Tag Archives: Dino-Toddler

10/20/16: Thankful Thursday

It seems rather appropriate this week that I choose three things I’m thankful for each week. Because…as of this week, I have a three-year-old. My darling daughter turned three, and I am caught between wishing time would slow down and wondering how there was ever a time she wasn’t by my side.

So I guess I’m gonna harp on this, and I’m going to list three things related to Dino-Toddler that make me deeply gracious for her coming into my life.

  1. She made me stronger.

    I’ve struggled with my mental health for a long time. However, after DT was born, it was like my brain and heart exploded and melted. I barely crawled through some of the darkest days I’ve ever experienced.
    I lost some of the joy that I felt I should have experienced. I was an incredibly sad human, and I’d cry whenever hubby left to go to work. I couldn’t imagine spending another 8+ hours alone with this small creature who cried and cried while I cried and cried.
    Although I wish I could have that time back, I know I am stronger because of it. I got the help I so desperately needed, and I learned how to take care of myself and my brain so much better.
    I am stronger because of her. I am stronger, because I want her to see what strength looks like. It doesn’t mean every day is great. It means you keep going and you take care of yourself so you can be there to take care of others.

  2. She is a bright ball of fiery sunshine.

    This girl makes me laugh every day. And she makes me want to scream every day. That’s part of her job being a toddler…err…preschooler now. She is so very bright and caring and strong-willed. She never stops talking and observing. The wheels of her brain are constantly in motion, and she astounds me with the things she says. She remembers events from a year ago, and she can vividly tell stories about them. She can hear a song just a few times and memorize many of the words and tunes. All of this can be overwhelming for her, and it can make her emotional. I can’t imagine having that much of a fire in my mind and heart all the time. She feels things so very deeply, and she knows what she wants.
    She is so different from me, and that is beautiful.

  3. She makes me want to be a better person.
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    Even though I was at the beginning achy, stuffy stages of a head cold on her birthday morning, I ran three miles. I did it because I want to be a better person for her. I run for many reasons, but one of the top reasons is her. I want to keep up with her as she grows, and I want her to see what healthy looks like.

There are a million reasons I’m thankful for her and I know others are, too. She inspires this journey often, and that’s why I talk about her so darn much here. I just hope I can provide some inspiration to her, too.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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10/9/16: Say it LOUD Sunday!

I started.

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I finished.

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I celebrated. (DT slept.)

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Full recap tomorrow.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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10/7/16: Friday So-Many-Favorites

GAH. I’ve had a big day when it comes to the running portion of my life. Today was the Twin Cities in Motion Health & Fitness Expo.

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SOOOOOO many things to do/see/buy. I told my bank account it would hurt, but I don’t think it could have imagined the pain I’d inflict on it.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad. But still a little painful.

Most importantly, I was able to see Dimity and Sarah from Another Mother Runner speak. And they uplifted my spirit so very much in a time when I really need it. They topic was “Enjoy and Excel: How to Race Like a Mother.” They had so many good suggestions and tips I hadn’t really thought of.

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Two really amazing people. I owe so much to them, and I wish I knew how to thank them. I think they’ve changed a lot of lives.

I have a lot of doubts about myself and my abilities. I spend a lot of time telling myself, “You suck. You can’t run. You should quit.” And Dimity reminded me of something. You should never say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your friends. I would NEVER tell my friends they suck or they can’t run or they should quit. I would tell them, “Keep going! You got this! You are only racing against yourself. You are amazing!”

So why don’t I tell myself these things? Mentally, I think I need to work harder at making positive statements toward myself during my long runs in particular. I’ll be starting that ASAP (on Sunday, of course).

Obviously, I had to get some swag, and I’m super in love with it. The sweatshirt is so soft and I’m already wearing it and I may never take it off. And what’s better than a #BAMNR shirt?

So now…I prepare. I plan on getting some good rest tomorrow, laying out my “Flat Cassie,” (see: “Laying out your Clothes“), and maybe fitting in an easy yoga/meditation sesh.

I’m going to run Sunday in a beautiful race. I’m going to do it for me and my daughter and my husband and my health and my future. I’m going to be okay.

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Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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10/6/16: Thankful Thursday

Today is a day that makes me think I have finally crossed the bridge from “I am losing it” to “I have lost it.” My mind is so consumed with the 10-miler this weekend and a million other things I have to get done, and it is no longer just an internal battle between the voices in my head.

