getting old aint' for sissies!

Well, if the fact that we look strickingly similar is not enough to convince folks that I AM my mother's daughter, I have started experiencing one of the family traits right on schedule! I am getting a friendly case of arthritis in my right index finger. Exactly where my mother got it first. Exactly where my grandmother got it first. yipee...

I was more sore than I'd expected to be after yesterday's jaunt at the gym, so I decided to shake my routine up and go back to the elliptical. No jarring motions, no impact - my knees are thanking me, but my shins still ache. (BTW - 30 minutes, 2.5 miles, for the three of you who might be interested in such mundane facts!)

I've started creaking and cracking more. Maybe is the dry air. Maybe its that I am pushing 40 with amazing speed. Yowza - need to keep reminding myself that even though I feel like I am still about 19, in actuality this old bod has quite a few more miles on it and needs to be treated with more gentle gloves...

Like, more visits to the steam room... Yeah - that's the ticket!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Uneventful update

Went running again today. Had to warm up on the "bad" treadmills and then actually do my "run" on the good ones. Tally? 3.5 miles, about 48 minutes. Did 3.0 in 40min, 15sec. Still no one will want to attach a chariot to me and let me take them out for a spin, but hey - I'm out there doing it!

The problem? It seems now, over 2 weeks into my "I'm going to get into shape no matter what" routine, my dear old friends, Shin Splints, are showing up. I have no idea why. I am wearing rather new shoes, no pavement running, no sprinting, working my endurance up slowly and letting my head rather than my ego dictate my day... and yet here I sit, legs lathered in medicinal balm, aching in a very familiar way.

Probably should have someone who knows that they are doing give me some advice.

Oh- and can anyone tell my why, after 3 weeks of working out more often and longer than I have in 9 months, is my body rebelling by GAINING weight? Seems monumentally unfair... its like my body is conspiring against me to quit this working-out thing.

Ha... At least for now, I can silence that beast!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Workout update

Went to the gym this morning after a not-so-friendly number on the scale. This was after a touch of a tummy-thing yesterday that I was sure would tip the scale into the friendly direction, but I was wrong..

Anyway - used one of the NordicTrack treadmills per the advice of my friend and running buddy, Karen. Much better run! Today I walked .25 miles, jogged 1.5, walked .5, jogged another .75 to make it 3 miles in under 40 minutes which like I said, will not set the world on fire, but hey - its getting better every time I go out there!

All told - 3.3 miles, 45 minutes, 500 calories burned.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Successive Approximations to the goal

Confession: I did not make it to the gym every day this week.

Successive Approximation: I did go Monday, Wednesday and today.

Confession: I did not get in my 15 miles this week.

Successive Approximation: I did walk/jog over 3 miles each time out, was able to increase my endurance noticably each time, and today was able to keep up a steady jogging/running pace for 1.5 miles!! I walked the rest of it and finished up at 3.25 miles. I have also finished 4 loads of laundry, moved the living room furniture around so that we hide the disaster-sofa ala Schooner, vacummed top to bottom two times, and even had time to get the carpets cleaned and play with the kids.

Successive Approximation: Yesterday, I got on the scale and had lost 2.5 pounds!

Today, I had gained 2 of it back. At least it didn't bring friends!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Summer Shape Up

Today we were back to swim lessons and the gym. Our gym is really cool - I've got to admit it... they have a salon and massage therapist on site, not that I have taken advantage of either. They have both a dry sauna and steam room, both of which I have taken advangate of (however, the dry sauna seems reduntant this time of year) and they have a program called "FIT KIDS". Its a free gym-style class for the kids, daily!! How cool is that? I get my workout in, and the boys get some training in as well, get to run themselves silly and release all the energy that is pent-up because we are hunkered down for the long hard summer!

Workout update: All 4 days last week. Again today - 50 minutes, treadmill, 3.5 miles (2.3 under 30 minutes, so not setting the world on fire, but much better than Friday). Using the Arbonne protein plan on the weekends and at least once a meal during the week. Down 1.5lbs.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ahhh, summer!!

Its Friday, and we've officially been on summer vacation for 2 weeks. I'm rested, caught up on laundry (other than folding and putting away), made it to the gym every day this week (yeah me!!) and am ready for the boys to go back to school already!

