Monday, March 31, 2008

don't ever leave the door open ...

for an insult, that is. Little kids always say exactly what they are thinking and one of mine did just that today ... unintentionally insulting me (or at least I hope it was unintentional). Anyway, the conversation went like this. (Me pinching Dizzle's behind) "You've got a little butt. You've got a little butt." To which Dizzle replied, "Mommy's got a big butt. Mommy's got a big butt." Of course! Seriously, what did I expect to happen? Ok, so I have to admit, I kind of chuckled. But whether or not Dizzle's statement is true, it got me motivated.

So, right after I put the girls to bed tonight, I headed off to the treadmill. Which for some strange reason, as much as I loathe it, I have recently much preferred to pushing a 70-plus pound stroller during my runs. (Hopefully, the weather will cooperate soon and I will want to be outside with my BOB.) Ok, enough digression. So I headed off to the treadmill for a quick run. And do I mean quick! I finished my three mile sprint in 23:52 ... by far my fastest three miles ever! Thanks for the insult, Dizzle. It really got me moving.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

no more baby hair ...

I finally did it. After nearly three years, I took Dizzle to the salon and had her hair cut. Bye-bye baby hair, hello big girl style. Now I completely realize that it may seem crazy that it took that long (most kids I know lose their baby locks before their first birthday), but while Dizzle's hair grew, it really didn't grow down, but rather out. She has a head full of super tight curls, which everyone raves about, but honestly I could do without. It's hard to brush, it collects lint, and dries out if you wash it too frequently. But alas, her "baby 'fro" is all we've ever known. (Just a side note: It looks like Doodle is destined for the same fate.)

Although her hair reached her waist when wet, Dizzle probably could have gone until age eight without it coming past her shoulders when dry. However, after getting one too many comments about the mess on Dizzle's head in the pictures from Easter morning, I decided that action needed to be taken. So after several referrals from friends we headed off to Pigtails and Crewcuts (It's a chain ... awesome in every sense of the word. Take your little ones.)

I thought for sure Dizzle was going to freak, even at the thought of getting her hair cut. I mean, come on, she hates it when I wash, brush or put up her hair. But did she ever surprise me. As we pulled into the parking lot she said to me, "The hair cutter lady is going to cut my hair. Cut, cut, cut. And then I get a lollipop." I laughed to myself, thinking she was so cute, while at the same time I prayed they actually had lollipops, or I was going to be screwed. (Don't worry, they did.)

So we made our way inside and Dizzle got to pick out her chair. It was a tough decision between the airplane and the taxi cab, but ultimately the cab won out. So she hopped on in and put on the apron. (This is the point where I was sure full on tears were going to make an appearance.) The stylist (or hair cutter lady) sprayed and combed her hair, then started to cut. And what happened? Nothing. Dizzle was a champ. She sat there smiling, asking on several occasions, "We all done?"

When we were actually "all done," we brushed off Dizzle, paid and grabbed her souvenir photo and lock of hair. We (or rather I) had survived. And being the polite 34 month old that she is, Dizzle grabbed her lollipop, walked out the door and yelled back, "Thank you for cutting my hair!"

So what's happened since? Well, my little princess is convinced that she is the most beautiful thing going. (Honestly, let's be real. She is!) And in addition to her "Prom Queen" state of mind, she has asked me six times today if she can go get it cut again ... I am seriously in for a world of trouble.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

100 Things About Me

saw this done on a blog I enjoy and thought it was a cool concept. Little did I know how hard it would be to compile. So read and enjoy and maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t know about me.

