Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dinner Games

We often play the Family Time Fun Beginner Dinner Games because the girls like it (my kids like to talk) and it's often better than the how was school conversation.

Last night we drew a card where you got to wave around the magic spoon and say three things you would wish for.

My wishes:
1. A running skirt
2. A new van (And really, I'm not sure why I said this as our van is only 2 years old and perfectly fine. I think the girls had me frazzled demanding I answer so they could.)
3. And I never got to say my third one as mentioned above, the girls got a little anxious about saying what they wanted.

Ashley's Wishes:
1. For everyone to take care of the Earth (very nice of her and frankly I was shocked by the fact it wasn't a material item.)
2. A horse
3. A scooter (Yes, there are some kids in our neighborhood who drive around on their scooters, and unless a Grandparent is willing to buy her one, she is never getting one from Ray nor I.)

Audrey's Wishes:
1. To get hugs from Mommy all the time (I always tell her she gives the best hugs)
2. To never die. (Yes, she seriously said that. Hmm.)
3. To go to Marbles, the local kid's museum

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I have posted many, many times I am sure about sleep issues in our house (and I don't feel like going back through the archives and finding those posts).

Old sleep issues seemed to have been resolved, only for new ones to rear their ugly heads.

Ashley has always, always been a great sleeper once she decided at 18 months to sleep through the night. We had some hiccups along the way, but at least since she was in preschool she would go to bed at night and be asleep before her head hit the pillow. And she would stay that way until morning, although sometimes that morning was a little earlier than I wanted.

But lately, it's a different story. I don't know what's up with her. She is having trouble falling asleep. I often go upstairs after I put the girls to bed to find her up walking around. And yes, part of the problem is that Audrey is up walking around, but I will get to that in a minute. A few nights ago, it was after 10 before she finally fell asleep. And she is waking up in the middle of the night and doing God knows what but every morning I find her bedroom door open. By Friday, she is so tired she's toast.

Audrey just needs to not nap at school. She naps, she doesn't fall asleep until late, then is tired, then naps again at school. The weekends are great because she falls right to sleep. I can't do anything about it though. I am not going to tell her teachers to keep her awake, that's not her job. She is obviously tired because she isn't falling asleep until late, so it's just a vicious cycle. One more year and she's off to kindergarten and no naps.

So any suggestions for Ashley would be helpful. I feel so bad when I have to wake her up in the morning when I know she is tired. Maybe it's an age thing?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Avocado League

Check out about avocados and get some great recipes here....


The bus came on time yesterday, go figure. Although I am pretty sure enough of us called/emailed/faxed or whatever yesterday to make sure that our kids didn't get home at 4:00pm again. We shall see what time the bus comes today.

First week of training, so far so good (sort of). I was supposed to do a tempo run on Monday, and I figured I would do it at the gym. It was supposed to be 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles at 9:43 pace, the 1 mile cool down. Using the treadmill conversion, that meant I was running the 3 miles at 6.4 which isn't too bad for me.

But 2.5 miles into it, I was done. I don't know if it was dinner, too much water, my stupid underwear riding up my butt the whole time or what, but I took the pace down and then only did 4 miles. I made up the other mile on Wednesday where I did 5 instead of 4. And it was a glorious 5 miles since it was actually only in the 70s and overcast for the run. I hadn't done one of those in months. And today was another 4 at lunch where it was about 90, but not as humid and I ran a shaded trail. 8 tomorrow to round out the week at 21 miles.

One week almost down, 11 to go until OBX.

Tonight is a jazz class for Ashley. Yes, we actually have an activity on a Friday night, but there was no way around it with her cheerleading schedule. And she really wanted to take a jazz class. And three of her friends are in it with her.

I realized this week that I have taken absolutely no photos of anything this month. Pretty pathetic. So my challenge for this weekend and next week is to take pictures. Audrey has a birthday party to go to tomorrow, and next week Ashley gets to cheer at the high school football game on Thursday night. So plenty of opportunities for pictures.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why can't they just get it right the first time?

So Ashley normally gets off the bus around 3:15pm. Just in time for her piano lessons on Thursdays at 3:30pm and enough time for Ray to get her off the bus and go get Audrey from school and then to Audrey's dance class at 4:00pm on Tuesdays. Yes, it's cutting it close, but it works.

Until yesterday. The bus didn't come until after 4:00pm. Not only does this screw us up, but I am pissed for the fact that we literally live less than a mile from the school, and Ashley sat in her classroom and then in the office when her teacher left for 45 minutes after the final bell.

The problem is the traditional calendar schools started yesterday here in Wake County, and our bus driver has a middle school route prior to our route. And she said that her middle school route takes her an hour. WTF? So my kid sits in school for almost an hour waiting for the bus to come get her? She could walk home faster than that.

