Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anthony the Drama King

Medieval torture device, known now as a bike trailer

Oh son. Son, son, son. Your shiny smile, inquizzitive personality, and sweet little voice just make our hearts go pitter-patter. But sometimes, I just have to tell ya, you are a DRAMA KING! I know it runs through both families but don't let it get the best of you! Fight the power!

Tuesday, we went over to my friend Shannon's house for our weekly playdate. Since it actually wasn't raining, we decided to take the kiddies to the pool. Usually we jog to the pool, but I didn't bring my jogging stroller because I was driving the smaller car and it doesn't fit in the back. So, Shannon suggested we take the bikes instead. What a great idea, says I, since I don't bike very often I was excited. She has the ancient medieval torture device shown above attached to her bike. She loads up her son, Chase, who's obviously quite used to it and sits quietly. Then, it's Anthony's turn to get in.

He was resistant, but I figured if we could just get him in there and get going, he'd like it. No such luck! I tried three separate times to get him in, and he SCREAMED bloody murder each time. We finally got him strapped in, all the while he continued to wail, and then he started contorting his body around trying to get loose, to the point he was turned around completely backwards and tangled in the arm straps. By this point he was really panicked, and I really can't blame him then. I got him loose, picked him up and tried to comfort him, but he continued to cry and cry, tears running down his face and snot running out of his nose. I put him the car and just drove him to the pool, and though he was better once we were there, he never really recovered. Though I doubt I scarred my child for life, I scarred him for a good six hours at least!

It's funny because I had thought about buying one of these bike trailers. Glad I didn't waste the money! I guess we can try a bike seat that attachs onto the adult bike when it cools down. Adam was really surprised he reacted that way too because he doesn't mind his stroller and loves to ride in his little car. Sometimes, my kid is just weird!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Searching for my rhythm

Mileage totals for the past two days:
Sunday- 5 miles, ON THE TREADMILL thank you very much! Oh it was boring agony on a Sunday afternoon when nothing's on the gym tv's to be plodding along for 49 minutes... but it did help to look around and see out of the dozen or so people there, I was the ONLY GIRL!

Monday A.M.- 4.5 miles. Oh yeah, after a week of avoiding morning runs I got out there with Erin this morning at 6:45am and conquered 4.5 miles. My legs were tired from yesterday's run and the humidity was fierce, but we made it.

Now that it's almost August I really gotta start getting into a regular running schedule again so I'm used to it when training starts in September. This summer I've been pretty loosey-goosey, going when I felt like it with the knowledge that I can run 6-7 miles as a long run right now, which is all I need to be able to do to start marathon training.

If I'd known I was going to be quitting my job and starting a new business, I probably wouldn't have signed up for the marathon, but I'm committed now and actually, awful glad I am. Starting the business would've just been one more reason to put off running a marathon and likely, it would've never happened. Adam and I are talking about getting pregnant again next year, and though there's nothing to say I can't run a marathon after another baby and having two little ones to handle, now is the much better time!

In Health,

Friday, July 25, 2008


Well, got my lazy self up this morning and did a 3.25 mile run before work. It was my first morning run in two weeks, and I could certainly feel that in my tempo and pace. I just couldn't get into a good rhythm. I started 20 minutes after waking up, so I think maybe I didn't allow myself enough time to actually come alive before hitting the pavement. Erin and I are talking about doing a longer run Sunday morning. We'll see how that goes.

Why is it we so easily can block out hundreds of positive comments, but hearing one negative one throws us all out of whack? I'm sitting here stewing over one parent from my kids' cybercamps complaining about me to Gayle. Apparently her kid didn't like me too much, so she went home and whined to her mother, who comes back and asks Gayle why I am teaching a kids camp if I don't like kids. SAY WHAT?? First of all, I like kids just fine, otherwise I wouldn't have been offering these Cybercamps the past THREE YEARS. I would've told my boss after the first summer to just forget it, this stinks, give me back my adult classes. Second of all, this is a classroom. Yes, it's a free service to the military families, but no, that doesn't mean I'm going to let the kids run around with no structure whatsoever. They're here to learn and do projects on the computer. I expect them to behave politely and with rules, just like they have in school. If that makes me the mean, bad teacher, well then I guess I am! The problem is that so many parents these days let their kids run around without rules and let them back talk, curse, and just be overall rude to their teachers and other adults, then they're suprised when someone corrects their kid on their behavior.

