Remembering to be Awesome

When I was growing up I wasn’t an athlete.  I tried many different sports including soccer, hockey, baseball, and softball.  I was never the best on any team I played on, but I enjoyed being part of a team and trying to get better.  I didn’t find running until I was an adult.  I can still remember doing my own version of a couch to 5K plan by running between bridges on the 9 Mile Creek Trail and then walking again.  Eventually I was running the whole time, not walking at all, and I was hooked.  I can still remember running 4 miles without stopping and without being winded.  That feeling is something I will probably never replicate, but breaking 2 hours in a half marathon two years ago came pretty close (oddly finishing my 2 marathons did not give me anywhere near the same feeling).  Despite the fact that I have two active kids, work full time, and have lots of other responsibilities I can still make the time to push myself to get better.  In the last few miles of that half marathon 2 years ago, I almost let myself give up.  It was getting harder to maintain my goal pace, and I had stopped to walk through a water stop and didn’t want to run again.  I made the decision that I wasn’t going to come *this  close* again and just let it slip me by, so I didn’t.  I sucked it up, and I let myself be awesome.  It didn’t matter that I didn’t come close to winning any sort of age group award in that race, I had earned a mental victory.

I was out running this weekend, and I started to feel self doubt creep in as I took a walk break, doubt that I could be fast again.  Then I realized what I was doing, a common pattern for me, I was giving myself an excuse not to try.  In my own self-preserving way I was giving myself an easy out, doubting enough so that I wouldn’t really try, and therefore wouldn’t fail.  This year I was supposed to put myself into running again (self imposed goal), but I haven’t.  It is much easier to sit on the sidelines and tell yourself that you can’t, than it is to put in the necessary work and give it a real try.  The reality is that I might not break 2 hours again this year, but I certainly won’t even come close if I don’t try.  I know that the self preserving part of me is there for a reason.  It tries to protect me from failure, even though it often causes me to settle for mediocrity.  I’ve made a promise to myself now, a promise that whenever I feel that self-doubt creep in, and that desire to let myself be mediocre because it is easier, I will remember to be awesome. 

I see myself settling for mediocre in other areas of my life too.  At work it can be easier to complain about the things I can’t control, rather than to put everything I have into the things I can control.  That usually leaves me feeling like something is missing, like I am coasting along and not really challenging myself.  I’m also carrying around about 10 pounds more than I want to, and not because I don’t know how to lose that weight.  I settle for good enough in this aspect of my life too.  Losing these 10 pounds would be easy if I would just get out of my own way.  Excelling in my career should be easy too.  I get lots of professional accolades that I dismiss, or explain away because I don’t feel like I have truly earned them.  In many ways, my self-preservation is harming me, and holding me back.   I’m posting this on my long neglected blog, because I want the reminder of what I can do and what I can be.  Will I allow myself to keep settling for good enough, or will I remember the awesome that is inside me?  I plan to strive for the awesome, and learn from my failures along the way.


An Early Christmas Present

The Boy and The Girl will not stop singing this silly song from a cell phone commercial. It is driving me bonkers, but tonight I decided to record them doing it so I could share it with family and friends.




I am inching closer to the magic age of 35 with every passing day. I remember telling T at one point that we would certainly be absolutely and completely done having kids by the time I turned 35. I didn't want to be pregnant at an "advanced maternal age." I was 29 when The Boy was born, and 31 when The Girl was born. At 33 there was no way I was ready for another child, and even at 34 it still seems crazy at times. However, as The Girl gets older I find myself wondering if we are done, or if we are just taking a longer break between kids. T and I have had this conversation countless times over the course of the past few years. I know he feels very happy with our family the way it is, he fears the hormonal mess I was during the first few months after The Girl was born - and rightfully so...at least until the Vitamin Z kicked in. He also worries about our kids not being close enough in age, he worries about the third and final child being left out of things since The Boy and The Girl are thick as thieves. He has also started telling me that he is too old to start over again. *sigh* He always ends the conversation saying that he will support whatever decision I make, that if I want to have another child he is willing to try, but that he is also very happy to be done and will make the appointment for the vasectomy as soon as I give him the word.

Why is this so hard? So many of my friends tell me that they just knew they were done with whatever number of kids they have, why don't I just know? Why can't I just feel done? Frankly even more frustrating for me is the fact that I am so ambivalent about it. One day I am 100% convinced that we will have another, and then the next as I'm struggling to buckle The Girl into her carseat in the freezing MN temps I swear that I can't wait until both kids can buckle themselves into their seats and that I'm crazy to start again with another baby. Or, I take both kids to a store and listen to them fight, and I *know* that we are done with two kids. Instead of making a real decision I vacillate between the two extremes almost daily. I'm tired of it. I want to come to a decision and make peace with it.

