The Half Marathon That Wasn’t

Last week I was totally prepared to publish a post about my big running comeback, thrilled that I had successfully completed my fourth half-marathon after taking a five year running break. However, nature had other plans.

The night before the race, as my friends and I prepared for a huge pasta dinner in anticipation for running a couple hours in the morning, we received notification that the race was cancelled due to poor air quality from the California wildfires.

It was a crushing disappointment, but we quickly reframed that this was nothing compared to the loss of homes and lives for those directly affected by the fires. We commiserated over our small yet dispiriting let down over the pasta anyway, washed down by a satisfactory amount of wine, and assembled a plan B.

Plan B turned out to be a pretty good substitute: a 10 mile hike at Pinnacles National Park.

It was an absolute gorgeous hike and a beautiful day. I’m pretty sure we found the only spot in California with clear air!

And we went through caves. Like, dark, probably bat-infested, need-a-flashlight caves.

It was so cool. And after hiking almost 10 miles, my legs were shaking as if I ran a half marathon!

Sending lots of prayers and support to the folks affected by the fires and the brave firefighters and first responders working tirelessly to battle the flames and help those in need.

Go make it a great day!

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But First, Coffee

Just so you know, I now offer a free service. 


According to my sister, I have a superhuman ability to find a quality Starbucks or coffee shop anywhere. I don’t care where you are; I will find coffee for you. It’s my gift to humanity.
Saturday we took the kids to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park to meet up Amanda and her husband for a day of gettin’ our learn on. Squish was super interested in the exhibits (especially the Earthquake interactive display) until he discovered that there were interactive iPads with games on them at every turn. Then he just played games instead of, like, looking at the exhibits. At least I think he’s learning.


Buttercup was a lot more interested than I thought she would be. We made it in time to see them feed the Penguins, and she sat still in my lap through the entire presentation, watching them gobble fish from the biologist (Squish was long gone into iPad Land at that point). Then we checked out the huge aquarium and she was just mesmerized with the giant reef exhibit.


Then Sunday I went to CrossFit. Yay! At our gym Sundays are for hero WODs, so the suck factor is always at full-throttle.

“Donny”

For time, sets of 21-15-9-9-15-21 reps:

  • Deadlift (men=100kg, women=70kg)
  • Burpees

I scaled the weight on the deadlifts down to 50kg (110 lbs) because I recall 70 is my 10-rep max, and this workout requires, like, 90 reps. So, nope.

I started out trying to pace at sets of 5 deadlifts, which worked out okay for approximately 2 minutes. I hit the “pain cave” hard and fast, and it was one of those workouts where I about started crying because when I go that hard I get super emotional (It’s no wonder that they call it “barbell therapy”!), but I didn’t cry, my hands didn’t rip, and I was done in 17:11.

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Party On Whole30 Style

Saturday night we hosted a beer tasting party for our home brewery. It was Day 28 of the Whole30 for me, and I would like to happily report that I stayed compliant for the entire evening and had a wonderful time!

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We put the invite for the party out on Nextdoor (a social media app for neighborhoods) so everyone that came – except for my sister; hi, Amanda! – I met for the first time. It was a little hard conversing with strangers without the comfort of “liquid courage” in my glass, but I bought like eleventeen different flavors of sparkling water ahead of time, so my glass contents were still tasty.

It was so funny, I didn’t even want the beer. Shocker, I know! But knowing that it would be too easy to go overboard into Drunksville on hour high-alcohol craft beers, and how I want to still be functioning and having a good time when the party was winding down, I really didn’t have a problem refilling my glass with La Croix. And it was way easier to give Buttercup a sip of sparkling water from my glass than to constantly be policing where my beer is in proximity to her fast, crafty little toddler hands (she loves the taste of beer so we constantly have to police our bottles and glasses). But I found not drinking beer with everyone else to be a lot more do-able than I had imagined. I just filled my glass with La Croix, didn’t mention it or say anything to anybody what I was drinking, and had a good time.

