Sunday, December 19, 2010

I ran today

Which may not seem significant since I've been doing that on a consistent basis since last March. But here are the facts:

1. It was 20 degrees outside
2. It was 20 degrees outside
3. It was 20 degrees outside

"It was cold" is kind of an understatement. I had wanted to wait until later in the day when it might warm up (it's 30 now) but Isaac's ear is a mess and I didn't want to jeopardize my run because of him needing to go to the animal hospital (we think the outer flap of his ear is infected but not the inner ear. That's what we hope. He's wearing his old cone-collar from his last surgery and looks pretty pitiful.), so I decided to run when I could. Even if that meant in 20 degrees. I could have run on the treadmill and once it starts snowing I'm sure I will, but the road was clear so I had to brave the cold. Our road is never plowed very well so I'm quite sure that when the snow and ice comes I will be inside for my Sunday runs. To reward myself for running in the cold (have I mentioned it was cold?) I ran further than normal partway down one of the big hills, which meant coming back UP the hill. I have been avoiding the hills since I started running outside, but I recently decided that I should challenge myself in some way. My friends are running a half-marathon in the spring and training for that. I have NO DESIRE to run 13 miles. I have NO DESIRE to run more than 3-4 to be honest. But that doesn't mean I have to keep doing the same thing all the time. My last goal was to to come in under 30 minutes for my last 5K and I did that. So now I'm going to try to work on my endurance more and run those hills. Even if it's slower.

I think I deserve a cookie.

But the rat bastards in this house--the ones who don't do ANY OF THE BAKING--ate them all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh. yeah.

The problem with infrequent blogging is that one leaves one's readers in such a state of suspense. I'm sure you must all be wondering if my Balls of Responsibility are properly orbiting or if I've fallen off the unicycle. I am, gladly, still upright and still juggling those balls. The important ones are in orbit. Some of them have fallen and there's just nothing I can do about that right now.

Irony: I blog here much less than when I was working. And yet I'm book-blogging much more than when I was working.

Last Saturday I ran my 3rd race. It was another 5K--I've decided I'm sticking to those--3 miles is enough for me, thank you. I had wanted to beat 30 minutes. I came close in my 2nd race with 30:52. But I really really wanted to do it this time. It was wicked cold (although not as cold as it's been today!) and there were unexpected hills and wind in my face, but I did it. I came in at 29:40. Which is not terribly fast, but it's the best that I have done, and when you consider that I started out last March taking roughly 45 minutes to do 3 miles, I'm pretty happy with 29:40.

The Princess and SkyWalker ran in the kids' race before mine. For most of the race they looked like this:

They ran hand in hand until SkyWalker pulled ahead. But the little Princess didn't stop, she kept on running too. It was 3/10 of a mile long, which is pretty long for little legs, but they finished it. The rest of the day she ran around the house telling me that she runs "weally fast" because "I'm a mom." She insisted on showering with me because she ran a race too. It was totally worth the cold.

I'm sure Chewie would have loved to run as well, but she probably would have run right into the pond. So she was strapped in her stroller and could only watch.

We have an appointment tomorrow next week with Early Intervention. She hasn't qualified yet, we're just "exchanging information." She doesn't seem to be all that interested in talking. She'd much rather run and climb on the table or jump on the trampoline or do ANYTHING that doesn't involve sitting and learning. She is starting to babble a lot more and occasionally she'll try to repeat something. I don't think she has a hearing problem (but she'll be tested anyway), I think she has an effort problem. She doesn't give a crap about talking. Why ask for water when she can run and get it or her sister will just give it to her? I have a feeling she probably won't qualify for services, but we'll see.

She is sleeping pacifier-free and has done so for a month. It takes her longer to fall asleep, but once she does she stays there. It really wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. We're all sleeping well... too well. The girls will sometimes sleep past 8 and without them waking me up, well, I don't get up. It's been HORRIBLE. I remember waking up at 5:30 and starting my day alone and being totally energized and now I am just tired all the time and full of SLOTH. I have little motivation to do anything, which is quite problematic. I stay up late and then get up late and then stay up late. I need a newborn to give me energy!

I remember last winter being the first winter that was tolerable in a long time. I was taking Vitamin D to make up for the lack of sun, I was having the preschool playdates every 2 weeks, gymnastics, we were out and about. We're still busy now, but it's less fun. Lots of grocery shopping and doctor visits. I'm not sure if it's the lack of regular fun playdates or my Vitamin D levels aren't where they should be, but I am feeling the HIBERNATE urge big time. I keep thinking I need to call my friends and set things up and then... another day goes by, another week goes by. Time just zips by and I've done nothing productive. I've gotten the milk and I've done laundry and dishes, but I just have to do those things again. It never feels productive to me. I never feel DONE. We are not even out of December and this winter feels very very long already.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Balls of Responsibility

Sometimes I feel as if I am riding a unicycle perilously perched at the top trying to keep it moving all while simultaneously juggling a few million balls. At all times one of those balls, it changes which one, but always one of my Balls of Responsibility comes dangerously close to leaving its orbit and throwing the whole thing out of whack. The primary Ball of Responsibility is taking care of my children and their ever increasing school and preschool demands. But there are many other Balls--the upkeep of the House, paying bills, never ending laundry and dishes; the upkeep of ME, running, reading, blogging; and then there's the marriage Ball. This is perhaps the hardest Ball to keep in the air because it depends on two people.

It is hard when one person works outside the home and the other works, albeit unpaid, within it. Our society values the person who is earning money and not the other. It's easy to fall into the "who has it harder?" game. I think the hardest part of being a DGPM is that people think it's easy. That because we have chosen this, because we are happier doing this than working at a job somewhere else, then that automatically means that it is EASY. But it's not. I'm a million times happier at home than when I was working at the library. That is undeniable. But that doesn't mean that I am sitting here all day eating bonbons and watching TV and doing NOTHING. I have responsibilities too. Lots of responsibilities.

This has been a tough week. SkyWalker has been home all week recovering from his surgery. He's had good times and bad times. We've fought over his school work. He's watched movies every single day. We've done what we've had to just to make it through. I can't take them out, can't have playdates or go to the library or even send him outside to run around. He can't have too much activity.

This week has been the perfect illustration of how it is NOT easy. It is not easy to keep all the Balls in the air. SkyWalker cries because his throat hurts and his ears hurt but I need to run and get Chewie off of the kitchen table or yank the dog food out of her mouth. I need to make sure he is drinking enough water and then I hear the splashing of Chewie playing in the toilet bowl--often full of pee because nobody but me flushes in this house. I am blogging now because we are watching a movie. And I will get up in a minute because Chewie has gone in the kitchen alone and that never leads to anything good.

When we have these weeks it reminds me how much I need the acknowledgement that this is NOT EASY. That this is hard. And important. And valued. And it really sucks not getting it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm aware

that more than a month has passed by since I have last visited this blog.

1. Skywalker just had his tonsils/adenoids out this past Friday. Right now he is outside shoveling snow. I told him the doctor said no strenuous activity, but he did his schoolwork for the day and he's been doing nothing but watching TV, so I relented. He and the Princess are out in the snow and I am hoping the activity will help him poop. He did okay with the surgery, not so great coming out of it, and is doing okay right now. He's actually bouncier and smiling more than he has the past couple of days. But I still anticipate a long week ahead.

2. The Princess is doing wonderful in preschool and everywhere else. She's not so shy anymore and talks to people. We saw our friends last week and she immediately played with her buddy instead of waiting until right before we had to leave. She seems to be sane now which is good timing since...

3. Chewie is incapable of sitting down. She is ALWAYS on the move. Pushing stools and chairs so she can climb on higher tables and reach things she shouldn't. But she's happy *most* of the time.

4. I'm still running. Three times a week. I have some winter gear now so I can run in the cold on Sundays. I want to keep that up as long as I can. I just got a Garmin Forerunner watch for Christmas.

5. I'm blogging a lot over at my book blog. I spend a lot of time reading and blogging. If I could only get paid for it we'd be all set. If you haven't checked it out, you should:

And that is all I can update since I need to find pants for the two little snow shovelers and remind them that nap time for Chewie is a drumming-free time (SkyWalker inherited Pop's unwanted drums this weekend.)

Monday, September 27, 2010


I'm always so good at making plans... and monkey wrenches always get thrown into them and screw it all up.