First, I received an email from the organizers of the Mankato Marathon weekend with information for participants and spectators. I was confused, because why would I receive this? My husband is running the half-marathon, but how did they know I’d be spectating?

Oh, turns out I’m actually a participant. I have no recollection of this, but I apparently registered for the 10k that Sunday. So I guess I’ll be going for a trifecta: a 10k last weekend, a 10-miler this weekend, and a 10k next weekend.

After that revelation, I made myself some lunch before work (I have the late shift today). Leftover chili and a spinach salad. Only when I started adding the dressing to my salad, I realized it wasn’t my salad. I was in the process of adding creamy poppyseed dressing to my chili. I screamed, “What the truck are you doing?!” at myself, except truck may not have been the word I used, but you weren’t there so you don’t know. And then I scooped out what I could and ate it anyway. Maybe I need to start hitting it a little harder in the “mindfulness” practice.

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It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself doing bridges on the wall. And it probably defeats the purpose.

Because of this, I’m going to keep my thankfuls short and sweet.

  1. YOU, you magnificent sparkly humans: I’m thankful for all the new likes on my FB page and new blog followers! And of course for the followers who have been here for a while. You all are amazing, and I’d make you some super yummy donuts if I knew how to make donuts and ship them cost-effectively. They’d have heart-shaped sprinkles on them and everything. Unless you don’t like sprinkles. I dig a good glaze, too.
  2. Toddler art: Okay, two-year-olds aren’t master artists or painters. I get that. But I think each parent melts a little when their kiddo brings home a scribbly picture or finger painting they’re really damn proud of. It’s just another thing that reminds me of how much she is growing.
  3. ChocolateI don’t think this even needs a description.

All right, off I go! Tomorrow is packet pick-up, and I’m hoping to have some good pictures/reports of my adventures at the Health & Fitness Expo. Dino-toddler will be accompanying me. I’m charging the iPad and packing her brand new Elsa headphones as we speak.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. My new Momentum Jewelry arrived yesterday! Super fast shipping. I LURVE it. And I want more. They’re running a #spreadtheSPARK promo this month. Check it out.

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And a cameo from my RoadID.

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10/4/16: Toddler Tuesday

It has been a few weeks since I did a Toddler Tuesday feature, but that doesn’t mean Dino-Toddler’s life hasn’t been hopping. We’re in the midst of potty training, and she’s really starting to get the hang of it. I don’t think I’ve changed more than one dirty/wet diaper in the past 48 hours. This kinda rocks and also kinda feels really sad at the same time. All you parents of age 2-3+ kiddos are picking up what I’m putting down, right?

We’re certainly staying busy around here, and I often feel like I am lacking in “me time” where I do activities that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. Playing with the Fisher Price dollhouse and Daniel Tiger figurines for a few hours after work/daycare is great. I love that she wants me to play with her All.The.Time. But I also need to have my own way to unwind at the end of the day. And playing Cookie Cats, although entertaining for me, is not something I want DT to watch me do for hours on end. If I don’t want her to be glued to her future phone/tablet/whatever-the-hell-device-kids-will-have-in-10-years, I need to practice what I preach now.

I’ve been practicing more yoga lately, and I’m really enjoying my first month’s subscription to YogaGlo. To my delight, I’m finding DT also enjoys doing her own version of yoga.

I stumbled across this book at the library and checked it out to see what DT would think. She was quite receptive to it and immediately wanted to try out the moves. She has always been a bundle of energy, and I think channeling that energy into positive, healthy activities like dance and yoga could be really good for her.

Tonight I decided to sneak in a quick Core Yoga for Runners class on the Roku (there are so many good classes targeted toward runners!) while hubby gave DT a bath. Well, they finished sooner than I expected. Instead of letting her become a disruption to my practice, though, I asked her to join. She jumped right in.

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Trying to Downward Dog with a Downward Puppy

Luckily, she joined me toward the end. Corpse pose is kinda fun with a giggly toddler on your belly.

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She totally rolled off and face-planted, like, 2 seconds after this.

I hope I can cultivate her interest even more. I’d like us to share some hobbies as she gets older, because I know eventually I won’t be her ideal playmate. There’ll be times when she wants to shut me out or is embarrassed by me (actually, that’s probably already happening) or is so mad at me because I won’t buy her the latest whatever-the-hell-device-kids-will-have-in-10-years. And I hope by sharing interests like yoga or books, we can always remember how much we enjoy being together.

