Tuesday, June 29, 2010

70 more days


It’s officially summer vacation!! That’s me pretending to be excited!! Neve’s last day of school was yesterday and the other kids finished today. I am usually happy about having the kids home for the summer, but I don’t feel quite ready for it this time. With Neve in nursery school in the morning, and napping in the afternoon (her, not me unfortunately) my days were pretty quiet this year. I liked it, even though I used the quiet time to work. I like having the house to myself. I like the mess staying the same, rather than getting worse. I like hearing the fridge hum, the clock tick, and the “clink” of the mailbox when the letter carrier delivers the mail. I never hear those things when the kids are around. Often when I get home from picking up the kids from school, I’m exhausted. I wonder what my problem is when I’ve basically had all day to myself. But Siobhan came to school with me yesterday and by looking at it with fresh eyes, I suddenly realized how jarring the transition is from quiet peacefulness to CRAZY, LOUD, MANY CHILDREN, ALL TALKING AT ONCE. Yesterday was particularly crazy because we went right to the kids’ classes, which I generally try to avoid. It was definitely sensory overload. How I appreciate teachers and their willingness to expose themselves to that chaos every single day. They deserve every second of summer vacation, and much, much more.

It always takes a few days to get into the no-school groove, and then I’m sure it will all be fine. To pump myself up, I thought it would be fun to do something tonight to celebrate the end of school, but no one wanted to. I thought we could go out for dinner, but Dale wanted to make omelettes instead. I suggested going to play mini-golf, but Spencer said, “It takes too long to get there.” So we just stayed home and ate omelettes. The kids played with the neighbour kids and we ended up having a fire and making smores, so it was all good – just different than the plans I had in my head. I also made up a treasure hunt for the kids. The prize was a new book for each of them, even though I’m trying to encourage them to do stuff besides read this summer. Chloe and Spencer will probably be done their books by tomorrow morning anyway. The kids were in good spirits when they finally went to bed. The girls are having a sleepover together in Chloe’s bed. Chloe texted me about half an hour ago to ask if I could bring her and Neve breakfast in bed tomorrow morning. I guess I could throw an orange at them or something.


The pile of school stuff I have to deal with when no one's looking


Neve during her nap today


Siobhan & Derrick with their big happy family. Had a lovely, too-short visit with her this week
(Spencer's eyes are always closed in photos lately.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Ex



Yesterday was our annual Red River Ex day. Despite predictions to the contrary, there wasn’t a drop of rain all day, which is a rare thing this year. It was such a beautiful evening that we didn’t leave until about 11:30 p.m. Six hours at the Ex is still not enough. I don’t know why I love it so; it’s seedy and tacky and I feel terribly out of place with my un-tattooed skin and modest t-shirt, but it’s just so much fun. My nieces Bailey and Tia joined us, which will hopefully be a tradition from now on.


Dale went on the Mega Drop by himself because he couldn't convince anyone else to go with him.
(Bailey & Tia only joined us later; maybe one of them could have been convinced.)
On the big ferris wheel
Bailey & I went on this swing thing, which I'd like to point out is scarier than it looks

Watching the fireworks before we headed home

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I don't ever need to do that again

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have the first part of this day over with. Even though my body hurts in places that have never hurt before, I am feeling very good. I think this might finally be the runner's high Rose asked about a while back.

The run went much better than I expected. I was seriously (and realistically, based on my training runs) expecting to finish around 5 hours 30 minutes. My actual time was 4 hours 45 minutes (and 40 seconds). I ran most of it, but walked through the water stations and several other one-minute intervals. I never "hit the wall," which is probably because I was running at the pace of a snail. Sometimes walkers passed me. There was one obese guy who appeared to be on a shuffle-one-minute/walk-one-minute schedule. He passed me during his shuffling minute; I passed him in his walking one. We went back and forth like this for miles, which was a little discouraging. Finally around mile 16, I realized I hadn't seen him for ten minutes or so. Either he surged way ahead or slowed down, possibly due to a heart attack.

In case anyone is wondering, not only did I not have diarrhea, I didn't have to use the bathroom at all during the race. I looked down at my legs a few times just to make sure nothing had happened without me noticing. I didn't see any other runners with bowel problems either, which was almost disappointing.