1. My name is Tonia (Toe-Knee-Ahh).
2. I have always had a bit of distain for my name, as I have rarely met a person who could pronounce it correctly without hearing it first.
3. Because my name is unique, I wanted somewhat unique names for my children. My plan kind of backfired. My older daughter's name, while unique for a girl was the fifth most popular name for a boy the year she was born and my youngest daughter's name was the 22nd most popular in the year I bestowed it on her.
4. My sisters do not have unique names. My parents chose Angela and Gina for them. So not fair!
5. I always wanted two children, preferably a boy and a girl, even more preferably born in a bubble. Neither of those things happened.
6. I am thankful that they didn’t.
7. When I met my husband, I thought he had a huge gap between his front teeth. He doesn’t.
8. Both of my children do.
9. I got married in the Bahamas.
10. It was one of the best days of my life.
11. One of the most memorable things that happened that day had nothing to do with me. My little sister fainted during the photos. Scary then. Funny now.
12. I don’t like waiting … for anything.
13. I am a quick decision maker. I bought a house, got married and was pregnant with my first child in a matter of four months.
14. I had my first child young … I was 23.
15. It was the best decision I ever made.
16. Two of my biggest accomplishments are graduating from an Ivy League university and finishing a marathon.
17. My other two biggest accomplishments are my daughters.
18. Proof of the first two is hanging on my wall. I would hang my children on the wall too, but I think that is frowned upon.
19. I finished college in three years.
20. I did it because I was sick and tired of both school and accruing student loans.
21. I have never had a real job (i.e. one I could support myself with).
22. However, being a stay-at-home mom is more job than I could have ever wanted.
23. I currently work part-time as a fitness director.
24. It is my passion.
25. I used to hate running and would avoid it at all costs.
26. I still hate running, but I run at least four days a week and am mildly addicted.
27. I used to be overweight.
28. That is no longer the case and on more than one occasion have been told that I need to eat something.
29. When I was 12 I broke my pelvis and dislocated my hip.
30. I was on bed-rest for two and a half months.
31. Although my doctors were sure that I would never return to sports I did, and I competed through college.
32. The only lasting effect of the injury is that my right leg is an inch and a half longer than my left.
33. I am a two-time NJ State Champion in the shot put.
34. I still hold numerous county and school records in both the shot put and the discus.
35. I have two tattoos, one is a discus thrower.
36. The other is Chinese symbols.
37. I want a third – a shamrock and my children’s initials.
38. At one point in my life, I had 12 ear piercings, in addition to a belly ring, an eyebrow ring, and a tongue ring.
39. I still have the belly ring.
40. I started dating my husband while on a trip to England.
41. We dated for 10 months before becoming engaged.
42. We didn’t live in the same state until a month before our wedding.
43. If given three wishes, I would wish for wealth for my family, health for my family, and for my father to be able to meet my husband and children.
44. If I was only given one wish, I would wish for my father to meet my husband and children.
45. My father passed away when I was 20.
46. It was the worst moment of my life.
47. It was also one of the best moments of my life. It completely changed my perspective on life and how I approach things. It made me into the person that I have become and that is a person that I am 100 percent happy with, both inside and out.
48. I miss him everyday.
49. I have known my best friend for 23 years.
50. I am only 26 years old.
51. I was the first of my friends to get married and have children.
52. This makes me feel much older than I am.
53. But it will also make for an early empty nest.
54. I watch too much TV.
55. My favorites are teenage dramas and reality shows.
56. I could live off hamburgers and ice cream, but I would have to workout far more than I do now.
57. I have taken a vow to not buy any clothes this year.
58. Or toys for my children.
59. We have enough of both.
60. I write lists for everything, including other lists.
61. I pack two weeks in advance to avoid forgetting something.
62. I usually still forget something.
63. Last year I vowed to cook dinner Monday-Friday for my family for the entire year.
64. I did, and I still do.
65. My favorite sandwich is peanut butter and banana.
66. I eat it everyday. Sometimes twice.
67. I will finish paying off my college education two months before my oldest daughter enters college.
68. I missed 72 days of school in my junior year of high school. I still got straight A’s.
69. I missed finishing in the top 10 of my high school class by .001 of a point.
70. I was 11th.
71. I only keep in touch with two people from high school.
72. They both served as maids-of-honor in my wedding.
73. The last time I had an alcoholic drink was at my wedding.
74. It was an amaretto sour.
75. I don’t plan on ever having one again.
76. For no other reason than I don’t like how it tastes.
77. The only thing I ate at my wedding was a cream puff and a bite of wedding cake.
78. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
79. Christmas is a close second. Only because I really love the look of joy on people’s faces when you get them a gift they truly love.
80. I hate Christmas music, without exception.
81. Ok, maybe one exception – The Tran Siberian Orchestra.
82. I was born in February.
83. I have always been jealous that I never had a pool party for my birthday.
84. My father once called me out of work and said that I had "explosive diarrhea."
85. It wasn’t true.
86. I am cheap. So cheap that my children wear cloth diapers, and not because it is good for the environment.
87. I often put my kids to bed extremely early because at least one of two things is true. 1: I have had enough of them and/or 2: They can’t tell time and don’t know how early it is.
88. I love to travel, yet have done very little traveling, mostly because I have either been pregnant or had children for all but two months of my married life, which began less than six months after I graduated.
89. I want to travel to Australia more than anywhere else.
90. Yet, if I could live anywhere, at least for a little while, it would be the Pacific Northwest.
91. Whenever I stay at a hotel I always sleep with a hood on. I don’t like my face resting on the same pillowcase that others have used.
92. I almost never drink anything with calories. It’s always water, unsweetened iced tea and diet soda for me. I love eating too much to waste any calories on a beverage.
93. I’m not a sucker for romance. I think jewelry and flowers, while a nice gesture, are a waste of money. Give me a box of donuts and a good pair of running shoes any day.
94. Although I am not a jewelry fan, I never take off my wedding band and engagement ring. I even play soccer with them on.
95. As a child I played the clarinet. My parents bought me one for Christmas and I quit playing the following spring.
96. I am tall for a girl, 5’8 ½"
97. Yet, I am destined to be the shortest member of my family. My husband is 6’7" and both of my daughters are above the 90th percentile in height.
98. It’s said that you can double a child’s height somewhere between age 2 and 2 ½ to get an idea of how tall they will be. If I do that for my oldest and it’s true, she will be between 6’ and 6’3.
99. Most people’s feet grow during pregnancy. Mine shrunk a half size. Now I need all new shoes.
100. I hate wearing shoes. But, alas, no shoes, no service. So in my opinion, sandals are the best option, sneakers are close second and dead last, heels, I can barely walk in heels.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

