Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I'm so psyched! Nalani and I had a great track workout this morning... 5 x 1200's @ 5K pace with 2 min recoveries. I wasn't actually sure that I could do this workout, but I knew it would be good for Nalani, so I figured I would go and just do the best I could even if I was running a bit behind her the whole time. While I have been hitting the track recently, I haven't done 5K pace anything since my calf injury. Instead, I've been doing longer cruise intervals with shorter rest (in hopes that I wouldn't re-injure my calf that way).

Anyway, last night I made the decision that my calf was ready and I was going to run 5K pace this morning even if it killed me. Even just for one of the 1200's. "Just hit the pace for one of them and the workout will be a success..." I told myself.

So #1. Hit the pace. Faster, actually, than we intended. Isn't that how the first one always goes? Though seriously, I was psyched. It was the fastest 1200 I've run in a loooong time. Wasn't sure I'd be able to do it again though.

#2. Did it again! Ok, not quite as fast as the first one, but still under 5K goal pace so I was thrilled. And I think I might be able to do it again...

#3. Did it again. It's hurting, but I'm nailing this workout and couldn't be happier! Over the hump. Only two more. Maybe I can actually run ALL of these faster than 5K pace? Really?

#4. Ok, I really had to push to get this one in under goal pace. But I did it! Phew! During our 2 minute recovery after this one I actually told Nalani that there was a possibility I was going to shit myself on this last one, so if she heard a loud noise or smelled something funny- just keep running. Sounds funny to write it now but at the time I was completely serious.

#5. Checked my split at the first 400. Right on. Panting panting panting... Second 400... I hope I don't shit myself... still on pace at the 800... go go go... at the 1000 I start wondering if Big Daddy gives an award for shitting yourself at a track workout? I can't believe I'm thinking about this as I round the last corner... GO GO GO!!! We sprinted it in, and blew that goal pace to pieces! Ok, not really, but I did get several seconds under my 'best case scenario' pace on all 5 of them which was a major breakthrough for me! And I also managed to get behind a bush before the shit came rushing out. So, success on all fronts.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sleepy Head

All morning today Moana was just Little Miss Cranky Pants. Whiny whiny whiny about everything. Man, that drives me NUTS. She ate a decent breakfast so I knew she wasn't hungry. We spent some time outside and that helped, but then it started raining again so we had to come inside. It was only 10:00 and all I could think was that this was going to be a loooong morning. She usually doesn't go down for her nap until at least 11:30. Sometimes 12:30 depending on the day. I wasn't sure how I was going to keep her occupied (and myself from going crazy) for the next few hours? These are the days when a stay at home mom kinda wishes that she had to go to work.

So we were upstairs and reading books when she grabbed her doggie pillow (remember the video of her unwrapping it at Christmas? It's still her very favorite thing ever) and her blanket and started trying to climb into her crib. Um, what?? What toddler have you ever seen trying to climb into her crib? An hour before the earliest possible nap time?

But who am I to try to stop my little girl from sleeping when she wants to? So I put her in her crib, gave her the sleepy sign, and then walked out. I heard her in there chatting with her doggie for a few minutes and then... silence.

I got busy reading my book with my feet up. These are the times when stay at home moms are like, "Man, I'm so glad I don't have to go to work..."

FOUR HOURS LATER, my book was finished, your blogs were all read, emails responded to, there was homemade (from scratch!) chicken soup on the stove, and still silence from upstairs. Really?

I finally went in and woke her up, thinking that surely 4 hours of napping in the middle of the day was enough. Besides, I was getting bored and wanted a cute little blonde friend to play with.

Well she was just the happiest little thing all afternoon! She ate a great lunch, we ran some errands, watched Sesame Street video clips online (boy do those make her giggle!)... It was fun!

