Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tick Tock. Tick Tock.

   I am a woman who wears many hats.  Mom, wife, kindergarten teacher, runner, wanna be great cook, writer, recipe reader, sometimes photographer, daughter, sister, friend, cheerleader and chauffeur.

I hesitate to post about this for fear of sounding all whiny and dramatic, but just wanted to explain my lapse in posts lately.  The hat I have been sporting more than the others lately is that of a chauffer. 

I practically live in my car and at various sporting venues these days. 

A typical day for me lately goes just like yesterday.  This was my day....

6:15-6:30 - Hit the snooze button over and over.  Ignore texts from Bradley telling me to get up.
6:30 - 6:45 - Make myself as presentable as possible.
6:45 - 6:48 - Put muffins in the oven.
6:48 - 6:50 - Give wake up kiss. Again. Again.
6:50 - 7:15 - Pack lunches, sign homework pages, get muffins out, tie shoes, race to the car.
7:15 - 7:20 - Drive to high school. Drop off Tucker.
7:20 - 7:22 - Drive to elementary school.
7:24 - 7:25 - Sign in.
7:25 - 3:00 - Work as a kindergarten teacher.  Leave No Child Behind. 
3:00 - 3:40 - Get the little boys haircut (No time for me and Tucker)
3:40 - 3:50 - Rush home and grab practice gear.
3:50 - 3:58 - Fast food drive thru (My middle one has to be fed before sporting events because of his hypoglycemia symptoms)
3:58 - 4:00 - Drive to baseball field. Arrive just as the first batter steps up to the plate.  Play Ball!
4:00 - 5:29 - Cheer like a crazy woman for Tucker who is on the Junior High Baseball team
5:29 - 5:32 - Drive Carter to his basketball practice (Shout to a passing Dad that he is being left unattended.)
5:32 - 5:35 - Drive back to baseball game
5:35 - 6:29 - Pick back up cheering like a crazy lady at the game. (Our team won by one run. Woot Woot!)
6:29 - 6:31 - Drive back to pick up Carter at basketball.
6:31 - 6:35 -  Drive back to fast food restaurant
6:35 - 6:50 - Feed the gang
6:50 - 7:05 - Drive to baseball practice at the other side of town
7:05 - 8:40 - Watch baseball practice. Cringe over missed throws and smile over awesome plays.
8:40 - 8:55 - Drive home.
8:55 - 9:30 - Send one kid to the bath and do homework with the others.  Rotate. Rotate.
9:30 - 9:40 - Fix glasses of milk and give goodnight kiss. Again. Again.
9:40 - 9:41 - Ignore the mess that has accumulated in my house.
9:41 - 9:43 - Start a load of laundry containing needed ball uniforms.
9:43 - 10:20 - Enter whirlpool bath santuary
10:20 - 10:21 - Move uniforms from washer to dryer.
10:22 - ?  Enjoy a few moments with the love of my life.
Sometime later - Collapse.

I am not complaining....nay....only explaining.  Explaining why I haven't had time to write a blog lately and explaining to myself why I can't fit a run in everyday....or a healthy meal....or a clean house.  It is what it is.  And I wouldn't change a single minute of my days.  The boys are growing and these busy days will pass.  And then I will be sitting around missing it. 

Gotta go.
Time for baths and homework.
Tick Tock. Tick Tock.

Monday, February 20, 2012

If You Have To Ask....

I know that I am suppose to be a "Mommy Blogger" and write about all the cute little things that my kids do, but over the last several years, running has become a part of who I am, so I will continue to include blogs about it.  I just can't leave out something that is so important to me. 
So anyway....if you are new to my blog, you may not know that I am currently training for my 2nd Half-Marathon.  It has been a challenge to squeeze training runs into my crazy busy life, but I have made time for it, and I am so glad that I have!
Today was President's Day...which meant a holiday from school...whoop whoop!  Since I didn't have to work, I was able to fit in a longer run.  The weather was absolutely perfect for running!  I was able to try out my new running skirt.  If you didn't read about my wardrobe malfunction with my last running skirt.....feel free to catch up on it HERE.
My new skirt worked out great this time and I felt sassy and girly while I was pounding out the miles.

And I like the white one better than my old black one whoop whoop for my new skirt!

I was able to run 10.36 miles today and stayed on pace to beat my current personal half marathon time.  I was totally pumped about that!

I finished my run today sweaty, thirsty, dry lipped, achy, and with blisters on my toes and a toe nail that had pulled loose from my big toe......

