Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolution Flashback 2011

So, here we are.  The last day of 2011.   It was a good - nay great - year in so many ways.

  • ran 5 half marathons, 3 -10K, 1-14K that was supposed to be a 10K, 3-5K and a full marathon
  • ran a full frickin marathon...on my own!!!  And this one wasn't even on the radar at the start of the year!
  • ended the year 10lbs lighter than I started it - even though that was really shy of my goal
  • am 45lbs lighter than I started 2010
  • returned to work and learned that the word balance has new meaning to me
  • set new personal bests while battling all-time lows
  • had all kinds of great adventures with hubby and the girlies
  • learned a lot

It was a great year and now it is time for a little flashback to January when I told y'all what my intentions for 2011 were:

New Years Resolutions - the 2011 edition

1) Lose 25 more pounds (hopefully before we go to Mexico so I won't scare small children on the beach in my bathing suit) 

nope. I was soooo close.  In June I was only 6lbs from my goal, but ended up gaining 15lbs during marathon training

2) Aim for one race each month

You betcha...tonight's Resolution Run will make 13!!!

3) Eat less junk food and aim for good nutrition 75% of the time. (c'mon - I KNOW I won't meet 100%)

Nope - I ate a whole lotta crap

4) De-clutter our home considerably.  If we don't use it - we lose it.

Yep! Even though it doesn't look like it, the house is a lot lighter than when we started

5) Work on my posture.   I know I will look considerably slimmer if I just improve that.

I think so.  I walked with alot more confidence this year, especially when I decided to return to work and had 2 years off I had to prove weren't wasted time!

6) Be able to do pushups on my toes like a big girl.   100 Pushups app will be my best friend.

Yes! I can do 25 pushups on my knees with decent form.  I can do 5 half-assed on my toes, but I couldn't do any on my toes in January.

7) Edit my Nano Novel

You betcha!   I spent November revising and editing and adding to my NaNo novel.  Now I just need to finish it all over again since it took an arc that required more writing!

8) Complete at least one university course for my degree

Nope.  No time between working full time and being a mom...I gained new respect for single moms who return to school.  I did do some professional development, though, and will get back to my degree courses as soon as I can.

9) Download Garmin at least once a week

Yeppers!  In fact - I returned to Daily Mile and this encouraged me to connect my Garmin after EVERY run so it was always current!

I'd say that's a pretty successful year!   My goals were always in mind and I was able to stick to most of them and succeed!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the 2012 edition of my goals!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Reads: The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Man, did it ever end up taking me a long time to read this.   Mainly because of my schedule in November and December, but also because it was just a slog to get through it.

Synopsis: Quentin is back and they have been Kings and Queens in Fillory for some time.  Suddenly there is a quest, blah blah blah...

Honestly, the story isn't that captivating.   Ok - that's not true...this book tells us Julia's story in random chapters throughout and THAT is fascinating.  She is Quentin's old friend from high school who didn't get into Brakebills after taking the "test"  and became a hedgewitch instead.  Grossman took advantage of the vagueness of the first book in this regard and filled in the blanks about how Julia came into her magic. 

Quite frankly, I think this book could have gotten rid of the Fillory nonsense and told Julia's story from the start - that would have made a better book.  She was a bit player in the first book, aside from being Quentin's high school crush who he ultimately escaped when he was accepted to Brakebills.  Her story is far more interesting that his ever was.

So - if you want the nitty gritty on her path, the chapters that tell it are worth the read.  The rest of the book doesn't really cut it so I'd have to say I'm not going to recommend it.

Now I can move on to books that do spin my wheels :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

MOMday: Airdrie Festival of Lights

For years, I've wanted to head out to Airdrie for the Festival of Lights, but something has always come up and we've never made it.  This year, with 2 toddlers who are obsessed with "kistmist lightssss" - we knew it had to be a priority.

So, last Sunday night, we bundled ourselves off to Airdrie.

The magic began just a few moments after we left our car.  The girls were so excited about the lights they could see but as soon as Buggie saw the giant Waki-waki (her word for Penguin that has been picked up by everyone I know) at the entrance...we knew her night was made.   Such a grin when he/she held onto Bugs arms so we could take a picture.

It was around -8C the night we went so we had the girls bundled in snowsuits.  I wish us adults had worn boots since it was a little cold on the tootsies.  It is fairly easy to navigate the park, as there is a path that meanders through with colourful lighted arches along the way to guide you along.  There are also train rides, but the lines were a little long for our girlies to wait.  So we walked.  The girls were just thrilled to see all of the different lights and told us what they were as we walked around.  

After we'd walked the circuit of the park, we headed into the heated tent to watch some carolers and each of the girlies got a gift bag (which they proudly carried back to the car despite them being quite heavy).  There was also free hot chocolate but we didn't bother to go find it.   And the bonfire outside the tent felt wonderful to my frozen toes!

It was such a nice way to spend an evening. Highly recommended.

The lights are on from 6-9 pm daily until December 31st. Free admission, but they do accept donations (I dropped $20 in the jug - it was totally worth it) Definitely take advantage of it and head out for a fun filled evening!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Reads: Merry Christmas (A Look and Find book)

We are always trying to teach our girlies about observing the details of the world around them.  That is the reason I really like these Look and Find books that are all over the place these days.  We have several of them featuring popular cartoon characters and I was so excited when I found this one featuring our beloved "Ho-Ho!"

Best of all - Indigo had it on the bargain rack for only $10!

The principle behind the Look and Find books is that there is a larger picture and then , in a sidebar, is a list of images taken from the picture.  The child then has to compare the little snippets to the larger picture to see if they can find the elements within.

My own midgets love flipping through the pages and seeing who can find the objects fastest.  The books are oversized so it makes it easier to see details and for more than one kid to get in on the game.

I think they are about perfect for my 2.5 year olds, but this one could be good for between ages 1-4 as it provides a nice little holiday activity and can help them get into the spirit too!

This is the last of my reviews of kids holiday books!  I hope you've enjoyed my take (and my girlies testing) of these this month!  I'll be back with more next December!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rick Hansen Relay Update

It is getting so close to the day when I will be running my leg of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.  February 26, 2012!!! Eeeeee!

After sending in my initial paperwork, I didn't expect to hear back from them until early in January, but yesterday I recieved more forms to fill out so they can arrange for my uniform and anything else I might need for my leg (this step is probably more important for the people who are participating while also facing the challenges of a disability and the prospect of the weather being quite nasty at that point of the winter). 

I'm not sure what the next step will be, but it sounds like they will be in contact sometime early int eh new year to make further arrangements and preparations with me.  I am still so excited to be involved in this wonderful endeavour.   It promises to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

Rick Hansen was an incredible inspiration to me as a child.  To always believe in myself and not accept barriers placed before me.   These are lessons I took to heart and that have formed the woman I have become.  I never had to fight for physical accessibility like so many people out there do, but I think the lesson about not letting barriers be placed in your way is a strong one that can carry us all if we let it.  Being a part of this team is such a special thing for me.  I am proud and incredibly humbled to have been selected.

Here's a little video for y'all:

and another about the medal I'll be carrying - just listeing to all of the symbolism that went into crafting it was enough to cause me to tear up a bit:

And, if you would like to contribute to the cause, here is a link to make a donation!  I would like to see if I can raise $500 for the Foundation!  Let's all be difference makers!

Making deals with myself

So, last week, I was reading thought my blog feed and suddenly found out about something BeachBody is putting out (this week apparently). Les Mills Body Pump! For some reason, I got super excited about this, since I used to hear such good things about Body Pump years ago at Video Fitness.

