Another One With The Chiefs

We did the Chief’s 5K again. The route seemed the same. It didn’t seem as hard probably because being “forewarned is forearmed.” I mean we knew they would probably run us up the roundabouts in the stadium. The Hubby and I were fine this time. We agreed on the time to leave home for the race and everything seemed to go a lot smoother than last year. The only thing was that my in-laws were out-of-town at the time.

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The start of the race

We decided it was smart to have a paid back up babysitter and not just family. You know in case our family might actually have their own stuff to do every now and then. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were on a trip with our nephew out West. I can’t remember what my sister-in-law had to do that night, but we got our neighbor’s girl to watch our kiddos. We use her every now and then. The kiddos love her.

The packet pick-up was right before the race. They did not have any other time or day. So we got out there waaaay early. We chilled out a bit before the race. Hubby wanted to do a bit of shopping at the store but it was closed. We thought they would be open for the special event. They might have made a bit of money if they had been open. I mean there are a lot of Chiefs fan out and about the stadium.

The start was a little late this year. We are not sure why. The water stops were a little far and the second one seems too close to the first. I don’t remember that last year, but I did the first one and skipped the second one. Usually you get one stop at each mile but the first stop was at least a mile and half in the race. The second stop was close to mile two so you only ran about half a mile before you get to another water stop. I think a lot of people skipped it.

We saw they had the margaritas out this year and got those. We get them during the Chiefs games a lot of times. They were nice and cold. They had a lot of the same party games like Jenga which all seem to be a hit. There was a bit of a kink getting out of the stadium though. We didn’t see any locker room tours going this year. I think the locker room tours give them at least two exits out of the stadium. Since they didn’t have that, they only had one place open to exit. So we actually had to wait in a line to get out of the stadium. Before we waited too long someone opened another exit and let us out of the field.

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The line to get out of the stadium

We got some take out and headed home. Last year we ate out at a restaurant but of course Grandmamma is free and a babysitter isn’t. It was all good though. I’m sure we will do the run again.

 

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Just Keep Mooooving

Once again, no rain! How did that happen? How did we do three half marathons in Kansas in the Spring and not get rained on during a single one of them? We were pretty lucky I guess.

I was worried we were going to be late (as usual I always worry), but I could have sworn the time for the Running with the Cows was a 6:30 AM. Websites and emails said it was 7:30 am. I was nervous because neither Rodney nor I had ever ran this particular half marathon. We weren’t sure where to go or what to expect. I eventually figured that I just confused the time for this race with the Garmin Half we did earlier this Spring.

The drive there looked easy enough. It was pretty much a straight shot down US 69 for us. There were signs as well. We got parked in a field near Queen of the Holy Rosary in Bucyrus, KS. We got out and didn’t have to walk far until we were at the start. I was a little bummed because my cordless headset LG HBS760 was not working. I mean it was able to charge, but once I turned it on, nothing! I love my cordless headset. I was so upset I had to use my headset that was not cordless. Then my phone started to act up and I couldn’t even get any music to play at all. I didn’t want to have to deal with the cords if I wasn’t even going to get to use it. Hubby got a new phone and I helped him get it set up so he could listen to a podcast. I just wasn’t in a good mood from the get go.

I got to the start line with Hubby and we laughed at how close the 2:15 pacers were lined up with the 2:30 pacers. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m guessing there is a reason that they line up that close at all the races? This race didn’t seem to have as many participants as Garmin or Rock The Parkway anyway. I got a little panicky because I didn’t think my phone was going to work at all. I really needed my Charity Miles to work for my Doctor Who Running Club team. I’m on Team DoctorDonna. I felt like I haven’t been pulling my weight because I’ve missed some runs, but in all fairness I missed them to be with my family during our difficult time of losing my father. I just took a deep breath and rebooted my phone. It sometimes takes a while and if there was some kind of weird update or something that it needed to do it could take up to a half hour or more. I crossed my fingers that did not happen. I was lucky and my phone came back on in time for the start. I did, however, forget to turn my Garmin on right at the start. My Garmin would go off every 1.1 miles as if I had just did one mile because of that late start. It was all good though. I really wish Charity Miles would automatically link to my Garmin account like a lot of other apps do.

