To the Zoo!

August 6, 2009 at 10:35 am (Day to Day, Pictures, Things The Kids Like) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Quality time with the kiddies. Stevie is on board. Mason says no. Majority rules! Pictures and updates later! Summer is almost over!

It’s sunny and beautiful here in Chicago! 72° at 10 am. They say the rain is on its way. We better go!

Enjoy your Thursday wherever you are!

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EVERY time we go to the zoo! Alligators attack my kids!

EVERY time we go to the zoo! Alligators attack my kids!

Victory is sweet!

Victory is sweet!

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Dinosaurs Alive!

May 20, 2009 at 11:59 am (Day to Day) (, , , )

We were there. It was awesome. Dinosaurs are cool. It’s the new exhibit at Brookfield Zoo. Took pictures and posted them below.

The signs around the area are hilarious and I love them. I’m using this one to make a t-shirt so I don’t forget what I’m trying to do…

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May 18, 2009 at 7:14 pm (Pictures) (, , , )

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Thinking about…

May 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm (Day to Day, EFS, Warrior Dash) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Being good…

Monday morning and the weekend is over. Kids are at school and BF is at work. It’s  pretty here in the big city and I have been up since 4:30 a.m. thinking about the future. And the past. And the right now. Got a big cup of coffee, checked some e-mail, and wasted as much time as I could until…

6 a.m. when I worked out with Jillian for 45. Circuit training. I am so bad at this type of exercise. I think that I am so strong until I have to prove it with various exercise positions using weights and bending and lifting, and then I realize I am weak and kinda lazy. Plus, my heart is beating out of control, I’m sweaty, my arms and legs hurt, I can barely drink my coffee and I think…yeah right…this just is a lot of WORK!

I, far and away,  prefer running. It’s easy and I can go slow or fast. I choose the lazy level. I mean, I prefer it, but I’d rather do neither. I wish I was one of those naturally tall, skinny people that eat french fries and say, “Oh I’m so hungry; I forget to eat all the time;  I just get so thin if I don’t eat at least 8 meals a day…blah blah blah.”

But at least I am healthy-er…and I do feel like a bad-ass after I lift those weights. I like seeing the bicep muscle. Round and cut like a little scoop of ice cream sitting on the top of my upper arm. I like the round shoulder and the tight back; Unfortunately sitting on the couch just doesn’t develop the look I want. And speaking of the look….

Let’s go WILD! Run Wild! It’s over. The day started, raining, at 6 a.m. when we left the house. By the time we got to the start line at 8 it was warming up, rain stopped, and the sun even came out. My sister and I finished at the exact same time. One minute faster than our last 5K in December. Took us 33 minutes. That probably doesn’t sound super fast for 3 miles, and it’s not. It’s actually slow. It’s mid way through the usual pack that signs up. But I’m not racing to win, maybe next year…it’s alot of time to shave off and train for speed. I can run a fast mile, but not 3 in a row! But the Zoo was awesome, the animals were out, and the people were friendly and happy to have us.

The only thing I was wrong about was the ease of the actual running. I thought it would be a breeze because we were running in the zoo. Like it wouldn’t be like running at all. “Wooh-hoo we’re in the zoo!! I’m just running and looking at the animals!!–Oh! is the race over already?? Didn’t even feel like 3 miles!”

No, not quite. The zoo is cool, but running three miles is still running three miles. Doesn’t matter where you’re at, you still have to MOVE.

So next up…Warrior Dash! This is the reason why I got my lazy butt up and out of bed at ungodly hours to do exercise and why, hopefully, I will get up all week and do more of this “circuit training” and keep running in the afternoons. The Dash is about 4 miles, plus obstacle course work; so I’m going to need a little more in the trunk to haul it up and over cars and buildings and stuff. And I need to step up on the diet front. I have been eating far too much junk. I even feel kind of sick from it all. So it’s back on a combo of Extreme Fat Smash (click on it for a review) See the Book, HERE, and Body For Life. (Site) It’s all low-fat, lower cal, protein and carb balance type eating. I like to mix them up and find the perfect mix of healthy and weight loss. I want to drop about 20 more pounds before I tackle the Dash. It’ll be alot easier to throw myself over things if there is less of me to lift up. Better on my legs too, and I’ll look really ripped! Ha. Pre-first-marriage weight here I come. Gotta have something to aim for! I’ll keep a little running list for you’re amusement. Right now: Pounds lost: ZERO (0). Haha. 9 (full) weeks to go! Wish me Luck! (And my sissy too! –and her hubby–she’s doing it with me. It’s how we’re spending her birthday! It’s not all just exercise–there’s beer at the end and a cool hat!)

