Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Last Tri

Sunday I did the last tri of the season for me, which was in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The weather turned out beautiful, which is great because Monday was windy and cold. I think God likes triathletes.

My swim took place at 7:34 a.m., and I wore a wetsuit this time. I hate being cold, and although I've never worn one in a race, I'm so glad I did this time. It was well worth the slightly longer transition time that it took to get it off to feel as comfortable as I did in the water. I totally passed people from 2 waves in front of me! I also really enjoyed using my new $35 open water goggles, because I got great peripheral vision with those puppies. The only problem is mine kept leaking, because I didn't put them on tight enough. They're awesome, they just suction to your face and don't fog. That was my error though, not an equipment failure. I vowed that I will never do another open water swim tri without a wetsuit (assuming the race is wetsuit legal according to USAT sanctioning rules).

The bike was sweet. I took around 41 and 1/2 minutes to finish the 12 1/2 miles. Not too bad, considering there were a few uphill battles. My good friend CeCe did the race with her sisters in law, and we all concurred that it doesn't matter how good you are at any event, or what other equipment you have, you MUST invest in a good bike. It TRULY makes all the difference.

It's so fun to be out there riding and passing people, and thinking, "Wow! I'm so awesome! Look at me passing this chick!" And then you check out their right leg which had their age on it and say, "Well, yah, she IS 62, crap!" And then you look at their wave number and think, "Double Crap. She probably swam with the breast cancer survivor wave and now I feel bad for passing her". And then you just yell, "On YOUR LEFT!" and keep going. Because guilty or not, it's still fun to be going 26 miles an hour on your sweet bike.

The run was eh. Really, just eh. I'm not happy with my time, but I had a touch of a stomach bug that morning (wish I could blame nerves, but since Jack was up vomiting all Saturday night, I really can't) and couldn't fuel myself properly for this race. Which means that by mile 1 of the run parts of my body were cramping and hurting, so I got myself to the first water station and grabbed some gatorade, and I took about 2 minutes to rehydrate and walk and drink it. I did that at the second aid station as well, so my run took about 4 minutes longer than I was hoping for.

All in all it was a good race. I finished in about 1 hour and 39 minutes, 20 minutes faster than last year's time, and I swear it's because of the bike. I really really love my road bike.

I really, really, loved the wetsuit. As soon as pics are available I'll post the link. And now I'm on to the next thing...a few fall inspired 5 k runs. Should be easy considering that's all I'll have to do...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Race Photos

Here's the link for the 'official' which translates to 'expensive' photos.

I didn't do too badly for this race. It only took me an hour and five minutes to ride 18 plus miles, so that's not too bad. The run, at about 31 minutes wasn't too bad either, considering the freaking hills I was running up. I vow to have that run time down by the time Sunday's race rolls around. Even if it's only by 30 seconds.

For now, enjoy the pics.


I didn't even know these people were there. Odd. They're like the paparazzi or something.


There is a very serious misnomer out there...that being one of the STAY AT HOME MOME, or the SAHM. I am, apparently, one of these, and yet I somehow manage to never be able to Stay At Home. All I want is to Stay At Home, maybe drink some coffee, sit around in my pj's and watch some Oprah. Or even the mind numbing fun of 'The View'. I can't wait for winter weather just so that I have an excuse to ssssllllloooowwww down, and then I get all mad at myself for wanting the excuse to begin with. Why can't I slow down? Because I have three kids, that's all.

I am constantly running. Running the kids to school, and picking them up. Running to soccer 3 days a week for one kid, and then 1 day a week for the other. Gymnastics. Speech therapy (which isn't exactly a 'fun' activity, but I can't NOT take him, can I?), working one day a week, school board meetings, book club meetings (which I will NEVER give up), classroom volunteering, party planning (which will be so fun with 3 kids in 3 separate places having 3 holiday parties of sorts), grocery shopping. Always grocery shopping. Because if I'm not running around, then the rest of my day is spent planning a meal, preparing a meal, or cleaning up after a meal. And then the snacks. Oh God, the Snacking! Fresh fruit is not cheap and you have to keep going back to the store every 3 days to refill the supply. My kids are always freaking eating, as evidenced by Jack growing an inch in less than 3 months time. Rest assured, they are growing up, not out.

