Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Not to Prep for a 5k

I ran a 5k on Sunday. It went OK. I ran with a good friend of mine who just had her second baby in October and who has been trying to get back in the swing of things just like I have.

I will say that I was not as prepared to run as I should have been. First of all, I hadn't run in over a week. Granted, I ran a 5k on the treadmill--but that isn't really any indication of how things are going to go outside on a course that you have never seen before.

So, maybe the day before I shouldn't have consumed the worst pre-race food possible. The day started with an Easter Egg Hunt with the Lady. I had two mini-snickers and then a coffee. At noon we were at my in-laws where they were serving hot dogs for lunch. I can't tell you the last time I ate a hot dog. It seriously could have been years and years ago, they just aren't on my list of everyday foods, which is probably why I shouldn't have eaten two with relish.

I then drove up to New London for a fundraiser for my cousin who is raising money for the Avon 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. This was at a bar. I had 3 beers, some chicken fingers and a mini-sausage wrapped in phyllo. After returning to my in-laws to pick up my girls and my husband, I had a piece of lasagna and a meatball.

I could still taste the hot dogs when I made my oatmeal pre-race. Ugh.

I got to the race site and I was a little nervous because it was much smaller then the Turkey Trot and everyone looked fit and ready to roll. I was glad when my girlfriend got there and we checked in. The course started with a lap around the High School fields and then we moved to the Cross Country trail, which was fine until we hit the hills. I had to stop for a bit. I was disappointed that I didn't push through it, but I was able to catch up with my running partner, maneuver some smaller hills and finish the race together.

Note to self: start running hills.

This race didn't have any chips to clip on my sneaker (which was good since once again I had the hairiest legs in America) so imagine my surprise when we started to speed up towards the finish line and the clock said 29 minutes. Could we have actually finished this race in under a half-hour? Sadly, no. As I was throwing up oatmeal a little bit into my mouth on the side of the track--why do I constantly feel like puking after a race? Is there anyway to stop this? I want to run more but I don't want to finish each race spewing chunks across the finish line--I heard the time guy saying that he made a mistake and pressed the wrong button while doing something so the times were like 10 minutes off. Oh well, we finished and we didn't finish last.

Next time I will train a bit harder, a big longer, with more hills and with less hot dog breath.

I do want to say that I am super proud of my running partner and more inspired to get out there and get moving knowing that I have the support of my friends!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saving Daylight and Hoarding Stuff

The time change has made my life a little bit more complicated than necessary. Naps are arriving much too late in the afternoon and bedtime for both Ladies has been around the same time as mine for the past few nights.

The Lady, in particular, has been having some issues when it comes to actually going to sleep. Regardless of when we put her down, she spends anywhere from a half-hour to two hours playing with all the crap she has crammed in around her on the bed.

She use to fall asleep with Gerry, Mooney and Giant Gerry (aka. Big Gerry) and maybe one blanket. That soon grew to include a giant Dora blanket, green blankie, brown blankie and a white blankie. Brown and white blankie soon fell out of favor and have been retired to the sidelines but in their place has crept in a slew of stuffed animals--her personal favorite of the moment is Mr. Ducky. He joins a giant puffed pig pillow, Mr. Monks, Medium Monks, Mini Monks and about six other animals that claim space around the perimeter of her bed.

And we can't forget the books, puzzles, electronics and my personal favorite a drum with two glitter pens that she uses as drumsticks. I think my child has hoarding tendencies.

If we try to remove any of the said objects from her bed before she actually falls asleep she either complains (loudly) or just waits for us to leave the room before we hear her heavy footsteps hit the ground above us so that she can retrieve it. The amount of times that her "computer" has fallen from her bed to the floor in the last week or so is basically incalculable at this point.

