Monday, January 30, 2012

working out at home: reality

Having the bike trainer at home is very convenient.  When I get ready to do a workout in the living room, I always imagine that it's going to be like this.  Just me, the bike, and the Food Network.

This is what it actually looks like:
Reed, Sam and Skyler are all asking me something at the same time, and Reed is getting too close and making me nervous about getting fingers close to spokes.

But my favorite thing about this photo?  Look at Jackson.  He's like:  "boring!"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

If you let me take some photos of you, I'll give you chocolate.

 "And whatever you do, DO.  NOT.  SMILE."

"I said no smiling!"

Friday, January 27, 2012

and Jesus said: "this is so boring"

Some recent adventures in parenting:

•  I was writing an email to my professor the other day when Skyler asked me whom I was writing to, so I told her.  This led to a series of questions about how it is that I AM a teacher and yet I HAVE a teacher, and what was this teacher teaching me?  She concluded the conversation with this:  "Let me get this straight:  you are a teacher getting taught by a teacher about teaching?"  Correct.

•  Last weekend I was reading on the couch and I fell asleep for probably ten minutes.  During that time, Reed took out a half-filled gallon of milk to make himself some chocolate milk.  He did this by adding chocolate syrup TO the entire milk jug.  He was very proud.

• Sam recently replaced the shower-curtain hooks in both bathrooms.  Reed noticed, and commented that he loved "our new hang-gliders." Kids sometimes just make perfect sense.   This reminded me that Reed also calls the hooks on the bathroom door "hookers" which reminded me that when my nephew was little, he told a friend that his dad was a "hooker,"by which he meant that he is a fisherman.

•  When we were in Utah, Reed was complaining that his ear hurt and he thought it was because "there is something in there.  I think it's a wood chip."   We all had a good laugh, and I looked in his ear and didn't see anything.  The next day we went swimming and he complained about his ear again.  And the next day, he was still complaining.  I borrowed a pair of tweezers from Liesel and went into his ear.  I pulled something out.  It was a wood chip.  Problem solved.

 •  Skyler made hot chocolate for Reed last week.  When Reed wouldn't drink it, she asked:  "Is your hot chocolate too hot?"  He answered:   "No, it's too medium."  Which is an interesting problem.

• Skyler still constantly sings the songs from our Christmas pageant, especially in the car.  While listening more closely the other day, I realized that when she sings "Go Tell it on the Mountain" she was actually saying:  "Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is bored."  That kind of changes the meaning of the song, doesn't it.

And one from the classroom:

One of my seniors asked me if I was going to give him any credit for his final project on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close even though it was (his words) "extremely lame and incredibly late."

Today is a SNOW DAY, so here is the scene around here:

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This time around: notes on training

File under "thoughts I have while running":  Why is someone who runs marathons a marathoner, but someone who does triathlons a triathlete?  Triathloner?  Marathete?  Just wondering.

Writing about marathon training when you are one week in is kind of like talking about pregnancy during your first month.  Woohoo!  This is easy!  What is all the fuss?!

But from where I stand today, things are looking good!  1 week down, only 17 to go.   Those 3 mile runs during the week are awesome.  I felt strong during my first 8-mile long run despite the cold weather.

This time around, I am totally embracing the out of doors and I'm going to stay away from the treadmill as much as possible.  Because we haven't gotten much snow, I've been really enjoying trail running and find it just crazy-cool to be running trails in January.  Sometimes it's a tad icy or loud and crunchy, but it's still runable, and such a joy to be in the woods on a cold winter day.  My friend Lindsay recently asked me:  "doesn't the cold weather just make you feel more alive?"  Totally.  Yes.

Another thing I love about running in the winter (I'm being serious here) is how much your nose runs.  It just seems to me that if your body is getting rid of fluids like that in a constant flow, you have to be doing something good for yourself.  I feel totally cleaned out after a cold run.  A bit of advice:  don't borrow fleece mittens from a runner.

And get this: on Sunday, I actually cross trained.  In my 3 training cycles before this, if it said "cross" on the calender, I felt pretty good if I did laundry, cooked dinner, and mopped the floors for some cardio.

But I borrowed a trainer for my bike for the winter so I can actually do a workout IN MY HOUSE.  Amazing.  What a concept.  And you know what is weird about biking indoors?  There is no wind to cool you down, so you sweat buckets. 

