Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon (and Vacation) Recap

We left around nap time on Saturday, hoping Abby and Miles would sleep on the road. That theory worked – for about 45 minutes. By the time we arrived at the hotel to pick up my packet, they were getting restless. So, instead of a quick drop off for me to run in and run back out, we took them in with us and hung out a bit. While the shirts and merchandise were inside, the numbers were outside, and the twins enjoyed running around in the grass.

I'm one cool cat

I’m one cool cat

Abby was given the task of holding eating a big chocolate chip cookie.

mini chocoholic

mini chocoholic

And daddy and miles posed for a few pictures

We packed back into the car and headed to our hotel, right on the beach.


After that, we took the twins downstairs and headed out for their first trip to the beach. (Yes, we live 40 minutes from the beach and this was our first trip. I do realize how ridiculous this sounds. In our defense, we really wanted them to be able to walk first.) Miles was afraid of the sound of the ocean crashing on the shore, but Abby dove right in.

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Sunday was race day. The hotel was only 3 miles from the start, but I was still up early. Actually I was up A TON the night before – maybe it was nerves. My alarm went off at 530 and I hopped in the shower. Yes, I hopped in the shower before a 13 mile run – it’s easier to do my hair when its wet and it helps me wake up. Abby didn’t want to wake up.

Leave me alone. I'm sleeping

Leave me alone. I’m sleeping

We drove to the start

Running with 3000 of my closest crazy friends

Running with 3000 of my closest crazy friends

It was there that I realized I forgot my headphones. 13 miles without music made me feel extremely grumpy, so I decided I’d just play the music through the speaker in my belt and annoy everyone around me. As it turns out, the majority of the runners had their own headphones ( that they hadn’t left at the hotel).

The race started at 7am.

I’ve had some issues with tightness in my back and butt and a recent shin irritation, so I was really worried about making it through this without aggravating something. As a precaution, I wrapped my leg, dropped into the chiropractors office the Friday before, and did some extra stretching. I spent the first few miles alternating between feeling very aware of every possible ache and pain and trying to ignore it and enjoy the run. My shin did feel a little irritated for about 3 miles, but my butt/back were gloriously pain free.

The course was a bit different from the past two times I’ve run it. It no longer involved a run by Broadway at the Beach. It was basically a long stretch down a 4 lane road, followed by a couple miles on a path, and almost 5 miles down North Ocean Blvd before turning onto the Boardwalk to head towards the finish line.

I have a tendency to start out too quickly in races and struggle through the end. There is something about the adrenaline and all the people at first that makes it really difficult for me to pace myself early on. I made myself stop and walk a bit at all but two of the water stops placed every 1.5 miles ( I missed mile 3 and knew if I stopped at the last one I’d probably never start running again ) and brought a gel with me to take around mile 6-7, since in the past I’ve struggled around mile 8. This time, I was good until about mile 9. I started to feel chafing at mile 10. I wanted to be done by 11 and REALLY wanted to be done by 12. As in years past, by the time I got to the boardwalk I could have cared less about the beach view because I just wanted to get to the finish line. I’m not sure how other people manage to both finish and feel strong at the end of long races. I found some extra energy and ran the final mile in 8:30, but walked like a wobbly newborn calf  on my way to the food tables.

Official finish time 1:55:42 or 8:45 pace

Official finish time 1:55:42 or 8:49 pace

After a slow walk back to the hotel and a soak in the tub we headed to breakfast and the aquarium

I asked Bryan to get a picture of me and my medal with Miles and Abby, and a nice guy offered to take a picture of all of us. Of course we know by know any picture you attempt to get with two toddlers is going to be interesting.

But we managed to get a couple good ones.







Share Your Passion

While you wait on the edge of your seat for my Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon (and mini vacation with lots of pictures) recap, head on over to read my guest post for her theme Share Your Passion (mine is running, perhaps not shockingly) at This Crazy Cass Life.

While you’re at it, wish her luck on her upcoming PhD dissertation defense!

