A Walk in the Park

Sometimes it’s just what you need to press the reset button. In the midst of a busy day, with a to do list longer than I care to think about the idea of walking in the rain at the park seemed like the thing to do.

Life has been busy, not overwhelming but crowded all the same, and some of the busy I like, and brought on myself. But, (there’s always a but isn’t there?) I realized as we were walking we hadn’t done this in a long time. We used to go for walks at the park all the time. We’d run, laugh, talk and just have fun together. I realized that in all the business and running her to school, swim lessons, play dates, and dragging her along to multiple (accident related) appointments a week that over time I let those things become our “quality” time together.  Conversations had in the car, going to and from. Noisy, crowded time that’s main purpose had nothing to do with Sky and I actually connecting with each other.

  Run with me mommy.

All of a sudden a weight lifted that I didn’t even know I’d been carrying. I realized that while all that other busy stuff still needs to happen and be handled that I need to schedule my Sky time first, and make everything else fit in around it. When she’s begging for attention, for me to play with her, cuddle with her, sit with her for breakfast, go for a walk at the park…I need to do it. Very few things are so important or critical that I can’t give her what she needs and thrives on. Time, time with me, one on one with my full attention.  
I guess I started to think that because she’s starting to have parts of her life that are hers, and don’t involve me, and that she’s happy to play/entertain herself for longer and longer that she’d be ok if I answered one more email, took care of one more thing on the to do list, let her watch one more cartoon/movie so I can get something else done. 
 Singing to the trees.
Today was a good reminder as to why I’m home with her in the first place.  It’s for her, not for me to do my own thing or get things done, but to be there for her and with her, and give her what she needs. Not that I haven’t been doing that, but I’ve been distracted. It’s all a balancing act, and I know all that other stuff still needs to be handled, but it can be handled after I make sure Sky and I get our time each day. Time to just be and enjoy each other (this kid is so funny and when I listen to her I learn so much and laugh!), I just have to make sure she’s the #1 thing on my schedule each day.  
“Oh mommy I love the rain on my face”

She’s such a cool little person, but sometimes the busy life and frustrations that go along with the impulsive actions of a 3 yr old make it hard to remember that. Nothing like a rainy walk at the park to bring life back into focus and remind me just how lucky I am. 
As we were walking back to the car, out of the blue, Sky says, “See Mommy, I just knew this would be a good walk”. If only she knew just how good it was!  
 She peed in the woods for the first time!  We were too far from the car to get back to the portable potty and while she was reluctant she realized she didn’t have much choice.  That’s “her” spot behind her and she asked me to take a pic while she yelled “I go potty outside”!

Tractors and Trucks Oh My!

I love living close to a huge park with miles of walking, running, and biking trails, a nice big playground, picnic facilities, sports fields, and a lot of free community events!  When our yard is just too small to contain Sky it’s a quick trip to the park for a good energy burn.

Last weekend the city put together a Truck n Tractor event that basically put all the big, cool, exciting trucks and tractors on display for people to climb in/on/through, and lots of horn honking!

The timing worked out perfect because Mark had a big project at work Saturday (he never has to work weekends so we didn’t mind) but it worked out that he went in super early, was home in time to go to the truck/tractor event for a few hours, and then head back to work in the evening.  Sky was super happy Daddy was there to have fun with her!

I was kinda surprised at how much I learned about the different vehicles and how they operate.  The SWAT and Crisis Negotiation vehicles were particularly interesting and cool to see in real life vs what you see on TV!

  Those two…I just can’t stand it!

Sky still had some energy to burn so we headed to the playground for some climbing.  She is not scared of heights in the least!
She actually asked me to catch her so she could jump off, and as much as I wanted to say yes I didn’t trust myself to actually be able to catch her.  We will save that little dare devil act for when Daddy is there!  
I’m really thankful now that Mark had a break in the day so we could enjoy some family time at the park, because it looks like the rain has moved in and who knows when spending a few dry/comfortable hours at the park will happen again. 
Anyone ever done a ride along with the police, sheriff or fire department?
I have with the fire department and it was fascinating.  Do it if you haven’t!    

Tapering Sky Style

The amazing, and yes sometimes frustrating thing, about being a parent is adjusting your personal agenda.

I was all set for run group tonight, but the nice weather early in the day and Sky asking for a “no stroller run” made it easy for me to make a quick adjustment (I didn’t bail on Michelle…she couldn’t make run group tonight…so it really did work out perfectly).  Thankfully I’m tapering so I was able to make this adjustment without having to add a “real” run later in the week.  For the record if I was in the middle of training or training for a PR/specific goal then I wouldn’t be as quick to bail on my plans (and I wouldn’t bail on a running partner) and do what Sky wants.

But, when I can let things go her way I’m always happy with the results!  We got in 3.1, I know this because the loop we ran/walked was a regular training loop for me, most of it at a Sky paced trot.  We had a few photo opp stops and Sky distraction stops, but her little legs still carried her 3.1 miles all by themselves, without a single hint of complaint/being tired.

