Friday, July 25, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) Friday night we got free tickets to take Grant to see Marvel Universe Live! We don't very often let Grant stay up (or out) that late but this was a can't-miss opportunity and we really didn't get home as late as I thought we would. It was a great start to our weekend!

2) Saturday afternoon we did some shopping for our upcoming vacation and ended up having a late dinner at our favorite mexican place. I spent a really great weekend with my two favorite guys!

3) Sunday morning I had planned to cook us a good breakfast and had a very willing volunteer. I've said time and again that I love having Grant help me in the kitchen and he loves it too. Sunday after I scrambled the eggs and poured them, he actually cooked them! He added the cheese and stirred the eggs in the pan until they were ready for me to plate them. When we sat down to eat I complemented him on how good the eggs were and thanked him for his help. He said "Mmm! You're welcome. They are tasty!"

4) My sister is once again participating in a one mile swim to benefit Hospice back home. She was asked to do a radio interview about her fundraising efforts! I thought it was pretty cool :) (If you want to help with her efforts you can go HERE!)

5) I was asked to make yet another farewell cake for work. I think the only cakes I've made lately are for people leaving our office!

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marvel Universe Live

I first heard about the Marvel Universe Live show coming to Raleigh through a Groupon offer. Husband and I debated on it and eventually decided on not going. We do a lot with Grant throughout the year and, not knowing exactly what to expect, this would be an expensive event to have to leave if Grant got scared. But on Friday, the day of the event, Husband got free tickets from a co-worker (Thanks Rocco!!) and that's pretty hard to pass up. 

When Husband got home from work (I had told Grant there was a surprise for him), he told Grant what we were doing. Grant started laughing - he has this funny crazy laugh he does when he gets excited. He asked if it would be loud and would we bring his "ear things" and we said of course. I know he was excited but I could tell he was nervous too (Monster Jam - with ear protection- is no problem for this kid but other events just seem to freak him out).

I tried to take a picture of the two of us before we left (him
in his Iron Man shirt and me with my Avengers scarf) but
he couldn't stop being Iron Man long enough.
Nervous and excited :)
Intro to the show
So the show starts with a kind of explosion and then Thor appears. It was unexpected and even made me jump. 

Well, that pretty much started the waterworks with the little mister. He was ready to go, even with the ear protectors. We sort of baby him about that stuff but we had just gotten there so I said no.

Introducing the characters
Wolverine & Iron Man argument
We made it to intermission, Grant insisting we go home. I still said no. After potty breaks, Husband asks if we can go downstairs - toward the souvenirs. He asked Grant if a sword to protect him would make him feel better (Daddy is a sucker!). Of course, with pitiful tears glistening in his big green eyes, Grant nods yes and in 10 minutes is holding his new sword.

We went back in for the rest of the show and I'll bet you won't be surprised to find out that not another tear was shed (even with the explosions and gunshots).

At the end when the good guys were winning, Grant kept
holding up his sword and we kept having tell him to stop.
I was sure he'd nail the lady behind him!
"Curtain call"

It was a pretty good show. Definitely kid oriented. And once Grant kind of got over his fear, he really enjoyed the show. He talked about it the whole way home and at 6:05 the next morning (after going to bed almost 2 hours later than normal) he was climbing in our bed asking "Can I play with my sword?"

Friday, July 18, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) I spent a great Saturday afternoon with Grant going all over the place shopping for party supplies for his birthday party. He loves it when we go to Party City!

2) Sunday morning I had a hankering for waffles. No one else wanted any! I was like a short order cook. Grant wanted cereal, Husband wanted a breakfast sandwich, and I wanted a huge waffle loaded up with real northern NY maple syrup from the stash I keep in the back of the fridge. So after getting the men folk squared away, I pulled out my waffle maker. One for breakfast and two more that went in the freezer for this weekend :)

3) Sunday we had a water fight! I filled up every bucket we own with water then Grant and I ran around the yard spraying each other, re-filling, more spaying, etc. We had so much fun! Grant eventually just got in bigger buckets and played that way for a while too. It was such an awesome afternoon and a really great weekend!

4) I started on some of the birthday party prep (I think was Sunday too) to get a bit of a head start. I made some Iron Man masks out of foam. I'm hoping to get some Hulk and/or Captain America masks made too. There seems to be a serious lack of good Avengers party stuff, I think it's going to be a lot of DIY for me so I'm glad I'm starting early!

