Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Hills Are Alive...but I'm Not...

That means I knew this 5K yesterday was going to kick my butt. And it did. Sure, I run 2.5-3.0 miles on the treadmill three times a week. But despite setting certain inclines, treadmill running is only going to take you so far in your preparations. I had not been able to train in real world running previous to this 5K as I have in others. 

Therefore, getting out there in the real hilly routes without adequate training in the real world was a wake-up call, even though I expected it.
However, that said, the Wickenburg 5K route HAD to be on the short side. With those hills and being sick this week, there's no way my time was 4 minutes better than other 5Ks. Oh well. 34:33 on my timer (34:31 officially). 

I'll take it!

2015 Wickenburg Wild West Run Results

  • Overall, I came in 64th out of 169 in the 5K.
  • For just the females, I came in 36th out of 111
  • And in my age bracket, I came in 9th out of 24
Sad thing is, if I was in the next age bracket up (which sadly is only 2 weeks away...cue grim reaper death march music) I would have came in second out of 18 for that age bracket in women. 

And new age bracket or not, my time on that run will be better next year. I know I'll be more adequately trained. Plus, the route isn't far at all from where our house is being built. I can train on the actual route along with the hilly roads nearby. 
Heading back...over halfway done... yeah, it looks flat there...But don't be fooled!

In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out if I'm still under the weather (that the run didn't help with, I realize) or if I'm coming down with something new along with the continual pain in muscle groups that I forgot that I had to begin with. 

Until next time...


Thursday, April 9, 2015


April 5th Easter Sunday egg hunting at the house under construction
Well, rounds of illnesses have swept through the house again. Chris and Mikelle had strep throat. Alexander had some fun occurrences the night after Easter that made for a miserable few hours. There is no need to elaborate. Poor baby. :-( Let's just say, he was feeling okay by morning. 

And I don't even know what to call my ailment. It's pretty much the same thing (but worse) I had a couple of weeks ago. And it kicked my butt yesterday despite needing to substitute at the high school first. At least it was an easy assignment. If I had to deal with unruly classes along with being sick, I don't know if I would have made it. Luckily, ample rest and sleep has helped. This has to go away. The Wickenburg 5K is Saturday.

As for Chris's strep, he came home from work early and headed to the doctor's office. The doctor asks, "do you need a note for work?" Chris says no. The doctor then tells him to stay in bed tomorrow and chill and watch TV. So Chris says, "Then can I have a note for my wife?"


Anyway, just a day before he was hit with strep, we spent Easter quietly at home (well, it depends on how literal the term quietly is interpreted..). 

Alexander and Mikelle at the top of the stairs...
However, we had our egg hunt at the house under construction. Therefore, the rest of this entry is picture heavy with more construction pictures along with the egg hunting fun.  And looking at these pictures, I'm not seeing Christian. He was there, I can assure you!
Mom and X-man

Easter Sunday April 5, 2015.. You can see Chris inside...
Garage and Kitchen window
View of Vulture Peak
West end of house...Garage and kitchen window
Back of house, looking north
Garage and back of house...looking north/northeast
East side of house, looking south/southwest

Duct work! No, no eggs hidden up there....
Vulture peak view and east side of house...looking south
Standing in Living Room, looking at stairs and master suite (other side of stairs)
Standing in living room, looking into kitchen
Egg hidden in master shower! lol...
X-man and a Minion egg...

X-man out there... View from top level, looking into back...

I am told the house now has windows. I can only assume that means glass in the windows.  Another visit to the site this weekend. 

My excitement for the completion of this house is so hard to contain! 

Yes, Easter and Elf in the same post. It makes sense to me! lol
Until next time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Roof...The Roof...The Roof is on

...the house!
Taken 3/26/15 Back view...looking north/northwest
Well, the roof has been there for over a week now. I do wish I was able to make it out to the site more last week.  Time wasn't the problem. It was energy and stress. I was there on Monday, however, and the progress is so exciting. Most of the top/main level is framed!

