Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swinging High!

Summer is half over and we had a huge break-through at our home today! Kai learned how to pump his legs on the swings!!!!!! This may sound like a simple thing, but if you have young kids at home and have tried this YOU KNOW it can be frustrating! Kai has been working at this for about 8 months off and on as weather has permitted us outside to even be on swings. I'm so proud of him. I've been telling him that when he goes to Kindergarten the teachers will not push him, he must do it by himself (teachers will appreciate this I know).

After he was on the swings about 30 min. he says to me "Mom, you know what?" "I remember visiting my new school.... I don't think the school has any swings." I thought for a second....hmmmm.... I think he's right!!! We'll have to check to be sure! Made me laugh! At least he did it and he can hardly wait to show daddy! "Daddy will be amazed at me" Kai said! :)

By the way, Noah and Emmi are addicted to the swings too! Noah just wants to be pushed higher and higher! If I start to unbuckle Emmi from her little swing she starts to cry! Swings are a big hit at the Ushikubo home today!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Maybe God wants me to move to Africa!

2 Peter 1:5-8 (Message)
So don't lose a minute on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active, and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without it's reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books!

God gave me this verse today! Oh how I needed to read this message!
I have been struggling to even put into words to my husband or anyone else my deep desire to not just "take" from life but to give back! I want to do more than sign up to buy extra school supplies for under privileged students. I want to be a part of something life changing - something way way bigger than me!

The thought runs through my mind once a year that I should drop everything and jump on a plane and become a missionary to a small village in Africa - for sure there I would feel like I was making a difference and feel more satisfied that I "gave back". For some reason sometimes I feel like my life as a stay-at-home mom to my three blessings isn't good enough. THEN I read the above verse today and it hit me! WOW!!!! If I have those qualities they listed above growing and moving in my life "no grass will grow under my feet, no day will pass without it's reward as I mature in my experience with Jesus".

I've been sitting and wondering what should I do? Where should I go? What "big adventure" should I be on to IMPRESS God. No, this is not right! What I need to do is move, learn, listen, pray, study, have generous love for those around me now. God doesn't need to me in Africa now (maybe later). He needs me to be growing those qualities now and using them now, here in my own neighborhood! WOW!!!

I've been wanting to organize a 5k run through our church to benefit World Vision and the work they do to fight hunger in children. As a mother there is almost nothing that pulls at my heart stings more than reading or seeing hungry children and their parents who can do nothing to help! So for now.... that will be my beginning effort to gain the above qualities and show God's love in a tangible way!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A day in my life.

Well I must make it quick 'cause the laundry needs to be put away, but my post is well worth reading I think! :)

This morning while I was puffing away on the treadmill I look to my right and in the other room is Kai holding his breakfast plate.... far. I'm still running, and I watch him pick up his breakfast sausage and try a bite. He immediately makes a "this is gross" face and quickly tosses it UNDER THE COUCH! I was in shock for a moment.... could not believe I saw him toss food under my living room couch! I stopped the treadmill and stared at him or rather glared at him! He says to me "What mom?" I lost it.... "What do you think!" I said. On and on we went until he said "Sorry mom". Oh my! I had to check to see if there was more food under there but thankfully there wasn't!

Next kid: I folded all the laundry and told the boys to take their pile to their room and put it away. Easy right....? OK so Noah comes running right back out empty handed and says "I'm all done mom" I stared right into his eyes and asked him "Did you put in away in your drawer Noah, or is it on the floor by your dresser?" He says it's all put away. Hmmmmm I'm sure he's lying to me and he knows that is a BIG no no! I asked him like 3 other ways if he really really really put the clothes away and each time he stuck to his first story. So I was ready to pass out the punishment and we marched down the hall and into his room. I stood at the dresser and lo and behold in ONE drawer he has placed the whole pile of clothes! He got me! I had to smile and then sweetly explain that he needs to put the clothes away in the correct place.

Parenting is awesome!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why I should be on the cover of Runners World Magazine!

Dear Runners World Magazine,

I've been receiving your magazine in the mail for two years now. I totally enjoy reading all the articles and utilizing all the tips you give on how to run faster, stronger and longer! Very helpful! Your magazine is well written and my husband and I really love it!

My only issue is the cover picture(s)! I think I should be on the cover, no joke! Here's why: When I get the magazine in the mail I first see the picture of your choice cover participant. This person (Man or Woman) is PERFECT. I mean long lean legs, tight abs and totally cute! Really? Why each month do you have such perfect runners on your cover? How about using a more "Normal" model for a change!?

How about a 31 year old mother of 3 who is struggling and I mean "S.T.R.U.G.G.L.I.N.G." to get these damn last 10 pounds off! I'm your classic runner at heart but the outside of me isn't at all model material. I have serious trouble spots that I try to hide with cute running clothing.