Sometimes the first time I eat in the course of a day is at 2 in the afternoon, and then I don't want to eat a lot because we always have a family dinner, so like today, I'll eat something like a grapefruit and drink a lot of water to fill up. I HATE eating breakfast and lunch with the kids, because they are all over me wanting what I have. Or they're running late and cannot seem to get themselves dressed, teeth brushed, hair fixed, lunches made, snacks packed and homework ready to go all by 8:20 a.m., and so a pot of coffee usually suffices in the mornings. This school thing is starting to really cramp my style.

Somehow in the course of a day I get a workout in. Like today, I practiced my wetsuit wearing and removal, because I think the water is going to be pretty darn cold for that triathlon in Wisconsin that starts at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. But I only swam for 1/2 an hour because I had to run to the grocery store.

So now I have five minutes of spare time to sit and bitch about all this running, and then add that Jack has decided he wants to join Cub Scouts, which I am not against per se, it's just a lot of 'family activites'. More activities.

So what do I do about it? Nothing. Because we are fortunate to have the health and resources to be able to help our kids explore their interests and become well rounded. That is what I want for them out of life anyway, to find out what they really like to do and then to let them do it. And I will always participate in their little room parties, and be on their school boards and committees because the world is run by mommies and I like being involved in my kids lives.

I just wish there weren't so many dang trips to the dang grocery store, that's all. Oh, and that good food could just be a little more affordable. That's all too. And someone to clean my house. And a nap every once in a while. A nap without all the guilt.

Okay, I'm getting greedy. I'll stop now.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh the Guilt

As if I didn't feel bad enough last week after Jack got sent home from school with a fever of 102.2 (and believe me, thanks to H1N1 this is slightly traumatic for any parent, as you cannot return to school unless you have been fever free for 24 hours with no meds of any sort AND if he got worse I'd have to call the school and they'd in turn have to report to the county what was going on, because I guess ALL schools are now doing daily reportings of absences to their local counties), and he stayed home for 2 whole days while I worked and had loads of fun.....

Uh, the tooth fairy totally forgot to come last night for our SECOND lost tooth. She totally blanked after a meeting for our church women's group that is putting together a care package for a 14 year old with Leukemia. Maybe I was depressed over that. Maybe the tooth fairy didn't seem so very important. Maybe DADDY COULD HAVE DONE IT.

Sigh. Now he's all sad. Cuz the tooth fairy blew off a 6 year old. What next?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Race

Yesterday I participated in what will surely go down as the most difficult and yet most beautiful triathlon I have done/will ever do. I think I did it in slightly over 2 hours, and I'm okay with my time, even though it seems longer than my last race time.

I started at 6:40 ish, relishing in watching the sun rise over beautiful Fontana Lake. Ironically, the 70 degree water felt warm compared to the 50 something degree waters. I even passed a bunch of hot shot young guys who really didn't know how to swim anything more than a half-hearted sidesstroke, and I was a-okay with that.

The bike was long (18 miles), and hilly, and even chilly, but it was also beautiful. I got to ride through beautiful rural Wisconsin through farms and fields, past marshes and little ponds. You could see the atmospheric levels where the fog met sky or where the fog hadn't quite been burned off by the sun. I think I banged it out in a little over an hour, and at one point hit 36mph going downhill. I will never ride a bike without a helmet, because as exhilarating as that was, it was also a little unnerving being slightly out of control.

The run, in general, seemed short. But it was HARD. Really, really hard. The first 1.5 miles gradually went up hill, but the last quarter of that was on a hill so steep, virtually nobody could run it. I cut myself some slack when I saw very athletic looking 20 something year old males walking uphill in exasperation. Plus, my heart rate was about 184 beats per minute, and I'm sorry, but I'm not havin' a heart attack for no race. Running down the "killer hill" was much easier.

