Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Update

So this weekend started off crappily, I'm not gonna lie.

Z was scheduled for her 18 month check-up on Friday, and shots were involved, so I anticipated that end-of-Friday and most-of-Saturday would be suck.  What I didn't anticipate was the the other baby in the house, the man-baby, would also be sick.  He stayed home from work on Friday.

I cleaned most of Friday.  I cleaned off the DVR, and I cleaned all over the house with a focus on cleaning off surfaces so that MY MAID can do her good and thorough work on Tuesday!  I struggled but mostly succeeded in not being bitter that Preston wasn't helping much.  He was sick, after all.

We went to pick up the Z early from daycare for her appointment.  Note to future self: 15 minutes from daycare to doctor.  She ate an ENTIRE BOX of fiddlesticks throughout the waiting and the appointment.  I brought them thinking to treat her after her shots, but she was honestly done with most of them before the Dr. even showed up.  She weighed 24 lbs (40%, up from 20% at a year), was 33 inches tall (90%, up from 40% at a year), and I don't remember the number for her head, but it was 97% (up from like 80% at a year)!!  My little bug is turning in to a tall smart skinny bug!

Doctor said she is way ahead of the curve on all targets.  She said she doesn't even ask if they use pronouns (much less correctly) until they are 2!  And over 100 words at 14 months is off the charts. 

And then they gave her shots.  Sad face.

And it was weird, it was kind of like she immediately felt bad.  I got her stopped crying, and we went out to the waiting room for the 15 minute wait for no allergic reactions, and she just collapsed against me like she was exhausted.  And by the time we got home, she was almost immediately fussy.

And the fussy carried over into Saturday.

We actually were ALL running a fever on Saturday.  Every last sick one of us.  Not my best parenting day, but we let Z have a LOT of access to the iPad on Saturday.  Because when she plays with the iPad, she doesn't fuss.  (Zombie babies don't fuss.)

Nevertheless, we made a few little trips to preserve our (adult) sanity.  Grocery store in the morning.  And we were perking up just a bit in the evening, so we ran up to Zales Outlet (because I asked to get some of my broken jewelry fixed for my birthday) and Old Navy.  Old Navy was mostly a bust: P got 2 jeans and I got a pair of shorts, but I was sad because I picked up 10ish things that I thought were cute, but nothing was cute ON me.  Sigh.  That little outing was a little too much, so we headed home, ate leftovers, and crashed.

Sunday the baby woke happy, thank goodness!  It was a normal day of cleaning, a little cooking (but not a big cooking day, certainly).  We took a walk in the morning, and a longer walk to the park in the evening.

She calls it a seal the first time, every time, but she knows it is a whale.

RUNNING down the driveway.

"Hi Mr. Turtle, what are you doing?  He's walking.  Bye bye Mr. Turtle, see you later!"
And because Monday morning is still a little weekendish in my mind: got up this morning 2 hours before the butt crack of dawn.  Jumped up quickly so as not to lose my nerve, but still dawdled enough to hit the road at my normal time.  Ran 4 loops in 35:30, which looking back at my logs isn't fast, but the first 3 were in 26:30, which is fast.  Weird.  It was hot, maybe 75 with 90% humidity.  Nasty.  When I got back Preston freaked out about my red-purple face which looked like I had put a crazy mask on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I hired a maid!

And I am so excited!

They start Tuesday, so this weekend I won't clean clean anything.  Instead I'll be trying to de-clutter so I can get the most out of their cleaning services. The first time they do a deep "spring" cleaning where they clean all the things.  Pretty sure they'll be in my house all day.  I'm so excited I can barely sit still!  I've got visions dancing around my head where I actually am able to keep up with the laundry, the cooking, the dishwashing, the filing/mail, and where Preston keeps up with the trash and catboxes because we don't have to worry about mopping, vacuuming, toilet cleaning, dusting, counter-washing, etc.  And even more idyllic visions where when we get a box from my mom or from AD's house, we ACTUALLY OPEN IT AND PUT THE STUFF AWAY (or throw it away) instead of just adding it to the giant stack of boxes in the living room.  You know, because we have time to do stuff like that!  Because I have a maid!

