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“Zachy, are you being a bad boy?”


“Zach, are you being naughty?”


We have a new word, friends.  Bobby.  Now, I know toddlers are hard to discipline, but imagine an (adorable) little face looking up at you while about to drop your glasses in the toilet and you say to him “NO!  Bad Boy!”  And he replies, “BOBBY!?!?”  I mean, seriously, how am I am supposed to not laugh?! And we all know laughing while disciplining ALWAYS works. NOT.  Incidentally, his favorite book, Brown Bear Brown Bear is also called “Bobby Bobby” to him.

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So, I am trying to find a better “disciplinary technique.”  One of Zach’s “bad boy” (“Bobby”) behaviors, is throwing food off of his high chair; sometimes in an attempt to feed the puppies and sometimes just because.  I have tried to put him in a “time out” by turning his high chair toward the wall.  This basically just resulted in an increase in the square footage of “battle ground” as he just threw the food at the wall, a few feet away from where his chair normally is.  And when I took the food away? His “fake laugh” which is also….you guessed it: hilarious.


Sometimes I count to three when he is being “naughty” (Which he has also labeled “Bobby”).  Another one I’ve tried was ripped off from my friend.  She was over one day with her toddler and I heard her say “STOP.  LOOK.”And then she gave “the command”  EX:  We don’t throw glasses in the toilet.  I tried that for a day until Z brought me another one of this books and turned to this page for me to read:


So I read it.  His response? “Bobby?”  LOL.  This kid CRACKS ME UP!

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So tell me: What are your discipline techniques?!

Fish Tacos with a side of the Playground

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photo 5Hello everybody!!!! Happy Friday!  So, first things, first, you MUST make these fish tacos ASAP!  I used THIS RECIPE but modified it for both my taste and ease.  You guys know I like making blackened fish so this was a spin on that.  For the pico de gallo, I just used the Whole Foods pre-prepped.  It is delicious and I honestly do not have the patience or equipment to chop all of that stuff!  For the cliantro lime sauce, you will need:

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1/4 cup mayo

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients and let marinate in the fridge for at least a half hour.

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For the filling for the fish tacos, you will need:

1-2 fillets of your choice of fish (I wanted mahi but they were out so I used snapper- good choice) cut into 1/4 inch cubes

Healthy amount of blackening seasoning (I get this at Whole Foods as well; it is perfect)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp chardonnay

1 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro


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1.  Sprinkle the fish cubes with the blackening seasoning

2.  Heat oil and garlic in pan

3.  Add fish, cook for a few minutes until browned

4. Add chardonnay and cilantro

5. Simmer for a minute to infuse flavor

6.  Top as desired


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HERS: (I have an obsession with guac)

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This meal was a PERFECT summer dinner, served with corn and rice. I have a new method of cooking rice; instead of cooking with water, cook with broth for a hearty delicious BOLD flavor!  I will be repeating this mean often 😉 And now, for the “cutest side dish ever” 🙂


