Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow run = crazy?

If you live in the KC-area, you've probably been obsessively checking the weather in anticipation of the coming "snowpocalpse." Wait?  Not everyone constantly checks the weather in the fervent hope that it will change, and we won't get 12 inches of snow? Well, ok, that's just me. Anyway.

Last night, the weathermen started saying that the snow for the big snowstorm wouldn't actually start falling until 6 or 7 in the morning, instead of at midnight as they had previously predicted. So, I got the crazy idea that I might just be able to sneak in one last outdoor run before the piles of snow keep me inside for days.

If you remember, I am no fan of the treadmill. So, any chance to get outside to get a run in, especially before being stuck inside with two small children all day, I was going to take. No matter how crazy that makes me.

Luckily, my running partner is just as crazy as I am, and she texted me the same idea. So, we decided to brave it. Because they had already closed school, and her husband had decided to work from home, we opted to meet at 6:45am, a little later than our normal time.

Ready for this adventure.

Sarah and I getting ready to hit the road.

As soon as we were outside, we took stock. The wind and snow were blowing hard from the east. After some discussion, we decided that we should run into the wind first, so on the way back, the snow wouldn't be blowing in our face.  (This discussion also included trying to find a way to run only to the west and getting Cory to come pick us up. We did end up nixing that, though in retrospect, it might've been the smartest plan.)

Turns out, our biggest mistake was trying to squeeze in that extra half hour of sleep before our run. We should've gone at our normal time, because although the snow was not bad when we started, in the hour that we were out, it snowed something like 2-4 inches. That is an incredibly rapid rate of snowfall. Especially coming down on two lone runners. (Yup, shockingly, we didn't see any other runners out.)

What started as lovely white cushioning for our joints turned into inches and inches of white quicksand to trudge through. The plan was to just head out on the trail (in hopes to get a bit of protection from the blowing snow) for about 2.5 miles, then turn around and get the wind at our backs.

But, by the time we got to our turnaround point, which just happened to coincide with the sighting of coyote. (Yeah, we were ready to turn around after that!), the snow had already started coming down hard and fast. It was getting really hard to run through. We couldn't even see our own footprints from the run out.

But, at least when we turned around, we got to enjoy the beauty of running in the snow. It helps that I was finally able to open my eyes all the way. I'm pretty sure I had my eyes closed half of the way out into the east because of the snow blowing into my face.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sweet Dora, Sweet Dreams?

Ok, I know you all know how "challenging" Charlotte is. She knows her mind, and her mind cannot be changed once it's made up. One day, I know I am truly going to appreciate that she isn't easily swayed by other's opinions. And, one day, it will probably serve her very well as CEO of some Fortune 500 company. However, while we are in the midst of potty-training and trying to get her to sleep through the night in her own bed, I am not as impressed with this trait of my darling baby girl's.

Sleep has been an issue for Charlotte for as long as I can remember. (Though, my memory isn't the greatest considering I rarely ever get a full night's sleep.) She started crawling out of her crib when she was not even 18-months-old, so we had to change the crib into a toddler bed a full year and  half before we had done it with Molly.

(And, to be fair, Molly never did crawl out of her crib. It just got to be a little ridiculous to have a 3-year-old in a crib. Well, I say never, but I do swear there was one time she did and came to visit me in the middle of the night, but Cory swears it never happened, and I was just dreaming it. That issue is still up for debate.)

But, once we changed Charlotte's crib into a toddler bed (it was one of those fancy schmancy convertible cribs), she never slept in the bed. Maybe never is too strong of a word, but it was incredibly rare, and for the last 6 months, never is completely accurate. She slept anywhere but her own bed. And, most nights, she slept on the floor. Yes, the floor. Do not ask me why that would possibly be more comfortable. I was at a loss.

Charlotte slept everywhere. Except her own bed.

She slept ...

on the floor beside her bed.

on top of my bed.

on her sister's bed while sister was at school.

in the car.

in the car some more.

in the car even more.

on the chaise in our bedroom.

on the floor beside my bed.
So, you notice, no pictures of her sleeping in her bed. Because she didn't do it. This has been going on now for over a year and a half. Also, the paci issue? Another example of her stubbornness. She just up and decided one day that she was done sleeping with it. She never slept with it again. This is the child I'm dealing with.

About a month and a half ago, Charlotte got sick, and the sleeping issues just exploded. Suddenly, instead of just crawling into our room at some point during the night, she started trying to crawl into our bed. And, instead of letting us sleep, she would cry and scream when she woke up.

We couldn't take it any more, so we decided to bring out the big guns: Dora. We had an old twin daybed in the basement, and we promised her she could get a true big girl bed WITH Dora sheets. (As luck and fate would have it, when we went to get said Dora sheets at Target, they were on clearance and were the last set there. $25 for an entire new bedding set? Done.) I didn't really want to mess up her adorable pink and white dandelion room with bright Dora sheets, but decided my sleep and sanity were worth it. So, we jumped in.