In July I was running shorter distances but doing them more frequently. It worked out well and I was able to write at least 2 articles each week for the examiner. Then I decided I'd train for a 10K and started running longer distance and then came August and all of a sudden my usual naptime runs were getting interrupted and I was getting frustrated. I switched to running after bedtime because I needed to get those miles in. But by the time bedtime rolls around I am WIPED OUT. I don't want to run. I want to watch TV or read or just do nothing. But I kept going and running in the evening. I made a strength training routine for 2 nights a week to add into the mix. And then September came. First Vader was gone and then he was working A LOT and school interfered and my mileage has gone way down. And I'm just TIRED at night. I had been saying that I was waiting for SkyWalker's tonsil surgery date before I committed to running the 10K but I think I knew the week before that I wasn't going to do it. A friend's husband asked if I was planning on it and then immediately said "No pressure" in response to the look on my face that I didn't even know was there. I pretty much knew right then and there that the idea of the 10K was stressing me out. I had already run it on my own on my road (with a tiny bit of walking in the middle) so I knew I could do it physically but mentally I just wasn't there. I wasn't interested. And then I got the surgery date, which is after the 10K, but I know if I'm not mentally into it now it's going to be worse the closer I get to the surgery. So I decided I'm not running the 10K. And I'm going back to what was working out for me before--shorter runs, faster times, more often. I need to run at naptime (which is easier now that SkyWalker is in school and the Princess is either falling asleep or truly staying quiet) so I can have my evenings to watch TV and read and not do anything.

I've been staying up too late and getting up too late and stuck in this cycle. I hope by going back to what I was doing before I can get to bed earlier and get up earlier.

I wasn't planning on running today because I ran yesterday, but I had the girls in their room early and had the time and managed to run a mile at naptime. The girls weren't actually asleep so I couldn't do the 2 miles I thought I was going to do, but it was okay because I know I'm running tomorrow too. Today was all a mess because both girls didn't get up until after 8:30, something I never let them do, and it's just messed the whole day up.

The other part of my plan is to stop writing twice a week for the examiner. I've been doing this since January and I still haven't had enough page views to get the minimum needed for a check--$25. I've received 3 checks since I started and that all came from the local incentive (they give $1 for each local article) and referring a friend. They're having major site issues right now and keep publishing my articles in Albany GA instead of Albany NY. The site itself seems to be more focused on ads than on articles now. I took the articles that I had been writing to build a resource of information for YA lit and put them on my book blog. I think I'm going to try to really focus on that instead, read a lot more, review a lot more, and blog a lot more. And forget about the examiner for now.

Right now, my immediate plan is to make dinner and get these children to bed early. But Chewie is taking a late nap. See, monkey wrenches?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes, I know

It's been a week and you're all clamoring for reports of how school went.

SkyWalker surprised me with quiet tears on Tuesday morning. He couldn't even look at us when the bus passed by, deciding instead to hide his face in his sweatshirt. By Tuesday afternoon he came off the bus with a smile and he's been fine ever since. It wasn't that he didn't want to go to school, but just that he didn't want to leave us. I guess next summer shouldn't be the Summer of Fun, but instead the Summer of Mostly Fun with Some Boredom and Yelling Thrown in So You Miss School.

The Princess, however, surprised me the most. At the playdate she was wrapped around me and didn't talk to any kids and wanted to go home early and I thought I was going to be in for it when it came time for me to actually leave her at preschool. I anticipated a repeat of what happened with SkyWalker and preschool. But, once again, she proved that she's her own self. She wanted me to help her sit at the playdoh table and then she said "if you need to go to the library, I'll let you." And that was that. No crying, no drama. She's been fine each day, talking to her teachers and to some of the kids. She's not so good with remembering names but she's only 3. When Chewie and I pick her up she's on the playground right there with the kids, not off by herself, not running away. She may not be actively playing with them yet, but she's there with them. Which is more than she would ever do before. So that's been one giant big relief.

Chewie and I went to the library and danced. We went food shopping yesterday (!). We decided we would do the shopping so that Daddy could be home Monday nights and Mommy doesn't have to go crazy. Guess what? Daddy worked until 10:30 Monday and Tuesday nights! And he'll do the same on Thursday (Wednesday is Parent's Night at school) and he's going in to work on Sunday too. I won't be getting my outside run. Again. Guess who's kicking myself in the arse for doing the shopping now?

Tomorrow Chewie and I will get new tires put on the van. Joy. I have hope that we will eventually have fun during our one-on-one time.

I will say this--preschool is much easier this time around. I don't have my head in the toilet all morning before we go. Much easier to get ready on time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

First day of school Eve

Tomorrow is the first day of 1st grade for SkyWalker and preschool for the Princess. When I said I would miss him, SkyWalker said: "I know, but I always come home at 3." Then he said "When the Princess is in preschool, don't cry. Try to just have fun with Chewie."

At bedtime he said he was going to miss me and that he just wishes he could stay home all the time. I said "Nah, we would just fight all day." He said "Did we fight today?" I said, "No, not too bad." He said, "yeah, the other days were badder. I was trying today." I guess trying not to fight. We've actually only had a few really bad days. The vast majority of the summer was really really good. And even with those few bad days, and even though I know we're ready for a break right now, I'm still going to miss him. He's really, just, I don't know, something else.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Last week I was not ready for school to begin. I was not ready for the end of summer, of our summer fun, of the routine we had established. I'm still not ready for the end of summer. I know lots of people are doing cartwheels because today was in the low 70s and a "fall day" but I think I should have taken an extra Vitamin D. I don't embrace the fall like others do. I tolerate it because it's not winter, but summer has always been my favorite. I need to feel the sun, to see it, to soak it in. This is the first summer that I actually have a tan, not because I was laying on the beach and tanning myself, but because we were out and about. Sure, I used sunscreen and I don't want to get skin cancer but I am proud of my tan. It is proof that I was outside more than I was inside. That I did what I set out to do. I am happy that I had a good summer and I'm still not ready for summer to end.

But. I think I am ready for school to begin. Vader left on Friday for a wedding in California. I couldn't believe what rotten timing it was--he's not getting back until wicked late Monday night. School starts wicked early Tuesday morning. But maybe, just maybe, it has worked out the way it needed to be. Because after all of this time without Vader, all of this time with just us, I think I am ready for SkyWalker to go back to school and he may be ready to go back too. We've had lots of fun moments--I took them all to a local county fair yesterday--but there have been a lot of arguments and fighting and raised voices. I think we're ready for a break from each other and we really weren't ready for it last week. It's somewhat hard for me to think let alone say. I was that mom who when sick would keep her son home from daycare, instead of leaving him at daycare so I could rest. I couldn't bear the thought of him being somewhere else if I wasn't at work. It wasn't until I was on work bedrest with the Princess that I ever left him in daycare when I was at home. So it's hard for me to say--even though lots of others have said it--that it's time for him to go. Now, I know I'm only sending him to first grade, not to the Hunger Games, but still.

The Princess has been less of a problem. I think her recent tantrums are actually a product of the stress between SkyWalker and me, and knowing that she's going to be starting preschool on Tuesday. She talks about it and knows that I am dropping her off and leaving and she smiles and proudly says "There's my preschool" when we drive by. But when we went to the playdate there on Wednesday she was quiet and shy and withdrawn. It was frustrating when SkyWalker did it because I hadn't experienced it yet. It's just sad when I see it in the Princess because I know what's she's capable of. I see her play with her brother, I see her lively and vivacious and animated. And when he's not with her she is just not herself. I'm glad that she draws strength from him, but it makes me so sad too that she doesn't get that strength from herself. I know that the first couple of months of preschool will be hard. I know right now that she will cry when I leave and that I will have to just keep leaving. But I hope that since I am starting her at 3, that she will open up quicker than her brother did when I started him at 4. He was fine going to kindergarten and he's a completely different kid now. I know it will all be worth it in the end.

The only one who hasn't been giving me trouble is the one I call trouble maker. Chewie had been cranky and frustrated. She screamed at me whenever she wanted anything. The last time we were at the library I opened up a parenting book on babies and talking and flipped to the 15 month old page. I almost took it home but then decided that I didn't need to read a book telling me that my baby was already failing because she wasn't doing ANYTHING she was supposed to be doing. And then just in the last week--the hardest week with the older 2--she has found her groove. She's walking a lot. She's laughing a lot. She's babbling and making sounds. She's not saying recognizable words or trying to repeat anything, but she's making sounds that sound like words. She said Mama and Dada and Nana a while ago, but she would never repeat anything and she wouldn't really use them appropriately. She seems so much happier this week and is much more talkative and much less screaming. Although she does shriek with glee which is almost as bad. I think she will benefit from having some one on one time with Mama.

