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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Goals

It's easy to see the new year as an opportunity to do a complete overhaul on myself, but I know me and I know I can only strive toward goals that are simple and attainable.  So, again, I'm breaking it down into a few key facets of my life and have limited each facet to 3 principle goals.

Here we go 2012:

  • Marriage: Again, keep date nights as a focus for Jerry and I.  I'd like to continue to aim for 1 date night a month.
  • Parenthood: Try to live in the moment and lighten up.  I do my best to appreciate this time with the kids while they're young, but like any parent, I have plenty of moments of frustration, anxiety, and even anger.  Sometimes, I feel I am too quick with these emotions, and I'd like to try and focus on fostering greater patience and learning what battles are worth fighting.
  • Friendship: Make time for friends.  In the past few years, with kids, it's become easy to push friendships to the back burner, but in the last few months of 2011, I made the time to keep up with some lunches with girlfriends, and we enjoyed an evening out with our friends (without kids) and it reminded me of how valuable it is to keep up with friends -- both past and present.
Financial (I've never made a separate list for money, but in the past few years, I've been more conscientious and mindful of how we save, invest, and spend.  So, this year, I have a few specific goals that are monetary.)
  • Save: The past few years have been devoted to paying off our debt; now, it's time to build the savings.  Ideally, I'd like to create an emergency fund that would consist of 4 months worth of Jerry's salary (net).
  • Invest: Research, decide upon, and contribute to the kids' college savings plans.  They each have savings accounts, but those earn, like, 1% interest.  I want to invest in some accounts that would more realistically build adequate amounts for each child's college fund.
  • Save again: We need a new car, but if possible, I'd like to actually save up to buy one in full, not finance anything.  This is a lofty goal, but after paying off our debt, I'm not eager to finance another vehicle.
  • Grading: Learn to create an electronic gradebook.  I'm completely inept with Excel, but it's the 21st century.  Time to learn.
  • Technology: I have the bare minimum knowledge with how to teach classes online, and while I don't want to teach online, I see that the future of teaching will at least demand a knowledge of blending online components with a tradition bricks-and-mortar approach.  Time to take some of the tech classes.  Blergh.
  • Spending: I have some money to burn that was part of my POY award last year and I've been waffling for months about what to do with it.  Time to decide.
  • Miles: Track my mileage.  2011 was a complete bust in terms of keeping track of my mileage, and I really feel more accountable when I do it.  Time to return to record keeping.
  • Time:  Never go more than 2 days between runs.  My motto, since high school, has always been to not go more than 3 days between workouts, but in the past few months, I've lagged enough that I have -- at times -- allowed as much as 4 days to come between me and some sort of committed physical activity.  When I do that, I feel like shark farts.  So, new rule: 2 days is the maximum spacing between runs!
  • Training: Return to HM shape.  I feel like I'm at my running best when I'm in HM shape (running about 20-30 miles a week).  And with that middle distance training, speed usually returns hand in hand.  I hope for that to be a nice side effect.
So, there ya go: Bring on the end of the world!  Hello 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 in Review

'Tis the season to read a lot of "Year in Review" posts, and I must join in.  So, time to review my 2011 goals and see how I did:

  • Enjoy the remainder of this pregnancy. With Norah, I was so excited and eager to have her born, I feel as though I willed that pregnancy to just be done with, and it wasn't until she was born, that I realized how special pregnancy is. This time around, I'm trying to appreciate it.  I did appreciate it, but I still got impatient at the end.  Guess I'm just an impatient preggo!
  • Make more time for dates with Jerry. As parents, it's easy to lose track of time, and at the end of the week, it's often just easiest to order Chinese, rent a movie On Demand, and call that a date. But as nice as nights like that are, I need to make the time and effort to get a babysitter and actually go sit across a table from Jerry and eat real food and have real conversations.  Success!  We've made an effort to get out for "date night" about once a month, and it's been worthwhile.
  • Read more books. I got a Nook for Christmas this year, and I'm eager to give e-reading a go! Plus, several friends got Nooks, so hopefully, we can take advantage of the lend option and save ourselves some book buying.  Blended success here.  I read quite a bit in the first half of the year, and then...Caleb was born and the reading really sharply dropped off.  Right now, I read regularly, but it takes me about 1,000% longer to get through a book because my time spent reading is so greatly diminished.
  • Financially, I want to pay off our car loan.  Success!  Now the only debt we have is our mortgage.

  • Serve on two committees, either departmental or college-wide. Success! 
  • Put real effort into applying for either a Classroom Reasearch Award or the Endowed Teaching Chair. Both of these options offer professional recoginition and cash awards.  I put real effort into the Endowed Teaching Chair award, but was denied the opportunity to advance in the process.  This award is highly competition at my institution (there's a hefty monetary reward), so I'm not surprised I wasn't selected (again. this was my 3rd year in a row being nominated but not being selected to move forward to the interview portion).  I did, however, win Professor of the Year, which was an unexpected award for 2011.
  • Publish another short story.  Success!  You can go here if you're interested.

  • Run consistently for as long as I'm able during this pregnancy.  Did my best here, but only ran until I was 27 weeks preggo, which fell short of my expectation to run until at least 32 weeks as I did with Norah.  Still, I feel satisfied with my effort.
  • Run some preggo races.  Fail!  I ran ZERO preggo races.
  • Run a fall or early winter HM.  Fail!  The only race I ran in 2011 was the 5K Turkey Trot.  All in all, running was a challenge for me this year.

As always a mixed bag of success and failure, and of course, unexpected deviations, challenges and joys.  Now to start pondering some 2012 goals.  Of those, I have NO clue.  Need to put my thinking cap on!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Halleluja and Holy Sh*t!

Where's the Tylenol?

Christmas was great fun this year: Caleb's 1st Christmas and Norah's first Christmas where she really had a grasp on what was going on.  Of course, as wonderful as it was, it was also pure chaos -- a mayhem of presents, over-excitement, and a few meltdowns throw in for good measure.  But for all the madness, having Norah bounce on our bed Christmas morning proclaiming "Santa Claus!  Santa Claus!" pretty much MADE the holiday.

Here's the rundown in pics:

Caleb and his mountain of gifts on Christmas Eve.  Typical baby, he was mainly interested in paper and packaging.

Caleb "reading" one of his books.

Caleb chewing on one of his new toys.

Christmas morning -- Santa Claus! -- and Norah was a flurry of unwrapping.  She loved her gifts, but it was the unwrapping itself which was most pleasurable to her.

The aftermath of Christmas morning: Paper, boxes, and presents strewn EVERYwhere.

Norah prepping for a Christmas morning walk: New sunglasses and her new princess Belle in the stroller.  Her lips are also super glossed with about 18 layers of new lipgloss.

