Monday, November 24, 2014

Overdoing it?

So, after my disappointment with my (non)race last month, I signed up for the Schaumburg Half Marathon for redemption. Rather than becoming a ball of stress, worrying about the race, I've been trying to remind myself that races are fun: Lucky me! I get to run a half marathon two days after my birthday! That may or may not be working... I'll let you know after the 29th.

Other people suggested that I try to run shorter races, to help me get over my jitters. Of course, signing up for races is one thing, but actually being able to make it to the races is something else entirely, when you have two Things to deal with. Now that we have kids, it's not a matter of just walking out the door to go run a race. We'd have to find someone to babysit (at an ungodly hour in the morning), and get them ready to go, while getting ourselves ready too. Or, there's always taking them with us--assuming it's a stroller-friendly race (and assuming one of us is okay with not running the race for a PR).

Anyway, after last month's fiasco, I was tempted by the idea of doing a 5k, just to get back into the groove of racing, when the perfect opportunity presented itself. Hubby and I ran the Flying Turkey 5k in Evanston two years ago, and had discussed doing it this year. It's close to our house, close to the in-laws (who thankfully agreed to babysit)--it seems like the perfect shake-it-out race for me! At just two days before my half marathon, it can be my last training run, and a confidence boost at the same time. Perfect, right? All done!

But then, Hubby found out we could register for a 5k in Libertyville the Saturday before Thanksgiving for free! Nothing beats a free race, right? So, all of a sudden, we went from running one race (Hubby agreed to run the 5k at the Schaumburg race), to running three races in the span of one week. I mentioned our plan to my dad, and his response was "Do you think you're overcompensating?"  Then I told him that one of the races was free and he said "Oh, okay!" See? Among crazy runners, a free race is not optional, regardless of timing.

And now the week of madness is upon us! Yesterday was pretty good! I was fine all day Saturday, not worried or anything, but I was definitely jittery as soon as I woke up. It wasn't nearly as bad as before the half marathon, and I kept telling myself that it's just a 5k, I like running, I will have fun. Oh, and breathing. I kept reminding myself to just breathe.

It turns out this race was the perfect one to start out on. It wasn't chip timed, so there was very little pressure on us in terms of performance. We just went out to run for fun. And, it was fun! I managed to pass a lot of people on the trail, and (drumroll, please) I even took third place in my age group!

 I'm really pleased with how the race went, and I'm cautiously looking forward to our next 5k on Thursday. I know I've still got some nerves to work through, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to talk myself through this. In the meantime, if you listen carefully you may hear me repeating to myself: "Races are fun, races are fun, races are fun..." Hopefully, I'll even start to believe it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dealing with Disappointment

This is not the post I wanted to write, but life got in the way.

For those of you who may not remember: my first post-babies half marathon was last weekend. I'd been training hard and was totally ready, but apparently it wasn't meant to be. I'm a nervous racer, who has been known to throw up before races, so I wasn't particularly surprised when I threw up shortly after waking up Saturday morning. But then, I couldn't stop.

I couldn't eat anything, threw up all the water I'd had in the car on the way to the race, threw up on the walk to the starting line, and then actually passed out on the ground while dry heaving. At that point, Hubby, my Dad and my BFF realized that something wasn't quite right, and took me to the medical tent. I had my blood pressure and heart rate checked, which both checked out as normal. It didn't register with me until later, but that should have been my clue that something else was up. Well, hello, stomach bug!

After getting checked out by the medical staff, they said "It's up to you whether you think you can run it, but we really don't want to scrape you off the road later. You might want to bow out." That really wasn't what I wanted to hear, but I also knew that I had absolutely nothing in the tank--running the race I wanted was already out of the question. Hubby, BFF and Dad convinced me to at least start the race and see how it went, so I did. BFF and I were the last ones to cross the starting line, but we ran together and slowly picked off the back of the pack. But, then the blurg came back at mile 2.5, and I had to stop and walk. I knew Hubby and Dad were waiting for us at mile 4.5, so I had to make it that far, but it was a slow trip. I was still nauseous and absolutely exhausted by the time we finally saw our cheering section, and I knew my race was over.

I've spent the past week being alternately depressed and pissed off about the way Saturday went, but I'm hoping I can start to move beyond the disappointment and plan for my next race. At least now I will be able to say "It can't be any worse" when I line up at the starting line again. Hopefully this experience has gotten the "bugs" out of my system, and my next race will be a cause for excitement, not anxiety.

Speaking of my next race, I desperately want to run a half marathon every year, and I'm running out of time in 2014! To that end, I'm going to sign up for the Schaumburg Half Marathon and 5k Turkey Trot on November 29th. It's not nearly as soon as I would like, but it's the best option for me in terms of location and price, so I'm going to do it! My hope is that I'll be able to re-program myself a little so that I can look forward to this race with excitement and not anxiety. With a little more training, some luck, and the help of the patron saint of the stomach flu, I plan to finally, actually run my first half marathon post-babies in 36 days!

