Thursday, December 31, 2009

Close the curtain, open the door - bring it, 2010!

And so it ends - a very busy (and spectacular) year.

In 2009, my resolutions were:
  • Continue to try new things - camp (I hate camping but I'll learn to love it)
  • Stay financially fit - cash is king!
  • Balance - work/life (not on a beam)
I didn't camp, but I did try new things (like pilates and spin), balance work/life (I'm thankful for my company and awesome co-workers for that), and tried my hardest to stay financially fit. Sort of - gotta try harder on that one. 2009 also brought:
  • My twins - they are introducing me to a whole new world and I'm SO thankful - I've never felt love like I have for them and seeing them see things in the world for the first time reminds me to open my eyes more and enjoy everything
  • 30 - for some reason this ominous number scared me, but I'm digging my 30s
  • Making new friends and "hanging" with the old - this goes hand in hand with the twins - we didn't know any other parents but we're forcing ourselves to get out there and meet some
In 2010, I'd like to:
  • Work on the financially fit bit
  • De-clutter
  • Meet new people
  • Run ... more
  • Stretch
  • Travel (we already have trips to Boston (for the marathon) and Santa Fe (for Lisa's wedding) lined up)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Taking the high road

No, I'm not going to rant on teaching the boys manners (although Mr. Manners is just around the corner), I'm taking a baby break and musing on my passion - running.

This weekend we were in Mammoth for Christmas and I suited up, made it out the door, and realized my goodness the altitude really gets you! Here are my tips for altitude running:
  • Take it slow - I started out way too fast and died after just a mile
  • Dress for the run - it was icy and snowy in the mountains so my usual running tights and t wouldn't cut it - I layered which also isn't ideal - my recommended cold weather running outfit is water resistant running tights, a sweatproof t, a windbreaker, gloves, and ear warmers (this is only really related to altitude running because in the winter I associate altitude with snow - different story in the summer)
  • Drink up!
  • Stop and stretch - at lights instead of running in place (what Matt calls my Irish dancing) I've taken to stop and stretch - the figure 4 and calf stretches are my favs as that's where my legs always seem to die
  • Rest when finished
  • Do it again! The only way to get good at altitude running is to practice - just like the body has to adjust for distance running, it has to adjust for altitude
Can't wait to get back to the mountains.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

And so it went: our Christmas Tale

I love the holidays to a point - they're a great time of year to get together with family and friends, to splurge (within reason), and to (re)evaluate what's important. Let's be honest, though, the holidays are also friggin stressful! People lose the nice "spirit" when running from sale to sale and getting stuck in traffic on their way to (yet another) family dinner. So, to this holiday season - I have loved you and I'm glad you're over!

But before we say "The End" to the 2009 holiday tale(s), here is our Christmas Story:

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the skies
The twins were first traveling
Much more than a mile high

The boys ate on the runway
Then sat in our lap(s)
After milk pukes and plane poops (my God that was a big one - gross, potty talk, sorry, back to the story)
They settled in for a nap

When we landed in Mammoth
To the cabin we went to sit by the fire
The boys met Rhiannon
Who truly inspires

When out on a limb
Fine, it was inside, not out
Matty got sick and went night night
And Wilson did shout! (from 10pm to 5am - and shout, and shout and shout ... waiting for Santa?)

The morning brought Christmas
With presents galore
But the time spent with family
Meant everything ... no, more

It was a weekend of laughing
Of love and of life
We talked ate and played
No worries, no strife

Then Sunday brought goodbyes
And sent us back to the skies
A delay made the boys' day
As they sat in the pilots cabin - hurray!

Now back in the city
Heart full, mind and body tired
Thanks Grandpa (Don), thanks Grandma (Kathleen), Gabe, Amanda, Rhiannon (brother in-law, sister in-law, cousin)
You've left us whole - (subconscious) Scrooge, you're fired!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Traveling with twinfants

Tomorrow marks our first trip with the twins leading up to our first Christmas with them - and we're bringing on the snow - hurray! We're flying up/over to Mammoth tomorrow (we're breaking into the air travel scene with a short 1-hour flight). My goodness there's a lot of logistics involved in getting ready for twinfant travel.