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The Transition

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Transitions are my type A personality’s least favorite.  But, life is just one big transition-filled event, isn’t it?!  Honestly, having Z has really made me a.  see how TRULY “Type A” I am  and b.  How I need to change this. Anyway, the latest transition going on right now is Zach’s move from two naps to one.  He has been on two naps (am and pm) for a REALLY long time, and being type A as I mentioned, I REALLY liked this routine.  It stuck for a while, in fact, much longer than I think is normal for babies his age (he is 16.5 months).  It was super nice to know that I had two separate times (about an hour each as of late) to “get things done.”  I think I mentioned this before, but during his morning nap, I would clean, work and prep dinner.  During his afternoon nap, I would run.  I decided to try to transition him when I felt he was ready. Honestly, even this week, he would go down for both naps and sleep for at least an hour each time.  In fact I was waking him up from his am nap (10-11) so that he would be awake long enough to go down for his second (245-4).  We were even waking him in the morning around 715 so that he could make his 10am nap time.  Crazy.  So this weekend down the shore, his friend (Baby Leah) is one one nap, so I decided since we were on vacation and had nothing to loose (and were going to be able to go to the outlets to shop woooot!) that I would try one nap.  FIRST, I let him sleep until he naturally woke up which was around 7:40.  AMAZING!  I was planning to put him down around noon when Leah takes her nap.  So, the morning went really well. He actually didn’t seem tired at all!  Granted, we were out and about, which I think is key during this transition.  Today I did the same thing and we went to the gym so he could play with the other babies in daycare.  The first time I tried the one nap things, he slept from 12-2. Success!  Today he slept from 12-1:50.  Eh.  I would like him to sleep at least 2 hours…I feel like any less will make his SUPER tired and ready for bed far too early; 1:50-7:15 is a LONG time for a toddler to be awake.  Anyway, yesterday was a two nap day, as with all transitions, they don’t happen immediately.  He just seemed SOOO tired around 10 so I put him down.  I think it will be like this for a bit until he gets into a new routine; one nap one day and then maybe two another day. I know for a fact tomorrow will be a two nap day as I will be in the car during his usual “morning nap” time so that will initiate sleep for sure.


Anyway, it is all a learning curve 🙂  Even my type A is beginning to learn 🙂  I think this is going to be a good change. I will have a longer chunk of time while he is sleeping to “get things done” and we will be able to participate in classes!  All classes for his age are geared around the “one nap schedule.”  We were beginning to be excluded from playdates and classes because all of the kids his age had already transitioned to one nap.  So, tell me:  How did your “nap transition” work?

The Weekend and Meal Plan

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Helloooooo there!  Happy Sunday Funday night!  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  Mine was amazing so I wanted to chronicle it for ya’ll (my cousin was in from Georgia so she has me southern slanging hehe).

Friday- Zach and I were at the beach with our VERY good friends who have a baby Z’s age (Baby Leah who Zach calls Baby-eeeya) and it was a BLAST!

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We ate good food, went shopping (woot wooooot Carter’s and Gap outlets!), hung out, chatted, played with babies, and spent a lot of great time together at the beach.

It was seriously SUCH a good time and we are so fortunate to have such amazing friends!  Thank you!

Saturday- I did my long run (and then rewarded myself with a blowout) with the help of the husb who watched Zach when he woke up from his nap.

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So cute!  Then, Saturday afternoon we had our cousin over who lives in Georgia.  I WISH she lived closer and I cannot believe that it has taken her this long to meet Zach!! 😉

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I’ve been teasing her about it all weekend. Anyway, she loved him and let me tell you, the feeling was mutual!  Her name is Saba and Z renamed her “Aba.”  He literally has run around for the past two days yelling “Aba! Aba!”  I mean, he even shared his beloved plum (“pum”) with her!

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Fun times!

Sunday- We got to see “Aba” again at another family member’s house:  Ian’s aunt and uncle.  They live in a beautiful rural suburb of Philadelphia and Zach REALLY enjoyed himself running around their yard and pond!  We even saw some froggies (“green frog, green frog, what do YOU see?!”  come on moms, join in!).  We were also served a magnificent brunch.  Z was really into ringing the wind chime as well.

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PS: Can I just mention how cute I think it is that Z reads in the car and sleeps with a book?! YUP!  He SLEEPS WITH A BOOK!!!!

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LOVE this kid.

Anyway, that was our amazing weekend!  (I will admit, a little mama shopping trip to Marshalls on the way to the ‘burbs made possible by the husband-thank you SO much 🙂 added to the fun of the weekend; I will share my finds in a later post).  OK, so moving on to the meal plan:

Monday- Shrimp Caesar salads, homemade biscuits

Tuesday- Beef stroganoff (crock style)

Wednesday- Fish tacos (never tried before; will share recipe and let you know how they are)

Thursday- out to dinner

Friday- homemade pizza!  Trying a new recipe

Workout plan (this is my last full mileage week before I cut back t0 75% next week and then 50% the week before the half!!!! So I am aiming for about 30-35 miles).  Keep in mind, due to naps, etc, workouts might be flip-flopped

Monday- 7 speed training

Tuesday- 6 mile tempo

Wednesday- Cross Train

Thursday- 7 miles hill train

Friday- OFF

Saturday- Long run =11

Sunday- 3 miles recovery

OK, anyway, tell me:  How was your weekend?!?!?!



