Monday, December 29, 2008

Signing up.

Just handed my (virtual) money over for the a few races in 2009.

Oh, does it feel good.

Renewed my USAT membership.
Signed up for the ING Atlanta Half Marathon in March.
Almost (then decided to wait for my USAT #) signed up for John Tanner in April.

I decided to start off with some sprints, segue into Olympics and if I feel good and feel like it, a late season half ironman.

Sounds like a race plan to me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas is over..

I know this.

In my head.

Can someone please tell this to my mouth?

It seems to think that cookies, candy and all that is fattening is still allowed. Ugh. Time to get back on the wagon...again.

Since I am still eating holiday themed mini are some more holiday themed pictures.

My beautiful Alice ("I call her Allie" -Ella)

Ornaments my mom made for Alice and E. I love these, she does them yearly.

My sister, brother in law, Jamie (in his annual, startlingly ugly, not to mention FEMALE holiday sweater) and Molly the dog.

Heading out for a walk post Christmas gorge, with my mom and sister and the girls.

Mike shocked, just shocked, that E won't take a picture with him.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pure joy

The sprint from upstairs down to see what Santa brought made our day today.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas...Eve

10:33pm and I just sat down. Might be for the first time today.

Christmas is sure a lot of work when you're the parents (Thanks, Mom and Frank. I can't even imagine it with 4 kids.)..and seems like even more when you leave most of it until the 24th like me and Mike.

Our to do list today was something like this...

Track Santa on

Sprinkle the lawn with "reindeer food".

Bake cookies and leave milk out for Santa.

Go for a run. (with loads of holiday spirit, of course.)

Antler-ize Alice.

Dress up in a Santa suit.
Jump around in the attic making reindeer landing type noises.
Run outside without being spotted by the 3 year old in bed with mommy.
Wave to 3 year old who screamed, "I LOVE YOU, SANTA!" from the window.
Come back inside and watch 3 year old open up the book that was "early present that Santa only leaves for really good girls and boys" to be told "I wanted Swimmy Doggy" with a sad face.

(I am SOOOO glad we actually have swimmy doggy or someone would be running around ATL tonight trying to find one!)

Hope everyone has a great day tomorrow. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


....from our trip to the freezing cold North.

Sick...with a cold. Me and Alice both. It is just the saddest thing to see her not be able to eat and breathe at the same time AND have no idea why. Then freak out when I try to use the booger sucker bulb syringe thing to help.

Making cookies for Santa....and making myself sick eating the batter. But, what else is new?

Buying presents....pretty much done. Final run through Target tonight to pick up something for Alice (seriously, what do you get for your 5 month old? we went with a toy she can hit and it lights up..oh, and some books. can't go wrong with a book.)

Enjoying...the song Ella was singing the other day. Went something like this. "Guess who's coming for Christmas? God and Santa! God and Santa!" then repeat. and repeat. and repeat.

Learned...that in the nativity the main players are, according to Ella, as follows. "Mary, Jesus and baby Jesus" Guess Joseph didn't make the cut this year. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More snow...

I can't watch this without crying...

I've watched this three times and everytime, I am a puddle of tears (and my mom and Mike's mom, too). Seriously, Eddie, you're amazing. Thank you for capturing our family.

Check it out here.

And more of Eddie's stuff here. Check it out. Ed Hetherington Photography. He's in Atlanta...does weddings, family photography, engagement shots. Pretty much any big moment in life, you probably want him there to record it for you. I love how natural we all look in the pictures. Not posey, not fake, just us having fun.

Still up in NY visiting with Mike's family. Made the sometimes dicey, oftentimes scary, snowfilled ROUNDTRIP trip up to Providence, RI to visit Mike's Nana yesterday so she could meet Alice for the first time. Definitely worth it. Ella wowed the seniors with her dance moves and piano playing and Alice layed on her Great Nana's bed in just her diaper and smiled.

Getting 5 more inches today, to add to the 8 from Friday. Mike, Kevin and I got about a 40 minute run in it today....interesting. Kind of like running in slippery sand. Definitely a hard workout though.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Acting like 3 year olds...

