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Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Unplanned Run

This morning, I arrived on campus about 15 minutes later than I would've liked.  When I got to the gym, I found that a wellness class was in full session and every single treadmill was occupied.  Nerds!

I could've hopped on an elliptical for a few minutes and waited out a treadmill since students tend to have short attention spans on there, but I don't really like the elliptical, so instead, I turned on my heal, went out the door and started running.

Just about every aspect of this was undesirable: It was mid-morning so hot as hell, I didn't have my running sunglasses or visor (just regular sunglasses, which sufficed), and I didn't have my Garmin.  Thankfully, I've run near campus enough that I have a few routes that I know well, so I knew a 3 mile loop that would work for the morning's run.

Man alive, it was hot, though.  It was 9:15 when I headed out and the temp hovered just shy of 90 degrees, with humidity in the bazillions.  Un. com. fort. able.  Combine that with this lingering cold, and I felt like I was slogging along.

At the very end of the run, I was actually felt like I was warming in to it, but by then I was done.  I suppose I could've stopped back inside the gym to see if a treadmill had opened up and tried to get a mile or two more in, but I decided to just call it good for the morning.  I think I'll aim to get another few miles in this evening at home, though.

So, it wasn't really the run I'd planned on, but it was the run I got.  I feel like August has thrown me a lot of small running hurdles like this all month; thankfully, I haven't let any of them deter the running streak, but still.  I'm looking forward to a clean slate in September.

On the bright side, I remembered a towel today!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The New Routine Running

Yesterday was the start of what I'm hoping will become part of my weekday routine running: treadmill miles at the campus gym.

My schedule allows me about an hour and a half when I first get to campus to workout and shower before I've scheduled office hours, so yesterday was my first go at this routine.  I've never used the faculty locker room before, but I got the code, and I packed all my shower stuff.

It went well yesterday, but I have come down with a case of the sniffles -- just a minor head cold that is more annoying than anything -- and combine that with the fact that I was running a wee bit later than I'd have liked and I only got 4 miles done.  Which was fine.  I showered, got ready, and had plenty of time to arrive at my office.  The one downside?

There seems to be no hot water in the faculty locker room.  It was a bit like showering in a Russian prison.

Today, then, I arrived at my "goal" time, plus I am feeling a bit better today, so I managed to do a full 6 miles on the treadmill (in 58:50, I might add, which for me, is SUPA fast), then I headed over to the showers, and again, brrrr!

My one error today?  I forgot to pack a towel!  DOH!

I had an extra gym towel, but that's only about the size of a hand towel, and drying myself with that was a bit comical.  It reminded me of the scene in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" when Steve Martin's character has to dry himself with a wash cloth after the John Candy character has used up every other available towel:



So, these are the lessons learned so far: Arrive on time, be prepared to take an icy shower, and, this important Jess, remember an effing towel!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac = Rainy Running

Tropical Storm Isaac first started stirring up storm-hype around here early last week, but it wasn't until Saturday that we actually started to see the beginnings of the actual storm.
 
Saturday morning, I got out for a morning 3 miler and was lucky to time the run before too much rain began.  I barely even got drizzled on, and it was good I got it done in the morning, since I spent Saturday night smashing down my own bedroom door (see below).
 
Sunday, however, the storm was nearing.  For serious.  For those unfamiliar with tropical storms, the rain comes in bands, especially as a storm moves in (and, later, moves out), so there are breaks in the rain -- sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes an hour -- then the downpour resumes. 
 
So, Sunday morning, Norah and Jerry went to run some storm-prep errands (grocery store, Home Depot to get a new bedroom door knob -- again, see below), and I decided to load Caleb up in the BOB and take our chances in what I hoped would be a long-lasting lull.  We made it about 1.2 miles before the deluge began.  Caleb was sleeping by then, and I had the weather shield on hand, so I covered he and the stroller up, and he stayed dry and cozy.
 
I, on the other hand, got drenched.
 
Today, then, was the storm's actual "landfall" (for clarification, Isaac didn't pass directly through here, nor was it the intensity that had originally been predicted), and both the kids and I were home for the day since school for all of us had been cancelled.  Jerry went to work, though.
 
