Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This moment in time is lovely

Last night I was thinking, again, about how sweet life is right here right now. These little girls are so fun to have around, they are such goofy little characters each in her own way. The Bunny is reading up a storm now, she's into Garfield and hula hoop and double dutch. She still believes in Santa Claus although I think she's beginning to suspect it's not quite the guy in red that she's been imagining. She still isn't consistently interested in keeping her hair brushed or her body washed but I'm sure that the days of having to force her out of the shower are right around the corner.
The little Raccoon has gotten along for a long time on very few words though she clearly understands everything but now the words are beginning to pour out, seemingly unnoticed by her. She is such a cute little elf of a kid, always smiling, always ready to dance.
Anyway, thinking back to what was happening in our life 10 years ago it's quite a contrast. Dh and I were still hanging out with D in Bluff at the end of our long camping trip in Toady. We had Thurber and the VW but we hadn't yet moved to Mexico and the idea of having kids or how many or who they'd be hadn't really made it to the forefront of our minds. And imagining a life on one of the northwesternmost islands in the lower 48 would have seemed a totally random stretch. But here we are. And it's lovely.

So what will the next 10 years bring?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Eve Morning

She certainly looks serious! Hopefully she's having more fun being Elphaba than she did becoming Elphaba!

Off to Shiz she goes.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Checking in

Well, I guess it's been long enough since I've checked in, huh? It's been busy, I might have mentioned that!
Right now I've got a moment to spare because the girls are both crashed out for a nap. Not so unusual but poor Bunny, this is the second Saturday in a row that she had scheduled and canceled her 8th birthday party. Last week she and I and then Nick came down with a stomach bug on Friday which had us out of commission. Then yesterday she came out of school looking wan and pale and tired and proceeded to develop a fever that we couldn't ignore. Right now the big media buzz is all about the Swine Flu, H1N1 and it looks like that's what she's got. Her fever peaked earlier today at 104.4 and I had to put her in a tepid tub to take it down. Happily that worked beautifully and it went all the way down to the 100s. It felt like it was creeping up again while she napped so I'll be keeping an eye on it. So far nobody else feels bad, Nick is in St. Louis, and I've got my fingers crossed that little Raccoon stays healthy. It's kind of spooky being the only adult.

What else is going on? Well, I've been doing really well with my new workout schedule and I'm seeing results. I stopped the diet after about 2 weeks because I wasn't feeling good at all on it this time around. I'm not sure what was going wrong but I just had zero energy. But the weight training really feels like it's kicking in and I'm feeling good. I'm also taking part in a trial of a program which combines aromatherapy and hypnosis. I think it's a fascinating idea and, like the woman who has created it, I can't believe nobody put it together before. Anyway I'm starting out with the weight release program but I also have the fitness one (if anyone's interested). I feel like a bit of a poser, I'm not nearly as overweight or underfit as the rest of the women in the trial but I figure that it can't hurt to bolster my own willpower anyway.

Nick and I got the woodstove ordered and installed. So far we've only had a couple fires which burned off the nasty smelling coating on the thing and we need to get a real stash of firewood in. As usual it causes dh real pain to think of paying for something that could conceivably be gotten for free so I haven't ordered up any cords of wood. At least for now, while it's still pretty warm and the little room heaters are perfectly sufficient to cut through the chill.

Other house projects that have moved to the top of the priority list are rat-proofing the house. Last week I found a rat sitting on the counter in the kitchen. It was a horrible thing to see and gives me the willies just thinking about it. We also need to get a new post out for our mailbox which someone thoughtfully crashed into with their car about a month ago. And, though it will be sad for Xoche, I think we've got to close off the area under the deck. The chickens have taken over the space under there and I'm afraid that they'll lay eggs there. they may have started already. I will go under and look but with the rain and sick kids I just haven't had the chance to squirm in and see. But since the rat-proofing will have to happen under there too it's on the horizon. Fun fun, hm?

There is big fun on the horizon though. We've decided (and booked the flights) to go to San Miguel for January and February! I'm pretty psyched. I feel ready for a little Mexican time and I can't wait to catch up with my friends and see a brand new baby too. I keep finding myself daydreaming about eating at Torta Mundo, swimming at Taboada and weirdly, running on the track. That last I didn't expect to be sentimental about, but I guess in some ways that is where a whole new important part of my life began. In any case, I'm really looking forward to it. We'll stop in San Diego on our way down and spend Christmas with Mom, we're only there for a week which I'm sure will be just enough. It sounds like she's actually making some new friends and connections so I'm hopeful that our stay will be more pleasant than painful.

In the meantime we'll keep working on getting and staying healthy, the kids LOVE their dance classes, I love my TKD, Nick's been hitting the gym and is looking good, the pets seem more or less satisfied, the chickens are still freeloading. All is well.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's (almost) All Good

Busy. Busy busy busy. In a good way. But still, a lot to remember.

