Jul 8, 2011

Note to Self

From Scott's snip snip (if you know what I mean), vacation with a baby, getting our attic finished, and training for a triathlon....I have learned quite a few things lately.

1. Wear glasses when riding my bike unless you want to have bugs swimming in your tear ducts for hours after the ride only to resurface the next morning. GROSS!

2. I not only learned to spell Vasectomy, I found out that you should not have your husband go through that procedure when you have a child that cannot walk since you will be the one who can lift him for three days. I applaud all single moms all the time.

3. Also, do not plan your vacation the week of a procedure that keeps your husband from helping you load the car for vacation. I tackled and won the battle of putting the shell and huge monster black suitcase on the roof of the car all by myself while the framers working on my attic had a break and watched me.

4. There is something to be said for children who like to eat sand at the beach and stay far away from the water. Dane (who puts everything in his mouth except sand apparently) crawled like a mad man toward the ocean with no abandon. No fear!

5. You know you are a carpenter's daughter when you see light coming into your family room (compliments of the contractor who thought it was a pocket to run plumbing)  and water dripping into your bathroom from the framers hitting a pipe and don't freak out. I'm not happy but I know these things happen unfortunately.

6. Wonderful greasy goodness (John's dolphin boats in Kitty Hawk) are an annual splurge and could send my three kids to college. Wow that was expensive!

7. Keeping up with training while on vacation can be hampered when running in smoke and humidity. It just so happened that the wind would shift each morning I ran to bring the smoke to the beach. It would conveniently go away after the run.

8. Scott is hilarious on Valium...glassy eyed and laid back marveling at his final progeny.

9. When I thought about the attic, I thought Dane's naps would be interrupted. Instead I found out his can sleep through anything except his sisters' voices.

10. Will there be any 86 year olds at the tri on Sunday to beat me in the swim. Probably....

Jun 23, 2011

3 Things Thursday

After a long hiatus, I must just pick up and run with it. Scott has taken over the computer at night while he took a five week class. He finished on Sunday, so now I'm back but very behind.

1. The difference of a year...

Here I am at Tate's recital last year at around this time.

 And here I am at this year's recital.

 And here is a little man who I have cuddled and squeezed every day in between!

 2. With my big break in blogging, I need to mention the awesome trip to Atlanta that my mom and I took with the girls. We went during the girls' track out from school. We took them to the American Girl Doll Store where their dolls got their hair done and ears pierced. Now when can I sign up for that? We also went to the Atlanta aquarium which was awesome! We capped it off by watching the wedding of all weddings...Prince Will and Catherine of course. Fun!

3. I love to garden but don't have tons of time for it right now. Here are some highlights from before the heat hit and everything started to shrivel.

Here is our garden the day we planted it...squash, sunflowers, banana peppers, red bell pepper, tomatoes. I'll show you a new picture of it soon but we still have no fruit. Hmmmm....

Apr 20, 2011

Did you say TORNADO?

Yes, I knew storms were brewing for last Saturday. The weatherman had told me that all week.

Yes, I felt like I would be blown away Saturday morning watching the girls play soccer. They each got a goal by the way! Woohoo!

Yes, I forgot to watch the news while I made my appetizer for the happy hour at Laura's we were going to Saturday night.

So yes, I was unprepared for the beeping on the radio as me and the kids headed home on Holly Springs Road after P had been at a birthday party.

If I had watched the weather, I would have known that the storm was expected to hit at 3:30, but instead the nice mechanical voice on the radio told me....a tornado had touched down in Sanford and Holly Springs residents needed to take cover.

T freaked and wanted to know what we were going to do. I stayed calm and said, "We are going home," since we were less than a mile away. It was raining hard, but I did not feel in danger.

We got home and I immediately turned on the TV...satellite already out. Outside it was pouring rain and very windy. It was progressively getting darker. It was time to get into the half bathroom. Dane was in my arms talking up a storm. T was shaking and curled up on the seat of the toilet. She kept asking me what would happen...what would be do. P was quite stoic (surprisingly because she is the one that asks if we are near that place when bad storms or tornadoes are talked about on the news.) She told me she would outrun the tornado if the roof came off. She was glad Dane was wearing his helmet.

I was OK until the pinecones and branches started hitting the windows and sounding like bombs exploding. That along with the thunder and lightning made me question my calmness for a few minutes at the height of the storm. The electricity went out and it was pitch black in the bathroom. You would know that happened as I ventured to the stairs where T's baby and P's blanket (their security loves) were at. I could tell it was close by. Outside looked foggy and black and a confetti of leaves plastered all the windows. By the way, Scott was at work!

Finally, the thunder and lightning started to sound further away and in a matter of minutes the rain let up. The yard was littered with branches but no trees.

Here are a few shots from my drive to church the next morning:

After talking with neighbors outside and hearing one sided cell phone conversations, we found out a tornado had come down Holly Springs Road (the one I was on when I heard the warning) and done a lot of damage. Only streets away, roofs were off, trees were down, power lines were snapped. It took Scott an hour and fifteen minutes to come 11 miles home. He was sure we would not have power for days.

That night we did go to Laura's for a camp light happy hour. It was fun and luckily the lack of light meant my neighbors and friends did not get to see that I had yet to have the shower I meant to get before the party.