I have not run outside since the last race. I've run on the treadmill, but it's just not the same. I should actually be running today, but my ankle is a bit sore and I'm just not in the mood for another treadmill run. I ran 5.5 miles last week and the treadmill told me it was 4 something. I know that the Nike+ is not the most accurate and that it will measure somewhat differently on the treadmill than on the road. But that's a big difference. And I FEEL the difference too. I was running at 5.0 which should have been a 12 minute pace. Slow. And it did not feel slow. I'm going to Fleet Feet on Friday to have my running analyzed so I can get a recommendation for the right sneaker. I'm looking forward to running on the treadmill there and comparing it with my Nike+. I want to see how it feels too, to see if my suspicions are confirmed or not. I am secretly terrified that it will feel exactly the same and that my treadmill is accurate and my Nike+ is not and that I haven't been running as much and I'm just a big fraud. I try to always do my long runs outside where I know that it's accurate, but that requires a present husband. If the treadmill at Fleet Feet feels differently I'm going to have to call the treadmill company and see what's going on. I finally found the manual and the lube, so maybe I just have to do some maintenance on it. Or maybe the craft paint the children spilled on it has screwed it up somehow.

It feels somewhat odd blogging like this here at blogger. I've been with blogger since Jan of 2004, but never personally. I always liked the ease with which I could check out the neighborhood on vox. It's not quite the same when you're reading it through google reader. But, I have to say, I'm liking that the feedjit widget is working. I've always had that on my book blog, but it never worked in vox. Now I can see where all you people are coming from. So who the hell is reading me from Kings Park?? And all of you people keep coming back but I only have one follower??! (Thanks Gina!)

The dogs are doing their nightly "Why isn't Daddy home yet?" barking. 26 more hours.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Vox to Blogger

In case anyone is interested in how I got from Vox to Blogger...

Vow lets you export your blog to Wordpress (after you sign up for a wordpress account). From Wordpress you can export your old Vox blog as an xml file. Theoretically you should be able to import the xml file into Blogger directly but I kept getting a "This didn't work" message. Yeah, that's pretty much all it said. So then I used a Wordpress to Blogger converter. But the file that it saved on my hard drive had an unneccesary .html that screwed things up. So I deleted the .html so that the file now simply said .xml And voila, I was able to import that into blogger. It copied everything, including pictures that were supposed to be private. Oh well. But I didn't lose anything.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Second 5K wrap-up

Today two of my strong running mama friends and I ran a 5K in my neighborhood. It started and finished at SkyWalker's elementary school. I had been hoping to finish in less than 30 minutes, but my primary goals were to run the whole way, not pee my pants, and to do better than I did in my last race. I did not finish in under 30 minutes. But I ran the whole way, I stayed dry, and I did better than my last race. I think the last one was 33:18 and this time I came in at 30:52. There weren't many people running so it was easy to start running right away. Too easy. I started out way too fast and then couldn't keep it up. A few times I wanted to just stop altogether, but I didn't, and I think I'm happier about that than I am about not finishing in under 30. I came close anyway. And I had been under the impression that my Nike+ needed calibrating again since it told me I ran 4.9 miles last Sunday and I was sure I had only done 4.5. But it was exactly what it should have been, which means I ran 4.9 miles on Sunday! That's only a mile and change away from a 10K. 

I'm pleased with the results even though I really wanted to do less than 30 minutes. My friends totally smoked me and finished in 27/28 minutes! 

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So what about...?

The Princess:

When I was 20 weeks pregnant with the Princess I had an ultrasound to see if there was anything wrong with the placenta because of the partial abruption I had with SkyWalker. The placenta was fine, but they saw dilation (backed up fluid) in the right kidney. That was roughly 3 1/2 years ago and we have been dealing with it ever since. She's been on antibiotics every day since the day she was born. She was taken off after her first surgery but developed reflux and got a UTI within just 2-3 months and put back on them. 

Today was her latest ultrasound. There's still some dilation around the ureter they fixed, but it looks exactly the same as it did 6 months ago. Not better, but also not worse. We finally heard the words we've been waiting to hear--she can go off the medication. We'll have to be super vigilant about preventing UTIs from all the other ways little girls get them--holding in pee too long, not wiping correctly, etc. I am sure I will be more paranoid than ever now. I think I'll probably get those at home UTI test kits so I don't have to drag her to the doctor every time I panic. She'll have yearly ultrasounds to make sure that nothing is changing but other than that she should be okay.


We had some bad days and got into some serious altercations, but for the most part it's been great having SkyWalker home. I almost don't want him to go back to school. Our problems always stem from the same thing--he makes some kind of mess or does some crazy thing and then when I tell him it's time to stop he refuses to listen and is disrespectful and rude and doesn't take me seriously. Until I explode and then he's hysterical. How quickly it takes me to explode seems to vary a lot lately. We've been doing pretty well recently. And when I put things in perspective, we only have these blowups at home, never in public. When we are out he is always very well behaved. He's a great big brother. How many almost 6 year olds do you know who willingly take their 3 year old sisters outside and push them on a swing? With a smile? He's always coming and getting Chewie out of the dishwasher and taking her to her toys and distracting her so she'll stop crying. He loves his sisters and I know I can always trust him with them. 

He has huge tonsils and probably huge adenoids and will see an ENT in September who will probably recommend surgery. This will royally suck since as we all know surgery sucks, but more so because he will be a big baby about the recovery. And this is the first time I have a kid having surgery who can actually say the words "I don't want surgery." So that's fun.


She walks. I fought it, but she walks. She doesn't run and she still crawls more than walks, but she is putting one foot in front of the other on a regular basis. She also screams. She makes sounds and can say Mama and Dada and Nana and bababababababa. But for the most part her preferred method of communication is "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH" very loudly. She can hear, she copies her brother's humming and singing, and she sometimes follows directions. She is just LOUD. Perhaps when she has me all to herself she will find her inside voice. It must be inside of her somewhere. 


I had to cut down to 3 times a week, which is the funniest thing I think I've ever written. I have yet to do any yoga and probably won't. I do have a weight lifting routine that I will start after my race this Saturday. I am training for a 10K in October, but since I am pretty sure SkyWalker's surgery will be in October I'm kind of doing it for the training and expecting to not actually do the race. Whatever happens, happens. I ran my longest distance (4.5 miles) last Sunday and thought "I only have to do 1.5 more" not "holy crap how am I going to do 1.5 more?" So that's good. Oh! And my girlie problem turned out to be nothing more than some low-down cramping so I just have to take motrin 800 and I'm all good. It won't interfere with my running at all. 


I've been thinking a lot about when I have to go back to work when my last baby is in school. I have no desire whatsoever to go back to work. But I'm sure Vader will have a heart attack if I say that. If I could find a library job that will let me work 9-1 that would be great. I want to get the kids off the bus and be here when there are here. I don't want nights or weekends. I just don't want that anymore. Ideally, I would like to find a job that will let me work from home. Even though I get paid crapola from the examiner I've been doing lots of articles. I'm trying to build up a resource between that and my book blog and establish my presence online again. If I can do some kind of freelance writing or even librarianing (I know that's not a word but I like it.) through the internets I think we'd be okay. Vader's school loan is paid off. Mine will be paid off by then. We won't be spending money on diapers. The only debt we have is the van and the house. And by the time the last baby is in school SkyWalker might be old enough to start mowing lawns. So, if you haven't been reading my examiner articles or going through my book blog to get to amazon, you're dead to me.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Help a sister out

This is not about running.

FYI, I'm making lots of changes to my book blog. I'm now an amazon associate, which means that I will make a tiny bit of money if you get to amazon through me and then buy something. So if you're addicted to amazon like me, stop at my book blog first. Thanks!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Coming out

I'm coming out.

Of the closet.

The running closet, that is. 

I know. I've been doing this running thing since March, or well, really since September when I started (and failed) the Couch to 5k. And I know I ran my first 5k in June. And here it is, the last week in July, and I am just now coming out. When I first started in September I did it because of my friends was so happy, so in LOVE with running, that I wanted to experience that. But it wasn't the right time for me. Chewie and I were still struggling with our routine (i.e. naps) and school had just started. So I quickly failed. But I kept getting on that treadmill. Then in March when my happy running friend organized a group of moms to train them to run a 5k, I thought it would be good to try again and it would help in my friendship quest. I followed my directions and ran what I was supposed to run (for the most part). I did the race, peed my pants, and decided to keep getting on the treadmill and going outside for my weekly Sunday run and I was proud of that. The last few weeks I've been doing less mileage because I have a MILLION things to do and just not enough time. And I was okay with that. And then. 

And then.

Last Thursday night I went for an evening run with my strong running mama friends. It. Was. Awesome. I ran 3.5 miles (okay, 3.49) and it was great. It was nice to run without the sun shining in my eyes, but it was more than that. It was so nice running with these people. They pushed me to continue when I would have given up on my own. They made it fun. They made it awesome. 

Since then I have registered to run another race (in my hometown! in August), I've upped my miles on the treadmill again, I've researched yoga for runners and am waiting for my Yoga-teacher sister to get me a plan so I can do some cross-training to help me improve, and I've reached out to people to find a running partner closer to home. Through the magic of the internets and social media I have actually found one and will be doing a run with her on Sunday. (My strong running mamas don't live in my town and while I would definitely drive to where they are again, it's nice to have somebody right here so I don't have to add a 25 minute drive to the time I need coverage for the kids.)