This week I begin my joblet as a swimming instructor. That's Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:45-as soon after 4:30 as I can get dry and dressed. On Monday and Wed I also have a new and improved hour and a half of TKD from 6:00-7:30. That is pushing the limits but I honestly do want to get that black belt so I'm in. The Bunny has soccer practice on Wednesdays too, so yes, that day is particularly heavily booked. And she's also thinking about a dance class on Mondays. As is the Raccoon on Tuesdays. Do we sound completely Americanized yet? All I know is that I'll be getting a lot of use out of that crockpot this fall. That and casseroles, most of which will look a lot like crustless quiches I suspect.

Dh and I started doing Atkins on September 1. He's going for a big loss, I'm going for about 18-20 lbs. Not really that much, I just want to skim off the pudge. If I'm done having babies I might as well get to a weight that makes me feel good sooner rather than later. I know I can do it too but I've already fallen off the Atkins wagon.

Whatever the reason, this time around it's making me feel like total crap. I'm guessing it's related to the cardio workouts I'm trying to continue. Or maybe it's hormones or maybe it's lack of discipline or maybe something more sinister Big Alison suspects being related to Wendy's failure to thrive. I don't know. But if I haven't already given up on it this minute, I'm pretty close. 12 days of fatigue and wooziness and not a single pound shed and I'm already bored to death of meat and salad and cheese. So, anyway, this isn't meant to be a diet blog, I'm not nearly a good enough writer to make that interesting even to myself, let alone my imaginary friends reading along. But I'll update if I think of it or if anything notable comes of it.

In the meantime it's back to good old Body-for-Life for me! Heigh ho, heigh ho... Now that I'm an employee of the fitness club and get to use the facility I'm going to make the most of the next 12 weeks (and beyond I hope but I work best with a deadline, don't we all?). So, children's health willing I'll hop in the pool for a little refresher course on how to swim tomorrow and then Tuesday I kick off my weight training. I'm really pumped to get back to a quiet set of dumbells and something I can count through on my headphones. I'm sure I'll be appallingly weak, last Wednesday at TKD I could hardly complete a single push-up (I blame Atkins) but that leaves lots of room to improve right?

So, that's the fitness end. Socially I'm feeling flush with new friendly acquaintances and even feel fairly secure about some new real friends, you know the kind, the kind that really last. It's pretty exciting. Facebook updates and the Dingos have kept me feeling pretty well connected for the past year of settling in but suddenly I've got my own social calendar too! Actual nights out and get togethers with other women my own age! It's very different here too. In Mexico we pretty much did all our socializing as a couple except for the odd cup of coffee or lap around the track. But generally speaking if I had a thing to go to Dh was expected too and vice versa. Not so here! Now and then we'll go out together to dinner with friends or have a couple over here, but more often than not it's all women or all men. And in this I've got the busier schedule than dh. Whatever the cause I've fallen in with a couple different circles of moms that keep regular meetings and so in the last few weeks I've had the pleasure of dinner and movie one night, drinks and movie another and a goofy sweet game night last night during which one member came out to the rest (even me who she'd never met before but I guess supposed I'd been cleared) as well as the odd run now and then with my RP and others with a group of women who go twice a week. So that is good.

The only thing I worry about is Dh's social calendar. Since we aren't included much in one another's social engagements it's hard to gauge how he's doing. I'd love him to have the same sense of being drawn in to the community but I worry that it's not happening. But maybe these things all go in cycles. I remember evenings in SMA spent watching chick flicks with the Bunny while dh was out playing poker with guys, an activity I never had a equivalent to there. And I guess he's a big boy and can decide how much or how little he wants to involve himself in, but still, I do worry.

And the kids, they're just fine. The Bunny has had a happy start to the school year, loves her new teacher, likes soccer, has lots of events on her soical calendar too. We went to Seattle to see Wicked last weekend (that was a thrill for me to watch her watching it) and this weekend she had her first ever soccer game at which she played hard and gamely. Then she had a sleep over and another is on the schedule for next weekend.... and on it goes. Right now she is awake however and coughing on the couch. I guess her school has already seen quite a dip in attendance and apparently her class was down by 4 by the end of last week. So it may be something to be concerned about, or it may be Sunday Night Flu. Time will tell. At least there is little on tomorrow's schedule that can't be ignored, it's one of the last days like that for a while so I hope this cough turns out to be nothing much.

And now I hear the other one protesting over the monitor. After missing her nap today she was out by 7:30 tonight but that's awfully early so I expect that this night will feel pretty long by the ed of it. And on that note.

