Monday, August 31, 2009

Running ahead

Since keeping track of my stats from the beginning of July, I logged the most miles in one week last week than I ever have. And it was only a measly 10.5 miles, but still. For someone who doesn't run, isn't a runner, doesn't necessarily enjoy running all the time, this was a feat.

But running can be addictive. And to go out at 8:00pm at night and knock out 2.5 miles in 22 minutes? I will take it. (edited to add: I do not normally run that fast, for starters it was only 2.5 miles, so I was going much faster than I do on my long runs)

I have been pretty good with staying with my training schedule. I missed one "scheduled" 3 mile run last Thursday due to our kick-off meeting for Girl Scouts. I will miss tonight's 2 mile run due to a dinner out with friends. I might be able to make it up later this week, so we shall see.

And I had my first "adventure" on Saturday when I went for my long run (which was only 4 miles this past Saturday). We were in Myrtle Beach visiting my parents and I went on a run from my parents neighborhood into another neighborhood. As I was entering that neighborhood, I heard a woman yelling someones name. I thought she was yelling at a kid, not her dog. She didn't sound frantic or anything, so I kept running. Until I saw out of the corner of my eye a huge dog running my way.

My gut told me the dog was friendly. Huge, but friendly. He was kind of galloping towards me, not growling or anything. He just wanted to run with me. I ended up having to stop as the dog wouldn't stop and the dog's owner was trying to catch up. That, and the dog was staying in the middle of the road where cars where coming. So I held the dog until the owner could catch up and take over. Thankfully this encounter with a dog while running ended up being okay.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Audrey's Friends

Back in July, Audrey moved up to the preschool room at school. It was really no big deal as she handles transitions really well (most of the time, better than her parents). She does stop and say hi to her old and my very favorite teacher of all time in the mornings sometimes, but other than that, she is good to go.

And her friends? Good grief. The are two classes of every age group at her school, so when she moved up, she was split from some and had some new kids join her. Lucky for us, Cate, her very best friend, stayed with her as did another close friend, Joyce. Those three are pretty inseparable. And now, according to her teachers, a boy has joined them in their daily playing and learning.

I rarely pick up as I do the drop off and Ray is home in the afternoons to get Ashley off the bus and to go to Audrey. I did pick up yesterday, and when I got there, they were listening to their teacher read them a book. Audrey jumped up and gave me a hug and went to retrieve her backpack. And a whole following of little girls and boys (lead by Cate) jumped up as well to give Audrey a goodbye hug.

And then this morning while I was dropping off, one of her teachers was talking to another parent of a little girl who hasn't been with Audrey before. Tonight is "Parents Night Out" where we get to drop the kids off from 6-8pm for FREE for dinner and a movie while Ray and I get to enjoy a dinner out with just the two of us (and yes, older siblings get to go as well, so Ashley gets to go, YIPEE!). The parent talking to the teacher was asking which kids would be there tonight, and specifically asked if Audrey would be there. I piped up and said yes, this is Audrey and she will be there. She told me that her daughter talks about Audrey all the time.

So I have no worries about Audrey - she will always be fine. And for a special treat, this past Sunday Audrey and her best friend Cate enjoyed getting a pedicure and manicure at Sweet and Sassy - a "salon" specifically for kids (and yes, it is overpriced and the nail ladies were not the nicest, but the girls did not seem to mind).

Here is Audrey and Cate....
Audrey soaking her feet...
Getting ready to get a manicure....
And yes, three days later, the paint has stayed on all of her toes and nine of her fingers. Not sure what happened to the one finger though...

Monday, August 24, 2009


I had one of those off weekends (had a horrible 3 mile run on Saturday where I actually questioned my sanity on this whole running thing) where now it makes my Monday feel blah and I let things bug me too much (like being second-guessed at work).

So instead of regaling you with details of my weekend, let's discuss my zodiac sign. Because that is way more interesting.

According to the internet, traits of a Libra:

• Balanced - um, I guess in that my right side is just like my left
• Loving - yes
• Loyal - yes
• Romantic - I have no idea, ask Ray
• Charming - this would not be a word I would use to describe me, but it sounds nice
• Stubborn - an astounding yes, once again, ask Ray
• Indecisive - ditto from above, this should actually be my middle name (more on this later)
• Dresses up for the occasion - why yes, I do like to dress up
• Slight perfectionist - um, maybe?
• Charitable - sure
• Bossy at times - my kids would absolutely say yes
• Plans ahead - yup, just check my monthly meal planning schedule
• Attention to detail - I am an accountant
• Loves public service - I do like to volunteer, hence the whole Girl Scout Troop leader thing

Libra Greatest Strength: Your grace and charm when helping others (once again, this charm thing, not sure)

Libra Possible Weakness: Forgetting to take care of your own needs (I do shower every day, that counts)

MENTAL ATTITUDE: (I think this is the funny one, although probably not too funny for Ray)

You are a levelheaded person. With your fruitful imagination and intellectual capacity you successfully win over the hearts. On the negative side, you are a nagger. You may have negative thoughts and often this may leads to strong depressions.

