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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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toddlers

Do it Yourself

A few days ago, I read a really eye opening article.

A typical morning around here consists of about 23432897 million requests for something, from me, made by the twins. It doesn’t matter if daddy or grandma or freaking Santa Claus were around, it is me they are asking.

Mommy I need apple juice. Mommy I need yogurt. Mommy I need peanut butter. Mommy she took my toy. All before I’ve even managed to scoop the coffee out of the container and into the pot.

Bryan works way over the “full time” number of hours each week and has to add even more than that over the next three. Combine that with pending shoulder surgery that is going to leave him one handed for who knows how long (he can’t lift more than a cup of coffee with his right hand for 6 weeks, at least), and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed.

So, this article.

It talked about this 4 year old who gets up each morning, brushes her teeth, gets herself dressed, makes her own waffle and eats while her mom gets ready for the day. The night before she helps pick out her outfit for the next day. The twins are almost four, so I think to myself this is perfect. It is time for more independence. I will simply require them to do more for themselves. I share this idea with Bryan, and come Sunday night, I am ready to tackle the week.

That is, until reality hit me.

Monday morning rolls around. No one helped pick out outfits the night before because we were all up late at my parents watching the Superbowl, so instead I figure I’ll have them help me pick out an outfit this morning. I have some extra time. No problem. Miles is easy. He wants a t-shirt and we fight a bit over shorts vs pants, but otherwise his outfit is complete in about 2 minutes. Next is Abby’s turn. My sweet Abby. She turns down every.single. shirt or dress suggestion I make. All of them. I literally go through every option in her closet. Finally a little frustrated, I tell her to choose her own. She says no, and sits on the floor. I pick out a dress myself, telling her if she won’t pick one I will, which results in a tantrum because she didn’t want that outfit either.

So this is going well.

Step two is teaching Miles how to make his own waffle. This actually goes ok, and Miles seems excited about the idea of doing this on his own. Except when it comes to spreading the peanut butter. Then he just simply “can’t do it”. I make him try anyway. Abby chooses yogurt and picks one from the shelf, and hands it to me to open, asking for a spoon. I tell her to get one herself. No, she tells me. *sigh*.

WHY CHILD WHY?

After breakfast, I try to catch them and encourage them to get dressed before they start playing, but no luck. I’m pretty sure I ask them to “please put your underwear and clothes on” a dozen times to deaf ears, each request slightly louder than the previous one. Finally I give up before I lose it, lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook for a few minutes, before I end up helping them get dressed. This lady with her independent 4 year old must be living in an alternate universe.*

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*I will say that after a couple more days of attempts, each day is getting a little better, so it is a work in progress and I will take it. Abby even picked out her dress last night after rejecting only 10 or so other choices. #winning

 

 

Getting on Board

One of the things I looked forward to, when I was daydreaming thinking about the fun things I’d do with my future kids, was sit around the table as a family and play board games.

When the twins turned 3, I bought them the game Candy Land – hopeful but not expecting much. I’ve played the game more times than I can count at work, but always with a kid that was at least 4. When I pulled it out for the twins, they promptly started turning over ALL the cards and placed the pieces wherever the hell they wanted.

I put the game away for awhile, wondering who actually managed to successfully play it with a three year old, since its rated 3-6.

Unfortunately, so many of the cards got lost that I had to throw it away before I could even try again.

Today, I made a random run to Target, thinking maybe they’d be old enough. The twins have really been into “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story lately, so I picked up what is essentially the caterpillar version of Chutes and Ladders. In the car, I told the twins I had a present for them, which of course elicited some excitement. I pulled the game out and Miles asked to see it, prompting Abby to ask where “her game” is.

Yeah, I should have seen that one coming.

Abby is still throwing a fit when we get home and I open the box, while I correct Miles by saying it is for BOTH of them, not just him. Abby still doesn’t want to play.

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I don’t want that ONE GAME!

But I set it up anyway, putting together the blue caterpillar for Miles and the yellow for myself, when Abby predictably walks over, sits at the table, and steals my caterpillar.

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notice she has the yellow one

We each take a turn, both placing their caterpillar on the correctly colored space. What they won’t do, however is leave it there. Instead, they “walk around” the board. Then, once they figure out the food pieces flip over (it changes the slides), its all over and has turned into a play acting game involving feeding caterpillars fruit.

