Friday, February 26, 2010

Running Ready (Updated!)

I'm going out there to run 7 miles this weekend. (I should be able to accomplish that in a 48-hour period, right?) Truthfully, I'd like to do it a bit faster than 48 hours. That's my problem, speed. And I'm the first half of our relay team!

Kevin has been editing the i-Pod, so I won't have to listen to Fergalicious ever again (praise the Lord!) I won't incriminate the friend who recommended that as a running song in the first place. And I have the great idea to leave home and just run downhill all 7 miles and then call Kevin to pick me up. Probably could use the hill training, though. Darnit.

Guess where Kevin is right now! Running! For the first time since his last stint as a runner which brought on nasty hip problems which he had a lot of good p.t. to remedy.

So here is a list of my hopes this Friday night: (Updated in italics on Monday)
1) That Kevin will run smooth, stay injury-free, and get back into running. There are rumors in our house of doing a marathon together. (He thinks it's dumb to train for a half when you can do a full in about the same time. Oh, sure, Kev. Me, too.)
He did run smooth and stayed injury-free. I've yet to hear from him when he's going again.

2) That I will run my 7 miles in just over an hour. Maybe if I do the downhill plan.
It was over an hour. I'm not telling just how long over an hour. Too long. Lots of hills, let's blame those.

3) That it won't rain (as it is forecasted to) so much that I can't traverse the puddles.
It didn't rain, but it was damp. No puddles, just the wonderful smell of creosote.

4) That I will find some shiny new, faster shoes tomorrow. For the record, I'm off Brooks and pledging my loyalty to Asics anew.
Mizunos are my new shoes! Asics won the silver, and Brooks didn't even make the platform.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting Smarter with Homeschooling

I can't believe this, but we only have nine weeks left of our first year homeschooling!

By early May, I will have a FOURTH grader, a SECOND grader, and a KINDERGARTENER!!! Holy cow!

Since re-enrollment paperwork has already arrived for the school Joe and Cayna were in this year, I started really thinking and praying about next year. First of all, it's significant in itself that we are planning to continue this for another year! But that comes with a truckload of decisions, the main one being what curriculum and materials we will use for next year.

I have liked the stuff we used this year. But "liked" is different from being in love with it. And, as I consider other options, I have realized that I've grown in confidence over the past year. I'm leaning toward choosing a curriculum company that is just that - a company - not a school. No accreditation, no formal record-keeping, no consultant. But I've proved that I can stay on task (yes, I was worried about getting too "laid back" about the kids' work - but it hasn't been a problem), so I think I might do fine without the accountability I was willing to pay for this past year. And I have gained enough insight into my kids' dispositions and learning styles (and needs) that I can wisely "pick and choose" a few things from different publishers/curriculum companies.

So there you have it. Not only have I witnessed my children's learning - but my own as well! Bring it on, 2010-2011 school year! (My-oh-my!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Voila! Running Partners!

Remember I told you about my two walking partners?

Now we have a new neighbor, and we invited her to walk with us. She accepted. So I got the guts to try to take the four of us to the next level. I went to Cool Running's website and printed out three copies of the Couch-to-5K running plan that got me running again in 2005. At the end of our walk recently, I prepared a formal presentation on the street corner and pitched the idea that we train together for a 5K, handing them the program. They went for it! So in the coming weeks, I'm training for a 10K and a 5K at the same time. The more miles, the merrier, right?

I can't wait to see how this goes. It's pretty exciting to bring people along to something that has been so good for me. I hope they all stick with it and have a good time and enjoy being cheered for at a finish line in a couple months. Every one deserves to be cheered for!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

News to me from Vancouver

I had no idea what the biathlon was! Who ever heard of skiing like mad and then shooting at something? Not me! Once I quit laughing about it, I tried to watch with appreciation for the extreme cardiovascular effort followed so immediately by having to take precise aim and shoot. But really, it's a new world to know that such an event exists. I bet I could come up with something equally as odd given some free time and one of my loopy moods.

Snowboarding has been my favorite sport to watch since it was invented (by someone with free time and a loopy mood). I admire the skill and coordination it takes to ride an oversized skateboard deck down a slippery slope. Plus, they have cool hats, hairstyles, and, if you watched any interviews or medal ceremonies up close -- freakishly straight teeth!