Normally, I wouldn't say that a day stuck inside with two kids could be called a day "off," but we had a good day, and the kids were really good and mainly entertained themselves and each other.  Besides, I have this handy-dandy baby-cage for this dude:
 

And this girl spent a large part of her day working on her art:


See?  Masterpiece:

In the late morning, I did gather the troops for an outing: We had library books to return and Red Box movies to return, so I figured we'd get out and get a few things done.  It was a bit of a hassle getting in and out of the car between sideways sheets of rain, but it was good for us to get out and about some.

This afternoon, the rain cleared up, and even though it remained overcast, the storm had basically passed, so we were all happy to get outside for a bit and survey the landscape.


The water in the canal behind our place was about 3 feet higher than normal, and the sand traps on the golf course were basically beaches:


For some perspective, this is what those sand traps normally look like, and the water line in the above picture is about where Norah is standing below:

And, yeah, Norah does run around outside in princess dresses.  Wouldn't you if you had a kick-ass Rapunzel dress?

So, after dinner, I got in my running clothes and headed outside for a run.  I didn't get rained on, but my 3 miles were more like an obstacle course than anything else: Skirting around and jumping over puddles that were the width and depth of small lakes, and hurdling over fallen branches and other debris.  On the whole, I feel pretty lucky for how I was able to navigate my running through this storm for the past few days.

By tomorrow, we should have clear weather and we all resume our normal routine.  For me, hopefully that also means resuming some higher mileage.  The past week or so has been a bit of a slump in mileage, but I think I've gotten the rest I needed and I'm ready to start re-pursuing those higher digits.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Break and Enter

If you find yourself on a rainy afternoon thinking, "Hmm, I'm kinda bored.  It would be fun to go to Jess' house, have a beer, chat, let the kids play, and order a pizza for dinner," you may want to call my friend Erin, and ask her about our evening tonight, and then you may think again.
 
She came over this evening with her two boys, so our rugrats could run around together and so we could have a drink and catch up.  The evening was the normal amount of madness, until shortly before they were getting ready to leave, and she asked: "Where's Mason?" (Her 1 year old, who had, literally, been RIGHT THERE, 2 seconds before she asked that question.)
 
Turns out, he was in Jerry and I's bedroom, and like a small, blond Houdini, he'd managed to lock himself in there.
 
No one panicked.  I figured I could unscrew the doorknob, it would fall apart, and...viola!  1 year old is free!  Turns out, it was not so easy.
 
Poor Mason was calm at first, but after a few minutes of us NOT opening the door for him, he started to cry, and that triggered the "Mama Bear" in both Erin and I, and we were taking. down. that. door.  Let's just say that I pictured myself with the ninja-like abilities of a youthful, Action-Jeans-selling-Norris:
 

The reality was, of course, way cooler. 

I used a hammer to first force the other side of the doorknob through the hole (and probably bonked Mason on his little noggin) and then used the hammer to literally break the inner-workings of the door lock in half.  And then Erin had to carefully wiggle the remaining lock-bits out of the wall frame, and then...viola!  1 year was old free!

It was very dramatic.  Mason was crying (he had a crappy diaper, so he was mainly pissed that he was sitting in shit on his side of the door), Erin was crying, and I was laughing with relief and residual endorphins.

After they left, I called Jerry (he and Erin's husband, Ryan, were at their fantasy football draft) to tell him (triumphantly!) that we had broken the door knob off the bedroom door in order to rescue a stranded Mason.  His reply: "You know there's a skeleton key for all the doors on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet in my bathroom, don't you?"

No, no I did NOT know that.

But, for next time...

To top off my evening, as I was cleaning up the kid detritus after our friends had left and after the kids had gone to bed, I found that Scooter had pulled off the night's coup d'etat: He'd peed all over Jerry and I's bed.

So, no more Mr. Nice Guy Norris, I think I'm gonna go all Cruella DeVil on his ass.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A No-Go on the Mojo

This entire week, the running has felt forced.  Still, Mon-Wed, I managed to run 5 milers each day, but today?  Today, I just am NOT feelin' it...AT ALL.

Still, I got on my running stuff, got all ready, and got out there, figuring that I'd warm in to it, but 1 mile in, and I was ready to pack it in.  So, I turned and headed home for a grand total of 2.06 miles.

I'm declaring it a "rest" day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Morning Hijinks

Often, it seems that I'm only ever telling stories about Norah's rascality, but as Caleb's personality starts to evolve from sweet, innocent baby into trouble-making toddler, he's been adding some of his own devilry to the household.

