Friday, June 21, 2013


So I'm sure I've mentioned it here before but my son is a train freak.  He knows names, models etc.  He knows what acronyms stand for.  The only reward system we have for him is a ride on a real train.

Need to potty train the kid?  Offer him a ride on a train.
Struggling on a subject in school?  Reward is a train ride.

We bought toys.  Lots of toys......when trying to potty train him.  Nothing worked.  He didn't want any of it.  He didn't want candy or any other reward system we read about.  And then Dr. Phil offered some advice one day......

Find their hot button and thats what you use.  (For the record, I DO NOT watch Dr. Phil.  My mother does.)

Nicks hot button was trains.  So we researched Amtrak and Metrolink and came up with a plan.  Within a week, he was potty trained.  That was almost 3 years ago.  Every hurdle we run into seems to end with a train ride.  Some of the conductors on the Metrolink may or may not recognize us.  Not going to admit 100% to that one.  *winkwink*

Anyway, we've been working on a particular hurdle lately and we finally seemed to beat it.  His reward was a train ride down to San Diego.

 This man was wandering the track.  Tell me he isn't the spitting image of Johnny Depp?  Scary right?  Even his mannerisms matched Depp/Sparrow.  Scary but totally rad.

 We took a quick tour of the harbor on a special truck - if you want to call it that.  It was some kind of army assault vehicle that drives on land and then becomes a boat.  Awesome.  We floated around the harbor with all the cool boats.........

 Saw some sea lions......

This was our vehicle.  Totally rad.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Color Run

*Scroll down to see the layout or check out the story below.*

I think I posted a while back about me participating in the Color Run - Orange County.  I signed up for it with about 5 weeks to train.  I had the best of intentions of actually training for this.  I never did.  Between the kid, life, work and everything else under the sun, carving out 30 minutes a day to run/walk never happened.

As the day approached I kept thinking to myself 'I walk a lot.  All the time.  I can do this.'

What I didn't account for was the walk from the parking lot.  There was a looooong strip of parking that we didn't realize went down as far as it did.  So we parked where everyone else was parking.  It was about a mile walk.  Eh, no problem.  Except that it was blazing hot.  The sun was blaring off the blacktop of the old Marine airstrip.

I can do this.  I chugged water as we walked. that. mile.

I got to the starting line about 15 minutes late.  They do rolling starts and release heats of about 150-200 people so I was good.  I kissed my husband and kid goodbye like it was the last time I'd see them and set off for the starting line.  Men were wearing tutu's and other random outfits - there was even a bride and groom wearing some over the top white satin tuxedo and lacy dress.

My adrenaline kicked in and I knew I could do this.  I've always been bad at math so the 3 miles (5k) didn't seem that bad to me.  Each 1k was marked with a color station - a huge arched balloon with color stained people throwing powder at you.  Here is where I wish I'd brought an old camera or my phone in a baggie.  I missed out on some of the fun stuff they have along the way.  The encouraging signs, the views of the valley, the enthusiastic color throwers.  Next time I will take my camera.

As I neared the first color beacon, I was feeling pretty good.  But in reality, I'd only traveled a little less than 2 miles.  Then the math started to make sense.  I still had a long ways to go AND there was that mile long walk back to the car.

But I can do this.  I cranked up my special running playlist and kept going.

And then I reached the second beacon.  Starting to feel the pain. Maybe I should have trained a little.  

Third beacon.  Halfway there right?

This is when I started to drag.  I moved from the fast lane to the slow lane.  My legs hurt.  My feet felt great because of my new running shoes.  I was sticky, died three different colors and had powder in my nose.  

The fourth beacon seemed like it was lightyears away and as I made  my way towards it, it laughed at me.  I swear it did.  It was mean, laughing at me and backing away as I tried to run after it.  The heat and colored powder were starting to make me crazy.

As I ran through I knew I had one more to go and then I could collapse at the finish line and let my husband drag me to the car.  It was about this time I was thinking it might have been a good idea to time myself.  I really have no idea how long it took me except that I didn't listen to more than 49 minutes of music on my ipod.  So we're going with a time of 49 minutes.  And then there was my 5 year old.  Probably not a good idea to bring him.  Cranky little boy.  I thought there would be more for him to do/watch but there really wasn't.  He wanted to get his hands on color packets so I told my husband to take him to the finish line where he could be part of the final color throw.  

As I neared the finish line and 5th beacon I saw them.  They'd come to meet me.  They both looked as miserable as I did but with less color.

I should be embarrassed to share these pictures but I'm not.  I just ran/walked a 5k without any training and I was feeling pretty darn good.  I also want to post a shout out to Van Halen and their hit 'Jump' for getting me through that last section of the track.  I was pretty beaten up at this point and when the opening chords of that song came on I sprang into action.  I also think I pulled a groin muscle but thats neither here nor there.

So, those embarrassing photos.....

 On the way to the race.  The traffic was horrendous.  My kid stole my sweatband.
 Walking across the finish line.  My kid joined me.

Take a good look at this one.  Each racer got a packet of color to release at the finish line celebration.  My son wanted that packet so badly.  So we told him he could have it if he threw it up in the air.  He threw it at me.  My kid, the little athlete has got a good arm on him and deadly aim.  He tossed that packet right at me and hit me in the face!  My husband got the split second before it hit me.  I was bracing for impact.

I literally got a face full of green powder.  I couldn't see anything through my glasses.  Its a good thing I had them on.
Its a good thing I brought wipes and wet towels with me.  I was able to wash my face but you can see how much was left on me after I was 'blown off' as we exited.

Oh and don't forget I still had that mile walk back to the car.  At this point, I couldn't feel my legs.  Mothers Day was the next day and I spent the day not being able to move.  But it was all for something cool.  I would do it all over again - with a closer parking space.

I got my latest Cocoa Daisy kit that week and it contained the best paper.  I printed out these photos and popped this layout out last night.

 Some {flair} and String.
And this paper I would NEVER use was perfect for this.