Friday, October 31, 2008

An Ooey, Gooey Good Time!

There is something about that first reach into a pumpkin. That first handful of seeds and pulp. It is
sheer goo and stickiness and it screams Halloween! I love it!

Tonight we finally had some time to sit down and enjoy a good old fashioned pumpkin carving! Mitchell was drawn to the tiny pumpkins this year so we found ourselves with three mini pumpkins and one larger sized one that Ellie immediately claimed. Mitchell was completely on board with cleaning out his pumpkin, but Ellie looked inside hers and then at us with a look of confusion. Surely we were not expecting her to dig out that gooey mess! She gave it the old preschool try but quickly decided she was much better at supervising pumpkin activities rather that actually partaking in them!

In the process of our carving event we learned that Alty and Sprocket both love pumpkins! Todd offered each a taste and ended up in a tug-of-war with Alty to get his pumpkin top back! For an old girl with a few missing teeth she has a strong bite!

When all was said and done we ended up with four very clever pumpkins. Ellie supervised me in making a traditional jack-o-lantern with triangle eyes and nose (well, as near triangle as I could manage). Todd's pumpkin was an angry face complete with eyebrows. With Daddy's help, Mitchell's creation was a scary pumpkin with a big nose. I tried to be uber-clever and carved my pumpkin on its side so the stem actually became the nose.
Now we get to enjoy phase two of the good old fashion pumpkin carving...eating the seeds! Todd got busy cleaning and salting and baking the seeds. I am certain they will taste a good as they smell and they smell really good!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Learning to be all things!

What is the appropriate response to your two-year-old dropping a bottle of bright nail polish on the bathroom floor and having said bottle shatter?

Be thankful.

Yes, be thankful.

Be thankful that...

1. No little toes or feet were cut in the process.

2. 95% of the polish coated the tile extra thankful for Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser! The remaining 5% was split between a bathroom rug (and they are meant to be disposable right?) and the bedroom carpet (and, should we ever move, that carpet will have to be replaced anyway!).

3. The broken bottle contained a color that really didn't look good on my toes anyway.

4. Auntie Sara was visiting and was able to whisk the kiddos into the other room and keep them occupied (painting her toes!) while I attacked the mess. And, I must say Auntie Sara's toes looked downright splendid. The more polish the better right? And, who says the color on the toesies of the right foot must match that of the left foot?

5. I looked into Ellie's eyes the minute that bottle shattered. At that moment, I saw it was an accident and, honestly, what does a pink floor matter? Had I not been able to clean up all the polish (or most of it anyway!) would it have really and truly mattered? No. I see the spots of pink polish on the carpet as signs of an eventful and happy childhood in progress.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon! I ran like a girl...

... strong, fierce, and sexy! OK, I wouldn't exactly say strong. I do admit that Mile 4.5 found me walking, fighting back tears, because my left foot zinged with pain at every step. So I can't say strong exactly.

And, well, I know I wasn't sexy for certain. Sexy is the opposite of dripping sweat; a goofy gait to avoid pain; a big zit on my forehead. So, I guess sexy is out.

But fierce! Yes! I was fierce! When I ponied up at Mile 5 and told myself that the Tiffany necklace at the finish line would be mine, I was fierce! When I decided I would run through the pain in my foot and LOVE those monstrous hills, I was fierce! When I zoned out and focused only on that yellow line in the center of the road, I was fierce! So fierce is in! Fierce stays! I ran like a girl...fierce!

And, I had bunches of fun!

I ran the San Francisco Nike Women's 1/2 marathon solo. I finished in a respectable 2:29. I would have liked to have come much closer to a flat 2 hours, but with an achy foot and a 1/2 mile walk in there, I am pretty satisfied. I finished just steps behind the first place runner of the marathon. He did two miles for every mile I did! That is pretty zippy! Show off!
The hubs and I had a very nice weekend in the city. We found my name on the wall outside of Niketown amongst the names of 19,999 other runners! It was a wall of names, but there is something cool about seeing your name in print...even though I was on the crease!

The race kicked off at 7:00am on Sunday. It took a full 13 minutes to cross the start line! My hubs escorted me to my pace corral and stood by me until the crowd began to move forward. He bravely brought a Starbucks sandwich into the gaggle of girls which had one woman sniffing the air. He kept the sandwich low and discreet and waited to eat it until after we all started running. My hubs was swept up for a couple steps but eventually made it to safer ground.

I knew it was a women's run when I saw the Ghiradelli Chocolate Mile. I couldn't imagine eating chocolate at that point but I nabbed a couple squares for my dear hubs.

