December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolution

The family and I are headed to New Jersey to spend some time with Joe's parents and family. So unless I can find some quick time to blog you won't be hearing from me until after January 7th.

Here are my New Year's Resolutions - I have to admit that I am scared to put these in writing because it seems as if whenever I do the never happen - but I have been thinking about these for awhile.

1. - Run the Gateway Trail Marathon in May.

2. - Run the 4th of July race from Gothic to Crested Butte. This is a 1/3 marathon and I have done this twice before. With the marathon training I hope to beat my previous times of 1.5 or 1.75 hours.

3. - Olympic Triathlon in Salida. I will need to get a road bike to do this. I have been thinking about doing this for awhile but this comes at a perfect time since I won't be training for marathon I can mix things up with the swimming and biking.

4. - Second Marathon - Mountain Air Marathon. This one is local from Crested Butte down to Gunnison. (They are re-doing their website so this was all that I could find.)

Hopefully with all of this training I will get down to 133 - my pre-baby weight. I am having so much trouble with these last 9 pounds.

December 28, 2008

I have found my max

Since I have started training for this marathon I have been doing my long runs but at the end of each one I feel as if I could go longer. Normally I will come home and take the girls for a walk because Mikayla wanted to go running with me and when I tell her no because I am going to far she asks if we can go for a run when I get home! I hope she keeps this up.

Well, I found my max yesterday. I did 8 miles and my average pace was 11 minutes 21 seconds per mile, which I feel really good about. Especially since at the end I was very tired but after a 1/2 mile of super slow I was able to summon up the energy to pick up my pace for the last 1/2 mile home. Boy when I got home I was tired and sore. But the good thing is that I woke up this morning just fine.

Even though I did not get a lot of runs in because of the snow I did a lot of cross training. I a great mix of cross country training, running, yoga and strength training.

December 24, 2008

Marathon Training Weeks 7 and 8

My marathon training has really slowed down the last two weeks due to the cold and snow. The first week I was stressed out that I was not getting the miles in but now I am just doing what I can.

Two Sunday's ago I set out late afternoon for an 8 mile run but after a couple of miles I was cold!! It was about 20 (which normally here in the winter is warm) but it was cloudy and just bitter. I told myself that I could turn around at 3 miles and if I felt up to do 2 miles around town. The closer I got to home the more I started thinking about a hot shower. My thighs were freezing and I am pretty sure I had icy in my panties!

After that cold run I decided to go to Gene Taylors (a local sporting goods store) to see if they had any sales. I found a pair of tights that have fleece on the inside for $25! I love them. I need to go back and get another pair so I can have one dirty and one clean pair. I could even put another layer on the outside if it is super cold.

The snow in slowing me down as well. I cannot go very fast on the snow so instead of doing speed work I am just running what I can as quickly as I can without getting hurt. The other day I did 4 miles through snow covered streets and I was happy with an 11 minute mile because in the snow that was pretty good.

Due to the snow I have been shoveling. On Sunday I set out to do 8 miles (again) and I felt great in the morning. As soon as I started running my back started hurting. I tried to run through it hoping it would stop but less than 1 mile into it I had to stop. I tried walking and stretching but that did not work either so I gave up and headed home. The rest of the day I my back was killing me and I tried to rest but that does not happen unless Lily is sleeping.

On Monday I was feeling much better but I did a strength training routine instead of running. Today I went for a 4 mile run and felt great.

December 23, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Have you ever noticed that when it is snowing outside it is also very quite. For the past 10 days or so we have been receiving between 3 to 6 inches a days. One day last week we had received about 6 inches so Joe ended up taking me to work. The next day we received another 3 or so inches and I decided to bike to work.
First, I had to change my normal route. Normally I head up a fairly busy side street. I started to do this like normal but the snow plows had only made the road big enough for one lane of cars on either side of the yellow line. The bike lane and parking area had not been plowed. Also, in Gunnison they push all of the snow to the middle of the road for quick plowing and clean up after the storm has passed. (When Lily was born it snowed for days (literally) and we received over 5 feet of snow. The snow piles in the middle of the road were bigger than the cars and trucks on the road.) Back to the story - because of the snow in the middle of the road cars could not swerve around me. Then I started to slip and slide and almost fell down, so I decided to take the side streets - much better. It was a beautiful bike ride to work.
Since then I have been riding through the snow. On Monday it was a pretty rough, slippery ride. I decided to do something I have never done before (and I have lived in Colorado for over 10 years). Instead of walking the dogs at night I took them for a cross country ski around town. We had a blast. Then this morning instead of bike riding I cross country ski'd to work! Joe ended up having to bring me home because it did not snow all day so the streets were drying out.
Here are some pictures of the snow around town.
My little model.
This is a picture of the pile of snow in the middle of the road.






This is what I was riding through the other day when it was dumping.


We have even more snow now.


This is just a cute picture of the girls I have to throw in.



December 11, 2008

Facebook

Are you on facebook? I have been for a month or so and my husband (Mr. Popular) already has over 100 friends and they are all his old friends from his school days seeking him out. I need some more friends (I have less than 20!)

So please, come find me - Tiffany Ziegenhorn O'Connell (yes my maiden is Ziegenhorn - what a mouth full!

December 10, 2008

Missing Witness

As many of you know I am a big reader. I picked up a book that I am recommending to all of you. It is called Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell.

It is about a mother and daughter who walk into the daughter's father's house and one of the two shoots the father. The first part of the book is about the mother's trial and the second part of the book is about the daughter's trial. I am almost done and I still do not know how it is going to end.

It is a true page turner. The only time I have to read in right before bed and I have been staying up later than normal because I just do not want to put this book down.

December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmast Tree

This weekend we put up the Christmas tree. It is beautiful and looks great. Not an easy job to do with ah 3 1/2 year old that wants to help and a 10 month old that wants to pull the decorations off of the tree.

After we finished we took a couple of picture of the girls for Christmas cards. I think we need to take some more.







What do you think?

Later that evening I was giving the girls a bath and Joe was cooking dinner. I heard this loud crash right outside the bathroom. I went out into the hallway and the Christmas tree was laying over on its side. It had fallen over. We have never had a tree to that. I should have grabbed the camera but I had two girls ready to get out of the tub and a Christmas tree in the way with water and broken ornaments everywhere. Luckily most of the broken ornaments were just balls but there were a couple of nice ones.
I manged to get the two girls dressed and put them in Mikayla's room to play with the door closed. I did not want Lily crawling over broken glass and we were right outside the door. It was amazing the both played happily in there while we cleaned up the mess.

December 8, 2008

Marathon Training Week 6

7 miles - yup you heard (read) me. I did 7 miles on the long run on Sunday. Since the marathon I want to do is trail running I headed to a recreational area (Hartman Rocks) to go running.

It was hard and very slow at first. I had to run uphill and in the snow. We have had a couple of small snows and there was a couple of inches on the trail. Finally I found some dry jeep track and was working on heading back down to the base area where I had parked the car. I did get a little lost so that meant a little bit longer than I had planned. When I was about a mile or mile and a half from the car and I said to Sky (My dog that went running with me. She is a tropper, she is 10 years old but still loves to run even if it means limping the rest of the day. But an asprin after the run and she was good. Tired but good.) "if we get to the car and we are at 6.5 miles we are going to finish it up and make it 7 - even if it means that we are late getting home." (I was already late but what is another 5 minutes when you are over 15 minutes late.) We got back to the car at 6.44 miles so we made it 7.

It did take me awhile, 1 hour and 30 minutes, but it was VERY slow in the beginning. Next week when I head out for my long run I think I will stick to the streets. Even though that is boring to me I want to see if I can get 8 miles in an average of an 11 or 12 minute mile.

December 7, 2008

Crawling Baby

Lily started crawling about a month ago and now she is all over the house. One minute she is in the living room and the next thing I know she is the bathroom crawling into the walk in shower. She is so cute and getting more and more vocal. She will yell, dadadada.

