Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going!

quote from Jillian Michaels, image via

Tomorrow is the big day. The day I've been dreading and training for since I started running in June.  I'm trying to psych myself up for the 10k I'll be running at the butt crack of dawn. Honestly, I'm in freakout mode right now. I don't think I'm ready. I've only ever run that distance once EVER in my life. I've never run this course and apparently it's hilly (ugh). I think I'm getting a cold because my throat is starting to hurt. And most worrisome, my right quad hurts from something I did to it while running on Tuesday. Plus, Adam and I are going to a Hurricanes hockey game tonight so I won't be eating a healthy dinner and going to bed as early as I should. See? Totally not ready.

But it's too late to back out now. So I've just got to tell myself that it's just a little over an hour out of my life and then I never have to run again if I don't want to (although I probably will, just maybe not as far).


Oh and did I mention Adam's running it with me? As much as I feel like I'm not ready, at least I'm more ready than he is. Is it a macho guy thing that he thinks he can just go run a 10k without any kind of training whatsoever?! Sure, he's played tennis and some soccer since June, but the very first time he ran in preparation for this race was Tuesday. He ran this race back in 2007 and says he didn't train then either and did fine (better than fine—55:32—which is faster than I could ever hope to run). So we'll see how he does! (But I swear he did train...he bought new shoes and definitely went out running more than once before the race.) Major props to him for not backing out at the last second, but he's not allowed to complain that he's not prepared since he's had 4 months to train :)

I, of course, am allowed to complain since I tried my best to prepare. Plus, it's my blog and I'm allowed to have double standards, right?!


I know for a fact based on previous race stats that I'll be among the last to cross the finish line, but as Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder says,"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."

I'll be upset if I'm dead last, but I will feel accomplished that I even finished at all. Bonus points if I don't totally screw up my quad in the process ;)

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There's a shrimp crawling up the driveway!

Ok, so it wasn't actually a shrimp, but that was the only little sea creature that came to mind when we saw this thing crawling up our driveway when we opened our garage door on Tuesday morning.

crayfish in our driveway

Turns out it was a crayfish (duh, shrimp don't have claws), but that didn't make it any less weird in my mind since we live in the middle of NC and there's not a stream or other body of water within reasonable crawling distance from our house.

Adam actually called me outside in a frenzy to get me to look, and my first thought from a far glance was that it was a ginormous tarantula. Then I thought scorpion for a split second before I realized it was a crustacean. Adam and I pulled out our phones to get a picture because we could hardly believe our eyes. It was seriously just so bizarre. I actually asked our neighbor if they had some dinner that had gotten away (go ahead, laugh, but that made just as much sense to me as anything at that point)!

When we got up close, he raised up and either got defensive, or tried to ask for directions, cause clearly he was way lost.

Back the heck off or I'll pinch you!
"Back the heck off or I'll pinch you!"

Hey guys, where am I??
"Oh hey, guys? Which way to the water?"

We didn't know what to do with it. Adam initially was just going to leave him there, and told me not to run over him on my way out of the driveway. I told him he was crazy, I didn't want squished shrimp in our driveway, so he had to get rid of it. He ended up getting it to grab onto a stick and dropped it down the storm drain in the hopes that it would make its way back to water.

So apparently, it's not weird for crayfish to burrow in yards, which is obviously something I've never heard of. One of my coworkers said he's got some in his yard, and when he was younger, they'd drop a hot dog down into the hole to fish them out. Fun stuff.

We're thinking our neighbors somehow unearthed it during some landscaping they've been doing, but honestly we have no idea. So now I feel kind of bad that we dropped him down the storm drain, probably away from his home. Oh well...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wise words Wednesday: Gay marriage

It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or, as I like to call it, ‘marriage.’ You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn’t gay park it. — Liz Feldman

I'm not very political at all. Honestly (ashamedly), I'm just not very well-versed in politics. Even though I know I should be, it just doesn't interest me as a whole. But certain things do get my attention. Like the fact that the North Carolina House and Senate just passed a marriage amendment bill in a move to ban gay marriage in the constitution (currently NC is the only state in the southeast without a constitutional ban on gay marriage). It's officially up for vote next May. 

That's just straight up wrong to me, and it pisses me off. Writing bigotry into our state constitution is shameful and it's inherently unfair to let the majority vote on the rights of the minority. I wish it weren't a political thing. Tolerance and equality and basic human compassion shouldn't be debated, especially not in 2011. It's a huge step backwards. Plus, it's overkill and a complete waste of taxpayer dollars since state law already prohibits same-sex marriage. As I understand it, this could outlaw civil unions as well, the only chance non-married partners have of getting rights like hospital visitation, inheritance and child custody rights. NC Legislators, you suck!

