Fall Roundup

I’ve been out of the rhythm of blogging lately, which has started to get me into that state of mind where I feel like when I finally write something here, it has to be something “good” or “important” or “well wrought,” which is just not going to happen any time soon.

But whatever happened to just blathering on about life as I’m living it, huh? Let’s try some of that and see how it feels.

It's decorative gourd season!

Are you ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest?

As I write, I’m currently on a little break between classes and office hours, drinking an ice-cold can of Diet Coke from my new office mini-fridge. I’ve been wanting one of these (the fridge, not the Coke) for years, but kept on not buying one. I’d see them in Target every August as school was starting again, stacked among all the back-to-school dorm supplies, and I’d think to myself how great it would be to have one, but inevitably I’d decide to wait until they went on sale after the students moved in, and then they’d be gone.

But then, I had the sudden realization that I could ORDER one. ONLINE. From Amazon, where they have everything. What, am I new here?! I even had it delivered right to my office. I felt like a GDMFing genius, I tell you what. It’s such a pleasure to have a supply of cold drinks right here — and, even better, I have immediate access as soon as I get to campus at 7:00 AM so I can put my packed lunch in the fridge without waiting for administrative staff to get here at 7:45 and unlock the break room, which is not even on my floor, and which I may not even have time to get into before my 8:00 class. So that’s cool.


High of 70, you say? I'LL TAKE IT.

Speaking of other cool things, it’s almost like (knock on wood) fall is finally arriving here in the swamps of the Deep South. Could it be? A high of just 70 degrees today and tomorrow?

Well. A quick check of reality/the weather forecast shows it’ll be back in the 80s again in a few days, so we’d better make the most of it while we can. I’m wearing boots and a blazer and a scarf to work today, for example. Really living it up. Tomorrow we’re taking the babies to a pumpkin patch to buy some decorative gourds and take some photos and feel festive about the season. Maybe I’ll even drink a hot coffee and wear a jacket or a vest or a flannel shirt or even two of the above. (Please expect a deluge of cute babies with pumpkins in your social media tomorrow.

Roberta in action.

Next weekend, CW and I are running a local 5K with the babies and Roberta (our jogging stroller). It’ll not only be our first family 5K, but also my husband’s first road race EVER! He ran XC in high school, but hasn’t taken part in any official running events since then. I think he’s pretty excited. At the current time, my run pace is a lot slower than it was pre-pregnancy and a lot slower than CW’s pace (he’s a smidge faster than my pre-pregnancy pace, which doesn’t even seem fair since I’m “the runner,” but I’ll get over it). So I think our plan will be to have CW push the stroller and I’ll run alongside so we can go at my best pace, which will be a pleasant stroll for him. We’ll probably run 31-33 minutes, depending on how hilly the course is (I haven’t looked at it yet because I’m just trying not to activate the SRS RNR programming loop in my brain right now). If we happen to break 30 I will consider it a fall weather / race day miracle.

I suppose that’s a fair roundup. Now how are YOU?

E&L: Ten Months

E and L are now well over ten months old (I’m a little behind in my updates). I can’t believe how soon they’ll be celebrating their first birthday — yikes! They occasionally seem to have grown overnight, and they’re now wearing the 12-18-month clothing I bought them for this fall and winter. Some of it’s a little big, still, but it basically fits. I can’t believe how big they are!

Eleanor & Linus

They had a less fun milestone recently: their first cold. It hit E a lot harder than L, and we were constantly having to help clear her nose with the Nosefrida (recommended!) so she could breathe while drinking her bottles. Poor Booboo. It’s cleared up well by now, but it was pretty gross at the time.

Their cold had the bad luck of striking while I was out of town for the weekend — my first ever trip away from the babies! That was its own kind of milestone, I suppose. It was odd to be away from them and I missed their baby snuggles, but it was a good thing for me to get time to go somewhere for myself — and of course CW handled everything just fine in my absence (although I wish he hadn’t had to deal with sick babies on top of it all).

Eleanor & Linus

At 10 months, E:

  • Can stand up and sit back down without support and practices this skill over and over again.
  • Still has only two teeth with no signs of any new ones coming. So. Should I order some baby dentures, or what? Heh.
  • Says “da” all the time, as well as the occasional “ba” and “ma.” But mostly “da.”
  • Loves to give hugs and, when we’re burping her after a bottle, pats us on the back to help us burp, too. Thanks, Jellybean!

