Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Money saver Mania: make the ask!

Over the weekend I "happened" into Barneys to check out their end of holiday sale.  I can't really afford Barneys, but it feels so shiny clean fancy I just can't help myself.  I found an amazing dress, though, and tried it on and - yes, I did look 10lbs thinner, and yes my eyes popped, and no my wrinkles didn't show at all.  And the dress really did make my gray hair just disappear.  Well, kind of.  But it was pretty.  The dress was marked down over 75% (can you believe?!  That's like an investment - think how much savings that is), so I proceeded to the counter ready to make the buy.

At the counter the girl looked like I was bugging her (maybe because I wasn't wearing the beautiful creation of a dress, instead I was wearing jeans and a dirty jacket that had the boys' lunch smattered on it from their little hands).  Or maybe she was just too busy and important.  I decided to buy the dress to show her that I really did belong shopping at Barneys so I must be on the same level as her... very Pretty Woman, I know.  When she picked it up I realized there was a hole in the side.  I asked if it could be fixed or if there was another and she said maybe the seamstress could fix it ... she wasn't sure if there was time ... long pause.

I walked away from my perfect dress.  Crushed.

When I got home I went on the website of the designer - I found the same dress and, oh joy!  It was on sale. Just not as big a sale as Barneys.  Humph.  So I clicked contact us now and made the ask - the price match ask.  Low and behold, this morning at 6am there was an email in my inbox with a giant discount promo code just for me!  Happy day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Farting during yoga - really?!

I just finished Bikram - second day in a row thank you very much!  The class was excellent ... except ... the guy next to me.  I know you're supposed to be in your own space, not think about anything except breathing and what YOUR body is doing, and let go of all distractions.  It was hard enough to shut down thoughts of my amazing baby boys and stop letting work sneak into my brain for the 90-min class.  But the guy ... 

At the start of class during the deep breathing, my neighbor starting groaning uncontrollably.  Then it was on to standing balance poses and he kept falling (no big deal) but every time he fell he would start laughing maniacally.  Finally, at the end of class during the twisting poses he ripped a giant fart!

On the bright side, the noises kept my mind off the outside world. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


After a 6-mo waitlist, we finally got the boys into daycare part time here.  We lucked out and got them into a daycare my cousin had sent her kids to and loved.  It's not the same as our daycare in San Francisco (which we miss terribly) nor is it anywhere near as good as our first nanny Paloma (who set the highest bar for kindness and caring).  But it's pretty great!

The teachers there are amazing and really get down and play with the kids and all of the kids there are just the sweetest.  The boys are in a "class" with kids who are 12mo - 2years, although the majority are about their age (18mo).

On the boys' first day, there was painting time:

Story time:
And tons more.  The boys came home exhausted but so happy.

When I went in to observe one afternoon, I was reading a book to Wilson and all of the little kids started gathering around and sitting in the floor to enjoy.  The best part?  The boys love it.  They seem so happy playing with all of the other kids and exploring a new area.  Cole already knows how to open every cabinet, and Wilson is already testing boundaries of what he can climb on.

Extreme living

I've decided I like things harder, dirtier, hotter.  Go big or go home, right?  I took a Bikram yoga class today and I'm HOOKED!  It's funny, I like yoga if it's fast paced and moving, I can't hang with the deep breathing focused classes, but Bikram?  Love.

I'm much the same with running.  Running is my sanity check - it keeps me in line.  Road running is OK, but trails?  Anything 10-20mi?  Love.

Maybe that's why we have twins?  Gosh, if I did ironmen, would we have triplets? 

Back to the Bikram, the class left me feeling so energized and, oddly enough, ready and wanting to run!  It was great to really stretch out - the heat let me stretch muscles I thought turned to stone long ago.  It was also nice to warm up when it's in the 40s out (warm for here).  And the teacher was awesome - here are a few of her one-liners that I really liked:
"The pain is momentary - it will pass.  Go with it."
"You need to give yourself breaks to do better."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Making time

With the short days of winter, work, and the boys becoming more active by the second and napping less, time is sparse to say the least.  But I know I need to fit runs in so my body and my brain feel good. 

Introducing - the top 10 ways to make time to run:
  1. Run instead of driving - Matt's folks were in town this weekend and for us to all go anywhere, one person doesn't fit in the car.  I volunteered every chance I got to be the one who didn't fit in the car because I was able to run or bike to meet up with Matt, his parents, and the boys.
  2. Make running the main event - instead of trying to fit my runs in around life, I've been trying to fit things around my runs.
  3. When you can't go long, just go - running any distance always makes me feel better, even if it's just up and down the hill in front of our house.
  4. Pack 'em up and go! - Our boys always get a little wonky in the afternoons between their 1 nap and bedtime.  Popping them in the stroller and hitting the streets is a great way to pass time and get some fresh air for them.
  5. Find time - when the boys are napping I typically try to hit the road (unless it's Matt's turn to climb).
  6. Steal time - I'm not a morning person.  We've been forced into morning life with a 6:30am wakeup call no matter what day it is (toddlers'll do that to you).  A handful of times I've hit the street before the house wakes up - I won't lie, in the beginning it stinks, but at the end of the run it's great.
  7. Make girl time run time - I have a few friends who are also runners.  Instead of bucketing time with mani/peddi/whatever in one chunk and a dirty trail run in another, we do what we all love - run.
  8. Make it happen - I always feel less stressed after a run.  When my to do list is pages long and deadlines seem to sneak up, I still make a run happen because I know I'll do better post-run.
  9. Swap time - on weekends Matt and I both make sure we get "us" time.  He climbs, I run.  We'll go solo with the boys a bit every weekend so the other person can get out.
  10. Stop making excuses and go - it seems there's always one more blog I need to read, or one more email I need to send.  But need and want are very different things and often the mind makes want trump need.  I need to run, I want to see the next sale on Gilt.
A little ditty to wrap up my count...up:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Race report: lessons learned from an afternoon run

The Bridle Trails 10 mile was awesome and inspiring!  This trail race was cool in that it was a mix of ultra runners and "the rest of us."

