Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

What a busy few weeks we've had! Here we are, only 3 days away from Christmas. This month has flown by. But 95% of the presents are bought, I have some wrapping left to do. Today I've been baking - 3 batches of toffee, 1 batch of choc chip cookie dough truffles, and German Choc bars. Everything will be super yums.

Brett has to work on Christmas Eve until 4:00 or so. Once he gets home, we'll open presents with his family, eat dinner and go to church at 7:00. Then it will be home for bed. Christmas morning will be Santa presents, breakfast and head up to Chicago for Christmas with my family. Everyone will be there except for Sarah and Mike. We'll miss them very much but they are coming to Indiana next month so it works out well.

Kylie thinks her Aunt Sarah is pretty much the coolest person ever. She talked on the phone with her for 25 mins this weekend and has named some of her dolls Sarah. Kylie was disappointed that Sarah wasn't coming for Christmas but she's really excited that she'll see Sarah in January.

We had our family Christmas party on Saturday. So many people came, probably about 50 but it was hard to keep track with all the kids running around. We ran out of food, except for desserts. We have more wine then we'll be able to drink in a year, thanks to our guests being generous and giving us some. Here is our family picture from that party:

So that's about it - stay tuned for pictures and stories from Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Princess and The Frog

Brett is out of town for a few days on his hockey trip. So I took the kids to see the new Disney princess movie, "The Princess and the Frog." It's the first completely hand drawn animated film they've put out since "The Little Mermaid." And it was amazing, the detail and art in the movie was impressive. The movie takes place in 1920's New Orleans so there was a lot of culture references and TONS of really good music. Big Thumbs Up!

Kylie was super excited to see the new princess movie, Matthew was not so much. I actually had to physically drag him into the theater. But he enjoyed it once it started. But after the movie, he thought we were going to see the one he wanted to see "Alvin and the Chipmunks", which isn't even out yet. So he was crying and Kylie was crying because of a sad part in the movie - loads of fun. But once we got home, they both started acting out the movie, including the funniest New Orlean's and Cajun accents I've ever heard!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday

Say what you want about the people who wake up at 4am to stand in line in the freezing cold on Black Friday. Call them crazy or obsessive. But I saved over $500 by giving up a few hours of sleep and warmness that day. Five. Hundred. Dollars. No joke.

And I loved every minute of it!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I ran Jordan's Journey 5K this morning. I won my age division last year and was hoping to defend my title this year. But with my injuries this year, I wasn't sure that would happen. I really wanted to break 25 mins. But my speed hasn't been very good since I've been back to running.

There were about 100 runners all lined up in the church parking lot. At 9:15, the firetruck sounded it's horn to signal the start of the race and we were off. I felt great, no Achilles or hip problems. I started off fast, which is so easy when you're running with a group. But by 1/2 mile, the group spread out and I found a good pace. I settled in behind the Ben Davis HS XC coach who goes to our church. The man is a serious runner, has finished every Indianapolis Mini Marathon there has been - like 35 of them! I run past a volunteer who shouts out to me and the 2 girls near me "You're 2nd, 3rd and 4th for the girls." I hadn't thought about finishing in the top 3, just winning my age division. So now I'm thinking, ok, don't let any girls pass you! One of the girls who was near me dropped back about a mile into it and her friend passed me. She was young, easily still in high school and seemed to just keep getting further in front! But I kept right behind the XC coach and relaxed into the run. My Garmin read 7:48 for the first mile, I knew I was flying at the beginning, got to slow down some. I pass the water stop at 1.5 miles and was still feeling good.

Mile two comes and my Garmin says 15:50, so mile 2 was 8:02, still a very good time. I figure I can hold on to this pace. About 2.5 miles my stomach starts to feel bad, I figure, ok, you can't puke here, in someone's yard. So I work on my breathing and some positive chanting and the sick feeling passes. I pass the first volunteer who yelled "You're number 3 for the girls!" I turn a corner and see the finish line so I push a little at the end to finish. Hit my Garmin when I cross the finish line - 23:57!! 7:58 pace, very cool and very fast! Woo-hoo! I do some cool down stretches and head into the church for a banana and Starbucks.

They hold the awards ceremony and I was pretty happy to hear "And in 3rd place overall for the females - Mary Nabb." I won a pecan pie and a $8 gift certificate to a running store. Cool! I checked the on-line results when I got home. The two girls who beat me were both 16 years old and probably on the cross country team. And there was another 34 year old who finished 15 seconds behind me, good thing I kept up the pace.

So, pretty darn happy that I could race fast again, felt really darn good too.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Kylie's 6th birthday celebration!

Brett and I were pulling out all the stops to give Kylie a very special 6th birthday. She's been asking for months for an American Girl Doll. They are $95 so we wanted to make sure that she was ready to be responsible enough to take care of one. She did prove herself responsible so we decided to surprise her with a trip to Chicago to go to American Girl Place on her birthday. Here she is reading the card Brett and I gave her, telling her about the surprise.Kylie was thrilled and very surprised! Step one accomplished. Matthew was a good little boy, of course and was excited for Kylie as well.

The next morning, her actual birthday, we drove up to Chicago. The trip went smoothly, other then issues with the Ipass, which happens all the time - so frustrating. We get there and get parked. Then we head into the store and Kylie picks out Kirsten, the pioneer era girl. She loves her, I love her, everyone is happy. Kirsten is being retired this year so there weren't a lot of clothes to pick from which was too bad since Kylie had a lot of money from her b-day and her allowance. So she picked out a few outfits and then went upstairs with Brett to look for more clothes (the upstairs is the non-historical girls area). Matthew and I did some shopping and returned the Kirsten doll that I had ordered on-line as a precaution, in case Kirsten was out of stock. After making our purchases and finding Brett and Kylie, we left the store and walked around Water Tower Place for a little while.

We were fortunate enough to meet up with Grandma and Grandpa Mathews for lunch at the 95th Floor of the John Hancock tower. Such a fancy place. Food was ok but the view was excellent. We were happy to see them and they were happy to be able to see Kylie on her birthday. After lunch, we walked around the area for a little while. Kylie and I were going for tea at the American Girl Cafe so we said our goodbyes and went back to the store. Matthew and Brett walked around, found a park to play in and then waited for us in the store.
The tea was very elegant. They served plenty of food, little scones, breads, finger sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. Kylie had hot chocolate and I had water. Kirsten, who had her own chair at the table had air. There was a harpist playing beautiful music and many, many excited girls and their moms. Seemed like every girl was celebrating their b-day.
We also had dessert that was pretty yummy too. And the waiter and I sung to Kylie.
After tea we found Brett and Matthew and started our drive home. Kylie thanked us many times for "the most wonderful birthday of my life!" I hope she remembers this day forever!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kylie Rose.

Kylie - we wanted to let you know how very special you are and how much daddy and I love you. Watching you grow into a school girl, from the little bitty 5lb, 14oz baby that you used to be has been such a joy. You're doing such exciting things right now - learning to read and spell, making new friends in school, maturing, doing so well in ballet.

You are a wonderful big sister to Matthew as well. He thinks you are the best and looks up to you. You have lots of patience with him and he learns so much from you.

You've lost your first tooth - how exciting! And the one next to it will be coming out within a few days. As I as holding your baby tooth, I was thinking about how much has changed in six years. Six year ago, on that same afternoon that you lost your tooth, I was beginning to feel my first labor pains. What a day that was!

We're so glad that you enjoyed your birthday surprise and we hope you remember it forever! Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tooth Fairy is on her way!