Charlotte as pleased as punch with her new Dora Rocks bed.
So, the first night was a smashing success. She was thrilled to go to bed in her new Dora Rocks bed, and she slept the entire night in bed. We thought, "Wow, we're awesome."

Then, along came the second night. Not so awesome. She got out and tried to crawl in bed with us. Cory had to put her back and calm the crying before she finished the night in bed. The next morning she told me, "Mommy, I slept the whole night in my Dora bed." Um, not so fast little Pinocchio.

The third night, she stayed in bed, but screamed, "DADDY!" over and over and over until Cory finally went in. At which point, she jumped up and ended up giving him a busted lip. Not an awesome night.

The fourth night was more of the same crying but without the fat lip.

The fifth night, we finally saw an entire night in the bed. This time, when she woke up and said, "Mommy, I slept all night in my Dora Rocks bed," there was no nose-growing.

On Friday morning, after that fifth night, Molly was off school for the third day in a row, and I was desperate for something to do. I texted an SOS message to my friend Tara, and she suggested that we meet up at a new story hour that she'd heard about it.

We showed up for this story hour and the book they read was all about this little baby owl who did not want to go to sleep in his own nest. Um, hilarious timing, no? Then, it turns out they had a second book. And, the author, Marcia G. Riley, is from Lawrence. Her book, The Pillow Fairyis all about a boy who has trouble sleeping all through the night in his bed. Seriously. It's like the universe is just throwing rocks at my head. The Fairy will leave little things like stickers under your pillow if you sleep all night in your own bed. The story is really cute and quite apropos for our situation.

Story hour with the Dhakals. They had stories, a craft and snack. Awesome story hour.
We bought the book because, well, how can you not after the timing of that? I tried to get Charlotte to pose with the author, but ... well, she's Charlotte, and she didn't want to.

But, Molly took a picture with her because she thought it was cool that she met an author!
Last night, the girls spent the night at Cory's parents' house. Apparently, Charlotte did not sleep through the night there. And, tonight, they are spending the night at my parents' house. Who knows what will happen there?

And, who knows what will happen when she gets home, and we're back in the regular routine? All I know is that I really, really, really loved getting a full, uninterrupted night's sleep.

So, maybe if the pillow fairy and Dora team up in the Lafferty household, we might just eke out a few more nights like this ...

ahhhh ... pure bliss.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cinderella, nail polish and nausea

As you all saw, we had Charlotte's polar bear birthday party last weekend. After her party was over, she was sitting with me on the couch, playing with a new Dora baby doll. She looks at me and says, "Mommy, remember when I put that Cinderella baby doll on my birthday list? I didn't get it." Cue mommy-guilt.

Now, a little backstory. Before Christmas, every time we went anywhere (I'm talking anywhere, Home Depot, the grocery store, Starbucks,) Charlotte would see something she wanted. So, I started telling her that she needed to put it on her Christmas list, knowing full and well she wouldn't remember anything on this so-called list. It was a great way to recognize what she was saying but not buy out the Target toy department every time we went.

A couple weeks before Christmas, we were walking through Target when Charlotte saw something she wanted. I went through the regular rigmarole and told her to put it on her Christmas list. She turns to me and says, "Mommy, my Christmas list is full. I'm going to put it on my birthday list." First off, I had to stop myself from cracking up in the middle of Target. But, considering her birthday is only about a month after Christmas, it wasn't that crazy of an idea.

So, from that point on, everything she saw got added to her birthday list. And, if you think I actually wrote down everything that she "added" to this list, well, you're a crazy person. I did not remember the hundreds of things she put on her list, nor did I really expect her to.

And, now, you can see why I was feeling bad when she actually remembered something and brought it back up to me. Well, now I was on a mission.

Except, I am with Charlotte all day, so going shopping for her birthday present became a challenge. On Tuesday night, while Molly was at dance, I dragged Terah with me to both Wal-Mart and Target to find stuff for Charlotte's family Dora party (remember I promised her that, too) and a baby Cinderella doll.

But, I couldn't find any Dora party hats (another request of Charlotte's) and I couldn't find a baby Cinderella doll I wanted to buy. So, along came the idea of a special birthday day for just her and me.

On Wednesday, Charlotte's actual birthday, I took her to music class in the morning. Then, I surprised her with a trip to the mall and the Disney store. (Going to the mall is a surprise in and of itself because I truly hate going to the mall and avoid it at all costs.) At the Disney store, I told her she could pick out her very own baby doll. She picked the Cinderella one.

