Hamee Dee

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LOL.  For those who don’t speak Zach language, that is Sesame Street. Zach likes Sesame Street.  In fact, he has aaalmost all of the stuffed (monster) animals from the show, with his latest addition being Snuffy.  He can’t say Snuffy so he scrunches his face in the cutest way and says more like “hmuffy.”  HILARIOUS.

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He likes “playing” with his animals (ie dragging them around the house, or even cuter, reading to them…I die) and loves anything with a “Hamee” theme.

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So here comes the big question of the post:  IS IT OK TO LET YOUR KID WATCH TV?!  In this case, it is “Hamee Dee,” or Sesame Street.  Here is my opinion, and how I handle Z and TV:

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Let’s be honest: Zach has a really short attention span, so about 10 minutes is all I need to worry about in terms of face time with the TV.  So I use morning time to allow Zach a few minutes of Sesame Street.  Why?  Because

A.  He gets SOOOO excited

B.  I grew up on Sesame Street and turned out pretty well (hehe)

C.  It is indeed educational; he has already learned a bunch of things from it including the beginning of ABCs

D.  He has no interest in any other TV show

E.  Let’s be honest, if I am trying to get anywhere in the am (I plan most of our activities in the morning) I need ten minutes where I know Z is occupied (sprawled out on the couch sucking his fingers engrossed in Elmo/Mr Noodle, Super Grover or Abby’s Flying Fairy School) and safe.  Read:  I put my contacts in, brush my teeth, get dressed and get Z’s clothes and bag together.

So, there is your answer:  I may not be mom of the year, and I know there are moms out there who are SUPER against TV  but I feel that this works for us.  And as a mom, that is the best you can do!

Zach’s Holiday List: Great Gifts for a 19 month old

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Hi everyone!  Z wanted to share his holiday list with you so that if you are in need of a gift for a toddler in your life,  this might help you out! Here we go!

The Spicy Monkey Spirit Hood (retails for $59)

ALL proceeds go to the Ronan Thompson Foundation, a charity close to my heart.  I followed Maya Thompson’s journey with her beloved son Ronan as he battled childhood Cancer and sadly lost this battle.  Z will be getting a Spirit Hood for the holidays.

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Art Supplies (retail varies): Think play dough, crayons, etc. 

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(from Five Below)

Melissa and Doug Large Knob Puzzles (retails from $9.99)

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Doorknob Basketball Hoop (retails for $39.99)

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 5.03.42 PM Pottery Barn Sherpa Anywhere Chair (embroidered with “Zach,” of course)- retails for $139

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Crayola Magnetic Double Sided Easel  (retails for $39.99)

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STICKERS! (retail prices vary)

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I got the above ones at the Dollar Store!  Don’t tell Z 😉  He LOOOVES stickers.  And I love when I am getting undressed and find at least five all over me 🙂

Little Tykes 3-in-1 Deluxe Tricycle (retails for 99.98)

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I love how this adapts to your child’s ability; push handle comes off when your child can pedal alone.  I also like the little pouch to hold mommy and baby supplies 😉

BOOKS!  (retail prices vary)

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Especially anything from the Duck and Goose Series.  Z loves these!

New Bath toys including ones that color! (retail prices vary)

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All of these are from Amazon.  I feel like bath toys are something you need to replace often as they get grimy.  Yuckers.  Also I feel like Z is at a place where he will enjoy bath coloring!

OK, there you have it!  Zach’s holiday list!  There are many great, varied items on the list with a large price range.  Hope this helps you out!  What items would you add to my list?!  Please chime in!!!

Before and After: Race Version

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Hellooooo! So by now, you know that my blog is a hearty mix of verbal vomit consisting of all things Zach, running and a few other random things.  Bare with me, as this is my second run post in a row 🙂  I received a few questions form the hundreds of three blog readers that I have 😉 regarding my pre and post race routines.  Here we go!

Do you like race expos and do you tend to buy anything from them?

Z and I at the most recent Phila marathon expo

Z and I at the most recent Phila marathon expo

I LOVE race expos, as in LOOOVE them.  And yes, unfortunately I DO tend to buy at least one thing per expo.  For instance at the Rock N Roll Half in September, I bought Z a onesie that was race themed.  I also bought myself an awesome soft hoodie long sleeve tee that says “I run so I don’t kill people.”  #TRUTH  At the most recent expo for the Phila Half marathon (I ran the Rothman 8K), I spend WAAAY too much as I got roped into buying a pair of Newtons.  Listen, I have been looking for a lighter racing shoe, and the technology behind the Newton Gravity intrigued me…or the rep was a REALLY good saleswoman.  Yup, prob the latter.

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Either way, I am glad I made the purchase although they will take a bit of getting used to as they encourage proper mid foot striking.  I also bought a long sleeve t-shirt from my favorite gear company, One More Mile.