The boys helped us get everything together this evening - they made sure the laundry was finished, reminded us to pack burp cloths, and provided constant entertainment while we blitzed around the house throwing things in bags.Our bags are packed ... to the brim ... some highlights:
  • PeaPod Travel Tentsfor the boys to sleep in
  • Bjorns
  • 6 outfits for 3 days (and I think we'll have to do laundry)
  • Milk (some to declare, some frozen in the suitcase)
  • Diapers
  • Binkies and backups - the boys are teething now so having something to put in their mouths is key
  • Blankets
  • Christmas gifts
  • Hand-me-down clothes for the boys' niece Rhiannon - who they cannot wait to meet!
  • Chocolates and ear plugs for all the passengers around us ... now, seriously
Wish us luck on this flight ... :o) should be an adventure.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like ... winter running time!

This weekend marked the Xmas relay - the race where run clubs from around the Bay Area come to show their stuff around Lake Merced. This is the second year I participated in the relay with GGRC, the second year it dumped rain on the relay, and the second year I had an awesome time! This year I brought my built in cheer squad - two Santa's and the best gift there is (Matty).

The boys in their sleighThe must pic: crying baby, bored baby, tired mommy
GGRC had an awesome showing with nearly 70 runners. I had hoped for 7min miles, but came in at 6:30s - woot! I think part of the reason for my speed this time is I wanted to get back to the boys and out of the rain. I have to say, despite it being a short race (4.3mi) the final stretch was a killer - it was an incline of about 400 yards - not too steep, but enough to think "who the H puts the finish line at the top of a hill?..."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tis the season to meet Santa!

This weekend I was one of "those" nutty moms - after the boys' breakfast, I made the whole family get dressed, jump in the car, and make it over the bridge to Marin (in the dumping rain mind you) to go to Santa's Village and introduce the boys.

They have been very good (it may help that they still can't talk or walk, but regardless, they're my perfect angels) so I think they'll get exactly what they want. I saw Wilson slip Santa a note that said "milk" and Cole slipped another note that said

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To wear: Running in the rain

Running in the rain
Just running in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
I run through the city
In a happy refrain
I'm running and running in the rain ...

(I do hope you know what tune to read that to ...)

It's finally raining in the city and I LOVE it!!! The rain is my favorite weather hands down - it's perfect for cozy afternoons with movies and tea (or twins who want to be entertained constantly), it's a good excuse to wear sweats around, and most of all, it's my favorite weather to run in. Yeah, kinda nuts.

When I started thinking on what I typically wear running in the rain, I realized it's usually whatever clean race shirt I have somewhere, and my dry fit running tights. When I think of what I'd like to wear running in the rain, it's similar, but more on the dry fit side:

To do: make a book!

We have photo books coming out of the woodwork (heh, get it? They're all in our bookcase (which is made of wood) but they're a little on the long side and all different shapes (read, wonky) so they're literally coming out of the woodwork ... ) as well as online photo books in a handful of places.

I have now found a new way to archive my memories and it doesn't involve glue and stickers - photo book creation - it's a book making site called Blurb where you can import photos from different photo streams or your desktop, add text (or not), click and publish. I'm hooked!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend roundup: the holitwins have begun

The holidays are officially in full swing. This weekend we bought our first Xmas tree with the boys! We were also invited to five holiday parties - leaving us feeling oh so popular. Unfortunately, though, this weekend also brought a nasty cold for Cole and Wilson so we wound up bailing on 3 of the parties (which actually stunk, we don't want to completely lose our social life, but we also don't want to get everyone in a room sick or make our little men sicker/more miserable). The two attended, though, were pretty awesome.

First up - twin moms night out! A group of (exhausted) women met up at NOPA for our first twin moms night out. It was funny, a few of us had met before with our kids at coffee, but getting out for a "grownup" only night felt like we were in the dorms. Random statement, I know. Remember back in college days when you got dropped off at the dorms and you didn't know anyone, but everyone was in the same boat so you felt instantly bonded? Well, that's the twin moms feeling. We know what it's like not to sleep for months at a time. We know what it's like to try to carry two babies at the same time, feed two babies at the same time, tend to one crying baby only to have the other start crying ... you get my drift. We also know what it's like to have a laughing contest with 2 4-month olds at the same time, what it's like to have people stop constantly telling us how lucky we are, and what it's like to feel utter amazing undying love TWICE!Saturday brought brunch with Wilson's Godmother Ryan. Her poor sister Meghan hurt her knee, but that didn't stop Matt and I from plopping a baby in her lap. Ryan surprised the boys with some awesome stuffed animals that her mom bought them - the boys are already loving their new playmates.
Last night Matt and I made it out for another "grown up" night - my work holiday party. Paloma came (bringing total sanity to our little apartment - the boys light up whenever they hear her) and Matt and I hit the road shedding puke covered sweaters in lieu of "festive" wear. The holiday party was a blast, but I caught myself being "that mom" showing pics of the boys and then smiling to myself about when the pics were taken. Matt and I wound up leaving a little early so we could go to Target "just the two of us" for Pampers. Romantic.Rounding the weekend off, this morning I made it to GGRC for a good 7.3 miler; started at the Warming Hut, up to the bridge, down and back up Baker Beach stairs, over the planks and through the woods (literally), through the Presidio, and back to the Hut again. Now that's a way to wrap a weekend!