I'll be frank and admit how much Alexander is running me into the ground. I know Christian was also a handful in his toddler/pre-school years, but I've never had a kid with the kind of tantrums and such a display of anger and tenacity as Alexander. I knew something like this was possible the way he would cry as a baby. I can't really describe the cry. Oh, I can hear it in my head, but I cannot put it to words. 

It was a typical cry of displeasure followed by an extension of drama just to make sure we were aware that he was pissed. That still doesn't quite describe it. Let's just say that when he cried that way when I was in the car with Georgia (my step-mother-in-law...this was when 9 month old Alexander and I went to Oregon to visit them upon their return from South Africa), and she heard that cry, she was taken aback followed by an, "oh my...". And this is a woman who had eight kids of her own and has a plethora of grand kids. But she hadn't heard that type of cry before. 

Therefore, fast forward to age 4, and we are reaching a breaking point. A friend who witnessed a Level 10 Tantrum last week put it best, "His tantrums are as bad as he is adorable..." 

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. And on Monday, when Alexander didn't like the answer he received as I stood at the snack bar at Target, he ran to the crowded floor where the groceries are bagged and people are finished checking out and just lied there. The cute guy who was working the snack bar register was like, "wow...." Then he said, "He is trying to get you to go over there. You know that's what he's trying to do..." That young kid totally got it. And I said, "That's why I'm ignoring it, despite the looks I am getting right now because my kid is blocking the way and I'm still standing here..."

But the house is coming along. (How's that for a segway?) That means when we move in, there will be more space for people to go to their corners of the ring to stay away from whomever they were fighting with. 

I am included in that. 

Meanwhile, Christian received more awesome awards for the third quarter of the semester. He made the Honor Roll again, along with Exceeding in the Math. Then he received a special award that I am not sure any other students have received this year. When he was reading the announcements one week in the principal's office (I think it was sometime in January), I guess he showed her a way to read the Word Documents on her screen more effectively. I was able to be there for one of those days and the principal raved at how helpful Christian was with her computer. Yes, I'm proud. But I also have to laugh. Because he always has an opinion about the way someone uses their computer. In fact, back in second grade, he showed his teacher some features on the Power Point to make things (in his mind) "better". She was impressed with his knowledge, as was his principal this semester! 

Click here for the video of her description as she presents him with the award. 

Yep. I'm proud. That smartypants is my kid. 

"I'm only visiting this planet..."
And because I do love Alexander, here is a video I just love from back in November 2011 when he first started to walk. I'm also having a good hair day in the video, so it's an especially favorable X-man video. That cute little narrator voice is 11 year old Mikelle. Why am I showing this? Because cute photos, videos and other nostalgia is helping me through this struggle we are in with this phase he is in. 

Plus, it's good for Way-Back Wednesday.

Meanwhile, here is a picture of Mikelle from an outing she and I were on last Saturday. She usually loathes having her picture taken. You'd think she was in the Witness Protection Program. But when I snuck in this snapshot, she didn't become as angry as she usually does. I'll count that as a good thing.  Progress is being made. 

And to end this post with random anecdotes, here is a picture from over a urinal that Chris took at a pizza joint the other night. 

One is laughing while the other is looking.

You're welcome.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Walls and Grounds for Power Naps and Shortened Assessments... much was going on this week! The house's construction progress has been awesome. The beginning of the week there were no walls in the top level (outer walls) and by today, the entire top level outer walls, including the garage, is up! 
View of Laundry Room and door going into Garage March 22, 2015
Front Door 3/22/15
Garage  3/22/15
View of house, looking south from the street.  3/22/15
Family room looking into kitchen... 3/22/15
View looking north/northeast from a Master Bedroom window 3/22/15
Mom and X-man from Garage Window.... 3/22/15
Mom and X-man from Garage Window.... 3/22/15
X-man in family room walking toward front door... 3/22/15
X-man in Family Room 3/22/15
This may feel like I'm going back in time (and progress), but earlier this week was so much cooler and cloudy, so I liked the lighting and clouds in those house pictures:
Garage floor slab and kitchen/laundry room wall 3/29/15
View of house, looking south from the street....slabs of front turrets  3/19/15