We started off okay. Like I said it wasn’t too crowded. Hubby wanted to do his thing of running, then walking, and then running again when I caught up with him. It was what paid off for him during the Garmin Half. He did fine with that until about mile four. It was hot and it was zapping his energy. I didn’t see him again until the end. It was about mile five that the 2:20 group caught up to me. I tried to stay with them, but I just couldn’t. Maybe the heat was getting me as well.

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A picture of the course from my Connect App

We did a turn around on the course at about the half way point. It wasn’t a true out and back though. We took a turn off and around back to the original road where we started. It was kind of a big square with the small turn around point. I saw Hubby after the turn around point. He was back with the 2:50 people. I asked him if he was okay and he just made a funny face like a dog panting. So I knew he was in good spirits. One lady running next to me in my same direction thought I was talking to her. I told her what I was doing and that I was just worried about my husband with all the people having issues at races like this. When we were at Rock The Parkway we didn’t even know that a young gentleman had issues. We found out about it when we heard a pastor ask for prayers for the family at our church later that day. The pastor mentioned that he died. We were at the Arkansas Heart Hospital with my Dad weeks later when we saw on the news that someone had a heart attack at another race. We didn’t see much more of that report because my Dad’s doctor came out to talk to us.

I mentioned the two runners with the lady beside me. She didn’t know anything about them, but of course she could have been from out of state. There was as lady behind me that caught up and talked to me about the poor gentleman at Rock The Parkway. I told her that Hubby has a family history of heart problems and that he is on medication. We chatted about some other things. She was doing a walk/run thing like we do at our Disney runs. I left her behind when she walked, but she would catch back up to me when she ran. We didn’t talk much more during the race. The 2:25 people caught up to me at mile ten. There were several people who would go back and forth passing during the last part of the race.

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The cow in the upper corner can be taken off and worn like a pin.

I finished with my Garmin at 13.12 miles in 2:29:25. My official time on the website was 2:29:23.1. Interesting since I started my Garmin late. I got my medal and water. My right leg felt like I was trying to get a charley horse the last two miles. I didn’t hurt as bad when I was done. I went to the KC Running Company tent to get our Heartland prize. It was a medal. I asked the lady if I could get my husband’s as well. She asked if he was also a first time finisher and I said yes. She handed it to me no questions. I got the same thing from the lady handing out the little cow bells. I got a pink one for Baby Girl. I wanted a purple one for Little Man but they didn’t have purple. The nice lady gave me green one though which is another favorite color of his. So to you nice ladies that did that without question, thank you.

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I called Hubby before I got the Heartland medal and asked where he was. He said he was at mile twelve and that he was fine. I guessed it would take him about twelve more minutes to finish. I waited in a shady spot for him. When he didn’t show at the time I thought he would, I got worried again. I thought maybe I should walk down the street a bit. I prayed he was okay. I think losing my Dad had me super emotional.  I finally saw Hubby from where I was standing before I started to head down the race route. I’ll admit I teared up a bit when I saw he was okay and headed back toward the finish line. He finished in 2:50:26.2. I had on sunglasses so nobody noticed I was upset. I wiped away my tears and stood next to the guy giving out the Running With The Cows medals. I put his Heartland medal on him after the other medal was placed.

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Hubby was hot and there was no cold water. Too many runners had gone through already and taken all the cold ones. Hubby was drinking the water warm. I had cooled off a bit waiting for him to finish. We went inside someplace next to the church. We turned off the wrong way at first and did a loop back outside. Don’t ask me how or why. We went back in and found the food. Oh My Gosh! I’ve never seen that much food at a race. Seriously! It was crazy. I should have gotten a picture, but I was hungry. We definitely got our fill of food that morning.

Hubby and I sat down and ate. We both agreed we didn’t really like the course. It was so hot and there was no shade. It was just brutal. It was the wrong course to not have music. I used to run “naked” all the time. I mean no Garmin, no phone, and no headset. Once you get used to it, it is kind of hard to go back to the “old” ways. The band at the beginning was really cool and the guy playing drums in the middle of a field was pretty awesome. The people at the aid stations were great. We just weren’t “feeling it.” We probably won’t do it again unless we try the Heartland again. We do like a challenge.

