Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fitness Update

This is blog post is more to keep myself accountable then anything else, hence why I am blogging on a Saturday. I really, really, really want to meet the goal of walking/running 500 miles this year. Right now I am at 129 miles when I should be closer to 160.

Now that Kuma is fully vaccinated, he can go for walks around the neighborhood. I found a really nice walk along a trail in the empty field next to our block that is approximately 1.5 miles. If I continue to run at least 3 miles 3 times a week and take Kuma for a walk at least 4 times a week, I should be able to walk/run about 15 miles a week. That is my new goal. And I am still trying to strike a balance with some kind of strength training but it seems that every time I try to add it in, I get really burnt out and unmotivated and everything goes out the window.

The last 2 weeks prior to spring break was really hectic trying to prepare for Jake's birthday, Easter and still go about my every day workload, ballet, baseball and Kuma's puppy classes. I know I have said this all before. So, to try and lower my stress level I told myself that I didn't have to keep up with my workouts if I didn't have time. I still managed a few here and there but not at the same consistency they had been. Then the last several days I have been in a funk and I couldn't pinpoint why. I felt that unnecessary anxiety creeping up on me, found myself obsessing about things I hadn't worried about in a long time and was just generally very blah.

So, priority #1 this fine Saturday morning was to go for a run. I did 3.5 miles, came back and got Kuma and took him for his 1.5 mile walk totaling 5 miles. And you know what? It felt great. I realized that not only do I want to walk/run for fitness but I really need it for myself. Mentally, it makes me feel much more clearheaded and stronger.

I still haven't figured out the strength training. I think instead of trying to go balls-out with Jillian Michaels, I may try to add yoga or Pilates instead. It is probably going to take a lot to find that balance and I am okay with that for right now. Having the kids home all day during the summer and the heat, they will present their own challenges too. Right now I kind of feel up to it. So bring it on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Funny Nose Knows

The other day before school the kids were in the office with the door closed. I opened the door to see what they were up to and found them like this:

When I inquired as to what they were doing, they replied very matter-of-fact,"Getting muscles"

The reason behind this impromptu workout session was that I have been delegating the kids to take out the trash - Jake the actual bag of trash and Jadyn the bottles and cans that need to be placed in the recyclable bin. Well apparently the bag of trash that day was sort of heavy and so Jake decided that they better start bulking up to better prepare them for their chores.

Me? I just smiled and let them continue their workout. After taking a picture of course.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jake's 7th birthday

Jake's birthday and party were this last Saturday. He really wanted a military inspired theme. I have to admit, it wouldn't have been my first choice but it was what Jake wanted so I ran with it. Here is the invitation with my artfully blocked out personal information:

And the set-up the day of the party:

Rose did the cupcakes and they came out really cool, not to mention yummy:

The kids took advantage of the gorgeous weather we were having and started the party jumping in the trampoline and playing on the swing set:

This is one happy birthday boy:

You can't have a military themed party without getting a new Nerf gun as one of your gifts:

I decided that since his birthday was the day before Easter, I would send the kids on a mission to hunt for eggs. Thanks to the dollar store, I found camo print baskets and eggs to give out as the guests loot bags:

After the egg hunt, the kids all wanted to use the water guns that were given out in their baskets so I filled up Kuma's little pool and let them have at it. It turned out to be the highlight of the party.

Check out Jadyn in this picture. The girls all hunkered down in the fort and tried to splash the boys as they ran past:

Jake cheated a little by breaking out in his super soaker. I guess it's a new take on the old song, "It's my party!":

After the other guests had left, here are the kids hanging out with their cousins:

And a family shot that Kuma chose to be included in, which was pretty funny. He even sat and looked at the camera when directed:

Of course by the end of the day, we were all exhausted but our mission was accomplished. The party was a success and Jake had a great birthday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

I am going to have to work my backwards a little as I attempt to recover from our busy weekend. I am certainly glad that Jake's birthday doesn't always fall so close to Easter.