I used to have the VHS tape that I happened to score in a freecycle bag of fitness videos, but I don't know where it has vanished to. Really - it is such a motivating weight workout. Weight lifting set to great music. Sounds like just the motivation I need. So I find myself REALLY REALLY wanting this set...and I haven't even seen reviews yet. I totally need to put the brakes on myself!

Add to this the fact that I have that lovely Rip:60 suspension trainer hanging from my rafters and haven't done anything with it aside from some pushups and holding onto it when I stretch. I need to think logically about this.

I think I am going to take a page from The Great Fitness Experiment here and make a deal with myself. I am NOT going to buy Body Pump right away. I am going to put a condition on whether or not I get it at all. That condition is going to be commiting to the Rip:60 for 8 weeks. Doing the program as it's laid out and being consistent with my strength training over the winter.

IF I can stick with that...then I will EARN myself a Body Pump system (if I still want it after the reviews start flooding in) Finally getting smart about using what I buy before adding to the collection :)

This WEEK's goals - the week before Christmas edition

Ok - somebody dropped the ball here...oh WAIT!  It's me.  Doy <smacking self upside head>

Yes - I'm sure you've noticed I'm being less annoying this week.  It hasn't been intentional...lemme tellya.  I've just been incredibly busy and keep forgetting to post my daily goals (bet you're counting down the days until the year ends and I stop it, right?)

Back to the busy part...aside form trying to prepare for the holiday this weekend...I had career stuff happening too.  I accepted a great new job with a different company earlier this week that has meant the whole cycle of informing everyone began.  Those conversations are seldom short.  Plus - the job is located WAAAAY far away from my current office so I have had many many adjustments to figure out.   This line of thinking has only just begun so I am not looking forward to the next few weeks until it all falls into place for us.

As for goals.   I am aiming for 3 days of workouts this week.   I biked on Tuesday and hoped to run at noon today but accidentally forgot my running gear at home. So it will be bike today and tomorrow to make up the goal.

I also have a reading goal - to finish the awesomely funny book I started a couple of days ago.  It's called "The Great Fitness Experiment: My Year of Trying Everything" and I am really enjoying it thus far.  I'll review it in a couple of weeks for y'all!

So hopefully this weekly goal list cuts it...I'm cutting myself a fair bit of slack this week with the intention of using my week off next week to really attack any damage the holidays have wrought on me ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Five Days a Week

That was how the first two weeks in December went for me.  Working out 5 days a week.  I was going strong and then SPLAT!  Flat on my face.   Not literally, of course, but might as well have been.   Suddenly life happened and I was off course again.   Everyday, I made fitness goals that went un-met.  I set diet goals that got ignored.   It was not a pretty sight.

December is a hard month to stick to a diet.  I'm merely stating the obvious here, but it really is.  I don't even have the temptations of many of the dishes that derail other folks.  There is no turkey on my plate at all of the holiday parties.  I don't care much for cookies and squares.  The chocolate boxes draw me in and that does it for my dieting.  But you'd think I could stick to a little thing like 5 days a week.   5 hours.  That's it for a whole week!   Yet last week, I only worked out once...and for 22 minutes as I fit in a 3K run.   Sad.

But life happens and last week I had to accept that I was busy.  Busy with holiday preparations and appointments and extra work.  Busy with toddlers hanging on my every limb.   Busy picking up and redecorating my tree.  

December just needs more hours in a day.  Every day.  Instead, those days get shorter and shorter and shorter. Today is the shortest day of the year and while I keep telling myself that I have the same number of hours, it just doesn't feel that way.  

So, how does one motivate themselves in the dark and cold of winter to keep going.  To look past the busy-ness and still fit in a workout?  Because, heck, my diet maybe going all to hell, but I should at least be able to counteract some of it by moving more.

How do you keep moving in the winter? Where do you look for motivation?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 19

Oops, forgot to post over the weekend.  Sorry.  Bad Cori.  To make myself feel better, though, I can say that I was too busy to stick to anything anyway.  And I was depressed for being up 1.5lbs :(

This is a fresh week and I would like to see if I can't try to do some good for myself before the craziness that is next weekend!

So, Today, I will:
  • Eat well
  • Hop on the bike
  • Read - I'm so close to being done my book...finally.

MOMday: Figuring out What Your Toddler REALLY Wants for Christmas

Hubby and I are committed to raising our identical twins as complete individuals. For the most part, I think we've been pretty good at nurturing their differences and providing the things they really need.  It's figuring out the "wants" that gets tricky - especially with two year olds.  And even more especially when buying holiday gifts when you know they are each other's main playmates.   To try to buy a gift that is a perfect fit for one without having to buy the same gift for the other so they can play together with them.   I admit - I am guilty of doing this A LOT this Christmas.

There is also the challenge of figuring out what they want when they don't know what you mean when you ask what they want Santa to bring them.  In the end, I think I did a pretty good job of distilling this information from them so I could get some truly fitting gifts that will work well for both to use but that are truly the gift for the individual in mind.  I figured I'd share my method :)

First thing I did was sit them down with me on the Walmart website to flip through the different toys to see what they responded to.  This taught me something about exactly how much Treehouse they are watching at the dayhome, because we don't watch it at all at home. Overall, though, I could see the things that excited them. Doodle would call out character names that she knew, but nothing really obsessive came from it.  Buggie, on the other hand, went loopy for the Lalaloopsy dolls.   Quite frankly those freak me out so I kind of set that idea aside for a while.  

So then, I looked at their personalities...

Doodle is a highly focused, analytic kid.  Case in point - we are pretty sure the only toy she needs is the Moon.  She could stare at it for hours and marvel at everything it does.  Actually, I say COULD...but really she DOES do this.  "Where's my moon, mommy?" "Uh oh - moon is hiding.  PEEK-A-MOON!"   "Moon go behind clouds mommy!"   and when she says it the word "moon" takes on about 8 extra "O"s  MOOOO~OOOON!  She plays with other toys with her sister, but nothing really stands out.  She also has this incredible focus, where she will colour for an hour or play the same memory matching game over and over and over on the iPad.  She focuses much longer than a normal 2.5 year old.   Her moon obsession started on the way home from Kelowna this fall and hasn't stopped since.  She sticks with things and wants to learn.   So we looked to science toys, that are geared at older kids, and puzzles.  Imagine my glee when I discovered Uncle Milton's Moon in my Room!!!   I could actually give her the MOON!   If I could find one...

Buggie is a happy-go-lucky normal kid.   She likes pretty things (everything this week is "aw, it's cuuuuute"), dollies, babies, stuffed animals.  She is drawn to bright colours and collects things (it's not uncommon to see her with 5 stuffies as she roams the house).  She likes everything.  Makes it hard to narrow it down.  I needed to go into a phase two of the "Show and figure" challenge with her.  We were going to have to go to an actual toy store so I could see what she responded most to.

So, off to wallyworld (I chose walmart merely for the limited toy section.  I think ToysRUs would have been overwhelming and make it harder to control the situation).  After making sure that stomachs were full so we wouldn't have hunger-induced meltdowns over not getting a toy - we headed to the toy section.   Where did Buggie head straight for?  The Lalaloopsys...oy vay.  It looked like the creepy dolls were going to be there to stay.

Now, there is a second part to making the decision here.   Santa shows up at our house on the 24th with a couple Lalaloopsy dolls in tow for Buggie and a Moon for Doodle.   On the surface, whose gift looks more fun?  Whose gift looks boring?  What gift do both immediately want to play with? Well, we won't know until the 25th, but I went on the logic that most everyone else will likely buy them duplicate gifts like last year.   The moon will be hung in their shared bedroom, so they will both get to enjoy it and play with it.  And I made sure there are 2 dolls in the package for Buggie in case she wants to share with Doodle.  If not - there are little dolls in both stockings.  

