Monday, November 5, 2012

Behind the {31 Day} Scenes

Even though I faithfully posted every day in the month of October, I feel like I was absent from my blog all month since I wasn't able to share some of the big events that happened to our family throughout the month. Now I get to play catch up and cram all the "behind the scenes" into one newsy post! 


At the beginning of the month, my kids started a gym class for homeschoolers at one of the local universities.  Because it is taught by students who are studying to be gym teachers, we get an incredible rate of $25 total for my four oldest kids to take the class once a week for the entire semester.

Well, it was supposed to be the four oldest!  On the first day, Benjamin got a little spooked when he and his class walked into the gym while I waited in the hall for the other kids' classes to be called.  By the time I went into the gym about two minutes later, he was a crying mess and his gym class career was over.  Thankfully, the three oldest kids count the days until class each week. 


Benjamin turned four on October 10th!  We planned his small family party for the following Wednesday since we had weekend plans, but on Friday evening when we realized they were forecasting rain for Sunday, we changed his party to Sunday afternoon at the last minute!  Sometimes spur of the moment plans are the best, though.  Our family of seven shared a warm soup dinner and enjoyed cake and conversation in the dry house on a dreary afternoon with our seven guests. 


The next Saturday we had plans to attend another birthday party.  In fact, I posted on my Facebook page that we had just celebrated a 4th birthday the weekend before and were about to celebrate a 75th birthday today.  Instead, while she was supposed to be napping Alaine climbed up Maddie's bunk bed ladder, lost her balance, and fell to the floor.  Brian put her back to bed and she fell asleep, but when nap time was over, she cried and cried about her sore foot and refused to walk on it. We ended up in the ER with x-rays and a diagnosis of...a sore foot.  No breaks, no swelling, no nothing. 

We eventually made our way to the birthday party (about two hours late), but it took eleven days, an Ace bandage, a visit to the orthopedist, a splint, many pleas of "hold you," and weary Mommy arms before she  began walking again. 


The day after the ER visit, I was on the phone with my mom updating her on Alaine's injury when I looked out the sliding glass door and saw Kitt (our cat) carrying something in her mouth.  On closer inspection, I discovered it was a kitten!  We settled mama and baby in a corner of the master bathroom with a blanket. Later that evening, Kitt went outside to use the bathroom and came back with another kitten.  

We had suspected she was having kittens and the plan was to keep one and find home for the rest, but how do you choose between only two kittens?  How do you pick one and give away one?  I suspect that both kittens are going to become permanent residents, but we're waiting on the final word from Brian. 

We've named them Dott and Alvin.  It's funny to see such bitty things develop their own personalities.  Dott is quiet and gentle, while Alvin is always noisy and mewing!   Can you guess from the photo who is who?


At the end of October, we made a trip to a deluxe, semi-local Fall Festival. For one flat family rate, we could navigate two different corn mazes, slide on giant slides, play pumpkin tic-tac-toe and pumpkin checkers, ride a mini zipline, visit the petting zoo, play on a rope swing, have hand-pump rubber ducky races, and each choose a pumpkin to take home.  We also indulged in warm apple donuts! 


At the very end of the month, we hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy.  Aside from our ditches overflowing
and flooding the back yard, we had minimal damage on our property.  We didn't even lose power.  Instead, we stayed inside and savored the time together.  After a long and intense season at work, the two days off were a welcome rest for Brian.  He's only been off for one other rain day this entire year! 


And last, but not least, during the month of October, I began something I thought I would never do.  In fact, I thought it was something I hated (and maybe I still do).  What is it, you ask? 


I hate to exercise, but I've been looking for something to keep me active.  I decided to try the Couch to 5K program by Cool Running.  From the first day, I realized this was going to be tough.  Either I'm totally out-of-shape (probably) or I'm not good at pushing myself (maybe), but I wasn't even able to complete Day 1.  Instead, I gradually worked on building my endurance over two weeks and then attempted Day 1 again and I did it!  I progressed though Week 1 and Week 2 routines.  Then I had to take a week off because the hurricane left the ground too soggy to run.  When I tried to start the Week 3 routine, I wasn't able to finish its Day 1. 

Part of the problem is my knees.  When I start running each day, they feel stiff, but they loosen up the longer I run.  However, when I'm done, they ache for hours (or days, sometimes).  After talking it over with Brian, I decided to switch to an even gentler, slower program.  Since my ultimate goal is to run a 5K in the spring, there is no hurry. 

I'm going to begin a series of training programs from Prevention magazine.  I'll begin with the 6-week Walk-Run Program, progress to the 6-week Run-Walk Program, and ultimately (hopefully) complete the 6-week All Run Program.

Has anyone completed a Couch to 5K program?  How long did it take? Do you have any advice for me?



  1. I've also been thinking about running again, but I can't seem to work out the logistics of running and having someone to stay with the kids. tim's recently switched to a 7am-7:30pm schedule. I guess I could run on his days off, but I'm afraid I'd never build up any endurance by only running once or twice a week.

    I've heard lots of good things about the Couch to 5K program, but I've never done it myself. It's at the top of my list for whenever I can figure out how to fit running into my day.

  2. AH! Those kittens are so cute!!! We have lots of cats but no kittens. My oldest continually begs for a kitten... maybe one of our cats will just bring some to the door one day. ;)

  3. That fall festival sounds a lot like our local one! We didn't go this year, though.

    That's great that you're running! I joined a local running group called First Flight and ran my first 5K since high school last New Year's Eve, then did a 10K in the spring. Now I have mostly fallen off the wagon, but I am doing roller derby for exercise and occasionally get out to run. Running amazes me. First of all, it shows how God made our bodies so amazingly resilient and capable. I NEVER thought I could go from huffing and puffing during a 1-minute jog to running a 10K in less than a year. And also, for me at least, just getting through the first part of a C25K to running for about 20 minutes straight is the very hardest part. Once that is out of the way, it's easier to get to 30 minutes, and finally to 3.1 miles. Finally, it never ceases to amaze me (and many people experience this) that even though I took months off from running after the 10K, I can STILL go out and run for 30+ minutes now! How amazing is it that our bodies can maintain that?

    About the knee issues--I had a couple of setbacks as I got into shape. The first one was around the 20-minute run mark and was probably because I was running every day (should have given my body a day to recover in between), needed new shoes, and wasn't stretching enough. I had to take a break for a couple weeks and saw the chiropractor. I also went to a running store and got fitted for shoes, and that helped a lot. Later, when training for the 10K, I ended up having more knee pain. I got one of those velcro straps that go under the knee cap, and it helped a lot. Didn't mean to write you a book, sorry! Good luck with your running!


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