Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thanksgiving and Durango Baby Shower


Ho, ho, ho!!! It's the week after Christmas (and Chanukah for our Jewish friends), but I'm not going to talk about that. Instead, I'm going to try and get a little caught up by talking about Thanksgiving. I should get to Christmas sometime in March or so at this rate, so come back then if you want to find out about Scott, Molly and Audrey's visit.

Okay, Thanksgiving. Sandy had determined in October that she wasn't making any more trips to Denver in her pregnant state so we decided instead to have some people come to Durango for Thanksgiving. My Mom's friends John and Diane volunteered to make the trip up here and bring their twin boys and Mom along for the ride; they also said they would take care of most of the work so that Sandy could relax so of course we said yes. Their boys, Josh and Justin are 13 (I think, sorry John and Diane if I'm off a year) so they were happy to spend the bulk of the weekend camped in front of our TV playing with their X-Box.

Diane and Sandy talked a lot about having twins and Mom and John just had fun being in Durango with us. They did bring up a bunch of food, but despite their offer to do everything, the control freak in me came out on Thanksgiving and I pretty much took over anyway and handled most of the actual cooking. The big thing I learned this year about cooking turkeys: Brining. We used an Alton Brown recipe for brining and roasting the turkey and it came out awesome; we are sold. Then on the night before they returned to Denver we opened presents with Mom because we knew she wouldn't be able to make the trip up for Christmas. All in all, it was a great time and we appreciate John and Diane's help in bringing Mom up for a visit.

Then on the second Saturday in December, our friends Brian/Leslie and Ambika/Matt threw a Durango baby shower for us. Unfortunately, we were an hour late to our own baby shower due to some car troubles. To begin with, Rachel, Sandy's friend from Denver, flew in to visit for the weekend that morning and we planned to go straight from the airport to the shower. Now, the night before we went to pick her up Sandy noticed that a few "idiot lights" had lit up on the dashboard of the Landcruiser and asked if we should be concerned. I handled it the way I usually handle such car issues: if the car is still running, just ignore it. I figured we just had a short or something in the dashboard lights because how else would the brake, battery and transmission temp lights all come on at the same time? What are the chances of all of those things actually going out at the same time? However, as we were making the trip to the airport, I noticed that the dashboard lights seemed to be actually getting dimmer. Then I hit the windshield washers and got the most pathetic stream of washer fluid imaginable out of little nozzles and I realized, wow, the battery really is going dead. Well I figured a car can probably still run quite a while on a discharging battery, so we continued on. We made it to the airport, but the car died there. I got a jump from one of the hotel vans, but the car only made it about another mile back to Durango before dying again. Bummer. Okay, call tow truck, call Baby Shower, tell them we are going to be a little late. Sandy and Rachel had a great time laughing about the whole thing as we stood on the side of the road waiting; I was just irked that my vehicle diagnosis skills seemed to have slipped so far.

Anyway, the tow truck finally arrived and took us to the dealership. Now this was actually pretty cool; Sandy got to ride in the guy's truck but Rachel and I got to actually ride in the Landcruiser as it was being towed. I asked the tow truck guy if this was legal; he said not really, but we promised to duck if we saw any cop cars. I have to say, if you ever get the chance to ride in a car or truck being towed by a tow truck, I highly recommend it; it was great fun. Kind of like an amusement park ride, but much faster. The steering wheel even turned on its own when we went around corners. We eventually made it to the shower, although a bit late and had a great time with all of our Durango friends. Too many people to name them all, so I made the little slideshow below. Thanks to everybody for being there and being patient with our late arrival.

Durango Shower

In any event, it turns out that the battery, brake and transmission temp sensor had all gone out at the same time; go figure. The plus side to this was that winter arrived in earnest in Durango right after the shower and we had 5 or so days of snow and ice and locusts and the like to drive through with just our little Ford Escort station wagon (very fuel and space efficient in the summer, but crap in the snow).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bump Update - Week 32


Okay, it's getting serious now. Not only is Sandy well along, we now have snow to deal with. Last week we got about 15 inches of snow over the course of 2 or 3 days and our backyard is on the north side of our house, so the snow goes away very slowly. Nonetheless, Sandy insisted on making the trip out to our usual location for this Bump Update. Now of course I had to lace up her snow boots, but she still made the trip through the drifts.

As for the bump itself, not much I can say.

Miliya doesn't know what to think.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas


Okay, between the pregnancy, the trial, finals at the College and hosting Thanksgiving, we are very behind when it comes to Christmas plans. So if any of you are hanging out at home and checking your mailbox and thinking, "Hey, I sent Doug and Sandy a really funny/heartfelt/cute/meaningful Holiday Card and I don't think they've sent me one," you're right, we haven't. And to be honest, I think I can say that if I were you I wouldn't spend too much energy going out to the mailbox looking for such a card going forward either. It's just one of those years. We didn't put up outside lights either.

We did go get a tree, although this year we just bought one at the grocery store instead of going up into the mountains to cut one. We have cut our own the last 3 years, so that's a bummer, but one of those things. We'll re-initiate that family tradition next year. As you can see, this year's tree is apartment size.

The other thing we did this weekend was go to Farmington and get the rest of the baby stuff we need. Because she is carrying twins and is at 32 weeks this weekend (but measuring at about 43 weeks for a single), the doctors have told Sandy she needs to limit her activity going forward. However, Target was beckoning, so we came up with the solution you see to the right. Sandy will tell you that those carts actually don't handle very well and she spent the afternoon knocking into displays and running over little kids feet. The best part is that the cart actually did that "beep, beep, beep" thing when she put it in reverse, just like she was driving a fork lift or something, so she was always easy to find.

Oh, and by the way, if you usually get a present from me, it's going to be late this year. Sorry.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Comes Around

Sandy here:

Since last Sunday, we've been receiving snow here in Durango. Not enough to shut down the town, but certainly enough to make things messy and a bit stressful. On top of that our ginormous Land Cruiser broke down on Saturday (that's another blog post altogether) so it has been in the shop, and we became a one car family. I'm also getting huger and huger. I'm the size of a post 9 month pregnant woman (no wonder it's hard to move around!) and I'm probably carrying somewhere between 7 - 8 pounds of baby already (we'll find out for sure at our ultrasound appointment next week). As a result of all this hugeness, I've been put on "minimum walking, minimum stairs"--not bedrest, but my marathon training has been put on hold.

As some of you may recall, I started out the New Year with a broken femur. The repercussions of which were: I had to be driven everywhere, it was hard for me to move around the house--carrying things and bending down were out of the question, I was on minimum outside walking because there was so much ice and snow outside it wasn't safe, I couldn't help shovel snow. I spent a lot of time on the couch watching movies.

Now that the end of the year is here, I am ending the year by: Having to be driven everywhere (since we're down to one small car, I'm too large to comfortably fit behind the wheel), moving minimally around the house--thinking carefully before I bend down or pick things up, walking minimally outside because of all the ice and snow out there, and letting Doug shovel snow because I can't really exert myself like that right now. I spend a lot of time on the couch watching movies to help my swollen ankles.

Ah, the irony.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Twin Room!!!


Okay, after much delay, the update on the Twinkies' Room. I think the most exciting thing to Sandy about having babies (other than the weight gain and the inability to roll over and all) is that it gives her a reason to re-decorate a room. As most of you know, we moved into our house about 18 months ago and it was a bonanza for Sandy; plenty of wallpaper and shag carpet to remove and a blank canvas for all of her artistic vision. Then this summer she had a new garden to put in (complete with retaining wall), but nothing is as fun as a baby's room.

