28 February 2009

House, honk shh, oreos, bubbles and training

Whoa, a long post coming up here folks.

#1. The New House. It's going up quickly. We met with them this past Wednesday about the wiring and it was supposed to happen Thursday. Sheet rock was supposed to go up this week too, but we haven't been by since Wednesday. Here's a shot of the exterior, my new laundry room (I included this shot because it looked funny as my dad was trying to explain something to Tim) and our new fireplace (with an early santa visit...Tim's so funny). Ryan got to see his "new room" and asked where his toys were. He keeps asking about his new house. We've had to inform him that it's gonna be a while before we get to live there.

#2. Honk Shhh
"Honk Shh" is one of many terms Ryan uses to describe going to sleep. "mommy, Mr. Ryan is going Honk shh now." He's trying to make the snoring sound. So his new and exciting thing to do is empty the toy chest, insert pillows from the couch, grab his blanket and crawl inside and pretend to sleep. He also likes to play "peek-a-boo" with Brayden like this. He lays flat while Brayden is on the outside...Brayden then pulls up to look inside the chest and Ryan pops up and says "peek-a-boo". I was about to capture this on camera when Ryan scared Brayden and he fell and hit is head on the edge of the chest...so no picture.

#3. Oreos!!! If you look closely at the picture to the left you can see said bruise on Brayden's forehead from the fall mentioned above. Before you read any further, no this is not the only shirt Brayden owns, I do wash clothes and I just realized that every time I take a picture of him, he's got this shirt on..."Conserve water, drink chocolate milk." Aunt Jen gave him this shirt for Christmas and he likes it. Anyway. Not all our snacks are nutritious...oh well. Ryan loves oreos and milk and so does Brayden. Here's the mess that was last week. Actually, I think you can see some left over oreos on Ryan's cheek in the "honk shh" picture. In the picture to the right, Brayden thought Ryan was trying to give him a kiss...so he's leaning in for the messy smooch!

#4. Bubbles. This bubble machine was bought for Christmas 2007. Ryan loved it! When he walked out to the tree it was on and he just played in the bubbles forever. It got used maybe twice after that until yesterday. It's been sitting above the cabinets in the kitchen and Ryan saw it. "mommy, can you help me reach the bubble sheen pwease." Ok. sure. I picked him up so we could "reach" for the bubble maker together. I told him that I would have to go get the stool so I could get the bubble maker, when all of a sudden the kid is climbing out of my arms on to the top of the fridge. Ok, climb away Ryan. I got you. He proceeded to grab the bubble maker, hand it to me and then in a very frightened voice (like oh crap I'm really high up) he says "You can get me down now mommy."

Ryan had a ball with bubbles, dancing and even doing his "butt jig" as I like to call it. He puts his head on the floor looking in between his legs and sticks his butt straight up in the air then starts bouncing up and down. It's hilarious. Brayden was much more skeptical. It took him a while to warm up to the bubbles.

#5 Training. Ok, no more pictures...I'll spare you the spandex. But it has been a solid week for me. Here's the down and dirty recap:

Sunday - Bike 1:15 mix of steady state and intervals
Monday - Run 4.5 miles
Tuesday - Swim 3,000m race pace sets
Wednesday - Run 4.5 miles with 8 1/4 mile repeats
Thursday - Laundry and rest
Friday - Bike 1 hr steady state and Swim 3,000 with 4 400 repeats
Saturday - Run 7 miles
Tomorrow - Bike 2 hr. interval session

All my runs were on the TM, which sucks. My knees are hurting right now. But by far this is the best training week I've had since Brayden was born. Something is starting to click that the 1/2 IM the first week of May is sneaking up on me and my lack of fitness. Hopefully while Tim and I are in Tucson I can get some great training in as it is supposed to be in the mid 80's and sunny the entire week!!! Yeah for the desert.

I'll try to post some pictures while we're on vacation, but I can't promise anything. This will be the first extended (more than a night) alone time Tim and I have had since Brayden was born...actually since last January if I'm not mistaken. So I'm inclined to get some good snuggling in.