The kids thought it was so wild that mommy was biking in the house.  30 minutes of hard biking felt like a great workout, and will serve as both cross for marathon training and early prep for the half-ironman

I have also decided that the hot tub is going to be an integral part of my training this time around.  There is a beautiful hot tub connected to the pool at the UMaine Rec Center, and now that both of my kids can swim unaided (woot!  Reed has passed the deep-end test!), I can take them swimming and just soak in the hot tub.  It's kind of ridiculously luxurious.  On Sunday, my body felt fantastic after about an hour in the tub.

Reed also sits in the hot tub with me and is surprisingly chill and un-Reed-like in there.  He was in it for so long on Sunday that he got all pink and hot and when he sat on my lap he reminded me of a boiled potato.  Like, I started craving butter and dill.  Is that weird?

I hope to stay this optimistic about the training as it gets harder, but so far, so very good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Some overheards... (and canvas photo winner!)

Some recent Reedisms:

While lying in bed with me and brushing my hair with his hand: 
"Mom, hold still.  This will only hurt for a second."

Reed's recent and frequent exclamation.  ( idea where he got this one):
"Oh, for the love of God!"

After I served him chicken and broccoli for dinner:
"Mom, this is just delightful."

Proud Healthy Mommy Moment:
At the health food store, Reed was overheard saying:
"If I am a good boy helping you make carrot juice, will you let me have some dried mango?"

This is on par with times at the grocery store when he yells out:  "Mom!  We need more kale!"

Be still my heart.

I gave Reed my old cell phone, the one that went through the wash and never worked again.  He carries it around in his pocket, and when he loses it, he says:  "Mom?  Where's my cell?"

The kid cracks me up.

And now, onto our canvas photo winner:

 Congratulations, Carrie!  Email me and I will put you in touch with the folks at Easy Canvas Prints.

Even if you did not win, don't forget you get 50% off your first order when you "like" their facebook page.

My first week of marathon training has gone very well, and tomorrow I have 8 miles on the schedule.  Looking forward to the post-winter-run buzz.  Midterms are also over, my grades are all done and entered, so all I have to do this weekend is, oh, you know, plan for the brand new semester and write an essay for my grad class.  In other words, we're ordering pizza tonight and my feet are officially up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A gift for you, my friends: canvas photo giveaway.

I have had this 16 x 20 canvas print of Skyler since last summer, and I finally ordered one of Reed to go with it.  The company, Easy Canvas Prints, does a great job and makes it really easy to turn your photos into sturdy and handsome canvas prints.  I could see myself getting carried away and ordering canvas prints for every room.

Like this photo of my family in Utah:  my mom and all of her offspring.  This would make a great canvas print, I'd say.

Anyway, the kind folks at Easy Canvas Prints are offering one of you a free 11x14 canvas print of any one of your photos.  All you have to do make sure you are *
1)  a follower of this blog and
2) a fan of One Mom in Maine on facebook, and then
3) leave a comment here.

* winner must be a U.S. resident *excluding Hawaii and Alaska due to shipping costs.
Bonus:  You should also know that if you "like" Easy Canvas Prints on facebook, you get 50% off of your next order.  That's a great deal!

One bit of advice:  I have found that the canvas prints come out a bit dark, so you should lighten your photo up a bit before you download it onto their site.  When the one of Reed at first came I thought it was too dark, and they very quickly reprinted it for me and sent it again.  They are good people.

Okay, comment away.  I'll close comments on Friday at 5:00 pm and pick a random winner shortly thereafter.  Good luck!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold snap.

I'm still here!  It has been a busy week with tons of grading as it is the end of the quarter and I also started a new grad class that looks like it's going to be a lot of work.  I've been getting it all done, though, and I'm still running, too.   

Tomorrow starts the 18-week training plan for the Sugarloaf Marathon, and today was a marathon-training kick off run with this brave and bundled crew: 

Ashley, Libby, Roger, Rachel, me, and Tom.

Ashley and Libby are training for their first half marathon, Tom and Rachel are training for their first full marathon, and Roger, my friend and running coach, is training for his, um, like, 25th marathon?  Ashley and Libby are my students, Tom and Rachel are my former students, and Roger is dad to Libby and Rachel.  Did you get all that?

Today is also Ashley's 18th birthday so I made her run with a tiara over her hat.  

