Sunday, February 27, 2011


I am hoping I am back on track to a regular running routine. For three weeks I was terribly ill with a horrid sinus infection. Then I traveled back east where running was just not possible. Now that I am home, the weather has turned pretty cold and it even dropped some snow here but I am not letting that get in my way.

The only thing that might get my in way these days is the lack of running clothes that I can actually fit into that are not shorts. Today, I dug out some old extra large items I had stuffed away. Perfect.

Despite a rough night's sleep (due to a Peanut developing a cold), I decided I wanted, no, I NEEDED a run this morning. My weekday job has been silently killing me with stress for various reasons. On Saturday I worked at the store which I generally enjoy because I like the people I work with but when I got home I was beat. I probably sold more shoes and articles of clothing on Saturday than I have since I started. It is getting harder to bend down and hand someone their shoes with out ticking off Trailbaby. It will give me a strong kick me in the ribs every so often but I don't mind.

But this morning, I wanted out. Alone. I woke up channeling my favorite runner/blogger/writer/mother of all time.  She's my idol in so many ways and a lot of what she writes speaks to me. She will often write how a certain run "cleansed her" in some way or another. That is what I needed today. So I grabbed what I could and I set out on a new route that I have been mentally planning now for a week.

It started with a down hill and then some flat sections and then led me into a residential neighborhood with a lot of rolling hills. It was so peaceful. It wasn't super early, maybe 8 am but the streets and homes were quiet. It was awesome. As I ran, I thought about my job(s), my friends, my goals post baby etc. I think my mind has been so overloaded lately that it needed this quiet time. Physically I felt great. My heart rate stayed within a comfortable range, minus some major hills that reduced me to a walk. No aches and pains. Just me running outside in the sunshine.

I even brought my camera as I knew I'd pass a few pretty views.

this local elementary school tucked within a neighborhood

that also has an amazing view of Folsom lake
lucky students!

you can't see it in the photo, but I could
see the skyline of downtown Sacramento

After a while, I realized that I needed to get going. The Peanut had swim lessons later this morning so I had to start moving again and stop taking photos.

my route back however, was completely uphill
that way!

I totally loved the hills. Some I walked, some I ran but either way, it felt great to be using muscles that have not seen much "work" in a while. Overall, I only ran 3 miles which in comparison to runs past is nothing but running 3 miles 6.5 months pregnant . . . go me.

When I got back to back to my house I immediately went to my favorite section of our driveway. The "stretching area!"
our rock wall aka my stretching zone

The rest of day I was in a great mood and I attribute that to just being out running again. I have been trying to figure out a way to fit this in two more times during the week which is hard these days what with an hour commute each way, the Peanut and her various swim lessons and my two other part-time jobs.

Later in the day we drove to a near by park with the Peanut to meet some friends. The Peanut had refused a nap and was slowly starting to get a runny nose. As we were getting ready to head to the park, she found a ball that she was super excited to share with her friends. While we were driving, I turned around to see the following . . .
she held onto the ball the entire way

Poor girl only managed a 20 minute nap but that was better than nothing. Tonight she is battling a fever, a runny nose and an upset tummy. I thought the sickies were gone from our house but when you have a kid in daycare, you're never in the clear. I am hoping she recovers quickly and refrains from passing this on to both Vans and myself.

In the meantime, I am going to keep figuring out a way to incorporate two more runs during the week. It just feels good to be moving again. Also, finding these new routes will motivate me post baby to get out and run too.

I would also like to introduce a new blogger and encourage you all to check out his blog and look into what he can do for you. He's a pretty knowledgeable guy and definitely knows fitness and nutrition. I hope to utilize his expertise post baby because even though I know cardio fairly well, I could definitely use some help when it comes to toning and nutrition. Please check him out and add him to your blog rolls.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Peanut and I are home again. We got in super early Tuesday morning, like 1 am early. Before we left New Jersey though, the Peanut was very into the snow that was falling.

watching the snow fall
and yes, that is a diver's helmet on the right, don't ask

The snow did stop and the roads were cleared by the time we had to head to the airport. The Peanut fell asleep on the drive in and woke up when we got to Newark. Security in Newark was insane. As in multiple lines upon lines just to get to the main security area. The Peanut was a super star though.

The flight from Newark to Houston was fairly uneventful. Well, except when the Peanut looked out the window and yelled "Mommy! I see smoke!" When I looked, I realized she meant the clouds in the sky. Hopefully she didn't give anyone on the plane a heart attack.