Kylie lost her first tooth this afternoon. It happened about an hour ago and she's still dancing around the house in excitement! She's been wiggling her bottom tooth for about a week so we knew it was coming. We were sitting on the couch in the loft, watching "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", trying to get Matthew to fall asleep while catching up on the huge stack of magazines that I need to get through. Kylie was drinking some Gatoraide from a slippy cup and all of a sudden said "Mommy, Mommy!!" and leaned forward, holding her to her mouth. Then she showed me her tooth, in her hand! It hardly bled at all. So we called daddy and the grandma's and took some pictures.
My little girl, losing her first tooth.

Gotta say, while I was holding her tooth, I realized that I started having contractions about this time six years ago. How weird is that?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Kylie's Response Journal

Kylie was given a Response Journal today at school. This is a notebook where her teacher and her write letters back and forth. Only 3 kids in Kylie's class were given a journal so we've very excited that Kylie is doing well enough in school to have this opportunity. Here is the first letter from Mrs. Moore:

Dear Kylie,
I am glad you are writing to me. What is your favorite thing about Kindergarten? I hope you have a great day! Love, Mrs. Moore

Kylie's response:
Dear Mrs. Moore My favorite thing to do in Kindergar is to lrn to rat wrs. Wot is yor favorite thing? Love, Kylie


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Christmas Lists and Shopping!!

The Annual Mathews' Family Christmas lists have been requested! Right on time too, we usually send them out the end of October. I put some things for the kids on the list for Aunt Sarah and Mike, Uncle Josh and Aunt Tracy and Grandpa and Grandma Mathews to pick from. And through the wonder of the internet and "wish lists" on various websites, I was able to pick out a few items on Amazon.com and Columbia.com too. Makes life so much easier.
I put a range of things on my list. Everything from a bike(!!) to running socks. Every year it seems people ask for things that are for their current interest. Harley Davidson was big a few years ago, Wii was popular last year. Sarah usually asks for climbing gear. This year I asked for several running items, stuff you don't really need but would be nice to have. And Josh asked for his shaving stuff and some work-out gear (he's becoming such a gym rat, it's awesome!). And I think Mom will ask for work-out gear as well. What a healthy family we're becoming!!
Now that the lists are coming it, time to get to shopping!!! Brett and I actually made a very smart decision this spring and put a chunk of money in a CD when we got our tax return. With the intention that it would be used as a Christmas fund. So most of our Christmas gifts will be paid in cash - what an un-American concept!
Kylie's Parent Teacher Conference

Brett and I met with Mrs. Moore, Kylie's teacher, this morning. She had nothing but wonderful things to say about Kylie. Her report card came out last week - all 3's, which is the highest grade. Mrs. M said that Kylie is very eager to help in class, is friendly with all the kids, picks concepts up quickly and is very sweet. She actually said that Kylie could probably teach the class one day and the kids would learn that same as when Mrs. Moore teaches!
I was pleased to also hear that her school does SST, which is where the kids are broken up into smaller groups based on their individual learning level. Kylie is in the top group. So several times a week, Kylie and the other kids in her level are taken to another station with the school counselor and works at learning more advanced concepts. Kylie's talked about SST but couldn't really explain it to me so I'm very pleased that her school does this. I was worried at the beginning of the year that Kylie would be getting bored quickly but she isn't.
Mrs. M also wants Kylie to start a response journal between the two of them. Mrs. M will write a few sentences and questions in the journal and Kylie can write back to her that evening. I think Kylie will REALLY find that fun.
So, basically, Kylie is doing a fantastic job in school!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Eight years of happiness!

Happy anniversary Brett!! Eight years ago we became man and wife. What a wonderful life we have.
Brett the Multi-Marathoner!

Brett was so mad about how he did at the marathon in Akron that he wanted a do-over. He didn't want to throw away all the training that he put in over the last 6 months and settle for the time he got at Akron. We did some research and found a marathon 3 weeks later in Indianapolis. Seemed like perfect timing. He did lots of research on what could have caused his cramping (low sodium most likely which was aggrivated by his over-hydration) and adjusted his goals for this race.
Saturday morning was very cold so Brett headed to the start of the race by himself. My sparkpeople friend, John, who is also a great runner took the time to stop by the race and saw Brett at mile 4. He called me to say that Brett looked great. The kids and I found a good spot on the course that allowed us to see him at mile 17 and mile 21 because it looped around. It was still cold but I had chairs for the kids to sit on and we cheered on all the other runners. Soon Brett came around the corner and we cheered loud for him! He was feeling good so we gave him a banana and sent him on his way. The kids were really cold so we got blankets out of the car and snuggled up and waited for Brett again.
He came around the bend, 21 miles down, with a big smile and we knew that he would finish well under his last marathon time. A quick picture and good luck wave and he was off. I gave a few bananas away to guys who looked like they needed them. Then we piled everything back into the car and headed for the finish line. Which was far away and strange to think that Brett was running that whole way! We got there in time and watched him cross the finish line at 3:50, 55 minutes less then his time in Akron!!!! What a wonderful feeling for him because he got to see that he could do better and that he could overcome the obsticles he encountered during his last marathon. So proud of him!
First report card

So, today Kylie brought her very first report card home. What an exciting event. But lets start at the beginning.
Kylie had a Fall party at her school today. Being the room mom, I needed to be there to help out with a few other parents/grandparents. It was so interesting to see Kylie's class and teacher in action. I was impressed by Mrs. Moore, she kept 25 kids under control during a fun party. We made 2 crafts, one was a spider hat and one was a pumpkin. (pics posted later). I was in charge of Kylie's table and there were 4 other kids at her table. They were all pretty well behaved so that helped. They also got suckers, juice and cookies. It was a really fun party and I look forward to helping with more.
I went into work after the party and got home about 4:30. I was pretty anxious to see Kylie's report card since Mrs. Moore passed them out when I was in the classroom so I had been wondering what it said all afternoon! Kylie wanted to open it up before I got home but Sharon told her to wait until I got home to look at it.
It's much different then when I was young. First off, it's 6 pages long. You have to actually read the directions to know what it says. The main part of it had ratings 1-3, one meaning needs improvement, 2 is emerging, 3 is consistently demonstrates. Kylie got all 3's! But most of the skills weren't difficult for her - like recognizes and writes first name legibly - 3. Says rhyming words in response to an oral prompt - 3. Writes upper and lowercase letters correctly - 3 (that was a good one because she has been working on that a lot). One page was just blank, the teacher would mark things that the student had not mastered yet like recognizing numbers, shapes, letters.
Next page listed behaviors that promote learning, personal and social growth. Kylie's said "shows positive attitude toward learning; completes and returns homework, activites and other materials; works, plays and shares cooperatively with others; accepts and follows school rules.
Page 4 was where Mrs. Moore wrote specifically about Kylie "Kylie is a pleasure to have in class. She is a leader as well as a wonderful role model to the other students. She is always willing to help me in the classroom. I am proud of Kylie's work this nine weeks. Continue to practice high frequency words, writing sentences and stories, and reading at home. Keep up the hard work, Kylie!" :-)
Next page was a test page that listed probably 60 words that she has learned or is supposed to learn to read. High frequency words like can, we, the, and, little, she.... as well as color and number words. She did pretty good but missed 10. Some were words that she shouldn't have missed like cat, he and but. And she re-read the test this evening and only missed one word. So we talked about how important it is to take your time on a test and work hard to get each question right.
The last page was the most confusing. I won't get into it but it was another assessment that shows that Kylie is about 3 month ahead of schedule for the testing so we're happy about that.
This is long and drawn out but it's good to go over it and keep track of it. We're so pleased that Kylie is loving school. She has fall break the next 2 days but I know she'll be ready to go back to school on Monday. We love her so much!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yoda and Tinkerbell

We've had a fun week. Uncle Josh came to visit on Wednesday. We haven't seen him since Christmas so the kids had fun beating up on him. We played "Who ate my Fish", Battleship and Memory. Kylie does so well with Memory, its very difficult to beat her. Josh believes that his lack of princess knowledge contributed to his inability to make matches since he couldn't tell the difference between Jasmine and Pocahontas. Whatever!
Uncle Josh did entertain the kids with the ol' diet coke and mentos trick. Always a hit.