candy and easter eggs galore

I have always loved holidays. That sentiment is even more true now that I have children. Now, I'm not one to go overboard, in fact I prefer a bit of modesty when it come to holiday glitz and glamour. Instead, I find that the best moments come when you simply enjoy the happiness that the holidays bring. As simple as it is, there is something magical in the amazement children express about the tiniest gesture.

That amazement was apparent in my house this morning. All we did for Easter was give the girls baskets and had a mini Easter egg hunt (mainly for Dizzle). The baskets were simple, some candy, a DVD and a book or two. But the girls thought they were the best things ever. Dizzle loved how the Easter Bunny knew exactly what she liked. She said, "The Easter Bunny brought me M&M's because I love them." Doodle, just sat there, all chubby and cute, digging through her's and her sister's baskets trying to bite through the plastic to get to the food.

Once the baskets had been ripped apart, we moved on to the Easter egg hunt. On a quest for 16 eggs (all in clear sight, might I add), Dizzle was off on a mad dash. Doodle found her first (and only) egg, which Dizzle later tried to steal, shortly after we started. Dizzle searched everywhere, snatching up each egg and shaking it before she dropped it in her basket. It was adorable to watch and a blatant realization that my babies are growing up. They didn't need help opening their baskets and they didn't need help finding those eggs. It makes me extremely happy and sad at the same time. Strange how that can happen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

back on the road again ...