The Peanut was entertained for quite a while with a gift from one of my Jersey neighbors . . .

dry erase boards are awesome

However once we were in flight and the captain told us we could use our "portable devices" the Peanut was in heaven and immediately asked for her "kitty ear phones."

watching the Jungle Book
one of her favorites

She apparently thought when I said "kiddie ear phones" that I was really saying "kitty ear phones" and was highly disappointed when I pulled them out and there were no "cats" to be found. Still, she wore them for the entire movie which is more than I thought she would do.

After the movie she fell asleep and we landed in Houston. We were stuck in Houston for over 3 hours but the Peanut was completely chill with it all. We grabbed some dinner, had a few games of "tag" around the waiting area by our gate and visited the potty about 503 times. She was content.

Our second leg was also uneventful. She watched one movie and then fell asleep again for the remainder of the flight. What an awesome travel companion!

Now we're home and back to the grind of work and school. I think we're both happy to be home and I know Vans missed us.

Now that my cold is completely gone as well, I even made it out for a run tonight. I ventured through a new neighborhood because I was running against daylight. It had many rolling hills that, at times, had me walking but it felt awesome to be back out there doing SOMETHING. I am starting from scratch essentially since my cold from earlier in the month completely wiped me out and the bulging belly is getting um, bigger.

Maybe this weekend I'll get out for another run and eventually find some consistency. I am definitely loving the longer daylight though.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The Peanut and I are flying home from New Jersey today. Or at least we HOPE to be flying home. When I woke up this morning, this was the view outside my dad's window:

this is just a little snow
compared to what the east coast has seen lately

Fingers crossed our flights leave Newark today. On time. We don't leave for the airport until noon and our flight is not until 3 pm so hopefully there is plenty of time for it to clear outta here.

So far though, our trip has been great. The Peanut has been experiencing all the wonderful things east coasters get to do in the winter. One of her favorites?

eating ice cream in the car

We took the Peanut to Cliff's Ice Cream which is legendary in this part of New Jersey. It is an old fashioned outdoor ice cream shop. In the summer the line is miles long and you generally get your ice cream and then find a picnic table to sit and enjoy it. In the winter, you get your ice cream and immediately head back to your car to eat it.

On Saturday I drove to my college roommate Jersey Jess's house. Jersey Jess and I were freshmen year roommates (there were four of us total in a tiny tiny room). I went to college in Connecticut but oddly was placed with a girl who lived only a few towns over from me. The other two roommates were nice and interesting people. Jersey Jess and I became good friends and later that year met New York Amanda and quite a few others who hailed from Connecticut and Massachusetts. For my junior and senior year in college I had 6 other roommates and all of us brought our own individual accents. It was awesome. On Saturday three out of my six other roommates made the drive from New York and Massachusetts to Jersey Jess's house with all their kids in tow. It was mayhem but awesome. The Peanut was a little quiet and shy at first. I think she was still recovering from her mini-nap in the car.

yes. tiger came too.

She was the first kid there and the others slowly trickled in. There were so many toys that most of the kids were pretty occupied whether they were playing together or not.

toy madness!

Once all my roommates arrived though, things started getting crazy. Most of my roommates have never met the Peanut and I have not met their kids. Needless to say, there was a lot of "oh you're so cute!" going on. And hugs.

New York Amanda and the Peanut

The Peanut was fairly chill the entire time. She was not Miss Social like she has been on most of our trip but then again, being introduced to NINE OTHER kids at once, could be a bit intimidating. She chose to sit back and take things in.

her first capri sun
amazing what kids will eat/drink in the presence of other kids

While the Peanut was enjoying her "juice" Jersey Jess and New York Amanda and I tried to take a few self portraits. We were not having much luck. The Peanut if you remember, was a great photographer last weekend, so I tried to get her to take our photo . . .

um, not quite

She had a little bit of trouble figuring out the camera. No worries, I was able to take a semi-good shot that did not make us look like we all had 4 chins each.

New York Amanda, Jersey Jess and moi

We stayed for quite a while at Jersey Jess's house completely destroying the place and probably tormenting her dogs with all the kids. It was so much fun.

all the kids, minus 1 who had left which makes 10 total!

The Peanut had a blast and I was so incredibly excited to see most of my roommates. It is amazing how we can get together after all these years and it is like time has never passed . . . well, except for the 10 crazy kids running around.

Sunday was a day spent visiting my neighbors and local friends. I grew up in a very close knit neighborhood. I was the only girl on a street with 10 boys! Most of the mothers on my street always looked out for me although I was always able to hold my own when it came to games like baseball and football etc. However most of the boys acted like my bigger brothers, especially as we got older, so it was nice. I had to bring the Peanut over to my neighbor's house so they could all see how much she has grown.