We did have Kylie's Maple Elementary Fall Family Fun night on Thursday. It wasn't Josh's scene but he humored us and came along. Hotdogs and chips in the cafeteria, games in the gym, hike in the outdoor learning center and a really good story-teller was in the cabin in the woods behind the school. It was cold but we had a nice time.

Josh left on Friday morning and Matthew and I headed to the gym. I set the treadmill for 40 mins and ended up going 4.3 miles. Not bad. I'd like to start adding in some sprints but it's probably too early in my rehab to do that. After I finished running, I got in line for a paper towel to clean off my machine and some guy started chatting with me about my running. He asked how long I've been running and thought I made it look effortless. Ha. So I got to fill him in a little about my injury and recovery. But it's nice to hear sometimes that others think you're doing really well even when you don't feel like you're doing that good.

Kylie and Matthew had a Halloween Party at her dance studio Friday night. Kylie decided to be Tinkerbell a few weeks ago so I got her a costume. Matthew wanted to be Yoda. I didn't want to pay for a costume and mask that he wouldn't wear so I borrowed a brown monk robe from a friend, bought some green make-up, ear tips and hairspray. Matthew was very patient while I did his make-up. And I think he turned out pretty good!
Kylie got the Tinkerbell 'tude down pretty well!
I took Kylie and Matthew to the party and guess who won first prize for the best costume? Our little Yoda!
"Do or do not, there is no try" "Judge me by my size, do you"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Race for the Taste 2009

What a weekend! History – Brett surprised me with a trip to Orlando back in June for my b-day. He also got me tickets to see U2, my all-time favorite band, in Tampa for the same weekend. Holy Cow, what an amazing gift. Plus, while reading my Runner’s World magazine this summer, I notice an ad for Disney World’s Race for the Taste 10K, which was the same weekend we were going to be down there. Seems perfect, right? So I checked with my sports doctor who said I should have no problem running a 10K in October. After his green light, I registered Brett and I for it. One of the main selling points for us was that it celebrates the annual International Food and Wine fest, which Brett and I have grown to really enjoy. This would actually be our 3rd trip to Disney during this fest so we knew what to expect and were excited to add in a race to our weekend.

Fast forward to Thursday. We leave the kids with Grandpa and Grandma Nabb and head to the airport. Easy flight down. We get the rental car and notice that it is so hot outside, sweating-just-standing-still-hot outside. Yuck. Hoping it cools down a little, especially for our race. Turns out the temp was 94 that afternoon, which broke the previous high temp record of 92. Like I said, hot.

We check into our hotel, which we got at a really good discount because we were going to a sales pitch the next morning. Since it was so hot, we decided to take a short run just to see how we did with the heat. Ugh, not good. We ran down the street and I was melting within ½ mile, walking by 1.5 miles. I would walk 50 feet, then jog ¼ mile, walk again, jog again. All the way back to the hotel. We ending up only going 2.75 miles but that was enough. So we hit the fitness center and finished up our work-out there. I seriously don’t know how people run in that heat, I guess they just run when it’s dark.

Thursday night we headed over to Downtown Disney, which is the big shopping area and a place that I hadn’t been before. They have the world’s largest Disney store there and it was huge. We picked up a few gifts for the kids then walked over to Raglan Road, an Irish pub for a late dinner. Not too impressed, over priced and crowded. Back to the hotel for bed.

Friday we were up early for the sales pitch. We had decided we weren’t buying already. It didn’t start off well because the property they told us to go to in our confirmation letter wasn’t the correct one. Thank goodness for GPS. Tammy, our sales lady, showed us the rooms, gave us her shpel and if it wasn’t for us already owning an RCI timeshare, we might have done it. There was tons of flexibility and other perks. And like all presentations, we had to say “No”, many, many times but we finally got out of there after 2 hours.

Next we hit the pool for some sun. It wasn’t unbearably hot yet so we stayed for a few hours. Then we had lunch, went to Disney’s Wild World of Sports to pick up our race packets and drove to Tampa for the U2 concert. Woo-hoo!

The concert was at the Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs play. Traffic was terrible but we found cheap parking and a gas station to grab a quick bite to eat for dinner (no way were we paying $6 for a hotdog at the concert!). Our seats were in the upper level but we could still see really good. The “stage” was more of a circular spaceship, which makes sense considering the name of the tour: U2’s 360 degrees. It allowed the entire stadium, 70,000+ people to see really well. The opening band was called Muse, not familiar and wasn’t too impressed. U2 started about 8:30. They played 2 songs right off the bat from their new album. Then played “Mysterious Ways”. Let me stop here to tell you about the crowd around us. Two rows in front were 4 Latin American’s who were beyond excited to be there. And as per their culture (I’m saying this because there were numerous flags being waved, all from Latin American countries), they brought their country’s flag to wave and hold above their heads. Now, this was ok when no one was playing but did not work during the concert because we’re short and couldn’t see over or through the flag as he was holding it over his head. Thankfully, Brett ran into the main guy in the bathroom and asked him to be considerate in regards to the flag. The couple directly in front of us consisted of two 60 year olds who had too much to drink. We didn’t think this would be too much of a problem until the lady started giving her date a lapdance during “Mysterious Ways”. It was such a train wreck, the other people near us were just staring, shocked. And it just got better from there. They continued to drink, stand in the aisle and by the end of the night, he was holding her boobs from behind, like the Janet Jackson Rolling Stone cover. Sigh….

So back to the concert. They played a good mix of music, most off their new album and a few older ones. Being Bono, he had some politics thrown in to boot, mainly talking about Iran, the Burmese president who has been under house arrest for 19 years and his ONE campaign. And at one point, he pulled a 12 year old boy from the audience, had him run with him around the entire 200 yard circle stage and gave him his signature sunglasses. How cool.

After the concert and with a lot of roadblocks and detours, we finally got back on the road and to the hotel about 1:30. Thank goodness we could sleep in!

Saturday was our day to spend in Epcot. One of the perks of race registration was a ticket to either Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. So we took the noon hotel shuttle to Epcot and spent the afternoon there. This was our first time without kids so we wanted to hit some of the rides that we haven’t been on before. We rode Soarin’, which is a movie ride where you feel like you’re in a hang glider over California. SO COOL! You got so close to the water that you wanted to pull your feet up, you could smell oranges when you flew over the orange grove, felt like you were skiing down a mountain. We waited an hour for this ride (FASTPASS it if you can, we couldn’t since we held a FASTPASS to Mission Space already) and it was worth it. Next we road Mission Space. They had two levels of this ride, the green which was tame and the orange which was intense. We chose Green, mainly because I didn’t want to mess up my neck and suffer from a headache all day and Brett isn’t a huge spinning fan and we heard spinning was a big part of it. It was pretty tame but decent. Wouldn’t want to wait more then 30 minutes for it though.