Power was off Saturday for about nine hours, Sunday for four or five, and Sunday it was off and on four or five times. Tuesday I finally ventured to the store to replenish the fridge since we lost a lot.

The girls did not have school on Monday since the school did not have power.

We are safe and so lucky! I am so thankful...and now I can no longer tell P that we don't get tornadoes.

On a different note....Dane is nine months today! Slow down will ya Father Time!

Apr 15, 2011

Field Day Friday

 Colored tongues are in style at the snow cone station.
 You can't catch me!
 Go soccer girl!
 The sack is as big as she is...ha!
 More colored tongues in the making!
 Hand ball!--she was supposed to do that actually.
 This plastic egg has nothing on me!
You never get too old for the good old parachute!

Mar 29, 2011

Week of Crapola You Have Been Ordered to Cease! The Hi Days are Taking Over!

Last Friday LOW: Tate does end up with conjunctivitis after fighting a cold all week.

Saturday HIGH: Run seven miles and Paige gets another goal at her game equally four for the season.

Sunday LOW: Sniffles invade. My voice is off. The first sign...

Monday HIGH: Swam race distance at gym with minimal breaks. Watch out White Lake

Tuesday LOW: Learned that NC ranks high in strawberry production while helping Tate with her project way too late in the afternoon. Paige home with strep for the third time this year.

WEDNESDAY WILL BE A HIGH AND THE CYCLE WILL BE BROKEN: Volunteer luncheon at school, a treadmill run if it rains, prep for painting must start, with zicam and lots of water I will ROCK the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on Sunday!

Mar 17, 2011

New looks and interviews

There are some new looks in the house these days. Dane got his helmet two weeks ago and is doing great. It may not seem like much but this week the measurements show an improvement of 3mm on the diagonals.  Here is the big reveal...

Six more weeks to go and then we will hopefully be done and get to smooch that cute head of his. When we take it off at night for an hour, he spends about thirty minutes scratching his head. Scott says he is getting the circulation moving. He immediately became a belly sleeper once he got it.

Tate and Paige are two weeks into the soccer season and they both have winning records so far! Go Fury and Magic! Below you'll see Tate kicking a goal kick. She has a foot on her for sure and now wants to punt the ball every chance she gets.

Paige got a new do last week. Out of the blue last Monday she came home wanting a bob. I went with it and said we would do it the next time we got our hair cut. Well, next time was not soon enough for her. She talked about it every day and then started telling her teachers and friends on a daily basis that she would be getting it done. She would then have to give them excuses when the next day she would come back to school with her long hair. I decided to go ahead and take it since it was the most important thing in her world at that moment. It makes her look older to me. 

Excuse the ice cream from the creepy ice cream truck. I'm plotting a way to sever the music cords while he is stopped in front of my house next weekend.

On to the interview....

Yesterday on the way to dance, Tate interviewed Paige. Below is the result of this impromtu exchange that I just thought was cute.

Age: 6
Food: Applesauce
Drink: Kool Aid (Interesting since she has only had it twice in her life)
Plant: Strawberry plant
Night or Day: Day
Sisters: 1
Brothers: 1
Pets: 1
Toy: None (REALLY! Nothing...not even my itouch she lost! Yes, it is lost in the house)

Now I want Paige to interview Tate. I just love the questions they ask. So random.

One running note...

Last Friday I ran 15 miles with Holly. It is the longest I have ever run. It was such a confidence builder and learning experience. I was hydrated, fueled, perfect weather, perfect running buddy, slow pace...overall awesome time. At mile 14 I learned that my body must become stronger before I run a marathon next year. I quads, glutes, lower back, and lower abs gave out on me at mile 14 and I finished with sheer determination. Now I know what needs to be done to get ready. Better now than next year during training.

Mar 7, 2011

A numbers game

10 weeks until my sprint tri and I seem to be avoiding the pool. I love my new bike and running is awesome right now. I must get my gills wet! I really need a new swim suit.

I bet I end up with 8 trips to the grocery store this week. I already have 3 under my belt. I always hit Trader Joe's on the way home from church. Then I did our regular shopping at Super Wal-mart. Tonight during soccer I had to go back to Wal-mart to get a carbon monoxide detector to replace the one that died yesterday just weeks after the 5 year warranty ended. Now we are out of dish soap. Can't go long without that. Does hand soap work the same?

My 9 year old is so cool. Today she fell belly first into the mud while playing soccer on the playground. While many would be embarrassed, she went to the office and got high water pants and a over sized shirt and went about her day. I love that she could care less about stuff like that!

I ran 7 miles on Saturday between Tate and Paige's soccer games. I still prefer any day to run with friends, but I am building my solo self confidence with some long runs lately. I'm running 15 on Friday with H to get out of my head the idea that I can only run 13.1. I'm super excited and hope it goes well.

Dane has had his helmet 6 days and it already stinks. He is doing great with it and has become a belly sleeper. We go back tomorrow for the first check. I'll be able to write a book about the things people say by the time these eight weeks are over.

I pruned 5 crape myrtles over the last week. Crazy how sore my arms are after all that clipping. I'm in need of some weights for sure.

Nothing like seeing 3 guys washing dishes at your sink. Scott and some friends are brewing their latest batch of beer and transferred it yesterday as they get ready to bottle. So funny watching them work and take notes in their handy dandy notebook. The beer is awesome!