The End

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Beautiful Day

So starts another beautiful day here in this new life which is so completely comfortable. I was walked out to the chicken yard by the two cats who were playing together all the way and the two geese who were trying to get a little of the chicken bucket action. The chickens flooded gratefully out of their coop and did some low stunt flying around their yard, I guess they are still only adolescent birds after all! The sun is just appearing over the trees, there's a soft breeze, the goldfinches are making a ruckus in the thistle and the girls are still sound asleep. Bliss, in other words.

We were off-island this weekend to see our old SMA buddies L and A and their sweet little boys. It couldn't have been a more American style backyard barbeque and although everyone seemed at ease it was still a little weird to see these guys out of Mexico. It was like their auras were flashing morse code about needing to get back to Mexico or something. Not that I can see auras but you know, you could just tell.
We also did some poking around at kitchen stores to get some ideas for countertops and layouts. We did come out of it inspired and with a fresh bead of energy to get to work on the place. We also bought some fancy dishwasher drawers to use but canceled the order when we got home and read some reviews about repair rates and quality. It was a sexy moment though, the thought of those fancy-pants appliances. In any event, we've got an almost complete floor plan for the space now that feels really good and functional so it was all worth it.

The girls are doing great. The Bunny is so excited about getting back to school. We bought her the typical batch of pencils, erasers, folders emblazoned with Miley Cyrus etc. and she spent a couple hours arranging and rearranging her pencil box and backpack. She has been assigned to the teacher she most wanted and drew this adorable picture for her, telling her how she'd been praying to be in her class. The spelling is heart-stoppingly atrocious but it's cute and I figure it gives the teacher a good heads up on where to start.
I had some parental pangs of knee-jerk "Hey! What's my brilliant kid doing in that class??" when I saw that hers is the split 1st/2nd classroom. Seeing as she's already done first grade twice but last year's teacher assured us she was head and shoulders above most of the class in reading and writing and basically everything but math it struck me as worrisome that she'd be back in a classroom, again, with kids that may not know how to write all their letters yet. And since she's one of (if not the) oldest kids in her year it also seems like an odd decision to put her in a room with kids who may be as much as 2 full years younger. So I will contact the teacher and ask these questions, but the Bunny is so over the moon happy about this teacher I'm not inclined to make a real stink unless the teacher says "Oh I have the class for cut-ups and dopes and she'll fit right in/she's there to be an example."

The Raccoon meanwhile is in preschool a couple mornings a week and LOVING it. Her best mornings are those when I ask her if she wants to go see Miss Summer. And this weekend she started using her potty! I honestly can hardly believe it though I hope my incredulity isn't showing. She just seems so young to be there. But she went to school in undies yesterday and did very well apparently until after lunch (not too surprising). We just bought another mega pack of dipes of course but I'll happily donate them to the Family Resource Center if she sticks with it. And her birthday is coming up. She does love her buddies at school so this year I don't think I can shrug off a real party. The Bunny has been buzzing around with her clipboard for weeks asking me if we should go with chocolate or vanilla, kitten theme or puppies, in the house or outside, with the water slide or no. I am a little hesitant to invite other toddlers over to our so-not-childproof home but it does feel like a bit of a failure to do this at a local park. So, TBD.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Post Marathon Void

Did I really finish a marathon? Can I even claim to have run it seeing as I had to walk so many stretches of it? That was it? If I could do it, anyone could, nothing special. I guess it's a familiar sense of let-down to anyone who has been preparing and waiting for something exciting to happen after the event is over and unfocused life resumes.
It reminds me of childbirth, you focus for 9 months on this moment that you suspect may be to most difficult ordeal of your life, physically, emotionally. Then it happens and in the moment you're there, living it, getting through it. Maybe it doesn't go as you had hoped but there is little hope of fixing it in the moment, you just have to adjust to endure it. And then suddenly it's over and you're on the other side. You're a new person or at least you're told that you are. But life keeps on rolling. Maybe you get a day off, the rest of the day anyway, maybe the day after. But then, before you've had time to reflect on what just happened, there are things to do, new responsibilities to accept and you're off. And all that preparation seems like it was a lifetime ago, did you really even do it?

So now what? Well, I've got a list of course. During all those many hours of plodding around the roads I had many ideas come and go about what next. Let's see