Anyway, the selection of cribs and dressers was a critical part of this operation, but when you live in Durango, it can be hard to find a good selection. And if
you're Sandy decorating a baby's room, you need
a good selection of cribs to choose from. Have I
mentioned that my wife can get very particular about things? Well after much gnashing of teeth, we finally found a very nice store in Farmington, NM and Sandy found the perfect cribs. Not too big, not too small, right color, safe, suitably expensive (oh, did I say that out loud, sorry hon).... The next issue was getting them delivered, a trick when you live at least 4 hours from the nearest Interstate. Its a good thing we ordered well in advance, because it took a good 4 weeks from the time the decision was made until we finally got them. The baby store actually felt bad about this and brought them up to Durango for us, saving us a trip to Farmington.

About Farmington, NM. Farmington is the closest
larger town to Durango, about 1 hour South and 30,000 people. It is where you go if you live in Durango and desperately need to go to a Target, or a Chili's, or a mall or a big box store. However, a cultural paradise it is not. Farmington exists mainly to serve the oil and gas industry's natural gas operations in Northern NM and Southern CO, and also to serve as a trading center for the Navajo and Souther Ute reservations. It's a bit of a dump with a high poverty rate; a land of very big diesel trucks and significant methamphetamine problems. It's about as different from Durango as you can get, so it's always an interesting trip. But you know, they do have a Target, so they have that on us. Anyway, always nice to skip that trip whenever possible and we really appreciate the people at
"Baby and Me" delivering the cribs.

Anyway, we only put one crib together for now; the Twinkies will share for the first few months until they get too big, and then we will put two cribs next to each other (we've been told twins like to be together). Sandy's parents helped me put it together and Sandy hovered and told us not to scratch anything. In any event, I think the room looks pretty good, and Sandy gets all the credit.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No Tucson Marathon for me


Some people have asked about how I did in the Tucson Marathon, which some of you may remember I was hoping to run as a Boston Marathon qualifier. The short answer: I didn't even end up going. About 5 weeks ago, my motivation to train took a severe hit for some reason I am not totally aware of. It could have had something to do with the arrival of cold weather (I am a warm weather runner) or just getting really busy at work or a busy training year with the Ironman, but all of a sudden, I just didn't want to run anymore. Nentheless, I got a few more long runs in and still planned to make the trip. However, I then spent all of last week in a trial that ended up turning out badly (and spent the bulk of the week before that getting ready), so by Friday I was totally demoralized, sleep deprived and thoroughly unmotivated. Add to that the fact that the bad trial result dictated the need for a client meeting today, and I just bagged the whole thing.

Bummer. Maybe next year.

However, it did give us a chance to get some good baby room work done. Pictures to come later this week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

Sandy here:

Let's be clear. I LOVE egg nog. And right now, since I'm not drinking any caffeine or alcohol (or shooting heroin, etc.), I think it's perfectly in my right to drink a little nog now and then. I'm also trying to eat a lot of calcium--not for the babies--those little suckers will just take whatever they want from me--but so I don't get osteoporosis later on because the little girls took all my calcium.

This afternoon I thought--what better way to get some calcium than to drink 8 oz. of egg nog?

Turns out that's not such a good plan after all...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've Seen the Future

Sandy here:

One of the things that Doug has started doing is reading to the twinkies at bedtime. I've read that by now babies can hear things outside the womb, and it's good for Dad to talk to them. I really think they are recognizing the sound of his voice, because even if they've been quiet once he starts to read such classics to them as "That's Not my Teddy!" or "Maizy Drives" they start moving around and kicking. It's pretty cool.

Well, last night--he picked out 2 winners--Touch and Feel ABCs and Touch and Feel Animals. There was a small amount of movement, but nothing significant. After he finished he started reading Rule 901 of the Colorado Rules of Evidence (Authentication) to them (he has a trial starting tomorrow) and they started moving and kicking!

I'm going to be surrounded by lawyers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inside the Uterus

Sandy here:

On Monday, I went back in for an ultrasound. We're at 28 weeks (7 months for those of you who have not done this whole pregnant thing--I used to get annoyed when pregnant people would tell me how many weeks along because I'd have to Gulp! do the math--but now I get it) out of 40 weeks.

Doug and I are so spoiled--we have gotten to see the babies tons--I guess it helps make up for the fact that apparently I'm close to as big as I might get if I was just carrying one baby--and I still have about 10 weeks to go! The girls are getting bigger, so in some ways it makes it harder for the tech to get "good pictures" of them. We go in every month so their growth can be tracked. One is a little smaller, but she's been like that from the beginning--they're watched to make sure they each track along their individual growth curves. I learned a couple interesting things when we went:

1. Baby B (whom we have temporarily named Myrtle) actually has chubby cheeks and a big belly! The first picture is her--it looks like she's laying on her side, and you can see one of her sugar cheeks, her nose, mouth and an eyelid.

2. Baby A (whom we have temporarily named Ethel) is head down--and I mean waaay head down (not like ready to come out or anything) but apparently pretty low which is what is contributing (along with the whole pregnant in general thing) to making me feel somewhat uncomfortable. The second picture is of her--it looks like she's laying on her back, with her head at the bottom of the picture, and yes, those are her legs above her--she might be a future gymnast.

3. The babies now have a combined total weight of over 5 pounds! That's a lot of baby for 28 weeks along (if you read the book "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" apparently a single baby should only weigh around 2.5 pounds).

4. Myrtle apparently thinks she's alone (except when she kicks her sister) because she is currently in the 55th percentile (and that's for singles--they don't have a special twin chart). In layman's terms, it means she's big!

5. Ethel is in the 33rd percentile which is also good--especially for twins.

So, what's the summation of all I learned at the ultrasound?

I am a super gestator.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bump Update


28 weeks!!! Wow!!!! Not much I can add to this:

Okay, I can add this. The other night Sandy woke up and had to go use the bathroom. She went to get up and about halfway between the laying down position and the sitting up position ..... she got stuck. Really. She had to ask me to give her a little push to get up. Oh, the things to come.

She's awfully cute, isn't she?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

House Update


Quick update on the house. First, we finished painting the Twinkies' room (with low VOC paint, it's supposed to be healthier) and also got a lot of stuff handed down from one of my bosses, Lindsey. Lindsey's kids are now 4 and 6, so she's done with baby stuff and gave us a pack-and-play, a baby bjorn, a bouncy chair and a ton of other stuff.

As I mentioned before, we need two of pretty much everything, so these kind souls like Lindsey, Scott and Molly, Todd and Brenda and everybody else that has handed stuff down have been a real lifesaver. Now we're just waiting for the cribs and dresser to arrive.

And finally, Sandy filled the yawning hole in our life that was a missing kitchen curtain; her handmade handiwork is to the right. As you can see she is very talented. If I can talk her into it, she'll do a blog post about all of the baby things she has been knitting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fame and Fortune

Sandy here--

I'm not sure how my life is going to change, but I'm sure dramatically, now that my husband is a famous attorney dealing with far-reaching issues:


If you come over to our house, hopefully I'll see you behind all the paparazzi.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Birthing Classes


Tonight Sandy and I went to our second birthing class. The class we are taking is one night a week for four weeks and they do it at the hospital in the conference rooms. There were 3 other couples tonight as well as last week, but one of the couples was different tonight. One of the couples looks to be about our age, another couple is probably late 20's-early 30's, and the third couple .... well let's just say that we have dubbed her "Juno" and she is accompanied by her boyfriend "Jeff Spicoli." Seriously, its a bit amusing. I was wondering how she gets her homework done if she has birthing class on a school night.