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Namaste.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

 

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9/23/16: Friday Favorites

Hey-o! It’s the weekend. Everyone ready to party?

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In several ways, I think Leslie Knope is my spirit animal.

Well, I don’t know that there’ll be much partying going on in my neck of the woods. I’m off work today, because I have the #saturdaylibrarian shift tomorrow. And I’m debating whether or not to do my long run in the morning. (It’s 9 miles scheduled, but I’d REALLY like to get a 10 miler in so I can taper for the TC 10 Mile in a few weeks.) That would require getting up and being out the door by 4:30 A.M. On a Saturday.

Or I could wait until Sunday. But that would kinda suck the fun out of my Saturday night, too. I guess we’ll see how I’m feeling a little later. Dino-toddler came down with a cold over the past few days, and she hacked most of the night last night. She also woke up at 1:00 convinced that it was time to get up and get going for the day. Took 4 hours and sleeping on the couch downstairs watching Daniel Tiger before she fell back asleep. I am SO glad we were able to sleep in.

Without further ado, I’ll jump right into the Friday Favorite for today. I’ve maybe written about Vionics before? But I’mma go really in depth now. Because I can’t get enough of them.

This question applies to runners and non-runners alike: have you ever dealt with plantar fasciitis? It’s a beast. I’ll spare you a long explanation (you can read up on it here if you want) and just say that some days I have terrible, stabbing pain in my heels, especially my left heel. There are times I can barely walk when I get out of bed. I expressed this to a few different friends, and several of them recommended Vionic shoes to me.

I’m so glad they did. For my birthday this past July, my parents so kindly bought me Vionic slippers, sandals, and orthotic inserts. Ho’jeez, have my feet been so much happier since. When I get my slippers on in the morning, I can walk so much more comfortably right away. And I keep trying to make myself wear other shoes to work, but I come back to the sandals every time. It’s good they’re black and go with everything. However, I’ll be in the market for a new pair soon that will be suitable for winter wear in the library.

I wear the slippers much of the time at home, even in the dead heat of summer. A recommendation for plantar fasciitis is that you wear supportive shoes pretty much all of your waking hours. Jumping right into the slippers is quite a bit easier than trying to lace up your super-expensive supportive Asics or whatever you have to wear to not feel like your heels are on fire. (By the way, I really do love my Asics. For running. Not enough to buy an extra pair to wear all the time at home.)

If you ever have any heel pain or foot pain, I encourage you to try a pair. They are available at select stores, and you can order them direct from their website. I’d also encourage you to keep an eye out on QVC and Zulily, as I’ve seen them featured at both.

So that’s about what I’ve got for you today. Nothing terribly exciting (unless you are looking for some relief for PF, then maybe you’re kinda excited?), but I’m sending good wishes to you for a happy weekend. And please pray for me if I venture out early early early tomorrow.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. Disclaimer: I was in no way paid or endorsed in any way for this post. I just happen to be a girl who genuinely appreciates a good orthotic. I’ve always been told I’m an old soul like that.

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9/14/16: Whatever Wednesday

On Monday, I posted to my Instagram account to let people know I’m actually still a live human being. And that I took a week off running. There were quite a few things that factored into it, not the least of which was my mental health. I’ve alluded in the past to some of my struggles with anxiety and depression. It’s something I’ve been dealing with since I was about 12 years old. Although, looking back, I’ve probably had anxiety issues my whole life.

Most of the time now, I manage it fairly well. I have a combination of things that works for me: medication, writing, techniques for taming the panic beast, and running. If I have a little blip in the road of any sort, though, the whole train can go off the tracks.

That’s where I found myself last week. Off the tracks and unsure of what to do about it. I kept telling myself, “There’s tomorrow! Tomorrow will be better.” And then I’d wake to my 5:00 AM alarm, shut it off, and roll over to pull the covers over my head. All of those today’s didn’t feel better.

There were quite a few extenuating circumstances going into all this anxiety, and I can’t get into them here. They’d probably bore you or confuse you anyway.

What I can tell you is that I had a really good run on Monday morning. And another fairly good one this morning. Rather than channeling the “yuck” in my life into more time spent sleeping and feeling miserable, I channeled it into energy for running.

