Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunday Lawn

Sunday Lawn is a game Kylie plays on the iPad. The objective is to mow the grass and avoid hedgehogs. There is occasionally dog poop on the grass and if you run over it a little voice says "Yuck!" which cracks Kylie up.

The other day I told her it wasn't time to play a game or watch tv yet. So she decided to draw out her own game so she could play that way. Pretty creative, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Excellent Eggs

Next Thursday is the Easter Egg Hunt at Kylie's school. I volunteered to bring 50 plastic eggs for the hunt. The eggs couldn't have any candy- just toys.

I have to say that my eggs rock!
In each egg there are two Easter stickers, two sticky hands, a globe eraser, and three foam smiley-face rings.

Love is...stuffing Easter eggs for your kiddo's school.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Letterbox- third trip

On Sunday, we made our third letterbox trip

Letterboxing is "an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber-stamp artistry in a treasure-hunt style outdoor quest." Our first letterbox experience was in February 2009 when we lived in Portland Oregon. Our second trip was this January at Fort Caroline Park.

Our third trip also started near Fort Caroline Park. We took the Spanish Pond Trail for about a mile and then followed the clues. Soon enough we spotted the box.

With letterboxing, there is stamp in the box that you stamp onto a page in your notebook. Today's box had a beautiful hand-carved stamp of a large scary guy named "Carnival Creeper". We stamped it onto our notebook and onto our clue sheet.

A letterbox also has a guest register. We stamped our 3-star stamp (with pink ink per Kylie's request) into their guest book. We wrote a bit about ourselves and Kylie signed her own name.

I think I enjoy the whole stamping part of letterboxing more than Kylie. I get really tickled seeing the letterbox stamp and the stampers who have been there before us. But mostly I do it to get the family in the woods. At the start of our hike, we saw a snake cross our path which was a good teachable moment about watching where we put our feet. But mostly, Kylie wants to run ahead on the path. Really reminds me of myself at her age.






Sunday, March 25, 2012

Project Life Week 12

Last week Kylie had Spring Break. Instead of going to school from 8:30 - 2:00, she went to a My Gym camp from 9:00 - 12:30. The camp had some fun themes and Kylie had a great time.

I struggled a bit last week. I really missed those extra 2 hours. I didn't blog. I didn't pick up the Nikon but once. I didn't scrapbook or surf the internet. I made too many trips to the grocery store because I couldn't focus enough to create my usual week-long menu. I didn't do anything special with Kylie but by the time I put her to bed, I was wiped.

This was a good preparatory experience since Kylie's summer school hours will be from 9-1. This past week shows me I need to strategize a bit and figure out my day's timings so I'm not so frazzled this summer as I was this previous week.

Looking back on the week, I'm grateful for my iPhone. I was able to create this week's Project Life pages by using my iPhone photos and reading my text messages to Karen and my TN family.

I'm pleased with how the pages turned out. Once again this week, they seemed filled with a rainbow of colors. I wish I could scan the pages rather than photograph them because you don't get to see much detail here. Overall I'm so pleased to have another completed week!

To view the credits, just click on the photo.

My Gym Theme card journaling:
M-It’s a jungle, T-Cowboys & Aliens, W-Shark Attack, T-Ooey Gooey Science, F-Fear Factor.
It’s been wonderful to have a break from preparing Kylie’s lunches this week!

Shark card journaling:
Kylie enjoyed decorating this cupcake with jelly beans, fruit loops and a candy shark fin. And she loved her shark tooth necklace.

Tree journaling:
Lucas tree service removed the old fronds and seed stalks on our 40 foot Palm tree, our tallest Magnolia tree and our smaller Palm trees.

This week journaling:
In addition to getting the trees trimmed, Karen and I replaced four broken sprinkler heads. Kylie had fun playing in the sprinkler spray.


About You journaling:
We moved a step ladder into your room. You’ve decided that you want to choose your own clothes. One day this week you told me proudly, “I know this doesn’t match but I want to wear it anyway.” You’ve got spirit and style my darling girl!

Extra journaling:
Kylie wears a size 10 shoe. Shoe shopping on Thursday 3/22

Our musical girl journaling:
This week Kylie has been singing “This Old Man” and the Mickey Mouse Alma Mater (see you real soon!) song. And we taught her to spell Mississippi the “crooked-letter” “humpback” way and Tennessee the “T, E, double-n, e, double s, double e” way. Of course she latched onto both and we’ve heard them all A LOT!