Fair, but individual.  It's all I can really hope to be as a mom.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 16

Today, I will:
  • Get on the bike - hopefully for 2 episodes (since an unfortunate encounter with a Le Creuset saucepan and lid may have rendered my foot unable to run for a few days)
  • Read
  • Relax

Yay!  The contract work is complete...I finished it 4 mins shy of my deadline.   But I finished and that means the rest of December is mine.  It has meant no workouts this week, though (aside from Monday's run) and I have been eating munchy snack foods all week to keep me going.

So - I will be trying to make up the time on my workouts all weekend and Hopefully I didn't set myself back a month with the addition of Costco chocolate vats to our house!
Source (click for more)

Friday Reads: That's Not My Santa/Snowman/Reindeer (Holiday Series)

Some of my Daughters' favourite books have been from the Usbourne Books Series "That's not my _____".  We have "That's not my bear!", "That's Not My Bunny!" and "That's Not My Puppy"   They are beloved board books and the girls still love petting all of the different textures in the simple story lines.

Imagine my glee when we were wandering in Indigo and happened upon "That's Not My Reindeer", That's Not My Santa!" and "That's Not My Snowman!"  Simple holiday stories combined with tactile elements to guide the story along.  I'd say they would be perfect for maybe the under 2 year old crowd.

My girls are starting to be a bit old for the stories, so I took advantage of the bookstore and read these to them there.  OK - yes, I'm a bad shopper, but I wanted to gauge reactions before adding them to the library.I think if I had found these last year, they would have been big hits, but the stories didn't captivate them as much as they might have a year ago.   I thought the stories were still simple and cute.  As a busy mom, I appreciate the short length of the books <wink, wink> - especially after reading the entire Night Before Christmas poem night after night for the entire month!  

So, my verdict is that if you are a parent to kids under 2 - OR if you have someone in that age range to shop for - Pick these up.  They are sure to be fast favourites.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 15

Today I will:
  • Finish my contract work
  • Hopefully be on the bike by 7pm

Yesterday was all about the computer work so no workout there.  Today I am going to try to make up for it, if I can finish up my work early enough.   I am really proud of the fact that for the past 2.5 weeks, I've managed to work out 5 days of each week.  I think that's a pretty good showing for as busy of a month as I am having!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 14

Today I will:
  • Finish my contract work
  • If I finish it - I will hop on the bike (I hate stipulating that, but I have a deadline and sometimes life interrupts the ol' workout)
Yesterday, I did super good on the not eating out.  Not so hot on the not buying chocolates at Costco part, but I didn't put that in my goals so I can't say I cheated on my goals.  Just kidding.  I ended up with my face in my laptop until too late so working out didn't happen either, but I accept that.  I will double up my workouts a couple of days to make up for it after this job is done.

Sometimes that's just the way it goes.  

On the up note - the doctor told me today that my daughters are hitting all of their 3 year milestones.  Sounds like they are exceeding in a few places since the doctor was more than a little surprised on a few points.   Yep - I'm raising little if I can just make them super nerdy, I won't need to worry about dating woes in a few years...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Todays Goals - Dec 13

Today I will:
  • Bike - 40 mins
  • Don't eat out for any meals!
  • READ!  Good Reads is telling me I started The Magician King 45 days ago!  I don't think it's ever taken me 45 days to read ANY book EVER!!!!   Nov/Dec has just been too busy!
Yesterday I ate every meal out - NOT GOOD.  I've got to curb that.  I want to eat healthier but when I am short on time, all that intention goes out the window.   Yesterday was one of those days.  I did, however, keep myself away from that second cup of coffee.  Very proud about that, even though it wasn't on the ol' goals list.

I did get my run in, but not the 5K I had intended.   I started the run out of Eau Claire at 3:35 and the temperature kept dropping steadily (in fact, driving home after the run, we watched the temperature drop 11 degrees between Calgary and Langdon - craziness).  I hadn't brought enough running clothes with me to stay out for longer than I did so I am happy to have gotten in the 3K I did.   Just the loop from Eau Claire to 10 Street and back.  The paths were so peaceful that time of day.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

MOMday: This is my Life

Today's Goals - Dec 12

Today I will:
  • Try to run - weather and time permitting.  
  • Eat well despite not being home...appointments and running errands all day
  • If I can't run, I will bike

Ok - yesterday, I lied.  I didn't eat well AND I didn't get on the bike to do something about it's my own damn fault.  But I did weigh in and I was a pound down from last week so hopefully I didn't put it back on eating badly at lunch.  

I did spend time with my girlies, though.  So the day wasn't a total loss.   This week I will strive to do better...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stunned Santa Pic #3

2011 - Bass Pro Shops.   They were so excited to go see HO-HO...but you'd never know it from the stunned expressions (these facial expressions seem to be standard for Santa visits)

case in point...last year's pic...

and the year before:

At least they weren't screaming like a third of the other kids were...or like Doodle was in our Family pics this year...

Today's Goals - Dec 11

Today I will:
  • Rest and spend time with my girls - 'nuff said.
  • But if I get snacky - I will hop on the bike to work it off.  Gotta stay accountable
  • weigh in
Yesterday I think I got in a weeks worth of exercise to more than work off a few choco indiscretions during gift wrapping.    I ran in the morning with JS - 5K and coffee at Glenmore.  It was a good test run for the trail shoes.  The path was a little bare for a true test, but they were comfortable and in the few jaunts I took through the snow, I am looking forward to testing them out when the path is covered.

Then, in the evening, I  biked through 2 episodes of gossip girl.  I want to say it was to get ahead on the burning, but really it was just because I wanted to watch Rufus and Lily's wedding. 

Today is weigh in day.  I've been good all week - I hope it paid off!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 10

Only 21 days left this year!!!

Today I will:
  • Run
  • Spend time wrapping gifts and doing holiday prep
  • Work on some contract work
Yesterday was actually pretty good.  I kept my eating in serious check and am quite happy to have succeeded.  My 40 mins on the bike only added to that little success.  As did going to bed earlier than usual so I could be well rested should the girlies wake me again...

I'm feeling really good today.

Friday, December 9, 2011

For my feet, this winter

I did it!  After talking about it for a year, I finally went out and bought myself a pair of trail running shoes.   When I was at MEC earlier in the week, I saw that last season's Asics Gel-Trabuco 13 shoes were on clearance for $109.  I hemmed and hawed and didn't pick them up but after hemming and hawing a bit more at home, I decided to bite the bullet.  I want to have trail shoes for winter and for any trail races I might do next summer and this was a better price than I was finding anywhere else (including online).

So, today I went back with the thought that as long as they had them in size 11 and they felt good on, I would get them.  I figured it was a long shot that a pair of 11s would still be in stock, but you never know.  I asked the guy int eh shoe department and he came back shortly with my size.

"You are so lucky" he said to me "It was all size 7s and then one pair of 11s"

SCORE!  They fit.  They are super comfortable.  They are NOT pink.   I think my legs and feet will thank me this winter...

Friday Reads: The Night Before Christmas Bedtime Shadow Book

In case you haven't noticed a theme brewing, I am going to try to focus on Christmas-themed books this month. With all of the busy-ness of December, I don't have a great deal of time to read and there are just too many holiday kids books out there that are too great to keep secret. Today's review is one of the most special I've found in years.

The story/poem "The Night Before Christmas" is well-known and beloved. To me, it isn't Christmas without it. I had a board book for the girlies of it,but they never seem interested in it. Finally, when I was shopping last week, I stumbled upon this version. What sets this apart is that it is a Bedtime Shadow Book from Peter Pauper Press.

