Monday, March 30, 2009

Playing with my camera

These are experimental. I took shots of the snow yesterday and have been adjusting the colors and such; just wanted to see what they'd look like on the web.

I think the way the coloring on this shot turned out is cool. Wish the subject matter was maybe different, but the concept is neat.

Blue snow bushes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Intimate Moments

Last night I had Jack on my lap and had a sudden burst of realization as to how big he really is. He's so not a little kid anymore. He's almost 6, almost in school full time, smart as a whip, and just not a baby anymore. And so we had the following heart wrenching conversation:

Me-Gosh Jack. You're so big. When did you get so big? You're growing up on me."

Jack...running away from me as fast as he can "Ha ha mom. I just farted at you!"

Yes, he truly is becoming a man.

Tis the Season

Baseball season that is. John is officially going to be "Coach John" for the summer and was practicing with the blondies this weekend.

I love how my new camera can capture "action shots". Nathan loves the helmet. He wears it when he rides his big wheel.

Hey batta batta batta!
And now, Maddie's turn. She's a lefty and is just getting the hang of using the bat, being that it's bigger than she is and all.

Check out the stance....perfect for a 2 year old!

Yes, she was wearing capris and princess boots. Just because she can hold her own in those "boyish activities" doesn't mean she can't look good in the process.

She CAN actually hit the ball too. Probably better than me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Expo

1.5 miles in a pool
17 miles on a bike
3 miles of a run
and 1273 calories later I finished my first triathlon expo. The workout was great, and I learned a lot, mostly that serious athletes could probably laugh their way past me in my puny sprint races because a lot of the people there were training for marathons and ironmans.

Here's the craziest part though (which gives me hope)....I was by far one of the youngest people there out of a group of roughly 40 or so men and women. One lady at the expo booth actually asked me if I was there as part of the "Girls on the Run" program. Uh, no. That's for junior high through high school, right?

But seriously, it seems that the older you get, the more time you have to train because you don't have to build a workout schedule around the kids. Working out for an Ironman competition is seriously like a partime job, and even IF I wanted to (I don't) I couldn't do it. So, I'm setting my new goals to complete an Olympic distance tri sometime before I die. For now I'll stick with my sprints...that's a half mile swim, 12. something bike, and a 5k or 3 mile run. Training for this I can handle.

Yesterday in my8 hours at the gym, I also had a gait analyisis done by an orthopedic surgeon, and I am apparently fine. Not so fine with the extra 20 lbs the camera apparently added to my behind while the video tape was running. The doc was trying to tell me how I was doing footwork wise, and all I'm thinkin' was, "My gosh, look at that ASS! Crap. He just put it in Slo-mo...jiggle jiggle jiggle.." Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

I learned many many interesting things from the nutritionist as well. The most important was probably that a scale is really just a good measure of how hydrated you are. For example, weigh yourself before you workout. Then again after you workout. 95% of you weight loss is sweat. Also, since I am a salty sweater, I need to hydrate with sports drinks during races, NOT plain water. I'm going to have to read through the handouts again. They're VERY math and science like, so it will take a while for me to process.

In the meantime, the parental units came over for dinner tonight and dad fixed my bike computer so that I can map riding time, speed and distance.

This summer, I'm going to be a rockstar.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Erin Go Bragh!

So, well, the leprechaun trap wasn't what I envisioned, and I suppose that was the point. Jack designed it himself, and with a little help from dad, created a relative masterpiece. Let's wish him luck on this happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here is a piece of 'gold' I "JUST HAD" to take a picture of.
This is the inside of the trap. The hopps bag that John uses to make his beer doubled as a net to Catch that Lucky Charm's eating menace. And of course, there's more gold to be found under the box.

There it is... a ceral box with a Y stick (or free shilleleigh to lure the leprechaun in) spray painted gold-which I think for Jack was the best part. Oh, and check out the air holes so that the imaginary critter can even breathe. That is Jack to a T, providing comfort in confinement. So what if it's not fancy? It's all his own.

Our Special Friends on the Wii

Jack has created several Wii Mii characters. Most of them are bearded ladies with the ability to "mingle". So, if you're doing the Wii fit in our house, chances are a bearded lady will run past you, throw you a hula hoop, or kick a panda bear at your head. And so, I had the following conversation with my son today. Not sure how it started, but at least I know he's learning a bit about how the world works- that being he's not at the center of it.

