Friday, December 31, 2010

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

When you work 6 days a week with two 14+ hour days mid-week, accomplishing things can be tough. Don't forget having and tending to a family to the mix on top of all that. Which is why having today off from work (all jobs) means the world to me.

I woke up ready to go. First item, have coffee (easy enough), second item get the Peanut up and ready with breakfast. Third item? GO FOR A RUN!! I was going to run through some other areas of the neighborhood today but something took me to my old route (the local high school).

Now as most of you know, I am from New Jersey. Which means I grew up waking up extra early to shovel the driveway and defrost the car before leaving for school/work. Since living in California I admit I have become a bit acclimated to the temperatures and find 50 degrees quite chilly at times. Well now we live in El Dorado Hills which is only 30 miles up the hill but for some reason, it just seems COLDER here in the mornings.

38 degrees

And for my Canadian friends . . .

So not cold to them, I know.

I am used to running in 30 degree temps but not lately and not since moving up here. It was a little chilly out at first and I had to be careful not to step on this ...


That is ice or as the Canadians would probably say "frost" but it was every where and quite slippery. Just ask the guy cycling who tried to do a fancy trick at the stop light and landed on his bum (he was fine, just a bruised ego).

The sun was out and the air was crisp. I had a good run and then immediately came home and took down all the Christmas decorations in my sweaty state. Minus the tree as I need Van's help for that one. After that I conquered all the toilets, mirrors, sinks and tubs/showers in the house. Go me.

The Peanut also helped me accomplish another item that has been sitting around the house all week . . .

Santa brought her a toy tool box for Xmas

She likes to work two handed

Very focused

Final product.
A cabinet for our shoes, hats and gloves!

Now we're off to have a Trailmomma adventure and maybe head up the hill to see some pretty sights.
Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

TRIAL RUNS

Vans has the week off from work. Lucky guy. He should be home working on house projects but it seems every day there has been some sort of 'obstacle' preventing him from getting too far. One bonus is that the plumbers arrived on Tuesday and installed some sink fixtures we've been needing forever. One downer is the shower fixture wasn't the correct model and therefore I will not be showering in my new shower until after the New Year. Maybe that is a sign that 2011 will bring good things or at the very least, a nicer shower.

Earlier this week the Peanut spent the morning at a daycare up in EDH vs her normal one down in Sacramento. Vans is thinking about moving her . . . I am against it 100% but was willing to let her explore and visit with the new center for 3 or 4 hours.

Despite screaming her bloody head off when Vans dropped her off (and stayed 30 minutes with her and the other kids) she apparently had an "okay" time. She told me she had fun but that she didn't want to return.

This daycare is smaller, closer and cheaper than the one she attends now. I love the one she attends now because they have a better facility and I can commute with the Peanut on a daily basis ensuring some quality time with her and use of the carpool lane on highway 50. Yes, I am using my child as a passenger for commuting purposes but we do laugh and sing on occasion. Promise.

The decision hasn't been finalized but I we need to figure out some future details for sure. I want to be clear, isn't that I do not like this new daycare .  .  . I just prefer the old one instead.

She had to sit near the teacher at all times

working with chalk

getting spoiled by Daddy
after being picked up

Who knows what decisions we'll make in the future. Right now my only future decision is that I must go for a run tomorrow. Maybe I'll go the same route I've been recently or maybe I'll branch out . . . regardless, I am hitting the streets tomorrow and hopefully a few more times this weekend!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PATIENCE WHERE ARE YOU

Single Track Junkie wrote a good post about patience and how so many of us lack this in our lives. She is lacking the patience to heal fully and not be running as fast as she used to. Understandable. I'd be upset and feel the same way if I was in her shoes. Pigeon wrote a post about not running as much as she'd like due to a busy work schedule and an exhausted body. Patience is what is she is trying to practice knowing full well her time to run will come.