Friday, October 3, 2014


NB: The title of this post is meant to be said in the voice of the seagulls from Finding Nemo.

As I mentioned previously, my babies like food. Specifically, your food. Their food is fine, sure, but if you're eating something it must be even better, and they want it.

We hit an all-time low this morning. I was standing in our dining room, eating a donut, with both Things holding onto my knees. They were just looking at me, and their eyes said "Why are you sharing that with us? We know it's delicious and we want it!" I ignored them, and continued eating, when I felt a sharp pain in my knee. I look down and saw that Thing 2 had bitten my knee!!!!!! I've joked before that she's a carnivore, and that feels even more apt now. I'm now seriously considering hiding any time I want to eat while they're awake...the alternative feels too dangerous now!

In case you were wondering: I didn't share the donut. I am not sorry.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Night Runs

Now that autumn is officially upon us, I'm running (Hah! Get it?) out of daylight for my runs. As hard as I tried, I'm just not a morning runner yet. Between the Things' constantly evolving schedules and the need to get ready and out the door for work, there's just not enough time to try to squeeze a run into my mornings. Plus, the Things are definitely at their best in the mornings! They're alert and happy, they want to cuddle and play and laugh, and I don't want to miss those times if I can help it. When they're surly teenagers, I'm sure it will be easier to get out the door in the mornings. Right?

So, that leaves me with the post-baby-bedtime hours for my runs. Totally no big deal in the summer, when it's light FOREVER. I could head out for a 3, 4, 5 miler after 6:30 bedtime and be fine! All of a sudden, though, I'm noticing that it gets hard to see the ground in front of me by the end of my runs. I don't want to run on my trail anymore, in case there are creatures more dangerous than deer and squirrels in the woods. (Hubby thinks there might be coyotes, and I know for a fact that there are skunks.) I've been wearing my bright yellow cap with lights on the brim for the past week or so, but it's getting dark enough that it's just not cutting it. You lose something of the joy and freedom of running when you have to stare directly at the ground in front of you to make sure you don't trip over anything.

Last night, I may have found a solution to my problems. It turns out there's a local fitness center that has an indoor track that's free to the public! Admittedly, it's only 1/8 mile, but it's inside (where I don't have to worry about the weather, marauding skunks, traffic, etc), it's well-lit (no more tripping over my own feet), it's open late (so I can get my runs in on my own time), and everyone always talks about how good tracks are for speed work--maybe I'll get to try that myself! I managed 4 miles last night pretty well. Sure, I was bored, and I may have lost count of my laps more than once, but I had my music to keep me occupied, and my Nike+ app to tell me how far I'd run. In my mind, it beats running on a treadmill, since I can generate my own wind on the track. I'm supposed to do 6 miles tonight--that may be stretching my ability to run in a circle without going crazy, but I'm gonna give it a try!

I have to say: I'm pretty proud of my training efforts so far! I've only missed one run, and that was for the birthday festivities, so I won't feel bad about that! I think I'm doing a good job of pushing myself hard enough, but being smart enough to not hurt myself. It's definitely harder training this time, since I'm feeling pretty worn out already (thanks, babies!), but I'm working through it and getting my miles in. I have absolutely no idea what to expect with my half next month (YIKES!), but I know I'll be able to get through it. I don't know whether to shoot for a new PR, or to set a safer goal, since this will be my first real test since the babies. I'm afraid to admit it, but I've been training at similar speeds to my October, 2012 PR, so I'm wondering if a PR might be in reach. Mostly, I just want to run and have fun, and feel better about the race than I did last time I ran it. I've been doing lots more hill work than last time, so I'm hoping to be a lot stronger on the nasty hill at mile 9 (that sucker almost made me cry before). I want to run strong, run smart, and maybe run fast. Sounds good, right?

For the Things' first birthday, we had some pictures taken by a professional photographer. We got some
We're so cute!
great pictures out of it, including this gem:

The Things were a little...difficult during parts of the shoot, but I think it turned out well. It's still hard to believe that they're so big, but I'm proud and amazed every day that I get to call these beautiful babies mine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One Year Ago Today...

Tuesday, September 10th started out as a pretty normal day. I’d been on partial bed rest since week 25 of the pregnancy, so I worked my half day at the office, then came home to lie down and finish my work from home. Toward the end of the pregnancy, I noticed that I was getting very tired by the end of the work day, so I’d gotten in the habit of taking a nap before dinner. After my nap, I got up for yet another potty break…when my water broke! Early on, I’d read stories about women who thought mistook peeing for their water breaking, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I had to pee all the time. What if I mistook a vigorous pee for something else? Or, even worse, what if my water broke and I assumed I’d just peed? Would I waste precious time puttering around at home when I should have been rushing to the hospital? Turns out, I didn’t need to worry about that at all. There was absolutely no question what was happening, from the Niagara Falls that came pouring out of me. At least I was conveniently located when it happened!