2 weeks until Scott's birthday. We saw Seinfeld to celebrate. Hilarious!

T asked me to buy her 1 stick of deodorant. She is growing up!! She brought it down tonight to ask me when she is supposed to put it on. Cute! She was so serious.

0 books I have read in months. I can't get into anything. I need that "it" book to lure me back to the dark side.

Mar 1, 2011

My little man's noggin

Isn't he the cutest thing around? OK, I am biased I know!

You know how you hate telling the same story over and over again? Well, I thought this post could help me alleviate that problem because the next time you see my little man he will have a cranial helmet on to help correct some shape issues with his head.

The short version of the story follows:

At eight weeks I noticed that Dane always fell asleep in his swing with his head tilted to his left shoulder and when he drooled (all the time) it always leaked down his left cheek. A good friend of mine has a daughter who had torticollis when she was younger and I learned so much about it when she was little that I felt pretty confident telling my pediatrician at his two month visit that I thought Dane had torticollis. He did an evaluation and agreed. The scary part is that I don't think the doctor would have noticed anything was wrong unless I pointed it out.

We were referred to a pediatric physical therapist who agreed with the diagnosis. So what is torticollis? Well, in Dane's case he was a big baby in a small mama. His positioning led to a tight neck muscle on one side of his neck. It results in limited range of motion and can cause issues with physical development if not treated. We started physical therapy and Dane responded well to the stretches and exercises. While his torticollis resolved itself rather quickly, the time he spent during his first two months and especially the time at night on the back of his head led to some flattening behind his left ear. When you get flattening in one spot, it causes the opposite area to bulge. No one's head is perfect, but at five and six months we went in for scans of Dane's head to evaluate if he needed a helmet to help correct some of the issues the torticollis caused. Both scans showed him to be pretty borderline on a scale of 1 to 5. We found out his eyes and ears were slightly misaligned which often happens and the diagonals of his head if  you look from the top of his head are not equal.

None of these issues were severe. If you saw Dane on the street, you would not notice immediately unless I pointed them out to you. As parents we decided we wanted to give him the best start we could, so we made the decision to get the helmet. He is a boy who will likely have short hair. He may even want to shave his head for some crazy teenage reason and I don't want him to say, "Mom, I can't shave my head because you didn't get me that darn helmet." Also, once he loses the cutest baby chub ever the misalignment of his eyes and ears may be more pronounced and we don't want to wait to find that out.

So, today he got his helmet and over the next five days he will work up to wearing it 23 hours a day. He will likely wear it for 2 to 3 months. I'm hoping he can get it off before it gets super hot. He is handling it like a champ. I'm having the most trouble because I want to kiss his head so bad and the hard plastic is just not the same.

His head will not be perfect. You or I may not even notice much of a change, but the changes will happen and we will know we did the best for Dane.

So, hopefully sharing this will you will keep me from having to tell the story one million times. Now when you see Dane you can tell him how cool he looks with his soccer ball helmet. I don't have any pictures to share yet, but they will be coming soon!

Feb 27, 2011

ABC's of Me

(A) Age: 35

(B) Bed Size: King
(C) Chore You Hate: Grocery shopping. I used to look forward to it and actually think of it as me time, but now it just takes too much time and I come home with the same old boring stuff.

(D) Dogs?: We have lost our two labs in the past year and a half :( Everyday P asked when we can get another dog but I need a little more time before jumping off that cliff.
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: COFFEE but I have to have my creamer for it to be perfect!
(F) Favorite Color: Red
(G) Gold or Silver? Gold

(H) Height: 5'4.5"
(I) Instruments You Play: Took piano lessons when I was younger but had a horrible teacher so I still don't know how to play the right way.
(J) Job Title: Full-time mama and substitute librarian/teacher. High school English teacher and librarian in my former life.
(K) Kids: T, 9.5--P, 6.5--, Little Man, 7 months
(L) Live: NC my entire life!
(M) Mom's Name: Brenda
(N) Nicknames: Carmalina

(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? only with my babies
(P) Pet Peeve: People who are late....my time is just as valuable as yours.
(Q) Quote from a Movie: I got nothing!
(R) Right or Left Handed? Righty.

(S) Siblings: Younger brother
(T) Time You Wake Up? 6:30 to get everyone off to school.
(U) Underwear: No frills VS
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: I can't think of a one. I don't like cooked spinach alone.

(W) What Makes You Run Late: A seven month old tries sometimes or the infamous car seat that has to be reinstalled from switching cars but most of the time I still have time to spare.
(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: Only at the dentist

(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Granny Annie's pound cake

(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Zebras and for sure!

Feb 24, 2011

Myrtle Beach Half Recap

Here I am at the expo. I LOVE being with runners! Only my kids, husband, friends, ice cream and a race can get a smile like this out of me.

We headed down to Myrtle Beach last friday morning...me and the other members of what we have called the six-pack this training session.

Isn't it awesome having friends that run! We did all but one of our long runs together. I only listened to music on that one solo run. The rest of the runs were spent talking with these great women. I don't get a lot of nights out with friends with a seven month old at home, so my Saturday morning runs have been awesome.

Back to the race...we settled into the cottage we rented for the weekend, went to the expo and grocery store, and then had a wonderful pasta dinner. I was under the covers earlier than usual with all my gear laid out. We got up at 4am. I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of english muffin and PB and some water. We were out the door at 5:15 and at the race by 5:45. It was a wonderful 56 degrees when we arrived.