I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


"Almost all employed women in heterosexual relationships live in households where the division of labor is grossly and visibly inequitable... The imbalance exists among all groups of women who live with men, incuding professional women. Married women who work for pay average about thirty-three hours of housework per week -- about two-thirds of the total household work. Married men who are employed do fourteen to eighteen hours of housework a week." -- Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Lashever.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Dear blogger,



And on to the post.

Last week was TLA Annual Conference. I went to sessions and got ideas and it was generally good.  I once again did not do the Fun Run, because I couldn't make it downtown in time after I dropped the Z off.  Someday I'm going to DO THAT RUN again.  And I'm going to be fast and badass.  I got Judy Blume's and Orson Scott Card's autographs.  I screwed that up, though - note for next year: bring my own hardback books.  The publishers are morons who only provide paperbacks.  And often not the beloved title that induced you to stand in line forever.  Ugh!  I volunteered for a committee, good girl.  Hopefully something will come out of it this time.  Every year my boss wants me to apply for this leadership honor thing, and every year I turn her down because I don't have the service to back up an application.  So I've set out to get a service record.  Because I'm a professional.  Or something.

TLA always leaves me exhausted.  Friday afterwards I just went home and "worked really hard" at clearing off the DVR.  It was great.

After that, though, well... I was in a total funk this weekend.  I'm not gonna lie.  Saturday the baby was fussy and so was I.

You know, I hate the condition of my house.  Hate it.  I really need help and feel like I'm not ever going to be able to dig myself out from under the pile.  You know, we make so much trash, but somehow there is *always* more stuff coming in than going out.  I kind of lost it, and I think Preston is on board with us getting a maid, now.

Having a little one changes everything, you know?  I always hate being in a funk, but I feel even shittier about it when I know it is bleeding over into my interactions with my kid.  But then I feel even funkier.  What a vicious cycle.

Monday, April 16, 2012

On Homes

So Preston will be inheriting AD's home.

This brings up the question: what are we going to do with it?  2 options, as I see it: sell it or rent it out.  (It is in a great location, but it smaller and older than our current house, so we don't want to live there.  Though it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that we'd eventually tear it down and build on that lot.  That is common in that neighborhood.)

I always figured we'd rent it.  It is paid for, in a desirable neighborhood with a great school, and we've always been vaguely interested in the landlording business.  I figure if we're going to try it, there's no better time.

Then Preston went to talk to his (CPA, lawyer) best friend, who advised him to sell it.  Thinks we'd lose money, or at best, break even.  This really freaked us out.

So we're still on the fence.  In the meantime, since Mr. CPA, Esquire caused us to re-think, we've been trying to figure out what we'd do with the money if we sold it.  One of the options is to take that money, sell our own house, and upgrade to a newer, better house in the same neighborhood.  They just happen to be building a new subdivision very close by, so yesterday we drove over.

Nice houses.  They cost more than we could ever afford... if we didn't sell AD's house.

There's even one that is currently being built, and for sale.  So I went online to the builder's website to look at the floorplan.

Oh. My. God.

This house is *perfect*.  Perfect y'all.  Freaking perfect. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, a 2 car garage extended so we could get cars AND tools inside.  Walk in closets.  A walk in pantry.  Open floorplan.  Porches.  A study.  Oh my god, I want this house.  Like yesterday.  Wow.  Wow, do I want that house!

And therein lies the danger of thinking too much.  (Or rather, getting ahead of yourself.  We are probably a year away from being able to buy.  Unless AD's house sold quickly.  (In this market, ha!))

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hurt Myself. (Again)

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings where you really don't want to get out of bed.  You are so deeply asleep when the alarm goes off at 4 that you really want to just turn over.

But I've turned over a new leaf, and after Easter's gluttony was over I promised myself that I'd get back on track with my diet and exercise.

