Sunday, September 28, 2008

infestation ...

of FLEAS ...

That's how we started our vacation. With a phone call from my aunt and uncle saying they had arrived at the house we had rented for the week and it was infested with fleas. Not exactly how I envisioned our week of relaxation. J and I instantly went into parent mode. Planned our attack on the rental company (who were trying to convince us to stay in that house with the promise of free dinner) and were ready to fight for a new rental (and a more expensive house, obviously).

I mean, come on. Who in their right mind would (knowingly) let their children crawl around on floors and furniture covered in fleas? Or after the fumigation with all those toxic chemicals everywhere? Not us. And thankfully the exterminator agreed and the rental company was essentially forced to move us. (And yes, it was to a more expensive property.)

(Just a note: the rental company SWEARS that the "pet-free" house we rented had not been visited by a four-legged friend, but rather fleas are indigenous to the area. They also opened the door and let themselves in.)

After we got settled into our new house, things calmed down. And became pretty typical of our everyday life, just at the beach. You know how it went. Dizzle freaked out when asked to leave the playground (even though she witnessed Doodle coming millimeters away from a concussion), Doodle made a never-ending plead for more food (wide-open mouth and everything) and I ran. J got to play golf, which kept me busier with the girls than I would have liked, but he more than made up for it on the days weather kept him off the course.

Somehow, we made it through the week without any major drama. And honestly, I'm a little surprised (seriously, we're never that chill.) And aside from the obvious (fleas, the endless 30 mph winds from the Nor'easter, and Doodle's few near misses of serious injury), I did get the peaceful week I so longed for (and I survived no email and no phone - shocking).

Friday, September 19, 2008

a well deserved break ...

Although the our week of ups and downs seems to have ended on a high note (more on that in the coming weeks), we all could use a break. And that's exactly what we are getting.

Tomorrow morning (after my 6 am long run, of course), we are off to the Outer Banks for a week. No work. No preschool. Hopefully, no drama. Just peace. Which means that you will be left with a week of no B Clan antics (although, I'm sure I'll have lots to report upon returning). How ever will you cope?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

because I know you care ...

Since my last overly dramatic post, we have had improvements on the preschool front. After many discussions about behavior over the last two days, Dizzle made the departure from school this afternoon much less dramatic. She even walked out of the gate without any kicking or screaming. Amazing, right?

Unfortunately, we (read: J) resorted to bribery to accomplish a peaceful exit. The verdict is still out on whether or not that was a smart idea. Today's success could mean that we'll be paying out the a** for the remainder of the school year. Fantastic ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

at the end of my rope ...

Today has been one of those days that makes me question how exactly I got here. And I don't mean in the "big scheme of things" kind of way, but rather, "how exactly did I get to the point that a three-year old could make me cry?"

Yes, you read that right. A three-year old made me cry. An event that has pretty much tested my last nerve.

So, remember how I mentioned that Dizzle LOVES preschool so much that she wants to live there? Well, I learned today that she wasn't kidding. After a quiet, yet rather exciting morning (thanks to Stroller Strides' mom, JT, who in an amazing gesture of generosity, gave me the ultrasound package she won at Fall into Fitness), I went to pick up Dizzle from school. Knowing that I would be greeted with a hug and then I fight, I went in prepared. Or so I thought.

Within two seconds of telling Dizzle it was time to go, she started shouting, "I don't like you. I don't love you. I'm not going with you. I'm staying here." At that point I was just praying that the other kids were being loud enough to drown out her cries. Anyway, after dragging her off to the car (literally, she wouldn't walk), she continued the "mom-bashing" in the car. For 15 minutes, I heard, "You're a mean mommy. I don't love you. I'm not going anywhere with you." OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!

And that was all it took, I broke down into tears. In fact, just rereading it has got me crying again. OK, so I know I'm super-charged emotional pregnant lady right now. And I know she didn't really mean it. She was just angry. But that's not much of a consolation at this moment. She may not have meant it, but I KNOW she knew what she was saying. Last time I checked, Dizzle was well aware that there is a difference between, "I love you" and "I don't love you." She's a smart girl.