And I realized that I am, without a doubt, a Runner now. If I were to get pregnant tomorrow (which I am absolutely not) I would still keep running. That is HUGE for me. I want to have some more time and get some more miles in so that I feel absolutely comfortable running while pregnant, so I won't be running for two anytime soon. That's okay. I'm having fun running for one. For me.

I have a MILLION things to do, who doesn't?, so I need to rearrange my life/schedule a little bit. I go out every Sunday morning for a run on my road. This past Sunday I also wrote my examiner articles for the week so all I had to do was publish them. I'm planning on running Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then doing the yoga and some strength weight training on Tuesday, Thursday. I need to get up earlier in the morning and make better use of my evening time so that I can devote my nap time and not feel overwhelmed because of laundry or dishes or the dogs. I fritter a lot of time away during the day, 5 minutes here and there checking facebook and whatnot because I think it's only 5 minutes. But it adds up. That's 5 minutes I could fold the laundry still sitting in the basket in my bedroom. I think that if I stay on target I can make this work. And if I can't, well, don't look at my toilet when you pee in it because I'll be running and not cleaning it.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One foot in front of the other

I swear this isn't turning into a running blog. Remember when all I blogged about was poop? I could do that again. 

I've been doing pretty well sticking to my running plan of fewer miles but more often. I've been doing decently with my speed, but it's a little easier for me because I'm doing lower mileage. I can't keep it up for very long... but I'm not in training right now and if I'm honest I probably won't run another race until next year's Freihofer's. I'm okay with that. I'm not really that competitive with other people. I do enjoy running with my friends (and am super psyched to be going out for an evening run tomorrow night with them!) but I don't have any racing itches. My biggest obstacle is myself so as long as I keep plugging away I'm happy. 

Which is why I'm super happy today. I ran on Sunday and Monday, and would normally run today (Wednesday) and Friday. We're doing a group run tomorrow night, so I could have not run today. I got my monthly girlie "friend" so I could have not run today. I should clean my house for my mother's visit so I could have not run today. I thought all of this as I laced up my sneakers, grabbed my strong running mama bracelet, reset my iPod, peed for the 10th time, and headed for the treadmill. I took it slow and easy. I ran 1.5 miles in a wee bit over 15 minutes (not much). Slow, but steady. Those 15 minutes were awesome. I had no pain. I just ran. I was going to run for 20, and then when I noticed how late it was I said I'll just do a mile, but when I got to 10 minutes I didn't stop. I just kept going. And when I got to 15 I didn't stop. I did stop at 1.5 miles but if I hadn't had to shower and get ready for children I would have kept going and going. As I stood in the shower feeling like I was having a baby all over again (yes, the pain is that bad, and yes I'm going to the doc next week) I contemplated getting out of the shower and going on the treadmill again. 

I'm looking forward to running tomorrow evening and may even run Friday again. I'm not really pushing myself so I don't think I need that much rest time.

My sister said she doesn't even know me anymore. Which reminded me of two funny running related things I forgot to put here--months ago, before the race, my Happy Runner mentor was telling her husband about my goals and progress and he said something about me being an athlete in high school. That's what he thought! I'm pretty sure I said "somewhere my brother and sister just fell out of their chairs laughing and they don't know why." HAHAHA. And then, just after the race when I took the girls for their birthday checkups one of the nurses randomly looks at me and says "do you run?". I looked behind me and there was no one else so I said "yeah." I was like, holy crap, do I look like a runner now?? And then she said she had seen me running in the city. 

Quiet time is sadly over, as is napping time. Which means my free time is over as well. I am sitting on the couch with an ice pack on my girl parts and for the first time regretting having to walk up stairs to get this baby. 

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Friday, July 16, 2010


I woke up this morning with a slight headache that was made much worse by the Princess screaming and crying because I wasn't holding her hand down the stairs. Of course I was supposed to guess that she wanted me to hold her hand. We had plans to go to an art museum across the river so I really didn't want to start the day on the wrong foot, but alas, she did not cooperate. We managed to leave the house on time, then I drove past the 1 way road I was supposed to take and had to navigate other 1 way roads to get back. So we wound up 10 minutes late. Not that it really mattered since the art museum was kind of a bust. It was nice to see our friends, but the entire time we were there there was a staff member following us so she wouldn't miss an opportunity to say "Don't touch that!". Apparently the signs with the text explaining what the exhibit is was just as valuable as the actual exhibit. Whatevs. We found the playroom and the kids at least got a chance to release some energy there. I was venting about everything I had to get done today, or wanted to get done, because I had "lost" a day yesterday. We had an awesome time at a state park halfway between here and LI and met my family there. But it meant that I didn't get my article written yesterday and I had really wanted to get a 4th run in today. And my house was a mess. I was lamenting that something was going to have to go today. Not really complaining, just lamenting. 

We got home early, made lunch, I did the lunch dishes as the kids were still finishing up, and then got them all upstairs earlier than usual because Chewie was tired. She fell asleep around 1, I read to the other two and almost fell asleep myself. When I got back downstairs I started working on my article. I got it done relatively quickly and heard... silence. Chewie was still asleep. There were no loud dangerous noises from upstairs. It was almost 2:30 and I didn't know how much time I had left. It had been a couple of hours since I had eaten which is not ideal running conditions for me. I think I really do have a fast metabolism. I need to eat constantly. But I needed to try to get a run in... I couldn't let this opportunity pass! I had a spoonful of peanut butter while I restarted my iPod (I have to restart it before each run in order to hear the Nike+ voice feedback) and then a banana while I tried to find something to wear. All of my running clothes were in the washing machine. Well, not all, but I wasn't wearing pants even if I do have air conditioning. The good thing about a treadmill in your house though is that no one sees what you are wearing. I mostly wear just sports bras and I found an old one, and then I grabbed a pair of "shorts" that are really some kind of boxers but did the job. I got my shoes, grabbed my "strong running mama" bracelet that I always run with, and headed downstairs. I had been trying to run 3 miles each time (or run/walk it) but that was eating up so much of my free time... so I decided to cut down on my miles but run more often. Which is why I really wanted to get my 4th run in (the run I did at the park to get clean underwear for the peeing Princess didn't count.). I've been aiming for 2 miles this week, but it was so late when I started out today that I figured I would just do a mile and be happy with it. Since I was just doing a mile I thought I'd try to push it a little and really make it a good one. I got it done in 9:29 which was really good for me. 

I couldn't believe that I got to write an article AND run during the same nap/quiet time! But wait, there's more! 

I showered, including shaving my legs! I got the clothes from the dryer and put more in the wash. My article was the most popular one on the website for a short amount of time. By then it was 3:30 and that's when quiet time is over. Chewie woke up, SkyWalker came downstairs and told me that the Princess had fallen asleep! Great Odin's Beard! The Princess had fallen asleep! Unfortunately Chewie had just woken her up and the Princess was now crying about... something. We had snack, I did some online research into DVD recorders, and then I put them all in the pack n play and trained the dogs. I've been having problems, particularly with Isaac, getting the dogs to listen. It's not enough that I have to constantly tweak my parenting skills with my damn kids, now I have to work on the dogs too. There was a time when I didn't even have to use words. I made hand motions and Isaac just did what he had to do. But that time is long gone. In an effort to reassert my authority, since I'm the one that's home with them most often, I'm going back to the beginning and spending a little time each day "training." By training I mean telling them to sit or lay down or stay and giving them treats. Isaac did really well, better than Haze even, and Haze is usually my good listener. After I did all the treats I did one more command and then I brushed each of them. We don't really do that because they don't have an awful lot of hair, despite how much is all over my house. And then while the kids were still in the pack n play I swept! Without babies crawling in the dirt! It was awesome. 

SkyWalker had made a big mess in his room during his quiet time and I was expecting problems but while I was "making" dinner (Fridays are frozen pizza and salad) he went upstairs and cleaned it up! And the Princess's room! They went a little nuts during dinner, but I can't really blame them. It's hard to tow the line all day long. You've got to let out your inner crazy at some point. 

It was one of those days when everything just clicked into place. I had been anticipating not being able to get anything done and instead I got everything done. (Well, okay, not everything. My bathroom is still disgusting & I have to pay bills, but the important things were done today!)

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Friday, July 9, 2010

In which my nosiness pays off

For the past few weeks we've been getting phone calls for a particular person. At first I thought it was just a wrong number. But when more than one company started calling looking for the same name we got a little concerned. I had told them they had the wrong number but then other companies started calling and I thought maybe someone was trying to pull a fast one on us (although logically I knew that identity theft would not be someone using our phone number with a different name, it still bothered me). The other morning we received yet another call from yet another company. I explained to the woman how we had been getting phone calls and I was concerned and asked her who she was from and was this all related. She HUNG UP ON ME.