So I dragged myself out of bed.  I procrastinated as long as possible, but finally hit the road only 5 minutes late, wearing my new shoes for only the second time.  I walked my typical quarterish mile warm-up, and broke into a (slow) run.  About half a mile later, I felt a pain in my right butt.  It actually felt kind of like the sciatica I had when I was preggo - a shooting nerve pain - but it was originating in my butt and radiating down my hamstring.  I immediately started walking and turned for home.

I've been taking ibuprofen and I foam rolled last night, but I'm still feeling a lingering, almost burning knotted sensation in my hamstring, maybe 6 inches above my knee.

This. BLOWS.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On Cars (Again)


Ok, I've done almost a complete 180 from the beginning of the thinking-about-new-car process, and I have finally decided on a category of automobile that I want to focus on: mid-size SUV.  I know, I know.  I just can't see replacing the Menace with something *smaller* when we vaguely talk about our family *growing*.  I will probably throw in a few "large" SUVs, too, for comparison's sake.

So, the contenders:
Toyota 4Runner (seats 7, 4WD available, USB inc., good off-road reviews)
Honda Pilot (seats 8, 4WD available, meh)
Ford Explorer (seats 7, Ford SYNC (meh), don't get Ecoboost, MyTouch (meh) 4WD available, good reviews overall)
Dodge Durango (Ugly, seats 7, no 4WD?? AWD available, RWD, "fun to drive" reviews, bluetooth streaming)
Kia Sorento (seats 7, great warranty, no off-road, meh)

Chevy Tahoe (large, pricey, seats 9, 4WD available, good gas mileage for size, rear seats have to be removed - don't fold down)
Nissan Pathfinder (seats 7, 4WD, V6 or V8)
Mazda CX-9 (seats 7, bluetooth streaming, "fun to drive", looks could be meaner)
Acura MDX (pricey, but great reviews, seats 7, "fun to drive", standard AWD, USB)
GMC Yukon (seats 9 - I was getting distracted by the end)
Toyota Sequoia (seats 9 - I was getting distracted by the end)

Hmmm... after going through all that, I think my favorites are Toyota 4Runner, Acura MDX, Dodge Durango, and Madza CX-9.

Friday, April 6, 2012

18 Months

Dear Z.O.E, Zoe!

You had two major verbal leaps this month.  We now have complete, multi-word sentences and phrases.  Like "I see it!"  and "Get down, kitty!".  Also, I swear, you're correctly using pronouns.  Because the other day, when you were running away from me squealing because I was trying to help you put on your pants, I said, "I'm not helping" and you repeated, "You're not helping"  I swear, this actually happened.  You have also used you->me appropriately.  Oh, and you repeated her first cuss word this month.  The f-word.  Because you don't go halfway.  (Bad mommy.)

Speaking of the pants, oh, the pants.  How I miss the days when I could just shove your little legs into pants and pull them up.  No longer.  You have to do it by yourself.  I can't even be anywhere near you.  You can get the pants on, it just takes forever, and multiple tries, and often they end up backwards, which is an affront to my analness.  But before the pants go on, there is a long process of you running/scrambling away from me saying "No!" so that I understand how unwelcome any help would be.  So that's fun.

The other contributing factor to the pants show is that now you sit on the potty.  We're still waiting for anything other than reading to actually occur on the potty, but after every diaper change (except the first one in the morning), you say, "Potty." and we say, "Do you want to go sit on the potty?" and you say, "OK!" (you have a reallllllllly cute inflection on OK, too) and run in there.  We're keeping 3 books in there, and you read all 3 each time, which gives you a decent amount of time to sit there.  I am very excited about this first step in potty training!

This all coincides with you moving up a room at school.  Moving up a room seems like it is more traumatic for the parents than it is for the Kid!  You have adjusted with absolutely no issue.  They had been sending you over for outside time with the bigger kid room for several weeks, so I think that helped.  And honestly, you were bored with your old room, and I think you were ready to welcome the new "work".  And all your friends had already gone over.  (Except 1, Brady, and you were asking to "See Bwa-dee" last night at dinner.  It was cute.  And heartbreaking.)  There are aspects of our parental adjustment that are awesome: easier drop-off/pick-up because we don't have to take shoes off to enter the room, laundry is done at school so no extra stuff to cart there and back each week, etc.  But there are things that are harder: no individual sheet each day (so no info on how you ate, slept, and poo'd), milk and snacks provided by the school (less control over what you eat - oh how I cringed when the teacher was telling me about how much you love animal crackers! (Of course you love them, you're my child.  You are genetically destined to love all things with sugar.  Which is exactly why I wasn't even introducing them to you.  Because let's face it: ever since you went to Toddler 1, yeah, you're not eating dinner very well any more.)), and generally new teachers to get to know and (hopefully) like.  The toddler room in general seems like a less coddley place.  And while you seem fine by it, it is hard for me!