For the part food, I made a huge pulled pork roast and served it with barbecue sauce on the side so I could have the meat, and I made a huge plate of cut veggies with guacamole so I knew there was stuff I could eat. Many people generously brought dishes to pass, so we had plenty of food for everyone!

Meanwhile, my knee has decided to start bothering me. Enter all of the ice packs.

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For real?!? Yup. I think I’ve been propping my foot on the coffee table when Hulk and I watch our nightly ritual “Cheers” reruns on Netflix, and the hyper-extension on my knee has started to become a problem. I’m finding after standing or walking for a short while it starts to ache. Which sucks because I have ALL THE HIKES planned for Olive and me, not to mention all the CrossFit. But for now it’s lots of ice, quit standing, and quit propping my foot up without knee support! Okay, body, you can stop acting old at any time now. Really, we can go back to when I could do anything at anytime with little to no warning and you bounce back in like six hours.

Speaking of getting old, guess who’s birthday is coming up?

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Aww yeah. Just throwing it out there to the universe. You know.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mole, so I knew I had some options for food. Plus, I was so busy running around entertaining, I almost forgot to eat! The neighbors all graciously brought dishes as well, but it was mostly from the bread-and-treat variety

O Christmas Tree

Hello, and happy Monday!
  
I was having serious motivation issues this morning, so big thanks to @youareluminous on “the Insta'” for the inspiration.
I can’t imagine why the severe case of the Mondays. Maybe because we picked out and decorated our Christmas tree this weekend? My inner Jingle Elf is raging with uncontrolled excitement.

  

We found a cut-your-own tree farm out near Half Moon Bay complete with all sorts of activities such as a petting zoo and train rides. I found that out of my family, only I am interested in ponies. They are my “squee” animal. Everyone has some creature or animal that makes them go, “Squee! Look at the cute pony/unicorn/banana slug!” in a high-pitched voice. So I got my squee on looking at the ponies, then we got to work selecting a tree. As usual, Squish was a very “helpful” child to bring along.

  
We found an awesome tree, then checked out the rest of the activities, with the obligatory train ride.

  
The kids were very enthusiastic with decorating the tree. Squish put about 7 ornaments on a single branch, and Buttercup played with the bead garland, keeping her well distracted and contentedly out of the way. Olive kept running off with ornaments to chew so I would have to chase her down and take it away only to have her steal another one (otherwise known as Best Game Ever). It ended with me giving up on a non-sentimental plastic ball ornament, which Olive and Buttercup traded off to chew on.

  
The best part came Sunday morning, which is St. Nicholas Day. I grew up Catholic, so to celebrate we would leave our shoes outside for St Nick to fill with treats and small gifts, usually a new tree ornament to commemorate the year. This year St Nick also added candy canes to the tree, and filled a holiday-themed candy dish with wrapped chocolates. St Nick should probably have been less ambitious. I woke up at about 6 in the morning to all sorts of crashing sounds. I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but Squish and Olive combined forces to strip all of the candy canes and most of the ornaments from the tree, and the chocolates from their wrapping. The candy canes were all smashed to smithereens on the hardwood floor (“it was an accident” Squish told me) and the chocolates in a pile unwrapped on the coffee table. I think Olive ate about five before I figured it out and got to them. I’m still looking for some of the ornaments, which were relocated to Squish’s Most Favorite Branch for ornament hanging (I think we’re at 11 now).

So I went and booked a 90 minute deep tissue massage that afternoon. Happy St Nicholas Day to me!

Let the holiday madness begin!

Real tree or fake tree? Have you ever done one of the cut-your-own tree farms?

Do you have any nontraditional traditions leading up to the holidays?

Go make it a great day!

Happy Birthday, Buttercup!

It was Buttercup’s first birthday this weekend! We had a Hello Kitty themed party for family and friends to commemorate the occasion. And it true “bad blogger” form, I was too preoccupied getting everything set up to take pictures, so if you have some good ones from the day, please feel free to send them to me!

  

  
She grew up way too stinking fast. And since this is the last first birthday party I’ll ever have to throw, I wanted to do a REAL party. With, like, decorations and planning and stuff.