On each page, there is a silhouette that is meant to be projected as you read the story. By simply shining a flashlight through the window containing the silhouette, the image appears on the wall. My girls were absolutely DELIGHTED by this book. The first night, the jumped up and down excitedly as the new images appeared. Looking for the cat that appeared throughout the book or the different expressions on Santa's face made the twins totally light up.

The first night, the book kind of backfired on us as they were so excited they had trouble getting to sleep. On subsequent nights, we made them stay in bed as I read and the struggle was much less.

I LOVE this book. The story is a continued favourite of mine and I am glad to get to share it with my kids in a way that easily engages them. They now ask for the "ho ho book" constantly when we are in their room. It is relatively easy to hold the book and the flashlight - just remember to shine the flashlight on the side that contains the words...that was a mistake I made the first time I read it.

Also worth noting is that there are several books like this for the rest of the year. A few of them might be ending up under our tree this Christmas (shhh - don't tell my daughters)

Today's Goals - Dec 9

Today I will:
  • Bike 40 mins
  • Treat myself to a pair of trail running shoes for winter
  • Eat better - no junk food
  • drink a ton of water to hydrate for Saturday's run
Yesterday was a better day for goals.   I ate decently.  I ran at lunch (though I did suffer from some pretty terrible cramping when running uphill - I blame dehydration).  I stayed calm and had a good day at work.   It was an all-around better day.   I confess that I did eat bunch of Toffifee chocolates, but I accounted for them in my food journal.

I don't know if setting these daily goals is helping me stay on track or not, but I intend to keep doing it through December to always keep myself reminded that  the holidays don't need to derail me.   I doubt I will reach my goal weight by the end of the month, but I don't intend to be "starting over" come January 1.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 8

Today I will:
  • Run at lunch
  • Eat better
  • Try to bike in the evening
  • Try to keep calm

Yesterday was a trying day.   It was a PD Day for my department and I was training all afternoon so could not afford to miss the, of course, at 2:30 am we had our first toddler dental emergency.   Doodle got out of bed, tripped and fell...and knocked one of her top front teeth out of alignment.   Blood everywhere, screamoing child, and our only eyewitness was a 2.5 year old who told us "[Dood] fawl down, bonk teef"  Super helpful and obvious.

I felt like a terrible mom because I couldn't call in an absence.  Instead hubby (who is a contractor) had to take a day off and dealw ith it while his work was rapid-firing tasks to his blackberry.  I felt terrible. But Dood's okay.  She was a trooper at teh dentist and unfortunatley nothing could be done for her without potentially affecting her permanent teeth.   We just have to hope the blood supply to the tooth wasn't compromised and accept that she will have a crooked grin now.  At least she isn't a toothy smiler.

This emergency affected my overall day. I was emotionally exhausted and worried all day (my apologies to those who attended my sessions - not that you're reading this anyway). I ate well, considering lunch was provided for us.  Since I was up at 2:30, I was too exhausted to even think of getting on the bike in the evening.  and I admit I did get a bit snacky in the evening (but it won't happen again because I ate the last of our dwindling junk supply).

Today, I will just need to do better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 7

Today I will:
  • Bike 40 min
  • Crunches
  • Survive (very crazy work day)
  • Eat better
Yesterday I stuck to my goals fairly well.  I was so busy at work that I didn't even finish everything I brought and then I kept it light at dinner.  40 mins on the bike as I got into season 3 of Gossip Girl (methinks I'll be needing season 4 before the new year).  It was a good day for my goals.   Hopefully my crazy schedule today will allow for more of the same (and that the provided lunch at my PD Day isn't too horrific on the ol' calorie count).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 6

Today I will:

  • Keep it simple
  • 40 mins bike
  • Eat better
Yesterday, I ran at lunch with a running buddy from work.  Apparently she is MUCH faster than I am because by the time we were out of downtown and my garmin finally kicked in (telling me we were going a 5 min/km pace!) I was dead.   But I did it.  Instead of the 4K I thought we'd run - we did 6.2K!

My eating was pretty good all day, though I did get into the chocolate after work.   I still came out under my calorie allowance for the day.

My intention to get on the bike and do crunches and push ups in the evening kind of went all to hell.  I was just too tired.  So today I intend to keep it simple and accomplishable so I will be able to do it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running Pace Calculator

Ok - this is cool.  I don't know why I didn't google it before, since it is always driving me crazy that I track my running in kilometres but if I want to add it to My Fitness Pal, it asks for my pace in miles.

Today I found this little guy - a Run Pace Conversion calculator.  Enter time and distance and it will do the math for you.  Love it.

You're welcome.

MOMday: Splitting up the Twins

We've been encountering a fair bit of separation anxiety lately between Doodle and Buggie.  At first, we thought it was stemming from Buggie, but other factors have led us to change this diagnosis.   Doodle is a "spirited" child and very passionate about her feelings.  It has been causing the day home a fair bit of grief and we needed to do something about it.

Enter: separate field trips.

Sure - we've split them up for short periods before.  Doodle has her ophthalmologist appointments.  Buggie will go grocery shopping. Usually pretty random.  Now it was going to take some concentrating to give them more space.  More time away from their doppelganger.  We really want the girls to grow up as individuals so these field trips were absolutely necessary.

This past weekend, we decided to take two longer duration activities and turn them into fun days for each girl.

Saturday was Doodle's turn.   We had to take Cancerhound to the vet for his check up and to try and figure out why he is vomiting non-stop lately.  Since Doodle is CRAZY bout doggies we thought this would be a good choice for her. But first we had to get out of the house...

Doodle thought Buggie absolutely should be coming and, no matter how many times we explained to her that it was her special trip and Buggie was staying home with Gramma, she would ask about her again every five minutes.   When we finally got to the vet, Dood surprised us by being shy.  Ya - that didn't last long.

Soon she was walking around the room, meeting all the animals and telling people about the pretty flowers on her dress and about her sister who was at home with Gramma.  She especially liked this ancient Siamese cat and had to go see it many many times.  It might have been the 4 year old boy who was with the cat, though...she DOES have a thing for older men.

Then she found a matching game where she tried to find all of the posters that were the same.  You should have seen her glee when she discovered that the "available payment options" sign matched the stickers of the same on the wall.  Pure ecstasy for her.

She started to run out of steam by the time we got into the exam room and the tantrums lightly began.  It was time to get her out of there and on to a new activity.  So, once cancerhound was released, we headed to Starbucks for a snack and then back home.

All night, she kept asking me when we would go in the car again and see the puppies and kitties

Sunday, it was Buggies turn.  MIL and I were going holiday shopping and the second midget got to tag along.  Of course, her sleeping plan from the night before was slightly off ideal.   Ok - way off ideal.   Ideal may not even have been on her radar.  Luckily, we left the house around 10 and she slept the whole way to our first stop. 

...and she was an angel all day.  Didn't ask for her sister until near the end.   Just concentrated on having special time with mommy and gramma.  She played quietly in the dress racks while Gramma looked for a dress (the girls in Melanie Lynn told her she should be a hat model in their catalog).  She contented herself in the tunnel in the Disney store with some stuffies. She ate her lunch at the restaurant.  People even told me how well behaved she was!  I wanted to kneel and say "what did you do with my daughter?" to her. 

Getting her away from her twin was really enlightening.  It gave me much better insight into how much control her sister has over her.  It wasn't that she didn't have challenges.  She tended to run ahead of us in the mall.  She wanted to stay in the change room at the dress store when we were ready to go.  There was a meltdown in ToysRus because she was tired and thirsty (easily solved with some apple juice).  But that is what you expect from a NORMAL child.

When we got home, Doodle was so excited to see her sister.  They hugged and then took off to be twin terrors again.  