Next we grabbed a FASTPASS for Test Track and headed over to World Showcase for food and booze. We were both pretty hungry at this point and knew we needed to eat smart to be ready for our race the next day. We quickly realized that we’d spend tons of money if we tried to fill up on the sample sized items they were selling. So we decided to spend our money on booze instead and get some real dinner off property. We grabbed a pretzel in Germany, I had some frozen drinks (super hot again) and Brett had beers from all over. We caught the “O’ Canada” movie, which was pretty good (air conditioned as well). There were plenty of street entertainers and characters out. We saw Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins while we were in England. Aladdin and Jasmine were hanging out in Morocco. Snow White and her Prince were in Germany. And we saw Mulan in China (it was the first time seeing her in all our visits so I got my picture taken with her and an autograph for Kylie). After finishing our tour of the World, we headed back to Test Track to ride that. That wasn’t bad either, you were “driving” a car through a simulated test track. Wouldn’t want to wait too long for it though, FASTPASS is the way to go. On our way out, we rode Spaceship Earth, which is the ride inside the big “golf ball.” That was a very fast line and was a fun ride. The kids would have liked it.

After we got back to the hotel, we drove to the grocery store and found some Chinese noodles to nuke for dinner. Gotta have those carbs! Watched some football and went to bed.

Sunday morning the alarm goes off at 5:00am. We get up, get dressed and head out the door for Epcot. We get there at 5:45 and the parking lot we’re supposed to be in is filling up fast. So we get parked (some of their parking lot attendants use Segways now!) and get on a shuttle to the start line at World Wide Sports. We spend an hour warming up and standing around there. The DJ was spinning some decent tunes and getting the crowd excited. It’s still pitch black outside but cooler then it had been, thank goodness. The race starts at 7:00, they even set off fireworks at the start line! We head down a major road, turn and go to the main entrance of the park. Then another turn, down some back road to the entrance of Hollywood Studios. This is the park that has Pixar characters, Indiana Jones and some stunt show. There is a water station here, just past mile 1. I walked through the water station so I could catch my breath and get plenty of water. We were running about a 9:10 min mile (slow compared to my pre-injury pace of 8:30 or so), which I was fine with, I wasn’t worried about our finishing time, just wanted to make it past 4 miles before I needed to walk. We wind around through the “cast member area” – read back door/trash can area – or as my dad would say “the cook’s tour”. Then we come out the side entrance for the stunt show and see ourselves on the jumbo screen!! That was fun to wave at ourselves. Then we run down a street designed to look like New York City and San Francisco. Then we ran around the famous Mickey Fantasia hat and had a fellow runner take our picture here.We exit the park through the front gate and turn down a walking path that ran to the Boardwalk resort. By this time, the sun was up and it was getting warmer. Another water stop at about mile 4, which I walked through again. We were still at about a 9 min pace, but our time wasn’t reflecting that since we had stopped for a few pictures along the way. The resort we ran through was nice, hadn’t ever been there before. It was a good part of the race, about a mile. I was feeling fine, leg-wise and cardio-wise so I decided to keep running, past my 4 mile plan. I did take a “Cliff-shot” before the water stop and was hoping it would kick in when I needed it at mile 5. Before I know it, we turn a corner, hit another water station and turn into England!! We were in the World Showcase inside Epcot, the last leg of the race. Woo-hoo!

It was so cool to run through the countries that I had just been walking around the afternoon before. The mile 5 marker was in front of France. At this point, I figure – ok, only 1 mile left and I’m still feeling ok so I’m going to do this, run the whole way, something I hadn’t even really considered being able to do at all! So we’re running past Japan and the Outback. I start to feel pretty tired but tell myself “Just make it to Germany”. So we pass Italy, then Germany. Then I decide, “Ok, you did it. Now make it to Mexico.” We past China, Norway and then Mexico and I’m still running! Sweet. We make the turn to the straightaway that shows the Epcot ball in front of us. What a beautiful sight!! I’m hurting but was not going to stop with only 5 minutes left. I do stop long enough for Brett to get my picture though. We run past the fountain as other guests were entering Epcot, staring at us probably thinking “Why are you doing this to yourself? And you’re dripping in sweat.” (Not an understatement, everyone was soaked in sweat. )

We round the last turn and I see the mile 6 marker. I start telling myself, out-loud “I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this” while getting teary-eyed. A few more turns and we see the finish-line. Brett wants to finish strong so we start picking up the pace. Then it hits me – the urge to puke. This happens a lot in the last few 1/10th’s of a mile in my races, don’t know why. Maybe because I try to sprint to the finish or maybe because I sometimes get emotional towards the end? Regardless, the crowds are on both sides and Brett is encouraging me to keep going. But I find a opening in the grass and “give back” my Cliff Shot. Whew, felt so much better. I take off again, see Mickey and Minnie at the finish line and raise my hands as I finish!! I did it!! I finished a 10K, 6.2 miles! Last time I ran that far was the Mini when I broke my hip and pelvis. I run right for Mickey, with a big smile on my face and go to hug him but reconsider after realizing how sweaty and nasty I was. I shook his hand instead and thanked him for being there. Brett crossed a few seconds after me and we got our medals. They are nice, brushed silver, shaped like a dinner plate with a spoon, fork and knife hanging down from it. Says “Race for the Taste 10k”. Nice purple ribbon with it too. Our finishing time wasn’t great, 58:09. But we were under an hour, which was another goal of mine.

After a banana, Powerade and a few minutes to catch our breath, we go over to have our pictures taken with Pluto. Goofy was there later so I got my picture with him as well. Chip and Dale were at the finish line, taking Mickey and Minnie’s spot. Boy, I would have been pissed if Chip or Dale greeted me at the finish line instead of Mickey and Minnie!!

They had a post-race picnic so we grabbed some food and then headed back to the hotel. We were in the car by 9:00, just over 3 hours from when we parked it. Back to the room for a well deserved shower and cool-off period. Then we packed up and checked out at noon. Thank goodness we could shower, we were both dripping in sweat, would have felt bad for the whole plane if we hadn’t showered!

Thoughts –

Race Stats: 10k, 6.2 miles. Finished in 58:09, overall place 708/4013, gender place 245/2447, age division 41/445.

Epcot is so fun and we got to do several new things too. There is so much to see, it really takes multiple visits to see/do everything and there were still things that we didn't have time to do.

Disney does things right. The race was well supported, not much crowd support since spectators aren’t allowed on the route but most of the cast members who were around were clapping and encouraging.

U2 is the best rock band in the world, hands down.

I love my husband and thank him so much for giving me such a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Akron Marathon 2009, 1st time marathoner, MARY, 3231" I stared at my marathon bib and tears welled up in my eyes so heavily that I couldn't read the words on the bright yellow bib any longer. I was holding my bib, knowing that I wouldn't be running a step of this race due to my stress fracture that I incurred during my 1/2 marathon in May. I heard my husband call my name, looked up and he and our friends were waiting for me. I crumpled up my bib, stuffed it in my goodie bag and joined them as we walked through the expo hall.

Way back on May 3rd, the day after my 1/2 marathon, Brett, our friend Lynk and I were sitting in my living room, moaning about our soar muscles and discussing the race. Lynk brought up the idea of doing a marathon and I told him no way, I was way too sore after just 13 miles, no way I could do 26. Well, the idea grew on me and after much research and many e-mails between Lynk, his wife Nancy, Brett and I, we registered for the Akron Road Runner Marathon. The lingering hip pain that I had from the 1/2 was not improving so I went to a sports doctor, had an MRI and was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my hip and in my pelvis. So no marathon for me. But I knew I could be useful to my friends by being the all important support staffer so I focused on that, pushing my disappointment aside.