Once I realized what was happening, I yelled for Hubby. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Andrew!
[No answer]
Me: Andrew!!
[No answer]
Me: Andrew!!!
Hubby: I’m on the phone!!
Me: My water broke!!!!
Hubby: Oh!

That sure got his attention! (It turns out he was scheduling a massage for himself… Needless to say, that appointment got re-scheduled.)

Once I’d stopped dripping enough to move around without leaving a lake behind me, I started trying to figure out what else I needed to take to the hospital with me. I’d already put most stuff in my hospital bag, but I’d left out the essentials like my glasses, toothbrush, etc, that I was still using every day. While we both packed our bags, we called our parents to let them know what was going on.

I’m not sure the news quite registered with my dad right away, because when I asked him how he felt about becoming a grandfather that night, he seemed a little hesitant. We managed to convince everyone that this was the real deal, made our final arrangements for Mischa, and then headed for the hospital.

In the car, I was emailing my co-workers the let them know what was going on, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that this was really going to happen tonight! I’d known that it was very possible the twins would come early, but I really thought we had a couple of weeks left.

We made it to the hospital, and checked in, and then they had to check to see whether my water had really broken (the answer was a definite yes!). After that, it was time for the final ultrasound, to see whether or not the babies had flipped around (nope!). The poor ultrasound technician seemed to be worried that I didn’t know I’d need a c-section, and was so relieved when I told him that I’d known all along that there was a chance, and that I was resigned to it once they refused to flip over. Apparently, he’d had more than his share of moms who were blindsided by the need for a c-section. Hubby and I threw out any idea of making a birth plan once the doctor said “Double whammy” in that first ultrasound. Our only goal was to have two healthy babies. I’d say we met that goal!

After that, we had to wait around while they got an operating room ready. I was really nervous, since I’d never had surgery before, so I just kinda sat there freaking out. The woman who taught our birthing class happened to be working that night, and when she saw that we had checked in, she stopped by to say hello, and to offer a little reassurance. It was nice to see a friendly face and get some soothing words. Apparently Hubby had no idea how freaked out I really was, but I was scared out of my mind.

Finally, it was showtime! They had me walk (okay, waddle, since I was clenching a pee pad between my legs, since I was still leaking) to the OR, got my spinal block set up (they tell you not to move when they poke your back with a big needle—yeah, right!), and let Hubby come in. It was a good thing he was there, because I was shaking from the cold and fear, and I threw up more than once. He was very supportive, and so focused on me that he didn’t see when they brought Thing 1 over for us to see! They’d gotten him out, and brought him over, but were standing behind Hubby, so I had to point him out! Honestly, the surgery was pretty rotten. I was so cold and shivering and nauseous, and just worried. Once they got me into recovery and under some blankets, I started to relax and warm up again. They brought Thing 1 for me to hold while we were waiting, and that was great. Thing 2 had to go up to the nursery right away, to get her temperature regulated, but other than that they were both healthy!

Once we made it up to our room, we were all together as a family for the first time. That was a pretty amazing night. We didn’t sleep much, between feedings, trying to pump, trying to nurse, and all of the ins and outs of nurses and other people, but it was incredible to know that they were finally here. Those first nights as a family of four were incredible. Exhausting and intimidating, too, but still incredible.

It has now been one year since the Things were born! Hubby and I have learned a lot about being parents, and watching these two little people grow has been such an amazing journey. It’s bittersweet, to know that our year of firsts is over, but now I’m looking forward to all of the awesome things we’ll do as a family as the kids get older.

Happy First Birthday, Thing 1 and Thing 2! We love you!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Struggling with Loss

For those of you who don't know, I work in the Chicago theatre community, and our ranks suffered a huge loss this weekend. An actress I've had the privilege of seeing in two of our recent productions (and who has acted all over the city) was taken from us far too soon in a horrific accident.

It's one of those situations where I'm really struggling to come to terms with my feelings. I don't think I get to call her a "friend," since I'm sure our brief interactions didn't have the same kind of impact on her as they did on me. But, I am honored that I got to meet her and spend any amount of time with her at all. From the conversations we had, I knew her to be a friendly and engaging person. You couldn't help but smile when you saw her, and now she's just gone. Just like that.

Our community has been mourning her all weekend, and struggling to come to terms with her loss. A friend of the family set up a fund to help her husband and children through this dark time, and people have come through with amazing generosity.

I found out this morning that she was an organ donor, and that they'd kept her heart beating over the weekend so that her organs could go to people who needed them. That little piece of information really made me stop and think. About what her family was going through; how they said goodbye, but then kept vigil by her bedside until the very end. About how her death is making a positive impact on the lives of other people (I'm wearing my Taylor Blue nail polish to support organ donation today About how easily it could have been Hubby or me. About how fragile and fleeting life is, and how lucky I am to have found a happy place in it.