When I go to check on her before I go to sleep, I try to remove as many items as I can. It never fails that by the time I return at some God-awful hour in the middle of the night to feed the Little Lady, many if not all of those removed items have found their way back into her bed. I can't imagine that she is getting a comfortable rest. The other day I checked on her during a nap and she was sleeping propped up on the giant pink pig with a small Tupperware bowl full of Craisins balanced in the crook of her arm. But hey. . . at least she was napping.

So, I am a little concerned with her attachment to all this stuff. I know that a two-year old is hard to reason with, so maybe it is that she just likes all her stuff to be near her, however, yesterday when she woke up like a bear from her nap, she started screaming at me that she wanted to keep her soaking wet diaper on. When I finally was able to extract that sop of a mess off her little body, she started screaming "I want my dirty diaper" at a pretty high volume and then stuck her hand into the diaper genie to try and retrieve it. I am hoping that she doesn't start bringing diapers into bed with her as well. There is only so much room in a toddler bed and there is only so much I can take.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Habachi Heat

My youngest brother turned 21 on Monday and to celebrate, he and his girlfriend drove down Sunday night from New London for dinner with the family.

The plan was a 5:00 reservation time at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant by the Wild Man's house. When my mom called earlier in the day to tell me that they wouldn't be able to accommodate us all (10 adults and 4 kids) at that time, I should have known we were in for it.

When my other brother asked me if the kids would be okay sitting around a hibachi grill, I replied "I am sure they will be fine, it isn't like they are going to climb onto it." Perhaps I should have put a little more thought into it. I also should have remembered that my girlfriend went out for Hibachi on her birthday in February and her 6 year-old was scared of the flames so they moved to a booth. Hindsight. . .

My youngest brother, his girlfriend, me, my husband and the Ladies arrived about 15 minutes early for our 6:30 reservation. The place was packed and you could see the smoke from the grills in the lights above. The smell kind of reminded me of when the pizza in my oven starts burning, I was hoping not to have the shrill sound of fire alarms start piercing the air.

Since our entire party hadn't arrived and considering that there wasn't an empty seat in the place, we waited in the entry area for everyone to get there. I started sweating. I was wearing a tank top under a pretty heavy fleece pull-over, and every time a new customer arrived I was grateful that the door opened and let in some cool air.

I put the Little Lady on the floor in her car seat to wait. As soon as she hit the floor the little girl waiting in front of us was right in her face. Luckily, her parents were attentive. I don't mind if a little kid touches her feet or hands, but it makes me crazy when other parents let their kids get right into a baby's face and act like it isn't a big deal. Now, I usually tell kids--including the Lady that you don't touch or put anything on a baby's face, but I think that it is the responsibility of the other kids parents to reiterate the rules or at least ask if it is okay that their kid is touching a baby. I know, I digress. . . anyway, this family was actually very nice and the girl was gentle and didn't get too close, however, I was grateful when they sat down, because not only was the Little Lady given some breathing room, we were able to actually use the seating area in the waiting area. Did I mention it was getting hotter by the moment?

Finally, all 14 of us arrive, but we still have to wait for the table. When we are finally given the OK to head over to our seat, the Wild Man and the Lady were down a hallway banging on the walls and the smell of seared meat was permeating every bit of my clothing.

We got high chairs for all the kids and put the Little Ladies in the back corner, resting on the overturned high chair and still in their infant seats. I had the Wild Man to the left of me and the Lady to the right. They were momentarily distracted by the chopsticks, until the Wild Man threw his (twice) onto the warming grill, where they had to be carefully excised by both of his parents.

All the while, the kids are seeing the flames shoot up from other grills around us. The Lady does not seem to be too happy. I can tell she is a little nervous, but I tried to prepare her for the show. The Wild Man is napless and not too happy to be confined to a high chair. He too, is not sold on the fire show, even though he loves all things fireman related. I guess a raincoat and a fire helmet are one thing, but hot flames a foot and a half away are something else all together.

My father, being the doting grandfather as well as being incapable of saying no to any of his grandchildren, has started taking the kids in turn, on laps around the restaurant. This keeps them occupied enough for all of us to order, by the time the chef wheels his cart to our table, the kids are (mostly) behaving.

