Thursday, March 24, 2011

Go, Team, Go!

The J-Walkers are on a roll with fundraising... Our team of 26 has raised $7,875 to date with 16 days to go until our MS Walk. I have to admit I'm beginning to get a little anxious about being able to walk a 5K!

The past month has been more than a little nuts. The combo of increasing work hours and speed cleaning our house every few days so a potential buyer can walk through is beginning to do a number on my body. After a few blocks of walking, my legs are weak and each step becomes challenging. Most days I can count on making it about 3/4 of the way up our staircase before I need use both rails for support. The shift (and gain) of pregnancy weight is certainly not helping! If I'm panting after climbing the stairs, how on earth am I going to walk a 5K?! I think the answer is very slowly. I'll be the one starting at the front of the crowd and finishing at the end after several bench breaks. If I have to take a short-cut at some point, I won't beat myself up over it. I totally take back all of the jokes I made last year when I saw a group make a beeline for the finish before the last stretch!

No matter what, I'll be there. I have a fantastic team of friends and family walking with me. Many of them have made generous contributions themselves along with all of the support we've received from others. Sara at Sarandipity Sweets is still taking orders for 7 more days of J-Walker fundraising (a portion of proceeds will benefit the National MS Society on our behalf). She even let me write a guest post to tell my story. Thank you, Sara and thanks to everyone who has so kindly supported the J-Walkers in our fundraising efforts! Fingers crossed for sunshine on April 9th!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dollar Store Display

I have these brown corduroy maternity pants that have a terrible habit of sliding down with each step. My growing belly provides a ramp of sorts for the waistband to slide down little by little. I don't wear them very often for this reason. I really wish I wasn't wearing them last Tuesday.

It was too many errands for one morning. The excitement of visiting the pet store made the grocery shopping we had to do seem pretty lame and then I dragged an overtired and hungry Emily to the dollar store to get gift wrap supplies. My mistake. I balanced a handful of gift bags, tissue paper, and ribbon in one arm while carrying my diaper bag and holding Em's hand with the other. Emily began pulling in the opposite direction. I used my usually successful tactic of offering two choices -- "Are you going to walk with me or do I need to carry you?" She always chooses to walk with me. And I'm the idiot who forgot that I should always stick with acceptable choices. She fell to the floor and proceeded to melt down in a part-seizure, part-breakdancing tantrum. I quickly whisked her up onto my hip (or what's left of it) and waddled across the store to the carts so I could buckle her in for a time-out. Why didn't I put the gift wrap supplies down?

The problem with having both arms full as I walked in my saggy pants is that by the time I got there, the waist was already at hip-level. Picture a very pregnant woman with her pants on the verge of dropping to the floor, struggling to put a cat in a bathtub and you'll get the idea. Eventually I got her in and quickly pulled my pants up. Emily said, "Mommy, Do you need to take a break?" and I told her, "YES! I'll be at the end of this aisle taking deep breaths." If I'm going to hang on by a thread, I'm at least going to model some anger management strategies while I'm at it.

I LOVE my little girl. I love spending so much time with her and I usually don't have to remind myself of that fact. This was one of those days when I put her down for her "rest time" when we got home, went to my room and fell to the bed in tears because in a few short months there will be TWO of them!

Thank God the rest of the week went more smoothly. I'm learning to explain rewards and consequences BEFORE we get out of the car and will certainly buck up and pay the $4 for a gift bag before dragging her to yet another store next time. I would've paid much more to avoid mooning everyone in the dollar store last week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Counting Down to St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day will be here before we know it. I'm celebrating this year with my book club over a traditional Irish dinner and banoffee pie. I'm in charge of dessert and when my friend, Taryn suggested this tasty item I had a hard time thinking about anything else. Maybe it's a pregnancy thing, but the combo of bananas and toffee with cream in a graham cracker crust just sounds dreamy!

Taryn is one of the co-founders of the Irish Life Experience, a tour company specializing in taking groups of high school and college students throughout Ireland. She's done this for years, so I figured she would be the one to ask when it came to Irish desserts. Taryn also asked me to write a blurb for their travel blog about St. Patrick's Day. Not only did this get me in the mood to celebrate more than I usually do, but I also learned a thing or two! My guest post can be found here and I'd recommend passing along information about the Irish Life Experience to any high school or college-aged students you may know! It's an incredible travel opportunity and Taryn is fantastic. I truly hope she's still running this program when my kids are old enough to participate.

As for the banoffee pie, I found an online recipe I plan to try... Here's hoping it's as good as it looks! Happy St. Patrick's Day!