So I have called the school and emailed and called transportation. Hopefully this will get changed, otherwise I am screwed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Plus, it makes for a long day for Ashley. She gets on the bus at 7:45am. So if she doesn't get home until after 4:00pm, that's over 8 hours.

GAH! This stuff stresses me out. We were on a perfect schedule for the past 6.5 weeks that we have been in school.

Friday, August 20, 2010


We miss our friends that moved to Texas...Ashley still talks about her best friend Catalina everyday. Hence the poem she did for homework last night....

Another neighbor was lucky enough to go and visit them last week, and brought me back a shirt.
And no, I am not switching loyalties to Texas. If you recall, the last time Virginia Tech played Texas was in the Sugar Bowl my senior year of college (which was *cough*cough* many, many years ago) and Virginia Tech won.

But I will wear this shirt proudly. On non-football playing days. Go Hokies!
Oh, and THANK GOD ITS THE WEEKEND...that's all I have to say about this week. Let's just say it started off with me wearing my shirt inside-out to the bus stop on Monday morning, and it has just never stopped from there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I have no title for this post

I hate having projects unfinished, and Ashley's room was a project that was unfinished (and actually still is until Ray hangs her curtain rod TONIGHT). The big thing left to do was to paint. And paint we did. Her room is now a "brave purple" color. Ray did some of the painting, and I finished up on Saturday morning while Audrey was at a friend's school's festival and Ashley was at a birthday party. I know, a kid free Saturday morning, and I spent it painting. I would have much rather spent it at a coffee shop reading a book, but oh well. Next time. And I guess I could actually take pictures of the room...add that to my to-do list tonight.

Prior to the painting, I did 7 miles bright and early with my friend Wendy on the Tobacco Trail. There were a ton of runners/bikers out Saturday morning, even at the 6:30am hour we got started at. I am guessing all the fall marathon training schedules have started. I officially start my training next week on the 23rd. This was my sixth straight week of around 20 miles or so, and my legs were feeling it. They were just tired. I think I might step it back a few miles this week before I get back into an official training schedule next week.

And speaking of training, I used the Smart Coach application (or you can find it on Runner's World) for my training plan for both the half marathon and the full I am doing. Keep your fingers crossed it gets me a PR in my half marathon in November. And because I am psycho about spreadsheets, I am still tweaking the schedule today. We have our Disney vacation in September and I have a weekend trip in October that all need to go into consideration when looking at my training schedule.

Last week, Audrey started soccer and holy crap, she loves it. So unlike her sister which we endured two seasons of intro to soccer of Ashley playing in the dirt instead of actually paying attention to the coach. She did start to melt at the end, but it was over 90 degrees and she was hot. Yes, pictures of this to come soon as well. As soon as I remember to bring a camera to practice.

And speaking of practice, she has practice on Thursdays from 5:45 - 6:45pm. Ashley has cheer leading from 6:00-7:30pm that day as well. I drop Ashley off at a neighbors for her to hitch a ride at 5:30pm, then take Audrey to soccer (Ray last week had a realtor event, this week hopefully he will be home because getting them both fed and ready was not fun). This Thursday? It is also Ashley's open house for school as well at parent's night out at Audrey's school (where we would have had free childcare for 3 hours, guess we will get it next time) and the open house at their dance school. Luckily they both know their dance teachers, but I still want to go to Ashley's open house. What is it with everything being on the same day?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heat (again)

I ran 5 miles this morning with an average pace of about 10:30/mile which was pretty good considering IT WAS 84 DEGREES WHEN I STARTED.

I partially melted, but I ran on the Tobacco Trail where it is mostly shady. But I still used about half of my water to dump on my head instead of in my mouth.

And on more exciting running news, I am being considered for a book Melinda Hinson Neely is writing about marathons. I am not one of the six featured runners, but will be featured in a smaller part in her book. She enjoyed all the various stories of why people are running, and decided she couldn't leave anyone out.

So I guess I really have to run the Austin Marathon in February. You can read the details here.

I was also quoted in Parents magazine this month about being a working Mom with sick kids. They got Ashley and Audrey's ages wrong, and it wasn't this last winter, but the winter before. Oh well, I guess they can't get everything right. But really, read the article. What some Moms have done is CRAZY when their kids get sick. I am lucky in that Ray and I can swap out taking turns, or even do half days. That and I have an employer who is very understanding.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The fighting....

Little did Ray and I know that having two girls 2.5 years apart would create two human beings who would rather fight with each other over every.little.thing than actual be nice for a few minutes.

The fighting seems to never stop. Ashley touches Audrey, Audrey hits Ashley back. One is sitting in the other one's way, one gives the other one the stink eye.

Yes, really sometimes they fight over stupid stuff. I am shocked, I know.