I went home, ate a burger, took a 2 hour nap, drank a few beers, and slept deeply for almost 9 and 1/2 hours. I feel great today, though my neck on the right side is sore-either from how I slept or stabilized myself during the race.

Next year, if I do this race I'm doing it right. My parents are NOT allowed to go on vacation. They can take my kids for the weekend, and John and I will enjoy a weekend getaway, complete with the Lake Geneva Wine Fest celebration after the tri race.

But, I'm already having nightmares about that hill.

Friday, September 11, 2009

More Bon Jovi Live

This time with Maddie as the lead singer.

Shot Thru the Heart!

I have a lot of these videos, and I'm so excited because I think I know what Nate's futrure career path may be! I may just put one a day on here to make you smile. This is what we do on Thursdays when Daddy is at basketball. Wooo Hooo!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Who'd a Thunk It?

After my previous post regarding my exploitive grocery bill and attempting to go dairy free (easier said than done when daddy constantly forgets and gives the man with allergies things like macaroni and cheese and sherbet made with cream), John's cousin sent me an e-mail link to this great website:


I love it. And, if you scroll through long enough, there is a whole entry about making your own yogurt at home. This blogess was kind enough to figure out that the cost of doing it yourself would be about $.83 a container, versus the 2 dollars per container. Who knew you could make your own yogurt? And for less than $30 I may just buy a machine from Amazon.com and actually do it.

I just might.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Brycie Boo Boo!

Saturday was my favorite nephew's first birthday, and in an effort to document every single second, I snapped some 323 photos. Shocking, I know. Here are some highlights.

Not to be outdone by his sugar loving father, Mr. Man put a hurtin' on his smash cake. And he loved it.Here is a random photo of me and my gram. She has mesothelioma, a terminal kind of cancer most likely caused by the radiation treatment she received from her breastcancer battle. She has a hard time breathing, because the cancer is in her lungs, but had no problem laughing at all the kids. All 8 of her great-grandkids were at the party, how cool is that? My gram cracks me up because she tells me she's not old enough to do things that old people do, like crochet, or play cards in a senior center. I don't think I'll ever be old enough to crochet either.

Oh my gawd! Look at that face!!! He is always smiling, just like that. Don't you just want to eat him up?

Look how ginormous that smash cake is!

This is Jack with my dad's best friend from growing up, Uncle Tom. They ran the neighborhood. Uncle Tom's son is 8, and he's a great kid. I took this photo because Jack latched on to him and talked. And talked. And talked. And talked. And Uncle Tom didn't even seem to mind. Interesting fact: David Hasselhoff is in Uncle Tom's high school yearbook. He lies about his age.

My SISTAH GOT HASELF A WEAVE!!!! My sister calls and tells me she got a hair thingy put in for Breast Cancer month, which is in October. It's HOT PINK! She thinks I need one for my Danskin Race, but I'm not driving for over an hour to get a weave. And it really is a weave. They didn't just tie in a piece of pink hair. They BURNED it on and melted it or whatever it is they do to put in a weave.

Extrememe weave close-up. Note: She wants to put more in. She'd look alright with pink hair. For reals.

Mr. Man and his crown.

This was part of the cake. My mom's friend the Cake Lady made cookies out of his name. The middle part that is holding up the smash cake was supposed to be clowns, but my sister is afraid of clowns, so she improvised.

Yummy yum cake!
Happy birthday Bryce!

Another Tri Weekend

In a mere 4 days I'll be doing my second tri of the summer, my 3rd overall. I am thanking GOD that this week's weather is supposed to be halfway decent, because the next time I swim in a lake will be on the last Sunday of the month and I have a feeling it will be a chilly half mile.