Life With Twins – 17 months

We’ve reached a point now where I am not exactly sure how to answer when people ask me how old they are. After some trial and error, I say “almost a year and a half.”


Gross Motor

Even though Abby didn’t even start walking until a month ago, she is already running like a champ. Miles plays around with walking backwards, which is pretty funny. Abby contemplates it, but that’s about as far as she goes. She walks on her tip toes sometimes, and watches herself.

When I thought about them walking, I thought the part that made me the most nervous was the running. I was wrong. It is the climbing. While neither has figured out quite how to climb on the couch yet, Abby is getting there, and they have both figured out how to climb onto the side table from the couch to reach half full glasses of water, iPhones, remotes, and my pop tarts (which they subsequently run off with, giggling).

Fine Motor

Not much new here. We get tons of I’ll hold the spoon in this hand and eat my applesauce with my other hand, because you know, that seems logical. Miles started pushing the toy cars around and Abby isn’t happy unless the book in front of her is a flip book of some kind that she can use two fingers to, well, flip. Bryan said he’s almost reaching the doorknobs, so we can’t be far from those super annoying child AND adult proof doorknob safety covers.

Speech and Language

Lots more imitating lately. As an example, Abby has said hug, hot, dun dun (imitating Bryan singing the Jaws theme). Miles has said ball and we go back and forth with this “ma!” “what?” “ma!” “what?” routine that cracks him up. Abby can pick out the dog, cat and heart puzzle pieces and will sometimes touch her nose after me. Miles runs away. Maybe he’s scared of my nose. They’ve started learning how to “comfort”. Sometimes I will pick Abby up and she will rub or pat my arm. Both will lean in for a kiss periodically, and come running for hugs often, which I certainly can’t complain about.


We’ve finally moved out of (most) 12 month clothes. Miles is now wearing 18-24 months. Abby wears mostly 18, but can still fit in some 12. Miles has a couple canine teeth breaking through, along with 2.5 molars. Abby has all 4 molars and (finally) both lower lateral incisors. They sleep through the night more often than not, going to bed between 7:30-8 and waking up between 6-7.


  • Shoes – getting shoes out makes them both giggle
  • “Throw the boy/girl” (onto the bed)
  • The ball pit
  • iPhone charging cords
  • Walks in the wagon or stroller
  • Brushing teeth
  • Pocoyo (always)
  • Throwing milk cups off of trays (sigh)
  • Tantrums (at least it seems that way sometimes!)


  • Diaper/clothes changes (Miles)
  • Getting faces wiped
  • When the TV is transitioning between the Baby Einstein intro and the actual show
  • The vacuum (Miles)

Picture overload time!

  • I finally finish my tattoo
A pink and blue foot for each of my little ones :)

A pink and blue foot for each of my little ones :)

  • Miles enjoys some cereal
I eat all the cocoa puffs

I eat all the cocoa puffs

  • He takes a nap on grandpa

Zzzzzz on my grandpa pillow

  • Abby hoards remotes

*I* control the TV

  • We run our first stroller mile after a long, hot winter

One and done.

  • Miles sports some cool pajamas
The many faces of skele-boy

The many faces of skele-boy

  • Abby finally has enough hair for a clip
I feel pretty

I feel pretty

  • Miles is so thirsty his throat is bone dry
Skeletons get thirsty too

Skeletons get thirsty too

  • We cruise the mall
Cruisin the mall

Cruisin the mall

Stroller footsie

Stroller footsie

  • We enjoy a nice day at the pool….in October
Welcome to Charleston in October

Welcome to Charleston in October

  • Miles lets me know how he really feels about my dinner selection
This is bullshit

This is bullshit

And some videos

  • Abby discovers her shadow (quality isn’t great – but listen for giggle near the end)
  • Miles walks in style
  • Abby giggles

Talk to Me Baby: The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Ball Pit

If I thought three months was bad before, now its been FOUR.

