Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fitness Goals - Week 3

It was a good week despite the very cold temperatures. I would definitely prefer a more consistent winter. I'm not a fan of the temperature fluctuations we have been having. My first five Canadian winters were spent in Edmonton, where it gets cold and then stays cold all winter. Sometimes it was a little too cold, but I would take that over the melting-freezing cycle we are currently in.

Tuesday 6:45am -26ºC 39 minutes. I wore my balaclava. It doesn't make an appearance very often but when it's this cold it is nice to be able to pull something over your mouth every so often. My fingers and toes were cold for the first half of the run. I just wore my usual running gloves and light socks. I've forgotten how to run in the cold!

Thursday 6am -24ºC 58 minutes. The novelty of cold weather running was wearing off slightly. I considered going on the bike trainer instead but had planned to meet Tyandra. I knew she was really busy at work so was expecting a cancellation text from her. She was expecting one from me due to the cold, but since neither of us sent them, off we went. I was better prepared this time and wore mitts over my gloves and warmer socks, and had a great run.

Sunday 10:30am -15ºC 52 minutes. It was beautifully bright and sunny, a welcome change from running in the dark.

You would think that after a run in -26ºC, the first thing you would want to do when you get home is jump into the shower. Not a good idea, numb legs in the shower sting like crazy. I wait about 10 minutes and then have a nice long sting-free shower.

I did 3 weight work-outs, again all less than 25 minutes. This week I am definitely going to fit in 4 workouts.

Bike Trainer
No bike trainer again!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Science Centre - Colour Tunnel

Finian loved this colour tunnel at the Science Centre. He sat for ages fascinated by the colours - waiting for green to come again.

"Hooray - Green!"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Family Fun - Week 3

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 3 of family fun.

On Friday, the kids had a day off school as the teachers had a professional activities day. The PA days in our district rarely line up the PA days in Toronto, so it's a great time to do something crowd-free in Toronto. We went to the Ontario Science Centre for this PA day last year and purchased an annual family membership which was expiring on Saturday, making Friday the perfect opportunity for family fun at the science centre.

Scenes From the Science Centre
Maybe this is why Fiacra brings odd stuff home from everywhere we go

Fiacra and Finian enjoyed making paper airplanes, having them blown up the tube, and then trying to catch them as they came down.

The kids enjoyed the bird-related activities. Based on our combined family weight, we would need an eight metre wing span to fly. Connell came close to injuring himself trying to beat Fiacra's number of wing beats per minute. Fiacra was pretty pleased with his 73 beats per minute until he saw that hummingbirds range from 30 to 90 beats per second!

Our family's wing span

Bird Boy
Each time we have gone to the science centre, the kids have spent quite a bit of time at this ball track, waiting for the balls to pop out so they can feed them back in. Finian was fascinated by it.

We spent a lot of time blowing bubbles using our hands. The bubble solution was great, making strong, long lasting bubbles.

Finian through a bubble wall

Our membership has now expired. Next time we go, we will get another annual membership - it works out to be about the same cost as two single visits. When we have a membership, we are definitely inclined to go more frequently. We also have a membership for the Toronto Zoo and in the past have had a membership for the ROM. We are due a visit to the ROM, it's been a while. Family fun for another day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fitness Goals - Week 2

Another good week last week!

Tuesday 6:45am -10ºC 37 minutes. Did my usual 40 minute route but I'm doing it faster now.

Thursday 6am -10ºC 52 minutes. Ran with Tyandra, my favourite run of the week. There was a fresh layer of snow on the ground.

Sunday 8:30am -17ºC 48 minutes. It was very windy! The wind was head-on for the first half of the run, boy, I was looking forward to the turn around point.

I did 3 weight work-outs, all less than 25 minutes. You can squeeze a lot into 25 minutes! I think I will increase to 4 work-outs a week.

Bike Trainer
Did not make it to the bike trainer again. I think it's because I don't have a definite time set aside for it. I need to look for a time slot!

Midnight Conversation With Fiacra

"I had a terrible nightmare"

"Oh no! It was just a nightmare, not real. Let me fix your pillows and you can go back to sleep." (His pillows were all bunched up behind his head.)

"I have to use a pillow, Dad said it's dangerous not to."

"I'm just going to fluff them up, you can still use them."

"And now I can never go to the library again."

"Who said you can never go to the library again?"

"The kids."

"Well I'm sure you can. Sit up and I'll fix your pillows."

"It's not a pillow - it's an ivory headrest!"

"Well there you go - that's why it looked so uncomfortable."

When I relayed it to Connell, he laughed and said it was all from the book they are reading, The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. Too funny!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fitness Goals - Week 1

Last week was pretty successful - I did 3 runs, and 3 weight workouts, but didn't go on the bike trainer, groan! It was a fairly busy week, along with the kids' usual activities, I had my book club on Wednesday night and a full day in Toronto with friends on Saturday (what a fun day, thanks girls). Unfortunately, that's all it takes to miss a workout. I'm determined to get them all in this week.

Tuesday 7:40am -10ºC 33 minutes. Tempo run with some hills. I ran a little later than I normally do and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. I also saw more runners than I usually do - do runners not get up as early as they used to?

Thursday 6am -5ºC 62 minutes. Ran with Tyandra, the time just flew by.

Sunday 9:30am 9ºC 52 minutes. Met some friends by chance and ran with them. We were having a brief hiatus from winter. I ran in half tights with no hat or gloves, so nice.

I am still refining my weights workout. I would like it to be no more than 25 minutes including set-up and tear-down. I need to fully inflate my new stability ball and incorporate it.

Bike Trainer
All set-up with a fan trained on it and now just waiting  - for me!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Family Fun - Week 2

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 2 of family fun.