Green card:
Kylie was invited to our neighbor’s jump house before their son’s birthday started. And Kylie has really gotten into making Tinker Toy creations. It’s a bit unnerving when she describes the guns, bombs and lasers in her creations. It is odd because she doesn’t have tv or game access that has anything with weapons or the like. I attribute it to her picking it up from playing with boys at school.

So that's it for another week!
If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
Ali Edwards blog
Big Picture Classes Gallery
The Mom Creative

Monday, March 19, 2012

Walt Disney World first trip

On Friday we took Kylie to Walt Disney World. It was her first trip there.

My favorite part was the fabulous morning parade.

Kylie's favorite part was the Stitch Escape, Buzz Lightyear ride and hugging Rapunzel.


More pictures available here.
Leaving Disney World-Kylie's 1st trip. More photos shared tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Now on Facebook


I've blogged for 7-8 years but I've never really been interested in Facebook. But I'm tired of being blocked when I click on someone's tweet that points to their Facebook page. So I've finally joined Facebook. So come on over and friend me. Or like me. Or comment. Or something. Sigh. I've got to figure the whole thing out. I just know that I want Timeline and can't get it and that the Dailymile posts are pretty cool.

Wendy's Facebook page

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Way to go Phil

I was reading my April edition of Oprah magazine when a question therein written to Dr. Phil caught my eye (page 66). The question was from a grandparent seeking advice about raising their transgender child.

Dr. Phil wrote an excellent, long reply. There was one part that particularly made my heart sing:
"Until it becomes clear how he is hardwired, nothing you do or don't do will change whether or not he is gay or transgender. But you can impact how he feels about who he is."

Bravo Dr. Phil!

I know we have a long way to go with regards to LGBTQ rights but when I see an article such as this I feel proud at how far we have come. There is no way that we would have had a celebrity like Ellen or issues on sexuality in major magazines fifty, or even twenty, years ago. We've come a long way.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Project Life Week 10

Another week of Project Life. I completed four pages for this week. As usual, you can click on the photo to view the credits.
Karen was in Texas this past week speaking at a conference. I was lucky enough to get a photo of her speaking and some photos of her at conference's Steampunk party. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history with the romantic elegance of the Victorian era that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century. The theme made for some great pictures of other well-known speakers. I was just tickled to get a picture of Karen in a red cape!

This page has the picture and write-up of Kylie and her robots as well as the write-up of my new Kindle (both shared here on the blog) along with some butterflies punched out of the Kindle packaging material.

Page Two was pictures and journaling for Kylie's school showcase held on Wednesday night. Kylie presented three lessons to me. The 100 board, word building pink “o” box, and the metal insets. We only had 45 minutes so Kylie had to start, but not finish, each work in order to show me all three. I was particularly impressed with her ability to make each transition because leaving work unfinished has been a source of great angst to her in the past. She was excited to show me all her skills and I am so proud of her.

Those two pages had the bulk of our week but I had lots of little snipets recorded on post-its throughout the house along with a few more cute pictures, so I decided to make two more pages.
  • Kite card journaling: You thought you wanted to fly a kite in our backyard on a particularly windy day. But instead you wanted Momma and I to fly it for you so you could watch.
  • News for this awesome week: Kylie was "Teacher Helper" in aftercare. Big honor!
  • Owl card: Kylie loves to play "eye spy" in the car on the way to school.
  • Galoshes card: One night, Kylie took a few leftover green beans and planted them in the backyard. The next night, some snow peas.
  • The firefly moon picture was part of a card that Karen sent to Kylie this week.
  • Chutes and ladders: Bought this childhood favorite this week. Kylie wanted to play it several days...even at 7am.

  • It's hard to see in this photo but on the top row Karen and Kylie are standing in front of some chalk pictures Kylie made in our driveway.
  • The Memorable card states that Kylie calls question marks "mystery tools".
  • Gray heart card journaling: Love to hear Kylie sing "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" with her sweet Southern accent.
  • Picture of Kylie on a tire swing and another of her playing on a zip line at My Gym.
  • Bottom picture shows Kylie at a birthday party at Big Air.
  • Last journaling card reads: You've started washing your own hair. You still need some help rinsing it clean. You like to look at your riddle books and "read" me a riddle by looking ath the pictures as I dry your hair. These green riddle books are the best. You and I are both tired at night but your bath can be the sweetest part of our day.

    I still have a huge pile of Kylie's artwork to go through and select 2-4 pieces to include in this week's pages the way I have for the previous weeks.

