Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One Thing Leads to Another

Before my daughter came home from studying abroad in Australia in November, I decided to repaint the upstairs guest bathroom that she uses.  I wanted to surprise her.  She had been in Australia since the end of July, and I had four months to get this done.  I knew I wouldn't start that project until after my son went back to school in the fall. It would be my big back to school project.  I am good at procrastinating. November came around way too quickly, and I still hadn't even picked out the paint.  Finally on the second Saturday in November, I decided it was time.  

I thought this painting project would take me all weekend, but I work best under pressure.  Went to Home Depot on Saturday morning. Purchased a gallon of paint in a neutral taupe color along with other paint supplies. Then, went home and began the process of taping.  Before I knew it, I was ready to roll.  That part is always the most fun.  In fact it was so much fun, and I still had half a gallon of paint left, so I painted the master bathroom the next day.  I loved how the fresh paint looked on the walls, but...............

One thing leads to another. 

The next week I was shopping on line and running around to Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl's, Penny's, and anywhere else I could think of to find the perfect shower curtain and pictures for the walls.  I picked up a few other accessories along the way too - like garbage cans, candles, toothbrush holders....etc.   

Then....... I decided that the flooring and countertops needed a facelift as well.  We still have the original white with light blue diamond shapes vinyl flooring and light blue laminate counter tops to match in the guest bathroom.  The same flooring and countertops in the master bathroom, except with mint green instead of the light blue.  I am trying to keep this a low expense project since no one really sees the upstairs bathrooms except family anyway.  I picked up samples of the peel and stick laminate flooring in earth tone colors.  My husband said he would tackle that project......... someday. (I may end up tackling this one myself too.)  I researched how to paint your laminate countertops to make them 'look like' granite.  There were two options.  I decided to go the cheapest  route, only putting me out $70.  If it doesn't turn out, then we replace them with something else.

I ordered a chocolate brown countertop kit  online in late November.  When it arrived, I stored down in the basement.  This project may take a few days to complete since there is wait time between steps.   My daughter has now gone back to school, so it is time to start that project.  Just brought the box up from the basement so I can read the directions, and there is a CD included too. I'm a little scared to start, as it will probably be much harder than it looks.  Now the box is here staring me in the face as if telling me to stop procrastinating and get r done.  

I'll let you know how it goes. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keep Smiling :0)

Today marks the 19th anniversary of my mom's death.  On this day in 2006, I ran with Team-in-Training at the Arizona Rock-N-Roll marathon in her memory.  I raised over $5000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  My dad was there to cheer me on at mile 17.  He wanted to see if I would have a smile on my face by then.  He always has said that 'runners never smile'. By mile 16, I started to hit the wall, but I knew that I must have that smile on my face when I saw my dad.  I would have to run the next mile with one plastered on  because I wasn't sure which corner he might be at.  From this point on, it was a total head game to get to the finish line.  One more mile and then ONLY 9 MORE to go!!!  My dad was where he said he would be, at exactly the 17th mile marker.  I veered over to give him a hug and showed him the smile that had become a permanent fixture for the last mile.  The smile continued after that. A little human contact can help to bring out positive energy for a while longer.  My watch is what kept me going from then on out.  If I was to meet my goal of under 4 hours, I must keep clipping along at the pace I was running.  I had to beat the clock!  And as I crossed the finish line and clicked my watch to a stop, my smile was there - bigger than ever. Later that day I found out that my official time was 3:58:59. My mom was 58 years old when she died of Leukemia.  She had been smiling down at me the whole 26.2 miles. 

Over the past 10 years I completed five full marathons, and many half marathons, 10 mile, 10k and  5k runs. The grand finale for my marathon career was NYC 2011 at the age of 50.  I made a promise to my dad while training for this one, that it would be my last.  Now I have to keep that promise to him as he has gone to watch over me from above.  He died last March from cancer at the age of 77 .  He had been concerned  that if I kept running that many miles, I wouldn't be able to walk by the time I'm 60.  I had numerous injuries over the years, but kept pushing through them.  All through the training for NYC, I suffered with plantar fasciitis.  With weekly visits to the chiropractor, I finally got through it with a shot of cortisone to the heel.  So glad it wasn't 2012 that I decided to run my final marathon in NYC.  I feel bad for those who put in all the long hours of training and then were not able to participate. I was glad it wasn't me, but I do feel that they made the right decision for not holding the marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Since I had to retire from full marathons, last summer my oldest son and I decided to run the 1/2 marathon in my home town in memory of my dad. Other members of the family wanted to join in too, but did not want to run a full or half marathon, so we put together a marathon relay team.  My husband, younger son, sister-in-law, niece and her husband made up the team. I had running shirts made with a running smiley face on the front that said "Keep Smiling".  My husband was the last leg of the relay team. The whole team and both the 1/2 marathoners all joined him to cross the finish line together with GREAT BIG SMILES!  Other family members, sporting the same shirts, were there to cheer us on.  (Don't ask about the flamingo hats - that's another story)

