Friday, June 29, 2012

First Trip to Werner Park

Last night, on one of the hottest days of the year, Chris got us tickets to see the Storm Chasers at Werner Park in Papillion (thank you Courtney for your great blog on the Storm Chasers! What a positive influence you are! :) ). What a clean stadium! It seems small, but it works. We arrived just prior to game time, parking in the free parking zone. The free parking zone is just behind the $2 zone, so really, it is not that much more walking. And, it does not kill us to walk! We needed our $2 for all the sodas, ice cream cones, hotdogs, cotton candy and kids zone passes once inside. :)

We found our seats in section 107. Chris work has season labeled seats (how cool is that?!). They are pretty good ones, too. Chris and I tried to keep Addison and Asher interested in the game by having them pretend they were batting, swinging at the pitches. It seemed to work. It also distracted us from the sweat dripping down our faces, chests, legs, etc. We were soaked! It looked like we went swimming in our clothes, not to a baseball game. The smell of beer was overwhelming (okay, I do not perhaps I am more sensitive.).

As the Storm Chasers were getting blown away, the kids wanted to go to the Kid Zone. For $5 a child, they can jump in one of 3 bouncers (maybe 4), ride the carousel, or play on the gigantic rainbow play set. Addison and Asher played and played. Asher was beginning to look a little too hot, having a sweaty purplish tone to his face, his hair wet, he was just HOT! It was time for some cold ice cream and more to drink! It was Thirsty Thursday, with 12oz drinks for a $1. Thank Goodness! It was SO HOT! It was so hot that the ice cream fell off of the cone and I caught it on my chest, catching it before it fell to the ground. Asher did not mind as he continued to try and eat the cone before it melted. What a mess. (And, DO NOT eat the ice cream there. It does not taste like ice cream and has side effects of many bathroom trips. Just saying. Don't say I did not warn you).

We cleaned up and went back to our seats. The sun was now behind the stadium, offering a little less of a sweaty environment. It was not cool, but it was perhaps a little more tolerable. At about the 6th inning, Addison started whining. She did not look good. Too much heat maybe??!! We stayed until the 7th inning, hit the play zone again, then made our way out of the stadium. The Storm Chasers were sure to lose until they had a HUGE final inning rally.

Addison's favorites: The carrousel, the play zone in general, the ice cream cone and the baseball game (but only after Asher said it.
Asher's Favorites: The play zone, the base ball game, ice cream cone and the cotton candy.
My favorite: Thirsty Thursday with drinks $1. Too bad we did not realize this included soda until the 5th inning!
Chris' favorite: Sweating half his body weight in 20 minutes, hot dog and drinking endless supply of coke, and sitting watching the game instead of watching a computer monitor. :) We are so lucky he got us tickets! I asked...and he got them within a few days! Amazing!

Werner Park is right down highway 370 from our home. It is so close and convenient, that we were surely go again. Maybe next time we will select a milder temperature day. We all had a blast, ate too much, drank not enough, lost 1/2 our body weight in sweat...but it was so worth it! When can we go again?!

Going to Werner Park? Bring your money, a hat, sunscreen, a catchers glove to catch a crazy foul ball if you are so lucky...and have fun!

Riding off into the night...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Visiting Prairie Rose State Park

Well, we survived our overnight stay at Grandma and Grandpa's, barely. Gees!

I worked out at the break of dawn, finishing as Addison woke up. The girl just does not sleep long.

The kids were outside playing before 8am! The played outside, played downstairs and played outside before I was able to convince them to go to the new park of the week, Prairie Rose State Park.

We arrived to an empty park! We saw one camper that was all covered up but there was a car there (so I assume there were people there, too) and one park worker...that is it! The kids played at the playground near the campground all by themselves. I watched them play as birds sang. It was hot, muggy, yet peaceful. After they played, we drove around to find a nice, shaded place to picnic. The lake was drained last fall, I believe, and is dry and full of natural grasses. We did see two deer drinking from a little pond, though.

When we went to leave the park, Asher said, "Thank you Mommy for taking us to this fun park!" and Addison followed him thanking me. So sweet! We saw the beach, that now went right up to some weeds. The playground on the beach side looks like a little little tikes playground, but I guess it is something for 2 year olds to enjoy.