I guessed that she wasn't going to go to bed at her normal 7:00 tonight after that long nap... but I am not kidding... 6:45 came and Little Miss Whiny Pants emerged in full force. That only means one thing, so even though my intuition said that she wasn't going to go to sleep easily tonight, she totally did. Lights out at 7:15 with no complaints at all. Just the normal little chatter with her doggie pillow as I walked out of her room. Wow. It's so nice to have a kid who enjoys sleeping as much as I do.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Entertainment

So sad I didn't get to go over to the Big Island this weekend for Lavaman... that's a really fun race and I would love to get to do it again, but it's just not feasible for me right now. Can't swing the $$$ for the travel and time away from the family just doesn't make it worth it. Such is life.

BUT, I made the most of my weekend and put in some great solid solo training (since most of my teammates and training partners were racing and partying on the Big Island). It was crazy windy yesterday and while I definitely missed having a body on a bike in front of me to block the wind, the opportunity to push through it on my own was quite valuable. And today I had my longest run in, um, can't even remember? I ran 13 miles! It's possible that was my longest run since Ironman so I was psyched to finish it with both feet still able to come off the ground. Yay for small favors. :)

I walked in the door this morning from my run and found Moana dancing around the kitchen, which is not new... but the fact that she was doing it while wearing nothing but a diaper and her boots... well, that was new. It's always fun to see what she gets up to when her daddy is in charge. Wanna see?

In other news, we finally got all set up on Skype! Can you believe it took us so long? I think I've always just had a real fear of webcams so I did not want one in the house. But it turns out that the video calls are a great way for Grammy and Moana to communicate since we live so far away! My mom is awesome- she went to the local library and checked out a bunch of big puppets to keep Moana entertained while we Skype. Moana was very intrigued! So it turned out to be quite an entertaining Sunday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moana Videos!

Ahhhh. Moana is in bed, Scott just went out to buy some chocolate, so I have the whole house quietly to myself for a few minutes. So what's been going on?

Well, I've just been hangin' with my pal, Moana. Lol. Seriously though, I was thinking today about just how much fun it is to have her as my little sidekick all the time. Our weather has been better the last few days (yay for warmer days and less rain!) so I took her to the beach this morning. Took Hoku (our dog) too because I'm ambitious like that. Let's just say that I don't enjoy the beach quite as much when I take Hoku too... I mean, it's fun to take your dog to the beach and all, but the beach with the dog AND the toddler can be a bit of a challenge. More so when you have a dog who is absolutely obsessed with balls combined with a father/son who are on vacation and just trying to enjoy a game of catch on the beautiful beach... They clearly were not interested in allowing a big black dog to play but the only way for me to keep Hoku from chasing their ball was to keep her on her leash, which also isn't so cool to do to a dog obsessed with swimming in the ocean. Eventually I just moved us all down the beach so Hoku couldn't see the ball flying through the air anymore.

Anyway, Moana just had a blast playing in the waves today. Full on belly laughing fun. And then I spent a good while trying to wash the sand out of her hair before nap time. Which was actually the second time I had to wash her hair today.. the first being right after I got home from my bike ride this morning... you gotta love it when your husband is in charge of breakfast and gives your toddler a piece of peanut butter toast to play with. I got home and was like, "What happened to her hair??" I'm surprised Hoku didn't go nuts trying to lick her to death.

So there's been lots of outside time this week. We live in a condo complex which is fine, but we don't really have a yard for Moana to play in. That can be a bummer, but we compensate by walking to the botanical gardens across the street most afternoons. It's a great park because there's a pond with fish and ducks to feed, a big grassy area to run around in, and a little trail that goes all the way around the pond (like a whole tenth of a mile). Moana used to be afraid of the trail and I had to carry her the whole way... but now she's all about walking the whole thing herself! I brought the video camera yesterday because I was just thinking that I didn't want to forget these days and how fun they are... So push play if you wanna share the fun!