  • Get certified as a lifeguard and help out at the pool
  • Focus on Taekwondo
  • Meal planning
  • Take the Bunny to see Wicked for a girls' weekend in Seattle
  • Watch every soccer game
  • Pick as many blackberries as humanly possible
  • Learn how to can food
  • Pick all the peaches and plums before the critters do
  • Help the Raccoon get out of dipes
  • Spend more time on the boat
  • Go camping with the kids
  • Do more bike riding with the Bunny
  • Ride my own bike w/the trailer more
  • Focus on strength and toning losing about 20 pounds in the process
  • Volunteer at school
  • Take the EMT training course
  • Finish the freakin' house!
That last one needs it's own special list. My Dad has been here for a little over two weeks and in tat time he has been busy improving our comfort levels significantly. He's built nesting boxes for the chickens, a treehouse and a seesaw for Chiara, he's built me a cabinet for my fancy wall ovens and helped us finish the last bit of the deck which had been untouched since last summer. He hung towel racks that had been in boxes since last fall and installed netting over the chickens to dissuade the eagles. All of these projects had been languishing hopelessly and now they're done! Now, can Dh and I keep the momentum going? We don't have much a of a track record. Before we had the kids we could grind out some real projects and did, but that was a long time ago now and our rhythm is way off.
But here's a list, just to help me focus;
  • Design and build posts/bookshelves for the living room
  • Sand and refinish the basketball court floor
  • Install the floor
  • Finalize the layout for the kitchen
  • Build the counterspace needed
  • Install the cooktop
  • Find a better kitchen sink and reinstall with sound plumbing
  • Rip out drywall ceiling in kitchen, rewire as needed and install tongue and groove/beadboard
  • Choose, order and install trim on indoor doors and windows
  • Choose order and install trim for exterior doors and windows
  • Paint exterior
  • Rebuild missing gable on front of house?
  • Build raised garden beds, in back for herbs and lettuce, in front for everything else.
  • Build garage/barn
  • Finish getting mega trash pile to dump
  • Get rid of the Pinto
  • Find appropriate hardwood for stairs and install
  • Install railing on stairs
  • Recarpet upstairs
  • Rip out crap tub and toilet from girls' bathroom and install decent shower.
  • Build a dock for the pond
  • Make decent paths to the front and back doors
  • Build walls for pantry and broom closet
  • Reconfigure laundry area to make space for folding clothes
  • Find and install woodstove before we need it
  • Figure out a convenient place to store the wood for it
  • Build the half post/bookshelves for both entrances
  • Get the Raccoon's bedroom ready for her to use
  • Paint fun kid stuff on the walls of the playroom
  • Make the downstairs guestroom into something functional
  • Install pedestal sink in ds bath
  • Finish pocket door
  • Install doors on interior doorways
I'm sure there is more.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marathon Story

Thank you all for all that awesome support y'all were sending out on Sunday!!! I felt every drop of that was coming our way and it made all the difference. Seriously, that run was hard. HARD. Really super unexpectedly beyond my wildest dreams hard. I mean, after my 21.3 miler training run that was so easy I seriously felt totally confident and like the marathon would be exhausting but basically totally doable and pure fun. But, in the real live moment my IT bands started locking down on me, first one side then the other at mile 6. Six! 20 miles to go. Twenty. Twenty miles.

I was thinking, "Really? Now? Here? On the Golden Gate Bridge? The part of the run that I was most looking forward to and my knees are locking up here and being all distracting and sinister?? Honestly?"

And my knees were like, "Yeah sure, why not party girl?"

And I thought, "But, this is my marathon! My marathon with my dingos and I've been training forever for this day, today and I want it to feel easy like I planned for and trained for!"

And my knees were like, "Yeah well whatever, this is how it is, suck it sister."

So I sucked it. First I had to stop even pretending that I cold run downhill at all, let alone like Jo who ran down hills like she was a stream on her way to her ocean debut. Then I had to admit that walking a minute at each mile marker wasn't going to be enough walking and that the sooner I started walking enough to feel like running the better my chances were of finishing in time. And so I walked a lot and limped a lot and stopped and stretched a lot. And it was cool. I walked backwards down the hills. I stopped at the bacon station. I ate a gu that had been dropped on the ground. I nearly cried when I found out the medics had biofreeze I could use. I talked to people who needed encouragement and thanked people for encouraging me. I smiled the whole way. I finished and I even pulled off a real live sprint to the finish wherein I passed a bunch of people and felt really good and like I won and I just barely kept myself from bursting into happy wiped out exhausted tears as I bent forward while a volunteer placed that medal around my neck.

And you know what? Right alongside the feelings of pain and denial and fear that it wasn't happening the way I wanted it to I was exactly to the same degree totally thrilled, exhilarated and overjoyed that I was there, running my marathon with all these other incredibly dedicated people, many of whom were sucking it as hard or harder than I was, all together winding through my hands down favorite city in the world for twenty six point two miles. It was awesome, fantastic, overwhelming and humbling and sweet. I giggled a lot at the absurd and fabulousness of being both sides of the coin at once and being fully aware of that. It was the cleanest experience of the yin yang I've ever had. Like, now I get that, I get the whole yin yang thing. I kind of got it before but during the race it was like I was running in a hamster wheel of yin yang and the black and the white just blurred together so there was no separation, it was just all complete.