We went back to Grandma and Grandpa's house to cool off a bit inside. The kids needed a minute before they went on a scavenger hunt for treasure left behind be pirates, so they said. They found some loot all right...pantyhose, hand sanitizer, many bones (probably left behind from their dog Kota), etc. They had a blast. Addison was in the cat house frequently to make sure the cats were still there. She loves Grandma's cats...too bad the cats do not like people.

After a fun afternoon...the whining and bickering came back, full force. Oh, time to go home! Both Addison and Asher slept the hour drive home. Clearly the heat and fun of our day's adventure had gotten the best of them.

We will return to Grandma and Grandpa's for a sleepover, I'm sure, but I am not sure I will ever do that alone. The kids had a blast, and that is all that matters.



Looking down Iowa Roads...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Farm at Night

So, the kids and I decided to have a little sleepover on the farm.

I am freaked out!

I was watching TV after putting them to bed, but after trying to get the DVD ready for my AM workout, I could not get dish network back to working (Thank God really). So, I came downstairs to catch up on email, blog, etc, before going to bed.

At 10 PM, the doorbell rings.

Seriously, that could not be the doorbell?! My parents live in the middle of nowhere!

So, I did as any other girl would do, who was home alone with her 2 kids sleeping, I called my dad! He is 7 hours away, sleeping, and tells me to go to the door. Uh, no way!! I peek out the window and find NO CAR in the driveway. The bell rings again! Seriously, who is outside?! I am wigging out!!! Dad then reminds me where the shotgun is, reminding me that I have used it once (and the barrel of the gun ended up in the dirt and I ended up laying on the ground. It did not end well). I know he was mostly joking, but I was not seeing the humor in the situation.

Twenty minutes later, I am totally freaked out. I had the kitchen light on (as Asher is asleep in the family room) and the lights were on in the sunroom. My parents have sun shades, which probably offer filtered privacy at best at night time. Did this person see my sitting on the floor freaking out on the phone?! Is this person still outside?!

I went upstairs, checked on Addison, and peeked out all the windows. I saw nothing. I am still shaking. Should I just go to bed and it will all be better in the morning?! Oh, I can only hope.

I will leave this little incident between my Dad, Chris (who I was SO HOPING was the stranger at the door) and myself as the kids would be freaked out hearing this story. But, I think my sleepover days without Grandma and Grandpa at home are now over. I would leave tonight....but I am too freaked out to unlock the door and go outside!

M parents farm is a beautiful, tranquil place...during the day.

Here's to looking forward to sunrise...

Alivia on Vaca

Tuesday morning, Alivia set out with my parents for a week long trip to their lake home with them. Although initially hesitant, she was excited in the end. She packed her bags, in the new luggage we bought for each of the kids no less, and was ready to go swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's big "pool," aka, The Lake of the Ozarks.
Addison was crushed. Addison went with Grandma and Grandpa on her individual trip last summer when she was only 4 years old. We wanted each of the kids to have this valuable time alone with their grandparents before they go together, perhaps, someday. The girls are even planning vacas at the Lake with their little friends, although Alivia will be the first one to trial run this idea. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
Alivia set off just before lunch on Tuesday morning, arriving before dinner and jumping right into the water with Grandpa (my Dad). Grandma went to the store to get food, and try to find something Miss picky Alivia would eat. I tried to make a list with Alivia for Grandma on things Alivia would eat, but it contained pretty much nothing (welcome to our world of Picky Chris plus picky Krista = the extreme crazy eater Alivia. Thank goodness Addison and Asher are adventurous eaters!). Today sounded like much of the same, with most of the day in or on the water as they took a boat ride. Sounds like the temperatures are hot as they are hear, soaring to 102 at one point. No better place than on the water or in it! Alivia sounds in good spirits on the phone so far. Only time will tell if she gets home sick.
Meanwhile, I am trying to be creative on fun things to do with Addison and Asher to take their minds off of Alivia being at the Lake (having all the fun, they think, while they are stuck at home). Yesterday, we hit the Children's Museum before Alivia left. In the afternoon, Addi and Asher and I went to the library, then played in our pool at home. Today we ran errands this morning, stopping at the toy store so Asher can get a birthday gift for his friend. In the afternoon, we took our first visit to Oak Heights Pool with our friends Bonnie, Xander, Gabby and Baby Ben. It was a beautiful and HOT afternoon at the pool. Of course, I was dreaming the entire time that it was in my backyard and their was no pee in it, but that is a whole other story. We ended the day with take out pizza for dinner and a sleepover at Grandma Bet's house in Iowa. Yes, we are staying at their house while they are away. We were intending on staying 2 nights, but Chris got us tickets to see a baseball game tomorrow night. So, the kids and I are thrilled about that! We have plans to go camping, too, all before Alivia returns next week on Monday or Tuesday. In other words, we are trying to keep the schedule full of fun things.
Addison and Asher bicker CONSTANTLY. Addison is usually whining or crying about some silly thing Asher has done to her. Asher is pestering her as I believe he finds it entertaining to hear Addison whine and cry. It is a vicious circle really.
Oh, but the fun will go on! We look forward to hearing all about Alivia's vaca with Grandma and Grandpa while we make memories at home. We all will have a lot to catch up on!