An unexpected favorite was a purple tu-tu that was a stocking stuffer.  She wore it all day on Christmas day (with jeans and tee shirt), and she insisted on wearing it with her PJs to bed as well.

And today, we went to Sugar Sand Park in Boca (carousel, awesome park, and science explorium), and she paired the tu-tu with a Halloween tee, shorts, and princess Crocs.  The girl has S-T-Y-L-E.

All in all, it was a fantastic holiday, but our house feels like a disaster zone, and I'm kinda counting down the hours until noon tomorrow when I drop both kids off at daycare again!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Wishing

For most runners, this time of year means pulling out the running tights, jackets, hats and gloves and braving the wintry cold to get runs done outside.  But for me?  It still means running in heat.

3 days before Christmas, and yesterday I went for a 5 miler in the afternoon.  It was 82 degrees out.  Surprisingly, in the shade, it wasn't bad at all, but the last mile of my 5 mile route had zero shade, and the timing meant that the sun was right in my face the entire time.  I slugged through it, but when I got home, I was BEET red!

After a cool shower, I laid down on the bed with the fan on for a few minutes so I could cool off.

Is it weird to have winter envy?  Because I do, especially this time of year when it's ironic to see snowmen everywhere, but no snow.  (Norah is very into "Frosty the Snowman" this year, which is funny since she's never even seen snow.)  I know most would love a warm run at this point in the calendar year, so tell ya what, why don't we trade for a week or so?

I think a week of winter would be all I'd need to feel like I gotten my share of it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Haven't Been Blogging, But

I have been running!

In fact, it's been glorious lately.  Since on break, I'm enjoying a lot of wonderful "me" time and that includes getting to some needed chores (organizing closets and cleaning kitchen cabinets, etc) as well as fun stuff (pedicure, afternoon naps, and reading), and of course, solo running time!

The weather has been temperate, but a little warm in the afternoons when I have my time off, so the runs have been short, but it's been nice to get out each day.

I have other stuff I could blog about, but I have been feeling very un-internet-y, so excuse this lame excuse for a post and move on to those who are still putting in some blog-effort this season. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011


As I was getting ready for my run yesterday, I couldn't find my iPod.  Last I had seen it, Norah had been walking around with it.  Not good.  I remember thinking when I saw her with it: "Grab that from her and stow it or you'll never find it again."  Did I take my own mental advice?  Nope.  Must've gotten distracted by something else.

I searched a few places that popped into my mind as "Norah places," but when it didn't turn up in any of those spots, I gave up and went for the run without my tunes.  I know there are some running purists out there who don't like to run with music and will (probably correctly) tell me that it's dangerous and will be the death of me, but I don't care.  Running by myself is about the only time I listen to adult music, and I think it's Awesome Sauce to not have Elmo's ABC Song ringing through my eardrums.

So, I ran -- sans tunes -- and when I got back I figured I'd look in a few more spots that occurred to me while I was out running (since I was without music, I had the brain space to think of other hiding spots Norah might have stashed the iPod).  Still no dice.  I gave up and figured I'd find it in a year (like the DVD remote we lost for a year) in some familiar, yet unexpected place.

Then, I unloaded the dryer, and...viola!  There it was!  Whether she'd stuck it in one of her precious pockets, or just stuck it in a hamper, I don't know, but I do know it went through the wash and then the dryer.  I didn't have high hopes that I could resurrect it, but I have resurrected past iPods, and as in "The Princess Bride," with iPods, there are a couple kinds of death.

So, I plugged it into my laptop and it actually came on and synced up to iTunes.  Thus, I conclude it must've only been "Mostly Dead."  According to its blinky orange light, it's currently charging; let's hope this will be the chocolate covered pill it needs and it will back to life by this afternoon's run!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Santa, Baby!

This morning, I took Norah and Caleb to see Santa at the mall.  I figured 10 am on a Wednesday would be a good, lowkey time, and it was.  We were 2nd in line.

The kids did well with Santa.  Norah didn't want to sit on his lap, but she sat on the available rocking horse, and Caleb took Santa's knee.  Neither kid could be coaxed into smiling, but neither is crying, so that's a "win" in my book!
Norah did give Santa a high five, and when prompted to answer what she'd like for Christmas, she replied, matter of factly: "I want presents."  There ya go, Santa should be able to do that!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

7 Things About Norah

Jamoosh tagged me to list "7 random things about Norah."  Harder than it first seems since I already share so many random things about her, but here goes:

1.  Norah's favorite t-shirt is her "Jessie" shirt.  It features Jessie and Bullseye from "Toy Story."  As soon as it's washed, she puts it on -- she doesn't even wait for it to cool from the dryer.
2.  Norah prefers to be barefoot over any kind of shoe.  She kicks off her shoes at any opportunity, and we often refer to her as a "barefoot hippie."  Something tells me she has barefoot running in her future.  But, if she has to wear shoes, she prefers her Crocs, which is just being a clogged-foot hippie ;)

3.  Norah still uses a pacifier.  She especially requires one for sleeping.  We keep hoping she'll just naturally grow out of it, but so far, just wishing that she'll give it up hasn't worked.
4.  Norah's favorite toys are baby dolls and stuffed animals.  They all lead pretty active lives in our home, and some even get the pleasure of dining with her.  Clifford, featured below, is also among the privledeged half dozen who sleep with her.  It's crowded in her little bed.
5.  Despite her affection for cuddly toys, the most surprising toy that Norah loves is Rex.  What's even more comical is how Rex frequently gets very girly makeovers. 
6.  Norah is an early riser.  6:15 is sleeping in to her.  And, she's awake and cheery at that hour.  It's awful.

7.  Norah is fun, outgoing, smart, and charming.  I hope she never changes.
I think I'm supposed to tag 7 more bloggers, but I'm not gonna do that.  And, thus, why chain letters always die with me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Deck the Helmet

I finished my grades for the term, so I am free!  FREEDOM!  I've counted, and I have 13 afternoons of 4 and 1/2 hours a piece -- all. to. myself!  Mwahuahuaha!  What will I do with all that time?

Plan to take over the world.  Of course.

Anyway, with my first afternoon of freedom, I actually downloaded some pics off the camera, and I forgot to mention before that Caleb's helmet is now decorated.  For December, he is sporting the fashionable, seasonable look:  Mistletoe!
Because he needs lots of kisses!

On the side, it says "Merry Christmas" and on the back is a cute reindeer.  I don't have any pics of the reindeer.  Just take my word that it's cute.  Below is a shot where you can partially see the side with the "Merry Christmas."
Yeah, Norah's a good big sister who insists on helping with nearly every Caleb task there is.  If she had the dexterity, she'd change his diapers in a heartbeat.  As it is, she settles for standing on her step stool and observing, and commenting, during changings.