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would you like an apple?

So no, even though the game is rated 3-6, we are NOT at the point where we want to play it as written, however they have spent the last hour pretending to be their various daycare teachers, lining up the kids at the fence and to go outside (FREEZE! LINE UP!), so it isn’t a total loss.

I guess family game night will have to wait 🙂

Oblivious to the Obvious

I may be somewhat biased, but I feel like my kids are pretty smart. They have great pretend play skills, they’ve mostly mastered third person pronouns, they (mostly) use plurals and correct past tense. Most of the time their questions, albeit repetitive (mommy can I have milk? Mommy can I have milk?) make total sense.

At least until recently.

Most of the time I aim to fit my workout in between the time Bryan drops the kids off at daycare on the way to the high school and when I have to be at work. But sometimes they are at home with me, as was the case twice this week.

After a bit of encouragement, the two joined me on the third floor for my 5 mile tempo run. A tempo run (or what is supposed to be “comfortably uncomfortable”) is challenging enough in itself, so I was hoping they could entertain themselves with the IPAD for 40 minutes and leave me alone.

Right. Dream on.

After a blissfully uninterrupted half mile warm up, I cranked up the speed, and almost immediately noticed I had company. Miles walked up to the treadmill. He looked at it. He looked at me. He asked:

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

Uh….*pant pant*, I’m running *pant pant*. What does it look like I’m doing? *gasp gasp*

Satisfied, he walks away.

About 15 minutes later, and much more out of breath than before, Abby walks up to the treadmill.

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

…..I’M RUNNING.

“OH.”

Today I’m trying to squeeze 30 minutes on the bike trainer. The twins have seen me on this thing already at least 25 times. I get on the bike, I start pedaling, and low and behold Miles walks up and asks

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

*facepalm*

But wait, it gets better.

Unfortunately, although the twins are daytime potty trained, Miles STILL refuses to poop in the toilet 98% of the time. Finally recently he’s started feeling motivated by prizes. Over Christmas Bryan bought some trucks on clearance and showed them to him, telling him he could have them once he pooped. He’s earned one so far. Trying to follow in Abby’s footsteps, Miles decides he’s going to try, but then decides he can’t. I tell him that if he does go, there is a truck upstairs with his name on it.

“There are no names on the truck, mommy”

Well buddy, you got me there.

2016 Recap

 A recap of 2016. (Click the links to see a recap of 2011,  2012 , 2013, 2014 and 2015 )
2016 was actually a great, busy and productive year for me. Honestly, I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit in 2017.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
  • Finished an Ironman distance triathlon
  • Received an ACE award from my professional organization (after you earn 70 hours of continuing education over a consecutive 3 year period)
  • Won an age group award for the James Island Sprint Triathlon Series
  • Cleaned my house 15,000 times a day
  • Heard the word “mommy” 50  million times a day
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
2016

 

  • Finish a Half Ironman (bonus: this is also a bucket list item!) – Joke’s on me – I finished a full! 
  • Find something to invest some money in (stock, gold whatever) – nope
  • Start attending church more regularly ( or at all, really ) we did, finally!
  • Run a 5k in under 22 minutes nope, though this got trumped by resolution number one
  • Volunteer somewhere a few times this year bah – nope

2017

  • Get more involved in church
  • Run a 5k in under 22 minutes
  • PR a half marathon
  • Focus more on family
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

  • I’m in my 30’s, so yes
4. Did anyone close to you die?

  • Thankfully, no
5. What countries did you visit?
  • Still zero
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
  • The ability to take a deep breath before I get frustrated
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • January – Ran the Disney Marathon with (though I use the word with loosely) a childhood friend, and PR my marathon time
  • March – Ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon and PR my marathon time again! Tammie qualifies for Boston with plenty of time to spare!

 

  • March – run my first team relay, and also happened to be the first time I get (and run with) bronchitis

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  • May – twins turn THREE!

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  • September – South Carolina gets hit with Hurricane Matthew, which, thankfully, is much milder than originally predicted. We sat the storm out. We lost power for a few hours, but luckily sustained no other major damage.

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  • October -Finish Ironman North Carolina, though in a bit of a different way. The hurricane forced closure of half the bike course, turning my swim, bike, run into a swim, bike, run, bike.

