Sunday, November 24, 2013

We Run The City.

Uff da, what a weekend! (I know I say that many weekends.)

Friday night Mimi and Pa came over for supper, and there was much rejoicing and singing and dancing in the land. And then after the kids were in bed I met my girlfriends at a piano bar, where I wore sequins and a fake mustache that my friend had inexplicably brought with her for all of us to wear.

Yesterday started as just a quiet day at home. I went to the gym, I came home to find all of the children crying, and then Tim took Ellie to the park while I got Adam down for a nap - the fresh air did her good and then while she was napping, Adam and I went to the grocery store and tried to do all of our weekend and Thanksgiving shopping. It was quite the trip, as I had an enormous list, and was trying to stock up on everything, thus avoiding my usual cooking and baking problems, like when it's 10pm and I start trying to make something for the next day and realize that I have two bags of flour in the pantry, but no sugar (or visa versa.) I think I am set at least through Thanksgiving now. If I wrote a cooking blog, it would be called "oh shoot! Honey, can you run to the store real quick?"

Our friends just bought a new house and had done most of their final moving in on Saturday morning, and they invited us over for pizza and football, so we made an appetizer and headed over to break in the new digs. The girls were all excited to be together and so there was much toddler yelling, much yelling at the television, and just general loudness before we finally got ourselves on the way home way past bed time. Basically, we just threw the kids in bed and hoped for the best, because today was the big day - the Run the City 5K to benefit Special Olympics. UCLA and USC are two of the sponsors of the event for rivalry week, leading up to the game on Saturday.

I've done several fundraising runs in my day, and also just runs for fun and as a way to motivate me to keep working out, but before I had kids, I always ran on the treadmill in the gym. In my new life, there isn't much time for dedicated gym going, but there's plenty of time in the morning for an outing with my best friend BOB (aka my fancy jogging stroller.) Unless the weather is really terrible, the kids and I are out every morning for about an hour, jogging most of the way. If it's a preschool day I run longer, because there is less running commentary from the stroller. The rest of the days I'm pushing 50 pounds of kids, half of it uphill, getting a work out to all my major muscle groups. But it's what helps keep me sane and happy, and it's good for the kids to get out and get some fresh air, and see their mama taking care of herself. So today was actually the first race where I felt like I knew I could do the distance without a problem. My main worry was how I'd do without a stroller in front of me - what if I immediately pitched forward and busted out all of my teeth?

When I heard about the run, I decided to get me together a team and to try to do some serious fundraising for the athletes served by Special Olympics. The Bad News Bruins grew to seven members, and raised over $1,800 - we were one of the leading fundraising teams despite being one of the smaller groups. My college roommate Annie is one of the most dedicated Bruin fans I know, and she was a great fundraiser - she facebooked, she emailed, she texted her friends and demanded that they give to her. I love it! I am so glad that we were able to make a difference.

So this morning we got the kids up early and headed out, all of our gear in tow. We made it to the USC campus with time to spare, and so met up with our team and Mimi and Pa, who'd come to spectate, and settled in. Adam was happy to get passed around and Ellie ran all over the place like a loon. What more could you want? We'd hoped Jake would win the entire deal, but he got smoked by a teenager. I was hoping to finish in under a half hour, but came in around 31 minutes. It was my best road race so far - I felt really good and like I could have gone farther, and I actually passed people instead of getting passed. Plus when we were all lined up in the staring area, Bruins on one side and Trojans on the other, Annie and I initiated a giant 8 clap. BRUIN PRIDE!

The heart shaped sunglasses are how you know I mean serious business.

Possibly the best part was Ellie's insistence on yelling "yay Meg!" and calling me Meg all afternoon. She had a great time spectating with her daddy and grandparents, and I think everyone else appreciated using our giant stroller as a storage bin for phones and coats and water bottles.

Afterwards there was a pancake breakfast and our team picture
And then since we were near the California Science Center, we had a quick detour to see the space shuttle Endeavor.

Charity, AND culture in the same afternoon! We didn't get to do as much looking around as we would have liked - both kids were tired and starting to get squirrely. Adam fell asleep immediately in the car, and Ellie ate a sandwich and some carrot sticks and fell asleep right as we were coming home. They both proceeded to nap for close to three hours (and I got a 45 minute snooze in there myself.)

Then the Bad News Bruins came over for an early Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy of a silent auction item that Erl won at another charity fundraiser we were all at a few weeks ago. We had turkey breast and stuffing and yams and brussel sprouts and an amazing salad, plus a couple of extra desserts. It was all incredibly delicious, and a really fun way to end the day.

And now, I want to go and sleep for a million years.

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