Today I called a friend of mine to see if she wanted to go for a walk and she was home sick. Her husband has his own business so that means many hours away from home. I told her to bring her kids over so she could get some much needed rest. Her kids are 7 and 6 months. The 7 year old loves to play with Mikayla. They spent an hour jumping on the trampoline. It is very unseasonably warm here and I was glad that Mikayla got some exercise.

While the girls jumped I put the babies on the living room floor to play. Her son was happy to play with the toys but every time I would get up to check on the girls Lily would come crawling over saying mama, mama. Even thought it was annoying it was nice to hear her call me mama.
Here are two pictures of the crawling baby who also enjoys her rice and beans for dinner!!

December 1, 2008

Marathon Training Week 5

Here I am at week 5 of my marathon training plan and as I look back through my log I see that I am back to week 2 of my training. It is frustrating but I still have plenty of time so I am going to get my butt in gear. It is always easier to say that on a Monday morning than on a Wednesday morning. It seems as if I start many weeks out great only to fail. I gotta stick with this because I really want this.

Why do I want to do a marathon? All though highschool I was never athletic. I never ran a mile. I was a bit overweight - not much just a bit to make me feel self conscious. Now that I can run I want to run and I want to prove to everyone and myself that I can do it. I also want to lose some weight. I am trying to get this baby weight off but most of the trying is wishing it off and we all know that does not work.

Here are my goals for this week. Please help me stick to them. Send me emails, leave me comments, tell me not to eat the chocolate in my boss’s office or the chocolate sitting on our office managers front desk. I hate/love the chocolate that comes out this time of year!!

Ok back to the goals for this week.

Goal 1 - Keep my calories under 1200 per day before dinner. It is hard to calculate how many calories dinner is because hubby makes dinner and boy does he like to use olive oil. I tell him that even though olive oil is good for your it is still a fat so use it sparingly.

Goal 2 - Do 4 runs this week, 3 miles, 3 miles, 5 miles and 6 miles.

Goal 3 - Weigh 138 my December 30th. December 30th we are heading back to New Jersey to spend New Year’s with hubby’s family. I have been struggling between 143.5 and 141.5 for the last 2 months and I want to be in the 130's before we leave.

November 27, 2008

Pictures

Before you look at the rest of the picture let me ask you - Lily or Mikayla?
About a month ago we hiked up to the beaver ponds. It was a wonderful fall hike.


Lily was along for the ride!

Good thing it was a short hike because that is all Teo is good for.


Sorry I don't have better Halloween pictures. Mikayla was Tigger and Lily was a pumpkin.



The girls and their daddy.


Happy Girl

On our way to the playground.

The next few pictures are where I go when things get stressful or Gunnison is too cold. For our honeymoon we went to Hawaii. Come back and visit the next few pictures the next time it is cold, snowing, icy and a miserable day in your neck of the woods.

November 26, 2008

Marathon Training Week 3 - What Training??

I started my training schedule last week off great, even though I felt myself getting yet another cold. I was able to run on Monday and I did my strength training routine on Tuesday but it was tough. Wednesday through Saturday I did nothing. I managed a slow 1.3 mile walk on Sunday but it took all of the energy I had. I am finally feeling better today and I did my strength training routine and I hope to go for a slow run tomorrow at lunch.

Ever since I had kids and Mikayla started going to daycare I get so sick in the winter. She gets all of the germs at daycare and brings them home and gives every last one of those little buggers to me - and I am sick of it! I few years ago I was taking Body Balance by Lifeforce.

Here is blurb from their website regarding Body Balance. (They can say it much better than I can.) Body Balance is a powerhouse of liquid nutrition made from whole foods. Aloe alone contains over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 12 vitamins, 20 minerals and 18 amino acids. Combined with SeaNine™—our proprietary blend of nine select varieties of nutrient-rich sea vegetables--Body Balance is absolutely loaded with unique whole food nutrition. SeaNine provide a broad spectrum of trace minerals and phytonutrients that are more frequently deficient from land-based diets. It’s pleasant tasting, and its liquid form promotes easy absorption.Why sea vegetables? The mineral riches of the earth that have been washed into the oceans have been reclaimed by sea vegetation. Furthermore, the chemical balance of the human body is similar to that of sea water. The nine varieties of sea vegetables in Body Balance are sustainably harvested from pristine ocean waters around the globe. The Aloe vera in Body Balance is grown and processed according to organic standards, and is inner-fillet aloe. The pairing of SeaNine vegetables with Aloe is dynamic. Experience what it feels like to finally give your body the nutrients it craves for optimal performance.

When I was taking it a few years ago I really enjoyed it and I felt like it was giving me a boost of energy. I was taking it in the summer so I did not give it a chance to help me in the winter. I have talked to many people who take it and they say that they do not get sick as much as they use to.Let’s hope that this stops me from being sick all of the time. I am getting a cold at least one a month and that is too much time for me to take off from my marathon training.

Send me an email if you want to try some. It is only sold through network marketing and I can set you up.

November 19, 2008

Wednesday Blog Tour - How to Deal With Yelling

This week as I was strolling through blog land I read 2 blogs that I read all of the time. The first is Uppercase Woman I think on my blog roll I list her as "so I wasted all that birth control" which was what she was called when I first started reading her blog over 3 years ago. I should mention that she describes her blog as "The Rantings of a foul-mouth liberal, feminist, fat, recovering alcoholic, mother, wife, women and writer," which describes her to a T. You might ask yourself why you are reading a blog like that but I have grown to lover her outspokenness and liberal views. You need something like that in your life to shake it up! I don't always agree with her but that is ok too. Cecil is great about responding to EVERY comment. Take a few minute to check out her blog and let me know what you think.

The next blog I was reading was Snickollet. Snickollet is a single mom to 2 year old twins (boy and girl). Unfortunately she is single because her husband died in April 2007 due to pancreatic cancer. I have been reading her blog while she struggles to be a single mom, a widow, work full time, and recover (is that the right word) from her husbands death. She recently dove back into the dating world.

Now back to the second part of this blog entry - How to Deal With Yelling. On both blogs mentioned above they had entries regarding yelling and difficulty in dealing with the kids. It just so happens that I read an article just two days ago in Parents so I thought I would recap the article "How to Discipline Without Yelling" from the December Parents magazine.

We have all been there and done that. EVERY parent has yelled at their kids when they did not mean it. Just the other day I was working on cleaning the house and I was planning on heading out in a little bit with the girls to give Daddy some quite time. Daddy was doing some sort of work on the computer. The girls were getting very noisy (especially Lily) and Daddy yelled at them to settle down. So I decided to leave the house now instead of later. Which meant getting hats, coats, gloves, library books etc... I yelled at Mikayla for being too demanding while I was trying to find something for Lily to wear. I should not have yelled at Mikayla and I felt bad so I apologized. I also find myself losing my temper in the morning because Mikayla moves too slow at getting dressed, I wished Joe would get into the shower earlier than he does, and all I want is 10 minutes to sit down on the couch drink some coffee and watch the Today Show.

Ok - back to the article. Here are some tips to reduce the yelling in your house.

1. Recognize your child's limits. Sometimes, a lot of the time, we expect are children to do things above their capability. In my house a 3 1/2 year old will get distracted while getting dressed and she is a lot slower than I want her to be. In order to solve this I need to allow more time for Mikayla to get dressed.

2. Bite your Tongue. Do nothing is another example. In this article the author mentions that her kids will yell down to her from upstairs and she will yell back. She solved this problem by saying that is she can't see you than she can't hear you. The kids have to come downstairs to talk to their mom. I have tried this with Mikayla but she is great at "Mama, can I watch my show?" and repeating the same question until she gets an answer from me.

3. Survey the Situation. Instead of a food diary, keep a yell diary. Write down when most of the yelling occurs and what can you do to reduce it.

4. Devise a Battle Plan. What drives you crazy the most and causes you to yell the most? Then write down your resolution to this situation. In this article the two boys yelling at each other causes the mom to yell at them. So instead of yelling as well the mom sends the boys one one bedroom and they cannot come out until they have spend 5 happy minute together.