The Things will be turning one on Wednesday, and I've been reflecting back on the past year recently. Thinking about how lucky we are to have two beautiful, happy, healthy babies. How lucky I was to have an uncomplicated twin pregnancy, and to be able to take the babies home right away. How lucky I am to have a supportive partner to get me through the bad times. How lucky I am to have so few bad times to get through.

As one family faces their darkest times, I mourn for and with them. I mourn for her sons, now growing up without their mother. I mourn for her husband, missing his partner. I mourn to see a bright light burn out too soon.

So many people have said beautiful things about Molly this weekend. I know I don't have anything new to say. But, I'm so proud to see how the theatre community has come together to support Molly's family. If you're so inclined, please take a minute and give what you can:

This is a sad time for us. The theatre world is a family, and losses like this are felt deeply. It's good to know that we can also lean on each other in our sadness and share our happy memories of Molly as we try to come to terms with our grief.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Keeping Busy!

Well, things have been a little busy recently, so we've got some catching up to do!

We are currently a mere 11 away from the Things' Birthday! I can't believe it! My babies will be turning ONE is just 13 days! It's totally crazy to think about, and it seems like the past year has gone by so quickly. Our pediatrician says the twin parents he knows have a dazed look and don't really remember the first year. That's not true for me. I remember the first year, and all the awesome stuff that has happened so far. Admittedly, the year has absolutely flown by, and I do find myself wondering where it went, but it has been filled with so much fun, and so many new experiences for all of us.

So much fun at the park!
Since the last update, we had a great visit with my family in Indianapolis. There were ball pit balls, swings, a visit to the park, and lots of family fun! The Things really enjoyed themselves, and we were excited to celebrate Aunt Sarah's birthday and their 11 month birthday over the weekend.

The next weekend, we celebrated Hubby's Grandma's 90th birthday. The kids got to really play with their (second) cousins for the first time, and it was awesome to watch! Thing 2 in particular fell in love with the big girls, and loved following them everywhere. She had so much fun that she actually slept an extra hour longer than usual the next morning!

And, what have the things been working on recently? Well, we have two essentially free-standing babies! They will both let go and stand on their own for a few seconds at a time. Thing 1 likes to do it while clapping. Clearly, he's very proud of himself! We're also working on our walking. They've both taken a few steps at a time on their own. It's so cool to watch them figure all of this out together. It's so amazing to see them interact and play together. They both like to give hugs now, and they're figuring out kisses. For Thing 2, it involves her 6 teeth, and tends to hurt! I'll be glad when she figures out the difference between kissing and biting, and I think
Oh, I also got Thing 2 her first tutu!
Thing 1 will too! These have to be the sweetest, most adorable babies in the world, and we're so lucky to have them both!

I'm keeping up with my training for the half marathon, and I'm so proud of myself! I haven't missed a single run yet! I'm almost halfway through the training, and still going strong. I honestly have no idea what my goal for the race is going to be. Part of me thinks I'm getting strong enough that I could set a new PR, but I'm not entirely sure. Today, in particular, was just a crappy run. It was my first 10-miler of the training, and it was BRUTAL! But, I survived. Sometimes, you just have to get through a run and move on to the next one. So, that's what I'm doing with this one: moving on, and trusting that the next will be better!

Our big plans for the long weekend include a party and hanging out together as a family. It will be a great way to end a fun summer!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Fridays!

At my office, we have this wonderful thing called "Summer Fridays." It's that wonderful part of the year when we don't have any shows going on, and things get a little more quiet around the theatre. I've come to love Fridays over the summer here, because it means we get half days! It almost feels like being on summer break, when we get to start our weekends early!

This year, I spent so much time worrying about whether or not I'd have enough vacation time, (thanks, maternity leave, for putting a dent in my time!) that I was stingy when it came to taking days off. Without my realizing it, I've reached the end of my vacation year, and I'm faced with 2 days that I need to use by the end of the month! How did that happen?!? So, without intending to, my Summer Fridays have taken on a whole new meaning! Starting today, I'm working four days a week, and taking Fridays off. For the rest of the month.

Obviously, I'm very excited!

This year has gone by so fast--I still can't believe that the Things will be ONE next month! This time last year, I was roughly the size (and shape) of an elephant, spending most of my time in bed, since I couldn't do anything. Now, I have two beautiful, happy (almost) 11-month-olds, and there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I think we should. I'm planning on taking my long weekends this month, and getting back
Beautiful, smart, and very curious!
some of my time! Snuggle time, play time, running time, sleeping time... It's going to be great!

I'm starting things off right with a trip to see my family this. Hopefully, the weather will behave enough that we can take the babies to Holliday Park. My sister and I spend lots of time there when we were younger (I still remember going there the day the playground opened!), and I can't wait to see my kids playing there too! They love the swings, but we haven't tried any other playground equipment yet. I'm curious to see how that goes.