Then I got pissed. 

So I called the 800 # that was on my caller ID and was greeted with a message saying "Your phone # is listed with an account ending in 8568, is this correct?" which kind of freaked me out but I was still in pissed mode. I just hit random numbers until I got a human on the phone. I explained the situation and it turned out he was from HSBC. He was much more helpful than the lady who just hung up on me. He said it wouldn't be identity theft and that it was most likely an incorrect phone number that this lady was giving out. I asked him to confirm the name and he did and then he even spelled it for me which was so helpful. The name sounded like, well, it sounded like it could be on a terrorist list. But when he spelled it I realized that it was not. He removed our number and assured me we wouldn't be called again. 

Then I got curious.

So I looked in the phone book. And there was someone with the last name living in my town. I figured, what the hell? I called the number and got an answering machine with a woman's voice (the phone was in a man's name). I left a message saying that I had been receiving calls for a Blank-Blank and I wanted to make sure that she wasn't missing out on these calls. Blah blah blah. I tried to make it sound like I didn't want her financial info to be messed up, but really I was just letting her know that if this was the first step in anything I was on to her. I didn't say my name or leave my phone number. Half an hour later the phone ran. 

It was her.

She must have caller ID too. Long story short (too late) she's out of work and apparently in debt and they're trying to track her down and are calling old numbers. She had our number roughly 10 years ago. She said she's been getting the calls too, so I would bet that she's ignoring them and that's why they're calling us! Hopefully it will stop now, but if it doesn't I have her new number to share. 

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Go ahead and roll your eyes

I know that people probably roll their eyes when they hear me talk about daily schedules and what I do with my kids. I could make things easier. I could have the TV on all day. I could let them do whatever they want. I could send them all away and let someone else take care of them. But that's not how we do things. We like to be together. We like to do things together. There's just a small part of the day when I need a break and they get crazy. It's only been 2 days but this daily schedule is working GREAT. I think SkyWalker really responds to a structured day. He's said many times that he misses school. Yesterday we did our morning fun at a new local indoor play area since the weather was so muggy and there was a threat of thunderstorms. We came home for lunch and then went upstairs and read together and did some gymnastics and then I had all 3 of them napping or having quiet time for 2 hours. No problems. After nap time we did our A is for Apples stuff and SkyWalker showed the Princess how to write a letter A and she did it. Mondays are always so difficult, but yesterday was just great from start to finish. He asked that we add 30 minutes to the schedule--for cuddling and kissing. For serious. Today was less great--they got a little crazy in their rooms while I was making dinner, but nothing horrible. They had their nap/quiet time long enough for me to run and shower. I don't even really care if the Princess sleeps, as long as she doesn't wake up Chewie. The important thing is giving me a break so I can run. 

Speaking of. 

A couple of Sundays ago I went to the local high school track to calibrate my Nike+. I ran my fastest mile (9:18). I ran another mile to make sure it worked and it did. I was curious to see how my treadmill would compare to my calibrated Nike+. I expect them to be a little off because they measure differently, but I was shocked at how off they were. The treadmill said I did 3/4 mile LESS than the Nike+. That is a HUGE difference. Let's say that it's not really that far off... even if it's 1/2 mile that's still a pretty big difference. I've often felt that my treadmill was harder than it should be. I know when I was in college I walked at a much faster speed than I can now, but I figured I was just old now. When I ran on my SIL's treadmill there was a definite difference in speed. I don't know if the kids putting paint on the treadmill can affect it or if it needs a tune up... I don't really care all that much. It works. I just don't pay attention to the distance now. And I don't kill myself trying to run at a higher speed. Since I've discovered this it's given me extra motivation. When I went out this past Sunday I ran the whole way on my road--a first for me--and finished in just less than my race time. When I ran today on the treadmill I ran for 30 minutes straight because I wasn't trying to maintain an inflated higher speed. I had been looking at my running friends and their facebook statuses and wondering why I wasn't able to do as much or keep up... and now I know! When I thought I was running at a 6 speed (10 minutes per mile) it was really much faster. I can't keep that up! Not yet anyway. I'm pretty excited that I've been doing more than I thought I was and I'm eager to keep running. I'm trying to figure out how I can add another day of running to the week and still write my articles and take care of my children. And do laundry. OH and this past week? All the running I did? I had my girlie monthly visitor. And it was bad. The only relief I had was while running. I can't stand at the sink to do dishes without being in pain, but I can run. Funny, no?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer of Fun

Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but then again I'm not quite sure how we got to the first day of school. Whoooosh. I'm both excited and frightened. It will be nice to not have to make lunch the night before or to schedule everything around bus drop off time. But the last 2 days have been half days and they've been... challenging. The Princess has absolutely refused to nap with SkyWalker home. But she's also refused to stay in her room for quiet time. I let them have quiet time together yesterday and that was mistake. But they didn't wake up Chewie and I really needed her to sleep so I could run. Today I insisted they be in their own rooms... and they caused more problems. I shut their gates but they can both climb over them so it really didn't matter. I watched the Princess walk over to Chewie's crib and wake her up. She had a spray bottle from the bathroom in her hand. I don't know if she sprayed her or not. I wound up taking all of them to Wal-Mart and then Home Depot to look for a bird feeder just so we were out of the house and I wasn't tempted to throw them out the window. 

The half days have caused definite problems. We haven't been able to go anywhere in the morning because the bus has come early. I am hoping that after tomorrow, the last half day, that we can get on track. The Princess has been fighting her naps anyway, but with SkyWalker home it's just ridiculous. And if he's not listening, she won't even pretend to listen to me. And the two of them together is just well, maddening. 

I printed up a daily schedule and laminated it and put it on the fridge. I'm putting it here so I can remember it for next year when I freak out about summer again:

8 am: Breakfast
8:30/9: dressed
10-12: active play time--parks, playgrounds, beach, pool, etc
12: lunch
1:30-3:30: nap/quiet time. Mommy runs/showers, writes articles
3:30-5:30: quiet play time--arts & crafts, reading books. Mommy makes dinner
6: dinner
7:30/8: bedtime

I have something planned every single morning of next week. I am hoping to tire them out! Most of the time we will be eating lunch at whatever park or beach we are at and then just going home for naps. I'm planning on doing the preschool lesson plans that I did with the Princess during their quiet play time and also having them practice their writing and reading then too. The after nap time is the hardest time in our house (especially if nap time has been stressful!). They seem to just get crazy. I'd like to harness them a bit and have them slow down and focus on something. Especially since I won't be able to send them outside by themselves once the pool is up. Even though we have a huge front yard and driveway I refuse to let them play out front by themselves. You never know when UPS will come. So I can't throw them out of the house when they get too wild but I still have to make dinner. 

Last summer was pretty tough because Chewie was a newborn and she wasn't exactly happy. I had to feed her a lot and she screamed a lot and the other two took advantage a lot. This summer I am down to 2 feedings a day (that are quickly going away. She squirms out of my arms more often than not. Sigh.), she's happy and can stay awake and doesn't get overtired. She's getting into everything and discovered the dogs' water dish today which is oh so much fun. She's more work in that I can't just put her down and assume she's safe. But she's happier and more independent. She sleeps all night long. When I'm tired it's my own fault, not hers. So I think that I can be strong this summer and demand obedience. 

We started the good behavior jars again (they kind of fell by the wayside during the school year). Hopefully by having a plan from the get-go we can avoid any major yelling and screaming. I probably should not have tried to implement the schedule during the half days without having those running around active play time hours in the morning. I don't think I will tomorrow. Friday starts our Summer of Fun with our first visit to the town park. I will keep control this summer! Even if I have to run them ragged to do it!

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Monday, June 7, 2010

What's next?

I did it.

I'm not quite sure in what stage of running I was in when this picture was taken, but it looks hilarious to me. And thus, I share it with you. 