We left for Akron on Friday afternoon, drove 5 hours and went straight to the expo hall. After picking up our bibs, we went from booth to booth, spinning wheels for free stuff (I got a reusable grocery bag, Brett won a pair of 1980 sunglasses) and meeting up with one of my Sparkpeople friends, Jan, at the Teams in Training booth. I kept looking at the sale racks of women's running clothes for a good deal. I had been released by my doctor to run up to 3 miles 2 weeks prior to this marathon. So the thought of running the first 3 miles entered my mind. But I didn't bring any running clothes with me. I did buy a long sleeved tee that said "I run like a girl, try to keep up". I mentioned to Nancy that if I had a sports bra, I would love to run the first few miles of the race. But all the ones at the expo seemed pretty over priced. Brett overheard me and said he thought it was a great idea and that I should do it. So Nancy suggested stopping at Target or Walmart on the way to the hotel to buy a sports bra. I immediately lite up inside and out, thrilled to even run 3 out of 26 miles of this race. At least I wouldn't be completely stuck on the sidelines, I could wear my bib, get the rush from crossing the start line, feel part of the experience. I was stoaked. Brett and I looked over the course map and the 3 mile mark was very close to the start and finish lines so we knew it would be an easy place to stop and still get to the car to change, get the camera and get to the finish line to watch him finish. It all seemed to be lining up.

We picked up our "free" Brooks tech jackets that were included in our entry fee and left the expo to find the hotel and dinner. We stayed at a Courtyard By Marriott, ate dinner at TGI Fridays and went back to the room. Nancy and I ran up to Walmart, got a sports bra and some running shorts for me as well as trash bags and ziploc bags. We had checked the weather and it said 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms. None of us wanted to run in the rain but we were more concerned about the race being canceled due to thunderstorms as well. But weather is the one thing you can't control so we just went to bed.

Wake-up call was at 5:00 am. We got up, grabbed some breakfast and drove to the finish line, which was at a minor league baseball field, in the middle of downtown Akron. It wasn't raining but still very dark. We walked 5 block to the start line where there were 1000's of people. It's a full, 1/2 and relay race so lots of people were participating. I gave Brett a big kiss and he went to find the 3:20 (7:34 min mile) pace group. Lynk and Nancy headed to the 10 min mile area and I settled in about 8:30 min mile area. The music was cranked over the loud speakers and the feeling from the crowd was electric. The announcer said there was no rain in the forecast, only thick cloud cover, answering our prayers! I did some stretching but mainly stayed to the side so I wouldn't be in the way of the real marathoners. 7:00am came and the bell sounded, signaling the start of the race! I settled into a comfortable pace. I knew I didn't want to push too hard, my main goal was to make it to 3 miles without walking (since I didn't do that at the 5K I competed in the week before). I passed mile 1 at 9:00, hit mile 2 about 18:20 and then was happy to see mile 3 at 27:00. The course had rolling hills, nothing out of control but hills so I was really happy that I made it 3 miles without walking. And no leg/hip pain either. I pulled off to the side and a man said "Come on, Mary, don't stop!" (my bib had my name on it) and I smiled at him and said "I'm injured, I'm only supposed to go 3 miles".

I walked 5 blocks to the car where I changed shirts and grabbed our backpack with the camera, course map, smiley face balloon (so they could pick me out of the crowd easily) water bottles and other things for the rest of my crew. And I hoofed it another 6 blocks up to the 10th mile marker, which also was the start line. It was pretty crowded there, lots of family members stayed there after the start of the race. Took a little searching to find a good spot and I settled in to wait for Brett. I signed up for text messages as Brett, Lynk and Nancy crossed certain points of the race so I would have an idea how they were doing. I got one about Brett saying he had crossed the 15k (9.3 miles) at 1:10:26 with a predicted finishing time of 3:17:57! So I knew he was staying with the pace group. I saw him coming down the road, waved and snapped a picture.

Next up was Lynk and his text at 15K said 1:25:38 with a predicted finishing time of 4:00:46. I crossed the street to get a better angle which wasn't easy because security wasn't allowing people to cross for the safety of the runners. But I got across and waited for Lynk. Saw him coming from a ways away and got some good pictures of him. He stopped to tie his shoe and ask how my run went. I also told him that security was being strict so I wasn't going to stay around for Nancy because I needed to get to the finish line to see Brett. He thought that was fine so I headed out. Walked back to the car to get my new tech jacket, drop off some of the bottles of water that were weighing down my pack and headed to the stadium. At this point I get a text saying that Nancy crossed 15K at 2:00:52, predicted finishing time of 5:39:31. So I figured that if I hurried, I could make the 10 mile mark and see her. But the crowd was bigger, streets harder to cross so by the time I got to the 10 mile mark, it was 17 mins later, well past the time she would have reached 10 miles. So I turn around and head back to the stadium.

I get another text - Brett crossed 25K (15 miles) at 2:01:15, predicted time of 3:24:30. That was strange, he was 4 minutes off of the pace group. I say a quick prayer, hoping that his knee wasn't bothering him. Next up was a text about Lynk, 25K at 2:29:47, finishing time of 4:12:34. He was slowing down as well. Hmmm. I get to the stadium as the 1/2 marathoners were starting to finish up. I grab a seat and see the winner of the marathon cross at 2:28 - amazing. See the first woman finish at 2:44. I get a text - Brett reached 30K (18.6 miles) 2:42:59, predicted finishing time of 3:54:13. Oh crap. How/why did it take him 40 minutes to go 5k???? He normally does 5k in 21 minutes. He has to be hurt. Or maybe he couldn't keep up with the pace group, slowed down and was planning on finishing by 4 hours, which was his backup plan.

I get another text saying that Lynk passed 30K at 3:12:45, predicted finish of 4:36:36. I sadly watch the 3:20 pace group come in. I get a text about Nancy, she crossed 25k at 3:26:49, predicted finish of 5:48:42. The cut-off time is 6 hours so I worry and hope that she stays at that speed. The lady behind me tells me that no texts are sent after 30k until the runner crosses the finish line. So I was in the dark from mile 18.6 to mile 26.2. There is a lot that can go wrong in those 8 miles. Hour 4 approaches and I'm on the edge of my seat, watching for Brett to come into the stadium. They had it set up that the runners came in from right field, ran down a tarp to 1st base where they crossed the finish line. I watch runner after runner cross, waiting to see his white long-sleeved tech shirt and 10 year old gold athletic shorts come down the stretch. And I wait and worry and pray. Four hours passes. I start thinking "Ok, he didn't fill out the emergency info on the back of his bib, how will anyone reach me if something has happened to him? He'd call if he was unable to finish so I wouldn't worry, wouldn't he?? Please, please let him finish soon."

I text Nancy to tell her that Brett and Lynk were not finished yet. She lets me know that she hurt her hip back at mile 2.5 and was in pain but determined to finish. I get a few phone calls and texts from family members wanting to know how Brett was doing. I just tell them that he hasn't finished yet, I'm worried and will call when I know something.

Finally, at 4:45 (11:45am) I see Brett running into the stadium. I scream as loud as I can, take some pictures, scream and wave and cry as I watch him cross the finish line at 4:45:49. He doesn't see or hear me. I run up the stadium stairs and push through the crowd, trying to get to the runners area. I dash down another set of stairs and start screaming his name and waving the smiley balloon like a mad woman. He finally sees me, smiles and points for me to sit down. I quickly text a few people to let them know he finished and wait for him to get out of the runners area. He walks up to me with his mylar blanket around him, medal in one hand, food bag in the other. I give him the biggest hug and kiss and cried telling him how worried I was but how happy I was. He sits down and tells me about his calfs cramping up terribly at mile 15 (right when I got the text that he was slowing down) and his calf completely locking up at mile 18. He goes to the bathroom to get sick (too much Gu and water). Suddenly I get a text saying that Lynk crossed the finish line at 4:57:25, I missed watching him finish. But I got some pictures of him walking through the runners area. So he met up with us and he and Brett quickly started swapping race stories. Lynk cramped up partway through as well so just took his time finishing. He wasn't worried about a finishing time so he was really happy to just be done. Brett was extremely disappointed in his performance, especially since he had never cramped on any training run. I was just happy to have him safe. They continue to talk and we move down to the better seating area and wait for Nancy.

