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I started this post the day I finished the half-marathon in Memphis. As you might have suspected, I was too exhausted and too exhillerated to sit and write. Then, the holiday season came and went.....and still I did not write down the happenings of my first (but not last) half marathon. Better late than never, right. That really should be my motto.
I was nervous. As you may remember, I was having major asthma issues leading up to the race. I had a steroid shot and some more medications the week of the race. I was taking my nebulizer daily and my rescue inhaler regularly. People were trying to be supportive but I saw the worry in their eyes. I walked across the church building to my bible study class and had to use my inhaler two times when I got there. My parents were worried. I was worried. I had many people praying. I think that my mom was praying that they would cancel the race, though. I was determined. I knew that I could do it. I had trained. I had prayed. I was ready. But still nervous.

I want to tell you that it was COLD. I knew it would be cold. The weather channel said it was going to be cold. But it was REALLY COLD. It was still below 40 when I finished the race. I had my race clothes on. I situated myself in the last corral designated for all walkers. When we began the race, I realized that I would not be the last person across this finish line. I kept my eyes on the people in front of me. I was listening to my iPod. The nice iPod lady would tell me my progress every now and again. It was great. I realized though that while the iPod lady was sort of accurate when I was at home, she was not at all accurate when outside at the race. I need to calibrate it. So, I stopped paying attention to her mileage updates and her mph updates, but I paid attention to her time updates. They motivated.

I realized that while I did occasionally have to use my inhaler. (about 7 times.) I was breathing well. I was very thankful for that fact. Breathing helps when you attempt a feat such as a half marathon.

I finished. I finished under my stretch goal. I was hoping before my breathing problems to finish in 4hours. (After my breathing issues, I revised my goal to finishing.) I finished in 3:56:14. I was proud and I was tired.

The finish line was great. It really made it seem like an Olympic event coming into the stadium and running for a short distance. I got my medal and even took a picture with Elvis. It was fantastic. I only wish there had still been pizza at the After Race food area. We went for BBQ after I showered, so it was ok.

I am so proud of myself. I can't wait to do another one. Country Music Marathon 2009. Here I come!

At breakfast this morning, Bitty looked at me and said, "Who painted me?"   Hmmmm.  "What do you mean?" I reply.  I am not sure what he is asking.  He points to his left arm (where his birthmark is located) and says, "Who painted me?"   Who indeed.   My answer.  "God painted you."  And AI have never seen a more beautiful painting.   It is a wonder my heart doesn't burst with all the love I feel for this little guy.

I did it!   Today, I was able to walk the whole 13.1 miles.    Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts.  My asthma was well controlled during the entire run.  My time was 4 hours and 10 minutes.  It is just over 2 weeks until the race and I am starting to get more excited.

FYI:  I finished my miles before 7AM this morning.   I got up way too early, but it was worth it.

Homecoming for the Auburn Tigers was a few weekends ago.  We plan a trip with a group of college friends for this weekend each year.  Now, there are seven of us with six children between us. We had a great time as usual. We always love spending time with old friends. 

The Homewood Suites in Montgomery was our home base for the weekend.  I recommend traveling this way when you have a group of friends and are traveling with children. We rented one 2 bedroom unit and a 1 bedroom unit.  We had enough room to hang out and the kids had enough room to play.  

Since Friday was a travel day, we decided on a nice family friendly place to eat - Chappy's Deli. They treated us so well and it is a bargain when you have kids in your group. There were 13 of us on Friday night including 6 kids between 18months and 5 years.  Best thing is kids under 6 eat FREE with a paid adult meal. The food was wonderful and we saved enough that we didn't feel guilty having dessert. ( I had the cheesecake and it was so delicious. Jason raved about the red velvet cake.)  Chappy's is such a great deli that we ate dinner there again on Saturday night.  
 Just an FYI the cheesecake was just as delicious on Saturday. :)

We said our good byes on Sunday. It was so much fun hanging out. Talking. Getting to watch as our kiddos played together.  Next year. Same time. Same place.

Week 29

Last Week:  couldn't breath
This week: 24
Miles Completed: 370 miles
Pounds Lost:  Why should we even bother?

This week has found me trying to redo last week miles.  I am still shaky in the breathing area, but am much better.  All the prayers being said on my behalf are working.  I have to wear a headband around my mouth in order to breathe, but if that allows me to reach this milestone, it is the least of my concerns.  

Trick is how to finish my half-marathon practice run this week with Jason in New Orleans.   I am best in the morning.  So, I can get up early...around 2AM to get it done before getting The Boy ready for school.  OR I can wait until after I drop him off.   2AM until 6:30AM.  OR  8AM until noon.  You would think that it would be an easy decision.  However, it isn't easy to spend 4 hours on a treadmill while you are supposed to be caring for a 2 year old.    I have to make the decision this afternoon, so I can get the kids and I in bed early.

Wish me luck!   Pray for my breathing.

Just an FYI for those out there who are following. It is not possible to run, walk, or even crawl a half-marathon when you can not breathe. I did not get far today. I took 3 shots of emergency inhaler in the first hour of my run. I had to stop or die. :) On a related note, I went to the doctor this morning. I had a chest x-ray, got a steroid shot, and spent $100 on medicines to get me breathing again. Hopefully, I will have better luck tomorrow. Still, I think I will save the long run until next week. :)

This weekend was homecoming for the Auburn Tigers. For a few years, this has been the weekend that a group of college friends get together to hang out and have a good time. There are seven of us now and between us we have six children. We have a good time and are slowly learning what works with these get-togethers.

