Monday, January 14, 2013

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

All my life I’ve never wanted to run a marathon. I have, however, wanted to SAY I’ve run a marathon. I spent years figuring out a way I could honestly accomplish that goal and ultimately yielded to the fact that, sigh, in fact, I was going to have to actually RUN 26.2 miles to say I did one.

After coming to this sad conclusion, I conjured up the next best plan, for my “I’d-rather-not-self”: if I was in fact going to have to actually run over 26 miles (something only lunatics do btw), I was going to at least, run it with my Dad. (Who falls in the lunatic category simply because he typically runs more than one of these a year! In fact in the last 5 years or so, he’s run NINE. To me that equates to crazy times nine!)

This was a great idea – well, besides the part that included the 26.2 miles of running. Dad was a great choice. I love having Dad and Daughter time, he loves running marathons, and he knows what he’s doing. IF I had to actually do one of these things – this was the best way to go for it.  
So alas, I resigned myself to the fact that it was time to sign up to do one … and only ONE … race.
Next thought: might as well make it magical. Disney here we come!

So last January, against my better judgment, I signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon. With a foreboding feeling in my gut, I not-so-eagerly paid my $140 entrance fee. To which I thought – “man, you really are dumb. (sometimes I sound like what my grandma Sanders used to say out loud to people) you are PAYING a lot of money to undoubtedly kill yourself.” (add “fool” to this conversation as well while we’re at it.)

When I started training, I required myself to have the perfect storm for running: good tunes in the itunes library, perfect weather (not too hot, not too cold) and cute running attire. ;)

Slowly (very slowly) I built up my mileage, all the while telling my friends, “I’m pretty sure I’m gong to die when I run Disney in January.” Sure, I can be a bit melodramatic I suppose, but I wasn’t entirely convinced I was created to be able to do this.

I was decent about getting out to run, but kept telling myself I had a lot of time before the race, I could take it slow. I think my Dad noticed that my “training” plan was a bit haphazard and being the engineer and dad that he is, somehow when I wasn’t looking, I got grand-fathered into his training plan. Doh!

That was good. Because he got me on track and kicked me into a higher gear so I could actually contend with the 26.2 monster in my future.

Then about four months ago, things came to a stabbing halt. One day after a run, I had a weird pain in my leg. It wasn’t that muscle pain you feel when you’re sore and want to whine. It was more one that when you take a step you get a sensation like someone is stabbing you with a knife … every step. Fun, right? It was so bad that at one point, I had a moment where I needed to run to catch Isaac and I couldn’t get there. (Side note: teach your kids the command “stop.” It saves lives.) Another time when Ben and I were crossing a road I got a flash of what it might look like to be road kill. So, I got a CT scan and an MRI, and a warning from my doctor that I might have to cancel my race.

8 months into training was when I realized how much I really actually WANTED to RUN this race – not just say I did it any longer – actually RUN it. By the Glory of God, my leg pain subsided a week or so after my CT and MRI showed up clear. I was back in business!

I’d lost two months so I had to really make up some ground. We worked hard and I kept on top of keeping my leg healthy. By the end of our training plan, I had become the running geek my dad probably always dreamed he’d have for a kid. (LOL) I was eating prunes instead of Gu (don’t knock it they are WAY better than that liquid snot stuff), tracking my runs on Nike Run, and actually looking forward to long runs. In fact, I have come to the point where I don’t enjoy the short runs as much any more.

This is all because I run my long runs with my dad and love running with my Dad. We have the best conversations and it’s just nice to get to have that Dad/Daughter time together. There’s no pressure when we run. We take it nice and slow and “enjoy the journey.”  I never dreamed running could be enjoyable. But it’s really very fun.

This past weekend I accomplished my goal. I ran the 2013 (20th Anniversary) Disney Marathon with my Dad. I loved every minute of it! It was sooo super fun! 