This week's events are taking place in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Had I planned better, and my parents not decided to visit Mickey Mouse, John and I could have gotten a room up north and had a fine, fun, and fabulous weekend. If all goes well this weekend, and I decide I like this particular race, perhaps that will be an option for next year.

As it is, I'm nervous not about my performance- we all know I'm not competitive. I just want to do well. I'm also not too worried about the extra long bike route; 18 miles will leave you with a relatively sore hiney.

No, I am worried about 2 things mainly, one being that this race is co-ed. I don't have problems with men per se, but even the non-competitive men are about a hundred thousand times more competitive than me, and I've heard horror stories about getting kicked and elbowed by those who want to get ahead. Can't I just do my swim in peace?

The other thing that I'm not really worried about, but definitely not looking forward to is being cold. Those lake waters get cold. I HATE being cold. The last race I did the water was less than 71 degrees and by the time you're finishing that 1/2 mile your legs are cramping and you're gasping for air and hyperventilating because it is so freaking COLD. I keep repeating to myself that this is less than a half mile, so it should be less than 10 minutes of my time, and hey, I can do anything for 10 minutes, right?

I am anticipating over an hour on the bike. Someone who can do math can figure out how long it should take me. It's an 18 mile ride, and I try to maintain a 22-25 mph pace, unless of course I'm going uphill. And I'm pretty sure there are hills. Or maybe that's on the run, because if you read the course description it says you will end with "KILLER HILL". If it's during the run, I think I'll be alright, since I've been hill training in my 'hood and all. If it's not, well, those math equations might not work out for any of us, eh?

Send me good vibes! I'm sure I'll be writing about my adventures in Dairy Land very soon!


(Tri info, in case yer inarested).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Milk...The Other White Poison

It has been said that sugar is otherwise known as white poison. I find that phrase a bit harsh, mostly because when I think of poison I think of D-Con, or green faces with skulls and crossbones. Sugar is just too yummy to be considered a poison. I do concede however, that HFCS, or High Fructose Corn Syrup is in fact a chemical that your body should not have to process, and possibly a slow killing poison, and I have eliminated it from our family's diets whenever and wherever possible by buying organic.

Milk on the other hand; well, we've been taught for forever that babies need milk. People need milk. Everyone needs milk to be healthy. Mostly, the research I'm finding on this point says otherwise. Did you know the human species is the only animal to consume milk (from our own species or another's mammary secretions) after the age of 2? Of course, I can't dispute that there are some health benefits to milk, but, those benefits are also found in other places naturally and more abundantly. For instance, you can get calcium from most vegetables. You can also get calcium from soy, almond, rice and coconut 'milk'.

This has been such an interesting journey in our home, going milk free just for Jack. But from the information I've found, I may just have everyone go dairy free. So many people can't even process cow's milk because they lack certain enzymes in their bodies. In fact, entire populations of people can't, such as the Native Americans.

What is hard is to decipher for myself what is real and good information, and what is political propaganda. Of course the dairy farmers are going to push milk and milk products. That's their jobs. And of course the government is going to support that because farmers are a big lobbying group. It's all a dance of who's in bed with who and what is the best option here? The best website I've found so far regarding giving good information is here (and on the sidebar)

Let me warn you though, if you decide to try dairy free living. It ain't cheap. Eating well ain't cheap. Wholesome, good, organic foods ain't even remotely cheap. Just as an example, I bought Jack some coconut milk yogurt. He LOVES it. It is $2 per container!!! The crappy stuff with fun colors and chemicals that isn't even really yogurt is like, $2 for a whole pack! The coconut milk I bought him is nearly $6 for a half gallon!!!

I think though, that in increments, it's been worth it so far. Not only is he not constantly trying to itch his throat and having a runny nose etcetera, but his overall behavior seems better somehow. He's still Jack. He will still argue that the sky isn't blue just to get his point across, but he seems less agitated and more able to regulate himself emotionally. I will never know if that's a maturity thing, or a milk thing, but I'm willing to experiment on the other two kiddos because it can only be a good thing, right? Maybe Nate won't need occupational therapy as long, or speech for that matter. Maybe Maddie will gain a little bit of weight. Who knows? The good news is I can always work a little more here and there to supplement our almost astronomical grocery bill.