5) We watched the MLB All Star Game! Or, at least, some of it. Couldn't miss Jeter's last All Star Game! (Did you hear that? My Husband just rolled his eyes.)
Grant clapping as Jeter is introduced :)
6) Still trying to keep up with my walking & running. Mid-week the humidity let up some and I went for a great walk and it was a gorgeous night. I owe Husband a great big thank you for picking up my pre-bedtime routine with Grant so I can go out for my runs/walks. Evening is really the only time I'm motivated to go AND have the time so I really appreciate him picking up my slack and encouraging me to go :)

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Other Kids and Their Parents

This is a relatively long post that is slightly embarrassing to me about something Grant did and, if I'm being honest, a little judgy about some other parents.

A few weeks ago we attended a birthday party for one of Grant's school chums. It was interesting to be a part of a group of people I don't think I'd typically hang out with. I guess that's what happens when your child is in school. The comedian Louis C.K. said it in a way that I find very true (for me anyway and if you decide to look him up, he's pretty vulgar so beware if you're offended by that stuff). He said something about his daughter having a playdate with a little boy he didn't like and the boy's dad came to "bringing his face into my house and I gotta talk to it. What do you do again? I don't care." He says that the only reason they're hanging out is because they're kids are friends "based on no criteria, by the way. They're the same size. That's it." 

That sums up how I felt about this birthday party. After 5 minutes with the birthday boy's mom, I realized that we are not two people who will likely be sitting down to a coffee date in the future. But she was nice - a bit abrasive but nice - and very welcoming to  the kids coming in. I was feeling slightly more comfortable and then the parents I call Beige Mom & Beefcake came in with their two kids and my comfort level went out the window. Beige Mom & Beefcake are this set of parents who's names I don't know or even want to know and I try to avoid them at school like the plague. I've called Beige Mom that name so long that even Husband calls her that but Beefcake (he's noticably proud of his unimpressive gym body) is a new nickname I decided on at the birthday party. Honestly, the husband never bothered me. It's the wife who always makes judgy, snarky comments to me or about Grant (once I walked into the toddler room when Grant was about 1 1/2 and she had snatched his paci out of his mouth telling him "You don't need that! You're so much cuter without it!" Bitch.) One of their boys is older than Grant, the other - who I will call K - is in Grant's class. K & Grant have been chummy since their days in the Waddler room when K's mom used to tell me they looked like brothers (never have I agreed with this). K always seemed like a bit of a wild kid whereas Grant tends to be more laid back. When I pick up Grant, K seems to be in trouble a lot or I'd hear the teacher scolding him. The birthday party showed me just how unruly K really is, how poorly he listens to his parents, and how his parents let him get his way a lot so he'll stop (or, sort of stop) misbehaving. One parent seemed to always be off "talking to" one of their boys. You can raise your kid however you want, I don't care. Seeing how K acts in public made me even more thankful for Grant. But when K becomes a bad influence on my kid...that's not ok.

At dinner time, Grant tells us about his day. Last week he told us that K called another kid fat. From the sounds of it, K picks on a lot of kids - including Grant. Grant asked what "fat" means. We tried to explain that it's not nice to say that, tried to use that as a teaching moment. Then the next day we found out that Grant said it too. I guess K had called the kid fat first and Grant followed up with "Yeah, you're fat!". They both got in trouble which I'm glad about and we had another big talk with Grant when we found out. 

My kid isn't perfect, I know that. But we're not just letting him grow up. We're trying to raise him right, trying to teach him good things. He's polite. He says please & thank you, no ma'am, yes ma'am, yes please, and no thank you. All that good stuff. He's learning not to interrupt, or try not to interrupt. And we try to teach him about name calling because you never know what can hurt a little kids feelings. Having been picked on as a kid (for being fat), it broke my heart when I found out Grant picked on another kid. I don't want him to be one of those kids. I really feel like Grant only said what he said because K said it first (I mean, he doesn't even understand "fat"). So after I'd punished him for saying it, I told him "I know K is your friend but...he's not a nice boy." It was the first time I'd said something negative to him about one of his classmates. The kid is a bad influence and I don't care if that gets repeated. Even one of Grant's teachers told him he needs to pick a better friend. 