We stayed in Montgomery instead of actually in Auburn. Mainly because you really can't afford to stay in Auburn on game weekends. Another good reason is because restaurants and such are less crowded. Plus, one of the families lives just outside Montgomery, so it makes it convenient for them to travel to and from our get-togethers rather easily. The rest of us stay at the Homewood Suites. We take up a 2 bedroom unit and a 1 bedroom unit.

We got to Auburn early to let the kids play and enjoy the benefit of the Alumni Association's food tent. There are big inflatables set up in front of the Coliseum for the home games. The kids love going from one to another of these. Best thing is that they are FREE. We walked up to the food tent. The kid's especially love this. The menu is hot dogs, bagged chips, and bagged cookies. They always have a variety of sodas and bottled water to choose from. On a sad note, this year kid's over 3 had to pay $5 to get in and guests had to pay $10. Luckily, we only have 2 kids that are over 3, so still $5 for a family of 4 to eat at the game is not too bad.

This year, we decided not to buy tickets beforehand. Only a couple of us really cared about going to the game and we figured we could find cheap tickets when we got there. The day we left, my mother in law gave us her tickets. We figured that the men could go while the ladies hung out with the kids. While we were eating a nice woman gave us 3 tickets, this was helpful because the two older boys by this time wanted to go to the game . So, we had nine people and five tickets. We decided to try and buy the other 4 tickets really cheap. Within minutes, two different people GAVE us two tickets. We got all nine tickets for FREE. This in nice because when the kids get tired of being at the game before half-time, you don't feel so bad about leaving. We stayed as long as the kids wanted without the guilt of wasting money on tickets. It was perfection.
Then we toured and hung out at the new student union. We went shopping at the AU Bookstore. It was a fun day. We parked in the perfect spot. We rode the transit bus to and from our cars, so traffic wasn't even too bad.

Here are a few things that I have learned.

1)Don't bring camp chairs because you won't want to lug them across campus (they never left our trunk.)
2) Don't bring a huge quilt. See above about lugging it around. Bring plastic tablecloths or something easily folded to a size that will go into a backpack.

3) Bring a Frisbee and a couple balls. (We remembered the balls, but not the Frisbee.)

Week 28

Last Week's Miles: 21
This Week's Miles: 24.1
Miles Completed: 363
Pounds Lost: 3

We are getting closer to the big event. I have my outfit ready. I have my iPod ready. I have everything ready. This week I will be doing a test run on Thursday. I will do 13.1 miles. I will let you know how it goes. There is one thing that I haven't figured out how to carry. I need to carry my asthma emergency inhaler. But where to carry it? I don't want to carry a fanny pack. I may have to change my jacket to one with a zipper pocket. I am sure that I will need my inhaler during the run.

Lisa over at Books. Lists. Life. tagged me for a fun meme. It seems like a fun way for everyone to get to know me. So, here we go.

1) I plan our family's meals monthly. I do one big grocery shopping trip a month. It makes for a long day, around 4 hours. I have been doing this since The Boy was born. We usually eat lunch at the deli or the restaurant located in our store. We fill up one buggy, eat lunch, and then go back to fill up a second buggy. I like doing it this way, but my friends think I am crazy.

2) I love going to the movies. If Jason and I are given an entire date day, then we will probably choose to watch a matinee, eat lunch, watch a late matinee, get take-out back to the house, and enjoy the sounds of the childless house. In fact, this is exactly what we did a few weeks ago. We saw Eagle Eye, ate lunch at Five Guys , saw Fireproof, got Italian take-out and went home. Oh, yeah, we shopped at Target before the first movie and after lunch. We are just that wild and crazy.

3) I dislike wearing shoes and to some degree socks, but mostly shoes. I never wear shoes in my house. More often than not, I am barefoot.

4) I love cute socks. With cute goldfish. Or stripes. Or polka dots. I love to wear interesting socks. (I know. Weird. It is a contradiction to number 3.)

5) I watched soap operas all of my life through college. I have at one time or another watched close to 10 different soap operas. Since I graduated college, I haven't watched one. I don't miss them.

6) I met my husband and my best friends at boarding school. I am still very close to eight of my friends from those last two years of high school.

7) I do not pop my knuckles. I don't like it when other people try to pop my knuckles. It is disgusting.

So, while I try to find someone to tag for this meme, why don't y'all tell me something random about yourself?

Head on over to Books. Lists. Life. for a chance to win a $15 gift card to your favorite bookstore. I know you could use more books. No one ever has enough books.

A friend of mine once said, "A good blogger posts about her kids' Halloween costume. A GREAT blogger thinks to take pictures early so she can share them ON Halloween." (OK, she said in on Friday.)

I guess that would make me what....a mediocre blogger since I am posting about their costumes with pictures, but three days late.

I can live with that.

