Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Keep it Together

Ethan has been difficult the past 2 weeks. Not in the "I'm such a horrible wretch I am going to ruin your life sense",although, it feels like it. More of "I'm going to see just how far I can backtalk and be disrespectful" sense. It started before vacation, vacation did not help, and now adjusting to being back home...CALGON TAKE ME AWAY! Obviously my current tactics are not working, I think it is time for Paul and I to regroup, and take new action. So Monday during quiet time (no more naps, story for another day), I was having my usual trouble with keeping him "quiet." He comes out of his room for the 3rd time, about an hour into, and told me to look at him.

ARE YOU SERIOUS? What is it with boys and putting on every single pair of underwear they own, twelve to be exact. No lie. If you remember, this happened before. Reference: "Layers" in May archive.

So the last time in between the last few layers were his madi gras beads. This time...a squishy lizard.

I am telling you all this, because I am wondering how I am supposed to keep it together with my stone cold face when he comes out of his room like that. Well, I managed AND took the pictures. Oh alot of good that did I'm sure, but you have to capture that - it's too funny.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Cowboy


There are 2 things that most everyone knows about Paul - if you know him well enough.
1. He is a Trekkie
2. He can move his eyebrows all funky, move his scalp w/o touching it, and make funny faces

One evening, back in January, we were at the dinner table eating with the boys. We knew that Ethan could make funny faces, but were quite surprised that he mimmicked Paul exactly when Paul would lift one eyebrow and then the other. OK, surprised that he did it at a mere 3 yrs of age. Naturally, he would have that talent of his Daddy's - they have exactly the same eyebrows. Scary. I pull out the video camera, documentable material here. We were cracking up, and Ethan got a kick out of being filmed. Then the light bulb exploded in Paul's head and he had a twinkle in his eye. The rest of the night Paul worked feverishly to finish his brilliant idea. As frustrated as I can be at times by the Trekkie nerd I live with, it is kinda cute. (Only a fellow nerd wife can get this) Anyway, below is Paul's fun video clip.

Ride 'Em Cowboy

Cowboy & Cowgirl

Andie, Ethan's Aunt, known to everyone as Alison, rides horses. Actually, she show jumps her horse Gabe, and is very good. Ethan has been out to the barn where her horse is a few times, and loves it. Lately, he really wants to be a cowboy. With good behavior he is earning stickers to get his cowboy gear!

Last week I took Ethan and Madeline out to the barn to ride horses. Arriving at the barn, Andie introduced us to all the horses, and gave us the barn rules.

***Interjection: I have pretty much been scared of horses my whole life. Bad experiences, and also seeing friends at youth camps get tossed off. The last time I got on one was probably in high school which I am positive ended with me crying and getting off. Yes, you can laugh.***

Casey, was the horse the kids rode first, he is older and smaller. Madeline was a little timid at first, but it did not take her long to warm up to them. We started by petting him, giving him a treat, then walking him out to the arena. Ethan got on first with Andie, then quickly decided he would rather ride by himself. So Andie led Casey around with the lead rope while Ethan and Madeline took turns. They were so cute. Next, we watched Andie ride her horse, Gabe. He his big, very big, but sweet. They each took a turn riding Gabe with Andie; however, he is so much bigger, that neither of them liked it very much! We raced around the arena, helped wash Gabe, and then ran over to look at the pond. All in all, it was a fabulous evening at the barn. Not to mention a great way to wear out energy.


***You would be proud at what a big girl I was around the horses. Since I married Paul we have been trying to get me on a horse, but about the time I warmed up to it - I got pregnant. Maybe this year will be my year!***

Look Mommy, No Hands!!!

Graham has been crawling for a long time now. And cruising around the furniture, standing on his own, and carefully attempting steps for a good bit of time too. He just has not been ready to fully committing to actually taking steps; it is actually quite funny, you could see the look of apprehension on his face when he would think about doing it. Before I left for Seattle, Paul and I were jokingly serious that Graham would start walking while I was away that week. Every day I talked to them, still no walking. When they picked me up from the airport I think that was the second question out of my mouth. Paul said while he was getting dressed to come get me, Graham took off 2 times across our bedroom! I think Graham missed me so much he wanted to have a real big surprise for me!!!

I hope to, soon, get a video clip uploaded so you can all see it. I don't have any pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2007

ChelanMan Pictures

Transition area, before race.


Pump it up! Alison on the left, Pam on the right

Leaving transition area

Stop and smell the flowers!