Here's how it goes down for me: I run 3 or 4 times a week while my baby naps in the morning. I'm lucky if she sleeps 45 min so that means once I get my shoes on and run 25 min. I usually hear her on the baby monitor strapped to the treadmill. OH! You must know I run while listening to her lullaby music on the monitor. Exciting I know! I do love running! Since I have ballooned up 3 times to grow little humans, running has really helped me get back in shape each time! Running is also something my husband I both enjoy doing together - although he is a much better runner than me!

So anyway, I think I should be on your cover to represent all the other readers out there who LOVE your magazine but struggle with how we will probably NEVER look like your cover person. I do dream of it.... but with 3 children in toe.... it's a real distant dream right now. Thanks for reading this!

Kelly U. a normal everyday "Runners World Magazine Fan"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Growing Up

In just a few short weeks my first born son Kai will be 6 years old! I was a young 25 when I had him and oh my did it change my life, for the good! He made me a mommy! Being a mom was my total life goal since I was a child. Haha! Big dreams, I know.

Kai is heading off to Kindergarten mid August. I'm totally freaking out about it! Our neighborhood elementary school offers only all day/everyday Kindergarten. So very soon Kai and I will be apart more than we are together... booo hooo... :( For a lot of working mothers they have already been through this with their children - this saying "good-bye" to seeing every moment of their lives. It's hard for me. I'm doing my best to not let Kai know I'm sad. For Kai I'm very excited about his new lunch box and his new package of markers!!!! :) Inside I'm biting my finger nails and my heart is pounding so hard at the very mention of the word "school".

He's growing up so fast! Everyone says that BUT IT'S TRUE! The past 6 years... well.... I don't know where they went. Today in the car he was talking about a cartoon called Umi Zoomi. He said "mom you should watch it with me". I thought to my self.... I'm just to busy to sit for 30 min. with him. I should do the dishes or clean my own bedroom! Now, tonight I have a change of heart.... let the cleaning go tomorrow.... sit with Kai...... enjoy all that he has to say! If you have been around Kai, you know, he loves to talk! My little 5 year old boy just wants to tell me about the big bug he found outside or he wants me to watch him ride his bike with one hand. He brought me a beautiful blue flower yesterday and set it right next me. Cute!!!

I need to remember these days are gone so fast.... soak up all he has to say now Kelly! Soon you will be begging him to tell you what he's thinking! :) Hard to imagine, but very true.

Oh thank you God for Kai! Thank you God for his smile and carefree personality!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Family Day

Today we went to the Tacoma Point Defience Zoo! I won 6 tickets on the radio back in May and today we got to go! It was a fun free day! The boys loved seeing all the new animals. They both know the Woodland Park zoo like the back of their hand so it was nice to visit a new place. We had two extra tickets so on our way out we blessed a woman and her daughter who were waiting in line to get in! She was so happy! That was fun! Hope you enjoy the few pictures we took!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A 4am wake-up call was worth it!

This morning I woke up at 4am to head down to Federal Way to help in a U.S. Women's Sprint Triathlon. It was amazing to see first hand all the work that goes into putting on one of these races! I arrived by 5:15am and went to the volunteer booth, signed in and got a t-shirt. I was ready to help but had NO idea what to do! One of the workers handed me two black markers and sent me to the transition area to help there.

My friend Brenda McKenzie was organizing the transition area - That is the area where only racers can go. They park their bikes, helmets, running shoes and "gear". Racers start with the swim, then run into this area and get their bike and race out. After biking they return and park their bike and set out on the run. It's a busy place!

I helped out first by using the black markers and writing numbers on ladies arms and legs. After all the racers were into the swimming part I stood at the bike exit so racers knew when to mount their bikes head out on the bike portion. It was A LOT of cheering and clapping along with giving clear directions. Ha! I like the cheering but it was hard to stay "excited" for the racers for 2 hours!

Anyway..... I saw something so fun and it sent me to future dream world/land/place... :) I saw an 80 something year old lady do this race! I also saw a mother maybe in her 40's and her daughter probably 15 do this triathlon together! I almost cried! Sprint triathlons are not easy so to have the support of doing it with your mom or daughter just looked so wonderful!!!! I hope that someday Emmi and I can do a women's triathlon together! I hope I can do a race with each of my kids someday! I would LOVE to cross the finish line and feel that excitement and pride with them! How fun that will be!!!

I have only done one sprint triathlon. I did it two years ago with two of my high school friends. I can honestly say it changed my life! Not only did I lose weight while training, I gained pride and self confidence! I was very much in need of all those things! So if you are a woman and you don't think you could ever do a triathlon, think again! It impacted me deeply and I love telling people about that!

