Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BYU Alumni Run 2011

And the morning finally arrived. The dreaded BYU Alumni Run 5k.

I had been looking forward to it all year but when it came to the two weeks before, I actually began to dread it. I just place so much pressure on myself and I knew if I didn't beat my previous 5k time I would be really disappointed. I also was in a workout rut where I just did not feel like exercising.

But I had already convinced my brother and sister-in-law to run it with me so I couldn't back out and they signed me up. So we packed up our kids and stayed the night at their house so we wouldn't have to drive out to Provo so early in the morning.

The morning of the race dawned early and here we are, the runners. I like to laugh at the different excitement levels in our faces.

Our kids didn't get much sleep and they were tired and cold, but I LOVED having them there when I finished. It makes reaching the finish line that much better. It feels good to have them participate in a part of me accomplishing a worthy goal and I hope they learn the value of exercise. Brigham did great watching them in the stroller as we all ran. He says he'll run the next one with me and I'm bound and determined to hold him to that!

I didn't know it at the time, but Brigham took pictures of Katrina and me as we ran the last leg through the finish line. Katrina's picture just cracks me up and I look like I'm about to keel over and die. Someday we'll look long and lean and glorious while running right?

The boring facts and numbers of the race: Kyle did AMAZING! He ran it in a smokin' 22 minutes putting him at 3rd in his division and 15th overall! That is amazing and blew me away. Katrina zoomed fast as usual and placed 2nd in our age group and came in 30th overall. I came in 9th in our division and was pleased with myself because I beat my old time by three minutes coming in at 29:34. I know I could have pushed harder at the end and next time I want to even smoke that number, but I was happy that I ran it in under a half hour. I came in 86th overall which is a twelve place improvement from last time with more people running it this year.
The first stretch of the race is this super long hill that completely trashed me last time I ran this race and I had been stressing about running that hill again for weeks. However, this time I only had to walk this teeny-tiny stretch of it. I was SO happy about that. 

Kyle and Katrina both won medals and after the awards, they gave their medals to Lydia who put them around her neck, said, "I love my medals SO much," and then proceeded to kiss them like the athletes do in the Olympics. I have no idea where she got that from but it was hilarious! 

Next we went and showered, rested for a bit, and then went to Macey's grocery store because it was Pumpkinfest and they were serving free homemade cream soda and root beer, along with games for prizes. 

When they announced it was time on the loud speaker, you were supposed to hurry and stand on one of the pumpkins around the store. If they called the number on your pumpkin and you were the first one there you got a prize. I was in the cheese aisle when they called for the pumpkins and so I ran as fast as I could for the one at the end of the aisle. I was almost there as two ladies rounded the corner and I could tell they were going to get there first so I jumped as hard as I could...and almost killed everyone. But huzzah! I got there first and I grinned at them as they stared at me in fright and went around. Brigham watched the whole thing happen and was a little embarrassed but I was just excited. Too bad they didn't end up calling number ten. 
I sent Brigham running around to different numbers a few times while we were there but we didn't win anything and we weren't able to find the witch balloon for an extra prize, but it was fun anyways.

After Macey's we went to Pizza Pie Cafe for lunch and then we headed home to watch the football game - well I watched it and Brigham slept through it. In his defense we were wiped from little sleep and and a long busy day with an early start. We all went to bed around 7:00pm that night.

I managed to catch a cute cute picture of the kids in their BYU outfits with their BYU balloons they got from the race that morning.
This picture is as awesome as our day was :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beef, Mushroom, and Green Bean Stir Fry

I decided it was time to try a new recipe again. And after a random draw, this is the one that was chosen.
I was excited! I love beef, I love mushroom, I love green beans, and I love stir-fry. I was just nervous about how expensive the dinner would be. But alas, I committed to make the recipe no matter what. So I went shopping.

I found that I had to use a few things that I never have before. First I had to find rice noodles. These weren't too hard to find (Asian aisle in Walmart) and I wasn't too afraid of trying them after looking at them.

Next I was supposed to find shiitake mushrooms but after looking at two stores I couldn't find any. So I decided to pick a mushroom type I had never tried before instead, and so I bought these:
Crimini mushrooms. And, after looking online these mushrooms were listed as the first substitute for the shiitake mushrooms. Turns out shiitake mushrooms are black mushrooms and the crimini are brown. So only a slight difference. I wasn't very nervous about using them because I LOVE mushrooms. LOVE them.

However, this next item I was VERY nervous about. I was supposed to find fresh ginger, which I have never worked with before. Luckily I found it easily at Reams but I was still skeptical at it being hard to cut and being a strong flavor that I wouldn't like. But a commitment is a commitment, and I peeled the weird looking root-thing and cut it up.
I was really surprised. It smelled amazing! I could cut ginger all day. It made my hands smell amazing and couldn't stop taking deep breaths. This may sound weird but it smelled so clean and reminded me of how my house smells after I polish my furniture with my lemon furniture polish. That may not sound appetizing but it really was and I loved it. Now I know why they recommend ginger for sick-pregnant women and I'm definitely going to try it out when that time comes again.

So after cutting up the mushrooms, ginger, beef, and fresh green beans I was ready to begin the cooking.