Ok - well, not really. I suppose I will keep them with me, but I think they are starting to go a bit stir crazy already, and we have about 8 weeks left until school begins again.

Two days after the last day of school, we hopped on a plane. We spent a week in Montana with Steve's family. The boys enjoyed tormenting their older cousins and Christopher was spoiled beyond belief! We were actually COOL (Dare I say COLD?) for a few days, and the high was never above 82*!! Matthew wanted to see snow, so we drove up to the Beartooth Mountains and saw snow... certainly not a sight you will see in Arizona during any of the summer months! From the look of glee on his face, I think the snow-thing was a hit.

We are back home - the boys are taking swimming lessons, even Christopher (water acclimation classes - with me - a good excuse to get wet and stay cool while the big brothers learn their swimming strokes) and we are hitting the gym. DAILY. Again - yeah me!! It is staying right around 110. Yuck. Our lows for the day (you know - the 3am temps) are still higher than the highest high's we experienced in MT. We are also expecting a bit if a tropical storm thing-y this weekend, so its muggy as well as hot. So - who's up for a visit to Scottsdale???

Today I met my friend Karen at the gym after swimming lessons, and we "ran" together. Karen ran - my really out of shape heart let me sprint a few times, but I can't say I ran... jogged, sprinted once or twice, walked a lot... but did 3 miles and change, so that's good. Of course, listened to my ego rather than my head, and so now I have a exercise-induced migraine - someday I will learn...Maybe!

Destruction update from Schooner. Upon our departure for MT, Schooner was a bit miffed and worked on more of the living room sofa. One half is now without fabric and one pillow has been shredded on two sides. Considering we were away for a week, (despite having a house sitter) I suppose I can be thankful that the damage was not worse!! She's such a doll.... until you leave. I think we have a Jeckel/Hyde thing going on here!

Oh - and an update on snake sightings in Scottsdale - Mom found a 5'6" one in her back yard - ON THE ROCKS where they are NOT supposed to like to slither. Steve saw the one baby rattler in our back yard before we left for Montana but (knock on wood) has not seen one since. Have I mentioned that I hate slithering critters?? Cuz - I really do!!! I much prefer the critters you would see here.... Horses, cows, squirrels, birds.. I like those critters!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home is where your heart is

Or, at least where all your boxes are... and for now, that home remains the school I've been at for the last 4 years. I am so thankful that it all worked out - while I had made myself mentally OK with the move should that be what infact happened, I am very relieved to know that I will be staying put.

I spoke with the Principal today - the one who will be covering for both schools as our campus transitions to a K-8, and we just needed to fine tune some scheduling things, but it looks like that happened!! I get to stay with the staff I know, a curriculim I know, and kids I know, working with a population that I really enjoy!! My day will end later than I had hoped (2:30 rather than 1:30) but it will still give me enough time to leave campus, get Christopher and still make it home for the two older bambinos as they get off the bus!

Oh - and a check of the weather - still well over 100* every day this last week, actually hit 112* over the weekend... and its about 87* by the time I leave for work in the morning. My days of getting up early to go for a walk/job are least until fall!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I've been going back and forth with various Principals and the school district over where, exactly, I will be working in the fall. So, today I get this from the Director of Special Education:

<< "I did receive your messages but have been trying to catch up on issues since I returned. I spoke with both Principal A... {Read crazy-crazy lady) and B...(Cool principal) this morning. SN...(Principal who won't release me) was also a part of this conversation. I know that you and Marla have spoken and at this point in time, your transfer to Desert Canyon Elem School seems the most appropriate. Although there appears to be a 1.5 LRC staffing allocation at CRMS, that is subject to change with fluctuation in enrollment. The position at DCES is solidified and you will be working with a very experienced and strong LRC teacher. I know this will be a very positive experience both with the staff and the administration. I will also ask our curriculum specialists to support you with whatever materials or classroom support you need. Thank you.>>"

So, basically, Lois, you are telling me that I have NO say in where I work next year.


This fight is SO not over...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Critter Country

Growing up in Connecticut, the critters I had to contend with included:

* raccoons
* Squirrels
* Chipmunks
* Bats
* The occasional garden snake

We had a sort of pet squirrel we named Funny Face, as she had a big freckle like mark over her nose. Very easy to spot. Mom had her trained! She'd tap on the kitchen window and Funny Face would come sit on a branch just outside the window and would gladly partake of whatever Mom was handing out, be it Oreo cookies, dog biscuits or stale bread.