Most of the time the arguments are created over competition and Ashley bragging that she gets to do something her sister does not. Like who gets their vitamins first in the morning. Who goes down the stairs first. Who takes a shower first.

But then we have a morning like this one. Audrey announced she was line leader, Ashley wanted to ride piggyback down the stairs (yes, she is too big for this, but if it would get them downstairs and eating breakfast, I am willing to ride a skateboard down the stairs...). Audrey then saw she was missing out on riding on my back, and threw a fit. To which Ashley said her sister could do it instead of her.

Then at the bus stop, Audrey actually gave her sister a hug. To which I said I needed to write this date down, a day when they were actually nice to each other. So this is me writing it down.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Countdown has begun....

And my training plan has even been tweaked for our upcoming annual trip to Disney World (I do plan on running while there). We are going the last week in September when Ashley is tracked out of school. I can't freaking wait. Neither can the kids; Audrey keeps mentioning things she wants to do in Disney World, and Ashley has money put aside already.

I need to finalize my spreadsheet for the trip and start a packing list. Yes, I am anal and I love spreadsheets and lists.

This trip will actually be a cheap-ish trip for us. We don't pay for our room (well, we paid for it years ago when we bought Disney timeshare), we have annual passes we purchased last December that are obviously still good, we still have some water park tickets from years ago, and we plan on packing our lunches again and eating in the room as much as possible (we packed lunches for the first time when we went in December, and it worked out great). Don't get me wrong, we have our traditional Chef Mickey's breakfast buffet planned as well as our first ever time to Le Cellier in Epcot to eat. I also plan on eating as much desserts as possible (bring on the Mickey shaped ice cream bars!). Whatever souvenirs the kids want they have to buy with their own money. Ashley has a Visa giftcard from her birthday she is saving and Audrey has some money in her piggy bank.

We also drive to Disney, normally leaving the Raleigh area around 2:00am putting us there before lunch. And yes, we might be crazy for this as well, but it works for us.

And here is our tally of times we have been to Disney:
Amy - 14 times
Ray - 10 times
Ashley - 7 times
Audrey - 4 times

Crazy? Possibly. We just love all that a Disney World vacation has to offer. I would go more than once a year if Ray (and our bank account) would let us. I am also excited about running while there. There is a great website for running in Disney here. And I know the next obvious question - when will I run an actual Disney marathon? There is actually one there the day after we leave this year, but we can't stay an extra day (its the new Disney Wine and Dine one). The Princess Half is the same month as the Austin Marathon I am doing, so that is out. I am hoping for 2012...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Running again...

So a few weeks ago, I had something every night it seemed, and while most events (like me going to the gym) were after the kids went to bed, I still felt guilty and decided to reevaluate my running schedule for the fall half marathon. And with soccer/dance for Audrey and cheerleading/dance for Ashley this fall, our schedule gets a little crazy. That, and cheerleading is 2 nights a week from 6-7:30pm, and I just signed up to help out on the Tuesday night practices. Because as my friends would say, I can't say no.

That and last night on our night-run, it was pretty darn dark when my friend and I finished. There is a trail that is pretty short, maybe a quarter of a mile, that runs between Ashley's elementary school and our street and it goes through the woods. We hit that trail at 8:45pm last night and it was scary. Dark, scary, and we had just finished up a conversation about snakes. So needless to say, I was worried about stepping on one. So I think our nightly runs will have to take a backseat, or just run at the gym.

My running schedule which officially starts on August 23:
Mondays - speed work at the gym on the treadmill where I can concentrate on my pace
Wednesdays - morning run or lunchtime run (I work from home on Wednesdays)
Fridays - run at lunchtime at work (I did this in the winter)
Saturdays - long runs in the morning

So it will only be one night a week where I am at the gym at night. Last week I ran 20 miles for the first time ever in a week, but this training cycle I will get up to 30 miles in on week. Pretty scary!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Running and exercising with kids

I don't boast fast times when I run, nor do I run 30-40 miles a week. I try to hit 20 miles a week, and at best, I come close (although my new training plan that starts this month for the half marathon in November and the full in February have me running 20+ miles each week). I work full-time, have 2 kids, and I could go on with the list of other things I am involved in, but I would just bore you to death.

I do try to keep my workouts at night after the kids go to bed or incorporate the kids into my workouts (Ray takes the early morning shift running). Like yesterday. I took the girls to see a movie, then we went back home where all they wanted to do again was watch TV. Since for the first time in 2 months it wasn't 90+ degrees outside and I needed a measly 2.5 miles to get my 20 miles for the week, I took the kids to a local track at a middle school. Ashley biked, Audrey biked and ran/walked. I ran and the girls had fun watching me for my last 2 laps.

I also wrote for a great website, Diets in Review this past weekend. You can check out my article here....