So …

Hello, knock knock. Is this thing on?

Yeah … it’s been a while. I am a crappy blogger, but enjoy checking in with everyone else who is actually posting. I feel like all the bloggers “I grew up” with have stopped posting, so it just gets easier to ignore this space. But I do miss it and miss writing just for me.

So to update …

  • I did run that marathon and kicked its ass. Or something. Well, shaving 20 minutes off my 1st marathon time made for a nice PR for this girl. I know that 4:43 isn’t going to shatter any records, but I was proud of my work that day. At least the first 20 miles. The last 6 pretty much stunk, but I finished. Thank goodness for pushing the pace when I still had it in me.
  • So, still on that runner’s high, I put my name in the lotteries for the NYC marathon and NYC half. Well, guess what? I got into the Half. On March 16. That’s in 8 weeks. So, guess who pulled together a very condensed training plan?
  • I have also made a lofty-ish goal of running 14 races in 2014 — I think it comes out to 7 halfs, 1 10-miler, 4 10k’s and 2 5k’s. September and October are full, but otherwise, it’s pretty spread out and do-able. Come join me!
  • M&L are growing up overnight it seems. They are both in Kindergarten and loving it. Starting to read, honing their writing skills, learning Spanish, and enjoying other classes like science and art. Oh, and lunch. Can’t forget about that. I sometimes find myself just staring at them and admiring their little personalities. Or big personalities. They are inquisitive and funny, and sometimes sassy.
  • I post pretty often on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there.

Tra la la la la …

I had a conversation with my friend ET recently about blogs and the activities on them just feeling a bit too staged. I mean, I get it. When I take a photo that may end up on the blog, or Instagram, or Facebook, I may take extra care to shove the dirty dishes out of the way, wipe someone’s face, or make sure I don’t have lipstick on my teeth. But sometimes I don’t and that is OK.

I certainly don’t post every day, don’t get paid for this stuff, and know that coming up with exciting content is not my job. I just find myself wondering … does this stuff really happen in anyone’s REAL life? I’ve always said that Facebook only shows the fairy dust and happiness of everyone’s lives or the moaning and groaning of how hard their life is and most of those people are quickly hidden from my feed. Most days, the fairy dust doesn’t bother me at all.

Sometimes  it’s hard enough just trying to live your life without comparing yourself to others, and when you feel like your dinners aren’t as healthy, your kids aren’t as smart, your running isn’t as fast, or your house isn’t as perfect, you can really begin to get down on yourself. I guess the normal – middle of the road stuff isn’t exciting enough to show up via social media. Whoops. I think that is all this blog is about.

Last week was Valentine’s Day and for us, it was pretty much another Thursday. Hubby had a group run scheduled that evening so I picked up Maddy and Libby and we made dinner consisting of heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and strawberries. How romantic, right? I was pretty proud that the sandwiches were heart shaped, I used the Valentine’s Day plates, and the girls were excited to help me. I’m sure my photo on Instagram showed how wonderful it was.

It was pretty wonderful until about 10pm when Maddy wandered downstairs and threw up on Hubby, plus two sofa cushions. Or at midnight, when Libby threw up on the bedroom floor.

Yeah, up and down until 3am with sick twins is no fun way to spend any night, let alone Valentine’s Day.

So maybe the  fairy-dusted unicorn trodden path is better.  Because I don’t think anyone wanted to see the other relived.

Weak Moment

Growing up, my family was never into Disney. I went once, maybe twice. I had a good time, enjoyed the rides, but when I visited I was probably past the princess stage when and on to chasing boys on the playground.

I remember watching Bambi and Cinderella and reading some Disney books, but they weren’t my favorites. I didn’t want to be a princess or live in a castle.

When I had twin daughters, I was a little turned off by the whole Princess shenanigan. Princess shirts, tiaras, on the bottom of sweatpants (hello!?), princess parties, etc. I get it – princesses are pretty and sparkly. They live in glass castles and ride around in pumpkin carriages with handsome princes. They have ballgowns and teeny tiny slippers. Awesome. Let’s just say that I didn’t willingly bring princess crap into our house.

Somehow … it just infiltrated it’s way in. Maddy and Libby started talking about princesses, but not in any kind of specific Disney related way. It started with a few costumes and dress up shoes. We graduated to a few princess dolls on their birthday, Halloween princess costumes, watching Beauty & The Beast at the movies, and somehow full blown Princess mania. This Christmas alone looked like Disney sponsored their gifts. Princess puzzles, Pez dispensers, lipgloss, a trip to Disney on Ice, two DVD’s, and a LeapPad Cinderella game. Maddy and Libby make up stories about princesses and name their stuffed animals “Princess” and “Cinderella.” It is kind of mind-blowing.