And, despite the stupid pain I was experiencing there was one thing that rocked out completely. I am a hill climbing machine! Oh yes. I did not feel one iota of extra exertion on any of the up hills, I felt like everyone else in the race had been slowed down to half speed and I was the only one who still got to go at a normal speed, or even faster. Even when my legs were so sore it was like the pain was magically erased for going uphill. That was sweet, I just wish the whole race had been uphill!

Okay, the wide world of housework can wait no longer. And I haven't even gone on and on about how much I loved hanging with the dingos. It was the best time I've had since I can't remember. So many moments fighting to keep food from flying through my nose, such sore abs. Such good times.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More recent pictures

I hardly have time to type 100 words let alone 1000 so here goes:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My birthday present!


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy times

Last night while I was washing dishes we pumped up the volume on the Bunny's Hannah Montana channel and the girls danced around the kitchen. Then we all danced together to the new pop version of Kiss the Girl. It was just one of those moments that was such pure joy, everyone singing, giggling, the Bunny twirling around me and Ali G just throwing her head back,bouncing on my hip, a huge smile on her face. It was the kind of thing you see in some schmaltzy family movie but it was real, in my life, and it was awesome.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Joy of Running

You know, despite the fact that I've been blissing out on runs for the better part of a year now I still can't quite believe how much I enjoy it. It's such a simple thing to do really, just put on running shoes and go, so why does it feel so complicated when it isn't happening?

This week's log run was 17 miles. That sounded like a lot a lot before I went and I was kind of nervous about it even though last week's 15 miles went smooth as silk (until afterward but that wasn't really running related). Anyway, this week dh is out of town so I had our babysitter over and got a later start than usual, 8:30 instead of 6:30. It turned out to be a perfectly comfortable time to go. In fact, having the sun just a bit higher in the sky made me less concerned about getting clipped by a car since it was past the blinding time. And although it was the sunniest most beautiful day imaginable it wasn't too hot at all with the cool breeze coming in off the Strait. My route took me through the wide open farm valley in the middle of the island down to False Bay and then through some forested bits and back to town. In fact, the island is beginning to seem a little small. My relationship with this place has deepened with all the time I've now spent covering it on foot. There are few roads that I haven't run at least portions of and I've pretty well covered the eastern side of the island now. I'm planning on hitting the west side soon but it is quite a bit hillier so I'm still a little unsure how to approach it. The distances are longer and the hills bigger but I guess I'm almost ready to go for it, I mean 17 miles wasn't really hard, it just took a while.

While I'm out running I am sure that I will not stop after the marathon, it feels too good. But I do worry that it will be somehow harder to justify the time away from family if there is no big deadline out on the horizon. I guess we'll see. I'd like to start running on trails. I haven't done much but the idea of running through shady forest with pine needles cushioning the way sounds about like heaven, doesn't it?

We just had our friend Joan from Mexico come and visit. She is such a great person. She's 75 and full of energy and joy. Really brimming. She is so active and so interested she's just totally inspiring. While she was here she took my bike out a few times and each time she returned with a big old smile. She was great with the kids and helped out enormously. I feel we are so blessed to have her in our lives, I love that she shows the girls an alternative style to that of their blood grandmothers who love them but somehow seem to have failed on joyfulness.

Meanwhile, the Bunny has learned to ride her bike from start to stop all on her own. It is a joy to see her zipping around and especially to see her enthusiasm for it overriding the usual drama that accompanies any bruise or scrape. Her elbows and knees took a beating but she for once didn't mind at all, as long as she could keep riding! She's also shown herself to be an able businesswoman, she's raked in about $45 at her lemonade stand over the course of only maybe 4 hours altogether. Yesterday she rewarded her efforts with a stuffed animal she's wanted for a long time but she says she'd also like to put some money in the bank too. WHat a girl!

Ali G is continuing to be as happy and curious and adorable as ever. We have been to the beach a couple times this weekend and it's been lovely to see her getting used to the sand between her toes and the sharp coolness of the waves splashing her little legs. And now, speak of the devil, I hear her awake on the monitor so this will have to suffice for May!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Channeling Thurber

