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Who you calling Dopey?!

March 28, 2017

It’s my blog!! I haven’t updated this thing in forever!!  SO. What’s new in MO? Lots probably. Apparently there were tornadoes a couple weeks (months?) ago. I found out when my Grandma called me in an almost panic the next morning and wanted to make sure we were okay.  Yes, we’re fine. The tornado was about 4 hours away from us.

Now the real reason I’m writing this post. I’m conquering an item on my Bucket List! After wanting for YEARS to complete the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge at Disneyworld (Half marathon on Saturday and Full Marathon on Sunday) and get 3 medals, I’ve signed up the Dopey Challenge in January of 2018. What is the Dopey Challenge you ask? Well it’s basically the Goofy Challenge…plus a 5K on Thursday and a 10K on Friday for a grand total of SIX medals!! Three medals from the Goofy Challenge, one each from the 5K and 10K and one more for being awesome/stupid enough do all 4 on consecutive days.


Now, I’m planning to run the 5K and 10K, but the Half and Full Marathons will be a run/power-walk combo. As long as I finish under the time limit (3.5 hours and 7 hours, respectively), then I’ll be happy. Well and not die. Not dying is always at the top of the list of goals for any particular race. And my brother has informed me that dying is not a valid excuse to miss his wedding. I thinking being made into a centerpiece would really kill the festive mood of any wedding, so it’s probably best for everyone if I just survive this trip.

When I started looking at the logistics of these races, even if I just went down for the races and came home, I’d be gone for almost a week. I decided that was too long to be away from Jake and the kids, especially when I’d be at Disneyworld! So they’re coming too and we’re making it into a Disney vacation!! Now, we’re only spending 3 days (I’m trying to convince Jake we need a 4th…) at the Disney parks, which my brother has already informed me is unacceptable. I told him this will be a mini preview of Disney parks for the kids. Then in another year or two, Disneyland. Then another year or two after that, back to WDW. Poor Jake. He thought this trip would cross WDW off our destination list for good. Hahaha…no. But he’s actually excited for the trip because we’re driving the 16 hours from here to Orlando.

So that’s the big news! We’ve got our vacation booked and now just have to wait. Oh and train. Lots of training.

We’ve already started training, actually. Who is this “we”, you ask? Well I’ve actually talked a good friend into doing this crazy thing with me, because it’s not enough to be crazy solo. We’ve been power walking each week to prep for a half marathon in April. It will be my first half is my last Disneyland Half Marathon in 2007.

Also in preparation for our trip, we have started introducing the kids to Disney Classics. They’ve very familiar with Disney Junior (Jake & the Neverland Pirates, Sofia & Doc McStuffins), and Annabelle is a fan of Elsa, but they haven’t seen Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Snow White, etc. Some of these movies are hard to track down!

We started with Sword in the Stone. The kids both liked it. Jake was amused at the presence of a massive sturgeon that tried to eat Arthur when he was a fish in the moat. I was amused that Jake could identify the fish, which led to googling and discovery that it’s actually NOT a sturgeon. It’s a pike. So there you go. If it’s ever a question on Jeopardy, you now know that the fish that tries to eat Arthur is a pike.


Speaking of Jake, we recently downloaded the Life360 App at the recommendation of a coworker. It lets us see where the other one is. Or really, where the other one’s phone is. It might seem like something that’s only really needed for keeping track of tweens and teenagers but Jake is on-call most weekend nights and I’ll wake up and wonder if he’s home. Really, I just worry about him and whether or not he can go tend to the crying child in the next room or if I have to drag my lazy hide out of bed and do it. It works great, except for one thing. He can see my location AND the battery level of my phone. I now get texts throughout the day telling me to charge my phone. It’s like if my car texted him every time I got below a 1/4 tank. Actually, that could be awesome because he might take pity on me and put gas in it. Hmm….someone needs to get on this.

What day is it?

June 8, 2016

I’m just finishing up a crazy, whirlwind 3 months of illness, travel and work. All the days are blurring together. In fact, I woke up the other day SO THANKFUL that it was Saturday. Then realized it was actually Friday and I was late for work. DOH! Sigh. So let’s do a quick rundown of February through May.

Illness – We’ve all had colds, Jake has allergies and Grayson and I were the lucky ones to also get a stomach virus! Thankfully, that virus was only a 24 hour bug but wow. That 24 hours was brutal.  I was starting to ponder if life was worth that much trouble, that I’d had a good life, there’s life insurance for the kids and maybe it was time to give up the ghost. I’m still traumatized.