5. Drop a decibel. This was my favorite. Instead of yelling, whisper. It makes everyone quite down to listen.

6. Patience. This is one of my own and I use it all of the time. In order to raise kids you have to have a TON of patience. I have learned if I stop to take a breath, even in the middle of yelling, screaming and crying, it does help.

What do you do in your house to control the yelling?

November 18, 2008

7 Random Things About Me

Carrie at Newlywed Girl tagged me and it has taken me awhile to get to this post. The biggest reason is that I am having trouble thinking about 7 random things about me.

1. I never liked exercise as a kid and I never ran a mile until I was in college. Now I can do 6 miles and now I enjoy running and exercise.

2. As a kid my family would travel to Colorado all the time in the summer. I always wanted to live in Colorado but I never wanted to live in Gunnison. Now I live in Gunnison!

3. I am an anally clean person.

4. I love to read.

5. I want our next two dogs to a pug and a HUGE dog like a English Mastiff, Berense Mountain Dog, or Great Pyrenees.

6. When I daydream I see myself 15 to 20 pounds less, and a girl who runs marathons, does ironman triathlons, and can keep up with the boys on a killer mountain bike ride.

7. I really want to travel one day - Africa, Asia, Australia, Iceland, the Caribbean - everywhere.

I am tagging (but don't feel like you have to):

Mommy From the Midwest

Views from the Passenger Seat

Fitness for Mommies

November 17, 2008

Marathon Training Week 2

Week 2 of my marathon training plan did not go so well. I only did 2 runs and a total of 5 miles. No real reason why, one day I did not feel like it so I only did 2 miles and another day the wind was horrible so that really slowed me down and unmotivated me.

This week should be much better. I am planning on 4 runs this week with a total mileage of 17 miles.

With daycare in its new location I should be able to fit in shorter runs during the week and even weight training two times a week. I would much rather run at lunch than early in the morning. It is getting cold in the morning.

What do you do during the winter to stay in shape?

November 16, 2008

Daycare

The girls go to a wonderful daycare but it is unlicensed. In the state of Colorado if you watch more than one family you have to be licensed. The stupid thing about this law is an unlicensed daycare or babysitter can watch one family. That one family can be 1 kid or 10 kids as long as they are brothers and sisters. But if you watch more than one family (even if it is 1 kid from each family) you have to be licensed.

The girls' daycare, a husband and wife team, have taken all of the necessary daycare classes but they rent their home and at the time (quite a few months ago) they did not have a fenced in yard so they could not be a licensed daycare. A couple of months ago they moved into a new home with a large fenced in yard but they have not taken the time to get licensed. At the beginning of November they got a letter stating they had to close down the daycare. The daycare did the responsible thing and gave everyone notice. Since we had 2 kids we had until the end of November to find a new daycare.

I had found a new babysitter for the girls and she was ready to watch them whenever I wanted but we decided on December 1st. I had Tuesday off for Veterans Day (I know I have it made at the law office). That night I got a phone call saying that they had received another letter and no more daycare. So for Wednesday I had no daycare. I was very upset that they could just close it down just like that. I called the new babysitter and she was more than happy to start watching the girls but the girls had never met her before. Joe and I decided to take Wednesday off in shifts and that afternoon I took the girls to meet the new babysitter and her kids.

I was more worried about Lily since she is going through separation anxiety. But while we were visiting I disappeared a few times and Lily was not happy but the new babysitter was able to calm her down and Lily was not screaming horribly just fussing. So after the meeting I felt MUCH better.

On Thursday the babysitter and Lily were able to bond and had a great morning. When I dropped Mikayla off after preschool she had a blast playing with the 5 year old and on Friday the babysitter's other kids, twin 8 year old girls showed up and LOVED playing with Mikayla.

So after all the stress and headache of moving to a new daycare we are much happier. I also love the new location. The new babysitter is only 3 blocks from preschool so I now have over 1/2 of my lunch hour back and I plan to use it to run. I really slacked off this week in my marathon training so I gotta get my butt in gear.

November 14, 2008

Home Made Yogurt

In order to make my own yogurt my mother-in-law bought us the Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker from Williams Sonoma (she works there!). You could make it without the yogurt maker but the yogurt makes is so easy for a busy working mom.

First bring about 32 oz. of milk to a boil over medium to low heat. (whole, skim whatever you want - I am sure you could also try substituting soy milk as well - I need to try that!). The milk needs to heat up to 185F and stay there for a couple of minutes. Make sure you are stirring so it does not stick.

Next cool the milk down to room temperature. If you are in a hurry place the sauce pan in a bowl (or the kitchen sink) in a cold water bath.

After the milk has cooled down stir in 7 oz of yogurt (according to the directions you can use homemade yogurt but once do this one time then use store bought the next time - it has something to do with the cultures).

Once the milk and yogurt is all mixed up pour into the jars that come with the yogurt maker, turn the yogurt maker on and let it work for the next 12 to 15 hours (I use the 15 hour button). Once the machine is done chill the yogurt in the fridge for 3 hours, and then enjoy. You can add fresh fruit, honey, granola, whatever you want!

November 13, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread Receipe

A few of you asked for my whole wheat bread recipe and yogurt recipe. This recipe is from the back of the yeast packets you buy.

2 3/4 cups flour (I use 1/2 cup of white and the rest wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup margarine or butter melted (I have been using about 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead)
1 packet of Active Yeast

First - Dissolve the yeast in hot water (105 to 110 - make sure you measure the temperature of the water first), also add about 1 teaspoon of sugar to the yeast and hot water and stir - the sugar feeds the yeast and helps it rise.

Then I put the salt, oil and some of the flour into the mixer, add the yeast mixture after it has doubled in volume. Start mixing and add the rest of the flour and water. If your dough is too watery add some more flour.

Instead of kneading by hand I put my kneader on the kitchen aid mixer and let it go for about 10 to 20 minutes (depends on if I get busy doing something else.) After the dough is kneaded place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a WARM spot (sunny window works great). After the dough has doubled in size punch it down and knead it again and I let it rise another time, and after it has doubled in size again punch it down and knead it into the shape you want. Place the dough on a greased cookie sheet and let it rise one last time.

After the dough has doubled in size for the last time place it in an pre-heated over at 375 and bake for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Heidi - What was it like to move from the North Pole, Alaska to Las Vegas?? Culture and heat shock I bet!

November 12, 2008

Wednesday Blog Tour

This week our blog tour takes us over to Metropolitan Mama. Stephanie is the queen of surfing the internet! What I mean is that by reading her blog she will show where all of the best information for parents and contests are. For example this week you can find links to win a $30 gift certificate to Expressiva, $25 gift certificate to Kroger, the other day I entered a contest to win a Bissell Prodry Fast Drying Carpet Cleaner (how she gets offers to try this products I have not figured out yet - but I want to review these products), she also has links to information such as baby clothes, nursing, exercise, and so much more. I learn something new everytime I read her blog and she is ALWAYS hosting giveways and contests.

November 10, 2008

Marathon Training - Week 1 - Excellent!!!

This past week I did a total of 3 runs and all of them were great. On Wednesday morning I got up early and ran 4.2 miles. It was cold and wonderful! Then on Friday I did my normal lunch time run and I fit in a full 60 minutes and I ran approximately 5.6 miles. Sunday was my long run. I ran 67 minutes for an approximate 6.1 miles.

The reason I started running was that it was a fast way to burn calories. It was something that I hated doing but I did it anyway to get in shape and lose some weight. Now I am finding myself really enjoying my runs, even the hard uphills I am enjoying. I find myself at the end of a run when I am tired, smiling and singing along to the song on my Ipod.