Then the show starts and with the first burst of flames comes the tears! The Wild Man is inconsolable, the Lady, her big eyes larger than I have ever seen them keeps telling me that she wants her dad who is sitting three seats away, holding the Little Lady who he described as holding onto him with a "death clutch" while screaming. The only saving grace was that the place was so crowded that you could barely hear them over everyone else. The only one seemingly unfazed was the other Little Lady sitting quietly in her infant seat in the corner. She was also the furthest away from the show and is traumatized daily by kicks, jabs and too much hugging from her big brother to be in the least bit fazed by three foot high flames. When the chef got to recreating Mt. Fuji out of onions and flame, we were all holding our breaths.

Did I mention it was hot in there?

We spent the rest of the meal in and out of our seats. Between, my dad walking the kids around, the passing back and forth of the little Ladies to eat, my brother--whose birthday it was--getting up and going outside for air because of his "anxiety" over all the people there, and the smoke, we did more standing and walking then actually sitting and enjoying the meal, which was actually very good.

Needless to say, we all collectively exhaled when the food got packed up, the bill got paid and we all left into the cool, springlike night air and headed back to my sister's for some ice cream cake, where I thought we would escape the flames, until my brother, holding the Lady so she could help blow out candles accidentally dipped her hair into a candle. The smell of singed hair lingered a bit and mingled with the meat smell on my clothes, but she was fine and didn't even know it happened.

Growing up in a big family I guess I never realized how many of us there really are. Add four kids to the mix and things get even bigger and more complicated. I am glad that we make the effort to get together and that the kids can be involved. I was happy to see my little brother, who I can't believe is 21, considering I remember the day he arrived at our door. Everyone headed out after cake and presents. We too headed out after I picked up every single one of the Wild Man's books that he and the Lady threw onto his bedroom floor.

Oh Hibachi. . . how I miss the days where we would share 5 or 6 fruity mixed drinks, laugh at the antics of the chef and more often then not end up either dancing or saying something borderline inappropriate. Good times.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hello, is it me you're looking for?

I have a king-size bed.
Despite the fact that my husband and I have moved from occupying an entire floor in our two-story home to a room with one closet (filled with my husband's clothes), which fits only our two dressers and a laundry basket, we upgraded to the King.

I have to give my husband credit for not only finding a great deal, but for picking up the mattress himself. I also have to thank my brother, who came by to move a TV (granted a giant TV), but who also got roped into moving a giant mattress up a very narrow flight of stairs.

Let's just say that the moving and maneuvering took a while to get completed. My husband was a little sweaty and a bit bruised after dropping the frame onto his forearm. We had to corral the Ladies in a very small space to prevent anyone getting crushed by either the mattress, the bed spring or the piles of plastic used to contain these enormities. But once those new sheets went on and I was able to feel the mattress beneath me. . . I was a changed woman.

First of all, I never realized how totally uncomfortable the old mattress was. I don't know how I survived two pregnancies sleeping on that mattress--no wonder my back was so f'd up. Second of all, hello space! Hello not feeling every toss and turn by my husband, hello rolling over and having more real estate. Hello you plush, firm cocoon of comfort. I love you. I know we just met, but really--I love you. I will whisper sweet nothings into your warm embrace at night. I will treat you right.

I am so enthralled. No worries that I don't have a bed skirt yet for this bed. No worries, that even though our comforter is a king that it is stuffed into a queen sized duvet cover. No worries that the Little Lady woke up at 2 am, then again at 5:45 am, where she joined us on our inaugural night, smack dab in the middle of the bed with room for all three of us to roll, until she too was woken up by the sounds of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" being sung repeatedly over the monitor by the Lady.

Oh King-sized mattress I will christen you Lionel because you are smooth, cool and make me exclaim "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" coupled closely by "Oh, What a feeling, when we're dancing on the ceiling.