Thurber was our old dalmatian and he loved to run. Recently I've felt very much like I'm channeling his spirit on my runs. Some days my runs have been just perfectly idyllic. It is so beautiful here on this island that it's hard to believe. Last week I went through this gorgeous valley with emerald green meadows dotted with alpaca, llamas, sheep and goats. Overhead there was a pair of bald eagles that appeared to be teaching a juvenile to soar. The sun shone (as it so often does here contrary to popular belief) and the yellow green buds on the trees were just vibrating with life and energy. If the animals had started talking to me as I slowly passed them I would have hardly been surprised.
Today I met up with my running partner for an 8 mile loop. Her marathon is next Sunday up in Vancouver and so she's tapering down the intensity to rest up. I had 12 miles on my schedule but yesterday we did a long (for out of practice types like me) bike ride on the next island over and so I had kind of thought I'd be too weary to do more than the 8 with RP. But, at the 7 mile mark I realized that although I could feel some soreness in my muscles it wasn't really that bad and that if I shirked off my last 4 miles I'd feel worse than if I ran it and bonked. So I peeled off of our planned loop and headed the long way home. It was harder almost immediately, running alone is vastly more difficult than running and chatting with a friend. But I felt proud of myself for continuing and it was another perfect glorious crisp sunny day which made it happier too. I finally lost all my steam at 11.5 miles but since I was back in my own neighborhood it didn't seem like failure. I know I need to pay more attention to better pre-run nutrition. Today's run was fueled with a handful of cheerios and yogurt, a couple cups of coffee, a couple cookies and a powerbar. Not enough for an afternoon run. And I still have 12 weeks before the SFM which right at this weary moment sounds like plenty of time to figure it all out.

Here are some of my favorite people.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

So, the Bunny's mood is HIGHLY sensitive to her food intake and when she gets hungry she insists that she's not hungry and doesn't want to eat so pretty much every morning I have to stand over her and nag her until she's eaten enough. Miraculously, after about 10 bites, her mood lifts and we can all go on with our day. But it's a battle every day and I'm sick of it. So this morning after she didn't finish her 1/4 cup of cereal in time to get the bus I told her that the consequence was no video for the weekend. Harsh huh? Yeah, I felt bad too but something's gotta give. So after that I told her that I really just want her to eat and I am sick of forcing her to eat stuff she obviously isn't into so today she can make up a list of foods, any healthy foods that she will eat and I'll make it, pinky promise. So the first request? Sushi. Should have seen that coming a mile away.

Friday, March 27, 2009


My little shadow lining up for a trophy too.

See the rainbow?

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March Madness

Nope. That has nothing to do with basketball. I just can't believe that it's already almost April and I have nothing here to show for it.
But it's been a busy month on other fronts.

I won my very first trophy at my very first Taekwondo tournament. I am, at heart, a very competitive person. I've known about this for a long time but I've never really found the right arena for that side of me. As a kid I loved to win but I didn't want to compete unless I was sure to win and so I didn't really compete in anything. Well, I was on the "diving team" but that was really all about having a great time early in the morning with my best friends, not so much about excelling at sport. All these years I held back my best efforts for fear that if I did my best and still lost I'd what? Implode? Evaporate? Disappear somehow I guess. Anyway, I can see now that I never truly did my best, I always always held back from going full tilt. So now I'm into Taekwondo. I'm still a beginner and I have a long way to go but I want to get that black belt. I want to be able to do all those crazy jumping spinning kicks. I want to be a total bad ass. And it's no secret either. So, this trophy felt good to get, I really wanted it, I practiced, I did my best, I won something. Sweet!

Also this month my Dad came out to help us move things along. He may have had ulterior motives for getting out of town for a bit but he also has a clear sense of how slowly projects happen around here without a firm deadline. So he and dh fixed our staircase. It had been to narrow, too steep and butt ugly. Now it is wider, shallower and on its way to being lovely. I was not involved. It was quickly obvious that three builders was one too many and someone still needed to keep the baby out of the way. That was fine but for one detail. Somewhere along the way the decision was made to build the upper half and landing out of plywood. Sturdy and code abiding but too ugly for prime time and that means carpeting. Now, I was in favor of carpeting that section but it never in a million years would have occurred to me that anyone would build halfway up with nice attractive hardwood and only halfway up. It's like something we'd do in the theater, but not something you do in real life. And it also means that the carpeting has to be wall to wall, I don't know how desperately I wanted a runner but that option is out now. And my thought that we could just live with the plywood for a while and then later reconsider is out too since every unseen surface of the new steps is covered in liquid nails.
So that carpeting? It's going to be nice.

What else? We've got our TV room to a livable limbo. It's done but we were too hasty when we picked the paint colors, reassured each other too readily that we an always paint over it if we don't like it. Well guess what? We don't like it. Oh well, there are certainly worse problems to have in a rehab right? And we're having fun with the new WiiFit even if we don't like the wall color. I've even had a couple of reasonably okay runs on the hamster wheel while watching movies. That does help the time go by!

And as for running, it hasn't been the best month. I had a mysterious acute pain in one knee that took me out of training for a few runs, then I've been sick for something more than a week which has dampened my enthusiasm. I actually feel fine when I'm running, it's just afterward when I suddenly feel like death warmed over. But, I think I'm close enough to the end that I'm planning just under 12 miles tomorrow with my running partner. I love my running partner. She is training for her first marathon too and we're are a great match for pace and temperment. Our long runs generally feel more like girls morning out than long runs. I'm just sorry that her race is coming up so much sooner than mine and I'll lose her just when my training runs start to get truly long and anxiety producing. Oh well, I'll take what I can get. Maybe in the course of things I'll meet someone else who will be running long into the summer too.