Tomorrow will be six days post-marathon and the furthest I have attempted to run was two laps around a yard about half the size of a soccer field. And honestly it was far enough. But now I am feeling fully recovered, at least physically, and tomorrow I am going to attempt a six mile run (basically on the course of my upcoming 10K). While I know I can run that far, I am slightly scared that I am not mentally prepared. I'm really afraid that I am going to get about three minutes in and want to stop. (Yeah, I know I just ran for five hours straight ... but I prepared 16 weeks for that.) Luckily, J is going to join me (and the rest of my Saturday morning run group), so if I attempt to flake out someone will stop me. I'll let you know how it goes!

On the racing front, I did some research on upcoming races and found more than a few that I would like to run. I just hate that we aren't sure how much longer we will be living here (J always has the possibilitity to be moved) and I am a planner. I want to register for everything and set out on a course of action. But, alas, I will have to restrain myself. I'm going to register one race at a time and take it from there. But in case you care, my ideal race schedule for the next nine months would look like this ... three 5K's, one 8K, three 10K's and two half marathons, with the random race stuck in here or there.

On the family front, things have been a little nuts around here, which makes me happy that I have taken a week off from training (it let me breathe a little). J has been working a ton (huge project, no time) and will be traveling for the next two weeks. How I hate when that happens! Both girls have been high-strung, so I have felt a little overwhelmed. But that's life and we will get through it. I just think I am going to need a good massage, a good run and a bunch of alone time when J gets back!

Monday, March 17, 2008

one and done ...

I did it! I am officially a marathoner. It's a title I will proudly carry for the rest of my life, yet it's something I NEVER want to do again. I seriously give credit to those people who run marathon after marathon, but I can't figure out how they do it. Or really why they would want to. Now don't get me wrong, it was amazing to cross that finish line (albeit slower than I had hoped) but the entire experience was painful and long and very time consuming, not only the race but the four months of training prior to the race.

Now I'm sure had I not had to run on a fractured ankle, I might feel a little differently about the situation, but probably not. I'm pretty sure I wasn't made to run marathons ... it took too much of a toll on my body. However, I do believe that a half-marathon is something I could really enjoy doing (and even do well at). I know my body can handle it. I ran eight consecutive long runs of 13 or longer (comfortably, might I add). So no more marathons! EVER!

So I know you are dying to hear how the race went ... And here it is. S and I started out the race in fine shape. We ran just behind the four hour pace team and came through mile six in 56 minutes. But my ankle already hurt. I told S that I was sure that I wasn't going to make the whole race without some walking so she should leave me, and it's a good thing she did. (She went on to finish in 4:22! Yeah S!) As I watched S pull further and further away, I just prayed I could finish. I pushed on, running the first 10 miles, then I changed my strategy. I walked the first two minutes of each mile and then ran to the next mile marker. (My half-marathon split was 2:12 - 10:07 miles) That worked until mile 18.5 (3:11 split - 10:38 miles). But then I thought my day was done. I was in so much pain that it hurt to walk, so running was out of the question. But still I pushed on, walking the next four miles. But then at around mile 22 my ankle felt fine (it was actually just numb). So I popped some tylenol, and ran to the finish, picking up the pace, especially in that last mile (eight minutes) and finished in 5:06:38. Not the time I had dreamed of, but I never imagined I would have to do it on a broken foot either. So in the end I averaged 11:42 miles and finished ahead of 468 people. At least I wasn't last!

Friday, March 14, 2008

wind ... who said anything about wind?

The marathon is just two days away. And my baby's first birthday is less than 24 hours from now. Happy Birthday Doodle!! Anyway, back to the race. It's exactly 48 hours from when I started this post, and we all know I have ankle drama. For those of you who don't know the story here's the short version. Four weeks ago, my ankle started to hurt. I think it's a stress fracture. My doctor thinks it's a stress fracture. The MRI says ... well, it says nothing because we don't get the results back until after the race. Either way, the doc doesn't want me to run. Do I care? No.