For those who are new to following this and simply because it has been so long, I’m creating a series of posts on popular baby/toddler toys and how you can use them to facilitate Speech and Language Development. My original post can be seen here

As with the last toys, an intro:

Receptive Language (what we understand) – this is the ability to listen and understand what is communicated by another person. In the Early Intervention age range (birth to 3) some examples would include: following simple directions, the ability to identify objects from a group, the ability to point to objects in pictures etc. In infants an example can be as simple as turning to the source of sound or responding to his/her name.

Expressive Language (the use of language) – this is the ability to communicate wants and needs. Usually we mean verbally but depending on the circumstances it can mean sign language or the use of a communication device. Some examples of this include: the ability to request objects using words, the ability to name objects (real objects or in pictures). In infants this includes grunting, cooing and babbling – all which sounds meaningless at first but are important stepping stones to using words in more functional ways.

Social Skills/Pragmatic Language – these are the more subtle aspects of language and in young children some examples include eye contact, joint attention (the ability to look at a toy, then to you, then back to the toy etc) and turn taking.

Of course these lists are nowhere near all inclusive and are simply meant to help clarify the definitions.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Ball Pit

We received this toy as a belated birthday gift.

Age Range: 2 years plus. Let me just say right now that is baloney (bologna?). The twins were about 16 months old when we got it and they LOVE IT. I cannot stress how much they love this thing!

What it does: This one is pretty self explanatory. I mean, it’s a ball pit. It is a little different in that it has a big hole in the top, two big entryways on two sides and then an area where you can push balls in or out.

Likes: Um, everything. They love to climb in it, kick their feet, throw balls out the sides and through the holes (much to my dismay). Once, Miles watched an entire episode of Pocoyo in it.

I see better this way

I see better this way

Dislikes:  Two words: balls.everywhere. And it only comes with 20 balls.  Definitely invest in an extra bag of balls. For inflatable plastic, its a bit on the pricey side, depending on where you look.

Since I really think this toy could be enjoyable earlier than stated…..

12-18 months

Receptive Language

  • Appropriate play: does your baby pick up the balls and throw them? Will he push them through the holes? Put them in his mouth? (hey, that’s appropriate too)
  • Simple one step directions: There aren’t too many choices here as far as a “give me a ___” command, but you can ask her to give you a ball, push the ball through the hole, throw the ball etc, all with a gesture to help.
  • While baby plays say “stop” and “wait” and see if baby responds (not necessarily listens, but at least responds)
  • Begin identification of body parts using the balls. It sounds like a stretch but you can always take one and say “got your nose/ear/leg!” with it.
  • Object identification: have some simple objects lying around? (ball, shoe, spoon, etc). Throw them in the ball pit and ask your child to find one.

Expressive Language

  • Encourage imitation: If you’re like me and already feel like you say ball a bajilion times a day, be prepared to do it some more. Try to get your child to imitate ball, push, throw, go, anything that would be appropriate (or you could make appropriate). Play peek a boo or work on hi and bye.
  • Encourage independent word use: pick up a ball and ask “what is this?”. Again, choices are more limited here since it is a big pit of nothing but balls, but you can also encourage words like the ones listed above.

Social Skills

  • Poke your head through and say “hi!” and see if your child says hi back.
  • Talk to her about the balls or colors. Pause like you would in a conversation and see if she responds. Responses don’t have to be real words and don’t have to make sense – you are just looking for the social aspect or the start of back and forth conversation

18-24 months

Receptive Language

  • Picture identification: throw some puzzle pieces with basic pictures in and ask your child to find them.
  • Simple verbs: you may have to be a little more creative here but you can still do it. Roll, throw, kick, push would all be easy ones to use.
  • Simple direction following with and without help – you can try without first, and if he doesn’t seem to understand you can provide help (see 12-18 months).
  • Continue with identification of body parts – ask him to point to Mickey’s eyes or Pluto’s nose.

Expressive Language

  • Put two words together. You can pair things like “ ball in” or “throw/kick/roll ball”. You can also begin to label colors, like “red ball”.
  • Encourage independent word use: see above.
  • Begin practicing verb use (and 2 word combinations). See above.