...And I was all smiles!

I found this photo today and fell in love with the quote on it......

Sunday, February 19, 2012

30 Areas in 30 Days Declutter Update

I started at the beginning of February with a goal to declutter my house.  My goal was to declutter one area each day so that in 30 days, my entire house would be decluttered.  You can read the original blog here.

This is a peek into my decluttering progress...

Due to the fact that I am in the middle of training for a half marathon, juggling two boys in basketball and one in baseball, maintaining a full time kindergarten teaching job, church, and feeding my kids healthy meals....I wasn't able to stick to the plan exactly.

But, I am not dismayed....nay....I am thrilled with my decluttering progress!

I think I have single handedly restocked our local thrift store with my recent donations. 
I have gotten rid of bunches of junk that has accumulated over the 7 years we have lived in our house.

Today, I was able to tackle two big areas because I was home with this sick little guy.....

Poor dude fell asleep in the middle of playing a computer game.

He slept for a couple of hours which freed me up to declutter.  Uninteruppted cleaning time is hard to come by, so I take what I can get.

The decluttering progress is slower than I hoped, but I am confident that when I finish, I will be able to maintain a simpler, tidy, more organized, less stressful household.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Running Wardrobe Malfunction

I was so psyched to pull out my favorite running skirt today.   Alabama weather is like Jekyll and Hyde.  Three days ago I ran in 30 something degree temperatures and was layered for warmth.  I finished the run wind burned and I made a bee line for the Vaseline for my chapped face when I got back inside my toasty warm house.  I was frozen to the core.  Running in freezing weather hurts.

Today, the weather was perfect for running....beautiful blue skies with 60 plus degree temperatures.  I am certainly a hot weather lovin' gal, so I was thrilled to exercise in the warm weather. 

 I rushed home after school and was so happy that it was finally warm enough to run in my running skirt.  I love running skirts because they add such a girlie flair to a sport that was once dominated by men.  I am always admiring the cute skirts of other gal runners when I am running in a crowd.  Mine, however, is several years old and just plain black. 

Sorry, I realize that the skirt is barely visible in this photo, but that's what happens when you try to take a photo of yourself with your cell phone while running.  Not quality photography here.

So anyway.....
The boys went next door to help my Dad work outside after school, so I took the opportunity to turn a short running day into a long one.

I decided today to just go run for about an hour, and not worry about the number of miles I ran. 
I have never, ever done that before in all my years of running.
I always head out with a mileage goal, but I liked the idea of just running however far I made it.

After only a couple of miles, I realized that my skirt was not cooperating like it always had in the past.
The undershorts were rubbing my legs and it started getting uncomfortable quickly.
I kept readjusting and pulling and tugging trying to fix the skirt, but it was getting worse by the minute.

I am not sure if the problem was that the skirt has gotten older and stretched out over the years and the undershorts were no longer holding tight to my skin, or if my thighs have gotten ....ummm...thicker....since the last time I wore the skirt.
I would like to believe that it was the skirt's fault.

After about 3 miles, the chaffing of my legs had gotten almost unbearable.

I had two viable options.

A.) Walk like a cowboy for a half mile home and call it quits.

B.) Trudge it home and make a speedy quick change out of the skirt and into some running pants.

I went with choice B.

I ran home, up the driveway, up the steps, changed in about 30 seconds, and ran out again....trying to break stride as little as possible......and kept running.

While I was running, I was thinking about how many little bitty things can negatively effect runs.

clothes rubbing
ill fitting jog bra
shin splints
runner's diarrhea
wind burn
chapped lips
side stitches
runner's knee
dog tagging along

(Aww.....C'mon, Davy! Gross!
Do you really have to stop and do that every single mile?)

I have dealt with all of the above over the years, but each malady that I have dealt with is overshadowed by the joy I feel when the run is complete.

I ended up running 8.25 miles today, hardly ever checking the mileage.
I just kept running until I ran out of time and had to get home to go pick up the boys.
I ran for an hour and 20 minutes and it was all for me.
The whole hour. Just for me.

It was nice....
Despite the dog poo and the wardrobe malfunction.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Summer Dream

Maybe this summer I can vacation in this......

Or this........

And NOT look like this........

If I keep eating this.......

And doing this.......

A girl's gotta have a dream, right?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ah, Sugar Sugar.....

Sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy, oh
And you've got me wanting you.

Honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy, oh
And you got me wanting you.

