Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adventures in Blogging

I have spent more hours than I care to admit over the past several days trying to get this blog to look and perform the way I want it to. Without going into all of the technical, boring details, the gist is that the beautiful "rainbow garden" template I chose had some layout features I didn't like, and in order to change them I had to delve into the html code. That is one subject I knew absolutely nothing about, but through consulting various websites and a helpful blogger who responded to my plea for advice in a help group, I actually figured it out! There were multiple problems, and each one I fixed seemed to create others, so I ended up throwing away the template and starting from scratch with a standard layout. I am pretty proud of myself for getting it all perfect through what was at first a completely foreign language called xhtml. And now, I hope you like the way it looks, because it will probably be a long time before I attempt another overhaul.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympic team in training

I am very surprised to discover that so far, I actually prefer running at the track. I believe the reason for this is that the entire distance is broken down into highly manageable laps. Whenever I start to feel like I want to walk, I just tell myself to run ONE more lap, and then just ONE more, until I'm just all finished and I ran them all! Surely as I start running longer distances I will want to explore some more interesting terrain, but this is working for now. My technique involves sunflower seeds. I start out carrying the number of seeds to equal the number of laps I'll be running for my total distance. So yesterday I had ten. Each time I return to my starting point I throw a seed onto the grass, so I have fewer and fewer seeds in my hand. The phyiscal presence of them keeps me focused and motivated. But I'm kind of weird like that.

Yesterday I picked up a few running buddies. When we arrived at the track (Gary and Madelyn come and play on the playground and cheer me on), the place was packed for some sort of Hispanic soccer league event. I decided to run anyway, around and around the soccer game and dozens of spectators. I brought my two Siberian Huskies along to run with me, and it wasn't long before we attracted a lot of attention, primarily from the children. Loki and Kezia look like twin sled dogs, and they have unusual coloring, so they always draw a crowd in public. The children started out staring as we ran by. Then a couple of laps later they were shouting, "Los perros!" and trying to walk toward us to pet the dogs. Shortly thereafter a cute young boy ran the straightaway beside the pups. And finally, for my last 2 laps I had an entourage of hispanic children surrounding me. They were so small and adorable--I'm telling myself that they were able to keep up with me, a grown adult, because I had already run 2 miles...The whole experience made that run especially interesting and fun.

Another tidbit related to my "wannabe runner" status: I've decided not to get a jogging stroller. I plan for running to be something I can do by myself (there are few of those things left--Madelyn often even takes a shower with me). It will take more planning and scheduling for times when Gary can watch her, but I love not being burdened by any whining, a dropped toy or blanket, or requests for food/drink, not to mention the added weight of pushing the stroller! So we'll see how that goes.

Cake envy?

If you are jealous of the awesome birthday cake that my mom baked for me, you should be. Our rescue efforts resulted in this hideous mess, but delicious? Yes. Yes, it was.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my 27th birthday. My gift to myself was a new hole in my ear. It's possible that I am experiencing an early mid-life crisis, but I actually really like tasteful body jewelry. [Warning: what follows is not for the squeamish]
I discovered a very fancy-schmancy body piercing studio right in a yuppie part of suburbia near my home. It was decorated with hardwood floors, glass and wrought iron sculptures, and track lighting. Not what I would expect, but quite pleasant.
A few moments after the needle had accomplished its task, the piercer ran out of the room, and came dashing back in with a wad of paper towels. Not a good sign, but I was already clued in by the fact that there was a drop of blood on my collarbone. (Thank goodness I'd worn a wide-necked shirt since we were heading out for a date after this!) He helped me get cleaned up and fixed whatever went wrong (even now I have no idea). I held a paper towel covered in my own blood while he finished the job, which was a little awkward.
I have now had a total of eight after-market holes added to my body, and this is the first time any piercing has ever bled like that. But I don't care what you say, I am very pleased with my birthday present.

Wannabe runner

I am a wannabe runner. For now. Soon I will actually be a runner. When I was 18 I ran my longest race: the Columbia Classic, a beautiful 15k twilight run. I haven't done much running since then, although I do exercise almost every day. I like the idea of running, but the physical actuality of it is difficult as a beginner. I decided that I wanted to pick an upcoming race or two and follow a training plan to be able to run them. I wouldn't just walk out the door and run multiple miles without a purpose like this, so it's a great way for me to start. My main goal race to start with is a 5-mile run in conjunction with the Portland Marathon on October 5th. So that will be a very exciting way to launch my running career. But I would also like to walk the Champoeg Half Marathon on September 20th and run a 5k near my hometown on September 28th. So I'm on my way to becoming a runner, and I'm very proud to announce that I ran two entire miles straight--no walking--on Thursday. Tomorrow it's 2.5 miles, so wish me luck!

More than a mom

The time has come for me to start my very own blog. I've been writing a blog for my daughter since she was born, a 20 months that seems to have both flown by while at the same time lasted as long as I can remember. The thing is, I often find myself thinking of creative blog posts which have no place within the journal of my toddler's world. I am so much more than just a mommy, and this other ME wants to express herself in cyberspace too. The title of my blog is in no way intended to diminish my role as a mother, which is the greatest source of joy in my life. I simply want a forum to express any clever thoughts I might come up with that aren't necessarily directly related to Madelyn's daily experiences, which is all I post about on the blog about her. Currently, I barely have enough time to maintain that blog, so the posts are usually a week or more behind real time. This has been a deterrent to me starting a grown-up blog of my own, but I foresee relief of some of my major time commitments in the near future. I'm not at liberty to divulge the cause at this time, but soon, my pretties, all will become crystal clear. Of course, my nature will lead me to fill any and all "free time" with new projects and tasks and activities, but I choose blogging to be one of them. And this impending change opens up options for me to decide what I want to do with the next chapter of my life, a great reason to start blogging about my various "wannabes." So welcome to "Beyond Mommy": a collection of my random musings, minimally restrained opinions, and at least somewhat funny tidbits of my life.


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