This year both of my boys had very distinct feelings as to what costume they wanted. It was interesting to hear them tell me ages ago and to keep with it through the hub bub of the Halloween season. The Boy wanted to be Bumblebee. No, not A bumblebee. But Bumblebee the Transformer. He was so excited and loved his costume so much. It made it worth the fact that I had to buy the most expensive Transformer costume in town because the cheaper versions ran small.
Bitty wanted to be a Blue Power Ranger. This is funny. The Boy loves the Red Ranger. He has a Red Ranger costume. He has Red Ranger action figures (leftovers from his Uncle Bubba). We don't have a single Blue Ranger item in the house. We don't have the movies. We don't watch the shows. When they go to their NeeNee Ma and Papa's house, they watch Uncle Bubba's old Power Ranger movie. But this is not a common occurrence. So, while Power Ranger play is big in our house, it never involves the Blue one. So it gave me pause when he was specific in his wants. That is our Bitty though, he knows what he wants. He is almost never indecisive.
The jack-o-lanterns were designed by both Bitty and the Boy. We let the boys draw the faces on the pumpkins with crayons. Then, Jason and I carved the pumpkins according to the drawings. Jason let The Boy help with some of the less complicated, less sharp knife-work. Bitty watched and stabbed his pumpkin with a butter knife a few times. The Boy's pumpkin is on the left. (The Boy's pumpkin had an accident on the way home from the pumpkin patch. someone who loaded or unloaded it from the bus dropped it and it had a small crack that grew and grew until it caved. It was still very scary.) Bitty's is on the right.

Week 26

Last Week's Miles: 23

This Week's Miles: 19

Miles Completed: 323

Pounds Lost: 3

You might remember that last week I found myself with a 12 mile day. It was hard. I am not going to lie to anyone. But I did it! I was sore- really sore- on into the next day, but it wasn't as bad as I had thought it might be. Turns out all this walking IS making a difference with my health and my body...even if it isn't impacting the scales much. I finished the 12 miles in plenty of time to make my goal of 5 hours...(really I finished in time to pretty much make my goal of 4.5hours). I know that it may be slower on THE DAY because of the logistics of everyone starting off together, but I am excited and can't wait until Dec.6 is here.


I love these precious skirts and shirts. You should check out the giveaway and her online store when it opens. She has wonderful designs.

Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusting has been a popular game in our home for the last week or so. The boys just watched the movie and are now busting the ghosts that have apparently taken up residence in and around our house.

Today, the boys were outside playing Ghostbusters. They would ride around in the Gator and stop to bust some ghosts. This is a sampling of their conversation.

(Bitty got back into the Gator.)

The Boy: No, Bitty, we still have to bust the ghosts.

Bitty: (running over)

The Boy: We have to go to the hot dog shop. Hurry.

Bitty: Over Here!

The Boy: No, that is not where the ghost is.

Mommy: Can't the ghost be where he wants it just this once?

The Boy: No, the ghost is over here. Hurry. The hot dog shop!

Bitty: I like hot dogs.

Mommy: ( Really? You never eat them. Never in your whole life have I gotten you to even try a hot dog or anything resembling a hot dog.)

The Boy: We aren't going to eat hot dogs. There is a ghost.

Bitty: We no eat hot dogs?

The Boys: No. GHOST!!!!!!!!!

Boys: (running and making ghostbusting sounds.)

I love having boys. They are the best!

* I do apologize for those of you that now have the Ghostbuster theme song stuck in your head. Extra points to anyone who can name the artist who sings the theme song. No fair cheating with the internet.

Jase and I are very lucky. We have great families. Loving. Supportive. Wonderful families. Today I am going to tell of the greatness of my father in law, Greg. There are many things about him that are great. He is kind and generous. He always thinks of others before himself. He loves flowers, animals, and his family.

Let me tell you a story about this Great Man...

Yesterday, I called several automotive repair shops to find someone to repair my car's window. (The motor is broken.) My research found a shop that would do the repair for $580. It was expensive, but I booked an appointment. My mother in law and her mother came over for dinner last night. The repair came up in conversation. An hour after they left, Greg called me with an eBay item number. He had found the part we needed. Also, if we could wait until he returned from his trip to Florida*, then he could probably put it in for us. If we couldn't wait, then a service shop could install it for around $100. He has taken the time to use his expertise and saved our family somewhere between $430 and $530.

*His trip to Florida is also a testament to his greatness. He and my mother in law** are heading down to Destin to help my brother and sister in law with their new house. They are going down to help build a fence and help unpack.

** My mother in law is a pretty awesome person as well.

This is just an example. There could be hundreds told by his family. He is exceptional. He is a great man. I am grateful that this Great Man raised my husband to be a Great Man. I pray that my sons learn the lessons these Great Men are teaching them.

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This gown is beautiful. I am entering for the little girls in my life who aren't my own. I don't think that Jason would appreciate it if I tried to put it on one of my boys.

Week 25

Last Week's Miles: 35
This Week's Miles: 23
Miles Completed: 300
Pounds Lost: 3

7 weeks until the BIG DAY. I am getting very excited. I have bought and put together the outfit that I will be wearing. Pink is apparently the color of choice this year. This week I have a HUGE day. This week my long run is 12 miles. I am a bit nervous, but also excited.

I need to accomplish a few things before my 7 weeks are gone, though.