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Alright, let’s face it…training for a half marathon(or any sort of fitness) requires SERIOUS motivation…and a LOT of dry shampoo 😉  Truly, though, here are some ways that I motivate myself.  Today I had a 12 miler on the plan and was nervous.


It was the farthest distance I have run since my half on April 14.  It required a lot of motivation.  Anyway, here are some tips:

1.  New gear!  A few days ago I got the new Brooks Ghosts!  Yay!

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I am rotating between these and my old pink ones (was getting a little tired of pink) and need to wear these for runs longer than 8.

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My toes do this horrible/weird thing: my feet must swell late in my run and one by one, starting with my piggie toe, they become numb mile-by-mile!  Argh.  So,  the Brooks Ghost have a wider toe box which usually helps with this. Making matters worse, you know that I wear compression socks when I run to ward off shin splints/stress fractures and these complicate the “my toes are suffocating” issue.  I got these newbies when I bought my new shoes (had a gift card to Philadelphia Runner from the hubs; he knows me well).  In the past I have worn Zensah



and Pro Compression.

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The ones I got the other day are CEP.

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All three are great but have their pros and cons.  The Zensah have great compression but the sock part (near the toe) are just too thick and contribute to toe suffocation.  The Procompression are more comfy on my toes but the compression isn’t quite as good.  Not bad but not quite as good.  CEP are probably the best as they alleviate the problems of both Procompression and Zensah.   Wow, that was long for one tip!  OK, moving on…

2.  Good music, or for me, TV! My sister turned me on to (I know, don’t judge) Drop Dead Diva after finding out that I like The Client List (again don’t judge). These are my “treadmill shows” in that they allow me to “zone out.”

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3.  Good fuel- I like to psych myself by saying “ok, at mile X you can eat a shot blok (as you see in the above picture).  I actually LOOOOVE Clif Shot Bloks I think because they remind me of my beloved gummy candies.  Experts suggest that for runs longer than an hour, begin fueling at 30 minutes, then every 15 minutes after.  (Source)  I tend to fuel based on how I feel, how much MOTIVATION I need, and the last time I ate before I ran.

4.  Treat yourself after.  For me, after a long run, I like to treat myself to a blow out.  Seriously.  Today, I did JUST that.  Mind you the darn escalator was broken (not what my legs wanted to hear after a 12-miler).

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But in all seriousness, be it your next meal, a new piece of gear, a massage, a shopping trip, or an ice cream cone, I think treating yourself is a GREAT form of motivation!

5. BREAK IT UP!  I always break my runs up into smaller ones, particularly my long runs.  For instance, today when I set out (FIRST MILE IS ALWAYS THE WORST), I decided to break the 12 into 4 small runs (MENTALLY).  4×3.  BUT then when I got to mile 4, I upped the anti to 3 smaller runs (3×4).  And when I was halfway done, two 6-milers.

6.  Think AFTER.

How will you FEEL (accomplished, relaxed, high on endorphins…)?

What will you EAT (pb and j or course…)?

What will do DO TO RECOVER (stretching while inside the hot tub at the gym)?

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But most of all,

7.  KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE!  What is your goal?  General health/wellbeing?  A race?  Fun?  Weight loss?  These are always the BEST motivators, I feel.

OK, so sorry for the long rambling post, but these are my tips. What are yours?!



Yesterday was a day of firsts…

Zach’s FIRST trip to the dentist.