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I LOVE all of their stuff and am gathering quite the collection.

Best way to prep for a race:  coffee in the 13.1 mug while reading an amazingly sweet card from an amazing friend

PS: I ALWAYS use that mug the morning of a race..eh superstitions.  OH and check out this adorable picture of Z “helping Mama” at the Expo. Too cute.

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How do you fuel before a race?

So I am a STRONG believer that what you do not just the DAY before (and certainly not the day of; I feel the day of is too late- what is done is done) but even the week before a race is the most important.  The one thing I DEFINITELY do the week before is drink a LOT of water, especially since the issues I had been having when I was not fueling (water) properly and becoming dehydrated back in April.  The day before I drink TWO LITERS of water at least. I do tend to “carb load’ not just the night before but the day before.  I try to eat at least one bagel and some simple carbs (think gummy candies).  My pre race meal the night before is ALWAYS the same and always works (thus far, knock on wood).  It is carby but also cheesy but doesn’t jack my stomach up…yup, you guessed it: PIZZA!  The best.

And what I REALLY fuel up on is SLEEP.  Sleep (for me especially) is SO important when approaching a big race.  And research shows that the night before the race doesn’t even matter. It is actually two nights before a race that mean the most in terms of sleep.  I try to bank a lot of sleep the whole week (then again, those who know me are aware of my love of/need for sleep in general).

How do you taper for a race?

So it depends on the distance of the race.  For an 8k like Saturdays or any distance below, I would train as normal the week of and just take the day off completely the day before.  For a 10-miler like Broad Street or a Half Marathon, I take the day off before and run maybe one or two easy miles two days out.  My taper is pretty scientific (I do 75% of training mileage two weeks out and 50% one week out) and I talk about that here.  A lot of people say tapering is REALLY hard mentally, and while I definitely agree in some ways (running makes me happy and the endorphins can’t be beat), but I disagree in other ways.  I tend to have LONG training programs (a typical on is 10-12 weeks) or even train from race to race.  For the Rock N Roll Half I think I trained 18 weeks. That is relatively long so when I reach taper I am generally not only ready to taper but feeling confident enough in my training based on its length.  Anyway, tapering does tend to me more mental than physical; the work you’ve done to the point two weeks out is truly all you can do.

What do you do the morning of a race?

I TRY to get up 45 minutes before I am going to leave the house.  The FIRST thing I do is drink coffee and (TMI) hope it “gets things going.” LOL.  Really.  If I am racing a ten miler or half mary,I eat a piece of toast w pb.  If I am racing less, I tend to only eat a simply 100 cals before race (usually in Gatorade form) or nothing as I tend to not need it for these distances.  So, I don’t LOVE waiting around at the start line.  I try to get to a race ten min before it starts; I know, risky, but I get super nervous and nerves lead to potty trips, and I’d rather do so in my own BR than in a port-situation.  Youknowwhatimean?! I try to drink a bit of water before the race (4 oz?) and if it is a longer distance, I take a pack of emergen-c as long runs can surpress your immune system…and I have a fear of illness 🙂 Also, I almost ALWAYS wear a throw away item (it goes to a good cause) because I deal with the cold about as well as I deal with early mornings.  Hahah…not well.  And yet I still LOVE to race.

OK, SO AFTER THE RACE…

What do you do immediately following a race?

After searching for and hugging my babies

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and a few selfies

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I drink some more water and Gatorade. I can’t eat anything right away. Usually the husband has driven to meet me as I take cabs to the race, and by the time I get to the car my stomach is able to handle something from the post-race goodies I have grabbed.  I need something simple and carb-y.  After the 8K I ate a shortbread biscuit and it was fantastic.  Then when I get home I immediately make another cup-a-coffee and jump in the shower.  Then I have some cereal.  My fave.  Oh, and I usually start stalking the race website to see results 🙂  Really.

When is your next workout post-race?

So this might sound crazy, but I have found that running the day immediately following a race REALLY helps to loosen my aching muscles, but you HAVE to do it right. I call it a “shake out” run.  Here are my tips:

– Go Slow

-Go Flat

-Go short (3-4 miles will do)

-Stretch immediately after

– Take the NEXT day off to recover

Shake out run post Rothman

Shake out run post Rothman

Then…plan your next race!  Please let me know if you would like me to answer any questions about running 😉 I clearly love talking about it!

Rothman 8K, 2013, For Ashley

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There are many reasons I run.  But mostly, I run becuase I can, and for those who cannot.  Saturday’s race was a very special one becuase it was my first with Moms in Training, a subdivision of Team in Training.  Here is a blurb about MIT:

Moms have a special bond that should be celebrated.  LLS’ new program MIT recruits moms who are passionate about fighting blood cancers and saving lives.  MIT will get you ready to run or walk the Rothman Institute 8k (5 miles) to help raise money to fight cancer.  You’ll get in great shape and meet other Moms in the area!