But, back to the Helmet Baby, today he had his first "helmet check-up/adjustment" and he's already showing improvement, and they adjusted the helmet accordingly.  While we were in the waiting room, there were 2 other helmet babies there, and each one had stickers on their helmets too.  One had his name emblazoned on the front, and the other, a girl, had a pink helmet with flowers and butterflies and stuff.  It seems most parents with helmet babies have fun with it and decorate the helmets.  Might as well.

If it's pretty visually, it helps distract us from its awful stench -- yeah, despite cleaning it once a day, the helmet is one stinky piece of baby accessory.  It reminds me of my shin guards from my years as a soccer player. 

In other helmet tidbits, we've already become so accustomed to Caleb in his helmet that when we take it off for his one hour of head freedom every day, his head seems unbelievably tiny.  In fact, you know what he reminds me of during that hour?  You know the scene from "Return of the Jedi" when Luke takes off Darth Vader's mask and helmet, and Anakin's head seems small and pasty?  Yeah, that's what Caleb's head seems like sans-helmet.  I hope this resemblence doesn't indicate any future temptation to cross over to "the dark side"!

Anyway, Jerry made the stickers, and they peel off, so after Christmas, Caleb will don a new theme.  What that is is a mystery even to me.  We'll have to see what Jerry can come up with!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I must confess: I eat like I'm a 16 year old boy.

This morning, it was Jerry's turn to rise with the kidlets, and he opted to take both of them to the grocery store in order to knock that chore out at 7 am (pure madness, in my opinion).  Thus, I was left alone in the house with 2 delightful options: A.) Stay in bed and sleep, or B.) Get up and enjoy some coffee and uninterrupted interweb time.  I kinda split the difference by sleeping 15 more minutes and then getting up.

Anyhoo, back to nutrition, let me share with you what I chose for my breakfast items: Oreos and coffee.

Yes, I am eating Oreos for breakfast.  I said it, I don't regret it.

Many of you participate in the "What I Ate Wednesday" and whenever I look at your food for the day, I'm always struck by how healthy it all is.  Granted, I try to eat a pretty healthy, and if nothing else, varied diet.  But, I'll be honest: There are days when nary a fruit or vegetable touches my lips.  I know that a better diet could help me shed a few unnecessary pounds, could help me run better, and could fill me with some sort of inner glow...you know, because eating healthy means you have good poops and people who poop good seem to be pretty happy, glowing people.

But, again I'll be honest: I'm not dissatisfied with my weight.  Sure, I could be a leaner, trimmer, running machine, but I also would rather not give up Oreos for breakfast.  And, I already poop pretty good.  Coffee, people, coffee!

I figure the running helps balance out the calorie differential, and really, my central running purpose has never been for weight loss purposes.  Yes, it's a nice side effect, but I need the stress relief and energy expression more than anything else.  And speaking of running, now that I've finished my coffee and Oreos, I think I shall go for a run: This breakfast was good fuel...right?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

3 Miler Redux

Knowing that I'd have a similar schedule today as I did yesterday, I just left my stinky running clothes in my office, and this afternoon, I donned my smelly running attire for a repeat of yesterday's 3 mile running break.  Today, I also had the added bonus of overcast skies and slightly cooler temps, so it was an even more pleasant experience!

I did feel a bit like a stink-machine having not taken home or washed my running clothes, but I figured I was just gonna re-sweatify them, so what's the point?  Usually, I never double-wear running clothes because I typically soak them in sweat so the idea of re-using before washing is often times rather grotesque.

But what about you?  Will you use them twice before washing?  Is it conditional -- maybe contingent upon sweat-soakage and stinkage?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A Brief Break

One of the benefits of final's week is that I don't have to hold regular office hours.  Technically, I just have to be here to proctor my exams.  But, I am typically here my regular hours so that I can spend my time at work grading (I get next to nothing accomplished at home, so it's best to do my work AT work).

Anyhoo, today I just have one final to give at 6:30 pm, but I was still here at noon in order to get in a solid 6+ hours of grading.  It's paid off too -- I got two classes done, plus I finished my syllabi for next term, I got some other miscellaneous work done, and of course met with several students who had/were experiencing the typical finals-week-near-death-experiences (one guy apparently was rushed to the emergency room on Monday, which was his class's final exam date, because he was vommiting blood -- he had documentation so I don't doubt him, but still, blood barf?  Good god, people!  Why are you puking blood during finals week?). 

But at about 4 pm, my brain was tired and I needed a break.  So, I got on my running stuff (no office hours obligations!) and headed out for a 3 miler.

It felt good to get out, stretch my legs, breathe the fresh air, and rest my weary brain.

I was dripping sweat when I returned to find a student waiting for me (another dude who'd apparently had a hospital visit that occured during our exam time -- are their limbs soon going to be falling off?), but who cares?  It's finals week!  Which is like super-duper-casual-week in my opinion.  If I'm here in something that's not my bathrobe, I think I deserve some props.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Two Things Tuesday: On Soreness and Stacks of Grading

On Saturday night, Jerry, Norah, and I (Caleb stayed at home with my SIL who is here visiting) attended my department's holiday party.  It was at my dean's home, and in his backyard, there was an old jungle gym/swing set that they'd had there when their kids were younger (their kids are in college now if that gives an indication of the age of this thing).  Anyway, it had some rings, so I thought it'd be fun to show off and do some flips for Norah.

She thought I was the bomb-diggity for that, and she begged, "Again!"  I obliged with several more flips.  My arms were achin'.  But, she HAD to tell Jerry about my accomplishment, and Jerry didn't believe that I could do this, so he had to see: One more flip.  Then, Jerry assisted Norah in her "flips," so one last time, she had to see me repeat it.  Good lord, my achin' arms!

Sunday, the day after, wasn't terrible.  But yesterday?  My arms were like flaccid lumps of arm meat.  I had to swallow a fistful of Advil just to get through the day.  Today they are a bit better, but still sore. 

Does this prompt me to think that I need to do more strength training?  Nah.  I just clearly need to avoid my dean's backyard from here on to eternity.

Stacks of Grading
No marathon analogy here: This week is a sprint. 

This is finals week, and I have approximately 125 essays to read by Monday.  Actually, about 100 because I just finished one class's.  My grades for the term are due on Tuesday, and even though I know I CAN do it, I'm at a point right now where I just don't wanna.

Plus, some of these essays are T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E.  Notice I spelled that right?  Well, in one essay I read this afternoon, the student didn't even manage to spell her own name right!  This is what I'm dealing with.