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

  • Ironman. Definitely Ironman.
9. What was your biggest failure?
  • Frustration, just too much unnecessary frustration
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  • NO! WOO HOO!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
  • New king size bedroom set
12. Where did most of your money go?
  • House stuff, surprisingly. We had to replace the A/C unit, re paved the patio and replaced our bedroom set.
13. What did you get really excited about?

  • Hitting new PR’s and milestones in training
  • Becoming CKTP certified
  • Our pending vacation in January! A real, non race related one!
14. What song will always remind you of 2015?
  • Rise – Katy Perry
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


  • – happier or sadder? happier!
  • – thinner or fatter?  about the same
  • – richer or poorer? poorer, but thats ok.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

  • Really nothing aside from maybe spend more time with family. That is my focus for 2017. There was a LOT of focus on me this year.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

  • get frustrated over unimportant stuff
  • cared so much about a clean house
18. How did you spend Christmas?
  • At home. We opened a few presents at home and then had another at my sisters house. We also had Christmas dinner there. Christmas was cool this year because he twins are finally old enough to understand Santa and presents.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
  • This Is US
  • Sister Wives (yes, still)
  • Gilmore Girls!
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
 I didn’t read much this year either, but I enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s new book and am recently re-reading some of the Left Behind series
21. What was your favorite music from this year?


  • Rise – Katy Perry
  • The Weeknd – Starboy
  • Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
  • Stand By You – Rachel Platten
22. What were your favorite films of the year
I think I honestly watched ONE movie that I hadn’t already seen.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
  • I turned 34. My birthday fell on a Friday this year, so I did a 4 hour training ride and then hosted a birthday/tri party at our neighborhood pool
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
  • I don’t think anything would have brought satisfaction that I’d consider immeasurable.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

  • Scrub pants, t shirts and workout clothes.
26. What kept you sane?

  • Exercise!
  • Getting good consistent sleep!
  • Plexus
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

  • You can always do more than you think you can do

Something Yucky This Way Comes

Dogs do gross things.

As it turns out, so do toddlers.

I fully expected to scold the dogs for doing disgusting things. In fact, just a few days ago when Miles had a random vomiting spell, Bryan told me that Chance ate all of it while the two of them showered (ew, EW EW). What I didn’t expect was that I’d be scolding the toddlers for similarly odd things (no toddler ate vomit, I assure you).

Comment with  your guesses, and I’ll post the answers in a later post. Some are applicable to both.

Ready?

 

1. ” _____, don’t lick the oven.”

2. “Bryan, ____ got into the dirty diapers again.”

3. “Um, thanks for the dead bug.”

4. “_____, don’t eat Sadness.”

5.  “Bryan, ______ peed on the floor again.”

6. “UGH _______, why did you eat that?”

7.  “EW! _______ GET OUT OF THE GARBAGE!”

8. “I’m pretty sure ____ gave me something that was out of ____’s mouth.”

9. “I really wish_____ would stop licking the floor”

10. “_____, that’s not food”

 

Life with Twins – We are Three

The twins had their three year well check today (apparently they take three year olds’ blood pressure now) and the first thing the doc asked when she came in was, naturally, how are they doing?

“They are toddlers”, I said.

She nodded, knowingly (she has one too).

I think that I can sum up toddlerhood in one sentence: “Some days they are great, and other days I want to put them to bed at 6 o’clock”. (ok, ok, 4 o’clock)

“Sounds like you have a good understanding.”

I REALLY REALLY hope that I don’t eat my words later here, because all I’ve heard from others is how much worse three is than two. I know they literally just turned three, but to me they’ve been three for the last month at least. SO FAR, three has been much easier for me than 2 and a half to three was. We had SO. MUCH. WHINING for a few months that I literally said out loud (more than once) “this is why I work”. It seems like something clicked though and they are finally responding more positively when I try to re-direct from the whining.

On the positive side, we have begun to see what I like to call Toddlerisms or Toddler Logic, and it is hilarious. This was a real conversation last week:

Me: Miles, do you need a diaper change?

Miles: no

Me: Do you want to pee in the potty?

Miles: no, my feet are dirty.