Last night, I told them that they could watch 30 minutes of Cinderella before bedtime and it was over and showed a sneak peak of Fantasyland that has recently been renovated and opened at Disney.

Holy Smokes … I was drawn in like a moth to a flame. It was amazing. I found myself looking up prices of hotels, who you can have lunch with at the castle, and what rides are available. Yes, I know … fiscal cliff 2013 still exists, but this is FANTASYLAND, y’all.

After I learned that the cost of a Disney vacation is roughly $1000+ per person, I always thought it was ridiculous. In my opinion, we have so many other places in the United States that are worthy of that kind of expense, but I got sucked in to the magic, too.

I can’t believe I am writing this, but I have found myself considering a trip. I mean, the girls are 4 1/2. If we are going to go, it’s definitely the right time. They are still at the age where they believe in the magic and aren’t chasing boys on the playground and slamming doors in the house.

Where did my babies go and when I did get so weak? Is anyone else out there anti-Disney and did you ever switch over to the dark side?

So, now what?

The marathon is over, so now what do we do?

In the past, I have definitely felt a little down after my half-marathon training has finished.  You just feel like something is missing, but I definitely needed the time off after the full.

After taking a week off, I met ET and Ria for an easy 5-miler on Sunday morning. We even said out loud, “Does anyone know we are marathoners?” If you looked closely you could tell … 26.2 magnets on all of our cars and new Marine Corp Marathon hats on our heads!

It felt good to see that my legs still worked and nothing was too stiff or sore. I also made it to a yoga class in the afternoon, and on a Target excursion with my girls. $1 princess lipgloss! I told them they could pick out one item from the Dollar Spot and they both picked lipgloss. They may or may not have looked like clowns/over done beauty queens on the ride home, but I loved seeing how excited they were about their new purchases.

Libby asked how much the lipgloss cost and did we have to pay for it. I told her “One dollar & yes, we have to pay.” I  asked if she had any money to pay for it. She thought for a minute, said no, and with eyes wide, asked “But, do you?” After I said yes, then she said, “Well, you can pay for it Mama.” Smart girl.

So, a few fitness goals for the coming months:

  • Run a half-marathon on Dec. 1
  • Try to make it to yoga once a week.
  • I definitely want to keep running and would like to run at least once a week.
  • Check out Bikram yoga again. I bought a Groupon and I thought it would be good to use this winter.

I can’t believe it’s already November and now getting dark at 5pm.

A comparison of childbirth and marathon training

Two seemingly different events, but somehow feel eerily similar to me right now.

1. I think I want to have a baby/run a marathon. Feelings: excited, nervous, scared,  and possibly unprepared. You receive “atta boys” from friends and comments like “Why in the world would you want to do something like that!?” You may question if you’ll be a good parent or could possibly run 26.2 miles.

2. The training/gestation can be a lengthy process. 9 months, 18 weeks … it’s all a long time. I think people even say during pregnancy, it’s a marathon; not a sprint.

3. Your body changes, aches, and you realize that certain body parts may never be the same again. I have accepted that my stomach will never look the same after having twins. I am also coming to realize that my toes may never feel or look the same again either.

4. You buy a lot of gear. My Mom always tells me that she didn’t have half of what we have when she had a baby. According to her, all you needed were a few blankets, bottles, and cloth diapers. There is a rumor that I slept in a drawer for a while. I used to think the same about running. All you really need are good shoes, but somehow find yourself in a garmincompressiongusweatybandrunningskirtfoamrollerspecialsocksheadlampinserts  induced shopping event. I did the same thing at Babies R Us, but it was blanketsbibsstrollersbreastpumpslingcribsbouncyseatsbathtubboardbooks.

5. Both cause strange dreams, anxiety, planning, schedules, charts, lists, and reading of books.  Dreams of leaving your baby on a school bus, dreams of never ending hills, or leaving your running shoes at home on race day. I knew how far along I was and I know how many weeks I’ve been training. There is a lot of talk of what it will be like, how I will feel, preparing for what could happen. I used to spend a lot of time on seeing what size fruit the baby was compared to this week. Ooh, look – an english cucumber! Now, I’m google searching for “how to run a 4:30 marathon” and over-analyzing race recaps.

6. You get a lot of unsolicited advice. It feels like every week I hear, “My Aunt’s cousin’s friend ran a marathon. You better buy a lot of Body Glide.”  or “My brother’s co-workers Uncle has twins. You better start saving for college.”

7. It’s going to hurt before it’s all over.  No matter how strong you are, how high of a pain threshold you have, it hurts. Natural birth, C-section, home birth. There are definitely times of discomfort. Running for 26.2 miles, I expect that it’s not going to feel like a stroll in the park. I will be proud of both scars ~ visible or not.