Add to that the sudden finals-induced-drama that students are always stricken with (Grandmas start to die with alarming frequency), and I just want to fast-forward to a week from today when my semester will be done and I can focus on the less stressful activity of doing my ENTIRE Christmas shopping in one week.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

More Running and 6 Months

The good weather continued this morning, and I got to get in another 3 miler with Caleb in the stroller.  Before we left, Jerry filled the air in the BOB's tires -- guess I have a tendency to neglect that! -- and it always amazes me at the difference that makes!

For the 1st 2 miles, I was pushing into the wind, so it was still tough going, despite the comfortable temp and the freshly filled tires.  But, for the last mile, I had the wind at my back, and for the first time in a loooooooong time with the stroller, I ran a 9:52 min/mile.  For me, that's like a stroller landspeed record!

In other baby news, Caleb is now 6 months!

It seemed that with Norah from 6 months to 1 year, all the milestones started to come like a whirlwind, and I can already see how that will probably be true with Caleb as well.  He started solid food:
He doesn't LIKE it, but he did start it.  His objection doesn't seem to be the food itself, just the fact that we want to shove it in their with a spoon.  He clamps his mouth shut and sticks his tongue out, and is like, "Nope, thanks, I'm good."  The only thing he remotely finds acceptable are sweet potatoes.

He's also a Rolley Rollerson who now rolls all over the place.  We set him down in one spot, turn our backs, and he's across the room (or, wedged up against a piece of furniture).  Norah is funny with him; this morning, she was in the living room with him and I heard her exclaim: "Caleb's rolling over!  Good job, Buddy!"  I wonder what she'll think in a few months when he's crawling after her.

He's also sitting, with support, really well.  Of course, he's REAL tipsy right now, so he'll seem well-balanced, and then ker-plunk!  He's face first in the floor!  At least with the helmet now, he's got some crash protection.
Reflecting on any age for a child makes it feel as though the time is flying, but I'm honestly like, "Seriously, 6 months?  Already?  Where has it gone?"  I don't even think I've finished his baby book past his delivery...oopsie!  That's on my "to-do" over my winter break! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Perfect Running Weather

After weeks of very un-holiday-inspiring 80+ degrees, the temps here in South Florida finally dipped below 75!  Sweet and sour chicken, it is GLORIOUS!  As Norah said this morning, "It's nice out here."

So, I took Caleb for a 3 miler, and it was cool enough that I felt justified that he ride suited up in his fleecy Christmas jammies.  Jerry suggested he also be bundled in a blanket, but I knew that wasn't necessary -- we're spoiled here in FL into thinking that 65-70 degrees is "freezing."  The run felt great, as it always does when the temps fall below the typical we-own-a-condo-in-the-inner-circle-of-hell temps.  When it's like this, I feel like I could run all day.

The good weather, combined with the fact that Jerry took this week off work for a "week of Jerry time," has meant some extra run time for Jess!  If only I could have a house-husband and cool weather all the time!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Helmet Baby

Today, Caleb got his helmet!
The little dude's head wasn't improving on its own, so we had gone ahead with the decision to pursue helmet therapy, and his helmet arrived today and he got fitted for it this afternoon.  So far, he seems to be adjusting to it, no problem (went to bed fine with it on, anyway).

And, since the dude is a little roller-rollyson lately, I don't have to worry about his cranium as he rolls off the carpet and across the wood floor (as he did tonight).  Plus, it's just extra protection against Norah and Scooter -- who don't play so delicately around him!

Right now, it's just plain white, but to Jerry, that's just a blank canvas -- expect to see some decor on that thing in the upcoming weeks -- soon, I suspect, it will be totally "tricked out"!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up: Turkey Style!

Thursday morning, I kicked off my Thanksgiving in the same way I have for the past 7 consecutive years: At the Tukey Trot 5K.  It was, as always, a fun race, and I finished in 29:17, for an average 9:27/mile pace.  I was pretty happy with that -- one of my fastest Turkey Trots in the past few years, actually!  Jerry didn't get any "race" pictures, but he did snap this pic of Norah and her pal Miller "hanging around" during the race:
On Friday, we set up our Christmas tree and decorated the house for Christmas.  Norah is really digging the Christmas music this year.  Here she and Caleb are "dancing" to the tunes:
Below is Norah helping Jerry string lights.  She was very involved this year; no wonder it took us twice as long!
The ornaments have already taken a beating.  Jerry is currently running an "ornament ICU" where broken ornaments await their supergluing.  So far, as soon as a few are fixed and re-hung, a few more get the "Uh-oh!  What happened?" treatment.
Friday was also our 6 year wedding anniversary and we had a nice night out: Went to dinner and then shopped some.  Sounds kind of lame if you don't have kids, but if you do have kids, you know how awesome a meal out and shopping without kiddos is!

On Saturday, we had some chores to take care of around the house, but in the evening, we went to a friend's house for dinner and playing, and today, we spent the morning at the park.  Here's Norah, Caleb and I on the slides:
 And here's Norah hitching a piggy-back ride from me:
This afternoon, Norah and Jerry decorated their gingerbread houses.  Scooter managed to knock one down and eat it before decorating time, and one other one fell and broke, so they only had 3 houses to decorate, but Norah didn't know the difference.  Besides, she's really just about shoving as much candy in as she can; decorating is merely secondary.
To cap off the weekend, the kids got in their Christmas jammies and did a mini-photo shoot in front of the tree.  We had our typical range of terrible pics -- Norah's finger in her nose, Caleb looking stoned -- and this one was the best of the bunch.
It's too bad that the only Christmas jammies in FL are fuzzy, fleece jammies since it's still 80 degrees outside.  Guess I just have to crank up the A/C and pretend that it's winter so these kids don't roast in their sleep!

Hope everyone else had a tubular Turkey weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve!

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was never one of my favorite holidays -- no presents, no candy, no fireworks -- didn't seem to exciting to me.  Plus, one year my brother barfed on his dinner plate it the middle of our Thanksgiving dinner, and that episode soured the holiday for me for awhile.

