Monday, July 27, 2009


I do most of my long training runs through Rock Creek Park. The largest urban green space in the country (yes, bigger than NYC's Central Park!!), Rock Creek is a wonderful place to run. The path through the park takes me from home past the National Zoo, into Georgetown, onto the National Mall, and for those terribly long runs I can loop around Haines Point or jog into Virginia towards National Airport and Alexandria. Running through the park is a pleasant change from my normal runs in the city. I love that there are no stoplights or bad/aggressive drivers and there is a ton of shade (which is great when training for a marathon in the middle of a hot summer).

Prior to training for this marathon I seldom ventured into Rock Creek Park alone. D and I used to run together. Now that I'm running alone, I have time to think and think about the Park. And as much as I love the Park, two fears keep reoccurring...

First, Rock Creek Park is where Chandra Levy was killed more than eight years ago. Not to minimize her death, but she was running alone on a secluded trail when she was killed. On top of that she was out running in the middle of the day on a work day when few, if any, people are out in the Park. Although I'm cautious and stay on well traveled paths, it is hard not to think of Chandra while I'm out there running.

Not wanting to find myself in her position/state, I have come up with a series of safety measures while running through the Park: 1) never go off the asphalt path - this means no trail running what-so-ever; 2) stay on the path closest to Rock Creek Parkway whenever possible; 3) attempt to keep another runner/walker/biker within sight at all times - that way I never feel truly alone out there; 5) never run through the Park before sunrise or after sunset - NO EXCEPTIONS; 6) take the time to look behind you and know who is in the surrounding area; and 7) always carry a cell phone...just in case.

My second fear of running in Rock Creek Park is completely unfounded and I'm sort of embarrassed to say/write it out loud. But I am afraid that an animal at the National Zoo will get loose and chase/hunt me in the Park. I'm most afraid of being attacked by one of the giant snakes that the Zoo has or by an alligator. I'm waiting for the day when I see something skimming the surface of the creek and coming after me; or when a giant snake appears out of nowhere ready to swallow me whole.

I've spent much time focusing on these fears while running lately. Sometimes I swear I can feel a snake coming after me. When a squirrel crossed my path yesterday I screamed out loud. My plan is to focus on happier thoughts during my long runs in the future. Stay tuned...


Late afternoon plans: K and I are off to the spray park to play in the water. Wonderful distraction and great way to end a long hot day.

Running: did a 8 mile maintenance run yesterday at a lightening fast pace. I was exhausted and soaking wet by the end, but it felt good. I have a 13 mile run scheduled for this weekend. Thinking I might do it on Friday AM and just get it over with...

Online: found the site and love mapping out runs and knowing exactly how far I have gone.

Looking forward to: my mom coming to visit on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


She slept through the night!

It wasn't perfect, but K went an entire night without feeding or parental intervention (not a single bum pat). She woke up twice (9:30ish and 2am). D and I agreed we'd let her be for 15 minutes. If she was still crying after 15 minutes, we'd reassess the situation and determine how best to intervene. Well, by golly, no reassessing was necessary. She put herself back to sleep both times.

And didn't wake up for the day until 6am.

Can I get a HALLELUJAH?!?!?

I got more than seven hours of straight sleep (minus the 2am wake up, which I didn't even get out of bed for). I'm feeling better and praying HARD that tonight is another peaceful night.

Friday, July 24, 2009


It took 9 months (and a couple of extra weeks) for little K to go from a single cell to a 6 pound baby capable of eating, pooping, crying, and sleeping. Pretty freaking amazing. In the 9 months since her birth, she has grown by leaps and bounds and has developed into a little person. Again, pretty freaking amazing.

At her 9 month check-up (just two days ago), K weighed 15 pounds 10 oz and was 27 5/8 inches long. She's still a little peanut. She has a long torso and is wearing 9 month-sized onesies, but is still in 3 month pants/shorts and one-piece outfits. We're getting the most out of all of her clothes.

If I had only three words to describe her at nine months old, they would be:


The girl is all over the place. She crawls at a lightening fast speed. One minute she's in the kitchen at my feet and 30 seconds later she's at the top of the steps or in the bathroom pounding on the toilet seat. Her favorite toys are the dishwasher, the toilet, the shower (or a faucet), and spoons. The dishwasher is definitely her favorite. If you want her to play in the kitchen-area, the dishwasher must be open. She's capable of pulling both the top and bottom racks in and out of the dishwasher. To keep her from playing with knives and forks, we place spoons in the front of the silverware holder; knives and forks to the back. Her newest trick is pulling the top rack out, pulling herself up on the rack (baby chin ups) and standing on the open door. She thinks she's so funny.

She also loves crawling up the steps. And if you chase her, it's even better. She just laughs the whole time she's crawling. We definitely need to install a gate at the bottom of the steps. Although she's pretty good with the climbing, she does get clumsy at the end of the day and when she's looking over her shoulder to see who is chasing after her.

She's pulling up on everything and anything and cruising around the furniture. Our favorite nurse at the pediatrician thinks she'll be walking on her own in less than six weeks. My baby is getting so big.