Turbo Fire Workout Review

As I have written, I started Turbo Fire on Chris' first trip out of town since I could not go on my daily 5am runs. I started with the 5 Day Inferno, and I fell in love with it.
The first of June, I dropped the YMCA. Cold Turkey. I loved Zumba. But, I found it fun to go to and a great way to burn extra calories, but I did not see that it sculpted my body at all.
Since the first of the year, I have done several things to get and stay in shape. Chris and I started the year off doing Insanity a second time (he is now doing it a third time). It is a killer workout, and I thought I could do anything while and after doing it. I did see some results, too, but I found myself dreading the workouts. I also felt like I still needed to run along with the workouts, at least for the first 5 weeks. So, it was a huge time commitment, one that I was no longer willing to put in. Keep in mind, some days I was running, doing Insanity, and then going to Zumba. Gees! That is just, well, insane!
We completed Insanity in March and Chris hopped on his career roller coaster in the end of March, still taking us on daily fun rides. Our plans to go on and do the Asylum were put on hold until we could do the workout in its entirety. Considering he is gone for 2 weeks every few weeks, the workout just was not going to happen.
Chris gave me Turbo Fire for Mother's Day. I believe I started it the next day with the Inferno. Since completing the 5 day Inferno, I have gone to running every other day and doing a piece of Turbo Fire every day (taking off the 1-2 times a month that I work an overnight shift. I just want to sleep, for some reason, after staying up all night working. Crazy, right?!).
I have not been following the Turbo Fire Schedule (again, Chalene, the innovator, keeps saying, "follow the schedule." And, I just chose to do it my own way. Bad, I know. I may go through the official schedule come winter, only time will tell).
I get up every at 5:40 and either run then turbo or just go downstairs, fan blasting, and do Turbo Fire. My schedule looks something like this:
Monday Fire 60 (which is a turbo fire workout for 60 minutes. The length of the workout is in the title, which is nice), Tuesday, Fire 45, Hiit 15, Wednesday: 55ez, Thursday Fire 30, Hiit 20, Friday Fire 55ez. Now Chris returned from his trip so I could start working in my running.
Saturday, Run, Core 20 (work 12 hour overnight), Sunday Hiit (high intensity interval training) 30), Monday, Memorial Day, Run 40, Hiit 25, Tuesday, Run, Hiit 20, Wednesday, Fire 55ez, Thursday Hiit 30 Core 20 Friday Fire 45, Saturday 45, Hiit 20, Sunday Run, abs 10; Monday Fire 60, Tuesday Run 40, hiit 20, Wednesday Fire 45, hiit 15, Thursday Run 40, hiit 20, Friday Hiit 30 Turbo 30, Abs 10... get the point. Run with a small hiit or short Turbo and then the next day do a longer Turbo workout. I always workout 1hr total, or at least close to that. My runs are 40 minutes long, approximately, and just under 5 miles (really, I am usually done at 36-37 minutes, but I round up and call it close enough).
I did get somewhat of an injury this week following the ab workout, which is only 10 minutes, and I try to do this 3 times a week. It is a great workout, but it clearly was straining my neck. Chris was doing this portion with me (he does no other turbo with me) when I pulled the right side of my neck. I was practically immobilized on the floor.Chris helped me to my feet and I got through the day with 800mg Motrin every 8 hours. I still have the pain in my neck, but it was not back enough from keeping me from working out today, 2 mornings after the injury. Whew!