It's cute at the end of this video she says 'hiking'. She's got too many new words now to even list. She says everything I say.
Check out my little monkey in this video. Every time we go to the park she hangs on the railings on the way out, so of course I wanted it on film. I wonder how long until she starts pulling herself up? Ha!
Other than that, I'm busily earning myself my next rest week... that's how I'm thinking of each block of training now... as earning my rest week. Ha! I had so much fun at that last little race on Sunday that I went ahead and sent my entry in for the next sprint race which is in 3 1/2 weeks... I wasn't sure I wanted to do two sprint races this spring... I thought one was enough because my only real purpose was just to get a little race tune-up in... but it turns out I really like racing short stuff (who would have guessed?), and my Pac Velo team is super cool to be a part of! So what the heck. I entered the next one too. In other good news, Albert at Coffees of Hawaii is actually updating their company website now with news and results from our cycling/triathlon team and he put up a pic of our team. AND, he's offering 25% off Coffees of Hawaii products when you enter 'PV' into the promotional code box when you order online. I drink the Kona Island blend every morning now (after my workout- still espresso first!) and it is yummy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Waterfront Triathlon

First triathlon of 2010 is in the books and we'll call it a big success! It was just a short season opener, but it brought out most of the fastest athletes on the island... everyone wanting to test themselves out after a long time off from racing.

Moana and Scott came out to watch and cheer. Turns out, Moana is a great cheerleader and insisted that I eat my blueberries pre-race. She's no dummy- she knows about SuperFoods... Oh, thank you, Moana!

The water was a little more rough than usual, which was fine by me (and all of my athletes who are good swimmers). They changed the swim course a little to accommodate us in the waves and it actually turned out to be a bit longer than last year. Yes, we cheered! Here's a video of the swim... it's like you were there! :)

I love swimming in rough water (this is new for me since moving here but since we do it so much it's grown on me). I navigated my way through most of the men who started ahead of the girls and came out of the water as the second woman, behind my super swimmer athlete, Karen. My other two local athletes were right were behind me!

I was biking scared the whole time, knowing that there were a bunch of fast women (who would not be far behind me) hunting me down...GO GO GO I told myself. I was right on my redline the whole time and it occurred to me more than once that I might want to back off the effort just a little... but my instructions to my athletes in this short race included something like, "There is no pacing in a short race like this- it's flat out from start to finish so don't hold anything back..." So I followed my own advice and did not back off until the very end as I was coming into transition.

Scott taught Moana to say "Go Mommy!" and "race" today. She had fun watching the craziness!

Prior to the race I had resigned myself to getting passed by just about everyone on the run. I hoped I'd be first off the bike but told myself inevitably that I would be passed by at least 5 women, maybe more. But as the run went on and I wasn't even being passed by too many men, it occurred to me that I might have enough of a lead to hold off more women than I had envisioned. Hmmmm. Maybe I needed to change my mindset? By mile 3 when I was still in the lead I was scared to death to look behind me because the last thing I wanted to see was a whole pack of women breathing down my neck... turns out it was only Rachel, and shoot, I'd expected her to go flying by me way earlier than she did! The finish line was in sight by then and I kept my little legs going until I crossed it in second place. Phew!

Checking my splits, I saw that I biked and ran and transitioned faster than I did last year. Sa-weet! The swim was longer this year so cannot compare.

In more great news, two of the athletes that I'm coaching finished 3rd and 4th OA! How cool was that?!? Great job to those girls!! This may be the last time I beat Rae in a triathlon so I'm glad we got a picture of it. ;)

In bad news though, my other superstar had a mechanical problem on her bike (her cadence sensor came loose on a bump and found its way into her spokes and caused her to do an endo over her bike... poor thing went straight to the hospital and may end up having surgery on her separated shoulder tomorrow morning. :(

So we're wishing Karen the best speedy recovery ever...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Coffee, Anyone?

