Half Marathon – Sunday 17 January

January 23, 2010


So the half marathon has now been and gone and yes I completed with a lot of thanks to my neighbour, Amy McBeth.  I’m not sure I’d have finished without her by my side.  I think this is the 3rd or 4th time that Amy has done the half marathon but she moved to the back of the corals so that she could start with me rather than closer to the front where she could have been.  Because I’d estimated that I’d walk the bulk of it I was actually in the last coral.  The corals were let off in waves of about 2 minutes which meant we didn’t actually start till almost 45 minutes after the official start time.  We maintained a 15 minute mile until mile 9 then I needed to take a potty break so lost 1 minute there.  After that it went downhill so to speak.  My legs just kept seizing and  then it was a matter of completing.  My longest training run/walk had been 9 miles and that had been inside at the gym on a mixture of treadmill and running track.  My longest run outside had been 6.5 miles.  I hadn’t got the mileage in over Christmas that I had hoped due to both Kirsten and I have coughs/colds/flu symptoms.  Anyway I did it and that is something off my bucket list.

If you want to view me crossing the finish line here is a link where you can search on my name: http://arizona.competitor.com/features/finishreplay/  Here is a link that will take you to a page so that you can search on my official results:  http://results.active.com/pages/searchform.jsp?rsID=88865  I think my official time was 3 hours and 23 minutes, 58 seconds which makes it a 15.50 minute mile for those of you trying to work out the maths.

So my next challenge, as some of you will remember and others won’t, is the Tri for the Cure on April 11th.  It is a Sprint Triathlon which means we have a 400 metre swim, 8 mile swim and a 2.25 mile run.  I am scheduled to take part in 2 separate swim clinics to help me with the swimming side of things and I need to get my bike serviced and spend some time getting my backside prepared for the cycling.  Amy McBeth has signed up to join me in this and another friend of mine, Colleen, who John and I know from The Village is also participating.  I’m not certifiably mad just feel I need a little challenge now and then.  Here’s the link if you want to find out more information:  http://www.triforthecureaz.com/index.php


January 22, 2010

You may or may not know that I bought myself a new sewing machine on July 4, 2009 with the plan to start trying to sew clothes for Kirsten as she is so tall and skinny.  Well that hasn’t happened yet, but I have got into quilting instead.  I have joined a group both at my local quilting shop, The Olde World Quilt Shoppe (http://www.theoldeworldquiltshoppe.com/owq/?CFID=3901389&CFTOKEN=84347671) and now a second one online called “Year of Schnibbles” that a lovely lady called Sherri is hosting through her blog (http://www.aquiltinglife.blogspot.com/).  The whole basis of the “Year of Schnibbles” is that on the first of the month Sherri will announce on her blog what the next month’s project will be in the way of a “Schnibbles” quilt.  “Schnibbles” quilts have been designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company (http://www.missrosiesquiltco.com/).  I am loving the challenges being thrown at me by joining a quilt club and trying things with fabrics that I definitely would not have tried out on my own.  I have quite a bit of catching up to do with the Year of Schnibbles but here are 2 of my quilts.

My first quilt

Kirsten’s First School Report

January 13, 2010

Another thing I forgot.  Kirsten received her first school report in December entitled “Mid Year 2’s Observation“.

So hear it is.

Teacher’s Names:  Mrs Buchanan and Mrs Varley

Evaluation Key:

4 = Always; 3 = Often; 2 = Sometimes; 1 = Not Yet

Social Development:

Plays independently in classroom environment = 4
Enjoys outside time in the playground = 4
Interacts with others during playtime = 4

Work Habits:

Engages in play without being overly prompted by a teacher = 4
Sits in circle time with friends = 3
Gives verbal responses during circle time = 3
Helps clean up after playtime = 4
Follows simple directions given by the teacher = 4


Separates from parents without excessive difficulty = 3
Verbal skills emerging (verbally labels objects, colors and friends by name) = 4
Life skills emerging (sharing & taking turns) = 3


“Kirsten is a pleasure to have in class.  She plays well with the other children and loves circle time.”

John and I thought that this was a very good first report.  We have to remember she is only 2.5!!

New Photo Site

January 9, 2010


Just a last quick note that John has been creating a new photo gallery just showing pictures of Kirsten. Here is the link: http://gallery.me.com/jwx67

New Year New Schedule…and the rest (Part 2)

January 9, 2010

OK back to the Cookie Monster project.  Right next door to where Kirsten goes to preschool there is a scrapbooking store so I thought as we were right there we could pop in.  I asked the shop assistant what they had in the way of sesame street stickers after finding a little plain scrapbook and she showed us a huge array.  Kirsten thought this was wonderful and took 1 of everything off the wall.  I also got a few bits of paper.  I suspect we’re going to go back to the scrapbooking store, or I will today after Quilt Club and pick up another 2 scrapbooks.  That way she can make another 1 for each of the sets of Grandparents as we certainly have enough stickers.

Yesterday afternoon I had to get my car fixed as the tailgate on the Odyssey wasn’t working so Cookie Monster came with us.  The new camera I got for Christmas (compact for my handbag) is being put to work and so far we have pictures of cookie monster watching the bath be filled for bathtime, preparing for cleaning of teeth; visiting Daddy at the office; trying out Skype with Kirsten at the office (just between staff) and waking up with Kirsten this morning.  I’ll have to print them out tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) so we can make the scrapbook although I might start today as I don’t want to have to do everything Sunday afternoon.