It's about 5:45 and no sign of her. Brett and Lynk decide to walk up the road to find her and help bring her in. I wait to get pictures at the finish line. I watch the minutes tick by, knowing that the race is over at 6:00. The stadium is nearly empty but the 100 people that where there started cheering very loudly for every finisher at this point. I start getting really nervous at 5:55 and start crying at 5:59, knowing that she wouldn't have time to cross the finish line before it hit 6:00. The clock hits 6:00. Then the announcer says that the last person didn't cross the starting line until 7:05am so they were giving everyone an extra 5 minutes to finish. Whew, she can still make it. The clock is ticking. I'm not taking my eyes off the entrance. Suddenly, I see Nancy and Lynk come around the corner. Lynk points me out to her and steps off the course. Nancy starts running down the tarp to the finish line. I'm screaming her name and taking her picture. She crossed the finish line at 6:03 but had an official finishing time of 5:59:53 - she made it with only 7 seconds to spare!!!!! What a rush.

Within a minute of her crossing the finish line, the skies opened and started to pour. God waited until all 3 finished before letting the rain come. While Nancy is cooling down and gathering her stuff, I head to the car to pull it up to the stadium. Everyone slowly piles in (we actually had a police officer stop traffic so they could climb into the minivan) and we head back to the hotel. Much race talk ensued. Nancy said the 6:00 pacer caught her at mile 18 and she just started bawling. She knew that if he passed her, she would be picked up by the sag wagon. So he talked her through the next 8 miles and got her across the line in time. He even gave her his pace sign as a momento.

After showers and resting, we headed to Texas Roadhouse for an early dinner. There were plenty of other runners there, all limping and proudly wearing their medals or marathon jackets. We all looked each other in the eye and congratulated each other. No matter what your time was that day, you still reached a goal and that's something to be very proud of.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I got it for you, Mommy

Irishfest has a kids play/game area. I was helping Matthew with some of the games while Brett was with Kylie. It was a simple enough game, pick a duck out of the tub, if you have a number on the bottom of the duck, you get a prize. Well, Matthew's duck had a number. He started digging through a container of plastic rings, which I thought was odd since there were plastic lizards in another bin. And I thought it was really odd that he picked a pink ring. I asked him "Matthew, are you sure that's what you want?" and he turned to me, took my hand, put the ring on my finger and said "I got it for you, Mommy." Oh, melt my heart!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I ran the Indianapolis Irish Fest 5K this morning. I didn't know what to expect from my legs or lungs. I was praying that I wouldn't have pain in my hip but also praying that I could finish in a respectiable time for me.

Brett was kind enough to use this 5K as a training run for his marathon and ran at my pace for encouragement.I started off strong, felt great. I was running without my ipod because I had read that there would be bagpipers along the route. Well, there wasn't so it was a quiet run other then Brett telling me my pace (and he said he thought the Garmin was a bad investment - ha!).The route was right through downtown so that was neat, we ran on the major roads and around the "circle". I was feeling a little tired at mile one and started to doubt if I could keep up my pace (8:15 at this point). I must have zoned out or speed up or something because mile 2 was at a 7:45. But once we hit mile 2.5, I was gassed. Lungs killed, stomach hurt, emotionally shot. I stopped to throw up (I didn't but sure thought I was going to) and Brett turned in to Coach Nabb. Through his "encouraging words" I was able to gut out the last .6 miles. Finishing time of 25:45.

So, not my best race. Actually that's the worst that I've done in a 5k. But considering I was only given the ok to run and only 15 mins at a time at that last FRIDAY, I think I did ok. Actually, other then the near hurl and yelling between Brett and I, I did well considering. Here are the official stats based on gun time, not watch time:

There were 54 finishers in the Female 30 to 34 age group and 555 finishers in the race.
Your overall finish place was 160 and your age group finish place was 5. Your time of 27:00.7 gave you a 8:43 pace per mile.

Just for kicks, I checked the finishing times for my age division. The second place finisher had the EXACT same time as I had for the 5K I ran in April. So, at least I know that if I had been healthy, I would have been 2nd!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Daisy Outing

So Kylie is in Daisies, which is the precursor to Brownies. It's a two years long and the girls earn petals instead of patches. I don't think she's really understood what it is, she's been thinking its just a big playdate. We had her first camping experience though on Friday night. It was so fun!! For both of us.

We were at Camp Dellwood, which happens to be about 10 minutes from our house, super convenient. I was impressed by how large the camp seemed, certainly didn't seem like we were pretty much in the middle of the Westside. Long, narrow gravel road and everything. We were camping in cabin complete with kitchen and indoor bathroom. There were 5 girls and their moms. We slept on mattresses in our sleeping bags (I borrowed mine from a friend).

We started off the night with having the girls make their own pizzas. So we had pizza and salad for dinner. Then we took a hike, ended up getting a little lost on the trails so it turned into a "flashlight" hike since we were gone longer then we planned. Pretty sure we heard bats! Once we got back to our cabin, the girls had a fun craft - making daisies out of pipe cleaners and foam balls. After that, it was late so we put them all to bed where they just talked and giggled until we joined them. I think it was about 11:15 before everyone settled down. I didn't sleep too bad, it was nice and cool.

Kylie and I were both up about 7am. I heard her rolling around so took her to the bathroom. I asked her if she was having fun and she said "Oh yes, I'm having so much fun!". We had bagels, muffins and donut holes for breakfast. One girl wasn't able to spend the night so she and her mother came in the morning. The mother was kind enough to stop at Starbucks beforehand so I had my nice yummy latte to help start my morning! Then we made another craft, the girls made a "sit-upon" which is a piece of carpet padding covered with a plastic table cloth and decorated with duct tape with a string on one end for them to carry. It's meant to give them something to sit-upon when they are outside camping so they don't get wet clothes.

Next we took another hike, without getting lost. The girls collected lots of acorns and leaves on our hike. We stopped at the pioneer cemetery on the grounds and the girls were very interested in how old the stones were, we found some from the mid 1800's. We might do some rubbings of the stones on our next trip there. After our hike, it was time to clean up the cabin and head home.

Kylie and I had a fun time and are really looking forward to more fun with Daisies!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yes, yes, yes!

I ran for 15 mins today and it felt awesome!!! No pain, no weird gait (post-injury, pre-diagnosis I was running with a "pat, thump, pat, thump" gait), no soreness afterwards. It was just wonderful. Before I got on the treadmill, I listened to a hymn on my ipod and had a few minutes of stretching and prayer. This injury has truly humbled me so if that's the lesson God wanted me to learn, it's worked!
I started off at 6.0 (10min mile) for the first 10, just to get a feel for it. Then at 10mins, I bumped it up to 6.5 for the last 5 mins. 2 min cool down so I got in 1.65 miles in 17 minutes. I was sweating good too.
My dr said I could follow up my 15 min run with 25 mins on the bike so I did that to start to build up my cardio. I can tell that my cardio has improved since I started working out again. Not where it was, of course, but I no longer feel like I'm dying 8 minutes into a workout.

Did some serious abs as well. The kind that make you feel like you can't do one more crunch. And that felt good too.

I'll run again on Monday, taking the weekend for ST and rest.

I feel great!!!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I need to check messages.

So, I have a terrible habit of not checking our messages on our home voice mail. There isn't a light or anything to let you know when we have a message, just a faster beeping dial tone. Brett NEVER checks messages and I only check about once a week or so. I figure most people call my cell phone or e-mail me. Well, today I lifted the phone and heard the fast beep. Dialed the number, entered my 7 digit code (seriously, 7 digits???) and heard "You have 5 new messages". Huh.