I do have several stories for you.  I went to pick you up the other day.  You didn't notice me, because the teacher was about to read a book, and you love books.  All the other kids were wiggling around and only halfway paying attention, but you, you were sitting right at the teacher's knee, Indian style, staring up at her.  You didn't move the whole time, except your mouth to say the answers.  You looked totally enthralled, and the teacher kept commenting on your attention span.  She was also really impressed that you knew which animal made all the sounds, and she was expecting me to be impressed by your performance, which I wasn't, because I know you've known those sounds forEVER.  Old hat, baby. :-)  I was impressed by your attention, though.  You looked like such a big girl, sitting there and listening to the teacher.

And then yesterday morning when I went to drop you off, the teacher told me you gave her a heart attack the day before.  Apparently when you finished eating she told you to put up your dishes.  When she turned back around you were gone.  She couldn't find you anywhere.  She had to gather up all the other kids in a line like they do when y'all go outside, and she walked out of the room and saw that you had gone to the Infant Room and given your dishes to Miss Mary, because apparently that's where they go!  Funny, sweet, and a little heartbreaking that you miss your old room like that.

And one more, and I do think this one is truly funny: driving home with you and your Daddy the other day and we saw a fire truck.  Your Daddy was telling you about the truck and that it had a fireman driving it.
You: 'Sat?
Daddy: Fireman.  (But he said it very clearly, like Fire. Man.)
You: Fiyah mat?
Daddy: Yes.
You: HOT!  (holding your little hand out towards the fire truck in your sign for danger, hot!)
I laughed my ass off, kiddo.  Seriously.  Because you were cute, because you know fire is hot, and because of the double meaning of the thing.

Oh, and you've also started a bit of pretend play this month.  The other night you kept "feeding" a Dora doll your dinner.  And when you are at Gaga's, you'd lean over and put the bubble stick in front of your toy puppy's mouth and say, "Blow, puppy, blow really hard!"  And this morning you were chasing the cats with a cloth trying to get them to blow their noses, lol!

"Blooo, puppee, blo reall har!"
Hmm, what else?  First rodeo.  First time climbing up and sliding down the slide all by yourself.  First burger and fries (cringe).  First sip of milkshake (I cringed as you instantly started saying and signing more. Rather like the funnel cake.)  And first funnel cake.  Wow, this month has really been the month to end the your lifetime of clean eating.  Guess it had to happen some time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bellaire Trolley Run Race Report

I am really pleased with how this race went for me.

8:00 start time, 6:30-7:30 packet pick-up led to a 5am sleeping in wake up call for me.  Drank my coffee, woke up the baby and nursed her, got ready as quickly as possible, on the road by 6:30 with a pancake in Z's hand, arrived around 7.  It was easy to grab the packet, make my deposit in the restroom, then went outside to watch the kids mile.  I really think Z'll be old enough for this next year!  (If she wants, no pressure.)  Some parents ran next to their tykes with a stroller in case the little one got too tired and needed a ride.  I think that's a great idea!  Especially for the first time.  And P says he can totally handle a mile with the Z. :-)

As for me, I really wanted a post-Z 5K PR (sub-30:36).  I really really wanted to go sub-30.  In my mind, when I finally (back in the day) went sub-30, that was when I made my running breakthrough and that was when I really started getting speedier.  So sub-30 is where I want to go now!  But I honestly wasn't sure my training would support it.  I feel like I've been sloooooow in training.