Snow does that to you...even if you're 34 and 40, like Mike and his
brother, Kevin.

Expecting a ton if the stuff today. Were up in NY visiting Mike's
family and are lucky enough to get to enjoy a real bit of winter...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"And Jesus was his name-o"

Yes, Ella's preschool had their Christmas pageant today and yes, the 3 year olds sang a (very sweet) song about Jesus to the tune of Bingo.

"There was a child that was born today and Jesus was his name-o...."

I am not sure if it was intentional, but it was hilarious.

E rocked it. Shouted out her hellos (on stage) to me, Daddy, her Mimi, Alice and her buddy, Connor, in the audience. Broke out into a spontaneous dance. Had me cracking up. Nothing to get you into the Christmas spirit like listening to a bunch of preschoolers sing about the holiday.

Off to pack for our trip to NY tomorrow to celebrate and early Christmas with Mike's family.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Our friend (and amazing photographer), Eddie, took some pictures of the girls last weekend and just sent us some of the shots.

He's so talented. I love these. Thanks, Eddie.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa sighting

Yeah, so we got in the holiday spirit.

(I am SO much more of a Halloween person than a Christmas person. Christmas is one of my lesser favorite holidays. Give me a pumpkin over some pointsettia any day.)

Mike and I decided to be good parents and take the family to see Santa. Village Tavern brunch at 8:45 am on a Saturday? Bring it. Thankfully, our buddies, the Riepes were there with their two little ones, too.

Definitely worth the soggy eggs and weak buffet breakfast according to this smile.

The whole fam in our holiday finest.

The cutest elf I ever saw.

Off to decorate the Christmas tree...and hopefully sneak in a trainer ride while Ironman is on TV today. Can't wait for that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A run...

and....get this...

A swim!

Yes. Two workouts.

In. one. day.

I am superwoman.

If doing a 5 mile run and a 30 minute swim makes you a superhero.

Nothing amazing in either, but just glad to have found the time, energy and desire for 2 a days.

Have to give proper thanks to Mike who was in the midst of putting two crying, irrational little girls to bed while I was at the pool. Poor guy...was running from one room to the other trying to read to one and literally pacify (with the pacifier) the other who kept spitting it out, then crying.

You rock.

You finish dealing with the girl's craziness to deal head on with mine. :) Our conversation tonight...

(Background -- I want to do a 5k this weekend. The 5k I want to do is at 8am at the Perimeter. We've got reservations to have breakfast with Santa at 8:45 in Alpharetta (20 mins. from the race))

Me -- I can get there in time.

Mike -- (with a large amount of disdain and sarcasm in his voice) Yeah, if you take your helicopter with the shower in it, you can.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

There were four in the bed...

...and the little one said, "roll over, roll over".

Remember that song?

Cute song. Not so cute at 3 am.

In your bed.

Alice usually makes her way into our room around 3 am for a feeding (that her ped said she doesn't need anymore, but she vehemently disagrees). And last night, Ella toddles in around 4 or so, complaining that the rain woke her up. (Um, yeah, there was no rain here last night.)

So...crowded bed. Good thing we have a king.

The upside was that at 7am when Alice was cooing and yelling and mommy was too exhausted to find it cute, Ella was there to entertain her.

Cajoled and bribed my way into convincing E to go with us to the gym today. (As much as I love my new treadmill, I can't have E flat out refusing to go to the gym, so I wanted to try again this AM.) Got in a hard 5.75 miler without hearing the dreaded "Mrs. Parker to the Kids Klub!" over the loudspeaker.


Only negative being that my skin is so dry (winter, Argh!) it hurts to sweat. Ow. That stings.

I know, I know...toughen up, princess. Right? :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

In need of a plan

Yep, that is me. In need of a plan, for the 2009 season.

I need to figure out what races I want to do.

Then train for them.

Simple, no?

Sounds like it, but training for a triathlon does involve swimming (in addition to biking and running) a pool, lake, ocean, some body of water.

I have an admission to make.

I have not been in a pool since I had Alice. Yes, 4 months without a swim. A single swim.