Before I knew it, the race was about to start. There is nothing like the bang of a gun to get your blood flowing. My plan was to run with J's for as long as she wanted. It was her first half and her birthday. She was so excited and kept me calm in a way since I had run beside her for so many long runs.

Miles 1-3 went by so fast. We were hanging around a 10:12 pace. Coats were off to H's mom at mile 3 and we were in tanks. The weather was amazing and the bacon at Shoney's smelled scrumptious. This is were I first saw the man running with a Krispy Kreme box..not the smaller rectangular box but the flat big box. Took some coordination. I saw him at the end and mentioned the box, and he said they were warm when he first got them. No gu for this man...pure Krispy Kreme.

Miles 4-7 were nice. These are always my favorite miles. My body is warmed up and not tired yet. We talked and people watched. I saw a girl dressed as a sun, a guy with a hot dog hat, a blind runner with his guide (so inspiring), an angry woman who told her friend she thought it was horrible that people were eating outside when she couldn't. Lady it was the beach strip and not everyone was running a race that day.  There were lots of older runners with huge groups of supporters on the sidewalk cheering them on. I want to be that runner at 65.

Miles 8 and 9 were quiet. We were keeping a faster pace than J expected to do. We hovered right around 10 and she thought she would be closer to 11. At the end of 9, J gave me the go ahead to go faster. I was amazed at the speed I was able to pick up. I stayed between 8 and 9 the rest of the race, including when the HOOTER girls waved the halfers one way the the fulls another. Really...Hooters in lifeguard chairs in the middle of the road. The finishing chute was long but ohhhhh so fun. My last half (OBX) had a horrible ending that weaved its way through neighborhoods to the waterfront. There were so many turns with no sign of the finish. This one was NICE.

Time: 2:13:57

This was not a PR but definitely my most enjoyable race. My goal for this race was so up in the air. I didn't think I could get a PR. I just had a baby and did not train for a PR. I trained to get back to running. So I guess I did achieve my goal. I loved getting my legs back post baby. I just got teased with the PR since I got so much closer than I expected.

Lesson learned: I am stronger than I give myself credit. If I have that much speed at the end of a race, I have not run the pace I should at the beginning. I want to stop being scared that I will hit a wall. I want to be wiped at the finish knowing I have given it everything. I have not done that yet.


Cherry Blossom 10-miler!

I always go through some post race blues. I'm sad a training cycle is over. It is not that I don't feel satisfied with the run...I am. I just want another. So, I'll race the 10-miler with a wonderful neighbor and friend, Amy W. who just ran her first marathon. I can't wait to learn from her for my first next March. After the 10-miler, I'm on to my Sprint Tri. I pick up my bike tomorrow! Yeah!

Feb 14, 2011

Say it ain't so!

Where is this girl? Sick with a cold that is where!

Yes, a HEAD COLD has hit....not a blister, black toenail, or broken ipod...all things I could deal with....a H--E--A--D  Cold a week before my half marathon. OK, I've complained to my kids and husband all weekend about it and now I have to deal. Scott did run out and get me Zicam to supposedly cut the length of a cold in half. I've never used it, so even if it is a load of bolgna I'm going to try for the placebo effect and pray that it works.

Here I am after my first half! Yes, I climbed that bridge behind me at mile 12. I'm channeling that healthy girl.

So what do I do this week to try my best to be ready for Saturday and that 13.1 miles? Do I rest? Do I do my two short runs? What is the protocol when you are sick the week of the race? I just don't want to make it worse.

Other than running....

Saturday Scott and I went to see Jerry Seinfeld. It was a combo Valentine's--Scott's Bday gift. He is hilarious. We saw him two years ago (by the way I had a cold then too) and Scott jumped at the chance to see him again. It was crazy to see people coming in late and leaving early. He was only on for a little over an hour and tickets weren't cheap. Oh well, I need to worry about me and we had a ball.

Today is Valentine's Day, so I put notes in the girls' lunch boxes with marshmallow hearts. I have chocolate X 0's for when they get home. Scott gave me a box of chocolate covered cheeries...may absolute favorite and a high priced cheesy foily card. I refuse to buy those cards, so I'll be creating one of my own today with a list of why I love him. Hopefully Little Man will nap so that can happen. Have a great heart day!

Feb 10, 2011

The End of Track Out is Near!

The girls have been tracked out for since the last week of January and go back to school on Monday. We usually try to spice up track out with some kind of trip even if it is just a weekend, but this time we have not a thing. It is bound to happen sometimes. Last week was quite boring, but this week has been much busier.

First a picture of my cutie!
Yes, his eyes are closed but isn't this the greatest! Just to be clear, Scott put him in the pink car. This was P's car and I didn't think he needed anything like this yet. She got it when she was a year old and he is already past her size at a year and he is only six months. As my grandfather says, "He's a real boy!" Ha!

Monday, we got to reconnect with the Saps and Tonnys...awesome family friends. The kids put on a play that was adorable even though it involved being dropped down a well and getting mouth to mouth with a kitchen funnel. Hilarious!

Tuesday, the girls took a cake decorating class. We are huge fans of the Food Network here and my kids would just as much like to watch the Challenge shows as a carton. Here are some pics from the class.

