Saturday, July 27, 2013

Couch to 5K (C25K)

My 12th anniversary will fall on a Saturday.  It is six weeks away.  As I have been going to different places, running errands and such, I have been seeing a lot of flyers for 5K races on September 7, which is my anniversary.

I have been running for a while now.  I ran eight miles this morning.  As I was running, I came up with a brilliant idea.  I have always wanted my children to grow up to run with me.  I thought it would be nice if my husband would run with me too.  I came home and told him that I thought him and the kids should start a C25K program today and that we should run a 5K on our anniversary.  Then, of course, go out to eat afterward. 

He thought that would be a good idea.  I found the C25K program.  It was a program I started last year, when we were going to do a 4 mile run.  I do know that a 5K is not as far as a 4 mile run, but it was a place to start.  I really liked their program.  This evening, I found it online, again, and told my husband what he is supposed to do with the children.  He gathered them up and off they went.  It was a 5 minute brisk walk, followed by alternating 90 second walks and 60 seconds of jogging for a total of 20 minutes.

When he got home, I was informed that my daughter wasn't too amused to be out there doing that.  I am not sure if it is because she had performed in two theater performances today, or she just didn't want to run.  When they got home, I informed her of the plan for Sept. 7, and she seemed to be more receptive.  Now I need to decide which 5K we are going to do and get us registered.  It always seems that the earlier you register for a race, the cheaper it is to run it.

On the days that I don't have scheduled runs for the half-marathon I am training for, I will be training with my husband and my kids.  My toddler will be in the jogging stroller during the race.  I have been pushing her on several of my runs.  I am excited for this race, whichever one it ends up being.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

First Day Without a Nap

My toddler didn't take a nap today.  This is the first day in her life that she didn't take a nap.  I am hoping that it isn't a new trend. 

I am a big fan of nap time.  I especially like it when I get to have a nap with her.  That hasn't happened in a while, due to my children being out of school.  I think that could also be the cause of the lack of a nap.  The children had a couple of friends over and my toddler likes to play with all the children also.

When it got to be around 7 PM, she wanted to go to sleep.  I didn't dare allow that, because I knew it would be a very bad idea.  We had to figure out how to keep her awake.  I brought her outside for a little while.  We sang some songs.  We watched some SpongeBob SquarePants.  That is her favorite show. 

When it got to be around 8 PM and I had to get in my two-mile run, my husband took her to the play room.  He brought a ball with him to distract her so I could go.  She is my biggest fan.  She almost always wants to go with me.  The only time she has not wanted to go was when she had been going on little trips all day long.  She would cry because she didn't want to get back in her seat.

I was gone for a little while.  When I came home, she was really excited to see me.  We went back outside for a couple of minutes, then I decided it was bath time.  She loves bath time.  This bought us about 30 more minutes of her being awake.  After her bath, she was ready to be asleep.  It took just a few minutes for her to doze off.  She is still asleep now, so I should probably go to sleep too :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kickball and Some Memories of My Childhood

I haven't played kickball with my children since last summer, that is, until tonight.  My son's pack meeting tonight included a game of kickball.  I had never played it with my toddler.  My two older children were on the opposite team.  My two younger children were on my team. 

Last summer we thought we were going to be in a kickball tournament back east.  It would have been a lot of fun, but it wasn't meant to be.  The tournament was the day before my brother and my sister, her husband and son were moving west.  There was just going to be too much to do.  Before we figured that out, we had several practice session.  It was a lot of fun.

Tonight was fun as well.  We enjoyed playing with the other members of the cub scouts and their parents and families.  There were a lot of young children.  I think it was wonderful to play kickball with everyone.  It really was a lot of fun.

I was impressed with how well my ten year-old could kick the ball.  He did really good.  My other two children did really well too.  I think I need to go down there and play kickball with them.  It reminded me of growing up and playing kickball all the time in our backyard.

Our backyard consisted of three backyards.  I would say it was a good 45 yards across.  There were not fences between our yard and the next two neighbors yards for years.  I think they went up after I graduated from high school.  We spent hours, upon hours, playing kickball.  My dad would pitch to both teams.  Neighbors would all come over.  There was a little cherry tree that didn't have a chance in the neighbor's yard.  I think we even used it as a base every now and again.

We also had a great volleyball net.  We could play a full size court since there wasn't a fence.  It seems like when we weren't playing kickball, hide and go seek, or swimming, we would be playing badminton or volleyball.  We knew all the kids that lived within a block or two.  These days, it seems like children don't even know who lives next door. 

Sadly, the children of this generation seem to be growing up in a day of electronics.  I have to admit that my children play online or on their Nintendo DS's also.  I need to be more diligent and get outside with them.  I do go running, and they come with me and play at the park.  I make sure that the spend time outside. I enjoy when they have friends come over.  I want them to have that kind of interaction that I had growing up.

I imagine that if we take the time to go to the park at the corner and bring a ball and bases, other children will join.  I think it will be a fun way to get to know the other children in the area. 

Thank you to the Cub Scout leaders who thought of this activity.  It reminded me of the fun I had as a child and it has encouraged me to share that with my children.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our Garden

On Mother's Day weekend, my kids, my husband and I, worked hours getting the garden planted.  We pulled excess weeds that had grown after the ground had been tilled.  We got out our yard stick to make sure that we were planting the plants the correct distance apart.  We went out and bought a little fence to put around it.  We didn't want our toddler to go wandering through and step on all the plants.

We planted several, I think 15, tomato plants,  We planted 4 zucchini squash plants, 4 crookneck squash, 4 bell peppers, 13 peas we had grown from seeds, and 12 onions, I believe.  We sat outside regularly and  watched our garden.  It took a while to notice any growth.  We were happy when we spotted our first baby squash.  We were elated to find our first little tomato.  We watched with amazement as it grew.  Our only wish was that the garden grew as quickly as the weeds.

We went on vacation at the end of June.  Ten days later we came home.  My 5 year-old jumped out of the car and ran directly to the garden.  He ran back to me and told me that we had huge food.  He wanted me to hurry back there.  I went as fast as I could.  He wasn't kidding.  The zucchini had grown astronomically since we had left.  We were able to harvest several zucchini and some crookneck squash.  Our peas had died.  I k think the tomatoes in front of them robbed them of water.  We will rethink that next year.

The plums on our tree were ripe.  Several had fallen off the tree.  It looks like we are going to have a very nice harvest this year.  I hope to make a lot of salsa.  I hope to have a lot of tomatoes for salad.  My daughters will eat them right off the vine.  They will enjoy that.  I enjoy raw zucchini sliced up.  I enjoy zucchini bread.  I hope to make some for our neighbors and people I visiting teach one of these days.

That is the news on our garden.  I am very thrilled that it is growing :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Our Summer Vacation

I would like to say I have a lot of photos to add for the vacation blog.  I can't say that because our camera disappeared.  My watch I use for running disappeared too.  I guess it was just one of those things.

My toddler and I flew into Reno on Friday, June 28.  My older three children and my husband drove to Reno, leaving the same day.  They got there on Saturday.  We spent a few days in Reno.  We let the children play games at the midway at Circus Circus and watch circus acts.  They got to have fun with their cousins.  They got to swim.

We then headed to Topaz Lake on Wednesday.  The swimming pool there was much colder than the one in Reno.  My toddler refused to go in the water.  She cried.  I wanted to cry after jumping in.  It was horribly cold.  I thought that since it had been in the high 90s, low 100s, it would have warmed up the pool.  I was terribly mistaken. 

We headed into Bridgeport, California, on July 4.  We got there in time to see the parade.  I quickly discovered that my cousin, his wife and children, had made the trip from a base in Korea to be there.  My other cousin, his wife and children made the trip from the San Francisco Bay area.  I was so happy to see them again.

We watched some arm wrestling competitions, my daughter and two of her cousins sing karaoke, the kids climbing the greased pole and looking for money in the haystack.  We went to the bakery for the first time that my children can remember.  There is always delicious food there.  We had dinner at my uncle's house and then headed back to the hotel.  I didn't want to stay for the fireworks because I worried that my toddler would fall to sleep on the way back to the hotel and be awake once we got there for a few hours.

On July 5, my cousin, his wife and daughter, a good family friend, my sis-in-law and I played mud volleyball together.  There were 19 teams in the tournament.  We lost our first set of games to the team that got either first or second place.  We then won two sets of games, and then lost to the team that got second or third place.  We ended up in fifth place, which we were very happy about. 

My children discovered the joy of playing in mud holes.  They then learned about sand burrs.  They are painful little thorns that about kill your feet.  I got them in my feet as I walked to the river to clean off between matches.  The river was a perfect temperature.  I let my children know to never go in the water without me knowing.  I have always warned them against swimming in rivers or ponds because of the threat of the seaweed.  It can wrap you up and hold you under.  We all managed to get sunburned that day, although we had applied and reapplied SPF 50 several times.

After mud volleyball, we went to my uncle's house again and had fudge.  It is the best fudge in the world.  We would usually have it on the 4th of July, but it couldn't happen this year.  We were happy to have it.  We then returned to our hotel.  They had all you can eat spaghetti, so my children had that and I had a salad bar.  Vacation food had been weighing on me pretty heavily.

The next day was the softball tournament.  There were six teams in it.  Four of  the people on our team, I knew.  It was two of my brothers, one nephew, and my cousin.  The other six players came from out of town to help us out.  They won two and lost two.  The last loss bothered me because the ump seemed biased.  He made some very upsetting calls in what would end up being our last inning.  They play timed games here and we had only a few minutes left.  Sometimes it is hard to remember it is just a game, especially when I feel someone is wronging people I love.

After the games, we all headed back to Reno and had to start the goodbyes.  My two brothers, and their families, that live in Washington had to start the trek home.  We said goodbye at the hotel and they took off.  It was a wonderful week with them. 

We got a hotel room and headed out the next morning.  My toddler did a wonderful job on the trip home.  There wasn't much crying from her.  I was proud of her.

The vacation has ended and it is back to life.  I gained about 5 pounds on vacation which I need to work off.  With how hot it is and the fact that I am training for a half-marathon, it shouldn't be too hard.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Duke (June 26, 1999-June 29, 2013)

My toddler and I flew to Reno on June 28.  My three older children and my husband drove to Reno.  They left on June 28 and arrived on June 29.  I always worry about them when I am not there, but my toddler isn't a huge fan of car trips.  I figured that it would be easier if she flew there and then rode home in the car.  This way, she wouldn't have to make two, ten-hour trips.

My toddler slept in the Las Vegas airport and all the way until we were descending into Reno.  I think the descent bothered her ears.  I was thankful that she slept for that time, because the layover was longer than it was supposed to be, and then we had to sit on the tarmac for an hour.  It was horribly hot. 

When we arrived in Reno, my mother picked us up from the airport.  We went back to the hotel room.  My toddler was awake until 2 am because of the nap on the plane.  Duke, my parents' beloved dog, was there when we walked in.  He looked amazing.  I asked my mom if he had been groomed recently.  He just looked really good.  She said that he hadn't. Duke always loved my children, so he was excited to see my toddler.

On June 29, the next day, Duke was trying to urinate but nothing would come out.  My dad decided to stay at the hotel with him while Mom, my toddler and I went to breakfast.  We got a call at the end of breakfast that Duke was not doing well.  He was trying to urinate every few minutes and nothing would come out.  We got back to the hotel and my parents brought him to the emergency vet.  When they got back from the vet, they were crying.  I knew something was terribly wrong. 

They told me that the vet was going to do a complete body x-ray to see what was going on.  They didn't know what was wrong, but I think we all knew that Duke didn't have much longer on this earth.  They had to go back to the vet at 1:30, we had about an hour before then.  We all cried.  Duke was mine first, I left him with my parents when I moved to California.  My dad let me know that he would want Duke to stay with them.  I couldn't take Duke away, that was his home, it was what he still knew.

I can still see this little puppy coming toward us.  That was how I knew which puppy I would pick.  I can remember this little, blond, floppy-eared puppy coming toward me.  His mom followed us all the way to the van.  He was born June 26, 1999. 

At the moment that we brought him home from his parents, we loved him.  He was an amazing little guy.  We reminisced about this day and many other times with Duke, during that hour before they went back to the vet.  Many tears were shed.  He was loved.  My mom called me upon arrival at the vet to tell me that Duke had bladder and prostate cancer.  She let me know, through sobs, that they were going to have him put to sleep.  They brought him back to the hotel, so we could say goodbye.  My children and husband had arrived by that time, so they were able to say their goodbyes as well.  My parents then brought him back to the vet so he could be put to sleep.

My mother asked the vet to put him to sleep in the car.  They obliged.  My mom sat with him and rubbed his ears.  When they arrived back at the hotel with him, before burying him, he looked like he was just sleeping.  I had to take a moment to make sure he was really gone.  The tears flowed.  My toddler kept saying hi to him.  My 5 year-old got right in and was petting him.  He asked why he wasn't moving, although I had told him he was dead.  I then told him he went back to heaven.  He then gave Duke a big hug and told me that he loves him even though he is in heaven.  They always had an amazing bond.  He always stated that it was just Duke's egg now.  I took a second and realized he meant that it is just his shell, and that his spirit is in heaven.

We all petted Duke.  I think it was important for the children to see that when something is dead, it just means that the spirit has moved on.  It is still hard to say your goodbyes, though.

Duke lived to be 14 and 3 days old.  We loved every moment we had with him from July 31, 1999, until June 29, 2013.  I don't know if or when my parents will get another dog.  There will never be another dog like Duke.