1) I need to get out and do some outdoor walking. This isn't really easy with my schedule of getting up at 3:30 am. I am still trying to figure the outside stuff out.

2) I need to get going with my Nike+ Ipod features. I would like to use them on the day of the marathon, so I need to actually open the box.

3) I need to find an armband for my new Ipod nano. Apple launched its new generation right as we bought mine. So, I got the new one. Yippee. However, it is a bear to find accessories for it.

4) I am sure there are more...I just can't think of any.

he might ask you for more. *

We had muffins for breakfast. My boys adore muffins. Their favorite is strawberry mini-muffins. They will easily both consume a dozen mini-muffins each. Most times we have to cut Bitty off. "More muffins, peas" he will say. After the twelfth or thirteenth muffin, I end up saying no. I sometimes wonder, how many muffins fit in a Bitty?

All this talk is making me hungry for my absolute favorite grandma's 6-week raisin bran muffins. They are super yummy. Here is the recipe.

Grandma's 6-week Muffins

1 15oz box of raisin bran cereal
3 cups of sugar
5 cups of flour
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 beaten eggs
1 cup squeeze margarine
1 qt buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional)
Mix together dry ingredients. Add remaining items until well blended. My grandma would add an extra cup of raisins. Store in covered container in refrigerator. It will last up to six weeks. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put paper liners in muffin tins. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
*We love the If you give books by Laura Joffe Numeroff in our house.

Week 23

Last Week's Miles: 10

This Week's Miles: 19

Miles Completed: 265

Pounds Lost: 3

I was hit with a cold/exhaustion/flu-like illness at the end of this week. So, I took some days to recover. I am having a repeat of this training week to jump start me back into the groove. Less than two months to go. I am looking forward to the run. I can't wait until I have accomplished this goal. These last 23 weeks have changed my life and I am looking forward to reaching my goal -- My First Half-Marathon. I will be so proud to be able to say that I did it -- not that I am planning on doing it.

(Hooray for is actually Monday.)

Our dog-niece, Lois Lane, participated in Savannah's Wiener Dawg Races this weekend. She is pictured above being released by our sister-in-law (on far right). Lois shot out of the block and broke away from the pack. However, just mere feet from the finish line Lois decided to turn around and race back to the starting line. Maybe next year will be her year.
The four of us are going to plan to make the trek to Savannah next year for the race; because what could be funnier than nearly 200 dachshund running on a grass track.

Week 22

Last Week's Miles: 23
This Week's Miles: 19
Miles Completed: 255
Pounds Lost: 3

Again it is not Monday. But a girl does what a girl can do. Well, last week went well. I had read the training schedule wrong so instead of 9 miles on Saturday; I only had to do 7 miles. It was like getting a Christmas present.

My body is changing so much, but the weight is not budging. My clothes fit differently. I can see the muscles in my butt and my legs changing. These are things that I feel good about; however, the numbers on the scale would also be a nice benefit. I am not complaining though. I want to be healthy. I am accomplishing that goal. All else is vanity and I can deal with that differently.

I find myself wishing the run was in November instead of December. I am finding that there are too many weeks left and I am not really focused on what schedule to follow for each week. (I have only 3 weeks left on my training schedule. I have to start repeating some or something.)

Week 21

Last Week's Miles: 50 (last 3 weeks)
This Week's Miles: 25
Miles Completed: 232
Pounds Lost: 3

Ok. I realize today is Friday not Monday, but a girl has to catch up when she can. We have been busy these last few weeks. My grandmama passed away. We went on a long-weekend escape. Virtually everyone in the house has been sick at least once. Luckily, mine is a worn down feeling so I was able to continue my miles. I have a little over 2 months until my half marathon. We have booked our hotel. I have even booked our condo for my next half in April. I feel confident. I know that even if the race was held in 2 weeks that I could be ready.

I am getting up at 3am and 4 am (yes, AM) in order to get my long runs done in the morning. I don't do as well if I leave them to afternoon. I don't do them if I leave them to evening/night. So, I have been an early riser and getting over 5 miles done before sunrise.

Funniest Tidbit: When going on vacation, always remember your running shoes. My running shoes live upstairs in the room where my treadmill is located. I remembered all of my running/walking paraphernalia except the shoes. I did do my minimum number of miles/workout. In slippers. Yes, house shoes. I walked 3 miles at my minimum not allowed to go any slower speed. (This is my own benchmark.) Also, I did an hour on the elliptical and the bike for my extra workout for the week. You should not do that...EVER. My calves were on FIRE after the treadmill work. Always remember your shoes.

Week 17

Last Week's Miles: 21
This Week's Miles: 15
Miles Completed: 167
Pounds Lost: 3

Our house is in a chaotic state right now. The Boy is battling his first virus since starting school and has been running me ragged since Thursday. So, I am tired. My grandmama is not doing very well and probably will pass away in the next few days. I went to see her twice last week. (It is a 2hour drive or I would have been there more often.) Plus, this weekend we have super big spectacular Labor Day plans that are looking like they will have to be cancelled or postponed depending on when the events unfold. So, I am giving myself a reprieve on my training. My goal is to do 5 days and at least 3 miles each day. We shall see how the week goes.

