Category Archives: Winning Way With Children

Newborns, Forsythias and an Un-Nest

I think this was the sweetest Mother’s Day we’ve had in a long time.

Yesterday, Marcus’ friends from high school, Mike and Sara (Mike is in our wedding) welcomed their baby daughter into the world!  Naturally, as soon as we got the “all clear” text from them, we hustled over to the hospital to meet her.

What I didn’t realize is that we would be the second pair of people to show up, Sara’s parents being the first to do so.  Obviously I have no idea of how this Meet Your New Baby Thing works.  So there I am, sitting in the hospital room, tearing up as I’m watching all of these straight-up Baby Book-moments unfold in front of me.

It was madness, kittens.

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking.  I just have giant mitts That Winning Way with the little ones.

Given that Baby Girl was wrapped in some sort of pseudo-baby burrito-arrangement, I can’t confirm or deny the fact that she has 10 fingers and 10 toes or is lacking a tail.  But we’re just going to take their word for it, kay?

We continue.

Mother Nature’s Mother’s Day gift to my mother was a set of blooming Forsythias.

Here’s the deal.  My parents have lived in the same house since I was three or four.  And when I was just a pup, I got it into my head that the flowers on a forsythia bush looked EXACTLY like that flower that Ariel plucks in the beginning of The Little Mermaid as she says “He loves me, he loves me not…”

How classic, right?

And in the most tried and true tradition of A Beautiful Mind, it dawned on me that I could make like Ariel and do the same thing.  Except where Ariel only got to pluck the petals off of one flower, I got to pluck the petals off of…500 FLOWERS!

So I did.  I can only wonder what my poor Mother’s face must have looked like when she came out to get me and found me in the middle of all of that carnage.

The horror.

But bless her heart, instead of tearing them out and re-planting, they’ve stayed there, in front of our house, like some sort of botanical scarlet letter.

While this is the biggest bloom we’ve had in 19 years, it’s a safe bet to say that those bushes still haven’t fully recovered.

After this morning’s Eastern European-inspired brunch, we went down to the Stone Arch Bridge to admire the Mississippi River.  Apparently we’re meant to be at flood stage for another six weeks still, so it was more raging than picturesque.

There’s just something about inhaling aerosolized river water that leaves one with a renewed sense of self. 😉

While we were busy taking it all in, I spied a lady goose and her nest.  It seemed a little bit more Eastern Bloc/Patagonian Tundra than anything else.

But who am I to be telling varmints how to live their lives?

It did take us a moment to determine that it was, in fact, a nest.  But since that little outcropping didn’t look particularly welcoming (hello, no predators) and geese don’t tear out their down feathers for just any old thing, we figured it was probably a safe bet.

What did you do for Mother’s Day?  Do you have any family traditions?


Out of necessity, not vanity.

Some nights…go according to plan.

Other nights, you end up building a Fort with a three-year old, out of couch cushions.

Since I have such a Winning Way with children, I’m sure y’all can imagine how that went.

That’s right.  You guessed it.

I’m Varsity at Fort Building.

And pizza eating.

And beer drinking.

And chip munching.

It’s been one of those nights.  Hell, it’s been one of those weeks.

(read: longest ever)

I’m calling the 17-below Mulligan.

Because it’s at this point that we lose all ability to function.

I’m clever enough to realize at this point that my only useful life skill is the Blanket Burrito.

And it’s also the point where I do a deep-conditioning during the week.

Out of necessity, not vanity.

Were you a Varsity Blanket Fort Builder as a pup?

On a completely unrelated note, we’re registering tomorrow.  What are you SO glad you bought?  What do you wish you had never pointed a registry gun at?  What do you wish you would have asked for?

Fact: If I make it back with a head full of hair tomorrow, it will probably be an epic victory.

Pre-Night Before Christmas

It’s Christmas time.

And Spot loves it.

If it was possible to be Varsity at loving Christmas, Spot would be the captain of the team.

List of things we know he is not: Olive - The Other Reindeer or a Christmas Elf.

Wrapping presents, unwrapping presents, chewing the ribbons off of presents, gnawing on the branches of the Christmas tree,  ousting Baby Jesus from the manger scene…you name it, he’s on it.

For him, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Spot’s four-footed ways aside, this morning we went to brunch at Marcus’ Aunt’s house to meet the newest family member, Baby Greta.

And, because we all remember my winning way with children, I made sure to get a snap of the occasion.

Infant aside, can we all agree that the natural light in this room is amazing?