I too am lacking patience these days or maybe I am just tired of being patient while Vans continues to have a difficult time with our recent move and new home. I have never seen someone so miserable, depressed and angry when they should be happy, excited and embracing the new home we have to decorate and grow in.

I support any decision he makes, as the wife that is my job. However I hate to see him this way day in and day out. Questioning our move on a daily basis but other than pack up and sell the place, I don't know what else I can do make him realize that he needs to be patient AND open minded. But that isn't his style. Never was.

I truly hope 2011 brings him some happiness and comfort but some how I don't think it will. He's a worrier, always has been and always will be.

I was always a positive person. The glass was always half full to me, never half empty. I like to think that is what attracted Vans to me (or maybe it was my NJ background ha) but sadly I can tell my outlook on things has changed. Try as I might to not let it, sometimes I think things just rub off unintentionally.

I just hope it doesn't rub off on this beautiful girl. She is the one constant in our lives that can make us smile at any given moment.


I think my New Years Resolution is going to be find that elusive patience once again and work on keeping my glass half full. Always.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

BUSY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas everyone. I've been very MIA lately but with good reason. Our first Christmas in the new home was awesome. The Peanut made out like a bandit in the gifts department and I am sure you'll be bombarded by me with photos throughout the week.

Christmas Eve was great because not only did I have the day off but it was sunny AND I went for a run. I decided it was time to explore this new neighborhood of mine. I made some nice discoveries which I will share later.

Christmas Eve we made our "rounds" visiting the in laws, my aunt and seeing the Christmas lights down in Sacramento with friends. It was a nice evening.

Christmas day the Peanut woke up, walked by ALL the presents and said to me "mommy daddy ate Santa's cookies!" I stifled my laugh and I said "no honey, SANTA ate Santa's cookies and look what he left for you!" She cried out "PRESENTS!" and the day was hit from that point on.

All the Peanut wanted from Santa was a slide. It was quite obvious Santa had not left a slide near the tree but she handled it well. After opening all her gifts we asked her if she got everything she wanted and she said "Santa forgot the slide" oh how my heart broke. Then we told her that we heard some noises upstairs and that she should take a look .  . . up the stairs she went and there in all its glory was a slide and another special toy that found its way into Santa's sleigh. I don't have a photo of the slide (yet) but check out the special toy Santa left for the Peanut:

video

The roller coaster and slide are the perfect tool to tire the Peanut out at the end of the day. Thanks Santa!

My in laws came over for dinner later in the day which was really really nice. I made lasagna which was both easy and tasty. Come Christmas day evening, everyone was full and exhausted. That is a great combination.

Evidently today we were still exhausted because all of us accidentally slept in, INCLUDING the Peanut. We had a birthday ride and brunch to attend for one of our dear friends and we were running a bit late but sleeping in felt great.

Our dear friend Paul "PINKHOUSE" Camerer turned 92 today. He has been a blessing in our lives for quite a few years now and is the absolute model of inspiration and health. Three days a week he hosts a spin workout in his garage in River Park. When we lived in Sacramento Vans and I would alternate going. Today we held a ride in his honor. Check out how cool this is and how cool Pinkhouse is!


This is the group on their bike trainers. Pinkhouse is so high tech that everyone is strapped up to a heart rate monitor which feeds to a screen for all to see. That way no one can slack off and not ride to their maximum heart rate. Makes for a fantastic workout.

The birthday boy (in red)

What an inspiration no? While Vans and everyone was spinning, the Peanut and I were playing hide and seek and jumping in leaf piles. In other words, having our own fun.


After the ride we all drove over to The Corner Restaurant for some yummy breakfast and to celebrate Pinkhouse's birthday some more. The Peanut enjoyed the biggest plate of breakfast potatoes I have ever seen and was a happy little Peanut.

Cheese!

After the breakfast we visited with my father-in-law, picked up more left over crap from our old house and then eventually made our way home.