First message was from Mrs. Moore, Kylie's K teacher. What?! She called to ask me to be the Room Mom! How excited. But what a bummer that she called LAST Tuesday and wanted to meet LAST Thursday to go over the information. Opps.

Feeling just terrible, after all, Mrs. Moore said I was her first choice and I would be perfect at it, I e-mailed Mrs. Moore back and apologized for not returning her call. And then I called and left her a voice mail message as well. I'm thinking that it's been over a week, she's gone to the next mom on her list and I would be happy with whatever volunteering she needed still.

But the phone rang and Mrs. Moore said she figured that I hadn't checked my messages, apologized for not e-mailing and asked me to still be the Room Mom. Woo-hoo! Call me a dork but I think that's pretty cool. I'll be in charge of getting donations for the class parties, helping during parties, and other fundraising projects. Right up my alley.

Mrs. Moore also let me know that she's very impressed by Kylie and how quickly she picks up on new concepts. She wants to go over some "above and beyond" activities for Kylie when we meet for parent/teacher conferences in October.

I guess we're both "Teacher's Pets". ;-)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

School days, school days.

Matthew outside of Discovery Days.

Matthew and his friend Joshua, they are in the same class.I got in one last hug and kiss.

Matthew started preschool today with Miss Joni. He was ready, he's been bored without Kylie. Matthew insisted on wearing his pirate rainboots because he said the other boys would like him then. A few years ago I would have argued but not now - who really cares if he's wearing boots or shoes? He liked finding his name tag on the wall and hanging up his book bag. But once the door opened and Miss Joni was standing there - none of the kiddos moved! They all stood there and waited for either their parent to push them in or someone else to go first! Matthew hid behind me so I walked him up to the door and kinda shoved him forward. I asked him to count the frogs that were in the aquarium. Then he walked in fine.
Two hours later, I picked him up. He had a big smile on his face when he came out the door. He didn't say much about school, not a surprise. But he did say that he wanted to go back and that there were 5 frogs.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Meet the Teacher night part deux

We met with Matthew's teachers Miss Joni and Miss Nancy last night. They are the same teachers that Kylie had at that age. Matthew was excited to go to the classroom but not interested in meeting the teachers.

On a side note, there is a child with a severe peanut allergy in his class. So we're not allowed to pack anything for snacks or lunch with peanuts. What will Matthew eat if he can't has his PB&J??
The Break-up

I ended my 2.5 year relationship with my gym, Cardinal Fitness, this week. It actually made me quite sad. I've seen myself go from a couch potato who couldn't be on the elliptical for more then 10 minutes to running 13.1 miles. I'm made some friends, my kids like Gladys, the kids room worker and it's comfortable.

But, my sports doctor suggested adding swimming into my rehab for my hip. Swimming is a zero impact exercise so it's ideal for injury recovery. Cardinal doesn't have a pool. The big huge new gym down the street, LA Fitness, does. I felt like I was cheating just walking into it. But after taking the tour, I saw that there's a whole new world out there! It was like eating hamburger every day of your life and then switching to steak. In addition to the pool, LA also offers all the cardio equipment you could ever want, weights and machines (often time 2 or 3 of the more popular machines), classes that range from yoga and pilates to spinning and kickboxing to latin dance and hiphop. The kids room is nice too (bonus for a bathroom in the kids room so I won't get paged 1/2 way through my workout to take Matthew to the potty). After going through the sales pitch, bargaining my dues and childcare costs down, I signed on the dotted line.

Next I had to break the news to the kids and also break up with Cardinal. The manager, who is a friend of mine, was disappointed but understood where I was coming from. Kylie cried when we said goodbye to Miss Gladys and Matthew actually gave her a high-five (he's not big on physical contact!). I was sad to pull out of their parking lot but secretly excited about my first workout at LA.

So, today after dropping Kylie off at the bus stop, Matthew and I piled in the car and headed off for LA. He loved the kids room right away, which helped me feel better. Then I hit the locker room to change my shoes and ran into a friend who left Cardinal in May! It was great to catch up with her and to get an insiders perspective of the new place. She said I'd recognize a lot of faces, which I did, 6 actually in the hour that I was there. I got in a good workout on the elliptical (my last cardio equipment before being allowed back onto the treadmill next week). I also did legs on the equipment. That was a little tricky because I had to find the equipment, figure out how to adjust it to me and do the reps. But I got it all worked out. Finished up with some serious ab work and I was done. Matthew said he had lots of fun too.

I'm really looking forward to trying the classes and pool. I might do the pool some next week and am planning on a yoga class next Thursday morning. This is going to be good!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Loose teeth!

Kylie has two loose teeth. Both front top ones. She's been watching a few of her friends and classmates lose teeth with eager anticipation. This week she asked me to feel her teeth and they all felt firmly attached. But this evening, she mentioned that she thought her top one was wiggly. So I felt it and it does move a little bit. While I checked that one, I checked her other top tooth as well and noticed that it was wiggly as well. How exciting!!

Oh and school pictures are on Friday. Brett wants the teeth to stay put until after the pictures, I hope she loses one before pictures, just for the cute effect. Stayed tuned for more tooth updates!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Self Portrait Project

Kylie finished her first homework assignment for Kindergarten. She needed to make a self portrait. We were encouraged to be creative! So some brainstorming, a trip to Joann's and supplies from my scrapbook area produced this:

She has a brown dress with cupcakes on it, so she wanted to use that for her dress here. And on hand has a small bandaid on it to cover up where she gets pinched (there is a little girl who has been pinching other girls in her class). And she's holding an American flag in her other hand. Kylie picked out a paper with roses on it since her middle name is Rose. And we spent a good deal of time searching through all the cross-stitch thread to find some that matched her hair perfectly. Not too bad, if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Reading is so fun!"

That's what Kylie said this evening to me. My heart soar!! Here's the story:

She has several "beginning reader" books. Books with short, commonly used words such as: the, at, we, us, I, as, can, will, and. She has never shown any interest in these books, she prefers more advanced books that I read to her.

Her school has a reading contest going to encourage kids to read and be read too. She's been coloring a cowboy hat (for the Reading Round Up program) on this paper nearly every day that we read together. Tonight she wanted to color a hat but I told her we needed to read first. I had found this beginner book when I was picking up earlier in the day and asked Kylie if she wanted to try to read this to me. It was called "Popcorn Day". She really expressed interest in reading this book to me.

So we started. Kylie worked hard at sounding out the words she didn't recognize, which were most of them. The vowels were hard for her since it would be a long or short sound and the "sh" and "th" as well as "I" were confusing for her too. She sounded out an H sound for the N's because h and n look alike. But once she would figure out a word, she remembered it. And since the book had lots of repetition, she grew more confident as she recognized the words.

I didn't want to push her so had her stop after 8 pages. But after we re-read those 8 pages, she said "Reading is so fun, let's do some more!" so we read 8 more pages. We stopped once she started getting worn out.

I gave her huge hugs as did Brett. What a special night for us, I watched her read 16 pages!! Woo-hoo for her!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bees, butterflies and dragons - on my.

What a nice weekend we had. Brett is still busy training for his marathon, he did 19 miles with a 1 mile cool down on Saturday morning. I know he's really ready for the marathon to be done, the time he spends training is really wearing on him. On Saturday he left the house at 8:30, got home about 11:45 and had to rest, eat and shower so he wasn't ready to do anything until 1:30. I don't mind, I want him to do this marathon, but I know he's just tired and bored of the training. One more long run (20 miles on Labor Day weekend) and he'll be ready. His other runs between now and the marathon are all shorter, recovery runs.

