Category Archives: Running

Workout Update

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Working out has been pretty hit or miss with Sir Farts-a-lot running the show, but for everyone’s sanity we’re making it somewhat of a priority. I know it seems counter intuitive to add exercise to my day when I’m already low on sleep and feeling exhausted, but exercising is too much a part of who I am to ignore any longer. So! We had two days at the track last week, a weekend adventure playing with my energizer bunny of a niece (totally counting as a workout!) and today we headed back to the track. 🙂

You can skim/skip this next part, it’s just a record of the workout. I’m posting it more for my sense of accomplishment than for any literary entertainment value…

I ran a mile out of a mile and a half, maintaining running for over half a mile, twice 🙂 We then did run for 1 min walk for 30 seconds, bumped up to run for 1 min walk for only 15 seconds for all of mile three, and then I don’t really remember mile four, but we walked the first quarter and then alternated jogging/stumbling for the rest.

Getting up the bleacher stairs to the water fountain was rough, and then we headed back down to the track for some modified leg blasters (squats/lunges), pushups on the risers, and some IT stabilizing exercises…now that I see it written out it really doesn’t seem like all that much but gosh darn I was pooped by the end!

Made it back just in time to meet a fussybutt Cade ready for eating so Gma K gave him a bottle while I showered and then I topped him off and pumped. I don’t like giving him bottles too often, but since I want to do an Ultra in February I need him to be able to take a bottle when I’m gone on long runs, AND bottles are nice to have when traveling.

Not bad for six weeks post partum! The endorphins feel great, I hope I can keep improving. I did some girly pushups, reverse pull ups, and a few leg and back exercises yesterday before taking an impromptu nap on the carpet between sets, oops, haha.

Speaking of naps, Cade just let out a doozy of a belch and I think is done with his 30 minute snooze. Time to feed the monster again… 🙂

And so it goes…

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First order of business: Cade’s a month old, woohoo!

Next order of business: I’m FINALLY running again! Er, well, jogging is more like it.

I’ve been letting Cade call the shots as far as feedings and sleep goes, but since I don’t want to make sleep training any more arduous than it has to be, I’ve decided to start “encouraging” a routine. It’s not a very extensive routine, and on weekends like this past one with my SIL graduation it somewhat gets tossed out the window, but I persist none the less!

I can sum up the routine in two words: afternoon nap. The whole goal is to get him to take a nap starting at 2pm. And a legit nap, not his usual doze, feed, doze, feed daily routine. So far, it’s working pretty well, which means for the past two days at 2pm I’ve passed the munchkin off to Gma K and Brian and I have headed to the track!

The very best part is two whole hours with Brian. 🙂 Two hours! Just us, it is wonderful. AND we’re running together! It’s like putting on your favorite pair of jeans that make you look fantastic and are super comfy after not being able to wear them for months…except x 1000 🙂 Boy I missed running with him.

Yesterday we did three miles, half walking half jogging. Today we did four miles, two miles jogging, and a little over half a mile jogging backwards, and the rest walking. I’m feeling out of shape of course, but it’s great to be doing something about it finally. I love endorphins! And I’ve already signed up for a 5k in June. 🙂

Life is grand! Just thought I’d share.

You’ve never lived until…YOLO!

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You’ve never lived until you’ve taken a cold shower after a ten mile run in 98+ degree heat.

You’ve never lived until you’ve attempted to push your husband into a tree because he’s cheerfully reminded you you still have 20 miles left to run.

You’ve never lived until you wake up so sore and exhausted from a previous workout that you stumble around making geriatric jokes all day.

You’ve never lived until you’ve experienced your eyeball freezing from running in winter on top of a mountain.

You’ve never lived until you pretend to be sleeping when your husband’s alarm goes off so you can ogle him as he changes into his running clothes.

You’ve never lived until you kiss someone just as sweaty, exhausted, and sore as yourself after finishing an ultra. Fondly scrapping the salt residue off their face and ignoring the odor of decomposition emanating from armpits.

You’ve never lived until you eat a slice of chocolate donut and guzzle a small cup of mountain dew at the last aid station before the finish line and you realize this is what heaven tastes like.