I do have one caveat to this whole thing. I'm not going to be all "Heigh Ho Hitler" about it. If we want to order a pizza for dinner, we'll have a pizza for dinner. If we decide to go to Cheese Fest in Wisconsin, then we'll eat cheese samples. I'm just not going to be a huge milk pusher anymore.

We'll see what happens.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Blog of Firsts

First grade, first week/day/month of school for EVERYONE, first hot lunch, first lost tooth, first cavity fillings....

Today was Nate and Maddie's first day of school. John and I drove home in the van and it was so quiet. John was in heaven. He likes the quiet. Actually, I do to, but for 6 years I have not had a quiet moment. Even when my kids are sleeping their either making noise or talking. In their sleep. But today was quiet. I suggested to my hubby that we should go out for breakfast next Thursday and enjoy our time together, since he can be a little flexible with his work stuff.

Miss M. was SO excited to go into school. The teacher told her to find her name on the apple cut-out. She told her it started with "M", so miss smarty pants found the M in the alphabet rug and sat there. I helped her out, but really she was just doing what the teacher said, right? This is the happy girl waving me out of the room. She is so excited to learn. I know she'll be fine, I'm only just a little worried because she is so young. Some of the kids will turn four within a month and she just turned three. She'll be alright though. I just know it. Talk about getting the photo at the exact right second. The ray of light from heaven is shining down on the devil in disguise, getting ready to aggravate his sister.

Yelling, "It's my first day of school! Yay! Yay! Yay!"

He looks sad, but he was really fine. I think he may have been upset he had to do circle time instead of playing with the dump truck behind him, but he's an old pro at this.

Yes, the backpack is bigger than she is. Here's the Irish twins, going to school together. These two are always together. I love it, except when he's poking her in the back with his finger and otherwise creating a ruckus.

Soooo excited!!!

This picture was a little harder to get, because right in front of the sign there's this new bird bath fountain thingy. And Nate was all excited to show Maddie "Look, the bird is peeing! It is PEEING Maddie! That is SO funny". She looked and found it hysterical as well. I looked and saw a bird spitting water out of it's beak. But it did lead me to wonder where and how birds pee? Is it one of those "Wow, I feel rain drops on my head and there are no clouds in the sky" kind of things?

Disengage from the peeing bird. Disengage from the peeing bird....

I never did get around to writing about Jack's first day in First Grade. This is a big deal around these parts. Most kids are tired at the end of the day; I hear stories from other moms about how their kids come home and crash. Not my kiddo. I have to FORCE him to rest after school before soccer practice. Force him to eat a snack, even though my children have been eating non-stop for the better part of a week. They are always hungry, and I feed them well and often. Apparently healthy food isn't very filling, or something like that.

I'd like to think he was winking, but really the sun was in his eye. I think he got annoyed at all my photography.

This is the mayhem that is the first day. Kids, parents, teachers everywhere trying to make sure everyone goes to the right spot. We found it no problemo.

Doesn't he look so grown up? Getting dressed in the morning is a bit of a challenge, since I don't allow him to wear pants with holes to school, or cut-offs for that matter. He gets really upset because those are his "comfortable clothes" but I am NOT having Child Protective services come after me because he looks raggedy and neglected , and I told him as much. I spent good money on new jeans and shirts for you buddy. Wear 'em.

Jack is doing great in school already. He is such a sensitive kid and wants very much to please people, so I'm sure he's well liked, although I worry when he says he doesn't play with kids at recess. He said he prefers to be by himself. He runs wild with the neighborhood boys though, so I won't worry too much.
He's also trying very hard to read, and he's got some good skills in place. He'll get there, I know he will. I am so proud of how awesome he is!