Anyway, after that we’ll be doing the Scenic 5 (five mile run) in the town I live in. It used to be 10 miles, but the town changed it for some reason or another, and now it’s 5 miles. Either way, it’s in September, Labor Day Weekend, so we will have an event a month to keep us in training for the fall. (And that’s how we’ll be spending MY birthday! Aren’t we a fun family?!?) I’ve done the 10 miles and it’s hard. I figure five has got to be a little better and I’ll actually be fit this time around so I won’t feel like I’m dying! Next year we are planning on tackling the bigger races—the ones that use words like, marathon…and tri-athalon….and insane distances….

Well, that’s enough I for now. I ate my first meal; Yogurt and a measured bit of granola. Now I must vacuum and get to the store for groceries and things for the week. Kids need lunches and the BF and I need our specific foods. The Body For Life and Extreme Fat Smash (click on it for another review) plans use regular food that we all eat, just modified for us. Eggs, milk, bread, chicken…it’s the same food, cooked leanly and with rice instead of potatoes. The kids eat it too, I just tweak it down (or up) in portion and fat content for the ones who need it. That was a diplomatic way of description. I’ll have to remember that for the future.

I made up a real nice playlist series too…being good, being bad…made me think of angels, devils, God and hell…But to combine them all gives you a 99 song playlist—which is fine–I like them long—but for typing sake I broke them up into categories for specific flavors. You can pick your best (or worst) or combine them all for yourself. The categories are these:

Angels

Devils

God in Hell

Heaven

Posted below just because that’s how I do it. Strangely, there are few songs about God. He/She/It/They,  might be mentioned in some, but it’s  hardly the star subject. People seem to like Heaven and Angels and they like the Bad Guys, however you call them. Makes better music right?? And you can dance to it.

Ready, Set…Go!

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Final Training Day

May 14, 2009 at 11:48 pm (Day to Day) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for awhile, but I have been in intensive training mode since yesterday after my mom left my house.  It’s Thursday night and let me re-cap my pre-race week:

Ran Tuesday afternoon: 3.6 miles.

Ok. That’s it. I ate like crap Tuesday night. I ate crap Wednesday. (It was pouring anyway, and I planned to skip the run so as not to fatigue myself or cause undo injury–fancy race talk). I even had Starbuck’s with my mom in sympathy for her ailments. (But, I did have it skinny with no whip–wimpy–I hate it when the healthy habit follows you around even when you don’t want it to)

Since the BF went out with friends and work people, I took the kids to McDonald’s, on the condition, by Stevie, that since Mason got to pick Wednesday, she could pick Thursday, which she picked Friday’s. And that worked out well for all of us and it makes a nice string-together sentence. Poetic. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday….

So you see the schedule I set for myself. Rigorous. So McD’s (dinner) is Big Mac, Fries, Sprite with a few nuggets for good measure. Then the Blues Brothers movie. Two hours of digestion. Then on to my playlists. I was working for you behind the scenes, as they say.

Thursday AM and I had every intention of getting up and exercising with my main girl Jillian Michaels. Don’t be fooled by the “beginning” aspect to this tape I have, my arms are getting rounder and cut and I do this workout much less than I want to. But the BF doesn’t have to go in to work until later today, so everybody sleeps until the last possible moment.

I did walk the kids to school—so I got that. However, I think I might have canceled that out, plus some, when I got in the car back home and drove to McDonald’s (again–but breakfast–notice the distinction) for some of those delicious Burrito’s for myself and a Sausage McMuffin sammy for the BF. Every good deed ya know??

So then after the BF left for work, I watched Regis and Kelly, as usual, and then 50 First Dates. I’m sorry, but I am a sucker for that movie. That KIND of movie. Funny, romantic, but not overly mushy, dramatic, unbelievable, blah blah blah. I know, but the time just ran away after that. Those movies on tv with commercials take like 3½ hours to watch. What was I supposed to do? Quit? I already committed. Love stinks.

So, I just did laundry and paid bills and goofed on the internet. Finished up another playlist—you all are so lucky. You could run for miles on what I got in the hopper. By this time, the BF was home. Short day.

So finally, one hour before the kids are due home, I got some of that… “exercise”, if I ain’t being too subtle. (That’s actually a borrowed phrase from the D-listed guy—love him!)  But I did get in a workout. (Like a double work out, really, because the BF’s friend kept calling until he picked it up–start and stop–start and stop, etc…)

Kids are home now. Homework done. Off to Friday’s, as promised, on Thursday. I ordered the low-fat lettuce leaf with spritz of vinagrette and a lemon water….yeah right. I had some new Cosmo Margarita that trendy place came up with, and paid TEN dollars for it. NOT worth it! It’s basically a weak-ass Margarita with cranberry juice. They bring it out in a giant Cocktail shaker–packed with ice and pink liquid and let you pour it yourself. I got 2 “drinks” out of the Tumbler thing, into my smaller glass, HALF rimmed with salt…but whatever…Lesson learned. Stick to straight shots in the car before going inside and you’ll do a lot better.

