Friday, March 27, 2009


My little shadow lining up for a trophy too.

See the rainbow?

Posted by Picasa

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.