And, lest I sound not like a mom at all, let me just take a moment to bask in how much I love my little girls. The little raccoon is so freaking cute I can't even believe it. She buzzes around the house saying "Thank you" to us all. She talks in a babble nonstop but here and there she'll throw in recognizable words, "clock" "pie" "yes" "no" "yes please" "Yay!" "papa" and lots of others that I can't remember of course. I keep trying to save these sweet moments with her in my memory because I know from the Bunny how fleeting it all is. The way she wiggles delightedly when we snuggle down together for a nap, the way she cheers for every suggestion, the way she smiles, the way she runs, the way she laughs at herself to when we call her out on giving one of us the stink eye. The way she can't maintain any sort of bad mood or crying fit for long. The way she is so content to hang out with dh (so different than her sister who is only recently being cool about this). I love how she looks up to the Bunny and just loves to do anything with her at all. I love the way her little feet sound as she cruises around the house, how she's always up for putting on her coat and going out, how she smiles and waves to cars going by and people that we see in town, and how on the ferry she adores the driving game and makes a beeline for it every time.

As for the Bunny, we just got another great report from her teacher about how sweet, kind, polite and smart she is. After having spent quite a lot of time in the classroom with her this year I am reassured that our decision to keep her in first grade this year was the right thing to do. She is head and shoulders above the kids who only turned 6 in the summer academically and socially. It is just a pleasure to see her feeling so confident and assured. I do sometimes forget that she is still really a little kid. She still believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. I think she's beginning to figure out that that belief is an act of faith but she's still more than half on the side of simply believing. She and her babysitter recently made a fairy house out under one of our trees and it is just a lovely thing to see her imagination at play. And I am constantly impressed and proud to see how polite and well behaved she is. This week I had to take both girls to TKD and, as they had been in the past too, they were so crazily good. They sat together on the blanket we'd brought, they stayed away from the mats, didn't make too much noise, didn't draw attention to themselves, just played and talked together quietly or watched the class. I know I wasn't the only one who kept looking over hardly believing how good they were being. And almost every time we have one of her friends over I'm astonished at how bold kids can be. And these are nice kids, I know they come much more difficult too. How I got to be so lucky to have them both for my own is a mystery but one I'm very very grateful for.

So there's my month worth of thoughts in one post. Next month we're hosting my cousin's younger son while his brother is going to my brother's. I'm looking forward to having him here. He's always been another incredibly nice well-behaved kid and it will be fun just having a boy around for a bit. So there's that to look forward to and lots more running, repainting, maybe chickens? We'll see.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What marathon training means

As far as blogging goes marathon training means no new posts! Yes, I had hoped to get a post in for every run, making this my training journal of sorts but the real fact of trying to fit in ginormous amounts of running around having a family and all that entails is that I'm basically confined to Facebook status updates and brief check-ins with the dingos. I've got half a dozen outstanding emails I should respond to but haven't and it pretty much goes without saying that my time would be better spent vacuuming. In fact, if I could just never stop vacuuming I might start to make a dent in the debris field that is my house.

The other thing about all that running is that while I'm actually outside doing it I have all sorts of fascinating things cross my mind that seem to me to be ideal blog fodder and I get all excited thinking about how scintillating my blog will be for my reader. And then I get home and find that my absence, though graciously permitted by my better half, has been noticed and there's no way in Hell I am going to sit down for a quiet regurgitation of my thoughts. Hitting the ground running on returning home is par for the course, it's catch-up time every time and slacking will not be tolerated. Let's just say that I often wind up at the end of the day, salt still clinging to my stinky skin and choose sleep over a shower anyway. Whatever, I don't think I smell that bad.

I also have a bunch of pictures that I want to add to my blog but haven't yet had the time to deal with. One is a picture of our crocuses that came up last month, one is a rainbow over the pond, one is our new boat in the snow. I also have some really cute pictures of my incredibly cute girls who both seem determined to keep getting bigger every day.