Cuddles before the main event

Cuddles before the main event

I was a bit skeptical being that he only has 4 teeth so far, but many people were saying it is good to go early so that your child gets used to the dentist putting their fingers in his/her mouth.  And let’s face it, anyone who knows me knows I am just terribly a tad crazy about teeth.  He did a really good job!  We went to Dr. George over at Cobblestone kids and I would highly recommend him to anyone. He was great with Zach as was the hygienist.  Dr. George counted his teeth and looked around his mouth, telling us that his back molars are coming in (yippee for teething).  I was a bit concerned with Zach’s “thick frenum” (the gum between the front teeth) and potential problem this could cause, both superficial and clinical.  Dr. George said that while it is on the larger size, nothing needs to be done and we will just watch as his grown up teeth could very well cover it.  He was very happy we brought Z so early and so am I.  We will bring him back in 6 months.  Yay for dental health!  PS: they gave us samples of these great teeth wipes for your little one that have xylitol, a natural antibacterial ingredient.

photo 2My first time running a “long run” (longer than 6 miles) entirely at 6.3!!!!  Woot!  I am finally feeling strong in my training toward the Sep 15 Rock N Roll Half!

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Zach’s first major meltdown in public (which I did not handle properly):

So, another first, I was at Philadelphia Runner trying to buy another pair of my Brooks Ghost, a first being that I have NEVER bought repeat running shoes, but have FINALLY found what works!  Yay! Mind you, I don’t do many errands at this point in Z’s life.  He really does best when he can run, play and do Zach-centered things.  I just needed to run in, get my shoes and leave!  Well he had a MAJOR meltdown.  HE was pulling EVERYTHING off the shelves, running around with 10 packs of Clif shot books yelling “KEEEEE KEEEEE!”  (his word for cookie) and was PIIIIISED when I wouldn’t let him have one.  Yup, it was quite the scene.  And me being mom of the year, I just continued on with my purchased picked him up while he continued to bawl his eyes out because I wouldn’t let him have pure glucose, apologized profusely and got the heck out of there as fast as possible.  Now mind you, Zach has had major melt downs (terrible twos?! ha!) just not so…  Quite a treat.  But he is still stinkin’ cute though, no?

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Zach’s first trip(s) [there were many] down the slide!  This one is a bit of a cheat since it first happened last week, but nonetheless fits into this “firsts” post.

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It is SOOOO cute.  He knows to go down backward on his belly.  Love love love that boy.

OK, so a lot of firsts.  And it just makes me realize how fast time is FLYING by. OH boy…I lament it going so quickly but am at the happiest place in my life since that baby boy came around 😉

And finally…an update on Zach’s words (I had previously posted about his words here)… 16+ months:

Ah= eye

tato= potato

Tateee= his favorite song, taa tee taa tee

Cahn= his baby friend Quinn

Gah!= Jack, his baby friend

Kuhn= (Uncle) Kevin

Pa= water (???? I know…)

Na Na Na= no no no

Bobby= Bad Boy

Tun= tunnel

Bobby Bobby= Brown Bear

OK, so I hope you all are well!

Toy Vomit

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Listen, I KNOW you Mommies and even non-Mommies out there can relate to this. You have a lovely,clean, organized home…and then you have a baby.  If you aren’t a Mommy, I am SURE you’ve seen this happen to friends/relatives.  Anyway, I have often used the quote “having a baby is like having a blender without the lid on.”  Truth.  Well, guys,I got tired of it.  I just COULD NOT stand to look at any more “toy vomit” day after day.  Toy vomit, you know what I mean, is defined by your house looking as if it has literally vomited toys.  Got it?  So, one trip to IKEA later and a little trash-pick (don’t judge) … PROBLEM SOLVED!