Most importantly, these trips taught me something. It taught me that I am not losing my mind when it comes to Doodle's special challenges.   Just this stark contrast between how my daughters behave in public alone was enlightening.  It has maybe put me on track to manage Doodle's severe mood swings.  It's given me a starting point, anyway.

Today's Goals - Dec 5

Today I will:
  • Run at lunch (have a new running buddy at work)
  • Bike in the evening
  • pushups and crunches
  • eat better.  much better.
Yesterday, I wasn't so good except on 2 fronts.   I spent the day holiday shopping with Buggie and my MIL.   Fun day.  No, really it was.   One check mark.   The other was on the weigh in.

<insert drum roll here>

I lost 3lbs last week!!!!

As for the bike and the rest...I didn't do so hot.   I was exhausted from carrying around a 30lb toddler all day and hardly sleeping last night.   Then I got snacky in the evening.  

It's ok.  I'm not dwelling.  I am going to relax and do better today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 4

Today, I will:
  • Spent time with my girlies (another individual field trip is in order)
  • Bike: 40 mins
  • Pushups and Crunches
  • Eat better
  • Weigh in
Yesterday I wasn't so good on the eating...but I made up for it with an extra session on the bike.   I ran the Santa Shuffle 5K in the morning and then, at 9pm, I hit the bike to burn off some snacky indiscretions...

Hubby and I took Doodle out on her own since we are starting to realize a strong need to separate the girls more.  There are a few too many fights lately and we think it is because they are spending TOO much time together.  We took Dood to the vet with us for Cancerhound's checkup and she loved all of the puppies and kitties and posters of puppies and kitties.  It was a good trip.   Today, my MIL and I are going to take Buggie out for holiday shopping.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 3

Oops forgot to post this earlier...

Today I will:
  • Run the Santa Shuffle
  • Spend time with my daughters (bring on the individual field trips)
  • Try to eat well (and get ont he bike if it gets out of hand)
Yesterday I did good.  Stuck to my calorie allowance. Got on the bike.  20 pushups - FIVE ON MY TOES!!!!! It was all good.  

Race Report: Santa Shuffle 2011

Today was the 2011 Santa Shuffle at Eau Claire.   Of course, the day started off weird for me.  First, I got up at the time I usually would to make a 10am run.  Then I promptly got into the shower (!?!?!)  A shower? BEFORE a run?   um, ya.

So, after I made the realization, finished the shower and dried my hair...I headed downstairs to eat before I got dressed...only to suddenly hear my daughters were out of bed.  I figured I could quickly change them and then we could all eat together.   Usually this would be Hubby's role on Saturday morning, but I figured I had time.  Of course, I didn't count on a fight.   That meant I was suddenly running late.  I flew upstairs and got into my race day outfit (thank goodness that I laid it out last night).  Then I grabbed our costumes and headed to the city.

Then there was the parkade.  I think I got the last stall in the underground.   I stood in line for 5 mins only to find out that machine didn't take coins.  Back to the car so I could retrieve my visa.  Then another few mins in line until I could pay.   By the time I ran upstairs, we were really down to the wire. We tore into the bag of goodies and came out looking like this:
(photo courtesy of Mr. JS)
We were registered as a Team.   The Red Menace and his Horned Apostles (Santa and his Reindeer, in case you couldn't figure that out on your own.   I had bought a santa suit (for Mr. L) and antlers for the rest of us.   The runner girls all wore pom pom legwarmers (it's becoming a holiday tradition).  

So the team was the usual suspects (Me, J, and JS) as well as Mr. JS, Mr. L (JS's dad) and a new girl, T.  We made such a handsome team that when we headed outside, a couple of EMTs came over and one asked if we would take a picture with his partner.  Too cute.   Also cute were all of the little kids we could hear whispering is Mr. L was the REAL Santa.   He did make a good runner Santa!

The run itself was just the 5K loop to 14th street and back.   It was pretty uneventful.  I started out running with T, chatting about our kids and then we all ran together for a while.  Just before the turn around, my knee was complaining so I needed to take a quick walk break and J and T got ahead of us, since Mr & Mrs. JS walked with me.   Then it was the last half and we were rocking it.   The temperature was perfect.  We needed to keep an eye out for icy patches but it wasn't too hard since it had been a couple of days since the snowfall and most had melted. 

We finished in 35:14 approx.   Not bad for a tired, shuffly kind of fun run.  In my rush to get into the mall, I totally forgot to put on my Garmin so that time is from Mr JS's iphone.

Me. After.
Also worth noting is the shirt from this race.  I don't have a pic of it, but it is awesome.  Just a red, cotton long sleeve with the race logo of Santa, an elf and a reindeer running.  A nice shirt for lounging around in December.  It wasn't included in the race fee, but I am glad I paid the $15 for it because I am sure I'll get lots of wear out of it.  It MAY be my new favourite race shirt.

I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to get motivated to RACE a 5k anymore.  5k is almost the minimum distance I run on a training run and I seem to always run them between 31 and 35 mins.  I think I may need to look at signing up for a few more chip timed ones for 2012 so I can see about breaking that 30 min barrier.  I'd also like to train for them to get my endurance to a point where I can run strong for 30 mins straight.  I may need to fire up couch to 5K and re-do the last 3 weeks as a test...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Because I'm not going back there...

This was me almost exactly 2 years ago.
Christmas 2009 was a big realization for me.  I knew I was heavy, but when I saw these pictures I became upset about it for the first time.   Well, not the first time...but it was the first time I got upset about it and then got MAD about it.  I'd bought my first "plus size" clothes and hated myself for it.

Luckily, I didn't wallow in the anger.  Within a few short weeks of this picture being taken - I decided to turn it around.   To rid myself of the burden of the weight and to embrace a new life for myself and my family.

Food journals. Bike and Felicity (and Sliders. and Gossip Girl). Learning to Run. Setbacks and Fresh Starts.  Goals and Failures.   Falling down and getting back up again.

So here I sit - 2 years later and 40lbs lighter.   I've crossed a fair few finish lines in that time.  Finish lines I never envisioned.   5K. 10K. Half Marathon. Fun Run. Full Marathon.  I've embraced life and, while I still have a few pounds to go - I'm being smarter and trying to live healthier.

One thing's for sure...I'm not going back there.   Ever.  

Me, the day before my Marathon in October. Fat girl no more.

Santa Shuffle!

OMIGOSH! I totally forgot to write about the Santa Shuffle this weekend! I think not being in charge of the registrations has made me feel a little uninvolved in my racing LOL! This will be my second year doing this fun run and it is already looking like it will be warmer/less snowy than it was last year.

Tomorrow is the Santa Shuffle and JS has signed us up as a team. We are going to be Santa and his reindeer (Mr. L, JS's dad is going to be our Santa and we will have 5 reindeer) I outfited us all with our costumes and, just like last year, there are legwarmers involved for the runner girls! So fun!

So, all of you other shufflers out there - don't hate us for the bells.
I'll be sure to post my recap with photos this weekend!

Today's Goals - Dec 2

Today I will:
  • Bike: 40 mins
  • Pushups: 2 mins (and try some on my toes)
  • Food: Keep to my calorie allowance
Yesterday was a royal bust for the ol' goals.  I think I read maybe 10 mins.   The snow plows came through and piled thisk, frozen chunks of snow across the end of our driveway so I had to shovel it out.  That kind of drift is no big deal for our Forester, but my MILs Corolla would have definite issues.   Since hubby has to be our lawn mower in the summer (I'm allergic) snow shovelling falls to me.  Of course, working off the frustrations of my day meant I threw myself into it a bit too hard and my lower back started to slightly spasm meaning no bike time and definitely no pushups.   I feel better today, though, so I should be good to go again.  