But now, as an adult, I think Thanksgiving, and the resulting 4 day weekend, is one of my favorite holidays!  So, I'm stoked for it to get started already -- I, like my students, will be excited to be done with class this afternoon.  What's up for the weekend?  Well, a few fun, fabulous things:
  • Turkey Trot!  Yay!  Best 5K of the year.  Won't be much of a "race" for me this year, but I love running it no matter what.
  • Turkey Dinner!  Bring on the calories: I'm back to my pre-preggo weight (disclaimer: NOT pre-preggo shape) so I don't feel too guilty indulging in carbs covered in fat.  Yummers.
  • Wedding Anniversary on Friday!  Celebrating 6 years with the Jer-Bear.  We have a babysitter and we're going out!  And, we'll probably be home by 10 ;)
  • Christmas decorating!  Jerry has been itching to put up the tree and Christmas decor for at least a week now, so I'm sure that 7 am, Friday morning, our house will be an ornament-strewn wonderland.
  • Other Christmas extravaganzas!  I think we're planning to do our gingerbread houses, some cookie baking, and some light-seeing this weekend as well.  Jerry and I are practically frantic to enjoy this Christmas season since I think this year Norah will really "get it."  We're introducing the concept of Santa (and cross our fingers for the potential good-behavior Santa-bribery), and I think it's gonna be super-duper fun.
So, the only thing between me and that weekend of awesome is one class to teach...think I may let them go early!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Norah's 1st Trip to the ER

Considering the fact that this morning, Jerry walked into the kitchen to find that Norah had pushed a chair up to the counter, used the chair to climb onto the counter and was found standing on the kitchen counter -- she wanted fruit snacks, which are in the cabinet -- it was only a matter of time before our little monkey took a tumble that required a trip to the ER.  Today just happened to be that day.

I had taken her to the park, and she was climbing a piece of playground equipment -- for the record, her scaling this particular part of the playground has always made me nervous and I always "spot" her, but today I failed as a spotter -- she lost her footing and fell off.  It was a fall of about 4 feet, and even though the playground is padded with this soft-ish, rubber-y material, she used her left hand to break her fall and she hurt her wrist.

There was a LOT of crying, and normally, she's a tough cookie and bounces right back, but she just wanted to go home, so I knew she was hurt pretty badly.  We got home, and I gave her some kid Advil, and we applied ice and sat her down in front of a movie.  But she was still very weepy and every time we tried to examine her wrist more closely, she'd cry and say it hurt. 

It was a bit swollen, but I didn't think it was bad; Jerry, meanwhile, looked up info online and he'd not only worried her into an arm full of broken bones, but he'd also WebMD'd himself into cancer, so to be sure, I decided to take her to the ER and make she she hadn't broken anything.  He stayed home to worry about the impending cancer.

Our experience at the ER was actually good.  We got right in, no wait, and saw a dr. right away, and he ordered an x-ray, and again, we got that right away.  A nurse gave Norah a stuffed dog, and everyone was really nice and Norah was very brave and very good.  Turns out: It wasn't broken, but the doctor said it was a "severe sprain" with a lot of swelling around the joint (with kids' chubby little arms, it's hard to gage external swelling, so that's why it hadn't seemed too swollen to me).

Anyway, the dr. prescribed the same of what we'd been doing: Advil, ice, and...an Ace bandage:
In the end, we were home by naptime, so for a 1st ER experience, it was a good one -- in fact, I was surprised by how fast, efficient and friendly they were.  But, poor Norah.  It's not broken, but it's clearly VERY painful for her.  She's been babying it all day, and the slightest bump to it sends her to tears.  So, it's been tough trying to entertain her and keep her busy in ways that don't engage her arm, and it's pretty dang hard to keep an active 2 year old from being active.  Even dressing, or undressing, is an "owie" and cause for additional crying. 

But, the upside was that she got to eat plenty of ice cream and watch more than her usual amount of allowed TV, so she enjoyed those parts of her day.

Hopefully a good night's sleep helps, and in a few days, I'm sure it'll be good as new!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trot Time!

It's official: I've registered for my first, and probably only, race of 2011!  The annual Tamarac Turkey Trot.
This will be my 7th year, in a row, running the 5K, and honestly, it's one of the things I love most about Thanksgiving.  Plus, I can't beat this race location: It starts across the street and the course goes right by my house.  I get to have a race atmosphere on the 3 mile loop I run 3-4 times a week, which is Awesome Sauce in my book.

On a side note, I actually got around to registering today because I came home early from work.  I've gots the laryngitis, and it turns out, barely being able to speak above a whisper isn't all that effective for a teacher (although, it does force them to listen really, really hard).  Anyhoo, my voice is just getting worse the more I talk, so I managed to get a colleague to cover 2 of my classes and then I had to cancel one (I know, my students shed a river of tears).

But, being home, unexpectedly, has opened up a window of time to get some shiz done, and race registration was numero uno on my list!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wild Wednesday

There are days when I get to work at noon, and work seems like a blessed relief from the chaos of a morning at home.  Today is one of those days.

Norah can probably best be described as "active."  Ever since she learned to crawl, she's always been into every. single. thing.  As a baby, she pulled open every drawer, every cabinet, pulled every item off every shelf she could reach.  Now, her quests are more focused -- less pulling EVERY thing out and more pulling KEY things out -- and, typically, when it's quiet I know to worry.

For instance, this morning:

I found her standing on the office chair with a pair of scissors.  She had them poised next to her hair.  Jerry recently trimmed her bangs, so she gets the gist: Scissors are for cutting hair.  Apparently, she was going to style her own.

She asked me for some jelly beans, which were in a bowl on the kitchen counter.  I told her "no."  I'd already allowed her 4 jelly beans, which was her reward (ie, "bribe") for sitting good while I trimmed her fingernails.  A few minutes later, I'm feeding Caleb a bottle, and I see her scurry by, carrying her stepstool.  I interrupt Caleb's feeding, and go see what she's up to.  Stepstool is up against the kitchen counter, and she's up there, helping herself to those jelly beans.  Rascal! 

There were a lot of tears shed and a very dramatic scene in which she threw herself to the floor when I jelly-bean-blocked her again.

Lastly, a few minutes before leaving the house, she proudly walked up to me, patted her jeans' pocket and exclaimed: "Norah has pockets!"  Me: "Yes, you have pockets.  Do you have anything IN your pockets?"  Her: "Yes!"  Me: "Well, what's in there?  Let Mom see."  She produces the following: A piece of trash, a quarter, and...a condom!

Eek gad!  I thought it's be YEARS before we had to worry about finding condoms in her pockets!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back...Kind Of

Unless ill or out of town, I have rarely gone a week between blog posts, but this past week seemed to just get away from me.  Several things coalesced, and I just didn't have the time/energy/motivation/right frame of mind to blog.  But, as is the case, things always seem to right themselves with a little time, and I'm starting this week by feeling more grounded and a little less crazy.

However, while the Jess-life has resumed its version of normality, I still find I'm struggling to find blog material.  I'm running, but nothing seems all that noteworthy about it.  I always think it's lame when bloggers blog about having nothing to say, but that's what I'm sayin', yo.

I'm not sure if I'm just experiencing a temporary blogger-block, or if this trend speaks to my larger lethargy with blogging in general.  Let's just say that I'm feeling ambivalent about the interweb as of late, and that my real life demands seem to outweigh my desire to invest in the blog demands.