A few weeks ago I sent an email to Albert at Coffees Of Hawaii... I told him that I didn't know if his company had a local rep on Oahu or if they were even looking for one? BUT if they were looking for one, I was their gal! I went on to explain why, gave him a brief history of my experience as a sales rep (my old life pre-baby!), and then threw out a couple of ideas about how I might help their company locally here on the island. And wouldn't you know it? We set up a meeting this morning with their plantation manager who flew over from Moloka'i. :)

But first things first... like a good little triathlete, I figured out a way to still get my morning swim in... gathered a few girlfriends as headed to the ocean at sunrise. It was barely light when we got in, and very cold. These girls braved it without a wetsuit. (That's Heather from Stay At The Beach Mom on the left!)

We swam out to this island... can you guess why it's called 'Flat Island'?

Then we did intervals along the buoy line and then practiced running into and out of the water for beach start races. Super fun! (Except for the man who got in as we were getting out.... wearing a banana hammock style G-string speedo... not kidding... unfortunately the image is burned on my brain and I am forever scarred. What is wrong with people???)

Anyway, I had to rush off to my interview so my only option was beach park shower... with 20 mph sustained winds this morning, that water was blowing sideways in my face. Perfect start to the day.

And yes, I kept my wetsuit on through the whole shower. That wind was coooooold!

Um, minor problem when I went to get dressed...

What?? This beach park bathroom has never been locked before? Ugh. Laughing at myself and this crazy situation, I went and hid in my car to get dressed and finished getting ready. Seriously, who gets ready for their first interview in years in their car at a beach park? Apparently, I do.

Anyway, SuperWoman style change complete, I headed off to meet Maria to talk about the possibility of me becoming their local rep. And where else would we meet? Lol.

Keep in mind, Coffees of Hawaii is the company that sponsors the Floating Espresso Bar in Kona at Ironman, so I figured that Albert (a long time and very fast Ironman) would get a kick out of my interview prep if I eventually become a part of their company...

The meeting went superbly well, and I've been invited to go to Moloka'i to tour their plantation facility and get a better feel for their operation. Turns out, my timing in contacting them was perfect and they are in need of someone to service and grow the local accounts here on Oahu! It's just perfect, really. And Maria promised me that I would be on their Floating Espresso Boat in October! This will be me in a few months. Love it!

Anyway, it's not quite a done-deal yet, but it's looking good and I'm excited. I'm envisioning a part-time gig with them so I can still be a mom to Moana much of the time, and coach, and train myself... I'm going to be one busy mama... but I think it's possible to do it all.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I used to hate recovery weeks. Cutting back on training made me nervous... like I was going to become totally detrained or something if every workout wasn't as long or as fast as I could make it.

Last year was really the first year where I could honestly say that I actually took some good recovery time between hard weeks (thanks, Jen, for making me do that! :) and I saw firsthand what a huge difference it made. Not just in race performance, but across my world. I felt better, my mood was better, I was able to put together 3-4 solid weeks in a row of very good training, and I didn't feel the least bit burnt out at the end of the year. Oh, and I raced pretty well too.

So I'm carrying those lessons with me this year and planning regular easier weeks with reduced volume. I am in the middle of one of those weeks right now and you know what? I'm not even resisting it! I'm so proud of myself. It's like I've 'grown' as a triathlete or something because I can accept these weeks without stressing out about losing all of my hard earned fitness. Ha! :)

But the proof is in the puddling, you know? It's not like the whole week is all easy. No, there are some short fast very hard efforts thrown in. Yesterday we had a good swim set planned... 2 x (2 x 200's VERY FAST with only 10 sec rest, then 100 very easy). I really had no idea how fast those 200's would be so that's why 10 sec rest instead of actually on an interval... but we finished the first one and I had to do a double take at my watch because I've never seen a time like that on a fast 200 in that pool. I had enough time to smile and blurt out "WOW!" and then take off again on #2. I felt awesome. Did it again on the second set, felt super, then got out before I had done too much work that would require a nap later in the day.