I love Turbo Fire and would recommend it to anyone. It is a mix of body combat, Insanity, running, zumba (a little), sculpting your body with the movements, all to music. I am not sick of the workouts and look forward to doing them. I actually am now dreading my morning runs, mostly because I have to contend with the elements (the heat!) and have to find something appropriate to wear outside. I typically wear my sports bra and shorts to do Turbo Fire. Now I am finding I can only wear that to run or I am too hot.

As for nutrition, I have been trying really hard to eat healthier in order to build more muscle and tone up. This is really difficult for me to do! I am back to oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast, almonds at AM stack, generally, lunch with tuna salad or greek yogurt and fruit and veges, dinner with salmon, turkey wrap (my new addiction!) or the rare chicken breast. I am really trying to increase the protein, but since I was a vegetarian for so long...this is really difficult to do. The taste is coming...slowly. But, I will not give up M&Ms, but I am eating plain frozen ones, at the moment. I can not give up chocolate!

I am seeing results, too! I am seeing my arms toned and, do I say, defined. I am seeing my upper ab muscles (those lower ones have to be there somewhere, right?!). My weight has maintained, but that is what the goal is. With that said, I had a friend ask how much weight I had I am clearly looking leaner. But, I am a pound or 2 away from where I always am. So far, I am happy with the results, the high impact intensity of the workouts and how fun the workouts are.

Here is a video I found of someone doing a short section of the Fire 45 Class (one that I like doing alone with the Hiit 20). It is a fun one, but I find all of them to be fun. And, I am starting to see results. and want to work out!
Turbo Fire Video Example

I know, in this outfit again. It was clean and ready to go to my parents house (where this was taken).

Abdominal view: After having pizza for dinner (and take note that I am STILL wearing my pedometer!).

I have arm muscles somewhere.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Be Honest

I work real hard to teach the kids honesty. Is there a such thing as being too honest?

The other day while at the pool, a lady said something to Alivia as she was leaving the pool area. Alivia responded to the lady's question, which was fine as the lady was being nice and I was there (so okay to talk to strangers in this circumstance). The lady was maybe 2 steps away from Addison and Addison said,
"Mommy, Alivia just talked to a STRANGER and a SMOKER!"" as the lady had been smoking on the other side of the pool.
Addison said this as if being a smoker was as bad if not worse than being a stranger.

Asher asked someone who visited recently,
"Why are you so mean to my Mommy?!"
I was mortified. First of all, I never said this person was mean to me, so this was clearly something he picked up on his own. But, it looked like I had been saying to Asher that this person is mean, which I would never do. AWKWARD. When I asked Asher later about this incident, he said it was something about this person's lack of a sleepover. What? What does that have to do with me? He made me look bad by saying something that really did not make any sense!

Alivia has been known to be a little on the too honest side, too, telling people their teeth are yellow or their arm skin giggles (OMG!! AWKWARD).

My kids put me in awkward positions as they are just being honest, but there is a difference between being honest and lacking tact. Clearly, some people we can be more honest with than others. But, it really annoys me, too, when people are so far from being honest out of fear of hurting your feelings or something. I mean really, if someone truly does not care for me, make that clear to me! If I know that is what you believe, I can stay well enough away from you. If you can email me the mean things, then I want you to say them to my face, too (not be super fake nice to me in person but email me unkind things).

I want my kids to be honest, even sometimes too honest, in order to stand up for themselves. With that said, pointing out yellow teeth, or that someone is a smoker, is something we are still working on keeping to ourselves. There is a difference between being honest and being rude.