Here's a look at my shoes post-race (and this is after kicking off the mud!)

Ultra runners are definitely a different breed - and something in me keeps wanting to do an ultra.  You can tell the difference between the two groups because the ultraletes (get it?  ultra athletes?  hehe) are usually talking together in abbreviated sentences about sex and poop and not necessarily in that order.  I guess when you run 26.2+ consecutive miles, you're open to talk about anything.  They're also the prepared runners with water packs and food stuffed in every pocket and clothed in layers with headlamps topping everything off.  I am constantly in awe of ultra runners. 

The race started just after 3pm in 30 degree cold.  The forecast had snow, but we were lucky in that the sun was actually out - I can't say it was shining, so much, as the sun in Seattle seems to always be to the side somewhere when it makes an appearance.

Some lessons learned:
  • Sushi is not good pre-race food for an afternoon event - I had sushi for lunch and at about mile 3 it wanted to come up.  I felt like it was literally swimming back up ... gross.
  • Layers that can tie!  It was cold cold cold, but after a few miles I was warm and ready to shed layers.  The ability to tie stuff around my waist was huge.
  • Petes before a race, not so good.  Other coffees, required.  I won't go further than that.
Some highlights:
  • Mud.  That about sums up the entire race actually - it was 3-4 inches of mud for the duration.
  • Festive.  One of the runners got there earlier in the day and set up Christmas lights on a battery pack at mile 4/8 (it was a double loop) - what an awesome way to know you're close to the finish.  Another runner hung glow sticks on some of the trees along the course.
  • Good people.  Every trail race I've run in Seattle I have met great people. 

A do run run

This afternoon will mark my first race of 2011 and the jitters are here!  This also marks my first afternoon race since highschool when all races were after school.  In "grown up" times races all seem to be between 7 and 9am.  I kind of like this afternoon thing!  But, it definitely gives more time for the nerves to grow.

Here's the course:
Here goes nothing ... fingers crossed!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taylor Twins dance party

Who said DDR wasn't RAD!

Travelling with twoddlers (aka twin toddlers) - New Years in SD!

We made our way to SD to celebrate New Year's Eve and ring in 2011 with family and friends.  We thought traveling last year with 6-month olds at Christmas was tough ... now they're mobile.  Traveling with twoddlers was rough, but with a few prepared necessary evils we were A-OK.  Here were our flight trips:
  • We got to the airport about an hour and 30min early and made sure to find the family check-in line
  • We had TONS of snacks and sippy cups ready to fill with milk
  • We brought books we hadn't read in a few weeks and toys the boys forgot we had
  • We brought lots of diapers - ya never know
  • We tried to stay cool/calm/collected - if we stress (traveling or not) the boys do, too
And it went great!  In San Diego we went to the beach twice and the boys discovered the joys of sand and of chasing the waves - we could barely get Wilson out of the water (and it was cold):

Kathleen is a great musician and the boys loved rocking out to her piano.
 New Year's day we got together with family and friends - seems the past few years were filled with kids!

Races in and around Seattle

I've made my list, I'm checking it twice - gonna pick a handful of races to run this year.  Here are the upcoming races in and around Seattle with a few that I've earmarked as "the ones":
My favorite running orgs:
NW Trail Runs: http://www.nwtrailruns.com/
Evergreen Trail Runs: http://www.evergreentrailruns.com/

1/8 Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival
Kirkland, WA

1/15 Nookachamps ½ marathon, 10k, 5k
Skagit Valley College Mt. Vernon

1/23 CCRC Vancouver Lake Half
Vancouver Lake Park, Vancouver WA

2/12 9:30am
Green Lake http://www.chs-wa.org/RedStocking.html
Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em Valentine’s Day Dash – 5k Run / Walk

2/12 Heart and Sole 5k, 10k Run/walk
Longview, WA

2/13 Cupid’s Marathon, Half-marathon, 10mi, 10k, 5k, and 1mi
Rochester, WA

2/20 Birch Bay Marathon
Blaine, WA

4/9 5k run/walk
4/10 marathon & half marathon
Oak Harbor, WA Widbey Island: http://whidbeyislandmarathon.com/

5/14 5-mile
Seattle Running Club: http://www.seattlerunningclub.org/Events/Cougar/cougarmtn1.html

6/1 Tacoma City Marathon, Half, Relay, 5k, and Kids Marathon
Tacoma WA http://tacomacitymarathon.com/

6/11 7-mile
Seattle Running Club: http://www.seattlerunningclub.org/Events/Cougar/cougarmtn1.html

6/25 Rock & Roll Seattle Marathon and Half
Seattle, WA http://seattle.competitor.com/

7/17 See Jane Run Women’s half and 5k
Seattle, WA

7/9 10-mile
Seattle Running Club: http://www.seattlerunningclub.org/Events/Cougar/cougarmtn1.html

8/13 13-mile
Seattle Running Club: http://www.seattlerunningclub.org/Events/Cougar/cougarmtn1.html