My best friend, Angie, and I would feed raccoons and their families from Ange's back door - again stale bread was a favorite, or dog cookies. Sure, their ears looked like an animated movie because of all the vermin living there, but who did we know who had ever actually been bitten by a raccoon?? No one - they were cute and as far as we were concerned, harmless!

Critters here on this desert planet take on a whole different dimension altogether. This morning for instance, as I went out for my bike ride, I saw many cotton tail bunnies. Cute, right? You-bectha - they are adorable. What they bring around, however is not so adorable.

On my walk today, that quickly turned into a bike ride for what will be obvious reasons, I saw:

1 Coyote
12 bunnies that were being chased by said coyote
14 quail (also good food for coyotes)
1 dead snake.

As far as I'm concerned, the only snake worth seeing is a dead one, and even that gave me the heebee-geebies as I passed it going 20mph!

Add to this mix:

Javalinas (wild boars with the nastiest teeth you've ever seen - think the ROUS's from Princess Bride)
Mountain Lions
Gila Monsters (a large lizard with a big appetite)
Black Widows

Yeah - makes me kinda miss old Funny Face and those mite-infested 'coons!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

New Shoes and Migraines don't mix

I finally decided that it was time to get new shoes. The shin splints were not enough warning - I had to get to the point where I was getting blisters on every toe and my ankles before the light went on and I thought "Gee - maybe its my 4yr old shoes??" Hey - I never said I was Einstein!!

So, I'd heard from many of my Fat-Fighting friends that Asics were fabulous and I started to do my research. I found the pair I wanted, but then balked at the price tag (Just can't justify spending over $120 for a pair of really good running shoes when I'm so far from a very good runner!!) It is sort of like me and wine; I can tell the difference between two-buck-chuck and something nice, but the subtleties of "fine wine", ie, wine that costs more than about $25 is just lost on me. Same for tennies... The finer details go unnoticed, so why on earth would I pay for them?

I went to Famous Footwear, and found these - same company, still gel-technology, just a generation lower than what I'd seen online. Good fit (Size 10 -eek - what those boys have done to my feet!) decent price - home they go!

Oh, holy canole - the difference a pair of shoes can make! My shins don't hurt, I have no blisters, I can actually try to jog with them and not ache (well, until much later!) Its amazing!!!

The only down side - getting overheated in our lovely Arizona weather and having a migraine for the remainder of the day.

Update - it is now about 9:15 at night and my migraine has finally left the premises. I think tomorrow I will take the Excedrin BEFORE I go out, rather than wait and see. An ounce of prevention, afterall...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

10 days left

We have 10 days left of school until summer vacation. It feels much like it did back in grade school when I would have to run the 600yd dash (dash being a euphamism) and thinking there was no way I'd make it to the end.

Christopher started crawling on Mother's Day!! He is now Mr. Mobile, with 6 teeth, 2 more working their way in. He sits at the counter in his little port-a-high-chair, and eats Cheerios from a bowl. He likes the strawberry yogurt ones best. They even make him giggle! He is actually crawling behind me as I type this. Guess its time to return to Babies R Us and invest in several baby gates!

My job for next year is still in limbo. I got the .5 at the elementary school. Then a .6 opened for me at the middle school where I currently work. Crazy-crazy lady will be gone along with crumedgeon side-kick, I know the staff, the curriculum and could loop up with my current 5th graders. So - while I am mostly convinced that I actually need a lobotomy, I want to stay where I am. Except that elementary school?? Yeah - they wont' release me. Guess its nice to be wanted.

I got up this morning and "wogged" my neighborhood for 2 miles. Rode 10 on Monday. Found a cool path behind our development that borders the reservation - had NO idea it was there. Think if my bike could talk, she'd thank me... it was like the time we took Maddy to Tahoe and got to see her frolic in the snow - she just knew she was made for that terrain and climate. Well, good ole' Trek knew the trail was made for her. It was a blast! I'll have to try it again this weekend - unfortunately I need to be OUT before 6am or the sun is too intense. Oh - and we've had 3 days below 100 since my last post.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

And so it begins

We hit our first 100* day on Thursday at 2:12 pm. It is stunning the difference between, say, 94* and 100*. Its getting icky hot and its only going to get hotter and more miserable from here on out.