It just makes me so annoyed because I've worked so hard every single school break to make sure the kids have a fun and enjoyable time while learning something cool too. Do I get irritated with some of them sometimes, sure, show me a teacher that doesn't! I have so much respect to teachers who do this every single day, all day long, without ever a thanks or good job. It truly is a thankless job! What I have to remember is that I've had many of the same kids come back year after year, and they wouldn't do that if they didn't enjoy the classes.

I don't know why I let one negative comment bother me so much. I guess it's because this parent didn't come to me and ask me about the situation, but just went and blabbed to Gayle, and furthermore, I don't even know what situation it was or who the kid was!

Oh well. I can't stress over what I can't change. But it can still annoy me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Riding the Rollercoaster

Anthony fascinated with a balloon

This picture really doesn't have anything to do with a balloon, but I just liked it. Anthony's Auntie Aimee took the picture when he was visiting Grandma last month. Apparently the balloon provided quite a few minutes of entertainment!

Before I go on, I want to give a shout-out to my other sister-in-law Chiara, who is undergoing surgery today to remove a tumor from her kidney. The prognosis is very good, but it's still major surgery and we're all just praying for the best.

So, regarding the rollercoaster comment... it really has been one this past week with Baby Boot Camp. I'm in the final stages of securing locations, and just found out once location is a no-go and another is unhappy with the financial agreement. I think we can renegotiate on that one until everyone is smiley-fine, but it's annoying to still not have this stuff finalized. Looks like the YMCA is on board though, and this is the one I really wanted to secure. Up and down. Up and down.

The hardest part of this ramp up period by far has been visiting doctor's office (OBs and pediatricians) to leave marketing materials. I H-A-T-E this process! I feel like such a dirty salesman, coming in and bothering people when they're busy and grumpy for being stuck at work. I don't know how door-to-door salesmen do it. So far, the response has been decent; most places have allowed it. One that turned me down though was my own OB's office! I am still sooooo mad about that! I went in last Friday and talked to the receptionist, who was very nice and said she'd need to pass on a copy of my materials to the office administrator for approval.

I called the office adminstrator yesterday and left a message to see whether or not I'd be allowed to leave the brochures in the waiting room. She had someone else call me back to say no! This is my own doctor's office! I was so incredibly annoyed that I called back and left another voice message today asking again and reiterating that I am a patient there. She hasn't called me back so I'd assume the answer is still no. Like I said to her, I'm just trying to get the word out. I believe in this program and I believe it's very, very important for new moms to be aware of programs out there that can help them through the hardest times. What is the harm in allowing a few brochures in the waiting room?? Goodness knows patients at that practice need all the reading material they can get as they wait to be seen an hour or more after their scheduled appointments!

Enough of that rant. I just gotta ride out these highs and lows. That's the nature of the business, so to speak. Anthony's pediatrician was very receptive to helping me promote the program and is distributing all of my marketing materials. So, alas, you when some and lose some.

Running tomorrow a.m. with Erin for the first time in a week and a half!! I HATE morning runs!
In Health,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

P.S. Running

Oh yeah, running. yeah, I'm still doing it, but I've hit a wall with motivation because of this stinking heat. I did 4 miles on the treadmill Sunday and 3 yesterday. I've been varying the inclines and speed, trying to make it more interesting, plus the hill intervals are good for my training. Here's what I did yesterday:

Mile 1-
0.5% incline, 6.0 pace

Mile 2 (quarter mile intervals)-
1% incline, 6.5 pace
2% incline, 6.2 pace
3% incline, 6.2 pace
4% incline, 6.0 pace

Mile 3-
1% incline, 6.2 pace (recovery)
2% incline, 6.2 pace
1% incline, 6.5 pace to end

Game on!

I felt the need to blog about our latest family obsession... SCRABBLE! Oh yeah, the good old fashion spell-words-with-tiles game you remember as a kid. Sheramy bought a travel version on a whim one day, hoping I'd play with her. I have many fond memories growing up of my mom and neighbor/babysitter Diana sitting with their perm rods in their hair and playing Scrabble for hours, so natually, I was "game".