Saturday afternoon, we drove up to the Art Museum. Brett had never been and the kids and I have one been once. Their gardens are beautiful. The Museum sits on property that was donated by the Lilly Family, as in Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, inventor of insulin. We toured their country house, the gardens and went through a few exhibits in the museum.

Saturday evening we had our friends, Coach and Barb over for dinner. It's been a while since we've had people over so we enjoyed that time catching up with them.

Sunday was church. Our church runs 2 services, 8:15 and 11:00 with a Sunday School hour inbetween. We usually go to the 8:15 because we like being home by 11:00 to enjoy most of the rest of the day. Well, the leadership has decided to move the 8:15 service to a 9:30, keep the 11:00 service and run Sunday School during both hours. Research has shown that the most popular time to go to church is 9:30. And by running SS during both services, we can double our space and offer more classes, something we can't do at this time. I think it's a great idea and am proud of our leadership for considering "mixing things up". But our SS class that we love will be meeting at 9:30 now so afterwards we'll go to the 11:00 service. Which means, we won't be finished until 12:15 or so. That means lunch and naps and our day is done. We'll adapt but it will be different. But I won't mind being able to sleep in until 8:00 now!!

After church we went to the zoo. They have a butterfly exhibit as well as a Kimono Dragon exhibit running now, both are finished Labor Day weekend. The dragons were really cool and just plain huge. Would not want to run into one of those in the wild. The butterflies are so fun, you walk around the greenhouse and feel like you're in a tropical rainforest, flowering plants and trees all you and the butterflies just fliting all around. Kylie and I loved it but poor Matthew freaked out whenever one came near him, he thought they were going to sting him. Guess he has some fear after his bee sting this week. Actually he won't go outside much right now because he's afraid of being stung. Poor little guy.

And now it's Monday morning. Kids are up, Kylie is dressed and we're starting a new week.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good doctors appointment!

Warning - this blog is rambling, it's more for me to write things down to refer back to later then to explain to others.

I had my
3rd appointment with my sports doctor, Dr. Arnold today. I was nervous going into it since I felt like I re-injured my hip 2 weeks ago. I explained it to him, described the pain and frustration. He examined me and said what I experienced was totally normal and common with his patients (athletes who tend to push too hard). He thinks it was a combination of sitting in the chair at work followed by riding the bike and then squatting and sitting on the floor while cleaning the next morning. So Dr. A cleared me to start back at the beginning with my exercise routine - exercise 3x's a week starting with biking, then StairMaster, then elliptical. If that goes well, then I can start back to running!!! Treadmill to start - 15mins at first, building up to 25 mins. And if I'm still feeling good and want to get my lungs back into shape, then I can run for 25 mins and bike for 25 mins. He said it will take time to get my lungs back but it will happen. He thinks the 5k that I'm running in 4 weeks is totally achievable as well as the 10K in 7 weeks. He doesn't anticipate me experiencing soreness again. If I do though, he'll send me in for another MRI without hesitation.

So, very good appointment! I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kylie Got Caught!

Day 6 of Kindergarten, which I'm going to refer to now as K because I'm tired of typing it out every time.
Today was green day. Monday was red, Tuesday blue. Kylie was head to toe in green, including her panties (although when I reminded her to not show her panties, she said "No, that is not appropriate K behavior").

Being Wednesday, I had to work. So it was our first day of having Sharon, Brett's mom who watches the kids on Wednesday's, take Kylie to the bus. Apparently, Kylie forgot that she needed her book bag so she missed the bus while Grandma ran home to get it. Good thing the bus leaves the neighborhood using the same entrance because the driver made an extra stop being leaving to pick Kylie up. I heard about this and felt instant "mommy guilt". Ho-hum.

Kylie's been having a little drama at school. Another girl, Jaden has been sticking her tongue out at Kylie for no apparent reason. Kylie thinks it's because she is becoming friends with Zoe, who is also friends with Jaden and that Jaden is upset about that. Drama, drama, drama.

I was thrilled to hear that Kylie "got caught" today at school, a concept that I didn't understand from Kylie's explanation so I asked the neighbor girl, Marissa to clear it up for me. Apparently, you can earn a "I got caught doing my part" card, which is then entered into a weekly drawing for a tee-shirt. Kylie earned hers for being first to sit on the carpet and was quiet as a mouse. It was the first card that her teacher has given out this year. So proud!! I did explain to Kylie that she might not win the tee-shirt but we were very proud of her. She's so wonderful, just love her, love her, love her!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Attack of the bugs.

Poor little Matthew got stung by a bee this evening, first time either child has been. We were waiting for the ice cream truck and I ran inside to get some money. I came back out and he was screaming hysterically in pain. I grabbed him, he was holding his ear and saying "I got stung" over and over again. A little mud, cold wash cloth, blanket and cuddles from mom helped him settle down. But he's pretty swollen. :-(

And to top it off, his calves are covered with mosquito bites. And they swell, he scratches, they bleed and they scab. He pretty much looks like we slathered him in honey and tied him down in a tropical jungle. (well maybe not that bad but anything on my little baby looks bad to me!).

Friday, August 14, 2009

And that's OK.

Brett and I went to Meet the Teacher night last night. This being our first one, we didn't know really what to expect. First off, I was surprised by the amount of paperwork we got. Now, I've already filled out and turned in probably 15 pages of paperwork for her. So to see a folder, overflowing with more paperwork was surprising. We divided and conquered the pages we had to fill out and turn in that night. The two 1/2 day teachers spoke to the group (we were in the gym) and went over all the expectations, rules and schedules that the kids will have. One of the teachers (not Kylie's, thank goodness) kept talking to us like WE were the kindergartners. She kept saying "and that's OK." As in "sometimes kids have accidents and that's OK." Or "sometimes they have to be put in time-out and that's ok." No joke, she said "and that's OK" 50 times if she said it once. Drove Brett crazy, I just thought it was funny.
The expectations are high for her class. She'll be reading by the end of the year, spelling tests start in January, math skills have already started, she'll have weekly homework assignments. But they make it fun.
And that's ok.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kylie's first day of Kindergarten

The day finally came. My little girl started kindergarten. And she was so excited.

We went to the school yesterday to meet her teacher and look around her classroom. Mrs. Moore seems very nice and Kylie wasn't shy at all when talking with her. The classroom looked like the perfect kindergarten classroom, bright colors and miniature furniture. They even had a few computers (much different from when I was a kid, I don't think we used computers until I got into 7th grade).

No tears from Kylie and I kept mine in until I looked at her pictures that we took. Just can't believe that she's a school girl now. Our whole schedule now changes, no more sleeping in or lazy pj days! She's only gone from 8:15-11:30 but it's every week day. It will take some getting used to. Although it makes me sad, I'm very excited for her, she's going to have so much fun. My big girl.

Our neighbor, Marissa, walked with us to the bus stop. I think it helped Kylie relax, getting on the bus with her friend.
The bus driver greeted her by name (she was wearing a nametag) and told her where to sit (first seat on the left). Kylie waved to us when she sat down.
Matthew and I waited at the end of our driveway for Kylie. The bus was 10 mins late, I was starting to wonder but figured with it being the first day, it would take longer. I was pretty happy to see this sight:

But even happier to see this sight! The bus driver was very nice, even asked if I got "the shot" of Kylie getting off. First thing Kylie said was that "school was AWESOME! Riding the bus was AWESOME." She said kindergartners were first off the bus and they had to walk in a straight line to their classroom. There was a hook for her to hang her bag and hoodie, but it didn't have her name on it. She could sit where ever she wanted. She played teddy bears with some other girls. One girl was really nice but Kylie didn't ask what her name was. They did not have recess or a snack. And she was pretty disappointed that she didn't learn how to read. But maybe tomorrow. :-)