I have to get my a$$ back in the water. And soon.

This is not going to be pretty.

I did get in a brick today though, on a positive note. (45 min bike, 2 mile run) Felt good and strong on the run, always a pleasant surprise. I am feeling a nice ache in my legs tonight. Sitting on the couch, two girls asleep, Mike about to join them....watching "The Life and Times of Tim" for the 6th time since I got home on Wednesday. (Mike is obsessed with this show...pretty funny.) Looking forward to the weekend.

Couple pics of the girls from Naples....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Home again

A minivan (my mom's) full of girls made the looong trip home from Naples yesterday.

Myself, my mom, Ella, Alice and Annabelle (the 97 lb. golden retriever) AND all of our stuff made it the 11 hours home. (Mike flew back Monday for work.) Thanks for the ride, Mom!

The girls were awesome. Alice was screaming (happily) and hitting, no, make that, punching the caterpillar that hangs from her car seat most of the day, then napping, then eating.

Ella mostly watched Wall-e on the dvd and every few hours would offer an "I grumpy. I know what make me happy! A treat!" Treat=m&m's in Ella-world.

Annabelle slept. What else is new?

Happy to be home. Not so happy to unpack, put away 13 loads of clean summer clothes from the trip, and finish making bows to decorate mailboxes for charity tonight. Ugh. (My bows suck, by the way.) :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


One more day of vacation down...2 more to go. Although, sadly, Mike heads home tomorrow. Work calls. :(

I am vacation tired. You know the kind of tired where you've been busy all day long with exhausting activities such as sitting on the beach, making sandcastles, playing hide and seek, and eating out at fancy restaurants.

The best part of vacation....those flat, kid-free runs. Florida topography sure beats the hell out those Georgia hills.

Some shots of our days so far....

Enjoying the beach.

Me and Alice

My dad, somehow, got roped into taking these two jokers to the bathroom (Ella and my nephew, Nick (4)).

Giant jawbreakers courtesy of Uncle Jamie

Grandma and my niece, Mackenzie

My brother, Dave and sis-in-law, Holly (and a sleeping, Nick)

My sister, Meg and bro-in-law, Jamie

Saturday, November 29, 2008

First time at the beach

In Naples, FL with my family (all 14 of us--including 6 kids!) for a
belated holiday weekend.

E is the happiest I have ever seen her, surrounded by cousins and the

Alice is alice. Supergood and smiling at everyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

4 months old

Yep. My little, tiny, 3 week early baby is 4 months old now. It, honestly, has flown by.

That little, tiny baby is no longer tiny or little. She's a bigun :) A 90% for weight bigun'.

Alice had her 4 month appointment yesterday. She's fine and healthy...always a relief to hear.

24 inches long (50% percentile) 15 lbs 5oz (75-90%!).

Alice weighs more than Ella did when she was 6 months old. We got a lot of "healthy eater, huh?" and "check out those cheeks" at her appointment. And just like Alicia, we had to dig into the 6-9 and 6-12 month old clothes bins today to replenish her dresser.

Here is Miss Spiderman-goggles-and-swimmy-diaper (can you tell in addition to changing out Alice's clothes I am also packing for our trip to Naples, Fl on Friday?) doing her best to wake Alice who is sleeping, out of frame, to her right. She eventually did.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow.

We are having a small one here with just me, the girls, Mike and my mom. We'll catch up with the rest of my family down in Naples on Friday...can't wait (although I CAN wait to get on the damn plane. Ugh. How I ever hate to fly. Seriously, the high point of Alice's appointment was the ped telling me it is, in fact, okay to take a valium while breastfeeding. Thanks, doc. I am sure that you get asked that question a lot, right? right??)

Monday, November 24, 2008

99 cent motivation

All I can say is...THANK YOU, ITUNES.

Whenever I need to find some motivation to run, adding some new life to the playlist helps get my butt out the door (or down the stairs to the treadmill).