Abby weighs a little over 30 lbs and is 3 feet 2 inches tall, putting her at the 90th percentile for height. I am not sure where that came from. She LOVES to color, and literally colors the pages of a coloring book to the point where there is very little blank page left. Once, she pulled one I threw away out of the trash, and still found somewhere on it to color, even though she had a brand new one on the table. Despite weighing 2 lbs less than Miles, she is our eater. She also spends a decent amount of time singing. Recently, she has begun to hate getting her picture taken, unless it is in selfie mode. In that instance, she will let you take as many as you want. She loves to snuggle under blankets, and lay in our bed and pretend she is asleep. She has also started to become fascinated with doors, but only because she likes to pretend she is coming/going home from work.

Favorite Food:  ice cream

Favorite Toy: colors

Favorite movie:  Robot Movie (Big Hero 6) or Anger (Inside Out)

Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse

Favorite Book: Caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

Miles is a little over 3 feet tall and weighs 32 lbs. He is “all boy” and loves to jump, climb and move. He is the one who says “mommy, I want to run”, which makes me more than happy. He could take or leave food, but eats enough to make me happy….unless its a vegetable. Those, he will lick, and put back down. He actually likes playing in the play kitchen and “cooking” pizza and cake. He will “cook” lots of carrotscorn (thats what I call them) but won’t eat it. He actually loves getting his picture taken, often shouting “cheese!” before I even get the camera feature on my phone working. He likes to ride his “motorcycle” (tricycle) and scooter, and just explore and walk outside.

Favorite Food: cereal

Favorite Toy: firetruck

Favorite movie:  Robot Movie (Big Hero 6) or Anger (Inside Out)

Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse

Favorite Book: Caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

I am thankful they like the same stuff generally, at least right now, because it alleviates fighting. Bryan did tell me yesterday though that he asked them what they wanted to watch. It went down like this:

Bryan: what do you want to watch?

Miles: Robot Movie

Bryan: what does Abby want to watch?

Miles: Abby, say Robot movie

I think because I see daily how difficult it can be for some kids to learn language, that their language skills still amaze me. They do still mix up pronouns, but I have to say that I find “mommy, pick you up” and “Abby push YOU” too cute to correct constantly.

They stopped napping at home months ago, but still nap at daycare (of course), which has pushed bedtime till about 830. They are still not *sigh* potty trained. We actually were doing pretty well with it, and then suddenly they stopped caring and so did I. About a month ago I tried the whole let them run around in underwear for a day thing and failed miserably.They move up to the next room in daycare in June where they really focus on potty training, and to be 100% honest I’m kind of hoping it’ll happen there. One can only hear ” NO PEE POTTY” so many times.

Picture time!

  • We rock some shades

 

  • Easter

 

  • Abby’s first haircut (and ice cream, of course)

 

  • Friends come visit and we hit the beach

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  • We meet great grandma

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  • A series of naps

 

  • Visit to the zoo

Man, I’m going to blink, and they will be four.

2 Weeks To Myrtle

If you’ve been paying attention (because why wouldn’t you – these posts are SO interesting), you’ll notice I tweaked my title, because I finally registered for the race this week.

Monday – cross train. Swim 1600 meters. Nothing exciting here. I did a 400m warm up, 800 meter of various drills, and then a 400m cool down.

Tuesday – tempo. 2 miles easy, 3 miles @ 7:35, 1 mile easy. It was warmer for this run, which meant my sinuses were acting up, so it was a little rougher than I would have preferred. But, I got it done, and that’s all that matters.

Wednesday – speed work. 8×800 with 1:30 rest between each. Goal pace @ 6:46. It was warm again and I was unmotivated to start. Somewhere I found it though and ended up with some pretty even splits: 6:37, 6:35, 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:44, 6:46. I did do the last two slower on purpose, but truth was I was tired and I’m not sure if I could have done them faster if I tried.

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Thursday – easy run. 4.5 miles @ 9:23 pace. Yeah, I was supposed to cross train, but I cheated. It was a nice cool morning and I had planned to run solo, but Bryan was running late so I asked the twins if they wanted to go to school with Bryan or run with mommy.

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run with mommy!

Thursday was also the day our Palmetto 200 group had our meeting and the twins joined me there as well. Abby ate all the macaroni and cheese, and Miles stole my apple. They colored on a teammates info paper.

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Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 10 miles @ 8:35. Goal was race pace, and we nailed it!

Sunday – active rest day. 50 minutes of yoga….with Miles.

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Life With Twins – Two and Three Quarters

I check my Facebook every morning specifically for the post about my memories on that day over the past several years. Sometimes an old post will come up from my pregnancy or the first couple years of the twins’ lives and I like to read them again. It’s amazing how fast time has gone and what I’d forgotten.