The day was so beautiful that I decided to go for yet another run in the same direction I had gone on Christmas Eve. I just could not pass up another chance to run out doors since it has been raining so much (not to mention working too much).

(for you Pigeon)

I followed a little bike/walking path to what will some day be the Peanut's future High School.

Very 90210 like

This is one of the nicest high schools I have ever seen. On Friday I wandered around the campus. Yes, campus. I come from the east coast where we never had to go outside to go to class or go to a different building.

What makes this high school even cooler (for me) is that is has one amazing track that is open to the public! When I stumbled across it on Friday I chatted with a man who was walking the track and asked him if the public could use it and he said yes . . . so today I ran to the track (about 1.5 miles from my house) and then did a mile around the track itself!

sweet track

I am looking forward to doing my speed work here. I never did track in high school so I guess I better refresh my memory as to how far around a high school track is!

Since I was on borrowed time I ran home after that rounding out 4 miles. Part hilly and part flat. All perfect.

I enjoy our new home (when I am not away at work) and all that my new neighborhood has to offer. New traditions all around but no matter what, I enjoy having my family with me to make these memories.


I will have to do another post on what Santa brought the Peanut, Vans and myself. More than anything he brought us health and happiness this season.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NO MATTER WHAT

This was probably the wettest weekend in a very very long time. Heavy rains fell pretty much since Friday afternoon all through today.

Yesterday I had to work and really though the rain would deter people from shopping but apparently not. The store was semi busy all day. Pretty consistent. I however, did not get out to run before work like had planned because the rain and winds were pretty bad . . . and I had gone to bed too late.

Today however I decided no matter what, I was running. The rain was coming in side ways but I bundled up and hit the streets. I decided to take a few different streets, one of which led to a bike/walking path that follows one of the main strips here in El Dorado Hills. The strip is fairly flat which is exactly what I needed and it was kind of pretty.


I was having run. It really felt great to be running again and I realize now that my only chances at running lately are on the weekends, namely Sundays. Weekday mornings I'll just have to suffer on the elliptical.

After my run I conquered some retail stores (ugh, not fun the last week before Xmas). Vans and the Peanut have been two peas in a pod all weekend. Yesterday, they came to visit me at work but prior to visiting me, Vans finally had one of his biggest cravings . . . The Squeeze Inn burger.

The Squeeze Inn makes the biggest, greasiest, cheesiest and probably one of the most expensive burgers around. To me, it is rather disgusting:

Gross. That is fried cheese.

The Peanut however is like her momma and just goes straight for these instead:

mmm fries!

Despite all the rain we've had this weekend, I am happy that I went out an ran. It might not have been far but definitely farther than I have run in a while and it felt great. Later, Vans, the Peanut and I walked our neighborhood hills checking out all the Christmas lights.

Right now the Peanut is really into Christmas lights and she knows that she gets to have a candy cane every time. Not sure what we will do when the holidays are over and the lights have to come down.

Looking forward to a short work week which will hopefully add a little extra time to get a run in here and there plus no work on Saturday! Yipee!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS

I am not even going to mention the words "running" or "elliptical" in this post because well, I am pathetic and haven't been able to accomplish much of either. Something has to change but I have not figured out what or how yet and it has me really really down.

But instead of dwelling on that negative boo haa haa, let me post some more happy and holiday like stuff. In our new neighborhood we discovered that Santa drives through certain neighborhoods with a million "elves" collecting canned goods and unwrapped toys for those less privileged.

Vans, the Peanut and I ran out after arriving home from work last night in hopes of trying to catch the big man himself. We were told that Santa was supposed to drive by in a fire truck and then stop and greet the kids. I had ONE minor issue with this plan however . . . this would be the SECOND time we've seen Santa arrive in a FIRE TRUCK! Now tell me in what story do you read "When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature FIRE TRUCK and eight tiny reindeer" come on!