So I lined up a ways back.  I was just wanting to try and peg low 9's.  Started off running, glanced down and saw 8:54 pace, and I wasn't feeling it!  I don't know what it is about that first mile of a race, but it is absolutely *magical* for me!  There was a skinny old guy (really skinny, shirtless, probably 80) in front of me that I started using as a rabbit because he was holding a nice steady pace.  I kept on him until the U-turn where I passed him (I think I hold good lines in turns) and never saw him again.  I heard him and another old guy complaining about the turns as I passed them.  Well, that second old guy, who was wearing a 3/4 cut off shirt with like 3 inches of midriff showing, passed me back and was holding a nice pace, so I used him as a rabbit up through the first water stop where I lost him because I walked it.

Oh, I was really thirsty when I started the race, and that was a mistake.  I was really feeling desperate for water by the first stop about 1.4 miles in.  (And it was hot, probably 70+.)

Right around a mile we ran past the starting line and I saw P and Z.  I called out "Zoë" and started waving, and she immediately saw me.  Preston didn't until I was way past them.  He said she cried when I was running away, poor thing!

Anyways, I walked that water stop, and after a little water I felt better.  I was nervous about the quick walk break because I was afraid when I started running again I'd slow way down, but that wasn't really a problem.

As usual in this race, the hardest part was the loop around the high school.  That is when you're farthest away from the finish line, but you know you've still got several turns before the straightaway back to the finish.  I powered through (but slowed some), promising myself another quick walk break at the water station on the way back.

The cool thing about this race is that you can see the finish line from almost a mile out.  It is so far that you aren't even sure that is what you're seeing.  But I knew that was it, and I kept telling myself I could put up with anything for only as far as I can see, so I pushed it.

Final time: 29:36. Yay! 9:32 a mile.  13th in my age group, which was higher than I expected.

My little girl was waiting for me just past the line, and I took her very warm little self into my very warm sweaty arms and snuggled her and apologized for scaring her when I ran away.  And we went over to the post-race party, got some grub, and hit the road.

My 5K PR was at this race, years ago, and I've been reflecting on how it seems a little sucky to be so thrilled with a time that is 4 minutes and 30 seconds slower than my PR.  But this was a good showing for my fitness level at this time. I want to get back in PR shape, and this race was just what I needed in that journey at this time.  Hopefully next year I'll be back and faster than ever!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Goal Review

Goals for the Year:
Lose 12 pounds in 2012.  Weight on 1/1 was 138.8.  Weight on 3/1 was 133.2.  Weight 4/1 was 133.8.  Suck.
Read at least 12 books (other than to my child) in 2012.  1 book read in March, bringing the grand total to 6.
Race 12 times in 2012. Finally, finally, finally raced.  Finally!  1.  Race report is coming, I promise.
And I have one other secret 12 goal. No progress this month, holding at 4.

Goals for March:
Continued progress towards 2012 goals.  Yay!
Keep eating out to a minimum - maximum once a week.  Fail.  Massive fail.  Don't wanna talk about it fail.
Get our respective moms off the last 2 of our respective accounts - one paper filed, one downloaded and just needs filling out.
Consolidate assets (from 4 financial firms to 2) and in the process balance our "portfolio" (still really feels weird to say that - isn't that something adults do??) - can't til those pesky moms get removed.  Have a plan for the balancing.
Work on a Will. Fail. 
Oh, and finish taxes!!  STILL haven't clicked submit.  Gah!
And finish February's goals that I passed on:

Start an IRA for Preston: yes!
Start a 529 for Zoe: yes!
Get Preston into direct deposit: fail.  Still not working much.
Get the last automatic payment to stop coming out of the credit card account that I want to stop using: done, yay!

So I'm really just running a month behind, lol!

Goals for April:
Continued progress towards 2012 goals.
Get the diet back under control.  Period.  April 1 was a bad day.  April 7 will be a bad day.  There is no need for any other bad days this month.  Period.
Get back on my bike.  Outside, trainer, wherever!
Financial goals: get the moms off the accounts, balance/consolidate, get AD's POD accounts into P's name, come up with a plan for AD's accounts and at least partially implement it, taxes.