27 February 2009

Vacation Ready

Tim's two week vacation officially began this morning, but we're not leaving until Tuesday morning to go to Tucson. A week alone in Tucson. We're staying at some casino/resort. I'm excited.

26 February 2009

The good and the bad

I'll actually start with the bad because then I'll end on a good note and will feel better.

The bad: We moved Ryan to 2 days/week of daycare back in August for 2 reasons: 1. so he could be at home with Brayden and I and 2. to cut back on daycare expense. It was a pretty easy transition. Then Tim started the 5am -2pm shift at work and mommy had to do the drop-offs every Tues/Thurs. Surprisingly great. Ryan didn't pitch fits or give me guilt trips. Rather he would tell me to leave almost as soon as we got there.

Over the last month he's been getting a little shaky. Starting with "I don't want to go to school today" then "mommy can I come to work with you" and now "I want to go home". I was attributing some of this hesitation to the fact that they changed classes so he's got one new teacher, a new room and about 4 or 5 new classmates...that's a lot of change for a little person to handle. Then this morning it hit...he was in all out fit mode as I tried to leave. Those big blue eyes swelled with tears and he starting crying, holding on to me, asking me not to leave. The teacher had to come take him away from me and he just got louder. This reminded me of the first day we dropped him off and he stood at the classroom door banging on it crying. I probably cried more than he did that day.

So my day is starting out crappy. I feel horrible now, it's only 8:30 and I have a splitting headache. I don't know what I'm going to do when we put Brayden in daycare in May 2days/week...he's more attached to me than Ryan ever was. I'm going to need to take a mental day.

The good: I had a great bike Sunday, starting to get longer rides in on the weekends. Monday was a solid 4.5 mile run followed by a great swim on Tuesday and a interval session on the TM yesterday. All I've really got to do now is get my long runs in on Saturdays and make sure to get that second swim in during the week. I was feeling a little down about White Lake 1/2 at the beginning of May, feeling like I might not be ready by then. But I've discovered the art of minimal training for acceptable outcome. It really is more about enjoying what I'm doing rather than competing at this point. But I guess I've always had the attitude that I'm competing with myself rather than the other racers. So I'm feeling good physically and better mentally. I'm ready for the great feeling which I know is just around the corner.

22 February 2009

Sleep and Relaxation

So at the advice of a "professional", we decided to start putting the baby gate back in Ryan's door to keep him from coming downstairs at all hours. Apparently he might have been thinking that this was good bonding time , going through a growth spurt, or like the younger ones when they learn something new their minds start racing and they just can't sleep.

We started back with the baby gate on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning was bad because he tried to get out of his room and dropped his "blue blanket" on the opposite side and got upset. But since then it's been wonderful. I'm sure he's still waking up (maybe) but if he is, he's not making any noise. We're actually back to the 7:30 wake up times for him. It's been great.

And what I'm even more excited about is that Brayden is starting to get more on the same morning schedule as Ryan. He normally would sleep until 9 or even 10am, which sounds great but when you're already up and have your day going, it's hard to get things done with a sleeping baby. Errands and play time in the morning were always hard to get in. But not anymore. It's even better that Brayden's afternoon nap is the same time as Ryan's nap. Schedules can be a great thing.

This morning while eating breakfast, Ryan asked if he could play with his glitter glue. So we got out the art supplies. Glitter glue time usually consists of squirting as much of the glue on the paper as possible in great big globs. Glitter glue ran out so we resorted to normal elmer's glue. There's something about glue that kids just love. When I worked with pre-schoolers they all did the same thing, glue blobs so large it took over night to dry.

So now we're just playing a little and watching some cartoons. The equivalent to my single day Sunday's when I would stay in my PJs in bed all day with cereal watching the Sunday movie marathons. Good times.