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In Spirit

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This is where I would normally write about the CCVI Trolley Run, but we missed it this year. I had planned on visiting my father on May 6th, but he did not last that long. I had a very distressing phone conversation with my father the Thursday before the race. He had just been transferred from the DeWitt Hospital to the Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock.

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We decided to skip the race and a few other things going on that weekend to rush and see my Dad. We rearranged a few things including this race. The Sweet 16 Series Challenge allows virtual runs. I emailed and asked if we could in fact do the CCVI Trolley Run virtual. The nice people running the series agreed. With everything in place we packed the kids and got ready to head to Little Rock, Arkansas.

My father wasn’t the only one having a medical emergency. My husband’s cousin went into a diabetic coma. His aunt flew in from Florida and came to our house with my in-laws to eat a family dinner together before my in-laws drove her to Batesville, Arkansas to be with her daughter and the rest of the family. We were getting it from both sides.

By the time we made our trip on Friday, Hubby’s cousin was awake and doing a bit better. My in-laws decided to meet us in Little Rock to help with the kiddos since they were already in Arkansas. It was a tough call bringing the children. Some say they shouldn’t remember their grandfather in the hospital like that, but at the same time it might be the last time he would get to see them. I chose to verbally prepare my kids for what they might see and let my Dad see them. If you remember my husband had pneumonia last Fall. So the kiddos were somewhat familiar with hospitals.

We got in late Friday night almost Saturday morning. I’m not sure I want to take you along on the roller coaster ride that was our weekend. Let me just say I got tired of hearing how things either couldn’t be done or certain doctors or personnel was not available because it was the weekend. I’ve had a C-section with the twins years ago and my husband was admitted on a Saturday with his pneumonia. It was all at the Overland Park Regional hospital. So I’m not sure what level they are or how it compares to Arkansas Heart Hospital but we definitely like the care better at Overland Park Regional. I mean I do not recall anybody saying we had to wait or couldn’t do something or talk to someone simply because it was the weekend.

Like I said it was an emotional roller coaster. My Dad hung on long enough to see me, my Mom, and my sister all together. The funeral for my father was the following weekend.

It is always nice to be together with family. One would just wish it was a happier occasion. We got a picture of my sister, brother, and all the cousins. We figured the last time we were all in a picture together I was about one years old. Crazy!

When we were at the hospital we actually asked to speak to someone about the care my father received over the weekend. We spoke to a nice lady that gave us a card with an email address on it. I do rough drafts of just about everything, let it sit, edit it a few times and then send the final draft. It was a week or so before I sent the email. It was three pages when I printed it off later. I copied my family just so they would know.

A few days after that I got a response. I did not include my phone number and they wanted to talk to me. I gave them my number and they contacted me after Memorial day weekend. I was told that because of my letter some changes were going to take place. That made me feel good. I really don’t want any other family to go through what we did.

As of the last editing of this post, June, we have not done our virtual run yet. I’ll let you know how that goes. June itself is going to be another roller coaster. My husband and I have a wedding anniversary, my Dad’s birthday, the kids have a birthday, and then of course Father’s Day. I’m just going to take deep breath and take it one day at a time.

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Lucky Tin Man

It seems like it always rains during the Garmin marathon. I had been eye balling the weather app on my phone several days in advance. It looked cold and rainy. Then the temperature looked a little better. I was still going to need long sleeves for sure or arm sleeves. I just knew it would rain though. I’ve done the half one other time and it rained. Then every time since then when I saw a friend post something on Facebook about running it, it also seemed like it was raining.

The last time I ran the Garmin Half it was actually at Garmin Headquarters. There was no issue with the traffic and everything started on time. The start location this year was pretty close to us in what we thought was in an industrial area. While driving there we noticed it was really congested way before we got to our exit. My husband is a firm believer in the zipper method when it comes to merging lanes. He does not think everybody needs to be in one lane for miles and miles leaving a perfectly good lane open for people to merge. When I think about it, it makes sense and isn’t a jerk move at all if everybody did it. It is a matter of taking turns.

Anyway, once we got off the exit ramp, parking wasn’t really an issue. We stayed in the car to stay warm for a bit, but I’m always anxious about being late. I also like to just see the people out there especially if there is a chance for costumes. We did see some Wizard of Oz costumes before the start. Funny thing, the start, it was delayed about a half hour because of the traffic jam. There was an empty vendor tent nearby with some people huddled in it. We went in as well. It was out of the wind and a bit warmer with all the body heat. It had rained earlier and out one entrance of the tent the sky looked clear while the other entrance of the tent looked pretty cloudy.

