Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I recently had a mom friend ask me about my experience using the local produce delivery service, Farm Fresh Delivery.
I’ve shared information about our deliveries here on the blog a couple of times. I’ve been very happy with the quality of the produce we’ve received thus far. I’ve had 1 issue- my grapes weren’t in my bin- and they immediately credited my account for the error.
I get the medium fruit and veggie bin for $42. All produce is organic and it is from midwest farms as much as possible. Farm Fresh also seeks relationships with local area farmers to provide to their customers.
On Thursday afternoon, I receive an e-mail from Farm Fresh with their newsletter. The newsletter highlights any specials being offered, local producers, reminders, and recipes.
It’s also my notification that it’s time to go customize my bin if I’d like- I have until Monday to do so. My delivery day is Tuesday.
I go to the website and login. This is where I can customize my bin or I can scroll down and add various grocery items to my order. I’ve not gotten anything extra from FFD before (meat, granola, eggs, pasta, etc).
I click on “Customize” next to my standard bin order. It shows me everything that is currently scheduled for my bin for the coming week’s delivery. The list shows me how much of each fruit or veggie and where the produce is from. If I’m happy with what’s included, I don’t have to do a thing.
I can go through and make adjustments to anything I don’t want or want more or less of. Anything I don’t want, I change the quantity to zero. For this bin, I don’t want lettuce or garlic or collards or corn, I want 1 lb of grapes instead of 2, I want 1 cucumber instead of 2.
Then I hit Update and now the ordering system will let me select new items based on how much room I have left in the bin based on my changes.
The drop down menu changes based on how much I can add to my bin.
Oh! They have beets this week! I’ve been wanting to try fresh beets and this is my chance!
I click update and it will tell me if I still have room and will customize that drop down menu based on how much room I have left.
I add a cantaloupe and still have room. I add pluots (plum/apricot hybrid) and still have room. I add mini sweet peppers and still have room. I add 1 vidalia onion and still have room. I add 2 avocados and still have room. After the avocados, you can see that the choices that will still fit in my bin have changed and it’s more limited now.
I change my quantity on the pluots from 1 to 2 each and now my bin is full.
My new bin:
Delivery comes on Tuesday for me. On cooler days, it’s just a large green plastic bin with a snap close interlocking lid. Now that the heat has really kicked in, the bin is lined with insulated material and includes an ice pack. Thankfully, my delivery seems to come around the end of the day so it doesn’t sit out for very long at all.
P.S. Farm Fresh has recently expanded to include delivery service to schools!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Given that it was emotional on so many complicated and intricate levels for me, I guess I should have known that some of that would be passed on to Teagan. She, apparently, doesn't handle it well.
She did fine when I first passed the family. She saw me and yelled to me over and over and as I passed, she was so excited to tell me that she had just seen Miss Tori (preschool teacher).
Then they went to the next corner to wait for the finish. Teagan saw me and started yelling to me. As I got closer, she's yelling to me and then she yells out... "Where's Christy?" Good to know her focus was on mom, right?
Anyway, I cross the finish line and meet up with Tori and Christy and Ashli and Amanda and Ginger and Jeff is working his way over to meet us and I see that Teagan is... in tears. She wanted Mommy. She had thought I was going to stop when I got to them. And even as she now had Mommy, it took some time for her to calm down. But she did and we started the walk home.
We were enjoying our walk- at first, she and I walked and held hands and talked about the race and why some people go slow and some go fast and some walk and some run. Then she wanted to run, so I would "challenge" her to run to the black mailbox, the silver car, the third mailbox, etc. She had picked a dandelion and was running with it. She was about to run to the corner that would be just a few blocks away from our neighborhood when Zach asked to hold her flower. She said no and started to take off. I bent down and picked a dandelion to hand to Zach. Teagan runs up and tries to trade him. I tell her no- she wouldn't give him that flower when he asked so now he has his own.
Seriously- in case you don't understand- MELTDOWN CITY
She screamed and whined and cried. We ignored her and kept walking. She screamed that she wanted to pick a flower- so we encouraged her to do so. Then there was a ... WAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIL
Like none I've ever heard.