20 February 2009

Rock'n Out

One of the greatest times I have with Ryan and now Brayden is when we dance. Turn on the music and cut a rug! Tim likes to use the song from Mickey Mouse Club House "Hot Dog Dance" because it's funny to watch Ryan try to imitate the characters. When we're in the car, we refer to dance time as "rock'n out". It usually consists of swaying our heads and throwing our arms in the air. At which time you can see crazy looks from other drivers...but hey you've gotta be a little silly sometimes, that's being a parent.

So today on the way to the indoor playground, a Madonna song comes on the radio; "I'm burning up, burning up for your love". Realizing this is not the ideal rock'n out song, all of a sudden from the back seat and at the top of his lungs "MOMMY, YOU WANT TO ROCK OUT WITH ME?" Sure Ryan, let's rock out. It was an all out wiggle fest in the back seat. Legs were kicking, arms were flailing, head was swaying and bobbing and he kept saying:
"Rock out with us Brayden, I know you can do it, I know you can. Just watch me. Watch mommy too. See like this. I know you can do it Brayden."
"Ah, mommy. I don't think Brayden can rock out yet. I think he's too little. He's just kicking his feet." Ryan, that's how Brayden rocks out, he kicks his feet. "But no mommy, you have to do this too" followed by more arms waiving and head banging.

After Madonna finally ended, Ryan sighed and said "It's ok Brayden, when you're a big boy like Mr. Ryan, you can rock out with me and mommy." He proceeded to ask Brayden to hold his hand so he could console Brayden over the fact that he couldn't "rock out" like a big Mr. Ryan.

I'm rock'n out with the training as well. I did an easy ride on Monday after the marathon relay to keep the legs loose. I've run twice this week at a 8:27 pace for 7.2 miles and I've got a ride during nap time today...if Ryan would actually go to sleep I'd be out there now. But since he's not, I'm blogging. I know more than a few people who are running the Coach Bubba 20K and 4 miler tomorrow and I will surely leave someone's name off so good luck to everyone.

16 February 2009

Ryan's mind

I had a doctor's appointment today, and since the kids are at home with me and it's not the kind of visit they should be in the room for (especially Ryan), Tim met me at the Dr.'s office to watch the kids while I was being seen.

We were in the waiting room prior to the visit. Ryan was walking around looking at the magazines and brochures and says to me "mommy I'm going to read this one by myself." I turned to see him grabbing a brochure on NovaSure. Uh hum. He opened it and the first picture was one of a woman walking on the beach. "This lady is walking in the water, it's not hurting her...see mommy, it's just a little water." He's heard this numerous times during bath sessions as he doesn't like getting his hair wet. Next page, diagrams of a uterus...3 of them. Ryan said "mommy, count the trichangles with me...1, 2, 3." "Good job Ryan, there are three triangles...let's look at the next page." "It's just the lady walking again, I'm all done with this one."

Thanks goodness. All I needed was a self breast exam brochure laying around for him to point out to everyone in the waiting room that breasts have nipples. He hasn't brought it up recently but when he first asked what they (nipples) were, it was after bath when were getting him dressed for bed and he pointed to his and said "mommy I have two more belly buttons." "No sweetie, you only have one belly button, those are your nipples." So for weeks he felt it necessary to tell and sometimes show everyone his nipples. Even the babysitter.

Gotta love him.

15 February 2009

Marathon Relay Weekend

Saturday Tim's parents and our niece came into town. We had a nice dinner at Mimi's (good Italian food). The best part of the evening, the kids! Ryan was such a good boy, despite 45 minute and we were already over an hour past his normal dinner time. Brayden did equally as well as long as he was being walked around the restaurant. They both behaved at the table and ate well. We came home and got ready for the race.

Up at 6:30 to make sure the house was clean before we left, as we had an open house again from 2-4. Race start was 10am and we had about a 1.5 hour drive. Both boys rode well today, which is a blessing. Normally if Ryan isn't pitching a fit then Brayden is crying because he absolutely hates to ride in the car. We got to the race and got the kids settled with Tim's parents.