I think this is the first time I've been embarrassed by something Grant did. He was never really a biter at school (at least, nothing we got a report about). He's never been the kind of kid to act up in a restaurant or throw food on the floor. I guess, this is the first time I've ever felt apologetic about something he's done. Husband kind of had to talk me off the ledge with this one (a rarity, usually it's me calming him down). Next year starts Kindergarten - a whole new set of challenges. But since K's family lives in another county, I'm happy knowing that particular challenge will be behind us soon.

Friday, July 11, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) Friday, the 4th of July, was the last day of my running challenge. The two previous days I had gone for walks instead of running but I really wanted to finish with a run. Knowing we were going to watch the fireworks that night, I decided to run while Husband & Grant took their mid-day naps. Bad idea. It was so incredibly hot. But I did finish my challenge - yay!

2) Friday night we found a decent spot away from downtown to watch the fireworks. It was obvious that we missed some of the good stuff because of our location but we still got a good show without having to go downtown. Seeing Grant's reaction was totally worth letting him stay up far too late past his bedtime.
Waiting patiently for the fireworks to start!
Grant really liked all the shapes they made with the fireworks.
3) Husband's aunt was in town for the 4th so Saturday night we all went out to dinner. We followed that up with snow cones and some time on the playground nearby  
So happy :)
That static hair was cracking us up when he came down the slide!
4) We once again tried the ice cream in a baggie thing - I think we're a bit obsessed with this. This time I tried to make it chocolate. It didn't turn out as chocolatey as we would have liked but it was still really good.

5) I went for my first post-challenge run this week and felt surprisingly good. It was also my longest run this summer. I didn't even mind so much how hot it was because there was a relatively decent breeze. I've been a little lazy this week with my running and all the rain we're getting is really helping me justify staying inside. But hopefully this weekend I'll feel a little more motivated.

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Chubby Girl's Thoughts On Running

Let's be clear about two things:
  1. Running is not a weight loss tactic for me. If, by chance, I shed a few pounds then I'll count it as a bonus but it is not my goal. I run because I have to take medicine that makes me feel like crap. It makes me dizzy, it makes me more tired than I can ever remember being (even in the early weeks of new parenthood), and for some reason it makes my joint pain flare up. Last year when I embarked upon a semi-commitment to getting in better shape, I found that running alleviated almost all of those side effects - the dizziness was gone, my joint pain flare ups were few and far between, and the fatigue was still there but not nearly as bad. Having gotten out of that routine, they've all started creeping back in. I can handle the dizziness but the fatigue hits me as soon as I wake up (then hit snooze) and the joint pain just flat out sucks.
  2. That title is not meant to garner comments such as "OMG you're not fat!" or anything of that nature. I do know that I'm not huge but I also know that I'm not a small girl. I am overweight BUT I'm also perfectly fine with that. I'm comfortable. I'm happy. And I like the person who is looking back at me when I stand in front of a mirror. I've been through a lot and come out stronger in the end so I'm not about to let a few extra pounds make me crazy. 
So, running.

It sucks.

I could pretty much end this post right there. It doesn't put me in a good mood (though I'm told it should). If I recorded my runs and played them back for you, you'd hear me telling myself - out loud - "I can do this...I can do this" but more often it's "I'm going to die...I'm going to die...right here...on the side of the one will find me...until it's too late". I really do talk to myself. Usually when I leave the house Husband tells me not to over do it. I tell him I won't and then I chuckle to myself. Not because his concern is funny but because I'm not an athletic person and so I always over do it when I run. A half mile is over doing it for me. Running - period - is over doing it for me. But when I get home - and the pain in my lower legs recedes - I really feel great. If it wasn't for the after I'm pretty sure I'd never run again (unless my life depended on it).

The day after Memorial Day, I joined a running challenge. The challenge itself started on Memorial Day but I needed a day to consider it. I'm not sure what made me do it. The challenge was to run at least one mile every day starting on Memorial Day and ending on July 4th. It's just a mile, right? That's what I think I was thinking. One mile...but in the summer in NC...and I'm not the biggest fan of the NC summer heat. After day two or three of the challenge, I knew I was going to quit. And then I didn't. I didn't run every day and on the days that I did run, sometimes I didn't do much more than a mile. But I finished the challenge having recorded 37 miles in that time period and I have to say, I'm pretty damn proud of that. 
The green dots are days I ran, the red are days I didn't (or
didn't do a live record so it didn't count).
It was a personal challenge rather than an actual competition with the other participants. The top person ended with over 800 miles more than I had (and I'm not exaggerating). So I really just wanted to see if I could do it. It's really helped get me back into running and working out at a time when I really needed a kick in the butt. I realize it's probably not much...but for someone like me (who has never liked to participate in sports or anything remotely similar to that) its kind of a big deal. And, although it's not helping my medicine's side effects as quickly as I'd hoped, I do feel a whole lot better than I did a few weeks ago.