 

What? Running isn’t your thing? But, but…you only live once! You don’t know what you’re missing! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!!

 

Annoying, isn’t it? So here’s the thing: I don’t like getting told I “haven’t lived” until I experience an event/drink/food/activity/whatever.

The truth is, yes, you only live once. And there is also only one you. What “living” is to you may not be “living” to someone else. So stop fussing at other people to “live” as you see fit and instead appreciate them for the variety they provide in the world and in your life. My ideal life is probably not the same as yours and that is perfectly ok.

 

That’s all.  🙂

I Love Running

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loverunningThe girls over at We Shall Have Pie are participating in this contest hosted by #RunChat so after my uber whiny post yesterday, I figured I’d give it a shot, too. 🙂

I love running because of the conversations it elicits between me and my husband. Our friendship deepened into romance because of those running conversations and they’ve continued to be a way of bonding throughout our marriage. Nothing says love like discussing the potential lethalness of rabid squirrels or the inconvinience of restroom breaks in the woods.

I love how even on days my legs hurt and my breathing is ragged and everything is tired, running still gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

I love how running always offers a challenge, but never judges me as a failure. Any day I run I’ve done something worthwhile; no matter how slow the pace or short the distance.

I love how running allows me to explore the outdoors, it’s my grownup playtime. Maybe thats why I hate the treadmill so much?

I love the energy running gives me, and the legs. I have pretty nice legs when I run consistently, and my husband’s legs aren’t that bad either 😉

And finally, running for me is an act of worship. I don’t have to be actively praying or thinking spiritual thoughts, but I often have moments of sheer joy or wonder at what this body I’ve been given can do and the world in which I can do it. Running is a form of communion and a blessing in my life.

Ah, little Potato, I hope you find an activity/hobby/pastime that brings you as much pleasure. In the meantime, you will be accompanying both your parents to a number of races after you’re born, you’ll be too small to resist.

Pregnancy Prayer Request…and Whining

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“Dear God, I am very thankful for this little miracle growing in my belly (even though it seems a little bit like the movie “Alien” when it moves) and I know I once prayed for some additional curves when I was in middle school…but I’m now feeling just a bit overwhelmed with my new, er, abundance. Could I maybe not go up yet another size?”

Seriously, that request has been fervently prayed in various forms daily for the past week.

I feel large and off-balance, which I know is normal for this far along in pregnancy, but it’s really frustrating because I like to be active and I can’t. I can do small things, like little weight exercises and walking, but those things are so booooorrrriiiinnnnggg! Especially because I’m constantly limited due to being pregnant. I’m not supposed to “over exert” myself. I can’t stretch my stride when I run because of the pelvic issue. I’m not supposed to use heavy weights because my ligaments/tendons are all loose. I’m not supposed to STRETCH too much because my ligaments are loose. Not supposed to lay on my back, can’t lay on my stomach, the only abdominal exercise I can manage is planks and pelvic tilts which are right up there with using a treadmill on enjoyment level. Not to mention, I see no progress and I feel no progress, because I’m fighting a losing battle so to speak. I don’t want to exercise “too much” and risk the Potato not getting enough nutrients or going in to pre-term labor, so instead I have to do all these lame non-challenging exercises that really don’t seem to have much effect on anything at all.

What running and walking I CAN do is even limited because of the pelvic pain my stride is so small and unnatural, it makes me even slower and I still don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything. I walked 6 miles yesterday and it was great. As in, it didn’t bother my muscles in the slightest. Which is actually not great at all. I am chafing at the bit here, this is so not normal for me!

I can’t wait till Potato is here so I can be active again. I NEED to be active again. I feel lazy and gross.

END WHINING

In other, slightly contradictory news, I’m really excited about how quickly Potato is growing. 🙂 I try to focus on that more. At the ultrasound this past friday (28weeks 4days) Potato opened his/her eyes!

IMG_20130208_092534  Also, I never got around to posting this project on here. I made a potato sack for Potato 🙂 The outside is burlap, I stenciled the “POTATO” on with fabric paint, and then the lining is a soft white flannel. I handstitched button holes and threaded both color ribbons around it, so when the big day arrives I just have to remove a ribbon to leave the appropriate color for gender. Don’t worry, the sack is just for photo purposes, I’m not planning on leaving the munchkin in there for any extended amounts of time.