I don't like the thought of a world where my kids are told who they're allowed to love. Obviously I have no idea whether my kids will be gay, but if they are, I just want them to have every happiness they deserve. Simple as that. I don't want them or anyone else who's gay to feel like a second class citizen. Adam and I are teaching our children to have compassion and accept all people equally. To not be bullies, to not make fun of people, to not call people names, to not judge people. Yet that's exactly what these conservative lawmakers are doing.

I don't care what you say, I will NEVER understand how a gay couple getting married in any way threatens my marriage. Was it Howard Stern who first said this? Not sure, but I totally agreed when I saw it going around as one of those viral Facebook statuses. "So let me get this straight... Larry King is getting his 8th divorce, Elizabeth Taylor is possibly getting married for a 9th time, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage. Jesse James and Tiger Woods are screwing EVERYTHING, yet the idea of same-sex marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage?? Really?"

I really hope the NC voters show up at the polls in May and do the right thing. I know I will.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wedding weekend getaway

Over Labor Day weekend, Adam and I took a trip up to Staunton, VA for the wedding of one of my high school friends, Becky (yep, there are two of us). We had a blast partying and hanging out with sweet friends who we rarely get the chance to see.

JHS girls
Courtney, Lindsey, Leigh-Anne, Lauren, Kerie, Me, Marianne, Kristina.
It was like prom all over again, and Lindsey's parents were even there to take pictures :)

JHS girls
One more for good measure. It's really hard to get a good picture of everyone when there are
like 52 different cameras all snapping pics at the same time!

We got up there on Saturday and had time before the rehearsal dinner to take a trolley around the town and walk around a bit with a couple of friends who made it into town before us. It's such a cute little place!  Too bad I forgot my camera so all I have are iPhone photos.

Staunton, VA
Staunton, VA

We had fun at the rehearsal dinner, where we discovered the wonders of blueberry butter. It was seriously so amazing we were taking pictures of it (none of mine came out though, boo). Hearing friends and family tell stories about the bride and groom was also pretty great. Fun fact: she's the daughter of a clown, and her new husband is the former boss clown for Ringling Bros. They met at clown camp! I remember when she first started dating him, we were all together for another friend's wedding and kept getting her to ask him ridiculous questions like "has he ever been shot out of a cannon," "does he walk the tightrope," and "does he ride a unicycle." Little did we know (but we hoped, because come on, how cool is that—you just don't get much more perfect for each other than they do) we'd be at her wedding a few short years later!

Marianne, BeckyB, Courtney, Me
Marianne, BeckyB (the radiant bride), Courtney, Me

rehearsal dinner
(clockwise from left) Me and Adam; Marianne and Chris; John and Courtney.
Plus, my awesome brostache (thanks for the tip on that app, Ariel. Hilarious!)

On Sunday morning, six of us woke up bright and early, grabbed some breakfast from Kathy's then went on a hike up the Riprap trail in the Shenandoah National Park. I'm by no means a hiker (evidenced by the fact that I didn't think to bring water or bug spray), so I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about doing this instead of sleeping in (sorry Marianne and Courtney, no offense!) but I'm SO glad we did. Although I'm pretty sure we went longer than the 3 miles we originally intended, I'm a little bummed we didn't have time to do the whole thing which would have led us to a stream and watering hole, which other hikers said was beautiful. It was a great hike and the exercise made me feel much better about indulging at dinner. Not so fun fact: apparently I get carsick in the tiny 3rd row of cars on windy mountain roads. We had to pull over so I could get up front and recover before the hike. Yuck.

Group at top of Riprap trail

rocks on the Riprap trail; view from Chimney rock

Me and Adam at top of Riprap trail

After the hike, we hit up the Veritas Vineyard and Winery for a tasting where we met up with almost all of the rest of our friends. The winery was gorgeous, but I didn't love the wines enough to buy them. Plus, Adam doesn't drink wine, so he gave me his glasses and I'd had my fill. Exercise + no water + no lunch + lots of wine=bad idea. We hurried back to the hotel so I could eat something (I practically inhaled my Five Guys burger I was so famished) and rest for a few minutes before getting ready for the wedding.