This is actually early for us. Our average temperatures are not supposed to be in the triple digits just yet. We are supposed to be in the low to mid 90's right now. The 100+ temps are supposed to wait until the END of May or even the start of June.

No one told that to good ole' Mother Nature. Or they did and she really didn't give a damn.

So here we are, now needing to worry about seat belts burning skin, cars that become warm (hot) enough to cook a batch of cookies while you go shopping, always needing to wear shoes so you don't burn your feet, and drinking the equivalent of the pool daily to avoid dehydration.

On a different note - would someone please sign me up for a lobotomy? I think I seriously need to have this old brain of mine worked on. I've made the decision this week to NOT take the job at Desert Canyon Elementary and to stay working at the Middle school. I know - all I've done is moan and complain. But - some signs that I may not have totally lost my sanity -

1) the crazy-crazy lady at the helm is going to Apache Junction.
2) the old curmudgeon side kick is retiring
3) my elem principal will now govern the whole school
4) my friend Nicole, whose class I've been in all year co-teaching with is now staying and NOT moving to another campus
5) I really liked looping up with my kids this year.
6) the remaining staff are really laying it on thick for me to stay, too.

I guess the saying is true... Never say Never.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Converts!!

We did it!

I went to the gas station to fill the Odyssey on Friday of last week (the 5th) and spent $50 to fill my car. I just about lost my jaw to the pavement - last year it was about $34 to fill my car, we've now gone to a nice dinner out AND the babysitter just in order to drive.

I called Steve. With Dad's old Explorer, I was certain that he was spending a fortune, especially going back and forth to Tucson and Yuma. That was it - I'd reached my limit - it was time to look for a new car.

Something practical, but not too girlie.

Something that can hold all the (pardonnez-moi ici por mon langue terrible) crap-ola he carries around with him.

Something that gets much better mileage than the Explorer (Which, including all freeway driving, was getting around 17MPG)

Well, here she is.... Our newest family member!! Shhh - don't tell the boys - she's a DIESEL... (Remember, in Thomas-land, diesels are naughty little creatures)

We like the color, there's plenty of head room, enough trunk space to hide the bodies of the students I had to kill because they royally pissed me off (ok, not really, but there's a cave in there!) and its "zippy".

Best of all - average miles per DIESEL gallon - about 40!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Its a Monday, and I'm not at work!!!


This poor bugger has another ear infection, so we are home, trying to mend. It was a rough day yesterday, and heart-wrenching last night as he woke with a fever over 103 and was just miserable. Thank God for baby advil... truly - that stuff is worth its weight in gold!

But even when he's misearable, he's still pretty darn cute and adorable! I just had to post another pic... I doubt many of you knew or remember my grandfather, David Todd Gillmor (which is were the TODD in Christopher Todd comes from) but he would make this face a lot... the tounge purposefully out of the corner of his mouth. It was usually accompanied by a wink of the opposite eye, meaning "Okie Dokie" or "You Betcha" or something like that. It cracks me up that Christopher makes this face too - minus the wink obviously, because even though he's amazing and brilliant, even I can admit winking on cue is a bit much to ask of an 8 month old... My grandfather is the only relative we have pictures of who bears even the slightest resembalance to Chris.. so now he has two things in common with his Great Grandfather.

Speaking of odd family genetics... My grandmother, my mom and I can all raise an eyebrow. No biggie, unless you are my husband who is totally befuddled by this. He, however, can wiggle his ears. Truly freakishly cool talent. Parker - well, being the true blend of his mother and his father can do both!! Genetics are a strange and wonderful thing, aren't they?

Update on the job situation for next year - I got the .5 at Desert Canyon Elementary, which means part time for me!! YOO HOO~~ 8:30 to 11:30 daily. This means I will actually have time to... 1) go to the store without a gaggle of kids 2) do laundry and other household tasks on a day other than the weekend 3) perhaps, if the planets are alligned, go to the gym!!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Philosophical discussion with a 5-yr old...