Set-up of the race: Marathon within a park on a 1.6 mile loop course (hilly!). You can enter as a single runner, 2 man or 4 man relay. Relay teams are divided by all male, all female and co-ed. Tim and I completely thought that 13.1 for each of us was no problem, especially rotating laps...until after we both ran a lap. It was going to be a long day. I wanted to take my first few laps slow and then try to get some speed work done a little later on semi-tired legs.

Well, as I'm not very good at pacing myself, my fastest lap was my first lap at 8:03 pace with my second lap at 8:19 pace. I'm excited at these numbers given the course and the fact that I've been training at a 8:50 - 9 min pace. I followed those with 8:38, 9:04 (back to back laps), 8:53, 8:44, 8:49, and 9:11. I started this last lap feeling "OK", but as I made that first turn and headed up the first hill, I quickly realized that my hamstrings, gluts and calves had something different in store for me. I was done! I felt like I was going over 10 minute pace. My goal leaving for our last lap was to bring us in under 3 hrs 15 min. We finished in 3:15:18. Oh well. It was good enough for a 4th place finish amongst the 2 man co-ed relay group and 14th overall out of 57. Great training day for both of us.

The best thing about this race was getting to see the boys the entire time. My mother-in-law and my niece were taking Ryan around the trail playing at different place and every time I ran and they saw me, I heard cheers to keep me smiling. "Go Mommy, run Mommy run faster." Oh geeze if I could I would. My father-in law took Brayden most of the day. I tried not to let him see me on my off laps, as he's still pretty attached and would get upset if he saw me and I then left again. Out of sight, out of mind sort of thing.

After finishing, we hit up Cici's Pizza (or ChiChi's according to the Garmin) and then headed home. No visitors at the open house...:( I'm tired, it's going to be an early bed time for Mommy.

14 February 2009


It was Christmas for Valentine's Day last night. My sister and her husband (Trudy and Chris) got Tim and I tickets to the Broadway Series show STOMP. We even had the opportunity to have a nice dinner downtown before going to the show. I had lobster ravioli...yum.

Our tickets said section "R-pit". Neither one of us had any clue, so we went to section R. The usher looked at the tickets and said "um, you guys are actually down in the pit, by the stage, second row." What???? Wow, go Trudy. We made our way down to the "pit", I felt so special. There was a couple sitting in our seats when we got there, and they looked very upset to have to leave our wonderful seats, but I was stoked. It was amazing! Has anyone seen it? They use unconventional instruments (trash cans, brooms, poles, water jugs, paint cans) to make music and perform dance routines. We were so close that we could feel the breeze they were creating by waving the trash can lids. I could see the sweat dripping off the one guys mohawk. I thoroughly enjoyed the night. We'll forget the fact that it took us over an hour to get home due to parking deck traffic. I would totally recommend this show for any of you who have the opportunity to go.

12 February 2009

Dream Snatcher

"I want this so bad but I don't want to take away your dream." Says the girly man in red tights with 2 head bands in his highlighted spikey hair and multiple face piercings. And can you believe "Norman" made it to the final 36???? American Idol is crazy...it's my guilty pleasure, the train wreck I can't turn away from, that and any show about the Duggars and their 18 children, yes 18. I'm amazed by it or rather baffled by it. The oldest son just got married and his mother is 5 or 6 months pregnant with the 18th child. Just nonsense.

I found out today that the most children born to a single woman (in the 1700s) was 69 children over the span of 40 years. Interesting note: the 69 children were born in 27 pregnancies, all of which were multiples. I think it was something like 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quads. All I can say is learn to say no. I would love another child, actually I would love 2 more children...but I can't imagine birthin' no babies after that. Whew.

On a different note, both the boys were exhausted tonight. Brayden was in bed by 5:15 and Ryan by 5:45. No doubt Ryan will still be peaking over the edge of the bed at 4 to scare the crap out of me, but at least there was quiet time tonight. We had an trying time at dinner getting Ryan to eat. Every bite was a melt down because the spoon had sauce on it, or his hand got cheese on it, or the spoon didn't hold enough food.