Saturday evening after Jake's party, we dyed Easter eggs. Jadyn is a huge fan of hard boiled eggs and both kids really enjoy coloring them:

Sunday morning, the kids woke up to baskets from the Easter bunny filled with fun stuff like new crayons, hot wheels and bubbles. I don't even remember why Jadyn wouldn't cooperate in this picture. I think she was still in the process of waking up:

After baskets, then it was time to get ready to go to Joe's sister's house for Easter brunch. I decided to take some pictures before we left because things are always so chaotic when you are having fun with family. We set the timer for this family shot:

May I introduce you to Jadyn's Easter dress? I have named it "the ridiculous dress". Ever since the first time she saw it when Target first put out their little girls spring dresses, she has wanted this dress. I never found anything else that we both really liked, so when this dress went on sale, I gave in and got it for her. I think it is a little much, hence the name "ridiculous" but I also have to admit, she looks ridiculously cute in it too:

And Jake, looking handsome in his Easter best:

As we started driving toward our destination, it became clear that not everyone was enjoying the sunny pleasant weather we have been having in the desert as it was overcast and chilly and even drizzling. Luckily it cleared up enough for the kids to do their Easter hunt and with all the goodies they got, it would seem they made out like bandits:

Here they are with the their cousins Aidan and Lilly:

And the ridiculous dress became even more infamous as little gnats kept getting caught in the tulle of Jadyn's dress while she was roaming around in the grass. It was pretty funny!

I always enjoy Easter brunch with Joe's family and this year was no exception. Now I really want to enjoy the kids spring break because that is exactly what this tired out mommy needs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Show me the Mommy - Birthday boy edition

I had meant to post this one LAST Friday. Now it seems kind of ironic because while we were in the throes of baseball season, we are now on spring break for the next week and half (photo courtesy of Jadyn):

Yesterday Jake had a field trip to the Living Desert, which I accompanied him on as a chaperone. Today, Jake will be on stage at his school as his class's chosen representative in a game of Family Feud against the teachers. Yesterday the kids had their new neighbor friend Adrianna over to jump in the trampoline and Jake made all 3 of them glasses of water and a bowl of chips to snack on.

Tomorrow is Jake's 7th birthday. I don't know where the time has gone. One day he is my little baby and now he is a growing boy. But, I do know that I like the handsome, thoughtful and active boy that he has become and can't wait to see what will come next.

Happy birthday Jake!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Whitewater Preserve

This past weekend was a pretty significant milestone for Kuma. Now that he is 16 weeks and fully vaccinated (not to mention a whooping 27 pounds already!) it is safe to start taking him public places. And with the weather nearly picture perfect and my eagerness to see the wildflower bloom, it seemed more than appropriate to see how he would do on a hike. Now unfortunately dogs are not allowed on the trails up in Joshua Tree National Park where we would usually go, you know because it is quite literally right down the street. But we had been meaning to check out another preserve called Whitewater, not too far away but more importantly, pet friendly. It turned out to be quite a find.

Once you make the turn to go up to Whitewater, the sides of the road are covered in brilliant yellow from all the brittlebush. I really should have stopped to snap some pictures. An old trout farm's historic building has been transformed into a visitor center and ranger station. Apparently you can feed the fish and on certain days, participate in catch and release fishing. It was very shady and tranquil.

We wandered on a trail for awhile and then headed back to check out the stream. The kids and Kuma could.not.get.enough of the water. They were jumping in, splashing, skipping rocks, following tree branches as they cascaded down. It was just perfect. We will definitely be coming back to Whitewater again.

The kids in front of the trout farm building and pond:

Several rocks around the visitor center had really cool quotations etched on them. I really liked t this one at the start of the trail:

This picture really captures how much fun Kuma had in the water:

Next time we come, we are definitely bringing swimsuits and towels. The kids were soaked with no change of clothes:

As you can imagine, such an adventure is quite tiring. Needless to say, not only did all of us humans need some time to relax at home afterwards, Kuma slept pretty much the rest of the day. He was one tuckered out little (or not so little) pup!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Early birthday gift

Friday night, Jake had his good friend Sam over to spend the night since Sam will be gone for spring break and therefore miss Jake's birthday this coming Saturday. I think it worked out well this way that they got to spend such quality one-on-one time together because they truly were and are best friends. It was one of the hardest parts of moving last year to know that Jake would no longer be at school and playing sports with Sam. They really had bonded. At least we are only 2 towns over and still have the chance to get the boys together every so often.