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Five dollar bin from IKEA:

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50 dollar wicker toy bin from IKEA (huge and doesn’t hurt Z’s fingers when the lid drops on it):

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Ahhhhh much better! Now onto Zach’s room.  He is becoming SUCH a big boy, and I will admit, his room is starting to look a bit more like a big boy room too much in thanks to my amazing trash pick (the truck with drawers in the corner with the book bin on top)!  Don’t worry; it was a neighbor’s who I know 🙂

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My little helper:

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Seriously though, these simple organization moves REALLY helped by type A.  It was SO hard for me to see “toy vomit” all over the place! Now everything has a place!  (Yup, my type A LOVES that too).  Zach also likes me to sing the “clean up song” while we throw everything back in the bins.  Cleanup takes less than three minutes!  Score!

A Game Changer

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Guys, I made a move that has SERIOUSLY been a game changer in both Zach’s and my life.  OK, sounds serious, but it isn’t really…just to me.  So, as I have mentioned before, Z suffers from separation anxiety at times. I mean, I get it: these are developmental phases, he is with me 90% of the time, etc.  But he is a social kid and I wanted to find something that would help both him and I wish his separation anxiety.  I was also finding that there was a shortage of time in the day for me to get done what I needed to.  Think:  laundry, clean bathrooms, clean floors, prep dinner, etc.  Z is still on two naps. One hour each.  During the first one, I work.  During the second I run.  Enter the best decision EVER (credit given to a mommy friend): GYM WITH CHILDCARE!!!!  I scored a MAJORAH deal (professor discount) at Philadelphia Sports Club which is four blocks away, 30 bucks a month and has an amaaaaazing childcare program.  I took Zach on Tuesday for an hour and he loooooved it. It was AMAAAAZING.  They take your cell number in case something is wrong, the room is mirrored (which he loves) with tons of toys, the cost is cheap (5 dollars for an hour or 30 dollars a month for unlimited; the GM comped by childcare for the rest of August yippee!), and the hours are great for our schedule:: daily 9-1 and Mon/Wed pm 4-7.  And the best part:  during his nap I did FOUR loads of laundry, cleaned the floor, put groceries away AND ate lunch!  FOR THE WIN!!!!!

Footnote:  funny, I wrote this post Tuesday, but when I went back to the gym Thursday, Zachy was singing a much different tune about babysitting. He was upset the whole time,  Bummer.  We will try again next week 🙂

Does your gym provide childcare?

On another note, I had a “track workout this week”



along with hill training on the treadmill.

So even though this week was a “stepback week” (26 miles total; actually not too low in terms of mileage; most of it was my 11-miler long run today) I feel like it was a good variety week.  So yay for that!

How was your week of workouts?!

Verti-NO and a Stepback Week


OHHHHH Friends. Yet another random health mishap in the life of Mrs. Upsanddownes 😉  Let me set the scene:  it was husband’s birthday Sunday. I had worked a convention for Nest in the morning,


And then took Z to husband’s baseball game.


On the way home I stopped at Reading Terminal to pick up cannoli for the birthday boy.  At about three blocks from my house, I experienced a MAJOR dizzy spell like nothing else I have EVER experienced. I thought it was a fluke and continued to drive a few feet, but it continued.  So I pulled over and got out, putting my head between my knees to try to get my bearings.  I didn’t know what to think. I was SO scared. The following thoughts went through my head:  is there carbon monoxide in the car (is Zach ok!?!)?  Am I having a stroke?  Migraine?  (Never had one and my head didn’t hurt Brain tumor?!  ARGG  worst. feeling. ever.  Panic set in.  I somehow made it home, nursed Z, put him down for a nap and collapsed on my bed to “wait it out.”  It didn’t get better.  I tried to look at my phone and everything was spinning.  I just had this horrible gut feeling that something was REALLY wrong, so I called my neighbor to come over to watch Z until my mom came from the ‘burbs and I walked teetered to Pennsylvania Hospital’s ER.  Thank God I made it without passing out, puking, or falling over.  Long story short, I was there for about 5 hours.  It was kinda awful.  After some tests, it was confirmed that I had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). From the WebMD

What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

Vertigo is the feeling that you are spinning or the world is spinning around you. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is caused by a problem in the inner ear camera. It usually causes brief vertigo spells that come and go.

For some people, BPPV goes away by itself in a few weeks. But it can come back again.

