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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. :)