Once we got home, I gave Dizzle the ultimate punishment. A nap. The first one since she was 18 months old. And you really would have thought that I chopped her arm off. (she's quiet. not sleeping.)

So, now I'm sitting here questioning whether or not I'm ever taking Dizzle back to school. I know she loves it. And Doodle and I enjoy our "alone time." But the fights (which occur if we are the first, or last people to leave) are more than I can handle and honestly, are not worth it to me. I really can't imagine being seven, eight, nine months pregnant trying to manhandle Dizzle off of school property with Doodle in the other hand. It's just not going to work.

Any bright ideas of how I'm going to make this preschool thing happen? Oh ... and don't tell me, "she'll grow out of it." It's been over two year that I've been having the same battle when we try to leave the playground ...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

why i should never mow the lawn ...

J and I have owned our own home for about four-and-a-half years (not the same home, but we have owned nonetheless). And do you know how many times I have mowed the lawn? Four. Twice in Erie. And twice here.

And how many times will I mow it in the future? Zero. Because somehow (with my vast wealth of lawn care knowledge), I managed to kill the lawnmower. DEAD. KAPUT.

I thought I was being nice. I thought I was helping out. But no. Instead of allowing J to spend the afternoon watching the Patriots (and out of the heat, might I add), I cost us a few hundred dollars. FANTASTIC!

Let's just say I won't be offering up my green thumb any time soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

week one down ...

So, Dizzle started preschool this week and although I tend to be slightly overbearing with my children, it really didn't phase me. Or her for that matter. In fact, like I had imagined, I had to pry her away, kicking and screaming. Shocker, right?

On Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to be the working parent in the classroom (she attends a co-op), which meant that Doodle and I spend the whole day with 15 three and four-year olds, trying not to disrupt them (oh, yeah, did I mention it's Montessori based? So, basically the working parents are really there to keep the kids from hurting anyone and to clean up afterwards).

Anyway, Doodle and I were in the classroom and Dizzle barely noticed. Except at lunch time, since we had to sit with her on ungodly small chairs and at miniature tables. (Would it really be that hard to have one adult table?) Then, when the day was over and I had finished my clean-up duties, the kicking and screaming ensued. Basically, Dizzle told me to go home without her because she was going to live at school. Oh, how loved I felt!

Today was slightly better. (Except that Doodle cried as I pulled her out of the line to enter the classroom. Apparently, she wanted to stay too. So, I officially have no children who need me. Well, maybe that one I'm gestating. But I'm sure that will change shortly after birth.)

Back to my point, today was better. I dropped her off, she told me she'd miss me and when I picked her up the tantrum was a tad shorter. (She still wants to live there, though.) And with that week one is in the books.

Oh yeah and isn't she just too cute?

Monday, September 8, 2008

all grown up ...

Me: "Dizzle, you are my baby. You'll always be my baby."

Dizzle: "Mommy, your baby is going to be four."

Well, excuse me ...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

rain, racing and chipotle ...

I would just like to start by saying a BIG thank you to Tropical Storm Hanna for providing me with the conditions (read: few competitors) to walk away with hardware from my first race ever (and probably last).

So, in case you haven't heard, yesterday's 5K was pretty awesome (even if we were drenched).

It was an all-around family affair, one that I hope to continue to repeat for years to come. Dizzle took part in her first "race" (if you want to call the Kid's Run, a race), completing three laps of the gym before announcing that she was, "too tired to run." It was so cute and it really made me excited for the first time we can run side by side during a race (plus pushing her in the stroller is getting kind of old. And the thought of pushing three is really scary.)

J ran in his first race since May. And although he wasn't happy with his time or the fact that his "moisture-wicking" shirt weighed about 10 lbs by the end of the race (despite ringing it out while running), he had fun. And really, how could you not? The fact that we actually rain during a tropical storm was kind of funny in itself.

So, I'm sure you figured it out by now that if J ran, I had to push both kids in the stroller. Luckily, I somehow convinced K and G that racing with me would be a good idea. And since they are such amazing friends, they both offered to push for me (not that I'd actually let them.)