Travel – I went to California on a volunteer trip to  help a neighborhood determine the best solution for their contaminated drinking water. And while I was there, I also went to a baby shower and caught a Giants game, including eating some real SF sourdough. Oh man, do I miss real SF sourdough. I also spent a week in Jefferson City, which is not nearly as exciting as going to SF. They also don’t have any SF sourdough. Maybe that’s Jeff City’s problem; if they had SF sourdough, it would be a much more hip and happening place. I should submit that to the city planners as a suggestion.  Then I went to Columbia for a 5k. Columbia also suffers from a lack of SF sourdough but is definitely more trendy than Jeff City. Still, SF sourdough can only improve a city’s image. I will suggest this to Columbia’s city planners as well.

Work – Work has been insanely busy, but it’s finally slowing down a touch this week. YAY! I was starting to think my kids had forgotten what I look like. Anytime I’m at home, Annabelle says “Mom! You’re home?!” all incredulous. Yes I’m home! It’s amazing isn’t it! She will also pack up her bag and announce that she’s going to work and march off into her bedroom. Then she comes back a few minutes later. I wish I could get all of my work done in just a few minutes. Clearly, I have some things to learn from her in terms of efficiency.

So what else? I lost my pink Fitbit Zip somewhere between my hotel room and the KC airport security line. Annabelle has yet to let me forget it. “Mom! You lost Pink! But you have Green.”  Green is my new Fitbit Zip that was my Mother’s Day present. Annabelle hid Green from me for an entire day before we found it. We tore the whole house apart looking for it and it still took us over 12 hours to find it. She’s a sneaky one.

Not to be outdone, Grayson recently hid our remote control. It was our only way to control the TV and I had two episodes of NCIS to watch. You can imagine my level of distress. After tearing the house apart (again!) to no avail, I discovered that Roku has an app that lets you use your phone as a remote. WINNING! Jake found the real remote the next day. In the package of Gatorade bottles. Because that makes sense. He discovered it when he moved the box of Gatorade and the TV turned on.

I’m telling you, life with small children is just weird. We’ve found ourselves having the oddest conversations.

Me to Grayson: Dude. Your face is not a brake. Quit using it to stop yourself.
Grayson: Nah!

Annabelle to me: Mom! You lost car?
Me: What? No. I didn’t lose my car. It’s at work.
Annabelle: You lost car at work?
Me: It’s not lost. I know where it is.
Annabelle: You lost car?
Me: Yes. I lost my car. We’ll find it tomorrow when Dad drops me off at work.
*next day*
Annabelle: Ma! You find car!!
Me: Yep. Found my car. Exactly where I left it.

Speaking of losing cars, I had a moment of sheer panic when after flying back to KC and sitting on the bus to take me back to the parking lot I realized something horrible.  I had absolutely no idea where I parked my car. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I knew I was in Lot B. That’s it. The driver must have sensed my panic because he chose that moment to look up and say “So where do I drop you?” and I had no choice but to say “I have no idea.” He dropped me off at one of the little bus stations and told a number to dial on their phone if I couldn’t find my car. I walked up and down this aisles for 45 minutes before I found my car. Driving a white Escape that looks like every other white SUV/Crossover has really inconvenient sometimes.

Jake to me (via text): Do you want pancakes for dinner?
Me: PANCAKES!! Pancakes pancakes pancakes. Might come home early for pancakes.
Jake: That’s a no then?
Me: No. No pancakes for me.
Jake: What time? Kids are stirring from their naps.
Me: All motion is relative.
Jake: See you at 4:30.

And now I gotta go. I have 15 minutes to get home and eat some pancakes.


Annabelle is 3!!

April 8, 2016

Annabelle is 3 today!! Let’s just let that sink in a moment.


So what has Miss Annabelle been up to lately? Well, she takes dance lessons every Friday. She goes to classes with a local homeschool preschool co-op. She loves playing on her Leappad. She can count to 19 and identify all her letters. She likes to watch us cook and play her tea set.

Oh and sometimes she insists on wearing her coat backwards.

She’s also had a language explosion lately, including learning the terms “don’t wanna” and “I don’t like it.” It was like all of a sudden Bam! She speaks English! Which is really weird for me. When she was born, it was like I kept waiting for her to speak and tell me what she wanted but obviously she couldn’t. I spent 2.5 years  getting used to the fact that she doesn’t speak English and then now, she does!!


Grayson had it much easier. I’d already gotten accustomed to the fact that babies don’t speak a language I can understand. Except now, Annabelle will say something and I’ll turn to Grayson and he says “Na!!” for everything. I think it’s his way of asking “what’s that?” He will occasionally bust out all gone or thank you and the other day he said blanket but then you try to get him to say it again and he’s back to “Na!” Today, he even said Piper 3 or 4 times in a row! Then not again.