The first night they had us do a relaxation exercise where we closed our eyes and imagined being in a quiet place. The instructor gave us a little narrative to follow, and during the narrative she had us imagining ourselves approaching a peaceful lake in the mountains and then climbing into a boat that was under a tree and slowly drifting out onto the lake in the boat. Sooooo peaceful and relaxing.

When we were driving home, Sandy started laughing and said, "you know, when she had us get in the boat I actually got a little nervous because I was thinking of a canoe and I was worried it was going to tip over." I started laughing too because all I could think of when I was in the boat was how cold the water probably was and what it would be like to swim back to shore if the boat leaked.

So we made a decision about relaxation techniques during the birth; during the visualization stage, we're going to skip the part about the boats.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Snow


Exciting morning here in Durango; Miliya and I woke up to our first snow of the season. Well actually, we got a little snow the night of the election, but it barely covered the cars so it didn't really count.

Now living in Durango, snow is a very big deal!!! Most people that live here like to ski or do other snow type activities (we are in the mountains after all), so the first snow is exciting. Pictures to the right. It snowed pretty hard for about an hour or so and then stopped; by mid-afternoon the sun was out and about half of the snow melted off.

Last year we had crazy snow in Durango, and it quit being fun after the third storm of 15+ inches in 5 weeks. This was at the same time that Sandy was laid up with a broken femur, so it was particularly not-fun for me. We are hoping to avoid a repeat this year because the only thing I can imagine that is worse than having big snows and a wife with a broken femur is having big snows and a couple of newborn twins.

Our lowlight of the weekend was Sandy suffering through a bad cold. Colds and pregnancy kind of suck, but she soldiered through with a lot of hot water with honey and lemon and some quality naps. On Saturday night we went to see Loudon Wainwright III at the college. Loudon is a pretty obscure folk singer that does some very funny songs; I originally stumbled across him working at the college radio station in Gunnison, CO in the late 80's. You may know him from some cameo acting appearances he has done; originally as the singing surgeon in the comedy MASH and lately in a number of Judd Apatow movies and TV shows (he was the doctor in "Knocked Up"). It was very fun, but my only disappointment was that he didn't play the following song, which has taken on some special meaning for me:

Bein' a dad isn't so bad
Except that you gotta feed 'em
You gotta shoe 'em and clothe 'em
And try not to loathe 'em
Bug 'em and hug 'em and heed 'em

Bein' a dad can sure make you mad
Man it even can drive you crazy
It's as hard as it looks
You gotta read them dumb books
And you end up despising Walt Disney

Bein' a dad starts to get radical
When they turn into teenagers
You gotta tighten the screws
Enforce the curfews
Confiscate weapons and pagers

But a daughter and son
Can be sort of fun
Just as long as they don't defy you
They'll treat you like a king
They'll believe anything
They're easy to frighten and lie to

Bein' a dad (bein' a dad)
Bein' a dad (bein' a dad)
Bein' a dad can make you feel glad
When you get paperweights and aftershave lotions
Yeah it feels pretty great when they graduate
That's when you're choked with emotions

But bein' a dad takes more than a tad of
Good luck and divine intervention
You need air-tight alibis
Fool proof disguises
Desperation's the father of invention

So sometimes you take off
For a few rounds of golf
And you stay away for half of their lifetimes
The result of it all is
You're captured and hauled up
Before a tribunal for dad crimes

Bein' a dad (bein' a dad)
Bein' a dad (bein' a dad)
Bein' a dad can make you feel sad
Like you're the insignificant other
Yeah right from the start
They break your heart
In the end every kid wants his mother.

Okay, its not as funny to read it, so go to Itunes and listen. Besides, this is a family blog, so I couldn't put up the lyrics to "Rufus is a tit-man."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Denver Baby Shower and Marathon


Okay, we're trying to get caught up here, so bear with us. Two weeks ago we made the drive to Denver (6.5 hours) for a baby shower for Sandy and I and also so I could run the Denver Half-Marathon with Scott. Because we know so many people in Denver, in the past we have usually made this drive every 2 months or so on average. During one particular wedding heavy period in 2005 I actually did 3 trips in 5 weeks, but that's not this story. However, we expect that once the Twinkies get here, our trip frequency will decrease significantly. At least that's what Scott tells us having done this trip a few times with Audrey in the last year or so.

On Saturday morning we had a very nice shower that was hosted by Scott and Molly. Sandy's parents, Doug and Kathy drove out from Missouri to be there, and we were also joined by my Mom, her friend (and ours) Diane, our friends (and Scott and Molly's neighbors) Adam and Elisa and our friends Derek and Jen. It wasn't a big crowd, but that's okay as we were excited to see everybody that was there and it kept the house from getting too crowded.

Saturday afternoon Scott, Adam and I went to the Marathon Expo and talked to our buddy Johnny who was working the Clif Bar booth. Johnny is a guy Scott and I each know from our Chili's days some 15 years ago; he's actually 3 years older than me, but you wouldn't know it most days (except for the gray beard). He tends bar, plays saxophone in a touring band and works for his girlfriend Corey at the Clif Bar booth at these kinds of events (she is a promotions rep for Clif and even though she is about 15 years younger than he, she is the mature and responsible one in the relationship). I told Scott that it's funny that in 15 years our lives have sure changed a lot; Johnny's has not. Anyway, Johnny is actually one of the greatest persons I know in the entire world and he's one of my best friends, so it was good to see him and walk the expo with him. If you know anything about Johnny, it will not surprise you to know that he knew just about everybody in every booth (Johnny is also a twin, so he is very excited about our twins).

Sunday morning Scott and Adam and I ran the Half-Marathon. I did the full marathon last year on an absolutely abysmal day; 40 degrees and rain. It was awful, I couldn't feel my hands for days afterwards. This year was much nicer, in the 40's to start but clear and sunny. Scott had never run a Half-Marathon before and we were hoping to get him across the line in 2 hours or so. We started off a little slow, but between miles 3 and 9, Scott turned the jets on and by mile 9 we were pretty close to where we needed to be for a 2 hour finish. Unfortunately, the finish was still 4 miles away and right around that time it became clear Scott did not have the miles he needed in his legs that day to hit the goal. Our time faded a bit, but we still finished without walking in right around 2:05. In any event, it was a lot of fun and Scott has every reason to be proud considering the fact that he used to declare very adamantly that he is not a runner. Well he is now. Anybody that does a Half-Marathon without walking is a runner.

The best part of the day, however, was packing the car for the drive home. We were taking home all of the stuff from the shower, a lot of hand-me-downs from Scott and Molly, our bags, a dog and, best of all, a TON of stuff Sandy bought at her regular run to Costco (this is a Denver trip tradition). Sandy's dad had the best line of the day when we were loading the Costco stuff:

"I know Sandy likes Costco, but I didn't know she was planning on opening a branch in Durango."

Suffice it to say there was considerable skepticism about whether I could get everything in the Landcruiser. Suffice it to also say that I am a packing wizard.

Here's a slide show of the trip:

Denver Shower and Marathon

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting Really Pregnant

Sandy here:

A couple weeks ago when we were up in Denver, I had to go to the maternity clothing store (those books and doctors weren't kidding when they said that women carrying twins get bigger faster). I was approached by one of the employees who asked if I needed any help and when I turned to her she exclaimed "You look ready to go!" After wandering around the store a little longer, I learned that it was only her 3rd day on the job. I'm pretty sure that the extensive training program does not consist of "pregnant woman sensitivity training."