I enjoy saving electricity. It makes my power bill a little cheaper and it doesn't feel so wasteful. I try to do a good job of teaching the boys not to be wasteful as well. I am miserably failing when it comes to Bitty. You see he is now getting tall enough to turn the light switches on/off by himself. He adores turning the lights on. I really usually don't mind this because he is typically in the room in which this lights on/off thing is happening. Lately, though, he has become sneaky. His favorite two switches are the garage light and the outside floodlight. How am I suppose to know that they lights are on all day, I ask you? I have now become obsessed with checking these switches all day long.

Bitty is funny. He lights up the room when he dances and sings. He is shy when being recorded, though. Today, he was singing and dancing the "Hot Dog" song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I grabbed my camera and hit record. The video I got was a boy staring at me blankly. He only spoke once when he said, "No dance, my mommy." I am going to have to get a hidden camera to catch this child off guard.

Week 16

Last Week's Miles: 16 (missed one day)
This Week's Miles: 21
Miles Completed: 146
Pounds Lost: 1

Four months. I have changed so much in the last four months. Jason and I were discussing my training for the week. I missed one day of training because I was called away to help a friend in need. Since it was the end of the week, I had no "extra" days where I could make it up. I told Jason, "Well, I am just happy that it was my short run day." Jason looked at me and said, "Aren't you proud that you consider 3 miles a short run day?" And I am. Four months ago, I would have never uttered that statement. Now, when Jason asks if I am going to just go down to 4 miles a day after my half is over, I get weird and shrug. Weird because I really can't see just doing 4 miles a day and really feeling like I am being active. I am already looking at April and considering signing up for my second half. The Country Music Marathon looks very enticing. I love Nashville and know just the place for my Friday night carb load. Demos' is my favorite. You should try it next time you are in Nashville. So, this week is a week of hope. I am not as tired as I thought I would be, but I do feel better than I thought I would.

Week 15

Last Week's Miles: 17
This Week's Miles: 19
Miles Completed: 130
Pounds Lost: 0

I have decided that I can make the training easier if I do a breathing treatment the night before. Problem is that I never remember in time to do the nebulizer treatment before my bedtime. Saturday I found myself doing the treatment while on the treadmill. I used my son's dinosaur mask so that I didn't have to hold onto the apparatus. Believe me, I was a sight to see. Luckily, my husband didn't have access to a camera.

The Boy is officially a member of the school age group. We dropped him off to his kindergarten classroom this morning. We can do this for 2 weeks and then we are relegated to dropping him off behind the school where he will have to navigate the halls himself. My mother's heart says he is too young to navigate those elementary school halls by himself; however, logically I know he will be able to do this like a pro.

Jason and I are going to have to figure out how to add school to our morning routine. Jason spends the early morning doing his MBA coursework and typically doesn't leave the house until 7:30am. I use the morning to do my half-marathon training. We will have to figure out a way to shift everything because Jason and The Boy will have to leave the house by 7:10-7:15am every morning and I will need to help get The Boy ready for school and breakfasted before then. Options include getting up at 4:00am, moving training to Bitty's afternoon nap time, or splitting ourselves into two or three people. (Everyone who has to get kids ready, yourself ready and be out the door early in the morning. You have my respect. This is all new to me.)

The Boy did great. After some initial morning nervousness, he walked into the classroom and followed his teachers instructions. The little girl beside him really liked his Power Ranger lunchbox so he has made a new friend.
I packed his lunch yesterday. He is having ham/cheese sandwich, string cheese, apple sauce, whales, and a granola bar. His snack today is apple sauce and string cheese. I am terrified that he will get hungry. I know it is irrational. The teacher lets him keep his water bottle at his seat, so he will be able to drink whenever he gets thirsty. For this I am very grateful.

Jason took a half day so we both picked The Boy up from school. He had a great day. He kept talking about how much fun he had. He didn't finish his lunch before lunchtime was over. I just told him he would have to learn to eat a little quicker. Our family celebrated this milestone by going to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Ice cream in a cup with sprinkles is his current favorite.
All in all it was a good day. I only cried a little which is probably due to the fact that I have been crying a ton in the last 2 weeks.

Last Week's Miles: 3*

This Week's Miles: 17

Miles Completed: 113

Pounds Lost: 0

Asthma has hit me early this year. Typically, in October, I have a serious control problem. I get sick and then the asthma flares up. This will send me to specialists who dispense 10 or so medications to knock the beast back into submission. I will then spend the winter taking a couple of medicines to control my attacks. This year I got sick a few weeks ago and it has started to flare up. I should just go to the doctor, but I don't want to go on so many medicines. I keep hoping the three I have will work. Everyday activities aren't a problem...just this marathon training seems to be straining my lungs. But I WILL persevere. I am woman....all that jazz.

This weeks training is going to be a repeat of week before last. 17 miles. Not bad. I can do it.

*Miles not added into total.

We are lucky. Our boys have 4 grandparents and 5 great grandparents still around to spoil them. And spoiling them is what they do best. If you think grandparents know how to spoil little ones...well, they don't hold a candle to the great grandparents in our lives.

Here is a bit about Bitty and the Boy's Great Grandparents.