And so it goes this week. I'm still taking care of myself as if I'm training hard even though I am not. I figure the idea is to be completely refreshed at the end of this week so I can put a good race effort in on Sunday and then hit the next 3 week block with good energy. So I'm wearing my compression socks around during the day...

And of course then Moana wants to wear her socks so she digs them out and brings them to me saying, "Socks! Socks!" So I help her put them on.

I guess I should teach her that we don't actually wear these socks while training... we are too cool for that*... the socks are just for recovery (and they stay inside this house).

*But we are not too cool to wear a diaper while riding a bike.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random Tidbits

No good stories for you today, but here's a couple of tidbits from the weekend so far...

*It finally stopped raining today so it was beautiful on our ride. My bikes have been SO DIRTY all the time the past few months. I feel like I've cleaned each of them at least once/week and always wonder why I even bother? They're just going to get dirty again the next day, you know? But I do think it's important to get the sand out of the chain every once in a while.

*Speaking of 'why bother cleaning?' Not sure why I bother cleaning the kitchen on the weekends either? You can be sure that as soon as I do my husband will just go make himself something and fail to clean up after himself. Why are men incapable of cleaning up after themselves once they're married? I know I am not the only one with this problem, but come on.

*It appears that my calf is now 100% healed. I haven't felt even the tightness that I had been feeling after running, and that gives me some confidence that I can push the pace a little more here and there. Nalani and I worked the last mile of our brick run today and I felt strong and solid and ran a decent pace, even uphill. Now I feel like I can really write a good training plan for myself. Up to this point everything has been contingent on how my calf feels.

*After tomorrow's run, I'll have 38 miles this week. That's the most I've run in forever so clearly I can't claim injury anymore.

*This afternoon I took Moana to a little pond across the street to feed the fish. She got a kick out of dropping bread into the lake and watching them jump all over each other fighting for it. We also saw a duck (up close!) and a chicken and a cat and a lizard. She's really a lot of fun to hang out with these days as she gets older. Call me crazy, but I don't miss the 'baby days'. Glad I had the experience, but I'm happier to be playing with an older daughter who can interact with me and listen and express her opinions (even if sometimes that means major fits).

*We're doing better with the eating thing with Moana. The key for us has been for me not to try to feed her all the time based on when I think she should be hungry. I keep her busy and distracted and then when she's hungry she says 'eat' while doing the sign (hand to mouth). When she does that, I know she's actually hungry so she'll eat a good meal and then I won't have to try to force anything.

*We don't have Daylight Savings here, but I'm still glad the time is changing on the mainland. For us all it really means is that The Daily Show is on at 8:00 instead of 9:00, which is great because we'll get to sleep earlier after watching it.

*First triathlon of 2010 is next weekend! I'm excited to race! But I'm more excited to watch my local athletes let loose and rip up that course. It's just a sprint, so it'll be fast and furious and it's anybody's day. I think there will be a bunch of fast women finishing within 2-3 minutes of each other. How fun!

*I'm gonna have to get some decaf coffee. I find myself craving coffee all the time now but I don't generally want the caffeine after morning has passed.

*Lastly, do not, under any circumstances, let a Kirby sales guy into your house. They come to your door and pretend that they just want to clean a part of your house... all innocent and promising that they're not going to give a sales pitch and that it'll just take 10 minutes... That is a complete lie. 2.5 hours later you'll be kicking them out of your house after you've driven yourself mad repeating that you are not going to buy their $3,000 vacuum cleaner.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buy Local

Hmmmm. What to do with a bored toddler when it looks like this outside?

Well, after playing with every toy in the house until it was no longer interesting, we went down to the mall that's right down the street because they have a farmer's market there on Wednesdays. A bunch of local vendors show up and sell their locally grown food for cheap. Niiice.