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Thats all I’ve got! Sorry about the photo quality, they’re from my phone. I hit 29 weeks yesterday and the Potato is 3lbs 🙂

 

Photo Re-Cap of Potato Races

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I have completed my goal of racing the equivalant of a marathon while pregnant. Actually, a marathon is 26.2 miles and I’ve raced 27.3 🙂 Here’s my journey in pictures.

Deep Hollow 5k and Half Marathon

Deep Hollow 5k and Half-Marathon. Brian ran the half, I ran the 5k. I was around 10 weeks pregnant and the smell of other runner’s BO was overpowering, but besides fighting the nausea I felt pretty good.

Turkey Trot

Turkey Trot! My older sister’s 1st (and probably only) 5k, and my younger sister and her husband came all the way from Texas just to run! …Ok, they actually came because it was Thanksgiving, but whatever. It was freezing but we had a great time 🙂

Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k

Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k. I felt Potato give me a few emphatic kicks near the end of this race, unsure whether it was in approval or trying to get me to cut it out, haha.

Then came the Jingle Bell 5k, which was so much fun! But unfortunately I think the only pictures I have on it are on my phone and I haven’t uploaded them to the computer yet. However, you can read my brief snippet of it here!

First Night 5k

First Night Virginia 5k. Relatively small 5k, but it was kindof fun. We hope to do it again this year.

First Night VA 5k

The day after the First Night 5k we ran the Bethany Hall Resolution Run 5k in Roanoke. It was the “first annual” for this race, which is pretty cool, but they messed up the milage a little and instead of being 3.1 miles it was only 2.6. That’s ok, even missing the half mile I still met my racing goal 😛 The proceeds for the run went towards a women’s organization that spent a good portion of it’s funds on pregnant women. I thought that very a propos as it was no longer possible to hide my Potato bump, even wearing Brian’s shirts.

Arctic 5k Jimmy's 1st 5k

Arctic 5k! Advertised as the most challenging 5k in Virginia and I wouldn’t argue. Pretty much straight up and straight down the entire course. It was Jimmy’s first 5k (guy in the 2nd picture…same guy Brian roped into doing the GoRuck Challenge) and his wife (my sister in law) took pictures so we actually have proof of crossing the finish line!

Brian finishing the Charlotte Ultra Run 50k Sexy and I know it

The Charlotte Ultra Run 10k and 50k. I ran the 10k and blogged about it in the previous post. Check out my outfit, I am SEXY. I think the neon pink compression sleeves really compliments the lime green racing shirt, and Brian’s khaki shorts just ties the whole ensemble together. Oh, yeah, the other picture is Brian finishing his 1st 50k for this year 🙂 Remember the ridiculous running scheme he has planned for this year? He’s running Holiday Lake 50k this weekend. I love my crazy man.

So there you have it! Potato has finished over a marathon in races before birth 😛

The Joys of Running While Pregnant

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So I started experiencing pelvic pain a few weeks ago and was really bummed because I figured I wouldn’t be able to run for the rest of my pregnancy. I started doing upper body weights about 2 weeks ago because I couldn’t stand being inactive, and then I added a few leg exercises including wall sits, and finally I started doing planks. I was feeling a lot better, and although I still had pelvic pain, it was a lot less. I talked to my OB at my next appointment and she was sympathetic but she basically told me pelvic pain happens to some women during pregnancy, it’s nothing to worry about, everything else looks normal, the baby is fine, and the pain probably won’t completely go away until after birth.

Huh. So I’m going to have pelvic pain no matter what I do?

My options were then: remain stationary (and miserable) or start running again (yay endorphins!).

So last weekend I ran the Arctic 5k, thinking it’d be my last race. But after realizing my above options, I changed my mind.

Today I ran the Charlotte Ultra Run 10k. They call it an Ultra Run because most people ran the 50k, but there was a decent showing of us 10k-ers to round it out.