This was on a Sunday. Then on Monday I had a doctor's appointment (I get to go every 2 weeks now--twins again). At the appointment, the doctor measured my fundal height (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundal_height for an explanation) where she informed me that I was the size of an 8 month pregnant woman. For those of you who have been following (or not)--at this appointment, I was only 5 1/2 months pregnant! I also like the doctors to compare the size of my uterus to something I would recognize (it sure was cute when the doctors would say "plum" or "grapefruit") and without pausing the doctor said "There isn't a fruit big enough for you!" Although she later recanted and told me I was probably watermelon sized. No wonder I have a hard time bending over! Try shoving a watermelon in your pants and tell me how easy it is.

I'm almost afraid to ask for a comparison when I go to the doctor again.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Sandy here:

So, we've had a pretty busy last couple weeks, and we'll update on that soon, but for now (and all our clamoring fans) just a brief story.

Scott and Molly have very kindly given us some of Audrey's old baby things (she's almost 21 months old!), and we are very excited. One of those things was a carseat and a couple of bases. Doug tested them out in our small car, and we figured out that we can make it work--certainly around town.

Tonight, my job was to search for a second car seat. Now, I could have just gotten any seat, but back before Audrey was born, Molly spent a bunch of time figuring out what would be the best, lightest-weight carseat. And I figure--how much can the technology really change in a couple years? So I flipped the carseat upside down to find the make and model number so we could order one. As I did that, I heard a couple somethings fall to the floor. I looked down, and found....


I can't wait to be a mom.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sandy here:

Barack Obama is running a new campaign ad. In light of all the recent vitriolic discourse by McCain and Palin, it was refreshing to see this uplifting ad. I can't find a direct link to it, but it is embedded on this page.


I'm not posting this as a campaign message, but as a follow up to Doug's Pooh Bear post. After watching this ad, I can no longer look at Barack without tearing up. In fact, watching the ad gets me all teared up (in a good way, but still...).

The list of things that don't make me cry is slowly being whittled away.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pooh Bear


So we're running errands the other morning, it's raining a bit and I'm driving when we notice something laying in the middle of the road. We come up on it and realize its a stuffed Winnie the Pooh toy looking a bit sad and soggy laying there in the middle of the road. At this point, Sandy has a bit of a breakdown. "It's a Pooh" she cries out in a very distraught voice and starts to cry. "It's so sad," she says,"some poor little kid just lost his Pooh." I tried to calm this emotional onslaught by suggesting that maybe the kid threw him out the window. This did not help. "That's even worse," she says, "the Pooh was just abandoned out there in the road."

Luckily I was able to distract her somewhat by suggesting we go get her a snack.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pregnant Brain and Always Read Ahead


Sandy does a lot of reading about having babies. She has about 20 or 30 books about pregnancy, and she actually reads most of them. Luckily as a guy I only have one book to read, "The Expectant Father." It has big print, it's not too long, and it's organized into 9 chapters, one for each month of the pregnancy. Pretty easy stuff; I spend about 30 minutes once a month reading the book and I'm good to go. This "parenting" thing is easy!!!

However, I did learn a valuable lesson about the importance of reading ahead before sharing stuff with Sandy. If you remember, I posted earlier about what we call "pregnant brain" or Sandy's new tendency to forget things. We've had a lot of good laughs about this, so I was amazed when I read the following:

"If your partner has been forgetful lately, or seems to be losing a lot of things - including her memory - it may be because her brain is shrinking. Yep, Anita Holdcroft, an English anesthesiologist, found that during pregnancy, women's brains actually get 3 to 5 percent smaller."

Wow, I thought, that's interesting. So I shared it with Sandy, as I thought she would be interested too. Unfortunately, I didn't read the next couple sentences until after I told her. Those sentences:

"Now that you know this, it's probably best that you keep it to yourself. After all, there's really no nice way to tell someone that her brain is shrinking."

They were right. Sandy didn't find it to be nearly as "interesting" as I did.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week 21 Bump Pictures

Updated Bump Pictures to your right.

The big news this week was that Sandy felt the Twinkies for the first time on Weds. morning. We were wondering when this would happen as a lot of people said they should start kicking at around 20 weeks. Our Twinkies are probably a little bit smaller than most babies at their age, so its probably not surprising that they were a little later.

It was very funny because I always get up first, feed the dog and let her out, then I get in the shower and wake Sandy up when I get out of the shower. Let's just say that she does not usually have a hard time sleeping through all of my morning activities. However, Weds. morning as I was heading for the shower a VERY awake Sandy suddenly called me to come back to the bedroom. She wasn't completely sure what had happened, but after a few more times, we knew the girls had let us know they were there. They've been kicking like crazy every morning since.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

At all costs

Sandy here:

A couple weeks ago, Doug and I went to the grocery store. We got ready to check out and, as one does, we tried to pick the shortest line. Well we ended up behind a woman with many many groceries. We did not notice that we chose a line without a bagger. AND, to complete the trifecta, the checker was very slow (normally she works in produce, and was only checking because the store was so busy--not that I know her--she was telling everyone this information).

I settled myself in for a good dose of "let's see what this person is buying." She had a cart full of every type of organic and natural product possible--I didn't think that many products were stocked at our local City Market!

The woman buying the copious amounts of food had reusable bags with her. However, when the checker asked her how many bags she had, her response was "I don't know--can we count them at the end?" The woman refused to help the checker at all--she did not move from her post and would not help bag any of her groceries. In her defense, I do think she needed a rest for her left hand--outside of movie stars, I don't think I've seen a rock that big in person.

Her bill came to 401 and some change and she wrote a check. Now, apparently, if a check gets written for over $400 a manager has to come do an override (maybe to combat fraud?). So, we're waiting and waiting (and then still waiting). Finally we get the override, the receipts are issued, Doug and I get ready to spring into action (if Doug ever wants a career change, he makes a heck of a bagger), when the woman turns to the checker and says--"Did you put my bag credit on?" Turns out the checker had forgotten. In case you think the bonus for bringing bags is significantly larger here in Durango, let me disabuse you--it's 5 cents a bag. 5 cents! Of course the checker didn't know how to open the register to get 45 cents, so that was another ordeal. Finally the woman got her hard-earned money and left.

My theory is that she puts all that bag money into a special "ring" fund...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

House Rearrangement

So the last few weeks have been filled with (a) trying to figure out what the hell we need to buy (Sandy has covered that already) and (b) doing lots of re-arranging of our house. This post is about the latter.

Anyway, not much commentary, just some pictures for those of you that are curious. First, the room that used to be known as the "Craffice" is being converted into the Twinkies' room. To date, we have pretty much managed to clear everything out of that room, but haven't done much more. I think the plan is to next paint it yellow (I say I "think" because you know who really gets to make these decisions.) A picture is below:

So if you were wondering what happened to everything in the "Craffice," well we now have a room known as the "Guoffice." This is short for Guest Room/Office. First, we (Sandy) got rid of the big desk and Sandy found a smaller desk from West Elm to replace it. Here's a picture:

Then we moved the futon from the craffice to the guoffice and put the old guest bed in the garage for now. Sandy also painted the futon black so it would match the new desk (a pregnant woman buying spray paint; what could the clerk at the hardware store have thought?):

Anyway, if anybody comes up to visit us, you will now be welcome to stay in the Guoffice.

The other part of this equation is the garage. But I don't even want to go there...

Sunday, September 28, 2008



Okay, so in our household, we currently have:

Me: Male

Sandy: Female

Miliya: Female

And soon to come, the Twinkies: Both Female.

That's a 4-1 ratio.

If we get another dog, its going to be a male. And I'm not neutering him!!!