I am getting tired of estimating my miles and it is hard since I am trail running mostly. So I talked my mom into getting me my Christmas present early. I had originally asked for a heart rate monitor for my birthday and my parents sent me a check and told me to find my own! So I asked mom to send me more money for Christmas now and I bought the Garmin Forerunner 305. I found it at Walmart.com for $195 instead of the $299!! I have spent the last week looking for the perfect heart rate monitor and I ended up with the Garmin because not only does tell me my heart rate but it will also tell me EXACTLY how far I have run using GPS and my pace. Right now I am estimating I am running an 11 minute mile but since I am trail running I really have no idea.

My first week of training went great but I HAVE a long way to go. Until January my plan is to focus on increasing my miles in 3 to 4 runs a week. Since I ran a total of 15.9 miles last week I going for 17.5 miles this week during a total of 4 runs.

November 6, 2008

Food From Scratch

We all know that when you buy food at the grocery store it contains a lot of junk you don't need. Such as bread. Why on earth do they put high fructose corn syrup or add sugar to bread? So I have been busy making some food we eat on a daily basis from scratch.

I make our bread from scratch. It is whole wheat and yummy. I have figured out if I add 1/2 cup of white flour and the rest is whole wheat it comes out perfect. Joe told me to never buy bread again and I have to make all of our own!

I am also making our yogurt with a yogurt maker. I would get so upset at how high the sugar content is in yogurt from the store so I make our own and mix it with some store yogurt and now we get half of the sugar it is yummy.

Another big ticket item is the rice or pasta mixes for dinner. Joe has been making his own pasta mixes for a while and last night he got the whole grain brown rice to come out perfect with just a dab of olive oil, rosemary, basil and other spices. No more rice mixes for this house!

November 5, 2008

Wednesday Blog Tour

My blog tour this week goes along with my exercise theme and getting up the courage to run a marathon.

Our blog tour takes us over to Fitness for Mommies. Rachel is one busy mama. She has two boys, is a PE teacher, she runs, bike races, does triathlons, yoga, pilates and much more. She also recently ran a marathon and beat her PR (in running lingo that stands for personal record). I stive to be like her - but she had a head start on me! She stared running in middle school and I did not start until college. Her blog is all about staying in shape, training and the newest and latest products for fitness training.

It seems as if I have been stuck in the same pace since I started running - an 11 minute mile. Right now I would love to run a faster mile and increase my miles. I asked Rachel how do I take my running to the next level?

Here is her response:

In my mind there are several factors that are important- mileage not being one of them. When I trained for St. George, our average mileage was 25-30 over the whole 16 week program! One week, we hit 40, but other than that it was around 25 or less. All of our workouts had a GOAL. Something specific to work on that day. We never went out and just ran. I think 3 workouts a week is absolutely achievable for a marathon! The first week of the marathon plan that I have calls for one long run of 10 miles. To me, that is what you should work up to now. Then plan on training seriously come January.

1. Speed. You need to train your body to go faster by running faster. You can incoporate one speed workout into a 30 minute run- by running for 10 minutes easy, then go hard for 1 minute, easy for 1 minute, etc...Try doing that once a week.

2. Tempo. Let's say you want to start running 1030 miles, right? So, on your regular run, once per week, plan on running one mile at 1030 and 2 miles at 11 (warmup and cooldown).

3. Long Run. If you want to start training for a marathon, you will need to increase your mileage by 10% weekly. First week at 5, then next week 6, then 7, back off to 5 one week, then back up to 8. Gradually increase your distance over a long period of time.

Resources:
If you can, I would highly recommend purchasing a plan from Coach Al. (I don't get any kickbacks for referring people!) I just would never train for any big goal again without a plan. The plans are well researched and you will get results from it.

Another resource I like is the Run Less, Run Faster book that you can buy on Amazon. It has detailed plans for all distances from beginners to advanced and all are based on three runs a week.

Finally, I have to say this because of all the pain I've gone through training for this marathon, stretching and yoga are non-negotiable. I like to refer to Sage Rountree's free yoga podcasts because they are only 5-10 minutes in length and are designed for athletes.

Also, if at all possible, a training buddy can be invaluabe to getting you out the door on days you don't feel like running!

With that said for the month of November I am going to focus on running at least 3 times a week, doing one speedwork a week and increasing my miles by 10% every week. In order to do this I am going to have to get up early - which I hate!

What do you do to motivate yourself to get up early to workout?

November 4, 2008

Marathon Training

One of my personal goals is to complete a marathon and I really think I want to start training for this but I am just scared that I don’t have what it takes.

I have been running for 10 years now and my longest run has been 8.7 miles and that was a few years ago. The biggest reason I think that I don’t have what it takes is that I am having trouble finding time to run. I use to run during my lunch break but now I do the transfer from Mikayla’s preschool to daycare during my lunch break. I was also trying to get some runs in right after work but now I won’t be able to do any runs longer than 20 minutes or so because it is getting dark so early. I might try to get up before work and run but that is hit or miss because I never know if Lily is going to have a good night or a bad night.There is a trail marathon about 2 hours from here at the end of May and I think it would be wonderful to do that marathon. I enjoy trail running MUCH more than street running and since it is in May I would have plenty of time to get ready for it.

November 3, 2008

Sprint Triathlon

Yesterday I did my personal triathlon. I was not racing anyone except myself. It was fantastic!!

I did changes things up a little bit. I biked first, ran second and swam third. The reason I did this was that the pool at the college where I was swimming did not open until 3pm and I got both girls down for their afternoon nap at 1:30 so I decided to take advantage nap time to sneak away for 2 hours.

I was worried about the bike ride the most. I have been riding my bike a lot but I have not done more than 6 miles (and even that is broken up) at one time. But the bike ride went great. I was estimating it would take an hour but I beat that time and I finished in 51 minutes! Next was the run.

It was hard transitioning from the bike to running and I also started the run by heading up a steep hill. After about ½ mile I found my groove. As I was running I felt like I was running slower than normal but I wasn’t. I finished the 3 mile run in 33 minutes.

The last section was the swim. Since this was not a real race I took a couple of minutes changing and it took some time to find a lap lane. The pool was BUSY. I finished my 1/4 mile swim in 12 minutes. This was pretty slow and I felt that I was taking it slow but it was also at the end of the triathlon. If I had done the swim first it probably would have taken me 10 minutes instead of 12 but then the run would have taken longer.

Overall I felt great and I was proud of my 96 minutes. Next time I want to shoot for 90 minutes or less!

October 29, 2008

Wednesday Blog Tour

Our blog tour this week takes us over to Bits of Pieces. Bits recently had a baby (this seems to be the theme lately) and she is a work at home mom as a writer. I am having fun watching how she is working through everything as a new mom. She also has another blog Refrigerator Raid (which was originally how I found her). Refrigerator Raid is her diet and excerise blog and it is especially important now because she is trying to lose that baby weight - she only has 5 more pounds to go so go and cheer her on!

2008 Election

I have finally voted like an adult! In years past I went into every election knowing who I would elect for president but that was it. This year I got a mail in ballot and I actually sat down and researched every amendment on the ballot, and in Colorado this year it was front and back of two full legal size pages.

I am an educated voter!

October 25, 2008

Janet Evanovich

One of my favorite things to do is to read. I always enjoy a good book. Now that I have kids it is much harder to read but I manage to get a few pages in before bed each night. One author that I have really been enjoying lately is Janet Evanovich. She always make me laugh out loud in each and every book.

One series she writes is the Stephanie Plum series (One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc...) Stephanie Plum is a typical Jersey girl who loses her job and forces her cousin to hire her as a bounty hunter. She is always getting into trouble either blowing up her car or burning down a funeral home. Stephanie Plum is always a hoot.

Every book that I have read by Janet Evanovich has always been worth and has always made me laugh. Here are some other books by her:

Wife for Hire
Full House
Back to the Bedroom


I gotta say I love her books!

October 24, 2008

Diet Tips

I was reviewing my old blog entries my from exercise blog and came across tips to lose weight. I reviewed all of those tips to help me get in the mind frame to lose weight and I have narrowed it down even more. Here are some tips that I am going to start following more than ever.