Amusement one started when I put on the long sleeve shirt I had brought to run in…Whoops, my belly was peeking through like a beer gut in a wife beater. I had to put on BRIAN’S short sleeve shirt over top to make sure I was decently covered.

It was pretty safe to say I was the only obviously pregnant woman at the race, one guy commented, “You’ve got a hitchhiker!” before we even lined up at the start.

SO we start. Brian takes off because he has to run 5 of my little 10k to finish his part of the race, and I settle into what I affectionately call my kimono shuffle. The pelvic pain hurts worse when I have to take longer strides (so, actually walking hurts worse than this shuffle) so I bounce/shuffle my feet like I’m wrapped from head to ankle in silk and that’s how I bobbled along. It may not have been super fast (I averaged a little over a 15 minute pace) but I maintained it for the entire race AND I beat several other 10k-ers. Not bad for being 3 days away from third trimester.

What was cool was all the encouragement I got while running. It was an out and back course on the Charlotte Greenway, a decently flat course-just a gentle rolling, and mostly pavement. The majority of the runners were much faster than me, so I saw them coming back (some of the 50krs lapped me a couple of times) and I got several high-fives, a lot of “You go!” and “Running for two!” comments, and one “That’ll be one healthy baby!”  The other women runners were especially supportive, I think some of the guys just thought I was nuts.

One of the 50krs who stands out in my mind, however, was one of the top three finishers (he lapped me 3-4 times before I finished my ONE lap). Tall asian guy, he didn’t say anything, his face was in “the zone” but he’d catch my eyes and give me a few quiet claps with his gloved hands on his water bottle every time we passed, and I’d smile and say “good job” or something equally simple and that was it. After I finished I was waiting for Brian and chatting with the race volunteers, cheering on the finishers as they crossed the line. This guy finishes, promptly leans up against the fence and all his friends come over to congratulate him on how fast he ran. I smiled and said, “yeah, you lapped me several times!” And he started laughing and was like, “I couldn’t speak while running, but thanks for actually responding when I passed you!” I couldn’t figure out if during the race his clapping had just been some sort of weird obligatory encouragement since his face was so devoid of expression but nope, turns out he really was cheering me on and my random comments had a return positive effect. Yay running!

I did, however, have the medics a little concerned. They had signed up to cruise on 4 wheelers and chat at aid stations until this pregnant crazy lady (me) apparently decided to run the race. One actually asked one of the volunteers what they should do if I went into labor. They were driving up and down asking all of the runners if they needed anything, but I definitely got a lot of “Are you sure you’re ok?”s. They needn’t of worried, a woman who had had her baby 10 months prior introduced me to her two running partners who were both midwives. I was covered. 😉

My all time favorite part was this one guy on a bike with an Irish accent (I’m pretty sure it was Irish) who was also riding up and down the course keeping an eye on the runners and who passed me several times. I had made the turn around and just passed the 7k sign when he rides by and goes, “Yeah! You’re fookin’ almost done!” I laughed out loud and gave a slightly breathless “woohoo!”. A few hundred feet later Brian is coming towards me (he’s running 5 of these 10k laps remember) and we pause to steal a quick kiss as we cross paths and the same biker who was apparently now coming back down the course goes “You can’t do that on the greenway! That’s illegal!” and rides on by with a wave.

To sum up. I’m sore. I’m definitely waddling a little more when I walk to minimize the soreness. I miss being able to actually run instead of shuffle. But Potato is kicking around like crazy (as usual) and running pregnant is kindof fun.

 

Oh, and Brian ran the 50k in 4 hours and 38 minutes, which is pretty awesome, but whatever. 😛

February Prep

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I hate February. Every year I devise ways to get through the 28 (or occasionally 29) days of evil with varying success. My natural cheerfulness seems to be directly tied to the amount of sunlight during the day, so I normally start getting increasingly gloomy as daylight wanes in the fall and into the winter, and get increasingly peppy as the sun returns in Spring. This holds true even when working night shift.