Becky and Adam at Veritas Vineyard and Winery

They had a beautiful ceremony and reception at Barren Ridge Vineyards where there was yummy wine, fantastic food (a mashed potato bar! shrimp and grits! cake balls!) and lots and LOTS of dancing. Plus a flash mob! I shouldn't have been surprised since they're born entertainers and she's a choreographer, but I totally didn't see that one coming. I was also shocked to see the only non-high school show choir friend in our group be a part of it (Marianne and Chris, that was awesome!). Another fun fact: Adam secretly wants to be a part of a flash mob (he laughs at this commercial every time it's on). I would have died if he had secretly been a part of it. (You hear that, Becky? If you ever decide to choreograph another one, Adam is your man, lol!)

here comes the bride
The beautiful bride and her dad (Mr. Rainbow looks so different without his clown costume!);
Check out the groom's nose!

handsome hubby; poor aching feet
handsome hubby; poor, aching feet after a long night of dancing

Adam and I seriously had such an amazing time and loved getting together with our friends! I was bummed when we had to leave, but I was definitely ready to get home to my babies. It was the first time I've ever left Lorelai and I was in serious baby withdrawal. I knew the boys would be fine and were having a blast, but dang I missed that sweet girl! My mom stayed with them and said they were all so wonderful, which made me feel better about us leaving them.

bye bye friends. bye bye virginia. hello sucky drive home in the rain
Bye bye friends. Bye bye Virginia. Hello sucky drive home in the rain.

Congrats to Kelly and Becky! You are a wonderful couple and we had a wonderful time. Thanks so much for having us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

No birthday toys for ONE WHOLE WEEK!

Don't let this super sweet smile fool you...

Logan and Aidan

Lorelai, Mommy and Aidan with Logan the birthday boy

Beneath the surface lurks Logan's alter ego: a completely irrational and angry little beast. Of course it's all good when everything goes according to HIS plan, but if not, better look out because he's going to unleash the beast.

So yeah. One whole day after he got them at his birthday party, Logan has already had all of his birthday toys taken away for one week. All because Adam and I had the audacity to ask him to clean up the toys, of which was in the middle of the floor of various rooms throughout our house.

Yep. All of those.

All 4,376 of them.

Showing off new toys
They're all gone, including the Magic kit, watch and skateboards Aidan lovingly picked out at the dollar store.

This led to one of Logan's infamous meltdowns, this time about how he hates cleaning up. Here's basically how our convo went and how ridiculous Logan can be:

Logan: I ALWAYS have to clean up EVERYTHING in this house."YOU AND DADDY DON'T DO ANYTHING!" (Which he said to me while I was in the middle of putting clothes in the dryer.)

Me (calmly, it's very worth noting): Mommy and Daddy do plenty more in this house than you and Aidan do. When was the last time you had to do laundry, dust, mop the floors, clean the toilets and sinks, vacuum the upstairs carpet (we do have them vac the rug under the kitchen table), or change the sheets?

Logan (defiantly): All the time.

Me: No you don't, Logan. But we all live here and we all have to help out in some way. That's what's fair.

Logan: No it's NOT FAIR!!!!

Me: You know what?  If you don't want to clean up your own toys, then I'll do it. But if I have to clean them up, I'm taking them to someone who will treat them with more respect than you do. If you can't clean up your toys, you don't get the privilege to keep them.

Logan (with tears in his eyes): All of them? Every single one?

Me: Yep, every single one.

Logan (with an evil look in his eye now): Then I'll just punch you (as he raises up both of his fists).

!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I had my camera to capture the look and the gesture he gave me when he said that. It would have been comical, if it wasn't so wrong.

I immediately sent him to his room for timeout, but he kept talking back to me, repeatedly opening then slamming the door shut (while Lorelai was sitting right outside), and kicking the door. I gave him several warnings that if he kept talking back and didn't calm down, I'd take all of his new birthday toys away for one week. Surprise! He didn't calm down and even started throwing around words like stupid and worst birthday ever.

I got Aidan to help me gather up all of his new toys. I felt bad about that, but only because Aidan was really enjoying the new toys, too. I apologized that this ended up being sort of a punishment for him too, but that I had to do it. He said, "I know, you warned him. He should have listened." Thank goodness at least one of my children understands. Too bad it's not the one that mattered most right then...

I predict quite a few  meltdowns in the next few days every time Logan realizes he doesn't have any of his new toys to play with. Or the Lego Star Wars Wii game, that's still confiscated since the birthday meltdown.

Logan's new tennis racket
Too bad, so sad. No tennis this week!

Killer boots, dude
Killer boots, dude. They're mine until Sunday.

Oh, and to start my Monday off just right, I had to physically force Logan into his pre-K classroom this morning because he decided that he hates school and didn't want to go into that particular classroom with those particular friends and those particular teachers (the SAME ones as almost every morning!). The drop off room is usually the younger preschool classroom, even though one of his pre-K teachers and some friends are already in there. He said he didn't want to be in the "baby" classroom. If you ask me, I think he belonged just fine. UGH!

It's going to be a loooong week. But um, happy Monday?!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy 5th birthday to Logan!