Tim's blisters have healed adequately enough for him to still want to race the Valentine's day Marathon Massacre on Sunday. And, I'm glad to announce that he got a pair of trail racers today. Yeah for proper equipment.

10 February 2009

My old friend, LA

Oh yeah, like a long lost toy from childhood, a high school friend you lost touch with, or wait, better yet...the evil nemesis you hoped you'd never see again. Yeah that's it, my evil nemesis, LA...or better known as lactic acid! HA! That's how I know I've been training harder for over a week now. My quads and hamstrings are tight...I feel it with every step, sitting down, standing up, climbing stairs. It made my Monday run difficult but satisfying, my bike last night burn with the promise of results and it will probably make my swim tonight slow but worth while.

I remember what it was like to be in shape when I was younger and only get this feeling after summer volleyball camp or after the first week of softball from squatting so much. Back then my body could handle it and screamed for more. Now, my body isn't screaming for more, it's just screaming...but my head it saying "oh yeah! get it girl." I feel good to have the soreness, I feel like I'm going to see results from actually putting more into my workouts.

My back is still tight from the clumsy fall I had, bruises are yucky looking but thanks for the well wishes! It felt alright running and there's no sharp pains, just muscular...so I don't think there's any real damage. Although I was alone with the boys when I fell, so I'm just glad I was able to keep my head from hitting and getting knocked out. That would have been bad. All I heard from the living room was "Mom, you hear that noise?" "yes, ryan. Mommy fell down the stairs." "oh, you alright, I'm watching Dora now." I suppose the fact that he asked if I was ok should make me feel somewhat comforted to know he cares. Brayden on the other hand was trying to crawl down the stairs to me and got mad when I kept telling him no.

08 February 2009


I was on the hook for crew duty yesterday. Tim signed up for the notoriously hard Uwharrie Trail Race; there is a 40, 20 and 8 mile option...he was doing the 20 miler. Tim was a competitive runner in college and loves trail races. I get excited for him...but looking at the results from past years, the times average to just over a 8 min/mile pace which we thought was a little slow. We certainly found out why. Tim said this trail is the most technical he's ever run. He wore his regular racing flats (without socks) and didn't lube his feet at all. At the 8 mile crew stop, he came in about 45 seconds off the chase pack; he had apparently let them go before he topped the hill to the mile marker due to blisters. When he took his shoes off, it was pretty nasty. He was ready to pull out but the race official gave him some mole skin and duct tape and I gave him some socks and off he went. I hurried to the 11 mile crew stop and waited for what seemed an eternity. I was about to enter the trail head to go find him when I saw him limping in. Duct tape and mole skin didn't help and he was now getting more blisters. He pulled out at 11.

I must say I'm proud of him for doing so, simply because he never would have before. He would have suffered for 9 more miles, bloody feet and all and then been unable to walk or work out for 2-3 weeks while his feet healed. I guess he was thinking of the long term goal, White Lake. It will be his first 1/2 IM and he can't afford to miss any training right now. I know it was extremely hard for him.

I had a great run today, got 4.5 miles in. We're having some awesome weather here this weekend. It was a bit painful as I took a nasty tumble down our garage stairs Friday. My lower back is really sore and bruised pretty badly. I've got a long ride on the books for tomorrow.

06 February 2009

Childless Night

Tim is running in the Uwharrie 20 miler tomorrow. I was planning on taking the boys with us until we found out that the race site is 2 hours away and he has to be there at 7am....if I wake the boys up at 5 to leave, they won't go back to sleep. So the boys are having a sleep over with my parent's tonight. It's too bad really because Ryan gets extremely excited when we tell him we're racing. He knows the order of the events for triathlon and he knows you've got to "cross the finish line". He absolutely loves cheering us on, and everyone else racing too "run man run faster." It's fun to watch him react to all the excitement. Alas, no chance for a late night visitor tonight...maybe I'll take some NyQuil and call it a night.