They did a great job and those cakes were yummy! T rescued her picnic bear from the top of hers and it is on a plate in the kitchen. How long do I have to keep it?

Interesting enough, the bike shop is right across the street from the cooking place, so I took the chance and ordered my road bike. It is done. I'll have it Monday! Yikes!

Wednesday, we got to hang out with my nephew. He is talking so much! It was so nice to catch up with my SIL and see the cousins play. I hate that we don't see them more, but we have put dinner on the calendar already so it won't be long. After some quick playdates and dancing for Tate, Wednesday was nearly over. T asked if her BFF could come over to watch a movie. Luckily I found Secretariat at the Red Box. It was great! I loved it!

Today we have more playdates planned and dancing again. Soccer starts this weekend as well as my last long run before the half marathon next weekend. I need to savor the last days of track out because it looks like the spring is going to be a mad dash. There is snow on the ground this morning. I hope it is the last of the season.

Feb 1, 2011

What a Weekend!

I know it is Tuesday but I had a great weekend and wanted to countdown the greatness of it all in no particular order.

1. Ran 11 miles on Saturday for our last long run before the Myrtle Beach half in three weeks. The course clearly not flat, so I definitely feel prepared. The hard part will be fighting the taper madness. I used to be a three day a week runner, but now I'm stuck on four. I need it more.

2. Lion King with my mom. IT WAS AMAZING! Her birthday is the day after Christmas, so for the last couple of  years I have taken her to a show to celebrate once the madness of the holidays ends.

3. Tilapia with mango salsa for dinner before the show without kids. Yummy and I tasted every bite.

4. Got to run most of Amy's last 20 miler with her before her first marathon. She has trained solo most of the time which is a huge mental and physical accomplishment in my book. I am in awe of her and can't wait to hear her marathon recap.

5. A beautiful 67 degree day on Sunday after months of frigid cold weather. I love the "treats" North Carolina gives us every now and then. I got a 3 mile recovery run in with my new neighbor who also runs and I got to wear short sleeves and capris.

6. Getting fitted for a road bike! Now I get to decide which one to buy in a few weeks. They all felt light as a feather after riding my hybrid for so long.

7. Buying a $3 Snickers at the show. I am a cheapskate, so actually allowing myself to purchase such an outrageously priced treat shows what a good mood I was in that night.

8. Purging the attic and girls' clothes with trips to Goodwill and the dump! I seem to do my spring cleaning in January.

9. Scott being off the whole week and weekend since the girls were tracked out.

10. Not catching the cold (YET!) that all three kids have had since early last week.

This week is pretty uneventful. I am subbing tomorrow at Enloe and running 9 alone on Friday. I have not done a long run alone this whole training cycle, but I think it will be good for me. On race day, I will likely be alone. My group has different goals. I still don't have a clear goal. This is my first race since having baby D. I really don't think I can PR but a itty bitty part of me wants to try. The course is pancake flat. I think I need to run my best and if I feel it that day give it my all. I can always slow down....right?

Jan 27, 2011

I Never Win Anything!

I always pick the wrong line at the grocery store. I never even get upset anymore. I dig in my heels and read the trash magazines while I wait for the inevitable person in front of me to ask for a price check or start counting their pennies or goodness...who actually writes checks anymore?

But last week this all changed. I won a blog award. I started a blog initially as an online diary of sorts for my girls. Then I told family about it and writing the blog gave me a chance to connect with them and tell family stories so they could experience everyday life with us. Now I have discovered a whole new community of runners whose blogs teach me something everyday about running and balancing this passion of mine with life. I have had the best time meeting new people who love running as much as I do.

Amanda @ 5 Miles Past Empty is an inspiring athlete and a terrific cheerleader. I look forward to reading her blog each day and can't wait to meet her in May at the White Lake Triathlon. I'm doing the sprint and she is doing the Half Ironman. Thanks Amanda for making me feel super special with this award.

Here's the deal for accepting this award:

1. Make a post and link back to the person who tagged you with the award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award to 7 great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

OK, here it goes....
My friends and family are likely to know all this stuff but here are some tidbits about me so all the new friends I've made can get to know me a little better.
1. I met my husband when I was 22 while working at Bed Bath & Beyond the summer before my first teaching job started. Now we have been married nearly 12 years and have 3 beautiful children...2 girls and a bouncing baby boy who joined us in July. Our family is now complete!

My mom and the whole family
2. I absolutely positively LOVE ice cream. My current favorite is Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar. I buy it each week just for me and try to make it last two nights. I think about it at least five nights during the day before I get to sit down and dive into that yummy goodness after the kids go to bed. I could live without any other food or drink but taking away ice cream would send me into a depression.
3. My happy place is the beach...Kitty Hawk, NC to be specific. My family has a cottage there and has for my entire life. I feel at home there unlike any other place. The smell of the ocean and grit of the sand between my toes makes my heart beat at its happiest pace. My memories there are the most vivid memories I have...the best milkshakes are there, one of biggest crushes happened there in middle school, need I go on. I ran the OBX half there and found it serene to run the streets I have driven my entire life.

4. I was named after a hurricane. Everyone always wonders how a girl from small town NC got the name Carmen. I was born with a head of black hair that my mom said did not fit the LeAnne she had picked out, so they went with Carmen instead which had "blown" through the Outer Banks that year.