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I also channeled my energy with my AMR t-shirt. Makes me feel like a BAMR every time.

And I ran consistently for 9 minutes at a time with 2 minute breaks. Normally when I bump up my total run time, I can do one or two segments at the most before feeling like I can’t do another full segment. I take more breaks than I want to, and I end up feeling disappointed. That didn’t happen this time.

I know I’ll fall off the tracks again and again. It happens, and I need to be gentler on myself when it does. But I also need to keep in mind that running is therapeutic in many ways for me. It doesn’t take the place of the right medication or talk therapy or mantras for your anxious moments. And you shouldn’t expect to rely solely on it. However, for me, running is a way to take the edge off of a bad day. It’s time for me to heal and keep moving forward, literally and figuratively. It’s time to take care of me.

If you have your own black dog or anxiety or some sort of negativity in your life, I hope you find time to take care of you. I hope you find “running” or whatever your version is of it. I hope you find something that makes you, too, feel better when you don’t know how to keep moving forward.

There will be a better tomorrow soon.

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Not to mention, this smile always makes the day feel at least a little brighter.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

 

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9/1/16: Thankful Thursday

Well, after another unexplained absence of a week, here I am. I do try to update my Facebook page and Instagram more often, so feel free to follow either if you have any interest.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

  1. September: I LOVE Fall. This is a real change from when I was younger and hated it. I’m not sure why my brain flip-flopped, but I crave the oranges and reds and yellows contrasting with bright blue skies. I love pumpkin patches and apple cider and chili out of the Crockpot on a crisp blustery day. The first day of September means that is all just around the corner. Summer, you were fun, but my heart blossoms in Autumn.
  2. Dance: I attended a dance studio from ages 3-18. This week, I enrolled Dino-Toddler in the “U & Me” class at the very same studio. Dancing with her last night at the same studio where I grew up was a special treat. She was WILD with excitement, but I hope she grows to love it there like I did. And how can you resist a toddler in a tutu and ballet slippers?

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    Srsly.

  3. Phones Remembering Everything: Okay, this looks obscure, I know. But if you read my post last week, you’ll know I’ve been a bit down on myself. I’ve felt like I’m not progressing and have just been spinning my wheels.
    Since this morning was the first day of the month, I decided to take my measurements, which I haven’t done in a while. I quickly had to find a space to record the numbers, so I opened the “Notes” app on my iPhone. I rarely use this, but I noticed there was a note from December 1, 2015 with my measurements taken on that day. I don’t remember doing this, but come to find out I am…
    …down 10 lbs.
    …down 7.5 inches overall.
    I AM making progress, even when I feel like I’m failing. This was a wonderful discovery for me, and I know my increasing focus on health and training will only make things better and better. I also know I feel better than I did that day. So, thanks iPhone!

And here’s a little photo roundup of things I normally would have interspersed throughout the week.

This is what happens when you have a long run, so your body wants to make healthier choices AND binge at the same time. You eat an entire Dole salad kit. Out of a big plastic serving bowl.

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No regrets.

It’s really tough to get us all in a photo, even when we’re being couch potatoes. Chewie has no “sit still” mode. Neither does Dino-Toddler. Or husband, for that matter.

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“Say cheese!…Dammit, Chewie.” is what probably came out of my mouth.

I had a superb 50 minute run on Wednesday morning. And I was rewarded by Mother Nature in all of her colorful morning splendor.

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This is what makes that 4:45 AM alarm worth it.

Okay, that’s enough for now! Later, friends!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/24/16: Whatever Wednesday

I’ve been in a funk. There’s no denying it. Each time I catch a cold (which has been multiple times this summer), I de-rail. And all of the negative talk oozes back into my head.

You’re so damn slow. Why are you doing this?
You aren’t really a runner. Look at how fat you are.
People must be embarrassed for you. They’re just too nice to say anything.
You can’t do this. You’re going to fail.
You aren’t good enough. Just quit.

And then? I crash. I pull the covers over my head in the morning when I know I should have jumped out of bed and tied up my shoe laces. I drink an extra glass of wine at night to leave me dragging in the morning. I’m too sick or it’s too humid or I’m just. plain. tired.

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This is Dino-Toddler on Monday morning. She knows what’s up.