My feelings about that could change overnight (this is not the first time I've felt such apathy toward blogging), so I'm not saying anything definitive about my spotty presence here.  I'm just saying: My blog is like a boyfriend I'm kind of cooling toward.  Maybe he'll surprise me, unexpectedly, with some sense of significance, but right now, I feel like creating a little distance.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Stress Relief

Last Wednesday was the last time I nursed Caleb.  It was a slow transition from boob to bottle, and it took about 3 and 1/2 weeks to transition.  There are a few principle factors that dictated the move from BFing to formula, but they're trivial and I needn't get into them here.  Essentially, it was just time for our family.  Anyhoo...as was the case when I made the same transition with Norah (albeit she was 8 months opposed to his 5 months...hope he doesn't miss out on Ivy League, world-saving opportunities because of the few month difference of boob-milk I denied him), I have been experiencing a post-weaning hormonal slump.

This coalesced with being sick over the weekend, and the combination was essentially the perfect storm.  A shit storm of emotion, that is.

I was weepy as hell yesterday, and for those who know me, you know I'm not the sort to be weepy.  But dammit, I was a crying sack of shit yesterday, and every little thing felt like the END of the world.

Thankfully, I went to bed last night at 7:30 pm (yes, you read that right: 7:30!) and slept until 5 am (as predicted, kiddos were up bright and early with the time change), and I felt worlds better today.  Still, something was needed:

A run.

So, I didn't get a long one, but I managed to squeeze in an afternoon 2 miler and it made a world of difference for my brain.  So many small stresses that felt like mountains on Sunday, suddenly diminished to their real height -- molehill sized -- and each thing that was weighing on my mind felt more manageable after I had run.  I'm not saying that the short run "cured" me of these post-weaning blues, but it certainly helped.

If I remember correctly from my experience with Norah, post-weaning was like the mammoth of all PMS, so I'm sure this is not the conclusion of the emotional roller coaster, but if I make certain to keep running a priority, I think I can ride it out.

And, in the meantime, it sure is nice to be able to sleep on my stomach again!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Barfs: Part Two

I was on the mend yesterday.  I felt pretty good for the b-day party we attended, and after a short afternoon nap, I felt I was fully restored for the wedding last night.

The wedding was great.  The ceremony, on the beach, was beautiful; here's a pic of Jerry and I on the beach right after the ceremony:
And the reception, afterward, was a blast.  It was the first time in a year that we got to get together with all of our friends without any kids.  Antics ensued.  There are pictures, but they are NOT flattering.

Still, it was much tamer than the "old days": We were home by 10:30, and I had 2 and 1/2 drinks.  But maybe it was those drinks, or that T-Rex sized prime rib I ate, or some exuberent dancing, I don't know, but this morning, I was all barfy and poopy again.  It lasted about half the morning, and slowly, throughout the day, I've been recovering.  But today has felt like the. longest. day. ever.  Feeling sick + the extra hour + 2 kids who don't understand the meaning of "fall back" + some gereral grumpiness = a foul feeling Jess.

Thankfully, the kids are in bed now (probably to awake very, very early tomorrow) and I think I may be headed in that direction very soon.  Despite some fun yesterday, it has been a blechy weekend.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Barfs

Thursday night, I came home from class and didn't feel too good.  I went to bed thinking I was just really tired.

But, Friday morning, at about 4 am, I woke up and puked.  Then, a bit later, more puke.  Then the mud butt began, and I think that was almost worse -- barfing sucks, but having liquid evil shoot out your ass every 15 minutes is no good.

I was sick all day yesterday, but by early evening, I seemed to be on the mend.  Today, I feel better -- not 100% (dehydration has it's lingering affects) -- but, so far, I'm not spending the morning trying to guess which end to put on the toilet.  Which is good because today's a busy day: We have a b-day party to attend and then a wedding.

This is the 3rd time, in 2 years, that I've had a bug like this.  I swear, I've been sick more in the past few years since Norah was born than I ever was in the decade prior!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

5 Months

Caleb is 5 months old now.
And still rockin' his super-cuteness and sweet personality.  Despite the fact that he rolled over (I swear!) a few weeks ago, he hasn't repeated it since, so I don't think anyone believes me that he did it.  Now, he does the above where he rocks back and forth, holding his feet, and acts like he's gonna roll over, but then gets to a certain point on his side and goes, "Nah, I don't wanna."

Eh, it'll happen eventually.  But, he is starting to sit really well, and in that regard he seems to be the same as Norah at this age: She too didn't seem eager to roll over and she actually sat pretty well before moving on to rolling over.

As for me, post-baby, I sometimes feel dispapointed that my running isn't where it was post-Norah.  At this time after her birth, I was back to running HM distances, but right now, the longest run I've put in the books is a 6 miler.  I am running on a regular basis, but I feel as though it's so much slower and shorter than it was post-Norah. 

I know I can't be too hard on myself since adjusting to 2 kids has literally meant TWICE the work (who knew, right?!) as adjusting to having 1, and I often feel as though I'm just "scraping by" with my running.  Which, as I thought about it during today's run, is fine.  I'm staying in shape, keeping extra weight off, and getting enough exercise in that I don't feel like a caged border collie.  And, for now, I think I have to be satisfied with that level of my running.

Yes, I wish I were running more, but I know my running will keep, whereas, babies don't -- in the blink of an eye that little dude is gonna be ignoring me one minute and sassing me the next.  Best to not run too far from him right now. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It's been a busy few days -- a whole Halloween weekend!  Here's Norah "carving" her pumpkin:
She really just helped scoop guts, but she highly enjoyed that part.  Jerry did the actual carving -- he's the arteest in the family -- but here are Norah, Caleb and I posing in front of Jerry's finished products:
One is Elmo, and one is "The Princess and the Frog."  I think they were pretty dang nice -- nicer than the jack-o-lantern I'm capable of carving.

On Saturday, we attended a Halloween party, and here we are at the start:  Jerry and Caleb are "that guy" from "The Hangover," Norah is Jessie from Toy Story, and I'm, well, I'm just me.
The Halloween party was a lot of fun, and the funniest part, for me, was Norah stripping down naked to run out in the rain and fetch a ball that had rolled out into the driveway.  She didn't want to get her costume wet, but she wanted to get that ball, dangit!  So, at 2 years old, my daughter is already "that naked girl" at Halloween parties...oy!...the teenage years are gonna be a bear!