A bit of background here. The gal who watches Christopher, Nada, has/had a little blue parakeet that Matthew loved to lovingly-torment. Well, KJ died today. Matthew was really saddened by this - not to the point of tears but said many times over the course of the evening how sorry he felt for Nada that her bird died.

So, we decided to get her a new bird - the boys and me. On the way to the petstore, travel cage safely tucked on Matthew's lap, the following discussion ensued:

Matthew: I have an imaginary friend. He lives in my pocket. He is really old and I think he will die tomorrow.

Me: Really?? How will you feel about that?

Matthew: Sad

Me: How do you think he feels now, living in your pocket?

Matthew: He likes it. Sometimes it gets dirty in there, just like when I have been playing in the sandbox at school. Then you put my pants in the laundry and he gets clean. He doesn't come out of my pocket, though. But he gets clean.

Me: Cool!

Matthew: Yeah. When he dies tomorrow he will go out of my pocket and up to heaven.

Me: Really?

Matthew: Yeah. Kind of like Nada's bird and Baba (that's my dad) when they died and went to heaven. Hey - Kind of like we live in God's pocket and when we die we leave His pocket.

And for the rest of the drive, all I could see what the final scene from Men in Black II when they open the locker...

Guess it could be worse than thinking we live in God's pocket, huh?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

meme du jour, ala Nancy

Again, if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged and pay along...

6 wierd things about me. Only 6?? Gosh - which ones do I choose??

1. My students will tell you that I have a thing for sharp pencils. Actually, I hate pencils and would prefer the kids use pen, but the world has not come around to my way of thinking and the arcane practice of using pencils prevailed so I insist they use sharp ones. Dull pencils to me are the visual sister to nails down the no-longer-useful chalkboard.

2. I won't eat anything that has two shells. Bivalves... uck! Clam chower - now that I will eat, but you will find a nice pile of clams at the bottom of my bowl.

3. I talk with my hands. I blame it on my Italian heritage, but if you consider that I am maybe 1/32 Italian, thent he arguement holds little water. Nonetheless, this gets even more pronounced if I am excited or trying to remember something. I think I must mimic a propeller.

4. I've been known to break into song in the middle of class, especially if a student has the gaul to ask what an adverb is, or a conjunction... Sing it with me - Conjunction-junction, what's your function?? Hookin' up words and phrases and clauses....

5. My dogs are my children, and have all rights and privleges of the two legged members of the family.

6. I am the only child of two only children and have no understanding of nor tolerance for sibling rivalry. I just don't get it - and probably never will - and my kids are just going to have to work with me on this one!

Tag - you're now it..

If you're reading -- consider yourself tagged.

I AM: a wife, mother and teacher. I am also certifiably crazy-go-nuts because of it all.

I WANT: enough money to be comfortable in life and not be so crazy-go-nuts all the time.

I WISH: I could be paid for walking around in shorts and flipflops on the beach.

I HATE: stupidity, rudeness and those who feel entitled to break the rules.

I MISS: my dad.

I HEAR: the laughter and giggles of my 8 mo. old son as he plays with our 1 yr old dog...

I WONDER: what life will hold for my children...

I REGRET: Will come back to this one...

I AM NOT: good with numbers. Remembering them, yes. Doing anything pracitcal with them, no...

I DANCE: very, very badly, but mostly infront of my children to make them laugh.

I SING: show tunes. LOUDLY at times!

I CRY: way too easily, at silly things like commercials.


I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: photographs that I hope will hold a dear memory or moment in time for someone.

I WRITE: Ramblings of my slightly conscious mind that make sense really only to me, and then, not even consistently.

I CONFUSE: my childrens' names all the time.

I NEED: about 5 more people to join my Arbonne team.

I SHOULD: schedule that mammogramm, have my blood-work done again and see if my body has returned to its rather rational self after being pregnant with Christopher.

I START: working part time in the fall, so help me GOD!

I FINISH: unless its housework, most everything I start.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

He's going to wanna kill me for these later on...


However, I just had to share... I know, for some of you, naked baby pics are just not your thing, but these turned out so cute - nothing offensive is in sight, and he was just such a happy little model sitting there in the sunlight, watching the world go by...

He is trying really hard to learn how to crawl. He wants to MOVE - and at this point scooting is his main mode, but you can see the frustration in his face when he wants to go forward and instead goes backward... poor kid!

