Monday, March 29, 2010

a new world record

I think Alex set a new world record today.

Does anyone else have a child that can make a 30-minute piano practice last for 85 minutes?

Didn't think so!

Hallelujah! I can see again!

The saga began one year ago. I was having some issues with my 5-year-old contacts (rigid gas permeable) and so I began the process of getting new ones. Little did I know what I was in for. I've been wearing the same type of contacts for 30 years (!) and NEVER had these issues.

Our health insurance offers a "vision benefit" that we signed up for so I called around to see who provides the services. After an hour or more of searching and calling, I found ONE provider who can both do the eye exam and provide the appropriate lenses. My prior eye doctor has since retired, and was not on this plan anyway.

So I went to get the new prescription. But the new eye Dr. said my lenses had flattened and the shape of my cornea had changed, and when I got the new lenses the world was blurry. I went back to the old lenses but they were starting to get uncomfortable and collect protein deposits and I knew it was only a matter of I waited a year (so the insurance would cover the new lenses again) and tried again.

Wore my glasses for a month to allow my corneas to "round" back to their natural shape. Got the new Rx and the right eye was OK but the left was still blurry. Went back and they changed the power of the left lens, but now it was only in focus if I stared straight ahead. If my eye slightly moved in any direction - up, down, right, left - everything was blurry. Grr. I drove around not being able to see the road signs, etc. very well for another month...went back to the Dr...they gave me a new lens last week, and ...


I know - I am being a bit whiny compared to people who really can't see. But after months of a blurry world, it is SO GREAT to see a nice sharp crisp world again!! Yayyyyy!!!!

One thing about heaven that I look forward to (with my new perfect body) is having perfect eyesight. That, and a beautiful singing voice. :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

spring training

This week Tammy found a 10K race on May 29 and we are going to register! Yahoo!

I can't believe I'm actually excited about this. Me, turning into a runner? I was literally allergic to running in high school. I got hives - excercise-induced urticaria - but these somehow subsided several years ago. I never would have expected to be bitten by the running bug (but partly can blame genetics since my dad and several siblings have been or are runners).

Today I did 4 miles in 60 minutes, alternating running 2 min. with walking 2. A nice comfortable pace. The best part was, a couple of new running buddies were willing to come along and run/walk with me on the Jordan River Parkway. It's amazing how good company makes the time fly by.

Monday, March 22, 2010

not the best day

Well, today I have managed to lose my Blackberry (government issue) and lock my keys in my car.

I had the BB with me yesterday on the Jordan River trail with the kids. Unfortunately I don't know how it got separated from my person, but I surmise it could have been when the kids got tired and I was carrying them - maybe they bumped it off? Or else it fell off while I was assisting them with peeing in the bushes since there were no available restroom facilities. Thought about going back to look for it but decided my chances of success weren't very high. So I am going through the government process for reporting it lost/stolen, which required about 5 phone calls so far to 4 different people, about 5 e-mails, and so far only filling out one form (and then answering more e-mails questioning whether I had filled out the form) . The real work will come if and when they issue me a replacement - re-programming all the stuff back onto it. Well - it's my fault.

Wasn't too happy about locking my keys in the car either, but at least I managed to do it on a Monday when Bryan could come to my rescue. My knight in shining armor came through - yay!

And now, my workday is through and I'm heading out for a run, hoping I won't get struck by lightning or step in a hole. I've had enough self-imposed misfortune for one day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

what to do with a sassy girl

Looking for suggestions...

Alex has become quite a sassy girl. Lately the attitude, arguments, and backtalk have just escalated. It's time to put the lid on it.

We've tried a few things. We usually give her some time alone until she is ready to rejoin the family. Mostly I think we just need to be more consistent. I also want to teach her constructive ways to express her anger, disappointment, etc. instead of just silencing her. I'm wondering what other experienced parents have done that worked. Anyone care to share?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Run/walking update

I've read through most of Jeff Galloway's book on running (except the chapter on "Running Over 40" which I look forward to) and started my run/walking workouts this week. Goal is to finish a 10K and continue running through the summer and fall. I'm planning on 3 days running, 2 days cross-training and 2 days off per week.