Finally Really Pregnant

Sandy here:

There's been something missing from my pregnancy (well, morning sickness, but I'm supergrateful the barf fairy passed me over) given that I am a modern 21st century woman. Starting Wednesday I will no longer be "fake-y" pregnant--I'm going to start prenatal yoga! While I love living in Durango, sometimes it does have its drawbacks. One of those is the difficulty of finding a prenatal yoga class in the evenings or on the weekend--well, honestly, finding a class period. If you went by the number of prenatal yoga classes offered here in Durango, you would swear that no one is having babies in this town. However, off the top of my head, I can think of at least 5 people who are having babies right around when I'm due (we toured the Birthing Center at the hospital recently and there are only 10 rooms--I may have to sweep the legs of some pregnant woman to ensure I get a room!) and that doesn't include other women I know who are due before/after me or those I see walking around on the street or in the store.

Maybe they are all too busy hiking and biking and running and rock climbing...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Garage Sale-ing


Okay, now that we know we're having girls, Sandy feels like she can safely start to buy baby clothes. And today, oh boy, she hit the motherload. One thing about Durango, it probably has more yard/garage sales per capita every weekend than any other place on the planet. I think that's a consequence of living in a place where the average house costs about $450,000 but the average annual income is about 50 bucks (its those damn second home owners from California and Texas, I tell you). Well today, Sandy stumbled across a great yard sale with tons of baby clothes, all little girl clothes. I don't believe I have ever seen her so happy as she was when she was going through and picking out all of the cute little baby girl clothes. We spent like 30 bucks on baby clothes, which is a hell of a lot of baby clothes at a yard sale!!!!

Anyway, she stacked everything up in a little pile at the yard sale and made sure I looked at everything. Then we drove to the bank and she went through everything again while I was driving. Then she went through and looked at everything again when we got home. Finally, this evening we went out to see our friends Kirsten and Andrew and their 2.5 year old daughter Lucy for dinner, and on the way home, Sandy insisted we stop at the grocery store so we could buy some "Dreft" and she could wash all the new baby clothes. They're in the dryer as I speak. Now keep in mind, the Twinkies are not due until January, but I guess its never too early to be prepared.

There was one thing I picked out at the yard sale, the pink camo Durango Fire Rescue outfit to the right. How could I resist. I imagine this is how Sarah Palin dressed her daughters when they were newborns.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's a Girl!!!!

And another girl!!!!

All is well with the girl Twinkies and we are now stocking up on barrettes, dolls, Duke cheerleader outfits and little dresses. Oh, and uh .... trucks too, definitely trucks. But, you know, cute trucks. Cute little pink trucks with flowers on the side and stuff.

Unfortunately, there was a tie in the reader contest. Vanessa, Matt, Kathy, Scott and Eric all thought it would be girls. Go figure; who would have thought that so many people would pick girls? Well in light of this unexpected tie, we have had to retract the prize; besides, its not like we can name a couple of girls Matt, Scott or Eric. Come on!!! Instead, we will be presenting all of you with some lovely parting gifts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Uterus

Sandy here:

Shortly after Doug and I "came out of the pregnancy closet" my good friend Brian came out to visit. He lives in Portland, but I managed to convince him to come to Durango. Brian and I have a long history of debauchery and I knew I would have to come clean about not being able to be his partner in drinking crime as soon as he arrived. We had just been to the doctor for our first ultrasound (this one had nothing to do with twins--it came because I'm of "advanced maternal age" and as a result I won an early ultrasound) and had some of those funny black and white photos. The nurse was able to get a good shot of the twinkies, and I had to show Brian. He made the comment that we went back many years and had a long history, but this was the first time he had seen my uterus.

The more I thought about it, the funnier it seemed. In some senses, the uterus is a very private place, but once there's a baby in there, people (including me) don't seem to think anything of showing those pictures to anyone who will look.

So, this is an old picture, but one of my favorites. I was 6 weeks along--I don't think they were even seahorses yet.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Animas Mountain Mug Run


Today I ran in a local trail race, the Animas Mountain Mug Run. They call it the "Mug Run" because, instead of giving out t-shirts, they give you a handmade coffee mug (see the picture to the right). It's supposed to be 6.6 miles (Sandy's Garmin said it was 6.1) and has about 1500 vf of elevation gain. But first, a quick update on my running progress:

Ever since Imogene I have pretty much felt like crap whenever I try to run kind of hard. I had a disastrous tempo run the Weds. afterwards, and then last weekend I went for a long run on Sunday. This was another disaster; I got through 10 miles okay, but then my stomach fell apart and I bonked severely. I had to visit the restrooms at the park at about the 11 mile mark and then I walked/slow ran the last 4 miles to get home. I can only describe the way I felt as "fluish," and I felt the same way the night before after doing a short, easy 4 miler. Then I went to do speedwork with the local running club (http://www.go-dmt.org/index.html) at the high school track on Wednesday evening and felt okay (1200/4:40, 1200/4:50, 800/3:00), but during the last repeat I had to pull up to take a "pit stop." I don't know what all of this is about, but I wonder if I was actually fighting a bug of some sorts. The Mug Run was a "C" priority race for me, so yesterday I decided to do a "semi-long" run in the late afternoon. This was the first time I actually felt pretty good during a run since Imogene, so I did 11.5 miles in 1:42. This was probably a bit long for a run done about 14 hours before a race, and I felt it today.

Anyway, I learned a few things today during the Mug Run. First: If you're doing a trail run that is largely on single-track, be very careful where you place yourself at the start. I started way to close to the front, and the problem on a narrow, uphill trail is that once you get slotted in a place, you feel compelled to keep up with the people around you because otherwise you're holding people up. This meant I went out way too fast on the steep first mile and would pay for it the rest of the way. Second: The one thing that has been missing from my training this year is sustained anaerobic threshold work. In short, I did my first mile too fast, and then was smoked because I haven't had to sustain that kind of effort for any races to date. Three, and finally: Stay away from chocolate donuts the morning of a race. I know better than to try something new on race day, and really should know better than to eat a donut anyway, but you know, they just looked so good (http://www.durangodoughworks.com/) and I thought, "what the heck, its 2 hours to the race start." Well, apparently my system does not digest a donut in 2 hours.

Final time: 1:08:45. I was 30th out of 53 males, but I beat most of the women!!!! I was hoping to break an hour, but just felt tired from the day before. However right now, I need the miles from Saturday more than I needed today's race, so I think I made the right choice.

P.S., This time, Sandy and Miliya actually made it to the finish line in time to see me. Picture to the right.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pregnant Brain


We don't know if all pregnant women go through this, but Sandy has recently developed a tendency to lose stuff. We call this "pregnant brain," because it really is a new thing. For example, she washed, dried and folded some shorts a few weeks ago and quickly proceeded to completely lose track of them. Yeah, I know, where else would she put them, but no, they are not in the drawer or any typical place in between there and the dryer. We still haven't found them, but I fully expect to open some random cabinet in the garage or something in a year or so and ... hey, there they are!!! And then of course she'll be like "of course, I was headed for the drawer but then I decided to get a rake from the garage first but then I needed to free up my hands to unwind an electrical cord so I could plug in the circular saw and I put them in that cabinet." Now the difference here is that usually she can retrace these kind of non-sequiter steps, but lately, everything just disappears.