I did, however, manage to stick to my calorie allowance - even with adding in some chocolates after dinner.  Yay for small victories.  I should also mention that all week, I've been very good about only having one cup of coffee a day.  In fact, so far today, I only drank half of my cup so I might be able to wean myself off in a couple of weeks, sparing me quite a few extra calories along the way.

Friday Reads: Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien

Letters From Father ChristmasI've been trying to figure out a way to help my girlies see that this is a special time of year.  Earlier in the week, we decorated the house (well - kinda.  If you count it as decorating without a tree and everything out of reach of 2.5 year olds).   Today I went in search of my holiday books and came across JRR Tolkien's "Letters from Father Christmas" - my FAVOURITE holiday read.

In case you aren't familiar with it - when his children were very small, he began a tradition of writing letters to them from Santa Claus.   There were beautiful drawings and tales of North Pole adventures.   I've been a long time fan of Lord of the Rings (so much so that a few years ago we had Middle Earth Holiday Celebration) and finding this book helps to bring the magic of the holidays into our non-religious home.

When I was pregnant, I first heard of this book.  The stories within are nowhere near as beautiful as the story of what he did for his kids by writing them these amazing letters.  At a time in my life when I am trying so hard to create traditions for my family so we can have a special holiday on our own terms, it is nice to have a bit of magic like this that is a truly beautiful tradition that Tolkien gave to his children.

This year, my kids might actually be old enough to enjoy some of the letters.

If you haven't read it...go buy yourself a copy.  Any family who celebrates the tradition of Santa Claus  should have a copy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today's Goals - Dec 1

Today I will:
  • READ!  Nano is Kobo is missing me
  • Bike: 40 mins
  • Pushups: 2 mins
  • Food: Drink lots of water, stick to calorie allowance, start to cut back on coffee
Yesterday, I was pretty good with my goals.   I didn't write, but that is because I spent the day at work staring at code and needed to rest my eyes.   I did get on the bike, but pushups I skipped.  My chest muscles have been screaming and I think I should probably take a break between pushup days to give them a chance to recover.   Instead, I did 3 minutes of crunches on my stability ball.  My abs were burning when I was done!

It's good to be getting back to my workouts.  I missed them and really needed them.

Happy December, everyone!  What are your goals for the month?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo Reflections

And with that, ladies and gentlemen...National Novel Writing Month has left the building.

The goal?  To bring my manuscript to 100,000 words by the end of November.

The Reality?

My manuscript as of today is at 75, 856 words.    During NaNoWriMo, I wrote 24,181 new words and edited the majority of the writing I did last November.   Do I feel like I failed?   Nah.   I think that considering that I work full time, have 2 year old twins who seem to have given up napping AND am trying to balance my life....I think I did pretty good and I can't beat myself up over it.  Of course, I don't get to order the hoodie I promised myself if I did it. 

Guess that gives me something to plan for next year.

If I had been writing all fresh prose, I think I would have hit the 50,000 words.  I learned something really important this month.   Editing is time consuming and HARD.   I would spend some of those days, adding only 800 words and feeling completely exhausted from staring at the screen.  

The Loracian Stone is no longer a finished novel, but it will be.   I have a few more chapters to add to make the story more cohesive.   That's the fun part.

Now that NaNo is over, I plan to schedule some time to write regularly.   I need to finish this book so I can decide what I want to do with it.  I am still thinking of serializing it - if only to get it out there.   Perhaps I'll self publish it.  Maybe, I'll do both.   I have time to decide.   Honestly, I've only had one person actually ask to read it.

I like the story, though.  It isn't the greatest fantasy novel ever written, but  it was fun to write and I can't wait to see how it turns out :)

Did you NaNo?   How did it go for you this year?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today's Goals - Nov 30

Today I will:

  • Write: 2500 words (last day of nano)
  • Bike: 40 mins
  • Pushups: 20
  • Food: Drink lots of water, stick to calorie allowance

Yesterday, I got on the bike for 40 mins and did another 20 pushups (this time, I did a couple on my toes...kinda).  I was good at my eating all day, but after the workout, I did get into some cookie dough...and chips...and chocolate.  Good thing I burned them off first.   

I didn't make 2500 words.   Wrote less than a thousand, which makes me think I am not even going to hit 30,000 words for November.  But that's okay.  I've accepted the fact that I am a busy gal.  I am going to try to make the manuscript reach 100,000 words by the end of January instead.  This will keep me motivated to keep writing without making myself feel like I need to turn my entire life over to it.   So, tonight, I'll still aim for 2500 for the last day of NaNoWriMo...but if I fall short - I'm okay with how much I did accomplish.

Today's goals - Nov 29

Ok - to keep me on track - I am going to post my goals at the start of each day and then recap how I met the goals of the previous day.

Today I will:
  • Write: 2500 words (only 2 days left in NaNoWriMo)
  • Bike: 40 mins
  • Pushups: 20
  • Food: I will clear out the junk from the pantry so I won't be tempted

I wasn't going to, but I stepped on the scale this morning and am up TWO POUNDS!   Ladies and gentlemen - THIS is why you shouldn't weigh in daily.   I KNOW I am not actually up that much.  So I am going to put away the scale and only weigh in on Sundays.   Having it out in the open is just making it too tempting to do it everyday and then it ends up defining my day.

Yesterday I did good. I already posted about it so I'm not going to do a ful recap.  I think the only thing I would change is how late I started my workout last night.  I waited until the girls were asleep before I headed down to the workout room.  Tonight I plan to get them in bed earlier and let Hubby deal with anything that arises until they are asleep.  That way, I can be done by 8pm instead of 10pm.

What are your goals for the day?  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Off to a good start...

Tonight had all the makings of a failure.  Changing into comfy pants.  Gorging myself on veggie spareribs and after eight sticks.   Plopping onto the sofa to watch my daughters on the spy cam in their room.

And then I remembered the promise I made myself.   I hauled my ass off the sofa and into my workout clothes, turned on Gossip Girl and hopped on the bike for a hearty 40 min workout.  Then, I capped it off with 20 pushups - not on my toes but still strong on my knees.   Better than I thought they'd be.   Hope I can do the same on my toes by the end of the month.

Christmas with Toddlers

The twins are at an age now where they are recognizing the icons that come with the holidays.   Halloween was insane with the word "PUNKINS" being screamed at the sight of anything even slightly orange coloured.   Now with Christmas upon us - it is all about the "Ho Hos"  

"Look mommy - ho ho kistmist lights"
"Look mommy ho ho"
"Look mommy - ho ho kistmist tree"
"Look mommy - waki wakis" (waki Wakis are penguins - not sure where it came from but it's super cute)
"Look mommy.  Ho ho kistmist balls.  HUGE kistmist balls"
"Look mommy. MOMMY!  Listen!.  Ho Ho snow mans"

and yes - everything is always preceded by "Look mommy"  I am constantly acknowledging the kistmist - er, Christmas - stuff.

On Saturday night, we decided to indulge them with a walk to look at Christmas lights (there may have been the ulterior motive of the fresh air knocking them out so they'd sleep in their big girl beds). They loved wandering the neighbourhood int he dark, looking at the early light displays.  Of course, now when the sun goes down I hear:

"Mommy. Walk? Kistmist lights?"

Then, on Sunday, we took them to the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market.  Of course, it was Hurricane season in Calgary so we had to battle strong winds to get there and then felt as though the tents were going to blow away with us inside.   But it was good - we went to see "Ho Hos reindeers" and wandered the stalls looking at the gifty things.  Doodle spent a good 15 minutes telling me what everything in one of the tchotkes stands was.   She's a shopper - that one.

