Monday, February 27, 2012

Yoga Monday

I usually feel like I'm in limbo on my first day back from vacation but today is an exception. I feel like it's just another Monday but after a very good weekend. It's probably because the weekend (and Friday) was really the best part of my vacation. I was grateful to be off while I was sick though. I had never had strep before and it surprised me how tired it made me. I was literary in bed for five days. Jeremy totally took care of the kids and the meals so I could rest. That was also a new experience. He's usually working when I'm sick and trying to rest up (the weekends) so I have to try to balance taking care of myself and still taking care of my mom and wife responsibilities. Thank you Jeremy!

I haven't been to yoga in about a month! I tried to go last Monday but the class was canceled, the Monday before that I wasn't feeling well, the Monday before that I was too tired to get my lazy ass to the gym and the Monday before that was when that dog ran out into the middle of the street and into my car when I was on my way to the gym. Totally different kind of down dog...  But tonight I will be there, in class, at 7:30. I'm really excited. Yoga helps keep me balanced. I leave class calm, relaxed and with an all over sense of feeling good. It's a very similar feeling I get after spending the day on the coast. 

I feel like I've been dealing with a lot of internal stress lately. I'm on edge a lot, I've been feeling overly stimulated when there are a lot of things of noises going on at the same time and I feel anxious a lot. These are all very abnormal feelings for me. I'm normally pretty laid back and can just roll along with whatever comes my way. I think part if it is my weight. I'm trying to lose weight (about 30 pounds) but I refuse to go on fab diets and meal replacement plans. I know what works but it's not working for me right now and I think this out of balance, out of self thing is playing a role in that. 

My action plan: 

I'm back to a normal running plan and I really think that will help with both my out of balance issue and the weight will start taking care of it's self. I love running. It makes me feel free and alive. 

I'm back to going to three bodypump class a week. It'll help my running and boost my calorie burn. The after burn is amazing! I love the feeling of getting stronger and I'm working with my favorite instructor on better technique, form and adding the right amount of weight at the right time. 

There's two yoga class near me during the week. However, they are both on Mondays at 7:30 so that leaves me with one yoga class a week. That's better than none so I'll take it. Yoga does amazing things for my mind and body. I just need to make sure I do it.


My goal is to swim laps one day a week, most likely on Fridays. Thursdays I'm working on speed drills and Saturdays are my long slow runs so Friday would be a perfect fit for swimming. I flake out with swimming a lot. I don't have a friend to go with me to the gym anymore and for the most part, I'm fine with that. With swimming however, I feel uncomfortable going alone. I just need to suck it up and do it. 

Jeremy and I are very close to getting our paddleboards and when we do, I'll be paddling on the weekends. It's a full body workout and very gentile on the body not to mention insanely fun. You forget you're doing a workout.

I do pretty well with this already but there's always room for improvement. I know I need to drink more water during the day and I'm drinking more milk too (organic only, of course). My biggest issue is snacking. 


That's my plan. I'm hoping to see my race times get better, my weight go down and my pudgy tummy to go away. I'm open to suggestions if you have any. If you're a 24 hour fitness member, local to the Sacramento area and you want to workout together let me know. Use the comments section below. 

I hope you have a great Monday, even if it is a Monday :o)  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It Finally Feels Like a Vacation

This vacation has been a little on the sucky side. I wasn't feeling well for the first half (okay, that might be an understatement) and I didn't get a daycare check I was counting on before my vacation started so we were too broke to do anything or go anywhere. My allergies and sinus pressure kept me from doing the yard work I had envisioned getting done and Jeremy and the kids spent half of our vacation watching Star Wars. All six of them. This only adds to the sucky list because I have already seen Star Wars and have no desire to sit through them again. (Yes, I liked them just not that much.) Originally, I had planned on hiking or hanging out by the river as a family and spending a day at the beach but Sami's foot and half of her leg is in a cast so those ideas didn't seem practical or enjoyable anymore. 

not the best of Jer,
but I look cute :o)

On the plus side, I was able to get back into my running and bodypump routine. I had taken over a week off from running thanks to illness so I was slow getting started again. We were really fortunate to have such beautiful weather this week so my runs were really nice. At leased before that wind came into town. Thursday was so windy I didn't even run. My head felt like it was going to explode and I didn't think leaving that mess for someone else to clean up was very neighborly so stayed home and wallowed in self pity.

Jer had a lot of fun trying to
get Sam to wet hr pants

We decided to spend a day in Monterey at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We all love it there and I knew the aquarium had wheelchairs so that would solve the broken foot issue. We decided to blow some cash we had in savings and get a membership so for $175 we all get unlimited trips to the aquarium for a year. We figured out it would pay for itself in just over one and a half visits. 

