Saturday, November 29

The one with the yak


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! After the stomach bug fiasco a mere 12 hours before departure, we made it on the plane to Ft Lauderdale with plenty of time to spare. In fact it was the easiest time parking, checking bags, getting through security and getting to our gate we have ever had with both kids, in spite of Leah throwing up all over the ground right when we got off the shuttle at the terminal (Yeah, that was interesting. I have decided that most travelers are very nice.).

Wednesday night I shopped a bit at an insanely packed Publix. Thursday morning Mike & I went biking and running, then we took Leah swimming. She could not touch the ground in this pool except on the stairs. Poor thing, the first time she slipped off the stairs she freaked out. But she gradually got her confidence back. I went back to the house around 11:30 to start cooking for a 2pm meal.

For whatever reason, this was again the most relaxed and easy cooking experience I have ever had. I worked straight through from 11:30 until 2 but everything came out great and everything was still warm. Maybe it was that I didn't make the turkey myself. That certainly takes a lot of the stress off. We had: turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, yam casserole, green bean casserole, corn pudding, stuffing with cranberries, and rolls. I did not make any of the desserts, but we had apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies, although I did make homemade whipped cream. Yummy and delicious day!

Friday, I woke up feeling not so hot. But it was just a few little stomach cramps, not big deal. We made plans and followed the Stewart family to the Metro Zoo in Miami. After being there about 20 minutes, I began to feel nauseated. When everyone ate lunch, I laid my head down on the table and did deep breathing exercises. I could not go any farther, so I told them to go on ahead and I would wait on a bench with my cell phone. The benches were all in the shade and I was freezing, so I had to sit on the ground in the sun. Several nice people stopped to ask me if I needed any help. I must have looked so pathetic. :) Finally my group returned and we began walking toward the front. I took about 10 steps, fell to my knees, and yakked into the bushes. Mike said he felt so bad because of course everyone was looking at me, but I was past caring. I was just glad after that I felt better enough to make it to the car. I spent the rest of the evening on my back because I felt sick if I even sat up. But I never threw up again, thank goodness, and this morning I feel MUCH better.

Mike is terrified that he is next and we are supposed to be driving to Nikki's birthday party in Orlando today. Everyone cross your fingers for him!

Tuesday, November 25

From one to the next


Leah woke up at 10:15 throwing up. 3 rounds so far. Here's hoping it passes as quickly as Erin's did...



I'm glad I checked the US Airways website before I packed our stuff. They now charge $15 for the first bag you check and $25 for the second. We are not paying $50 in addition to the already paid flights. So I am trying to figure out how to get all of us in one big suitcase, two carry-ons, and a carseat case (holds a surprising amount). I HATE carrying on with the kids because trying to wrangle them and luggage is not fun. But I will do it to save that $15. Thank goodness Ronni & Steve have one carseat already and a pack-n-play or we would have two additional checked items.

In other news, my poor baby Erin either had a 6 hour stomach bug or our Chinese last night did not agree with her. She woke up at 3:30am throwing up and threw up every half hour until 6:30. Then she and I were finally able to sleep until 8am. But she has eaten applesauce, saltines, juice, milk, and a few bites of grilled cheese already with no side effects. I truly hope that is all it is.

Monday, November 24

Leah's Thanksgiving feast


I love being a mom. We got to go to Leah's preschool today and attend her Thanksgiving feast. Before the lunch (potluck), each class sang a song. Leah's class sang a funny song about the Pharoahs (for the lyrics, click here) and they dressed up as Indians. The four year old class were Pilgrims, the ones and twos were turkeys. I got a little teary watching her up on stage performing.

Both 3 year old classes

Leah rocking out

How adorable are these munchkins?

Friday, November 21

Mommied out


I love my darling baby girls, but I am just tired of hearing Mommy today. Leah literally calls my name 3 or 4 times (while I am saying "Yes, Leah?" after each one) before saying what she has to say. I feel like screaming, "What? What do you want?" after about the 5th time. She also says, "Mama?" and I say what and she says "I love you." It is so sweet and kinda annoying that she does it every 5 minutes. And Erin sat in her bed this morning for an hour, not crying, saying "Mooooommmmmeeee" or "Mama" in various tones of voice. She did end up napping from 1:30-3:30, but she has been napping twice a day for this whole week. It threw things off a bit.