With these latest additions, I have blackmail shots of all three of my boys, waiting in a safe place for prom night, their rehearsal dinner, or some other equally embarassing moment.

After all, is that the mother's perogative? Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

33 days and counting

Of actually IN CLASSROOM school, that is. I don't know who is more excited for school to be out - my students, or my co-workers.

Of course, 33 days roughly translates into about 7 weeks of school. Almost 2 months... insert an exasperated and exhausted sigh here...

I had an interview today with another elementary school. In all candor, it was not as much an interview as it was a fishing expidition. I'd seen a posting for a part time position at another school so I went to check it out. Even the school was not certain that the position would stick. Add to the mix that I am not certain if my current elementary position will or will not be pushed to full time next year (and if its not I would stay) nor do we have any idea what the middle school will even look like let alone what the special ed cencus will be - it was more of a "If this works out, then we can say we met and conducted an interview' meeting.

Even so - I'd say it went well. Part of me really wants and needs to get out of the school and the situation I am in. The other part feels enormously guilty for even thinking about leaving. If there are some shakeups in the administration then I would consider staying. If not, I can't bolt out of there fast enough.

You know - when you ask for a job with security, it just might pay to be a little more specific as to what you mean by that...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter to all...


Had to post some of the pictures from today - it was a lovely day for Easter... sunny, warm but not too hot. We managed to get the whole clan up, dressed and to the sunrise service at church. That in and of itself, nothing short of a miracle!

We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon being lazy. I played a few mean games of 1:1 soccer with Parker. Not only is he a surprisingly fierce competitor, he is also surprisingly good!

This afternoon we gathered at my mom's house for a lovely evening and Easter Dinner. We were joined by dear friends, including two other kids for the boys to play with.

As they say, a good time was had by all... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 13, 2006

'I like to move-it, move-it, I like to move-it, move-it..."

Anyone see Madagascar, or is the song lost on you all?? While I didn't get any good exercise in yesterday, I did go for a 9-mile bike ride Tuesday. It's the first real ride I've taken in a while, and it was very nice to be out and about with my good ole' buddy again!! I do think she needs some air in her tires, or I need newer legs (It was much harder going uphill than I remember...)

I discovered a trail that I might just check out someday - but it scares me a bit to think about going it alone... for no other reason than I fear finding critters along my way - its a horse trail, walking trail and bike path - and it goes out into the washes of the desert. Where SNAKES live... I've run into a snake from horseback once - that was terrifying enough - from bike-level, I think I'd have a heart attack right there...

But the trail looks really interesting and it would be a nice change of pace to be out among "nature" for a bit... just not too much nature, you know??

Friday, April 07, 2006

And I ra-a-an, I ran so far away....

No, not running away from home, but I am very proud of myself because after an eon, I have started exercising again... and not only that, I am trying to make my dreams of being a runner come true!!

My neighborhood is one mile in circimferance if you go door to door and hit each sidewalk. Pretty cool knowledge for the control freak in me that HAS to know how far I've gone.

I started last week, walking the neighborhood at least once. Shins hurt, hip hurt - I was a mess. But I am very proud of myself that I did not give up!

Now, I go for two laps. I can't run a full lap yet, but I am not going to let my ego dictate my running schedule. I do one street/cul-de-sac, walk the next one, jog the one after that... and am slowly decreasing the number of recoveries. My goal will be to jog both laps, then add distance.

I know I must look rediculous... I am going only for distance, not for speed, and I think my 4 yr old neighbor could outrun me! (I know for a fact Parker could!!) But heck - I am out there, I am doing it, and I keep going back!!!

Baby Steps....

Oh, and I am actually calling my excusrions "Wogging", because it really IS a euphamism to say I am running!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006



Which roughly translates to 1/2 the size of fi-ty-cen... Ok, so my gangsta' humor isn't the best.. Parker wanted to make Christopher look like a rapper-rocker kid. Actually, it turned out kind of cute... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Christopher - nearing 7 months...


Most of these joyous looks are generated by the antics of his big brothers, in whom Christopher takes much delight. The teeth have been in for a bit, but the only time you see them is if he is really mad... so, blurry and angry picture allows view of teeth!! Posted by Picasa