Something about marathons make a person all emotional. I was choked up with love towards all the people who came to cheer me on: Bob & Janet, Tia, Bailey and her friend, Nancy, Mom K., Mike & Darla, Madeline, Emma Kate and Sadie, Lloyd & Karen, and Carolyn. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. There were lots of others who phoned or emailed, and my parents took Neve yesterday for night, which was a huge help. Carolyn was like my guardian angel and rode beside me on her bike from Mile 21 right to the end. She got me water, made strangers cheer for me, and encouraged me every step of the way. I felt like a rock star, except less beautiful. I would have walked way more if she hadn't been there. My sister Janet came to see me and cheer at three different spots - with signs and everything - as well as at the end. Dale ran the Super Run with the kids, came to cheer me on in St. Vital, and was waiting for me at the finish line. He's been a huge support and encouragement ever since I first got this crazy idea. I can't wait until next year to return the favour. It made such a difference to see familiar faces and always gave me a boost of energy. I very much regret that I've never gone to cheer on the runners before, even though they run right by the end of our block. My sister-in-law Jean has run it several times and I am very sorry that we've never gone to cheer her on. I will be there at your next marathon, especially if it's in Florida! Thanks for all your encouragement!

I'll try to get my emotions under control now. I love you all!! Sorry this is such an all-about-me post; contrary to how it sounds, there were many runners besides me. Congratulations to Sheri-Lee, Corinna, Julio, and any other readers who ran today as well.



me and my sister

nice blister

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bits

I have little snippets of unrelated things in my head, so I’ll sum it all up in bullet points.
  • I finished my Big Work Project yesterday. There will probably be a few little corrections and amendments next week, but 99.9% of the work is finished. I hardly know what to do with myself.
  • Neve was delighted with her day today. She was the calendar helper, it was her turn for show and tell, and best of all, I volunteered in her class. All was right in her five-year-old world.
Show and tell


Book buddies

  • Not all was right in my 40-year-old world. We were told yesterday that Neve’s beloved teacher – who was also going to be her kindergarten teacher – has accepted a position at another school for September. Our kindergarten decisions were largely based on Neve having this particular teacher. Now I am trying to readjust my thinking and not have an anxiety attack. I know it’s only kindergarten, but some of us parents get crazy about stuff like that.
  • Dale and I picked up our marathon race kits today (Dale, Chloe and Spencer are doing the Super Run.) I find it interesting that they don’t give out the free marathon T-shirt until the end of the race. They are very protective of those shirts. Are there really people who pay a registration fee just to get the “I finished a marathon” t-shirt? And if so, who cares? Hey, maybe I could sell mine on kijiji (assuming I finish). I feel sorry for the people who are at mile 25 and then they snap their ankle or something and can’t finish. Sorry, no t-shirt. Try harder next time. If a guy can finish with diarrhea running down his leg, surely you can suck it up and cross that finish line.
  • Tomorrow is Father’s Day at our house. Since I will be running the first half of the day on Sunday and hopefully sleeping my pain away the second half, Dale will not get of the recognition he deserves. The kids and I are planning a breakfast of crepes for him and other niceties throughout the day.
  • One more marathon-related note, in case anyone is planning to cheer on the crowds: look for me wearing the turquoise top in this picture, with a white cap instead of the black Canadian Idol one. Just look for the slow one straggling along at the back. If you see me, yell something nice about how I am almost at the finish line. Lie if you must. Good luck to all fellow runners – it’s going to be awesome!! (I’m practicing my positive thinking)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Busy

This is the longest I’ve gone without a blog update in quite some time. June is the official Month In Which Schools Try To Make Life So Taxing On Parents That The Parents Welcome Summer Holidays With Open Arms Even Though It Means Children Are Underfoot For Almost Ten Solid Weeks. I have a stack of papers this high (use your imagination) that I need to go through: field trip forms, requests for baking, volunteering, and money for group teacher gifts. I’m pretty sure there is a track meet, field trip, special chapel, concert, or picnic every day from now until the end of school. And they all involve sending money. I’m thinking of sending a roll of twenties with each kid tomorrow and letting them deal with it all themselves.

