Thursday, April 24, 2008

Marathon Fun

Well, plans have changed and I decided to run a marathon that is closer to home. I will run in the Kansas City, MO marathon that takes place on October 17, only a weeks after Chicago. Training is still progressing normally. I did two of my runs this week with the kids and while I was running Luke yelled, "Hurry, hurry, hurry, Mare. Faster!" If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is! I am also running races on the weekends to put my time to good use while Reid is traveling and better prepare myself for the "big" race. My first of these is a five mile race on May 3. Hopefully I won't finish last!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Miss Deanne and Dinosaur Chicken Fingers

Luke, the little boy I nanny for is quite a talker. He can repeat anything with his impressive 2-year-old pronunciation, which is quite cute. Two days a week he attends a mothers-day-out type of school. He loves it and on those two mornings we always talk about his teachers, Miss Meredith and Miss Jeananne (Luke pronounces the names: Mereda and Deanne). Because I had only heard Luke say Miss Jeananne's name, for the past two months I have called her Miss Deanne when talking to Luke about school. It never seemed to puzzle me when he would look at me and continue to repeat her name. Poor guy, I wouldn't get it right and he would give up, annoyed I am sure. When I finally learned the correct name from Luke's mom, he would still repeat her name until I said it incorrectly again. At the incorrect name he laughed. Moral of the story: even a 2-year-old can make fun of me!

One week, I made him chicken fingers. He wasn't interested in eating so I tried to make it fun. I pulled a piece of chicken out of the bag and noticed it was shaped like a dinosaur! I thought showing him would definitely make him want to eat his lunch. His response was a little less than excited as he stared blankly at me. As I continued to pull chicken fingers out of the bag I realized the Tyson Chicken package also said, "Dinosaur Shapes." A few days later, when he was eating dino chicken fingers again, he held one up and with a big smile said, "Look, Mare, a dinosaur shape!" Looks like Luke has quite a sense of humor at age two!

The Mother Ship is Calling...

I am excited to tell you I will finally be visiting Salzburg, commonly known as my "mother ship." For those of you who aren't lucky enough to know why this place is so amazing, it is because of a little musical called The Sound of Music. My obsession with this movie began at three, I saw the Broadway production at age 8, and I still sing along with the soundtrack while driving around Dallas. To explain how obsessed I was as a child I must share a story. I was at a gymnastics birthday party when I was three, and at this time was watching the movie three times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening). The gymnasts that were helping with the party were going to leave for Austria the next day. When I heard them mention Austria I told them I knew people who lived there. My reply to them asking me who I knew there was, "The von Trapp family." Cute, huh? Needless to say my mom cut back on the number of times I watched the movie.

So, there is a reason why I get to go to Austria. Reid has been staffed on a case in Zurich, Switzerland for the next three months. He is excited to continue his work for Oliver Wyman and will have the opportunity to work for two partners that he admires. We are sad that he will only be making it back to the States every other weekend (at best), but are excited for the business opportunity and visit to my "mother ship." 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Sweet Dad

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you are aware that my mom has Alzheimer's Disease. Because the disease causes brain degeneration over a period of time (the length of time is different with each case), she is losing the ability to care for herself. At her current stage of the disease's progression she needs help with everything from bathing, to getting dressed, to having someone prepare food and help her eat. Now, where it becomes tricky is that she understands she must shower, get dressed, and eat when it is brought to her attention. These are all things that she enjoys...they have not yet become a battle. However, her brain cannot communicate what steps she must take to accomplish these tasks on her own. 

With that background, you understand that someone must care for her needs. Even those that seem the most basic and instinctive. I always knew my dad, Jim Bain, cared deeply for our family and that he loved my mom. Our family joke, with my mom being his third wife and my dad being my mom's third engagement, is the the third "Jim" was a charm. By the time they were married and had their first (and favorite) child they had only known each other 16 months. I know there must have been many days, with three children born within four years, my parents thought an empty nest seemed lifetimes away. I remember the day my dad called to tell me that my mom, indeed, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It was the day my world seemed to "flip." In the months to follow, my dad and I began confiding in each other about my mom and our feelings. One night, with a shaky voice, he told me that the one thing he looked forward to was growing old with her. God was there in those moments and I began to see my dad as my mom's husband. I grasped how difficult it was for him to imagine the outcomes doctor's give patients like my mom. My dad and I would later spend a summer attending the dreaded support group meetings. Afterward, we would try not to cry during our dinner at Jason's Deli. My dad always said that he would do anything he could to help her. He has not taken that promise lightly.

My dad takes my mom everywhere he goes. She watches his workouts at The Gym and has learned to love their chocolate peanut butter protein shakes. He bathes and dresses her everyday. He has learned, from my aunt, how to blow dry and style her hair, how to apply makeup, and is currently learning how to dye her hair, too. My dad has always had an interest in women's fashion, and now I know what God was preparing him for. He holds her when she cries for reasons she can't communicate. He validates her fear, but assures her that he will always protect, love, and care for her. He tells her how beautiful she is and that he is so lucky he has such a wonderful wife. 

In the last five years I have thought a lot about my mom's disease. I have thought about what a good person she is and that it isn't fair that she will slowly lose her mind. I think about her fear, that she knows she is sick, and how much pain she feels when she gets upset with herself. I think about God. I think about when she was created, that He knew every sin she would commit and He still chose to impart grace. I think about when God created my mom, in those first few moments she was woven in the womb, He knew she also needed my sweet dad.

Dad, I am proud of you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Running Update

Just got my new marathon book in the mail today! It is supposed to be "The Ultimate Training Guide" by Hal Higdon (Editor at Runner's World Mag). I have been looking forward to the arrival of this book for over a week and Reid told me I should go run more instead of whining about my book. Thanks for the motivating advice. Not! 

I am excited to see what advice the book offers about diet. I always get bummed because it takes me a while to notice weight and inch loss with any type of exercise (due to the fact that I ruined my metabolism on a crazy diet in college). So, I will continue to run with the hope that my body is slowing jump starting my shape-up! I have upped my water intake to over 100 ounces a day. I still needing to cut back on the carbonation. An interesting discovery I made this past week is that I have migraine headaches as a result of eating corn syrup. Also, many people struggle with bad reactions to this substance, but do not ever attribute it to such an abundant ingredient. I have made the transition to organic brands (that do not contain corn syrup) and felt 100 times better this past week! 

Thought it was a joke...

Leave it to me to think everything I heard on the news yesterday was a joke. After further research I discovered that it was very true. There is a marathon at the North Pole. I can barely run four miles in a "cush" gym and these fools are running out there- with ice clips on there boots! Boots? How can you run 26 miles in boots? As Luke, the little boy I nanny for would say, "Santa better bring all those boys and girls prizes."