Moguls! Man, those moguls! Can you say "knee surgery"? Truly, though - those men and women are studs (and yes I know the definition of "stud" makes it incorrect when describing a woman-- but, still...). If I was in Vancouver, I would be seeking the autographs of all the mogul skiers. Also, the names of their massage therapists.

I haven't caught any curling. I think it might be banned in our house since Kevin makes fun of it so frequently. Honestly, I don't know anything about it other than the short blurb the Today show aired with one of their correspondents trying it out. What is that thing called? The puck thing? It looks like a Roomba - one of those robot vacuums.

As Olympic coverage continues, our DVR is smokin'! And I'm learning new things about the world of athleticism. From my couch.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Three Weeks Sugar-free

It's been three weeks tomorrow since I quit sugar. AND I made it through one of the sweetest holiday parties - yesterday's Valentine extravaganza at my house. There must have been enough sugar here to give two grown men some serious diabetes. And I didn't have any. Really, I didn't want any, which is kind of amazing. Honestly, I'm not a sucker for conversation hearts or lollipops. The real test would be Christmas - eggnog and pumpkin bread and cookies and more cookies.

I only added fruit back into my diet on Monday (the 8th) and it feels like a guilty pleasure after a couple weeks of no sweets. A friend served strawberries for dessert last night and I felt like I was eating something I shouldn't.

As for effectiveness - keeping in mind my purpose for this whole thing is to try to make a significant difference in my emotional life - so far so good. I'm not as edgy as I was the first two weeks. But I'm not completely sweet and serene as I'd hoped, either. I think I need to get through a few months, not just weeks, to really tell if there is a difference. I will say that I am not as tired at night or in the morning. There is enough of a difference in my energy level to notice. As a result, I'm not cursing the world when I have to get up an hour early with a chipper two year-old (as I did this morning, though I was hoping to sleep in).

It's disappointing to discover that I'm more of a grouch than I'd like to be. It would have been swell to go through a total transformation and see all my problems and struggles solved. Guess I still have to rely on Jesus. (Funny, keeps coming back to that! When will I learn?) It is a true statement to say that this is the heaviest sacrifice I've ever made - so I wanted some heavy payoff. More to contemplate there, and when I realize anything noteworthy, you'll be the first to know!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Mini-Me

She's even got my fake Uggs on. Isn't she the cutest stinkin' thing?

Friday, February 5, 2010

This Is Not A Nice Day

1)I have two aunts in the hospital.

2)Going without sugar hasn't turned me into the instant Julie Andrews I was hoping for. I'm still feeling like Oscar the Grouch. That guy lives in a trash can, people! If I'm going to feel grouchy no matter what, I might as well eat a dozen or two fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies every day.

3)We have houseguests for the next five nights. NET is here again for three and then my famous mother-in-law and her sister for two. Generally this is okay, but it means the kids wake up earlier.

4)Cleaned three bathrooms. Didn't get to mopping the floor.

5)I can't figure out Joe's NY Giants pillowcase so I can't sew it yet.

6)We've had a couple big changes at our parish and they're really getting me down. Not enough to long for the "old way" of handling things in churches past, but down just the same. Like shedding tears down. Fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie down.

7)No, I haven't had any cookies. Not a one. I found out today that Ellen DeGeneres is quitting sugar, too. Apparently just earlier this week. Maybe this would all be more glamorous if I had the whole nation watching, and not just the faithful few who read my blog. Or maybe that would be a tad too much pressure. And I'd have to hunker down in my closet away from my skinny lesbian wife to sneak something from my secret stash of Snickers bars. I suppose I'll stick with my own life. Even on a not so nice day like today.

Walgreens is my enemy

I've been coughing. A lot. Maybe it's because I took up smoking to help with giving up sugar. JUST KIDDING! I've been sick, and Kevin begged me to go buy some cough medicine the other night.

Moseyed over to Walgreens and reviewed the giant section of cough remedies. Of the ninety-four thousand brands of cough medicine available, I probably read the labels of two dozen. Call me nitpicky (and I'm okay with that), but I wanted to try to find some brand with no sugar and no aspartame. Spare me the lecture on what small amounts would be in a dose. It's the principle of the thing, ya know??? Finally settled on a box of Walgreens-brand cough medicine DM.