Yes, I nag. I call and remind Ray of things multiple times.

I found this information on a site about Libra's dark side:
Libra Insecurity
Insecurity comes from two root causes -- a desire to please others and a general low opinion of oneself. When these two causes combine, the result is someone who is a "people pleaser," who is only happy when others are happy.

I don't think it's that bad that I would rather see my kids/family/friends happy...

Libra Indecisiveness
Indecisiveness can have multiple causes, one of which is a lack of reliance in one's own abilities. Another is a fear of failure of disappointing others. The best way to combat these fears would be to be more ambitious and make even more choices.

My indecisiveness drives Ray nuts. Just deciding on a dinner place between the two of us can get a little crazy. Maybe I should plan those ahead too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am pathetic and have no pictures this Friday

Sorry. I wasn't thinking of posting pictures like I normally do on Fridays. If I could find a picture of a dead possum, I would post it because that's what I ran over with Ray's car last night on the way home from the gym. The poor guy (or girl, but my gut tells me it was a guy and his name was Fred) had no chance. I thought it was a paper bag in the road until I was right up on it and then thunk, thunk and I ran over the sucker.

One less possum in the world, I guess.

The other thing about the gym/running/training to run 13.1 miles that seems impossible considering how hard it was to run 3 miles at the gym last night? I realized the brand new running shoes I bought on sale at Kohl's and threw away the box and receipt are hurting my right foot. As in rubbing a scab right below my ankle. Now what the hell do I do? I guess I am going to go back to using my old shoes for the time being. That or hack up my new shoes to make them not rub my foot. Which I will have to do tonight because according to my training schedule, I am on for a 4 mile run in the morning, which I have done and it can be done, but not with a shoe that hurts my foot.

So Happy Friday everyone. Thank God the weekend is almost here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I have successfully made it to Wednesday this week

Monday night I did strength training with my friend at the gym which included many squats and this morning Audrey decided to head butt me in the butt, and it hurt. Really bad. I am not sure at this moment if I will be able to get out of my chair.

I did do my 3 mile run last night though, and it wasn't that bad. I needed to go to Walmart for groceries and other items, and I was going to go right after running, but Ray took one look at me all nasty and sweaty and said that I was too gross for even Walmart at 9:00pm on a Tuesday night. So I showered, and then spent way over my $75/week allowance at Walmart, but in my defense, we actually didn't even go to the grocery store last week (used up meals in my freezer of which I have none now and it stresses me out), so I am still ahead. At least that's what I am going to claim. That and I had to buy the Hannah Montana movie, Ashley some new underwear, and new tights for ballet for both girls. And yes, I had to buy the movie. It was a necessity. If you don't believe me, just ask Ashley. That and it was only $15. I couldn't pass that up.

Today is our first parent/teacher conference with Ashley's teacher, and I have no idea why I get nervous about these things. I actually volunteered in her class this morning (I teach character traits once a month to the class), and I got to see how close Ashley's desk is to the teacher's desk. As in they touch. Her and another little boy's. Wish us luck.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The start

Yesterday marked the start of the 12 week training program for the 1/2 marathon Ray and I are running in November.

12 weeks seems like such a long time, as does 13.1 miles.

I ran Saturday morning, about 4 miles at a turtle pace. Seriously, I think someone walking would have passed me at the end, that's how slow I was.

And to start off my training yesterday? I didn't run and ate a bunch of crap. See the sticky buns I ate a ton of.

Tonight is strength training at the gym. Again, no running. I guess I need to get on it Tuesday!

And yes, I do have a spreadsheet scheduled out what I need to do each week. Monday is actually a rest day, but I am thinking this won't work. And I am also thinking that I need to have my longest run before the 1/2 marathon be more than 10 miles, as the training I am following now only has me going up to 10 miles. I think I at least need to see what 12 miles feels like. I am thinking it won't feel good.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poor Unfortunate Soul

So you know when you see something happening and you can't do anything about it, and random words come out of your mouth while watching the event?

Ray's brother and his wife and kids are visiting, and they decided to sleep in the playroom last night. And to preface, we actually have two staircases in our house (and no, we don't live in a big home, there is just a staircase at the back of the playroom that goes down as well as one in the middle, I know, kind of confusing). We always use the back staircase from the playroom because it has a door at the bottom that we keep shut so that Tootles doesn't come upstairs when we aren't home (because THIS is what she will do). The other staircase has a baby gate at the top that hasn't been removed since we moved in. It keeps Tootles from coming up, as well as keeps me sane as I fear Audrey's roaming at night would land her at the bottom of those hardwood stairs.

