Monday, September 30, 2013

Something Smells

I am fairly sensitive to scents.  I like them, but I also have those that just don't sit well with me.  Particularly, I am cautious with scents that touch my skin -  detergent and fabric softener.  I have sensitive skin and can usually handle perfume in a spray form.  Something about what is in detergents and softeners though can make me have hives after one wash.

When cloth diapering with K-Man, I also learned about the way fabric softener affected clothing, particularly the diapers and absorbency.  Before I could clean his diapers the first time, I had to wash the washer.  Have you ever taken the fabric softener dispenser out and cleaned it?!  OMG is the best I can offer.  Sure the washer was 5 years old or so and probably had never had that done.  But ICK!  It was coated like Magic Shell in the dispenser.  I had to take a scraper to get it all out.  No wonder it affects absorbency and also flame retardant fabrics.  If you want to find out more diapering purposes, this is the best site I have found - Pin Stripes and Polka Dots.

Anyway, why am I sharing this story?  I often buy items on e-bay or Craigslist for the kids.  Most recently, it was Mini-Me's Halloween costume.  I was so excited to get it in the mail.  Except that when I ripped open the package, a plume of scented fabric softener escaped instead.  GAG!  As my friend describes it, imagine the scent cloud that always followed Pepe Le Pew.  I have had to wash it 2 times so far and even used vinegar in the wash to try and eradicate it.  There is still a slight smell.  Maybe by Halloween, I can have her wearing it without gagging myself.

Oh the hazards of someone else doing your laundry - LOL.  I guess I could just always buy new, but I am a bit too thrifty for that.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Impromptu Half Marathon

My family post race

I started training for another 1/2 Marathon in August.  I haven't been totally committed to my training schedule, as I was with the first one.  I manage my weekday runs with no issues, but the weekends are tough.  I have a long run every Sunday.  And now that I have run the distance before, it seems like every long training run is 10-13 miles.  That is always a 2 hr+ training day for me.  I have to be honest, I have skipped one, or three.  I had good reasons - family in, camping with the Mister, and at a friends in NYC.  Still, I need my body to know it can do it when the race day comes.

In typical Susan fashion, I have a network of online running communities.  One group is the Presque Isle Runners, comprised of people from all over the world.  It just so happens that there are many members in around a 4 hour radius of me.  So when I mentioned running 12 miles one Sunday, I was invited to join some others in the Rochester 1/2 Marathon as more or less a training run for me.  Of course, this training run was going to require me to either leave the family for the weekend or take them along on this journey.

For the half in DC, we decided taking the whole family didn't make sense.  But Rochester is only 3 1/2 hours, and the beloved Lego store is there...  And I have a fabulous husband who was willing to make the 7 hour roundtrip to let me run for a little over 2 hours.   Of course, I signed up with less than 1 month to the run.  No one is shocked, right?  My training run was supposed to be at 11:16 minute mile, about an entire minute slower than I ran my half in April.  This was good though, I could take it easy, and enjoy.  Then came race day.

The PIR team in Rochester
Who was I kidding?  You get adrenaline going, you run with people, and next thing you know, you are finishing the first 5K in 28 minutes!  Umm... not going to be able to maintain that pace for 10 more miles.  I ended up finishing in 2:14:55.   A bit faster than I intended, and a little mad at myself for overrunning portions.  My GPS said I did 13.45 miles, which means I was running WAY OFF the tangents.  Inside corners, Susan!  You were taught that by a seasoned runner in April, but sort of forgot that day.  But, I was also pleased with the fact that my GPS had me at 10:06 average mile based on actual mileage.  Sweet!  


This was a great experience for me for a few reasons.  The first being that my family got to be there for this accomplishment.  Even though I had already done it before, having them there meant even more.  Second, I got to meet and run with some really great people.   (One of whom has run the Boston Marathon before - crazy, right?!)  And finally because I reminded myself that I can do this.  Oh, and I learned I am in the need of new shoes LOL.

46 Days to the Wine & Dine in Disney!


Bling and Belated Celebratory Drink



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Potty Trained?! Really?!

My first experience with potty training went fairly well.  I never felt like I was actually training K-Man or myself for that matter.  We started slowly, and perhaps a little late.  He was around 2 years and 4  months when we moved into NY house, and I didn't want to rush him into another big life change.  We started by offering potty before bath, before and after naps, etc.  Gradually, we increased the frequency.  It wasn't until he turned 3 that I decided perhaps I was the issue.  I was right, too!

Already pregnant with Mini-Me, I took a trek across the US to Indiana to visit my younger sister and my new niece.  It was 11 hours in the car.  K-Man wore pull-ups in the car and at bed.  I also carried a potty in the car with me.  He was dry the entire way there and home, with zero accidents.  We came home and threw away the rest of the pull-ups and never looked back.  I fully expected round 2 of potty training to be exactly the same.

Then, Mini-Me turned roughly 23 months and decided the potty seemed pretty interesting.  Okay, the Mister and I thought.  We will do just what we did with the K-Man, slow and steady.  Except she had other ideas.  We went from trying it one week, to pull-ups the next, to underwear in the day and diaper at night the next...  We had a small glitch with some unexpected routine changes.  But boom, back on track, and I think I am finally safe to say - I don't need to buy diapers anymore!