And, lastly, here are the munchkins this evening before Trick-or-Treating: Jessie and Shrek.
Before we went out, I asked Norah, "Now what do you say when people come to the door?"  Norah: "Suckers!"  Can 2 year olds make double entendres? :)
Norah enjoyed the trick or treating even though Jerry and I were a bit disappointed in our neighborhood's lack of Halloween cheer.  When I was a kid, trick or treating was a HUGE deal, but we've never really seen many trick or treaters here.  We must live in the wrong neighborhood.  Still, like I said, Norah loved it, and at one point she declared: "More chocolate!"

We thought it was gonna be an awful night in terms of bedtime, but we limited the candy and only kept her up a wee bit past her normal bedtime, and she went to bed just as easily as any other night.  Phew!  I'm sure that in the years to come, it won't be this easy.

Anyway, I have been running as well (gotta even out my own candy-consumption), but reports on that later!  For now, I have papers that I'm not gonna get to. 

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skip Day

For the past two weeks, I've been fighting the urge to call in sick or use a personal day, and today I succumbed to the urge, and used a personal day.  I cancelled my two classes, dropped the kids at daycare, and had the afternoon to myself.  I really wanted/needed to do a few errands and chores that I keep meaning to get to, but never seem to have the time for, so it was nice to get those accomplished.

But, with the afternoon off, and still such lovely weather, I also couldn't help but take advantage of my skip day to get outside and get a run in -- all. by. myself. in the fresh outdoors!  It was glorious.  But, hotter than I originally thought.  It was fine in the shade, but my 3 mile loop's final mile was under direct sun, and my energy withered, but I pressed through and even though I was hot when I was finished, I was happy to have the afternoon off to run.

Now, I only have about 30 minutes before Jerry and the kids get home, so I must make use of my time wisely.  Which means I think I'll lay on the couch and read my book.  Ahhh, taking the personal day was totally worth it!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Yesterday, we continued to enjoy the cooler Florida temps, and I went out for a 3 miler in the morning.  It was cool enough that I ran at 9:30 am, and I was comfortable!  Typically, by 9:30 am, it's about a bazillion degrees outside, and I wouldn't run at that time if you paid me.  (No wait, that's not true, I'd definitely run then if I were being paid, but I'd be demanding a hefty salary to run at that time of day.)

Caleb joined me, and at one point, it rained on us a bit.  It wasn't too much -- a steady drizzle at best -- but I still stopped and covered the stroller with the weathershield.  Classic South Florida, the rain only lasted about 5 minutes, so half a mile after stopping to put the weathershield on, I stopped again to remove it.  He didn't mind the brief stops; Caleb is a good passenger.  Even if he doesn't fall asleep, he just sits quietly in there and gnaws on his fist.

If only Norah were also a good passenger.  At this age, she hates being in a stroller -- any stroller.  At the zoo on Saturday, we brought our regular double stroller thinking she'd get tired of walking and want to ride, but her tiny tush never so much as grazed the seat of that stroller.  Instead, she was entirely happy to walk for 3 hours.  If she still tolerated a stroller, I'd bite the bullet and buy the BOB Dualie, but as it is, I think it'd just be a $600 waste. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

5 Miles + Boo at the Zoo

I don't mean to brag, but we've had awesome weather here in South Florida the past few days.  For us, it's cool and dry, with mornings and evenings in the low 60s and afternoons warming to a comfortable high in the 70s, low 80s.  So, I got to take advantage of such perfect running weather this morning with my first 5 miler in a loooooooong time.  The run was great.  I was no faster in the cooler temps, but it felt so much easier! 

After my morning run, we got packed up and headed to The Palm Beach Zoo for their "Boo at the Zoo" activities.  Norah dressed (partially) in her Halloween costume:
She's Jessie, from Toy Story, but she didn't want to wear her boots or her hat today.  On Halloween, I'll probably have to bribe her to get a pic of her in them, and that will be that.  Caleb didn't wear his costume to the zoo, but he was in Halloween-themed clothes:
Norah showing me her first sucker of the day:
Caleb and I in front of the Brown Bear.  That bear was gnawing on a pumpkin!  All of the animals had pumpkins featured in their habitats.  The otters were probably cutest with theirs -- playing with them like balls.
Thankfully, one treat station was handing out fruit, instead of candy, so Norah took a break from the candy and had an apple.
They also had a bounce house:
And face painting:
 Good times!  And for someone who neither bounced nor got his face painted, it all sure wore him out:
With the pleasant temps, it was the perfect day for the zoo.  And with all of the extra halloween activities, it was an extra fun experience!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Alive!

After freezing up last week during a run, today my Garmin rose from the dead and performed as if it had never had its little meltdown.  Perhaps Garmins are like toddlers: Ignore their tantrums and they just resume their normal behavior.

Because we've been having gray, rainy days, the temp is not unbearable outside (the humidity is another story), so I decided to take my normal treadmill run and make it an outdoor run.  Thus, the employed use of the Garmin.

I did my 3 miles in 31 minutes even, and that includes stopping for some lights, so perhaps I am getting a wee bit faster out in the real world, not just on the treadmill.  I was super sweaty from the high humidity, but it was great to have the chance to run outdoors, solo.  I'll take that anytime I can nab it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Today,we went to a pumpkin patch to select our Halloween pumpkins.  Here's Norah contemplating all the pumpkins:
If Caleb were looking, or even if his expression wasn't one of consternation, and if Norah were smiling, or if I weren't squinting...this would probably be our best family pic so far:
Norah loved the pumpkins.  We spent a long time, even after we'd selected our pumpkins, just playing with the pumpkins:
The farm we went to also had other "patch" features: hayrides, petting zoo, and a corn maze.  Here's Norah navigating the maze:
It was an overcast day, and it was super crowded, but we didn't get rained on and we had lots of "fall fun"!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Going "Long"

Since starting back to running in July, I have only stuck to 3 milers.  But, this weekend, I wanted to start slowly venturing out of that 3 miler comfort zone, so I broke the mold this morning and did...4 miles!  Adventuresome, aren't I?

My Garmin was still frozen (yes, I tried both soft and hard resets -- the 310 is not my first Garmin), but luckily, I'm the kind of girl who has a back-up Garmin: the 305!  Spoiled much?  Why yes, I am.

See, last year, for Christmas, my parents bought me the 305, not knowing that my 310 was only about 6 months old.  Instead of returning the 305, I figured I'd just hold onto it.  You know, in case of a Garmin-emergency.  I'm glad I did because it was nice to have that back-up waiting in the wings after the 310 froze up on me.

The 305 is bulkier than the 310, but since I'd worn the 205 for years, it didn't take long to adjust to the difference in size.  In fact, I think the 305's display is easier to read since it's a bit larger, so I really didn't mind the bulk.  Plus, I like the 305's reading of "current" pace instead of the 310's "average" pace. 