We are all running the Sugarloaf full marathon or the 15K, and we wanted to get in a training run together before Tom and Rachel went back to college.  So... we had planned to run this morning and I was proud of us for doing it considering it was 0 DEGREES.  None.  Not one degree. In fact, with the windchill, I don't even want to know what the temperature was.

It was very painful for the first half mile, and then I swear to you, I warmed up and it was lovely to be out in that cold, crisp air.  The sun was bright, no one was out on the roads, and it felt so good. I had hand and foot warmers and 4 top layers, and I was perfectly comfortable.   My Garmin FROZE and wouldn't work, so I don't know our pace but these guys are all faster than me, so I think we ran at a decent clip.  We ran 4.5 miles, just enough to justify going out for breakfast after.

Marathon Training day -1.  Check!

I'm hoping that the mostly mild winter we have had so far will resume.  Even the lack of snowfall hasn't bothered me this year because I've been able to run trails almost non-stop this whole winter. 

I am feeling excited to be on plan starting tomorrow.  I'll keep you posted on how this training cycle goes.  Now, more coffee!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oops, I did it again: Epiphany pageant 2012

 "Glory to God in the Highest! And on earth, peace, good will to men!"

That was Skyler's line in the Epiphany Pageant that took place this morning at church.  That was her line, so that is what we've been saying.  "Glory to God in the Highest!"  while getting dressed, brushing teeth, tying shoes, "and on earth, peace!"  brushing hair, zipping jackets,  buckling seat belts, "and good will to men!"  She said it probably 150 times this weekend.  And she nailed it when it was her turn, and then gave me a thumbs up.  I was sitting on the floor in front of the front pew because I was the director of the show for the 4th year in a row.  And it was the 4th year in a row that I said for the entire month of December during rehearsals "This is the LAST time I am ever doing this."  Next year, I'll probably say the same thing.

As we were all standing around this morning, my friend April said:  "Reed is conspicuously missing."  (because he had no interest in doing the pageant so came to church with Sam instead to watch).  And my other friend Nancy said:  "And Emilie is conspicuously relaxed."  It is one thing to direct the pageant and another thing altogether if Reed were in it, dressed as (the irony!) an angel.

We remembered to get a photo of the whole cast before the show this year.  They were so cute and worked so hard learning their lines and their songs.    Here I am warming them up after they were all in costume, and while my face might look like psycho-pageant mom,  I really think I was just reminding them to SMILE while they sing!

I know.  Oh my good gracious.  That is baby Sam as the black sheep.  Look at some of the rest of these faces, too:

Mary and Joseph came down the aisle at the exact right moment. The inn-keepers perfectly had no vacancy at their inns.   None of the angels lost his or her wings.  The shepherds kept track of the sheep, well not really, but they looked adorable.   Everyone remembered lines and the microphones were always in the right place.  The 3 kings nailed their solos.  They smiled.  They sang.  It was beautiful.
And thank YOU everyone, especially the amazing Nancy Marks who not only organizes, sews, and irons all the costumes and helps me make every decision, but she gives me a thank you present and card and tries to give me all the credit. I couldn't (and wouldn't) attempt to do it without you, Nancy!

It is a ton of work but it always feels worth it when it's over. 

Okay, seriously.  The only way I'm going to direct the pageant next year is if someone will agree to help me rig up some sort of pulley-system from the ceiling with harnesses so the angels can actually fly.  Then I'll consider it.  Otherwise, it's someone else's turn.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A new year.

We have been back from Utah for about a week, back to the school routine, back to grading papers and packing lunches.  The kids are happily settled back into their routine and we are all busy, busy, busy.

After a long but uneventful travel day on New Year's Eve, I spent all day on New Year's Day sick with a stomach bug and then I got a cold and cough on my first week back in school, so I can't exactly say that 2012 started off with a bang.  

But I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work in my life.  I have recipes I want to try, a new graduate class to begin, and a marathon training plan that begins in a week.  I feel inspired to organize, de-clutter and take stock in my life.  As I say at the start of every new year, I hope this year to be better, stronger, smarter, more honest, more patient, more generous, and more loving.  To that list I will add that I will drink more water and be a little bit faster as a runner.  I also want a 70.3 sticker on my car.

Happy New Year to all of you.  Come back this weekend for a great give-away. 

Here is the last photo I took in Utah, sunset the night before we flew home. 

 "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."
Rabindranath Tagore