The poor guy has had a lot on his mind though. He recently started walking! Although it’s still touch and go. He walked on camera and then we all got sick and our living room has been a disaster and so it’s been more cruising and practicing standing independently than actual walking. But he did it! He’s also got every tooth in his head pushing to emerge right now. RIGHT NOW. This second. It’s painful for all of us.


Speaking of painful, Grayson’s favorite activity is to stand in the corner of this crib  and then throw himself face first onto his mattress. It’s like baby WWF wrestling solo version. Then he laughs and grins and gets back up to do it again. I don’t think this bodes well for my future anxiety levels. I can see a lot of No! NOOOO!! Do not jump out of that tree! NOOooo. *sigh* well…are you hurt?
Note to self – Start putting more money in the Health Savings Account.

Anyway, back to the birthday girl!!

She likes chocolate milk, cake, cookies, pancakes, and pretty much anything sweet. Her birthday dinner will be pancakes. Her favorite TV shows are Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First. Yes, we like our Disney Junior in this house.


Oh and since we’re on the topic of Disney. Annabelle wears Pull-ups during car trips, naps and at night. We had a big box of pullups featuring Doc McStuffins and so we’d constantly remind her to “Keep Doc dry.” Then we ran out and had to get more. Jake tried to place the Doc box in our cart at Sam’s but it was too late. Annabelle had spotted the boy pullups featuring Jake and the Neverland Pirates (aka Bucky). A fit ensued and we decided how different can they really be? So she’s been happily wearing Bucky pullups.  The problem is that she’s moved away from calling all of the characters Bucky, and now refers to them by name. The show itself is still Bucky though. She will tell us that “Jake is all wet” and we talk about how she has to keep Jake dry. Last night, we were getting ready for a bath and she was wearing regular underwear but still referring to them as Jake. Needless to say, the real Jake isn’t all that thrilled that he’s now synonymous with underwear.

Now back to the topic of her birthday. My sister sent me a text today that said she’s mailing out Annabelle’s birthday presents along with a couple things for me. I responded with “Yay! I get presents too!” And then it occurred me. Why SHOULDN’T I get presents too?! I was the one in labor all night on my hands and knees worried every time her heart rate dropped. I was the one cut open for major surgery. What about me?! My sister quite agreed with my assessment and we’ve determined that from now on when we send birthday presents for the kids, we’ll also include something for each other. Current ideas include gift cards to the liquor store or fast food places. I also predict that crafting supplies will also be on the table. There. Society’s oversight has been rectified, at least for us. That’s what sisters are for.

and with that – Happy 3rd Birthday, Annabelle!



May the Fourth Be with You!

January 13, 2016

No, it’s not May 4th. Instead, it’s our 4th anniversary! And we’re going to see the new Star Wars tonight, so it the title seemed fitting.

Four years! I’m looking through our amazing wedding pictures and thought I’d share a few of my favorites:

All photos are from Brian Boos Photography.

The fine print says 12:06 pm, but we were there at 11:58 am. That was TWO WHOLE MINUTES before our appointment.

This is where Jake realized that he wasn’t supposed to answer “yes” after each line of for better or worse (yes), for richer or poorer (i do), in sickness and in health, but felt compelled to keep going that way.

Isn’t SF City Hall gorgeous?


Still don’t believe me?


What about now?


Alright, I’ll stop with City hall because otherwise I’ll post every picture we have.

After City Hall…we had lunch. Outside City Hall.

How brave was I to eat a hotdog with ketchup and mustard in my wedding dress when we still pictures to take?! Actually, I was just starving and the pictures would have certainly take a turn for the worse if I wasn’t fed. Hangry isn’t pretty, people.

My mom loved carousels, so we made a point to go to Pier 39 and ride the carousel. It was awesome! We were the only ones so they let us ride a bunch of times.

The photographer told us to kiss and we missed.  And wow. I just noticed that my horse looks crazy pants.

We also drove down Lombard Street, visited the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio and Baker Beach.


There’s probably a rule against climbing up on those things.

Well that’s it for this trip down memory lane! It’s been one adventure after another and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 4 years and many more to come!


‘Twas the Day After Christmas

December 27, 2015

‘Twas the Day After Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The house, once clean and waiting for St. Nick,
had done a complete 180 in a cruel, cruel trick

It was a mess, a fright, such a disaster
I wished for a bulldozer to make cleanup go faster

The children were nestled in corners in timeout,
with their arms crossed defiantly and faces in a pout.

When Dad began lecturing on the importance of sharing
our children began scowling, not the least bit caring.