Jack-"Can I play the Wii?"
Me-"Why, so a bearded lady could run past you?"
Son-"You know mom, Sawyer (his friend at Sunday school) says he knows someone who is a bearded lady. And you know mom, we shouldn't make fun of people who are different from us. God made everyone different and special, we shouldn't make fun of people mom. Even bearded ladies".

Touche' son, touche'.

Because They Can't Live One Without The Other

Naptime. Like twins, only sometimes worse. Best friends.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From Pudding to Princess

I'm pretty sure Maddie's favorite person is daddy. For the girl whose first word was "Chocwate" he will give anything. Especially pudding, if she eats all her deener, which she did like a champ last night.

If you look closely, you can see her little mouse tongue licking the chocolate.

Pretending to share, but really not about to.

Check out that forearm supination and the complex grasp on the spoon. No OT needed here.

Last week at ballet was mommy watch week, meaning the parents can sit in the room and take pics. Apparently, I was a huge space invader because little miss thang got into a funk and wouldn't participate until I left. Therefore, these photos are taken through the tiny window in the door.

She's practicing for her dance recital in May.

Watching her hula hoop was hilarious. I think you need hips to do it, so skinny minnie didn't do all that well.

She's got the idea down, not the mechanics.

Remember that "mood" I talked about earlier? Yah, this is the one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good News!

First things first....

According to my middle child, if you blow raspberries at ducks, it will render them completely unable to drag you into your home naked and make you die. I consider this a very powerful PSA for today.

My goggles and cap have been safely located in the bag that I had put them in during an attempt at organization.

Am I the ONLY person who loses things after I've cleaned them up and put them in their rightful place? Like the time I hung up all the coats in the closets and later was FRANTICALLY searching everywhere (except the closets) for them.

I'm totally a lost cause.

And Thusly I Begin Again

It is officially tri training season. I am officially off drinking (although I won't deny myself a glass of wine now and then) and weaning myself from coffee. I have also begun keeping a food log writing down everything I eat, mostly to make sure I have enough protein and complex carbs, although it's hard to monitor this very well.

I also registered for this Triathlon Expo on the 21st. They're having a brick workout, swimming and biking for 45 min. each, and then a group run. I opted out of the run because of my foot although if it improves by this weekend, I may call and register for it. After the workouts (which begin at 6 a.m. EGADS!), there will be sessions given by a nutritionist for tri-racing specific nutrition, a yoga thingy, and chair massages. I know it all sounds cool, especially since it's free, but lets be honest when we say I am most excited about the chair massages-racing techniques be damned.

I'm hoping to do at least 3 races this season, the most important of course being the Danskin Breast Cancer race, which was moved from July to September this year. I don't know why they did that, given that Chicago weather in September is pretty iffy, but maybe the lake will be warmer than 72 degrees, which wasn't so bad because it made me swim that much faster.

For now I have my immediate goals at, finding my goggles and swim cap. Totally missed my workout this a.m. because Tuesday is a swim day and my gear is nowhere to be found.

Focusing on the important things....that's me.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

If You Give a Dad A Muffin- By Me

If you give a dad a muffin,
He will eat it
Oblivious to anything else going on around him.

And then he'll ask the Mom for more.

The end.

If You Give a Mom a Muffin...

I got this in an e-mail from a friend, and it is sooo sooo true...

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook ("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two year old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are...If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

by Kathy Fictorie

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kid Projects

Seriously when I look at this (which is a lacing project brought home from school, and incidentally he didn't do too badly), I think he looks like such a baby in that picture. Over the course of a year it's easy to forget how much the kids change.
Drum roll please.....How cool is this?? I asked Jack if his teacher helped and he answered that she told him when to push space. Not bad for a five year old. Borderline genius I'd say.

On another note, we have to build Jack a leprechaun trap for school. I informed John of this and his answer was "Well, how big are elementary school leprechauns?" Meaning, how involved is this project? Too bad about my mom, because something like this my father would excel at.
Anyone ever build a leprechaun trap? Did it work? Can you give me ideas?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Girls Weekend, 2009

This past weekend, as aforementioned, I abandonded my mother in need and my family and headed out to meet up with 13 of my oldest friends. And by oldest friends, I mean that most of us went to Kindergarten together. We did Brownies, Indian Princesses, Girl Scouts, choir, dancing with Marla, Gymnastics, Swim Team, boys, parents, puberty, and growing up together.