And now, have some pictures of my beautiful babies!

Daddy makes me laugh!

Daddy makes me FLY!

Monday, July 28, 2014

When I Grow Up...

I've officially made it through my first week of half marathon training! Yay! I'm sticking with the same 4-run-per-week schedule that I've used before. It worked well for me in the past, so I'm hoping for more of the same this time. I'll admit that I haven't been the best about fitting in cross training in with my running, so my goal this time is to do better about that. I'd like to be more well-rounded in my fitness approach this time around.

But, enough about that--let's move on to what I really want to talk about this time!

Yesterday's training run was a 2.5 mile run. That's a distance that I'm totally capable of running, even on a bad day. So, I was pushing myself a little, to get some speed out of the workout. I was feeling really good on the run, when I passed this little old couple walking down the sidewalk, holding hands. I said "Coming up on your left," and they scooted to the side for me, and they smiled at me as a blasted past, so I said "Enjoy your evening!" What I really wanted to do was go back and tell them that I want to be them when I grow up. I want us to be the little old couple who still goes on walks together and holds hands, even when we're old and gray. Better yet, I want us to be the little old couple that still runs races together. If I manage to beat Hubby in these races, that's okay too! :-)

Seeing that couple really made me smile, and helped keep me motivated for the rest of the run. It's nice to see such a simple act of love and companionship, when it seems so easy now for people to fly off the handle into anger at the little things. Hubby and I both have great examples in our parents and grandparents, so I'm not exactly worried about the status of our relationship, but I still love to see other people being so simply happy.

So, thank you, random couple I passed on the sidewalk last night! You gave me a moment of peace on my run, and gave me something to look forward to for when Hubby and I grow up. I'm looking forward to every step with this man!

I love reading with Nana!
In case you were wondering, the Things are doing very well. They've had 2 great weekends in a row: my parents and sister visited last weekend, and then lots of activities this past weekend. While my parents were visiting, we all went to lunch at a local restaurant (Hubby and I don't take the kids out to eat by ourselves very often, since it's a little stressful). Since we had the extra hands, we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves more. The Things had a great time trying our food, and did really well. They also love the new water/sand table Nana and Grandad brought. These are two little waterbabies, so we've come home more than once over the past week to soaking wet babies! We haven't added sand to the mix yet, since we know they'll just end up eating it. That will have to be a fun new addition for later.
Just chattin'

July 20th was Moon Day (Hubby's family celebrates the Lunar landing as another holiday). For their first Moon Day, the babies got their very own swing set! They both loooooooooove to swing, so it's exciting for them to have one of their very own. Hubby and his dad set it up on Saturday, and we're all looking forward to lots and lots of fun on it!

Saturday was also the housewarming/engagement party of my sister-in-law and her fiancee. The Things were definitely a hit at the party! They were just the right mix of friendly and talkative, they explored everywhere without getting into too much trouble, and only committed minor acts of thievery. (Thing 2 was so taken with another guest's sunglasses that she attempted to, well, take them. We didn't let her.)
I'm so happy!

We encountered another fun aspect of live with twins this weekend: baby wrestling. Recently, Thing 1 has turned into a cuddler. He loves to come over and throw himself on your arm, or leg, or whatever part of you he can reach, and nuzzle you. Unfortunately, his nuzzling frequently involves him smashing his face into your nose--not too comfy, but it's so cute that I don't mind too much! He's also taken to cuddling Thing 2, but she doesn't like it as much. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he basically tackles her, knocks her flat, and then lays on top of her... Either way, it usually ends with her crying, but she's learning to fight back. She has teeth, and he doesn't...let's leave it at that....
So many snuggles!

Anyway, we're all keeping busy over here, enjoying the nice weather and trying lots of new things. I'm constantly amazed at how busy every day feels, when we don't really do all that much! I know as the Things get bigger and bigger, we'll be able to enjoy even more with them, and I'm really looking forward to all of the firsts we have coming up! In the meantime, I'm relishing every little hug and kiss and snuggle I get. These really are some special kids!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meet my new puppies!

Okay, that's misleading. There are no new puppies here. Just babies who seem to think they're puppies.

Now that the things are getting more mobile, I've been noticing how many similarities there are between babies and puppies. Sure, there's the obvious stuff: they sleep a lot, they poop and pee a lot, they drool a lot. But there's so much more!

What's that you got there, mom? Looks tasty...

Recently, the babies have been really interested in people food. Sure, their own food is just fine, and they'll eat it when you give it to them. But, obviously, it can't compare to what mommy and daddy are eating, right? That has to be the best food, ever! Hubby and I usually eat breakfast in the living/dining room, with the babies playing around us. I used to eat on the floor with them, but I soon realized that's a bad idea. I'd end up with two puppies babies looking at me with a mix of longing and judgement, while Mischa waited on the sidelines, ready to step in on a moment's notice.