The book is interesting. Mostly good, though there were some things I found surprising. For instance, he says stretching is a leading cause of injuries among runners and recommends doing very little stretching - especially before or after a run. Opposite of what I always thought. I am skeptical and will probably keep stretching some, but with more awareness and not worrying about "how far." One of the worst injuries I ever had (hamstring) happened during a routine stretch after a workout, when I was trying to pull "just a bit farther." He showed 3 stretches that are dangerous and I have been guilty of all of them. He also says he doesn't believe in "carb loading" before a race and eats very little or nothing 12-18 hours before (but does keep well hydrated). Again, interesting. Who knows.

This week I ran/walked about 9 miles and walked another 3 miles. I am s-l-o-w (12-13 min/mile) but purposely holding back since I haven't run in so long, and also at this point more than half of my "run" is walking, so I may get faster over time. If I don't, though, I'm OK with that. I am being VERY conservative - starting with a ratio of 2 min. running alternating with 3 of walking. Next week I'll move to 3 min. running and 2 walking, then 3:1, 4:1 and 5:1 and probably stay around there if it's comfortable. After 3-4 weeks I'll start increasing distance, and maybe try some intervals or other things just to keep it interesting, but first I'd like to run for a few weeks without problems. It's hard to hold myself back because it doesn't feel challenging enough right now, but I just keep reminding myself that running slowly is better than not running at all. Galloway is very good at getting that point across and makes me feel OK with the slow and steady approach.

Today's run was the best yet - I discovered the Porter Rockwell trail and it was great! Lots of kids, dogs, walkers, joggers, and bikers and beautiful scenery. Thanks Tammy for the great tip! The only problem was I could not find the mile markers until I was almost finished - was looking for sign posts and they were painted in red on the ground - so I'm not sure how far I went but with warmup and cooldown I was out there 45 min. so I am guessing it was at least the 3 miles I was "supposed" to do today. Looking forward to getting my Garmin!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poop update - read at your own risk

Sam actually pooped in the potty on Tuesday, for the first time!

My elation was short-lived, though. Ten minutes later he pooped more, but in his pants. Poor kid is always having near-diarrhea. He has ALWAYS been this way. In the past week I have taken him to two social events and had to change his poopy pants 2 or 3 times in one hour. Almost everywhere we take him he poops. And I don't think I've ever taken him to McDonald's without him pooping. Something about those playland tubes is very intestinally stimulating to him.

So I asked my pediatrician brother what to do to make his stools firmer and he said take away all juice and limit him to maintenance fluids. (He currently is allowed 8 oz of juice per day, and likes to drink a lot of water. He doesn't drink milk of any kind.) Buzz is so awesome, he even calculated Sam's maintenance fluids on the spot: 40 oz a day. But Bryan remains unconvinced. He doesn't want to take away the juice. I can't imagine why Bryan resisted this idea, especially directly after cleaning up Sam twice in one restaurant meal. In fact, immediately after we had this enlightening conversation about the juice, Bryan gave Sam a juice popsicle at home. Men.

Anyway, I am still trying to convince him to give Sam a couple of juice-free weeks. Wish me luck. If this makes the difference it will be a very happy thing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hmmm, running?

I thought I'd take a break from posting about potty training. :-) Thanks to all for your wise and kind words. We are making great progress with #1, so I have faith that eventually we will also accomplish #2 (though Sam is still holding out, for now). Wow, after 5 years of diapers (I know that's not much) I am seeing the end in sight! I will not go back to diapers I will not go back to diapers I will not go back to diapers...

But I digress. The topic for today is running. For some inexplicable reason, as my 41st birthday approached, I began to wonder if I could run again. I used to "run" in college and for several years afterward. Really it was very slow jogging. So slow, in fact, that one day as I puffed uphill past a man pushing his little boy in a stroller, I heard the boy ask, "Daddy, why is that girl running so slow?" I had to laugh. 'Cause I just can't run any faster!!!

