One week into vacation and the summer solstice is already working its magic. Maybe it's the beautiful weather or maybe it's the extra long days. Maybe it's the fact that I've got an additional forty hours to my life each week or that my kids can hang out in their pjs past 6:30 am. Who knows? Maybe it's a combination of all of these things. Whatever the reason, we're marking the beginning of the summer with some wins.
Win #1: First, and most importantly, Liam is finally napping. When I went back to work last fall, Liam stopped napping all of a sudden. He would nap well at daycare, but we couldn't get him down on the weekends. After 30-45 minutes of settling him in, he would only sleep independently for about a half-hour. We would have let him 'cry it out' a little, but Will was usually sleeping next door. After contemplating spiking his milk with Ambien, we eventually fell into the habit of letting him nap with Bill or I on the couch. (Big mistake. Huge.)
Getting him on a napping schedule was at the top of my summer list of priorities. Beginning last week, we filled each morning with lots of activity-- playgrounds, farm, beach, pool, trampoline... anything to keep him moving. And each day, by noon, he was
practically falling asleep in his lunch.
Win #2: I mowed the lawn. Since Bill is working full-time this summer and the kids are in camp for two mornings, I volunteered to take over our landscaping. I've been mowing, mulching, planting and pruning. It's hard but rewarding work and it was fun for all of like five minutes. Surprisingly, I've finally found a reason to be grateful that we're situated on a tiny tenth of an acre. I'm also thankful that the only things in my life that require a 'pull-start' are lawnmowers and powerwashers. I can think of only only few things in life more frustrating than trying to get one of these things started in the 98 degree heat.
I'm also kind of in love with this drawing that Will made for me.
Win #3: I ran my first five-mile race-- The Firecracker Five, on July 4th. (Note: a 5k = about 3 miles) If you've been reading my posts, you can probably tell that I'm just completely addicted to this running thing. A little over a year ago, I couldn't run for two minutes. TWO! And on Sunday, I ran for fifty. FIVE-O! I've been practicing the five mile run, on and off, since April. On some days, I've run the whole thing strong and on others I'm walking before I get to the fourth mile. I was pretty nervous about this race because there is nothing more disheartening than walking along a race course.
Bill got up with the kids on the morning of the race and I laid in bed trying to decide whether or not to give it a try. I decided, at the very last possible minute, to do it. I threw on my gear, pulled back my hair, brushed my teeth and grabbed a bagel on my way out. It wasn't until the end of the first mile (9 minutes), that I came to the realization that I hadn't drank an ounce of water. It should be noted that it was about 85 degrees and the course was entirely in the sun.
My usual race strategy is to run straight through the course-- skipping the water stops and sprinklers that well-meaning residents point into the streets. However for this run, since I was going for a good finish and not necessarily a good finish time, I changed things up considerably. I stopped at every water break, taking a few sips and walking for about 30 seconds. I ran through the sprinkler stations, which were set up by the local fire department, midway between the water stops. I basically just took it easy and tried to enjoy it. And I did. I actually felt better at this finish line than I have in my last few 5k's. In fact, I was feeling so crazy good, that I ambushed some runners in the parking lot-- blabbering that, "I just finished my first 5-mile race... and can you please take my picture... and here's my sweaty cell phone..."
So here's to long naps. Here's to grass that manages to stay green through this godawful drought. And here's to a few more five-mile runs. While it's said that "good things come in threes", I'm hoping for many more small summer victories.