Charlotte with her new Cinderella baby doll!
Then, I happened to mention to the worker that it was Charlotte's birthday, and the worker came out with all this stuff for Charlotte. She gave her a birthday crown, a birthday button, coloring sheets and crayons. I mean, if you ever want something to do on your kid's birthday, I highly recommend the Disney Store. They were awesome.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How far I've come ...

A meme has been going around Facebook recently that says, in reference to Friends, "Monica and Chandler's twins would be 9 this year. Phoebe's triplets would be 14. Ben would be 18 and Emma would be 11." I was a huge Friends fan, and this made me feel incredibly old. Because, despite the fact that it feels like Friends just ended a year or two ago, it actually was a long time ago. Ben would be 18?!?! Yikes.

The fact that it was a long time ago can be confirmed not just with the ages of fictional children, but by simply watching old episodes and checking out Rachel's hair or Monica's crop tops and high-waisted jeans. The style. Oh, we thought it was cool, but as often happens when you look back at your past, you find yourself shaking your head in dismay: "What were we thinking?"

I shake my head in the same way when I think back on my past running attire: "What in the world was I thinking?" I've been running almost my entire adult life, and those early years are positively cringeworthy.

Now, I'm not saying it's anything as horrific as mall bangs or pinch-rolled jeans (though I did rock those styles in elementary school) or even the "Rachel" hairdo. But, I still can't help mentally chiding my younger running self. "There's something better out there for you, young Amy. I swear it!"

Although in my younger self's defense, I truly don't think the running community was seen as a big consumer group, thus not nearly the choices or technology of today.

See, in the running of my youth, I did it almost completely gear free. I'm not talking naked running. (Though I have heard there are races where you can do that. You won't ever find me in one of those, by the way.) I'm talking about running without all the accouterments that I absolutely require now.

Seriously, when I look back at what I used to run in ... wow. Just wow. I used to run in an old pair of baggy Umbros (Do you remember those shorts, or, am I just dating myself here?) and a cotton sports bra with a large cotton t-shirt. And, did I mention that I used to try to run with a discman? Yeah, that was cool. (I believe I was listening to the Live: Throwing Copper CD as I did it.) I mean, really. I could not have made running look less stylish.

Only for you good people am I including this picture. This should get your daily laugh quota in. This was after the Lenexa Feedom Run race in 2002ish. Cotton tank and umbro-esque shorts. Pre any running-related gear purchases. That's right. I look awesome. (Don't even get me started on why my bib is so high. I don't know.) PS. I'm the one girl in the picture with my dad, husband and father-in-law.

Slowly, as I got older and more knowledgeable about all things running (and, dare I say, running-related clothing got more technical and available for the masses), I discovered the amazingness that is sweat-wicking fabric. This fabric, it wicks sweat away from your skin. Self-explanatory, but still amazing. You mean your t-shirt doesn't have to weigh 10 pounds at the end of a run in the heat of August?!? That's crazy talk.

I began to pick up tips as I looked around at what other people were wearing during races or heard from other running friends. Wait, sweat-wicking socks stop blisters? No way. Gotta get me some of those.

Shorts or skirts that don't ride up causing that ever-horrible chub rub? Yeah, definitely gotta get those.

Shoes that cost more than $40? Wow, that makes such a difference. Gotta get me some real running shoes, too.

Now, my running-related gear takes up more than half of my drawer space, and my closet floor is covered in running shoes. I'm not a big snob when it comes to running clothes, though. I have been perfectly happy with my Target-brand tank tops, but have splurged on a couple skirts and tops. I recently got a down-filled skirt from lululemon to keep my butt, let's not say warm, but significantly less numb, during those cold winter runs.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Polar Bear Pajama Party

My little baby girl is turning 3 next Wednesday. So, as it happens when birthdays come around, it was time for a birthday party. And, you know how I get when it comes to birthday parties. Go big or go home.

For quite a while now, Charlotte's been obsessed with Dora. And, she had wanted a Dora birthday party. But, because I'm a glutton for punishment, I thought, "Dora? Everyone does Dora. We need something more creative."

So, along I come with my big ideas and Pinterest:. A Polar Bear Pajama party. To be fair, Charlotte does love polar bears. It's kind of a freakish attachment, and I'm not entirely sure where it came from. But, she loves those bears.

I was majorly questioning my own sanity when Target started carrying all things Dora all over the place a couple weeks before the party. I mean, it was like the universe telling me I was stupid for choosing to do something that required so much of my own work instead of just buying the pre-made Dora paraphernalia. But, I persevered. (Mainly because the invitations were already sent out, and they were Polar Bear.)

Then, today, the day finally arrived. A Polar Bear Pajama party for my baby girl's 3rd birthday!

The cake table.

Cupcakes made by Gigi.

Polar Water with labels.