For this week's family fun, we went to see "The Rise of the Guardians". This was Connell's first time going to a movie theatre with the kids. We had heard great reviews, lots of our friends have seen it.

We went straight after school on Friday. Initially Fiacra didn't want to go and he kept repeating "I don't want to see that movie". Finian, getting worried we may not go, countered each one with "I want to see movie on big screen". Eventually, after a short endless drive we arrived, and Fiacra jumped out of the van, happy to be there.

I wasn't sure how Finian would handle the big screen and the volume. It took him a little while to get used to it but then he liked it and talked non-stop. Fiacra and Ailbhe loved the movie. I thought Santa was great in it.

Finian, it seems, held some candies in his hand for the whole movie, and was thrilled afterwards when he noticed that his hands were green, his absolute favourite colour.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Game Boys (and Girl)

Connell played a lot of boardgames growing up and has always played games with Fiacra and Ailbhe. They are both able to play more advanced games now. Fiacra doesn't love losing, but who does! When the three of them play, Fiacra and Ailbhe often announce "kids on a team", meaning they both still play individually but with a common goal, beat Connell. Here are some of their current favourites.
Dragon's gold is my favourite. You work together to slay dragons. Once a dragon has been slain, the players involved negotiate the division of the dragon's treasure, each trying to get what helps them the most. There are various magic cards that can impact the negotiations. This game is hard to find, I believe Santa purchased ours in France.

In Forbidden Island, the players act as a team, trying to recover four treasures from an island that is flooding. Players take turns but you win or lose as a team. This is the only co-operative game we own, we usually prefer more competitive games but this game is good.
This game is, as it says on the box, the game of global domination. Connell and Fiacra started playing Risk over Christmas. Last Sunday afternoon, they had 2 more boys over to play. They played for 2 hours and would have kept going if there weren't impatient mums in the background with dinner ready.

Enjoying Risk

Fiacra, Ailbhe, and their friends can play these games on their own now and do. I would much prefer them to be playing board games with their friends rather than glued to a gaming console.

Playing Forbidden Island on a houseboat in Temagami this summer. Fiacra looks intense!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Year - Fitness Goals

My goal for the winter is to run 3 times a week (which I already do), to go on the bike trainer once a week (which I usually do), and to add a weights workout 3 times a week. I need to come up with a good weights workout that doesn't take too long, that I can just fit in at some stage during the day.

My typical running schedule is:
Tuesday 6:30am 40 minutes
Thursday 6am 50 minutes
Sunday 8am 50 minutes

I had a great run on Sunday morning in new snow. I always run right through the winter and love it. I think my coldest run so far this year has only been -14C, I can go a lot colder than that.

The challenge this winter will be time. We have a lot on our plate for the next 6 months. Exercising early morning is great. I get up, have my coffee and cereal, and go, and I'm done for the day. Early mornings mean early nights however, and considering that Connell and I usually get things done after the kids are in bed, this wipes out quite a few nights during the week. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Family Fun - Week One

Our New Year's resolution was to do at least one family activity or outing, just the five of us, every week this year. This is week 1 of family fun.

For our first family fun, we went trampolining at Airborne Trampoline. The kids and I have been there before, but this was Connell's first time to jump. It was great. Initially, I feel like I am out of control when jumping high but then I get used to it. Fiacra and I were often jumping on adjacent trampolines and he kept asking me to copy what he was doing, mainly so he could laugh when I wouldn't/couldn't.


Connell jumping with Finian


Connell has moves!

We want to choose family fun activities that Finian can enjoy with us. He loved trampolining. Connell or I would go on with him and hold him in our arms and bounce, or support him standing and let him bounce himself. At one point he said to me, "I want to bounce all by self", I had to say that he couldn't, that Mum or Dad would help him. He got teary. I have been wondering when he would start to realize that he can't do things that other kids can.

We went straight from trampolining to Fiacra and Ailbhe's dentist appointments. They both had a check-up and cleaning. Ailbhe is usually well behaved and compliant at the dentist, and Fiacra, the complete opposite, but not today. Ailbhe went first and was resistant to everything. Fiacra was perfect until after he had swished with fluoride, and the hygienist mentioned that he shouldn't eat or drink for 30 minutes. It was 30 looooong minutes of non-stop complaining of how hungry and thirsty he was. It was actually surprisingly humorous, he was so over the top. Once we pulled into the driveway, Fiacra shot out of the van and into the house and was busy with a bowl of cereal when we got inside.

One small bit of bad news - Fiacra was playing a lot of lacrosse at school before Christmas and got hit in the mouth with a stick one day. I was called to go to the school because one of his front teeth seemed loose. I couldn't remember if that tooth was an adult tooth or still a baby tooth (bad parenting moment). My friend said that the adult teeth grow in with ridges along the top, and as this tooth was small with no ridges we figured it must be a baby tooth. Unfortunately not, an adult tooth with the top knocked off!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year - Family Fun

I rarely make new year's resolutions. I often consider it but never feel really committed. I never feel strongly enough about them to mind too much if I don't stick to them.

This year, I am making one that I am actually attached to. Every week this year, our family of 5, will do at least 1 activity or outing together, just the 5 of us. We have talked to the kids about it and they love the idea. They can help us come up with fun things to do. I am predicting that Finian's suggestion will be the same every week, to go to the zoo.

We have fantastic friends and we love spending time with them but when we are together in a big group, I don't feel like I am connecting with my kids. I need my friends and the kids need theirs, but we also need time as a family, and hence the resolution. I am excited!

Fiacra, Ailbhe, and Finian

This is the kids' Christmas photo from this year. They look so angelic. Can I just say that photos can be very deceptive.