1) Cookin' MaMaw and Old PaPaw are wonderful to have around. There is always ice cream at their house. Often there is a donut stick or honey bun to go with the ice cream. My fondest memory is of the boys being given ice cream, donut sticks, a pop tart, and chips at almost 11am. Then, Papaw says, "They didn't eat much lunch. I don't know why they aren't eating." I wonder why they might not be hungry for lunch. Let me think on that for awhile. MaMaw always likes to keep a Guthrie's chicken bucket on hand for Bitty's hat. PaPaw is always keeping both boys busy with learning about chickens.

2) MaMaw the Black One and PaPaw Black One are also wonderful. The boys are spoiled with Krispy Kreme doughnuts over there. (Their names are Blackmon. Bitty started calling them the Black Ones just a week or so ago.) They also love playing in her yard and in the pond out front. MaMaw loves to take the boys to the Natural History Museum where there are dinosaurs to look at and caves to explore. PaPaw will talk to the boys about everything and anything.

3) Other Grandmama was christened such because my boys already have a Grandmama (my mom) and I call my grandmother Grandmama. So, obviously, she is the other one. She has Little Debbies to eat and Uncle Edwin to play with. Uncle Edwin likes to play jokes on people.

Week 13

Last Week's Miles: 17

This Week's Miles: 3ish (will not be adding these to the total)

Miles Completed: 113

Pounds Lost: 0

Due to illness this week has flopped. It is really hard to walk on a treadmill when you can't really breathe.

There are two great giveaway that you should check out. Over at Books.Lists.Life, Lisa is giving away not one but TWO books. You have the opportunity to win either Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich or The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. Go by and check it out.

The other giveaway is over at Sew What? She is giving away this great bag. I have one of her bags and I use it all the time. This is definitely not one to miss.

Week 12

Last Week's Miles: 15
This Week's Miles: 17
Miles Completed: 96
Pounds Lost: 0

This week our house got hit with summer colds. First it was me, then Bitty, and now The Boy is sniffling and running a fever. Jason has taken to wearing HazMat suits around the house. This being said I still did all but one of my miles. Way to go, Gina! I am proud of this development because I have been known to not exercise due to particularly bad paper cuts. I am pumped up about my dedication to this journey.

One of our favorite library books is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Both of my boys love it. The Boy has taken to "reading" it to me one or two (or possibly ten thousand) times a day. He gets the gist of it with the pictures and his memory.

Now, Bitty has begun to also "read" this favorite book to us. This is Bitty's version of Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

"No like yucky ham."

"Sam Am Am"

"No like yucky ham" (repeat anywhere from twice to a gazillion times)

" Oh...I like yucky ham. Sam Am Am"

Old Red Barn Co. is giving away an awesomely beautiful quilt. I can just say that I love it and hope that I will be snuggling with it this winter.

Head over there and enter. Then send the quilt to me if you win. Just kidding, unless you want to send it to me and then I will be perfectly willing to accept it.

Ask anyone who knows me in the real world and they will tell you that I lose things--more often than not it is my keys. I don't know what it is about my keys, but I have a hard time keeping track of them. This has caused me so much anxiety in my life and several Benjamin Franklins. I have had to have my car keys replaced for three different vehicles. I almost lost a job because I left my keys (one of which was a master key to a very large building) at a library, but they were found and my job was saved. At least 4 times a week, I search for at least five minutes for my keys. I know. I know. I should put them in the same place each time. What fun would that be?

The boys both love toy keys. I don't know why, but they do. So, I keep two sets in the car toy box. Yesterday, Bitty was so cute and so like his mommy. He was in the back searching for his keys. "Where my keys, mommy?" " I need my keys." "Keys, keeeeyyyssss, where are you my keys?" It was so sweet and funny. I didn't know losing your keys could be linked genetically. What you say it is a learned behavior? No, way. I don't believe it.

Seriously, do you know where your keys are this morning? I really don't.

Last Week's Miles: 14
This Week's Miles: 16
Miles Completed: 84
Pounds Lost: 0 (you have got to be joking me!!)

I am on Week 11 in my training with about twenty weeks left to go. I am allowing myself extra time than my training guide suggests. It is a twenty week program and I will have thirty-one weeks to get ready. I could start over from the beginning and still be fine. Which means that you all can join me. :)

I am having to get up pretty early to get my miles in before my husband goes to work and my kids are thrown at me. I did not make it today. I was still on the treadmill when my husband left for work. Bitty graciously slept late and The Boy was content with playing in the playroom while I finished the last half-mile. I suspect that I should get up 15minutes earlier for my 4mile days. What worries me is the 30minutes earlier for the 5mile days. And do I just not go to sleep on the 7mile days? My 7mile days are weeks ahead of me. So here is my new motto,
"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." -Scarlett O'Hara, Gone with the Wind (1939)

Awhile ago, I read this book about running a marathon by Dawn Dais. Well, I hit the road running so to speak and I am on my way to walking a half-marathon. I have been training for 10weeks. This week I have finally begun to feel like I am training for a long distance event. This week I moved from walking a preappointed number of minutes to walking a defined distance. I did 6 miles over the weekend and I will do 11 miles more before the week is out. I am excited and pumped. Maybe now I will start actually losing some weight. My husband swears he can see a difference in my body whether or not there is a difference at the scale.