And we had absolutely gorgeous weather over the weekend with temps ranging between the high 70's and low 80's. It finally really felt like spring. It was a little hard to reconcile our beautiful weekend with the images of snow and the devastating tornadoes that struck North Carolina and neighboring states.

The weather was so perfect on Saturday that I don't think the kids spent more than a fleeting moment inside. They were playing in the little pool, jumping in the trampoline, riding their bikes, having a picnic lunch and just generally being active and having fun.

After Sam left, Jake had baseball pictures and the hit-a-thon after which we were all pretty wiped out. We spent the evening relaxing and watching the newest Harry Potter out on Blu-Ray, gearing up for the final installment, which comes out this summer. Squeal. It was pretty much a perfect spring day at home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


It's never a good sign when I don't get a chance to do my Magoomba or other blog post on Monday.

- our week was going along quite nicely until Wednesday when Jake woke up lethargic. A fever confirmed that he was indeed coming down with something. As the week progressed, Jake's illness paralyzed us as he had to miss two days of school, two baseball games and whatever else was on our calendar for those days. This included Friday, which was a day off from school for parent-teacher conferences. Boo. I had hoped to do something fun and this snuggle session on the catch watching movies was NOT what I had in mind:

- Then again, it was not like the weather was cooperating. Can someone please let it know that is is spring and a sudden sprinkling of snow in April is completely unacceptable?

- I did still manage to take Kuma to puppy class. This week's lesson was down, stay, and leave it. I thought it would take awhile for him to get down but with liver treats in hand, Kuma will do just about anything for me and he picks up on what it is he needs to do to earn that treat fairly quickly. We are also working on shake and the leave it command will allow us to eventually leave a treat on his noise. Cool stuff guys!

- By Saturday, Jake's fever had not gone away. A (thankfully) quick trip to urgent care confirmed my suspicions. Jake had an ear infection.

-By Sunday, Jake was starting to feel better. We made a paper chain with links representing the number of days until his birthday. He is getting excited. Less than 2 weeks now!:

The kids also had a little snuggle session with Kuma on Sunday. Is there anything cuter together than a kid with their puppy?:

Even cuter, when the snuggling turns to play:

We watched A LOT of movies in the last week (big understatement). This included me finally seeing 127 hours. The film is really well done. I remember when the story about Aron Ralston broke on the news several years ago. His story is incredible. I was so amazed at how he was able to survive and rescue himself. I even went online and watched the 6 part Dateline series, "Desperate Days in Blue John Canyon" where Tom Brokow went back to the canyon with Ralston around the 6 month anniversary of the accident. I highly recommend this for anyone who has seen the movie or is just interested in learning more about Ralston's triumph.

So that about wraps it up for now. Like I said, Jake's illness put a pretty big kink in any plans we had. Right now I am just holding out hope that no one else gets sick, or at least not as bad as he did.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Today, I am taking Jake to school. Nothing unusual. But after I drop him off, Jadyn and I are marching into the school's office to complete her (gulp) Kindergarten registration.

In related news I am in complete denial that in a little over 2 weeks I will have a 7 year old. The following month Jadyn will turn 5. Wait. What? When did that happen?

Right now I have a 6 year old in 1st grade and a 4 year old in preschool. Why does the thought of having a 7 year old in 2nd grade and a 5 year old in kindergarten seem like a much bigger leap than just one short year? It just seems like such a big change, like where the heck did the last 5 years go? When did my babies get so grown up?

Sigh. So like I said. Denial.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SoCal Warrior Dash

So it's been a year now since I started "running". I have done the 5K race and am not quite ready for anything longer. In the last year however, I have seen pictures and heard stories from several blog friends who have ran the Warrior Dash in other parts of the country. For those not familiar it is a 3 mile run with obstacles along the way. It is similar to a mud run, although it doesn't take itself quite as serious. Many people opt to wear costumes. you get a Viking-type helmet in addition to the requisite finisher t-shirt and medal as well as beer and turkey legs to celebrate your victory. It is very out of character for me to do something like this but it sounded like fun and I figured what the heck.