1 - Drink water. I am normally great at getting in 8 plus glasses of water a day and even more when I was pregnant and breastfeeding but I have noticed that lately I am only getting in 4 to 5 glasses of water a day. I am going to work on increasing this.

2 - Train with weights. I have been slacking in the weight training department lately. I am having trouble trying to find the time to fit in it. I know I need to do this and I am going to start trying just to get one day in a week will work for now and then later increase it to two or three days a week.

3 - Do some light cardio after dinner. I have been talking the dogs for a quick walk after dinner. Since we moved our backyard is much smaller than it use to be and it has a fence so the dogs can’t roam the neighborhood anymore. Skyler has been showing signs that she needs more exercise - chasing her tail and digging holes.

4 - Eat more fruit

5 - Eat vegetables

6 - Run hills and climb stairs. During your normal cardio workout through a hill or some stairs into the workout. This mixes it up and helps you burn more calories.

7 - Increase your intensity. Instead of running the same snails pace every day do a day of sprints.

8 - Keep active in between workout sessions. Instead of sitting down in front of the TV between workouts stay active. I don’t sit down at home until the girls are in bed and I am relaxing. I am busy making lunch, cleaning up the house, doing laundry, chasing after a preschooler and infant, playing tag, etc...

9 - Find someone to train with in the mornings. This helps you to stay motivated.

10 - Find someone who is better than you at fitness to train with. This helped when I ran the 5K the other week. I ran with a friend that was just a bit faster than me and it helped me to pick up the pace. I have been picking it up every since.

11 - Join a sport team or a fitness class. Helps keep you motivated.

12 - Experiment with martial arts and tai chi and yoga. New classes are always fun to try.

13 - Park your car further away from your destination or get off the bus early - or take your bike instead of the car.

14 - Use a small bowl or plate to create the illusion of eating a lot. I have tried this and it works.

15 - Go to the shops on a full stomach.

16 - Keep a record of the foods you eat during the day

17 - Write down your weight loss goals and award yourself once you reach them. Lose 10 pounds and go to the spa!

18 - Read and research into everything you put into your mouth - calories and unhealthy substances can be squeezed into many places

19 - Take days off - its ok to relax occasionally (Very important, if I am really struggling through my runs I take a few days off and once I get back into I do much better and the run is actually easier.)

20 - Train outdoors - sun and air are good for you (I hate running on the treadmill. I struggle to run three miles on the treadmill because I get so bored but it I take that run outside I love it. I especially love trail running.

21 - Watch shows like The Biggest Loser for inspiration - My favorite show. I have to watch this show once a week. I only wish it was an hour instead of 2.

22 - Do cardio with up beat music. (To me running is much easier if I have heart pounding music playing through the ipod.

23 - Buy a nice pair of shorts or t-shirt that you want to (realistically) be able to fit in by summer (I did this and actually the pants I bought were too big by the time summer hit!)

24 - Don’t be self conscious at the gym - no one cares (I get excited when I see heavy people at the gym because they are starting to do something about their weight problem.)

25 - When you are struggling to take another step on your jog pick an item in the distance and aim for it (I tend to use this at the end of a long run.)28 - Exercise for 10 minutes. If you really don't feel like exercising do 10 minutes, if you are still hating it at 10 minutes then stop and this is your off day, but normally after 10 minutes you will want to finish your workout.

26 - Use maths in weight loss - ie one bowl of iced cream tonight means I have to run an extra 20 minutes tomorrow.

27 - Learn that you cannot ’spot reduce’ - fat comes off from the whole body not just one section

28 - Skipping meals won’t burn fat - keep your metabolism burning by eating more often

29 - Be creative with cardio - running and biking isn’t the only way (Swimming, tennis, playing with the kids, playing tag, hiking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, etc...)

October 22, 2008

Wednesday Blog Tour

I have missed the last two weeks on my Wednesday Blog Tour so I introducing 2 blogs this week.

Lily was born in January and it seems as if some of my mommy blogger friends decided to get pregnant at the same time.

Views From the Passenge Seat has two little girls just like me. LP, her oldest is 2 1/2 or so (correct me if I am wrong) and AK is the new one. AK is 4 months. You will love her humor and the way she says everything straight up. She is a working mom and I love here about how she balances work and being a mommy. She makes it seem as if everything goes smoothly even though you know it doesn't.

The next mommy blogger is Mommy From the Midwest. This mommy has one little girl BG who is almost 3 - or is she 3? and one little boy or LM is 6 months. LM is already crawling! She loves to post lots of pictures which is wonderful. You have to check this set out!

October 21, 2008

Triathlon

I have not been training as much as I wanted to for my triathlon but I have done some great workouts. I am thinking either this weekend or next weekend I will go ahead and do my tri. I really think I am ready and I feel great. After doing all of the individual activities (except for an hour long bike ride) I think it will take me less than 2 hours - that is my goal right now.



I have to admit that I have really enjoyed the swimming, biking and running and after this I think I really want to train for an Olympic Triathlon.



**************
Here is just a cute picture of Lily smiling. She is a big smiler. She will smile at almost everyone but don't try to hold her!

October 20, 2008

Pictures Finally!

I have finally figured out how to get the pictures from the Wal-Mart disk onto my computer - I was looking in the wrong place and over thinking it! Here are the pictures from our trip to Kansas. Yes it was the beginning of September but I thought you would enjoy them. I promise to take some more updated pictures of Lily this weekend so you can see why my almost 9 month old looks like. She is getting more hair and it is getting blonder!


Where is Lily?


Peek a boo!

This is my sister Sara and her son Jake. Jake is about 6 weeks younger than Lily.




I don't know who tired who out - Grandpa or Jake??


Mikayla enjoyed making chocolate cake with Grandma. It is a good thing I was paying attention. Grandma was letting Mikayla do what ever she wanted. If I had not interruped we would not have had any cake!

Diet and Exercise

I am finally getting my butt in gear and I am going to lose these last 10 pounds. I would love to lose more than 10 but for now I am going to focus on the last 10.

One thing I am learning is the dieting is hard for everyone, no matter if you are trying to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, it is hard. Dieting is hard because it involves changing habits. Those habits can be, putting less cream in your morning coffee, not eating off of your child’s plate, not taking a piece of candy every time you pass the candy dish at work (I hate that thing!).

Losing weight is about keeping track of EXACTLY how many calories you take in and how many you burn in a day. The average 150 pound women needs to limit her calories to 1500 per day when she is dieting and she should be burning at least 250 calories per day.There are many programs out there to help with the diet and keeping track. Sparkpeople is a free website that gives you meal plans to follow and exercise routines to follow.

I am concentrating on keeping my calorie intake to 1000 calories from morning until I get home, dinner is (rough estimate 500 calories) not having wine except on the weekends and no dessert after dinner. For the exercise part I am trying to burn 250 calories per day but I am slacking in that category as well. For the most part I have been average 250 calories burned for 5 out of the 7 days a week.

Last week I really took the time to track what I was eating and to not over eat, I am down 1 pound! Hopefully it stays off.

October 14, 2008

Birthday Weekend

My birthday is on Wednesday this week - the big 30! Not too excited about turning 30 since that means I really am an adult.

This weekend was a 3 day weekend and Mikayla had an eye doctor appointment in Grand Junction so Joe decided that we should go down and spend the night and go shopping his he needed clothes but he said it was for my birthday.

We headed down on Sunday and we went to an apple orchard and bought apples. We got them for $1.00 per pound! Then we headed over to another farm for a corn maze and to pick pumpkins. We had a blast.

After picking pumpkins we went and did Mikayla's favorite thing of the whole trip, checked into the hotel and she went swimming. Finally on Sunday we got the shopping done and Mikayla went to the eye doctor. We spent the last 5 weeks with no eye patch and now we are cleared for another 4 months with no eye patch. Hopefully her eyes are fixed for good.