Prepping the night before:  
Hello Kitty totally threw up all over our living room.

  

  
  
 

  
Even Olive got all festive.

  
I still can’t figure out how to take a good picture of a black dog. She’s all shadow.

 

Anyway, the kids put on their party hats and were ready for a good time!  
  
Squish was ALL ABOUT the hats. Buttercup, not so much. But how cute is this “Birthday Hat” my sister crochet for her?!?

  

She clearly did not appreciate it as much as we did.

But she did appreciate the cake. She started with dainty little finger-dips in the frosting before digging in with both hands.

  
It was a great party!

  
Happy birthday to our little miss Princess Strawberry Mochi Cream Puff Buttercup! 

Local Road Trip (a.k.a. We Left the House!)

Over the weekend we decided to go on a mini road trip.

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That’s right, we got out of the house! Everyone was feeling a bit stir-crazy, so we decided to visit my bro-in-law up in Santa Rosa. On the way we stopped at Cavallo Point lodge for brunch. I had an open-faced pastrami, which everyone agreed that was so good I won at “brunch.”

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The restaurant faced some beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

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Then we headed up to Sonoma County to pay a baby-fueled visit to my bro- and sis-in-law. He just got a new car, so the boys took turns seeing how much they could burn rubber and fishtail it while the girls drank tea and gossiped. I wanted to take the car for a spin, but it’s a manual transmission and since it’s been a couple years since I’ve driven a stick, coupled with the fact that it was nighttime and rainy, I decided to take rain check in trying out the new motorized baby.

Whatever, we had steak for dinner, so, winning.

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Amazing steak. I had a piece each of the ribeye and the filet.

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And everyone slept on the drive home except for Hulk because he had to drive. The end.

Still Waiting

Well, hello! I’ve been taking it easy lately. Mostly because I’m still pregnant and boring. Still in that “Garfield” phase where all I do is eat and sleep, with some going to work peppered in between naps and meals. I am really ready for this to be done with. But then I’ll have a baby, and there will be no more eat and sleep. Well, for me anyway. Baby will get lots of eat and sleep. I’ll be lucky to remember to throw down a few bites of something before managing to lay down for 10 minutes at a time. Yup, looking forward to going to this rodeo again.

In other news, how adorable was Squish on Halloween?

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He was a shark. It’s handy to have a grandma that’s a real theatre costumer. Squish always gets custom-made Halloween costumes. He also did awesome at his first real trick-or-treat experience. We went to Belvedere Street in the Cole Valley neighborhood, and it was a very good idea. They block off the whole street, and it’s basically a block party trick-or-treat free-for-all. Squish figured out pretty quickly that ’twas candy being tossed in his little pumpkin pail. Unlike last year, when he wanted to eat the candy as soon as it was given to him, he was focused on the trick-or-treat experience and preferred to play with all of his candy booty on the Muni ride home instead of eating it all right away.

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Don’t worry, the massive sugar consumption commenced once we got home and loaded some random cartoon Halloween special on Netflix. And then we gorged. Yes, I made him share his candy with me.

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Saturday was my birthday. Squish learned to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. He still sings to me even though my birthday has passed but I do not bring this up. This way every day is kinda my birthday.

In other blog-related news, I decided to jump on board with BlogHer’s National Blog Posting Month, or #nablopomo. The goal is a post a day all through November. Since this is my first November post, I’m doing a swell job already. Meh, as my dad always says, “it’s something to do.”

That’s all for now. Go be awesome and make it a great day. I’ll be sitting here, willing myself to go into labor 🙂

Weekend Recap: Not Bad

Hello and good morning! I trust your weekend was an appropriate blend of refreshing and productive. I enjoyed some family time being back at home for a change.

We started Saturday out with lunch at La Boulange. I grabbed my latte to go so we could let Squish run around Yerba Buena Gardens for a bit.

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It’s impossible to get a good picture of Squish these days.

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RUNANDJUMPANDDESTROYALLTHINGS

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This was what I got when I asked him to “smile!”