Currently we're just making sure the house is neat and tidy in case we get any visitors tomorrow while we're out. We've been on the market now since September 11th. Several showings, 2 open houses and no offers. I wasn't really worried about it until now; we've got an appointment with our builder next Wednesday to go over the floor plan one last time before they start building...then we've only got 60 days. Even Ryan crossed his fingers today when we had a showing.

05 February 2009

Late Night Ghost

It's 2:45am, the house is dark and quiet. You wake up to the sound of silence, you feel something burning into you. You can't decide if you dreamt the sound or if it was real. Was there a noise outside? Is the dog licking himself too loudly? Then you hear it, footsteps. Are they real? You sit up and look around unable to see anything. "hello". No answer, only footsteps. Then as your eyes adjust to the darkness, you make out a little head barely coming over the top of the bed and realize the steps are not the dog on watch duty, but your 2.5 year old who had mysteriously woken up and was checking on you.

Ryan was circling the bed this morning at 2:45am, seeing if Tim and I were awake. He had laid his blanket on top of me and was trying to see which on of us was awake to help him into our bed. "Mommy, did the chanic come and fix my choo choo train? We need to call the chanic right now, he needs to fix the tv too, it's not working. Here's the mote, it's broken too."
"Ryan, the tv is turned off because it's night time, time to sleep, it's dark outside so we should be sleeping just like the sun."
"uh, is the chanic sleeping mommy?"
"Yes, Ryan the mechanic is sleeping too."
"Ok mommy, I sleep in mommy and daddy's bed now. Good night, see you in the morning."

Several rib kicks later he settled down and had managed to lay on my back and fell asleep. He's been doing more and more of these late night visits. We're not sure why. I have to admit that Tim and I have been extremely lucky when it comes to the kids and how well they sleep. Both were sleeping through the night (6pm to 7am) by 10 weeks. With the rare exception of bad dreams, sickness or the occasional "I just want to play" middle of the night waking, we typically get 12 hours at night. So this is odd. Maybe it's because we've started potty training? I don't know, but it scares the living daylights out of me when he tip toes around our bed in the middle of the night. Last week I woke up to him staring at me, waiting for me to open my eyes so he could give me his dinosaur puzzle to put together.

Tim didn't even realize he had come downstairs until he left for work at 4:45. I wish I could sleep through that. The funny thing is that Ryan had a conversation with him. Note to self, pour cold water on Tim to ensure he remembers late night conversations.

03 February 2009

On a Roll

Last Tuesday night, our regular master's swim night, Tim and I got our bottoms handed to us by the coach. It was a swift, hard set. I should have known when coach said "are you competitive?" that we were in for it. Tim laughed when I was asked this question, he doesn't consider me the competitive type...I'm just not on his level of hard core. So the last 600 were 6 x 100 sprints, well really a race among the three different speed groups in the class. Two of us were doing 100s, two of us doing 125s and one lucky lady (not me) doing 150s. He was trying to have us finish the specified distances around the same time as to make the race closer. I will happily admit that he put me in the 100y lane. The winner of each set was held back by the margin of victory at the start of the next set. I won the first 3 hundreds! I was held back 10 seconds on the second set and 20 seconds on the third set. I came in second in the next 3 hundreds as I was out of gas from hauling my big body through the water.

After the cool down, coach asked me if I had been sand bagging on him in the other classes. My response of course was "no, that's really as fast as I can go." I am not fast...my fastest 100 during said sprint set was 1:34. Which at this point is not a sustainable pace for me for more than 300m...I'm more comfortable around 1:45. Any way, it got me thinking about how much effort I put into workouts. Friday I did my own swim and it became apparent how much I slack when I'm on my own, I never really get into uncomfortable or labored breathing. Then I seriously starting thinking about my training. After reading some of your blogs and these two swim sessions last week, I decided I needed to be fair to myself and start committing to my training. Make myself work, breath hard, sweat more, feel the pain kinda commitment. Not just the "let's be in shape" commitment.