I think she might have wailed in a complete musical chord. Or maybe there was a demon about to escape from the bowels of her soul. Apparently, there was a bee or a fly or a gnat or maybe some dust on the dandelion.
The ignoring thing isn't working. The calm and helpful thing isn't working. I try to get her to sit down and chill out for a minute- didn't work. So I picked her up and threw her over my shoulder and took off down the road. She starts screaming that she's scared of heights (that's a new one). I tell her that I will put her down once she calms down. Calm down to get down. Calm down to get down. We are on our street before she finally stops. I put her down. The family keeps walking. She is crying that she doesn't want to be in trouble. Over and over and over and over.
We get home and I realize that the young lady who had been across the street from us when it all started had ended up walking behind us the whole way. Greeeeeeat. Teagan continues with her screaming and crying. I tell her that I love her and always will no matter what but that I didn't like the choices she was making at all. She responded by getting stuck in a new loop... "Why don't you love me anymore??? Why don't you love me??"
I so wanted to run out into the middle of the street and start doing my OWN screaming and crying! The meltdown continued indoors. We put her in her room - I really just needed distance from her and from all the drama. The personal meltdown going on in my head required that I not be the main enforcer of discipline for most of what was going on. This was MY day, MY morning, I wanted to celebrate my accomplishment with my family. I wanted to feel their pride and joy as I reflected back on the race. Instead, I was dealing with one of the biggest behavior disasters we'd seen in many, many months. It eventually stopped and her mood changed back to the normal Jekyll self.
I asked her about it all after we'd eaten our brunch at Bob Evans... why she fell apart, why she yelled and screamed and cried and wailed in such a way that I'd never seen before. Her only answer? I wanted a flower.
I'm sure that all of our neighbors- especially the ones we've never met before- loved the histrionic display going on down the streets of our little suburban neighborhood. I'm sure no one called CPS or watched out the window to make sure we weren't kidnappers or other horrible bad guys. I'm sure that no one watched and judged us as parents- seeing the frustrated, sweaty mom in her running outfit and race bib, the frustrated dad pushing the younger brother and the screeching banshee tossed over a shoulder. The only answer I could find later was that maybe all of that emotion of the day had just caught up to her and she couldn't handle it.
I've always felt that she and I have a unique kind of connection and I have to wonder if she wasn't picking up on my own wild mix of crazy emotions and that her little 5 year old self just had no clue how to process all of it. She'd had plenty of sleep, she'd been fed and hydrated. She'd had playtime at home with Daddy and Zach. She was excited about coming to cheer for Mommy and Aunt Christy. But something wasn't right and it had to come out somehow. I'm sure there was a better way to handle the situation. I'm sure I could have made better, more nurturing, more compassionate choices in how I dealt with my daughter. However, I wouldn't change anything that Jeff or I did with her yesterday. Not a word, not an action. While there may be an explanation for her meltdown, it isn't an excuse for behaving in such a way. And I like that Jeff and I made it very very very clear that her choices were unacceptable- the same message she received with past meltdowns.
The funny thing? As I reflect back on the morning, I'm realizing just how similar my experiences were. Running is hard. Running is not a natural state for the body. You have to choose it and stick to it and work hard to keep your body moving. You have to know what you want and you have to find ways of achieving your goal.
Parenting is hard. Parenting is not a normal state for the mind and soul. You have to choose it and stick to it and work hard to stay committed to your parenting goals. You have to know what you want and you have to find ways of achieving your goal.
My 5K was tough. I had to get myself in the right mental place and I had to commit to my goal and I had to push myself to stick with it. I had all kinds of methods to use to get me through the hard spots but I eventually reached the finish line.
Parenting my melting down daughter was tough. I had to get myself in the right mental place and I had to commit to my goal and I had to push myself to stick with it (would have been super easy to just pick a dandelion and hand it to her, right?). I had all kinds of methods to use to get me through the hard spots but I eventually reached the end of the meltdown. Funny how life works and how the lessons come to us.