We will keep working on that.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Daddy Update

I'm quite hesitant to post an update on Chris as it seems to change on a daily basis. it goes.

Obviously, he did not have to make the trip to Florida on Father's Day as planned.. He is still waiting for some things before making the first test on his project. It sounds like he is going to try to do the first test remotely from home, but we will see. It is difficult to plan our life when we don't know where he will be and when. I had people planned to help me with things as I am going through going chartless at work and am needing to be away during bizarre hours for computer training.

Since he is so bored (sarcasm), his home office has now given him a task to work on in addition to his many responsibilities in Florida. Chris did not seem to mind, however, because he is welcoming work locally and he did not think this task would take many man hours. So now he is expanding his role even more, while continuing to work from home in his office he created upstairs, now. The kids like knowing he is here, but it is still difficult for them to understand he is here, but he can not play right now.

As for the Florida position, Chris is considering applying to be the full time person in Florida. With that said, he would like to do it from his current home office, perhaps stepping up the travel as needed to make more of a presence in Florida, at least for the time being. This is just in the talking stage, however. This is a new development, so it may or may not pan out.

He continues to look for local opportunities, keeping every option open. With that said, May is graduation time. New graduates are generally cheaper to hire. The market for experienced people is difficult.

There you have it, the update in a nutshell. I hope to go and visit him over the weekend again the next time he goes to Florida, as long as I can find care for the kids. I considered taking one of the kids with me, and I have not ruled that out, but I'm not sure how to make it fair. So...we will see about that. I know they would LOVE to see the ocean.

And the roller coaster continues...

Celebrating Summer

I had to top the College World Series? Really?

Thursday was the 1st official day of summer, so we had some fun summer things planned today. May as well still do them, right?

I called up our morning play date, and they were still a go for the forest. Yeah! The girls..."NO! WE DON'T WANT TO GO!!" Seriously? I would rather be at the ballgame! :)

We went to the Forest, since I am that mean of a Mom. We arrived and our friends arrived shortly there after. I'm going to put this out there, not happy that the forest does not allow guests on my pass anymore. I think that is total crap (sorry, no better word for it). I mean really, I pay for 3 kids and 2 adults. There were 4 kids and 2 adults today. They would not allow it. UGH! Whatever, guess we know where we will NOT be going to take friends from now on. But anyway...

...the dinosaurs are at the forest, again. Déjà vu anyone? We started at the Acorn Acres area, playing, getting wet and muddy after last nights rain. Krissa and I somehow convinced them to go on the boardwalk to look at the dinosaurs (I believe the goldfish crackers I brought may have saved us for utter meltdowns here). The kids RAN the boardwalk, maybe stopping at half of the dino exhibits. I may not know much, but I do know that kids typically stop and pay attention when they are interested. These dinos just really were not what these 4 kids wanted to see. At least they got some exercise, right?

Finally, we sat down for a picnic. It was nice, shaded, and the weather was perfect. The kids were quite full of energy...perfect way to bring in summer. Everyone seemed happy (after the morning...this came as a surprise).

We moved to the basement and upstairs exhibits before calling it a day. The kids were WILD! It was crazy! The Forest was quite busy, busier than I have ever saw it. We had fun, but it seemed like more work than fun this time. The exhibit upstairs was fun and interactive, and the kids seemed to enjoy that.

We found highway 75 to be closed (cows in the road?! Only in Nebraska), so we took our way home. Our afternoon play date now had other plans, so I quickly came up with something new to fill our afternoon. Asher was now at home, so we decided to roll out, frost and decorate our summer cookies from yesterday. We invited our friends over to help. The kids had a fun helping me roll out the dough, pressing in the cutters, and baking them. But, they had way more fun decorating them! You should have seen the piles of sugar on the floor (and in the cracks of my hated kitchen table!). Pippa, our dog, was in sugar heaven. My friend Krissa helped with the sugars while I frosted the cookies. And, just as I got our friends full of sugar, it was time for them to go home (Sorry, Krissa!).

It was a full day, full of fun and sugar!

Sugar anyone? At least they are cute!