                   Crossing the finish line.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rather Be Running

When my youngest son was 3 years old, I made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom.  I thought I'd have all the time in the world to accomplish those chores that I had been putting off.  I could organize all my pictures and put them into albums for each of my kids. I could paint the inside of my house.  I could weed out the storage room and get rid of stuff that has been accumulating over the years. Maybe have that garage sale - 'the one and only'.  And............I might be ready for Christmas before December 24th.

It's been 11 years since then and am now asking myself 'what have I accomplished in that time?' I did paint the inside of my house that first year and now need to start over.  I did have that 'one and only' garage sale, but things have piled up again.  Pictures still not organized and put into albums.  And........every year during the month of December, I am still running around like a crazy person.

I guess the reason I began running ten years ago is because it took me away from having to do those chores that I absolutely detest.  I would rather subject myself to the long grueling hours of running while training for a marathon than bring myself to accomplish house hold tasks.  (You do need an excuse so you won't feel so anxious about not getting things done.)

Now with only 10 days before Christmas.......... I'm still not ready!  Gotta get shopping - but I'd rather be running.    

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Not About Breast Feeding

My blog title does not refer to breast feeding in any way.  I personally am not a fan of that.  In fact with my first two children, I had the doctors dry me up while I was still at the hospital.  I often felt like such a minority in that I chose not to breast feed. This was back in the late 80's early 90's when society began to push breastfeeding on you.  I felt guilty sometimes when I talked with breast feeding mothers. They would gloat about how wonderful it was to breast feed.   They talked about how much they loved bonding with their baby, and best of all, you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to heat up a bottle.  (OK, I admit that part would have been nice.)  They said small breasts produce as much milk as large ones, so that shouldn't be my excuse.  That wasn't my excuse - My excuse was................ I DID NOT WANT TO BREAST FEED. PERIOD.

I felt I bonded just fine with my first two babies, and they were very healthy.  My husband did not really want me to breast feed either.  He wanted to be able to help with the feedings. (At least from the beginning anyway. During some of those middle-of-the-night awakenings, he might have thought otherwise.)  We  had one of those cardboard  'whose turn is it' dials.  It somehow always seemed be pointed to the 'mom's' side.  Then in 1998, my third child was born, and I caved to peer and societal pressure. Since this was the last baby I was planning to have, one of my best friends said it would be my last chance at it.  So I decided to give it a try, and my husband did not object.  WORST DECISION EVER!!!!

My third child was born at the beginning of June.  I was a teacher at the time so had my summers off.  (One of the reasons I went into that field.)  Perfect timing, the baby was born right after school got out.  I said I'd try the breastfeeding thing and commit for six weeks.  I lasted two.  I know many of you would say that I didn't give it enough time, but I hated every minute of it.  It hurt like heck.  I could not bond with my baby when I was so tense and my toes curled up every time I put the baby to my breasts. I thought I was going to go crazy and cringed every time the baby began to cry.  I did have a home health care nurse come for a visit once, but that didn't help either.  I felt like I was such a wimp, but I couldn't believe how much it hurt.  Not just uncomfortable, I could have handled that, but this was more pain to me than the actual child birth.

On the 14th day, the rest of the family went to my older son's baseball game while I took the baby to see the doctor. The minute the doctor walked in the door he saw the distressed look on my face.  When he asked how I was doing, I burst into tears.  He told me that I didn't have to breastfeed, wrapped my breasts, and off I went.  Back at home I sat down in the rocking chair with baby in my lap and bottle in hand.  It was at that moment when I began to bond with this precious little child.  It felt so right. 

So now that I got that off my chest (no pun intended), I can move forward with other posts that I intended for this site.