Things have gotten even worse, now that they're both pulling themselves to stand! I was eating breakfast on the couch the other morning, when both babies crawled over, stood right in front of me, and proceeded to engage in some of the most shameless begging I've ever seen. Thing 1 actually reached up and grabbed at my bowl, and would have pulled it out of my hands if I'd given him the chance! Apparently, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cheerios are way more interesting than all the baby toys scattered around the room. Lesson learned.

We're getting close to letting the babies eat real food--Thing 2 has 6 (yes, 6) teeth already, and Thing 1 is working on his first (I think he's getting 2 at once, but we'll see). Thing 2 is already a good gnasher, so I'm excited to start letting her try more things. Given the teeth marks all over her crib, I'm thinking she'll be a natural with corn on the cob!

Even though they're both showing interest in food, there's still a lot of mess involved in feeding them. Mischa comes running as soon as she hears the sound of the highchair tray snapping into place--she sets up camp under the highchairs, and just waits for the fun to start. Inevitably, the babies drop (or throw) food overboard, and Mischa is right there, ready to clean up after them. Who needs a vacuum cleaner? I'll admit, we don't always completely wipe the Things down after they finish eating. Sometimes, we just plop them on the floor and let Mischa clean up for us. Dogs are so useful!

The 4th of July has come and gone, which means that I have officially finished the Runner's World Run Streak! Yay! I'm not gonna lie: I got kinda lazy at the end, and didn't write down each run as soon as it happened, so I don't remember each of the runs. I have distances and times for each one, and I figure that's all that matters. The important thing is that I proved to myself that I can do it! And now, I don't have to do it again. I actually got sick during the last week of the challenge, so the last few runs were a bit of a struggle. It's really hard to get out and go for a run when you're really congested--breathing is an important part of running! Anyway, here's the breakdown of my last 9 runs:

32.Thursday, June 26th: 3.1 miles, 28:24, average pace: 9:09/mile
33. Friday, June 27th: 1.14 miles, 10:40, average pace: 10:40/mile
34. Saturday, June 28th: 6 miles, 1:01:06, average pace: 10:11/mile Felt sluggish and almost called to be rescued, but managed to do the whole run--despite getting rained on and some wardrobe issues. Finished my run to an awesome rainbow in the sky!
35. Sunday, June 29th: 1.1 miles, 10:39, average pace: 9:40/mile
36. Monday, June 30th: 1.11 miles, 9:52, average pace: 8:53/mile
37. Tuesday, July 1st: 1.5 miles, 14:42, average pace: 9:47/mile
38. Wednesday, July 2nd: 1.6 miles, 17:00, average pace: 10:34/mile
39. Thursday, July 3rd: 1 mile, 8:40, average pace: 8:40/mile A nice shake-out run with the hubby after a long day in the car. Had to explain to him what a shake-out run was (he thought it meant something much grosser).
40. Friday, July 4th: 1.5 miles, 15:18, average pace: 10:09/mile An easy evening run with hubby on Madeline Island. Beautiful way to close the challenge!

After finishing the challenge, I celebrated by taking a week off from running! It was totally necessary for recuperation, and it was nice to not have to worry about finding time for a run for the rest of our vacation. I'm back in action now, though, and had an awesome run Tuesday, and a decent one last night. Training for my half starts next week--wahoo!

Since I mentioned vacation, I'll close with a few pictures of the Things from their first trip to Madeline Island. It also happened to be their longest car ride to date. It was a good and bad experience. Vacation while sick just stinks, and a 10 hour car ride with 2 babies and a dog who hates car rides doesn't make my list of favorites either, but we managed to have fun, too. The babies did a great job on the ferry ride (no sea sickness, yay!), and they loved exploring a new place. They also learned how to climb stairs, so that's a new, exciting thing we get to deal with!

Vacation fun!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Home Stretch

I've now been running at least a mile every day for over 30 days! I'm really proud of myself for keeping it up this far. There have definitely been days when I wanted to quit, when I felt like I was too tired to even think about getting a run in, but thanks to Hubby's encouragement and my own stubbornness, I've managed to keep the streak alive! I've started to notice over the past few days that my knees and shins are complaining a little bit on my runs, so I'm trying to be careful and not over-do it. I haven't gotten in my "long" runs the past couple of weekends, because life got in the way, but I'm okay with that (and I think my knees are, too).