I have to admit, I am a bit of shock.  This weekend was the tester though - travel.  We went away to a friend's house.  I put a pull-up on her in the car.  At one point, she asked to use the potty, but it was literally POURING down rain.  Stopping wasn't a great option.  I told her she could use the diaper.  She wasn't entirely happy about it, but did.  No diaper overnight though, and she refused a diaper for the 4 hour ride home.

I can hear the next question already.  How did I do it?  Honestly, I didn't.  I just think she was ready.  She desperately wants to keep up with her brother, and is much to busy for a diaper to be changed.  Whatever it is, I will take it!  Don't get me wrong, I will still carry around an extra set of clothing, and maybe wipes - just in case.  And we don't travel without a small potty in the car/truck.  Small sacrifices for never having to have human waste in our trash again.  Right?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This is All

Having one of those days, and this sums it up.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Great Experiences

I am a big believer that kids do not need "things" as much as they need experiences.  They can have all the "things" in the world and know nothing about the world around them.  I also think that sometimes having "things" makes you stop examining the world around you!  Of course, experiences take time and effort, and don't always produce that immediate reaction that a gift of "things" provides.  Nonetheless, I will keep trying to find new, fun ways to expose my children to as much as I can.  I am going to dedicate today, and maybe a few other days to some of the cool stuff they kids and I did this summer.

For starters, K-Man learned to ride a bike!  This was a big milestone for him, and he is having a ball.  I remember many years ago being questioned as to why he didn't ride, or why he didn't pedal on the big wheel he had.  Even in 3 year old pre-K, they were "concerned that he didn't ride a tricycle.  The answer plain and simple was that he wasn't interested.  There was no sense in buying a bike for saying we bought him a bike.  The point was for him to want to.  The day we brought this home, he immediately rode, no problem.  I am guessing, he was just ready.  We won't talk no training wheels yet, but I really think he could if he wanted to.  Hey, it has only been 3 months!  I think we will let him enjoy it!

Mini-Me rode her first horse, okay, pony, but to her, that is a horse!  We stopped at a local community picnic one day and they were offering pony rides.  I have to be honest, I was shocked that either child wanted to do it.  K-Man is traditionally cautious, although he has ridden before.  Mini-Me though is FASCINATED by all things animal.  But they both stood anxiously in line for their turns.  She doesn't look that excited in this picture, but you can see her and the horse.  The first few I took, she was smiling so big, you couldn't see her eyes :).  To this day when anyone calls to talk with me, she wants to talk, so that she can say "I ride a horsey!"  I think it made an impression.


While we are on the topic of horses, I will round this post out with our trip to the Saratoga Race Track. We have gone every year since moving here.  Actually, we hosted Mini-Me's first birthday there on a sweltering August day last year.  The season is short, late July until Labor Day weekend, so time is limited to get it in around all your other summer activities.  I wasn't sure about corralling them both during actual betting time, and have always heard about having breakfast there.  The track offers a breakfast buffet, or you can take your own and sit in the boxes trackside watching the horses warm up. After the K-Man woke up one morning, I said, ok, get dressed and packed breakfast to go.  I am SO glad I did this.  It was a great morning for me and I think them.

You park right at the track and pay $10.  If you leave before 10AM, you get your money back.  Since there is only so much to do during the warm ups, that isn't really a feat.  We started out up in the box, as you can see from the picture above.  Mini-Me entertained those not listening to the announcer because she too announced every horse that went by, but with "I see one, Mommy!"  We also took a little trip to the rail where you could see the horses a little more up close and personal.  I really this might have been one of my favorite moments of the summer!  PS.  Click on the link for the race track, it has got a great history.  Oldest running sports venue of ANY kind in the US!


See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oops! Accidental Summer Off

So, I never intended to take the summer off from Blogging.  Somehow that is still how it happened.  I also sort of took the summer off from running.  It isn't that I didn't want to do both of those things.  In so many ways, they are intertwined for me.  Perhaps that is why it wasn't just one or the other.  Hmm...

At Grandma & Grandpa's in WV
I didn't think I was all that busy, but if you look at the calendar, maybe I am wrong.  We started it off with a trip to WV to visit my parents.  The Mister was supposed to be out of town, so the kids and I  decided we should too.  The K-Man took swim lessons where I used to work as a lifeguard.  We went to a pool with a water slide and mini-golfing with my parents.  We visited with aunts, uncles and cousins. All and all, it was a great kick-off into summer.

When we returned the K-Man started summer camp, which was 5 days a week this year.  It was still only 1/2 day, but that is more than he did for pre-K, and quite a jump!  Camp was fantastic this year.  They had a new instructor, who is regularly a 3rd grade teacher.  Their activities definitely reflected that.  While he was a camp, the Mini-Me and I would go do errands or maybe a fun activity for her.

We had family visit.  The Mister and I dipped our toes into the world of tent camping.  And we got a pass to the NY State Parks (a great deal by the way!).  Picnics, parties, work on the house, visits to the horse track.  And woosh!  Here we are to the my little (ok 4 foot plus) 5 year old, K-Man heading off to his first year of real school.  How on earth did time pass so quickly?

I promise not to let time pass that fast again.  After all, I have lots of stories from the summer to draw on.  Stay tuned :)