She's learning to give high-5s and waving 'bye-bye' . I love it. She's such a curious little girl. Always off to investigate a new spot on the floor, a new box stacked in the corner of the kitchen, or a pile of dirty sheets by the washing machine. It is so fun to watch her discover and uncover new things. She is currently trying to figure out the stream of sunlight hitting the bedroom floor. And getting frustrated that she can't pick the bright 'object' up.

Her separation anxiety is is full form. I took three steps away from her in the pediatrician's office on Wednesday to sign a form and she started screaming and crying. She wouldn't even let the pediatrician hold her with me in the room. A woman at church calls her my "Mama Monkey". And that is exactly what she is... she climbs all over me whether I'm sitting or standing. It's all over Mama

She's also a "Papa Monkey" when he's around. When D comes home in the evenings, she lights up. Everything stops and it is all about getting some lovin' from her papa. We currently have a tenant living in our basement. He came home the other day right at dinner-time when D usually is home. K heard the door unlock and got all excited... she got a look of complete dejection on her face when she realized it wasn't D walking through the door.

She's eating wonderfully. And drinks quite well from a sippy cup. We're pretty much bottle-free these days. Sleep is improving. She was only up once last night and slept until after 6am. Hopefully we'll be back to a better sleep routine in the coming weeks. I'm hopeful that this is just a phase and we'll be back to peaceful nights soon. Please, please, please....

K, you are so much fun to be around. You make me smile every time you pound on the toilet, beg for the dishwasher to be opened, or climb up my legs. Your smile puts a smile on my face.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I'm about to set off on a 10 mile run. Training has been hard this week. Hot temperatures and a lack of sleep are the leading contributors to my bad running. I'm also doing several runs a week with my 28.5 pound jogging stroller and 16+ pound baby. It's hard work.

Yesterday I spent some time online looking for a marathon course map and elevation map (to be sure there weren't too many crazy, long, steep hills). I found both maps. The course is awesome - through all five boroughs and across some of the iconic NYC bridges ending in Central Park. I plan to run with my camera so I can capture it all. The elevation map illustrated a couple of hills, but nothing dramatic. If I can push the stroller and the baby up the 13th Street NW hill from Florida Ave to Clifton Street (and keep going when it levels off), I can take on the NYC hills.

In addition to finding both maps, I also found this inspirational video. It brought me to tears. And got me REALLY excited for today's run. I cannot wait for November 1st, and I'm going to enjoy all the training runs between then and now.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I was going to title this post "BITCHES" because it is about three women I have encountered during the past 48 hours and, well, they were bitches. But after two nights of decent (still interrupted) sleep, I've decided to put a somewhat positive spin on it. This is what not to do...

On Wednesday morning I took K out in her new jogging stroller (more on this below) for a run. We were moving right along when a woman in her pipped out Cadillac yelled at me from the passenger's side window of her car. I think she was trying to tell me something about K's head. She was yelling "you're hurting her head; look at her head." I think she was trying to tell me that the visor on the stroller wasn't completely covering K's face and head and the sun was hitting her. I see this, bitch. She's fine; she has 50 spf sunscreen on. And we're about to round the corner and the sun will be completely off of her. She's fine. We do this EVERY DAY. And who the hell are you? Are you telling me I'm a bad mother because I let a little bit of sun hit my baby? Isn't fresh air good for her? and what about a little vitamin D?

As you can probably guess I was super pissed. How dare she drive by slowly and tell me that I'm not doing a good job as a mother? What not to do... offer unsolicited advise to a mom.

My next encounter with bitch #2 occurred yesterday during my late evening run. K and I were crossing the street when another mom and her toddler in an umbrella stroller passed by us. As we were crossing paths the other mom sneezed twice and did NOT cover her mouth. She sneezed all over both K and I. Without evening thinking the words, "cover your mouth," came out of my mouth and I know she heard me. My tone of voice was extremely rude; however, someone needs to let the lady know that sneezing and not covering your mouth is something you simply do not do. Have you heard of these little things called germs?!?!

My third encounter with a bitch took place two or three blocks after I encountered the sneezer. This women wasn't so much of a bitch as she was a dumb-ass. She was approaching a VERY busy intersection at rush hour with her two daughters (one in a stroller; the other about four). The four year old was pushing the stroller while said mother walked about 10 or so feet behind talking on her cell phone. The little girl pushing the stroller let go of it as the sidewalk started on a downhill and the stroller was making its way into oncoming traffic. The mother, so wrapped up in her cell phone call, didn't even notice what was happening until a very nice and brave gentleman ran into the street, into oncoming traffic, to slow cars down and grab the stroller. His yelling got the attention of the mother who closed her phone and then ran for her baby in the stroller. I wanted to hit her for not paying attention. And from the look on the man's face who saved the day, I think he wanted to hit her, too. What not to do... where do I begin? Let's just say paying close attention to your young children has to be a parent's priority.