Remember that old song? 
It popped into my brain today when I realized that our classroom had been overtaken by beautiful, sugary confections.

Valentine's Day is suppose to be a day to show love to others, but I have decided that it may have been created by Russell Stover or Ghiradelli or perhaps Palmer or Hershey for the sole purpose of selling chocolate.

It was certainly NOT created by Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or Richard Simmons.

I have had to turn on my extra strength will power today.

This is the plate of goodies sent by the sweet parents of my kindergarten class.....

I think I was drooling as I set out the plates.

It left a distinct scent of sugary cookies in my classroom for the afternoon.

I smelled it, but I did not indulge.
I ate grapes instead.

This is the decadent pile of chocolate that the parents of my students sent me for Valentine's.....

My kids must have clued in their parents that chocolate is my weakness.  I really, really love chocolate.

If had decided to indulge and eat all of this chocolate, I would've consumed
3,405 calories.

Yes, I added it up.

Instead, I settled on sharing with my students and my kids.

I treated myself to one piece of dark chocolate with raspberry filling. It had 70 calories and was totally worth it.  Besides...just a little bit of dark chocolate is good for you.

The best treat of the day was from my own Valentine.

My sweet hubby left me a little surprise this morning.  I had a Valentine gift sitting on the stove waiting for me this morning when I got up.

Inside the bag was a card that fit us perfectly....

 and some running pants and socks.
I had mentioned that my longer training runs had been rubbing blisters on my toes because my socks were too thin.  He listened.  He remembered.  He bought me new ones.
I was touched by his thoughtfulness to steer away from the chocolate and toward something that he knew I would really love.

And now I have the gear to run off all that sugar that probably seeped into the pores of my skin through the air in my classroom today.

Love is certainly in the air today......
or is that just the sugar?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cooking Class

You don't think they are the most lovely brownies ever photographed??!!
Yeah, me either.
But, the boys thought they were fabulous!

Last night, we had a cooking class at our house.  The boys were the students.  I was the teacher.

The lesson went like this.....

Tucker...."I wish I had some cobbler with ice-cream.  Can you make some?"

Me....."No. We don't have the stuff for it."

Tucker....."Can you go and buy the stuff?"

Me....."Ummm...No!  Not a chance.  I just made grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, asparagas, and corn.  I am not making cobbler. I have done all the cooking I am going to do for the night. Besides, it isn't good for you."

Tucker...."I wish I had some. With ice cream on it."

Me......"You aren't getting any stinkin' cobbler!  So drop it!  I am not going to the store tonight.  Eat something else."

Tucker......"Yeah, but I want something with ice cream on it."

Me.......(I go to the pantry and grab a box of brownie mix and toss it to Tucker.)  "Here.... make these."

Tucker...."Seriously?  I don't know how to make brownies."

Me......"The recipe is on the back.  Follow it."

That was the end of the lesson. 

I know you must be impressed with my instruction.

I then went back to folding the clothes in the living room and listening to Tucker talk to himself trying to figure out the directions to the recipe.  He was reading the recipe aloud which clued in his brothers that he was doing something out of the ordinary. He very quickly had two little helpers who thought making brownies would be a grand adventure.  I was snickering and delighting in their problem solving skills.  They were really hilarious in there.  I wish I had an audio recording of their conversation over the brownie production.

Some of the things I over heard....

"This doesn't look right."

"How are we suppose to get the oven timer on?"

"What do we mix this up in?"

"How much of this mix are we suppose to use?  The whole thing?  Maybe half of it?"

"This is way too runny.  It doesn't look like brownies."

"I think we should be on that show called The Worst Cooks In America."

After much teamwork and problem solving, and me working really hard to keep from butting in, here is their end product.....

And this is just a teensy part of the mess they left me....

I have no idea what they could've possibly used FOUR spoons for.

This is a big pile of brownie mix (along with some other mysterious crud) on the floor, which explains why their brownies turned out just a wee bit on the runny side.

I learned from this cooking class that I need to get the kids in the kitchen more.

A lot more.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rooster Tail

The morning Rooster Tail....

Reason number 647 why I love little boys.

Girls wake up with a rat's nest.

Boys roll out of the bed with a Rooster Tail.

I have a strong affection for Rooster Tails.

I see them and I instantly have the urge to crawl under a blanket and sit in my favorite chair with the owner of the bed head and snuggle.