Tomorrow we are going to Sam's Club for their tasting event, then I have my hair appointment at 4pm. That will be such a a nice break.

Thursday, November 20



Seriously? When did I fall for Alex Karev? He is becoming a real person. And the Denny thing? I think I would lose it even worse than Izzy has.

And as always, I adore Dr. Bailey.

Heaven in my mouth


Limited Edition Oreos with Old Fashioned Candy Cane Creme (think thick Thin Mints)

'nuf said.

Wednesday, November 19

Christmas family photos


Place your orders now! :)

Tuesday, November 18

Ski trip!!!!


Mike and I are so excited! I just booked 3 nights at the Pinnacle Inn Resort on Beech Mountain for Dec 29-31. We have a slopeside view from our 2 bedroom condo. My dad & Myrn will be with us from Dec 26-Jan 4 so they are going on this trip too. I cannot wait! I have all of Leah's snow stuff for Erin. I just have to look for stuff for Leah now. She has a jacket, I need pants or a snow bib thing.

I am so psyched! The only time I have ever been skiing is Dec 2000. Mike and I flew to Oregon to visit my friend Tracy and ski Mt Hood. I only skied for a half day and never got off the bunny slope. So I am determined to actually do a real slope. Maybe I will use those ski boards instead of real skis. They are like skis only way shorter. This is the first time in a long time that I am not pregnant and we have people to watch the kids. Ahhhhhhh! What an awesome trip!

Monday, November 17



I have a confession to make. I thumped my daughter this morning. We were on our way in to school from the car. Ian was asking Leah a question and she wouldn't answer him. He kept saying, "Leah? Leeee-aaaaah?" over and over. I was behind Leah and I thumped her on the head. Not even hard, just to get her attention.

And she lost it.

She started crying so hard you would think I backhanded her. Screaming crying. In the parking lot of their preschool. With all the other parents watching. And some teachers.

Everyone was asking her what was wrong and did she fall down, was she okay, etc. It was such drama. The worst part was I knew it was my fault. Even though she was crying a disproportionate amount to what I did, I still knew I caused it. I felt awful.

When we got to her classroom, her teacher swooped her up and cuddled her. I tried to explain what had happened, but they kept saying things like, "Mommy didn't mean to thump you." That made me feel even worse. I did mean to thump her, just not enough to hurt (and I don't think it did hurt, I think it was all drama). It wasn't as though I lost my temper and spanked her. I wasn't even mad at her. I was just trying to get her attention.

I took her back and got her all calmed down, but then she didn't want to stay at school. I had to promise her McDonald's for lunch and to watch a movie when she got home.

I feel like crap about it. Some parent I am.

Wednesday, November 12

They must know what they are doing...


On my triathlon training program, here is how the numbers go for a 4 week period:
Week 1 - previous month's week 3
Week 2 - add 10% more minutes to each exercise from week 1
Week 3 - add 10% more minutes to week 2
Week 4 - back down 25% less minutes for each exercise for recovery

Last week was a recovery week. I had been up to 24 minutes swimming and running and 48 minutes biking. So I thought 14 min S/R and 29 min B were going to be a breeze. I kinda felt guilty about "slacking" like that. But I followed the program. And you know what? Every day was a struggle to get through the minutes. AND I wanted to nap almost everyday/go to bed early every night. I was SO tired.

I began to realize toward the end of the week that those guys who make the program must know what they are doing. Obviously my body desperately needed that recovery week to get back on track. This week I have done fine with the 24 min swim and the 48 min bike so far. So I guess I will be listening to the program in the future.

Sunday, November 9

Thing one and thing two


Today we went to the Warriors and Warbirds Veterans Day Celebration at the Monroe Airport. I am not kidding you when I say there is always something to do around here. I could find an activity for us every weekend. Anyway, it was an airshow with a whole bunch of planes from WWII. We arrived for the last performance, called Tora, Tora, Tora.

These planes were manufactured in 1967 for the movie Tora, Tora, Tora. They are modeled after the Japanese planes used to attack Pearl Harbor. The whole performance was a reenactment for the attack, with the planes actually dive bombing the airstrip. They used pyrotechnics to mimic the bombs too. I did not take pics because I was holding Leah. The pics here are from their website of past shows.