Instead of walking through the playroom, I decided to lift the kids and dog over the gate this morning. Dog first, which as I was doing it, I realized I should have gotten over the gate and pulled her over. I got her over the gate, and she kind of landed on her side and THEN PROCEEDED TO ROLL DOWN THE ENTIRE SET OF HARDWOOD STAIRS.

Unfortunately now I can't help but laugh as I type that.

Yes, she's fine. I just kept yelling "No, No, no, NO" as I watched her roll. But she got to the bottom and stood right up and walked away. I have no idea how she wasn't hurt, but I just called to check on her, and she's fine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random thoughts round out a crazy week (seriously, is it Friday yet?)

- I laugh at all the back to school shopping commercials and such considering Ashley started first grade on July 8th. And yes, I really like year round schools.

- Taking a day trip for work with a coworker and taking an extra hour to get home due to the driver getting lost SUCKS.

- Any sorts of working out or running this week HAS NOT HAPPENED. What has happened is I have found some really good running blogs. At least that's something.

- Ray finally conceded and increased my text messages per month for my phone. Not that I text anyone or anything.

- Cheerleading for Ashley has started. Dance starts next week. Girl Scouts starts back up in September. A trip for Ray in September, a trip for me in September, Ashley tracks out of school for the month of September. This summer? Flown by.

- Although I am happy for football season and yes, I do think Michael Vick deserves a shot at playing again. He served his time, people. Get over it. (I mean that in the nicest way possible).

- Ashley has a spelling test tomorrow. Her first real test. In school.

- Audrey asked me this morning if "sh*t" was a bad word. Um, yes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Last weekend we took an impromptu trip to Myrtle Beach. We can do this because a) my parents have a house there and b) it is only a 3 1/2 hour drive to get from door to door. Very doable and a quick trip. We waited until Ashley got out of school and off we went.

Our first stop on the trip was a detour to downtown Wilmington, which isn't really a detour as it is about 5 minutes out of our way. When we were there a few months ago, we ate at Front Street Brewery one night for dinner, and we have been wanting and wanting to go back. Cheap food, good beer, and a cool restaurant make a great combination. Seriously, I had a fried shrimp dinner for $6.99, plus appetizers were half off, so we ordered chips and salsa for $1.99. The food? Amazing. Ray has ordered ribs both times, and as someone who loves ribs, he says these are the best he has ever had. The kids menu is good too and it is noisy enough of a restaurant that the girls don't have to be as quiet as you do in some restaurants.

Back on the road and to my parents house. Saturday we got up, ate breakfast and headed to the beach. The only public beach access we know of that has decent bathrooms is at Myrtle Beach State Park, so we always go there. We might take our chances next time as the line to get into the park was crazy. We stayed for almost 4 hours, and would have stayed longer, but we were out of drinks and no water and lots of sun isn't good. Back to my parents house, I took the girls to the pool in the neighborhood while Ray rested (he had run 5 miles that morning, my lazy-butt had not).

We always have to hit Broadway at the Beach while there for rides and some shopping. I had $40 in gift cards/coupons for Build-A-Bear, so the girls both got a bear and we only had to spend $.97.

At this point, it's almost 8:00pm, and neither one of them had napped, so home and bed. We were actually amazed at how well behaved the girls were with the amount of activity in the day and no nap. Especially for Audrey.

Sunday started off kind of bad - Ashley was stung by a bee at the playground. She was fine, but now if she even remotely hears a buzzing sound, watch out. She is petrified. We did a little bit of tax-free shopping at the outlets and then went for a round of mini-golf where Ashley hit the craziest hole in one I have ever seen. The ball went off course, hit some rocks, bounced back, hit a wall, and then rolled into the hole!

We headed back towards Raleigh around 2:30 to get home to the evil dog (see yesterday's post) and get the van cleaned up before the week from hell. Not really from hell, but this week starts cheerleading for Ashley, two day trips for me for work, open house for Ashley's school, and we have family coming into town this weekend. Send bottles of wine now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

For Free

Anyone want an overweight but kid-friendly Dachshund? She goes by the name of Tootles. This is what she did to the carpet in our playroom while we were gone this weekend:
And this is how she feels about it:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping doesn't really happen for us, especially since Ashley has been in first grade for 5 weeks now. And honestly, I am going to assume that it is going to stay relatively warm here for another month or two, considering the pool stays open here past Labor Day.

But I keep getting email after email in my inbox about sales and shopping and kids clothes and coupons. It gets overwhelming.

I actually like going through the kids' closets and switching out their clothes from one season to the next. Although I am thinking this year isn't going to be much fun. I am at the end of hand-me-downs from Ashley to Audrey. I gave a bunch of clothes to Ashley's cousin, so I have no more bins to go through in our attic for the size that Audrey is now. And I am fearful that all the clothes that Ashley wore last winter/early spring will no longer going to fit her because she has grown like 4 inches since then. Seriously. We finally got her to wear jeans last year, and I am pretty sure I will have to get new ones (here we come back Old Navy!).