So Saturday was a really good 45 minutes bike session followed by a hard 65 minute bike effort on Sunday. Monday I decided I needed to run but didn't have the interest in doing anything over a 5K, so I was determined to do that 5K as hard as I could. Running in my neighborhood is sort of hilly and given the lack of running over the last few weeks, I didn't have high expectations...aiming for 9 minute or slightly under. At one point, a lady walking her dog yelled at me "you're getting a serious hill workout in there." I replied that the hills were across the street, then looked down at my watch, I was around a 8 minute pace for that half mile interval...unheard of for me. Normally seeing that I'm going that fast causes me to slow down because I get scared that I can't hold it. Instead, I just kept trying to push. Realizing that I could hit a PR for a 5K, I was getting excited. 3.05 miles in 26 minutes flat! 9:00 mile 1, 8:38 mile 2 and 8:22 mile 3. Where did this come from?

I'm ecstatic! 3 solid training days in a row. Unfortunately my knees were a little achy today and fortunately Tim was tired tonight after work, so we skipped swim class. Oh don't worry, I'm on a roll now so Thursday night we'll get our master's swim in. As for tomorrow, I'm not sure if I'm in for a bike, a run or both. I guess I'll have to wait and see how long Brayden sleeps in the morning to see what I can fit in.

02 February 2009

Time Away

I can't remember what I was watching last week that talked about a woman's world changing after motherhood. But the character made reference that before she had kids she was a successful career woman who felt secure and powerful in her job. She felt smart and got the reassurance and "good jobs" from co-workers and bosses and knew how to do her job and do it very well. Then she became a mother, where she constantly felt like she didn't know anything, nothing she did was right, she constantly second guessed herself and nobody was there to say "way to go" you did exactly the right thing. She always felt inadequate about the job she was doing and guilty for every fault her child had or every misery they suffered.

I watched this show and said to myself "exactly". Exactly. Exactly. What is it about our children that can make us crumble to pieces and doubt every fiber in our being? A test every single moment of every single day, it's completely and utterly mentally exhausting. For those of you still in the honeymoon phase that is the first 18-20 months, you might not exactly know what I'm talking about...or maybe you do depending on how temperamental your newborn was. But there is something to this term "terrible two's", which apparently gets worse in year three according to the women I've been talking to around here. Lord help me. Seriously. I need several more hands to count the number of times I've been brought to tears out of feelings of anger and inadequacy by this 2.5 year old that I love more than my own life. Doubting how I'm teaching him things, what we watch or don't watch on tv (the few times it is turned on in our house), places I'm taking him, the examples I set by how I react to things or with my general habits both good and bad. I just keep thinking to myself..."didn't we go over this already", "why doesn't he get it yet", "how many more tantrums must I endure"?

My point is this, yesterday Tim said to me after a moment of breaking down due to said 2.5 year old..."Angela, you just need a break from the kids. Let's go out and have some adult time, no kids, and have fun." You would think I would jump at that right? Well after an hour bike ride and a few more minutes of reflection, I agreed. I need time away to regroup. It's like I get stuck in this negative hole after dealing with my beloved Ryan during these fits and then trying to handle a 9 month old who's into EVERYTHING on top of that. I feel like all I'm ever doing is saying "no" or scolding him for something he's doing that he's not supposed to do. I do realize that I need the breaks but I feel the most guilt I've ever felt every time I leave my boys to go have some fun and get some relaxation. I keep thinking that I'm being a bad mom for not being able to handle things better causing me to have to "leave" them.

For some of the newer moms, have you taken time away yet? Just you and your significant other? Letting the little one sleep over with family or just an evening out for dinner/movie? Anyone with two or more kids, how often do you take nights off? The first time I really left Ryan was for a week when he was 8 months old...truth be told I was forced to take a vacation to Hawaii for our anniversary. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone. But now with two, I feel even more guilt about trying to leave because two is much more for other people to handle. I know grandparents love the opportunity, but at the same time I try not to ask too often. How crazy am I about all of this or am I just over reacting and there is a simple solution that will help me out...I'm looking for some input here.