I obviously took some liberty with the photo editing abilities of the A Beautiful Mess app on my phone, and did some additional/initial editing in Google+…that accounts for the color difference from pic to pic.

 My favorite trail at Ft. Steilacoom Park!
 I can count the number of times on one hand (and not use all my fingers) that she has asked to hold my hand on a walk.  My heart was melting.
 There are some pretty bad a$$ graffiti artists that frequent the park/ruins form the old mental hospital.
 I think this is an odd spot for and innocent child’s bench, but next family photo shoot we do with our photographer we are making use of it!
 What I heard over and over today…”Run with me Mommy, run with me”, “Come on, we can do it”, “No hands in pockets Mommy, run” and when we got back to the car, “we did it, we did it”!  

This is by far my fave picture from the day.  She has a hard time with the whistling/spitting/blowing thing, so this process took a very long time.  She would try to blow and blow and nothing would happen, but she would pause and flash the biggest smile my way.  Then she figured out she could hold the flower in the air while running and watch the floating things take off in the air.

While today didn’t go according to my plan, it do according to the plan and that is good enough for me!

Back at it tomorrow though…stroller group run, and then I’m done until race day!


Trail Running at the Park

Even though my plan was to keep Sky home and chill all day yesterday she kept asking to go to the park. So we bundled up and hit the trails for a little trail running, and leaf inspecting.  Thankfully it has warmed up around here and it actually didn’t feel too chilly.    

Sky really loves it when we visit the park without the jogging stroller.  She knows it means she gets to pick every trail we take and she is in charge.  On my non-running day’s I try to get her out there and let it be about what she wants to do.  We run, we inspect leaves, we toss rocks in the lake, watch the ducks, meet new dog’s, and run some more.  
She got about a mile of running in before she started getting tired, and slowed down to walk and be goofy. 
It turned out that running a little bit at Sky pace seemed to work out the pain in my knee.  I spent time trigger pointing and foam rolling at home, and hit the hot spot that knocked the rest of the pain out.   
I let her puddle stomp all she wants at the park, but she wasn’t having it yesterday.  She flat our refused to get her feet wet.  
I asked her to show me her new gloves…she loves them.  Every time she fell and got them dirty we had to brush them off and pull them all the way back on before she would calm down.
I was so excited to find this surprise Christmas Tree on the trail.  Sky was a little confused and kept asking me to turn the lights on.  Such a simple little thing for someone to do, but fun to find when your not expecting it.  
Nap time has been challenging since the move to the toddler bed.  Even though she is tired, and still needs a nap, the freedom is proving to be too much for her.  She is constantly getting up and hiding in the closet to play with toys etc.  I really thought she would conk out yesterday because the park wore her out.  She even asked to go night, night.  But, she was up playing, reading her books, and yelling “Get me out of here”.  I let it go for a while in the hopes she would fall asleep…being sick I knew the rest would do her good.  Sure enough she fell asleep, but not in her bed!  I wanted to check on her since it was so quiet all of a sudden, but the door wouldn’t open.  I got down on the floor to see what was blocking the door and found out it was her face. She slept that was for a a little over an hour.  
So looking forward to the group run tonight!  I’m trying to get some good quality runs in before the Holiday’s and all the good food (ok all the wine…the wine it what makes getting up and running in the morning next to impossible!).  I’m taking my running stuff with me, but when it comes to visiting family I’m pretty terrible about finding time to get any runs in.  Especially in the painfully cold weather on the other side of the state.   
Anyone else traveling for the Holidays?     
I’m just thankful our travel is just a 4 hour drive and no flying involved!  

Little Trail Runner

Despite Sky and I both getting over being sick, and it being really cold outside, I knew she had to get out of the house and stretch her legs.  Since I’m trying to keep her away from other kiddos until we are both 100% that left one alternative…a visit to the park. 

 Just us and the ducks.

Since I pretty much despise the playground at Ft. Steilacoom I parked as far away as possible in the hopes Sky would be content with walking.  It worked in that she didn’t care about the playground at all.  But, it didn’t work because I was trying not to run, to give my lungs a rest, and all she wanted to do was run.

So, I did the only thing I could, I let her run for an hour!  I lagged way behind most the time, walking fast enough to keep her in sight.  Even after an hour all I heard was, “I no done run, run.  I no done”.

 She sat down on the trail to take in this view.

 She ducked down and said, “I hide wind”, it was really blowing and she was getting cold by this point.

    She’s deciding how much I meant it when I told her not to jump in the puddle.
I love the picture on the left, she was standing there letting the wind blow in her face, just like a dog!
 The story of my Mommy life…always chasing after her trying to keep up!
I woke up feeling much better today.  My lungs don’t burn and I’m not coughing nearly as much, so the rest day must have been just what I needed.  I’m back at it today though with what is going to be a chilly stroller group run!  I’ve said it before (and will probably say it a million times more), but I’m so thankful we have the jogging stroller we do.  It’s nice that I can bundle Sky up, pile on the blankets, put the cover on, and know she is warm and protected from the cold and wind.  
I really feel like if it’s going to be this cold it should just snow!  
Any other snow lovers out there?