Eleanor & Linus

At 10 months, L:

  • Cruises around on all the furniture and will walk around the room while pushing his activity table (as if it were a push toy, which it’s not designed to be, but Blueberry DNGAF).
  • Still has only two teeth and still drools all the livelong day, convincing me he’s about to cut some new ones, but has been doing this for over a month with no changes.
  • Is an extremely fast crawler and LOVES to play chase and hide.
  • Makes a whirring, trilling noise whenever he gets excited, especially when we come into the room first thing in the morning.

They honestly just continue to be such delightful babies. They sleep at night (mostly) and nap well (mostly); they love to eat; they play together all day and love to be with us; they charm old ladies at the store and love their babysitter. We just adore them.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 8

Last week wasn’t the greatest in terms of meeting my workout goals, but I finished strong! I took some unplanned rest days in the middle of the week because my weird sore foot (I have, like, three distinct problems bothering me with my foot off and on, some of them since the twins were born, and I don’t want to get into describing it all, but it is occasionally totally fine and occasionally totally frustrating). By the end of the week, though, I was feeling better and had a great run on Saturday and a strength session on Sunday.


Here’s what went down:

Monday: Rest Day. Would have worked out if I’d been on campus, but Labor Day threw it off.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles (31:04). I did speed intervals on the treadmill and it felt great in terms of pace and fitness! My fast intervals were easily sub 9:00, which is pretty good for me at this point! I’d planned on making it four miles, though, but my sore toe problem forced me to stop earlier than I wanted.

Wednesday – Friday: Rest Days (foot issues)

Saturday: Ran 4 miles (44:42). This was my best outdoor run to date in terms of distance, pace, and attitude. The slightly cooler weather helps me SO MUCH. The last mile of this route is normally quite grueling and I have to take sad walking intervals, but on this day I had no problem powering through despite the hills and humidity. I even cranked up the pace to around 9:15 for the last quarter mile — totally surprised myself!

Sunday: Body Pump Class (60:00). Body Pump is my favorite group fitness class BY FAR. I have so much trouble motivating to do strength training on my own, but I love doing it in this type of setting. I’m not able to make any of the weekday classes due to scheduling, so I was just DELIGHTED to find out that they added one on Sunday afternoons and I can make it work. I got a little overzealous on the squat track, though, and my legs are sure complaining today — in a good way, though.


Food Highlights: My husband’s perfect poached eggs, brie and grapes, and all the prosecco we drank while celebrating some good news.

Goals for the Coming Week: Weigh in. I haven’t done that in a while and I always get nervous about it. Better just get it over with. Don’t exacerbate sore foot. Stay mindful of my eating plan and calorie goals (this has been tough lately).

Fitness & Food Highlights: Weeks 6-7

I didn’t get a chance to do my update last week, and now it’s almost Thursday of this week, so I’m very behind in my critical F&F posting. I’m sure you’re all on the edges of your seats. (Being very generous using the plural you, there.)

At any rate, I have had a good couple of weeks. I weighed in last week and am now down a total of 15 pounds since I started this mission. It feels good. My clothes are fitting better (some pants are quite loose now!) and I can see I’m making progress.

Here’s what went down the past couple of weeks:

Fitness Goals: I wanted to figure out a rough workout schedule for the semester, which I think I have done. So far, it’s gym cardio on Mondays, run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays — at least once with the stroller– and more gym cardio on Sundays. The problem is that I am not going to be able to fit in a body pump class and I haven’t been pushing myself to do any other strength workouts, such as barre3. I need to get that back into the rotation. I’m going to try to figure that out this week.

Monday: Elliptical (30:00). A shorter workout because I had to get home in time to give my husband a ride to pick up his car from the shop. Still worth the effort to get moving!

Tuesday – Friday: Rest days due to back pain and scheduling issues. Wednesdays and Fridays are rest days anyway, so I only mised two workouts this week.

Saturday: Ran 4 miles (48:09). It felt hot and grueling even though I went as early in the morning as I could manage. I took quite a few walking breaks in the last mile, but I got it done.

Sunday: Elliptical (45:00). My usual Sunday afternoon cardio at the gym while watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). See above.

Tuesday: Ran 2.8 miles (31:40). Evening run. I haven’t run in the evening in YEARS (I used to do this on the reg in college, but not since then). I really don’t mind it, except for the very full after-dinner feeling. It was a good way to fit in a workout on a busy day! Unfortunately, the days are getting shorter and I won’t have many more chances to run after the babies’ bedtime (due to it being dark too early).