Case in point: This morning.
Right now, dressing Caleb is like dressing a wet octopus, so I usually get him changed on the living room floor, that way if he manages to wriggle away from me, he’s not plunging off the top of the changing table.  Often I only manage to get him half-dressed before he maneuvers out of my grasp and runs away from me.  Yes, a month ago, he was just weeble-walking around here, and now he is a person who can ESCAPE and run away from me.
Well, “run” is an overstatement.  Still, it’s surprising how quick he can be if he wants to.
So, this morning, I’m getting him dressed for school and he wriggles away – naked – and gets over to the entryway.

Where he stands and pees on the floor.
It reminded me of one of those naked cherubs* who sometimes appear in water fountains.

*Which, sidenote, those are kinda weird, aren't they?  Does anyone think that's cute?  End sidenote.*

I had to tell him: "Kid, you're no angel and my tile is no water fountain.  Let's holster that little gun of yours."

He resigned to getting dressed, but I saw the glint in his eye: This is just the beginning, isn't it?

Monday, August 20, 2012

1st Day and Lunch Lunacy

The kids' and I's first day back to school went well today.  Norah was completely cool with the change in school and seemed to easily settle in with her new teacher and new friends.  Caleb cried at drop off, but that was expected.  We could hear that he'd stopped crying right after we left his room, and at the end of the day, his teacher said he did well.

I did a little car-crying.  Also expected.  But, it was brief, and soon, I was fine as I sucked down my coffee and listened to NPR in blissful silence.

I also learned a little bit of the successes/weaknesses of what/how we packed the kids' lunches.  I don't know why this is something that confounds me.  Maybe because I grew up eating the crappiest packed lunches in the history of humankind that I want their lunches to be totally rad, but still healthy.

Seriously, when I was a kid, my packed lunches were the WORST.  Reasons for this were aplenty:

1.  My mom hates waste, so I think she thought of our lunches as an opportunity to use up food.  I opened that bag with trepidation: It was like a game of roulette.  I never knew what I'd find in there.  My brother often referred to the sandwiches she concocted as "dinner between bread."  I'm sure she often thought she was being inventive and creative whilst using up what was leftover, but by god, I can't describe how many times those science experiments went right in the trash.  Wasteful.  Sorry, Mom.

2.  My mom is a thrifty person, who thinks packaged, prepared foods are over-priced, but she was also health-conscious before it was cool.  So...you got Lucky Charms when you were growing up?  Awesome.  I didn't.  We didn't get sugary cereals.  They were gonna "rot [our] teeth."  I also didn't get a single Hostess product in my lunch when I was growing up, and I can tell you this: It's a hard sell to try and trade your goddamn apple for Twinkies.

3.  Lastly, our packed lunches were train wrecks because my mom had some kind of grudge against actual sandwich baggies.  Don't ask me why.  Baggies were probably socialist or something, I don't know.  What I do know, is that she used Saran Wrap for virtually any kind of preservation.  Guess what?  Saran Wrap doesn't work for shit to keep loose chips grouped together or to keep unruly grapes from breaking free and disseminating all over your brown bag and ultimately getting squished and oozing their squishedness onto other disorderly, free-rolling lunch companions. 

So, most days, I loathed the lunch my mom packed me, and I loved the days I got hot lunch, or later in high school, when she just handed me some money to get lunch as I pleased.

Thus, my feelings now.  I want my kids' lunches to be healthy (no Twinkies for them either) but I also want them to like what they're eating, or if nothing else, not dread it.

Any hints or advice?  Little helpful tidbits for packing the right balance of healthy food they'll actually consume that won't take me half the night before to prepare and package?  (Unlike my mother, I appreciate companies that do some of the legwork for me and I'm totally willing to overpay for convenience.)

What did you get in your lunches as a kid?  Was yours awesome?  Or, did it suck like mine?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School

Tomorrow is the start of the school year here.  Back to work for me and the kids will be not only changing their school schedule, but they'll also be changing schools.

The daycare/preschool we've attended since Norah was 10 weeks old is closing.  We got notification of its closure last spring, and it was emotional news for us, and it wasn't easy scouting out new places and finding a center that best suited all of our expected needs.  In the end, we found one that we feel is the best fit for our family, but really, it's hard to entirely know until we get into the groove of having the kids attend.