And shoes? Neither one of the girls has a decent pair. Poor Ashley went up a size in shoes, and I had no idea. She has been living in flip flops for the past few weeks, and those are so worn now, they are falling apart. Audrey lives in crocs, and I bought her a new pair when I was in Chicago, but they won't work throughout fall.

You would think that having two girls, I would have shopping buddies. But no, neither one of them likes to shop. They might tolerate it for a while, but honestly, they would rather not. I, of course, could shop all day, but considering the bank sends Ray a text message every time the check card gets used, I think his head would explode. (And no, he doesn't do that to keep tabs on me, he just does it to keep tabs on the bank account since we did away with our credit cards.) So we will do a little shopping here and there over the next few weeks. I am hopeful the sales will last until then.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Sometimes it takes me a few weeks to get pictures off my camera. And by then I have forgotten what is on there, like this gem of Audrey:

Not sure what she's doing...

And then I will find random pictures of people's houses. Even though Ray thought that this camera I bought 2 years ago was a big waste of my bonus money from my prior employer, he sure seems to like to use it to take pictures. Huh.

And then, I find ones like the next one. One I didn't take, one I missed out on when I was in Chicago. Another *real* gem of Audrey.

Sometimes it pays to get the pictures off my camera.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Pope Joan

It's hard to believe, but I actually do find time every once in a while to read. After devouring all four Twilight Series books back in January, I kind of took a break. I thoroughly enjoyed the books, and was afraid the next thing I read would just not do it for me.

And then I joined a book club with a neighbor of mine (the same one I run with). I was interested in this book club (there are others in my neighborhood) because it was going to be small, only meet every other month, and they actually stressed the fact that we would actually talk about the book. I am guessing the "other" book club in my neighborhood does not talk about the book much.

The woman who started it I did not know, but her oldest daughter is a first grader as well at Ashley's school, and she lives on the street behind my house. She gave us two choices for the book, and I didn't like either choice at the time. The group ended up choosing Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. I took the book with me on our trip to the beach at the end of June, thinking that I would have to struggle through it.

But I didn't. I actually couldn't put the book down. I am pretty sure I had never read a historical fiction before, but this one was really good. The best part? The author called us last night at our book club meeting and discussed the book, the upcoming movie, and answered questions for over an hour. Pretty impressive, I think.

So if you are looking for something new to read, definitely check this book out.

Monday, August 03, 2009


I am tired. Just warning you now, I am tired and grumpy and need some sleep. And possibly some food that isn't chips and salsa, like I had for dinner last night.

Let's back up.

Every.freaking.night.last.week thunderstorms rolled through our town. We attempted to go to the pool every night, only we actually made it Wednesday night only to be kicked out at 6:00pm due to thunder. Friday was the kicker though. A storm rolled through our neighborhood around 1:30pm that took trees down onto houses and took part of a tree down in our backyard. Fortunately for us, it just fell straight down and not on a house like my neighbor. The local news stations came and everything. The same storm hit my office about 30 minutes later, and blew the transformer outside our building. The building I work in is actually an old hospital that operated in the early 1900s. So we were told to evacuate our building so that the local power company could fix whatever happened.

Friday night, Audrey had a movie night planned with a friend, so Ray and Ashley went to dinner, and I took Audrey to her friend's house. We all convened back and home and got a pretty good night's sleep that night.

Saturday I woke up and ran my first 5 miles ever and I lived to tell it. My neighbor that I run with pushed me, but unfortunately I totally held her back. I am sure she a) could have run faster and b) could have run further, but after 5 miles, I was done. We ran some errands Saturday during the day, and then Saturday night we went to our first ever Durham Bulls game. And not only did we get to go to the game, but for Girl Scouts, Ashley and I and some other girls and moms from our troop got to spend the night on the field.

It was fun, and the girls had fun, but they didn't turn the lights out on the field until midnight, and woke us up by blaring music over the loud speakers at 7:00am. Couple that with girls from another troop keeping some of us awake until 3:00am (I slept through most of of their antics, but other moms in my troop were not so lucky), we were tired.

Thankfully yesterday was a raining blah day, and all of us took a nap. Which was good, because I saw Rascal Flatts in concert last night. This is the 4th time I have seen them, and they are still great.

Two things though - I am old when Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish fame) opened up for them and covered Purple Rain, and most of the people around us on the lawn had no clue what song it was. Nor did they know the Hootie songs he played. And taking care of a drunk person is funny for a while, but then it is also alot of work!

I am thinking a nap at work is in order, although I am pretty sure my boss would frown upon that.