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood with the stroller (36:54). Stroller runs in the summer heat and humidity and hills, y’all. They’re BRUTAL. But it got done.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Ran 4 miles (45:33). Best outdoor run I’ve had in quite some time. The weather was just a touch cooler and less humid on this day, and I could feel an immediate difference. I normally have to stop and walk in the last (hard, uphill) mile of this route, but not this time!

Sunday: Elliptical (45:00).

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Food Highlights: Food has involved quite a few things I normally would avoid while trying to lose weight. We had a friend over for pizza, for example, and he brought fancy gelato. Which I very much enjoyed. I had a couple of days of over-indulgent snacking for various reasons. But I also ate really well and mostly kept to my moderate plan. Highlights were the aforementioned pizza and gelato, my BBQ tofu salad, and this stuffed baked sweet potato with arugula and a poached egg. I am really enjoying arugula right now, dressed simply with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Recommended.

Goals for the Coming Week: Work in a strength or barre3 session; do at least 3 cardio sessions; don’t exacerbate sore toe.

E&L: Nine Months

My little Jellybean and Blueberry are nine months old as of Sunday. Nine months feels like an awful lot of time. They were only on the inside for eight months, after all, and that felt like forever.

Lawn Babies

They’re growing and changing and learning so much every day now — it seems like they’re different people every time I look around. Wasn’t I just carefully hovering around them as they tried to balance while sitting, for example? Now they’re standing up, so I’d better get to hovering in a slightly more elevated position.

Things are exciting. They’re going everywhere and getting into everything — with a distinct preference for things they shouldn’t be getting into. Cords and wires, tiny objects, and breakable things all seem to have some powerful magnetic force drawing the babies into their sphere. No, that phone charger is not a toy, young lady!

They’re eating all sorts of new foods, finger foods especially. The recent hits have been Cheerios and pineapples. They also seem to like plain tofu, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and bananas.

We also now have a part-time babysitter (two mornings per week, so far), which is kind of a huge milestone in that they’re being cared for by someone other than family for the first time. She’s great, by the way, and the babies love her, so we’re very happy to have her around.

Lawn Babies

They’re relating to each other more and more, and often spend their mornings and their post-nap times sitting together where their two cribs meet, chattering to each other and passing their binkies back and forth in their own little game. When they’re playing in their room, they’ll often follow each other around to see what the other one is doing, and, if it’s an exciting and/or destructive activity, they’re very quick to help each other out. Other times, they simply knock each other down, use each other to pull up to standing, crawl over each other, or grab each other’s faces. (Hashtag twinproblems.) They’re fantastic, truly.


At 9 months, E:

  • Weighs 18lb 5oz (52%), is 28.5in tall (81%), and has a head circumference of 18in (92%).
  • Can sit, crawl on all fours (no more inch worming), and easily pulls up to standing and sits back down.
  • Has more and more fabulous hair with volume for days. It’s strawberry blonde. Her little duckfeathers have come so far!
  • Still has blue eyes, in a deep, denim shade. They’re so beautiful.
  • Has two bottom teeth with no immediate signs of any new ones appearing yet.
  • Loves to talk and chat in her sweet little birdie voice and then suddenly blow spitty raspberries right in your face.
  • Hugs and kisses (or maybe just bites our faces?) and has tried to clap her hands a few times so far, but not reliably yet.



At 9 months, L:

  • Weighs 17lb 11oz (16%), is 28.25in tall (44%), and has a head circumference of 18in (70%). These are L’s best numbers yet!
  • Can sit, crawl on all fours (no more army crawling), and easily pulls up to standing and sits back down. We’ve also seen him “cruise” from one piece of furniture to another a couple of times, but not reliably yet.
  • Still can’t compete with his sister for hair, but his wispy red strands are getting a bit longer and thicker on top.
  • Still has blue eyes, but they’re a light, bright, gray-blue with dark rings around the outside of the iris. Amazing.
  • Has two bottom teeth and has been drooling like crazy for the past week or so. I can’t see any new teeth starting to come in yet, but they must surely be about to.
  • Loves to smile and laugh and giggle and thinks his parents and his sister are pretty hilarious.
  • Recently learned to splash water from the tub outward and thinks it is the MOST FUN EVER to get the person bathing him completely soaked. Buddy.