Social Skills

  • While your baby is playing, comment on what he/she is doing or play along to encourage some joint attention, or the ability to look between you and the toy with eye contact.
  • Begin to encourage turn taking. Push a ball out of a hole and say “your turn!”
  • Talk to her about the ball. Pause like you would in a conversation and see if she responds. It doesn’t have to be sentences. Even if you say “Look at this pretty red ball” and he looks at you and responds “ball”, you are still practicing  social skills.

24 to 36 months

Receptive Language

  • Following directions without help. (see above)
  • Simple verbs like the ones described in 18-24 months. You can use these with your direction following
  • Begin color identification. With the multicolored balls this one is easy!
  • Pronouns me, my, you, your. Get a couple of cups/bowls and ask your child to put a ball in “my” or “your” bowl. Take the ball and touch “your” or “my” nose.
  • Begin spatial concepts such as in/out. You’ll probably get more out than in, though :)
  • You can use some simple adjectives such as smooth, squishy, shiny, soft.

Expressive Language

  • Encourage further expansion of sentences from 1-2 words to 2-3 or more words. Some examples include “ball go in”, “want ball please”. You can use these when requesting as well: “want house please” “more puzzle please” “want frog in” etc. Or try to throw some colors in: “want blue ball”.
  • Yes/no questions. Ask “do you want a ball?”
  • Continue with verb use – “roll ball” “kick ball” etc.

Social Skills

  • While your baby is playing, throw some balls out and exclaim “uh oh!” to encourage some joint attention, or the ability to look between you and the toy with eye contact.
  • Continue to practice turn taking.
  • Talk to her about the balls/colors. Pause like you would in a conversation and see if she responds. It doesn’t have to be sentences. Even if you say “Look at this pretty red ball” and he looks at you and responds “red ball”, you are still practicing  social skills. At this age though we like to see responses of at least 2-3 words.

Keep in mind that many of the ideas for older toddlers can be introduced earlier. For example, it never hurts to introduce spatial concepts (in/out), adjectives (rough, smooth) or verbs earlier. You aren’t likely to come across a 12 month old who will say or even point to something smooth, but he is always learning and more exposure is never a bad thing. You can also engage a preschooler by making a game of hide and seek, for example. Have him/her find objects mixed in the balls and ask him/her what you do with it. Or work on identifying colors, using adjectives, etc.

You can purchase this toy on Amazon. (this is about the best price I’ve found). Disney Mickey Having a Ball with 20 Balls.*

As always, requests are welcomed (and encouraged!) if you have a toy your child loves and you’d like some ideas on how to make it more functional for speech development. And please remember this is not meant to be an all encompassing list, just something you can use to help.

In case you missed the first three posts of this series:

Talk to Me Baby: The Cruise and Groove Ballapalooza

Talk to me Baby: Puppy and Friends Learning Table

Talk to Me Baby: Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Activity Puzzle.

*This post does contain an affiliate link. Typically though, Amazon has the best prices and I do a lot of shopping on there anyway. If you buy one through my link I’ll earn a few cents. Nothing big.


Well, I certainly never intended to go over a week without a blog. After the twins got over their fevers over the weekend, I got sick. I’d had congestion on and off that I attributed to allergies or a cold, but it turned into a sinus infection. I called in sick to work last Wednesday when I woke up with a fever. I had planned to blog since I was home but felt too cruddy. I spent the day on the couch watching Gilmore Girls, which, other than being sick was really enjoyable.

Instead of my usual half day Thursday I worked a full day. My parents were down for a visit from Thursday night to Monday night, so it was a very busy weekend. I do have some cute pictures, though.

cruising the mall

cruising the mall

naps on grandpa

naps on grandpa

stroller footsie

stroller footsie

Running wise, I’m still scheduled for my first half marathon this year a week from Sunday. Frustratingly, I’ve been having issues with my SI joint/pyriformis the last week or so. During my 11 mile run I had to stop and stretch and my chiropractor said during my last visit that my pelvis is beginning to turn again. This is particularly aggravating not only because of my two halves I have scheduled, but the full marathon I’d hoped to complete next spring, and because I honestly started to believe that periodic chiropractic visits and stretching would be enough. I doubt its a coincidence that its been acting up as I’ve increased my mileage, though all my muscles ended up REALLY tight from being sick. Forward bends and downward dogs actually hurt when I did my yoga last Sunday.