Sniffles, snuffles, and cuddles

The boys are sick (not cool - it means they're up every 2-hours during the night and they don't know what all these aches pains and snots are about), but from sneezes, coughs, and notfeelingsohotmisery total bliss occurred... we slept.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Raising twins: San Francisco apartment style

As you can imagine, San Francisco apartments don't give much wiggle room for twins to ... well, wiggle. Our boys aren't crawling yet (oh God, what are we going to do when they start scooting around?! Eeeee!) but they are taking over the house. From cribs, to boppys, to bjorn chairs and swings, their stuff is everywhere. This isn't to mention clothes (they have more than me - that's hard to do), diapers, wipes, and wait - there's more! Food, bibs, burp cloths, books, squeeky things that have no real shape, I could go on...

For working their little legs, we got door jumpers (thanks to my old CEO):
Instead of Motion Activity Jumpers.

For toys we use boxes instead of Wagons ... OK, that's a joke - we'll get the wagon, too, but aren't they cute?!

At the table we already have two Tripp Trapps ready and waiting. Until the boys are in their high chairs, they get to join us for dinner ON the table:More tricks to come. For now, we're comfortable with the fact that yes, the boys get to take over the house.

Tasty Tuesday: steak and salad

I haven't written one of these in a while. Tonight after a very long, very hard day at work (for both Matt and I - something about the week after a long weekend), we wanted a quick easy meal. We talked about delivery but there were too many options and it exhausted us trying to decide. We talked about getting a pre-prepared dinner from over the hill, but the whole "hill" thing killed that idea. We thought on microwave meals, but realized our freezer has been taken over by milk, not microwave meals. Then I realized in a fit of wanting to be some kind of domestic goddess, this weekend at the market I bought steak - not just any steak, fillet Mignon. And thus came the dinner of champions...Total prep time: 15min
Total cook time: 20min

2 1/3 lb fillets (we're not rich you know)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tblsp crushed garlic

In a non-stick pan, sear steak with salt, pepper, and garlic. Put in baking tin in pre-heated oven for 15min.

2c spring lettuce
4 strawberries sliced
2 boiled beats sliced
1 tsp soft peppered goat cheese
6 black olives
Olive oil and vinager dressing

Why it's good for moms:
I've been getting random bruises all over my legs. I'm not sure if it's from bonking into furniture in the times of morning that no-one should be up, or from low iron - if the latter, the steak helps.

Why it's good for runners:
Protein + fats + carb = the perfect energy mix. Tomorrow morning I'll be ready to bound out of bed, lace up my shoes ... and feed the boys, clean up puke, change diapers, play, and get to work. But I'll be ready.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So many things I'm Thankful for

This weekend marked the boys' first Thanksgiving and it was fabulous and exhausting all at the same time. Matt and I have been putting some serious hours in at work - 7-5 + a few hours after the boys go down, so we were thankful for the long weekend. In years passed, this long weekend marked some great lazy downtime. This year that definitely wasn't the case, but we did get some good family time.

Thursday (Thanksgiving) my mom called and she was sick. We wound up driving up to San Anselmo to pick up the turkey (my mom makes it every year) then over to Walnut Creek to chow down with the fam. Aunt Elsa was a Saint and moved Thanksgiving to be a lunch vs. dinner (the boys aren't so great at dinner times). Family was ... family filled with advice and commentary. Don't get me wrong - I ADORE my family really truly and look forward to the times we're all together. This year we had Grandma saying the boys were fat, one aunt saying they needed to be with us more (at the table) and trying desperately to get them to learn to count, an uncle in law saying they're spoiled, another aunt saying they should be put in a quiet room, grandpa walking around after the boys sticking his tongue out when he thought no one was looking to see if they'd stick theirs back, back to grandma saying they needed a dark room with a shut door and then switching gears to try to get them to pick a painting... I'm winded just writing this. All of the feedback and advice aside, I'm still one tired confused mom and that's OK with me. The thing that really prevailed throughout our feast was how much love there was for the boys and for our family, for that I'm most thankful.