You are supposed to put boiling water over the rice noodles and let them sit for fifteen minutes then drain them and put them back in the bowl. So that's what I did.

And while the rice noodles are cooking you fry up the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then add the green beans and continue frying for a few more minutes until they are just tender, so still pretty crisp, and then you throw in the ginger.

Then you mix all the veggies in with the noodles.

Meanwhile, while the frying was going on, I mixed up the sauce which is some low-sodium soy sauce, some honey, and a tablespoon of water. I did a little more sauce than the recipe called for because we tend to like our foods really saucy, and I wish I had done even more because we ran out.

I also mixed up the cornstarch and pepper and then tossed the beef in it until it's all covered. (I used a spoon to toss because I hate touching raw meat)

After you've freed up your pan from the veggies, you add a bit more oil and throw the meat in for a few minutes to brown it.

Then you throw in the sauce mixture and cook for a minute or so more until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Then you're ready to plate up! First the rice noodle/veggie mixture and then add the beef and sauce.

Yeah, it was DELICIOUS. And it's heart healthy :) I loved the flavor - it wasn't too sweet which I get tired of with stir-fry sauces. The ginger wasn't too strong at all and I really liked the flavor it added; the recipe would have tasted off without it.

It did take awhile to make (around fifty minutes), probably because I haven't ever made it before. In the future I would cut up everything earlier in the day and the actual cooking would go smoother because I would have the timing down better because I know what to expect.

It also cost around eight dollars to buy everything I needed. While that doesn't sound extravagant, for our meager budget, that's a pretty pricey dinner for us. However, I think it's perfect for when I'm planning dinner for a special occasion.

And I can't wait for a special occasion so I can feast my face on this again. All in all, two big thumbs up!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

9 Months Inside and Out

Today is the day that Ammon turns nine months. That means he has been alive OUT of me the same amount of time that he was alive IN me. When I think about it that way, it's weird because I feel as though he's been with us much longer than I was ever pregnant with him.

Just for fun, his his ultrasound picture at 12 weeks, and his baby picture at 12 weeks.
And here's another ultrasound at 20 weeks and his baby picture at 20 weeks.

I'd say he's considerably more filled out, outside the womb :)

As for his nine month stats:
90th percentile for length
80th percentile for weight
75th percentile for head size

And that's pretty much how he's been all along.

Here's his month-to-month journey from fuzzy-headed newborn to uncontrollable-sticking-up-everywhere-haired nine-month old.

I can't believe he's already nine months and I can't believe he's only nine months! I felt his spirit before he was even conceived and I was terrified of having a boy. Now that I have my little man I've learned the mommy/son relationship is something so special it can't be explained.

I feel as though he's been mine forever and I'm so grateful he IS mine forever. I love you Ammon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Daddy Clone

Lately everyone has told me how much Ammon is starting to look like a little boy now instead of a baby. And it's true. It's exciting and sad at the same time. I want to hold onto these precious times tightly - so tight that he can't get any bigger. And yet, I can't help but get excited to see him grow, and cheer him on when he discovers something new.

There is one constant marker in his almost-little-boy-but-still-hanging-on-to-baby stage:

He's his dad's little clone.

He still looks just like his Dad. Well, except for the large chunky part.

We went on a walk and I ran for part of it. When we got back his hair looked like this. It was hilarious, especially in person. His hair and the look on his face had me thinking...I must run faster than a turtle after all!

Just like his dad, he's TROUBLE! Now that he's crawling he tends to make messes and get stuck everywhere.  My favorite places I have found him stuck are: between the toilet and the shower, and, after pulling apart his changing table, in the strap of my purse (as seen below). He also tends to get stuck in the middle of the hall. He crawls across the length of the house and then realizes that he just can't go anymore and is stuck, abandoned, in the middle of the hallway. He's pretty devastated about it around ten times a day.

Yep, that is my purse strap around his neck. Scary and funny. I try to keep a better eye on him. I don't like my house to be a mess :)

And just like his dad, he gets distracted pretty easy. Just see how he keeps working up to getting upset but loses focus before he actually makes it there.

His constant distractedness is pretty funny, but at times frustrating. Like when he forgets he's supposed to be eating in between every bite because something else has caught his attention...even though you are holding a spoon full of baby food in front of his face.

Can you say just like Brigham? Who's always at the dinner table last, and is the brunt of many family jokes because of it? Brigham. Who takes forever to eat because he's too busy talking/thinking/doing who knows what? Brigham.

Like father like son.

Ammon takes FOREVER to eat, he always has (it used to take us almost an hour to get him to finish drinking a bottle, no joke). And it's not because he doesn't like food, you can tell that just by looking at him. He just gets busy and forgets to take a bite...just like daddy. In the beginning he was too busy sleeping to finish eating, now he's too busy studying the world around him. It's cute for about the first five minutes then you just want to throw your hands in the air and give up. Maybe he wouldn't be so chunky if I did.

But that would be sad because chunky babies are cute.

Especially my chunky baby.

I saw a quote that said something along the lines of, don't marry a man unless you know you can love having a son that looks just like him. I am living proof of that - and not just in looks.

I do love both of my look-alike, trouble-causing, food-loving, distracted, last-to-be-done-eating boys :)