5 years ago today, Adam and I woke up at 5:30 am, kissed a sleeping Aidan goodbye, had a pre-dawn breakfast of Bojangles, then checked into the hospital to be induced. By 5:40 that evening, we were holding our sweet Logan in our arms, and he was perfection, all 8 lbs, 11 oz of him!

newborn Logan

I should have known right from the beginning that Logan was going to have a bit of a stubborn streak in him :) I was (only) 40 weeks and 1 day when I went in to be induced, but I had been 4cm and like 70% effaced for at least a full week prior, and he was still hanging in there, nice and comfy. The induction and labor were textbook perfect until the very last second when his shoulders got stuck. He really didn't want out of there! We were both fine, but it gave us quite a scare when the doctor told me I needed to push harder because he was turning blue. Just the first of many times he'd wreak havoc on my emotions!

newborn Logan with Mommy and Daddy

5 years later, he can still be just as stubborn, but when he's not being stubborn or having one of his meltdowns, he is just the sweetest most loving little boy. He's an awesome brother to Aidan and Lorelai and he just melts my heart every time he lovingly tells Lorelai she's a pretty girl, or tells me I'm pretty (even without makeup—that kid's a charmer for sure!).

Baby Logan and Aidan
Logan (2 weeks) and Aidan (2 years)

I love his energy, enthusiasm, silliness and his big heart. He has a hard time handling his emotions sometimes, but it's because he feels things so deeply.  Whereas Aidan seems to be more of a thinker, Logan is more of a feeler—driven by emotion and easily hurt, but also compassionate and affectionate. On the flip side, he is also rough and tumble and very athletic . He's our soccer star :)

It's been a wonderful (and sometimes frustrating and exhausting!) five years, and I can't wait to see what the next year will bring for him.

Logan, 2 months and 8 months
Logan, 2 months (left) and 8 months (right)


And now it's a couple hours later and I'm sitting back down to finish this post. We had pizza and watermelon for dinner, as Logan requested. He opened presents, then the boys played Lego Star Wars. A great birthday so far, right? Logan was in a great mood all day. Right up until it was time to turn the Wii off. Of course Logan (and Aidan) flipped out, which just so happened to be right when Grandma and Grandpa called to wish him a happy birthday. He screamed and cried and didn't hear a word they said (so sorry, Grandma and Grandpa!!). He and Aidan were sent to their room and Logan slammed the door in my face and dramatically screamed "You're ruining my life! I'm going to ruin your life!" Oh. My. Word. Did he just turn 5 or 15?!? I've never heard him say such a thing, so Adam and I just had to walk away while we all calmed down (and I tried not to cry my eyes out).

Fortunately I was able to calm him down (and explain rules and respect...for the billionth time) and salvage the rest of the night by getting out his baby photo album and telling him about the day he was born. Then we played a quick game of Uno and tucked them into bed. Whew! Not how I wanted the night to go, but I can't say I'm surprised. That was classic Logan.

He's having his birthday party this weekend at a bounce house with his friends, which he's very excited about. I'm sure I'll have more birthday photos later, but for now, I'll leave you with photos from his previous birthdays.

Logan's 1st birthday
1st birthday

Logan's 2nd birthday
2nd birthday

Logan's 3rd birthday
3rd birthday (he got a bike and a cape!)

Logan's 4th birthday
Logan's 4th birthday
4th birthday

Happy birthday, sweet Logie! Mommy and Daddy love you and every single one of your crazy emotions. But here's hoping that this next year is when you start learning how to control them a bit better :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lorelai is walking!

I've been holding off on posting this one until Lorelai started walking more than she was crawling, and it seems like that's finally happened! We officially have a toddler!

She took her first three independent steps a few days after her birthday. Unfortunately Adam was out of town so he missed it, but Aidan, Logan, my mom and I were all there to witness it (of course I didn't have the Flip handy, boooo). The next day at school, the teachers said she got up and walked about 12 steps across the room. Still, it took about a week after that before she would stand up on her own in the middle of the room and start taking some steps. 

Here she is 2 weeks ago when she really started getting better at it.

She's become much more confident over the past week, and can make it all the way across our big kitchen now. She's still unsteady on her feet at times and kind of looks like a baby Frankenstein when she walks, but she's at the point where if she falls, she'll usually get right back up and continue to try walking, instead of giving up and crawling.

It's so cute how excited the boys would get each time they saw her start walking. It's like they were surprised each time, and just so proud and encouraging of her (you can hear Aidan in the video above). They'd smile and clap and praise her big time—it's no wonder she wanted to keep trying just for them! She's still got to work on her form a bit, but I'm sure she'll be running around after the boys in no time. (Oh my goodness, no, not my BABY!)

Here she is walking earlier this evening. Not bad, huh? :)

P.S. I added a new section at the bottom of the right sidebar so you can now subscribe by email to make it easier to keep up to date with my sporadic posts (ahem, Mom) :)