Running and Parenting... so much to learn from each of them!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
First- Christy. She's been training by my side all along. She's made vast improvements- well ahead of mine. She's encouraged me and heard me complain and watched me struggle and celebrated my triumphs. All the while, she's been pushing to reach her own goals. Today, she ran her first 5K in 43 minutes and 59 seconds. She ran the entire course- no walk breaks for her! I don't have a pic... her preference, not mine!
Second- my little running church family! This is Amanda, Ashli, me, and Ginger. These women have been encouraging me along the way and all are better athletes than I am and did great in the race. I was thrilled to be with them when the race started and emotional to have them waiting for me, cheering, at the finish line.
My cheering section... Jeff brought the kids to a corner of the route that isn't far from home. It perked me up to see them!! It was so important to me to have my family there, cheering me on, supporting me.
And after the race... recovery well under way... walking home... tired, proud, feeling accomplished and sweaty and hot.
My finishing time was 46 minutes and 26 seconds. My pace was right around 15 minutes per mile. I ran 2 solid miles before taking a walk break and I don't regret that walk recovery time in the slightest. I did what my body told me it could do the entire route. I knew when I could push and go harder. I knew when I needed to slow down and recover. I knew when I could pick up the pace and jog a bit again.
Surprisingly, I kept up with Christy for those first 2 miles. Typically, we run together for about the first mile and then I slow down or walk and she starts to push and pulls away from me.
Things I remember:
- Not long after passing my family, there was an older woman dressed all in purple who stood on a corner and smiled and clapped for everyone as they went by.
- The guy who had turned on his full lawn sprinkler system and invited runners and walkers to run down his sidewalk to cool off.
- The cheering of the volunteers at the midway water station.
- The guy with the horse puppet who cheered us on about 1/2 mile from the finish line.
- The dad sitting in his driveway with his 2 young boys on his lap, watching runners go by as they lounged in their pj's.
- The local high school pep band that was playing at the start and finish of the race. Loved hearing the drums and horns as I approached the finish line!
The lessons I learned:
- I'm good at starting at my normal pace. I didn't take off and go faster at the start. I started slow and stayed slow and steady.
- I need to work on my last mile so that I can run the entire 3.1 next time. I stayed pretty strong and steady the first 2 miles and then my body just stopped.
- A half mile walk to the park where the race starts is a great warm up.
- A half mile walk back home after walking 1/2 mile and then running 3.1 miles kinda sucks.
- Running and being emotional aren't a good mix.
I got to the last turn and the finish line was ahead. Maybe 1/10 of a mile. I had walked to almost the corner and realized that I was about to turn on the last street. I gave a grunt and kicked it into high gear. I was about half way to the finish line when I saw Jeff and the kids. I heard Teagan yelling for me "Mommy! Mama!!" Something about them being there, so close to the finish line... I started to cry but needed to keep running. Problem is, when I cry, my throat closes up. This makes it remarkably hard to breathe. So I pulled it back together and started to run again.
Then I see Christy. She had finished and was coming back down the route to be with me as I finished. I had to fight the tears all over again. We gave each other a thumbs up and a smile and I tucked the emotional breakdown into my pocket until...
The finish line was in sight- just feet ahead of me. And my friends- Amanda, Ashli, and Ginger- started to cheer for me. Loudly. Screaming my name, yelling for me to get to that finish line. I choked up all over again and kept pushing and pushing even though the air was not going into my lungs.
I crossed the finish line and started to walk, wheezing and wheezing. Miss Tori- one of Teagan's teachers- came up to me and hugged me (she's a runner and did great in this 5K). I choked out that I couldn't breathe and she handed me a water bottle. That sip of water reminded me that I could breath through my nose. Duh. I was fine after that.
I had Christy by my side, Ashli and Amanda and Ginger came to hug me... my husband and kids came to celebrate my accomplishment. I felt... sore and tired and sweaty and so, so proud. While I ran, I though about Momza and the comment she shared here this week... and about Nancy who sent me a note to cheer me on... and Beth who has given me amazing support and encouragement and advice... and Emily who has been doing her own challenges in running and has also guided me and inspired me... and all of the internet and real life friends I've made who have supported me, encouraged me... who have said that I inspire them... you all became my inspiration to be able to come back to this blog and say that I did my very best and that I was proud of what I had accomplished.