To build on their excitement, I decided that Grey Cup time was as good a time as any to haul the tree out of storage and set 'er up.  Hubby said that was fine with him as long as we stayed clear of the TV :P

I did the actual assembling and lights on the tree and then handed Doodle and Buggie their little baggie of ornaments that are their own.  In no time, they were putting them all on the tree.   Then they tore into the other ornaments and splashed those across the branches...everything super concentrated in the bottom 2 feet.  I had to be super quick to get the really special ones out of their hands and onto branches far from their reach.

Doodle, ever the perfectionist, was really concentrated on those lower branches and before long my MIL figured out what she was doing.

"She's matching the ornaments" she laughed.

Sure enough - Dood had gone through the ornaments and was putting the ones that were the same onto the same branch (she really likes memory games so this is no big surprise).  

All in all, though, the decorating exercise was a success.   We only broke a couple ornaments (none of them super special and all of them easily fixable).  The girlies felt super involved in the decorating and it was nice to have some enthusiasm in decorating the tree because I usually do it alone.   No way are we putting the presents under it, though.  I'm brave, but I'm not stupid.  I am just hoping they will be content to look - not touch - the tree for the rest of the season!   

Our next adventure? This weekend we will take them for their Ho Ho photos (er, I mean Santa).  Might as well get them while they're excited.  I just hope Doodle doesn't start talking about "Scary Ho Hos" again like after we went to the Enchanted Forest.

Early Start on December

I'm getting the impression that Ia m not the only one doing this.  December doesn't actually get here until Thursday but I have been treating today as though it were December first.   I have this overwhelming need to just have November be done so I can refocus myself onto getting healthy and fit again.

First, I have a couple of confessions to make. 

Confession #1
I'm not going to meet my NaNoWriMo goal this year.   Sure, I was just editing and adding.  Sure, I did make almost 25,000 words added to my manuscript.  But also true - this is HALF of what I had hoped.  I just didn't expect working full time to be as much of a hinderance to writing as it has been.   I have been up at 4am almost every day all month PLUS spending every lunch hour in the cafe in my building.  I've written A LOT!   But not enough.  So, I don't get my naNo hoodie this year.  I've readjusted my writing goal to be 30,000 words (I think I can manage another 5000 words in November).  My book, however, will not be done.  I am going to dedicate myself to writing a couple of days a week until I can wrap it up without sacrificing every minute of my life to it.  Maybe by the end of the year or early into 2012, I will be able to call it done.

Confession #2
I have totally let myself go this month and the scale is screaming at me to put a stop to it.   In all honesty - I've kind of let myself go since my marathon.  I've barely worked out at all this month - just a couple of runs.  I'm at 171lbs.  Some of that might be hormonal because the number has been fluctuating between 168 and 171 for a few days now.  I'm realistic, but I'm also disgusted with myself.   Worst of all, in the last week, I've felt parts of my body start to feel like they have given up.   The thighs feel flobblier.  The tummy doesn't hold itself in as nicely.   I'm falling apart and it's my own damn fault because I haven't stayed dedicated.  This is the biggest reason I need december to start early.  I'm just hoping I don't fall too short of my end of the year goal.

Ok - now that I have those off my chest - I can move forward and just get back on track.   I bought myself a ginormous whiteboard at Costco that I am going to mount in my workout room tonight.  This will be my goal board.   I'll write that nasty horrible number at the top and work at bringing it waaaay down before the end of the year.  I'll also litter it with motivational stuff.

My fitness goals for December are to get back ont he bike and to add in some strength training.  Minimum 4 days a week.  Preferably 5-6.  

I am also hoping to rein in my eating, but that might be hard with the holidays upon us.  I'll do my best, though.  My eating has been completely terrible since my MIL has moved in.  When someone else is cooking for me and I am not carefully checking ingredients and knowing th calorie counts - I just find it impossible to keep up with tracking.   I am also drinking too much coffee and the way I like my coffee means extra calories there as well.   So this month, I need to get the food back on track.  I already forgive myself for the upcoming family holiday meals.  It's one day - I'll move on after that.  I am not a baker so there won't be cookies in the house.  I just need to avoid the boxes of chocolates (um - I may  have brought 2 into the house yesterday) but this is do-able.  I will track onestly in My Fitness Pal and we'll see how it goes. 

I doubt I'll hit my weight loss goal by dec 31, but we never know.   I'd just like to see a big dent.

It's been a while since I checked in on my new years resolutions so I suppose I should do that now...

1) Lose 25 more pounds

I'm down only 7 lbs right now.  Not ggood, considering I was at 156 in june....

2) Aim for one race each month

Still holding strong.  I will actually hit 13 races by the end of the year and I am registered in teh Santa Shuffle fun run this weekend.

3) Eat less junk food and aim for good nutrition 75% of the time. (c'mon - I KNOW I won't meet 100%)

I'd rather not talk about it.  

4) De-clutter our home considerably.  If we don't use it - we lose it.

Still in progress :)  Adding another adult to our house has made me realize we still have too much stuff - though I have made HUGE progress this year.   The basement justneeds a little help.  and possibly some storage shelving....

5) Work on my posture.   I know I will look considerably slimmer if I just improve that.

Again - don't want to talk about it, but I do fix it if I catch myself.

6) Be able to do pushups on my toes like a big girl.   100 Pushups will be my best friend.

Um...failing miserably.  I think I will work on this this month.

7) Edit my Nano Novel

Considerable progress since last update.  I've edited almost all of what I wrote last year and have added 23,000 words to the manuscript this month.

8) Complete at least one university course for my degree

No :(  But I have been taking several professional development courses.   Working 35hours a week plus being a mom has just not been conducive to getting my university hat on.

9) Download Garmin at least once a week

Now that I have the new garmin, I don't even need to think about it.   I just put it near my computer and it loads automatically.  

So maybe I'm not failing as miserably as I think I am.   I've managed to keep my resolutions somewhat on track this year.   I just haven't come as far as I would have liked becasue my life has changed dramatically this year.   I guess I just need to adjust my thinking accordingly.

MOMday: Big Girl Beds

In the last week or so, somehow my daughters suddenly became escape artists!   GONE is their fear of trying something new.  Not that they have ever been particularly shy about trying stuff...they usually prefer to stay pretty close to us.  However - recently we are have been having BIG TIME trouble keeping them in their cribs.

Friday was the last straw.  MIL had been caring for them all day and they kept leaving their cribs, opening their door and then roaming the house.  No downtime for gramma - that's for sure.  We thought that the lack of a nap would spell super tired babies for bedtime.  Um.  Nope.  Enter escape artist part 2.

The night started off ok.  They went right to sleep.  We thought we were in the clear.   But we were wrong.  Around 10pm, Buggie was out of bed and needing snuggles and snacks.  I had a little talk with her about not freaking out when she went back to bed because Doodle needed her sleep.  Of course, Buggie was apparently suffering from post-bedtime deafness because the first thing she did upon being put in her crib was to start yelling her sisters name AND then crawling out of the crib to wake her up.  Before long, two toddlers were roaming the halls.  We'd put them back to bed and two minutes later they would be out and running.

Hubby and I really wanted to just let them be - just keep putting them back in the cribs whenever they escaped - but it was pointless.  They were out as fast as we could put them in.   Finally, it became a safety thing.  We wanted to go to bed and we didn't want to have injured toddlers on our hands when they officially got too tired to climb out with ease.  We were forced to admit that it was time for the toddler beds.

We bought convertible cribs so we just needed to remove the rails and part of the end piece.  Of course, we never saw ourselves doing it when we were exhausted and it was 1:30 in the morning!  This was supposed to be a long weekend project!  It was made all the more difficult by the bouncing, hyper twins that were bouncing off the walls as we did it (and we needed to contain them in the same room so they wouldn't wake Gramma up).   Somehow we did it, though, and before long the girls were in big girl beds.  And out of big girl beds.  And being walked back to their big girl beds.  Yeah - it was a fun night.  Even Gramma ended up getting in on the return to bed fun.