In 2 and half months I'm doing my second sprint triathlon with my sister-in-law and a good friend! They are first timers! I'm super duper excited to be sharing this experience with them!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fun for all isn't easy!

This morning my sister and her kids came to play! It's super hot today (90+ degrees) so we had the pool full and the sprinkler going strong by 10:30am. All the kids were anticipating the water and totally giddy! We could hardly get the suits on before they were out the door - sunscreen came a little after!

First the pool - Kai and Noah instantly jumped in, little Joci was next. Judah watched on the sidelines not sure he wanted to join in quite yet. Within about 5 min. Judah was standing in the water but still not sure about getting ALL wet. The splashing started and Judah made his exit. I decided the sprinkler might be a good idea just to have options. :)

The Sprinkler - Sooooo Kai again loves water so he ran in the sprinkler then jumped into the pool. Jocelyn thought that looked fun and followed Kai. It was also a hit with Judah! He ran his little heart out and even followed into the pool. Noah on the other hand does NOT like the sprinkler. Huh??? He sat near the front door for about 10 min. totally crabby! Oh Noah!!!! Eventually he joined in the fun.

Kathy and I talked and analyzed our kids for a time. We laughed at how Kai and Joci are very much alike! They are always ready for a new adventure! Judah and Noah are also alike in that they have specific preferences and are not as easy going. I think they both will fall in love with free spirited women. :) Hahaha! It turned out to be a wonderful morning in the sun! I wish it was easy to please everyone but our differences are what make us interesting and unique!

My sister and I are very different. I think now that we are older we appreciate those differences!
Hmmmm makes me wonder what Emmi will be like....

Thanking God for our differences and for my sister today!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bonding over watermelon

Tonight was a super load of fun for my boys!

I packed up a dinner and the kids and I left the house and met Takeshi at Bellevue Mall. We went to the lego store to assemble and have a free lego piece. The store does this every first Tuesday of the month - this month was a watermelon!

Kai was nervous to go. I showed him a picture of the lego set online and he got a very worried look on his face. "Mom, that looks to hard for me" he said. "Oh babe, don't worry daddy will be there with you do help!" I tried to encourage him the best a mom can. :) So off we went! Takeshi left work a bit early to get in line early for us! Thanks dear husband! Takeshi, Kai and Noah waited in line for 45 min. When it was their turn they went to an open table and a lego store employee took them step by step through the process of putting the watermelon together! Takeshi did Noahs (he was to young) but Kai took every lego piece VERY seriously! His face was stiff and his eyes on each lego piece, working very diligently to put in on correctly. My heart smiled. I watched Takeshi be a superhero dad! He spoke to Kai patiently and encouraged him. When Kai finished his face was full of pride! "I did it!" Takeshi said he would take Kai again, but just the two of them next time. :)

Takeshi and Kai bonded a little bit more over watermelon tonight and it was fun to watch!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Why I run...

I run slow. I don't mind telling people that. Getting to the finish line in a certain about of time has never been motivating for me. I have some dear friends who thrive on the stop watch on their wrist, not me, I like to take my time. I'm slow and steady.... most of the time.

Once about 2 years ago I was running on our treadmill and my left foot caught the shoe lace on my right foot and I went down hard! If you could have watched you would have laughed! I tried to stand up right after I fell and fell AGAIN. The treadmill shot me out the back and I landed on a pile of clean clothes that of course needed to be folded and put away! That day slow and steady wasn't me.

I run for 2 main reasons: it burns the calories and I can increase my strength and pace quickly without much effort! Over a short period of time I get good! That makes me feel really great about myself really fast! You see, I'm not good at coordinated sports like softball or basketball. It would take me years to get good at those sports, but running is different! In just a few weeks you can go from never running to being able to run 2 miles without walking. I love quick gratification! :)

AND of course I run to have a little itsy bitsy break from the kids! It clears my head and I can turn up the music really loud. Only when I run or if I'm in the car alone (never) can I turn up the music loud. If you are a parent you understand this.

I run for me! It puts a smile on my face when I run a distance that I didn't ever think I could. Crossing a finish line is right up there with getting married or having a baby! Pretty cool!


My first blog! I am being called away already to make my daughter her next bottle of milk but I just had to write something in my new mommy outlet! So.... how about I make it quick. I'm starting this blog to keep updates on our busy family of 5. Life is happening so fast for us. Takeshi and I were just talking 2 nights ago about how we CAN'T believe we have an almost 6 year old son Kai. I'm only 31! Is that old enough to have a 6 year old son?! Then there is "muffin" aka Noah! He's called muffin because when he was a baby he always had a cute little muffin top over his pants! And last but not least is Emmi. She is calling much louder now for her 6oz. of milk! Off I go... :) Mommy world and blog world already crashing together!