Before I recap the race... the day before I picked up my "bib"--the number you see attached to me. I had to cross the river and go to the Plaza to pick it up. I could have sent Vader. My running guru offered to pick it up for me. But I decided to put on my big girl pants and take my little girls and just pay for parking and do it myself. I hate driving in the "city", I hate parking there, and I had to be there a little too close to bus drop off time for SkyWalker. But I wanted to meet my friends there and really have the whole experience. And boy did I. Picking it up was wicked easy and quick. I should have left immediately. I put my bib in the bottom of the stroller with my free t-shirt and my free cookies. I didn't put it in my diaper bag because I was afraid of ripping it or bending it. These were special bibs this year with computer chips in them. So I just left it loose in the stroller. I walked around a bit, gabbed a bit, and enjoyed the time with my friends. I left with little time to spare to catch the bus. As I was going to the van I looked down and noticed the bib was NOT in the stroller. Everything else was, the shirt, the cookies, but not the one essential thing I needed! I immediately cried and panicked. I couldn't go back and look because I had to catch the bus. I checked the stroller and the diaper bag in case I had forgotten I put it in there. I drove away--going the wrong way and having to take the long way home, crying the entire time. I got home with 20 minutes to spare. I got the phone number for the race and got a recording. I called Vader sobbing and he said he would go down and look for it. I kept the girls in the car and drove to the mailbox to get SkyWalker off the bus. He asked what was wrong and I just cried to him and told him what happened. And he said "Did you look to see if there was a hole in the stroller?" and other helpful suggestions. 10 minutes later Vader called and he had my bib. It must have flown out of the stroller and someone picked it up and turned it in. I told him it was 1463 (it was not) and even though the bib he had in his hand had my name on it he called to make sure because the number was 1763 (I think?). So much for not stressing myself out before the race.

There were a million women running (around 3500) and we lined up around the 30 minute mark. They have you line up where you think you will finish. The group--minus our fearless leader who was way ahead of us--all lined up together and started out together. That was nice. The clock had already been running for over a minute when we crossed the starting line but because of the chip in the bib it registered when we crossed so our individual clocks started then--isn't technology grand? I started my Nike+ which didn't work. Argh. Once we started really running we were on our own. It was too hard to try to keep up with anybody else. I did manage to run most of the race with one of my friends and that was really REALLY nice. And then she ran on ahead. And then I peed my pants.

Yes, dear reader. You read that right. I PEED MY PANTS. I have 3 children and no bladder control when I sneeze, so why should running be different? I was a little shocked and then I might have had a tiny panic attack because I had a strange pain in my chest that I never had while running. So I walked and then got over it (it wasn't like it was streaming down my legs). I started running again and when I saw the finish line and the clock I RAN. I wanted to get there before 35 minutes and I could see 34. I finished the race running which is what I wanted to do. I didn't care that I had to walk. I ran when it mattered. I had no idea what the clock said when I did finish and my Nike+ didn't register a thing. But I knew I made it before 35 and I was happy with that because all my practice runs had taken me 36-37 minutes. And back when I started this it took me 45 minutes. When the results were finally posted I was pleasantly surprised to see I had done it in 33:18. The clock that I saw was started with the official start of the race before I even started moving. The 33:18 was adjusted to when I crossed the starting line. Had I not peed myself I think I could have done it closer to 30 minutes, but I was pretty happy with 33:18. 

So what's next? For me, I'm going to do Chewie's first year scrapbook that I should have done before her birthday last week. I have pictures to go through, books to read, and life to catch up on. I'm not planning any more races for the summer. I want to run for fun, without the stress of training. I'm planning on running outside on the weekend when Vader is home and then treadmill running during the week when I can fit it in. I'm going to have all 3 home pretty soon so I know some weeks will be harder than others. I'd like to run another race in the fall when it's not so hot. And I'm looking forward to running in next year's Freihofer's. But first I want to just go out and run for the sake of running. (And do my kegels.)

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I was going to write a post about how Saturday is the race and how I've come from running for 5 minutes straight to running for 30 minutes, how I've been taking the time to run outside by myself and enjoy some alone time in addition to training. I was going to write about meeting my new nephew this past weekend and seeing my less-than-new niece. I had so many different things to say. 

Instead I will say: my daughter is driving me insane. Beyond insane. Not the new one, although she is contributing with her new skill of pulling up to standing in the tub and trying to break her head. No, not that one. The other one, the older one, the one who turned 3 on May 15 and is supposed to be normal now. The twos are behind us. She's supposed to be NORMAL NOW. Every night I put her to bed and she says she does not want socks or blankets. Every night. Every night I leave the room and she chases me crying saying she wants socks and blankets. When it first happened I would turn around and go back and she would lay in bed and say No, she didn't want socks and blankets. I finally stopped turning around and would leave her crying at the gate. Then my husband would eventually go up since SkyWalker needs to sleep for school and Chewie needs to sleep and who can sleep with screaming? So he would go up and she would accept the socks and blankets and all would be fine. So now when I say to her "No shananigans, if you want socks and blankets ask now because I'm not coming back up" she says "Daddy will do it." Awesome. Especially when Daddy is not home. I know that's it's not about socks and blankets. She can do these things herself. And it's 80 degrees. It's all about control and she's challenging us (me). But I'm having a devil of a time fixing it. I give her many opportunities throughout the day to have control. She chooses her breakfast and her lunch. She chooses her clothes. She has independence. I don't control every minute of her day, it's not like this is the only outlet that she has to exercise some control over her life. But I also don't give in to her every whim throughout the day either. She doesn't get rewarded for whining or crying. 

I'm sure I had these issues with SkyWalker. He probably just cried at bedtime and didn't tell me why. I know there were plenty of times he didn't want to go to bed and claimed he had to poop. Maybe this is just her wanting to delay bedtime and there's not much more to it than that. In any event, I repeat, my daughter is driving me insane.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

And so on and so forth

I am currently listening to the sounds of my two eldest not napping or having quiet time like they were told to do. (Today was a half day of school.) But I am not hearing the screaming and tantrum crying that I've heard out of the Princess the last few days, so I don't really care. As long as no one wakes up Chewie I'm pretending I don't know what's going on. 

The Princess has been crazy. Beyond crazy. I don't know if she's squeezing the last bit of terrible two syndrome that she can since she turns 3 on Saturday, or if she will just always be crazy and it will never end for me.

The past couple of weeks have been less than stellar. Besides the tantrums all day long over socks and who makes it down the stairs first, I've also been fighting a sinus infection. Last week was rotten. It started as allergies so I took benedryl two nights in a row and it did nothing but knock me out. My running was crap. Whether it was the sinus infection or in my head doesn't really matter... in any event I couldn't run what I was supposed to. Last Friday I was supposed to run 1.5 miles straight (I've been doing a run/walk and lengthening my running sections) and I didn't even get close. The back of my knees/legs hurt, my sinuses were killing me, and I was so light headed and dizzy and I just couldn't even do a whole mile. It sucked. I got some meds on Monday and made sure I ate enough before I ran on Wednesday. I was supposed to do 2 miles. I did 1.5 in 16 minutes of running and I was pretty happy about that! I'm just going to forget that I'm a week behind my friends and just do what I can do right now. I don't know if it was the meds or the fact that I *thought* having them would work or if it was the spaghetti and meatballs I had for lunch, but I'm glad. I'm looking forward to running tomorrow and then on Sunday we have another group run, this time at the actual race course, and I'm curious to see how I do there. 

I'm a little torn right now because we just got the Princess's open house info for preschool. Naturally it's the same day and time as the 5k. In theory Vader could bring the kids to the open house and I could go to the 5k alone. She probably should go to the open house. But this is my first 5k and I would like my husband and children there! And I don't want to drive myself. The LAST thing I need is to worry about parking when I'm already nervous enough. Argh.

And now all 3 of my children are awake.  

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Take 2

I didn't think I was going to be able to do it after yesterday's failure, but I managed to get back on the treadmill tonight after the kids went to bed. I had hoped to use it earlier today but I wound up taking Chewie to the doctor and she spent most of the day complaining to me. She has nothing other than a "virus" which means they don't know what it is. Anyway, I got back on that horse treadmill and I pretended like yesterday never happened. Only it did happen and I was feeling it. I made it through my first run okay, my second run I had to slow down, and my third run I had to cut a minute short. I also had to add an extra minute of walking between the second and third. But considering that A) I have my "little friend" and B) I ran half of it yesterday, I am pretty damn pleased that I survived! I managed to do 3.2 miles* in 40 minutes. Longer than last week, but less than a month ago, so I'll take it. 

* My Nike + that I have calibrated a million times said it was 3.5 miles. I know there will be some discrepancy but either my treadmill is slow or my Nike + is a lying b*tch. Wouldn't it be great if I've been doing more than I thought and the day of the race is a piece of cake because my treadmill has been lying to me this whole time and making me run more but telling me I'm running less? That would be awesome.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do over please?