When we lined up I think we were with the 2:25 group. I edged toward the 2:20 people a bit. When we started the group was going kind of slow, so I ran ahead a bit, but I was still passed by a team of ten people dressed in a Chinese dragon costume. I wasn’t feeling good about that. I thought those people have to be pretty confident about their pace to do that.

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This course had a lot more hills than any of the others I’ve run around here. They weren’t big hills, but there was a lot of them. Hubby stuck to his plan. He would run, then when his Garmin went off to walk he would do that until I caught up to him. Then he would run again. It paid off for him. He finished before me this time, but I’m jumping ahead right now.

Our running club, Olathe Running Club, had an aid station along the course. I said hi to a few members I knew. Our president was dressed as Dorothy. Again, I didn’t get pictures. I made a mental note of when each pace group either caught up and/or passed me when I did the race, but I waited so long to write this that I have since forgotten. Just know that my time wasn’t a PR but it wasn’t bad for me.

I saw a ton of little ones that wanted high-fives. If you have read any of my posts you know how I feel about hi fives. I’ve gotta do em. I actually saw some little ones that looked familiar. I gave them a high-five and then saw their mom. We are Facebook friends. She has twins and belongs to several of the same mom groups that I participate.

About the middle of the race I took off my long sleeve shirt and tied it around my waist. I still had a short sleeve shirt and a vest. The wind came right after I did that and I got chilled. I thought about putting my long sleeve shirt back on, but it was nice and warm again soon after I decided to leave it.

I saw a lot of backed up traffic here and there. I do not recall the race causing such an  issue when the route was closer to Garmin headquarters. There seem to be some unhappy motorist.

I don’t recall anything else unusual during the race. I finished in 2:27:20. Hubby finished in 2:25:39. The medals were really cool. The half marathon medal that we got was a twister with different items from The Wizard of OZ. It would also spin. I think the 10K was a little Toto in a basket that moved. The full marathon was the wizard as himself on one side and his persona on the other side. Come to find out the group dressed as a dragon did the full marathon and got a Guinness world record.

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The after party was great even though it was a bit chilly. They had chicken sandwiches and hot dogs in one area. The other area they had margaritas and beer with heat lamps! I was all good with food in my belly and an adult beverage. We had a nice conversation with a gentleman visiting from New York. We told him what he could do around town while he was here.

This is my only second Garmin, and I still like it. Also the rain held out and was sunny the rest of the day. The Tin Man would have been a happy camper. This Heartland Series isn’t bad. In case you don’t know what it is; it’s a series of three half marathons. There is Rock The Parkway, Garmin and Running With the Cows. We only have Running With The Cows left to do to complete it.

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Rockin’ A Bad Memory

Our neighbor’s dog was up late “barking” all night long. It was so weird. It was a cross between a bird’s screech and a dog’s yelp. We got little sleep with that and our daughter climbing in bed with us. My in-laws stayed the night as usual when we do these runs. Our son woke up right before we left. My mother-in-law got him and took him to our big bed where his sister was. They all tried to snuggle and get him back to sleep. We headed to Rock The Parkway half marathon.

It was about the same kind of weather it was the first year we ran it. It was a little cool at first but it was nice and warm later in the day. Last year it was pretty chilly throughout the race. Hubby and I were in the same corral this time. We were in corral F. I think that is because I ran it in 2:30 last year and my hubby came in behind me. I so wanted to do another PR this year since I PR every year at this race. Something else always seems to happen every year. Before the race I always seem to hurt my back.

Yup it happened again. It was almost as bad as in the past, but I still tweaked my back pretty bad. I talked to my chiropractor and running club buddy, Jared, about it. I did not get a chance to up my mileage much for this race so I don’t think that was the problem. Then he mentioned that since the weather got real nice in the Spring people tend to go out and do more. That is where I can tweak my back and not realize that I’m over doing it or not being careful. Of course life takes over and I forget to do my strength training exercises on top of everything else. They are so boring! I really need to fix that.