My food was Mac N’ Cheese. Ultimate Showdown Style. I like Guy Fieri, and the whole Friday’s concept, I’m even a Give Me More Stripes member…I don’t know what I get, but I include it every time I pay, and I get e-mails every now and then. Maybe you have to go every week or something to really reap the benefits…I’ll never know. Anyway, the only reason I ordered Mac N’ Cheese is because I saw Sunny Whats-Her-Name make her best Mac n Cheese EVER on her Food Network show. So I already had that in my head when I saw it on the menu. Not great. Sunny’s looked better. Oh well, the little Spicy Pumpkin Mini Muffins were good. I shoved them in my mouth and dinner was over.

Tomorrow looks to be more of the same. I can’t run because I am chaperoning a field trip for my daughter. Eli’s Cheesecake Factory! Part of the final lesson on Economics and the Business Fair. A tour of a real, successful business!  And we get lunch and cheesecake…so what am I to do? I have to go and participate. Haha.

Actually, we’ve known about this for awhile and I am glad I get to go. I was worried that with my unknown school schedule I would have to miss it, but luckily that madness starts NEXT week!! I am bursting for real!!

So back to now, it’s 10 pm. I’ll just Run Wild on Saturday–no big deal–I’ve been running enough that 3 miles is hardly a sweat-breaker. I seriously never thought I would be able to say that in my whole life. To just be fit enough to run at will. That’s a good thing because the Warrior Dash is after that, and I do have to train a teensy bit more…so more extra buffness is in my future.

I’ve given my fingers a pre-typing warm up tonight with a few games of Bejeweled. The Gem Game. I love it. I used to love it until 3 in the morning. It’s actually what I used to do all night before I started doing this.

My BF reconfigured the code on the game so that he could get 1.3 million points in Action Mode by increasing the points you get with each gem line you make. Then he changed it back and I have been struggling ever since to beat him fair and square using my advanced gemming skills. And I did it tonight! One million six hundred thousand, plus, points! HA! No cheating! Just an eye for the colors and fast reflexes. It’s good to be the Queen.I should go put those fast fingers to use somewhere else…

Maybe later. I have things to throw on the internet. Cool Words, Quotes, Picture Dictionary, another Story from my son! An action one!

But first, a playlist. I’ve had it for a bit now. I created it for my daughter and her friends. Ten years old and just learning how to navigate the phone-call-answering-machine-voice-mail-conference-call thing.

Two of Stevie’s  friends called here, together, using 3-way calling, when we weren’t home, and proceeded to leave six, (6), yes, six, long-ass messages on our answering machine. Apparently calling six times in a row is the way to get someone to pick up the phone even if they’re not there. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they just hung up, but they had conversations with each other while still hooked to our phone.

I’m actually surprised the answer machine tape, recorded all of the calls. It was like 20 minutes of talking. Her two friends talked about going to the library and where they were each at, with the occasional shout out to Stevie like, “Hey girl, are you there? Pick up the phone!” Then right back to their conversation. At one point, the first girl asked the second girl how long it had been since she actually CALLED Stevie on this number. And when the second girl said a few months, the first girl was like, “OH Dang–this might not even be her number!!” But do they hang up? No! They go on to tell us what numbers they are calling from and how they can be reached for the rest of the night.

It basically ended with the first girl telling the second girl, and I quote: “Khatana, you ain’t fly.” Then crazy, crazy laughter and finally, “Stevie call me.”

CLICK.

Thank God.

So, long story short, for all Stevie’s home girls that think they are cute, this is for you:

Khatana, You Ain’t Fly!

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Running Wild & Crazy (Possibly in the Jungle)

May 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm (Music Lists) (, , , , , , , , , )

1. Welcome To The Jungle / Guns N’ Roses

2. Crazy Train / Ozzy Osbourne

3. Crazy Bitch / Buckcherry (NC-17)

4. Crazy / Aerosmith

5. Crazy / Gnarls Barkley

6. Crazy In Love / Beyoncé  feat. Jay-Z

7. Crazy / Patsy Cline

8. She Drives Me Crazy / Fine Young Cannibals

9. You’re Crazy / Guns N’ Roses

10. Crazy Little Thing Called Love / Dwight Yoakam

11. Crazy For You / Madonna

12. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend / Miranda Lambert

13. Crazy / Pat Benatar

14. Let’s Go Crazy / Prince

15. Crazy / Seal

16. Crazy / Simple Plan

17. I’ve Always Been Crazy / Stargunn

18. Crazy On You / Heart

19. Jungleland / Bruce Springsteen

20. Real Wild Child (Wild One) / Iggy Pop

21. Deuces Are Wild / Aerosmith

22. Wild Horses (Live) / Alicia Keys & Adam Levine

23. Wild World / Cat Stevens

24. Wild Night / Martha Reeves

25. Wild Heart / Stevie Nicks

26. Wildfire / Michael Murphey

27. All The Wild Horses / Ray LaMontagne

28. Wild Thing / Tone-Loc

29. Wild Horses / The Rolling Stones

30. Youth Gone Wild / Skid Row

31. Wild Wild Life / Talking Heads

32. The Girl’s Gone Wild / Travis Tritt

33. Wild Night / John Mellencamp

34. Born To Be Wild / Steppenwolf (but I have The Mooney Suzuki version)

35. Wild Thing / The Troggs

36. Jungle Love / Steve Miller Band

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Oh and did I mention my awesome playlists?

May 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm (Day to Day, EFS, Music Lists, Warrior Dash) (, , , , , , , , , )

I forgot to pat myself on the back for the awesome playlist that I was listening to while running today.

It’s one thing to make them up and imagine what they sound like in theory, but when you actually listen to them AND they help keep you motivated, I can’t help but want to pass that along.

Check these out for a little extra boost in the caboose when you are dragging out on the track of life….

The Warrior Part 1

The Warrior Part 2

Combine them for the longest, most effective play. I only split them because I thought it was too much for one post.

Just Feel Better

This is the list I used today. I was very impressed with me. Such modesty. Anyway, I try to put the lists in a good order; probably a little too much effort if you know what I mean; but feel free to mix them up. I listened to them on shuffle and it was still great.

If you totally think I’m full of it… please feel free to keep that to yourself! Thanks! Hardy har har…

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May 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm (Day to Day, EFS, Pictures) (, , , , , )

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Next Up…RUN WILD!

May 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm (Day to Day, EFS, Tips to Live, Warrior Dash) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s a 5K at Brookfield Zoo, in Chicago. Only two weeks left not to embarrass myself. The run is awesome! We get to be in the Zoo before it opens and then run the race on the Zoo grounds and then hang out at the Zoo all day if we want! It is going to be so much fun! I won’t win or anything, I just participate as fast as I can.

So I went out running around my favorite outdoor track in the forest preserve. I swear those trails are the best thing the Park Districts/Counties have ever done. I love them. This particular one is perfect for me because it’s 3.6 miles so it covers me for everything. If I can make it around there I can make it….well, you know. After that is the Warrior Dash! 6K Plus.  I’m just training to run—I’ll probably just wing it for the rest of it. How do you really train for crawling over cars, or thru the mud? I guess next time I’m at the Forest Preserve I could run through the little swampy areas and then start jumping over everybody’s cars parked in the lot…I’m sure I’d be VERY popular after that. “Hey! I’m training for the Warrior Dash!!” is what I’ll be shouting from the back of the police car. People just don’t understand!

It’s beautiful today. 72 and sunny in the burbs and I just couldn’t sit in the house at the computer, or on a treadmill at the gym. But I’m back now and posting up for the race and then some new scanned in things for another fun post!

We are still following Extreme Fat Smash but we keep getting derailed in the middle of the week. You would think it would be easy to eat pretty much nothing and move on with your life, but less food means more planning. But I’m not knocking it. I think it works really well. I am the same weight as I was last week, and I’ll admit that I cheated on the food and did not exercise to the book. Luckily, if you live pretty well, normally, you can deviate to the dark side somewhat and not throw the whole cart off the path. Another mini philosophy break.

Here’s a  mini tip on yogurt eating:

I like to mix in granola, which technically is not on the list but if you work out extra hard and buy a good product with good ingredients, I think its worth the extra calories. Plus it really makes you feel like you are getting a good meal.

Anyway, I like to let it sit a bit to get the granola to a softer consistency, like cookie dough, but with bite. Today though, after I put the yogurt and granola together I got distracted with a phone call and the kids and it sat extra long. IT WAS EVEN BETTER! I mean, like really good. It was almost the texture of oatmeal with lumps. Tasty, delicious, granola lumps. Still firm enough to chew, but with none of the hard edges. Try it and see what you think. If it sounds gross, just try it anyway, you might be surprised!

And I also ate a hard boiled egg. I just love those too.

It’s supposed to be a good week so here’s to 4 more days of running the trails and eating smart. Hopefully I’ll go into this race at my lightest weight since before I had my children. A girl can dream.

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