Anyhoo, the run itself was good, and I averaged 10:30/miles (see, I'm slower out on the road than I am on the treadmill) and finished the 4 miles in 42 minutes.  It felt good to go just a smidgen past my comfort zone, and by simply doing so, I was encouraged about gradually increasing my mileage for that 10K in a month.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Garmin Down!

My SIL is in town for a few days this week, so this morning, I planned to take advantage of her willingness to babysit one kid while I took the other on a morning run.  Typically, Norah wants to stay and play with her auntie, but she was continuing with her contrary mood from yesterday and insisted she go with me on the run.

She hasn't been on a run with me in several months since she typically doesn't want to ride in a stroller.  So, I told her she could go, but I had some ground rules:
  • No asking to get out and walk.
  • No asking to turn around and go home.
  • No throwing items out of the stroller.
Essentially: Sit in there and like it!

She agreed, so we were on our way.  By the end of the first mile, she was already asking to go home, but I just ignored her, and a bit later, I peeked in at her and she'd fallen asleep.  I think she needed the sleep since she'd again awoken extra early this morning, but I hope she still takes a regular nap at school this afternoon!

The run was tough going.  Norah is a LOT heavier than Caleb; plus, I hadn't gotten out on the road until 8:30 am, and it was pretty sunny and warm by then.  Heat + pushing a heavy jogging stroller = a slower run.  But, I'll take it!  Any chance at a run is a good opportunity, so I can't complain.

About the running. 

But, I can complain about my Garmin: It froze up at mile 2!  Just froze.  I don't know what happened.  I tried several things once I got home, but it is still stuck.  This thing is barely more than a year old -- guess I'm gonna have to suck it up and call Garmin's customer service.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

As most of you know by now, I stay at home with the kids part-time and work full-time.  So, I'm at home with the ankle-biters until midday, and by noon, I'm in my office at the college readying for my afternoon and evening classes. 

Some days, by the time I get to work, I feel pretty spent, as if I have already worked a full day.  Today was such a day.  My morning with the kidlets shook down like so:

  • Both were up before 6 am.  Norah crawled into our bed at 5:45, and even though I tried telling her it was "still night time," she was up UP.  Either she woke Caleb up or he was just up on his own, but he too was up UP.
  • By 6:15, I was fetching Norah's milk and getting her set up with Sesame Street when Scooter made his morning debut by puking in the dining room.  3 times.
  • At 6:40, I sat down on the living room floor with Caleb and a cup of coffee and rolled him onto his tummy for some tummy time, and before my first sip of coffee, he rolled over!  First time!  I was so excited, so I flipped back onto his tummy again and he rolled over again!
  • I go and wake Jerry up (we are kinda-sorta back to trading off mornings with the kids) and have him hurry out to the living room to see this GRAND FEAT.
  • Caleb does not perform.
  • Then, Jerry gets in the shower, and...two more rolls!  Milestone baby accomplishment!  But dad hasn't been able to witness it.
  • At 8, I gave Caleb a bottle of formula* and 20 minutes later, the little bugger broke out in hives.  This week is his first test-run with formula, and at DC on Monday and on Tuesday, he seemingly had allergic reactions, but I wanted to see for myself to confirm that it's the formula causing the reaction.  Yuppers.  It's the formula.
  • Most likely, he has an allergy, or sensitivity, to dairy (and probably has all along; it explains a lot, actually).  So, I nursed him before sending him off to DC with some Soy formula.  (At last report, they had given him the soy bottle -- he wasn't a fan -- and no reaction thus far.)
  • At 9, Caleb went down for his morning nap, and Norah and I showered and had our breakfast.  She ate great!  She ate 2 eggs, a shitload of cantaloupe, and...this is where it gets interesting...a cup full of feta cheese.  It's what she requested.  She loves feta.  All by itself. 
  • It was good she ate so well because it was one of the highlights of our morning; otherwise, she was very contrary (maybe getting up at 5:45 does that to a girl -- or to a mom!) and I felt a LOT of frustration in dealing with her.
  • Then, in the car, on our way to DC, she says to me: "I like it you."  And I completely forgot the specifics of what she'd done throughout the morning that had frustrated me so much.
This afternoon, then, I'm talking with a book rep who asks me: "So, how are you handling it all?"  Umm, does it say anything that one minute I am thinking about shipping them off to the Artic and the next minute I just want to stay home and snuggle them all day long?

*I'm still nursing him as well, but we're in the process of transitioning to formula.  There's a lot that could be said on this subject, but I think I'll skip it today.  I've been wordy enough as it is!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Treadmill 5K

On the treadmill, I'm faster than I am in real life.  So, now that I can almost always bang out 3 miles in less than 30 minutes when I'm on there, I figured I should set some new goals for myself.  To start, I figured I'd see if I could do a 5K in sub-30.  It's just .1 farther than a regular ol' 3 miler, but somehow it seems just slightly more challenging.  And that's really all I'm after right now: Slight challenges.  Not real big ones.

And, I did it!  I clocked that 5K in 29:46.  If only I could do that on the road now.  Guess that's my next slight challenge!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday morning, Jerry always goes to the grocery store with Norah.  It's their routine.  Usually, I try to get my Saturday morning run done before they leave, but it was rainy, so I delayed the run until I got a break in the rain, and then I got ready and got Caleb ready since he was going with.  Here we are before the run -- he's still jammied.
Here he is dressed and ready to run!  He seems pleased that I at least dressed him in blue since I stick him in a pick stroller.
The run was good -- we dodged the rain -- and it had another desirable effect: A sleeping baby!
He continued to sleep once I was home, and I was able to shower and dress, and he woke up right when Jerry and Norah got home.  Here's Norah helping her dad unload the groceries: She likes carrying things inside, and sometimes, it's impressive what she can handle.
Saturday Night
Jerry and I had a planned date night, and we'd initially planned to go to Miami to eat at the Miami Food Trucks.  But, it was still raining then and we weren't sure how fun it would be to stand on a street in Miami and scarf our food down in the rain.  So, we planned an alternative, and it worked out great!  We went to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant that turned out to be an awesome find, and we went to the movie "50/50" which turned out to be a good pic.  All in all, great date night!

Caleb again joined me for a morning run, and we lucked out by again fitting it into a small window of the day where it wasn't raining (it rained all. weekend. long.).  For a bit, it drizzled enough to warrent me stopping to put on the weathershield, but after half a mile, it subsided so I stopped again and removed it.

It was good thing I got that run in because the rest of the day was pretty lazy.  I "watched" football:
And Norah and I made some Halloween cupcakes:
It was a fun weekend, as they always are, and just like they always do: It went TOO fast!