I don't know if there are any men-folk that read this, well, actually, I don't know who reads this anymore! Vox seems to be dying a slow blogging death... But anyway, menfolk, you might want to skip today.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a visit from a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. Roughly 20 months including the 8-9 months of pregnancy I had... I am not amused. I know I had a nice long run and this is the longest I've gone without it, but the timing just sucks. I am hoping against hope that I don't have it for the 5k. Ever since I had SkyWalker this particularly monthly friend has been excruciating. Only for the first day or two, but trust me that's enough. I went to the doc (my first OB) to see if I have endometriosis. She didn't examine me and told me to come bak the next time I was experiencing it. The very next month I got pregnant with the Princess. After having the Princess I had the same problem. I was the Matron of Honor at my sister's wedding and I could barely stand. It goes way beyond your normal cramps and discomfort. It's truly painful. I called them again and this time they just prescribed pain meds over the phone. Helpful. The pain meds make me dizzy so I have to lay down. I am trying to be positive and think that there is no reason to believe that they will be that painful again. That maybe whatever it was got fixed in me this last time I gave birth... since I didn't tear or need stitches and had such an easy recovery. From what I remember the last time it took a month before it started to get bad. So even though I am trying to think positive, my fear is that I will be in crippling pain for the 5k.

I felt okay this morning so instead of waiting until the end of the day to run, I got on the treadmill. I have to say that I am super proud that I even got on the damn thing and that I didn't let my mind pysch me out. My plan was to walk 5 mins, run 9, walk 1, run 9, walk 1, run 9, walk 1, then finish with a cool down walk of 5 mins. I did the warmup walk, the first 9 mins of running (I had to slow my speed and that was okay), and I was a third of the way through the second 9 mins when I the Princess started asking me to go upstairs with her. Yes, the Princess was with me. I told her I couldn't. Then she took off her pants and I saw crap in her butt. I paused the treadmill, jumped off, checked her out (there was nothing in her underwear so she must have just not wiped very well). By the time I got back to the treadmill I realized my nike + was still running because I had forgotten to pause that too, and I had totally lost my resolve. I stood on the treadmill and as I tried to work myself up the treadmill reset itself erasing everything I had done. I could have just started over with my second run, but I just lost the fight. I gave up. 

I'm trying to be happy that I got on there at all. Because it has been a difficult day. Chewie is getting her first tooth and has been crying ALL DAY. She's had a fever for most of the day and is just miserable. She's also coughing a little bit and while the logical mama in me knows it's teething and she's okay, the paranoid mama is wondering if she's getting croup.  She's just so miserable. I've fed her more often and she seems to be taking more frequent, but less long naps. I was hoping to hop on the treadmill again later but I don't think it's happening. My plan is to try again tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to finish it instead of having to take her to the doctor. 

The Princess has been talking since the minute she got up and most of it is preceded by "Mommy!" so I have to pay attention. She is calling Mommy right now, and Chewie is crying, and I would like to sit on the couch and pretend this day is not happening.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010


As is often the case I have about 7 minutes to type... 

When DGPMs get together one of the things we like to talk about is how demanding our lives are and how very little credit we get for it. When you're working for somebody besides a paycheck you also get performance evaluations, feedback, acknowledgment from your boss. DGPMs work damn hard and in addition to no paycheck we also don't get the feedback and acknowledgment that most people need. Our "bosses" are children. When was the last time your kid said thank you for teaching them to share or for insisting they take a nap?** When do they say "hey, you did a nice job wiping my butt today?" They don't. And our husbands often don't either. They come home and they don't see the whole day--they don't know that you already straightened up the house 3 times when they trip over a toy in the kitchen. They don't know that your toddler has been screaming at you for 2 hours. And often when we try to explain it just never comes out right.

So what do we do? We go online, on facebook, on twitter, and we find other people in the same boat who understand how our days are and how even though the intrinsic rewards and the snuggles and kisses are so worth it, sometimes we need someone else to say "good job!" So all of you DGPMs out there that read this, you know, all 3 of you, I'm saying good job to you! I feel your pain! I share your joy! I hear ya.

**In true make a liar out of me fashion my son just got home from school and he walked in the living room I just straightened up for the 2nd time today. He came back in the kitchen, hugged me, gave me a thumbs up, and said "Did you clean up that mess in there?". I think I just got a raise.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010


The big kids are at swimming and the little one is sleeping. I'm taking this time to chill out after a whirlwind of a couple of weeks. 

Last weekend we surprised my sister with a baby shower. The shower itself was nice and quick. Later that evening we all went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. While there a man in the back started choking.  I heard a woman say "Is there a doctor or a nurse?" and before I could even look towards the end of our table my SIL nurse was up and running. As was my husband. They moved tables out of the way, my SIL did CPR (it had progressed beyond a choking incident). He didn't have a pulse when she got to him, but he did when she left. He might not have much longer (he was pretty old and had parkinsons and other problems), but because of her he didn't die in a Chinese restaurant. And it was really because of HER. No one from the restaurant was over there to help. There was a family doctor there who walked over and then returned to her own table to finish her dinner. My SIL was amazing. But the really impressive part was that once the paramedics came and took over she didn't come back to the table. She stayed with the old man's wife and comforted her and explained what was happening. It would have been easy for her to stay with us, to stay with her baby, to do what the family doctor did and let someone else handle it. But she didn't. She saw what had to be done and she did it. She was truly amazing and I am so SO proud of her. 

We got back from LI on Sunday and back to our routine on Monday. I missed yet another group run since I was in the car on Sunday. We had a busy busy week complete with a trip to the doctor and an x-ray. On Tuesday SkyWalker had an unfortunate incident with a hula hoop and another kid in gym class. The girls and I were at a park and had to rush to get him at school, bring him to the pediatrician, and then bring him to get an x-ray. Nothing is broken, and he's all better now, although he's milking it like crazy. It was a royal pain in the arse taking all 3 kids particularly since the girls and I still needed lunch (luckily I had packed one for the park so we didn't have to get Burger King). And I couldn't bring the girls into the x-ray room so SkyWalker had to go in by himself. I was right out in the hallway but I think a year ago he wouldn't have let me go. The X-ray woman looked at me with Chewie & SkyWalker in the double stroller and the Princess walking and said something like she didn't know how I did it with 3 so young. Is it really that uncommon to have more than 2 kids now? Whenever I have all 3 people look at me like I have a caravan... and then they ask if they're all mine and inevitably say "Wow you have your hands full!" Dear strangers: if you're going to say "you have your hands full" you better follow it up with "and you're doing a wonderful job!". Otherwise I don't need your comments. Anyway, I digress. It was a pain in the neck but we managed and they were all scared enough to behave beautifully. He couldn't go to school on Wednesday which meant he was at gymnastics again. This time he had to stay in the stroller with Chewie (I figured I wouldn't carry her in the sling if he was there with her). It was nerve wracking checking the waiting area all the time and relying on the kindness of strangers (the grandmothers there made sure they didn't get kidnapped), but we did it. He cried and screamed Thursday morning but he went to school. By then I was a big ball of stress. 

My entire routine had been thrown out the window. And I *need* my routine! With Easter, and then traveling, and then the hula hoop incident, I was all out of whack. I haven't written an article in weeks, I don't have my preschool playdate planned, I had bills to pay! We went to the library Thursday morning--I know, why didn't I just stay home and get things done?--and I just let the stress go. The examiner articles are not a *job* with deadlines. They can wait. I have the preschool playdate mostly planned in my head just not on paper. I'll get it done. The thing that was really REALLY stressing me out was the clutter in my house. I don't care about the dust on my banister or that my bathroom is gross. But the kitchen was out of control. I had a huge pile of paperwork on the counter. The homework table was growing papers and playdoh and the kids' toys were just everywhere. So Thursday after lunch I put the computer to sleep and I attacked the kitchen. I did the paperwork and threw out stuff and sorted others and now have a pile down in the office that needs to be filed, but I'm okay with that. And once I got that done it was like a breath of fresh air. I know my house is not *clean*. But I really can't stand clutter. It makes me feel out of control. I would rather have dirty windows than papers piled up on the counter. 

I'm hoping to get back into my regular routine next week. Actually as I type this I realize I probably won't... my routine is usually running MWF and article writing T/TH. But this week I might be running on Tuesday, so I have to run on Sunday just in case. Hmmm. Okay, well, in any event, poor innocent blog reader who has to read my thoughts as they actually happen, I hope to get back to some routine. Crap, yeah, I have an Earth day playdate on Thursday too and have to make magazine holders. Hmmm. 

There's a rumbly in my tumbly and I hear a little girl stirring in her crib, so I will leave you with this: I registered for the 5K. We all know how cheap I am so I pretty much have to do it now right?

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Making it official

The past couple of years I have been reinventing myself or finding myself. Transitioning from being completely focused on work to being a working mom to "just" a mom. I've learned to rely on myself for happiness and to make things the way I want them to be instead of just waiting around for the good things to happen. I've lowered my expectations so that I'm not always needing things to be perfect and all my ducks in a row before I feel happy. But at the same time I've increased my plans for a fulfilling life. I've tried to not automatically say No, even when my gut is telling me I should. Starting the mom's group was HUGE for me. And it's worked out pretty well. I never would have done something like that a few years ago. But I went through with it and I'm glad I did. Sending that first e-mail to one of the moms and asking her to go steady be a friend not an acquaintance was BEYOND HUGE. But it worked out really *really* well. 