8. I eat like a man. While pregnant, it was nothing for me to “out-eat” my husband. Until closer to the end when I ran out of room. It was depressing to be able to eat what I wanted and not care and after a few bites, I felt full. So sad. Ice cream wants to be eaten. Training for a marathon = I’m hungry. All the time. Carb loading? Heck, yeah! Bring on the bread!

9. Pregnancy and marathon training may both cause strange sleep patterns. Night sweats, multiple bathroom visits, stacks of pillow, and middle of the night acrobatics all caused me to sleep in short bursts. This also caused my husband to move to the spare room/sofa by my third trimester. During marathon training, it has been super early alarm clocks for training runs, sore or restless legs, and the constant threat of “I have to get up early … don’t wake me up!” Spouses of pregnant women or those running marathons deserve medals too.

10. The rewards are plentiful. Ok, so no medal or race shirt is ever going to top my beautiful daughters. I do think that both experiences have given me more than I would have ever thought. Both have pushed me, made me stronger, more humble, and a better person. I love the challenge and seeing first hand that the human body is an amazing machine.

Teaching Moment

As parents, my husband and I find ourselves throwing out statements like, “If you don’t sit down, get in the bathtub, try a vegetable, then xyz will (or won’t) happen.”

I don’t know if this is the most effective method, but usually when we mention withholding something fun like dance class, the treat after dinner, an upcoming event, etc., they suddenly do what they are told.

Today, we were giving the girls a bath and Maddy had already gotten out. Libby stayed in saying she wanted to “swim.” This was fine, but she kept kicking and splashing water – all over C and on the floor. C had already told her twice not to splash. She kept looking at him and throwing her leg down.

He finally said, “Do not splash again, or you will not go to dance.” Two seconds later, SPLASH.

It took her about 45 minutes to completely calm down and stop saying “I want to go to dance.”

What she doesn’t realize is it’s just as hard if not harder to change the schedule, not send her to dance, one of us stay home with her, etc, but we both fully agree if you make the threat, you have to keep it no matter how hard it is. It’s hard to see your child that upset, but I know we have a lifetime more.

I was proud of C for not backing down. No one wants to be the bad guy, but Libby deserved the punishment. We explained to Maddy that Libby wasn’t allowed to go to dance because she didn’t make a good choice.

I think we all learned something today. Being 4 years old and being a parent ain’t easy.

So I can remember forever

Said to me by Maddy and Libby in the past two days.

Libby: “Mama, you’re pretty.”

Maddy: “Mama, you’re fabulous!”

Libby “What’s fabulous?”

and today

Libby: “Mama, I love you. I love you forever.” This one included a big, big hug that made my heart melt and not want to get in the car to drive to work.

Sigh. I love those girls probably more than they will ever know and that is probably why when one requests a specific blanket at 2AM, I am blindly navigating stairs and our family room to find it.

I’ve said it before, but my heart is full.


Last night when reading about Curious George’s trip to the library, Libby was sitting in my lap.

I noticed she kept rubbing her nose.

Finally she said in the sweetest voice imaginable, “Mama, I think I’m bleeding.” as she pushed two bloody hands in front of me. We quickly got to the bathroom, got a cold compress on her bleeding nose, and cleaned her up. Poor thing.

That girl is tough. She didn’t cry, she didn’t freak out, she just wanted to wash her hands. She let me clean her face, hold the washcloth on her nose, change her PJ’s all without flipping her lid. I am pretty calm under pressure, but it’s a bit freaky to suddenly see your baby bleeding. Even if it is just coming out of the nose.

Mama Bear mode and the instinct to protect just kicks in, no matter how big or little the boo-boo.

Random Tuesday

So, today started with a hard nearly-4 mile run in the neighborhood … this was after oversleeping and not running at 5:45 AM with my girlies. Whoops. So guilt forced me out the door at 9:15 AM when it was already HOT. But, I managed 3.89 miles in under a 10 minute mile, so go me.

Funniest sight along the way … “50 Shades of Gray Painting Company” sign in someone’s yard. How much business is that guy getting!?!

Next, I went to visit a potential Showhouse location for the Junior League. Amazing, but I have been sworn to secrecy, but AMAZING including hand-forged wrought iron, elevator, murals, etc. etc.

A trip to Wally World with the girls who managed to get in and out of the cart about 1,000 times, but I was proud when there were no meltdowns over not buying miniature etch-a-sketches.

A late and much needed shower turned into someone scribbling with a green marker over all of the throw pillows on the sofa. Arrrrgh. No one fessed up, but luckily, everything came out and nearly all of the slipcovers are clean and hanging to dry around our house.

The night ended with dinner prepared by moi, a family walk around the neighborhood, a skinned knee, hydrangea picking, bathtime and bedtime.

Now, off to read Catching Fire … I might have to download the 3rd book tonight. Squeeal!