What I've learned:
  • A mile is way longer in reality than it is in your head. Especially when it's 90 degrees outside, sunny, and no breeze is blowing.
  • Running actually works for me. I'm not a go-to-the-gym type of person. I don't hate gyms but I don't want to go somewhere to work out. I like running around my neighborhood and/or up and down our road. But unless it's to a local park for a walk or run, I'm not likely to drive somewhere just to work out.
  • Walking counted in my challenge so there were a few days that I had to do that because my legs hurt too bad to run. Also, I can really haul ass when I'm out for a walk.
  • While exercising isn't super fun...dieting is awful. And I'm a terrible terrible person when I'm on a diet. Over the past few years I've changed the way I eat and cook in small ways, it's a process for me because I refuse to diet now. So no drastic changes came with this running challenge. But even with that and not setting out to really lose weight, I'm noticing some small changes in my shape (that might not be obvious to anyone but me).
  • Compression pants & capris are GREAT. I maybe fall under that old joke how you should have to have a license to wear spandex but I don't care. I tried running in clothes that aren't made for running and it was too annoying for me to keep going. I really love my running clothes.
  • Running in the summer has made me more tolerant of the heat here. I might even venture to say I'm starting to like it. I sort of wish I done this sooner. Lets see if I'm still saying that in August.
  • Over the past few weeks I've gradually been able to run longer. Last night I went for my first post-challenge run and managed 2 longest of the summer so far. I felt decent and was able to push myself more. I was pretty excited about that and it maybe sucks less now.

If you want to know what got me started on this, a friend started this exercise plan HERE last year and I joined it with her. There are two more levels after you finish that first one. I thought once I got to the running part of the plan I'd probably end up quitting but I did finish it (breaking up the last day - a one hour run - into two parts). I did have to change some of the exercises to fit my needs because of my joint issues but it was a great jump start into exercising!

Friday, July 4, 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy 4th of July! Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) Friday night for dinner I made chicken gyros for dinner with a homemade version of that yummy cucumber dressing stuff. It was a really yummy summery type meal and we had some great corn on the cob with it. Gotta love a meal that pleases all of us! (I used the recipe in THIS POST for the tzatziki sauce)

2) On Saturday we went to a birthday party at a place called Jumpin' Jax for one of Grant's school chums. He had such great time and it was so fun to see playing with so many of his friends from school.
If there is an inflatable slide around, Grant will find it.
Winning tickets on the basketball game!

3) Saturday night, Grant spent the night with his Gramma & Grandpa. So Husband and I went out to dinner, ate too much, went home and rented Monuments Men (and then caught up on NCIS that we've had recorded for months). We're real party animals, huh? 

4) After checking it out several times on Pinterest, I bought stuff to try out ice cream in a baggie. Grant has only recently become an ice cream eater but I thought he'd have fun shaking the bag at the very least. I followed THIS RECIPE but used a quart size bag and doubled the recipe (since I had planned on the three of us digging into it). I couldn't believe it actually worked! Grant was excited about the whole process (especially the eating) and it was really yummy ice cream! We decided to just eat it out of the bag instead of being polite with a bowl and what-not. This weekend we may give chocolate a try!

5) For a couple years now I've been on a hunt for a Derek Jeter jersey that wasn't too expensive (I'm cheap about stuff like this). We don't go to too many baseball games but I thought it would be fun to wear when we go, especially now that Grant has a Yankees jersey. With Jeter retiring this year, I know I won't get to see him play in a game but I still wanted one of his jerseys. Wednesday evening when I got home, there was a box on the table and inside was........a Jeter jersey! Husband surprised me :)
I can't wait to go to a baseball game with it! 
Happy Friday!
Happy 4th of July!!
Have a great weekend!
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