    So that's it for another week!
    If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
    Ali Edwards blog
    Big Picture Classes Gallery
    The Mom Creative
  • Thursday, March 08, 2012

    New Kindle

    I'm happy because today I received my new Kindle. Some of my long-time blog readers might remember that I got my first edition Kindle in June 2008.


    Back when Kylie used to look like this...

    and this.

    What a difference (almost) 4 years can bring! Look at that baby chub--oh, the memories!

    I would still be reading on my lovely, old Kindle but I wore the poor thing out. It started locking up constantly. It needed to be reset often. And last Saturday morning, I didn't think (for several harsh hours) it was going to come back on at all.

    Back when I got my first Kindle, I felt like a game show model whenever anyone would notice it. "What is that you are doing/reading?" a passerby at Starbucks would ask me. "This," I would say with a lovely hand flourish, "is the Amazon Kindle." It was such a kick to be an early adoptor and show it off.

    I'll have to take another picture of me holding my new Kindle when Karen gets back home. When you love books as much as I do, you must simply record such a momentous moment.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012

    Triathlete- January February 2012

    After running the marathon on January 8th, the rest of January was about rest and recovery. I limped for 2 days afterward. I was so incredibly proud of my race and secretly scared at how close I came to injury. Completing a marathon is a very emotional and physical process. It's like any big event in life (college graduation, wedding, childbirth) that after the planning and work to have it all come together, once it is done you can feel a bit aimless and listless. Being a marathon runner has given me such a touchstone of success and pride. I loved the journey and the result. But once it was done, I wasn't ready to jump into a new training plan. But I missed having one.

    The morning after the marathon, I saw runners around our hotel wearing their marathon shirts out for a run. "That's just crazy!" I told Karen. "I can barely walk. How can they run? And why would they want to?"

    I still think those runners were a bit nuts but now I understand more of why they would do it. Runners lose distance endurance so quickly. I've read that you can lose your endurance within two weeks. This was certainly true of me. I had my first run 15 days after the marathon. I ran 5 miles and I felt like 5 miles was all I had in me. I came home and iced my legs. Days later I ran another 5, then another 5 and then 6.25. And on each one it felt like my speed was there but not any distance.

    I went from feeling like I could run a half marathon at the drop of a hat to knowing that I couldn't possibly run an easy 10 miles. I didn't really want to go out and pound the pavement for 10 miles but it was a bummer knowing that I couldn't.

    "Just be easy with yourself" was my mantra for the rest of January. "Rest. Recover."

    In February, I started putting together some base training for the triathlon I hope to complete this summer. I haven't committed to a specific race but I'm thinking of competing in June. I didn't really follow any specific plan in February. I just knew that I needed to start swimming and biking again.

    After careful consideration, I decided to join a YMCA that had a pool rather than continue with my private swim lessons. As such, I needed to create my own swim workouts. What is most important to me is that I know that I can swim the .25mile (440 yards) swim portion of the triathlon. At the start of February, I wasn't confident that I could swim 440 yards in a pool without stopping much less in an ocean with hundreds of other swimmers.

    "Okay Wendy," I told myself. "You need to treat your swim like a Couch-to-5K run program. Each week, add just a little more. Let's just sneak up on those 450 yards."

    At the start of February, after my swim warm-up, I would swim 100 yards 3 times and then swim 200 yards twice. Let's call that 2x200 yards my "main set". By mid-February, I was swimming 3x250. At the end of February I was swimming 3x300. And by the first week of March, I swam 2x300 plus 1x400.

    So as you can see, I was slowly sneaking up on my goal. My swim workout may not be as exciting and fresh as a Masters Group swim where every practice is very different but this practice really worked for me in February.

    I used this same creep-up-on-it plan for my cycling. My bike is set up on an indoor trainer in my living room. Sure there were some days when it was warm enough to bike outside but again I had little confidence in myself to be able to bike well. I needed to build a base and get comfortable on the bike. I started at 60 minutes on the bike and added 5 minutes each week. By end of February, I was biking 80 minutes (distance 21 miles).

    And I was sprinkling in some running and some strength training. But overall the triathlon training seemed haphazard. Finally on the last week of February, I had a great week of training that really clicked.
    Mondays- long swim 2500 yards. I expect that number to be 3000+ in March. 5 mile run.
    Tuesdays- long bike ride. 90 minutes.
    Wednesdays- long run. 8+miles.
    Thursdays- short swim-2500 yards and short bike ride-45 minutes.
    Fridays- strength training and 5 mile run.