Some of us hadn't seen each other in years. It maybe should have been weird, and my friend Kim and I talked about it, because what made it weird was that it wasn't weird. We got our drink on, played Apples To Apples, looked at old yearbooks, watched videos of the junior high talent show and singing the National Anthem at a Cubs game. We danced to old school music (oohhh Baby YOU, You got what I NEEEYED!), and We talked, we caught up, and we laughed harder than we've laughed together in a long time.

I took over 300 pictures, and since I can't post them all, here are the highlights.

This is me and Jennie. For some reason we thought headbanging was a good idea.
Jennie's mom and My mom were Girl Scout leaders together. Jennie coupled with her sister Katie are two of the funniest people I've ever known and I have them to thank for my abs hurting today. Jennie and I grew up together, really. Our sisters hung out and our brothers were best buds. We had us some good times. Doesn't she have the most beautiful smile?

This is me with Lisa. My first bff ever, and I can't even begin to write what we have been through together-it'd take too long, but you can imagine what your first bff ever means and that is the world. I CAN say her wedding was one of my favorite weddings I've ever been to, it was so beautiful. Lisa is one of the most genuinely kindest people on the planet and she is a beautiful person inside and out. I'm so glad she came this weekend!
This is just what happens when I have no kids to deal with. Let it all hang out and have fun!

We're hoping to do it again next year...maybe head to Arizona to visit Kim, since it's considerably warmer there in February than it is in Chicago! it's back to the grind this week, but that's okay. I'm refreshed and ready!

If It Wasn't So Funny, It Would Be So. NOT. Funny

Okay, so before I get angry comments about what an awful person I am, I'm going to preface this entire story with the information that even the VICTIM in this scenario finds bits and pieces funny. That being said.....

Friday morning I was taking the kids from Maddie's ballet class to open gym and I get a call from John who fielded a call from my dad, something cryptic about my mom falling at work and going to the hospital.

Frantically I call dad and got the gist of the story being mom was watering her plants high up on her filing cabinet, the chair rolled and she fell, he'll call me with more later.

So, like you, I'm assuming my mom was standing on a chair, watering plants and she fell. Fabulous.

Fastforward a few hours. Mom has a Dx of a broken tailbone (OW!) and a broken ankle-even though my dad keeps trying to tell us her foot is broken (I'm pretty sure they argued about it at some point, but she's the one in the cast with an appt. for an orthopod, not him).

So, of course I ask mom what she needs, what happened, etc. And then I get the real story. She wasn't on a chair, she was on her TIP TOES and stepped back, and the chair behind her rolled, and ohmygodjenny it justhappened soooo fast! And then, "Well, I'm not STUPID, why would I stand on a chair?" know what ma, you should just tell people you were. It's a better story than, "Well, I was just standing there and well, I don't know what happened." Things happen fast in car accidents, not plant watering incidents.

Now, this is the funny part, but really only funny if you know my mom well. She is not very graceful. In fact, after she got her Wii fit, she called me shouting after a balance test, "How does this thing know Jenny?!!! HOW DOES IT KNOW I TRIP AND FALL WHEN WALKING??? How DOES IT KNOOOOWWW??"

So, while I'm NOT laughing that my mom is in A LOT of pain, I'm laughing at the circumstances, because this stuff only happens to her or in slapstick comedy movies. How do you fall and break your tailbone when you were just standing still?

My sister, to her credit has done a good job of heading down to help mom. I had a busy girls gone wild weekend, so John (God love him) voluntarily took the kids down to visit her, and even went so far as to have the kids pick out a balloon and card for her. He even remembered not to get her flowers because she is allergic. What a great guy! I myself was going to bring her dinner tonight but after I woke up from my morning nap (I'll explain in another post, really), mom told me not to come. She even told my sister not to come, so we'll be for sure seeing her in the next week and helping where we can.

For now, just send her good thoughts, and maybe a phone call. She'll be parked on the couch all week,I'm sure!