One thing that is definitely true about the weather here is that it changes every few minutes. When we first arrived at the market, the sky was dark and it was wet, but not actually raining. I hoped the rain would hold off for a few minutes so we could obtain our veggies for the week... but as I was trying to buy zucchinis the sky just opened up and it started dumping rain on us before I could even pay. I told the gal I'd be back and Moana and I ran into the mall, where we wasted a few minutes riding up and down the escalator (very interesting for a toddler, you know) and checking out the puppies and bunnies in the pet store. Ok ok, I know pet stores suck in the way that they treat and breed their animals, but on a boring weekday afternoon, it's a pretty fun place for a toddler to hang out.

It didn't take long for the squall to pass so we went back to the market outside... We bought honey from the Big Island... I got to taste several different ones and, um, YUM. I also bought zucchinis, bok choy, broccoli, eggplant, corn, onions, and bananas this week. I like the local vendors because (if they speak English) they'll just chat with you about their products and whatever... Moana scored a free apple banana from one vendor who seemed to think she was especially cute. Moana managed to peel and eat it all by herself while I continued to shop.

Anyway, there's something about eating locally grown vegetables for dinner that makes you feel really good. And feeding them to your daughter is even better!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

What a weekend! It's Sunday evening- finally time to rest!- and though I'm feeling pretty thrashed, I'm also finding myself feeling pretty satisfied with what my body put up with and allowed me to do the past few days...

I was entered in a 10K today (sent my entry in several months ago)... but I wasn't sure that I'd be doing it because of that calf injury I had. I've been back running for about 2 weeks now but without any speed work at all I just wasn't sure that I wanted to go run a 10K... I was pretty sure it would be ugly and a big part of me just didn't even want to know how bad it was going to be... Is it better to just think that you're way slower than you want to be or to actually go prove it to yourself?

Rewind to yesterday... I showed up at the group ride, thinking that maybe I'd be doing the 10K today... so maybe I'd just cruise through the ride without going too hard... but then Sandy said she was going to run the 10K but wasn't planning on holding back on the ride to save herself for it or anything. I can be such a sucker for peer pressure so of course I say that I'll go with the same plan. (Raise your hand if you think this is a good idea! Lol.) The ride was fast as usual but it wasn't actually all that hard until the last 15 miles or so when it became a complete free-for-all with 6 guys racing and trading off taking fliers off the front. It was nuts. In my head I knew that there was no need for me to play their game... I did not need to dig that deep or work that hard... but for whatever reason I just could not let myself get dropped. I was going full throttle at 100% and then another guy would fly off the front and all the other guys would respond so I just dug deeper and went 110% to cover the attack and then got to spend a few minutes back at just 100% effort before ramping it back up to 110% again. Yeah. Nuts, I know. After like 20 minutes of swearing under my breath while killing myself to hang on, I figured my 10K was screwed anyway so I might as well finish myself off on this ride, so I pushed as hard as I had to and held on to those guys 'til the very end. I was thrashed as I carried my bike up the stairs to my house, but went for the 30 minute brick run with Nalani anyway. ('Cause what the heck, right? That 10K is going to suck regardless- might as well make it as ugly as possible by running today too. Ha!)

As we were running yesterday I was joking about how the 10K today was really going to be a nightmare. Nalani asked if I would truly be disappointed with a slow 10K given my recent calf injury combined with how hard I had just pushed while riding... an interesting question, really. But that's the thing. You can have all the most valid excuses in the world but that still doesn't make it ok (in my mind) to run a slow 10K, you know? And I know I've said this before, even if your excuses are real, I still hate them.

