Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Baby Just Turned 2!

A lot has happened in the past year with Sophia.  She is walking, running, jumping and talking up a storm!  She has made such strides - she counts to 10, she can sing her ABC's, she is recognizing letters and she wants to do everything by herself!

Sophia has been quite the traveler.  She visited Chicago for the first time with the whole family (Nana and Papa, Auntie Kiki and family).  She went to Florida with Mommy and Auntie Wendy for a nice December break.  We spent Christmas in Kansas with both of her aunties and her grandparents.

We went to Frankenmuth for the weekend with the Fernandes, Murphy-Stillwell's and Auntie Fay in February.  We spent 10 days in Florida in March and visited with Nana and Papa, Auntie Amanda and Uncle Jamie, Uncle Emilio and met some of Mommy's cousins.  We spent Easter in NOLA with the Murphy-Stillwell's.

Nana and Papa came to visit in June and we went on a mini-vacation to Ohio to the African Safari and water park in July.  We went to NY to Nana and Papa's in October and Sophia got to meet my extended family.

We went dog sledding for Daddy's 40th Birthday and spent the weekend in Petoskey.  Sophia participated in her first races - a 2 Mile walk with Mommy and Nana in Florida, a 1-mile walk with Mommy and Daddy at Comerica Park and a 5K at the Detroit Zoo with Mommy, Auntie Fay and Auntie Wendy.

We spent some time at the water park this summer to beat the heat.  We hunted fairies in Ann Arbor and Northville and went to a fairy tea.  Sophia took a dance class and a swim class, which she liked and is getting ready to start gymnastics this December.  Sophia has become quite a fan of Jump City and the Chelsea Tree House, as she loves slides!  Sophia attended her first Roller Derby, which kept her quite intrigued.

Sophia had her 2nd Birthday party at Goldfish Swim School, which was awesome!  Halloween has become Sophia's favorite and we watch Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin at least every other day.  Lucy is her favorite character.  She went trick-or-treating for the first time with Greyson and Jack.  She attended her first play with Mommy, "The Frog and the Toad."

Sophia also loves the Toledo Zoo and the carousel, we have a membership, and we have visited at least 5 times this year.  She loves to ride the Tiger up and down!

Some of her cute sayings are: "Going to play a little bit," "Ridiculous," "Oh, my Gosh!", "Oh, my Goodness!," "Okay" and "Uh huh!"

She is still attached at the hip to her Cabbage Patch Kid, Mimi, who goes everywhere with her.

I can still remember the minute she was born.  I can't believe it has already been 2 years!  I can't imagine or remember my life without her in it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Out of the World!

Now, that I had done one 10K race, no need to wait too long to do another one.  So, I waited one week and Fay and I were off to the Martian Invasion in Dearborn.  This race had no alcohol, which was a bummer, but it did have creepy blow-up martians lining the race course that were oddly reminiscent of the old Region F Jaycees days.

The piece de resistance of this race - chocolate milk at the finish line!

Oddly underestimating how tired I would be from this, I signed up for the 1 mile Big Heart, Big House race with Tom and Sophia.  Thunderstorms and a sleepy baby forced an early morning call to Fay to come with me!  We had our best mile time thus far, under 14:30.  We both think it was due to the fact that we just wanted to get the hell out of there and pass out!  Finishing on the 50-yard line of the Big House was cool however!

Lessons learned from this weekend of races:  1) One race per weekend is probably enough; 2) We are suckers for any races that give us finisher medals and 3) races with alcohol really improve our  mood, but not our time!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Laissez les Bons temps Rouler

Tom, Sophia and I decided to join Christa, Sean and Jessie in NOLA for Easter this year.  What a great idea, until Murph and I decided, heck why don't we do a 10K while we are there also?  No matter, that I had never done a 10K, or that I was getting in about midnight the night before.  Why let details stand in our way?