I am slowly getting my running/walking gear together. I recently went out and bought some good running shoes. My feet were hurting with my not-so-old New Balances. The friend who is running the half with me had raved about her Nikes and I decided to give them a try. I am in love with these shoes. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. You can buy a package that allows you to put a sensor in your shoes and then connect an adaptor to your IPOD nano to get your running statistics. However, I only have a regular IPOD and haven't decided whether to purchase a nano just for my walking. At any rate I will never go back to New Balances, no matter what the price difference is between them.

We had a busy witching hour this morning. The Boy was up and could not get back sleep.

Important Information to the story...

a) Jason (my husband) and I have a deal. I get up with the boys at night during the week. He gets up with the boys on the weekend.

b) This was Sunday morning...most definitely a weekend.

c) Jason is a sneaky, sneaky man.

Back to the story.

The Boy came into our room at midnight. He was whining about something or other. I do not know exactly what he whined about this particular time because his Daddy fielded this instance. Normally, his whining stand-bys are thirsty, scared, had a bad dream, scared of his room, or it is just plain lonely in his room. His Daddy took him back to his room after some cuddling.

Fifteen minutes later, The Boy is back. This time he comes straight to me and tell me he had a bad dream. Since I know he has not been to sleep since the last time he was in my room, I doubt the bad dream angle of the story. Anyway, I look over and Jason is asleep. Here is when I should have just kicked him out of bed. But I am a good wife. So if he is asleep, I will take The Boy back to bed. I tucked him in real tight. As I was leaving, he stops me. "Mommy, there is something that tastes bad in my mouth. I can't sleep with it there." Hmmm. I got him some water and he drank it. This apparently helped the taste situation. He gets tucked in and I am headed back to bed. As I enter the room, Jason says, "that is the second time in 20 minutes that he has been in here." He was awake! I only got up to spare him from waking up. Not again.

Twenty minutes later, The Boy is back. Jason and I are both up and in gentle discussions with The Boy. After a long discussion on why he just can't go to sleep, Jason informs him that he gets ONE more tuck in tonight. Any more than that and he will have to get in bed and cover himself up (this is absolutely horrible for Our Boy.) Then my sneaky husband says, " Who do you want for your last tuck in?" Are you joking me?!? Of course, he is going to pick me. The Boy is a smart boy and is clearly not going to chose the parent who just doled out punishment. Sneaky man. The Boy is still trying to not have to go back to his bed and begins whining, "I am not tired. I can not sleep." I get up and reach out to hold his hand on our walk across the house. The Boy drops to the floor and starts whining, "I'm too tired to walk. I'm too sleepy." I have to use my Mommy voice to get him to get up and hold my hand. As we walk back to his room, I explain the irony of being too tired to walk 30seconds after being not sleepy enough to sleep. I tucked him in with extra kisses and a loving reminder that this was the last tuck in of the night. We finally all get some sleep.

This morning when I tell Jason that he was very sneaky. He looks all innocent and says, "What? How? I didn't do anything." Like I said...sneaky, sneaky man.

Addition to the story: The Boy's conversation with his Ma (Jason's mom).

Ma: Did you sleep well last night?
The Boy: Not really. I was up quite a bit.

I love watching my boys grow up into wonderful people. Sometimes I look at them and wonder how they change some aspect of themselves so quickly, though. This is VBS week at our church. Which translates to long days for the boys. Yesterday was packed to the brim with fun. We spent the morning at VBS. Then we went to see Ma & Papa at the lake for lunch, boating, and a little swimming. At the last (and best) swimming area, my boy who is a bit afraid of deeper water (than the foot in the baby pool, I mean) took off his life jacket so he could go underwater looking for shells and rocks. I pondered who this boy was because just last week I couldn't go 3 feet away from him at the pool where he was protected by his cherished floaties. It brought a smile to my face to see his glee at rock/shell finding and to witness his progression in water proficiency.

After the lake, we went back to church for the VBS Family Night for a totally funtastic time. The church has rented some huge inflatables. One for little kids, the Titanic slide, and a ginormous obstacle course. My usually shy boy rushed away from me, found a couple friends, and never looked back. I watched as he ran from one inflatable to the other. He was never nervous. He never looked back. He played on them for over an hour and a half. I made him take a hot dog break and then he was back playing until they closed up shop.

I am so proud of The Boy and even more grateful for this morning when he came into my room crawled into my room and said, "Mommy, I want to cuddle up with you a little bit this morning." I want to cherish these "little boy" times because you never know when will be the last morning cuddle.

Young Love

We have this little neighbor girl, Mary Grace. She is a stylish 6 year old. She loves to have fun and play, but the girl is stylin' while she does it. Because of this all the neighborhood and church boys are in love with her. I have heard at least 4 boys (under the age of 7) say they are "going to marry Mary Grace." Yesterday, I was telling someone about how fun Mary Grace was at VBS that morning. She ate her goldfish crackers and decorated her bagel (don't ask) with so much poise. So, I said, "Mary Grace is so..." I was about to say "graceful...or girly" when from the back seat The Boy says, "beautiful. Mary Grace is always soooo beautiful."

We had two birthday parties to attend this weekend. They were full of tough obstacles for our shy 5 year old.