Toys lay discarded, making not a sound
for we discovered too late, there wasn’t a battery to be found

Then timeout was over and chaos began anew
With a fight over who gets the red ball and who gets the blue

As we tried in vain to  contain the mess
I began to wonder if we’d expire from the stress

I dreamt of a warm place with a drink in my hand
Hawaii, perhaps, on a beach of white sand

In a flash of brilliance, I stood up to declare
“That’s it, I’ve had it! It’s too much to bear.

Get your new bicycles and gloves and hats
It’s time to play outside, go bother the cats.”

As I opened to the door to give them a shove
There was a flash of light and crash from above

The rain came fast and completely drenched the lawn
my plan had been foiled, all hope was gone

Then from behind came a wonderful sound
It was a yawn from our youngest and I turned right around

I swooped him up in a hug and said with glee
“It’s time for a nap, my son!” but he did not agree

He cried and cried while his sister hid
Then I found her behind the couch “It’s nap time, kid”

We tucked them into bed and gave them a kiss
Then settled ourselves on couch for some quiet bliss

They had fought and fussed and complained to boot
After a morning like that, it’s a good thing they’re cute.


It’s funny the things you remember

November 2, 2015

My dad is a trucker and has been for most of my life. When I was little, he’d always have candy for us when he got back from a run. The most common candy was tootsie pops, usually red. Then one day we asked why is it always red? Why not any of the other colors? So he let us choose and I picked blue, my brother picked orange and my sister stuck with red. From that day forward, he’d bring us our chosen color tootsie pop. FOR YEARS. I remember once thinking “Just because I picked blue one day doesn’t always mean I want blue!” but I stuck with my choice.

Now, whenever I come across that combination of tootsie pops it always makes me smile. And any time I eat an orange or red tootsie pop, I feel like I’ve stolen it from one of my siblings, which makes me smile even more.

Baby Boy turned 1 and I ran a 5k!

October 9, 2015

I thought I posted this already and was actually coming here to post my race report from my 5k last weekend and discovered that I did not actually post this. So here is Grayson’s birthday post AND my race report. It’s two posts in one! It’s like BOGO!

Grayson’s Birthday:

Grayson turned 1 year on Sept 28th! I can’t believe it’s been a year. I swear it was just a few weeks ago. We celebrated with presents and birthday cake at the farm. There were lots of pictures taken, but this one is my favorite.

Isn’t he adorable?! He looks so much like my brother, who is less adorable. Don’t tell him I said that. Oh wait, he reads this blog. Hmm. Moving on.

I love the chubby cheeks stuffed full of cake. This was his first taste of cake and he appears to be a fan, as evidenced by the plate of crumbs. I also adore the fistful of cake that’s he got ready to go as soon as he’s done with his current bite. He doesn’t tolerate waiting for his next mouthful very well. He’s rather impatient about it, actually. Look at all that hair! I think he’s got a haircut in his near future.

He still doesn’t have any teeth (but we can see some under his gums!) and isn’t walking yet. We’re not in any hurry for that latter. It’s hectic enough trying to keep up with Annabelle. Two is going to be nuts.

Panther Run 5k Race Report – The Good, The Bad & the Good Looking
Time: 36:40.62
Pace: 11:50 min/mile

Well, after a 5 year hiatus, I finally did another race. This was just a short 5k, which is a far cry from the half marathons (and one triathlon) I was doing many moons ago. Anyway, the race went well! I was slower than heck (with strollers passing me…) but I finished! My pace was about where I’d expected it to be, based on my training runs and it felt pretty good

The Good: It’s a well organized race that benefits a good cause, and even better, the starting line is 2 blocks from my house. I walked to the starting line 10 minutes before the race started. I decided that could be my warm up. Then walked home afterwards. It’s hard to beat that. I think some people had to walk farther than I did just to find a parking spot. Oh! And they gave away finisher’s medals!! You know I love the finisher’s medals.

The Bad: I can’t really think of anything that I’d call bad. No! Wait! I’ve got it! It was freakin’ cold. Jake and the kids came to watch and we had them bundled up like it was snowing outside. Which wasn’t too far off, I think with the wind chill, it was like 38. Note to self: Buy running gloves to keep your fingers from getting frostbite. I reminded me of that triathlon in Tahoe where they kept telling us the water temp was 51 degrees. They didn’t tell us the air temp on that beach but the water was warmer than the air temp. This explains why I was pretty sure my feet were turning blue…BECAUSE THEY WERE.

The Good Looking: Brad Pitt’s brother was the host for the award ceremony and there is definitely a family resemblance! I would have preferred it if he’d given me one of the kayaks, or bicycles, or even a gift card but sadly, he did not. Oh well, if I’m going to spend an hour and a half watching a raffle only to not win anything, having a good looking host is really the least they can do.

Overall, it was a good day and a good race and I’ve got two more in my sights for November. I suppose I should get back to training then.