The sardines were hungry 

All four of us were looking forward to our day trip and the money spent and time in the car was definitely worth it! We were at the aquarium for about six hours and none of us got bored. We saw all of our favorite exhibits and saw a couple of their fifteen minute educational films. We all love those. We saw the feeding of the sardines in the big open ocean tank (Jeremy's favorite tank), we saw the feeding in the kelp forest (my favorite tank) and the feeding of the penguins. That's always fun to watch. They like to show off. I think of them as the monkey's of the aquarium.

We were checking out the otters
in the wild

I love so many marine animals but sea otters are my all time favorite and they have an eight week old otter pup on exhibit right now named Kit. She was two weeks old when she was rescued. They believe her mother was attacked and eaten by a great white shark. Kit had an injury to her shoulder that led the aquarium staff to that conclusion. She's doing very well and is absolutely adorable. I really wanted to take her home.

Kit and her serrogate
mom, Joy plaing

Bat rays are on my list of favorites too and every time I go to the aquarium I end up with at least one soaking wet sleeve from trying to pet them in the touch pool and Friday's visit was no exception. I got to pet the flounder fish that was there but the rays were keeping their distance from the crowd of wiggling fingers. Sami got to touch both the flounder and a ray. It was really hard not to elbow my own daughter out of the way so I could touch it but I pulled myself together. Nevyn didn't get to touch either of them. The touch pool is deeper than it looks and his reach was just a few inches shy of a ray. I wanted to lift him up so he could touch it but he looked at me like I was a complete idot and declined my help.

All of us love the ocean. It was a wonderful day. I can't remember the last time we spent six hours together and the kids didn't fight, not even once. It was probably last summer on one of our days at the beach. We all get along when we're on the coast.

On Saturday I got up, had some coffee and then went to my bodypump class. My favorite instructor wasn't teaching this Saturday but she was teaching the turbo kick class that was before my pump class. This woman is amazing. She's insanely fit, super sweet and a lot of fun to watch. I don't know how she teaches that class. She does everything with the class and talks at the same time. I know that doesn't sound hard but they are constantly moving and jumping around and she's doing it with a microphone strapped to her head and she sounds like she's just standing there. 

After class Sami and I went to Roseville to pick up my race packet for the Getty Owl 5K/10K. The Getty Owl Foundation put this race together to help spread awareness and raise money for reaching Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). The people who stated the foundation have a daughter, Getty, who was diagnosed with SMA when she was four month old. I have included a little bit of information about SMA below. I copied it from the Getty Owl web site.

What is SMA?
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. Infants, like Getty, with SMA Type 1, the most severe type of SMA, are born with very little muscle tone and weak muscles. They develop feeding and breathing problems as the weakness gets worse over time. The weakness eventually becomes severe.
There is no cure or treatment for SMA. The lifespan with SMA is seldom longer than 2 years.
  • SMA is the #1 genetic killer of young children.
  • SMA occurs in nearly 1 in 6,000 births.
  • 1 in 40 people, or nearly 10 million Americans, UNKNOWINGLY carries the gene responsible for SMA. Few have any known family history.
  • SMA is a pan-ethnic disease and does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or gender.
  • There is currently no treatment and no cure, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected SMA as the disease closest to treatment of more than 600 neurological disorders.
  • Researchers estimate that a viable treatment and/or cure is attainable IF provided adequate resources.
  • The American College of Medical Genetics recommends that SMA carrier testing be made available to ALL couples planning a family, regardless of ethnicity or family history.
  • SMA does not affect the mind.

I ran the race today (Sunday) and even though it was a great race and a great race day, it was not a great race for me. I woke up really congested. I actually went through half a pack of tissue while I was on the course. In addition to that, my breathing was much more shallow than normal. I'm an asthmatic so I pay close attention to my breathing. When it's shallow like that I get fatigued earlier and it's harder to "push through it". If that wasn't enough, It was really cold out there. I wore my jacket the entire time and when I finished I was still feeling a little chili. I rarely perform well when I'm cold. I had expected to warm up during the race so I didn't bring any of my "winter gear" with me other than my jacket. Now I wish I had brought my headband/ear warmer thing, gloves, a hat and worn a second shit under my jacket. Oh well. There's always another race.

Even though I was even slower than I normally am, it was a beautiful race course. Since I knew I wasn't going to make my goal time I slowed down even more to take some pictures. Jeremy and I keep playing with the idea of moving but I really love Sacramento. We have two nice rivers, a beautiful sky line, lakes, interesting bridges (I love bridges), great city history, a great running community, and both of our parents and siblings live here. I'm not sure I could leave this place. Even if it does make my skin, allergies and lungs miserable.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Today I am spending a big chunk of the day with my niece, Avery. Avery looks just like her mommy, my dear little sister. She's a funny little girl and sounds like a chipmunk most of the time. She's a bundle of energy and amazingly smart and sneaky. She has a way of getting what she wants even when I'm pretty sure I just spent the last 20 minutes saying "no". She's has a lot of patients when she's trying to get her way. 

first sleepover with Auntie
another sleepover

Miss Avery was born in 2009. I remember when my sister called in a little bit of a panic when her water broke. I dropped my kids off with my mother-in-law and rushed over to her apartment. Once I was I got there I helped get the to go bags ready while we waited for her future ex to get to get there and take Jamie to the hospital. I followed right behind them in my car. 