Last but not least was swimming on Thursday morning.  I told Kirsten we were going swimming and she said “you come too”.  I told her that Mummy would watch but she would go in the water on her own.  It is exactly 23 months since we started swimming lessons so it is a long time for the 2 of us to have done something together so regularly.  Kirsten then said “Coach Mark”.  He has been a great Coach and worked with Kirsten for the better part of the last year.  Nope not the same Coach either as Mark only works on Wednesdays.  We were starting with Coach Richie.  Kirsten had to line up this time and wait for her coach to come and get her.  There was some clinging and a lot of screaming as Coach took her into the water and I sat down in the spectator gallery (on the other side of the glass) to watch.  It was then a learning curve for both of them as her new coach was also one of the few that had never seen her in the water or worked with her at one time or another.  Although Kirsten screamed a lot of the class she actually did almost everything that was asked of her.  She is now in a “semi-private” class so there should be 2 children but this week at least Kirsten was on her own which I felt was even better as she could get to know her “new” surroundings without too much going on.  I’ll keep you informed on how she progresses.

Last weekend Kirsten had another severe bout of constipation.  I knew something wasn’t right when she woke up during the night and wanted cuddles, but it took until mid-morning to discover what the problem.  She was in severe pain during Sunday and I was trying everything to not have to take her to ER.  Thankfully at about 4pm persistence paid off, but it wasn’t until yesterday, Friday, I could say that the constipation had finally cleared.  I went out and bought Soy milk earlier in the week to see if switching to that instead of cows milk will make a difference.  Until we can fully sort out the constipation we are going to have problems with the potty training.  On that subject as long as I take her to the toilet I’d say 75% of the time she does something but no 2s (sorry for the graphic explanation) is definitely not in the toilet!!

I’ve got my half marathon next Sunday so that will be the next update.  Talk to you all soon.

New Year, New Schedule…Cookie Monster and Me

January 9, 2010

Kirsten started back at school and swimming this week.  There was a change for both of them.  I think I previously mentioned that she was being moved from the “Young 2s” class to the “Older 2s” class and was moving from 2 mornings a week to 3 mornings a week.  There were actually 6 children moving up from her class but of as it turns out of those 6, only 2, Kirsten and her best friend Siena, were doing all 3 days.  What was also nice was that only one of the teachers changed as Ms Buchanan works both classes as they are different days and now Kirsten has Ms Askew instead of Ms Varley.  Kirsten will still get to see Ms Varley as she will substitute when one of the others is sick or unable to be at school for whatever reason.  Anyway as I said absolutely no problems.  Kirsten went in and came out without a care in the world and all full of information.

Kirsten left school yesterday with a toy cookie monster in a lovely homemade mini backpack.  The 2s classes share this and this is the information I received:

Kirsten has been assigned the very special job of taking care of our classroom pal, “Cookie Monster” during the weekend of January 8th.  Cookie Monster will travel back and forth between our classroom and all of the classmates homes of the next few months.  It is necessary to keep track of Cookie Monster and return him after the weekend’s stay at your home.

Please help your child write a story of the weekend he spends visiting with your family.  You can write it as long or as short as you want.  The important thing is that you encourage your child to do the thinking and write down what your child wishes to share.  You can add a photo also if you want.  When Cookie Monster returns to our class on Monday, your child will share with the class his or her journey with Cookie Monster.

Any questions please let us know and have FUN!!!”

So we went straight into the scrapbooking store right next to the preschool as we left and I asked what they had in the way of Sesame Street.  Kirsten decided to clear the shelves.  We have enough to make 3 scrapbooks of our weekend with Cookie Monster.

I will keep you posted.

I’ll try and update you later about how the swimming class went…but it was fine.  I have to go as Kirsten has just woken up.

Happy New Year

January 1, 2010


Happy New Year one and all.  As usual apologies are tenfold for not having updated.  We had a wonderful Christmas watching Kirsten try to understand the concept of what was going on.  Next year will be even more exciting.  She now wakes up every morning asking for presents.  It’s back to school as of Monday and she will now be going 3 mornings a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday as she has been moved up with a couple of other children to the Older Twos class.  No she’s not yet potty trainined.  I was going to spend Christmas doing that but then she ended up with a cold (and so did I) so decided that was just too much to handle.

We have also spent Christmas converting Kirsten’s bedroom from that of a baby to that of a toddler.  The only thing remained the same is that she is still sleeping in a crib.  She has shown no signs of trying to climb out so in that case why push it.  It will ultimately convert to that of a toddler bed.  Boxing Day the 3 of us took a trip to Ikea (no hoards here in Phoenix, not like if we were back in England) and then I spent the next few days putting the storage furniture together.  Her room now has her kitchen, tables and chairs (for tea parties) and plenty of storage.  We actually bought too much storage to allow for new items…which you know she’ll get.

Last but not least I’ve been trying to clear out the clutter around the house.  We donated the bed that we shipped from England together with the matching furniture (3 bedside cabinets and a small chest of drawers) to the family that Infosol (where John works) sponsored for Christmas.  It turned out that they had 10 children and some of them were still sleeping in toddler beds.  We’ve also cleared a number of the empty boxes out of the storage room and yesterday the workout bench went to a work colleague of John’s.  I don’t know if I told you that we had sold the free weights and the storage rack at the end of the summer or not.  Currently what was the gym still has the treadmill in it but I’m using it more as a sewing room as many of you will know I’m really enjoying that at the moment.

I have signed up for the next Fitness Challenge at the gym.  I only lost 5lbs during the last one, but did lose 6% body fat.  I’ve got the Phoenix Half Marathon in 2 weeks (won’t successfully run it, but I’ll make it to the end) and I’m signed up for the triathlon mid-way through April so that will keep me motivated to try and finally lose these 10lbs minimum that I want to lose.

Anyway better go as Kirsten has woken up and I can hear her over the monitor.

Again, Happy New Year to you!