My new running buddies...
Sex on Fire -- Kings of Leon
Single Ladies -- Beyonce
Move Your Feet -- Junior Senior
Nasty Girl -- Inaya Day
Midnight Rider -- Allman Bros.
Love Don't Live Here Anymore --Lady Antebellum (yes, country...sue me. I live in Georgia.)

Beyonce was especially helpful this morning during the run on my first postpartum plateau busting (let's hope) brick...30 min. bike/20 min. run.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


After having a baby, your body takes its (damn) time getting back to where it was before you got pregnant.


You're tired, fat, just sprouted the DD's that you never wanted, your feet grew so now the only item of clothing that should fit you no longer does.

Thankfully there's that wonderful, inexplainable, heartbreakingly awesome love for your new little one that makes all the crap that comes along with pregnancy and childbirth so worth the hassle, however, there are a few other perks.

Every workout is better than the last. You're faster, lighter, quicker....EVERY DAY. And you could totally smoke your pregnant self. Daily, marked improvement....I love that.

You can lose 5 lbs, IN A DAY, with no liquid diets, shenanigans, etc. Easy. It falls off (for the first couple weeks at least.)

As great as these perks are....they don't go on forever.


They plateau. That is where you can find me now.

On the plateau.

All that water weight comes off.

Your workouts are no longer amazing and wonderful solely due to the fact that you aren't 9 months pregnant anymore. They become work again. Fun work....but work (some days).

You no longer run :30 seconds faster per mile, every time you run.

The improvements are harder and harder to come by.

It is like I was a superhero there for a a while (leaps and bounds!) and now I am back to my normal self.

Kate (not Peter) Parker.

Looking forward to starting Gulf Coast training. I need to get knocked off this plateau, probably right on my butt, but still better than standing still...

BTW -- Happy, happy, happy birthday to my mom today. I love you. Hope you had a great day, Mimi.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Santa

The other night, while dancing in her new gymnastics leotard (first class was a hit!), and waiting for Daddy to get home from work, Ella and I worked on her Christmas list. I wrote down, verbatim, what she told me she wanted.

Some interesting stuff on here..

Sitting here on a really cold (for Georgia) afternoon and looking ahead to next year's races. I am torn between what races I really want to do (and do well in) and what races I reasonably can train for and train well for.

Gulf Coast is my favorite race. Hands down.
I love this race.
I want to do this race.
BUT, do I have the time and desire to train for this race all winter long, while nursing Alice and all that entails? Not sure, but I will give it a try...

I have a feeling my '09 season might be more suited to sprints and Olympics. The time commitment is a lot less and I really enjoy the short stuff, anyway.

There are years and years ahead of me to put the time in for another IM. There will never be another year that Ella is 3 and Alice is not yet a year (can't forget how adorable 40 is either, right, Mike?). I have to take the long view and remember this when I get that inevitable itch.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A dogs

Two of 'em. Alice & Annabelle.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Loving it.

Happy birthday to me.

Yeah, my birthday was over a month ago, but I got to use my gift from Mike today for the first time. And, I have to say, it was awesome.

Why so awesome, you ask?

1. Germs. All the germs on my treadmill are cooties indigenous to me (and Mike). No wondering which side of the towel was touching the treadmill and DO NOT TOUCH FACE WITH MSRA/STAPH/STREP/STOMACH FLU/ETC. ETC. INFECTED TOWEL freakouts while running 9.5 mph intervals.

2. The new Sole treadmill has speakers. So cool. I just plugged the iphone in and sung along, out loud, during my run. Alice didn't seem to mind. Can't do that at the gym or risk looking like an even bigger weirdo.

3. Speaking of Alice, this is the best part of the new treadmill. She can just sit in her favorite aquarium chair, watch the bubbles and be watched by her mommy. No gym germs (I sound a bit germ crazy in this really not, but seem to trend that way during the cold months with an infant. :), she cries --I can soothe her, she loses her paci, I can put it back in. I love that. Makes the run much more enjoyable that I am not worrying about her at the gym kids klub.

4. No waiting for a free treadmill! Enough said.

Dropped E off at school this morning, came home, fed Alice, knocked out my new favorite interval workout on my new treadmill (2mile WU - 2x2min/3min/4min @ 8.5-9.0). Got about 5.75 miles in all in the comfort of my own home. Love it.