I don’t want to say that she knew she was having her picture taken.

But she knew she was having her picture taken.

And immediately after those snaps, I looked at David and Sue and told them that they could have one too.

In five years.

‘Tis the season, people.

Christmas Celebrants, what are your plans?

This morning we had brunch with Marcus’ fam, and in all of five minutes I’ll be off to my Uncle’s house to see my extended family.  Tomorrow morning we’ll have an immediate family brunch in which we’ll open presents, and then Marcus’ immediate family will join us for Christmas dinner.

Absolutely Fascinated

Friends, I have just been overwhelmed by your comments!  All I can say is that I am absolutely SO touched.  The last year has involved so many changes for me (Including the e-mail in which I told my girlfriends I had to give up happy hours so I could get a solid running/exercise routine going!  Just yipes.) and these are the moments I save up for when the training gets rough and my motivation is completely gone.

I never got to talk about the carb-fest that Galina threw, but it was absolutely fantastic.  SO many friends came, they brought so much delicious food with and it was really the most wonderful of all possible ways to spend the night pre-race.  And if you want the recipe for an absolutely gorgeous Baked Brie with Kahlua, check out Erica’s blog.

I  know since my last experience with little pups, you’ve all been just dying to see me rock my non-existent maternal instinct again.  On Saturday, Josh and Ali brought their new little girl, Myra to the party. Despite my aversion to small children, I was absolutely fascinated.  She was too cute for words.

This is what happens when you have to try and hypnotize infants WITH YOUR EYES.

And God bless Josh, he still willingly plopped their firstborn into my arms as I looked at him wide-eyed and said I’m afraid. Fact: there is nothing that frightens me more than newborns that can’t hold their heads up.  I mean seriously, they’re just SO BREAKABLE!

Does anyone else have the babies not being able to hold their heads up-phobia?  When you become a parent, is this something that just disappears?

Today kicked off the first day of my post-race rest period, which will (hopefully) end on Thursday if the pain in my hip is gone (yes, I pushed it during the race because I knew the pain was manageable) and if my muscles/joints have decided that they are, in fact, back on the team.  Translation: Until I can start running again, the only permissible fitness activity in my world is Yoga from Exercise TV.  It stretches, it tones, and it’s all I really need at this point.

Tonight’s festivities included enjoying the episode of The Real Housewives of D.C. that I’ve been hoarding on our DVR for the last week (I can’t wait for the finale this week when the Salahis get busted for sneaking into the State dinner at the White House!), and reading an issue of W that was dancing around its expiration date.  I absolutely love the magazine subscriptions I got for my birthday (I found out last week that I got ELLE as well!) but lately I haven’t had the time to sit down and read them properly.  Tomorrow night will involve a DIY manicure + pedicure (my mitts are an absolute mess!) and dinner with Jillian at Sunsets.

Runners: When you have to take time off from running, what do you do to keep busy/entertained?

We’re Doing Okay

I am sharing this photo with you all as evidence of my Winning Way with children.  Astonishing as this may be to all of you, Trevor is the first child I’ve held in at least a year, and I managed to rock him to sleep.  In 15 minutes.  That’s pro-league right there.  The tot is my cousin Jenna’s son, and I think he’s seven months old (we know, he looks like a linebacker)?  He’s Expert at giving you that wide-eyed baby look and then sticking an arbitrary number of fingers into his mouth.  It’s fantastic stuff.

Don’t expect any baby talk ’round these parts again for years, probably.

What made today totally lovely: The Italian scarves my boss brought back from her trip to Europe.  Adore.  Bri didn’t want hers (she’s not a scarf-wearer?) so I came home with two.  The way we roll in my office, all you have to do to dress up a plain long-sleeved shirt (a la J.Crew’s Perfect Fit) and make it street-legal for our dress code, is to throw on a scarf.  Golden.  All winter = all scarves in my world.

I also found some time this evening to finish the September issue of bon appetit (another one of the magazines Marcus subscribed to for my birthday) and was able to squeeze in yet ANOTHER DIY manicure and pedicure.  It seems like my nails are getting stronger, but I still have no idea as to why they started going to hell in July in the first place.  Mystery of the century.  Lest I sound like a total whiner, I STILL haven’t touched the September Issue of Vogue yet, but that’s because I want to do it all in one sitting.  Preferably with a glass of champagne.  Mais non, that time just hasn’t presented itself yet.  But if that’s the biggest problem I have in the world, then I have to say, we’re doing okay.

I’m just gonna throw it out there and say that today, I managed to beat Monday.