Meanwhile, yesterday was a Girls Camp fundraiser car wash and Christian's birthday party at the park happening at the same time. Then following the party was the Pinewood Derby 30 miles away. Whew! No wonder Chris and I crashed and had an epic power nap following all that.   
Mmmmmm.....power naps.... Although, power naps are supposed to be short naps. Well, that wasn't the case! But the nap was powerful. It was one of those naps that when I awoke, I was a little confused and I didn't know it was morning or night!
Christian and his Herobrine Pinewood Derby Car....March 21, 2015
Wait, where was I? Oh yes. I am also finishing up my 3-credit SEI requirement. There's a reason that's a big deal. I was supposed to do it back when I was teaching before (2007-2011), but then when I resigned after having Alexander, I knew I technically didn't have to do it as soon because my teaching certification didn't expire until April 2015. Back then April 2015 seemed so far off.                                                                              Well, it's March 2015! So last month, I signed up for the course and I've been going going going trying to finish it.  I'll turn in the last assignment (which is a big write-up and analysis) later tonight!  Besides the valuable tools and training in this requirement, there is another reason this is a big deal. I don't know when it started exactly, but for years, I've been having reoccurring dreams that surround around a theme of "just almost" finishing something, but it doesn't get finished due to one last class or even one last project/assignment. And in these multiple scenarios, I keep falling short of obtaining that last class or requirement. 

Some of these dream scenarios have been as followed:

-I'm in high school, and all I need to graduate is a tough science related class. I fail the class over and over again. Then I sign up for it again, and keep missing class. Or I'm in class, but I need a huge assignment to finish, and I don't have it. Hence, I don't graduate due to that one class. 

- I have everything I need to graduate with my Masters in Fine Arts (Masters? Oh, I wish...) The only thing left is some sort of Studio Art Class. I keep screwing it up. In one scenario, I never show up for this class. In another, I think I have completed what I need in that Studio Art Class, but two days before the last day, I realize I never did the final project and it takes over a week to complete. Therefore, I still don't get that class and I don't graduate.

- I'm the teacher for a college class. It's not art or geography related. It looks to be some really boring data entry with schematic class. I don't know. But in the dream, I don't show up. I even try to change locations of the class and I still don't show up. 

As I said, there are multiple scenarios and more than those three. But they all seem to revolve around those three themes in different variations. I really hope the closure that comes from finishing this SEI requirement is a big part of putting those highly anxious dreams to an end. 

But I know I'm not out of the woods yet. 

I have approximately 9 more credit-hours after this SEI requirement in order to renew my certification.  Thankfully, I have a year after the expiration to renew. But if I'm offered the middle school art position in which I'm interviewing for tomorrow, I need to have those 9 credit hours all finished before the end of July. 

But finishing the SEI requirement is a huge pebble in my shoe that I am so relieved to finally shake out!

Anyway, the pictures I did not upload yet are from Christian's birthday party yesterday. I hope to update with those in the next entry. But let me end this post on a true story that happened while I was subsituting at the middle school on Friday. It is from the "you can't make this stuff up" and "crap that only seems to happen to me" files.

It's a 6th grade class and I already have the forces of nature against me because it's a Friday, a half-day, and I'm a sub. But the class was actually pretty good considering those factors. I was writing Digestive Assessment on the whiteboard. Just as I'm writing it, the desk phone rings, so I stop in the middle of writing it to grab phone. After I take care of the phone call, I take a brief second to remember what I was doing. It's a good thing the room of 12 year-olds were in "Friday mode" and not paying attention to what I was writing (except for a couple who were pointing and giggling) because I had stopped writing at Digestive Ass. 

Despite losing my already "just a sub on a Friday half-day" credibility with such an error, I didn't want to lose more of it. Therefore, without missing a beat, I said, "Yep, there's your entertainment for today," and I finished the word and we got on with class. 

Until next time.