Honestly, it felt like one big running party! We ran through all four theme parks, on the Richard Petty racetrack and the Atlanta Braves Spring Training field. There was entertainment, camaraderie and treats galore! I’m so proud of my accomplishment I’ve already donned the coveted 26.2 sticker on my car and I kind of think of might wear my medal for the next two weeks. Best part of the whole thing … I ran it with my Dad.

When I asked myself the night before the race why I was doing this … knowing that for a year I had said in my head, “because it’s on my goal list,” this time, the night before the race, I said to myself, “Simply because I can.”

And I can’t wait to do it again. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Helen Keller’s Teacher Had Nothing On Me

What was her name? Annie right? That was one of my favorite stories when I was a little kid. In fact, at dance the other day Saylah picked up the level 1 reading book of it and it brought back memories. I was always so impressed with how stubborn and tenacious she was when trying to connect Helen to the world.

After this week, I’m pretty sure I’m tougher than teacher Annie.

When we first had kids I completely got on board the “pay now or pay later” mentality. You know the one … the theory that you either teach your kids now to do the right thing and go through the tough love when they are young so that when they are older they already have a good foundation of right and wrong. OR you don’t do that and realize when they have become terrors that you may not be tough enough for the tough love they are going to require to now achieve those principals.
Well, I still agree with the theory. HOWEVER, with Mr. I-man, I’m nearly a year behind. And, man am I paying for it already!

I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions, but after seeing how mouthy Isaac is becoming (yes, mouthy – even in toddler gibberish) and that our youngest is quickly showing signs of little Napoleon potential, I thought it best to make one primary resolution: Isaac Behavior Bootcamp. (I have to admit I stole the name from my bestie. Thanks Jenn!)

So IBB started this week when the girls went back to school. So far I’m winning … I think … and by a very narrow margin.  It has become clear to me that I’m not entirely within my wheelhouse of knowledge (like that sports reference? Thanks Ben.) on this one.  Isaac’s boy is coming out. It’s good of course, but it is entirely different for me.

With the girls, when they did something wrong, they’d get scolded which would typically be followed by them crying, carrying on, and the need to perpetually talk about it. Isaac on the other hand; when he gets scolded actually sticks out his bottom lip, then more often than not, he gets angry and withdraws.
He gets over it quickly but I have noticed he needs space to get himself back to center. (I wonder if that’s what Ben has been telling me all these years when we have our “discussions”? ;)  hmm)

So, whereas at one – heck, with Saylah it was like 10 months – I was putting her in timeout and talking to her about manners and respect, I am now starting that in full-force (as opposed to the “dabbling” I did in it last year) teaching Isaac ‘NOT to talk to Mommy and Daddy in that tone,’ ‘yes you do have to eat all of your food that I serve you’ and ‘no you cannot hit your sisters.’ Okay, we never let him hit, but he DOES hit. Typically it’s not in anger. Typically it’s because he is playing, gets worked up and wallop! Queue: ticked off sister tattling on brother. But we are in full swing of teaching him that WE are in charge … not him. And so far, I don’t think he’s convinced.

Speaking of hitting. I do have a super funny tale to tell … about a tail. Saylah’s in particular. Over break, Ben and I are sitting at the kitchen table after dinner, amused by our three kids chasing each other through the house, giggling up a storm. Back and forth they were going down and up our hallway into the family room. In zooms Audrey to the family room who throws herself facedown on the armchair. Bam, on top of her plops Saylah, keester up, face down on top of her sister. In gallops Isaac, who also propels himself on to Saylah. All three are laughing hysterically. Ben and I are smiling and I am personally loving how fun it is to watch my kids play together so sweetly. No sooner does that thought come out of my head then I see Isaac rear his head up, open his mouth and CRUNCH! take a bite out of Saylah’s backside. Yep, right on the right cheek.