Tomorrow... I'll share the story of Teagan's reaction to all of this. Let's just say that I won't be winning any Mom of the Year awards if nominations are left up to strangers and neighbors who witness the behavior of your child.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
However, this seemed like the exact kind of situation that needed massage. The IT band being tense and causing my knee inflamation could be helped into a released state through massage. So I made an appointment with Massage Envy. They told me I would be seeing Matt. *gulp* I've never been massaged by a man who wasn't expecting something in return... well, aside from my BFF but since he's gay, there's no expectation. So I was a little nervous but the discomfort and the desire for healing far outweighed my concern.
I show up and meet Matt- firm, strong hand shake. This is a good sign! See- I've enjoyed my other massages. They've been relaxing and all that. But I always felt like the masseuse just didn't quite dig deep enough into the muscles. I probably should have been asking for deep tissue but I don't really know all about massage and technique and all that jazz. But Matt had a firm, strong handshake and I knew that he was going to beat the hell out of this IT band problem. We talked for a bit about what was going on with my knee and leg and about my training. We decided he would just do a legs massage and then, at the end, we could see if I wanted anything else done.
If you want the short version- the end result is that he spent an entire hour on my left leg.
He started with my foot. He found a couple of fibrous type spots and worked them out. Up to the ankle and he worked out some more stuff there. The shin. All little spots that easily released. Then he got to that knee. He poked around a bit and found a couple of spots that he worked on.
Then he warned me that he was going to push up from knee to hip along the IT band and that it might hurt. I braced myself while trying to stay relaxed. He ran his forearm along the IT band and... it didn't hurt. Huh. Weird.
So he started poking around along my hip and HOLY HELL WHAT IS THAT IT HURTS WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? That yelling was all inward... outwardly, I think I laughed and then said it hurt.
There were times I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. But I knew the pain was necessary to get the muscle to release. He apologized for how much it was hurting and said that the tensor fasciae latae was extremely tight. He poked and pushed and pressed and proded. I could feel that he was making progress.
Yes, it hurt. But it would hurt less after a few passes. I am writing this on Monday evening. My hip will most likely be pretty bruised by Tuesday morning. It's swollen and there are some red streaks now. It sounds horrible but it really truly did help, I swear! He also talked to me about the importance of stretching. This was his advice not as a massage therapist... but as the stepson of a marathoner who has run Boston 13 times! He grew up surrounded by running and knew a lot. He talked shoes and stride and pace and all sorts of things with me. Previous massages were very quiet so I could focus on being relaxed... this massage was quite chatty so I could be distracted from the pain.
No pain, no gain, right? Pain is weakness leaving the body, right?
So here's the game plan going forward... More stretching. Strengthening that hip muscle. More water. More use of the foam roller and maybe a tennis ball. And maybe a couple more massages to work out the rest of whatever tight muscles I've got!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I spent part of Sunday afternoon doing a little gardening. I'm not any sort of master gardener or even a good gardener. I'm still a novice and I'm still learning.
As I walked from front yard to back, working on various project, it struck me...
I have plants. I have things growing in dirt that I planted. And most of them are living and thriving.
I've made some mistakes. I planted way too many brussels sprouts and put them all way too close together. I did some transplanting yesterday from very crowded pot to backyard veggie garden.
I've made some discoveries. Keeping potted strawberries on the front porch makes for an easy and inviting munchie for critters. There was a gorgeous shaped green strawberry when I left for church and it was gone when I got home. So I moved the pot from front porch to the railing of the back deck- which is a good 7 feet off the ground. Not impenetrable but certainly more of a challenge.
I've made some progress- things are growing and looking big and healthy.
I even have things I can almost pick! My blackberries are going to be ripe pretty soon and I have my second banana pepper…
I still have this mystery plant that Teagan brought home… it almost looks like it’s going to vine upward so I wonder if I need to get a little trellis or something? Beans of some sort?
And I’m always inspired by Flartus and Miss Chef and their gardening success!
Anyone else gardening? I’m going to toss a little blog hoppy linky thing down there… share your gardening posts!