Party #1: Ashley and Brooke's Water Fun Party. They had a great water slide in the front yard, sprinklers, and baby pools. The Boy was nervous about all the gleeful girls. He only knew Ashley and she was in full birthday party swing by the time we got there. After hovering around us for almost an hour, he started getting more brave. He would run through the sprinkler as long as Bitty and he were the only ones near it. They played in the baby pool alone together. Finally, he started getting comfortable around the other kids. He climbed up the water slide and patiently told the boys and girls at the bottom to watch out. (He didn't want to slide into them. How polite!) He slid down and practically didn't come up for air...though he did come up for pizza and cake.

Party #2: Navaeh's party at Skate Odyssey. This party was full of the same problems as the first one. He was fine putting on the skates. He didn't mind falling. He is really a brave boy in some ways. He was fine rolling around on the carpet. He just didn't want to get onto the rink. I assumed it was because he was nervous about going fast or falling. Upon further conversation, I found out that he just didn't want to be out there with so many people. After missing out on the skate races and the "prize for all racers", I talked my son into going around with me. He really was fine. In fact, after the initial two or four laps, he wouldn't even hold my hand anymore.

If anyone out there has any suggestions to aid social anxiety at his age, please feel free to comment.

In stark contrast, Bitty would have gone on the water slide from minute one, except he really wants to be attached to the Boys hip. Bitty also wanted his own skates and then was furious when I skated without carrying him around with me. (Skating with a 2 year old on your hip is much harder than it sounds.)

The Boy
April 11, 2008 2:24am
4 years, 11 months

"Mommy, I had a bad dream."

"Can I tell you about it when we get back in there (his room)"

"It was when I was at school. And you had some bad stuff in your mouth. And you were gonna die. And there was pirate stuff all around 'cause we were pretending to be pirates. And Cindy tried to get you to spit the bad stuff out. And it was paper."

"oh baby. I am ok. I don't have bad stuff in my mouth."

"I know. It was just a bad dream."

My only question is....who is Cindy?

Since the day we brought Bitty home from the hospital, The Boy has agitated him. It was common-place to hear someone say, "The Boy better watch out when Bitty gets bigger. He's going to haul off and smack him." Little by little Bitty has asserted himself.

Battle 1: March 2008

Bitty vs. The Boy

The Boy loves to dress up and pretend. On this day, he was Spiderman. He finds it amusing to have Bitty be a villain -- the Green Goblin that day. I will add here that Bitty doesn't really comprehend the pretending or the fact that there is a reason The Boy is jumping around screaming at him.

SpiderBoy found that he could make the Bitty Goblin holler if he ran up and yelled at him. Aunt Mae (aka Mommy) was in the kitchen cooking dinner. The Boy came into the kitchen crying loudly, "Bitty hit me with his hand." I looked at my precious Bitty hovering behind The Boy and said, "No hit." Then calmly explained to The Boy that scaring his brother like that was going to result in violence. "He will hit you if you do that to him," I said. Ten minutes later. The Boy is back crying even louder. "Bitty hit me with his (stuffed) monkey," The Boy cried. The somewhat amused Mommy looked at the boys and said, "Bitty, no hit." and "He will hit you with whatever he has in his hand if you do that to him again. This is your choice. Don't scare him and he will not hit you." Ten minutes later. The Boy is shrieking and holding his head as he wanders into the kitchen. "Mommy. Bitty hit me in the he- ad." (I love the way children say head with two syllables) I look up prepared to repeat the warnings to my children. What do I see? I see my ever so sweet 22month old coming around the corner with a baseball bat (albeit a plastic one). As I check The Boy's head for damage, I explain that this is just the thing that I warned him about earlier. There were no more incidents that night. The Boy had learned his lesson for the evening at least.

Winner: Bitty

The War Continues....

In his almost 5 year old innocence, he was pretending -- it seems he pretends more than he doesn't. This morning he pretended that he was fat. Why? I don't know. While he was walking around pretending to be fat, he came up to me and said, "Not that it matters, but you are a little fat, aren't you? I love you anyway, but you ARE a LITTLE fat, right? I still love you. But you ARE fat, right?" I just started to cry. I couldn't help myself. There was no reasoning with my heart. I couldn't say no -- because I am overweight. I was just so sad for his innocence lost. It startled me. Not three months ago, he looked at me and said, "Mommy, you are not fat. You are beautiful." This happened as we were having a conversation about a little girl at school who is heavier. He called her fat as a descriptor for me to know which little girl she was. He said it as truthfully as when he said she had brown hair and was "really nice." I told him that it hurts people's feelings when they are called things like fat. I told him of the times that I was called fat when I was a little girl and how it had hurt my feelings. How did things change so quickly?

My BittyBoy is such a strong willed little boy. At 21 months, he is all about possession. My Mommy. My Daddy. My Milk. My Juice. You can catch my drift. On Thursday, he and I went on an errand while The Boy was in school. In the car, I was listening to some talk radio and heard him in the backseat saying, "No, my ball. NO, MY BALL." Again. And again. Well, it took me about the tenth time of him repeating this to realize that he was by himself back there. I started wondering who had his ball. I moved my rearview mirron and saw him staring at his sippy cup. (His cup's top is Curious George holding a beach ball.) He told George, "No, my ball. NO, MY BALL." And tried to pry the beach ball from little George's plastic hands.

Needless to say, George did not give the Bitty his ball back.

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