She screamed – as anyone would who recently got bit on the butt might. Ben and I had to hide our laughs (because come on … that’s funny!). We did scold Isaac for it. (It’s simply not okay to bite your sister on the bootie.) But even Saylah admitted (after her bruise subsided) that it was a little funny.
So this week has been a rude awakening for him. He’s been forced to eat his whole dinner instead of part of it before getting dessert. He’s practically lived in timeout. And he’s even gotten a little swat on his diapered behind. To which, his little bottom lip protrudes and his face gets all crinkly and he cries. I really don’t care for this withdrawing thing of his because quite frankly my little heart cries too and all I want to do is scoop him up and kiss those sweet little crinkles. (I’ve become a softy).

I’ve also decided (because Jenn potty-trained her youngest this week) to add in potty training, despite all the people who tell me boys do it later. Has anyone else noticed all our brothers were potty trained the same age we were? Wish me luck. I’m sure I’ve bitten off more than I can chew! (no bun pun intended) ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Baackkk!

There are a myriad of things I could blog about from the holiday season. That zany zany holiday season where every mom you talk to projects her weariness with slumped shoulders and the phraseology, “we have this to do, then this, and blah blah blah” … yep, literally the words “blah blah blah.”

Every year we do it to ourselves; and every year we all say we won’t do it again. Next year we’ll cut back, relax, spend more time with friends and actually enjoy the holiday moments. Hopefully none of us made this our new year’s resolution so that we won’t feel a sense of disappointment in our over-achieving selves come next December. (wink wink)

I know most moms said they were happy for school to start again. Trust me, now as a mom I totally get the cleverness of the favorite holiday song It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas. But this year, I was actually kinda bummed when school started back up.


I rather enjoyed late mornings, homebound evenings, and my two weeks of checking out of all responsibilities outside of my home. (I.e. work, girl scouts, anything beyond mom responsibilities). And I loved hanging with the kids in our jammies way too long each morning.

I thought I’d share some of my top fave funnies from the holidays.

10. We combo’d families this year for Christmas. (My side and Ben’s) It turned out great. Ben and I served yummy food and even yummier drinks: mimosas, wine, and Irish coffee. We have now concluded that for every event to go off without a hitch a Two Drink Minimum is required to be consumed by everyone over the age of 21.

9. My favorite Facebook post came from a friend who said that her “favorite Christmas present was putting that damn elf away.”

8. Speaking of the elf, this was my favorite shenanigan: (courtesy of the collective minds of my sister in law, brother in law, Ben and me)

7. Audrey is in a phase where she dreams of being other things. Anything from “I wish I were a kitty cat.” To, “I wish I had purple ears.” Latest, out of the blue from the back of the car I hear, “I wish I were an elf. (Yes the elf had a big influence in our house)

6. We allowed our 7 and 5 year old to stay up on NYE with our friend’s 8 and 5 year old. Who says alcohol is needed on NYE? I’ve never seen a “drunk” like the punch drunk of grade-schoolers hyped up on sugar and lacking of sleep.


5. I nearly DIED from a badminton birdie to the head. As you can see, my husband was very distraught over the incident. (Note 2nd image, like father, like son) 


4. I’m not sure who was more excited about Saylah’s American Girl Doll from Santa. Saylah or me.

3. Same statement applies for Isaac’s light sabers and Ben. (Which Santa had to bring two … no kid can have a decent fight with an unarmed opponent I was informed.)

2. The kids rode horses at Oma and Opa’s campsite. Isaac rode for the first time. Nothing makes your smile wider than hearing your kids giggle with glee. None of us are sure if it was from the horse or the fact that he and Audrey got to bump helmets over and over again during the ride. Favorite quote afterward happened when Isaac kept trying to make Audrey a horse, “Isaac get off of Audrey, she is not a horse.”

1. We celebrated another Christmas at my Mom and Dad’s house on the 26th. After an early dinner Ben took all three kids back home to hang out with his sister’s family while I stayed to have grown up time with my brother and his wife who were visiting from NYC. With Matt and Chris in the guest room and me seeking my own space and quiet sleep place I opted to sleep in the kid’s room on a toddler-sized fire truck bed for the night – and LOVED it. (Circle back to the beginning with the slumped over exhausted Mommy and add in being 5'2" and you'll understand!) ;) 

Happy New Year Family and Friends!