October 13, 2008

The Best Run of My Life

My triathlon training was slow going last week. I have been VERY busy with working my normal full time job, then doing my part time bookkeeping job and the biggest part was Lily not sleeping well at all left me a very tired mama.

Last week I believe I took Mikayla out to daycare on the bike twice instead of 4 times and I got in two runs.

During my lunch break on Friday I ran for 55 minutes and I was fast (fast for me ), I felt great and I tackled the hills. I ran up a hill behind the local college and then back down doing the BEST 5 miles in my life.

For the triathlon I was most worried about the swimming but I think I can tackle a sprint tri now. If I can find the time maybe next weekend.

October 5, 2008

Triathlon Challenge - Swimming and Running

Opps - I just realized that I had wanted to bike 6 miles this week to see how long it will take to bike 12 miles. I don't think that will happen today because I really don't have time - but we will see.

I went swimming on Friday and except for the chlorine it went really well. I swam 1/2 a mile in about 20 minutes so the 1/4 mile swim for the triathlon will take about 10 minutes. I was also not pushing it since I had no idea what to expect. I think next Friday I see how quickly I can do the 1/4 mile since I know exactly how many laps I need to swim.

I ran the 5K yesterday. It was the hospitals Run for Rehab annual race. I took first place in my age division!! Mostly because the average age of the racers is 30-39! So I don't think I will place next year. It took me 33 miles to do the 3.1 mile course and I was very pleased with that. I was running with a friend of mine that runs just enough faster than I do to push me but not so much that I could not keep up with her. At the end I was trying to pass a couple of girls and I did but then they passed me. Overall it was a great race.

October 1, 2008

Wednesday Blog Tour - Green Style Mom

This week I am featuring Green Style Mom on my Wednesday Blog Tour. Kristen is a stay at home mom to 2 wonderful kids and she is living green. I get wonderful easy ideas to live a little greene from her. For example here is way to use up all of those plastic take home food containers. Here is a face cleanser and toner that is good for your skin (I really want to try this out).

Kristen is also great at finding good green deals on the internet and she offers us discounts! Here is one and here is another!

Kristen lives in a co-housing development in Colorado. The few wonderful livings I love about the co-housing idea is instance community, weekly meals with everyone, camp outs, free yoga classes, friends right next door for the kids, community garden, etc.

Take a few minutes to check out her blog. It is well worth it!

September 30, 2008

I have some work to do!

On Monday night I decided to run 2 miles to see how long it would take. Every other time I run I normally go for time and estimate how many miles I run. The reason for that is that I often go trail running instead of street running. Well let's just say I need some work!

I ran the 2 miles in 24 minutes which for some people is not bad and I normally estimate that I am running a 12 minute mile. The bad part is that I was really trying to get it done faster and I was pushing myself to run harder. At the end of the run my heart and lungs felt like I pushed myself more than I normally do.

Oh well, at least I know where I am and where I need to go. I would love to average a 10 minute mile. There is a 5K coming up this weekend that I am going to do so it will be interesting to see how long that takes me.

September 29, 2008

100 Miles

Could you image propelling yourself forward for 100 miles straight? And no I do not mean in a car. This weekend while I went mountain biking there was a 100 mile mountain bike race in and around Crested Butte. This is a race just like the Leadville 100 that Lance Armstrong took second place in. I must say that Armstrong took second place to guy from Gunnison.

Maybe I should get in some 100 mile mountain bike races before I complete my ultimate goal which is the Ironman in Hawaii. I love watching it every year and every year I want to go out and do it for myself. My sprint triathlon challenge will the first in many and I hope to say one day that I completed the Ironman. If only dreams do come true.

For now I am going to keep track of my daily biking and running miles to see how many miles I complete in the course of a week, month and year.

September 28, 2008

Triathlon Training

This is the first week of my triathlon training schedule. My goals for the overall challenge are to 1 - Complete the triathlon is less than 2.5 hours
2 - Use this challenge to increase me speed while running and biking
3 - Finally get to under 140 pounds.

I will have a challenge each week that will bring me to my sprint triathlon in November. This week I am going to time myself running 2 miles, biking 6 miles (with no kids in the bike trailer) and for swimming just to get in the pool and see how well I do. Today we took the kids swimming in a small hotel pool and after a few laps in that pool I was tired so I have a long way to go with the swimming.

I plan to accomplish the above goal by running after work on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, swimming on Friday and biking with no kids this weekend.

Trail 401 Crested Butte

This weekend Joe took care of the kids and I went and did Trail 401 in Crested Butte. It was wonderful and it has been a long time since I went mountain biking. Of course I am riding my mountain bike every day around town but that is no where near the same as mountain biking.

A friend of mine went with me and it was a 3 hour ride round trip. We parked at Rustler's Gulch and started up the road. As soon as we started riding we had a STEEP hill to climb - great way to get the heart pounding. It was only about 3 miles of rough, steep jeep road but it took us about 40 minutes! We passed beautiful Emerald Lake and then shortly after that we reached the top of Schofield Pass at 10,707 feet.

Then the fun begins - single track. We had a very technical and steep climb. The first part was through the evergreen trees and the second part was high alpine. The second part of the climb was not as steep - but still a workout - and not as many rocks. I LOVED that last uphill climb - you just have to power through it. I really enjoy a good climb over the downhill - I know I am weird. That section took another 40 minutes or so.

The last section is ALL downhill for about 45 minutes. There are many points that you really don't want to look down past the trail because if you fall you are going rolling down the entire mountain. The whole way was beautiful, the aspens are bright yellow, the dry fall air, the crisp day - it was wonderful! The ride was great.

Here is a video I found on You Tube that is trail 401 to give you an idea of the downhill.

September 24, 2008

Wednesday's Blog Tour

This is a new feature I am adding on Wednesday's. Each week I will recommend a blog that I read daily.

This week I am recommending Newlywed Girl. Carrie has recently married - even through technically she is not a newlywed anymore (she has been married for a little more than a year) and she and her hubby just has a wonderful and very cute little girl. I found Carrie's blog when she was working on losing weight, but then she got pregnant so the weight loss stopped and now it is back on to lose the baby weight. In addition to being a mom Carrie has been busy doing triathlons, running 5k's, going to the beach and training to run 6 miles in a marathon relay.

Take a few minutes to check out her blog and cheer her on!

Triathlon Challenge

So far no one - not one person signed up for even left me a comment about my Triathlon Challenge. I am going to do this even if no one signs up but it would be a LOT more fun if even one person signs up. Please, Please, Please can one person join me for 6 weeks on swimming, biking and running! We will get in shape and maybe lose a few pounds along the way.

September 22, 2008

Stuck

My body has decided that it likes me to weight between 140 and 145. I was at my lowest right before I got pregnant with Lily at 133ish. Now I am back at the 144 mark and I am having trouble getting these pounds off. So I have decided that I need to cut 500 calories a day for a total of 3500 calories per week.

My goal to cut 3500 calories per week is to:
1 - No wine Monday - Thursday. If I have been having 1.5 glasses per night from Monday through Thursday that is at least 600 calories per week. (Lily drives me to drink so I think I have been drinking at least one glass a night!!)
2 - No snack or desert before bed. If I have even 100 calories before bed and I stop that all together I save 700 calories a week,
3 - Burn at least 250 calories per day. Finding time to workout is a struggle for any parent. I can seek in 30 to 40 minutes of cardio when I pick up Mikayla from preschool and take her to daycare. I have been picking her up with my bike and she rides in the bike trailer. Then instead of just peddling to 5 miles round trip to daycare and back I push hard and really workout. Try riding your bike fast while pulling an extra 55 pounds! I have also been running for 20 - 30 minutes right after work before Joe gets home with the girls so I thin I can burn the 250 calories per day as long as I focus.

