Archive | September 2013

Oops, I did it again…not the Britney Spears song


Last year, when I did the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November, my day was all about finishing the race.  I had completed more than a half a dozen 13.1 mile journeys, but this was my first attempt since having my children.  Acutely aware that races are littered with women mere weeks after childbirth, I operate at a different pace.   This was challenging enough.

I enlisted my sister in law as a running buddy. She was and is far more disciplined in her training and workouts than I was.  Infinitely patient, she put up with me and my ambivalence about the race.  On and off, I followed a very rough plan to get me to the necessary mileage.

On Race Day, we showed up, we ran and we finished.  Despite being slower than ever, it was the most enjoyable half marathon I have completed.  Crossing the finish line was a huge personal victory for me.  The feat was mine.  I had carved out a space in time that was for only me.  I had not anticipated how powerful it would be to be reminded that I was still a person, a mother, of course, but a person first and foremost.

Armed with my taste of personal victory, I vowed to maintain my mileage so that next year would be less of an uphill battle.  I would practice and train all year.

Well…not so much.  Here I am again.  The Philadelphia Half Marathon is 7 weeks away.  And I am once again, piecing together my training to get myself to the finish line on race day.  Not ideal, it’s just where I am, again.  I struggle to accept my next sentence.  It is okay.

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My blog is getting a Makeover!!!!


So, with all the free time I have, I’ve decided it’s time to makeover my blog.  Yes, the Baby Gifts and Goodies Blog, with the very blah blah blah title that even I am struggling to remember as I type will be no more.

Yes, I know that change is sometimes difficult, but let’s remember that we must get rid of old and lame blog titles, to make room for new and improved titles like– Nonstop in Flip Flops.  Stay tuned for more of my misadventures!!

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Do I owe Caillou an apology?



In typical toddler form, my kids are growing.  And I am starting to get the hang of the reality that each season brings almost an entirely new wardrobe and shoes for each of my kids.  It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but I’m learning.  Typically this process unfolds without as much as a whimper from Charlie or Giuliana.  (Yep, my kids have names!)

In the past, the children have humored me by trying on clothes and shoes, wiggling throughout the process, but doing it anyway.  This year, shoe shopping proved to be a bit different.  In my first attempt to buy shoes for Charlie, he began fussing and pulling his foot away from me as I approached with the offending shoe.  Okay, not today, I figured, dismissing the experience to not being in the mood.

Despite taking a different tack by talking up the opportunity for big boy shoes and trying to generate some positive buzz around shoe shopping, our second attempt was a bust as well.

By the third try, I was determined to make the shoe purchase happen.  I prepped everyone in the car, on the way into the mall and finally on our approach to the shoe store.  Washington spin doctors don’t do as much positive spin as I was working.  And it began very well.

“Charlie, do you like this shoe,” was met with enthusiastic and repeated nodding. Still thinking I was getting it done smoothly, I whisked him down the aisle and assumed the Al Bundy position and began to slip the new shoe on his socked foot.  Not so fast, Mom.  Charlie began waving his foot up and down, in some sort of toddler game of keep away and repeating the word “big” like it was a bad thing.

“Right, big, like a big boy” I repeated.  Still not getting that apparently “big” is code for something a guy really doesn’t want on his foot.  It didn’t make sense to me.  My little boy, the one who sat quietly on his father’s lap enduring a blood draw without so much as a peep or a tear was crying over trying on shoes???  Were we really related?  I mean, we were talking about shoes here.

It was then that I remembered him, my most unlikely ally.  The yellow shirt, blue short wearing, whining four year-old cartoon, the little cartoon boy who is the bane of my existence, where my toddlers and television meet.

Caillou….the Joker to my Batman, the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker, the calories to my chocolate.

Darn it.  Caillou could help me here.

I started by reminding Charlie how at first his buddy Caillou didn’t want to get new shoes.  But he tried them on and liked them.  And for my finale,  “Didn’t Charlie want to be a big boy like Caillou?”

Charlie’s resistance melted and it wasn’t long before he was proudly marching around before the sales women repeating his hero’s name.  My son had new shoes, and he was smiling.  Thank you Caillou.

But, I still don’t have to like him, do I?

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