The truth, though? I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’m going to fail, and so I talk myself down. I tell myself I can’t do this, so I sabotage every chance I have to succeed. This has been my pattern for most of my adult life.

I don’t want that to be an option anymore, though! This cannot be how it goes every single time. I have to break through that mentality. I have to soar past the anxiety and depression that have left me scared and sad and thinking, “I can’t.”

Rather than doing a 180 and forcing myself to believe “I can,” I think my mantra has to be, “I will try my best.” That feels like something I can accomplish, and it still turns my negative into a positive.

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I also need to remember the beautiful things I experience while running early.

I also experienced an “I will try my best” moment when I read this article my sister-in-law, Lindsay, shared on Facebook. When it takes me nearly twice as long to run a mile in comparison to other runners, I have to remember that article. I am pounding pavement way longer, so no wonder it takes me so much mental strength to finish! Yes, I will get faster, but these early stages in my (hopefully long) running-life are what will set me up for future success. If I can get through this, I can do anything.

So here’s to pressing a “reset” button in my brain. Here’s to many successful mornings where I simply try my best and do my best. Eventually, “I can do it” will be easy for me to say, because I will know I already have done it.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/16/16: Toddler Tuesday

If I said I had another cold, would you believe me? Well believe it or not, here I sit with a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat and generally feeling like a used dishtowel. I’ve let myself be lazy for a couple of days now, and I’m ready to get back at it tomorrow.

I can sum up Saturday’s run by saying that it was 7 miles, it was humid, and now it’s done. I cannot wait for Fall/cooler weather.

After my run, we packed up and headed for the lake. Sometimes, I’m tempted to skip Dino-Toddler’s nap. Then I remember consequences of skipping DT’s nap, and waiting around while she snoozes doesn’t feel so rough.

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Post-nap, we joined family out on the pontoon. I grew up rather close to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and I’m planning for DT to do the same. She has so. darn. much. fun. And it warms my heart.

We’re still all working on becoming acquainted as Chewie joins our family. The pup is like a toddler (especially when it comes to listening skills and mess-making abilities) and is also learning to deal with a toddler. Chewie is also becoming more comfortable with us and therefore testing her limits and boundaries. It will be challenging, but I hope it will also be rewarding.

I’m watching DT develop glimmers of responsibility as Chewie integrates into our family. She asks if she can give Chewie a treat when putting her in the kennel. She lets her inside after she goes potty. DT really wants to take Chewie on a walk, but we know that would result in disaster, given Chewie’s larger stature in comparison. However, we occasionally let her hold the leash (and I already yearn for the day when I can tell her to walk the dog so I can play some extra levels of Candy Crush. Mom needs ‘mom time,’ too.). I tried to capture one of these moments, but man was it hard to get a pic where both of them were stationary.

One of our challenges lately with DT is dealing with the irrationality of a nearly-3-year-old. NOTHING MAKES SENSE, YOU GUYS. Like if I give DT fruit snacks in the shape of Elsa and Anna from Frozen, she will not accept them because she wanted Star Wars ones. She’ll give the pack back to me while she wails incomprehensibly. I will hand them back and say, “Okay, here are your Star Wars fruit snacks.” And she’ll instantly quit crying, politely thank me, and start to giggle.

This type of scenario has played out more than once and often in way more frustrating situations. So PBS posted this throwback-article today, and it sang to me like choirs from the heavens. In particular, this quote struck me and I’ve considered getting it tattooed on my forearm or somewhere else I can read it at a moment’s notice:

“Keep in mind that you can’t actually make your child do anything–eat, sleep, pee, poop, talk, or stop having a tantrum. What you do have control over is how you respond to your child’s actions, as this is what guides and shapes their behavior. If throwing a tantrum results in extra iPad time, a later bedtime, or simply getting more of your attention, your toddler is putting two and two together, making an important assessment: “Excellent strategy! Put that one in the win column.””

Yeah, that’s my girl all right. And me at times. I think we are all guilty of this as parents at times, and often it’s for my own benefit more than hers. Sure, honey. One more minute of “Daniel Tiger” while mommy finishes this level of Cookie Cats chapter of my super intellectual smarty-pants book. Really, though, I need to remember to take care of these issues NOW so I don’t spend more time correcting them later.

Easy to say, tough to do. When it comes down to it, I’ll do the best I can. And she’ll be okay.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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