September 19, 2008

Triathlon Challenge

I really want to do a triathlon but it seems as if it might never happen. As everyone knows I live in a small, remote mountain town in Colorado. There is a triathlon every year in Crested Butte, but I am NOT ready for that. Mostly because my mountain biking skills are not up to par anymore. You have to be able to mountain bike intermediate to expert and at this stage in my life I am back down to beginner. There is another triathlon that I have really considered in Montrose but I am not going to be ready for it this year - it is less than 3 weeks away. So I have decided to host a Blog Sprint Triathlon Challenge. We will all train together over the course of 6 weeks and then we will all do our triathlon together in our own cities and blog about how well you did. (One exception is that in November it can get SUPER cold here - we are talking -25. So if that is the case we might change weekends - or if the weather in your town is awful we can move it back a weekend.)



I would like to start the challenge on September 27th - that will give everyone a week and a half to spread the news. We will start slowly the first two weeks by getting use to the swimming (1/4 mile or 400 meters), the biking (20K or 12 miles) and the running (5K or 3.1 miles). In week 3 we will start to add weight training and weekly challenges and in weeks 4 and 5 we will add longer runs, longer bike rides, longer swims and blocks. A block is where you do two activities back to back - such as bike ride then run. Week 6 will be a fairly easy week and then we do the challenge on November 8th



Are you ready!!!

September 18, 2008

Great Mountain Towns to Live

I was reading MSN the other day and came across this article.

There are quite a few towns I would consider moving to but town number is 3 is only 30 minutes away!

September 17, 2008

Saving Money on Groceries

Going to the grocery store seems to cost more and more every week. I have read blogs where moms say they only spend $50 per week at the store for a family of 5. I have no idea how they do this. I think they must be shopping at Alde (don't have one of those in Gunnison) and they also must not be buying any fresh produce (I am sure I spend at LEAST $50 per week on produce alone). I have noticed that a lot of those moms make everything from scratch and I know that saves a ton of money but I have a full time job and I don't have time to make everything from scratch.

Here is what I do to save money at the grocery store.

1. Stock up on the good sales.

2. For coffee instead of buying the expensive flavored coffee I buy a HUGE can of the super cheap stuff and then a smaller can of flavored coffee and I mix the two.

3. Buy Generic in almost everything.

4. Make a weekly meal plan, write down what I need to buy after I have reviewed my pantry for what I already have and most important - shop alone - no kids, no husband and stick to the list.

What I don't do is clip coupons. All of the coupons out there are for name-brand items and it is normally cheaper to buy the generic instead.

What do you do to save money at the grocery store?

September 15, 2008

HELP/Advice

Mikayla started preschool last week and she goes Monday - Thursday mornings. I pick her up afterschool spend a little bit of time with her and then take her to daycare. She has not been transitioning from preschool to daycare well at all. Today was the worst. After tons of kisses and hugs Eric, her babysitter, had to pick her up and take her away as I left listening to her cry out for me and of course I started crying in the car. I hated the fact that I had to go back to work instead of taking her home with me.

What do you recommend to make this transition easier? I am even considering taking her out of preschool except she LOVES preschool. Also when she gets to daycare it is lunch time and then nap time so I think the fact that she is going to be playing anytime soon is hard as well.

Last week I would go inside at daycare and set her down for lunch, say hi to Lily and there were some tears and lots of hugs and kisses but today was much worst. Today I even decided to stay right inside the door instead of going inside hoping to make the transition easier. I even prep her before we go to daycare, once we get there but not inside - I just don't know what else to do.

I need help and advice - what should I do? Maybe she is too young for preschool - I just don't know.

September 14, 2008

Kansas City - edited

Last week the girls and I took a week long trip to Kansas City, where I am from. I have not been back to KC in 2 1/2 years so it was time. (My parents and sister still live there but they are nice enough to come out here to see us all of the time.)


We arrived on Saturday and Lily decided that seperation anxiety and stranger anxiety was going to happen now. This meant that Lily refused to be held by anyone other than me.


Sunday morning was a quick trip to Target (It is a good thing we don't live near one because I would be spending way too much money there), then Church. Mikayla was excellent during Church, playing quietly. Lily and I on the other hand were walking in the back trying to get Lily to sleep.


Kansas City has really grown since I was there. There is a new area in Kansas City, KS with a Nebraska Furniture Mart, Cabelas, a hotel with a huge water park (but you have to stay at the hotel to play), the Kansas Speedway race track and an outdoor outlet shopping center called Legends . The Legends was pretty cool but it was so hot that day. I made a comment to my mom, why build an outdoor shopping mall in Kansas when you can only use it for a few months in the spring and a few months in the fall.


On Tuesday my sister and I took the kids to the zoo. First off we almost did not go. Her baby, Jake (month) and Lily decided they both nedded a nap and decided to scream and cry themsleves to sleep. This was the first time I had heard Jake through a fit. Normally he fusses a bit and my sister gives him the boob and he is fine but not this time. Jake finally fell asleep and it took many "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Rock a Bye Baby" to get her to sleep. My sister was laughing at how silly this whole thing was. We made it to the zoo and it was HOT. Hardly anyone was there, which was great but it was HOT. We only saw a small part of the zoo but Mikayla had lots of fun and all the kids fell asleep in the car on the way home.

On Wednesday the girls and I were on our own and it rained all day long. It was nice to have a quite day because the girls and I needed a real long nap.

On Thursday it was raining again and Mikayla could not understand why it was still raining. In Colorado we are lucky to have rain for an hour. Mikayla kept saying she did not like it raining and she needed a rain hat, rain jacket, rain pants and rain boots!

Friday we went shopping with my mom and out to dinner with the whole family.

I forgot what we did on Thursday and Friday but my mom reminded me we went to the Deana Rose Farmstead.
This is a great petting zoo that I went to as a kid. Mikayla fed the goats, the geese, petted the sheep, milked a fake cow, ran through a tee-pee and had tons of fun. She also rode her first pony and loved it. She can't wait to ride another horse again.

Saturday we headed home. Our flight left KC at 6:30am and the airport is 45minutes away. We did get home at 9:30am which was nice. But boy was I exhausted. Lily decided to not sleep and between Thursday and Friday night I got about 9 hours of sleep total. Saturday night I fell alseep while reading to Mikayla. I woke up and both of us were sleeping in her bed.

September 13, 2008

Let's All Pray

How is that for a title.

I am scared to type this so I am writing this one night and posting it the next night.

Two night ago Lily slept from 7pm until 7am - without waking up!! YEA!!! Mikayla actually came into our bedroom at 6:30am saying her tummy hurt (her way of saying she is hungry) It is a good thing Mikayla woke us up because otherwise we would have been late to work. This was my first night since she was born that I got 9 hours of un-interrupted sleep.

Then last night she woke up at 2:30am and then not again until 7am. Lily NEVER sleeps in until 7am she is normally up betwen 5 and 6. I am hoping for another great night tonight.

September 12, 2008

Food Meme

I saw this meme Green Style Mom's blog and I thought I would do it. Mostly because it was a cut and paste so it is super easy.

I am not going to tag anyone because everyone that has ever tagged me I have not done the mem. Sorry!

If you do decide to do this just let me know so I can check it out.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating (I could not figure out how to cross anything out so I put an * next to things I would never consider eating)

4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/uncategorised/the-omnivores-hundred/ linking to your results.

I changed this up by adding my comments. I gotta say something! As I was really reading through this list I had to google many items because I had no idea what they were.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros - I have never had this but my husband orders it all of the time.
4. Steak tartare*
5. Crocodile (actually I've had alligator, but not sure about crocodile)
6. Black pudding*
7. Cheese fondue - I LOVE fondue and I love making it
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich - who has not had a PB&J
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart - I never had this until I met my husband and I went to meet his family in NJ and on a trip to NYC everyone had to have a hot dog. Not much difference between the street cart dog and any other dog.
16. Epoisses*
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (fejoa, elder berry)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras*
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese*
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper*
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut - I hate the stuff and my husband thinks I am crazy since my heritage is all German.
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - I have never had cognac and I have never smoked a cigar, cigarrett or anything else
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - I have not had one of these since college but yummo
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (does a gnat that flies in your mouth count?)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu Nah
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel - I love eel.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut. (best warm!)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi - really don't like
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - I have never had a Big Mac and I even worked at McDonald's in high school
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini* (Only because I don't like olives and martinis are too strong for me)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis* (It would take a lot of talking to get me to try this)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill* (why would anyone every want to eat something that a car ran over and then sat on the hot pavement in the sun?
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini - yum
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (I have had items with rose petals in it - rose jam - but not this)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermido
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

There is my list and boy do I have a lot of eating to do! What does your list look like?