During the whole thing, the announcer was describing the scene for us. He explained exactly what happened to each ship that was hit, talked about the men who were able to get into planes to fight, and detailed the patterns of the attacking planes. I was teary practically the entire show, thinking about the battle and everything. It was pretty amazing. Erin, however, did not enjoy the noise. She squirmed and fussed the whole time, probably preventing Mike from truly enjoying it. Sorry, honey! Afterward, we were able to get into a helicopter and a CAT (communications-ammo transport AKA a big tank). There were so many old military vehicles there to see too. We had a great time.

Tonight we ate dinner at La Strada (the best pizza around these parts). While we were there, Erin said pee-pee again. I brought her into the bathroom. But you know how public toilets are. The opening in the front is as big as her bottom. So there was no comfortable way to sit her on the potty. She did go the tiniest bit, but just couldn't relax enough to go for real. I can't believe I will have to start carrying my potty seat cover in my diaper bag already!

Saturday, November 8

Mountain biking with children


Today we went to Cane Creek Park to bike on their trails. I knew the trails were going to be unpaved, I thought like dirt paths. Not so much. It was actual mountain biking, going over tree roots and piles of leaves. Mike had Leah and I had Erin on the backs of our bikes too. I have to admit I was TERRIFIED at first. And poor Erin on the back. Her helmet hit the back of the bike seat with every bump. She just kept saying, "Mama, Mama," over and over. Then after a bit I heard her humming to herself. So I guess she got used to it. After I got over the fear of skidding on a root and losing control of my bike, I realized that biking through the woods this time of year is SO beautiful. I wish I had taken our "new" camera, but it's not like I could have stopped to take pictures.

Also, remember how I mentioned potty training a few posts ago? Well, today when Erin said pee-pee, I rushed her to the potty. She sat for a minute and Leah brought us a book. While I was reading to her, she strained, saying "Pee-pee?" and out it came! She pooped on the potty after telling me she had to go! It would be awesome if she could poop on the potty.

Friday, November 7

To all the moms...


I truly cried tonight while rocking Erin. I began thinking how my mother must have rocked me when I was a baby. Then obviously I thought about how a grown daughter shows affection. We do normal grown up mother/daughter things, but nothing like the physical intimacy of mother and young child. And I got really sad thinking that one day I will no longer be able to hold my children and rock them. I know we all know this deep down, but it really hit me tonight. I don't ever want them to grow up! I guess I will have to keep having babies til I can't anymore, then I will have to adopt them. How do people deal with their children growing up?

Thursday, November 6

Various & sundry items


Item 1 - After I dropped our camera in the lake in Michigan on the first day of our trip, we weren't sure what to do. The camera dried out and worked fine, but a water spot dried somewhere inside making not only the view through the camera blurry, but the image itself. We took it to a camera shop at the end of August. The man said that they would let us know, but if the spot was in a certain place, then they would not be able to get to it. About 6 weeks later, the repair shop called and said that they were able to improve the image, but not completely get rid of the spot. They were not charging us for the repair since they weren't able to fix it completely. I said thanks, then promptly forgot about the camera since I couldn't really use it. They have called us twice to remind us to come pick up the camera but it has never been convenient (it's about 30 min away). Finally yesterday I stopped by to pick the camera up. The battery was dead, so I took it home to charge just to see what the picture quality was. You be the judge:

Item 2 - I took the girls to Monkey Joe's today after their flu shots. Leah's preschool sponsored a session there. I had not been there with Erin since she was too little to let out of the stroller. Well, today she LOVED IT! She climbed around the toddler areas. Then I took her down some of the bigger slides and she screamed and clapped and grinned her little head off. In the big bouncy house, it was very slippery. Erin rolled around chasing the beach balls that were in there. I got sweaty chasing her around. It was such a good time. Too bad my new and improved camera was at home on my sofa.

