Sunday, October 21, 2007


Do you see these girls?
They are pals.
Do you see this baby?

Tomorrow she turns 1.

Here's what I was doing a year ago.

It feels like forever ago. Like she's always been here.

Do you love her sad face? She still makes it for me sometimes.

Here she is a few days later. Man, she's beautiful. And tiny.

That was one of my most favorite blankets. It was so soft.
Seriously, she's gorgeous. I haven't looked at these in a while. She had the most peaceful sleeping face ever.

She looks so different now. She is so different now. I mean, can you believe it?

Facts about the Birthday Girl:

She has 3 teeth

She runs everywhere

She likes to poke the dogs

The dogs like to eat the cheerios she drops for them

She loves to be read to, especially lift-the-flap books

She loves piggy back rides

She squinches her eyes when she smiles now, just like Emme did

She knows a few words, but doesn't say any yet

She doesn't like to be alone, ever

She loves to eat yogurt and pb & j sandwiches

Ice cream is her favorite treat

We can't imagine our family without her

Happy Birthday Claire!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In other news...

Do you see these dogs here?
The large lab is Coda. We've had him for 2+ years now.
He's a pretty good dog, for a dog.
The one thing I can't stand about him is the excessive amount of fur that I find all over my tile floor all the live-long day. And of course, the whole digging up my trees issue. Other than that, pretty swell dog. Again, for a dog.
My dearest pretty much sold his soul for the other one there. His name is George. He's half coon hound half mutt.
Having a new puppy around the house has caused me to look at Coda in a whole new light. He's a great dog, who doesn't chew anything inside the house,
who doesn't whine or beg,
who doesn't have accidents,
who slept soundly in his crate for over a year.
We trained him to not walk on the carpet,
and he does pretty well on a leash.
I've even taken him running with me a few times, and he stays by my side.
The newest puppy George, is a pretty good dog too.
Only he hasn't learned to stay out of the carpeted areas yet.
And he nibbles Claire's ears.
And he whines at night in his crate.
And he chews anything left on the ground.
And he digs around my trees!
The only good thing about him is he hasn't had an accident inside yet.
But he is cute and Coda does seem to like him, most of the time. I guess, like children, you can't have just one dog. Or so my husband says.
He'd retort I'm sure, but he's pretty much busy for the next year on my honey-do list.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Different is good, right?

What do you think?
Is it too hard to read?
What about the picture, too hard to see?
Not melony enough?
Let me know.
By the way, I got the new template here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marathon parts

I ran a marathon last Saturday. All 26.2 miles. Somebody asked me if I walked at all. I did, but only through the aid stations. I'd pass by the guys handing out vaseline, and the guys rubbing Icy Hot all over peoples legs, and head straight to the water cups. If there were oranges, I'd grab one too, but never a banana. I'd drink, bite an orange, try not to slip on orange and banana peels, and then start running again. So I'd estimate I walked about 5-7 minutes out of my total time of 4 hours and 25 minutes, which was a PR. Of course I've only run one other marathon, but still a PR nonetheless.

It was fantastic.
It was exhilarating.
It was pretty hard the last 2 miles.

But I'd say that the training I did all summer long in the stinking desert heat was worse. Way worse. The marathon was cake in comparison. If you can handle a 20 miler in 90-98 degree heat, you can run the St. George Marathon. And you'll run it well.

The best part: looking at my watch every mile after 13 and realizing I was booking it. Nothing like running an 8:40 mile. Unless you're my brother and you run a 6:40.
The worst part: not being able to move my legs the next two days. Seriously. They hurt.
The most embarrassing part: the pictures they take of you while you run. Note-running a marathon does not an attractive person make. Ever.
The most exciting part: coming down the home stretch with all the people cheering you on. Adrenaline rush, mmmm, tasty.
The tastiest part: the post race meal. Juicy steak and loaded potato. Plus a milkshake, because calories don't count the entire rest of the day.
The most frantic part: being 2 minutes away from the start, with thousands of people and not finding my running buddy.
The coldest part: taking off my sweats right before the race started. It was freezing. Really.
The hottest part: none. It was beautiful weather.
The scariest part: running a steep, banked downhill and feeling like my knee was about to blow.
The funniest part: popping ibuprofen before the race and having a large man ask me what I was taking, as if they were illicit drugs or something. See how they say Advil?
The part I was most worried: the day before the race when it was bitterly cold and very windy. Umm, I don't run in the wind.
The part I was most relieved: waking up the next day to no wind.
The most exhausting part: waking up at 3am Arizona time for a race that didn't start for another 2 hours and 45 minutes. And then after the race when I passed out.
The nicest part: my professor taking the kids mini golfing after the race so I could pass out in peace.

There you have it. I honestly believe anyone could run a marathon. Anyone. All you need is a training program and an entrance fee. Anyone up for next year? St George is the one to do. You can do it. Trust me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cool Times

Do you see those rollerblades? Santa brought them last Christmas. Along with elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards. I think she wore all the safety gear, umm, once. Because we like to think we're a safe people, but in reality, we're an accident waiting to happen.
At least she's not in the street, right?
That's safe.
Of course, I let her in the street if there aren't any other neighbor kids that she has to set a good example for.
We pretend to be safe for their sake.

She's dang cute.

And of course this little guy is too.

See how we make him wear a helmet? That's a lie, we don't make him, he just likes to. Because he is actually very concerned about his safety. Cautious is a good word to describe him. I don't mind too much because I don't have to worry about him climbing on top of the refrigerator and jumping off like his brother tried doing.

Two brothers, polar opposites.

