Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Running and Biking

I started running again!

My ankles feel much better, but I was nervous and wanted to be careful, so I did three 12 minute miles.  I did that by taking walking breaks, as suggested by my longtime adult student Peggy.  She is a real runner, so she would know.

Today I did three 10.5 minute miles!  I'm back on track and should be back to where I left off soon.

We tried to solve some puzzles in an escape room and failed miserably.  We still had fun though.

Grace successfully rode her real bike!  I was absolutely thrilled watching her take off after about 30 seconds.

This was pure parenting joy for me!

Grace was thrilled too and so proud of herself.  She asks to go practice every day!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Grace Conquers Park

We've been frequenting some different parks lately.

This park is over by the preschool and is a bit across town from our house, but it has it's merits.

It has a lake as people call it, but I'm not sure it qualifies.  Nevertheless, it is a lovely bit of water with lots of ducks and geese hanging around.

I see people feeding them sometimes and we never do that, but because they are used to people they come right up to you.  The girls enjoy watching them swim around but Grace gets a little nervous when they get too close.  She's a pragmatic girl!

We walked all the way around the lake on Sunday, and that was the longest time I've been on my feet in a weeks.  They don't hurt anymore but I'm nervous about running again.  Clara was in awe of the light reflecting off the lake.  She said "I like it!"

This park has a water pad which is tons of fun in the summer months, but it is winterized right now.  I have to say though, I'm not a fan of the play structure at this park.  I think it is designed for older kids or different kids than mine, haha!  Clara seems to wander aimlessly because she is too little for most of it, and Grace is too cautious to try many of the climbing things.  I'm sure it will be better when they are a little older, but the other problem is that there is very little visibility.  The structure is long with lots of ramps and climbing things, and there are so many poles and things that it is pretty impossible to keep track of one kid, let alone two!  Most of the time I spend running around trying to locate one or the other.  It also has two pretty great slides that are only accessible by climbing.  Grace can climb, but she is also a chicken.  Last Sunday she climbed all the way up to the penultimate rung and then hung there in terror until I carried her down.  As soon as I got Clara back on the swings, Grace was up there again, calling for help.  The other parents looked on sympathetically.  One grandpa called encouraging tips to her, and one dad who looked like a firefighter or something stood nervously underneath her, assuring me he would catch her if needed.  After the 3rd rescue, I told her she should just go play on something else.  No, defeat is not an option.  She finally made it to the top, shouting for the whole park to hear, "I did it Mommy, I did it!"  All the parents couldn't help smiling at that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thirty Four

My sweetie turned 34 yesterday!

The girls were both really excited about his birthday.  Grace wanted to decorate all the amazon boxes that came in the mail, haha!  I let her glue some shapes on the boxes; I'm sure the gifters wouldn't mind!  These we wrapped together.  She of course did the butterfly cut outs and the writing.  Clara was excited mainly because she knew there might be some cake involved.

He received a VR device.  Basically it is a cardboard box with two lenses in which you put your smartphone, and it becomes a virtual reality viewer!  The girls liked checking it out.  He also got a massager that he really likes and a couple new video games from me.  One is called The Witcher and he was really itching for that one!

He also received a remote control helicopter.  If you look closely at the picture you can see it hovering off to the left.  The girls desperately wanted daddy to share his toy!

This is the moment where he almost lost it on the neighbor's roof!

We had brownies and Papa Murphys pizza to celebrate.  After the girls were in bed, we got a sitter and went to a movie.  All in all, Jason felt that it was a pretty good birthday!  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Grace Takes More Swim Lessons

Grace is back at swim lessons!

Here she is, waiting patiently.  I'm going to preface this post by noting that the swim coaches specifically told us parents to stay on the opposite end of the pool so as not to distract the kids in their lesson.  My long distance phone photography is not that great!

Today she was a bit reluctant at first because she dunked her head underwater last week and she got scared.  She was even telling me she didn't want to come today. 

A timid jump to be sure, but I love how the teacher encouraged her afterward!

She warmed up quickly and it ended in success!  She was so proud of herself, blowing bubbles, floating on her back and kicking her legs.  She told me "I put my head underwater and I didn't even cry this time!"

Monday, September 14, 2015

September Update

Jason graciously let me stay home from preschool drop off and grocery shopping this morning so that I can stay off my swollen ankles.  I did a sectional yesterday in which I stood the whole time, and I also took the girls to the park so I think I overdid it.

Sitting here in a quiet house when I am prohibited from cleaning (!) means that I guess I must blog.  I went through my phone and gathered recent photos that I haven't posted anywhere yet.

Grace's recent obsession is cutting paper.  Here she is hugging a pad of paper that I replaced for her recently.  It has neon colors with crazy designs, and she loves cutting out all kinds of shapes.  Sometimes she glues them down on things, but mostly I have a sea of scraps of paper to sweep up every night.  She is really good at using scissors and is pretty careful with them.