Then we lounged around all afternoon. I was feeling really out of it. I had trouble sleeping Friday night, so I decided to pop a Unisom. Then I woke up with the biggest “Unisom hangover,” where I’m done sleeping but my brain is incredibly foggy and all my muscles are noodle-y. So I was pretty much useless. Fortunately, Amanda came over to visit and put the new window markers Squish received as a gift to good use.

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We had a super early dinner at Super Duper Burger.

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And then we watched Disney movies. This is how we roll in the big city, I tell you.

Sunday I went to the San Francisco Women’s Expo with my friend Katie, and scored a skincare assessment and massage at the Massage Envy booth! More on that in another post, I’m still putting together my review! But spoiler alert: it was awesome and I absolutely want to go back next year!

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Chaos at the Expo!

Then we went house hunting all afternoon. We saw six houses (!!) and even found a couple of winners! We might put an offer on one this week, but there’s another showing Tuesday for another house that we are interested in. Hulk’s going to catch that one while I’m at work, and we’ll see what comes of that. House hunting = a roller coaster of excitement.

After all that excitement, we checked out a new-to-me restaurant in Bernal Heights, Precia Park Cafe.

I ordered some appetizer I can’t remember the name of. Brosecca? It was layers of mozzarella, pesto, figs, some other really good stuff, and arugula that you spread on dark, crusty bread. Mmm.

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I also had a small mixed greens salad.

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And the main point of awesomeness, margarita pizza!

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Not a bad weekend.

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That’s all for now. I’ll be back later with my review of the San Francisco Women’s Expo. Go make it a great day!

The Last Travel Week

Hello! I’m pretty pumped and saddened by this week’s activities. It’s my last travel week until after Baby v2.0 is here. It’s nice to think that this is another milestone to “the new normal,” but I’m also a little sad because I really do love traveling for work. It’s just a nice way to shake things up every couple weeks. Of course, come November I’ll have enough new things going on to shake it up!

This weekend I had some heavenly girl time with some besties. My friend Mariko is getting married, so we had an impromptu bachelorette get-together with a few of us in the city. Saturday night we gussied up and headed to the Bubble Lounge for champagne and a small plates dinner.

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We clean up well.

Bubble Lounge was really fun. It was a great night for people watching, as there were several large groups there getting their party on, including another, huge bachelorette party. The girls split a bottle of bubbly and I was pleased to find alcohol-free menu options so I had a “classic” mint mojoto.

Sunday morning I met the girls up after brunch and we headed to Kabuki Springs and Spa in Japantown for a spa day. Oh. My. Word. That is an amazing place. Is never been to a bath house before, and I was not disappointed. First, the whole place smells amazing. Sort of a cucumber-lavender-lemony aroma that none of us could really place. The bath area was dark, tranquil, and HUGE. There was a sauna, steam room, cold pool, and hot pool. I think you’re supposed to progress through everything in some order to properly “cleanse,” but we just soaked in the hot tub for the most part. In the steam room they offer little bowls of salt scrub so you can give yourself a good skin exfoliation while you steam. I did take great care to drink a ton of the iced water and to take breaks when I felt too hot, but it was amazing nonetheless. Along with plentiful water infused with lemon and cucumber, they also offered ice-cold washcloths and a wonderful hot teal that was some sort of fruity floral green tea. I drank my fair share of to too, my teeth were chattering with the caffeine by the end of the stay!

The best part was the massage. I had a half-session prenatal massage that was sooooo good. I wish it was a longer session, but we booked kind of late and that was all the time available. They didn’t have a prenatal table, so I laid on my side with a body pillow, and it was surprisingly relaxing and comfortable. My therapist did a wonderful job hitting all of my “problem” spots in the short time we had, and I floated out of there.

I am totally going back to Kabuki, if not for the spa services than just for the bath house experience. Totally worth it!

After getting blissed out, we continued our adventures in Japantown with some ramen at the center. I had the wonton ramen, which spoke to my soul. Nothing like a good bowl of ramen!

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And then I went home and took a nap. The end.

Time to board yet another plane. See you on the other side!