And we are finally using this stroller that took such a beating, if you'll remember. You can't even hardly see any oil. At least not in this picture.

So now that it is officially fall (actually I'm not sure how official it is, but it's not longer in the triple digits, mostly) we have ventured outside again in something other than bathing suits. Albeit, still in the very late evening, but outside in clothes nonetheless. Not that we venture outside without clothes. At least not most of us. The little girl across the street does sometimes, but this side of the street is too modest for those kind of shenanigans. In fact, we avert our eyes when she goes streaking down to the park. Even that hasn't happened recently, so you could say that our street is a clothes-wearing people. Where was I going with this?

Oh right.
Happy Fall my fellow desert dwellers.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ummm, did I say that?

That last post? Yeah, I'm over it. Sorry about the waa, waa, waa. I can't believe I posted it. I'm not usually a weepy kinda girl. That's what happens when I stay up too late.
Anyways, I hope you have a great day and don't worry about me, I'm fine. The princess too.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Little Debbie

About exactly 6 years ago, I was to run my very first 1/2 marathon. I was living in Santa Barbara, and life was good.

Except for the occasional stomach upset. No details (you're welcome), but I'll tell you that it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't bliss either.

Nonetheless, I was enjoying life on the beach, being in the best shape of my life, having 2 adorable children ages 3 and 2, and was getting ready for a real 13.1 mile challenge.

The FamPractioner suggested during a routine yearly that I had irritable bowel. But to be safe, sent me to a GI doc. No prob. I went, did all that was required of me, and went home. I went back for a followup and everything looked normal, but why didn't I have my blood drawn like he'd asked me to? Oh yeah, I thought, I forgot. Come on, who has time to take 2 very small children to the lab and wait to have blood taken? I mean, the beach was calling! Okay, I'll do that today I said, and he'd call with the results, and I probably wouldn't see him ever again.

About 5 days later he calls me, on my birthday, as we're leaving with friends to celebrate. Something about an endoscopy. Huh? A biopsy. Celiac disease. Umm, what? His office would call on Monday to set it up for next week. I press end and cry in the car. I didn't want to go out, I wanted to sit on my computer and research selliak, or was it sillyak? I didn't even know how to spell it, much less what it meant.

The appointment was set for a Friday. The next Friday. The Friday before my race. No prob, I thought. It was an outpatient procedure. Something about looking inside my stomach. I knew I probably should put it off until after the race, but I couldn't wait. I needed to know.

My dearest was in grad school full time. Which meant, 8am to 5pm, home for dinner, and then back to the lab from 8pm to 11pm, Monday through Saturday. Sunday he only had to go in from 8pm to midnight. So he didn't have a whole lot of free time. But that Friday he did take off to drive me to the hospital. I remember not wanting to inconvenience any of my friends with my children, so he dropped me off, took the kids to the park and was to come back in a few hours when I called.

I remember being semiconscious during the procedure. I remember having to swallow the camera that was attached to a very long cable. I remember feeling like I was gagging. And I remember looking at the tv monitor, seeing the inside of my throat, stomach, small intestines.

I was wheeled back into a recovery room. The doc came in, said it was confirmed Celiac, gave me some pics to take home, told me to see a nutritionist about a special diet, and left. I was still groggy and not fully coherent, but I remember him telling me how lucky I was that it was something so easily remedied, I just had to be gluten free for the rest of my life. Great, I thought. What's gluten?

The nurse asked who was taking me home. I needed to call my husband's cell. I walked downstairs to the entrance, got in our little Acura, and slept the rest of the way home. I crashed on my bed for the next 12 hours. I tried talking to all the people calling me on the phone, but I'm not exactly sure what I said. I was out for the rest of the night.

The next morning I woke up and ran a half marathon, my first. I was still a little groggy. And a little fatigued. But I remember thinking that at least I knew for sure that there was something wrong and that I could fix it. I struggled with the first few miles, but towards the end I felt strong. I remember passing people near the finish line, and I loved it. Hey, if I can run 13.1 miles, I can certainly conquer celiac disease, which I had finally learned how to spell.


My then 2 year old is now 8. She's going in for her own endoscopy in 2 days. It's to confirm what we already know. Celiac disease for her too. Hopefully nothing more. I recalled the fear I'd had when I went through it, all the unknown, and I'm so grateful I have my experience to relate to. I'm not nearly as frightened as I know I might be.

But I am sad for her. Sad that she's that girl now. You know, that girl who can't eat anything at birthday parties, the topic of conversation any time anyone brings out a plate of cookies and she declines. Sad that she'll never get to experience so many wonderful foods that 8 years hasn't afforded her. Sad that she'll never get another Krispy Kreme hot from the fryer. I feel like I'm taking away just a smidge of her childhood when I take away the class party treats in all their glory. Now I know some of you out there are going to cry out, "but she'll feel so much better now!", which I know. Trust me, I know. And I know that I can bring in class treats. And I know I can make homemade everything. But I've lived this life for 6 years now. And while I feel so blessed to be able to control my health in a way I wasn't able to prediagnosis, I still know how hard it is. And so I am sad.


Today I went to the store for groceries. I had to get food for school lunches. I stood in the packaged cookie aisle, mulling over the ones on sale, and realized that this would be the last time she would ever eat any of these items again. Suddenly realizing that we only have 2 days left for her to try every gluten item in the store, I pushed my cart to the Hostess snack cake aisle and picked up a package of Little Debbie frosted brownies that she's been begging me to get. Because I know that it'll be the last time she'll get to have them.

And I am trying to not be sad.