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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!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Feces Friday

This morning, Norah was playing on the back porch when she called to me: "Mama!  Norah poopy!"

I come out on the porch to discover that she'd pooped, then taken off her pull-up, and a loose turd had set itself free and was sitting on the tile.  Argh!

So, I take her inside, leaving that renegade piece of poop, and clean her up (for the record, it was the 2nd time today that I got poop on my arm -- Caleb had a poo-plosion earlier that was so unwieldy, I seriously thought of just cutting his onesie off him).  We go back out on the porch, armed with poop clean up materials, and find that there is no sign of the turd. 

Just a small brown dog licking his lips...

...yeah, how's that image for your Friday?!  My dog is a shit eater!

As Norah said, when I explained where the turd had disappeared to, "No eat poop, Scooter!  Yucky!"

"Yucky" for sure!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Flat Headed Baby: Update

This morning, Caleb had a follow-up appointment with the baby-head-specialist*. 

They re-scanned his skull and examined his x-rays, along with the phsyical examination.  In short, the good news is that there is nothing medically wrong with his head.  Which was a relief.  I knew it was unlikely (the condition where bones are fusing together incorrectly is pretty rare, so the chances were in his favor), but as a mom, it's my job to worry.

On the other hand, it looks inevitable that he's headed for Helmet Town.  He's still young for helmet therapy (they wouldn't even start that until he's 6 months old), so they're going to continue to monitor it monthly, but it looks as though my attempts to re-shape his head with my good thoughts has been mostly fruitless -- and dangit, it's hard work trying to control things with my mind!  There has been some improvement in the flat spot, but the dr.** said we should be "thoroughly considering" a helmet when it's time.  Shoot.  Apparently, crossing your fingers and hoping to avoid something doesn't work!  Who knew?

The choice for a helmet is, ultimately, ours to make, but after speaking to the teachers at daycare***, it seems that, anecdotally, the helmet is dang effect in rounding out those unruly baby skulls.  And what's a few months in a helmet compared to a lifetime of a flat head?  I don't want to be blamed when he can't find a suitable hat or wear sunglasses; he'll have plenty to blame me for, I'm sure; may as well not be a slanty-head.

But, as of right now, he's young enough that it's still a wait-and-see issue.  It just looks as though we're waiting to see when he'll get his helmet assignment...in the meantime, Jerry has already mentally sketched out several "designs" for Caleb's potential helmet.  Let's just say that everything from flames to skulls/cross bones to mock-boxing-helmet designs have been tossed around.  In the end, this thing could be a work of art!

*Let me just take a moment to note something about this specialist's office: Apparently, this dude's office is THE baby-head-specialist office in Ft. Lauderdale.  Which is good because parents report a high rate of satisfaction from this doctor's approach and his results.  But, it's also kind of pretentious because it's so damn prestigious.  The office itself isn't that bad (it's location is, though: downtown), but the fellow patients' parents are a bit exhausting.  Everybody is rolling into the parking lot in their Escalades and BMWs, and they are strollering their kids into the waiting room in Peg Perego and Uppa Baby strollers.  Meanwhile, I'm just pleased that Norah let me comb her hair and that I don't have spit up (or shit up!) on me.

**We haven't actually gotten to meet with this big-wig doctor himself yet.  So far, we've just seen the P.A.  With the next visit, we have finally been granted access to the Emerald City to see Mr. Oz himself.

***I swear, the teachers at DC are just as knowledgable as pediatricians and specialists.  Simply through their vast experience with kids, they seem to have seen everything, and consulting with them is often times more valuable than any time spent with doctors.  Plus, they see our kids FAR more than the drs. ever do, so their assessment is one that I trust.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I Don't Like Sharing

This afternoon, I headed over to the campus gym to hit the treadmill, as has become my habit on Mondays and Wednesdays the past few weeks, and today, I encountered a problem I just knew was inevitable:

No treadmill availability.

The gym is small -- c'mon this is a public community college, so it's not like this place is an L.A. Fitness or anything -- and there are only 8 treadmills.  And, currently, 4 are out of order.  Thems not good odds, yo.

So, when I got there today, all 4 treadmills were occupado.  2 people were actually running on their treadmills, but the other 2 were walking on theirs like they were just out for a leisurely stroll on the beach.  Part of me wanted to be all, "Use it or lose it!"  But that's frowned upon gym behavior, and just plain bad sharing (I'm always telling Norah that she has to learn to "take turns" so maybe I should learn that too), and I had to concede to jumping on an available elliptical (of which there are twice as many).  I don't love the elliptical, but after my first "mile" on there, a treadmill opened up and I was on it like white on rice.  With my time constraint, I couldn't start my run over, so I only ran 2 "legit" miles on the treadmill.

I felt a bit like I was cheated out of my full run, but such is life when you're "sharing" equipment with others.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Play Time!

It's interesting to watch how kids' play develops as they develop; you can see how their world becomes more complex and imaginative as they do.  I love this.  I think it's so fun to see how Norah now interacts with her toys in a manner that requires her imagination.  Here she is this morning hosting a lunch/tea party for her babies and Bo-Bo.
They eat an eclectic assortment of food, and apparently, they have to eat straight from the pots and pans she prepared the food in, but there were no complaints from her guests.  They all seemed satisfied by her hospitality.
Now, if only SHE would eat as good as her babies do!

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Weekend Running

This weekend, we had a "cold" front move through our area so temps dropped from the 90s to the 70s.  It still got in to the 80s during the afternoon, but first thing in the morning was glorious, and I took advantage of it 3 days in a row: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I was still just sticking to my 3 mile route, but it felt good, and I think it's finally time to start challenging myself by increasing my mileage and adding some "long" runs into the future weekend running.

And it's a good time for it too since we're finally starting to get our own version of fall here in SoFlo.  It's nothing like the pleasant temps most of you get to enjoy this time of year, but lows in the 70s is a nice change of temp around here!