And as race day approached what the heck was quickly becoming what the heck did I get myself into? But I jest. Luckily I had my local bestie Rose and a few of her friends as well and we decided to become team "Run like a Mother". Here we all are before the race. So glad Erica's husband Will came along as well, as he took some awesome pictures and videos along the way:

A couple of things I will always remember about this race:

1) Rose getting kicked square in the eye on obstacle #1, climbing hay bales.

2) Thinking I was oh so smart for rolling across the top of the cargo crawl. I am pretty sure that is where 90% of my bruises came from. It hurt!

3) The costumes! Amongst my favorite were the smurfs, the black and white swan duo and the two girls dressed like Tiger's Blood. People really get creative.

4) Actually hearing other people refer to us as "Team Mom" along the course. We were famous yo!

5) Having Jake run along side me and cheering me on (from the spectator side, of course) between the final two obstacles of jumping over the fire and crawling through the mud.

6) Jadyn's grave concern that I was going to catch on fire.

7) My regretful decision to wear yoga pants, which between the water and mud became so heavy, I literally had to hold them up as I crossed the finish line.

The final cargo net climb:

Running toward the final obstacles:

Jumping over the fire:

Crawling through the mud:

Unlike my friend's experience with Warrior Dash, while I did get muddy, I did not get nearly as muddy as I thought I would and I know that will greatly disappoint some who I think really wanted to see me covered head to toe. I was fully expecting and willing to get that messy, it just didn't happen for me. Not for lack of trying however!

Here I am at home, sporting my Warrior Dash helmet, t-shirt and medal. I was teaching Jadyn how to make mean warrior-like faces or something like that:

And if the pictures were not enough, Will was kind enough to put together a video montage of us along the race. It wasn't nearly as embarrassing for me as I thought it would be.

A friend on Facebook asked me what was next. Well, I might consider Warrior Dash an annual thing, but don't be expecting races like this to become a regular occurrence. It was fun but man, am I sore!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Magoomba Monday

What a busy and fun week!

- after the usual school, ballet and baseball all week, Friday the kids stayed home with Joe while I took Kuma to puppy class. Our little guy is so smart and we are learning some really cool things like to wait before going out a door (or potentially the car). I also learned that I use the word "come on" A LOT, so we may have to choose another signal word when he learns to come since the word has little meaning to him since I say it all the time.

- Saturday was BUSY. We made it to Home Depot to make plantar boxes at the kids workshop, headed over to Jake's game, which was so windy I was fairly convinced that we were in the Wizard of Oz. Jake's best friend Sam came to watch the game and stayed for a play-date afterwards.

-Later that evening I took the kids to see a local production of Pinocchio. It wasn't as good as Aesop's Fables, which we saw at the same theater last spring but it was pretty cute. Jadyn was starstruck. I am pretty sure if we keep going to plays, she is going to get bit by the acting bug if she isn't already. She asked how old she would have to be to perform on stage. I love that she is so outgoing like that.

- Sunday of course was Warrior Dash. Never fear. If you haven't already gotten a giggle out of the photos I posted on Facebook, I will be devoting an entire post to the race tomorrow. It was fun. Joe was a good sport waiting with the kids and taking lots of great pictures for me. This event pretty much ate up most of our Sunday.

- Spoiler alert if you are not caught up on the Amazing Race but we were all pretty sad to see Marge and Luke eliminated last week after Luke couldn't find the right flavor tea. First of all it was very hard to see him get so frustrated with himself, although the encouragement he got at the end of the task was heartwarming. I had to cry listening to the mother/son duo communicate their feelings about each other and the experience of the race at the end. Wow. That is why they call it the amazing race. Very touching. They will be missed. And, it was a great, great learning experience for Jake and Jadyn who until this show, had never really been exposed to anyone with a hearing impairment or sign language to that extent.

- Fringe has miraculously been renewed for a fourth season. I am so excited. Thank you Fox for seeing that a loyal and dedicated fan base can be enough for a deserving show. Just goes to prove, it does not always have to be about the numbers.

- Still all the usual this week - more ballet, baseball and school but the kids have off Friday for parent/teacher conferences, which we can bypass since I see Jake's teacher every week. I am trying to decide what fun activity we can do while still giving us some time to relax. I think we are all in need of a little downtime.