Buggie had gotten me up at 3am on Friday so I was completely done by the time I'd been up 24 hours.   I fell into bed...dead apparently.  I didn't even notice that Hubby ended up sleeping on their bedroom floor so they would finally just stay asleep!  Unfortunately, they were up again at 6am.

After my run, I headed out on a mission to buy more childproofing supplies - doorknob covers (no prob finding these), light switch lock (no luck there).  The things we'd need to secure the room until they understood the boundaries.  Hubby sent me a text with cryptic messages about video surveillance systems.   I thought he was joking until he started to send me links to products in the stores I was in.

I ended up bringing home a 2 camera system from Costco - one camera for their room, one for the yard (we have 2 dogs who need monitoring as well).  Hubby went right to work installing it - he'd just endured a much too short naptime with the Big Girl Bed Bandits.   I can't say I blame Gramma's decision to spend that night at a hotel...

After dinner, we took the twins for a walk around the neighbourhood for a) some fresh air to tucker them out and b) to look at "kistmist lights"  Then it was bedtime.  I read a book about Elmo and his big kid bed.   They liked it so much that it was the first thing they headed for after we killed the lights, taped the switch down and closed them into their cell (er, bedroom) for the night.   Off came the tape and on went the lights.

Then there was a bit of this for a while:

We went up a few times to try to devise solutions to our light switch issues (I'm still seeking DIY tips if anyone has any for securing the switches off - hubby finally just took the bulbs out)

But, I am happy to report that they were asleep just over an hour after we put them to bed.  Not too bad for the first night in the big girl beds.

From the monitor:

Later, Hubby was talking to a former coworker with twins and she was laughing at us.  Her response to the big kid beds?  A believe the quote went something like this:

"We put them in separate rooms before we attempted big kid beds.  You guys are idiots" (I may have added in the idiots part to embellish a bit. But yeah - that's about how we feel this weekend.

Overall that first full night went well. They were up at 2am again and hubby slept on the floor between them for a couple of hours and then they slept til 8.   I'd call that a success.  Here's hoping it continues to improve.   Maybe I'll keep them after all...

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm still here...

...I've just had a super busy week.  I didn't even realize I'd been so neglectful of my blog until tonight!!!   I'm still around.  Turning 35 didn't kill me LOL.   I promise I'll be better about posting when December gets here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, I am 35.   I don't feel old.  I don't feel young.  I don't feel like 5 years from today will bring my 40s.

Today, Hubby and I are taking the day off to have a date day. The kids are going to the dayhome and we get to be adults for a day (fitting, since I am apparently old enough now). We're going to go shopping and eat out and drink fancy coffees and just relax.  I'll probably pick up my birthday gift from Sephora and spend some time drinking coffee and writing in a cafe.  I hope there are enough hours in the day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anna!

Today my original Runner Girl turns 50.  For those of you who have been following - Anna is the whole reason I started running.  When she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in late 2009, I vowed to learn to run and raise money for a charity race for her cancer.

I would like to celebrate Anna's milestone birthday (and remission) with a donation drive to end the cancer she fought and won!

So, if you have a few dollars and would like to honour her special day, can I ask that you make a donation to my close friend and running coach, Sheena, who is running the Goofy this January to raise money to end blood cancers.  You can find her donation page at:

And to honour Anna's milestone - simple make it whatever dollar amount you want and add 50 cents to mark it in honour of her birthday!

Every donation counts - no matter how big or small. (a $10 minimum is required to get a tax receipt, though)

Thank you!  And Happy Birthday, Anna!  Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Techy Tuesday: Kid Zone Zoodles App (Android)

I know, I know.  It's been a while since I did a Techy Tuesday.  Guess that shows how many non-ereader posts I really had.  I've been thinking I may move those posts back from GADGETreads since I just don't have the time to maintain two blogs.

Anyway - today I come to you with a great Geeky Mom entry about something my twinners are LOVING lately.   Kid Zone by Zoodles.  I am going to cover the Android app, primarily, because I am not impressed with the iOS version (iOS only has videos and drawing) and have not played with any of the other platforms.

When I first acquired my tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch), I immediately went looking for apps to occupy my toddlers.  I wanted storybook apps, video apps and some game apps.   Then, I discovered KidZone by Zoodles.   This was all of that and so much more...and was FREE!  The funny thing is that I didn't appreciate it until I suddenly received an email one day - an email summarizing what Doodle had done in the app that week.  She had apparently gone in on her own and started to play.  This email I received told me how the games she played and videos she watched related to school subjects.  It also sent me images of the drawings she had made.  I was completely blown away and it made me take a closer look at the app itself and the many features it has.

1) Age specific videos and games - When you first set up zoodles, it asks you to list the age, gender etc of your child(ren).  It then sets up an age appropriate section for each child to log in.  You can add photos of your kids so they can select their own picture to access them.  

At the toddler stage, the videos are mainly simple cartoons and sesame street music videos.   Doodle found a Barney game in there that she will play for long stretches.  As soon as I taught her how to find the "play again" button, she stopped bugging me each time it ended.

2) Simple drawing tool - the drawing program in this app is really good. Among the best I have seen for toddlers.  It is easy to select different colours and thicknesses and super easy to reset the screen and start over.
Not MY kids artwork...yet

3) Storybooks - there are an assortment of picture books available.  You get a couple for free and to obtain more, they are around $3 each.  I think the thing I like best about the books is that you can log in to the Parent dashboard and film yourself reading the book to your child on your webcam.  Then, when they select that book, there will be a video of you reading to them.  I think this would be fantastic for families where one parent travels often because that parent could record several books for their child to "read together" while they are away.  Also - your kids can request which books they would like and Zoodles will email the parent to let them know.
4) Video mail - In the parent dashboard, you can also configure video mail for your child, which allows you to send video messages to your kids.  You can also set it up so grandparents and other people are able to log in to record messages as well.   We haven't played with this year, but I think they will really love it when we do - especially if we can get the grandparents and cousins to do it.

5) Superb Parent Dashboard - I've mentioned this a couple of times, but it deserves to be a category on its own.   The parent dashboard is what really makes this app sing.   Through the dashboard, a parent can lock down the home button to keep the kid inside the program instead of wandering around the tablet!  This is only in the Android version - iOS can still be escaped.  I love that I can set the girls up on the tablet and know that they will be entertained for a long time without worrying that the rest of my information is accessible (and delete-able).  

The parent dashboard is where you can manage the accounts of each of your children and manage email notifications.  I like to receive a weekly summary of each kid - especially when I may not have been able to see their drawings as they did them.  

It is within the dashboard that you can also identify other users to connect grandparents and other family members to your child's accounts.  

You are also able to download jpeg images of your children's drawings to use as desktop wallpaper if you want. Or, you can share them directly to Facebook or Twitter.   As soon as that first real masterpiece arrives, I will totally be doing that.   actually - I'm tempted to do it with the "A" that Doodle drew last weekend.

I have talked a great deal about the features Doodle uses because she is the twin with the greater concentration.  She will sit with the tablet for an hour at a time.  Buggie has a shorter attention span and it is hard to know if the details on her account are actually her work.   I set her up on the iPad with the app and she drew for 10-15 mins and then lost interest...but even that is good for a 2.5 year old!  

Of all of the toddler apps I have played with, I am most impressed by this one and highly recommend it.   I look forward to seeing how their interests and abilities improve the more they use it. 

The only downside is that Doodle now thinks my tablet is hers!