Needless to say, I think they are the best babies ever. When I think of all the things that had to come together for these two specific babies to exist in the world, I’m just astounded. And thankful.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 5

Last week went pretty well — better than I expected, actually! I met two of my three fitness goals, ate mostly healthy food while also indulging in some treats, and had a successful weigh-in. I’m down 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks for a total of 12 lost so far. I’m now about 34lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight.

I don’t have a specific “goal weight” or a numerical weight loss goal at all. My big-picture goals are different:

  • I would like to be able to run 15+ miles per week without problems, putting me in a good position to be able to run an impromptu 5K or 10K or to train for a half marathon.
  • I would like for my run paces to move back closer to what they were before (10:00/mile “conversational” pace, ~27:00 5K race pace, within reach of training for a ~2:00 half marathon).
  • I would like to fit back into most if not all of my old work clothes. I’m fine if my skinniest pants don’t ever fit me again, but being within that approximate range (and therefore able to wear the more generously cut items) would be great.

People are always quick to say that bodies change after pregnancy, that old weights and sizes might never be seen again. That’s why I am focusing on fitness and feel-good goals instead. Hopefully these are fairly realistic!

File Aug 22, 1 17 22 PM

The elevation from Saturday’s hilly run

OK, here’s how the week went down:

Fitness Goals: Since it was my first week back to work and was going to be full of extra obligations on top of that, I set some more achievable goals this week. Complete at least 4 workouts (yes! I did five!), run at least 8 miles (yes!), and complete at least 1 barre3 workout (no; I forgot that I’d wanted to do this. Womp womp.). 

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). Move along, please, nothing to see here! Steps: 13, 498

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller, but my Garmin didn’t save this so I don’t have any data. Lame. All I remember is: it was hot and humid. Steps: 10,704

Wednesday: Rest Day. It was the first day of teaching, plus I had a department reception, though, so I still got 7,963 steps.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood (no stroller; no stats). Steps: 13,485

Friday: Rest day. Steps: 8,258

Saturday: Ran 3 miles of hills (34:48). I ran the hillier route option from my house, so instead of adding distance beyond 3 miles, I kept it relatively short. I need to improve my stamina for hilly outdoor runs, so this was a step in that direction. Steps: 12,388

Sunday: Elliptical (45:00). Steps: 11,237

Food Highlights: I don’t have any food photos from this week, but I do have some good memories. I ate more than my fair share of mini quiches at my department reception, for example. I also ate some brie and fresh blackberries Saturday night when we had a little happy hour at our house. There was also cava. CW made a really tasty curried eggplant and chickpea thing with this fabulous mint chutney — I should have taken a picture. Trust me, it was all delicious.

Goals for the Coming Week: Figure out a rough workout schedule for the semester. This will need to take into account my schedule, my husband’s schedule, and the days we’ll have our nanny. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll be staying after classes to workout at the gym and if so on which days. I’ll feel better once I have a plan in place — I definitely prefer knowing ahead of time when/what my workouts will be.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 4

This week was pretty successful! I did not manage to weigh in at all, so I don’t know if I had any results in the numbers, but my overall fitness and food goals fit in nicely with regular life, which is its own success. This is becoming a nice routine — and of course, fall semester is about to come along and throw a wrench in it! We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s how everything went down last week:

Fitness goals: Run ten miles (yes!), do at least one strength workout (yes!), workout at least 5 days (yes!)

Running? Again? Really?

My workout buddies. This week, it’s E who is less than enthused about the early-morning stroller ride. 

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). Boring, but effective. I would always rather be running, but I am very prone to injury if I run more than three days per week, so here we are.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller (38:50). Last week I made it my goal to get to three miles with the stroller and I did! I had some long sections of walking (uphill), but the average pace wasn’t TOO terrible, considering the circumstances.

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood (no stroller) (~36:00). This was just a hard run. I have been running mostly indoors (in the air conditioning) on a treadmill, so real outdoor running is still a bit rough right now. I expect that to improve.

Friday: Barre3 video (30:00). Some day I’ll start doing the longer videos. This was not that day.

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 5 miles on the treadmill (54:00). I beat last week’s 5-mile time by over a minute, so while it is still a much slower pace than I am used to, it is getting better.


Food Highlights: The above southwestern chopped salad with cilantro-lime-yogurt dressing, my chana masala, all the iced coffee.

Goals for the coming week: The week will be busy and stressful: classes are starting and we’re interviewing nannies. I hope to keep up with at least 4 total workouts, run at least 8 miles, and do at least one barre3 workout.