Anyway, long story short, it was wet. K and I ran the whole race together. G dropped back about two miles in and J came in shortly after her. And somehow (again, thank you Hanna), I finished second in the stroller division and K and I went one-two in our age group!! Woo-hoo!!

Plus, by coming in second I got an awesome prize. A silver medal AND dinner for four at Chipotle (burritos, chips, guac and drinks). So awesome, right? What pregnant woman doesn't love 1500 calorie burritos? I know I do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

a year of racing ...

Tomorrow morning, I will be participating in a very soggy (thanks Hurricane Hanna) Annabelle's Angels 5K. An event that marks my one year anniversary of road racing (and really distance running for that matter). Prior to last September, I had never run three miles at any one time. In fact, I had been so opposed to running that I never completed the "mile run" in high school P.E. and as a Division 1 Track and Field athlete, I almost always found a way to get out of any "running" that lasted longer than a lap or two around the track. (Great work ethic, huh?)

But last year (while still pregnant with Doodle), something changed. I wanted to drop the baby weight, get healthy and most importantly, set a good example for my kids. So I decided to change my "anti-runner" ways (a PERMANENT lifestyle change, might I add), and vowed to run a 10K by the end of the year.

So that's what I did. When a group of Stroller Strides moms signed up to run the 2007 Annabelle's Angels 5K, I did too. I trained on my own (mostly to protect my own ego), following a program I saw in a magazine. It was slow going in those first weeks, a walk/run program that helped me build my endurance. But I muscled through and finished the 5K in 31:00 (while pushing Dizzle and Doodle). I felt accomplished and was hooked. Over the next two months, I ran three more races, including that 10K (which was very painful) that I had resolved to complete.

Then on November 26th, just over two months after my first race EVER, I started training for a marathon. Apparently, when I get going, I go big. It was an amazing experience, both mentally and physically. And I recommend that everyone try it, at least once (it will change you forever).

And how have I changed? Well, here's a short list of how my first year of running has affected me:

In my first year of running, I have become healthier than I have ever been.

In my first year of running, I have gained mental strength and self discipline.

In my first year of running, I have learned how to take time for myself and be a role model to my children.

In my first year of running, I have pushed myself farther than I thought I could, faster than I thought I could and harder than I thought I could.

In my first year of running, I met my 10K goal and went beyond it, completing 12 races (three 5K's, two 8K's, three 10K's, a half marathon, a marathon and two sprint triathlons).

In my first year of running, I ran 898 miles. If I averaged 10 minute miles, that equals 6.25 days of running or 150 hours.

In my first year of running, I have formed a bond with a group of amazing women thanks to the countless hours we have spent running together.

Kinda makes you want to lace up your sneakers and start pounding the pavement, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

i am so not her favorite ...

Yes, she loves me. Yes, she would miss me if I was gone. But I have long known that I am not Dizzle's favorite. That is a spot she reserves for her father. She always has and probably always will.

This fact became ever more apparent to me this morning when Dizzle screamed on the top of her lungs, "DAD! DAD! DAD!" as she awoke (much like she does every morning). But today was different. Today, I went to go get her, an event that Dizzle was very upset about.

It all started with Dizzle using her own body to barricade the door. Obviously, I was not wanted. Then, once I ever-so-gently shoved her out of the way, she turned to me and yelled, "I don't want you! I want Daddy!" To which I responded, "Why Daddy? Why don't you come with me?" And here's the kicker ...

"Because I don't like you."

At times, I swear she's demon-spawn. I knew she didn't mean it, but that didn't make it hurt any less. (However, the excess of cuddles and kisses today did help.)

And let me tell you, this is not a one time event. The same scenario played itself out yesterday too (and a zillion times before). We were at Dizzle's preschool's open house. Everything was going well (which makes me even more confident that she is COMPLETELY ready for school). So, like I said, all was well ... until we tried to leave. Dizzle went into complete meltdown mode. Kicking and screaming. And what was she yelling? You guessed it.


Shocker, right?