Here's what I've been up to since my last post:

19. Friday, June 13th: 1 mile, 8:29, average pace: 8:29/mile My fastest mile so far, just to prove I can!
20. Saturday, June 14th: 2.08 miles, 19:38, average pace: 9:24/mile A great run with Hubby and Dad (I totally kicked their butts)!
21. Sunday, June 15th: 2.03 miles, 20:08, average pace: 9:52/mile A Father’s Day run with my Dad.
22. Monday, June 16th: 1.06 miles, 11:19, average pace: 10:38/mile A little jog with Mischa.
23. Tuesday, June 17th: 3.1 miles, 30:35, average pace: 9:52/mile An easy evening run in humid weather.
24. Wednesday, June 18th: 1.1 miles, 9:36, average pace: 8:42/mile A zippy evening mile.
25. Thursday, June 19th: 3.5 miles, 34:09, average pace: 9:45/mile Negative splits on my evening run.
26. Friday, June 20th: 2 miles, 18:30, average pace: 9:15/mile A quick run to my neighborhood running store to donate old running shoes!
27. Saturday, June 21st: 1.14 miles, 9:14, average pace: 8:05/mile My new fastest mile ever! All is takes to beat your previous PR is a mad dash in a thunderstorm/torrential downpour!
28. Sunday, June 22nd: 2.68 miles, 25:07, average pace: 9:22/mile A gentle loop around the neighborhood--my legs are definitely getting tired.
29. Monday, June 23rd: 1.3 miles, 12:56, average pace: 9:56/mile Met some new neighbors expecting their first baby in August!
30. Tuesday, June 24th: 3.1 miles, 30:14, average pace: 9:45/mile Another run that felt like a swim, trying to take it easy on my knees and shins.
31. Wednesday, June 25th: 1.15 miles, 10:02, average pace: 8:43/mile Felt pretty strong tonight, striding and gliding along.

It's a huge relief to be able to see the finish line of this challenge. Only 9 runs to go! I can do that, no problem! Right? Right?

Bath time!
The Things are now 41 weeks old, and we're seeing fun new changes with them. Up until very recently, as soon as 5:30 rolled around, it was time to get ready for bed, or you'd have a huge meltdown from an over-tired Thing 1. But all of a sudden, they're both becoming more social at night. They want to stay awake longer and visit more, instead of just passing out as soon as they've finished their bottle. There are still some nights where it's lights out right away, but Hubby and I are enjoying having a little more time with them in the evenings. They're starting to develop real personalities (really funny personalities), and it's so much fun to see them in action! I can't get over how cute and silly they are, and it's so much fun to watch them learn new things together. One of my favorite things right now is when they both decide they need to climb on Mommy right away. It's usually in the mornings when we're playing downstairs; they'll both crawl over as fast as they can, and climb into my lap. Sometimes there are tears, when one gets jealous of the other, but there's nothing warm and fuzzier than having two little people who can't wait to snuggle with you!

Four generations!
The Things had a great first Father's Day visiting with my family. We got to visit with Nana, Grandad and Gigi, and the babies had lots of cuddles and play time! They also had their first trip to the pool! Thing 2 had a fantastic time--she was totally happy, as long as she was getting wet (I had to keep splashing her in the lazy river, otherwise she'd fidget). I think we've got a little water bug on our hands! I'm pretty sure Thing 1 would have been just as happy, had he not decided that he desperately needed a nap right then. We didn't get to spend as long at the pool as Thing 2 would have liked, but it's great to know that these two like more than just splashing in the tub!

As we head into summer, I know we're going to have lots of adventures together, and I'm really looking forward to them. The things are very excited to sleep through their first fireworks next week!
Papa Bear and his Baby Bears

Thursday, June 12, 2014

You're HOW old now?!?!

Tuesday marked the Things' 9 month/39 week birthday! I can't believe they've been in our lives for so long already--it feels like it was only yesterday that I was still enormously pregnant with them! (And, I mean enormously pregnant: talk about cankles!)

Good morning!
The Things decided we needed a present for their special day, and greeted us first thing in the morning like this:

Talk about a surprise! We knew Thing 1 could do it, as he demonstrated the other day (I promise, he has more than one pair of pajamas), but Thing 2 hadn't really shown any interest. She'd pull herself up if she was sitting in your lap and could use you as leverage, but that was about it. So, to walk in on this was quite a surprise!

In other Thing developments, Thing 2 now has two teeth! We're still waiting for Thing 1 to cut his first, but we've been expecting it any day, with all the drooling he does!

Yesterday was their 9 month check-in with the doctor, and they passed with flying colors! They're both huge (he's slightly above 50%, and she's slightly below 50% in weight), and they haven't been on an adjusted scale for a while. We've seen the evidence of their development every day, but it's really nice to have the doctor agree with what we've been seeing! Two health, happy babies, who are growing just right!

I'm proud to say, that today is day 18 of the Runner's World Run Streak, and I'm still going strong! Okay, maybe not strong (at least, not this morning), but I know I'm developing good stamina for my big race this fall. This morning in particular was a challenge, since I was just so tired (thanks, kids), but I knew I had to get out there and get my run in, and I did it! This week is pretty busy for us, so I have to fit in three morning runs in a row, which is really rough for me. But, I've already knocked out two of them, so I feel like tomorrow should be a piece of cake! The runs may not always be my fastest or best, but I'm still running smart and feeling good about my effort. Plus, just think about how well I'll be able to power through feeling tired in a race when I'm done with this!