Then it was a big family dinner with almost the entire family minus Vans and my step-brother's girlfriend. One of these days we will get us all in the same house for a photo. The Peanut has been wonderful this whole trip. I have had to eliminate her naps however in order to make bedtime happen which has been interesting. Except for the occasional tantrum or stubbornness at about 6 pm, she has been great and she has been totally spoiled.

Last night when we came home after dinner the Peanut wanted to chill with her newest obsession "white chips."
don't mess with me mom, having a snack here

She definitely has the "Jersey attitude" down and I can hear my accent slowly coming back. Maybe it is a good thing we're flying home to California today! Vans is definitely in for a big surprise!

Friday, February 18, 2011


We've been here since Wednesday and the weather has been pretty nice. Compared to the east coast snow storms the past few weeks, I'd say this week has been wonderful for the east coasters.

Upon arriving and settling in, Jersey Dad quickly has become the Peanut's favorite. All she has to do is bat an eyelash and say "please Poppy" and he's a goner.

she talked him into to watching some tv

Then we decided to take a trip to Barnes and Noble. The Peanut was given the book Mr. Funny and quickly noticed that there was Mr. Bump and Mr. Messy. So on Thursday we decided to head out in search of the other books. Instead, we came across the following while browsing through Barnes and Noble's kid section:

This photo made me laugh and I quickly sent it to Vans so he could see. So many things are going on in this photo: the Jersey Girl shorts, the short shorts over the black tights, the black leg warmers, the black high tops and if you could only see the rest of the outfit. It just struck me as something out of the Jersey Shore and no, it wasn't Snookie (I made sure).

For dinner we went to a local favorite, Frank's Pizza . . . where the Peanut ordered french fries, of course.

Today we went to visit Gramie at her work and then hit the grocery store. When we came home it was time to play in the snow . . . or whatever was left of it.

mini snowmen

After some time in the snow, the Peanut's attention span was getting smaller and smaller so I dug out the big guns . . . some childhood board games!

tiddily winks!

That kept her attention for a bit but sadly, not for very long. The Peanut went napless today and hopefully this will come in my favor when it is time for bed but overall, it made for a very long and exhausting day of power struggles and tantrums.

Tomorrow we're going to visit my college roommates, some of whom I have not seen since graduation day. I am super excited. They all have kids of their own too so it should be pretty interesting.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


ready for take off

The Peanut and I are in New Jersey. We took a red eye from California and landed in New Jersey 12:15 pm Wednesday afternoon. Everyone thought I was nuts for taking a 2 year old on  a red eye flight 6 months pregnant but you know, it was probably the easiest flight we've ever taken. Hands down.

I also have to say, flying without a required car seat = fantastic flying (she is over 2 and car seats are no longer required). Vans dropped us off at the airport at almost 11 pm on Tuesday evening. The Peanut was fast asleep in the car but when she realized we were finally at the airport she was thrilled to get on the airplane. We sat by the gate waiting to board and she just kept asking me "is it our turn yet? I wanna go on the airplane!" As we were moving in line to board she yelled out "we're going to Jersey!" and everyone laughed, that's my girl. She knows her roots.

Once we were on the plane she was quick to tell me "mommy I am going to stay up all night" uh-oh that was not my intended reason for flying on a red eye but I said "sure honey, if you say so." 30 minutes later when we were up in the air, she was out cold and didn't wake up at all until I had to wake her to remove her seat belt. Nice!

Our layover was in Houston which was pretty much vacant. We happily used one of those nice changing room/family restrooms that are private to change the Peanut's pull-up and do our required business before boarding the second flight. Before boarding, she sat quietly by the gate with some milk from Starbucks and was a happy camper.

As we were about to board she fell asleep in my arms. I carried her onto the plane asleep and she pretty much stayed asleep until I woke her as we were descending into New Jersey. I couldn't let her miss a landing when it was daylight out.

slept the whole way

We had the very last row of a very empty flight. The Peanut was able to spread out and sleep and I was able to kick back and get some rest as well.

She was groggy when we started our descent so I woke her up and she happily watched us land from her window seat.

Look Mommy! That is where Curious George lives!

Told ya she's one smart cookie. She saw the NYC sky line and instantly knew her monkey in crime lived there. The rest of the landing was spent goofing off with the camera . . . someone was happy.

thumbs up!
unfortunately her thumb was in the camera

goofy face CHEESE

uh mom, this is my shoot!

awe, you can be in it too


We've been in New Jersey not quite 24 hours and the Peanut has already been spoiled by her Poppy (aka Jersey Dad). She had a bit of a melt-down last night realizing we're not sleeping at home but immediately fell asleep the minute her head hit the pillow. Mine did too.