Clara's current favorite thing is playing in the sink.  She loves to take her "little brushie" and wash the measuring cups.  So cute, and entertaining for quite some time!  Also, this tutu skirt was a Target splurge.  My last baby isn't really a baby anymore, but she will still let me dress her in cute things!  Grace on the other hand takes great pride in dressing herself these days.

Such style, check out the toes.

Clara loves the sandbox, just as Grace did when she was 2, and she likes to "make pancakes."

The girls wanted to go to a different park yesterday from the ones we frequent.  I remembered that there was one 10 blocks away that was a little shabby but we thought we would give it a try.  It had been a couple years since our last time there.

But it wasn't shabby, it had a brand new play structure!  It was also very bright that day.

Grace is teaching Clara how to spread dandelion seeds.

I love how Clara uses a trombone embouchure to blow.

I'm never a fan of this in our yard, but I remember having so much fun blowing these when I was a kid.  I think we had a lot of dandelions, haha!  Sorry Mom ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Camping in the Backyard

Grace has been wanting to camp FOREVER.  Jason decided that tonight was the night - 

in our backyard!  This tent was my family tent growing up.  My parents don't need it anymore!  (Let me know if you change your mind, Mom.)

The fire pit is always exciting.

Clara helped Daddy blow on the fire to get it going.

We cooked our own veggie dogs on sticks.

Of course, a camping evening would not be complete without s'mores!

Is it done yet?

One happy camper!

A little reading before bed.

Good night, Daddy and Grace!

Clara and Mommy slept inside, and Grace and Daddy made it through the night!  Jason said Grace keep mumbling as she was drifting off to sleep, "Daddy, I'm having a lot of fun."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Running Interrupted

I was doing really great!  I made it about 5 weeks of running almost every day.  I was doing about 3.5 miles in about 35 minutes, but that wasn't enough for me.  You probably know this, but I am a committed person.  When I decide I'm going to do something, I want to throw myself in full force.  I thought I was doing fine, but why not up it to 4 miles?  It was a nice round number, and also it got me all the way to the interstate overpass which seemed like a good half way point.  There really was no reason to push myself other than to burn more calories and to have some more bragging rights.

That is how I ended up with massively swollen ankle.  I made it 4 miles but it hurt a bit the next day.  Again I said "screw it, it'll loosen up once I get going," and I went out AGAIN the next day.  I made it about 12 minutes and then I couldn't run another step.  I hobbled home in shame.  Basically, I'm an idiot.  After talking with actual runners, it probably isn't a good idea to go it every day, and it definitely isn't a good idea to increase distance dramatically.  Who knew this was such a science?  I thought it was just hit the pavement as hard as you can, drop pounds faster.  Also, I am again reminded that I'm older.  I used to run in college about the time I was on the crew team.  I used to run from my apartment down to the waterfront in Portland and then run back.  It never occurred to me that my body couldn't handle it but that is what ten years can do, I guess.

Here I am, modeling my new friend, the ace bandage.  It has been one week and it is still a bit swollen and has a dull ache.  I haven't been to the doctor because doctor bills are one of my least favorite ways to spend my money.  I self diagnosed on webMD and I think I have Achilles tendonitis.  Eric was a runner in high school and told me he had it, so he suggested the bandage.  It does help take a bit of pressure off but I kind of expected it to feel better a bit quicker.  Online it did say it could take up to 6 weeks, ugh.  PLEASE say it doesn't take that long!  I really want to get back into this.  I absolutely hate that I mentally committed to this and now I can't do it.  I promise that if this heals, I will go every OTHER day and I'll not try to kill myself with distance.  I was actually in a strange way enjoying it, and I'm missing it right now.  I love having routine and goals in my life.

So what do you say, Dr. Moms and Dads out there?  Should I see the doctor about this?  It could cost a pretty penny, especially if there is an x-ray involved, and I'd rather buy more Anthropologie skirts (like the new one I'm modeling above)!

This all happened on the day I got to meet trumpet legend Doc Severinsen.  Did I hike through campus that day in high heels?  You betcha!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


We needed to kill some time before preschool one day, so we sang some songs!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lost Lake

This is my last summer vacation posting, I swear!

It was hot in Hood River, I mean, really hot.  We decided to take a drive up to Lost Lake on Mt. Hood to beat the heat!

The water was cold at first!

Getting warmer...

All in!

Hanging out at the campsite.

Grandma and Grandpa are downright silly.

Ella was getting the hang of the song!

What is a camping trip without s'mores?!

There was a spectacular view of Mt. Hood in the background of this shot, but I got the exposure wrong.  You'll have to come with us next time to see it!  I'd like to see a trip to Lost Lake becoming a family tradition.

The morning we left, Ian and the girls rode off to school and to work in style.  It is hard to live so far apart, but we treasure the time we have!