For those who know us, or who have been reading for awhile, you know that even though I'm a full time professor, I've managed for the past 3 years to work out a teaching schedule that has allowed me to stay at home every day for half the day during the academic year.  I've appreciated this schedule in many ways, but it hasn't been without its difficulties too: In order to be home half the day, I've had to to teach 2 night classes each term (I actually enjoy night class students -- they tend to be a more mature group -- but those teaching days tend to be exhausting); plus, there have been other small hurdles.  For example, when I've been sick or when I've had meetings, we have either had to pay the drop in rate at school ($20 an hour for the 2 kids) or Jerry has had to take time off to be at home when I can't be.

So, for several reasons -- the new school's available scheduling, a need for me to keep a more "regular" work schedule, and the idea that both kids may benefit from a fuller day at school (Norah, especially, is at an age where she can get more out of the curriculum if she's there all day) -- the kids will be attending school full time and I'll be working more normal Mon-Fri hours.  Although, that being said, because I have the sweetest gig out there, my full-time-normal-hours are still just 6 hours a day, so I'll be dropping the kids off between 8:30-9 and picking them up around 3:30. 

By many working moms' standards, that's hardly a "full" day's schedule, so I know I am still extremely fortunate to have the kind of full-time career that I do that also allows me so much time at home.

Anyhoo, what I'm circling around to, is that tomorrow is a new start for me and for the kids.  New school for them, new schedule for all of us.  And even though I think it will be best for all of us, I am feeling the typical mom-separation-anxiety-emotions about this new start.

I imagine the first week or two will be a bit of an adjustment -- on the practical end and on the emotional end.  Practically, I am gonna have to get us all out the door around 8:15-8:30, which is a change for us who've been used to lolly-gagging all morning long.  Plus, the new school doesn't provide lunch, so I'll be making lunches each day too.  Blergh.  Emotionally, Caleb will cry each day, for sure; Norah will likely be cool with everything for a week or so and then have a complete meltdown once she realizes this new school is for good; and I will most likely cry in my car after dropping them off for the first week or so -- but then we'll all get settled and I think the year will go smoothly.

So that's what's on my mind today.

One bright, shiny thing to look forward to, however, is that with my new schedule and more time each day on campus, I have more time to run.  Granted, that'll mostly be treadmill running, but hey, running is running!  And, I need the running.  This week, I'm gonna top out at less than 30 miles for the week, and I can tell that my brain has gone soft on me: I've been making all kinds of emotionally charged decisions the past few days that have been questionable.  If I were running more this week, I might've just run past those thoughts; instead, I went ahead and expressed them.

Definitely need more running.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Keepin' the Streak Alive

Tuesday night, I went to bed feeling fine, but around 4 am Wednesday morning, I woke feeling nauseous.  I spent the next few hours in the bathroom -- it was both pukey and poopy.  Thankfully, Jerry was able to take the morning off work to be with the kids while I loaded up on Immodium and Advil and got some extra sleep.

Around 10 am, I declared that I felt "good enough" and he could go to work.  He promised to be home early, and what followed were, quite possibly, the longest 6 hours of my life.

I tried my best to muster what little energy I had for the kids, but mostly I just laid around and let them bounce on my head.  Nap time helped, but it was still a challenging day.

But, all day long the one question that kept circling through my brain was: To run or not to run?

At times, I felt okay and I figured I could do it.  1 mile, that's all I had to do to keep the streak, and as I said, at times, I felt like I would be able to do that.  Other times, when I lay splayed out on the floor while the kids ran around me like wild banshees, I thought: No way, it's not gonna happen; I'll barf my guts out and die.

Eventually, I ate a little something for dinner and that helped.  Then, Caleb went to bed and I had my decision to make -- run or not.

I ran.

I eeked out just a wee bit more than the bare minimum: 1.15 miles and it took me 12:24 to do so.  But I did it, and I didn't barf and I didn't die.

Streak: Still on!

Afterwards, I showered and then promptly went to bed.  It was 7 pm.

This morning, after nearly 12 solid hours of sleep, I feel fine.  Whatever I had seems to have run its course, and today is my last day "off."  So, first thing, I got out for my run.  I was tempted to try and go long to make up for some of yesterday's "lost" miles, but in the end, I decided it was probably wise to just keep it short.  I barely ate anything yesterday, and the after-effects of being sick always leaves me somewhat fatigued; probably best not to push myself too much.