5. My grandfather turns 89 next week! He is my family's ROCK and I love him bunches. I am so lucky to have experienced the love of all of my grandparents and my great grandmothers during my life. Roscoe or Granddaddy as I call him has always been my cheerleader, advisor, and the spunkiest ladies man I know.

6. I am a librarian. I have spent the last three years working part-time in a magnet high school. I love it but am enjoying my time at home soaking in the babyhood of D, my six month old, and being at home in the morning to see T and P start their days. I'll get back to it in a few years. A good book is as addicting to me as a good run but right now I feel like I have hit a dry spell for reading. I need a good book to sink my teeth into.

7. I love running. It makes me a better me. It challenges me and makes me feel strong physically and mentally. I have the most supportive family. My husband works late on Saturdays (he is in retail) so that I can do my long runs in the morning with my running buds. My girls have now each done races and always ask me how far I'm going rather than why I have to go. I am so thankful that they see how happy it makes me and don't see it as something that pulls me away from them.

T after finishing her first duathlon
 There you have it...a few things about me! I am going to open the door and tag anyone who reads my blog to share tidbits that make them the person they are today or the person they want to be. Thanks again Amanda!

Jan 25, 2011

Eat--Sleep--Be a Merry Mom/Runner

Did someone say eat?

The girls tracked out this week for their three week break. We aren't traveling anywhere this time so I tried to come up with some cool things for them to do. One of those things was letting them each pick something to make from scratch in the kitchen with minimal help from me. Today was P's day. She uses my iTouch all the time and likes to play cakedoodle where you "bake" and design a cake. She decided she wanted to bake a strawberry cake and use the recipe from cakedoodle. I was hesitant because I thought the recipe was fake and that the cake would be a bust but it did seem to have all the key ingredients. She did everything from using the mixer, cracking the eggs, cutting the strawberries (this was the only part that made me nervous). She iced it after dinner and I have to say it was really good. I always make birthday cakes for the girls and go to town decorating them to suit their fancy but this was the first time I have made a cake from scratch. I make a mean pound cake but I usually use good old Betty Crocker for birthday cakes. I guess I still haven't made one since P did all the work. It was fun, and she was so proud of herself.

The eating piece of running is hard to figure out. Since I am pretty thin to start with, I have to be careful about getting the right calories for energy sake and to maintain weight. Today I ran 5 after lunch, so I could beat the rain I thought was coming. I decided to eat my usual peanut butter english  muffin that I have before a morning run since I needed to eat and head out the door pretty quickly. In the morning it doesn't bother me, but today it felt blah in my belly the whole run. I did it, but it is so weird how a successful run is a big balancing game between eating, time, hydration, mindset. Since I have decided to do a marathon in March 2012 (is it silly to be excited with it so far away?), I want to spend some time learning more about balancing the nutritional aspects of running. I guess it is time for this librarian to hit the books and learn some stuff

Is sleep that important?

D turned six months last week. I cannot believe it! I took him for his check up today and he is 18 pounds 10 ounces. P and T were only 16+ pounds at a year old. He is a big baby for our bunch. Weight obviously does not translate to sleep for him. He does not nap much during the day but goes down nicely right at 8 each night. That would be OK, but he has been getting up around 4 almost every morning. It is killing us. We give him a bottle because we don't know what else to do, but he doesn't finish it. Luckily, it does put him back to sleep. You would think I would have this down pat by number 3, but I asked the doc for advice today. He said let him cry it out. Basically we are reinforcing his crying by coming to get him. He doesn't need to eat to make it through the night. I guess I just needed the go ahead that it was time to let him cry it out. We'll see how it goes tonight. At least the girls are tracked out if he wakes them up.

I know sleep is important, but I don't think I have experienced any ill effects from my lack of sleep. I guess when my nights are interruption free and I am able to run like the wind I'll realize how important sleep is to this sport. I have yet to have any sleep problems the night before a race. My upcoming race is a girls' weekend in Myrtle Beach. I'll have to see how I balance the fun with the race. Six of us are running the half so we should all be on the same page.

Be Merry!

S and I take turns having dates with the girls. It is my turn to go out with P. I am going to ask her tomorrow if we should paint pottery or see a movie. I love our time together. It is so fun to be with them alone. Without the other sister there to interrupt, each of them has a chance to really share tons of stuff that S and I share with each other afterwards.

I signed up for the White Lake Sprint Triathlon a few days ago. It is on May 15th! I am very excited to do another tri. I did one in June 2009 before getting prego. I have never felt as fit as I did after training for that tri. It is also the only race I have ever trained for alone. There is a lot to be said for motivating and accomplishing something solely for yourself. I look forward to facing the challenge again. My only fear is that the swim is a lot longer than the other sprint and this one is in open water rather than a pool. Yikes!

Jan 21, 2011

Freaky Friday

My six month thinks the vaccuum is alive....he smiles at it, talks to it, and wants to touch it whenever it is out. I cannot blame him really. It makes loud screeching noises and moves just like his sisters. He is making googley eyes at it right now. I think he wants to marry her.