But last night topped it all. Sandy totally lost track of the tape measure she uses for her knitting. She had a long day at work and was very tired and came close to having a complete meltdown when it disappeared. I imagined us looking all through the house for it, checking kitchen drawers, taking the cushions off the couch looking under beds, climbing down into the crawl space (I would have had to do that one by myself, Sandy does not do the crawl space), etc... Finally, after a long and arduous search I found it:

Yes, that's it, the round, white thing with the little red dot. And it was on the top of the coffee table cube that sits in front of the couch where, you know, she keeps her knitting stuff. Although I will admit it was kind of camouflaged against that sheet of stickers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reader Contest!!!!!

Okay, the moment at least a few of you have been waiting for a long time is quickly approaching. Yes, that's right folks, next Weds. we are going to get the 20 week ultrasound and hopefully find out .....

The Twinkies Gender!!!!!!

(Personal note, I hate to call it the twinkies "sex." Maybe its just me, but I don't like to think about babies and sex in the same sentence. I prefer the lawyerly term "gender," but I am apparently the only one that feels this way because everybody else refers to it as the babies "sex.")

Anyway, here is where you, the avid reader come in. We want everybody to chime in with their guess as to whether the Twinkies are boys or girls (and for those of you that missed it, they are identical, so there's none of that one boy, one girl thing going on). The winner will have the great honor of having one of the Twinkies named for them.* The results (of the ultrasound) will be announced here on Wednesday night. If nobody guesses, we aren't telling. Think of it as us holding the Twinkies hostage.

By the way, Lisa's 4 year old son Owen has already predicted we are having boys, and he is apparently 4 for 4 in predicting baby gender to date.

Give us your guess in comments (this is really just a sneaky way for us to find out if anybody is reading this stuff).

* If there are any ties (say two people pick girls and it turns out they are girls), then we reserve the right to change the prize.

CU-17 West Virginia-14


There was a time when it wouldn't be unusual to see CU beat a ranked team at home, but lately (see Barnett era) there haven't been that many quality wins. However, in the last 2 years Dan Hawkins seems to be re-building something of a home field advantage in Boulder. Last year there was the HUGE upset of Oklahoma, and then last night CU hung on for a win in OT (thanks to some really bad clock management in the final 2 minutes and then a chip shot field goal miss by WV in OT).

Now West Virginia probably isn't that good anyway, but its still nice to see CU start 3-0. A big win in Tallahassee should get them into the rankings.

But the real highlight from yesterday was hearing from Scott who was in Boulder for the day (supposedly, he was meeting with some people at the Boulder Google offices) and watched Ralphie's trailer go by three times and also observed that every other house seemed to have a porch party going on at 4:00 in the afternoon (I was working at that point, he was driving home). I said that it did sound fun, but that there were advantages to being adults and not being in college anymore. However, neither he nor I could think of any at that time.

"Shoulder to shoulder we will fight ... fight ... fight, fight, fight!!!"

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Sandy here:

This past Saturday Doug and I made the trek to the big city to visit our closest Target. One hour after getting in the car we arrived at the metropolis known as Farmington, New Mexico. We had big plans--to create a baby registry. Now, Doug and I are no strangers to registering--we created a Target one when we got married. All morning before we got to Target Doug kept asking "I get to use the gun right?" I think that's how stores get the guys to do this registry thing--give them a laser gun with which to shoot things.

Now, a wedding registry is really fun. It goes something like this: "Oooh, Calphalon--we need a big fry pan" (Boop--Doug got it) "and a 3 quart sauce pan" (Boop) "Let's go get some sheets! And towels!" (Boop, Boop)

A baby registry sounds something like this: "Don't we need one of those swing-y bouncy type things? Good lord--there's 15 of them here--which one do you think is best?" And if you're expecting twins, you can add on "Are we going to need 2 of these? Should they be the same?" I got a little overwhelmed thinking about some of the big purchases, so I thought we could "warm up" to this registry thing by Booping a few small items. "Pacifiers. They need pacifiers. Oh shit--there's a 1/2 wall of pacifiers." After the pacifier experience I couldn't even turn around to look at the bottles--I think I might have started shaking uncontrollably.

There's so much riding on all of this--I mean, the entire happiness of our little twinkies is at stake! (Not really, but you sure feel like that.) Not to mention that even though Doug and I have watched lots of people have kids, we still don't know what the "best" things to get are.

So I did what I do when neither Doug nor I are sure of our next step. I called my brother.

His advice? "Burp cloths. Lots and lots of burp cloths."

Boop, boop, boop, boop, boop...

Bump Picture


Sandy has been wanting to get one of these pictures on here for some time. This is the status of her "bump" as of 18 weeks.

As you can see, the second picture shows her trying to shoplift a volleyball. I think we're going to go to the sporting goods store and have her assume that position and head for the door and see if they stop her.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thanks Peach Fairy!

Sandy here:

Tonight when we came home (after a happy hour stint--it's amazing how low your tolerance gets when you're pregnant), waiting on our front porch, in a bag, were approximately 24 home grown peaches! No note, just peaches. I've never noticed peach trees in any of our neighbors' yards, but then again, I've never really looked.

Hello peach cobbler!

Tucson Marathon

Doug -

Kathy and Doug (Sandy's folks) asked about a reference I made to the Tucson Marathon in my Imogene post. Well my second big athletic goal this year (after the Ironman) is to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. Boston is probably the granddaddy of American marathons. It was first run in 1897 (following the introduction of the marathon as an event in the 1896 Olympics) and is the world's oldest marathon. It is one of the world's great marathons and, at least within the United States, may only be rivaled by New York in prestige.

However, the main thing runners know about Boston is that, unlike most marathons, you can't just sign up and show up to participate. No, to run Boston you have to actually qualify, by running a designated qualifying time in another sanctioned marathon in the 18 months before you want to compete. As far as I know, Boston is the only "standard" marathon that has this requirement (races like the Olympic trials and "extreme" marathons such as Pikes Peak may also have qualifying standards). And the qualifying times, weighted by age and gender, are not easy to obtain. For example, if you are a guy under the age of 34, you need to run a 3:11 or better to qualify. This is pretty fast for 26.2 miles. At last year's Denver Marathon, only 48 out of 1,578 runners broke 3:11 (granted the Denver course is pretty tough and the weather was atrocious last year). At Portland (a popular qualifier with a flat course) only 185 of 7,700 broke 3:11. In other words, you need to be pretty fast just to qualify for Boston, and for most runners, qualifying is a lifetime goal of sorts.

With that being said, there are three strategies I am using to try and qualify for Boston (something I have had my eyes on for 15 years).

First, pick a year when I move up an age group and as a result get an extra 5 minutes in my qualifying time. For me, this means that if I qualify for the 40-44 age group, I can qualify with a 3:21 as opposed to a 3:15 for the 35-39 age group. The trick here is that I can qualify for the 40-44 age group even though I am actually 39 as long as I will be 40 at the time of Boston (April of 2009). Pretty cool, huh.

Second, pick a fast course. This is a past-time of people trying to qualify for Boston, debating the fastest courses. The fastest courses are usually largely downhill, but can't exceed certain standards to be sanctioned. Maybe the most popular is the one in St. George, UT which drops 2,600 vertical feet from start to finish; last year 394 runners broke 3:11 out of 5,155.

However, St. George did not work for me this year because of its timing (early October). Instead, after considerable analysis of different marathons and qualifying times, I came up with the Tucson Marathon which drops almost 2,200 feet from start to finish. Tucson is also within driving distance of Durango and takes place December 7, which gives me enough time to adequately train.

Finally, strategy number 3 is to try and get this done before the twinkies arrive, because who knows when I'll get another chance to do it after that. In this respect, because I get 18 months to use my time I'll probably actually try to run in Boston in 2010, not 2009.