Anyway, I sent a message out to the hashers. If you don’t know who they are, they are a group of runners that also like to drink beer. I remember at least two of them saying they were going to run Rock The Parkway. Laura responded that she was the only one. Don and Shelley ended up going on vacation. She said not to wait for her because she was real sloooooooow. Ha! If she is slow than I’m not sure what I am, but I am jumping ahead here.

Hubby and I ended up at the front of corral F, but there were some confusion between E and F. The announcer saw a lady with an E bib on and said it was corral E. I looked around and saw the confused look on the majority of the runners’ faces. One guy a few feet back said, “Corral F everybody. This is corral F.” You can be in a different corral as long it is behind the one assigned to you. So this lady wasn’t doing anything wrong. The announcer was just confused. It was nice being in the front of a corral. We didn’t have to weave around a bunch of people.

Hubby and I were pretty close at the beginning. I saw a girl pass me that looked like Laura. I wasn’t quite sure. At some point, I think during a water stop, I must have passed her because she passed me again. This time Hubby was near and I asked him if he thought that was her. He said he wasn’t sure, but I could holler her name. I yelled her nickname and she turned. It was her! I had to tease her a bit about saying she was so slow when she has passed me twice. Not that I ever claimed to be fast.

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One of the times Laura passed me.

I had a fun time running with her. We chit chatted a bit. She was concerned that there might not be any beer left at the unofficial aid station. I wasn’t concerned because there always seemed to be some there when I went through. Thank goodness we weren’t running in snow like the Westport run. Then there probably wouldn’t be any beer at all. There was a sign that said bacon and beer was up ahead. The beer was actually quite a ways from the sign. We sprinted toward them when we finally saw them. We got beer but there was no bacon. I’m not sure why. I didn’t ask. We passed Hubby and didn’t see him again until the end. Laura got a few pictures. I have to say that girl is good at some selfies.

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Laura’s mad selfie skills

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Beer stop

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Where is the bacon?

Laura pulled ahead of me at about around mile eight. I could still see her, but then I lost her for a bit until around mile ten. I was trying so hard to beat my 2:30 time from last year. I really wanted to keep up with her, but I didn’t train very well because of my back issues. Laura ended up finishing about three minutes before me. I got a 2:26:37.6 which I was happy with because at least it was another PR. I called Hubby to see where he was. I knew he had his headset with him so he could answer. He joked around with me that he had already finished. He was actually a mile or so behind us. I chit chatted with Laura while waiting on Hubby to finish.

We heard there was beer up with the refreshments. There hasn’t been beer in the past. So we were a little skeptical. We walked up the hill and sure enough there was a Martin City truck there. I got Hubby and I some chocolate mile while we waited in line. Laura didn’t want one. We tore off the ticket part of our bib and handed it to them for our free beer. Laura and I got a coffee stout. Hubby asked for Highway Man. The workers all laughed. Apparently that one is a really good beer that would not be free. I can’t remember what Hubby actually got. Laura took a cute selfie of us drinking our beers.

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Another awesome selfie by Laura

We chit chatted a bit again and then Laura said she was headed home. Hubby and I always do the picture so we went to where they had the back drop. They arranged things differently this year and I kind of like it. It didn’t seem as crowded. We stood in line for pictures and didn’t notice there was no photographer until we were close to the front. We got our picture anyway with the help of the people in front of us. You know the ol’, “I’ll take your picture if you take mine” routine. I think our picture ended up being pretty good.

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When we came home I found out that Little Man never went back to sleep. At least this race wasn’t at the butt crack of dawn. So he wasn’t too tired. My in-laws also mentioned how our cat howled all night long. Hubby and I tried to tell them it was the neighbors dog. Hubby posted our picture on Facebook and mentioned that I got a PR and he was pretty slow because he didn’t really train at all. Come to find out I didn’t PR. When the results came out Hubby emailed me and told me my best time was last year. In 2015 I did 2:30, in 2016 I did 2:20, and this year I did 2:26. I guess I got a bad memory. I was shocked when I realized I did it in 2:20!

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Edit: My in-laws, Hubby, and I were all wrong. The noise the night of our race was a family of foxes living under our deck. Now we know what the fox says.