Friday Matt and I were pretty beat up and tired from the boys. In the morning Matt went climbing with our friend and I walked around Chrissy Field. After that, to be honest, I have no idea what we did!

Saturday marked a house cleaner coming which was AWESOME - while she scrubbed, we ran errands stopping in between to feed and play with the boys in the grass. Today Matt and I each took time for our "things" - I got out with GGRC for a nice 5mi run over the bridge, and Matt went rock climbing when I got home. We're working on getting a better eat/play/nap schedule for the boys ... but that's a work in progress.
Belly time in the park

I'll wrap this tome with this - this weekend I realized I don't like turkey/stuffing/potatoes and I don't really like being frantic for the holidays (who does), but I do love my family (aunts, grandparents, extended fam, and most of all my boys (all 3 of them)) and I am so very lucky to be surrounded by love, health, and happiness.

Here's to making it through the holiday season in one piece.
p.s. here's what I get to look at as I write this

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Gone are the days of sleeping in and being lazy... those were gone months ago.

We're trying to be more social now that the haze of the first few months of twindom.

Friday I hosted a jewelry/purse party where Jamie sold some cool stuff from Stella and Dot, and Karen sold purses that she designs. It was fun having people over - the party went 6-8pm (short!) but fit with the boys' bedtime perfectly.

Saturday I made my way up to Marin for an interview with Luna Chix. I drove the boys to San Anselmo to "hang" with grandma, then headed back to Mill Valley for the interview. After talking about what being a Luna Chix entails (and BTW, it entails everything I'm passionate about), we went for a quick 7.5 mi run. I wrapped my Marin trip by going to pick up my dad at the hospital - he just got a new knee (bionic grandpa!) After a whirlwind twin feed, I made it back to the city for nap time. Matt's old co-worker Amy and her husband came over for a great Thai dinner, and then we all (our 4some) crashed. The boys enjoyed a great 10hour sleep and we enjoyed a nice 5.

Today (Sunday) I met up with some parents from Parents of Multiples in Dolores Park. I almost didn't go because it was so misty this morning, but I'm glad I did. We don't know many parents in the city, let alone parents with twins, so it's nice catching up with others "in the same boat" - also, learning about others' sleep times, feeding schedules, etc. is super helpful. After the meetup, we made it to Whole Foods for a blitz grocery shopping spree (good pre-prepared food :) ), then, Rob, Emily, and Margarette came over. Emily cooked an AMAZING taco dinner topped off with a great tart.

I'm ready for another weekend now ... but no, I have Jury Duty tomorrow.

p.s. the boys are little giants now - it's unbelievable!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hitting the trails

Another weekend, another race. This time I opted for a trail race - my favorite kind - and ran/climbed the hills of Mill Valley doing the Muir Beach 17k. I wound up placing 10th overall, 3rd female - the race was hard, but felt so good.There's something about trail running that gets you thinking - this race my mind wondered to work. I have to say, I work for an awesome company, and am lucky to have a boss that truly wants everyone on our team to succeed. That said, in the tech world (my world) there are very very few women leaders. I want to make it to "the top" (but not at the risk of being a bad mom/bad wife - no, I want it all). That said, in the interim, while finding glass ceilings and learning how to break through them, I have a new motto ... when you hit the glass ceiling, find a trail. Here's the deal - I work hard so that I can live well. I do enjoy what I do, but I do not live to work. Instead, I put good hours in, deliver the best I can, and enjoy what I can at work - but the real fun comes when I get to log off and "hang with the boys" and when I need my alone time, or when I need to feel like a "winner" I'll hit the trails - that's mine and I'm glad I have found a thing I'm passionate about that I can do for me. Wow, selfish :).

OK, enough deep thoughts for one evening - time to log off and play with the boys. Belly time anyone?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To do: pilates

Here's a little Christmas ditty for you...

The weather outside is frightful
And to run is not delightful
Too cold - can't feel my hands or my toes
Time to stretch, time to stretch, time to stretch!