Why do photographers talk real loud to kids and shake toys inches away from their face. Put yourself in the kid's place. People...kids can see just fine and hear too...they are not senior citizens. Thank goodness D humored this poor young girl and we now have six month pictures. I am determined not to fall into the trap of having the third child who doesn't have any pictures. Everyone tells me the third falls through the crack with no baby book or pictures. I have taken it as a challenge.

I got a runner's high today without running. I bought a new outfit for my half in February, shot bloks, a magnet and sticker for the car. Now can it only be in the 50s rather than the 20s tomorrow for my run....no such luck I bet.

The diaper I just changed could have been in the guiness book of world records if I had the right people here to document it. D is in new clothes. I sacraficed a onesie because there was no saving it and I just gave him a bath with almost an entire box of wipes. Should have just took him to the tub but I was scared about what might fall as we got there. Need I say more?

What is bound to happen next? I shudder to find out.

Jan 20, 2011

I'm so in love with my kids today!

I love them everyday, but you know how some days are more mushy and sappy than others. Today is one of those days.

Today is character day in P's kindergarten class. She had to pick a favorite book and be ready to talk about it in front of the class. She also got to dress up as the main character. Therefore, today she is Fancy Nancy. She has been a little anxious about it all week, so I was a little worried...until this morning. I get up at 6:30 and usually get the girls up at 6:45 for school. When I was coming down the hall this morning there was P in the bathroom brushing her teeth. She had already eaten breakfast (SCARY--she had poured her own milk for cereal successfully thank goodness), gotten dressed, brushed her hair and was now brushing teeth. I was surely staring at her in disbelief and she said, "Mommy, I've ready for you to curl by hair like Fancy Nancy and make it pink." She was so excited. I decided to go have lunch with her so I could see how it went, and she did great. The kids were so cute all dressed up. There were fairies, dogs, cats, Superman, but my Fancy Nancy was the cutest!

Today D turns 6 months! Where in the world does the time go? Yesterday I took him on a run with me in the jogging stroller. He normally conks out immediately but he stayed wide awake the whole time. He is getting such personality. For the first mile he just looked at me like he was wondering who in the world this woman was with sunglasses, a ponytail, and ear buds in pushing him. It was funny! He struggled to sit up against the shoulder straps to see what was going on. I guess it is time to take off the infant bar and let him sit facing out so he can see where we are going. I really don't want to because then I can't stare at him. He makes me explode with love every time he smiles and makes a sound.

You know when you worry that you are doing the right things as a parent? Yesterday, I got that pat on the back that I must be doing OK. T came home from school and told me about a girl in her class who forgot her lunch money. The girl was crying and the teacher was consoling her. (Don't worry--they give the kids fruits and veggies for free so no kid starves.) When this has happened to T, she just borrows from P's account since they are siblings but this girl did not have a sibling there. T said, "Mom, I told Abbie I wanted to give her my lunch box and I could buy lunch since I had money." It was so sweet to see that she had empathy for her friend and wanted to help. I asked her why she didn't do that and she said she didn't know if it was OK. I told her that it would have been fine and a very nice thing to do so next time she should try to help if she could. It was like she needed permission to know it was OK to feel that way. I love that she cares so much.

So today they get extra kisses until they start stealing each others stuff and fighting over TV again!

Jan 15, 2011

It's Back!

This week I realized I have a problem! I'm addicted to my Garmin running watch. Last Saturday it went missing after my long run. FYI...I'm training for a half marathon in Myrtle Beach next month. On Sunday Scott asked me where the watch was because he was going out for a run. I was in the shower and told him it was where it always is...our office. He said it was wasn't and left. In my head he had obviously overlooked it because it could not be missing.

It was! I backtracked in my head...searched my car...searched every possible and impossible place in the house. It drove me bonkers! I ran on the treadmill Tuesday because of ice and then Thursday I ran with a friend in the neighborhood. I craved the beep it gives as the miles go by. I even went so far as to unconsciously tap my arm to stop the time when my run was over. I had a clear problem!

I grumbled to Scott...not blaming him but just disappointed that it was gone and picturing the lucky person at the Tobacco Trail who must have found it when it fell out of my car. That was the only thing I could think could have happened because I had looked everywhere. I even bribed the girls to look for me just for a fresh set of eyes.

Saturday rolled around again...no Garmin. I went to pick up Holly, so we could meet our other running friends for a 10 mile run this morning. I told her I still had not found it. She had told me to pray to Saint Anthony earlier in the week. We laughed because I decided it only worked for Catholics, not Methodists. I told her it had consumed me this week and I would have to break down and buy another one that afternoon just so I would stop looking. She bent down to get something in her purse and with eyes a blazing came up with two Garmins in her hand...hers and MINE! I was so so so EXCITED! Out of control excited. She kept apologizing but I could have cared less that she had it. The point was.....she had it!!! Last week she had been sitting in the back of my car. After our run I had put my belt, headband, gloves, and Garmin in the base of little D's car seat. I swore all week that I had not taken it off in the car but obviously I did. Darn memory! She grabbed it thinking it was hers and had been using it all week. Only when she put mine in her purse were the two watches ever together for her to notice.

Thank you Holly for finding it this morning rather than tomorrow. I would have had another one on the way.
And....I have definitely found out I can run without music but I need my Garmin.