The flight home will not be as easy I suspect because we're flying in the middle of the afternoon. My goal however for those flights are to keep her awake the entire time so she will fall asleep at 11 pm when we hit Sacramento . . . fingers crossed but until then, it's JERSEY TIME!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


If you live in Northern California then you know exactly how beautiful it was outside on Saturday. The weather was absolutely glorious and it was a good thing too because we had agreed to meet some of our Pinkhouse Gym friends for an outdoor bike ride.

Yes. Bike ride. I don't think I have been on my bike since right after AR50 last year for a recovery ride. In fact, I had to pick up my bike that was still residing at our old house in Sacramento. Unfortunately, a semi-large pregnant woman trying to pick up and load a bike into the back of a car is not an easy task. My bike actually fell out of the back of my car, did a somersault and is pretty messed up. My gears are jacked up and my handle bars are slightly bent. Oops. I guess I need to take it in and get it tuned and tweaked. Maybe that will encourage me to ride more now.

Regardless, the bike WAS ride able for the most part except for maybe one uphill gear shift at the end which I almost completed but the gear got stuck and I had to dismount. It was the only time the entire day I had to walk the bike (maybe 4 feet) to the top of the hill.

Back to the start. We arrived at the Starbucks in Gold River which was our meeting spot. We were all excited to be outside and healthy for a change.

The Peanut was ready to start!

helmet on! safety first!

getting buckled in

family photo (the before)

The ride was rough at the start just maneuvering to the bike trail portion but not terrible. Once we hit the trail it was smooth sailing. The weather was perfect which was evident by all the people out running and biking. It was hard to see all those runners but I was content to be out moving. I only had one coughing fit at the beginning and then felt fine the rest of the ride.

Vans was the leader, in fact . . .

his backside was my view all day long . . .

see how beautiful it was!

despite my expression, I was having fun

We just kept riding along at a fairly decent pace. We passed most of our group when we hit Folsom. Vans and I decided to go up near Karen's Bakery and to cross the bridge on that side. Karen's was packed as was the parking lot. Everyone was just out and about enjoying the weather.

We continued on until finally, I needed to use a restroom but I wasn't alone, Vans needed to stop too.

stretching our legs

and finding sticks

At one point I decided to give the Peanut the camera so that I could have a photo of Vans and myself. If you have a family you probably know what I am talking about. If you looked at our vacation photos one would think that Vans and I vacation by ourselves with the Peanut and not together. Generally (and truthfully) it looks like I am always vacationing with the Peanut as Vans is never in sight. Not this time. We handed the Peanut the camera so we could see what kind of photography skills she inherited . . . here are the three photos she took of us:

her first attempt!
We thought: WOW! Nice shot kid

second shot: still pretty good
we didn't even need to "bend over"

third and final!

It seems like Vans and I can look like we're vacationing together again now with this little photographer on our hands. Vans (the photographer) was beside himself.

super star!

Soon it was time to get back on the bikes and head back towards the car. I was ready. My pregnant bum was starting to ache. We stopped at the Hazel bridge for one last photo op.

Really Vans did all the work pulling 30lbs of Peanut in the chariot. I was more less out for a nice ride. When we got back to the car and hooked up our bikes we noticed that there was a Yogurt Monkey next to Starbucks. Since someone was a super star (and ahem, someone else is pregnant) we decided to stop for a treat! Hey, we had rode over 18 miles and I think we deserved it! 18 miles!!

mmmm frozen yogurt

Now I haven't had any dairy in three weeks, basically since I became sick so I was sort of " meh" about the frozen yogurt but the Peanut was licking her spoon (and the bowl) until it was gone. She loves her frozen yogurt!

After we arrived home the Peanut was not showing any signs of napping. So we had lunch and then both her and I went to the movies. The Peanut's first "real" theater movie! We saw Gnomeo and Juliet (super cute) and best of all, the Peanut's ticket was FREE (hoping she'll look "2" for a few more years now).

When we got home it was time for dinner. The Peanut was starving after her long busy day of watching Dad pedal and then sitting in a big movie theater. I cooked up her dinner first (she couldn't wait) and then dinner for Vans and myself. During dinner Vans was so excited about his meal (which was gluten free by the way) that he wanted me to include his photo on my blog (I think he is secretly becoming a food blogger). Silly Vans.

it was quite tasty
but nothing special. sssh don't tell Vans!

Overall we had a fantastic Saturday as a family. I was happy to be out getting some exercise. My legs (and bum) don't really hurt today so that is a good sign. 18 miles is quite the accomplishment for me considering I have had 3 weeks of zero activity!

Today's adventure includes swimming lessons for the Peanut and a trip to the grocery store. I guess it is back to the same old weekend routine. Maybe I'll throw in a run while she's napping.