The busy-ness isn’t all school related. I’ve been working long hours to meet a deadline, but I think the worst is over. Unfortunately the deadline has come and gone; I’m still waiting for some people to send me stuff, so it continues to hang over my head. This is an annual project that always stresses me out, but the feeling of relief and exhilaration when it’s finally gone to the printers makes it all Worth It. My family is also very happy when it’s over, but I don’t think they’d say it was worth it. I’ve been cranky, impatient, distracted, and exhausted. The upside is that it will make them appreciate my usual cheerful, energetic, loving and kind personality when things are back to normal. Right.

I also need to think about father’s day, buying gifts for the flurry of pre-summer kids birthday parties, planting my flowers, and running 26.2 miles. My ankle has been swollen and sore ever since my 20 mile run two weeks ago. It doesn’t seem to be improving much. I worry about that. But on the other hand, my mantra is “It is what it is.” It’s like when you’re pregnant for nine months … you worry about giving birth, but you’re so done being pregnant that you’re like, bring it on. Maybe it’s nothing like that. I’ll find out in six days.

I was away this weekend on another retreat with my teen moms group. Chloe came to help with child care, so it was nice having her there with me. It was a busy but fun weekend. Ironically, I actually caught up on sleep, which is probably not a sign of a successful retreat. But it felt good.

On a different note, I am one of the lucky 16,000 people who scored tickets for Justin Bieber. That was the most stressful five minutes of my life. Chloe and I had two computers ready to go when the tickets went on sale; I hit “search for seats” on both a few seconds apart – one search got me tickets, the other didn’t. My Ticketmaster password wasn’t working, so I had to create a new account while the clock on the corner of the screen ticked off the seconds until my tickets would be released. I know it’s all silly, but I got caught up in it and my heart was pounding in a hurting way. Luckily it all worked out and now I’ve done my part. Dale gets to be the accompanying parent who will be hearing high-pitched screaming ringing in his ears for days afterward.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Birthday

Whose, you ask? Four years ago today, Worth It entered this world. I can't believe I've been blogging for four years; I never expected it to last this long. I'm happy that it has; this is the only place I record anything. I sometimes look through old entries, and even though it worries me that I often have no memory whatsoever of having written it, and even though I cringe at some things I've written, it's cool to see what we've been up to. The pictures I've posted make me feel a little less panicky about not properly backing up the photos on my hard drive.

My favourite thing to re-read are things the kids have said. In that vein, Spencer asked me the other day what my favourite natural disaster was. None came to mind; mainly because it seems kind of wrong to have a favourite disaster. Spencer had obviously given this much thought, because when I asked what his favourite was, he answered without hesitation. "A firenado." (there actually is such a thing. You can google it.)

Thanks for four years of reading my ramblings. I think you should all start blogs (or update your existing ones more consistently!). Love you all!!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Sucker for punishment

I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, but I think I’m going to attempt to run the full marathon in June.

The thought first entered my mind about six weeks ago, when my training for the half marathon was going better than I thought it would. I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep – that’s when I always have my worst ideas – when I thought, “I’m pretty sure I can run the first 13 miles, so even if I walk the entire last 13 miles, I should still be able to finish before they close the course.” At first I found that amusing, but when I tried to push the thought away, it wouldn’t leave.

So I started doing some longer runs, and I survived. Not without pain, blisters, or mental turmoil, but I managed to stay upright. I didn’t tell many people in case I suddenly came to my senses and changed my mind. But with the worst of my training behind me, I don’t want it to go to waste so I guess it’s time to publicly commit. I don’t feel completely confident; I wish I had started training sooner. I followed a marathon training guide which I had to condense to fit into a shorter time frame. I’m also concerned about some defective body parts – my ankle is still swollen from my long run on Saturday and my knees also bother me. Of course, these are the pre-requisite runner’s complaints – in case I don’t finish, I will be able to say, “Remember how I mentioned my ankle? I couldn’t take another step on it, so I had to stop.”

I'm not aiming for anything lofty. When you look in the newspaper for my name the day after, start at the bottom of the column. It won't take long to find my name. At least I hope not; if so, that means I didn't finish. My goals are simple:

  1. to finish
  2. to not finish dead last

I don’t care if I’m second last, but I just want to beat at least one person. I will laugh and laugh at that person as I hobble by. Of course I’m kidding; I don’t want to waste my energy laughing, and I will just be grateful to that person for allowing me to fulfill Goal #2.

I also need to add Goal #3. Please please please don’t let me be this guy.