Oh and did you like all the pictures? Of course I didn’t take any of them except of the shirt and medal. The rest was provided by either Rock The Parkway, my buddy Laura, or the nice people who took our picture for us. Thank you!

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No Words Really

I have done two half marathons recently. I have something written for one, but I do not have anything for the other. I’m not sure when I’ll get them posted. My Dad’s health took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago. We went and saw him last weekend in the hospital. He passed May 2nd. It was one week ago today.

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My Dad when he was younger

We have been home only a day since his funeral. The drive was long and hard. My family and friends have been great. The people at the children’s preschool have been wonderful as well. We have a lot of healing to do.

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Me and my Dad at my wedding

 

 

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Did They Live Happily Ever After?

The opinions expressed below about The Princess Problem are my own. I was not given anything or asked by anyone to read or review this book. I happened upon this book when I read an article here

So I finished the The Princess Problem and returned it to the library. I mentioned it in my post here. That was actually quick for me. I guess it is the time limit with the library and all that puts a fire under me. That and I was very interested in the subject matter. I’m currently in the middle of two other books and my magazines are stacked up pretty high now.

You might be wondering why I’m writing about this and how it ties in with my other posts. Well having kids has been a dream of mine for a while and like most parents I don’t want to screw them up. Then there is the kind of races my husband and I like to do. Going to Disney races and the parks exposes us all to all kinds of consumerism and fandoms. We want to be smart about it.

I saw the title of the book in the article and thought that it was such a wonderful coincidence that one of my recent posts was about princesses. I decided to read The Princess Problem, and I would say overall it was a good book. It gave me a lot of things to think about when my kids watch TV or movies. It had some good points for both girls and boys. I think I mentioned before that I think I was blessed with boy/girl twins. I think that it really helps with balance. That is not to say there are not issues. I actually thought that we were all good here with the princess thing until my daughter told me one day all she wanted to be when she grew up was a princess. However when my son listed off the different things he wanted to be when he grew up, my daughter chimed in on how much she wanted to help with his endeavors. He wants to have a farm with a playground that has a building where you can get your teeth fixed and shop for books while you wait. When you are done you can eat the food grown at the farm at the restaurant and listen to live music. Sounds good to me!

I like some of the children books and shows Dr. Hains recommends in her book. I looked up several of the books at our local library. We are currently reading Not All Princesses Dress in Pink and Shades of People. I have a lot of others on my “For Later” shelf with my library. We like both of these books. We check out anywhere from eight to fifteen books at a time. My kids LOVE books especially my son. I try to touch up on some issues I want to expose them to and then they always play in the kids area at the library for a bit. They always find some books they want on their own. When they find a good one I just can’t refuse them.

You may be wondering about the Shades of People book and how it ties in with the princess problem. Dr. Hains doesn’t just hit gender roles but she also talks about racism in the princess world. My kids go to a preschool at our church and it is quite diverse I am happy to say. The kids haven’t had any issues so far. I think that preschool has been great for them.

When I first started to read The Princess Problem I was worried it was going to tell me that I need to dress my daughter in all grey and promote only neutral toys and activities. I wasn’t for that. I want my daughter to be herself if that means she likes pink (which she does) or if she likes black, green or any other color that exits, then so be it. So I liked this quote from the book. I posted it once before and I want to post it again.

The goal is not to persuade girls that princesses are bad or to “de-princess” them. Rather, it is to help girls reason through the problems with princesses and see that there are many other ways to be a girl – to help unfetter their imaginations and help them dream a multiplicity of dreams.

I liked that. I grew up like that. I had Barbies but I didn’t want to look like her. I just thought the doll was fun. I would put a few in a bag and throw them over my shoulder so I could have my hands free to climb trees. Once safely perched on a branch some of my Barbies would climb tall “buildings” to sneak in and steal jewels while the other Barbies would investigate the crime. They would eventually crack the case and catch the cat burglars (I think my imagination was inspired by watching a lot of Remington Steele with my parents. I love me some Pierce Brosnan).

I also liked Dr. Hains’ suggestion about being a good “pop culture coach.” When I think about it my Mom did this. She would always make comments to us kids about the different shows we watched together. She did a lot of co-viewing with us.