So I have all these issues with my foot, compounded by the fact that this is my first marathon and I have no clue of what to expect. Add that to the forecasted weather, and I have to admit I am a little freaked out. Rain I can handle. Cold temperatures I can handle. But wind? That's scary. Now I know you are saying, "T, you're running at the beach. Of course it's going to be windy." Yes, I know this, but there is a difference between an ocean breeze and wind. And what they are forecasting is wind. 31 mph wind to be exact. Not fun. But then again, if I have a shattered ankle by the end of the race, the wind will be the least of my concerns. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 10, 2008

a compromise has been made

I have always wanted two children. I had hoped that science would have improved enough by the time I was ready to have those children, that I would have "bubble babies" - literally a baby born in a bubble. But, alas that did not happen. So I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have twins?" I mean, come on, only one pregnancy. But, that too, didn't work out. So I had two pregnancies and two beautiful little girls. And I wouldn't change a thing!

But as Doodle has gotten older, J and I have contemplated having more than our agreed upon two. But I'm fearful of odd number children (isn't one always left out), so, having one more really means having two more. Initially, we were pumped and agreed that we could handle four. That it wouldn't be that much of a change. I mean come on, our kids are great and if we were lucky enough to get two more like them it would be a piece of cake.

So, we decided to stop preventing another pregnancy and let nature take it's course. But as reality of what another child (and ultimately children) would mean really set in, we began to have second thoughts. It's expensive to have more kids. We are spenders and a family of six means a bigger car, a bigger house and a bigger grocery bill. The trips we want to take would continue to get put off. Would we be able to give them all that they need and want?

And what about me, I would lose my body to pregnancy again (twice) and I would be breastfeeding for two years on top of that. Theoretically, if we spaced them closely (two years apart) I would not have my body back until 2011 ... That's seven years of pregnancy and breastfeeding! And although I am being selfish, I don't know that I am prepared for that.

That being said, I would still love more kids. I would make the sacrifices, because I know that just having your children in your life make it worth it. But both J and I are going to have to compromise on some things, if it is ever going to happen.

To begin with is the number thing, in this time of economic downsizing, we too plan to downsize our brood from four to three. Giving us one more chance for that much elusive boy, but still keeping us from needing to upgrade our car, our house and everything else. Not to mention, keep us from needing to purchase six plane tickets to visit the grandparents.

The second compromise, which I actually proposed, is that we are giving it four months to happen. If by June, I am still not with child (you like that old fashioned talk, right?) we will stop trying and continue life with our family of four. Because, to be honest, I love my family exactly the way it is. I want to enjoy every moment with them and not stress about a "future addition." I don't want to be a slave to cycle-charting, peeing on a stick, and all that come with pregnancy and trying to conceive. So if I happens, it happens and we will be elated. And if it doesn't, then it doesn't and we will be equally as elated. I truly believe that what is supposed to happen will.

So for all of you that want to see me get fat, sorry, I mean pregnant, send fertility vibes my way. Or if you just want another grandchild, niece, nephew or all-around cute baby in the world, you can send those best wishes our way. But make it quick, the countdown has begun!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

only six more to go ... oh, yeah then 26.2

One week and counting ... that is all that is left until the marathon! A mere six miles of training this week then perhaps the longest four plus hours of my life. I am counting down the seconds until all of this training pays off and I cross that finish line. In fact, I already know what I am going to do shortly after getting back from the race ... get my medal and bib number framed. Then I will hang it next to my college diploma. Two of my biggest accomplishments, right next to each other. I would hang my kids on the wall too (as they top off my list of accomplishments), but I'm pretty sure that is frowned upon.

This morning I completed my last long training run, testing my ankle and what I dubbed the "running miracle." I made it through the first hour of the run without any pain at all (Yippee!), and luckily, since we were blazing fast again (8:33 miles), I only had to endure 8 minutes of a minor ache. I guess I still need to go see what the doctor says, but I really am feeling much better.

Unfortunately, Doodle is not feeling as great. She has been dealing with constipation recently, caused from what I believe to be a slow digestive system (thanks to me) and a little to much whole milk too soon (also thanks to me). On top of that she spiked a 102.8 fever this evening, so my little one is in rough shape. Hopefully, she has a peaceful night and wakes up refreshed, fever-free, with an empty colon. If not, maybe the doctor's office will squeeze her in tomorrow morning ... Feel better, baby!