BPPV is not a sign of a serious health problem.

What causes BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by a problem in the innerear. Tiny calcium “stones” inside your inner ear canals help you keep your balance. Normally, when you move a certain way, such as when you stand up or turn your head, these stones move around. But things like infection or inflammation can stop the stones from moving as they should. This sends a false message to your brainand causes the vertigo.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom is a feeling that you are spinning or tilting when you are not. This can happen when you move your head in a certain way, like rolling over in bed, turning your head quickly, bending over, or tipping your head back.

BPPV usually lasts a minute or two. It can be mild, or it can be bad enough to make you feel sick to your stomach and vomit. You may even find it hard to stand or walk without losing your balance.

 Anyway, it sucked.  But they gave me a great anti-vertigo med to use until the problem resolves itself.  I am so thankful it wasn’t more serious (and that I was home to feed Z and put him to bed).  It is so scary when you feel so out of control and don’t know what is going on!  Anyone else ever experience this?!  Horrible.

OK, so this week seemed like a perfect one for a step-back week from half-marathon training.  I have about a month until the big day!

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Funny, because Caitlin was just talking about stepback weeks. From her blog:

What Coach Marni calls an Active Recovery Week is basically a Stepback Week. What does this mean? Well, in any decent training plan for longer events, every month of so, you’ll get a break (in running training plans, you usually see about 25% less mileage during a stepback week).  Stepback weeks are necessary for two reasons: 

  • Physical:  Stepback weeks give your body a break and allow time for muscles to heal properly.  Avoiding injury is key, and stepbacks really give your joints and bones a break from the constant pounding of ANY distance training plan.
  • Mental:  Most importantly (to me), stepbacks give you a mental break.  Especially for a longer race like a half or full marathon or a longer triathlon, the training program is such a huge time commitment.  Stepbacks give you some breathing room and help boost your spirits.  I always come back from a stepback week ready to go!


AMEN.  This girl needed a stepback week both mentally AND physically (due to vertigo and heavy legs) this week. My average mileage has been 30-35 throughout training, but will be less this week in order to “step back.”  I will still do a long run so to stay on training schedule, but here is what my Stepback week has/will look like:

Saturday- OFF due to travel

Sunday- OFF due to vertigo

Monday- 4 miles, easing back after vertigo bout (also thought I could “jog” the crystals back into place LOL.  Really.

Tuesday- 7 miles (SPLIT: 4.25 hills on treadmill, later 2.75 easy)

Wednesday- 4 miles outdoors on track (was supposed to be easy but felt soooo hard, like one mile was really ten)

Yea, that pic pretty much sums it up.

Yea, that pic pretty much sums it up.

Thursday- cross train (elliptical?)

Friday- haven’t decided


Sunday- Long Run

Anyway, that’s the stepback.  How have you been?!

Zach Talks: Month 15+

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“Your blog is like a diary, you can look back and see pictures and accounts of everything that has gone on since you started blogging.”  Someone said that to me today.  Good point, girlfriend.  So, I wanted to use this post to chronicle Zach’s speech so far, so that I (and he) can look back on it someday 🙂  I will start by saying that I think Zach is pretty verbal.  He is soooo cute too 😉  Here is his current repertoire of words (he will be 16 months on the 11th):




Kee= cookie, key, cookie monster

Na= banana

Peepee= just that 😉

Bee= big bird, boobie (yup)

MMMaaaaa= mema

Deedee= TV

Abby= Abby from Sesame

Addie= any dog (our one dog is Addie, the other is Oscar, known also as Addie to Zach)


A-yaya= Aunt Sara

Yaya= Shiya (our neighbor)

Baby= baby

Pum= plum

Hot= hot or any other distasteful feeling

Bum= ball

Brrrrrreee= blueberries (or cherries, he rolls his r)

Don= down

I-E= ice cream

Gahk= guacamole

Meemama= ?

Anyway, here is a video of Z showing some of his Sesame Street words 🙂