So I was skeptical Scrooge while standing in the freezing cold with a bunch of other EDH residents and mobs of kids. However, my skepticism was put aside when Santa finally arrived . . .


Check that out! Santa's in a sleigh!
ON TOP of a fire truck!

I was impressed. I was also impressed with the hundreds of elves that came bouncing out of no where with about a billion candy canes! They were handing them out to everyone parents and kids. It was pretty exciting. There were flashing lights and horn players playing Christmas music. Even KCRA Channel 3 came out and did a live shot. Very neat.

The Peanut was a bit overwhelmed and definitely not a fan of the man dressed in the Grinch mask but she was super excited. Mrs. Claus said hello to her and then later we got this shot:

Hi Santa!

The Peanut was smiling ear to ear and sticky from head to toe with candy cane goodness. That would be 3 times already that she has met Santa this December. If this keeps up she might get skeptical as to how he can make all those toys AND do his media circuit at the same time.

I also give props to the EDH Fire Department for making Santa's arrival one sweet ride!







Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY

We're in for another long week of hard rain here. At least my birthday weekend was fantastic! As I mentioned, I ran 5 on Saturday with my old ultra group. That was great. On Sunday I had some solo time and tackled some ginormous hills in my new neighborhood that took me to what the Peanut calls "the BIG beautiful park" . . . so cute. Here is the view from the big beautiful park:

That is Folsom Lake in the distance

This park is really nice and has a playground just right for the Peanut and some "exploring" areas that we had visited earlier in the day.

Hey follow me mommy!

Cheese!

She ended up playing mostly on the swings because as usual, most of the playground was wet from all the rain we have been having. Boo.

Higher!

With the holidays upon us so quickly after the move, the settling in time has been a bit slow. I do have a new dining room table that I am SUPER excited about. I'll have to post some pictures of it. Yes, we replaced the one that bit the dust on Thanksgiving Day.

One nice thing about moving during the holidays is that all your holiday decorations are already out and waiting to be put up. I've had ours up since Thanksgiving because I didn't want to store the boxes only to pull them out again a week later.
  
Festive!

Other than that, I skipped Monday morning's workout because the Peanut woke up at 12:30 in the morning and when my alarm went off at 5 am I was toast. I redeemed myself today and headed out onto the elliptical and read my new birthday present from my Step mom aka Jersey Mom . . . she got me a year's subscription to Trail Runner magazine! Sweet! I felt like I was actually running on some trails while reading from my boring elliptical this morning.

I need to figure out which box my free weights are in so I can get back on that band wagon too. I was doing very well and was very consistent for a while before we moved. Vans packed the weights and I have no idea where they or my stability ball are right now. Easy excuse huh?

Even though the rest of this week calls for rainy nights we have a few holiday adventures planned. Apparently the big man himself, Santa Claus goes through the neighborhood on a fire truck a few nights this week making the kids super excited. We plan to figure out exactly where he passes and head out to see him. Then, we also plan on hitting up the Folsom Zoo as they do an enchanted forest of lights apparently with music and other fun stuff for the kids.

I do love the holidays despite all the craziness moving has thrown at us lately. Vans, the Peanut and I are all home on Christmas Eve so I am looking forward to relaxing with my family and prepping for the next day's celebration.




Saturday, December 11, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

TO ME!

Yup, today is my birthday. So far so good. It started with a hair cut last night which was loads of fun for all (fyi, it had been since March that I cut my hair. Um, yeah I needed it).

Proof: The Before Photo
(nice wrinkly forehead)

Before Part 2
Peanut enjoyed some frozen yogurt while we waited

Then while I was "drying"
the Peanut got her own hair done!

She was really well behaved during the whole thing. Vans showed up about half way through and then my hair dresser wanted to do the Peanut's hair. She was the hit of the salon. Her hair was so cute.

Clearly way cuter than mine:

The finished product.

She did it super straight and way more sleek than I could ever or would ever do but it was nice not to have massive roots and dead ends showing. 

