Thursday, May 29, 2008

5K Warning!

I've been asked by about 15 people now about my 1st 5K race, which I am running on June 29 at the Livonia Spree. The question that most people ask is about my time: what time am I shooting for?

I am shooting for a finish, period. The race comes 9 weeks after I started running for fitness and weight loss. I entered this race for motivation to continue with my fitness plan, not to seriously compete. I informed the race coordinator when I signed up that my only goal was to finish, and I didn't care about my time. I've had slugs and snails passing me during my "long" runs in the last two weeks...but the point is not speed, it's fitness. I don't even know how many miles I run during any of my workouts--at this point I am using time as a guide and slowly increasing the length of time that I run as the weeks go by.

So...when the race comes and goes, I will probably post pictures, as Tom is going to bring both of our girls to cheer me on, and then we will all enjoy a pancake breakfast afterwards. (Another warning: the post-race pictures WILL be horrid. I have seen the mirror after my running workouts, and let me tell you, the results are rarely pretty!) But I will not be posting my time--not even if it is a good one. To think about the time would make me nervous or cocky, and I don't want either--I just want motivation to stick with the training.

I found a great training program for beginners in the May, 2008 issues of Runner's World magazine. I am adhering to this program fairly well. I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I cross-train by doing an at-home strength training routine, it lasts about 38 minutes. Sunday is a day of rest for the body as well as the spirit. All of my weekday workouts are completed early in the morning before Tom goes to work; he takes care of the girls if they wake up before I'm finished.

So far, I have only missed two workouts, and they were both strength-training workouts. I missed the workouts due to traveling on Memorial Day weekend, but I did take my running shoes with me and was able to complete my scheduled Saturday run. I have yet to miss a running workout before the race, and I don't plan to, either.

I send thanks to all of my friends and family for their well-wishes and encouragement about my training. Please feel free to ask about the race afterwards, too--I just won't be sharing my time for personal reasons. :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Busy weeks

We've had 3 very busy weeks. Formula SAE was moved out to Michigan International Speedway this year. Tom has served on the rules committee for this competition as long as I have known him. Until this year, the competition was held at the Pontiac Silverdome, which is about a half hour from our house. MIS is about a 2-hour drive and Tom has to arrive early in the morning and stay very late at night--he was not home before midnight. Also, we all went to Cincinnati for Memorial Day weekend. Between playing "temporary single mom" while Tom was out at all hours with SAE, and planning and packing for our trip, I haven't had much time to play on the computer. And the garden is not even planted yet! What happened to those "lazy, hazy days of summer?"

I will have pictures of our Cincinnati trip and Tom's family posted soon; for now, here are some pictures of my girls.

PS Ava is 7 months old today! :-)

Papa C. reading to both of the girls
This photo looks so much like a picture of my Grandma C. reading to my sister and some of my cousins when they were very young. (I wasn't born yet at the time of the photo.) I will have to see if I can scan the photo and post it sometime. It is a very sweet picture.

Ava's first time in the highchair, 5-18-08. She loves it!
Up until now she has been in a bouncy seat during our meals. We enjoy
having family dinners with the four of us. Since she has not yet started solids,
we give Ava an empty sippy cup with handles and a "big people spoon"
to practice "eating" with during the meal.

Just too cute.

The toy stroller has taken a backseat to a toy sling. I love that she
wants to wear her "babies" as opposed to using the stroller.

Like mother, like daughter; like baby sister, like dolly.

Fingerpainting, before...

...fingerpainting, during...

...and fingerpainting, after.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Too much fiber, or dissin' the chef? You decide.

I couldn't help but shoot a movie of this. This is a repeat performance
of what she did in the bank this morning...for about 10 minutes.

Fortunately, the people at our bank are all very kid-friendly.
And most of their hard surfaces are drool-proofed...uh, I mean, water-proofed.

Ava is enjoying the high chair, now that Mommy decided it was time to move Liesl out of it for good. We've experimented with Liesl in the booster seat for several months, and while it is good for her to eat at the table, it is twice as much work for I really have to be on the ball with both girls during weekday breakfasts and lunches. Dinners are easier when Tom is here: at least then big people are not outnumbered by tiny people.

Ava is doing just fine being exclusively breastfed for now, so we're in no rush to start solids. Maybe in month or two, but we'll take it as it comes. In the meantime, the high chair is a convenient place to keep an eye on Ava while I work in the kitchen. However, she's been so cute playing with toys and "talking" to me that I find myself sitting and talking and interacting with her instead of doing the dishes or cooking. (No wonder we're having grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner tonight. Again. Still, these are special times, there will plenty of opportunity for more elaborate suppers in the all-too-near future.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing you all a happy Mother's Day! Today, our pastor talked about how God picked out the mother that He wanted you to have. (Ava was sleeping blissfully in my arms during the sermon--how fitting.) Pastor urged us to honor the mother that God gave us. So I'd like to wish a Happy Mother's Day to my own mother, Rosalyn, who continues to give her time, love, and laughter to our family; and who inspires me to be a better mom and wife. I couldn't do all this without you, Mom! :-)

Below you will find a video showing what Tom bought me for Mother's Day. Other mothers get flowers, chocolates, and jewelry for Mother's Day. Me....I get a Mother's Day card that plays the Chicken Dance. However, before you laugh at me and shake your head in pity at Tom, who you might think would be in the doghouse, let me explain: Years ago, Tom asked me to marry him, and said he would follow through on one, iron-clad, not-up-for-negotiation condition: That I do the Chicken Dance with him at our wedding. I have a photo from our wedding reception, I'll have to scan it and post it. (The things we do for love....)

We got a few nice family photos before church this morning.
I am thankful we got ready early to do this before church, because the weather
turned very chilly and rainy soon after.
The best Mother's Day gift one could ever recieve. :*)

She can be quite serious at times.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

<-- That is, um, the television remote.

If only I had switched the camera to "video" fast enough. She was talking on the phone--er, remote--to "Opa," telling him that Ava was sleeping (not true,) that she was being a good girl (debatable,) and that we were having chocolate cake for lunch (over my dead body.)

This is why I harass Tom to call his parents while the girls are awake...she "talks to Opa" all day long. On various play phones, real phones, and now random household electronics.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Signs of Change

This is amazing...I've done just a little bit of reading about the program, it is really cool!

Sign Smith Signing Avatars

Naturally I'd love to purchase the software, it looks like a fun way to add comments to my blog. However, with it's $3,000 price tag, I think it's going to be a while before I'm ready to make my blog THAT cool. :-)

The introduction in the blog banner is indeed being signed in grammatically correct American Sign Language (ASL) by the avatar. What's really amazing is that the avatar shows complex facial expressions that are also grammatically correct. That is so important--what most hearing people don't realize is that facial expression in ASL has a huge impact on the meaning and tone of what you are signing.

I am so impressed. Technology is amazing! This product has the ability to help deaf and hard of hearing children learn independently, something that is hard for them to do in this media-saturated culture of ours. Wow. Simply amazing.