Recap: Pop Culture Coaching In Four Steps

  1. Identify your family’s values.
  2. Establish a healthy media diet for your children.
  3. Watch and talk about media content with your children.
  4. Teach your children about media creation.

Now with twins or higher order multiples (triplets or higher) we worry about socializing our kids just like anybody else. We sometimes forget though that our kids need other friends. They were kind of born with a built-in best friend, but just like singleton children, all siblings need friends outside the family. It is nice I have a boy and a girl so it doesn’t seem unusual to them to play with someone of the opposite sex. However with us, it is a nice change of pace to actually play with someone of the same-sex. I was happy to see this line in the book. It made me really happy that my kids can play so well together and enjoy some of the same things.

Having friendships with the opposite sex in childhood makes us better romantic partners later on – better able to understand and relate to one another.

Again, I thought of my Mom. She is a bit of a geek. She loves Dune, Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, etc. I grew up loving Star Wars and Star Trek. I never even knew there was any kind of rivalry because we loved both in our house. My Mom also loved fantasy and sci-fi books. She read all the Dune books. She loves Robert A. Heinlein and Terry Brooks. I think sometimes geeks have an easier time with relating to each other due to the love of the fandom. My husband and I went to see Suicide Squad on my birthday at my request. Let me tell you, he had no problem with that.

My son’s favorite color is dark purple. He likes coloring his toe nails his favorite color and why not? It is fun. My daughter likes to sword fight with my son and she likes playing with my son’s Hulk and Spider-man dolls. She has some super hero girl dolls but she still likes playing with the boy dolls as well. By boy dolls I don’t mean dolls that are meant for boys. I mean dolls that are male. I’m happy to say that they share a lot of each others toys. We did recently give them their own rooms. When I separated the toys I did not think of gender so much. I thought more about what each child likes. I actually left some girl dolls in my sons room that I knew he liked. My daughter likes Legos better so she got them. I also told them to be sure to still share.

Since I do have twins I would like to touch on the “alpha twin.” There seems to always be one no matter what sex the set is. If you ask any member of my multiples group with boy/girl twins I’m sure every single one will tell you that the girl is the alpha twin. I’m not saying that is true for everybody but just me and the club members I’ve talked to so far. These girls always seem to know how to be strong get attention in their own unique way. That isn’t to say the boys are not strong. They are. I guess the best way to describe it is that each child can “hold their own.”

I did not one hundred percent agree on the interpretation of some of the Disney stories in The Princess Problem. One of my favorite classes in college was creative writing. We would write a story and turn it into the teacher with a disc for him to print off several  copies for everyone in the class to read. During class we would dissect the story and talk about what it meant to us. I wrote a sci-fi/horror story one time. I wanted to discuss moral issues and just the sheer horror and grossness of the science experiment in the story. Some of my classmates saw more political undertones that I had never even considered. At the end of class the author had the option to reveal themselves to the class or stay anonymous. I always liked to reveal myself to discuss some more of the topics that I did not intend to put in my story. It was very interesting and eye-opening when it comes to writing something and putting it out for the world to interpret.

Now with that said, I have to say if you go looking for a problem you are almost always going to find one. Beauty and Beast for instance is not one of the stories I saw that had a big problem. I always thought that the witch or fairy changed the prince into a beast because even though he was a handsome prince, he was ugly on the inside. She wanted to teach him a lesson by making his outside match his inside. If he changed enough on the inside to get someone to love him, the curse would be broken. Belle comes along and even though the Beast was socially awkward due to his appearance, he had changed for the better with the help of his staff who was also cursed. Now to paraphrase what was in The Princess Problem, because I forgot to get a screen shot before I turned the book back into the library, the Beast was verbally and emotionally abusive until Belle came along to help change him for the better. Basically the theory is that the story is sending a message that a good girl can change a bad boy. So girls will stick with an abusive boyfriend in hopes that he will change. Honestly I never saw that in the story. I guess I can see how one could interpret it that way. I suppose that is why we have to be careful. I can co-view with my children and give them my interpretation of it or say nothing and hope they see the same thing.

I enjoyed reading the book and I liked all the resources Dr. Hains listed. If you want to learn more I’m sure you can purchase the The Princess Problem from Amazon or get it from your local library. Dr. Rebecca Hains also has a website.

Edit: My daughter now wants to be a Mom who paints.

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