So I did a 3 miler -- slow and easy -- and I have simply resigned myself to the fact that this week's mileage is not going to be what I had hoped it would: Even after Tuesday's epic mileage.

That's okay.  Sick happens, and for me, it seems to happen all too often -- I seem to pick up stomach bugs every few months.  I guess my immune system is less like Chuck Norris and more like Urkel. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Triple Tuesday

I've never pulled off 3 runs in one day before, but today, I did.  Here's the RUN down:

Run #1: 5 miles
Today was another of my blessed days off -- no work, no kids -- so after bidding "adieux" to the kidlets, I dillied and dallied some and then finally got out the door for my run.  It was 8 am, and steamy as all hell.

Unfortunately, my 5 mile route has very little shade this time of day, and I was a hot mess when I got done.  I swear, every drop of sweat I had in body was sweated out on this one!

Run #2: 4.4 miles
After I had gotten my day's tasks done (house cleaning and errands, which sounds sucky for a day off, but actually, without the kiddos around, it's something I look forward to), it was 2 pm, and I figured, hey, why not run?

I felt great, but at mile 3, the weather had another plan for me.  At first, it just started to sprinkle, but then it started to drizzle -- which, in case you're wondering, the technical difference between a sprinkle and a drizzle is the volume of rain: a sprinkle is a drop here and there, a drizzle is a steady, light rain, you're welcome: continue on -- I figured, "Eh, what's a little rain?  I'm already sweaty."

But, then I saw a flash of lightning and heard a crack of nearby thunder that made my heart leap into the back of my throat and hug my tongue for comfort. 

I ran as fast as my little legs could go for that last mile, but I was already sloshing through ankle deep puddles (that's how tropical rain works: one minute it's a drizzle, the next it's a downpour) so the going was slower than I would've liked considering the lightning.

I don't mess around with lightning.

Run #3: 3.7 miles
I was a little disappointed that my afternoon run had been cut short by rain, so after dinner and after Caleb was in bed, I went back out for one, last round.  I figured I'd round off the day by running 3.6, but a slight route miscalculation had me run 3.7, which is actually perfect, because you know what that brought the day's total mileage to?

13.1!

That's right.  A half marathon on a Tuesday.  Not too shabby.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Norah's Birthday Party

Today was THE hotly anticipated day of the summer -- for Norah, that is -- her birthday party!

We had it at a local pool, which has a splash area with slides and sprays, so in short: Loads of sun and water fun.

Here's Norah and Caleb:


Norah was joined by lots of her friends (for a "Princess Pool Party," she had a lot of boys in attendance: 8 boys to the 3 girls), and she had an absolute blast swimming, running, sliding, and splashing with all of her friends.

Her favorite moment, though, was the cake and everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to her.  Here's her cake:


And blowing out the candle, with Miller in the background, clearly impressed by her candle-blowing-skillz:


She enjoyed her cake, and like always, mainly just ate frosting:


It was a great time, and Norah is a lucky girl to have such wonderful, generous friends: Thanks everybody!

When we got home, it was nap time, and everyone in this house crashed -- and the weather timed itself nicely since we had some serious thunderstorms during the afternoon: Excellent napping weather!  After nap, we played with all of her gifts, which was a little overwhelming, had dinner, and then the day was pretty much done.

It wore us all out. 

Here's Caleb in bed:


It's not a great pic (his line up of nooks look nice, don't they?), but to do any better, I might've woken him, and lord knows that's the cardinal sin of parenting, but with his legs hanging out the slats of his crib, arms flapped open to the side -- it gives an image to the exhaustion I think we all feel after such a busy, fun-filled day.

And, even though I'm not yet passed out spread-eagle-style ala Caleb, I definitely feel as though I should be: Thus, I chose to cut my run short this evening.  3 miles instead of 6.  So, I only totaled 42 miles for my week instead of 45.  I'm not too upset about it.  Hosting a 3 year old's birthday party felt like I ran a marathon, so the fact that I did 3 miles is SOMEthing!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Norah's 3rd Birthday

Today, we started Norah's birthday off with a visit to the doctor for her 3 year old check up.  She impressed us all by being really good: No crying, no fussing, no squirming, no whining, nuthin but goodness.  It was a moment to make a parent proud.  If only all our parenting moments could be like that!