Enter the obsession.

Adam, who claims to hate Scrabble because he can't spell, decided to humor us by jumping in on the game. Little did we know he must've minored in Scrabble playing in college. Of the half dozen times we've played, Adam's won 2/3 of the time. Yes, it bothers me and Sheramy to no end. After all, we're the ones with the completed Advanced Degrees (spell boy's degree is in progress) AND he's the one who said he's lousy at it. W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R!

So my mother in law is visiting this week, and we decided to draw her into our circle of game playing madness. First night, she comes out shooting and rakes Adam and I through the coals. Last night though, the Scrabble gods shined down upon me. I started out the game with a 7 letter word and was unstoppable to a high of 258 points. BOOYAH! I was getting a little sick of losing, so my interest is repeaked. GAME ON!

Chris is here taking care of Anthony while his regular sitter Erica is on vacation. As I give him a kiss and head out in the mornings, I'm so happy knowing only a few more weeks left and he'll be with me. It's hard saying goodbye to your child in the mornings, knowing someone else gets to be with him all day. He's growing so fast, and I don't want to miss any of it.

Speaking of Baby Boot Camp, happy to report I solidified the YMCA as a location this morning. They are as excited about the program as I am. It's a load off my mind to know I have a good location set that will be able to bring me in lots of marketing and advertising.

Chugging right along... Grand Opening is set for September 8th!
In Health,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Big Boy Food

Anthony sampling more adult fare

My extraordinary son has finally decided what the rest of us already knew: baby food is nasty! Now he has suddenly become open to trying out a new array of big-people delicasies. It started while we were in Atlanta; a trip to the Macaroni Grill resulted in Anthony chowing down on spaghetti with garlic and olive oil (sprinkled with a few red pepper flakes which amusingly made the dish too spicy for Grandma but just right for the one year old!). Since then, he's tried and liked popcorn shrimp, fish, Adam's "Italian Stallion stew" (raviolio, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash), among other things. Last night we took him to Moe's. I ordered him a side order of rice and beans topped with tomatoes. Again, he chowed down.

Since he's starting eating big boy food he's become SO much better at the dinner table too. He sits nicely, doesn't cry or pitch fits or do any of the other things he used to do to annoy us at dinner. We used to eat as quickly as possible in order to avoid the dinner meltdown; now we can sit back and enjoy, while Anthony happily munches the same food we're eating.

What a huge breakthrough! This child is now 100% perfect.

Didn't run yesterday. Adam and I were going to go to the gym and let Anthony hang out in their childcare center (another big breakthrough last week-- he spent 35 minutes in the childcare center while we worked out and didn't mind a bit!), but I was grumpy due to Aunt Flo and had ran both days before. Tonight I teach at the gym, so I'll get my workout in then, and tomorrow we'll try the gym again. I do hate running on the treadmills. I try to make it more interesting by adding the hill intervals, but 30 minutes feels like an hour when you're running in place.

Big meeting with the YMCA tomorrow for Baby Boot Camp. I'm super excited and nervous. I really want this to work!! I think it'll be huge exposure to me to be a part of this YMCA.

In Health,


Monday, July 14, 2008

Finding our Groove Thang

This weekend Anthony found his groove. It was absolutely hilarious... Sheramy was over, and we were singing an old 80's song called "Chains of Love" by Erasure. Apparently it inspired Anthony's inner dance god, because suddenly he started dancing to our off tune music, bouncing his knees up and down, getting down! We kept singing so I could capture the moment on video... check it out here:

These are the moments that make having a one year old priceless! We've also taught him to do some chores, as evidenced by the photo. Ok, just kidding, I don't have my one year old doing chores (yet)-- he willingly and wantingly grabs the broom and sweeps the floor. It's become one of his favorite things to do. Let's just hope that doesn't change!
So while Anthony was finding his groove to old 80's hits, I've been trying to get back into the mindset of Running Rules like I had after the half marathon. I've just been so unmotivated lately. It must be the heat. It's hard to be motivated to get outside when you know you're going to sweat two gallons by the end. Plus, I like running in the afternoon, and this heat makes that impossible. Treadmills are just BORING, though it's been good for me to adjust the incline and get some hill training in. Yesterday I did a 3 mile treadmill run in under 30 minutes, adjusting the incline from 1% up to 6%. I actually love the hill climbs, when I feel myself sliding to the back of the treadmill and huffing and puffing to keep from flying off the back... exhilarating! Yeah, I'm a weirdo, I know.
Got out with Erin for a 3 mile run at 7:00am this morning. Had to visit the facilities the whole time, so I was running with purpose to get back home. All in all not a bad run, but I was in a dead sleep when the dang alarm clock went off this morning, and thank goodness having a running partner is keeping me honest. I so would not have gotten out of bed otherwise!
Running diary this week:
6.25 mi Friday
3 mi treadmill w/varying inclines Sunday
3 mi Monday
In Health,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rising and Shining

Uuuugggghhhh. Florida summers are sssooooo hhhhhhooottttttt. Pried my lazy self out of bed this morning at 6:00am and was out the door by 6:25 to meet Erin. Did I mention how ridiculously HOT it is?? We sweated through over six miles, but I felt like I was running directly into a brickwall most of the time. There's something about that level of humidity that zaps your energy and makes you wish you lived in a climate where you can't wring out your socks in the first five minutes out. Thank God the marathon is in January! I can't believe we've got to start our training regime soon. Seems like just yesterday I blew threw the finish line at the half marathon. Now, seven months later, it's time to start getting serious about this endeavor.

So, unrelated to running, I read a book recently that's got my mind buzzing. It was actually a birthday gift to Adam from a friend, but I borrowed it for the plane ride to Las Vegas. The book is called "The Heroine Diaries" It's written in part by Nikki Sixx, bassist for the band Motley Crue. It's the story of the diaries he kept while he was an addict. It's shocking, depressing, and in parts totally disgusting, but I can honestly say it was the best read I've had in awhile. It's one of those books that you can't believe you're reading but are really glad you did at the end. The layout of the book is very eccentric as well-- the pages are white with typewriter font, splattered with drops of read meant to be blood, and often with violent or vulgar illustrations. It was funny actually, on the plane to Las Vegas I was sitting next to a woman that was praying the rosary during take-off, and here I am with this shocking tale of debauchery wide open for her to see. I kept trying to hide the illustrations with my book mark as to not offend.

The book is so sad because it's someone's real story. It's our tendency to never think of addicts as real people, especially rock stars. You just assume they are pathetic losers with too much money to burn and no concept of the real world. Up until I read this book, I had the same assumptions. But now, I recognize that the addiction is often a symptom of the real problem, which in Nikki Sixx's case, was major depressive disorder. Back in the time of his addiction (1980's), depressive disorder didn't get the same recognition as an illness as it does now. In fact, prozac was still a new drug when Sixx first starting taking it. Now, the medical community and society in general recognize depressive disorder as the illness it is, and suffers can get the help they need before the disease manifests itself in the form of addiction.

Anyone would feel bad for Nikki Sixx as he describes holing up in his bedroom closet, surrounded by drug paraphenalia, drug-induced hallucinations convincing him people were trying to break into his house. There are many times in his diaries when he says he wants to stop, but can't. He talks about being completely alone, feeling no one cares. Maybe I related to this book because of the postpartum depression I went through following Anthony's birth. I know what its like to feel so helpless and sad, and though my depression was mild compared to many, it was a very dark time for me to feel so unlike myself, even in the face of the joy I was experiencing with the birth of my son.

This book just got me wondering how many women suffer through postpartum depression, and it makes me all the more motivated to do my part to help these women find themselves again. For me, running was the key, and completing the half marathon was the epiphany I needed to break through. For other women, I hope what I do with Baby Boot Camp will help them find happiness and purpose. I hope "The Heroine Diaries" helps to shed some light on the seriousness of depressive disorder. It's not only rock stars that end up with addictions.

In Health,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Marathon Mommy Hits Vegas!

See those slot machines? They took my money!

I hate Wheel of Fortune slot machines. I'm drawn to them like a moth to a flame. They torture me. They tease me. They make me think that because I won once, I can win again. WRONG!