One tried and true method to fight the blues for me, however, has always been exercise-usually in the form of running. Hence, my endevour to run the equivalent of a marathon in 5ks before the Potato’s grand entrance. Unfortunately, my last 5k will be this Saturday, and far from a run I’m hoping just to be able to finish WALKING it. I’ve got that lovely pelvic pain from those joint relaxing hormones that, I’m sorry to say, feels like someone is stabbing knives into my lady parts. TMI? I apologize, but it’s true. Completing the what-used-to-be-a-mile-walk with Remus has turned into a waddle halfway down the hill and encourage him to run the rest of the way down without me.

My husband, on the other hand, is still running all these “training runs” of 20+ miles with “shorter” runs of 10-15 miles in preperation for his crazy race schedule. He’s looking a lean, mean, running machine…and I’m 20lbs heavier than I have ever been in my entire life and appalled that my chest can actually rest on my stomach when I slouch. AHH!!!

So my usual season disgruntledness and my anticipated loathing of February has been in full swing, making me just a bundle of laughs and warm fuzzies. Potato has been kind enough to kick me out of my bad moods (Literally. I forget I feel gross and bloated when my little munchkin goes on an acrobatic spree, it’s just so neat!) but I’m far from cured and I don’t have my usual outlet to help bring on the endorphins so I’ve been mostly sitting around moping.

Well, not anymore! I just can’t stand being gloomy anymore, chalk it up to ADHD but I’m getting a little bored being a grump 24/7 and February is coming up fast. SO, since I can’t run, I grabbed the dinky 5 lb weights from downstairs and started a light upper body workout plus some wall sits for my legs. All within safe “pregnancy parameters”, but enough to get the blood flowing a little bit and kick in some feel good chemicals (I hope). Take that February! I’ve got a vacation scheduled smack in the middle of you and I’m going to be exercising whatever body part I’m allowed to until this baby is born. You won’t bring me down this year.

 Honest to goodness, people talk about things they miss “being able to indulge in” due to being pregnant…I just can’t wait to run again! I’m strapping Potato into a carrier or stroller and we are going to spend some time enjoying the great outdoors at a brisk jog… It’d be nice to be able to put on my socks without a struggle, too, I’ll give you that one.

Anyone else dislike a specific month of the year? Anyone else actually like the month of February? (if so, what is wrong with you?!)

 

**I know quite a few people who are born in the month of February (including my 2 brother-in-laws) and I am VERY glad they were born and more than happy to celebrate their birthdays…but that doesn’t lessen my overall detestation of the month, sorry.

GoRuck

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This weekend my husband and my SIL’s husband completed the GoRuck challenge in Philadelphia. My SIL Rachel and I were just along for the ride, and for goading our reluctant hubbies out the hotel door to be on time for the 1am start.

What is the GoRuck you ask? It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to some individuals, but it resonates with a few. It’s an 8-12 hour, 15-20 mile event rucking with a 45lb ruck PLUS additional weights from 25-50lbs randomly distributed throughout AND a bunch of grueling exercises interspersed-with the 45lb ruck on at all times of course. It’s a team building exercise on steroids appealing to masochists everywhere. Read more about it here. There are events across the nation and this weekend’s event was in Philadelphia.

We’ve already established that my husband is a little bit insane when it comes to endurance events (I couldn’t be more proud of him :P) but what really surprised me was the ease with which he roped Jimmy (My BIL once removed) into participating as well. I believe Jimmy having spent the past 4 years cooped up inside over his lap top finishing TWO Master’s degrees might have contributed to the eagerness with which he jumped on the crazy bandwagon, but he has since embraced the nuttiness with complete abandon, good naturedly wrapping up his six bricks in duct tape and bubblewrap and squishing them into his pack. Brian is trying as hard as he can to get him to run the Promise Land 50k this April and Jimmy has yet to outright refuse.