How did you know you were done?


Breaking all popularity records

45 comments to my Super Why instruction post breaks all previous records of replies to posts for me. I was curious as to why I was getting so many hits, so I googled "Super Why costume" and found that my post from last year was the number one hit. Craziness! I'm glad that some of you found it helpful. In case some of you aren't getting emails from the Super Why Club Newsletter, this PDF file might be fun for you and your little ones. In case you are still looking for the graphic, please go to Baby Blog Addict for a clean crisp and easily accessible logo. Our Halloween madness begins tomorrow with the annual daycare Halloween party. I'm a little ashamed to admit that The Boy won't even watch Super Why anymore, but his little sister does still like it when she can be dragged away from The Backyardigans. Our Super Why costume will be sitting on a shelf this year, but maybe The Girl will want to wear it next year? She is planning on dressing as Buzz Lightyear this year, and The Boy will be Curious George.

The Halloween tricks began early for us, when the kids decided to decorate our door with sidewalk chalk. While it wasn't a fully santioned activity, it was too cute not to photograph.

Happy Halloween!


Super Why the Costume Part II

I thought this Halloween would be easier for parents of Super Why obsessed kids. However, from the occasional comments to this post from last year, and the flood of emails I get (in my treadmillista account that I basically never check) in response to the Super Why costume I guess I am wrong. I decided to take the time to detail out The Boy's Super Why costume from last year. Hopefully this can help someone else, who is looking for ways to make a Super Why costume for their Super Whyatt loving children.

Please note that I can't find the mask. The costume was in a pile of costumes in the basement play room, and as you know children don't always leave things in neat little piles. I suspect the mask is hiding somewhere in our 2-story plus finished basement house...I just don't know where.

The Shirt: this was made with green t-shirt material by my fabulous MIL. I found the logo on a coloring page printable from the PBS kids website, and then printed it on iron-on ink jet paper (you can buy the iron on ink jet paper at a variety of places including Target) and T ironed it onto the shirt. Baby Blog Addict posted a fabulous clean jpeg image that you can use for this purpose, so check it out - I was emailing it, but I'm burnt out!

The shirt with the pants: The pants were made with the same t-shirt material. My MIL is pretty resourceful and didn't need a pattern to make either the shirt or the pants. This is great because I don't even know how to turn on our sewing machine (it is really T's not mine).

The back of the shirt has two small velcro strips sewn onto it, for easy attachment of the cape:

The shirt with the cape attached: The cape was re-used from a very old costume from T's childhood when he was Batman. It feels like a nylon blend of some sort.

The little shorts: These were also re-used from that same very old Batman costume. Same material as the cape...

The under shirt: The Boy had this already in his closet. It is a size 4 Lands End plain blue long-sleeved t-shirt.

The total package (minus the mask):

The mask - If I remember correctly we used thin foam board to get the basic shape, and then my MIL wrapped the green t-shirt material around it somehow. She used velcro strips at the end of strings of the t-shirt material so it could be secured around The Boy's head.

If you have further questions I will try to funnel them to my mother in law! I hope this helps someone.

Note: I updated the link to the Super Why logo, this new link should work. I apologize for not being responsive to questions/emails, but my current job has me swamped and just unable to devote time to a blog anymore. Good luck with your costume making!


A tough return

It isn't news to you that I am not blogging much these days, or well this year. When you start every post in somewhat of a similar vein, it likely unnecessary though isn't it? I'm back primarily because I'm dealing with something that is happening to a friend, and wanted to talk about it here.

However, first of all I wanted to say that some things have changed in my life in the past few months. I got a new job. A new job that doesn't require any travel. My commute shortened, my work flexibility increased, and I moved completely out of the realm of engineering. It is too soon to tell if this is a good thing, but frankly for the sake of my family this is a very good change. I no longer have to live with the fear that I will have to travel next week or the week after, and dread those long trips away from my kids. It is all about them, and spending time with them.

So the thing I'm struggling with is that one of the strong and fabulous women with whom I've been in a buddy group with since The Boy was teeny tiny...she is going to miss out on all of the rest of the years with her kids. It is so completely unfair to lose a friend, but a friend with a 5 year old and a 2 year old is just too much. Every time I look at my kids and make plans for next week I think of her, and her battle to make it through just one more day.

Hug your kids, hold them tight. Cherish every moment you have with them.


A boy and his toads

The Boy is currently in the midst of, what I have been calling, a critter obsession. Here he shows off the toads he found a little more than a week ago (all were released before bedtime that night in case you were wondering).

I tried to imbed the link in this post, but it doesn't seem to be working...