When my friends all started running and preparing for a 5k I really wanted to do it but I just couldn't. Except that, well, I could. So for the last couple of weeks I've been running three times a week following the directions of my happy runner friend and I've been doing more running than walking. I've upped my speed and shaved some minutes off my final time. I'll be running the 5k with them. Unless of course I forget to register.

My gut is telling me there is no way I can do this. 
  • I am afraid of being last. (as long as there is at least one person walking the whole way, I won't be last)
  • I am afraid all my friends will be faster and will leave me behind.
  • I am afraid I will get lost (there will be thousands of women, I'm sure I can find my way)
  • I am afraid I will have a panic attack because there will be THOUSANDS of women. 
But I'm doing it. Much like that movie (Yes Man), I need to just say yes instead of always saying no. 

I have yet to run outside with the group because of scheduling conflicts. And I don't really want to run outside by myself because I'm afraid I'll run too fast and burn out or too slow. So I bought the Nike+ for my iPod to encourage me to run outside. I really don't *want* to which is why I really *need* to. 

After I ran today I jumped in the shower. The Princess witnessed it since she refused to take a nap. As I was getting in the shower she said "When I get bigger & bigger I'm going to run and take a shower!". Which is much better than "When I get bigger I'm going to sit on the couch and facebook all day." don't you think?

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Thursday, April 1, 2010


Blah blah blah. Blahbitty blah. 

Okay, then. I was having trouble starting but it's all better now. I remember back when I had command of the English language and could write in complete sentences. I was an English major, you know. Now I don't even finish my sentences... in my head. 

She is beyond amazing and I am so happy I decided to keep her after those first couple of scream-filled months. She is so unbelievably happy and content. She was up for 4 hours yesterday morning and was totally fine at gymnastics. It just boggles my mind. Of course at home today she was asking for a nap after only 3. I'm afraid to mention the t-word, but she was a bit cranky for no obvious reason... and her brother was 11 months old when he got his first tooth. She seems to be his little clone so I wouldn't be surprised if she follows him. She's sitting nicely now and pushes herself up which is very convenient. She's content to just sit and play and let me go to the kitchen. She's not crawling yet although she gets up on all fours and rocks. She made a couple of tentative forward movements but has not repeated them. She's just too content to crawl. She was 16 pounds at her last checkup a couple of weeks ago. Please note that I do not need to hear about your uncle's brother's cousin's kid who has a baby that's 16 pounds and only 1 day old. I don't care. I have small babies. I have size 2 pants. That fit me. Her pediatrician is not concerned at all. And here's why I love my pediatrician--a lot of them would look at the number and tell me to use formula. Not ours. I'm doing something unheard of here and using her real name now--Dr. Melinda Clark @ Albany Med--is the BEST. She looks at the whole picture. She looks at our history and she looks at Chewie and she's not worried. I was starting to worry about solids but Dr. Clark is pro-breastfeeding too. So I'm back to feeding her 4 times a day and I'm not worrying about the solids at all. She's still getting 3 meals but I'm not trying to shove it in her. She's getting distracted while feeding so I thought it was time to cut out one of the nursings and drop down to 3... and then I was up with her at night because she was so constipated. So I'm back to 4 but I'm spacing them out a little more (4 1/2 hours now). I pureed peas and pears together and now she's eating pretty well. She has her brother's poop problems so the more green veggies I can get her to like, the better. Aside from the regular constipation issues, she's doing great.

The Princess:
We're doing really well. We've cut down on the tantrums a lot. She's able to stop crying and whining and repeat herself in her big girl voice when she wants something. And she is such a big girl! On Monday we went to the library and she actually participated and danced and did what the other kids were doing. She did great at gymnastics yesterday and I am so glad I signed her up for the next session. I had been wondering if I had made a mistake because the weather is getting better but she did SO well yesterday. I think she really needs the consistency to feel comfortable. It didn't hurt having big brother there a couple of weeks ago. There was no school so he came along and she was a different kid. One of the grandmas there said something about her being so animated and into it. Even though they have normal sibling problems for the most part I can honestly say that he brings out the best in her. She feels comfortable and safe with him and lets herself have fun and enjoy things. It's amazing and beautiful to see. She's a little chatterbox and talks ALL THE TIME. Except to strangers. She was convinced there was a crocodile under her bed the other night and woke up crying. The next day she told me that it had opened up the kitchen window with its mouth and walked up the stairs to her room. And then it left when I got up there. And that it was "so funny". Didn't seem funny when she was sitting on my glider chair crying for Mommy. It took me all day yesterday to get her to admit it was a pretend crocodile and not real. 

He still has random crazy outbursts but it's been easier to bring him out of them. Yesterday they were fighting and whining and I managed to end it with a game of Simon Says. His moods are still very much tied to his bowel movements. And he stills likes to eat nothing so it's a tough battle. I try to make at least one thing at each meal that he does like so that he will eat something, but sometimes it's not possible. Or he will just decide that he doesn't want it no matter what. He's gone to bed without eating anything plenty of times. It gets frustrating because I'm not making exotic dishes! I'm picky too and if I can eat it, he should be able to! But he's not crying about it. He just doesn't eat and sits there. Other than that, he's doing great. He did so well at gymnastics with the Princess. It was so much better than his first attempt when he was 3. He has completely embraced the big brother role and looks out for his little sisters. He takes the Princess outside to play. They stay in the fenced yard and he pushes her on the swing or they run around and climb on the bilco doors. I wish I could keep the dogs out at the same time and truly have some peace but Isaac is too much of a pain in the butt. 

Most days are filled with happiness and laughter. Every once in a while I have to stop and think and realize what a gift I have been given. Working was just not for me... I was miserable after SkyWalker was born and I had to work full time. It was better when I was part time, but... it is so nice to just not have to worry about going to work. To not have to interrupt our daily flow. I am incredibly lucky that I can do this. I honestly never thought I would be able to. It was always a dream--one that I wished for every day but never let myself truly believe I could have it. These are pretty good days and I'm not missing them.

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Damn it, I had something to say

I have 4 or 5 blog posts running around in my head and they're all really good. This isn't one of them.

I'm working on borrowed time--as usual--Chewie is set to wake up any minute. The older 2 are watching Curious George. They just came in from playing outside, by themselves, so I think it's okay. And apparently SkyWalker knows how to use the new TWC navigator now since he just turned it on himself. The dogs are not barking. I figure I have a  good 10 minutes to myself and I've already peed. 

Crap, apparently I had 10 seconds. Ha!

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Monday, March 15, 2010


A friend recently asked what was so hard about having a newborn. She wanted a detailed specific answer. Unfortunately twitter only lets you use 140 characters. I've been thinking about it ever since. 

The quickest obvious answer is the sleep deprivation. 

But that's not it.

There's crying. Explosive poop. Constant feeding. 

But that's not it.

I kept thinking of my own recent experience and what was hard was trying to meet her demands while also taking care  of two other children. I had to think way back, 5 1/2 years back, to when SkyWalker was a newborn to realize what was really so hard about newborns. 

All the self-doubt. The second-guessing. The not knowing if I was making the right decisions or not. The floundering without a plan. Am I feeding enough or too much? Should I wake him or let him sleep? Is this poop normal? 

I think that's why I was so attracted to The Baby Whisperer. It gave me the plan. The framework I could use to better understand him and know what he wanted. And when things started to fall into place it gave me the confidence to continue. When the Princess was a newborn it was hard juggling two kids and we didn't really do all that much. I was a new SAHM (and I stayed at home), so I was adjusting to being home with my son, having a new baby, and my best friend moving a million miles away. But I was somewhat confident in myself by then (with her, not so much with SkyWalker). With Chewie I knew what I had to do I just couldn't necessarily do it because I had two older children who needed to leave the house and be entertained. Or needed to be taken care of. It was frustrating. Annoying. And yes, it was hard. But not in the same way. If I had other people to entertain my kids (which I sometimes did) the newborn was "easy." 

I'm not saying that your 3rd or 4th newborn experience is a piece of cake, but I knew she would sleep, I knew I could breastfeed, I knew poop came in all different shapes, sizes & colors. I had faith in my skills. And that makes a world of difference. Even when Chewie was napping for only 45 minutes I knew the likely reasons (overtired, undertired, or hungry) and just had to tweak things to fix it. Sometimes tweaking wasn't always possible because of the other two, so we just dealt with it the best we could.

Once you have faith and confidence in yourself, all of the newborn stress and problems are just inconveniences. I'll take newborns over big kids and their crazy half-logical thinking anyday!

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