Friday, March 7, 2008

could it be?

Dare I say it? Could it really be? Is my ankle pain gone for good? I'm not convinced, but all signs point to YES! I made it through three runs this week without the slightest discomfort. Yeah! But isn't that always how it is? You make a doctor's appointment and then suddenly, all that ails you suddenly stops. The true test of my ankle will be tomorrow's eight miler. If I make it through that pain free, I am going to believe that a running miracle has occurred.

Maybe all this foot pain was my body's way of reminding me that I am not an elite runner and to stop pushing myself so freakin' hard. Maybe all I needed was to back off a little so my body would be ready for the real test - 26.2. Who knows? All that matters is that I feel good now, and as long as I can make it nine more days, I will be fine.

On a completely different note, Dizzle once again stunned me with a comment she made recently. Like every morning we were off to Stroller Strides and Dizzle told me that she was and I quote, "scared of Stroller Strides." When I asked her why she replied, "Cause they're all vampires." Seriously, where does she come up with this? I proceeded to tell her that she need not be scared, but if she didn't behave that I would let them all eat her. (Is that child abuse?) To which she replied, "No, Mommy! I not food." Too funny!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

oh no, not a stress fracture

Well, the pancakes were fabulous (Thanks K!) and the run was really good too! We trekked off the beaten trail and left the asphalt behind for a nine mile trail run, which we somehow finished in 1:18:12 ... that's right, 8:43 miles! Seriously, when did we get so fast? That being said, there was one downside to the run. The last half mile was uphill, not necessarily a bad thing, but my ankle felt like it was going to snap the entire time. The pain changed my gait and I struggled to finish, which has me scared about running 26.2.

I didn't trip or fall or twist my ankle. This is a definite overuse injury. No swelling, just tenderness and pain when I run. All the telltale signs of a stress fracture. Such horrible timing! With just 12 days until the marathon, I am going to push through the pain. I'm really hoping that the taper and extra rest will help heal it enough that I can make it through the race so I can reach my goal. And if that doesn't work, maybe the adrenaline will help me ignore the pain. For all of you that think I am crazy, I know I am, but I am practical too. I will be going to a doctor next week to check it out. I just might ignore what he says.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Yummy, Yummy Pancakes

So here we are, 15 days and counting until the marathon. The last 14 weeks seem to have flown by. (Well, except for those torturous long runs.) I took today off, so that I could run with my training partners tomorrow morning on a rare Sunday run and I am super excited. Not really for the run (which is only nine miles - Yeah taper!!), but for the yummy, yummy pancakes that K's husband will be making for us while we are out on our loop. Yes, I know it's shocking, I'm excited about food! But really, isn't that why we run anyway? So we can eat all that we want?

Speaking of food, it seems that we will have a boatload of people (Mom, 3 As, and E) joining S and I for the marathon, and thus Doodle's birthday dinner the night before. I so can't wait to carbo-load (and eat cake!) It's really crazy to think that in just two weeks, Doodle will be one. Seriously, where did this last year go. J and I were just saying at dinner how it is so amazing how much a child can change in one year. It's pretty obvious in that first year, but even Dizzle has grown leaps and bounds. At this time last year, she said 3 words (Mama, Dada and Baby) and now she never shuts up! She is smart and sassy and incredibly funny.

In addition to her vocabulary's growth, Dizzle has grown in size too. So much so that we had to retire her car seat (crazy - since she's only two and a half) and replace it with a booster because the straps didn't fit anymore and she moved into her new bunk bed tonight. No more toddler bed!! She's so not a baby anymore. And I'm sure that in a blink of an eye, Doodle will be just as big and just as vocal and I will completely shocked at how fast it happened. But for now, as my babies sleep peacefully upstairs, I am going to forget that they are growing up and that they are changing every second. Instead, I am going to focus on what is truly important at a time like this ...

... those yummy, yummy pancakes!