Regardless of the fact that my legs burned like mad every time I walked up a flight of stairs, I resigned myself to running this morning and drove down to the race start with two of my neighbors who were also running. It's the only all women's running race of the year so something like 2000 women show up and it's a great atmosphere down there. I jogged a little to warm up, chatted with some friends before the start, and then just ignored the way my legs felt and ran after they signaled us to GO. Anyway, the short of it is that I didn't have such a terrible race today. It probably helped that my expectations were very low- but I surprised myself in my ability to run a steady pace that was faster than my 'best case scenario' pace I'd decided on before the race. In fact, while this was not the fastest 10K I have ever run, it may have been the smartest and the most evenly paced. In fact, I ran the second half 10 seconds faster than the first half (maybe a first for me?), and all my miles were very steady and evenly split. In the end I was only just over a minute slower than last year. And while I clearly had no speed and could not pick up the pace, I did feel like I might have been able to sustain it for a while longer. So I'm pretty happy knowing that my running isn't quite as far behind as I thought it was.

The best part of the race was going down with my two awesome neighbors. Erica pushed Nico in the jogger while Christina ran alongside her, completing her very first running race ever! Hanging out with new runners who are just getting bitten by the bug is super cool. Christina wasn't even sure she could run 6 miles in a row, but she did it today and was so proud of herself at the end. Awesome.
Anyway, currently my legs feel exactly how you think they would feel after a weekend like that, and an ice bath is not going to cure them overnight. I'm looking forward to a couple of easy to days to let my body come back from that effort this weekend. Phew!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Am Not A Short Order Chef

Ok, so I know before I was all like, "My daughter is the best eater in the world and she eats broccoli for breakfast..." Blah blah blah.

Ok, so now, on occasion, she may or may not eat her broccoli for breakfast. In fact, she may not eat anything. She may only want pancakes. Or a Clif bar. Sometimes she's all about bananas, but then the next day she won't touch one with a 10 foot pole. Earlier this week she couldn't get enough blueberries. Oh. My. Gosh. The horror when we ran out of blueberries. Today? I offered her blueberries and she violently shook her head and repeated NO NO NO. It was as if the blueberries might poison her if she ate one. She used to LOVE yogurt. Now she screams in protest if she sees me simply pull it out of the fridge.

The interesting thing to me is that there is so little consistency or rationale for what she will or will not eat from day to day. I understand that toddlers go through growth spurts so sometimes they eat a ton and sometimes they hardly eat anything at all. (Moana has put me through the test on this one, sometimes going for several days in a row eating nothing but a handful of raisons and a sip of soy milk. Yes. she has been protesting the cows milk lately and only drinks soy milk now.)

So besides the fact that I never have any clue how much she will eat, I also have no idea what she will actually eat. Today she was all about kidney beans. Couldn't get enough kidney beans. But that doesn't mean for a second that she would actually eat a kidney bean tomorrow.

Fickle. That's what my perfect little eater has become. And it drives me NUTSO.

Part of me says, "Do not become a short order chef!" I feel like I need to hold my ground here or else I'm going to go crazy offering her a thousand choices of food until we find one that is acceptable on any given day. Typically I give her two choices and if she turns them both down, well then, tough. She must not be hungry so I guess we just won't eat right now. But then the problem is that if she actually was hungry, she turns into this completely whiny grump and will not stop whining for a second. So I offer her the food again, which she will not eat, but then continues to whine. This pattern will continue for like an hour until she's finally hungry enough to eat whatever it was that I was offering her.

One thing I have found out is that if I take her out to lunch, she'll eat like a champ. Sometimes I go shopping at a local health food store that has a hot food bar, so we get food and eat it outside after we're done shopping. She sits in the cart while I feed her. She'll eat anything (and a lot of it!) when we do this.

And then eventually she's like, "Ok mom, I'm done eating now."

Another thing I've found out is that if she's with her buddy Nico, and he's eating, she'll eat too. (Though clearly it's not hard to get a toddler to eat a popsicle.) This morning they raced to see who could finish the popsicle first. Nico won.

I'm really hoping that the fickle-whiny-eater thing is just a short phase and that eventually I get my good eater back. I'm trying not to make a big deal about it when she won't eat- because I know she is figuring out that this is her power. In the end, I know that when she is hungry she will eat, so I try to live by that, but the whining I must endure until she gives in and finally eats is just really driving me to the brink of insanity.