It was fun for me to have Rachel along, a fellow spectator to our respective husbands’ strange behavior. Someone to laugh with as Brian and Jimmy work themselves up into a complete grumble fest of misery as they wake up from their short naps to prepare for the event. Maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe just a personality thing, but when I get ready to complete something challenging (an Ultra, let’s say) I mentally try to cheer myself on, get all excited and pumped up. Brian gets increasingly gloomy and pessimisstic and talks about how everything is going to hurt and be awful and it’s probably a really bad idea-and then afterwards he signs up for more events. I guess we have different motivational styles? Anyway, Rachel and I dutifully kicked them out of the hotel and dropped them off at the Art Museum (Rocky steps, that’s where the GoRuck started and ended). We tried not to rub it in TOO much that we were headed back to the comfy hotel beds for a good night’s sleep while they were slogging through mud and grass and the ick of Philadelphia streets at drunk AM…ok, we rubbed it in a little bit, it was funny.

The next morning they limped back to the hotel. The are currently very bruised and battered, but they survived and earned their GoRuck patches. (All that for a single patch.) You’d have to ask them for the details, but from the snippets of stories I’ve heard it was definitely a challenge. Jimmy at least admitted that he had fun (several hours, at least one good meal, and several naps later), Brian is still grumbling-but he already has the patch on his hat.

 

**I’m a little bit jealous. I’m glad Brian has being able to do so much running, but I miss running with him, and I miss Ultras. I miss being a little bit crazy, too.

December Fitness Challenge and Running

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I finished the December Health and Fitness Challenge hosted by Atlantamomofthree and she made this cool button award thingie 🙂 It got a little dicey near the end of December with a pulled muscle/tendon/ligament/SOMETHING in my hip. I stopped running entirely and concentrated on walking to give it a break in hopes I could at least complete the last two 5 ks I had registered for on Dec 31 and Jan 1. Mission accomplished!

On Dec 31st Brian and I ran the First Night Virginia 5k in Charlottesville (2nd annual). Good course, a little hilly but nothing like the Lynchburg Turkey Trot, I’m adding it to my list of annual 5ks I like. It was a TINY race. Maybe 100 people? 120? Very small, but kind of fun for that reason.

On Jan 1st we ran the 1st annual Bethany Hall 5k which is a race to support a women’s center in Roanoke that deals in part with pregnant women who need support. I found this very fitting as I waddled to the start. Ok, so I’m not really waddling yet, but my hip was still giving me issues so my stride wasn’t completely normal either. It was on the Roanoke Greenway, which is a beautiful paved path following the river. A very flat race, Brian’s GPS read a total of 39 feet elevation gain. 39 feet! We usually measure elevation gain in the 100’s and 1000’s of feet. Also, being the first time this race has ever been held, they got the turn around point wrong and it ended up being half a mile short. I almost made a personal best 5k time waddling! If it had actually been a complete 3.1 miles, it would’ve definitely been my slowest race yet, but the Potato sure isn’t getting any lighter so I’m trying not to let this bug me. I want to run this race again next year, it was definitely a pretty course.

I may, MAY, attempt the Arctic 5k held at LU in a few weeks, but we’ll see.

The Cupid Dash in Texas was cancelled, Brian and I are really bummed about that because we really wanted the t-shirts. Oh well, I still get to visit my sister and BIL in Dallas! Woohoo! er…yeehaw!

I’m taking a break from the running now though so the hip thingie hopefully goes away completely. I’m still walking Remus when I can, which is a good 10-30 minutes of exercise depending on how cold/dark it is outside when we walk him. Potato doesn’t seem to have been effected by my running and is still as active as ever. Sometimes the little booger rolls and squirms so much it actually makes me motion sick when I’m sitting completely still. Fantastic. I hit 23 weeks on New Years, yay, that means I’m over the pregnacy hill and coming down the other side!

Brian has challenged me to watch 52 new movies in 2013. Any genre. Buh. That’s a lot of mindless sitting still. However, what’s a good New Years Resolution list without at least one resolution that makes you grit your teeth, right? We watched Pitch Perfect yesterday at the dollar theater (I thought it was pretty funny) and then Valhalla Rising at home. WEIRD movie, that, and not one I’d recommend to anyone. If that’s your cup of tea, good for you, I thought it would never end. We have Hotel Transylvania scheduled for today (yay animation!). He’ll probably want to watch another movie tonight since he’s still on break from school. I guess I’m off to a good start.

I’m reading a new book right now on introverts and I guarantee there will be future posts on the subject.

That’s all for now.