After the dr. appointment, we went to the park for some water and playground fun.  Norah ran around like a crazy person:


And, she was super happy to have her dad take the day off so he could assist on all the play equipment mom is too short for.  But, seriously, that is for kids like twice (or 3X) her age.  This girl know NO fear.


After the park, we had lunch and then we all took a nice long nap -- birthday gift for Mom and Dad! -- and after nap, it was present time!  She got some good loot!


We played with her birthday gifts for the rest fo the afternoon/early evening and then it was dinner time.  Her request: What else?  Mussels!


Caleb gave 'em a go too and they were Caleb-approved: He loved them!  We have the weirdest kids.


After dinner, we had the birthday cupcakes, and the moment Norah had truly been waiting for: The singing of "Happy Birthday" and her chance to blow out a candle.


Caleb loved those too (and, goodness, I hate how the flash makes that ball of light off the wall!  maybe if I knew more about how my camera works, I could fix that...hmmmm...that would take time, wouldn't it?) as is demonstrated by his frosting goatee:


And, here's the birthday girl enjoy hers:  Frosting only, please!


It was a fun family birthday, but what Norah is REALLY excited for is her birthday party on Sunday (it's a bit confusing for kids her age to have her b-day one day and the party another).  She's having a pool party with all of her friends, and it's shaping up to be EPIC! 

For now, she crashed out in true birthday style: She told us in her best whiny 3 year old voice that she was NOT tired!  Then, she was asleep about 5 minutes later.

As for me, I ran 6 miles tonight fully fueld by the frosting on those cupcakes...wowza...that's a lot of sugar to process!  I'm pretty sure that by eating just one, I narrowly avoided diabetes.

Happy Birthday Norah!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Norah!  My wish for you is that you always have the same charm, energy, self-confidence, curiosity, intelligence, bravery, sweetness, generosity, and beauty of your 3 year old self!


Love,
Mom, Dad, Caleb, and Scooter

Thursday, August 09, 2012

7 Miler, aka "Sweatfest 2012"

Today, I am enjoying a rare opportunity: The kids are at school and I am not!  Glorious.  Simply glorious.

So, I wanted to get the day started on the right foot -- pun, totally intended -- by getting my day's run done.  Going in to it, I wasn't feeling it.  I don't know if it's the season (so dang hot out!), the streak (day #40 today), my current efforts with building mileage, or hormones, or a combo thereof, but I just felt like I was dragging myself out there.

I bargained with myself that instead of doing the 7 I'd planned, I could just do 3-4 and make today a "rest" day, but I had to get out and do something.  Thankfully, as is almost always the case, even when I'm tired, a mile or 2 into the run, I felt good and I knew I could go forth and do the full 7 I had planned.

But, lordy, it wasn't without effort.  It was so frickin' hot out there and SO effing humid that I just slogged through the run.  Or, swam.  Whatev.  There was no breeze and the air was THICK. 

I took it uber-slow and just ran through that sauna for 7 miles.

When I got home, I was absolutely soaked in sweat.  SOAKED.  Sports bra?  Soaked.  Shorts?  Dripping.  Socks and shoes?  Squishing.

Shark farts!  It. was. gross.

However, the great part of this story returns to what I started with: No kids at home!  So after a cool shower, I turned on the fan in the bedroom and laid down for 30 minutes -- relishing the cool and the quiet of being able to relax and recover from a run in this way.

Now, I'm off for the day's true reward: A day-date with Jerry!  We have some errands to run, and then we're going out to lunch and then we're going to see "Batman"! 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Kidisms

These rascals are always up to something.  Here's a random recap of recent kid-happenings:

Norah has been loving the crafting lately.  Principally, she is infatuated with gluing stuff and cutting stuff:


So, it was only a matter of time before she took her safety scissors and gave Caleb a little haircut.

Thankfully, his hair is so fine, it's unnoticeable.   Next up, I'm sure he'll get glued to the floor.

Speaking of Caleb, he's at THAT age wherein everything that's not a toy is a toy:


He's opening everything he can, dumping out anything he can, throwing things that are NOT trash into the trash, and taking what IS trash out of the trash.  Plus, he's climbing.  It's a joy.

Back to his sister: Norah's birthday is on Friday, and it's something she's been talking about for...oh...about 6 months now.  The other day in the car, Jerry asked her: "How old are you gonna be on your birthday?" 

She replied, correctly, with: "3!" 

And he followed up with, "3 and sassy, right?" 

Her: "NO!  I am NOT sassy!" 