So we were up early on Saturday to go race through the city with 26,000 other nuts ready to run around in 85 degree heat.  The bellhop at our hotel cautioned us to bring a sweatshirt as it was "chilly out", but we rebelled and went out in our race clothes above.

Once we got started, we determined that this was not your "average" race.  Instead of water stops, there were beer tables.  There were Jaeger trucks and margarita stops and we became best friends with the "Jello Shot Brigade."  When Murph asked me are we going for time or fun, I just smiled and had another jello shot!

We finished the course in a very respectable time, despite the heat and the drinking.  We decided to stop at Jester's for a frozen slushy drink to cap off the morning as we chuckled over our "funny" of the day - "We have no knuckles!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You Have to Eat Twinkies at the Race?

Seems hard to believe that this is true.  But it was, and Fay and I found this race and it was in Ann Arbor to boot!

The rules were simple:

  • Eat a twinkie before crossing the start line
  • Walk/Run 1.65 miles
  • Eat twinkie
  • Walk/Run 1.65 miles
  • Collapse at the finish line with a stomach ache
We persevered and posted our best 5K time today - who says we can't overcome adversity?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shamrocking and Rolling

Next up a 5K in Plymouth, called Shamrock and Roll.  Finally, a place to wear our hats from our friends from JCI Ireland and not look like complete goobers!

As we were walking to the race area, a man stopped up.  Due to our matchy-matchy shirts, our hats, and our shamrock face tattoos, he wanted us in the race video.

We had 1 line, "How do you like us so far?" and of course I got excited to be in a video, I said it before the guy, said "3,2,1!"  Some much for following simple directions!  Take 2 was perfection though!

Our Cool Video (check out our 15 minutes of fame at minute 3:36).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Shamrock and Walk - Another Florida Event!

To be a glutton for punishment, I decided to register for a 2-mile walk on my birthday!  Sophia, Mom and I decided we would do this together.

For the 19th annual Shamrock and Walk, we were dealing with amateurs.  First of all, it started at 3 pm.  Who starts a race at 3 pm?  In 85 and humid heat? We got there and we did not even get running bibs cause we were doing the walk?  What is that?  Just because we are walking, it does not mean we do not care about our time!!!

This made me mad and with 45 minutes until race time, we decided since no one really cared about us walkers, we would start our 2 miles now and avoid the wait!  Using the race map, we went on our merry way and completed the 2 miles.  We were done before the race started and off to McDonald's for a Shamrock Shake.

They should have asked me to plan this event, it would not have been a goat rodeo!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Winterlaufe 8K - ROAD TRIP!

Our next race was Winterlaufe on February 4 in Frankenmuth, MI and we invited Mindy and Murph to join the madness!

We headed up on Friday night and we all met at 8 am for a group breakfast with everyone.  There were kids, kids, every where!  Then the chaos started - there was movies, games and oatmeal all over the place!  There were unhappy people who got Stollen french toast and did not know what Stollen was. (Just in case, Stollen is a fruit cake containing dried fruit and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar).

After the boys and kids went off to swim, it was time for  our 1st 8K race.  4.97 miles - agh!  What possessed us!

Things started out well until we got to the hills.  I am not talking a gentle grade, I am talking hills that require huffing and puffing, which is hard to do dressed like Nanook of the North replete with ear muffs, puffy coats and gloves!

Then, we got about 1/2 way through the course to find out it was a mud race.  We had to walk through a muddy corn field and back.  We were shuffling along like we were in a blue hair walker race, trying not to fall into the mud and save our expensive sneakers from being ruined!

We finished, Murph jogging ahead, while the rest of us dragging up the rear.  It wasn't pretty but we did it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Freeze Your A** Off 5K!

Another brilliant idea had by Fay and I - in our quest to do at least 1 5K every month, we decide to trek 1 hour and 15 minutes to Shelby Township, early in the morning, on the day of the Yearender.  Really, should have slept on this idea before signing up!