After the salon we went to our first holiday party where the Peanut had a blast. She made friends with two twin 5 year olds and we barely saw her all night. Wonderful.

Fast forward to this morning, my actual birthday and we all woke up flying out of bed and racing out the door. Vans and the Peanut were headed to a 5K race near Van's work. They did this event last year as a father/daughter team. It was extra special this year because the "big man" himself was there.

AND he had candy canes. 

Putting on her race number

Ready to race!

Vans is a bit sore, the old ankle isn't quite healed yet but when I asked the Peanut if they "won" she said "yup, sure did!" haha

While they were out racing,  I was headed to meet some old friends.

The "old" Ultra Group!

Garmin was there as well as Pigeon, Miss P, Molasses and Boss. The Fleet Feet ultra training group has started up again and most of the old gang is running (minus Garmin and myself). They have a bunch of new people too and it looks to be a really good group. Captain Kirk and Coach Nikon said Garmin and I could come out and run with them. 

I haven't run much in a long while. I've been having some heart rate issues (going too high) but I am beginning to realize that even though we moved to a slightly higher elevation (barely) it might actually be playing into my heart rate issues (not to mention the killer hills around here). Today's run was fun. My heart rate was steady and I ran 5 solid miles. I felt great despite the foggy weather.

And boy was it FOGGY out there!

And like classic Trailmomma, I made a quick stop here on my return.

I missed Pigeon waiting 
outside taking photos though. 
She's in "training" now and too fast for me. :-)

Overall, I had a great birthday morning. After the run the foggy air made for a chilly post run hangout and so I did not hang around long and instead raced home to get in the shower and make some coffee in a nice quiet house. 

Later Vans and the Peanut arrived home with flowers and balloons and we're going out to dinner later tonight. All in all, I'd say a great way to celebrate a birthday. 








Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DAY TWO

Woot woot! I woke up at 5 am this morning without any problems and hit the old (dusty) elliptical for a short workout. I incorporated a few 'pick-ups' here and there. I wanted to go longer but had to cut it short due to Vans needing the shower for an early meeting. I always prefer showering before him, don't ask me why.

Jo Lynn had asked about Van's ankle and I realize I never really gave an update. He's doing much better. Off the boot and only needs the ankle brace on occasion. He did the Run To Feed The Hungry 5K walk with us and we even ran part of the way. He is doing his own 5K this Saturday with the Peanut (it's so cute, daddy and Peanut race time together) and he has already hit the slopes on his snowboard. The only trouble he has had is when snowboarding as he found that really gave him some pain ankle wise. However, with all this fresh powder Tahoe is getting right now, there is no way he'd sit out from a day of boarding.

Today begins the start of a crazy rest of the week for me. Tonight after my "regular job" I head to one of my part-time jobs at ARCO Arena (GO KINGS!). Then tomorrow night, I head to my second part-time job after my "regular" job (get that? tired yet?). I am excited about tomorrow night's job though because they are going to be talking about this. That's right, my old Ultra Training Group is starting up again! Yea!!!! Unfortunately I will not be joining them on the trails much this year (for various reasons) but I am heading out for their very first run this Saturday morning and I am super excited about it.

What I am not excited about is the fact that I will be missing the Peanut both tonight and tomorrow night due to working so late. Sniff sniff. She's growing so fast these days it is unreal. Her class photos are in and are ADORABLE. I am not going to post her individual photo here . . . yet because they may or may not be used as Christmas gifts this year but I will post her class photo because it is too adorable not to!

Peanut is bottom row, second from left

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DAY ONE

Last night on our way home from work (aka our long commute), the Peanut and I met Vans at Lowe's for some returns and new purchases.


The Peanut LOVES Lowe's. She thinks it is the "Christmas Store" because of all the decorations they have hanging all over the place. It is all we can do to just pull her away from it and get the boring household items we came for.