August 27, 2008

Living in a Box

I was on MSN today and they had this article A builder is taking the used containers used to ship items on boats and turning them into homes. The builder is based out of California where a stick built house can cost $200 to $250 per square foot. This builder can build you a container house that will cost anywhere from $100 to $200 per square foot.

The only thing I don’t love about the container home is that it is very contemporary in style instead of the log cabin homes that I love. But you are using recycled materials to build your home.

Take a look at the article and let me know what you think.

August 26, 2008

Yummy!!

On Sunday I decided to do a chicken in my crockpot. I have never done this before but I have done roasts. I figured changed the meat and change the seasonings and it should work.

Here is what I used:
1 chicken - it only costs $4.00 for a whole bird!
Carrots
onions
garlic
sweet potatoes (I figured it would add a different taste and be more exciting than regular potatoes)
1 can of cream of chicken
1 can of cream of celery
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

That is all!

I put it all together Sunday night and stuck it in the fridge. I put it into the crockpot Monday morning about 7:30am and left it on low until we were ready to eat at 6:30. Let me tell you the chicken was so tender, it was falling off of the bones left and right. I tried to pull the chicken out of the crockpot but it just fell apart. It was so yummy and sooo easy.

August 25, 2008

Tenants

In order to save money Joe and I rented our house out and moved into a smaller and cheaper house in town. The tenants that moved into our home are under a lease option and they just moved in on Saturday. Well we are already having problems with them. They are treating the house like they own it and so they have moved light fixtures around, the husband is upset at how old the wiring is. They are also trying to use a bathtub that we have never used before and found that the drain is rusted out. They called us and instead of waiting for us to get a plumber into get it fixed the tenant attempted to fix it himself and caused the well pump to become un-primed. This is Joe’s biggest fear and he HATES dealing with it. You know these people have not bought the house and I really wish they had not started messing with it and causing all of these problems. Joe’s worst fears about renting our house out are happening.

If everyone could send happy thoughts and prayers that we will make it through this, the tenants will settle down, and everyone will be happy. We need the tenants to stay in the house because we have signed a lease on another. Joe is also worried that if these tenants move out then he will not be able to get it rented for what they are paying. Joe is the main one dealing with the tenants not me so he is much more stressed out than I am.

August 15, 2008

Babes and the Things They Say

I was reading Mikayla a book last night about a dinosaur exhibit that was closed and the boy wanted to visit it. Mikayla kept correcting me saying it was not closed because there was no door!

Tonight at dinner I was telling Joe how at work I hit a tree branch really hard with my head. Mikayla asked what I was talking about. I told her that I was walking under a tree and the branch reached out and hit my head. She said, "Mama, you are suppose to bend down!"

August 14, 2008

Lily and Sleeping ** edited**

Lily is not a consistent baby when it comes to her attitude or sleeping. Even as a newborn she would have a bad night or two and then a good night or two. Around three months Lily was going to bed around 8 or 8:30pm and she would sleep until 5am - not consistently but 3 or 4 nights out of 7. Then at four months I moved up Lily’s bedtime to 7pm and now it is at 6:30. Well, ever since then she stopped sleeping through the night and waking multiple times.

I also never know when she is going to wake up, 12:30, 1:30, 3:30 - who knows - and if she woke up at 12:30 there was a good chance we were going to up be at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30. Ugh I am sick of this.

Now for the last 2 weeks she started waking around 2 or 3am and then up again around 5am. Last night she finally slept through the night!!! It was wonderful and I feel well rested. I know that tonight she will probably wake up at least once and I will be back to 6 hours to sleep a night but maybe, just maybe there is hope.

One thing Lily has stopped needing to sleep in the swing or her car seat. Lily was going to sleep just fine in her crib but if she woke up after 3am, I knew I would be up with her again in 30minutes or an hour if I put her back to sleep in her crib, so I would put her to sleep in the swing or car seat so I could get another 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Now I am able to swaddle her loosely in a blanket and put her back to sleep in her crib - yea!!

I believe I wrote this blog entry Wednesday early morning. (This week I have been horrible at remembering what day it is!) Well I think she slept through the night because she was not feeling well because on Wednesday daycare called me to come get Lily because she had a high fever. She does not have as high of a fever today but she is still not feeling well.

August 5, 2008

Terrible 3's

Mikayla has always been a very good kid, we have not had to deal with a lot from her. If you ask my husband he would say otherwise but I think he demands too much out of her and he also needs to spend time with other 3 year old. But lately she is a little brat and she is really testing us.

She has been really pushing buttons, rude, mean and not listening at all to us. Last night Joe was giving Lily a bath and Mikayla wanted to get into the tub. Joe told her no. Mikayla refused to listen, took off her pants and started to get into the tub. Joe told her no again and made her leave the bathroom. She came out crying. I found out what had happened and told Mikayla that this is her warning for the evening and if she misbehaves again I was going to take something away from her. (We had a talk the night before that her behavior is not acceptable and time outs were not working so we are going to start taking a toy away from her.)

Back to the story - later in the evening I wanted her to come inside and help me clean up her room. I told her to leave the clothes pins outside on the step and she can come back to them in a few minutes. She threw them into her sandbox in a sassy way. I told her I did not like her behavior and she said, well "take a toy away." I could not believe this was coming from a 3 year old. I totally expect this type of behavior but not at age 3! I ended up not taking a toy away and we sat down and talked about her attitude.

A little bit later Mikayla and I went for a walk, just her and I. I am thinking she might be wanting more Mom time she since she is not the only kid anymore. We had a great walk together, we played outside and had fun. During dinner, I don’t remember what provoked her but she pushed her sippy cup away very rudely. So I took the cup and placed it in the sink, told her this behavior is not acceptable and I said that I was taking her tent away for 2 days (sorry mom). She was not upset at all over this. But she got upset when she asked for her juice. I told her no, she pushed it away and if she was thirsty she could drink water from my glass. This finally made her start crying.

Later when she was getting ready to take her bath Mikayla told me to take away her kitchen. I told her no, I decided what toy get taken away and I am removing her tent. She had trouble understanding that Mom gets to decided the punishment not her, but she finally got it.

Here is my question for you - is a 3 year old suppose to act like this??? I am not ready to deal with this yet - I though we were safe from this type of behavior for another couple of years. I was talking with a friend of mine that has a 6 year old and she said this behavior is normal and she also said that Mikayla being such a good kid is actually not very normal!

July 28, 2008

Armstrong Family

My sister Sara and her family came into town this weekend. The last time I saw her we were both pregnant. She and her husband brought their little one Jake into town. We had a lot of fun. Jake is about 5 weeks younger than Lily and you could not really tell a difference in their age.
There first meeting - Lily decides to poke Jake in the eye.
That is much better!
The only cousin missing is my niece Natalie. We miss her.


Jake as a bumbo chair so we tried it out. Lily loved it.

I thought I took more pictures when they were here but I guess I did not. Hopefully my sister will email me some and I will post them.

Here are some other random pictures.

Lily was watching very closing as I cut her finger nails.


This some of the crazy O;Connells - Daddy just woke up, the girls and I had been up since about 6am, Lily's mohawk is really showing up and Skylar looks like she is going to bite someone. Don't worry Skylar would not harm a fly - I think she just finished her breakfast was licking her lips!

My big 3 year old!

Lily fits into Mikayla's doll stroller!

Mikayla and I were playing. She said "let's play" so I said what do you want to play. She said "let me think."