By the way, my legs are still fried from Imogene. Sunday wasn't too bad, but Monday and Tuesday, I was barely able to walk because my quads were thrashed, and stairs were a real adventure. Weds. was a little better, so yesterday I tried to do a Tempo run (2*3 miles at 7:15 with 1 mile between). That was a disaster; I did my first mile in about 7:30 and pulled the plug after 1.5 miles. They still hurt today, although it is getting better. I'm hoping I'm okay to do a long run (2:30) this weekend.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Imogene Pass Run


Sorry about the brief hiatus from posting last week, we had a busy week with work and other obligations (like sleep). Sandy has gone back to work after a nice summer of being pregnant and unemployed (lots of naps) and we're adjusting. Yeah, yeah, I know, just wait ...

This past weekend we traveled about 75 miles north of Durango and over three mountain passes to Ouray, CO so that I could run the Imogene Pass Run (http://www.imogenerun.com/) with Scott, Molly, Scott's friend Andy and my co-worker Josh. For those of you that didn't click the link, the Imogene Pass Run is a trail race that goes from Ouray to Telluride (sometime home of Tom and Katie!!!) over, you guessed it, Imogene Pass, a 4wd jeep road. The race is 17.1 miles long and there's really only one hill on the course, but that hill is 10 miles long and gains 5,310 feet of elevation, topping out at 13,120 feet. Yeah, it's a haul. This is the third year we have gone to Ouray for the race. Two years ago Sandy and Scott were thoroughly obsessed with this race and worked about as hard as two people could to get in shape, only to have the race shortened because of snow on the pass (instead, we just did a loop where we went about halfway up the pass and then back to Ouray). It was a serious bummer, but they both did very well on the shortened course (except for the half mile or so after Scott drank some chicken broth at the "summit"). Last year they were slightly less obsessed, but they still worked very hard and finished the full course on a bluebird day. Molly also did the race last year (she was pregnant year 1) as did their neighbors Adam and Elisa (http://aemaines.blogspot.com/). I did the race too, but somewhat casually as Elisa had some significant altitude issues in the last few miles of the climb and I elected to hang out with her to make sure she got over the pass okay. We were technically DQ'd for not making the summit on time, but Elisa soldiered on bravely and we eventually made our way to the finish on our own.

Anyway, Sandy was out for this year due to the twinkies, but I decided this was my best year to run the race on my own and see what I could accomplish. I hadn't done much specialized training for running 10 miles of uphill (and 7 of downhill) and I didn't taper, but I have carried some fitness over from the Ironman and have also started serious marathon training for Tucson in December, so I was hoping I could make it to Telluride in 3.5 hours. I ran the first mile or so with Scott and then headed off on my own. The weather was pretty cool but clear and I hit my mile marks just as I had hoped, running the flat and moderate sections and power hiking the steep sections. The first five miles or so are really a series of flats and rolling hills and I made it to the 5 mile mark in just under 1:00. I tried to keep everything reigned in for the next 2.6 miles (where things get steeper) and I made it to the 7.6 mile mark and the last aid station before the summit right on schedule at 1:40. Then I started to hammer (meaning, hike fast, nobody except the very top guys run this part) the upper section hoping to make the summit by 2:30. I was pretty psyched to see that I was moving faster than just about anybody around me; in fact, I wasn't passed at all between the last aid station and the summit and I probably passed at least 40-50 people. The biggest surprise was coming to the 8 mile mark and realizing that my co-worker Josh was actually ahead of me at that point (how the heck did he get in front of me!!!!). I actually hit the summit 6 minutes ahead of schedule, but then wasted 4 minutes at the aid station trying to get the lobster claws that seemed to have replaced my hands in the cold to work so that I could get gloves on, mix up some Gatorade and open a gel. I had to actually get help from a very nice volunteer just to get the Ziploc bag of Gatorade open. It was pretty cold on top.

It was extremely frustrating watching all of those people re-pass me while I futzed at the aid station, but even more frustrating was watching another 30 or 40 people pass me in the first 2 miles of the downhill. Let me put it this way, the first two miles are steep, loose, rocky and very uneven. Its almost too steep for the speeds at which I like to run. Actually, it is too steep, so I thought it would be wise to just take it easy and be conservative and, you know, avoid any concussions or broken teeth or a fractured skull that might come from a trip or a fall. Well I was apparently the only one that felt this way as I spent those two miles feeling like a guy doing 20 mph in the center lane of the Interstate. Seriously, these people were nuts, but I have to admit, I only saw one person go down. It was impressive. Things flattened and evened out at mile 12 and I was able to step it up and re-pass some of the psychos in the last 5 miles, even ticking off some 7 minute miles. I hit the finish at 3:27, 3 minutes ahead of my goal. A good day's run I would say.

Final stats: 3:27:10. Summit at 2:24:28. 161 overall among males (out of 596), 29 in my age group (out of 107).

Josh ended up finishing about 7 minutes behind me, Andy came in around 4:04 and Molly finished in just over 5 hours. Scott had an unfortunate case of GI distress in the days leading up to the race and this made for a rough day, but he very bravely continued up and over and finished as well, just not as fast as he had hoped. Here's Molly finishing.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out at the rental house with the above characters as well as Andy's wife Lisa, their sons Owen (4 y.o) and Wesley (1.5 y.o) and Josh's girlfriend Rachel. We went to the hot springs pool, grilled burgers and brats and all of the adults watched the second half of the movie Cars even after all of the kids had gone to bed.

BTW, one of the best things you can do as an expecting parent is hang out with people with young kids. For example, Scott and Molly had a rough night with Audrey the night before the race (Friday night) and didn't get to sleep until 3:00 a.m. or so. I can't say I really learned anything from observing this experience, but it sure looked like it sucked. In fact, I guess what I should say is that one of the best things you can do if you're trying to decide whether to have kids is hang out with people with young kids.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of me finishing because I beat Sandy to the finish ... again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Greatest Jogging Stroller on the Planet


Babies = Lots of stuff to buy. You have to get cribs, car seats, funny little books, onesies (I still have a hard time saying that with a straight face), those things you stick in their mouths to keep them from crying, etc... It's a lot of stuff, and add in the fact that for just about everything you need there are dozens and dozens of choices available (really, how many styles of crib can you come up with, its just a little bed with a fence around it) and picking it all out can be a bit overwhelming. To deal with it, I have developed a strategy ... I just let Sandy pick everything out.

With one exception ... the jogging stroller. This is probably the one item where I have gotten heavily involved in the choice. In fact, I just kind of made this decision on my own. After all, a car seat is a car seat, right? But jogging strollers, there are a lot of differences in jogging strollers. And I know from watching other new parents that if I hope to do any more triathlons, marathons or bike races in the next 4 years, I better plan on developing a nice long-term relationship with a good jogging stroller.

Enter, the Chariot Cougar!!!

This thing is nicer than any car I have ever owned. It seats two munchkins and functions not only as a jogger, but also as a bike trailer, a ski trailer, a hiking trailer (we probably won't do that, but it's nice to know we can) and, I think even has a cycle for washing delicates. It's kind of like a transformer robot. It's also got full suspension, folds up to the size of a small travel umbrella (not really) and has all kinds of things that are supposed to be good for the babies (like ventilation and sun-visors and padded seats and stuff).

Anyway, it's the first baby thing we've bought and is now waiting for us at REI. I can't wait. And, yeah, we'll get some of those other things too at some point. But I'll let Sandy post about that stuff.