After Lowe's we all drove home and had dinner. Vans had the great idea to go for a walk. Sure it was 7:30 pm and pitch black outside but the weather was cool and crisp and the Peanut was not going to bed anytime soon (she had a lollipop at Lowe's).

So I made Vans wear my reflective NIKE vest and I wore my other reflective vest. Grabbed our flashlights and my headlamp and off we went around the block. The whole trip is only .7 miles around but it has some killer hills and pushing an almost 40 lb kid in a stroller is tough. We had to stop at and see all the homes with Christmas lights. We have a few "Griswald" type neighbors so it is pretty darn cool. Our home isn't very Christmas like on the outside currently because we're in desperate need of more lights and extension cords. That happens when you move from a tiny condo to a much larger home.

The other highlight of my evening was Vans hooking up the elliptical! It is facing a wall currently but it is at least up and running and since I was able to go to work late today, I woke up and jumped on it. I need to prepare myself for a much earlier wake up tomorrow but it felt FANTASTIC to be up early and sweating!!! Oh how I missed it. I took it a bit easy today because the elliptical has not been used in over a year but I think tomorrow I will bust out my old elliptical workouts and really get moving.

And finally, the last "exciting" thing that happened last night . . . the Peanut's new car seat arrived. She's had her current one for SO long and she doesn't do well with change so I was afraid she would not like this seat very much.

Apparently I had nothing to worry about.
She loves it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HAPPY CIM DAY

Today was the annual CIM (California International Marathon).  One of my favorite days of the year except that this year, I didn't run it and boy did I miss that.

Yesterday, instead of laying low and getting our Christmas tree like we do every Saturday before I run CIM, I worked. It was hard working because every customer that came in was preparing for CIM the next day. I, instead, woke up before I had to go to work with the intentions of running around my new neighborhood.


This is the view from around the block. I didn't get far because a neighbor saw me taking a photo and we started talking. I told her that we had just moved here and she chatted my ear off for a good while. The next thing I realized I was going to be late for work. Needless to say, I did not run very far but it was nice to get the 411 on our new neighborhood.

Today, I had to wake up at 5:30 to get ready to head to the Fleet Feet Aid Station which was almost at mile 9 of the marathon. When I run the marathon I am waking up at 5 am so this morning just seemed like "old times" except I was putting on warm clothes instead of shorts. The one thing DIDN'T that seem like old times was the temperature. My car was reading 56 degrees! CIM last year had a 30 degree start! Figures, this would be the year that it was warm and sunny.

Doing an aid-station takes a lot of work and a lot of volunteers. I have volunteered for CIM in the past which I think every runner should do at some point in their lives. It feels good to give back to those who have volunteered for us and makes you appreciate the race even more.

Handing out water.

I had many friends running CIM this year. Pigeon, Coach Nikon, his wife Miss Lily, Miss P and quite a few others. It was great to see them and cheer them on. The only one I missed seeing was Coach Nikon. He must have been too fast for me.

However, seeing Lily was truly the high light of my day. She was smiling and asked ME how I was doing. When I asked her how she felt she said she was having hamstring issues and that she needed me to push on her hamstrings. So off we went to the sidewalk where she lay face down and had me put both of my knees right where her butt meets her hamstring with all my weight. Apparently, and I should probably take this is as a compliment, I was too light and not giving enough pressure. So I called over Captain Kirk figuring he might have weighed a smidgen more than me or at the very least, I know his knees are bonier than mine.

Captain Kirk to the rescue!
Don't worry Coach Nikon I kept a close eye on him!


 Overall, it was a great day. The weather was fantastic for a marathon making me all the more excited to run CIM next year. I am happy I went to the aid-station and volunteered. I cannot wait to find out how my friends all finished.

Once I got back home, Vans, the Peanut and I headed out to get our Christmas tree and we're spending the afternoon decorating and yes, still unpacking random boxes that we're coming across. A nice little weekend for all!
Happy Holidays!