Now just gotta reacquaint myself with my alarm clock and knock some of these run out before the little ones are up.

Thanks again, Mike!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Pold Frickely"

That is Ella gibberish for being cold. She does it as she shivers. Wraps her arms around herself and yells "POLD FRICKELY".

No idea where this came from...but it cracks us up every time.

It is a pold frickely night out tonight, for sure.

Good sleeping weather.

Heading up now and hoping for a good long stretch of sleep out of Alice. She usually makes her moaning, groaning, er, er, er, I am getting hungry, mommy sounds around 2:30ish or 3am.

Had a nice longish run today in the neighborhood. About 50 minutes of hills. Felt really post partum run yet. FINALLY feel a semblance of fitness returning. Although, not sure I am up for the planned/hoped for ATL half on Thanksgiving. Haven't had (or I guess made) the time for the long runs of 9-11 miles that I need to make that race not really, really painful. I am sure I could tough it out, but I think I'd much rather do a 5k that day and be home early and not trashed.

I have yet to figure out a set routine for getting daily workouts in. Our newly installed (as of today) treadmill should make that easier. Biking and running IN THE HOUSE leaves no excuse....just gotta find a way (and desire) to get my butt back in the pool.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We laughed.

We (well, really, just me) cried.

We went pee pee on the potty! (11 times today)

OMG. This is a HUGE day for Ella. She (finally, finally, finally) decided to try going on the potty. At almost 3 and a half, so she's decidedly behind the curve for this.

And I am so stinking happy she's doing it now.

We've tried everything. Potties that sing when you go, Elmo potties, Princess potties, pull ups, underpants, special Dora underpants, underpants under the diaper, m&m bribes, the promise of a bike, "Potty Power" DVD, multiple potty training books, telling her she was "too little" to go (reverse psychology), telling her we ran out of diapers, going with her friends into the potty, honestly, everything...

I actually had talked to her teachers at school last Monday to see if they had any advice.
They said just ignore it.
It will come.
Some kids are closer to 4 when they decide to go.
It is something you can't (as much as you want to) make them do.
A control thing.
(They really helped. I was at the end of my rope, feeling like a failure and was really at a loss for what to try.)

I wasn't ready to just give up completely. I had read online an idea that I was willing to give a go. A last ditch effort, so to speak.

So I bought a bunch of really cool toys, toys I know she'd like (moon sand, wall-e toy, care bear dvd, a bead game.) Put them in a basket in the bathroom and told her she could look at them, but couldn't play with them until she went on the potty.

She ignored them for a day or so.
We went away for the weekend.
But, this morning, I don't know why or what happened to click in her head. She told me she had to go pee pee. I said, "remember you have all those cool toys in there that you can have if you go on the potty."

"Okay, I go pee pee on the potty, Mommy"

Just like that. So easy. No crying. No screaming. No fuss. No way this is my kid. :)

11 times later. She's in love. Potty love. I can't keep her off the thing. I am so proud of my big girl.

Her hard earned toy...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

ATL bound

Heading home. The Gaffney,SC peach butt is a landmark you don't want
to miss.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

10 Years...

I am in Winston-Salem, NC as I type this. My 10 year Homecoming is this weekend. Wake Forest University. Go Deacs!

"Why are you blogging at 11:34pm while at Homecoming, you nerd? " you ask.

Good question.

Last night was ladies night out. Tonight? Guys are painting the town red, er, black and old gold, I mean.

Homecoming etiquette from years past (shots, dancing, shenanigans, and general craziness) definitely changes when you add the little ones into the mix. Who wants to be hungover at 7 am Sunday morning when the loud, fuzzy haired three year old with the Deacon tattoo on her face demands a 'nana (banana) and some wemonade (lemonade). (Not that I really have a choice this year. While nursing, I am "one and done" on the drinking front anyway.)

Most of my old soccer teammates and their families are here. So much fun to see everyone...10 kids all told, ages 3.5 months to 3 years. Crazy.

Some pics from the weekend...