Still, I’ve been considering either an orthopedic specialist or sports medicine doc visit – if anyone has any experience in my particular injury or an idea as to which doc would be more worth my time, please let me know. I’d appreciate any advice!

We also did our first stroller run over the weekend as it was finally cool enough to run with the twins. Um, they are a little heavier this year. Pushing almost 50lbs of toddler is no joke!

one and done

one and done

I officially failed at my 30 day challenge attempt. After the twins got sick and I got sick it fell off the calendar. I do have plans to complete it still, but nowhere near within 30 days at this point :)

I still plan to finish my invisalign “review”, have a guest post to write this weekend, and of course, the monthly twin update is coming up soon. (woo!)

This also fell by the wayside lately, but don’t forget I am always looking for guest posts! The only requirement is honesty. Brutal honesty, if necessary.

You know you want to write a guest post!

Ten Reasons My Teething Toddler Threw a Tantrum

Oh my goodness. Remember how I mentioned both twins had a fever? Well, in addition to that, mother nature decided this would be a great time for Miles to start cutting THREE teeth (both top canines and a molar) at.the.same.time.

Needless to say, there were a few tantrums. A list of my favorites.

Ten Teething Toddler Tantrums (yes, this is similar to reasons why my son is crying, sans pictures)

1. I picked him up.

2. I put him down.

3. I tried to hand him a ball.

4. I offered him some frozen yogurt.

5. He finished the frozen yogurt.

6. I made him stop playing in the dog food.

7. I tried to dry him off after I took him out of the bathtub.

8. The TV screen turned black for 5 seconds while a new Baby Einstein started (actually, that may have been Abby).

9. I wouldn’t let him eat nail clippers.

10. I tried to offer him a teether.

Don’t be jealous :)


When it Rains

Its been a drizzly rainy week around here lately. I love this weather as a runner, but otherwise rain rain go away.

The title to this post really serves two purposes here.

Remember when I wrote about how a bacteria stole my birthday? And this post about a cruddy day?

Well I think I’ve topped it.

Let’s start with Monday. Bryan and I get into the car to take the twins to day care. It won’t start, so we jump it, assuming it needs a new battery. Wrong. The alternator is bad. After some hemming and hawing we take it to a local mechanic.

Tuesday Bryan texts me that the mechanic called. Supposedly, he’s spent 8 hours trying to replace the alternator (and CV joint), broke two tools and is so pissed he told Bryan to come get the car and never bring it back. He finds a kind neighbor to drive him to get the car, jumps it again, and then drives home and fixes it himself. How the mechanic couldn’t manage but he could remains a mystery to me.

Wednesday I wake up with faucet nose. Hello cold.

I've done it before, and I'll do it again

I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again

Thursday I meet a neighbor to take the twins for a walk. When we start, its misting outside. I have my (brand new) iPhone in the Bob Stroller pocket covered by the flap. After some walking we get caught in fairly heavy rain, and somehow the water has leaked through the flap into the pocket where it has collected a puddle WHERE MY IPHONE IS. Needless to say, it is no longer working.

Today, after 24 hours of drying it out, it still doesn’t work. I try to reactivate my old phone online, and Verizon keeps telling me to switch out my SIM card. HELLO VERIZON! iPhones don’t have a removable back! Abby wakes up with a fever. At 230 the daycare calls because guess what? Miles has one too! I Finally get my insurance claim in for my phone and its on backorder with absolutely no timeline as to how long it will take. (I finally got it reactivated with a phone call later)

Glass? Thanks, but I'll take the whole bottle

Glass? Thanks, but I’ll take the whole bottle

Bring on the weekend.