I've always been slow and it never bothered me. I knew I was getting a good workout and I knew I would never be a "competitive" runner, so I just ran at a comfortable pace. Sometime around 1993, I actually entered a 5K race and finished it without stopping to walk, which I was very happy with. In medical school, I tried running 5 or maybe 6 miles a few times, but I don't think I ever ran longer distances. Around age 35, my right knee started aching a bit at the end of 3 miles, and I stopped running. I've enjoyed my self-made regimen of fitness walking, aerobics with weights, core strengthening, and elliptical machine, but as spring approaches I am hearing the call of the wild.

I was in Phoenix in January on a work trip, and our hotel was near a running path, so I did 3 40-minute runs that week outdoors. It felt great! It probably wasn't wise to do that much that fast, and my legs felt it, but no knee pain. It made me want more.

So, I'm planning to start this week. I read about Jeff Galloway's "run-walk-run" training method and I'm going to try it. Bought new running shoes (Sauconys, first time ever). What I'm most excited about is my new gadget: I ordered a Garmin Forerunner 305, which will track my mileage, elevation, heart rate, and pace for me.

My first goal is to train for a 10K. I may even enter a local race, just to see what that's like. If I can train without injury or other setbacks through the summer, I may even try a half marathon in the fall. Or maybe not. I'm hoping to discover some new local routes too. If you know of any 3-10 mile runs around Salt Lake without a lot of traffic, mean dogs, or steep hills, please share!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

potty training - a small success

OK, so since I whined so much about how impossible it's been to potty train our 3 and 1/2 year old boy, I want to put in a positive report here. Yesterday I decided Sam is just too comfortable with going in his pants. I'd heard of letting kids go naked and I wondered if it would make any difference to Sam. My only reservations were 1. that he would be cold, and 2. that we would have to buy all new carpet and furniture. At least his pants were containing most of the worst...anyway, I took the plunge and made him go bare-bottomed yesterday afternoon. He didn't complain of being cold, but after a couple hours I noticed him holding himself. He actually stopped watching a movie to come and ask me to put his pants on. I promised him he could wear his pants after he went potty. It took several minutes of convincing, but - Hallelujah! - he did it!

And this morning - same thing - he was bare-bottomed all morning and then - without any prompting - he went in the bathroom and did it without any prompting from me! Yee-haw! So, I have hope now. Yes! We CAN do this.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

potty training, continued. It still sucks.

Today our babysitter had Sam and Alex all day, since it was Tuesday. We tried to spare her the worst of the potty training by starting on a Wednesday, and last Tuesday the kids were home sick. So today was the first day she had Sam in pants all day. We did put a diaper on over his underwear, a great trick I learned from my friend Tammy. His pants will be wet and yet he won't make a big mess...

Well...he didn't go #1 or #2 all day. Not in the potty, though she took him a few times and tried to coax him. Not in his pants either. As soon as I picked him up at 5, he peed his pants.


Help, help, please give me suggestions. I'm dyin here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

potty training totally sucks

OK, I guess we got lucky with Alex because she pretty much figured out potty training easily and very rarely had accidents. Now for the fun part: potty training a boy.

Sam is 3 and 1/2 and has actually peed in the potty ONCE in his life, that I know of, and that was about 6 months ago. We weren't worried, and didn't push it. But I just couldn't stand the image of him in diapers at his 4th birthday party. So we talked it up, got him all ready, bought him the big boy underwear, gave him lots of practice sessions, read potty books, watched potty videos, and finally almost 2 weeks ago we took away the diapers (except for nighttime and naps). We've promised him the moon and then some if he ever succeeds. No luck. Have found NOTHING that motivates him. Not candy, not trips to the store for prizes, not videos, nothing.

I've heard a lot of people say "Don't worry, you never see kids going to kindergarten still wearing diapers." Well, with my luck my kid will be the one.