Item 3 - I have decided that Erin is in the most physically exhausting stage (for a mother) and Leah is in the most mentally exhausting stage. I CONSTANTLY have to be chasing Erin around. If a gate or a door opens she is through it before you can even think about closing it. She is all the way to Chase's house before I even get out of the garage. She is always finding something on my floor to put in her mouth. If I open the fridge, she is immediately climbing the shelves calling for her "na" (milk). If a chair is not pushed in at the kitchen table, she is climbing on it and soon will be on the table too. Yesterday I was putting her to bed when the timer on the stove went off (I had cookies in the oven). I shut her in her bedroom and went down to get the cookies out. I did not lock the upstairs gate because I was coming right back and Erin was shut in her room. She can't open doors. But Leah can. When I came back upstairs 30 seconds later, Erin was on the second step from the top, just sitting there. Leah, of course, had no idea why I had shut Erin in her room. I almost had a heart attack. That kid!

As far as Leah being mentally exhausting, she is just constantly asking questions. I have to explain everything. The one we discussed today was, "Where was I before I was in your belly?" I tried to explain nowhere, but that was not making her happy. So I told her a little about the eggs in the Mommy which is where all her kids are before they grow in her belly. Then she wanted to know how the baby comes out. I just told her that you go to the hospital and the doctor helps the baby come out. She didn't question that any further (thank goodness) but did declare that she wanted a girl doctor when she was ready to have her own babies. How am I supposed to keep up with this little smartie?

Wednesday, November 5

Ready for potty training?


Today Erin came over while we were getting ready for school and said, "Pee pee?" I immediately checked her diaper and it wasn't warm, so I assumed that she was just talking. Five minutes later when we were loading into the car, I smelled it. She had pooped. So do you think she really knew it was coming? If so, we are ready to start potty training. Just kidding, I am not about to go there. But I thought it was cool that she seemed to recognize that she had to go.

I feel guilty that today was the first day I did not stick to my training schedule. I have been so tired lately and my back has been hurting. I have this pain underneath my left shoulder blade. It only bothers me if I am doing something. It hurts the most when I put Erin into her high chair or a grocery cart. I probably pulled or strained something the other day when I was doing pull-ups. Anyway, I have been extraordinarily lazy and I am not happy about that. I guess I won't take a weekend day off.

Monday, November 3

Leah can swim


Not only that, but she can swim underwater too! We went to the pool this weekend. Last time we were there, Leah decided to swim without her life jacket on and she did really well. She still doesn't like to jump in and she won't go where she can't touch. But either way that's great! SO this time I told her about closing her eyes and holding her breath. She took right to it! I have to get her some goggles before the next time we swim. If I can convince her to put them on (she doesn't like the way they feel), she will LOVE being able to see all over the pool. Without further ado, I give you Leah swimming!

Sunday, November 2

New triathlon goal


All along it has been my goal just to complete the triathlon. I told myself if I could just finish it, well that would be accomplishment enough. Well, today I decided that was not enough. I want to finish in under 2 hours. I think they only allow you 2h15m anyway, but I am sure I can do it in less than 2 hours. Mike and I went road biking today and with our mountain bike tires completed 8.8 miles in 39 minutes. Then I jumped off and transitioned to running in maybe 4(?) minutes. I then ran 1.2 miles in 14 minutes. Now I was pretty tired after that and my stomach was just one giant cramp. But that was my first outdoor "brick" (event/transition/event) and I was able to complete about half of the last two events. So I think that the swim will take no more than 15 minutes, the bike hopefully about 60 min, then the run needs to be less than 45 minutes. Oh yeah, I forgot transitions. Well, I will just have to keep revising those numbers, because I will do it in under 2 hours!

Happy belated Halloween!


Halloween night turned out to be pretty chilly. I didn't want to cover up the girls' costumes with jackets so I didn't wear a jacket either. That way I knew if I got too cold, they were probably really cold. In spite of the chill, both kids had a marvelous time. Erin would have kept going and going, but she was coughing and it did not sound good, so I took her home after about 40 minutes or so. Mike stayed out with Leah and the rest of the crew (Larsens and Maddexes) for a while longer. Apparently Halloween isn't so much a thing around here because hardly any houses had their lights on. In past years I thought that this being a newer neighborhood was the reason, but now there are plenty of houses here. So Leah did not get overmuch candy but still had the fun of trick-or-treating (which worked out better for us anyway). Here are our cutie girls.

And here is a sample of trick-or-treating.