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I have had the privilege to meet and chat with our team hero, Ashley, for whom we ran the race.  Her story and presence at the race on race morning, helped to push me farther and faster than I could have imagined.  She truly is a hero.

I left everything I had out on the road on Saturday and I am stoked because of my time, but more becuase of my effort.  I pushed and pushed and couldn’t have pushed more 🙂  Those are the races you know you raced well.  Going into the race, I was a bit concerned; Zach had been sick all week (and up for much of the night before) and quite honestly, I had NO idea how to race an 8K.  For a 5K (actually haven’t raced this recently), I knew I could just all out sprint and that’s what would work, and for a 10 miler or half marathon, I have trained and know how to pace.  But and 8K (5 miles) is quite a different story.  It seemed to long to all out sprint, but too short to pace as I would a 10-miler (race pace= 8:40) or more.  So I decided to play it by ear.  It was cole race morning, and the adrenaline was pumping.  All of the moms were clustered somewhat together and I was wearing my magical headband that Ashley gave me (that subsequently I lost somehow bummerrrr) and the spirit was high.  When the race started, I took off and knew I was going to just go for it: SPRINT THE ENTIRE THING.  Whatevs, what was the worst that could happen?  Burnout?  Yup.  Rookie mistake, as I always make, went out WAY too fast (seems to be my trend, but hey, it always has worked in the past!). So I decided to not look at my Garmin until I truly felt like I could not sprint anymore. Turns out this was at about mile 3.67.  I KNEW that I was going fast and could see at each mile marker time clock that I was clocking around 8 minute miles which is totally fast for me.  I will admit, I started to lose it around mile 4 and cursed myself for going out soooo fast. I wanted to stop SOOOO badly but kept reminding myself of Ashley’s struggle and the it gave me the strength to push through. At about mile 4.25 I started to cramp REALLY badly.  I stopped for five seconds and thought to myself “NOOOOO KEEP PUSHING.  YOU CANNOT STOP within a mile from the finish!”  So with that five second stop/reality check, I pushed on.  I crossed the finish line with a bang and a fist pump…really.

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Not to toot

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I was SOOOO excited and immediately went back to the finish line to pull some of the other moms in.  We all went back to our tent where we reunited, I thanked Ashley for the motivation, and met up with my favorites:

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Poor buddy was up all night sick 😦

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But he braved it and came to cheer mama at the finish.  Anyway, Saturday was so fabulous in many ways.  THANK you  Moms in Training, and thank you Ashley for being SUCH an inspiration.  xoxo

I am ONLY 25 dollars away from my 500 dollar goal!  Click here to be my final push!  Thank you all!

Kim.

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Who is Kim, might you ask?  Don’t worry; I asked myself that MANY times until I finally figured out who.  At first I thought it was Zachy talk for “cream” (his word for cream sounds similar to “Kim.”).  And then, I finally realized.  This is Kim:

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Yup, for any of you mommies out there aware of the many Sesame Street characters, this is in fact NOT Kim,but I believe Prairie Dawn, but Zach decided her name was Kim.  And that is just one of the many ridiculously hilariously funny things he does.  Sorry, I had to share that story.  Here are some other funny nuances Z has been exhibiting lately:

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Stickers on his nose.

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Getting in the toy basket at Mema’s.

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His smooshy face.

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And something too cute; his growing love of books ❤ (insert melting heart)

OK, just a short but sweet post 😉  Hope you all are well!

Scenes from Halloween 2013

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Obligatory Halloween Post?  Call it what you want but Halloween was amaaaazing!  It was the first “real” Halloween for Zach as last year he was too young to understand it (and say Chachit-chocolate).  Zach has a CRAZY sweet tooth and this Halloween certainly satisfied it for him.  And yea, I am probably mother of the year for this, but he is TOO funny with candy!  Many people asked me if he truly “understood the holiday” and I would definitely say “YES.”

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The day started with a trip to Nest for a fun Halloween-themed music class.

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Then, after nap-time, we headed over to Seger park for their festivities where we enjoyed free pizza and treats.  So fun!  What a great park, event and association!

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“Gamah” (Grandma) came along for the fun and Z loooooved repeating her name 🙂

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Then, we made our way through the nearby neighborhood to do some trick-or-treating!

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Zach absolutely LOVEd picking out a piece of candy from each person’s stash.  He picked VERY carefully and kept saying “chachit, chachit, chachit.”

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He ended up with QUITE the goody bag!

photo 5Now…if Mama can only keep her hands out of the stash 😉  Hope you had an amazing Halloween and that all was Boo-tiful!