Eventually I got her to calm down. And do you know how I did it? With the promise of seeing her most favorite person in the world ... Daddy. I swear he put some kind of magic spell over her. Seriously, because without fail, every time the prospect of seeing her dad comes into play, the bad behavior goes right out the window. Shouldn't she want to be with me that much?

I really can not wait for her to realize that without me, she wouldn't be here. Sure, dear old Dad gave her half her DNA, but really, had I not given up my body for nine months, there would be no Dizzle.

But at least I have Doodle. She worships the ground I walk on. Well, at least she does for now. I'm pretty sure once I'm done cooking the current bun in the oven, she's going to be less than thrilled with me too.

Monday, September 1, 2008

that sure felt like more than 13.1 ...

So we're back and I'm recovered (mostly). To sum it up briefly, the race was HARD. So hard, that I honestly feel that had I not run a marathon before it, I would probably never have tried one. (seriously, my legs were more sore after finishing than they were after the entire 26.2 - how is that even possible?) Oh, and did I mention it was hot? No? Well, more on that in a minute.

But even though the race wasn't ideal ... it was super fun. This whole "weekend with the girls" racing thing was awesome. Every second of it. Even the ones when I was praying that a race official with a golf cart would feel bad for the pregnant woman and drive me to the finish.

Anyway, we left on Saturday afternoon, giving us ample time to pick up our race packets and check out the expo (without children - oh how I wish every expo could be like that.) Then after a group picture in front of a race banner (corny? maybe. important? most definitely.), we headed out to dinner. And although my meal was tasty, where we ate will be left nameless since several aspects of the meal kind of sucked (i.e. the 12 hour wait for our food, F's fly in her iced tea, K's weed-marinated chicken) and I would hate it if you went there on my recommendation.

After the meal we headed back to G's dad's to attempt to sleep (I'm not sure any of us really slept all that well - too much excitement, fear, and a deflated air mattress.) Then bright and early (OK, not bright, but early) the next morning, we got up for the race and the next thing I knew it was 6:30 a.m. and we were standing in a line about a zillion people deep waiting to use the bathroom (E liked the wait so much, she hopped back in line for a second go-round).

Once the bladders were empty, we headed off to the start line, confident and excited. Our corral was released and we (K, F and I - everyone else was scattered) were off. We were running comfortable and we looked good. Seriously, our "run like a mother" shirts got about half a million comments. We were a bunch of hot mamas ... and then about half a mile into the race we were literally a bunch of hot mamas. Remember that heat I mentioned, well it hit full force that quickly. Before we even hit the first mile marker, we were wiping the sweat out of our eyes. It was SUPER HUMID and not at all breezy.

We ran as a group until mile 8.75 where K turned to me (thanks to the obvious discomfort on my face) and said something to the effect of "if you're uncomfortable, you need to take it easy" and thank God she said that. Although I was doing my best to keep hydrated (with water stops and my hydration pack), I was struggling, but my ego was taking control. I didn't want to stop. But K's comment gave me permission to do what my body was telling me to. Something I really needed.

So it was at that point we separated. (F fell back from K less than a mile later.) The last 4 miles of my race consisted of a 4/1 walk run strategy and two more bathroom breaks (we had already taken one). It wasn't the prettiest race ever, but oddly enough I was really happy with the outcome. Sure it was slower than I would have liked (2:37:59). Yes, I had to walk some. But, I listened to my body and didn't over do it (like the couple dozen people I saw puking or collapsed on the side of the road.) And I finished. At 17.5 weeks pregnant. That's probably more than most people can say. (Aren't you shocked at my zen? Who would have thought that I could drop the competitive thing? Even for just one day.)


Just an FYI - after the race, I learned that there were other crazy pregnant runners out there too. (Which made me feel a lot less crazy for doing the race). Anyway, a woman asked us about our shirts and then mentioned that her friend (another competitor) was 19 weeks pregnant (even though she didn't look it). The pregnant friend then said that while they were running there was a woman (pregnant with twins) who had a shirt that said, "Running with six legs is better than two." How freakin' awesome is that? I felt inspired and validated in my decision to continue to run.