Little known fact:

Boys with Rooster Tails need snuggling.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Little Valentine

Carter's first grade class took a mini field trip to our town post office yesterday.  The class had prepared a valentine ahead of time to put in the mail.  The kids were allowed to mail their valentine to anyone they wanted.

I just checked our mailbox today, and Carter's valentine was there waiting for me.


Be still my heart.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Meanie Head Teenager

Teenagers are meanie heads.

My oldest son just turned 13 a couple of weeks ago.  He is barely even a teenager, but I have decided that I am not fond of this new teenage attitude that tends to accompany teenagers and their raging hormones.

He has always been so pleasant, calm, compliant, loving, and just plain peaceful.  He has always been the peace maker between his younger brothers.

Recently, he has become snippy, moody, emotional, and seems irritated by the smallest things. 

He still has great qualities, but this sudden change in his personality is rather frustrating.  I have a feeling that this whole gang is acting much the same way.....

These are his 13 year old, hormonal, emotional buddies. 
I bet they have become meanie heads, too.

This morning, after I finished getting ready for school, I noticed Tucker was already dressed and ready.  He was sitting on the stool at our kitchen counter with his back turned to me.  He was doing something with either his cell phone or IPOD.

I came up behind him and wrapped my arms around him and kissed him on the top of the head.

Instead of reciprocating my affection, he retorted in a disgusted tone....

"What are you doing?"

As if I was violating some sort of teenage unwritten rule.

I replied....

"I am just giving you some love.  Geez."

He said,

"Well, STOP!"

What a meanie head.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My First Time

Today was my first one.
Ahhh...the joys of aging.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Seriously Delicious Fat Free Apple Pie

I know that this is hard to believe...but I found a seriously delicious alternative to Apple Pie A La Mode.  It's practically fat free (I think there is half a fat gram in the apple) and the calories aren't terrible either.  There are like 150ish calories, which is really not bad at all.  I saw this recipe on the show Hungry Girl.  If you aren't familiar with Hungry Girl and are trying to make healthy swaps for common bad for you foods, then I encourage you to find her show and watch it.  I really love it!  She makes me feel less guilty about my insanely hearty appetite.  And she makes yummy stuff, too! 

This recipe is super easy and tastes really amazing.  You just have to trust me and try it.

Slice up an apple and put it in a microwave safe bowl.
Add 12 Red Hot candies. (This is where the "apple pie flavor" comes from for very few calories.)

Microwave for 2 minutes.
Then microwave for 2 additional minutes.

Sprinkle a teaspoon of brown sugar onto the apples.

Top with a big ole squirt of Fat Free Whipped Topping. (Like ReddiWhip)
There are only a few calories in the whipped topping, so you are getting a big bang for just a few calories.

Sprinkle just a bit of cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the whipped topping.

Dig in.

A serving of apple pie a la mode at a  popular restaurant is 1,086 calories and 20 fat grams.

This version has about 150ish calories and has 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber and only half of a fat gram.

You can thank me later.

Full Moon = Lunacy

There is a full moon tonight.  If you are a teacher, you already know this without looking skyward.

I have no logical scientific reason to believe that a full moon causes excess energy and misbehavior in children.  And I don't really even need science to back me up.  I have 12 years of being a teacher as my evidence.  There is a correlation.

There have been countless times when I have been standing around a group of teachers who are complaining that their class is acting wilder than they typically do or is getting into more mischief, only to realize that the moon is full.  Then, you generally hear "Ahhh...I should've known."

If you aren't a teacher or family member of a teacher, you may be skeptical.  My husband has certainly been convinced over the last 12 years.  Today, during my planning period he sent me a text message asking how my day was going. I replied....

It's ok, but my kids are so wild today!  I think they get wilder during the winter. I am ready for summer weather.

He replied...

"You know it's a full moon tonight, right?"

I actually Googled this phenomenon known as "The Lunar Effect" to see if researchers had ever studied it.  They have.  Multiple times.  Most of the research doesn't prove that the stage of the moon has any bearing on human behavior.  They even go so far as to call "The Lunar Effect" a myth!  


Poo on you, researchers!

I've got all the research they need.  They should just come into my kindergarten classroom on a new moon or a crescent moon or a waxing gibbous or any other kind of moon and see how calm and orderly my kids are.  And then step inside it again during a full moon.  I bet those researchers would change their little tune then. 

The Lunar Effect is not rational.  It's not logical.  It's not scientific.  It makes no sense.  But it's real.