No, no, of course not.

This morning, Caleb was biting the chair in the living room (also part of the joys of his age: the intro to hitting and biting).  I told him to stop biting the chair.  Norah piped up with: "No, Caleb, we don't bite chairs.  We only bite food."  Then, she paused and continued with: "And, sometimes each other."

Yesterday afternoon, Norah was putting some change in her piggy bank, with Caleb assisting.  Jerry and I were in the other room, and we heard a CRASH!  Piggy pieces everywhere; coins scattered.  Norah was near tears. 

Caleb was just trying to gobble up as much change as he could.  I assume he'll poop those pennies out sometime this afternoon...

And, speaking of money.  On Monday, I was in the kitchen and he comes toddling in holding a $1.  Assuming he'd been riffling through my purse, I take the $1 from him and go find what I was sure was going to be a disassembled purse.  But, surprisingly, my purse was intact.  Huh.  I had no clue where he'd gotten that money from, but I shrugged, put the $1 in my wallet and went back to making dinner.  A bit later, he comes in the kitchen again; this time, he's got a $1 in each fist!

WTF?  Did he find a secret money stash?  And, if so, are there $20s in there?

Turns out, he'd found some loot stowed in one of Norah's purses.  Where she'd squirreled that money from, I have no idea.  But I can tell you this: I am now $5 richer!

Lastly, and perhaps most hilarious:  Over the weekend, one day, Jerry farted.  (Not that that's news: Our house suffers from serious air pollution because of his foul ass.)  But, this was a serious fart -- a loud, rumbly one -- and Norah (who thinks farts are pretty much the funniest thing in existence, which, c'mon, they ARE funny) laughs and says:

"Whoa, Daddy!  We're gonna have to check your underwear!"

Monday, August 06, 2012

Running is Fun

Some of you may have already seen this pic floating about the interweb, but it's something I'm reminded of almost everyday. 


By this kid in particular:


But this one sees the fun his sister is having running around, and he looks pretty stoked to get his own little legs moving at those speeds:


I don't know why we lose that joy as we get older (if only that kid juice could be squeezed out of them and made into an energy drink, right?), but when I look at these two, I'm reminded how lucky I am to get the chance each day to reap the same joy.

6 miles today: The 45 mile week is off to its solid start!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

And 4 Makes 40

Because I ran 6 days of 6 milers, all I had to do today was a 4 miler, and good thing too because I wasn't feeling much like running.

Sundays are always a struggle for me to want to run.  For some reason, I often want to skip Sunday and just do nuthin'.  But, that's the lovely thing about a streak: There is no rest.  And, for me, that's part of the appeal of streaking -- once I get into the groove of it, I don't want to stop.

Anyway, I got my 4 miler done: It wasn't the best run of the week, but halfway through, I started to enjoy it, and as always, when I finished, I felt good.

So, 40 miles are in the books for the week.

Now, on to this week's mileage challenge: 45 miles!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A Tale of Two Runs

Part 1
Normally, on Saturday mornings, Jerry takes the kids to the grocery store and I run.  But, last week, things didn't go all that well and Jerry declared that he was done taking both of them (or, at least, he needs a break from bringing both) and he said he was gonna alternate one and the other.  This is fine. 

So, this morning, we'd decided that Norah was going to go with Jerry to the store, and Caleb was going to join me for a short run.  Everyone was fine with this arrangement until we were all heading out the door and it fully dawned on Norah that Caleb was coming with me.

She threw a fit.  Screaming and crying that she didn't want to go to the store; she wanted to go with me.  After initially trying to reason with her, I said that we could trade (Caleb didn't care one way or another) and she could come ride with me on the run and Caleb would go with Daddy.  She was cool with this until, again, it fully dawned on her that she'd be going with me, but Caleb would get to be going with Daddy.

The grass is always greener, right?

At this point, they were already driving away and she was strapped into the BOB, and holy lord, it was Hurricane Norah 2012.  She was screaming and flailing and bucking in the stroller like a mad person.

And, I totally lost my cool with her.  Let's just say there was some screaming on my part as well.  I'm not proud of myself for dissolving into the same level of hysterics as a 3 year old.  But, I did.

For about mile then, I ran and she cried.  I passed some strangers who most assuredly wondered what kind of cruel mother I was for forcing my child into a stroller and keeping her prisoner there, but too bad, I didn't care.  I was fuming -- at her -- but mostly with myself.