Made my way to the cashier, and in my heightened state of sugar-awareness realized that the entire check-out aisle was covered with sugar-laden products. Has it ALWAYS been that way? I guess, now that I think of it, I've never seen broccoli florets for sale there. Mr. Customer ahead of me finished purchasing his tobacco and it was my turn. As I stood there, Ms. Cashier gave me a scripted verbal advertisement for some new Milky Way bar!!! You have GOT to be kidding me. She went on and on (it seemed to my irrational sugar-free brain) using adjectives like "scrumptious" "chocolatey" "heavenly" and "delight". Luckily, my brain heard "rage-inducing" "deadly" "fattening" and "addictive". I told her, "No sugar for me."

Ms. Cashier looked up and told me the price of my one little box of 4-hour cough relief was EIGHTEEN DOLLARS!!! I remember the NyQuil was seven, and I thought that was pricey. Frustrated and confused, and afraid the Milky Way monster might make its way over the counter and engulf me - I said, "Eighteen dollars? No, thanks." And walked out.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A New Kind Of Valentine's Party

In celebration of my last name, I volunteered to host the Catholic homeschool group's Valentine's party.

Valentine's party says to me: cards! candy! games!

But in a giant Catholic homeschool group, this is what it's shaping up to be:

Mass, said by a favorite Priest of the group (also a favorite Priest of mine - he's the one who said I "look Irish".) Yes, Mass. In my house. I need to do a little research on this, but I think I oughtta at least Lemon Pledge the dining room table because I have a feeling it will be serving as the altar.

A massive card exchange. There might be around 60 children attending. Wowza. I see backyard cleanup and furniture rearranging in my weekend plans. Plus a whole lot of Valentine card prep.

Games I never thought of as a Protestant: pin the Sacred Heart on Jesus and pin the Immaculate Heart on Mary. I laughed as I asked my neighbor, "Are you SURE this is okay?" She laughed back and said she was sure it was as long as we weren't REMOVING the vital organs from Jesus and Mary! So there you go. This promises to be a fun experience.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm racin'! (WE're racin'!)

My first relay. Just registered for a half of a half marathon with my friend/neighbor/former staff partner Mike Nalley. Half of a half sounds quite doable. Just gotta get out my lightning shoes. It actually is time for some new running shoes, I just noticed an unprecedented blister. Off to train!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Happy Groundhog's Day!
For those of you who don't live in the sunshine-y Southwest, six more weeks of Winter might be a tad depressing. But we're enjoying the cool, crisp days.

How did you spend the holiday?


am sick
slept in, didn't shower til after lunch
did several loads of laundry
taught my 1st grader and 3rd grader
cooked all 3 of my meals - this new eating is keeping me in the kitchen a LOT
organized my sewing box
cut out a pattern for my next project
watched a bunch of TV with my kids
bathed kids and clipped fingernails and toenails (ew!)
wrote a letter to my aunt
started planning a Valentine's bash
copied report card forms
brought in the trash cans and recycle bins

If you thought THIS was boring, you should consider yourself lucky. I almost listed the contents of our junk drawer. Maybe for the next holiday post.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Protein Power! Another facet of Teri's new eating.

Ever count how many grams of protein you eat at breakfast? No? Me either, until today.

Once, when I was pregnant with somebody, my midwife told me to try to balance my protein and carb intake at breakfast. I found it highly unrealistic considering my stroooooooong penchant for cold cereal. But, I went to the health food store and bought some protein shake mix and that was my best effort.

Now, according to my new plan of attack on rage, anger, mood swings, and general psychoness - I have to eat more than 20 grams of protein at breakfast! (And one serving of a complex carb.) Spent a good amount of time on the internet last night educating myself on the protein content of many foods.

Breakfast this morning was two scrambled eggs, two tablespoons of peanut butter on a whole wheat pita, and a half a cup of milk. Egads. People always SAY breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, but I've never actually seen anybody DO it.

Also, there are beans in my future. I have never soaked and cooked my own beans. Cans are just so nice and convenient. Last night I read the bag, the cookbook, and a couple of recipes online and soaked my pintos! Cooked 'em for 90 minutes this morning. Ate 'em with rice and cheese for lunch. Then looked around for dessert for one pleasant moment before I remembered I'm on Day 9 of "No Sugar!" Only stayed sad and desperate for a fraction of a second before I brewed some sweet and spicy (no sugar, no caffeine) tea. Which also helps with the lovely chest cold I have.

I need more bean recipes. And breakfast ideas that don't make me want to barf. Really, I should be planning a memorial service for cold cereal, my long-time companion. Is there a blog out there written by a girl like me with sugar issues, four kids, cooking retardation, and no love for vegetables? If you know of it, send the link my way!