In three months, these two will be THREE.

I just read over the last update to jolt my memory on what exactly I wrote about, and even in a short span of three months it’s amazing how much more the twins are like KIDS than toddlers.

We have conversations:

A grocery store trip with Miles:
Mommy, whats that? Chips
What’s that? Chips
What’s that? Chips
What’s that? Still chips
Oh, chips.
Mommy, what’s that? Chips

And so do they:

*Miles roars like a lion.*
Abby: that’s enough
Miles: stop it
Abby: no screaming
Miles: be quiet. 
It’s like I’m listening to myself, only in much cuter voices.

They really are smart. More often than not, they are using full, grammatically correct sentences. I’m talking plurals, possessives, verbs (past and present tense), adjectives, you name it. Yes, they still have bouts of meaningless babble, and that is what helps me hold onto their “baby-ness” just a little bit longer. They can both count to 20. Abby knows all upper and lowercase letters, along with some letter sounds. Miles knows all uppercase and a few lowercase. They sit at the big people table now. They drink out of regular (albeit plastic) cups. They watch movies (I’m pretty sure we’ve seen Inside Out about 50 times – no lie). They draw (scribbly) circles. They “make” pizza.

They’ve started eating a few vegetables again, but still prefer things like hot dogs (sigh) and macaroni and cheese. I make myself feel better by buying the organic kind. Organic junk. Mom of the year. Eggs, cereal, peanut butter, and of course sweets are also favorites. Abby LOVES ice cream.

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They go to bed between 8-8:30 and wake up between 6-7, usually closer to 6. They still nap at daycare but not so much at home, unless they are in the car. If they don’t nap over a weekend we will put them to bed around 7, which usually works as long as we’ve been pretty busy all day. They still love to “go to school” but pitch a fit if they can’t “ride in the truck (SUV)”, for reasons that I don’t quite understand. We’ve visited McDonalds often lately to “play on the slide”.

Yes, they still throw tantrums:

It is 6:25am, and we have already had tantrums for the following reasons:
I won’t let them eat ranch flavored veggie straws for breakfast
Abby doesn’t want cereal
Abby doesn’t want peanut butter
Abby doesn’t want to be shut in the pantry
I yelled at Miles for shutting her in the pantry
We are out of eggs
Miles dropped his car
They want milk, like, yesterday
Nevermind, Abby doesn’t want milk

Where is my coffee?

No, they are still not potty trained. Ugh. Don’t even ask. #lazymom I *think* at least Miles is finally getting ready though, because several times he’s complained about being wet. (yet when I ask him if he wants to pee on the potty he screams NO PEE ON POTTY!!!!!)

I mean, they won’t go to kindergarten in diapers…..right?

It was a busy three months with Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and a trip to Disney.

Picture summary:

  • We have family pictures taken

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  • My aunt visits and we explore downtown Summerville

 

  • We enjoy Christmas presents (though still didn’t quite get the concept)
  • Santa and Waffle House were pretty fun too
  • Yes, Abby still loves food

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  • We ride (aka sit on rides) at the mall
  • Still making funny faces
  • Enjoying birthday parties
  • And staying up late
  • And finally, the best of all, DISNEY !

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We Solemnly Swear We Are Up To No Good

There was a debate before the twins were even born about whether they would share a room or have separate rooms. Partly because I wasn’t ready to give up the spare bedroom and partly because I thought they’d enjoy being together, my vote was that they’d stay together. They have been together since conception, after all, why separate them when they are born?

My aunt and I, interestingly, were just recently having a conversation about how long they could feasibly share a room, and what the plan might be for it once they grow out of their toddler beds. A few nights ago, I shared this discussion with Bryan, saying that even if we did separate them, they’d likely keep each other awake trying to get to the others’ room anyway. I would rather they be together until they ask for their own space.

An hour or so later, around 9:30pm (yes, I go to bed early) I headed up to bed myself and noticed the light in their room was on. Great. I have not enjoyed the fact that they are now tall enough to reach light switches without the help of a step stool. I opened the door waiting for them to scurry like roaches, and instead found this:

 

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I am asleep – do I look asleep?
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I can only guess that this is some pathway to the light switch
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Zzzzz

Well, at least they are in it together.

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