Jogging stroller: we were given a used jogging stroller from a good friend and it lasted about three months. We used it hard - running up to 15 miles a week and using it to get K back and forth to our nanny share. When we realized that we needed a new stroller, I did some research and picked two strollers I would buy if money were not an object. And then I began trolling craigslist to find one of the two strollers. I prayed one would materialize. And it did. We got our new stroller from a family that used it all of three times. We had to drive more than 1/2 hour to pick the stroller up, but we only paid $50. What a steal... And it is beautiful - black and grey with sky blue accents. And, much to my surprise, I love the built in music system. When K starts to get grumpy on a run, I hit play and she just laughs.

Craigslist: we also sold our rocking chair/glider on craigslist. We were planning to sell it for $50 (to offset the stroller), but when D moved it to take a couple of pictures we saw that it had a Pottery Barn sticker on it (we were given the chair as a hand-me-down). We upped the price to $100 and it sold within 10 minutes. SCORE!

Today: need to go to the Yes! grocery store to buy K her plain soy yogurt. She loves it! And we go through it quickly, but only the organic stores carry the plain soy stuff. It's worth the walk to see her so happy.

Weekend: 10 mile run to do this weekend. Working with D to schedule time to get it done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The past couple of days (read: week and a half) have been awful. My longest stretch of sleep has been about 5 hours. My longest stretch of being awake with a SCREAMING baby is now at 2.5 hours. Nighttime at our house is now dreaded. A month ago I was complaining about a baby who ONLY slept until 5:45am (after being put down at 8pm). I could kick myself. Now I have a 9 month old who is sleeping like an infant - up every couple of hours, eating about every three.

Seriously, I am at the end of my rope. Last night K woke up a little after 11pm. She nursed and went back to sleep. She was up again at 1am. D could not calm her down. I tried to nurse her - no good (she was full, obviously). So I tried to get her back to sleep. I tried rocking her. She arched her back and screamed. I tried walking her. Again, back arching and screaming. After about an hour of this. I put her down in her crib and walked out of the room. I went in and checked on her every 15 minutes for the next 45 minutes. She would not settle down. Around 3am, we did a quick diaper change and gave her some tylenol. She slept from about 3:40 to 6:15.

I feel like complete crap today. D let me sleep from 6:30-8:15 and I needed it. Our nanny is on vacation until the beginning of August so it is just K and me day-in-and-day-out. When the nights are LONG, our days together can also be long. It is freaking exhausting. Not sure going to work would make me any less tired, but I think I need a little distance/time to myself. Since that's not in the cards, we are planning our days carefully and are going to try putting K to bed earlier. I've done a lot of reading about 9 month olds who stop sleeping well and lots of people say it is because they are overtired. We're going to push bedtime up half and hour beginning tomorrow to see what happens.


Today: K is sleeping now. I'm planning to go back to bed, too. We're going to go out for a morning/lunchtime run (with our new jogging stroller) and after our afternoon naps head up to Baltimore to hang out with friends. The trip to Baltimore is what is preventing us from beginning our go to bed half and hour early tonight plan.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yesterday morning I attempted to walk up the stairs from our first floor to the second. I wasn't carrying anything; nor was I rushing. I was just being me. And being me in this case resulted in me missing the first step and twisting my fourth toe in the wrong direction. I'm not sure what really happened or how, but I do know that it hurt. And it still hurts 24 hours later.

After the incident, I took K for a morning walk to the library (about 5 blocks from our house). When I took my shoe off after the walk, this is what I saw...

Front view:

Back view:

I'm pretty sure my toe is broken. Although I don't want to admit this to myself, I think I heard a little snap when I fell/tripped. And I know there was instant pain.

This morning my toe was a little bit puffier, but not as painful. I went out for a 4 mile run and it didn't bother me too much. After my run, I taped my toe to the one next to it for support and am planning to ice.

I'm surprised by the amount of pain I'm in. This time last weekend I had just finished a 10 mile run (at a fast pace) and was feeling great. Now I'm bitching and moaning about the fourth smallest toe on my body. Funny how such small things can cause such troubles.


Agreement: D and I believe we have decided on a new couch. We found it online and plan to go see it (and sit on it) this afternoon. If all goes well, we'll be the owners of a new couch in a few hours. (It's about time...)

Sleep: K woke up around 11pm, but then slept peacefully until 5:15am. Hopefully she'll be back to her normal routine of 8pm to 5:45am soon. I believe she is cutting her 12 month molars, which could be the cause of the messed up sleep.

Today: couch and grocery shopping. Also need to do laundry and finish a baby gift.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


10: The number of miles I ran on Saturday. Felt great. Pushed through "the wall" I hit at mile 8 and finished strong. Felt really good and excited for this weekend's l-o-n-g run.

9: The number of months old K is today.

9: My average pace per mile during my 10 mile run on Saturday.

8: The number of teeth K currently has.

7: The number of hours it took us to drive from DC to Pittsburgh this past Thursday.

6: The number of hours of uninterrupted sleep I got last night.

5: The number of loads of laundry I have to wash.

4: The hour in which K woke up this morning (thankfully she went back to bed from 4:45 to 6:30am).

3: The number of new baby gifts I have left to make. (I'm just about finished with the first!)

2: The number of weddings we have to attend on TWO different continents within a 48 hour period of time.

1: One fantastic 4th of July weekend in Pittsburgh.