For the Second Time

Sandy here:

Every woman I've talked to has told me at least one story about hormones and "going off the deep end." Well, it happened to me yesterday. After a frustrating 1 3/4 hours at the doctor's office (everything is fine, I just had to wait around for a very very very long time), and then waiting in line 20 minutes at the pharmacy counter in the supermarket (only to be told that my prescription wasn't ready yet), then being shoved aside before I could buy my chocolate bar, then going to the front to be confronted by the longest lines I've ever seen at the store, then throwing my chocolate bar down in a huff, then driving home and hitting Open House car and pedestrian traffic at the middle school by my house, did I think that maybe I was overreacting. But that sure didn't mean I could stop crying.

Luckily I have a husband with a good sense of humor who laughed at my story, made me dinner and then went to the store for me to pick up my prescription.

And I got my chocolate bar.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Small Town Livin'

Sandy here:

A couple weeks ago on a Saturday morning Doug and I went to the Farmer’s Market (it’s quite the local scene—we are guaranteed to run into several people we know there). There’s a booth there that sells both flowers and goat cheese. I was in the mood for a little alternative cheese, so I started to walk to the booth. As I’m walking over, I look at the woman behind the table, when I realize that it’s my Ob-Gyn doctor! She doesn’t own the farm, but she helps sell at the Market.

I love living in Durango.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Response to Sandy's "Little White Pill"


So it turns out that after giving me crap for buying ice cream on my Tylenol run the other night, Sandy actually likes the ice cream treats more than I do and has probably eaten more of them than I have. Funny how that worked out.....

Anyway, yesterday we hit some garage sales looking for baby stuff and didn't find anything we liked. However, I found something even better:

Here it is all set up in the twinkies' room. The Jeff Gordon car is much faster than the Jimmy Johnson car (which means I beat Sandy every time we race).

It's going to be so cool to have kids.

Pictures from Sonoma Vacation


Above is a slideshow from our vacation trip to Sonoma, Tahoe and Great Basin National Park. We took the trip roughly the last week of July, first week of August and the main reason for taking the trip was to allow me to try and do an Ironman-distance triathlon in Sonoma County, the "Vineman" (http://www.vineman.com/triathlon.htm). We drove from Durango to Oakland, CA over the course of two days (with an overnight in beautiful Kingman, AZ) and spent two nights there with my old law school friends Matt and Ruth-Ann and their 19 month old son Jonah (http://jonahbaer.blogspot.com/). We had a good time talking about Jonah and the twinkies with Matt and Ruth-Ann and then we drove up to Guerneville, CA where we rented a townhome for a week. Sandy's brother Scott, his wife Molly and their 18 month old daughter Audrey joined us a day later and we had a great week hanging out with them, going to the beach, visiting vineyards and taking naps. The day of the triathlon dawned sunny and clear, which was great for the swim, but not so great when it shot up to 97 degrees by the end of the bike (the beginning of the run). I made it through a little more than half of the run (15 miles) before eventually succumbing to the heat and I ended up spending about 5 hours in the medical tent afterwards trying to re-hydrate, eventually taking an IV (no small thing considering my fear of needles). It was a bummer.

Anyway, two days after the triathlon we drove to Lake Tahoe (with a stop in Sacramento for Sandy to visit IKEA and for me to get Chipotle) and spent two nights at Emerald Bay camping, hiking, biking and napping (well, Sandy did most of the napping). Then we spent a day driving around the lake and across U.S. Hwy. 50 in Nevada (a fascinating drive, to say the least) to Great Basin National Park, the least visited National Park in the U.S. system in Baker, NV (pop. 65, http://www.greatbasinheritage.org/baker.htm). We spent two nights in a 1950's era Baker, NV motel room (http://www.greatbasinpark.com/whisperingelms.htm), visited the Park and toured the great cave system they have at GBNP. We had dinner at this really cool little cafe and coffee shop (http://www.silverjackinn.com/index.html) and then bought ice at the general store (http://www.greatbasinpark.com/td.htm), thus supporting all three businesses in Baker. Baker was a riot, and then we made the drive back to Durango to see the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

Anyway, if you want to see larger versions of the photos, you can go to http://picasaweb.google.com/gilpinsk.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Little White Pill

Sandy here:

So, last night I needed some regular strength Tylenol. We had some extra strength, but the doctor had told me to take regular strength (it was to combat some lasting effects of that ocular migraine). Well, I'm a rule follower and a bit hormonal (pregnant woman hormonal? I know, you heard it here first), so there was only one option. Doug had to leave the comfort of our house at 8:30 at night to go get some. I had always thought the first "late night pregnancy run" he would have to do would be something more exciting.

And Doug? He got himself some ice cream.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Are All Made of Stars

Sandy here:

Last night I was in the shower (I LOVE night showers) when I suddenly noticed that when I closed my eyes I started seeing these bright yellow jagged things off to the side of my vision (they were moving a bit). They looked something like these:


Minus the whole clock thing. When I opened my eyes they were still there, just not as bright. It was very bizarre and I imagined that it must be similar to what could happen to people who trip on acid. It only lasted for about 15 minutes, but then my vision was somewhat blurry--almost like I needed glasses. I was pretty calm throughout the whole thing, although Doug was much more worried. Long story short: It went away, I talked to the doctor's office this morning who said I probably had an ocular (or opthalmic) migraine. They said it's really nothing to worry about unless it happens again. I suppose in retrospect it was kind of fun to have a "freebie."



So you get a lot of interesting responses when you tell people you are having twins, especially when you're talking to a guy that has just recently gone through (or is going through) the young child experience himself. Most of them just laugh, or if you are Sandy's brother Scott, you say something like this:

"You guys are screwed."

Which was echoed almost word for word by our friend Matt, who said:

"You guys are fu**ed."

Maybe so, but the opposing theory, posited by my boss and a few others, is that if you're going to have two kids anyway, it may be easier to just do it all at once. After all, you only have one pregnancy, one late night feeding period, one diaper period, one potty training period, etc... Sure, those periods are harder, but they can't be twice as hard can they? There have to be some synergies.

All I know is that when we were looking for day care options a few weeks ago, it actually was a bit of an eye-opener when I realized that, yes, of course, we were going to have to actually pay for two kids, not one. Believe it or not, this hadn't really occurred to me.

Just wait until they're 18 ("Wait, what do you mean by tuition for both kids").

Here is our first experiment with photo posting. Sandy and I took a little trip to Sonoma County, CA last month and bought a bottle of champagne to open when the babies show up. The winery was the Iron Horse winery, which holds special meaning to me since every year I ride in the "Iron Horse Bicycle Classic," a bike ride/race from Durango to Silverton. Here's the pregnant lady with the booze.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Commercials!

Sandy here:

So this morning I was getting my early dose of calcium, sitting on the couch watching CNN when the following commercial came on:


It's never good to start out your morning crying into your Puffins.

I blame the Twinkies.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Post

Doug -

Okay, Sandy and I are going to try this blogging thing. We're going to post mainly about the babies, but we'll also post some stuff about other things going on in our lives as we think about them.

So a short preface for those of you new to the news. Sandy is now 16 weeks pregnant with our twin rugrats, or to those of us that are already familiar with them, the "Twinkies." We know the twins are identical, but we don't know if they are boys or girls (yet). Our due date (40 weeks) is technically February 13, 2008, but we are told by those in the know that twins "always come early," so the probable due date is more like January 25, 2008. We have already had a bunch of doctor's appointments, a ton of ultrasounds (they like to watch twins pretty closely) and we are already making room in the house for new arrivals.

Anyway, we will fill in some details and get some pictures up and various other things in the next few weeks. In the meantime, keep checking in and we'll try to make it as entertaining as possible.