First of all, we drive to the ends of the earth to find out we do not even get a t-shirt for this race.  You have a choice of gloves or a head band.  WTF?  Really?  I am sure a medallion is definitely out of the picture now as well!

Second, I thought the race was called Freeze Your Fanny (apropos for January 28th in Michigan), but it was called Freeze Your Franny ( a mythical Maxine like funny looking lady), where people dressed up as her for a costume contest.  It should have been named "Freeze Your A** 5K" as we were being beat down by the sleet and the winds from the lake.

Lesson learned:  Take a break from 5Ks in January or find a tropical location to participate in them!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Come On Sea World - Reindeer Run 5K

Well now that I am a racing pro (with 2 races under my belt), I decided to get tricky and do the Reindeer Run at Sea World in Orlando, FL while Wendy, Sophia and I were visiting Mom and Dad.

Up at the crack of dawn again, we arrived at Sea World as giddy as two kids on Christmas morning.  We sprung from our car "to see what was the matter" (reference to Up on the Rooftop there).  Armed with coffee (provided by the race event company - smart, smart, company!), we spent our "warm-up" time taking pictures and checking out the Reindeer's, Santa's, and  Elves (aka runners dressed in nutty costumes).  That's when we realized we needed to get with the program and accessorize better at future races!

After a fun race, where we saw dolphins, sting rays and no Shamu (he was still in hair and makeup), we headed to the parking lot, where the fun began.  We could not remember where we parked!  In our excitement to be at Sea World, neither of us looked at the parking sign.  Faced with 5,000 racers and their autos and people arriving to the amusement park, we started to panic slightly.  That was until we saw the Sea World employee with the golf cart!  He could drive us around and help us find our car (aka Mom's car)!  As we approached, a woman was having a very animated conversation with him regarding the traffic jam in the parking lot.  Sea World had not done a great job directing racers out the lot, and there was gridlock!  After a lot of back and forth, she screamed "COME ON SEA WORLD!!!!" and stormed away.  That's when Wendy and I fell over laughing and decided the golf cart man had bigger fish to fry then helping us find our car.

After some deductive reasoning, we parked straight, not crooked, against a chain, we found our car and we were off to Starbuck's all the while yelling "COME ON SEA WORLD!"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Turkey Trot or Why the Hell Am I Up So Early on Thanksgiving?

The next race that we thought was a good idea was the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  Why the hell did we think getting up and exercising on Thanksgiving would be fun?  We should be at home, nice and cozy, watching the parade, lazing around, preparing to stuff ourselves.

But no, here we were surrounded by 3,000 other nutters wearing turkey leg hats and pilgrim costumes, waiting to walk/run/crawl 5K as deer bounded by, causing the dogs at the race, that were not allowed, to go absolutely freakin' crazy!

And to top it off, this course was hilly!  I am not talking a gradual incline, I am talking, you need cramp-ons to make it up the hill, while down on all fours.  Fay didn't eat before the race (a common theme) and was starving about 1/3 of the way through.  As we contemplated our after race meal, being a holiday, what would be open? We joked that since Jimmy John's is so freaky fast, maybe they could deliver at kilometer marker 2 so we could finish the race!

As we huffed and puffed up the hill, out comes the smart phone, the McDonald's number researched and a call placed to ensure they would be open when we were done!  Having our priorities straight, we staggered up the final hill and finished the race.  Then, it was time for our Egg McMuffin!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Start of an Obsession - the Detroit 5K Marathon

Whatever possessed Fay and I to sign up for a 5K walk, I have no idea.  Maybe we were bored?  Did we not have enough to do between a one year old, work, Jaycees and all our other commitments?  I think it boiled down to the fact that work was going to pay for mine, so why not?  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

It was a good idea at the time, until we had to get up at 4 something to get to Detroit for the race.  Then, we had to park in some creepy Cobo parking lot and walk a mile (or so it seemed) to the race area.  From there, after asking about 5 people where to pick up our packets, we finally found the registration table and were excited that we got official looking shirts (see picture above).  That's when we knew we were in over our heads.  We did not have appropriate walking shoes, we did not have a backpack to store our shirts and we most certainly did not want to walk back to the car to dump our stuff!