Alas, we all finish

Do we look tired? I think happy and hungry.
Mmmmm Pizza

ChelanMan Try-a-Tri

Well I did it. I completed my very first Sprint Triathlon, in the beautiful mountains of Washington State. It was a wonderful journey both mentally and physically. I owe it all to Pam and Alison. Pam talked me into flying up there and doing it with her; Alison trained with me and bonus, she was able to go and race as well!
From the beginning I had such mixed feelings: excitement, that I was committing to a big goal (for me at least); timidness, how do I think I can do this in a few months time; fear, I'm not an athlete, what will people say? Finally, DETERMINATION! I may not be a lot of things, but do not get or be in my way when my determination kicks in. So, began the training...
Running: I am horrible at it, plus a bum foot.
I worked through it.
Swimming: I can swim, oh wait - to the end of the pool and back?
Swam hard, took a conditioning class, love it
Biking: I have always loved that, but on my cruiser bike?
Did it!!! Fell even more in love with it.

Time came to fly to Seattle, no time to think about the race. I have to prepare my husband and the boys for being away six days. HA HA!!! Menus, diapers, food, instructions, phone numbers, babysitters, this is here and that is there...whew!

July 19th I land in Seattle, 10:30pm
July 20th Pam and I head toward Lake Chelan, taking our time and shopping along the way. Naturally. 6pm, we arrive in Chelan and register. Wow, this is actually happening. It is breath taking, the lake and the mountains. We dip our feet in the water...CHILLY! It is the coldest lake in Washington. We head to the Riverwalk in to check in. We eat dinner, then back to the room to get all of our stuff together for the morning. Oh, and catch up with Alison and Richard.
July 21st RACE DAY!!! 4:30am Someone is trying to open our door. I get up to see who is there. Drunk guy trying to open our door, obviously not knowing where his room is. We tell him to go away, he won't. ERG! We call 911, they ask us what room we are in. The Brig. The Brig? Yes, The Brig, this is not a joke. As I am holding the door I am thinking, he is drunk, he's not overly huge, I can take him if I have to! Minutes later the cops are there taking care of him. SERIOUSLY, did that just happen right before my first big race? Yes, it did. Finally we get back to sleep to only up on 2 hours later. I get dressed, definitely feeling nervous/anxious excitement. I meet Alison and Richard for breakfast. I pick at some food and have some coffee. It is kind of like right before I have given birth - I know I need to eat, but just too anxious to force anything down.
We are loaded up and head to the race site, unpack our gear and find a good transition spot. Oh, so nervous! We head down to the water where they are giving instructions. Alison and Richard, Pam and I, and Ken and Carolyn (Paul's parents) are all there together. Chatting and laughing really helped with the nerves. Well, it is finally our turn to get in the water. YIKES, it is so chilly - bearable after you have warmed up to it. My heart is pounding, I'm doing my usual pump up to get Alison and Pam pumped with me. GO!
I am actually swimming, the first leg of my race. The water is beautiful, I can see the bottom. The stupid lady next to me won't quite flailing, I need to get by. Gulp! That was a nice mouthful of water. I am almost to the last bouy, I can not believe I have made it this far. Put your feet down girl, get out! Now I trek back to transition. Shoes, helmet, gloves, snack, check. Shove in a banana muffin and MOVE!
I am riding, warm up those legs and move! I am almost in tears that I am actually doing it and not doing too bad! It is beautiful, how can you not sing. For the beauty of the earth, Praise God, Indescribable! I got a few Amen's, and probably alot more stares. I don't care. They do not know how far I have come from, when I first began. WOW, the ride is over. Quick, put your number on, grab a few fruit chews. Pick those feet up.
I am running...ok maybe alot of fast walking too. My legs are stiff, but from bricks I remember it takes a while to warm them back up. Keep going, you are doing! Run some, walk some, etc. I dread running, and I desperately want to be better (next race). I round the corner back into the race area, only around the parking lot left. There is Alison, already finished, but waiting to run in with me. "Come on" she says, "faster, I know you can do it. There is the finish line!" OH MY GOSH! I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE!!! Tears, lots of joyful tears.

Total Time: 1hr 52min

Can you believe I did it? I can, and can't! I CAN now call myself an athlete. I ROCK!

Thank you to everyone for your encouraging words and prayers. This was a big goal for me and I am so glad that I accomplished it.

My next race is December 2nd in Allen, TX.
My new blog for training and blurbs