I usually love winter runs - the air seems to standstill and the chill helps with long runs. That said, I usually love typical San Francisco winter runs (aka, 50s, not 40s and below). The chill factor we're having right now is driving me to my new favorite cross training workout for running - pilates. Over the past few weeks I've been trying to work in mat and machine pilates stretching out muscles I've allowed to shorten and tighten on my hill bursts, and focusing a lot on the core. I'm digging it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

World's best nanny

Raising twins is hard ... really hard, I won't deny it. Juggling work with mommy time and trying to fit in runs and workouts here and there is logistics logistics logistics. To top it off, my company has re-branded and launched 3 new products since I've returned from leave, leaving me to work from 5am - 10pm almost daily (and ultimately leaving me feeling only soso - not a great feeling).Introducing, super nanny! Our nanny is amazing - the boys love her, and she gives Matt and I a bit of sanity. When the boys are awake our nanny is reading to them, teaching them English AND Spanish, helping them with belly time - you name it. When they sleep she turns into a magic woman cleaning the house and organizing - things we never seem to have time to do.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Travel with twins

Last weekend we went on our first overnight trip with twins - we went to Healdsburg and stayed at Gipson B&B. We've done brunches and dinners out, the occasional trip to Grandma's, but nothing overnight. As with anything twin related, our weekend involved a lot of logistics.

We had to plan:
  • How many diapers to bring (we brought a case - overkill)
  • Where they'd sleep (we brought the Pack 'n Play)
  • Outfits
  • Burp cloths (we brought 6 and went through all in a day)
  • Feeding times and how it fit with drive time and the race time - we're trying to get into a better schedule for the boys for eat > play > sleep
What we didn't plan for was the fact that there would be SO much traffic on the way up (we had timed the drive so we could feed before we left and when we got there, but with the traffic from the Bay Bridge being down we had to feed on the road which means change on the road - tough!) What we also didn't plan for was the boys loving their Halloween costumes so much they turned into little social butterflies ... or should I say bees and spiders.

All in all the weekend was a blast, but definitely exhausting. The boys' nap schedule got thrown off and they seemed to hit a mega growth spurt going from drinking 4oz per feed to 5oz. They also decided nap time was for 3 month olds and they are "so past that" so they fought every nap.

Here's what I learned:
  • You can only plan so much - inevitably, the twins will have their own plans
  • Gotta go with the flow
  • Outdoor dining is awesome
  • Bring extra outfits for mom and dad AND the twins (we came back with a suitcase full of milk puke)
  • You don't need EVERYTHING (we brought boppys, bjorns, strollers, a pack 'n play, etc. - definitely didn't need it all)
  • Travel with good friends - we lucked out with Emily and Rob helping and hanging

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Healdsburg Half!

This weekend was the Healdsburg half marathon and it was a BLAST! I ran the half with my run club and we all dressed as bees - the boys dressed up, too.

I wound up running my PR by three and a half minutes coming in at 1:34:02 and placing 4th in my age group, 13th female (out of 941), and 57th overall (out of 1438) ... and it felt GREAT!!!

Traveling with twins was ... trying - much more exhausting than the race itself. More on that later - all I have to say is thank God for Rob and Emily who came, cheered at the race, helped with the boys, and "hung" - we were celebrating my and Emily's 30th.

The boys in their costumes (p.s. we did not make Wilson wear the spider hat - it was enormous!):

Friday, October 30, 2009

My favorite time of day

I have never been much of a morning person, but lately 5:30-7am has become my favorite time of day. Every morning I get up to get a start on work and enjoy a cup of black tea with honey and cream. I also treat myself to figs (something I've become totally addicted to). I love this time - the house is quiet and the city is still sleeping.

My favorite right now are the teas from Harney & Sons - maybe it's the tin, or maybe it's the fact that the teas go so well with good local honey, whatever it is, I'm sold.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And then I was 30...

The day has arrived - my 30th birthday, that is. It's crazy, when I was a kid 30 was a HUGE milestone - it meant old, "grown up," and serious. Well, it's here and I don't feel old, definitely don't feel "grown up," and I don't think I'll ever be serious. I'm thrilled for my 30s - I think these are going to be some of the best years. My goal for my 30s (warning, hippie blather alert) is to be healthy, happy, and beautiful mentally and physically. What does that mean? Time to give my body breaks ... and push it to the limit (that's right - I'm gonna try pilates AND do more races :) ), I'm going to continue to learn and teach, and I'm going to treat myself well (sunscreen and dental floss).

This weekend we rang in the 30s with style - Friday Matt and I enjoyed Burma Superstar (hands down, my fav restaurant in SF), Saturday brought walking with Nicole and the boys while Matt climbed and then an awesome tapas dinner up the hill, and today (aka B-Day) I ran with GGRC and then hoofed it home for a fantastic picnic in the park with friends.

The boys loved all the pretty girls picnicking with us:

A couple of my favorite things:
(finally getting to test my BOB (not run with it, though), amazing carrot cake cupcakes from Nicole, and Matty playing guitar to the boys when I headed out the door for a run)

And of course: