Friday, April 30, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Favorite Book

Memory Lane Friday is a time each week to write about your childhood, preserving those memories for your family.  Each week is a different theme (but of course you can always write about whatever you'd like).  This week's theme is a favorite book.
I was a big reader growing up.  Still am. BIG READER!  I hope that the boys learn to love to read as much as me.  One of the biggest challenges of loving to read is picking a favorite book.  So many to choose from.  Some of my favorites growing up were The Root Cellar, Summer Pony, Key to the Treasure, The Bear's Toothache, The Pink Motel, and Z for Zachariah.  But I decided to go with the book I loved so much that I stole it.  Or at least hid it.  You see, it was a library book.  And I just couldn't quite bare to return it.  So it "disappeared" when I was about 5 years old.

Good Night Orange Monster is about a little boy named Ken who is afraid that a monster lives in his closet. 
Indeed, there IS a monster in Ken's closet and his name is Moogi.
Every night Ken refuses to go to bed.  He begs his mom for another drink of water.

Around Christmas, Ken's mom hides his presents in the closet, since she knows he is too afraid to go in there.  Moogi finds the presents, which include a monster making machine.
While Moogi's mom knits him a spider web quilt, Moogi spends the nights making monsters even though the machine fills the closet with smoke.

This all works out just fine until Christmas.  Ken just loves his new monster making machine, and tries so hard to make a monster that looks like Moogi.  Meanwhile, Moogi is totally bummed that his machine is gone.  So when Ken is sleeping, Moogi sneaks out to use the machine in the middle of the night.

As you might guess, Ken and Moogi end up being friends and making monsters together.
Until Moogi's father decides he is too old and comes to take him off to live in caves and castles.

Totally awesome, fanciful monster book.  It's long out of print, but you can still find them sometimes on Ebay.  It's worth the price :-)

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Next week's theme will be "Those Ugly Clothes I Wore".  Oh you know that'll be a fun one.  :-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hey there little guy

Driving home from the grocery store I had to stop the car to pick up this guy:
Okay, how cute is a baby box turtle?!?

We brought him inside for a little visit.

To get acquainted.

And then we let him go in the yard.
But we're hoping we'll see him again this summer.
He's welcome to visit anytime.

Meanwhile, the Cortster has been busy.
If you've been around a while, you may know that he has a passion for really bad knock knock jokes.
Mostly to irritate Reid.

Knock Knock Reid.

Who's There?


Orange Who?


Bad, bad joke, Cort. 
Makes Reid cry, every single time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Vision Board

So right now I'm teaching this Organizational Behavior class.  Translation:  psychology in the workplace.  A couple of weeks ago we spent a whole class talking about goals.  And vision.  And how much research supports the fruition of goals when there is appropriate vision.  Seems simple, right?

And then I started thinking about my own life.  I'm so much happier and more energized when I have goals to work towards.  I think I'm just one of those people that always needs a few goals.  Otherwise I feel stagnant, depressed. 

I also thought about my doula when I was pregnant with the twins.  She asked me to write down some positive affirmations about the pregnancy and birth, and to put those in a prominent location where I would see them every single day.  It seemed a little hokie.  But I did it.  I wrote 5 things.  And each day I read those 5 items and envisioned pulling them off.  Do you know?  Against all odds, I met every single one of those goals.  I was able to carry my twins to term.  I was able to deliver naturally.  They were born healthy.  They did complete our family of 5.  And I was able to successfully breastfeed (granted, it wasn't easy at first, but it happened). 

So why not put some goals into place now?  If all this positive thinking can lead to so much actualization, why not take it even further by creating a Vision Board?


The corkboard was $7.99 at A.C. Moore but I had a 50% off coupon.  And the huge stack of scrapbooking paper I picked up at a thrift store for $4.  I don't scrapbook, but I figured it would come in handy for some crafts.
The ribbon I got at Walmart clearance for 15 cents!

So first I did my background.  I used push pins so I can change it from time to time.
This particular vision board is targeted for the next 6 months.

A clean slate.  Now all I needed were some goals.

I won't bore you with the details of everything, but specifically, I want to do more yoga, drink more water (I am the world's worst water drinker), and be more focused in my training for the NYC marathon.
I'm also planning to add to this a bit as I find more pictures.
I'll check back in 6 months and let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday (er...Tuesday) - I Got Double Dog Dared

Yes, Wendiwinn, she issued the Double Dog Dare.
And I couldn't resist.
So today's muffin tin, well, it's a little different.
An earthworm, broccoli, a strawberry, two stinkbugs, some fresh water, and some chicken feed.
In case you had any doubts as to what I'm feeding my 3 year old...
it's not for him this time.

Elvis just didn't seem very impressed.

Wait!  Elvis, come back!  Don't you want your muffin tin???

Elvis got back.

At least these ladies are interested.

Oh dear me, girls, what the heck is that big red thing?

Want to join in on Muffin Tin Monday?
Which typically involves food, in muffin tins, for KIDS not chickens.
Just click the button:
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pin the Tail on the WHAT?!?

(Muffin Tin Monday has been postponed to Tuesday this week.  So check back tomorrow for that.  Trust me, this week's muffin tin is SOMETHING SPECIAL that you will not want to miss.  Hee hee.)

Donkeys are boring.  Kids don't care about donkeys these days.  Nope, not one bit. 

Now a little twirling and a blindfold...

Not quite there...

Nice try buddy.

I think this expression speaks for itself.

My Mom has really weird ideas...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 'Train Museum'

Before the race expo on Friday, the boys and I decided to pop into the transportation museum, which Pierce calls the train museum.  They do have things other than trains, but Pierce is obsessed with the trains.  It was 4:00, and the train yard closes at 4:30, so we hit that first.
Pierce sang his Thomas the train song for background music.

This engine looks like a powerhouse, huh?  Reminds me of Gordon.

Unfortunately, with the double stroller I couldn't go up on many of the engines. 
But it was still fun to look.

Now this caboose?  It's been there a long time.
I have pictures of me as a child with my brother, Taylor, at this very table inside the caboose.

I like this old mail carrier train.

They also have various firetrucks around.  A cool second choice, after trains.

And over by the train yard playground, there's this guy:

I've always wondered where Glen Echo Amusement Park was.
So I finally googled it.  Turns out it was an amusement park from the early 1900s to 1968 that served the Washington D.C. area.  Guess that explains the 'Union Station' sign on the inside.

Once 4:30 hit we headed inside.  Where there are plenty of entertaining exhibits to be found.

But have no doubt.  Pierce's FAVORITE parts are the toy trains, which run as far as the eye can see.
I just love how there are upper levels to this display, as well as kid's eye view levels.

Even Cort and Reid were impressed.

I have a feeling that with 3 boys, I'm going to have a whole lot of 'train museum' trips in my future.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ups and more Ups and just a few more Ups! A Race Report.

So today was the Blue Ridge marathon and half marathon.  I was doing the half (13.1 miles).  This is the first year for this particular race.  I have a friend, Karla, from high school days when we rode horses at the same barn.  We reconnected through Facebook, and she had signed up for this race.  So we planned to meet up this morning pre-race. 

We decided to start the race together and see how it went.  The race started downtown in front of the art museum.

My support crew:

The race started promptly at 7:30 am.
The first mile was just fine.
And then we went up Walnut Avenue.
And up to the top of Mill Mountain.
And I was huffing and puffing.  The humidity + hills had my asthma going just a tad.  Not too rough though.
Karla said she hadn't done any hill training - but she is a powerhouse. 
She wasn't even out of breath!
The race ran past the star towards the Blue Ridge parkway, and then the half marathoners split off for another hill as the race doubled back.  We wrapped around the star and then went down the old Mill Mountain Road.  Altogether, the significant hills were from mile 1 to just past mile 5.
I know so many people that have been injured high-tailing it back down old Mill Mountain Rd.
So I tried not to run too hard.

Meanwhile, my support crew was loafing on the job:

At the bottom, things flattened out into the greenway, briefly, and then into the rolling hills of Old Southwest. 
Fun houses, crowds, and chatting with Karla.
It's always nice to run with someone positive and upbeat.
Then at the tail end of the race, into downtown again.

Karla and I (me a little rough around the edges), rounding a curve:

I hate running in a hat, but I thought it'd be raining.
I guess running in a hat is insurance against the rain?

I don't know an official time yet, but when we crossed the finish line it said 2:13.
Yes, that is a personal worst (but not by too much).
But I've never run a half over Mill Mountain before.
And carrying so much extra weight.
And chatting the whole way.
So it was all good.  And excellent training towards NYC.

After the race we walked around the farmer's market:

And grabbed some brunch to refuel.
And the twins fought over my medal.

I don't know for sure, but I think they were slightly impressed.