This race was so unlike any I have ever run before. There was the chatter of women the full 13.1 miles. There were random calls of support from runners to other runners. When the road split between the 1/2 marathoners and the full marathoners, I found myself yelling cheers and good luck wishes to the strong women doing a full 26.2 miles. There was a sense of camaraderie. The course was packed and there was definite support from runners of all different levels and ages to other runners of all different levels and ages. It was truly a great experience.

And, yes, I did earn my Tiffany necklace at the finish line! That little baby blue box was grasped tightly in my hand. I have yet to take the necklace off. It has reminded me that I can do anything no matter what obstacles I face...and also that my hubs will always be there right beside me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

City to the Sea...accomplished!

What a wonderful weekend we enjoyed at the Central Coast! My brother and I ran in the City to the Sea 1/2 marathon. The course took us from downtown San Luis Obispo to the Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach. As a bonus, we were able to spend some time with the kids by the water and some quality time with our relatives who live there. My aunt and uncle opened their beautiful home to us and cooked us an amazing pre-race meal! We also enjoyed seeing our cousins who had fun with our kiddos. Two of our cousins are in college and one is almost there. They are such bright, beautiful, and balanced girls! I hope my hubs and I are fortunate enough to see such a commitment to family in our kids when they are older!

I am not sure whether the kids enjoyed the beach or my aunt and uncle's home more. On our drive home, our son yelled, "I want to live at Uncle Bobby's house!" To which our two year-old replied, "Me too!" But, judging by the photos, I think they enjoyed the sand and surf quite a bit as well!

So my brother and I won our race! Well, we decided that to complete the race on our own two feet would be winning to us! We finished in a very respectable 2:28...actually I finished in 2:28:22 and my brother finished in 2:28:21! We ran the entire 13.1 miles together and then he beat me by a 10th of a second. I was surprised because I can never catch Jason when he sprints. I think the fact that his knee was giving him grief enabled me to stay glued to his tail the last hundred feet!

In all it was a wonderful time! I think this will become an annual event for us. I told my grandma she should run it with us and she resolutely stated, "No way!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Singing in the rain!

I think that running over 5 miles in the rain equates to running the full 10 my brother and I set out to accomplish this morning. Maybe?

I was delighted when I stepped outside this morning into a light drizzle. We need the rain! Then I thought, "Wait! I am on my way to a run!" So, for the first time in many years, I ran in the rain with my brother. And, it was fun! At first, my mother instinct kicked in and I thought, "We are going to catch the death of cold out here!" But we trotted along at a nice even clip and enjoyed singing some Laurie Berkner songs. I admit that I cannot carry a tune...I do like to sing though! I pity all within earshot of my vocal skills!

Those of you without kids or grown kids are missing out! Laurie Berkner rocks! She has these catchy little diddies that, as my brother said, get stuck in your head all day. So we sang Victor Vito and I tried to recall the words to We are the Dinosaurs and Laurie has a Pig on her Head (or something like that).
As my brother and I completed our first loop, we realized we were quite wet and it likely wasn't the best idea to continue on course since next weekend we will be running the City to the Sea 1/2 marathon. Now is not the time to get sick (like there ever is a time)! So we packed in it and I immediately directed myself to Starbucks for a cup o' java to warm myself up.
Surprisingly, I feel supercharged! Something about running and singing in the rain did me some good. I feel invigorated and ready to take on the half next weekend! Now that is rock'n!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

From the kids' perspective

Kids truly do say the cutest things...

  • My hubs and I round up the kids each night to say prayers. One by one we tell God what we are thankful for and send up any needs that we have or the needs of others. After her little prayer - which I know God understands verbatim - Miss Ellie says "The End" and claps her hands in delight!
  • After two nights of Mitchell barely eating any of his dinner I told him, as I tucked him in at night, that we would be having a favorite of his for dinner the next night...mac and cheese with hot dogs! He bolted upright and said, "That's what I'm talking about!"
  • Todd had worked in the office in the morning and when he changed into his grubbies to work on a car he left his dress socks on. When I brought the kids home from school, Ellie honed in on those socks. She ran over pointing to Todd's feet asking, "Wha hoppin?"
  • Mitchell was going back and forth between a cowboy and a pirate costume for Halloween this year. I told him he needed to decide because I am not a speedy seamstress. "I know!" he exclaimed. "I will be a storm cloud!" My hubs and I looked at each other and just started laughing. Yep! It's our kid that wants to be the big Cumulonimbus. Thankfully, he has reverted back to cowboy!