    This plan feels good to me. And boy, I had a heck of a time trying to find the right pattern. At one point in mid February, I was so frustrated that I told Karen that I was going to sell my bike and just give up the idea of the triathlon. I told her I was so frustrated by taking baby steps and scared so much about the ocean swim and about biking with hundreds of other people. Karen said, "Tell me how you would feel if you really gave it up." I replied, "Disappointed. Not relieved but disappointed." Karen said, "Well there you go. Just stick with it and it will happen."

    I'm sticking with it.

    Here's the stats for February:

    5 swims: 2100 - 2500 yards each swim

    6 rides on my indoor trainer. On each ride, I would do a 20-second speed burst every five minutes. On those 6 rides I had a total of 107.16 miles completed in a total of 6 hours, 55 minutes. Average mph was 15.35. Plus I took in one RPM spin class.

    10 runs for a total of 60.25 miles and an average pace of 8:57.

    3 hard-yet-great sessions at Atlantic Beach Performance.

    Overall, I worked out 21 days and had 8 days off. And my weight stayed the same at 118.

    Thanks to all of you who take the time to comment on these long triathlete posts. Comments lift me up more than you know. I leave them in my inbox so that I read them over and over.

    Blog posts about my triathlon journey
    November 2011
    September 2011
    August 2011 summary
    July 2011 summary
    June 2011 summary
    May 2011 summary
    April 2011 summary
    March 2011 summary
    February 2011 summary
    January 2011 summary
    December 2010 summary

    Goal: Triathlon in 2012- initial post from December 2010
    One Little Word: Triathlete post

    Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    Superheroes, oceans, robots and more

    I'm loving Kylie's imagination these days. I love the stories she concocts like this one. This was her pretend cover of a dvd. This pretend movie is a stirring children's action movie titled "Disney's Ocean."

    This was inside the picture. When I asked her what it was she replied, "The DVD of course."
    Kylie's oceanmovie dvd

    These are the robots she made on Sunday. They had some interesting adventures too.
    The robot with green antennae is a boy rockstar named Ashley. He loves bees, itches a lot and wears braces. The purple antennae robot is a girl rockstar named Fred. She smiles a lot, is great at jumping, likes gingerbread, attracts butterflies, and she doesn't know what braces are.

    Don't you just love childrens' imaginations?

    Monday, March 05, 2012

    Project Life Week 9

    Spring has sprung here in Florida with temperatures ranging from the mid 60's to the 80's and azaleas and dogwoods in bloom. After such a wordy Project-Life last week, I wanted to keep it simple this week. You can click on the picture to view the credits.
    Project Life Week 9 page 1

    I got creatively stuck putting together page 2. I knew I wanted the math story (in the upper left corner) along with that great smile picture as Kylie holds her math worksheet. And I wanted the Dr. Seuss pictures (lower left corner). But I couldn't figure out how to tie in my remaining stories from the week. I tried different pictures in the other spaces.

    I normally use the Amber edition of Project Life. But recently, when they came back into stock, I purchased the Clementine version. On Sunday night, I started pulling out cards and fell in love with that dotted card on the middle row, far right. After deciding that, the rest of the page came together. I was running out of time on Sunday and decided to write out the blue journaling cards rather than use my digital version in Photoshop and type it out. Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out.
    Project Life Week 9 page 2

    As you know, I pick 2-4 pieces of Kylie's schoolwork/artwork to keep out of the piles and piles she generates each week. This week, I put her math worksheet in an 8.5x11 page protector. On the back, I included a write up on the "holding her pencil" story.

    I also put some of her work onto 12x12 white cardstock and write a few notes using a stamp I bought at my local craft store. This week we decided to go to TN for Kylie's upcoming birthday. She got so excited that she started making invitations and drawing pictures of her party like this one.
    Project Life Week 9, art front

    Project Life Week 9, art back
    Kylie enjoys her Highlights Puzzle Buzz magazines. She works them from cover to cover. She and I had so much fun making this checker board. Kylie made the red squares and told me to draw the black ones around them. We sat close to one another taking quick turns until the board was done.

    So that's it for another week!
    If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
    Ali Edwards blog
    Big Picture Classes Gallery
    The Mom Creative

    Thursday, March 01, 2012

    Dry bread


    One of the ways I can get Kylie to tell me about her school day is to ask her what was offered as a snack and if she ate the snack.

    Yesterday she said with some disdain, "All they had was dry bread. No sweetener, honey, jelly, nothing. Just dry bread. Like what we feed to seagulls."

    Kylie, you say the funniest things.