Jan 4, 2011

Resolutions for 2011

I haven't always made resolutions, but over the last few years I have made mental notes of things I want to get done in the next year. They are usually silly rather than serious. I seem to go for getting curtains in the family room (didn't happen yet) and running a certain race (did happen). This year I talked with the girls about resolutions on our trip to Elizabeth City to celebrate the holidays. Tate wants to get another 4 on her report card and run a 5K. Paige wants to do another race and ride a zip line.

Last year we got together the week after New Year's with a group of friends, and I remember being startled when Dave asked everyone to go around the table and share our resolutions. Oh my goodness I thought. I am going to have to say my silly thoughts out loud. Then I realized that they weren't too bad. Last year my resolutions were centered around the family. Being newly pregnant then, I wanted to help the girls become more self sufficient (make their breakfast, wash hair, etc) so that the addition of a baby to our family would be a little easier. I knew my two hands would not be enough at all times to juggle the needs of all three kids, so getting the girls to be more independent would help. Our friends thought it was a great resolution and I remember taking the resolution more seriously after sharing it with them. I said it out loud and it made it much more real. We went out to dinner to celebrate the holidays with the same group of awesome friends and we took some time to recap our resolutions and talk about if we had accomplished them. It was fun and very rewarding to share in every one's successes!

So now 2011 is here and we are having the infamous dinner again on Friday, so I need to be ready! Oh my...I'm feeling the pressure...good pressure. This year I want to push myself with a fitness goal but I want to be reasonable too. I do have a 5 month old and two little ladies in elementary school. I will complete my third half marathon in February, but I've done that so even though it will be challenging since I have just gotten my running legs back post pregnancy it is not the challenge I am looking for. I want something different, unique, new. One for sure thing will be zip lining on a brand new course in Fayetteville. It is on my life list (my version of the bucket list but I'm too young to call it that I think or choose to think). I'm also looking into a relay marathon (I will have a full marathon as a resolution in 2012--Wrightsville Beach I think). I also want to do another triathlon maybe an olympic length on this time. My friend Jo just mentioned a Mud Run which sounds cool...an obstacle course the length of a 10K. I think I'll hold her to doing that. I'm full of items but need to finalize my plans by Friday so I can "own" them and start to plan. I'm excited and nervous. Other than fitness goals I also want to live in the moment more. Life has taken a big turn for me as a mother of three. It is so rewarding but busier than I expected. I want to take it all in more and not wish the days away. Christmas Eve was a crazy day this year and I was so happy when I took a moment in the crazy Walmart line to make myself reassess the day. I need to realize more that it is OK to change "the plan" in order to make the day, week, month more enjoyable for everyone.

In that Walmart line I realized I had not grabbed the candy I wanted to get Laura for her birthday. I tapped the guy in front of me and asked him if he would mind pulling my cart along so I could run and grab something close by. He smiled and said, " I will if you get me some roasted peanuts." That brought the biggest smile to my face. In the craziness of the day when people are so anxious and usually not too friendly, this guy and I were helping each other. That is how I want 2011 to be. I want to be helpful and allow more people to help me. I try to do it all myself and I think if I open that door a little I will be a better me in this crazy thing we call life.

Jan 3, 2011

Paige...surgery, sillies, our sanity

"Where is my mom?" The best words a mom can hear when her baby girl wakes up from surgery.

Paige had a pilomatrixoma (hair root tumor) removed today. This is her third skin issue since birth. At six months a hairy nevus popped up on the back of her head. It has stayed the same and makes her pig tails quite interesting with the darker hair that grows there. Next, at five years old three white spots appeared on Paige that ended up being vitiligo. This normally is linked to potential problems with the immune system or thyroid but so far Paige has shown no signs of problems in these areas. No new spots have appeared in over a year. Finally, a small bump appeared under her left eye right around her sixth birthday. It was not painful and moved around when you touched it. Her doctor referred us to the chief pediatric surgeon at WakeMed. He said a hair root had gone crazy and would continue to grow if we did not remove it. We wanted to do it as soon as possible to minimize the scar she would have.

Today we got up at four and were on our way. She was as calm and collected about the surgery. She is my shy little one who clams up with strangers and shows her nervousness by putting her hands in her hair....but she is so strong and fearless. She faces shots, doctors, etc. with a peacefulness I have never had. My stomach was turning and she was talking about the donut I had promised as we drove in the dark early morning. My anxiety heightened as the anesthesiologist discussed potential complications. Paige on the other hand was silly from the mild sedative they gave her. She kissed us goodbye and Scott and I waited in the waiting room for thirty minutes until Dr. P came and told us she did great and the bump was exactly what he expected.

The anesthesia made her plain crazy. Now at the end of the day I am describing her as a bipolar drunk. We left the hospital with a silly, wobbly girl who wanted to go to school. She could not walk but wanted to know what her classmates were doing at that moment and if she would be there by lunch. At home the seesaw began. One of us had to stay right with her because she kept getting up on her unstable legs. For such a small thing, she was hard to keep up with and balance as she would tilt and sway almost falling off the couch multiple times. She got upset when I started to take down the Christmas tree and would only lay on the side of her face when the incision was. Stubborn! Thank goodness after three hours, her nervous energy slowed down and she watched Annie and became herself again. I am so glad that is over and she is so excited that the letter of the week is G and she can take her gas mask she decorated to school for show and tell.

Children are supposed to be strong willed, adventurous and loud....today she was vulnerable and my little baby again.