Where do you think the words lunatic and lunacy came from?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Sins

I could literally feel the arteries in my heart clogging as I ate this. This scrumptious barbeque cheddar burger was our treat during the Super Bowl yesterday.

When I took the first bite and the cheese dripped out of the bun and the juice from the burger ran down my hands, I said,
"I can't believe I am ruining my healthy eating streak so that I can eat this."

Bradley replied with,
"It's the Super Bowl!  You are actually suppose to eat bad during the Super Bowl."

That was good enough logic for me, so I continued devouring my sinful burger.

I am pretty sure that paired with the Rotel Queso Dip, it qualified as gluttony.

Since we follow college football more closely than pro football, we weren't fanatics about the outcome of the game.  Although we were rooting for the Giants, we wouldn't have lost sleep either way.

I was more excited about watching the commercials.

My favorite was the Clint Eastwood car commercial about Americans rebounding and buying cars made in Detroit.

The boys LOVE the E*trade commercials where the baby talks, but thought the speed dating baby commercial was kind of a dud.

The M&M commercial where the candy was stripping to the song I'm Sexy and I Know it was a hit.  How can you go wrong with dancing chocolate?

I also thought the Anheuser Busch commercial about the end of prohibition was very creative.

I really couldn't care less about the actual game, but my burger was worth all 10,000 calories and I loved just chilling with my guys for the night. 
We pretty much just sat in our chairs watching the game without moving for 4 hours.

I am almost certain that would count as slothfulness.

We covered gluttony and slothfulness all in one evening.  And perhaps even lust....if you count having a desire for an M & M.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Health OR Happiness?

Oh my....what a dreadful choice, but yesterday, I had to make that choice for Carter.

I picked happiness.

Our school has a basketball league that plays games against other kids in our county.  This league includes kids from 2nd grade to 6th grade.  Since my boys are obsessed with all things sports, they are always excited about their first opportunity to play a new sport.  Our current sports repertoire for this year includes 3 basketball teams, 3 baseball teams, one track participant, one soccer team, and one football team.  We basically live at gymnasiums and fields.

This year, Carter wasn't yet technically old enough to be a part of the basketball team, since the league begins at 2nd grade.  Except that the league has an exception.  If there is a team that is lacking in enough players, then a younger child is allowed to move up.  Our 2nd grade team only had a couple of players, so a couple of the 'little brothers' were asked to play to fill the team.

Carter was ecstatic with this news. 

He found out that he could play basketball a year earlier and immediately went to his room to dig up some shoes that looked like basketball shoes and some clothes that resembled a uniform.  He was thrilled for his first practice and was even more pumped about his upcoming first game.

Unfortunately, the day before his very first game, Carter came down with a case of strep. 


He woke up with a fever, headache, stomach ache and sore throat.

We spent the morning at the doctor's office and pharmacy.  Then we spent the afternoon snuggling and watching television.

By the evening his fever had gone and he was eating a little bit. 

Before bedtime he asked,

"I am gonna get to play in my first basketball game tomorrow, right?"

I knew that he probably shouldn't play, but I also knew that if he felt better by morning, that I would totally consider it.

Carter slept well and woke up with no fever, but feeling draggy.  He promised that he felt better and he really, really wanted to play.  I knew he was lying about feeling better.

I caved.

I couldn't imagine telling him that he couldn't play.  He would just be so sad to miss it.

I pumped him full of the magic kid drug...aka Ibuprofen.....and we set off for the gym.

Perhaps, we made the wrong decision, because he wasn't very much help to his team.  
The first whole half he pretty much just stood around and looked dazed and this.....

Poor kid.

I'm a loser.

I sent him out on the court to participate in a game that requires lots and lots of endurance and vigor.

He had neither.

Until...I gave him that second dose of the magic mood enhancing drug for kids....ibuprofen....which helped.

He started flailing his arms in defense to prevent the other team from scoring or passing the ball.

Even though he wasn't the star of the any stretch of the imagination.....he managed to get through it.

He was happy that he got to play in his first game.

And luckily, his health has returned today.....even without the magic drug.

Today I have a happy AND healthy kid....who is looking forward to his next game.

Oh, and middle kiddo, Sawyer (#34), had his first game of the season yesterday, too.

His team was awesome!

Sawyer was the king of the fast break yesterday.  He had a bazillion steals.

If he had hit all his fast break shots, we would've really raised some eyebrows with a super high score.

Except, most of our shots were missed.
So we won, but the score was only 10 to 1.

Still, I would call it a successful day.

Oh, and P.P.S.....

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