But, even as I type I've got a tiny person with a stinky diaper waiting for a change, a nip and a nap and in 10 more minutes when the markets close I'm expected in the TV room with my plaster bucket. so, those pictures and thoughts will have to wait.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Joy List

Things that bring me joy:

  • Having a husband who is totally cool with me training for this marathon and who never gets on my case about housework.
  • Watching my little one nurse herself to sleep.
  • Running and feeling like it does in a dream, all free and loose and fast.
  • The absolute gorgeousness of my surroundings.
  • The dingos.
  • Friendly chitchat with the checkout lady.
  • Seeing my daughter developing her own style.
  • Feeling my cat snuggle down on my legs in bed at night.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Wendy

She would have been three years old today. Three! It doesn't sound like very long somehow. So much has changed though. Here I am looking out the window in front of my desk at a meadow, fir trees along the edge of it. A bald eagle could go by any time, the dog is out hunting, the sun is watery and northern. Three years ago it was hot, sunny, crowded. It is Dia de Candelaria in Mexico today, here it is Groundhog Day, I don't know if it saw its shadow or not.
And here we are, a family of four? Or are we five? I still haven't come to a conclusion about how many children I have. Some days it feels like three. Some days it feels like two, but never without a dose of guilt for leaving one out. But whichever, we are a family, we are together. Three years ago that was hardly a forgone conclusion and so I'm grateful to Wendy. She woke us up, gave us each a good long shake, a smack in the face and pointed us back in the right direction. So thank you Wendy, beautiful little daughter. I wish I could hold you again. One day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bunny's Room before and after

As appropriate as a bunch of carrots might seem for bunny's bedroom, my Bunny wanted pink.

And so I gave her pink. And she likes it! One of these days we'll have to change out that ugly old rug, but it might be a while.

Other than that I've been running, even if I haven't remembered to log my miles here. Yesterday I did 7.5 with my new running partner and friend K who is training for her first marathon as well. Hers is in the beginning of May so I have quite a bit more time to train than she does. However, her plan only has her do 18 miles as her longest run before the race. In a perfect world I'd like to do the whole 26.2 beforehand, just so I know I can do it. So I may tag along on her training plan and then continue to add miles up to taper time in July. It was a sweet feeling to find that 7.5 was nice and easy, if slow. So I'll have to take a good look at some training plans and the calendar and see how to fit it all together.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Checking in

2 miles run today
5.2 run yesterday.

Yes, the tenths and hundredths count too.

Dh and the Bunny are still in Mexico. They'll be there for 3.5 weeks. 2 weeks to go. It feels like they've been gone for longer. The little Raccoon and I are doing pretty well on our own. We're staying up later and sleeping in later than usual. We're also watching more movies and the whole second season of 30 Rock. I'm loving it, the Raccoon loves Tracy Jordan but I don't think she's getting all the references. That's okay, she is only 16 months old after all. I'm beginning to wonder if she'll skip the Princesses since she's already showing a strong preference for rocking out to Hannah Montana. We'll see, I'll keep my fingers crossed. No, it would be okay if she wants to embrace Princessy shit. I can handle it. It's just a little depressing. And we did that once.

Other than hanging with little Raccoon I'm trying to get a few small jobs off the to-do list. Today I got the license plates for the Jeep (finally), licensed the dog (finally), got the Bunny signed up for swimming lessons, missed lessons for the Raccoon by 1 (one!) child. I'm bummed, especially since I stopped by to register earlier in the week but got there before the office was open. But we're first on the waiting list so let's all cross our fingers that someone flakes. I also got the dining room wall plastered yesterday. IRL it wasn't bugging me but anytime I saw a photo of the space it was really annoying. So that's done. And I got the remains of our tarp hangar dismantled and the tarp folded and put away. The poor thing was destroyed in a wind storm here. The wind snapped the aluminum poles in half, pretty insane.

Today I got an exciting present from my Dingo sister in WI. She sent me a scoby! It sounds so illicit doesn't it? Well, in fact I think it may be. but all it really is is a fungus for making kombucha a fermented tea that drinkers swear is the elixir of life. Or nearly. So, now all I need is a big galloon jar and a warm spot and I'll see if I become a believer or not.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Belated New Year!

Well here I am! In 2009. I keep writing 08 on checks but I hope I'm not the only one who needs a little time to adjust. This year I need more time to adjust than normal since I was off visiting my mom. That trip was more or less uneventful. She hasn't changed but she's forever repentant. But whatever.

Now, one might think that since I've had twelve days to consider resolutions I'd have a pretty slick list but I'm not sure I do. But here goes:

  • Run the San Francisco Marathon, hopefully in 6:00 or less so I can get my official finisher's coaster. This one entails staying disciplined throughout my 7 months of training. That's going to be the hardest part I think.
  • Be Kind.
  • Spend more time playing with kids than surfing online. To be honest I might be pretty close here already, but I feel like I'm online more than I should be and playing less than I should be so here's to fixing that.
  • Get off sugar. This one I'm already doing okay on too. I'd like to kick the habit that climaxed over the holiday. So far so good. I haven't had nearly any since I got home and haven't really wanted any either.
Well, that's it. I want to keep it simple and attainable. And, hopefully I'll also be able to keep this blog more or less updated to keep track of life, training runs, kid cuteness or whatever, but that may be dependent on the surfing < playing thing