Hanging onto Auntie already

Jamie did great though the whole labor and delivery ordeal. I was so glad that I was able to be there for her and help her as best I could. Labor and delivery is no joke and Jamie did an awesome job bringing little miss Avery into the world. I was very proud of her. 

time post and brag!

Avery Valley Rittmann came into the world on June 20 at 7:10AM, weighting 8 lbs, 5 oz and she was 20.5 inches long. She was beautiful from the very beginning. This auntie was so excited to get to know the little girl this amazing baby would grow into.

our dad aka Baba
Jamie was looking pretty
beautiful that day too

Avery's birth was a welcome distraction for me. I was going through a really hard time in my marriage that year, we had recently buried my grandmother, two weeks before that, my cousin (who was only three months older than me) also passed away and I had "broken up" with my best friend about a month before that. Avery's birth was a welcome breath of fresh air for me personally. A chance to feel alive again after feeling like my life had completely fallen apart.  

our mom aka Nana

Now Avery is two and a half and I'm so happy to be as close to her as I am. We even share a obsession for strawberries. As I'm writing this she's squirming on my lap and enjoying being in the lime light today. She's not feeling 100% herself today. She has a nasty cough, a runny nose and is a little bit overly sensitive, even for her.

Yep, she knows how cute
she is. Watch out world!

I think it's time for a peanut butter sandwich and some girl scout cookies. Avery agrees. I hope you have a chance to enjoy this windy but sunny Thursday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not Just Another Wednesday

I'm on vacation this week and I really needed it. It's been a mellow week so far. Jeremy and I have been staying up late watching episodes of Bones and sleeping in (me more than him). I've been running everyday except today and I went to body pump last night before my Biggest Loser date with Samantha. This afternoon Sami and I sat out front in the sun for about half an hour. That was great. Sami actually went inside because she got over heated! I had my yearly eye exam and my eyes have gotten better over the last three years. I have better than 20/20 vision and, according to my doctor, wont need reading glasses till I'm about 45. I can deal with that.

Jeremy got a new computer today (yay) and then got a little frustrated when he needed an adapter, then was told they didn't make them anymore, then was told they do make then but the store doesn't stock them... Let's just say it got ugly and Jeremy ended up throwing a full blown Cullifer tantrum. So... the kids and I got in the car and went to visit my dad and I left Jeremy's brother to deal with ... that... When we got to my dad's house he was on his computer trying to switch form one printer to the other so he could print out some pictures for a job.  It wasn't working but he put it away until after our visit. (Thank goodness. I was not prepared to deal with another adult tantrum and I was running out of places to go.)

I love hanging out with my dad. We can talk about anything from history, to politics, to baseball, to kids, whatever. Just being in the same room as him makes me happy. However, my son doesn't really like going anywhere that doesn't have video games available to him. So, after being at my dad's for about fifteen minutes he started asking when we could leave. Yes, he had his Nintendo DS, his phone and a book with him but didn't touch any of them. He felt his time was better spent driving me crazy. Our whole visit was about 45 minutes.

Sami, Nevyn, dad, me & my sister
This is what happens when you
ask him to smile for a solo shot

Once we got home we had a little family meeting concerning the behavior of our children. (Jeremy was Jeremy again by this point. Thank you, Daniel for handling that situation.) I wont bore you (embarrassing myself) with the details of the kids' behavior that was discussed but the end result was banishment to the bedrooms until dinner was ready. As an unrelated side note, I finally purchased an American River Parkway parking pass! I'm very excited about this. Now we can go down to the river when ever we want.

I don't know what the parking pass
actually looks like but no fear.
Y'all find out almost as soon as I do
.It's coming in the mail.
I realized that I never updated my loyal readers on the gifts Jeremy and I exchanged for Valentine's Day. My sweet and thoughtful husband got me the over priced backpack I saw at the gym a while back! I'm so excited to use it on my next hike. I got him a double walled Starbucks travel mug (he needed a new one and really wanted one) and a, get ready for it, nose hair trimmer! I know it doesn't sound like the best of gifts but it was on his wishlist and he was really happy about getting them. I know these aren't he most romantic gifts we could give each other, and there where no flowers or chocolates, but they were things we really wanted. We were both very happy and surprised. (That's now two things off my wish list!)

Dinner is now ready so I'm ending this blog. The kids have emerged from their rooms and everyone seems happy and pleasant. Thank Goodness! Hopefully all will be well and we'll end the night with a family game night and we'll all be one happy family again.

As you can see, Sadie was less than
Nevyn was very happy about family
game night.And a little frighting.

Haha, Winning!  Seriously, I won :o)

Seriously! Follow me... Pleeeease!