Nothing makes you feel like a bigger failure at life than a major parenting fail, and I was frustrated and angry with how I had reacted to her tantrum.  I could see, in retrospect, exactly where the entire chain of events should've been rewound and done differently, but alas, in parenting, as in life, there is no rewind.

After a mile, she stopped crying and after a few pleading requests for me to take her to the store "to see Daddy," she piped down altogether and I ran and she rode in silence.  I think it was good we were running: It gave us both a chance to cool off and recollect ourselves.

And, at the end of the 3 miler, as a peace offering, I let her out of the stroller so she could run the last .2 of the run.  We went at a 15 min/mile pace, but I didn't care.  In those few minutes of the run, we'd made up.

Part 2
This evening, after Caleb had gone to bed and Norah was settling in with Jerry for her evening TV time, I got to get back out for a solo run.  It was a quiet, uneventful 3 miles, and I was thankful for such peace and solitude.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Liquid Evil

After class today (last day of summer term -- woohoo!), I ran my 6 miles on the treadmill (boring but I did it -- woohoo!), and after that, I stopped at Target to pick up a few essentials. 

Did angels start singing softly in the background when you read the word "Target"? 

Yeah, me too. 

Target is pretty much my favorite place in the world, especially when I have the freedom to stop in there by myself.

So, I was stoked about my errand, and having just run 6 miles, I was also a bit parched.  Lately, post-run I have been craving lemonade.  I think it's the sugar.  So, there's a Starbucks in MY Target, and I saw this drink on their board and thought it looked like the perfect post-run-afternoon-shopping-sipping beverage.


Looks delightful, right?  It's their "Cool Lime Refresher."  So, I ordered myself a "tall" and then set about my task of spending Caleb and Norah's college tuition on endcaps.

Well, one taste of that "refresher," and I nearly spit it out.  It tasted like crushed dreams. 
With ice and a lime wedge.
I paused, examined the vile drink -- looking for its source of evil -- and then thought perhaps my taste buds were being rash.  There have been plenty of beverages I didn't like at first that now rank among my favorites (coffee, beer), so I gave it another try.  And, another try, and an effing other try. 

No matter how many sips I took, this devil juice did NOT grow on me.  If anything, my initial reaction only intensified.

It tasted like a non-alcoholic version of a Mojito.  And, I know I live in South Florida so it's blasphemy to say this, but I H-A-T-E Mojitos (plural of that?  I don't know if I add the "es" or just an "s"? spellcheck's not being helpful.  at all).  Probably because I abhor mint, and this foul elixir most certainly contained mint (maybe I should have asked about the flavor before ordering it?  that would've been logical).

Anyway, I drank that god awful thing because it cost $3.  $3!  For a 12 oz (really, after ice, it was probably 8 oz of liquid) cup of skunk juice. 

On the way home, this got to me: $3!  I could get a half gallon of delightful lemonade from Publix for less than that and be totally happy!  By the time I was home, I was angry at Starbucks for selling me such a wicked drink.

So, I emailed them and told them so. 

I don't expect anything from Starbucks -- a reply might be nice -- but it felt good typing those 2,050 "characters" to tell them how this drink prompted my entire mouth to nearly host a stomach revolution.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Walking Dude and Monthly Mileage

So, I've mentioned Caleb took his first steps a few weeks ago, and I briefly referred to him as walking in yesterday's post, but since it's pretty big time DUDE stuff, I figured I should devote a moment to noting his progress:

video

He's wobbly, for sure, and still crawling the majority of the time (that's the locomotion he knows; right now, walking is just a novelty), but he's making big "strides."  In another few weeks, I bet he's proficient, and he'll be toddling all over the place.  Lord save me.

So, while he spent July perfecting the art of this new business we keep getting all excited about, I spent the month streaking.  31 days of running.  132 total miles.  My highest monthly mileage so far this year.  I plan to continue on with the streak for awhile now; although, I don't have a definitive plan for it.  Right now, I'm just streakin' till I can't streak no more!

And, of course, I'm working toward that 50 mile week I have planned.  This week, 40 miles are the goal, and so far I'm track with two 6 milers in the books on Monday and Tuesday (one was entirely on the treadmill -- I think I deserve gold stars for having the mental fortitude to endure that hour's tedium), and I plan to execute today's 6 miler this evening.  So far, so good!