Without further ado, here's the current tally:

10. Wednesday, June 4th: 1.05 miles, 10:30, average pace: 9:56/mile Mischa had a great time running with me--finally some nice weather for her to run in!
11. Thursday, June 5th: 3.5 miles, 34:42, average pace: 9:54/mile Too hungry to make it a speed workout or anything, but another beautiful evening for a run!
12. Friday, June 6th: 1.25 miles, 12:50, average pace: 10:14/mile Mischa’s longest run in a while, and aside from some issues with sharing the sidewalk, she did pretty well!
13. Saturday, June 7th: 5.5 miles, 57:55, average pace: 10:32/mile A slow, hot run, but it felt pretty good. I think I ran a lot smarter than I did last week, so I’m pleased with that.
14. Sunday, June 8th: 1.12 miles, 11:01, average pace: 9:48/mile A run with the whole family! Babies, Mischa and hubby all out together!
15. Monday, June 9th: 3.1 miles, 28:50, average pace, 9:18/mile Some cooler weather came in, so I had a nice, quick run.
16. Tuesday, June 10th: 1.12 miles, 10:40, average pace: 9:31/mile Yup, Mischa still hates running in the rain.
17. Wednesday, June 11th: 1.12 miles, 9:57, average pace: 8:50/mile Just a quick dash in the morning rain before taking the Things in for their 9 month check-up!!!!
18. Thursday, June 12th: 3.1 miles, 30:05, average pace: 9:42/mile Not a hot day, but really humid.

I'm at 42.31 miles for the challenge, and it's a lot of fun to see the miles rack up! I've got 22 days to go, so I'm almost at the halfway point! Wahoo! Then, I get a little break, and it's on to half marathon training... Yikes!

Soooooooooo big!
We're heading to Nana and Grandad's tomorrow for Father's Day weekend--I'm really excited to finally get to take the babies to the pool, I think they'll love it! We tried to go to the pool when we visited last, but that's when we were all struck by the dreaded stomach bug...shudder... This visit should be lots more fun! I should have cute pictures to share next week, but to tide you over, here's the Things' 9 month picture.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Well, I've completed 9 days of the Runner's World Run Streak, and after tonight it will be 10 straight days of running! I passed the "most days I've run in a row" mark around day 3 or 4, so every day beyond that is an adventure. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it through the whole challenge, but I'm sure going to try. I've had issues with shin splints before, and I don't want to go into half marathon training with an injury, so I want to be careful while I do this crazy thing. So far, it's going well! I've been feeling good during my runs, and I'm not sore, so I don't feel like I'm pushing myself too hard. Hopefully I'm able to maintain that feeling for the next month!

Here's an update on my runs for the past week: 

3. Wednesday, May 28th: 1.1 miles, 10:56, average pace: 9:55/mile. Mischa likes running much better when it’s not raining.
4. Thursday, May 29th: 3.5 miles, 34:50, average pace: 9:57/mile. A cloudy morning run, with a little hill work thrown in.
5. Friday, May 30th: 2.3 miles, 21:00, average pace: 9:03/mile. A fast, hard run with hubby.
6. Saturday, May 31st: 5 miles, 52:32, average pace: 10:30/mile. Maybe, just maybe doing a long run at noon in 80+ degree weather wasn’t my best idea ever, but I did it! My farthest run since before the babies were born!
7. Sunday, June 1st: 1.12 miles, 9:39, average pace: 8:34/mile. So that’s what a mile feels like when you don’t drag your dog along with you…
8. Monday, June 2nd: 1.12 miles, 10:10, average pace: 9:02/mile. Not as fast as Sunday, but I was paying more attention to my stride (I was trying new shoes).
9. Tuesday, June 3rd: 3.1 miles, 29:40, average pace: 9:34/mile. Beautiful, balmy weather, and an easy run through our nearby forest preserve. Didn’t see any deer like hubby did a few minutes before me, but it was great!

So far, I've run 16.45 miles during the challenge. It feels great to be over a week into it, but I know I still have a month to go, so I'm not getting too excited yet. I'll just keep plugging away for now.

And, in Thing news: Thing 1 has decided that he's ready to stand up! We went in to get them Friday morning, and he greeted us like this:

"Hey mommy! Let's play!"

We'd heard some extra giggles before we went in, but had no idea what was waiting for us. Obviously, he's very proud of himself, and uses every opportunity to practice his new trick. Thing 2 isn't far behind, but she's not quite there yet. Hubby decided she was jealous this morning, and gave her a little help, so we got this precious moment:

Let us out!

 I am sooooooooooooo not ready for this!