Of course, during the race, it rained, we were hot, we thought we were going to die several times of exhaustion, but we made it!  And guess what, we received a medallion when we finished!  Sure, it was only a Finisher Medallion, but nonetheless, we were hooked.

Our "runner's high" last all the way until we got home and made some breakfast.  As we did this, we registered for the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.

Things were fine until we had to go off to Sophia's 1st Birthday party at Chelsea Teddy Bear Co., at 2 pm.  Then, the exhaustion took over.  We were hopped on sugar to survive 11 kids under 8 for 2 hours!

Things we learned at the race - 1) We need good shoes; 2) Don't plan a kid's birthday party in the afternoon; 3) Bring a back pack and the most important: If it seems like a good idea, sleep on it, and see if it is still a good idea!

My new obsession had begun, stay tuned!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Festive Fun in Florida

Wendy, Sophia and I went to Florida to visit my parents in December. It's weird to be able to go swimming two weeks before Christmas!

First, the flight down was a debacle! In between eating a container full of gold fish, Sophia screamed for 2 hours. That was bad enough, but when the flight attendant told me "you have a very cute kid, but I am glad she is getting off the plane", I went ballistic! Are you f'ing kidding me? Do you think I was having a party during this time? Wendy and I were tag teaming and nothing would calm her down. Thank you Delta for the 7,500 miles because of your dumb ass staff member!

The Reindeer Run 5K at Sea World that Wendy and I participated in was awesome! Of course, our pace was slower than normal as we stopped to watch the dolphins, take pictures and check out the park. Again, the adventure started at the end of the event. In our excitement to be at Sea World, we did not look where we had parked and now we were looking for our car in a lot that contained 5,000 participants and park goers.

We decided to approach the Sea World workers in a golf cart so they could drive us around to look for our car. As we approached, we saw a woman yelling at them because there was a traffic jam in the parking lot as no one was directing all the racers out. After going back and forth, the woman screamed "Come On Sea World!" and marched away. Wendy and I were in hysterics, we found our car without a golf cart ride and headed back to Mom and Dads.

The last event of the week, Shrek the Halls, a Ice Extravagnza. 2,000,000 pounds of ice all carved into the Christmas Shrek story. Who else could find an attraction which required winter clothing when it is 70 degrees outside? Sophia loved the mannequin Santa, until we stood in line for 20 minutes to see the real Santa and she started shrieking. Fun times!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Help the Holidays Have Begun!

"Randy lay there like a slug, it was his only defense." - A Christmas Story

The Holiday Seasons are always fraught with drama, uncontrollable chaos and way too much to do.

For me, the holiday season started off with going to see White Christmas at the Fox Theater with Jaime. Nothing says holidays like the panhandlers in Detroit. But it was cold and I was able to wear my Burberry scarf, so it put me in a festive mood!

Christmas pictures with Santa commenced. Even with Auntie Fay singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and generally making a fool of herself in the mall, only Mommy and Santa were smiling in the pictures. At least we were color coordinated!

Up next, the 5K Turkey Trot with Fay on Thanksgiving morning. Nothing prepared us for the hills, as we huffed and puffed on our day off. Fay got hungry in the middle of the walk and I believe we were the only walkers calling McDonald's during the race to see if they were open! We needed sustenance! If it wasn't so early, we toyed with Jimmy John's as they "are freaky fast" and deliver.

Day after Thanksgiving shopping. Again, why do people where costumes/outfits to inappropriate locations? No one wants to see your pajama pants and we definitely don't think you need to wear a hard hat while shopping. People like that tell me to stay away from them, as they are the ones that end up on the news for punching another shopper to save a buck or two.

All this in a span of 20 days, time to fortify myself for December!