This past weekend I got to visit Vegas for the annual Baby Boot Camp conference. It was my first conference experience. There were about 35 other franchise owners there, as well as the corporate team. It was interesting and informative, though the room was too cold. I guess the hotel was afraid the 110 degree desert heat outside would somehow penetrate the building's exterior.

As part of the conference, we participated in Baby Boot Camp classes as students. The second day, I took part in a fast paced group run at 6:45am. We went less than 3 miles, but with the 85 degree heat (yes, 85 degrees at 6:45am!) and trail blazer pacers, I was pretty tired by time we got back, just in time to participate in a Level 2 BBC class. Erin Shirey, Franchise Owner of BBC Portland, led the class with her husband, Jack. First of all, let me just say Erin is one small ball of exploding energy. She's only about 5 feet tall, but what she lacks in height she makes up in with contagious, crazy enthusiasm. I can certainly see why Portlandians (?) flock to her classes. We sweated, grunted, and tricep-dipped our way through over an hour of grueling interval exercise. When you have fitness professionals begging for mercy, you know you are one tough mama.

I got some practice in being away from Anthony while Adam and I took our vacation in May, but I don't think a mother can ever be truly prepared for extended time away from her baby, especially when the baby is as handsome and charming as mine. Anthony spent his time in Atlanta with his MiMi (he just gave her that name on this trip), Grandma, daddy, and his aunties from Adam's side. I hear he had a great time and probably didn't miss me half as much as I did him. After a semi-nightmarish return home, I spent one more night away from "my boys" (kudos to my sister Sheramy for her hospitality and accomodations) and finally reunited yesterday. My son smiled ear-to-ear when he saw me, but I don't think his little mind recognized the fact I had been gone so long.

Now I'm back, trying to get back into my groove, and will hit the road with Erin tomorrow morning at 6:30am for my first long run in over a week. Funny how humidity grows on you. I haven't had to use my chapstick once since I got back, and I couldn't separate from the thing in Vegas. Don't believe what they tell you about dry heat being better. 110 degrees, no matter what the relative humidity, sucks!

Life, love, and health,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hey, Found Me!

Hey! I found me! I'm back. I took a little hiatus to try setting up a separate website. Here's a tip-- no matter what you hear to the contrary, designing a website is a big pain in the diaper and it costs too much money. Plus, I went through all this trouble, and it doesn't look any better than good ol' blogspot here. So here I am.

That's Anthony on the beach. Isn't he freaking ADORABLE?

I can't believe he's 15 months old now! It's crazy how fast time is flying. He walks (well runs, actually), talks, and is a little person now. His favorite things lately are crackers, his push car, and Choo-Choo Soul. I'd like to know where in the heck did my son get his Boston accent? He pronounces cracker like "crack-kah". That, along with "Cah" for car, makes me wonder where that's coming from. I've gotta get him saying "ya'll" and "grits" soon!

So, being that it's July already, now I really gotta start thinking about this marathon training. My friend Erin signed up a couple of weeks ago, so we're all in. It's nice to have a training buddy. Despite the Africa-heat (Erin's term) we've managed to get out a couple of mornings a week, BEFORE WORK, I might add, to get our run on. This morning my alarm went off at 6:00am and I was out the door by 6:30. Did 6 miles before running home, literally, and jumping in the shower to get to work. Is that dedication or what??

Now with everything I'm going to get Baby Boot Camp going, I'm less focused on this marathon, but it's not like there's not plenty of time still. I don't really need to officially begin training until September. Now I'm just trying to maintain my maximum long run of 6 miles, where I'm at now.

I'll be glad when Baby Boot Camp finally sends me my new jogging stroller. Mine currently smells like crap. I sh*t you not. When we came back from the pool the other day, apparently Anthony had a loaded diaper and managed to leave the smell as a souvenior in the fabric. I can't get rid of it!! It's driving me nuts. The dang thing smells like a dirty restroom. Imagine pushing that while you're running in the Africa-heat!

Well I'm happy to be back on blogspot and will do better about posting regularly. We're preparing to go to Atlanta for the 4th and then I'm going to be in Vegas for my first Baby Boot Camp conference. I'll be sure to report back on that event. It's sure to be a blast.

In Health,